May 252024
 


Thomas Cole Prometheus Bound 1847

 

Zelensky’s Legitimacy Has Expired – Putin (RT)
Betting on Armageddon: What is Zelensky’s Plan Now That His Term is Over? (Amar)
NATO Forming Network of Cyber Labs Along Russia’s Borders (Sp.)
NATO ‘Preparing For War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)
Ukraine Enforces Desperate Conscription Laws, Russia Closes In On Kharkiv (ZH)
Speaker Johnson: Ukraine Should Use US Weapons on Russian Territory (Antiwar)
Let Ukraine Freely Strike Russia With Western Arms – NATO Chief (RT)
US Should Quit Sending Money to Ukraine, Try to Negotiate Peace – Massie (Sp.)
Will the Trump Jury Exercise Blind Justice or Willful Blindness? (Turley)
Trump Says Bronx Residents Being Left Behind By Biden Policies (ZH)
Biden Admin Is Hiring A ‘Meme Manager’; Hilarity Ensues (MN)
Boeing Sued Over Deaths Of US Marines (RT)
The CIA’s Secret Effort To Seize Control Of Social Media (ZH)
Kevin Morris Reportedly Protected by CIA in Hunter Biden Investigation (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Schumer

 

 

Prince

 

 

 

 

Comey

 

 

FBI at my door

 

 

 

 

Who can Russia have talks with for peace? Not Zelensky…

“..Russia must be absolutely sure it’s dealing with the legitimate Ukrainian authorities before it can engage in meaningful and legally binding talks..”

“..one of the goals of this conference for the Western community, the sponsors of today’s Kiev regime is to confirm the legitimacy of the current – albeit no longer valid – head of state,” he suggested, adding that “such PR moves are meaningless for legal documents.”

“The Biden administration has yet to comment on the issue of Zelensky’s status publicly. However, the European Commission and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock assured on Tuesday that he is legitimate..”

He is not legitimate just because he says so, or Brussels or Berlin do…

Any deal with Zelensky is meaningless.

Zelensky’s Legitimacy Has Expired – Putin (RT)

Russia must be absolutely sure it’s dealing with the legitimate Ukrainian authorities before it can engage in meaningful and legally binding talks to conclude the conflict between the two nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. He noted that Vladimir Zelensky’s term in office has expired. The president made the remarks in Minsk on Friday during a joint press conference with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. Putin was asked for comment on Zelensky’s presidential term running out earlier this month and the impact of this development on potential talks. Putin reiterated Russia’s readiness to engage in talks with Ukraine to end the hostilities, stating that negotiations must be based on “common sense” and acknowledge “realties on the ground,” while using the preliminary agreement reached in the early days of the conflict as the foundation.

“But with whom to negotiate? That’s a peculiar question, I agree. We realize that the legitimacy of the incumbent head of the [Ukrainian] state has expired,” the Russian leader stated. The upcoming “peace summit,” scheduled to take place in Switzerland next month and actively promoted by Kiev is designed, among other things, to prop up Zelensky in his role, Putin said. “I think one of the goals of this conference for the Western community, the sponsors of today’s Kiev regime is to confirm the legitimacy of the current – albeit no longer valid – head of state,” he suggested, adding that “such PR moves are meaningless for legal documents.”

It’s up to Ukraine’s legal system, its “parliament, constitutional court and some other governing bodies” to determine whether Zelensky is now a legitimate leader or not, according to Putin. As for Russia, in order to engage in any meaningful talks with Kiev, it must be absolutely sure it’s dealing with the country’s legitimate authorities, the president stressed. Zelensky’s term expired on Monday, while no elections were held under the pretext of the martial law introduced by Kiev early in the conflict with Russia. The Ukrainian Constitution explicitly prohibits holding parliamentary elections under such circumstances, yet does not mention presidential elections. However, while setting the length of the presidential term, it also specifies that power is transferred the moment a new president is sworn in.

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“Legitimate or not, the Ukrainian leader is a national catastrophe hell-bent on going global..”

Betting on Armageddon: What is Zelensky’s Plan Now That His Term is Over? (Amar)

On 20 May, something important changed for Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky. On that day, the five-year presidential term for which he had been elected in 2019 came to an end. He remains in office, however, without having to face fresh elections. Zelensky’s critics, including within Ukraine, argue that he is now illegitimate in a strict, constitutional sense – in effect, a usurper. His followers and defenders, including in the West, insist that Zelensky legally remains president under martial law. What is clear is that, according to the Ukrainian constitution, presidential elections can be held during wartime (unlike parliamentary ones, which are ruled out), even if a lack of clarity would require amendments, as Ukrainian experts have explained in national media. Even the New York Times acknowledged as much as recently as last October. At that point, however, Zelensky himself had not yet ruled out elections and American super hawk Senator Lindsey Graham was demanding them in his usual imperious tone.

Wartime elections in Ukraine would have posed practical challenges, although these could have been overcome. For instance, back in October, Zelensky himself stated that online voting was a possibility. Western media, including the BBC, which now claim Zelensky had no legal or practical option of standing for reelection, are misinforming their audiences by simply reproducing his regime’s current talking points. Not, obviously, for the first time. No doubt, the legal legitimacy of a president is a critical issue, especially one as high-handed and authoritarian as Zelensky has been for years and since well before the escalation of the war in February 2022. Yet what is more important are the political meaning and effects of Zelensky’s transition to past-due-date status.

In this respect, the first point to note is that is Zelensky is evading the basic accountability of an election that would inevitably increase public scrutiny of his record. Even more disturbing, however, is to see one of his closest associates turning unquestioning compliance with this move into a de facto loyalty test, complete with ominous threats. The speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, a key magnate in Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” party, has reportedly even called all those who doubt the president’s continuing legitimacy “enemies of the people” and “political lice.” Of course, this rhetoric – ironically reminiscent of Stalinism – comes with the usual tired smears: Anyone who dares doubt the Zelensky regime is routinely accused of doing so at the behest of Russian agitators. Perish the thought – in Zelensky’s post-“Revolution of Dignity” and “free world” showcase Ukraine – that citizens could genuinely disagree with their superiors!

Verbal brutality of the Stefanchuk kind is especially intriguing because a reasonably reliable and recent (February) poll shows that almost 70% of Ukrainians agree that Zelensky should remain president until “the end of the state of war.” For better or worse, Zelensky’s decision to avoid elections – whatever his reasons – is not unpopular. But a closer look at the same poll reveals why the Zelenskyites are so touchy and aggressive: Widespread consent with postponing presidential elections does not translate into the same amount of popularity for Zelensky personally, or, for that matter, for his regime. For instance, in December 2023, 34% of respondents believed that he should not stand for another election (whenever the latter were to take place). By February of this year, only three months later, that share had risen to 43%. Clearly, Ukrainians who believe that this is not the right time for presidential elections and, at the same time, that Zelensky should never be a candidate again, don’t consider elections unnecessary because they are happy with his rule.

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“..carry out acts of electronic sabotage under the close tutelage of NATO supervisors..”

NATO Forming Network of Cyber Labs Along Russia’s Borders (Sp.)

NATO is forming a network of cyber laboratories along the perimeter of Russia’s borders in Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Romania, Artur Lyukmanov, the special presidential representative for international cooperation in information security of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said in an interview with Sputnik. “Washington has long been practicing methods of hybrid warfare against Russia in the information sphere. Ukraine is used as the main training ground, whose hackers, including from the much-touted ‘IT army,’ carry out acts of electronic sabotage under the close tutelage of NATO supervisors,” he said. Lyukmanov said entire units of Western security services and armed forces have been sent to Kiev.

“It’s no secret that the alliance is forming an entire network of cyber laboratories along the perimeter of the Russian borders in Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Romania, and in the future – in Georgia and Moldova. Under the auspices of the Pentagon, cyber exercises are being carried out on a systematic basis (the Cyber Flag exercises recently ended in the US), during which scenarios of confrontation with us in the digital sphere are tested,” the diplomat said. Western countries, led by the United States, are building up offensive potentials in the field of information technology to conduct computer operations against Russia and China, Artur Lyukmanov said. “Indeed, Western countries, led by Washington, continue to build up offensive ICT potentials to conduct computer operations against their geopolitical opponents, that is, Russia, China and other independent states,” he said

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“Orban noted that the bloc was created with the purpose of defending member states against aggressors, not waging wars outside its territory..”

NATO ‘Preparing For War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)

Hungary is reevaluating its role in NATO, as it has no intention to take part in actions that could involve member states in the Ukraine conflict and lead to a direct clash with Russia, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. Speaking on local Kossuth Radio, Orban stated that his country has already been relegated to the role of a non-participant within the US-led military bloc due to its stance on Ukraine, and Budapest is now working on legal ways to retain its membership but reserve the right to abstain from joining NATO operations it disagrees with. “Hungary’s position must be redefined, our lawyers and officials are working on ways to allow Hungary to continue to exist as a NATO member without participating in NATO activities outside the bloc’s territory. We need to create a new approach, a new definition for our position as a pro-peace force within NATO,” Orban said.

According to the prime minister, there are “alarming similarities” between the emotionally charged media publications and statements by Western politicians regarding the Ukraine conflict and the atmosphere preceding the First and Second World Wars. “What is happening today in Brussels and Washington… looks like warming up for a possible direct military conflict. We can safely call it the preparation of Europe’s entry into the war,” Orban said, adding that there are working groups within NATO that are assessing the best ways for the bloc to further boost its participation in the conflict. He warned that the end result of these actions could be a direct conflict between the EU, NATO, and Russia – a “grim prospect,” as the conflict would involve nuclear powers.

Someone tell me why instead of isolating this conflict – because it is a war between two Slavic peoples, despite all the arguments on the side of Ukraine – we choose to jump into this war? Orban noted that the bloc was created with the purpose of defending member states against aggressors, not waging wars outside its territory. Commenting on Western claims that Russia could attack Europe if it defeats Ukraine, Orban said the chances of this happening are extremely slim, and these warnings only serve as an excuse to become directly involved in the Ukraine conflict. Hungary has opposed NATO funding and arming of Ukraine from the outset of the conflict in February 2022. The country has not sent any weapons to Kiev, and has not allowed its territory to be used for their delivery, despite pressure from both Brussels and Washington. Budapest has called for a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

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“If only the media was as energetic about promoting peace negotiations as it has been about promoting war. ”

Ukraine Enforces Desperate Conscription Laws, Russia Closes In On Kharkiv (ZH)

Ukraine is now enforcing a new mobilization law which is being called ‘divisive’ among many Ukrainian citizens and some political leaders. The law requires men ages 18-60 to carry their military paperwork at all times to be presented to authorities on demand. It lowers the minimum draft age from 27 to 25 (Ukraine has a demographic shortage of men ages 18-25). And, all military age Ukrainian men abroad must come back to Ukraine to renew their passports, including refugees driven from their homes in the early days of the war. Conscripts must update their address, contact information, and military records within 60 days through government institutions or a mobile application. This is in preparation for a national draft database containing information on every fighting age male in the country. The conscription measures are expected to greatly reduce Ukraine’s labor pool, forcing many businesses to shut down. Essential workers are not exempt from the draft.

Vladimir Zelensky signed two other bills into effect, one allowing prisoners to be deployed to the front lines (the western media criticized Russia last year for implementing a similar measure), the other bill quintuples fines for people caught trying to evade the draft. Early versions of the law allowed for concessions on pay and better rotation for soldiers, including a policy which would relieve soldiers serving for 36 months or more. All demobilization concessions were removed from the final version; Ukraine’s military leadership argued that they needed the most experienced soldiers to remain at the front. Kyiv has offered cash bonuses to troops towards purchases of housing and cars as an incentive to join the war effort, however, critics argue that the Ukrainian treasury does not actually have the funds to fulfill the promises Zelinsky is making. To counter charges of undermining soldier morale, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry says it is working on a separate demobilization bill, but massive manpower shortages make any demobilization action highly unlikely.

Front line soldiers have repeatedly complained about the lack of rotation, with some rarely getting a chance to leave the trenches in the past two years. These desperate conscription laws arrive just as Russian forces close in on Kharkiv, the second largest city in the nation. Bombardment of the city’s defenses and infrastructure is already underway in preparation for a possible offensive. Some analysts argue that Russia does not have enough troops to take Kharkiv and that this is a distraction. Russia may open a new front near Sumy which is 100 miles away, or they may plan to full envelope Kharkiv because they know Ukraine’s troop strength is at a minimum. The western media has been an avid mouthpiece for the Ukrainian government over the past couple years with many pundits shaming Ukrainian citizens who have tried to leave to avoid being involuntarily mobilized. Seeing the complete lack of organization and the habitual embezzlement of funds among Ukraine’s leadership it’s not surprising that many citizens do not want to fight for them. If only the media was as energetic about promoting peace negotiations as it has been about promoting war.

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“Moscow recently warned the UK that if Ukraine used British weapons on Russian territory, Russian forces would target UK military sites in Ukraine “and beyond.”

Speaker Johnson: Ukraine Should Use US Weapons on Russian Territory (Antiwar)

On Wednesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) expressed support for Ukraine using US-provided weapons on Russian territory, a step that would risk a major response from Russia. Ukraine has been lobbying the US to allow the use of US-provided missile systems on Russian territory in the wake of Russia’s Kharkiv offensive, and the idea is gaining support in Congress. A group of bipartisan members of the House sent a letter to President Biden on Monday urging him to lift any restrictions on Ukraine’s use of US weapons. “It is essential the Biden administration allows Ukraine’s military leaders to conduct a full spectrum of operations necessary to respond to Russia’s unprovoked attack on their sovereign land,” the lawmakers said. Johnson was asked if he supported the idea of Ukraine hitting Russian territory with US weapons and replied that the US needs “to allow Ukraine to prosecute the war in the way they see fit.”

“They [Ukraine] need[s] to be able to fight back. And I think us trying to micromanage the effort there is not a good policy for us,” he told Voice of America. Moscow recently warned the UK that if Ukraine used British weapons on Russian territory, Russian forces would target UK military sites in Ukraine “and beyond.” The warning came after British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Ukraine had the “right” to use British arms in attacks on Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is asking NATO to take another step that could lead to a catastrophic escalation. In an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday, he pleaded for the Western alliance to shoot down Russian missiles over Ukraine, which would mean direct NATO involvement in the conflict, raising the risk of nuclear war.

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You’re located in Brussels, right?

Let Ukraine Freely Strike Russia With Western Arms – NATO Chief (RT)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has argued that members of the Western military bloc should let Ukraine freely use their weapons to launch strikes deeper into Russian territory. “The time has come for allies to consider whether they should lift some of the restrictions they have put on the use of weapons they have donated to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said on Friday in an interview with The Economist. “Especially now when a lot of the fighting is going on in Kharkov, close to the border, to deny Ukraine the possibility of using these weapons against legitimate military targets on Russian territory makes it very hard for them to defend themselves.” Stoltenberg noted that some NATO members have already lifted restrictions on using their weapons to attack targets in Russian territory.

Asked whether he was referring to the US as the one major holdout, he said, “I think what we see now demonstrates the need to reconsider those restrictions, not least because we have fighting going on along the border between Russia and Ukraine.” However, according to Moscow, the rhetoric about restrictions on the use of US munitions are false and designed to maintain the illusion that the West is not part of the conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that US weapons, such as ATACMS missiles armed with cluster warheads, have already been used on attacks inside Russia, including strikes against civilian targets. “We proceed from the fact that American and other Western weaponry strikes targets on the territory of Russia, primarily civilian infrastructure and residential areas,” he told reporters on Friday.

The NATO chief’s comments come at a time when Western leaders are making increasingly bold statements about attacks on Russian territory. US President Joe Biden held back on sending long-range weapons to Ukraine in the early days of the conflict with Russia, citing concern over the possibility of triggering a wider conflict. When more advanced weaponry was later approved, it came with strings attached, including a prohibition on hitting Russian territory. However, as the New York Times reported on Thursday, views on those restrictions have shifted as Russian forces make battlefield gains. After making a “sobering” visit to Kiev earlier this month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly began urging the administration to let the former Soviet republic use American weapons as it sees fit. A group of US lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin earlier this week, pressing him to give the Ukrainians the permissions they have requested.

Stoltenberg said he believes NATO members can thread the geopolitical needle by supporting Ukraine’s defense without becoming direct parties to the conflict. “We provide training, we provide weapons, ammunition to Ukraine, but we will not be directly involved from NATO territory in combat operations over or in Ukraine,” he said. “So, that’s a different thing.”

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A lonely voice..

US Should Quit Sending Money to Ukraine, Try to Negotiate Peace – Massie (Sp.)

The United States should stop sending money to Ukraine and attempt to negotiate peace as soon as possible, US Congressman Thomas Massie told Sputnik on Friday. “I think we should quit sending money there. I think we should try to negotiate peace as soon as possible,” Massie said on the sidelines of the 2024 Libertarian National Convention. US lawmakers are showing dwindling support for sending military aid to Ukraine each time the matter comes to a vote, Massie highlighted. “The support for sending weapons to Ukraine is weakening in the US Congress, as you can see with each subsequent vote,” the congressman emphasized. There should be some effort made to bring both Ukraine and Russia to the upcoming conference in Switzerland as it is hard to imagine negotiations without Russia, Massie stressed “This sounds kind of hard to negotiate a peace if they don’t have Russia at the table. So I think there should be some effort to have Ukraine and Russia there,” the congressman said.

Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden could help solve the conflict in Ukraine, and even lower-level discussions between top diplomats could help achieve progress, Massie highlighted. “I think it could help,” Massie said when asked whether talks between Biden and Putin could help solve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. “Although, even lower-level negotiations would help as well, I think.” When asked at what level such discussion should be held, the congressman said, “Maybe at the secretary of state level, for instance.” Massie expressed his view that it is “wrong” that communications between the US and Russia are limited. “I think there should be talks,” he said. The US government freezing of foreign assets, including those of Russia, is a very short-sighted policy and sends a message to the international community that the United States may stop honoring transactions, the congressman emphasized.

“I think it’s very short sighted of our government to freeze for instance, Treasury assets, that are held by other countries, such as Russia, because it sends a message to the world that if you buy our debt, then we may not honor the transaction at some point,” Massie explained. The representative added that US moves to freeze foreign assets are “extremely dangerous” because they will increase the price that Washington has to pay to finance its debt. “I’m sure that our closest allies will still trust that we’ll be good on our word, but other sovereign funds will have a diminished appetite for financing our debt,” Massie said. “So, I think it’s very short-sighted of us to do that.” Moscow has maintained that any attempt to confiscate its frozen assets would violate international law, with the Russian Foreign Ministry labeling such an action as theft. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has also said that Moscow is willing to issue a “symmetrical” response to this form of Western financial aggression.

The congressman argued that he opposes the US government sending more money to Ukraine unless such assistance achieves peace. “I told our own speaker – if you want to send $60 billion and the goal is to achieve some kind of peace, I might be compelled to vote for it. But I’m not voting for $60 billion that will then only necessitate another $60 billion,” the representative clarified. Massie also said that both sides to the conflict in Ukraine will eventually run out of people if fighting continues. “I think it’s immoral to grind up people in this war on both sides,” Massie added. Earlier on Friday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that the United States was providing a new weapons package for Ukraine worth $275 million. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday the United States has already delivered many of Ukraine’s “top-priority requirements” and much more assistance is on the way.
Austin added that he expects a steady flow of US assistance for Ukraine on a weekly basis.

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“Bragg is expected to finally state with clarity what he is alleging … at the closing arguments of the case.”

Will the Trump Jury Exercise Blind Justice or Willful Blindness? (Turley)

With closing arguments scheduled for Tuesday, May 28, the prosecution of former President Donald Trump will finally head to a jury. Judge Juan Merchan has refused every opportunity to bring an end to this politically manufactured prosecution. Now it will be up to 12 New Yorkers to do what neither the court nor the prosecutors were willing to do: adhere to the rule of law regardless of the identity of the defendant. Merchan has allowed the government to bring back into life a dead misdemeanor and convert it into 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. To accomplish this legal regeneration, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has vaguely referenced a variety of crimes that Trump allegedly was trying to conceal through the business record violations. The problem is that he has left the secondary crime mired in uncertainty to the point that experts on various networks are still debating what the underlying theory is in the case.

Indeed, Bragg is expected to finally state with clarity what he is alleging … at the closing arguments of the case. In the meantime, the prosecution is pushing to make it easier for the jury to convict. First, they have vaguely referenced a variety of possible offenses from tax to election violations. Bragg initially laid out four possible predicate crimes. It is down to three – a tax crime and violations of state or federal election law. Merchan has ruled that the jury does not have to agree on what crimes were being covered up so the jury could literally have three different views of what happened in the case and still convict Trump. Prosecutors are also seeking to effectively shorten the playing field by allowing the jurors to convict on a lower standard of proof for the key term in using “unlawful means.” The defense wants the jury instructed that it must find that such use of “unlawful means” was done with willful intent.

The prosecutors do not want to use that higher standard. For the defense, it is effectively reducing the field to the end zone to make it easier for the prosecution to score. In the last few days, the Bragg strategy has come into sharper focus in one respect. Bragg is not counting on the evidence or the law. He is counting on the jury. Call it the Lawrence O’Donnell factor. After Michael Cohen imploded on the stand in the trial, even experts and hosts on MSNBC and CNN stated that his admissions and contradictions were devastating. Cohen is not only accused of committing perjury in his testimony, but he matter-of-factly detailed how he stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Trump organization. After being disbarred and convicted as a serial perjurer, Cohen waited for the statute of limitations to run on larceny to admit that he stole as much as $50,000 by pocketing money intended for a contractor.

Liberal commentators acknowledged the fact that Cohen had committed a far more serious offense than the converted misdemeanor against Trump (but was never charged). Yet, one figure stepped forward to assure the public that all was well. MSNBC host O’Donnell said that he watched the testimony and that Cohen did wonderfully. Keep in mind that Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche asked Cohen point blank: “So you stole from the Trump organization, right?” Cohen answered unequivocably: “Yes, sir.”O’Donnell, however, rushed outside to declare that Cohen was merely acquiring a bonus that he thought that he deserved as a type of “self-help”: “Cohen [was trying] to rebalance the bonus he thought he deserved. And it still came out as less than the bonus he thought he deserved and the bonus he had gotten the year before.”

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25,000 is not a “large-scale campaign” either. Not for Trump. Not even in NY.

Trump Says Bronx Residents Being Left Behind By Biden Policies (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump took aim at President Joe Biden over a range of issues while vowing to turn New York City around “very quickly” at a rally in the South Bronx on Thursday. President Trump made the comments in front of a crowd estimated at 25,000 supporters in one of the most Democratic counties in the nation. His appearance at Crotona Park, which comes as he is on trial in New York, marked his first large-scale campaign in the state since 2016, when he held two events at the Times Union Center in Albany and another in Buffalo. As Axios (of all people) reported, the Thursday night drew a crowd that looked very different than the typical MAGA flock. The unusual sight of Trump speaking to several thousand people in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in deep blue New York is a sign of the realignment happening between the two parties.

Trump’s GOP is becoming more working class and a little more multiracial. Democrats are gaining with more well-educated voters in the suburbs. The thousands of people gathered to see the former president were a diverse group of people, including what Fox News Digital noted were Black, Hispanic, White, Asian and Muslim supporters. Ahead of Trump’s rally yesterday, both the Biden and Trump campaigns rushed to paint their opponents as racist and a worse choice for Black voters. The Biden campaign put out a digital and television ad that begins: “Trump disrespecting Black folk is nothing new.” The campaign posted on X: “Let’s remember that Trump is a lifelong racist.” The Trump campaign responded with a reminder that Biden helped pass the 1994 Crime Bill that led to mass incarceration disproportionately impacting minorities.

As Katabella Roberts reports via The Epoch Times, President Trump used the rally to criticize his Democratic rival and his immigration policies amid the ongoing crisis at the southern border, telling the crowd of attendees that his rival was failing to “get the job done” for those living in the Bronx. He also described his rival as “grossly incompetent.” President Trump said that under President Biden’s watch, impoverished communities and minorities have been hit the hardest. He said President Biden’s policies have seen inflation, crime, and illegal immigration rise. “African Americans are getting slaughtered, Hispanic Americans are getting slaughtered,” President Trump said. “These millions and millions of people that are coming into our country—the biggest impact and the biggest negative impact is against our black population and our Hispanic population who are losing their jobs, losing their housing, losing everything they can lose.”

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It’s an entire language they fail to understand..

Biden Admin Is Hiring A ‘Meme Manager’; Hilarity Ensues (MN)

The Biden campaign has posted a job listing seeking a ‘meme manager’ prompting many to submit examples of their finest Biden meme manager memes. The listing, seeking a ‘Partner Manager, Content and Meme Pages’, was posted on Daybook. It states, “In this role, you will initiate and manage day-to-day operations in engaging the internet’s top content and meme pages.” “The ideal candidate for this role is passionate about bringing political content to voters where they already are on the internet,” it adds.

Responsibilities in the post include a need to “cultivate and manage relationships with top digital media companies, podcasters, and meme pages across a number of social media platforms” as well as to “identify and land engagement opportunities.” The listing betrays the fact that Biden is haemorrhaging support among young voters, and the campaign, in its infinite ignorance, believes that a few well executed memes might turn that around. The problem is, the left can’t meme. Leftist memes routinely include walls of text explaining what they mean, rendering the meme itself pointless and absurd.

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Now the military arm of Boeing gets its turn.

Boeing Sued Over Deaths Of US Marines (RT)

The families of US servicemen killed in a V-22 Osprey crash in California in 2022 have brought a lawsuit against Boeing, Bell Textron, and Rolls-Royce, accusing them of hiding and failing to correct known reliability issues in their aircraft. Filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California, the suit alleges that the three corporations “intentionally, recklessly and/or negligently provided false information about the safety, airworthiness, and reliability of V-22 Osprey aircraft,” its engines, systems, and component parts, according to the court documents. “The aircraft, as fielded, has failed and continues to fail to meet the government’s safety and reliability specifications and requirements and the aircraft is not safe,” the lawsuit reads.

The incident at issue occurred in southern California on June 8, “on a training mission during the day with good weather,” when a V-22 suffered catastrophic mechanical failure and crashed, killing all five Marines aboard. The subsequent investigation by the US Marine Corps found that “there was no error on the part of the pilots and aircrew and nothing they could have done to anticipate or prevent this mishap,” nor any “maintenance error” from the ground crew. The V-22 Osprey, a relatively recent addition to the US aircraft fleet, is capable of vertical take off and landing using its tilting twin proprotors, acting as both airplane-style propellers and helicopter-style rotors, depending on which flight mode the craft is using.

There have been 58 accidents involving Ospreys since 1991, with at least 20 being lost beyond repair and leading to more than 60 fatalities, according to the Flight Safety Foundation statistics. The V-22 gained the nickname ‘widow maker’, having led to 30 deaths before it even entered service in 2007. The US military temporarily ceased all flights of the aircraft for an investigation in November last year, after a V-22 crashed near Yakushima, Japan, killing eight. Two months prior, Boeing was ordered to pay $8.1 million to settle allegations that it failed to adhere to critical manufacturing specifications in its V-22 parts production. The claims were brought against the aerospace giant by three whistleblowers who worked at its Ridley Park, Pennsylvania facility.

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New “Twitter Files”.

The CIA’s Secret Effort To Seize Control Of Social Media (ZH)

While the CIA is strictly prohibited from spying on or running clandestine operations against American citizens on US soil, a bombshell new “Twitter Files” report reveals that a member of the Board of Trustees of InQtel – the CIA’s mission-driving venture capital firm, along with “former” intelligence community (IC) and CIA analysts, were involved in a massive effort in 2021-2022 to take over Twitter’s content management system, as Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi and Alex Gutentag report over at Shellenberger’s Public. According to “thousands of pages of Twitter Files and documents,” these efforts were part of a broader strategy to manage how information is disseminated and consumed on social media under the guise of combating ‘misinformation’ and foreign propaganda efforts – as this complex of government-linked individuals and organizations has gone to great lengths to suggest that narrative control is a national security issue.

According to the report, the effort also involved; • a long-time IC contractor and senior Department of Defense R&D official who spent years developing technologies to detect whistleblowers (“insider threats”) like Edward Snowden and Wikileaks’ leakers; • the proposed head of the DHS’ aborted Disinformation Governance Board, Nina Jankowicz, who aided US military and NATO “hybrid war” operations in Europe; • Jim Baker, who, as FBI General Counsel, helped start the Russiagate hoax, and, as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel, urged Twitter executives to censor The New York Post story about Hunter Biden. Jankowicz (aka ‘Scary Poppins’), previously tipped to lead the DHS’s now-aborted Disinformation Governance Board, has been a vocal advocate for more stringent regulation of online speech to counteract ‘rampant disinformation.’ Jim Baker, in his capacity as FBI General Counsel and later as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel, advocated for and implemented policies that would restrict certain types of speech on the platform, including decisions that affected the visibility of politically sensitive content.

Furthermore, companies like PayPal, Amazon Web Services, and GoDaddy were mentioned as part of a concerted effort to de-platform and financially de-incentivize individuals and organizations deemed threats by the IC. This approach represents a significant escalation in the use of corporate cooperation to achieve what might essentially be considered censorship under the guise of national security. Nina Jankowicz And The Alethea Group: Remember Nina? A huge fan of Christopher Steele – architect of the infamous Clinton-funded Dossier which underpinned the Trump-Russia hoax, and who joined the chorus of disinformation agents that downplayed the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell, Jankowicz previously served as a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center, and advised the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry as part of the Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship. She also oversaw the Russia and Belarus programs at the National Democratic Institute.

Jankowicz compares the lack of regulation of speech on social media to the lack of government regulation of automobiles in the 1960s. She calls for a “cross-platform” and public-private approach, so whatever actions are taken are taken by Google, Facebook, and Twitter, simultaneously. Jankowicz points to Europe as the model for regulating speech. “Germany’s NetzDG law requires social media companies and other content hosts to remove ‘obviously illegal’ speech within twenty-four hours,” she says, “or face a fine of up to $50 million.” By contrast, in the US, she laments, “Congress has yet to pass a bill imposing even the most basic of regulations related to social media and election advertising.” -Public.

In a 2020 book, How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict, Jankowicz praises a NATO cyber security expert for having created a “Center of Excellence,” a concept promoted by Renée Diresta of the Stanford Internet Observatory, in which she made the case for the (now failed) Disinformation Governance Board that Jankowicz would briefly head up. One year later, Jankowicz began working with ‘anti-disinformation’ consulting firm, Althea Group, staffed by “former” IC analysts. Althea notably came after ZeroHedge at one point, shopping a ‘dossier’ around which suggested we were allegedly contributing to “increased online panic” amid the monumental collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. The outlets they peddled said dossier to included Bloomberg – which elected to exclude ZeroHedge from their report following a brief email exchange. Eventually, one of their operatives dropped the dossier on Twitter, only to be mocked as a propagandist.

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“..they were summoned to the CIA in Langley concerning Mr. Morris, and that because of the information provided there, he could not be a witness for the investigation. AUSA Wolf proudly referenced a CIA mug and stated that she purchased some CIA “swag” at the gift shop..”

Kevin Morris Reportedly Protected by CIA in Hunter Biden Investigation (Turley)

Recently, it became public that Kevin Morris, the entertainment lawyer who has subsidized the expenses and bought the art of Hunter Biden, had stopped his funding of Biden. Morris has paid off Hunter’s IRS debts and reportedly lent him a total of $4.9 million for housing, car payments, legal fees, and other possible costs. The so-called “sugar bro” is “tapped out” according to media reports. (For full disclosure, Morris previously threatened me with a defamation lawsuit over my writing about his representation of Hunter). Now the House has confirmed prior stories that whistleblower records indicate that the CIA prevented the Justice Department from questioning Kevin Morris as a witness in its probe of Hunter Biden. Morris has maintained that he lent Hunter millions for “no ulterior motive” and continued to support him out of friendship. Yet, when investigators started to look into the payments and the relationship, they were told that Morris had some relationship with the CIA in August 2021. According to previously unreleased information, IRS special agent and current whistleblower Gary Shapley documented the bizarre intervention of the spy agency.

In a sworn affidavit in May, Shapley declared: “During a recurring prosecution team conference call in or around late August 2021, Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Lesley Wolf told the team that she and DOJ Tax Attorney Jack Morgan had recently returned from the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where they had been summoned to discuss Kevin Morris. AUSA Wolf stated that they were provided a classified briefing in relation to Mr. Morris and as a result we could no longer pursue him as a witness. Investigators probed AUSA Wolf, but since her briefing was classified and she was apparently sanitizing it to an unclassified form to share over an open phone line, she did not elaborate with more information. She reiterated more than once that they were summoned to the CIA in Langley concerning Mr. Morris, and that because of the information provided there, he could not be a witness for the investigation. AUSA Wolf proudly referenced a CIA mug and stated that she purchased some CIA “swag” at the gift shop while she was there. It is unclear how the CIA became aware that Mr. Morris was a potential witness in the Hunter Biden investigation and why agents were not told about the meeting in advance or invited to participate. It is a deviation of normal investigative processes for prosecutors to exclude investigators from substantive meetings such as this.”

It is a testament to the level of bias in the mainstream media that this story is not the sole focus of every media outlet in America. Imagine if the CIA intervened to stop an investigation into a donor maintaining one of the Trump children and supporting his effort to blunt any investigation into corruption. MSNBC would make it ongoing special programming with its own time slot. This is an agency that is supposed to avoid domestic interventions into politics as well as other areas. It is accused of pulling in a prosecutor to tell her to close part of a criminal investigation involving the financial supporter of the president’s son. Even if Morris was an asset, the question is why shut down the inquiry into his payments to Hunter Biden. The work of Morris with the CIA could be protected or redacted. Instead, the line of inquiry was shut off and Wolf reportedly left Langley with CIA swag and an empty bag of evidence.

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Vivek

 

 

Tigress

 

 

Lioness

 

 

 

 

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Dec 122023
 
 December 12, 2023  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  59 Responses »


Edward Hopper Night windows 1928

 

SCOTUS Agrees To Expedite Decision On Trump 2020 Election Case (ZH)
Biden Is The Real Threat To Democracy – Trump (RT)
US House To Vote On Biden Impeachment Inquiry On December 13 (TASS)
Hillary Clinton Seeking To Open Hearts And Pockets For Biden – NBC (RT)
Italy, France, Germany Call For Ad Hoc EU Sanctions On Hamas (R.)
“One War, One Election At A Time” (Helmer)
High Time For Peace Talks – Arestovich (RT)
Western Masters To Kick Kiev Puppets To Curb – Russian Intel Chief (TASS)
Strategic Reflections From Moscow (Alastair Crooke)
West’s ‘500-Year Dominance’ Ending – Lavrov (RT)
Elon Musk Says Would Rather “Go To Prison” Than Restrict Free Speech On X (MN)
What Were Romans Thinking As They Watched Rome Collapse? (PCR)
Global Economy May Lose Up to 7% of GDP Due to Ukraine Conflict – IMF (Sp.)
Many Americans Are Unable to Afford Food, Even as Unemployment Remains Low (Sp.)
Millions Of Brits Will Choose Between Eating, Staying Warm This Christmas (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1733960832571122115

 

 

Volodymyr

 

 

 

 

Kid Rock

 

 

Taibbi

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..”this is *not* the Court agreeing to take up the case now. It is just the Court agreeing to move *very* quickly in deciding *whether* to take up the case..”

SCOTUS Agrees To Expedite Decision On Trump 2020 Election Case (ZH)

Update: That didn’t take long… After petitioning the US Supreme Court to weigh in on former President Trump’s federal 2020 election case – specifically Trump’s presidential immunity defense, Special Counsel Jack Smith had his answer by end-of-day, after the Supreme Court granted his request to “expedite consideration of the petition.” Attorney Steve Vladeck called the response “lightning-fast by the Supreme Court’s standards.” Vladeck further clarified that “this is *not* the Court agreeing to take up the case now. It is just the Court agreeing to move *very* quickly in deciding *whether* to take up the case at this juncture (i.e., before the court of appeals).” The Court gave Trump’s team until Dec. 20th to respond.

[..] Special Counsel Jack Smith has asked the Supreme Court to immediately weigh in on former President Trump’s federal 2020 election case. In a Monday filing, Smith asked the justices to weigh in on Trump’s immunity defense, by which Trump has cited presidential immunity to try and have the case tossed. The former president is accused of entering multiple criminal conspiracies to change the results of the 2020 US election. The move comes after Trump appealed an appeals court judge’s rejection of that argument. In the Monday filing, Smith cited Trump’s fast-approaching March 4 trial date. “It is of imperative public importance that respondent’s claims of immunity be resolved by this Court and that respondent’s trial proceed as promptly as possible if his claim of immunity is rejected,” reads the filing.

Smith has also requested that the Supreme Court expedite its decision on whether it will take up the issue, period. If they do, he wants them to prioritize it over all other cases. “This case presents a fundamental question at the heart of our democracy: whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin,” reads the filing. “In his Supreme Court brief, Mr. Smith conceded that the trial would most likely have to be paused because of the appeal of the immunity issue. That position reversed the one his prosecutors took over the weekend in court papers, in which they argued that Judge Chutkan should not have to stay the case pending appeal. Winning the appeal of the immunity decision was only one of Mr. Trump’s goals in challenging the decision. All along, he and his lawyers have had an alterative strategy: to delay the election interference trial for as long as possible.” -NY Times

The filing comes after Judge Tanya S. Chutkan – who worked at the law firm which repped Fusion GPS, the company that helped orchestrate the Russia collusion hoax – rejected Trump’s sweeping claims of “absolute immunity” from an election interference indictment because it was based on actions taken while in office. In her ruling, Chukan condemned attempts to “usurp the reins of government,” and said that nothing in the Constitution or US history supports the notion that a former president is immune. As the Times further suggests, “If the trial were to be put off until after the 2024 election and Mr. Trump were to win, he could have his attorney general simply dismiss the charges. Holding a trial after the presidential race would also mean that voters would never hear any of the evidence that prosecutors have collected about Mr. Trump’s expansive efforts to reverse the results of the last election before weighing in on whether to re-elect him.”

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“But no, I’m not a threat. I will save democracy..”

Biden Is The Real Threat To Democracy – Trump (RT)

Former US president Donald Trump has brushed aside warnings by Democrats over his potential return to the White House and claimed that it’s actually his successor Joe Biden who poses a danger to the country’s democracy. Trump made the comments ahead of a possible rematch between the two at the polls next year. Trump, who remains entangled in a series of federal and state charges related to allegations that he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, has nudged ahead of Biden in polling for a potential presidential race in 2024, according to the Wall Street Journal. Despite the fact that his campaign is likely to be conducted in the shadow of mounting legal issues, the presumptive GOP candidate has dismissed Democratic Party warnings, that a Trump win represents a threat to the US, as a “hoax” and “misinformation.”

“Can you believe it? This is their new line, you know,” Trump said on Saturday at an event hosted by the New York Young Republican Club. “Here we go again – ‘Russia, Russia, Russia,’ ‘Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine.’ One hoax after another.” Trump added: “But no, I’m not a threat. I will save democracy. The threat is Crooked Joe Biden.” The former president has claimed that the myriad legal cases he faces are politically motivated, and has vowed to prosecute Biden if he returns to office. His comments come soon after he was criticized by Democratic rivals for saying that he intended to briefly be a dictator if he is reelected, in order to install more border fortifications and introduce domestic oil-production policies. “I said I want to be a dictator for one day,” Trump added on Saturday in New York, in reference to his comments days before. “And you know why I want to be a dictator? Because I want a wall … and I want to drill, drill, drill.”

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, said during the party’s fourth primary debate last week that Trump’s comments reveal him to be “an angry, bitter man who now wants to be back as president because he wants to exact retribution on anyone who has disagreed with him.” Biden, meanwhile, recently cast a dire warning about the potential outcome of a second Trump presidency. Speaking at a fundraising event in Los Angeles on Saturday, Biden said that “the greatest threat Trump poses is to the democracy.” The president also said at an earlier campaign event last month in San Francisco that some of Trump’s rhetoric has its roots in authoritarianism, in particular his vowing to be his supporters’ “retribution” and his describing of political opponents as “vermin.”

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You’d think they have the votes..

US House To Vote On Biden Impeachment Inquiry On December 13 (TASS)

The US House of Representatives will vote on a resolution to formalize an impeachment inquiry of US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, December 13, a Republican lawmaker told Reuters. Thus, he refuted a previous statement by Representative Lisa McClain who said that the vote would take place on Thursday, December 14. The resolution introduced by Republican Representative Kelly Armstrong would instruct three House committees to authorize a probe into the incumbent US leader’s business dealings. On December 2, House Speaker Mike Johnson said they were being stalled by the White House which was preventing at least two to three witnesses from coming forward. Republicans have repeatedly claimed that the Bidens received funds from companies, including foreign businesses, for using political influence for business gain.

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“..you know you are in deep, deep trouble if you are picking up the bat phone and calling Hillary Clinton to come help you out..”

Hillary Clinton Seeking To Open Hearts And Pockets For Biden – NBC (RT)

The US Democratic Party establishment believes that figures like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama could help President Joe Biden secure reelection next November, NBC News reported on Sunday. The former secretary of state and failed 2016 candidate has recently emerged as a key Biden surrogate, the outlet noted. NBC News cited several instances in recent months, when Clinton has advocated on behalf of Biden. On November 27, for instance, she hosted a fundraiser at Whitehaven, her family mansion in Washington DC, at which the group Women’s Leadership Forum added almost a million dollars to the campaign coffers. The same month, she penned an op-ed in The Atlantic defending Biden’s refusal to support a ceasefire in Gaza, a position on which she later doubled down, speaking on The View program.

In October, she touted the “formal deprogramming” of supporters of Donald Trump, her opponent in the 2016 election and Biden’s most likely challenger from the Republican side next year. Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are loyal to the party and will “do whatever is asked of them,” a person close to her told NBC News. She is expected to lend Biden her popularity with women and ensure that his campaign does not run out of money, the thinking behind her involvement goes. But ultimately she is “filling a space that at a later point in the campaign season former President Barack Obama will join,” the report said. Obama’s intervention helped Biden get the Democratic nomination in 2020, as centrist candidates coalesced around him to defeat progressive firebrand Bernie Sanders in the primaries.

Fox News, the pro-Republican news network, took the report as highlighting the weakness of the Biden bid. Its contributor Charles Hurt mused that “you know you are in deep, deep trouble if you are picking up the bat phone and calling Hillary Clinton to come help you out”. Biden’s approval ratings are at a low point at the moment, with several recent polls making him the least favored president since Harry Truman, when measured at the same point in their respective terms, according to the political analysis resource FiveThirtyEight. A Wall Street Journal poll released on Saturday showed the incumbent losing to Trump 47% to 43% in a hypothetical race between two candidates. If Trump were convicted on one of the four prosecutions against him, Biden would only have a 1% point advantage over him.

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A bit of Gaza relief today. It is certain to return. But this is so crazy, it must be included.

Italy, France, Germany Call For Ad Hoc EU Sanctions On Hamas (R.)

Italy, France and Germany called on the European Union to impose ad hoc sanctions against Hamas and its supporters, the foreign ministers of the three nations wrote in a joint letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. “We express our full support for the … proposal to create an ad hoc sanctions regime against Hamas and its supporters,” said the letter seen by Reuters. “The swift adoption of this sanctions regime will enable us to send a strong political message about the European Union’s commitment against Hamas and our solidarity with Israel,” the letter said.

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Putin refuses to let Russia become overstretched..

“One War, One Election At A Time” (Helmer)

Not even in revolutionary times have Russian elections been waged on the issue President Vladimir Putin proposed a few days ago of what it means, what it costs, what it risks for Russia to lead the national liberation of the world. Nor has Putin revealed after two days of intensive talks with Emirati, Saudi, and Iranian leaders, and then a telephone call with the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, what plan of action for the Gaza war they discussed. “Russia is thinking about an initiative on Gaza,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has announced after the talks concluded. El-Sisi was so negative about this, the Kremlin record of his Saturday morning telephone call reveals no more than that he and Putin talked over “a number of issues related to Russian-Egyptian cooperation, which has been developing very successfully.

Both parties expressed their interest in further expanding cooperation in various areas in a traditionally friendly manner based on the principles of strategic partnership.” The two presidents then wished each other good luck for their re-elections. The Egyptian presidential vote is running for three days from Sunday with the result to be declared on December 18; the Russian poll will be held on March 15-17. The outcome is certain for both. Two hours after Putin put down the phone with el-Sisi, he picked it up again to call Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Kremlin communiqué has omitted to report what Netanyahu said. Instead, Putin gave the Israeli his personal assurance there will be no Russian participation in a Gaza blockade-busting plan to deliver humanitarian aid to the Palestinians by sea, or across the Egyptian land border. Nor will the Russian military intervene to threaten Israeli aircraft if they commence bombing Beirut and southern Lebanese targets in the war against Hezbollah.

A Russian source on military strategy believes the Russian objective is to protract the Palestine war on all fronts simultaneously, and exhaust the US and Israel by threatening Israeli ports and shipping, Israel’s offshore gas supplies, and the economy’s principal sources of income. Exhausting the US in the Middle East helps exhaust the US and NATO in the Ukraine, the source adds.Tactically, the source said, this should mean an international humanitarian operation to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in order to deliver as much aid as the besieged Palestinians need; action at the international level to deter the Israelis using uranium radiation warheads, poison gas, and other weapons to attack the Hamas tunnel network; and a no-fly zone to cover Lebanon and Syria from Israeli bombing and missile attacks. Military action, the source cautions, should be indirect and confined to proxy forces like Hezbollah on the northern front; Iraqi groups in the east; the Houthis in the south; and support for the Palestinians fighting in the West Bank.

The Israeli reaction – “what we can do in Gaza we can do in Beirut” — is to deter Russia, Iran, and the Arab states from allowing their “initiative” to adopt any of these tactics; and to deter an expanded operation by Hezbollah. “If Hezbollah chooses to start an all-out war,” Netanyahu declared publicly just before he spoke to Putin, “then it will, by its own hand, turn Beirut and southern Lebanon, not far from here, into Gaza and Khan Younis.” Russian sources acknowledge the blackout on debate of these options in the Russian media, including the military bloggers who have become the most outspoken journalists in the country. “One war at a time, one election at a time”, according to one source. “That’s how Putin is thinking right now. How can the General Staff argue with that?”

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“Arestovich recently announced that he would stand against Zelensky for the presidency, and would campaign on a platform of peace..”

High Time For Peace Talks – Arestovich (RT)

Now is the time to start thinking about negotiating peace with Russia, with the situation looking more hopeless on the front line, a former adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said. Aleksey Arestovich told Inews that Zelensky has become a hostage to his own propaganda due to his propensity to “play the hero in parliaments around the world.” The former presidential adviser and spokesman, who has fallen out of favor with Kiev, said Zelensky currently “thinks not about the national interest but about his own position.” Arestovich recently announced that he would stand against Zelensky for the presidency, and would campaign on a platform of peace. With the cost of the war mounting and Kiev’s death toll rising to around 300,000, the former adviser said it was past time to start discussing terms for peace.

“For Russia, it’s for Ukraine not to join NATO, and for us it is to stop this war. These are great conditions to start a real discussion – not only between Ukraine and Russia – about a new system of collective security in Europe,” he said. Arestovich said that Ukraine was in a far stronger position to negotiate in spring 2022, after Russia’s troops were closer to Kiev, and suggested that then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have undermined the peace talks. At that time, Russia was seeking protection for the Russian language, the reduction of Kiev’s army, and a turn away from NATO, Arestovich revealed to the news outlet, claiming to have detailed knowledge of the negotiations that took place in Istanbul. After Johnson’s visit to Kiev in April, he said talks were swiftly terminated.

David Arakhamia, a Ukrainian MP who headed Kiev’s delegation in the spring 2022 negotiations with Russia, said back in November that Moscow had been ready to end the war if Ukraine promised not to join NATO. “When we returned from Istanbul, Boris Johnson came to Kiev and said that we wouldn’t sign anything with them at all, and that we should just fight,” he told Ukrainian media. A spokesperson for Johnson has dismissed this, saying the decision to fight was made because of the “iron resolve of President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine,” wrote Inews. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has reaffirmed that Russia would prefer to reach its goals in Ukraine via “political and diplomatic means.” Commenting on Tuesday, he said “we are still ready for negotiations.” President Zelensky signed a formal decree early in October stating that any negotiations with Russia under President Vladimir Putin are “impossible.”

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“..the only historical purpose of Ukrainian nationalism is to turn Ukraine into a weapon against Russia..”

Western Masters To Kick Kiev Puppets To Curb – Russian Intel Chief (TASS)

The puppet regime in Kiev will inevitably be abandoned by its overseas masters in the end, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergey Naryshkin said. “The puppet regime in Kiev, which is alien to the majority of Ukrainians, and which has perpetrated bloody massacres in Donbass, in Odessa and in many other towns and villages of Ukraine, will eventually and inevitably be abandoned by its overseas masters,” he said at a roundtable discussion devoted to the study of Ukrainian propaganda and efforts to fight against it. The intelligence chief also emphasized that Russians and Ukrainians are two parts of a single nation composed of three peoples, which also include Belarusians. “Despite the seriously changed circumstances, I mean the aggression of the Western bloc against Russia, in which Ukraine is involved, I hold to the same positions on this issue, namely that Russians and Ukrainians are two parts of a triune nation, the history of which goes back centuries,” Naryshkin emphasized.

Looking back into the past, he said, it can be said that, “the only historical purpose of Ukrainian nationalism is to turn Ukraine into a weapon against” Russia. Naryshkin also noted that historians are well aware that “many former Nazi criminals found safe haven in the United States and Canada” after the war. “The Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists established there became a direct successor of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, banned in Russia – TASS) of the followers of [Stepan] Bandera and the founder of the notorious extremist organizations ‘Stepan Bandera Trident’ and ‘Right Sector’ (both banned in Russia – TASS),” he added. “Systematic work for shaping the ideological basis for a future neo-Nazi revenge has been going on for decades.

For example, the first attempt to label the famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s as a deliberate genocide of the Ukrainian people was made in 1985 by a specially created commission of the US Congress,” he pointed out. Naryshkin, who also serves as chairman of the Russian Historical Society, stressed that today Russia has gained significant experience in countering this pernicious lie. “A lot of work is being done by the Russian Culture Ministry’s museum group, created at the initiative of the Russian Historical Society. And in the first months of the special military operation, employees of museums and higher educational institutions collected trophy materials, on the basis of which they organized exhibitions throughout the country,” he added.

Naryshkin noted that work for the formal study of the history of the special military operation was commenced on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prior to the roundtable event, Naryshkin toured an exhibition of Ukrainian propaganda publications, school textbooks and children’s encyclopedias, which was opened in the Russian Historical Society House as part of the event. According to the Russian Historical Society, the publications were collected in the zone of the special military operation. The exhibition included books glorifying infamous Nazi collaborators Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich, as well as the crimes of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Ukrainian Insurgent Army (organizations banned in Russia).

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“The hostility shown by Europeans towards the Russian people (and not just to its governance) has pushed Russia to ‘be itself’ again, which has been to its great benefit..”

Strategic Reflections From Moscow (Alastair Crooke)

U.S.-Russia relations have touched rock-bottom; it is worse even than imagined. In discourse with senior Russian officials, it is evident that the U.S. treats the former as clear enemies. To gain a flavour, it is as if a senior Russian official were to ask: “What is it you want from me?”. The answer might come: “I wish you’d die”. The inherent tension and lack of genuine exchange is worse than during the Cold War when channels of communication did stay open. This lacuna is compounded by the absence of political nous amongst European political leaders, with whom grounded discussion has not proved possible. Russian officials recognise the risks to this situation. They are at a loss however on how to correct it.

The tenor of discourse too, has slid from outright hostility toward pettiness: The U.S., for example, might block workers from entering the Russian mission at the UN to repair broken windows. Moscow then — reluctantly — finds itself with little alternative but to respond in a similarly petty vein — and so the relationship spirals down. There is an acknowledgement that the deliberately vituperative ‘information war’ is wholly dominated by the western MSM — further souring the atmospherics. And though the scattered western alternative media exists and is gaining in scale and significance, it is not easily engaged (being both diverse, and individualist). The tag of ‘Putin Apologist’ too, remains toxic to any autonomous news providers, and can destroy credibility at a stroke.

It is understood in Russia that the West presently exists in ‘phony normality’ — an interlude within its own cultural war (in the run-up to 2024). Russians, however, do perceive some obvious parallels with their own experience of radical civil polarisation — when the Soviet Nomenklatura demanded conformity to the Party ‘line’, or suffer sanction. Moscow is open to dialogue with the West, but interlocutors so far have represented only themselves and have no mandate. This experience points to a conclusion that there is little point to ‘banging one’s head’ against a brick wall of an ideologically driven western leadership — Russian values being as a red rag to the western ideological ‘bull’. Yet, it is not clear when the time comes, if an empowered interlocutor (able to commit) will be present in Washington to pick up the phone.

Nevertheless, the enmity projected in the West towards Russia is perceived as having positive aspects as well as grave risks (the absence of treaties on the use and deployment of weapons). Interlocutors underline how western disdain towards Russians — plus its explicit enmity — finally has allowed Russia to move beyond Peter the Great’s Europeanisation. That latter episode is seen now as a diversion from Russia’s true destiny (albeit one that must be seen in the context of the rise and rise of the post-Westphalian European nation-state). The hostility shown by Europeans towards the Russian people (and not just to its governance) has pushed Russia to ‘be itself’ again, which has been to its great benefit. Nonetheless, the shift gives rise to a certain tension: It is evident that western ‘hawks’ are always scanning the Russian scene in order to locate a host within the body politic in which to insert the spores of their weaponised New Moral Order — their purpose being to wedge into, and fragment, Russian society.

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“..the objective course of history… is the evolution of a multipolar world..”

West’s ‘500-Year Dominance’ Ending – Lavrov (RT)

The 500-year-long dominance of the West is coming to an end, being replaced by “a new polycentric world,” Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said Sunday in a video address to the Doha Forum. The minister expressed regret that certain “circumstances” prevented him from coming to the Qatari capital in person and hearing the discussions at the annual high-profile event. “But I assume that you were discussing the multipolar world, which is emerging after 500 years of domination of what we call the ‘collective West,’” Lavrov said. This hegemony of the US and its allies had been “based on a diverse history, including ruthless exploitation of peoples and territories of other countries,” he said. According to the minister, the West suggested that it could use the model of globalization, which it had been building for centuries, to maintain its dominance.

“However, other countries, using exactly the principles and instruments of the Western globalization, managed to beat the West on its own turf, building the economies on the basis of national sovereignty, on the basis of balance of interests with other countries.” New centers of economic growth and political influence have been emerging, “changing the balance of power in the world, and not to the West’s liking,” he said. “In order to suppress this kind of development,” the US and its allies have in recent years “sacrificed” globalization in favor of the so-called ‘rules-based world order,’ Lavrov continued. “The rules were never published, were never even announced by anyone to anyone, and they are being applied depending on what exactly the West needs at a particular moment of modern history,” he added.

The FM said that such an approach is most seen “in various conflicts, which the West ignites all over the world,” including the one in Ukraine. “Everything goes to keep the hegemony. Intervention in domestic affairs, sanctions against all the principles of competition, regime change, and of course direct military interventions, like we have seen in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere.” “Is there a single place where the US intervened with military force, where life has become better? I think you know the answer,” Lavrov told the forum participants. According to the diplomat, new formats like BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ASEAN, African Union, and others will become “the bricks of the new polycentric world.” It should be recognized, including by those in the West, that “the objective course of history… is the evolution of a multipolar world,” Lavrov insisted.

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“Basically we will see everything that is happening on the system and nothing will be hidden, that is the goal.”

Elon Musk Says Would Rather “Go To Prison” Than Restrict Free Speech On X (MN)

X owner Elon Musk declared during a Spaces discussion that he will never restrict free speech on the platform, no matter what entities pressure him to do so, and asserted that he would rather “go to prison” than allow it to happen. Musk’s comments came during a Spaces discussion, also featuring Alex Jones who Musk reinstated on the platform Sunday. Human Events editor Jack Posobiec asked Musk what would happen if the FBI or DHS “come to X and say ‘these posts need to be censored , this information needs to be censored.”

Musk responded that the platform will remain “as transparent as possible,” adding “Basically we will see everything that is happening on the system and nothing will be hidden, that is the goal.” Musk added that “frankly if I think a government agency is breaking the law in their demands in the platform I would be prepared to go to prison personally if I think they are the ones breaking the law.” Elsewhere during the discussion, Musk explained that he reinstated Alex Jones because as a free speech absolutist he will not censor anyone on X if they have not broken the law. Here it is in its entirety:

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“When truth is punished, a country dies.”

What Were Romans Thinking As They Watched Rome Collapse? (PCR)

I have often wondered what Roman citizens thought as they watched the Roman Empire fall apart culturally, politically, morally, and militarily. Cicero, quaestor, praetor and Counsel of Rome, tried to save the Roman Republic. For his efforts he was chased down and murdered. As Cicero was, perhaps, the most famous Roman, his murder stopped efforts to prevent Rome’s descent into tyranny. The same thing is happening today to those who attempt to arouse us to our danger. Julian Assange, for example, has been imprisoned contrary to every known US and UK law for a decade without conviction for simply doing his duty as a journalist and reporting the crimes of our rulers, the crimes of the corrupt vermin we continue to return to office and power over us. No one has done anything about it, not even his fellow journalists. When truth is punished, a country dies.

Rome survived for centuries after its essence had departed, because her enemies were weak in comparison. Rome destroyed itself. As many or more Romans died in civil wars fighting one another than died repelling barbarian invasions, Roman military might ended in self-destruction. The enemies Washington has created for America are not weak. Russia alone, China alone, perhaps even Iran alone, is a match or more for America. The three together constitute a vast over-match of US military capability. Yet Washington continues to increase hostilities with these countries. The mindlessness of my government is unbearable. Such utter stupidity. Once the moronic Biden regime’s economic sanctions and the US loss of the reserve currency role finish off the US dollar, America is finished. We will be a third world country, and the rest of the world will punish us for the sins of our government. Try to tell this to an American.

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A world split in half…

Global Economy May Lose Up to 7% of GDP Due to Ukraine Conflict – IMF (Sp.)

The losses in the global economy as a result of the fragmentation into two blocs from the conflict in Ukraine are estimated to be up to 7% of GDP, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday. “If the global economy were to fragment into two blocs based on UN voting on the 2022 Ukraine Resolution and trade between the two blocs were eliminated, global losses are estimated to be about 2.5 percent of GDP. But depending on economies’ ability to adjust, the losses could reach as high as 7 percent of GDP,” IMF First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath said.

Gopinath pointed out that the losses may be extremely pronounced in lower-income countries and emerging markets. “Foreign direct investment (FDI) fragmentation in a world divided into two blocs centered around the United States and China – with some countries remaining non-aligned – could result in long-term global losses of around 2% of GDP,” she said. Gopinath noted that there are “clear signs” global FDI is segmenting along geopolitical lines. “Announced FDI projects between blocs declined more than those within blocs after the onset of the war in Ukraine, while FDI to non-aligned countries sharply increased,” Gopinath added.

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“Hunger is an issue in America across every demographic group, and now, growingly, across more and more levels of income.”

Many Americans Are Unable to Afford Food, Even as Unemployment Remains Low (Sp.)

Despite being the wealthiest country in the world by net worth (according to 2022 data), the United States continues to struggle with hunger. A report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found more than 44 million Americans facing hunger last year, including 1 in 5 children. Programs which provide food to those in need are crippling under demand, as prices at the grocery store don’t appear to be dropping anytime soon. Today, it appears as though more Americans are saying their standard of living is worse than their parents’ was, a majority of which include millennials and Gen-Xers who are people in their prime working years. According to a poll released on Sunday, 51% of those aged 30 to 64 believe their standard of living is worse than their parents’ was, as well as 39% of those aged 18 to 29 and 40% of those ages 65 and older. “Hunger is an issue in America across every demographic group, and now, growingly, across more and more levels of income,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the head of Feeding America.

And when asked to answer when the “most difficult economic time” for the US was, many Americans pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. At least 51% of those aged 65 and older said the pandemic shutdowns created the worst economic hardship, with 39% of all ages saying the same. Both groups believe the pandemic was vastly worse than the “Great Recession” of 2008 to 2009, as well as a period of major gas shortages and inflation in the 1970s. But at the same time, figures show job growth, rising wages, and a healthy economy of consumers who are purchasing record amounts of summer travel, concert tickets and holiday shopping. As he runs for reelection, President Joe Biden has even touted this economic recovery as the result of “Bidenomics”, and has been desperately urging Americans to adopt this notion. But Americans, many of whom are struggling to pay for basic necessities, don’t care to hear these figures.

According to the poll, 85% of Americans pay more attention to their own experiences than those who pay attention to national data (66%). At least 72% are paying attention to people they know personally, and 70% are watching businesses in their community to gauge the economy’s “strength”. A separate poll from November also found 81% of registered voters viewed the economy as either “fair” or “poor”. And a staggering 76% of Americans said their income is not keeping up with inflation. As a result, the “American Dream” has stumbled: 64% of Americans now believe that only the upper class has a chance to “get ahead”. And many Americans are uninterested in hearing about positive news as it relates to the job market. In October, a US broadcaster found that positive news about the job market in the US made “many Americans feel worse”.

And those on the frontline of food hunger in America are seeing staggering numbers reach out to them. In June, the nonprofit group Feeding America found that they had given out 5.3 billion meals in the past year, while an additional 1 million people applied for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) over the past year. Other programs are seeing a record increase in their levels of enrollments as well, with some administrators concerned that they won’t have adequate funding to keep up with demand “The demand is higher now than it ever was during the pandemic,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, head of Feeding America. “This is not just one group’s issue, it’s an American issue. Hunger is an issue in America across every demographic group, and now, growingly, across more and more levels of income.”

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“Household debt in the UK is projected to balloon from the current level of £73 billion ($92 billion) to £151 billion ($190 billion) in 2026..”

Millions Of Brits Will Choose Between Eating, Staying Warm This Christmas (RT)

The worsening cost-of-living crisis will force UK families to tighten their belts this Christmas, cutting back on presents or food, The Guardian reported last week, citing new research by National Debtline. Data shows that around 6.5 million people will struggle to heat their homes sufficiently during the holiday season, while 2.7 million will have to choose between buying food or presents. According to the report, over 14 million consumers are planning to limit the number of presents they intend to buy this year, while 6 million have said they can only afford to buy gifts for children. “This Christmas, the cost-of-living crisis is set to be felt more than ever with millions of people struggling to heat their homes and many experiencing money worries,” said David Cheadle, the acting chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, which runs National Debtline.

The study showed that more than 24 million UK adults plan to use credit to pay for Christmas presents this year. Of those, 12 million intend to use credit cards, while 4.7 million will use a ‘buy now, pay later’ loan to pay for purchases over time. “We remain deeply concerned about the long-term impact that rising arrears will have on household finances going into 2024 and beyond,” Cheadle said, as quoted by The Guardian. “After missing the opportunity to help people in debt in the autumn statement, we are continuing to press the government to introduce a ‘help to repay’ scheme for energy arrears, and extend the household support fund which is providing crucial local support,” he added.

Household debt in the UK is projected to balloon from the current level of £73 billion ($92 billion) to £151 billion ($190 billion) in 2026. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), British households are suffering the biggest five-year drop in living standards to have hit the country since it started compiling records in the 1950s. Real household disposable income per head is estimated to be 3.5% lower than its pre-pandemic level.

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Boxfish
https://twitter.com/i/status/1734484946654281769

 

 

 

 

Agility
https://twitter.com/i/status/1734258869256298936

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 212023
 
 November 21, 2023  Posted by at 9:33 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Walter Langley Never morning wore to evening but some heart did break 1894

 

Israel’s War on Hospitals (Chris Hedges)
The Campaign for the Destruction of the West Has Succeeded (Paul Craig Roberts)
US May Want ‘Wider War’ in Middle East to ‘Take Out Iran’ (Sp.)
US Embarks On Proxy War Against Iran (Bhadrakumar)
‘Russia Should Be More Active In Palestine Peace Efforts:’ Iranian FM (Cradle)
Sexism Thwarted Prevention Of Hamas Attack – Haaretz (RT)
Ukraine ‘Concerned’ About Western Push For Russia Talks – Security Chief (RT)
US Media Acknowledges True Situation in Ukraine Special Op Zone (Sp.)
Why Murdoch Rushed to Meet Zelensky in Kiev (Sp.)
US Offers ‘Sedative Pill’ To Collapsing Ukraine – Moscow (RT)
US Financial Death Spiral – John Rubino (USAW)
Biden Donors, Advisers Struggling Over How to Address President’s Age (Sp.)
McCarthy: GOP ‘Even Closer’ to Biden Impeachment (Sp.)
The Blob and Its Mobs (Kunstler)
As Elon Promised, X Files Suit Against Media Matters (ZH)

 

 


Mr. Fish

 

 

Nap/Crooke

 

 

All made up – Larry Johnson

 

 

Nap/Ritter: Nukes

 

 

Ritter: Israel will not exist

 

 

Macgregor – Ukraine is defeated | A disaster for Israel

 

 

 

 

“It speaks of Palestinians as a dehumanized mass. There are no mothers, fathers, children, teachers, doctors, lawyers, cooks, poets, taxi drivers or shopkeepers. Palestinians, in the Israeli lexicon, are a single contagion that must be eradicated.”

Israel’s War on Hospitals (Chris Hedges)

Israel is not attacking hospitals in Gaza because they are “Hamas command centers.” Israel is systematically and deliberately destroying Gaza’s medical infrastructure as part of a scorched earth campaign to make Gaza uninhabitable and escalate a humanitarian crisis. It intends to force 2.3 million Palestinians over the border into Egypt where they will never return. Israel has destroyed and nearly emptied the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia is next. Israel is deploying tanks and armored personnel carriers around the hospital and has fired rounds into the building, killing twelve people. The playbook is familiar. Flyers are dropped by Israel over a hospital telling people to leave because the hospital is a base for “Hamas terrorist activities.”

Tanks and artillery shells rip away parts of the hospital walls. Ambulances are blown up by Israeli missiles. Power and water is cut. Medical supplies are blocked. There are no painkillers, antibiotics and oxygen. The most vulnerable, premature babies in incubators and the gravely ill, die. Israeli soldiers raid the hospital and force everyone out at gunpoint. This is what happened at Al Shifa hospital. This is what happened at Al Rantisi Children’s Hospital. This is what happened at Gaza’s main psychiatric hospital. This is what happened at Nasser Hospital. This is what happened at the other hospitals that Israel has destroyed. And this is what will happen at the few hospitals that remain. Israel has shut down 21 of Gaza’s 35 hospitals, including Gaza’s only cancer hospital. The hospitals still operating have severe shortages of basic medicine and supplies. One by one the hospitals are being picked off. Soon there will be no health facilities left. This is by design.

Tens of thousands of terrified Palestinians, forced to evacuate by Israel, their homes blasted into rubble, seek refuge from the relentless bombing by camping out in and around Gaza’s hospitals. They hope the medical centers will not be targeted by Israel. If Israel abided by the Geneva Conventions they would be correct. But Israel is not carrying out a war. It is carrying out a genocide. And in a genocide, a population, and all that sustains a population, is obliterated. In an ominous sign that Israel will turn on the Palestinians in the West Bank once it is done flattening Gaza, armored vehicles have surrounded at least four West Bank hospitals. The Ibn Sina Hospital has been raided by Israeli soldiers along with the East Jerusalem Hospital.

Israel’s settler colonial state was founded on lies. It is sustained by lies. And now, when it is grimly determined to carry out the worst slaughter and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians since the 1948 Nakba, or “catastrophe,” that saw 750,000 Palestinians ethnically cleansed and some 50 massacres by Jewish militias, it spits out one grotesque absurdity after another. It speaks of Palestinians as a dehumanized mass. There are no mothers, fathers, children, teachers, doctors, lawyers, cooks, poets, taxi drivers or shopkeepers. Palestinians, in the Israeli lexicon, are a single contagion that must be eradicated.

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“Christian” Evangelical ministers claim that with genocide of the Palestinians, Israel is only taking what God gave them..”

The Campaign for the Destruction of the West Has Succeeded (Paul Craig Roberts)

Over the course of my life I have watched the American people, indeed, the peoples of the West, abandon civilization and civilized behavior. Today nothing is important throughout the Western World except money. Even people with money don’t care what they look like. People dress like slobs. They behave worse. Four-letter words are common parlance in conversations between men and women. There is no longer such a thing as “polite society.” Feminism taught women to throw away chastity and to be promiscuous, and with chastity went female modesty. When I walk on the beach, females from young girls to grandmothers are sporting the stripper’s G-String, Their entire buttocks are displayed. The tiny patch in front gets smaller and smaller. Not long ago I saw a young women without a top. She had two strips of tape across her nipples.

It wasn’t that long ago that feminists were claiming the men had turned women into sex objects. What nonsense. What man wants his 14,15,16, 17, 18 year old daughter or his wife displaying their nakedness to the public? Not long ago there was a news report that a young woman had offered her virginity for sale on the Internet. I have been trying to imagine what my mother and my aunts’ reaction would have been to such a report. It is now common for attractive young women in naked provocative poses to advertise online: “I am selling my pussy.” Is this a prostitute soliciting customers? What has become of women? How did American girls get turned into harlots?

Wherever you look, all standards have come down. It wasn’t that long ago that American women would not appear in pubic or in a department store without being in a suit or a dress with stockings and high heels. Now you can’t tell by looking the rich from the poor. Sin spreads like contagion when sexual perversion is normalized and when the accumulation of money is the social goal, no matter how it is acquired. The result is that the social resistance to sin and depravity weakens. Today the governments of the Western World cheer on Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians. “Christian” Evangelical ministers claim that with genocide of the Palestinians, Israel is only taking what God gave them. The fact that God dispelled the Jews for their wickedness is left out of the discussion.

This is so sick that it shows that Christianity is no longer a force for moral, humane behavior. If Israel can exterminate Palestine, anything goes. For decades the main function of education in the West has been to demonize the West and to present the West as an exploiter of the non-white world. This long-established campaign against the West was intended to destroy the West, not to reform it. The gentile agnostic liberals and the Zionists led the campaign to discredit and undermine the West. The campaign for the destruction of Western Civilization has succeeded. Will the neoconservative delusion that Washington is independent of reality and can purchase US hegemony while showing itself to the world as the enabler of Palestine genocide come crashing down?

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“..control of the full extent of territory ruled by the Biblical Israelites, which would include portions of modern-day Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia..”

US May Want ‘Wider War’ in Middle East to ‘Take Out Iran’ (Sp.)

The United States may be hoping for a broader conflict to break out amidst Israel’s military campaign in Gaza in order to damage Iran and other foes, according to author Jeremy Kuzmarov.The claim was made on Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Monday as Kuzmarov discussed the geopolitical situation in the Middle East with hosts John Kiriakou and Michelle Witte.“The leadership in the United States and Israel are hardline neoconservatives,” said Kuzmarov, who also serves as the managing editor of CovertAction Magazine.“I think they have their own desires in the Middle East,” he added. “They may want to draw in other countries and have a wider war so they can finally take out Iran.”While Kuzmarov suggested US President Joe Biden may be slightly less hawkish than politicians such as former US Vice President Dick Cheney, he insisted the US commander-in-chief should still be considered a “neoconservative,” a political movement traditionally associated with an interventionist foreign policy.

Kuzmarov said the Israeli government also favors an aggressive military stance in the region. “Israel wants to control southern Lebanon,” he said. “I think they have plans for ‘greater Israel,’” the military analyst added, referring to the belief by some in the country that Israeli land should extend into Gaza and the West Bank. Some Israelis use the term to advocate for control of the full extent of territory ruled by the Biblical Israelites, which would include portions of modern-day Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Israel currently occupies a portion of Western Syria known as the Golan Heights and frequently engages in bombing campaigns in the country. The Middle Eastern nation has been involved in periodic wars with its neighbors since its founding in 1948.“I think they [Israel] feel emboldened that the US is behind them and they can go forward with their plan until the Palestinians are crushed,” said Kuzmarov.

“I think they’re excited, this is their moment they’ve been waiting for for years, to crush the Palestinians and take over everything. And that’s what they’ve always wanted, certainly the Likud Party.” “They have plans for how they can transform the whole area economically,” Kuzmarov added. “And I think they’re pursuing those goals.” Biden also spoke of “a better future for the Middle East” during his recent Oval Office address, referring to a US-led plan to build a rail corridor through the region. Some analysts have suggested Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like to formally annex Gaza in order to ensure control over natural gas discovered off the coast of the disputed territory, which would be transported via a new pipeline. Access to the deposits would increase exports to the United States and other allies, where energy costs have soared due to sanctions on Russia and Venezuela.

“The Iranians in my view have played this whole thing over the last six weeks perfectly,” said Kiriakou, noting the country’s restraint after the Israeli prime minister called for an attack on their historic foe in the hours after Hamas’ October 7 operation. Kiriakou also praised China’s attempts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, claiming the Asian superpower is “serious about being the peacemakers in the Middle East.” “The likes of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan appreciate that, with the US… not seen as an honest broker in the region,” he added. Kuzmarov agreed that China is “starting to build its stature in the world arena” by attempting to navigate tensions between world powers, such as when they negotiated an historic agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

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“The hardline opinion in the US is that the militant groups attacking the US forces are acting at Iran’s behest. This allegation is an old US-Israeli bogey..”

US Embarks On Proxy War Against Iran (Bhadrakumar)

A massive US naval deployment in a wide arc of the so-called Greater Middle East is under way — stretching from Crete in the Eastern Mediterranean, into the Red Sea and the Bab el Mandeb and into the Gulf of Aden and all the way into the Gulf of Oman. This deterrent display may transform as large scale offensive operations and aims to rework the geopolitical alignments and bring them back to the traditional grooves of intra-regional rivalries in the Gulf region. Ship spotters first said that as of Thursday, the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and its escorts were sailing just outside the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf of Oman, and were approaching the Persian Gulf. A Pentagon official confirmed the location but would not say whether the carrier will enter the Persian Gulf passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

The US naval build-up in the region consists of another carrier strike group as well — USS Ford and its escorts — which last week moved away from Israeli coast and is now re-positioned to the south of Crete, according to ship spotters, apparently beyond the missile reach of Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Apart from the two carrier strike groups, the US deployment also includes a three-ship Bataan Amphibious Ready Group with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and several guided-missile destroyers — USS Bataan and USS Carter Hall operating in the northern portion of the Red Sea, and USS Mesa Verde in the Eastern Mediterranean along with the command ship USS Mount Whitney. Additionally, there are some number of US attack submarines in the region, but the Pentagon does not typically disclose their locations — except for a rare disclosure recently by the US Central Command of the transit on November 5 of nuclear guided-missile submarine USS Florida to the east of Suez.

The most obvious explanation for such a formidable naval buildup is that it is part of the US effort to keep the current conflict in southern Israel and Gaza contained. Hezbollah continues to fire rockets and anti-tank missiles into Israel from Lebanon; Iran-backed Shia militant groups are attacking US bases in Iraq and Syria; and Houthi rebels in Yemen are firing missiles towards Israel. During the period since October 17, there have been at least 58 attacks on US bases, mostly in Iraq. The hardline opinion in the US is that the militant groups attacking the US forces are acting at Iran’s behest. This allegation is an old US-Israeli bogey and keeps surging whenever Iran is in the crosshairs and/or there is requirement of a blame game. Expert opinion, including in the US, has always been wary of it.

Longtime observers estimate that while Tehran is openly helping the various resistance groups operating in the Middle East to push back the US and Israel, that does not exactly make these groups “Iranian proxies”. Thus, it transpired that Iran was taken by surprise by the Hamas attack against Israel on October 7. According to Reuters, at a recent meeting in Tehran with Ismail Haniyeh, the chairman of the group’s political bureau, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei brought this up. At any rate, it is a known fact that the US establishment is well aware of the ground realities of its state of play with Iran and has not hesitated to use back channels to lean on Tehran to use its good offices with the Shia militant groups operating in Iraq to exercise restraint. But the bottom line is that Iran too has its limitations in such extraordinary times such as today when hatred and anger towards the US and Israel has risen to a crescendo in the Muslim countries.

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“..due to the approach adopted by the US and Israel in the region, if the crimes against the people of Gaza and the West Bank are not stopped, any possibility could be considered, and a wider conflict could prove inevitable.”

‘Russia Should Be More Active In Palestine Peace Efforts:’ Iranian FM (Cradle)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on 19 November to discuss regional developments and attempts to end the war in Gaza. Amir-Abdollahian stressed that significant efforts are needed to stop the violent displacement and killing of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and voiced his wish for Moscow to play a more active role in trying to bring an end to Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign. “Resistance will determine the final outcome,” Amir-Abollahian noted. The two foreign ministers also spoke about the US role in the war, saying that Washington was planning on extending theviolence rather than taking action to bring it to an end.

“The [US] claims to be seeking an end to the war, but in practice, it escalates the intensity and spreads the sphere of the [US]-Zionist war,” Amir-Abdollahian said. For his part, Lavrov expressed that he was disappointed with Israel’s refusal to stop the attacks on Gaza and made note of the need to continue discussions set to put an end to the war and free captives. “The schedule of upcoming contacts and a number of other topical issues on the bilateral and international agenda of mutual interest were also touched upon,” the Russian foreign ministry media brief said, noting that the Iranian side that initiated the call. The two nations have been prominent in their attempts to bring the war between Palestinian factions and Israel to an end.

Amir-Abdollahian previously revealed that Iran has been holding back-channel communications with the US to bring peace to the region. “We said that Iran does not want the war to spread,” Amir-Abdollahian said in an interview with the Financial Times on 16 November. “But due to the approach adopted by the US and Israel in the region, if the crimes against the people of Gaza and the West Bank are not stopped, any possibility could be considered, and a wider conflict could prove inevitable.” On 15 November, Lavrov said Russia told Israel: “You cannot buy security, which we are convinced you need, by delaying the creation [of a] Palestinian state, and by [criminally] reducing the territory which was designed for the Palestinian state by the United Nations.”

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“..female surveillance troops said months before the incursion that something unusual was about to happen..”

Sexism Thwarted Prevention Of Hamas Attack – Haaretz (RT)

The deadly Hamas attack on Israel could have been prevented if an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) unit made up of women and tasked with monitoring Gaza had been listened to, an unnamed soldier told the newspaper Haaretz, citing sexism as the reason for the lack of attention paid to their reports. In an article published on Friday, the women, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they had repeatedly reported recent activity by the Palestinian militant group. According to the outlet, female surveillance troops said months before the incursion that something unusual was about to happen. They reportedly saw militants briefing near the border fence, training to hit tanks and disable cameras, and increased drone activity in the area.

“It’s a unit made up entirely of young girls and young female commanders,” one interviewed soldier told the outlet. “There is no doubt that if there were men sitting at those screens, things would look different.” The women said that on the day of the Hamas raid, “no one told us there was such a high level of vigilance,” referring to claims by senior security officials that they had warned of possible infiltration into border communities. According to one soldier, three or even two hours would have allowed them to prepare. “The IDF left us like sitting ducks” she said, noting that combat troops “at least had weapons and were killed like heroes” while the female observers “were abandoned by the army and simply slaughtered without having any chance to defend themselves.”

In late October, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on X (formerly Twitter) that he had been warned of Hamas’ intentions “under no circumstances and at no stage.” He apologized and deleted the statement shortly after a wave of criticism from Israeli officials and politicians. The New York Times has reported that both Netanyahu and top Israeli security officials underestimated the threat from Hamas and did not devote the resources necessary to counter it, in the belief that Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah posed a greater danger. Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing some 1,200 and taking about 240 people hostage, according to Israeli officials. In response, Netanyahu declared the country to be at war, and the IDF launched massive air strikes and a ground operation in Gaza. Palestinian officials say the death toll on their side has exceed 13,000, with most casualties being children and women.

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“..Ukraine needs more Western funding and support to restore its 1991 borders and become an economic powerhouse once more..”

Ukraine ‘Concerned’ About Western Push For Russia Talks – Security Chief (RT)

The government in Kiev is worried that its Western backers are calling for peace out of an irrational fear of Russia, Aleksey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said on Monday. Danilov spoke via video link to the annual conference of the Halifax International Security Forum, a Washington, DC-based NGO funded in part by the Canadian government. “Ukraine is concerned by the fact that discussions among certain partners have intensified regarding the need for negotiations, consultations, meetings with the Russians to discuss the issues of the war in Ukraine, a ceasefire, etc,” Danilov said, according to a transcript posted by his office. He attributed this to a “rudimentary fear” of Russia and argued that the West should follow Ukraine’s example instead, as Moscow “only understands the language of force.”

According to Danilov, the current conflict is “a struggle between democracy and tyranny,” with the West and Ukraine on one side, and Russia, China, Iran and North Korea on the other. If Russia is not defeated, the world should expect a new “axis of evil” within 15-20 years that would include “some European countries” as well, he insisted. “Ukraine and the Ukrainian people will fight to the end. We are sure of our victory.” President Vladimir Zelensky’s top security official described Ukraine’s ideal of victory as “controlled decomposition of Russia into several parts” leading not just to “regime change” in Moscow but the “de-sovereignization… denuclearization and demilitarization” of the neighboring country. Meanwhile, he said, Ukraine needs more Western funding and support to restore its 1991 borders and become an economic powerhouse once more.

“Ukraine has every chance to become a strategic project of the West, which will demonstrate the full power of the vitality of democracy and the defense of universal values,” Danilov insisted. “The West must confirm that it is and remains the First, and a victorious Ukraine will serve as a convincing narrative in the modern confrontation between slavery and freedom!” Earlier on Monday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Kiev to offer moral support for Ukraine, but had no new military assistance to announce. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the outlet CNBC that Ukraine is “utterly dependent” on US funding to keep paying the salaries of government workers, calling the continued funding of Kiev a “critical priority” for US national security. Washington has blown through most of the congressionally approved funding for Ukraine and the White House has been trying to pressure Congress to pass more, so far with no effect.

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“..the Kiev regime is drafting people over 40 years old, as the Ukrainian youth has already been “successfully” sacrificed for the NATO interests..”

US Media Acknowledges True Situation in Ukraine Special Op Zone (Sp.)

Russia will liberate about 20 percent of the current Ukrainian territory, approaching Kiev, Peter Van Buren, editor at The American Conservative, wrote on Monday. More and more Western media outlets have acknowledged the true situation on the ground in the special operation zone, realizing the scale of Western propaganda, which has managed to cover it up for almost two years. “Amidst a flood of propaganda, the story was always the same: Ukraine was pushing back the Russians with weapons provided by a broad range of agreeable NATO benefactors. Between Ukrainian jet fighter aces with improbable kill ratios to patriotic female sniper teams with improbable hair and makeup, Russia was losing,” the journalist clarifies. It is all the more surprising to see common sense coming from an article in a US media outlet which points out that the conflict itself could have been avoided had it not been for US meddling.

Van Buren cites former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who outright stated the simple fact that: “The only people who could resolve the war over Ukraine are the Americans. During the peace talks in March 2022 in Istanbul, Ukrainians did not agree to peace because they were not allowed to. They had to coordinate everything they talked about with the Americans first. However, nothing eventually happened. My impression is that nothing could happen because everything was decided in Washington.” Now, after almost two years of bragging about the constant supply of “almighty” Western weapons to Ukraine, it is becoming a new trend among US and European journalists to talk about a stalemate in the conflict and peace negotiations. It took only about two months for the NBC News to come from “Ukrainian counteroffensive is making ‘tangible progress’ against Russia, Blinken tells NBC News,” to “U.S., European officials broach topic of peace negotiations with Ukraine, sources say,” underscoring a significant change in public opinion on the crisis.

At the same time, the situation in Ukraine is getting worse, regardless of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s dreams. Time reports that the Kiev regime is drafting people over 40 years old, as the Ukrainian youth has already been “successfully” sacrificed for the NATO interests. Van Buren emphasizes the “manpower gap” as the main issue hindering Ukrainian success. The editor is both surprised that the Russian military has been destroying the “all-powerful” NATO equipment and unwilling to believe it, putting it down to the poor training of the Ukrainian soldiers. “It didn’t hurt that Russia’s capability versus NATO equipment was surprisingly good, or perhaps the Ukrainians’ handling of sophisticated Western arms was surprisingly bad,” the article says. Unfortunately for the US government, as the Palestine-Israel conflict rages on, Americans have been losing interest in the Ukraine crisis, which has become “boring,” Van Buren argues.

Americans like simple pictures: the good guy vs the bad guy, just like in a comic book. The events should take place far away, as usual for the US, just so there is no danger for the spectator; however, footage should be top-notch, and the map should be easy to follow, as simple as possible, just like in American football, the article clarifies. “Americans, both the people and their government, distracted by the greatest propaganda tools ever imagined (the media), seem capable of focusing on only one bright shiny object at a time. In the case of wars, a new bright shiny object must include two clear sides, one good and one pure evil, with one preferably an underdog, daily combat footage which can be obtained without too much danger, and a football game-like progression across a map that is easy to follow. It should not be boring,” the newspaper clarified.

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“..the media he now owns remains the most powerful source of information for Republicans,” a majority of whom have recently become highly skeptical on continuing to fund the Ukrainian military..”

Why Murdoch Rushed to Meet Zelensky in Kiev (Sp.)

Lachlan Murdoch, who took the reins of Fox Corp. and News Corp. last week, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev over the weekend. So what exactly prompted this trip? Lachlan, 52, is the eldest son of now-retired Rupert Murdoch, an Australian-born American media mogul, who announced his retirement in September. Last week, Lachlan Murdoch officially became the sole chair of News Corp and the executive chair and chief executive of Fox. Remarkably, the first foreign leader the new head of the media empire hastened to meet was none other than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to Axios, Lachlan Murdoch traveled to the Ukrainian capital over the weekend, accompanied by two reporters – Benjamin Hall from Fox News and Jerome Starkey from the Sun.

Hall conducted an interview with Zelensky that is expected to be aired on Tuesday night’s episode of “Special Report with Bret Baier,” according to the media outlet. The report suggested that Lachlan Murdoch’s visit with Zelensky is of importance given that the media he now owns remains “the most powerful source of information for Republicans,” a majority of whom have recently become highly skeptical on continuing to fund the Ukrainian military. Indeed, a new survey by Gallup has indicated that 62% of Republicans believe that the US is “doing too much” to help Kiev, a surge from 50% in June. Likewise, the Ukraine aid issue is losing GOP support in the US Congress.

The trend is apparently driven by Ukraine fatigue, Kiev’s failure to succeed in its counteroffensive attempt, and, most notably, Israel’s war against Hamas, declared by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of the Islamist surprise attack on October 7. Zelensky mentioned his meeting with Lachlan Murdoch in a Facebook* post on Monday, while the newly appointed media chairman declined to comment on his Kiev tour via his spokesperson, as per Axios. Meanwhile, it is known that Lachlan used to talk to Zelensky previously. According to the US mainstream press, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his son reportedly held a telephone conversation with the Ukrainian president in March, weeks before they ousted Tucker Carlson, the American political commentator and writer who hosted the eponymous nightly talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox from 2016 to 2023.

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“The situation on the front and in the Ukrainian state institutions is on the verge of complete collapse..”

US Offers ‘Sedative Pill’ To Collapsing Ukraine – Moscow (RT)

Washington has announced yet another military aid package for Ukraine worth some $100 million, after the Pentagon warned earlier this month that it was running critically low on funds allocated for Kiev and will be forced to begin reducing the tranches. The latest package, announced on Monday, will include one High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) with additional ammunition, as well as Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and an unknown number of 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds. On top of that, the US military will supply Kiev’s forces with cold weather gear, TOW missiles and small arms ammunition. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin paid an unannounced visit to Kiev on Monday, during which he had held talks with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and once again promised “the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine.”

Russian officials called Austin’s visit a “mission of moral support,” while Moscow’s ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said that the newly-announced “deadly gift” is designed to convince Ukrainian offficials that “they are still in the game and masters count on them.”“The message about another American arms supply to the regime is nothing more but a sedative pill prepared by overseas ‘benefactors’ for Zelensky. The situation on the front and in the Ukrainian state institutions is on the verge of complete collapse,” Antonov noted.

Ukraine is completely reliant on US aid for the functioning of both its military and civil society, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted on Monday, claiming that military aid to Ukraine was a “critical priority” for US national security. However, the Pentagon has already spent most of more than $60 billion allocated funding for Kiev, with only around $1 billion dollars left. “We have had to meter out our support for Ukraine,” Department of Defense deputy spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters earlier this month, adding that, although the Pentagon will continue sending military aid packages, they are “getting smaller.” Both the Pentagon and the White House urged Congress to pass a new spending bill on Ukrainian aid so supplies can continue, but no such legislation has been adopted so far.

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“The debt goes up, the interest on the debt goes up and that raises the debt even further, and you just spiral out of control. We are there right now.”

US Financial Death Spiral – John Rubino (USAW)

Analyst and financial writer John Rubino has a new warning about being fooled into thinking the economy is improving because inflation and interest rates have fallen some recently. Rubino says, “If the U.S. government is running crisis level deficits, which it is right now, borrowing money and paying interest on it means we are in a financial death spiral. The debt goes up, the interest on the debt goes up and that raises the debt even further, and you just spiral out of control. We are there right now. The official U.S. debt is $33.5 trillion. It’s growing by $1.7 trillion a year, and $1 trillion of that is interest costs. Interest costs are rising as the overall debt goes up. Then throw in this incredibly reckless military spending in the guise of foreign aid, and you get a society that has completely lost control.

That’s where we are now. We are in the blowoff stage of a 70-year credit super-cycle. Those things do not end with a whimper, and they certainly do not end with a soft landing. They end with a bang, and the bang is going to be centered on the currency. People are going to look at this and say, ‘Do I really want to hold the currency or bonds of a country that is destroying its finances at this trajectory and this scale?’ The answer will be ‘No.’ At that point, it is game over for a deeply indebted economy. We are headed that way fast, and these wars are taking us that way even faster.” If the Fed keeps raising interest rates, the economy tanks, but you protect the dollar. If you cut interest rates, you spike inflation even more, and the U.S. dollar tanks.

Rubino says in the end, we get a “massive reset,” and the everything bubble explodes. Rubino says the dollar is going to decline and, at some point, it starts to go into freefall in terms of buying power. Rubino explains, “If a currency starts to decline in a disorderly way, then you have a massive financial crisis on your hands. That is definitely where Japan is right now. The U.S. is headed that way fast. So, once we reach that point, there is no fix. Then it is only a matter of time that everybody realizes that there is no fix, and they just bail on the whole experiment, and that’s where we are headed.” Rubino talks about plunging home prices, more trouble coming in the commercial real estate market and why you need gold and silver as core assets during a currency reset.

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“Literally everyone is talking about it, even amongst donors. But the response is always: ‘What are you going to do?’”

Biden Donors, Advisers Struggling Over How to Address President’s Age (Sp.)

Advisers to Joe Biden are reportedly considering a number of strategies to address concerns about the American president’s advanced age.“The one number in the polling that was concerning… had to do with age, and that is one thing you can’t reverse no matter how effective Joe Biden is behind the scenes,” said Democratic adviser David Axelrod, referring to polling showing the majority of Americans believe Biden is too old to serve another term as president.“In front of the camera, what he’s projecting is causing people concerns, and that is worrisome,” said Axelrod. Biden’s advisers have reportedly acknowledged the president sometimes appears frail in public appearances. They’ve responded to the issue by considering minimizing the distances the president walks on camera and having him wear more comfortable shoes.

Advisers are also attempting to prevent the president from climbing stairs when possible. Biden generated attention early in his term when he was filmed stumbling while ascending the stairs to Air Force One; the octogenarian president has slipped while walking up the steps to the presidential plane as recently as September. Biden also attracted attention last year when he fell from his bicycle while exercising in his home state of Delaware, turning an attempt to demonstrate the president’s physical fitness into another gaffe. While Biden allies admit he occasionally appears physically weak, they insist he’s still mentally capable of fulfilling responsibilities. But the president has been widely known for being gaffe-prone throughout his career. Some worry his propensity towards verbal flubs is only exacerbating worries over this age.

Donors are advising Biden’s team to “lean in” on the issue, portraying the president’s age as a source of wisdom and encouraging them to portray him as an affable “Grandpa Joe” in contrast to his likely rival, former US President Donald Trump. “I think the strategy is not to even address it, to consider questions like that stupid or silly,” said one anonymous donor who took issue with the campaign’s strategy thus far. “Literally everyone is talking about it, even amongst donors. But the response is always: ‘What are you going to do?’” One political operative worried the campaign has become defensive over the issue, claiming, “They bristle in ways that aren’t helpful.”

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“No one in America would have known that President Biden has lied, that they did receive money from China…that he did get involved in the business dealings..”

McCarthy: GOP ‘Even Closer’ to Biden Impeachment (Sp.)

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy recently offered an update on Republicans’ impeachment inquiry against US President Joe Biden, revealing officials were inching ever close to a potential presidential ouster.“We have systematically followed every place the facts have taken us each and every day,” McCarthy said in a Sunday interview with US media. “And now it’s moved even closer because now we’ve got the subpoenas going in to get the bank statements.” McCarthy claimed a number of alleged revelations stemming from Republicans’ investigation. “No one in America would have known that President Biden has lied, that they did receive money from China…that he did get involved in the business dealings,” said McCarthy, referring to long-running claims of the US president’s involvement in his son Hunter Biden’s controversial business dealings in foreign countries.

Biden has denied the accusations, saying he lacked knowledge of his son’s business ventures – a claim seemingly contradicted by recent evidence. Hunter Biden is currently being tried on federal weapons charges.“We found all of this, the shell companies no one knew about prior,” added McCarthy. “This is important.” Biden has criticized House Republicans’ efforts, which in recent days led to the issuing of subpoenas to the president’s friends and family members. Special counsel Richard Sauber responded in a letter obtained Friday, calling the subpoenas “harassment to the president to score political points.”

“You appear so determined to impeach the president that you have misrepresented the facts, ignored the overwhelming evidence disproving your claims, and repeatedly shifted the rationale for your ‘inquiry,’” wrote Sauber to House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) and House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH). Sauber claimed House Republicans’ efforts lack “constitutional legitimacy” because the inquiry was launched without a full vote of House members. Comer responded to the letter also claiming Republicans’ investigation “has unearthed new facts that contradict the White House’s and President Biden’s personal attorney’s narrative of the events.”

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“Perhaps they’ll be drawn to the church basements in town. That might be us next year.”

The Blob and Its Mobs (Kunstler)

Perhaps the anxious gloom pervading this year’s Thanksgiving is due to the dread of what comes next. No one in the public arena says that 2024 will be anything but much worse than what we’ve already lived through in this ongoing crackup of our country, and their expressed utterances are probably not as dark as their private, inner thoughts. The gang behind “Joe Biden” has successfully jacked our country into chaos. Something similar has got Europe and the rest of the Anglosphere in its thrall. Half of the public is grossly misinformed by The News, and swallows every proffered lie. The other half can’t get traction to storm this slippery slope of blob despotism.

So, the table is set. You have probably commenced the preparations for the ritual meal. We started with the cranberries last night, since the condiment has only two ingredients and would store well for four days. It came out badly. There was some rot in the berries that we couldn’t detect just by looking and sorting out some obviously bad ones. I hear a lot of chatter that the fresh food supply chain in America is broken. The bad link in the chain is apparently the trucking system. The truck lines can’t get enough workers to load the refrigerator trailers, so the fruits and vegetables spend too much time sitting on the loading dock, where they start to . . . turn. You have to wonder if this is a harbinger of greater disruptions to come, maybe widespread hunger, and you know what that leads to.

We’re going all out for the Thanksgiving feast here, a big fresh turkey, of course, and way more side-dishes than necessary for a dozen friends at the table. I live in a relatively poor county in deep upstate New York and I have to wonder how many people around here will go without a Thanksgiving feast this year, how many are suddenly mired in misfortune, default on a home mortgage, car sliding into the re-po zone, no job, no prospects, in despair, hungry. Perhaps they’ll be drawn to the church basements in town. That might be us next year.

Those of us outside the blob and their mobs know that our country has to be rebuilt somehow, and that rebuilding it must include assurances of personal liberty. I’m grateful and thankful this year that there are enough of us who understand what’s at stake and are prepared to fight against slithering tyranny. Do you see where things stand this Thanksgiving? It feels like the edge of something because it is the edge of something.

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Picked the wrong target.

As Elon Promised, X Files Suit Against Media Matters (ZH)

Early Saturday morning, Elon Musk posted that his social media platform X will be “filing a thermonuclear lawsuit” against left-leaning non-profit Media Matters and “all those who colluded” for “completely misrepresenting” the real user experience on X. Musk added that X would file the lawsuit on Monday, which prompted even more malarkey on X as the day wore on with so many pro-censorship leftists clinging to the hope that Musk was not going to follow-through, with one CNBC reporter going so far as claiming “Musk may have been lying, like he has done before.” Well, he wasn’t lying, and time’s up for the Media Matters manipulators… The lawsuit, just filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Fort Worth Division, alleges the organization’s tactics were manipulative and deceptive. The suit claims:

Media Matters has opted for new tactics in its campaign to drive advertisers from X. Media Matters has manipulated the algorithms governing the user experience on X to bypass safeguards and create images of X’s largest advertisers’ paid posts adjacent to racist, incendiary content, leaving the false impression that these pairings are anything but what they actually are: manufactured, inorganic, and extraordinarily rare. Media Matters executed this plot in multiple steps, as X’s internal investigations have revealed. First, Media Matters accessed accounts that had been active for at least 30 days, bypassing X’s ad filter for new users. Media Matters then exclusively followed a small subset of users consisting entirely of accounts in one of two categories: those known to produce extreme, fringe content, and accounts owned by X’s big-name advertisers. The end result was a feed precision-designed by Media Matters for a single purpose: to produce side-by-side ad/content placements that it could screenshot in an effort to alienate advertisers.

But this activity still was not enough to create the pairings of advertisements and content that Media Matters aimed to produce. Media Matters therefore resorted to endlessly scrolling and refreshing its unrepresentative, hand-selected feed, generating between 13 and 15 times more advertisements per hour than viewed by the average X user repeating this inauthentic activity until it finally received pages containing the result it wanted: controversial content next to X’s largest advertisers’ paid posts. Media Matters omitted mentioning any of this in a report published on November 16, 2023 that displayed instances Media Matters “found” on X of advertisers’ paid posts featured next to Neo-Nazi and white-nationalist content. Nor did Media Matters otherwise provide any context regarding the forced, inauthentic nature and extraordinary rarity of these pairings.

However, relying on the specious narrative propagated by Media Matters, the advertisers targeted took these pairings to be anything but rare and inorganic, with all but one of the companies featured in the Media Matters piece withdrawing all ads from X, including Apple, Comcast, NBCUniversal, and IBM—some of X’s largest advertisers. Indeed, in pulling all advertising from X in response to this intentionally deceptive report, IBM called the pairings an “entirely unacceptable situation.” Only Oracle did not withdraw its ads. The truth bore no resemblance to Media Matters’ narrative. In fact, IBM’s, Comcast’s, and Oracle’s paid posts appeared alongside the fringe content cited by Media Matters for only one viewer (out of more than 500 million) on all of X: Media Matters. Not a single authentic user of the X platform saw IBM ’s, Comcast’s, or Oracle’s ads next to that content, which Media Matters achieved only through its manipulation of X’s algorithms as described above. And in Apple’s case, only two out of more than 500 million active users saw its ad appear alongside the fringe content cited in the article—at least one of which was Media Matters.

[..] Texas AG Ken Paxton has officially opened an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity: “The Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) is opening an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity. Under the Texas Business Organizations Code and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the OAG will vigorously enforce against nonprofits who commit fraudulent acts in or affecting the state of Texas. Attorney General Paxton was extremely troubled by the allegations that Media Matters, a radical anti-free speech organization, fraudulently manipulated data on X.com (formerly known as Twitter). “We are examining the issue closely to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the schemes of radical left-wing organizations who would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square,” said Attorney General Paxton.

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Albanese

 

 

Just stop oil
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726482376187171116

 

 

Climate science

 

 

 

 

WEF terrorism

 

 

Fractals
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726574104739029119

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 302023
 
 July 30, 2023  Posted by at 9:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Ivan Aivazovsky Constantinople in Moonlight 1846

 

Opera Buffa in Ukraine (Seymour Hersh)
Trump Lashes Out at Biden for ‘Monumental Corruption’ (Sp)
Russia Is Ready For Confrontation With NATO – Putin (RT)
Geopolitical Chessboard Shifts Against US Empire (Pepe Escobar)
Requiem for NATO’s Nightmare (Scott Ritter)
No Better Time For Ukraine Peace Talks Than Now – Hungary (RT)
Biden May Start ‘World War III’ – Oliver Stone (RT)
How To Fight A War With Advertising Slogans (Helmer)
Musk Denied Ukraine Starlink Access Near Crimea – NYT (RT)
Does Ukraine Really Have A Neo-Nazi Problem? US Officials Won’t Say (Forward)
US Rejects Australian Plea To Drop Assange Case (RT)

 

 

Bidens got $50 million
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685095151444905984

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Zakharova
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685056299023863808

 

 

Arestovich

 

 

 

 

“Ukraine is the most corrupt and dumbest government in the world, outside of Nigeria, and Biden’s support of Zelensky can only come from Zelensky’s knowledge of Biden, and not just because he was taking care of Biden’s son.”

Opera Buffa in Ukraine (Seymour Hersh)

Let’s take a look at recent events in the Ukraine war from the point of view of those in the American intelligence community who don’t feel they have the ear of President Joe Biden but should. On July 17 Ukraine attacked for a second time one of Russian President Vladimir’s proudest achievements: the 11.25-mile Kerch Bridge linking Crimea to Russia. The 3.7 billion dollar bridge, with separate spans for auto and train traffic, was opened for auto traffic in May of 2018 and for trucks five months later, with Putin himself driving the first one to make the crossing. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made it clear before the Russian invasion early last year that he considered the bridge a legitimate military target. Ukraine initially attacked the bridge last October, using a submersible drone, but it was fully repaired within seven months.

The most recent attack, by a pair of submersible drones, killed a couple who were driving across when the explosion occurred and injured their child. Damage to one of the auto spans was severe. The Biden administration’s role in both attacks was vital. “Of course it was our technology,” one American official told me. “The drone was remotely guided and half submerged—like a torpedo.” I asked if there was any thought before the bridge attack about the possibility of retaliation. “What will Putin do? We don’t think that far,” the official said. “Our national strategy is that Zelensky can do whatever he wants to do. There’s no adult supervision.”

Putin responded to the second attack on the bridge by ending an agreement that enabled Ukrainian wheat and other vital food crops, stymied by the ongoing war, to be shipped from blocked ports on the Black Sea. (Before the war Ukraine exported more grain than the entire European Union and nearly half of the world’s sunflower seeds.) And Russia began steadily intensifying missile and rocket attacks in Odessa, whose initial target list has expanded from port areas to inner city sites. The official said there was a lot more than grain and sunflower seeds flowing into Europe from Odessa and other Black Sea ports: “Odessa’s exports included illegal stuff like drugs and the oil that Ukraine was getting from Russia.”

At this point, with the Ukraine counteroffensive against Russia thwarted, the official said, “Zelensky has no plan, except to hang on. It’s as if he’s an orphan—a poor waif in his underwear—and we have no real idea of what Zelensky and his crowd are thinking. Ukraine is the most corrupt and dumbest government in the world, outside of Nigeria, and Biden’s support of Zelensky can only come from Zelensky’s knowledge of Biden, and not just because he was taking care of Biden’s son.” There are some in the American intelligence community, the official said, who worry about Putin’s response to the recent Ukrainian drone attacks in central Moscow. “Will Kiev be next?”

The official depicted the American position on the war in Ukraine as confounding and unrealistic. “The president and [Secretary of State] Tony Blinken keep on saying, ‘We are going to do what it takes for as long as it takes’ to win the war.” He added that the administration has been negotiating for months for the purchase of what may amount to as much as a ten-year supply of 155-mm artillery shells from the Pakistani army that could, ironically, extend the life of a losing war effort. “More people are going to die in this war, and what for?” the official asked. “The American and Ukrainian military are no longer making any predictions” about future success in the current counteroffensive. “The Ukrainian army has not gotten past the first of three Russian defense lines. Every mine the Ukrainians dig up is replenished at night by the Russians.

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It all connects.

Trump Lashes Out at Biden for ‘Monumental Corruption’ (Sp)

Former US President Donald Trump has once again critiqued the administration of US President Joe Biden, accusing Biden of corruption. “When we win the election a little more than a year from now, I will appoint a real special prosecutor to expose the monumental corruption of the Biden crime family once and for all,” Trump said at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania on Saturday. Trump said that the Biden family had profited from Ukraine and now the Biden administration is spending billions of American taxpayer dollars on Ukraine. The former US president once again took personal credit for the lack of confrontation in Ukraine, as well as Taiwan, under his administration. Trump emphasized that now, under Biden, China is “building military installations in Cuba.”

“And less than three years ago, we had Iran, China, Russia and North Korea in check,” Trump said, adding that now, “Russia and China are holding summits together to carve up the world.” If elected, Trump said he would put America first, end inflation, “get total independence from China,” and stop the conflict in Ukraine by getting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky to start negotiations. Trump said that Biden wants him arrested because he is successful in his election campaign and stressed that there is “one chance to save” America, and that is the 2024 presidential elections. “We need fair elections and we need borders,” Trump said. He emphasized that globalists must be driven out of the US political system in order to get America to be powerful, wealthy, strong, proud and safe again.

On Friday, Trump said that his possible sentencing would not stop his presidential campaign. Earlier this month, US media reported that Trump’s attorneys were told to expect an indictment against the former president for his alleged role in efforts to overturn the 2020 US presidential election. The indictment would come amid a number of other probes into potential misconduct by Trump, including on his handling of classified documents, as well as in the middle of the 2024 presidential race, in which he has established himself as the Republican Party’s leading candidate.

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NATO is not ready.

Russia Is Ready For Confrontation With NATO – Putin (RT)

Russia is “always ready for any scenario,” President Vladimir Putin told journalists on Saturday, commenting on a potential direct confrontation between the Russian and NATO militaries. The president was answering a question about recent near-collisions involving Russian and American aircraft in Syria. “No one wants that,” the president added, pointing to the existing conflict-prevention lines that allow Russian and US officers to talk directly about “any crisis situation.”That fact that these lines still work shows that no side is interested in a conflict, he added. “If someone wants it – and that’s not us – then we’re ready,” Putin added. The Russian military has reported a total of 23 dangerous incidents involving Russian aircraft and those of the US-led coalition since early 2023, said Admiral Oleg Gurinov, the head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria.


Most incidents took place in July, he added. In 11 cases the Russian pilots recorded being targeted with Western aircraft-targeting systems. Such actions on the part of the US-led coalition led to the automatic engagement of onboard defense systems, which saw Russian aircraft releasing decoy flares, the admiral told journalists.Moscow has also repeatedly warned Washington and its allies about the risks of a potential direct conflict between Russia and NATO, particularly amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Continued Western arms supplies to Kiev only extend the hostilities and make its Western backers engage in the conflict even deeper, Russia said.

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“..the only possible outcome devised by the Straussian neocon psychos who run US foreign policy is unconditional Russian surrender..”

Geopolitical Chessboard Shifts Against US Empire (Pepe Escobar)

The geopolitical chessboard is in perpetual shift – and never more than in our current incandescent juncture. A fascinating consensus in discussions among Chinese scholars – including those part of the Asian and American diasporas – is that not only Germany/EU lost Russia, perhaps irretrievably, but China gained Russia, with an economy highly complementary to China’s own and with solid ties with the Global South/Global Majority that can benefit and aid Beijing. Meanwhile, a smatter of Atlanticist foreign policy analysts are now busy trying to change the narrative on NATO vs. Russia, applying the rudiments of realpolitik. The new spin is that it’s “strategic insanity” for Washington to expect to defeat Moscow, and that NATO is experiencing “donor fatigue” as the sweatshirt warmonger in Kiev “loses credibility”.

Translation: it’s NATO as a whole that is completely losing credibility, as its humiliation in the Ukraine battlefield is now painfully graphic for all the Global Majority to see. Additionally, “donor fatigue” means losing a major war, badly. As military analyst Andrei Martyanov has relentlessly stressed, “NATO ‘planning’ is a joke. And they are envious, painfully envious and jealous.” A credible path ahead is that Moscow will not negotiate with NATO – a mere Pentagon add-on – but offer individual European nations a security pact with Russia that would make their need to belong to NATO redundant. That would assure security for any participating nation and relieve pressure on it from Washington. Bets could be made that the most relevant European powers might accept it, but certainly not Poland – the hyena of Europe – and the Baltic chihuahuas.

In parallel, China could offer peace treaties to Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, and subsequently a significant part of the US Empire of Bases might vanish. The problem, once again, is that vassal states don’t have the authority or power to comply with any agreement ensuring peace. German businessmen, off the record, are sure that sooner or later Berlin may defy Washington and do business with the Russia-China strategic partnership because it benefits Germany. Yet the golden rule still has not been met: if a vassal state wants to be treated as a sovereign state, the first thing to do is to shut down key branches of the Empire of Bases and expel US troops. Iraq is trying to do it for years now, with no success. One third of Syria remains US-occupied – even as the US lost its proxy war against Damascus due to Russian intervention.

Russia has been forced to fight against a neighbor and kin that it simply can’t afford to lose; and as a nuclear and hypersonic power, it won’t. Even if Moscow will be somewhat strategically weakened, whatever the outcome, it’s the US – in the view of Chinese scholars – that may have committed its greatest strategic blunder since the establishment of the Empire: turning the Ukraine Project into an existential conflict, and committing the entire Empire and all its vassals to a Total War against Russia. That’s why we have no peace negotiations, and the refusal even of a cease fire; the only possible outcome devised by the Straussian neocon psychos who run US foreign policy is unconditional Russian surrender.

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Goodbye to All That

Requiem for NATO’s Nightmare (Scott Ritter)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emerges as a tragic figure in the unfolding drama that is the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.He was asked to sacrifice the lives of his countrymen in order to be seen by the U.S. and NATO as worthy of joining their club. But when the sacrifice did not produce the desired result (i.e., the strategic defeat of Russia), the door to NATO, which had been left open a crack to tease Ukraine into performing its suicidal task, was slammed shut. Despite NATO’s disingenuous machinations to maintain the optics of potential Ukrainian membership (the Ukraine-NATO Council, created during the Vilnius Summit earlier this month, stands as a prime example), everyone knows that Ukrainian membership in the trans-Atlantic alliance is a fantasy.

Ukraine is now left to pick a poison of its own choosing — accept a peace which makes permanent Russian territorial claims while forever foregoing the possibility, however distant, of NATO membership; or to continue to fight, with the likely outcome of the additional loss of territory and destruction of the Ukrainian nation and people. Robert Graves’ autobiography, Goodbye to All That, does double duty by providing a template for Ukraine as it charts the passing of Europe’s old order — the U.S.-dominated NATO alliance, the European Union, the rules-based international order and all the post-World War II structures, which held the Western world together for nearly eight decades. They are all now crumbling around us.

Graves’ struggle to adapt to post-war England in the aftermath of the horrors of the First World War, and his observations of a nation collectively struggling to define itself, is a cautionary tale for what is in store for Ukraine. As Ukraine bids farewell to its former self, it must also part with its dreams of becoming one with a European community whose own longevity is very much in doubt. That is largely because of its disastrous involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Ukraine will never be the same after this war ends. Neither will the NATO alliance. Having defined the proxy war it is waging in Ukraine against Russia in existential terms, NATO will struggle to find both relevance and purpose in a post-conflict world.

The Vilnius summit on July 11-12 in many ways represented the high-water mark of Europe’s old order. The summit was the requiem for a nightmare of Europe’s own creation — the death of a nation, the nullification of a continent and the end of an order which had long ago lost its legitimacy.

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Any time is the best time.

No Better Time For Ukraine Peace Talks Than Now – Hungary (RT)

Conditions for negotiations to end the Ukrainian conflict will only worsen, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto predicted in Budapest on Friday. The two sides, he believes, wouldn’t be in a better position for talks than now. At present, Moscow is prepared to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, while Kiev and its backers, including the US and NATO, are still refusing to enter such talks. “There will be no better conditions for peace negotiations than the present,” Szijjarto told journalists on Friday following his meeting with the Turkish foreign minister, Hakan Fidan. “Yesterday’s conditions were better than today’s, and tomorrow’s conditions will be worse than today’s,” the Hungarian minister added.

Budapest still believes that “there is no [military] solution” for the conflict, Szijjarto said. Hungary has emerged as one of the most active advocates of a negotiated solution to the ongoing conflict. Hungarian officials, including Szijjarto and Prime Minister Viktor Orban, have repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace deal in Ukraine, and have criticized the EU for sending arms to Kiev. Budapest has also been adamant that anti-Russia sanctions hurt Europe more than they hurt Moscow. In June, Orban told German tabloid Bild that a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield is “impossible.” This week the prime minister also said that Kiev had virtually “run out of strength” and the only thing keeping Ukraine “alive” was Western financial assistance.

Moscow has repeatedly signaled that it is ready for peace talks with Ukraine. It has also blamed Kiev for the lack of progress in diplomacy, citing a decree signed last year by President Vladimir Zelensky that prohibits talks for as long as Russia’s Putin remains in power. Last month the Ukrainian leader reiterated his stance, that talks with Moscow could only start after Russian forces withdraw from all Ukrainian territory within its 1991 borders, including Crimea. Russia has rejected such demands as unrealistic. Speaking at the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg on Friday, Putin said that the ongoing conflict is rooted in threats posed to Russia’s security by NATO. Washington and its allies “reject negotiations on the issues of assuring equal security,” he added.

Read more …

“..he’s dragging us stupidly into a confrontation with a power that is not going to give..”

Biden May Start ‘World War III’ – Oliver Stone (RT)

US President Joe Biden is following a “suicidal” course in Ukraine and may drag the US “stupidly into a confrontation” with Russia, acclaimed director Oliver Stone said during a recent podcast appearance. Speaking on an episode of British commentator Russell Brand’s ‘Stay Free’ podcast released on Friday, Stone blamed the conflict in Ukraine on the “neoconservative movement who started the war in Iraq,” and who still occupy prominent positions in Biden’s government. “Biden is an old Cold Warrior, and he really hates the old Soviet Union which he confounds again with the Russian Federation, which is not communist,” Stone continued. “It seems that he’s dragging us stupidly into a confrontation with a power that is not going to give. This is [Russia’s] borders. This is their world. This is NATO going into Ukraine. This is a whole other story.”

Stone revealed that he voted for Biden in 2020, a decision that he now considers “a mistake.” “I was thinking he was an old man now that he would calm down, that he would be more mellow and so forth,” Stone said, adding that he now sees “a man who maybe is not in charge of his own administration. Who knows?” Back in 2016, Stone produced a documentary, ‘Ukraine on Fire’, explaining the role of the US in the 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically-elected president, Viktor Yanukovich. The film was highly critical of NATO’s eastward expansion, the US’ sponsorship of Ukrainian neo-Nazis, and the war on Donetsk and Lugansk waged by Yanukovich’s US-backed successor, Pyotr Poroshenko.

The Euromaidan coup, he told Brand, “was a very deep plan to penetrate the Russian Federation.” Stone has repeatedly expressed this sentiment in the years since ‘Ukraine on Fire’ was released. “Since 2014, Ukraine was no longer neutral but anti-Russian, and that’s what disrupted the balance,” he told the Serbian daily Politika in December, adding that “every war has causes and consequences.” Though Stone was a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump and voted for his Democratic opponent in 2020, his views on the Ukraine conflict align with Trump’s. The former president and 2024 Republican frontrunner has also named the same neoconservatives as key architects of the conflict, while accusing Biden of dragging the US into “a third world war.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1685524595170758656

Read more …

You give western Ukraine to Poland and voila!, it’s part of NATO! Article 5!

How To Fight A War With Advertising Slogans (Helmer)

In the advertising Hall of Fame, three of the all-time winning slogans are “Just do it”; “Where’s the beef?”; and “Good to the last drop”. Three Ukrainian army soldiers and a military press officer from Kiev have pressed all three on the Financial Times of London, and they just hit the money, so to speak. “Rather than dart across Russian minefields aiming to punch through enemy lines with Nato armour,” the newspaper is reporting, “Ukrainian forces have moved their focus to pounding Russian defensive positions with heavy artillery fire. Artillery gunners operating multiple-launch rocket systems and howitzers, some loaded with US-supplied cluster munitions, aim to clear pathways for small teams of sappers and infantry units.

These troops then attempt to advance methodically on foot, moving forward one narrow tree line at a time in a select few spots along the 1,000-kilometre front line… The painstaking strategy has raised questions in western capitals about whether Ukraine will be able to maintain it for long, or produce the kind of military breakthrough that would bring Moscow to the negotiating table… But in the short term, the tactic has reduced Ukrainian losses. Casualties and the number of prized western battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles lost in battle are down compared with the first two weeks of the counteroffensive, while Ukraine has made small but steady gains.” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday night praised ‘very good results’ on the frontline”, the newspaper added.

This is the advertising to keep the US, the NATO allies, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) just doing it — continuing the $41.3 billion in military beef and $115 billion in cash to the last drop. The battlefield outcome in measurable Russian military terms cannot be a winning tagline because it is irrelevant to advertising success in public and political terms on the US and NATO side. “The so-called counteroffensive,” President Vladimir Putin told a reporter on Thursday, “this broad counteroffensive, started on June 4, 2023. This is an obvious fact, demonstrated, among other things, by the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have engaged their so-called strategic reserves. As for the past few days, we can confirm that combat action has entered its intensive phase, to a significant extent.

The clashes are primarily concentrated in what they call in the West the direction of the main attack – the Zaporozhye sector. Yesterday, there was serious military action within the area of responsibility of the 810th brigade of the Black Sea’s Naval Infantry and the 71st Regiment from the 42nd division of the Southern Military District’s 58th Army…The enemy has not succeeded in any of the sectors of combat activity. All attempts at the counteroffensive have been stopped. The enemy has been forced to retreat with substantial losses. Today, they tried to recover the damaged assets, as well as pick up the wounded and casualties after leaving them on the battlefield yesterday but were also dispersed. This is the current situation as of this moment.” The men and the materiel are being lost, but not the money. The latter is winning; the former is losing but doesn’t count.

There is also a process of the “Ukraine gaining admission to NATO piecemeal”, as the Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko described it to Putin on July 23. “Tearing off this western piece of Ukraine: under the guise of NATO accession, to mislead the population. They want to chop off western Ukraine and join it to Poland. This is the payment for the active participation of the Poles in this operation, against the forces of the Russian Federation, of course. This is supported by the Americans. I told you this a long time ago, we witnessed this six months ago and discussed it preliminarily. Why am I telling you all this? It is unacceptable to us, Mr Putin. It is unacceptable to tear off western Ukrainian, dismember Ukraine and hand over these lands to Poland. And if, naturally, the western population of Ukraine needs this, we will be supporting them, of course.”

Read more …

Not for warfare.

Musk Denied Ukraine Starlink Access Near Crimea – NYT (RT)

The SpaceX co-founder, US billionaire Elon Musk, prevented Ukraine from using his company’s Starlink satellite communications system to strike Russia, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter. SpaceX has donated over 20,000 Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine since the escalation of the conflict with Russia in late February 2022, providing internet access in chaotic battleground areas that would otherwise be cut off. Kiev, however, sought to weaponize the communications system, according to the NYT. At some point in 2022, Ukrainian forces wanted to use the satellite system to launch a maritime drone and strike Russian ships docked at Black Sea ports. Musk refused Kiev’s request to grant its forces access to Starlink near Crimea to facilitate the attack.

In mid-February the entrepreneur said on Twitter that his company would not “enable escalation of a conflict that may lead to WWIII.” He also said that SpaceX would not be “allowing Starlink to be used for long-range drone strikes.” He also warned about the risks of a global conflict, adding that most people seem to be “oblivious” to the danger of it. According to the NYT, SpaceX also restricted access to its Starlink systems depending on frontline changes. The company used location data gathered by its service to enforce certain limits on satellite communication access, the media outlet said, adding that such a policy supposedly “caused problems” during Kiev’s counteroffensive attempts.

Starlink was initially hailed by both Ukraine and the US as a gamechanger for the Ukrainian military, providing a reliable communications system that Russia allegedly could not disrupt through hacking. Musk then gradually fell out of favor with Ukrainian officials, provoking the ire of Kiev on several occasions. In autumn 2022, he said that SpaceX could no longer cover the Starlink operation costs in Ukraine out of its own pocket. In October 2022, he revealed that the effort would cost $20 million a month and could not be sustained indefinitely. According to the NYT, about 1,300 Starlink terminals in Ukraine stopped working after Kiev failed to pay the $2,500 monthly fee for each. In December 2022, it secured additional funding from some of its European backers to cover the system’s costs.

The SpaceX CEO also incurred Kiev’s wrath by suggesting a peace plan in October 2022 that would have required Ukraine to make concessions to Russia. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide, Mikhail Podoliak, then demanded that the billionaire either side with Ukraine and refrain from seeking “ways to do harm,” or that he be seen as pro-Russian. In June of this year the Pentagon announced it had awarded a contract to SpaceX for Starlink satellite communications services in Ukraine. The US Department of Defense declined to disclose any details about the deal, citing “operational security reasons” and the “critical nature of these systems.”

Read more …

Forward is a Jewish outlet. You’d think they’d know what to make of Bandera et al.

Does Ukraine Really Have A Neo-Nazi Problem? US Officials Won’t Say (Forward)

It’s hard to know if Paul Massaro was oblivious or indifferent to the Nazi origin of the banner he proudly brandished. The flag, sent to him by the Ukraine Army’s Azov Brigade, featured a near-facsimile of the so-called wolfsangel symbol used by the Nazi Waffen SS. It is the unit’s official insignia. But when critics called him out for the selfie he posted on Twitter in February, Massaro — a senior official on a congressional commission that promotes human rights and democracy — was unapologetic. Instead, he lauded the “heroic last stand” that Azov had made against Russia in last year’s siege of Mariupol, and celebrated the Ukrainian government’s decision to formally elevate it to brigade status as new recruits swelled its ranks.

Six days later, Massaro posted a beaming photo of himself with an arm patch honoring Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist whose forces killed tens of thousands of Jews and Poles in multiple pogroms. “Hey, look what I’ve got,” he wrote above the picture. Paul Massaro tweeted a photo of himself wearing an arm patch honoring Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist whose forces killed tens of thousands of Jews and Poles in multiple pogroms. “Hey, look what I’ve got,” he wrote above the picture. Critics erupted — but Massaro dug in. He noted that Ukrainians view Bandera, who collaborated with Nazis in his yearslong struggle against the Soviet Union, “through the lens of the struggle for Ukrainian independence.”

Massaro eventually deleted both posts. But his tweets and the responses exemplify a discomfiting trend: Nearly 18 months into Russia’s war on Ukraine, the West’s tolerance of far-right actors has reached levels not seen since the 1930s. In its existential struggle against Russian invaders, Ukraine, a pro-Western democracy, has elevated some problematic heroes with fascist origins. And its allies — including Jewish leaders and liberal politicians usually on guard against such forces — have largely downplayed or denied this phenomenon. At least 13 members of Congress, for example, have met with Azov Brigade members and their spouses over the last nine months, despite Congress having banned U.S. funding for the unit since 2018 because of its extremist roots. In June, an Azov delegation met with a leader of Human Rights Watch — a watchdog group that in 2015 reported “numerous allegations of unlawful detention and the use of torture” by the unit.

Azov members have also been welcomed twice at Stanford University, where they were lauded by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and the noted political scientist Francis Fukuyama, who later told the news website SFGate that he viewed them as “heroes.” And the Anti-Defamation League, the world’s premier antisemitism watchdog, has softened its assessment of the group since Russia’s invasion. Advocates and academics disagree on how much the Azov Brigade and its offshoots have evolved from the group’s extremist roots. But even some of the unit’s critics worry that a clash over the group may lend credence to Russian President Putin’s false narrative that Ukraine itself is a Nazi state and its army a fascist force. “I think we need to speak out,” said Abe Foxman, a former leader of the ADL, “but make sure it doesn’t undermine the nation that is struggling for our system.”

Read more …

Not the neo-nazis are the big problem, but Assange.

US Rejects Australian Plea To Drop Assange Case (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed that Australia has raised the case of Julian Assange’s continued prosecution, but declared that Washington will not stop trying to extradite the former WikiLeaks boss and try him for espionage. Speaking alongside Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Brisbane on Saturday, Blinken said that while he understands “the concerns and views of Australians,” Assange’s alleged actions “risked very serious harm to our national security, to the benefit of our adversaries, and put named human sources at grave risk – grave risk – of physical harm, and grave risk of detention.”

Assange, he said, was “charged with very serious criminal conduct” and had allegedly taken part in “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of our country.” An Australian citizen, Julian Assange is currently being held in London’s Belmarsh Prison. He is fighting extradition to the US, where he faces 17 charges under the Espionage Act and potentially a 175-year prison sentence. Human-rights and press-freedom activists have demanded his release, citing his deteriorating mental and physical health, while Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in May that he was “working through diplomatic channels” to press the US into dropping the case.

The charges against Assange stem from his publication of classified material obtained by whistleblowers, including Pentagon documents detailing alleged US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than 250,000 diplomatic cables exposing the US’ efforts to – among other things – spy on its allies and influence foreign elections. While Assange did not personally steal these documents, he is nevertheless being prosecuted for espionage. He and his supporters argue that WikiLeaks’ publication of this material is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

“We have made clear our view that Mr Assange’s case has dragged on for too long,” Foreign Minister Wong said on Saturday. “We’ve said that publicly and you would anticipate that that reflects also the position we articulate in private.”The extradition from Britain to the US of Assange, who is no 52, was approved in 2020 by then-UK Home Secretary Priti Patel. He lodged his final appeal against the decision in June, after all eight grounds of a previous appeal were rejected by a High Court judge. Responding to Blinken’s comments on Saturday, Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, said that it is now up to Prime Minister Albanese to make a public appeal for Assange’s freedom during his upcoming visit to the US.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Pfizer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685278310618800128

 

 

Jumpback
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685178655226368000

 

 

Mom baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685360625856184321

 

 

 

 

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Jul 022023
 


Caravaggio The raising of Lazarus 1609

 

 

A Dutch paper tells me that PM Mark Rutte is “very disappointed” that Switzerland has decided not to deliver 96 more tanks, that belong to Swiss “defense company” Ruag, and which Germany, Holland and Denmark wanted to purchase, to send to Ukraine. The 96 would have come on top of another 100 they also apparently bought for the same purpose. Neither would make any difference for the outcome of the battle. 100 tanks is nothing. The only thing we know for sure is that 96 more tanks will kill 96xY more people. But of course Rutte is not the only EU and NATO “leader” who thinks the way he does. They all do, except Orban and perhaps Serbia’s Vucic. But Biden, Blinken, Macron, Scholz, you name them, they all say the same thing: we must deliver more guns, tanks, jet fighters. US “top general” Mark Milley chimes in:

Ukrainian Counteroffensive Will Be Long And ‘Very Bloody’

Ukraine’s counteroffensive will be “very difficult” and achieving significant gains could take a long time, a top US military officer has warned, Report informs, citing Yahoo. Army general Mark Milley told the National Press Club in Washington that the counteroffensive was “advancing steadily, deliberately working its way through very difficult minefields … 500 meters a day, 1,000 meters a day, 2,000 meters a day, that kind of thing”. Mr Milley said he was unsurprised progress was slower than some people predicted.


He said: “War on paper and real war are different. In real war, real people die. Real people are on those front lines and real people are in those vehicles. Real bodies are being shredded by high explosives.” Mr Milley added: “What I had said was this is going to take six, eight, 10 weeks, it’s going to be very difficult. It’s going to be very long, and it’s going to be very, very bloody. And no one should have any illusions about any of that.”

My problem with this is they all know very well that some 400,000 young Ukrainians have already died in the conflict, with many more severely injured, and many many more will be killed and maimed if these tanks are delivered to Kiev and the “counteroffensive” continues. Not Rutte’s Dutch young people, or Biden and Milley’s Americans or Macron’s French, no, just young Ukrainians. And some Russians, at about a 1 to 10 count. But if they don’t care about young Ukrainians, they sure care less about young Russians.

Where does this attitude come from? What makes it acceptable to help kill more young people, anywhere in the world? Young men who have mothers, fathers, girlfriends, wives, who should have children or already have them? Who are “leaders” like Rutte to knowingly send them to their deaths? For what reason? So they can beat Russia and save Ukraine’s “democracy”? Ukraine has no elections, no political parties, no free press, and Zelensky is selling its land to BlackRock et al as we speak. And that’s what these promising young lives have to be cut short for? For Zelensky’s and BlackRock’s profits?

Majority Of Americans Back Weapons Deliveries To Ukraine

Some 65% of Americans support continued military aid to Ukraine, up from 46% in May, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll published on Wednesday. Other surveys, however, show a fall in support for President Joe Biden’s promise of unlimited weapons for Kiev. Conducted earlier this week, the poll found bipartisan support for arming Ukraine, with 81% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans in favor. This result mirrors the situation in Congress, where Biden’s Democrats are almost unanimous in backing arms deliveries, while the GOP is split between an establishment that backs the weapons shipments and a pro-Trump, isolationist wing in opposition.

First, send young Dutch, American, French, boys -and girls -to die on the Ukraine battlefields. Then see how the homefront reacts. And tell them that Ukraine and NATO have no chance in hell of beating Russia. But yes, I know, the propaganda never stops. And then you get surveys like this. Putin is the antichrist and Zelensky is Churchill. If you dumb people down enough, anything goes. But still, Rutte, Milley, Biden, Blinken et al are murdering young Ukrainians. You can’t blame Putin, or Russia for this. Your voters may believe it, but the world at large, outside of your propaganda field, will not.

These people want you to believe, and maybe they still believe it themselves, that Ukraine can beat Russia. Over the past 16 months, there has been nothing that points to that, Ukraine has lost anything and everything, but EU and NATO still want to send more weapons into the meat grinder. Weapons, but not their children. Why do 65% of Americans, and “leaders” like Rutte, Blinken, Macron, want the killing to continue? Because their voters have no problem with 400,000 dead young Ukrainians. And their media will blame everything on Putin. The same media tells them they will win. But there is no indication that this is even remotely realistic. Unfortunately, NATO doesn’t care about realistic: losing to Russia is not in their dictionary. Having a million Ukrainians killed, is.

 

NATO is the past. Its power has waned. The US alone spends more than 10 times more on its defense budget than Russia, but is lagging way behind in weapons development. And it’s not going to make up for that disadvantage anytime soon. Certainly not in time to turn the Ukraine conflict around. And still guys like Rutte and Milley want to send more tanks into the battlefield. These people need psychiatric assistance. As do the next tranches of Ukraine cannon fodder. What we, the collective west, are providing Ukraine with, is not a chance at winning a war, but a mind boggingly huge assisted suicide program. And we, NATO citizens, should ask ourselves if we want to be part of that. If you live in NATO/EU territory, this is now on your conscience. No escaping anymore. They speak and act in your name. You can no longer claim innocence.

How many more young Ukrainians are left for you to kill? The “400,000 dead young Ukrainians” number comes from US military veterans like Scott Ritter and Douglas Macgregor. Maybe it’s “only” 350,000. But that included all their most experienced and trained soldiers. Their replacements are nowhere near as good. How many of those? I’d guess 100,000, 200,000 at best. While Russia just finished properly training 300,000 over an 8-month period, Kiev picked up kids and 65-year olds from the street, gave them a 2-week crash course, and dumped them at a frontline.

But you know what’s the worst thing here, and that I haven’t even mentioned? Nobody on the US/NATO/Kiev side, when confronted with those numbers among Ukrainians, ever mentions peace talks. No-one. The reason is that they would have to admit Russia’s won and NATO lost. Not just Ukraine lost, but NATO. And that is unthinkable. Consider what that would mean for the close to $1 trillion a year US arms industry, Raytheon, Boeing etc. They would never -voluntarily- admit it. Hey, they make more profit than they have in decades… What’s another 100,000 Ukrainian assisted suicides? I grew up thinking that every human life matters.

 

 

 

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Apr 282023
 
 April 28, 2023  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Edgar Degas Danseuse au Tutu Vert 1887

 

Ukraine Peace Talks – A Grown Up Is Taking Charge (MoA)
Complicated Ukraine Crisis Must End By Negotiations – China (TASS)
Kremlin Explains Which Contact With Kiev Is ‘Welcome’ (RT)
China Shifting Away From Dollar In Cross-Border Transactions (RT)
FBI Claims China Has 50x More Hackers (RT)
De-Dollarization Kicks Into High Gear (Pepe Escobar)
Mr. Lavrov’s New York Shuffle (Pepe Escobar)
West No Longer Hides Planning Of Kiev’s Counteroffensive – Zakharova (TASS)
NATO Gives 1,550 Armored Vehicles, 230 Tanks To Ukraine – Stoltenberg (TASS)
Ukrainian Air Defense ‘Depleting’ – Minister (RT)
The EU Has Spilled Ukrainian Grain Meant For Africa All Over Itself (Marsden)
Zakharova: Why US and EU Fear Russian Media (RT)
In The Seeds War Who Is Burying Whom? (Helmer)
Pfizer & FDA Knew About Safety Concerns For Pregnant And Nursing Women (CR)
Biden Energy Secretary Wants All US Military Vehicles To Be Electric By 2030

 

 

 

 

RFK vaccines

 

 

 

 

Tucker ESG

 

 

Zelensky sells Ukraine

 

 

 

 

China sends their top diplomat. Everyone better take him seriously. Nothing else will be accepted.

Ukraine Peace Talks – A Grown Up Is Taking Charge (MoA)

The U.S. is unwilling to yet give up in its proxy war with Russia in Ukraine. Russia can not stop the war without securing its legitimate interest to keep NATO and/or the U.S. out of its neighbor state. A loss of the war would create an existential danger for Russia. With the two major powers engaged in a war a third party is needed to solve the conflict. In the spring of last year Turkey and Israel successfully helped to find a peace agreement. A good solution was found and Russia as well as Ukraine agreed to it. But the U.S. needed the war to continue. It sent the British prime minister Boris Johnson to Kiev to sabotage the deal. The Ukrainian president was told that the country would lose all ‘western’ support should it sign an agreement with Russia. As the somewhat neutral middle powers were unable to push any agreement through it became obvious that a third party with more heft was needed to seal a deal.

The time of moving towards a deal also needed to be right. On February 24, exactly a year after the war had started, China announced its Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis. This was not a peace plan but a lay out of things that will need to be understood and done to come to a sustainable solution of the crisis. A months later China took the next step that will be needed in the process. It introduced a high ranking diplomat who will hold the preliminary talks in Ukraine and Russia to find the potential ways to proceed. The announcement was made after a phone call between the presidents Xi and Zelensky:

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he held a “long and meaningful call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, a long-anticipated first contact between the leaders since Russia’s invasion 14 months ago. Xi appealed for negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv to begin, according to a Chinese government readout of the call, which Beijing said Zelenskyy requested. Xi pledged to send a “special representative” to Ukraine for talks about a “political settlement” — warning that “there is no winner in a nuclear war.” China hopes to become a neutral peace broker in the conflict, although the U.S. and others have questioned its impartiality given a “no limits” partnership in which it has lent Moscow rhetorical and financial support.”

[..] The Chinese special representative for Eurasian affairs is Lu Hui, a very senior diplomat. He has held several positions in China’s embassies in Moscow and Astana as well as within China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs: In 2008-2009 Mr. Liu Hui served as a deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PRC. From August 2009 to August 2019 he served as an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Russian Federation. Ukraine’s readout of the call does not mention the envoy. The U.S. response to the announcement of an envoy was designed to put China’s efforts into doubt: “John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, said the U.S. welcomed the call as a “good thing.”

“We’ve been saying for quite some time that we believe it’s important for President Xi and PRC officials to avail themselves of the Ukrainian perspective on this illegal and unprovoked invasion by Russia,” Kirby told reporters, referring to China by the initials for its formal name, the People’s Republic of China. Earlier, Kirby, told NBC News, “We will let these two leaders speak to the details of their conversation.” A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was “way too soon after just getting word of this conversation to speculate about” whether the call should foster optimism about China’s peace plan. “Thus far, China has not shown itself to be unbiased when it comes to supporting Russia,” the official said.

Read more …

China starts to impose itself step by step.

Complicated Ukraine Crisis Must End By Negotiations – China (TASS)

No matter how complicated the conflict in Ukraine may be, it must be resolved at a negotiation table, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said during the meeting with foreign ministers of Central Asian countries in Xi An in northwestern China. “No matter how complicated the crisis may be, it must be resolved by negotiations; no matter how complicated a conflict may be, it must be resolved only by politics,” Qin Gang said, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry website. He added that “the significant historic background and complex real reasons have caused the Ukrainian crisis to develop to the current stage.”


“China and Central Asian countries have similar views and positions on the Ukrainian crisis,” Qin Gang noted. He added that Beijing is ready to work with the international community, including Central Asian states, in order to reach a “common denominator” for resolution of the conflict in Ukraine. On April 26-27, Qin Gang took part in the 4th meeting of foreign ministers of China and five Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the top diplomats exchanged opinions on pressing international and regional issues.

Read more …

“We are ready to welcome anything that can bring the conflict in Ukraine closer to an end and, naturally, the accomplishment of all Russia’s goals..”

Kremlin Explains Which Contact With Kiev Is ‘Welcome’ (RT)

Moscow backs any foreign contact with Kiev that seeks a political settlement to the Ukraine conflict and as long as Russia’s interests are respected, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. His comments came a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, for the first time since Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring state more than a year ago. “We are ready to welcome anything that can bring the conflict in Ukraine closer to an end and, naturally, the accomplishment of all Russia’s goals,” Peskov told journalists. The spokesman added that conversations between leaders are the “sovereign [right]” of each country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-2015 Minsk peace accords as reasons for Russia’s attack on Ukrainian forces in February 2022. He also said Russia was seeking the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine. Peskov pointed out that the Kremlin is aware of the 12-point roadmap for peace publicly unveiled by China in February. According to the proposal, the conflict must be resolved through negotiations and in accordance with international law, while the “independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld.” Moscow, however, has accused Ukraine of effectively rendering potential negotiations useless by demanding that Russia surrender newly acquired territories.

In 2014, Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia in the wake of the coup in Kiev that year. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, did the same after holding referendums in September. Kiev considers these territories to be illegally occupied by Russia. Unlike many Western countries, China has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Xi praised strategic partnership with Russia during a trip to Moscow last month. During his call with Zelensky, the Chinese leader reiterated that dialogue was “the only viable way forward.”

Read more …

First gradually, then all at once.

China Shifting Away From Dollar In Cross-Border Transactions (RT)

The yuan surpassed the US dollar to become the most-used currency in China’s cross-border transactions last month, Reuters reported on Wednesday citing official data. Cross-border payments and receipts in yuan surged from $434.5 billion in February to a record $549.9 billion in March, according to calculations by the outlet, based on data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. The Chinese currency was used in 48.4% of all cross-border transactions, reflecting a trend of shifting away from the dollar, as well as Beijing’s efforts to promote the use of the yuan. The share of the greenback in China’s international settlements dropped from 48.6% in February to 46.7% last month. The volume of cross-border transactions covers both current and capital accounts, the outlet said.


Although the share of the yuan in global settlements is still relatively low, it has been steadily on the rise over the past several years. China’s attempts to move away from the dollar in international trade have sped up against the backdrop of sweeping sanctions imposed by Western nations against Russia, a major global energy producer and exporter. Indian policymakers have also taken steps towards shifting away from the greenback to rubles and rupees in mutual trade with Moscow. Russia has been boosting its use of alternative currencies in transactions since last year. President Vladimir Putin has suggested that the Chinese yuan should be used more widely, not only in trade with China, but also in Russia’s transactions with countries in Africa and Latin America. The latest data from the Bank of Russia shows that the yuan has become a major player in Russia’s foreign trade.

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“..Chinese hackers outnumber US cybersecurity agents by at least “50 to 1..”

FBI Claims China Has 50x More Hackers (RT)

FBI Director Christopher Wray has claimed that Chinese hackers outnumber US cybersecurity agents by at least “50 to 1,” saying the People’s Republic operates a larger cyber program than all other world powers combined. Addressing lawmakers during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Thursday, Wray outlined the bureau’s recent cybersecurity efforts and its funding needs, stating the hackers are capable of inflicting “greater damage than ever before” while placing special emphasis on the “China threat.” “The scale of the Chinese cyber threat is unparalleled. They’ve got a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined, and have stolen more of our personal and corporate data than all other nations, big or small, combined,” he said, adding that Washington is struggling to keep up with Beijing in the cyber realm.

“To give you a sense of what we’re up against, if each one of the FBI’s cyber agents and intel analysts focused exclusively on the China threat, on nothing but China, Chinese hackers would still outnumber FBI cyber personnel by at least 50 to 1.” The bureau head went on to warn of cyber attacks conducted by other foreign states, including Russia, Iran and North Korea, but said China posed the greatest danger to US privacy and security, pointing to its alleged “multi-pronged strategy” to surpass the United States as “the global superpower.” In addition to “nation-state actors,” Wray also noted the FBI’s concerns about private cyber criminals, saying the agency is now investigating “over 100 different ransomware variants,” referring to a common form of malware which seeks to hold user data hostage in exchange for payment.

The FBI has requested funding to create around 200 additional cyber positions at the bureau to address the purported threat from China, seeking just over $63 million, in addition to the $10.8 billion budget already proposed for the 2023 fiscal year. “There’s no country that presents a more significant threat to our innovation, our ideas, our economic security, our national security than the Chinese government,” Wray continued. “And that’s why we’ve grown the number of investigations into threats from China about 1,300%.” Chinese officials have denied US allegations of hacking and data theft, and instead leveled similar charges at Washington. Earlier this month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed the United States is now the “biggest threat to global cybersecurity” which seeks to “maintain its hegemony in cyberspace,” urging the US to cease its “global hacking operations.”

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“Cue to Beijing linking crude futures in Shanghai to converting yuan into gold. And all that without touching China’s massive gold reserves..”

De-Dollarization Kicks Into High Gear (Pepe Escobar)

The collective west is reaching Desperation Row – now timed with the astonishing announcement of a Biden-Harris US presidential ticket running again in 2024. This means that the US administration’s neo-con handlers will double down on their plan to unleash an industrial war against both Russia and China by 2025. And that brings us back to de-dollarization and what will replace the hegemonic reserve currency of the world. Today, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) represents more than 25 percent of global oil exports (Saudi Arabia stands at 17 percent). More than 25 percent of China’s oil imports come from Riyadh. And China, predictably, is the GCC’s top trading partner. The Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange went into business in March 2018.

Any oil producer, from anywhere, can sell in Shanghai in yuan today. This means that the balance of power in the oil markets is already shifting from the US dollar to the yuan. The catch is that most oil producers prefer not to keep large stashes of yuan; after all, everyone is still used to the petrodollar. Cue to Beijing linking crude futures in Shanghai to converting yuan into gold. And all that without touching China’s massive gold reserves. This simple process happens via gold exchanges set up in Shanghai and Hong Kong. And not by accident, it lies at the heart of a new currency to bypass the dollar being discussed by the EAEU. Dumping the dollar already has a mechanism: making full use of the Shanghai Energy Exchange’s future oil contracts in yuan.

That’s the preferred path for the end of the petrodollar. US global power projection is fundamentally based on controlling the global currency. Economic control underlies the Pentagon’s ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ doctrine. Yet now, even military projection is in shambles, with Russia maintaining an unreachable advance on hypersonic missiles and Russia-China-Iran able to deploy an array of carrier-killers. The Hegemon – clinging to a toxic cocktail of neoliberalism, sanction dementia, and widespread threats – is bleeding from within. De-dollarization is an inevitable response to system collapse. In a Sun Tzu 2.0 environment, it is no wonder the Russia-China strategic partnership exhibits no intention of interrupting the enemy when he is so busy defeating himself

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“Let’s take a walk with him across the current wasteland. Mr. Lavrov, you’re the star of the show.”

Mr. Lavrov’s New York Shuffle (Pepe Escobar)

Now picture a true gentleman, the foremost diplomat of these troubled times, in total command of the facts and endowed with a delightful sense of humor, taking a perilous walk on the wild side, to quote iconic Lou Reed, and emerging unscathed. In fact, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s New York moment – as in his two interventions before the UN Security Council on April 24 and 25 – performed the diplomatic equivalent of bringing the house down. At least the sections of the house inhabited by the Global South – or Global Majority. April 24, during the 9308th meeting of the UNSC under the agenda “Maintenance of international peace and security, effective multilateralism through the protection of the principles of the UN Charter”, was particularly relevant. Lavrov stressed the symbolism of the meeting happening on the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, deemed quite significant by a 2018 UN General Assembly resolution.


In his preamble, Lavrov noted how “in two weeks, we will celebrate the 78th anniversary of Victory in World War II. The defeat of Nazi Germany, to which my country made a decisive contribution with the support of the Allies, laid the foundation for the post-war international order. The UN Charter has become its legal basis, and our organization itself, embodying true multilateralism, has acquired a central, coordinating role in world politics.” Well, not really. And that brings us to Lavrov’s true walk on the wild side, pinpointing how multilateralism has been trampled. Way beyond torrents of denigration by the usual suspects, and their attempt to submit him to an ice cold shower in New York, or even confine him to the – geopolitical – freezer, he prevailed. Let’s take a walk with him across the current wasteland. Mr. Lavrov, you’re the star of the show.

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“..once again are loudly confirming their direct involvement in the conflict.”

West No Longer Hides Planning Of Kiev’s Counteroffensive – Zakharova (TASS)

The West is no longer hiding that it is really behind the planning for Ukraine’s much-vaunted counteroffensive, and will pull out all the stops to ensure its success, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday. “The West openly states that it will do everything possible to make the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian armed forces, which is planned for the near future, a success. That is to say, as you can imagine, they do not even hide that they are behind all this military planning, not only tactical guidance, which we have repeatedly talked about, but also the ongoing disposition [of forces] according to their strategic plan,” she said.


Zakharova also stressed that representatives of Western countries, by openly demanding that the Russian side suffer the maximum possible losses, “once again are loudly confirming their direct involvement in the conflict.” On Tuesday, the New York Times, citing classified Pentagon and US intelligence documents that surfaced on the Internet, reported that the Ukrainian armed forces planned to launch a counteroffensive in the south next month. According to the newspaper, by the end of April, Ukraine is expected to have prepared 12 combat brigades with a complement of 4,000 servicemen each.

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“..providing as many weapons as possible to Kiev is the best way to facilitate peace in Ukraine..”

NATO Gives 1,550 Armored Vehicles, 230 Tanks To Ukraine – Stoltenberg (TASS)

More than 98% of the combat vehicles that NATO promised to Ukraine have already been delivered, the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday. “Overall, through the Contact Group led by the United States, NATO Allies and partners have provided unprecedented support to Ukraine. More than 98% of the combat vehicles promised to Ukraine have already been delivered. That means over 1,550 armored vehicles, 230 tanks and other equipment, including vast amounts of ammunition. In total we have trained and equipped more than nine new Ukrainian armored brigades,” he pointed out at a meeting with Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in Brussels.


According to Stoltenberg, NATO believes that providing as many weapons as possible to Kiev is the best way to facilitate peace in Ukraine because it will allow President Vladimir Zelensky’s regime to be in a strong negotiating position. However, the NATO chief warned against underestimating the Russian army, and claimed that Russia was sending thousands of troops to attack the city of Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine). Bettel, in turn, noted that Luxembourg did not have weapons to send to Ukraine, which was why it was making a financial contribution, paying for what Kiev was asking for.

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“..the importance of showcasing foreign weapons on the battlefield..”

Ukrainian Air Defense ‘Depleting’ – Minister (RT)

Kiev is running out of Soviet-made anti-aircraft missiles and needs the US and its allies to provide more weapons, including fighter jets, to close the gap with Russia, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov has said. “We have a Soviet [air defense] system, and its missile reserves are depleting. If we don’t produce them and only nations, from which we can’t get them, have more, we need to replenish them with something else,” Reznikov stated in an interview with national media on Thursday. The minister said Western-made anti-aircraft systems and an increasing number of missiles compatible with them are Kiev’s goals, as was acquiring fighter jets from NATO. “A modern generation 4++ plane is a fully-fledged part of air defense. Once we have them, they will close the gaps left by our soviet systems,” Reznikov said, expressing certainty that his nation will be able to work through Western resistance.

The US and its allies have been reluctant to send these types of weapons to Ukraine. Kiev needs sponsors to pledge to provide not only the fighter jets, but also all the munitions and maintenance services they require, the minister explained. “Some nations signed off on tanks, and what we see is them giving four or six, not 200 or 300.” Kiev’s problems with air defense were exposed by purported classified Pentagon assessments leaked online. A late February estimate predicted that most types of Soviet missiles would be gone by May, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month. The US military proposed covering the shortfall with supplies of German Iris-T and American NASAMS and Patriot systems, according to the leak.

In the interview, Reznikov stressed the importance of showcasing foreign weapons on the battlefield for Kiev’s effort to maintain the flow of arms into the country. He recalled how he used a photo of an Australian-provided Bushmaster armored vehicle for that purpose. “I said: ‘I urgently need a video with a thank you to the Australian people.’ The guys recorded a message of gratitude in English, and I sent [it] through our ambassador to Australia,” he stated. “We said we needed more Bushmasters.” Kiev has long promised to use Western arms and training to launch a major counteroffensive against Russia sometime this spring and reclaim territory, but so far it has failed to materialize. Reznikov said the expectations for the operation have been overblown. Several Western media outlets have also warned that Kiev’s military achievements during the future push against Russia may prove to be lackluster and undermine requests for more military assistance.

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“Apparently Brussels has an endless supply of taxpayer cash to toss at the problems that it creates for itself..”

The EU Has Spilled Ukrainian Grain Meant For Africa All Over Itself (Marsden)

Leave it to the EU to manage parlaying food hogging into a disaster. Well, for everyone except perhaps Spain, the recipient of 16% of all grain shipments under the deal, which is reportedly using it to increase its production and export of pork by feeding the food destined for humans to Spanish pigs. Other EU farmers now need bailouts. “This is support for the farmers affected by the increase of imports from Ukraine, not for the consequences of the war,” said EU Agriculture Commissioner Janus Wojciechowski. “We have a ‘reserve’ for the crisis and we used only €56 million for the specific situation.” What a bargain! Only a few tens of billions of euros to fix an entirely self-made problem. Yet another resounding demonstration of competence by the big-brained Brussels bureaucrats.

There have been blatant indications for months that the plan was veering towards disaster. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out in January that 44% of Ukrainian grain was ending up in the EU. And with their own grains devalued as a result of their flooded markets, European farmers don’t seem happy about being made unwitting martyrs for Ukraine. They have been pushed out of their own markets in order to keep cash from grain sales flowing to Kiev. “In effect, prices in local/regional markets have dropped causing a significant impact on farmers’ income. The Commission is not reacting swiftly enough. Our members had already flagged the concerns about market disruptions last year,” said Paulo Gouveia, chief policy advisor for the European farmers cooperative, Copa-Cogeca. Apparently, the farmers just don’t have much of an appreciation for the amount of time it took for Brussels to amass the massive pile of cash required to cushion its policy disaster as it circled back and crash-landed on the EU’s own citizens and economy.

Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia have all sounded the alarm over the impact of the grain glut. “We have proven through statistical data and figures that Hungarian farmers are indeed incurring huge losses because of the grain going through the solidarity lane staying in Hungary instead of reaching its intended destination,” said Hungarian Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy. Nagy says that Hungarian farmers have lost up to 37% of their income over the Ukrainian grain, driving down the price of local supply. But the EU initially denied Hungary’s and Slovakia’s requests for assistance and has only more recently considered another round of compensation that includes them. Nagy described the initial choice to exclude them as political, even though Slovakia has since evoked health concerns related to findings of unauthorized pesticides on Ukrainian wheat. And now Brussels is paying lip service to their concerns with another €100 million, which is couch cushion cash for the EU compared to the billions it regularly tosses around.

All this flooding of the EU with Ukrainian grain could have been avoided if it had simply ensured that the grain was used for its stated purpose. Russian President Vlaidmir Putin has been warning all along that the food was being misdirected. “From August 1, 2022, to March 20, 2023, 827 ships left Ukraine, of which only 3 million tonnes of grain were sent to Africa and 1.3 million to the poorest countries in Africa. As I said, almost 45% went to well-fed European countries, despite the fact that this whole deal was presented under the pretext of ensuring the interests of African countries,” Putin underscored at the Russia-Africa Parliamentary Conference in Moscow earlier this year.

[..] Apparently Brussels has an endless supply of taxpayer cash to toss at the problems that it creates for itself, bailing out everyone from farmers to businesses over its own backfiring efforts to stick it to Russia amid the crisis in Ukraine. It’s becoming increasingly clear that what the EU desperately needs is some adult supervision, but the available candidates seem few and far between.

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“Those who like these rules of the game have the right to play by them. We don’t. This is what we rebelled against.”

Zakharova: Why US and EU Fear Russian Media (RT)

The European Parliament’s insistence that Serbia censor RT Balkans and Sputnik in order to “harmonize” with the EU is absurd, evil, and a manifestation of imperialism and colonialism, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. On Wednesday, the parliament’s foreign affairs committee adopted the report by Slovakian MEP Vladimir Bilcik, criticizing Serbia for not joining the EU sanctions against Russia and demanding Belgrade shut down Russian “disinformation” outlets just as the bloc has done. The US State Department has also called for a ban on RT Balkans. “It’s an absurd situation,” Zakharova told reporters at the daily briefing in Moscow on Thursday. “These statements speak for themselves. The West isn’t even hiding, but saying the quiet part out loud.”

The US and the EU are now openly saying that Russia, Russian culture and language, or Russian media and journalists, simply shouldn’t exist, Zakharova noted. She compared the European Parliament’s demands to calls by Ukrainian officials to “exterminate” the Russian population in Crimea and Donbass, saying they can only be described as “evil.” “The only possible thing to say is that this is an imperialist point of view, a manifestation of neo-colonialism. Some countries, without any moral grounds, illegally arrogate to themselves the right to model the world and its development at their own discretion: who can live, speak, trade, produce, have children, and who cannot,” Zakharova told reporters. “This is a modern version of slavery, in which the colonial powers claim the right to be considered masters, and others – their slaves.”

“Those who like these rules of the game have the right to play by them. We don’t. This is what we rebelled against.” The US and its allies, Zakharova argued, want Russia to have no opportunity to speak, because the very existence of Russian media threatens the Western plans for narrative manipulation. “Our media, journalists and outlets report from the epicenters of world events, based on facts, encourage people to critically evaluate reality (as they should),” the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said. “Apparently, this goes against the plans that the American rulers have to ‘zombify’ their own population.”

American television, Zakharova noted, presents a “a one-sided, practically sterilized, filtered and adjusted picture of the world,” having reached an “ideological dead end.” Any airing of alternative viewpoints threatens to expose this media ecosystem as biased and contradictory. RT Balkans began operations in November 2022. The EU reportedly plans to blacklist the outlet as part of its 11th package of sanctions against Russia. The bloc had banned all broadcasting activities by RT and Sputnik in March 2022, calling them “Russian propaganda” that endangered Ukraine. Major social media platforms have blocked RT accounts in the bloc, while YouTube extended the ban globally.

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“Today we are buying seeds abroad, because during Yeltsin’s time all the seed banks were destroyed, and the seed breeding stations were closed..”

In The Seeds War Who Is Burying Whom? (Helmer)

This week Russian grain and berry producers went public with a warning that new regulations proposed by the federal Ministry of Agriculture to implement new legislation on seed production, due to come into effect in September, will lessen competition in the domestic market, raise seed and farm product prices, reduce crop yields, and lower production volumes. “The draft regulation, On the approval of the rules for the localization of the production of seeds of agricultural plants on the territory of the Russian Federation — allows foreign companies to do business on the territory of our country only if they work jointly with Russia’s scientific institutes. The share of the latter in joint ventures must be at least 51%, otherwise the foreign seed producers will not be able to work on the Russian market and supply products.”


This statement was authored by the Russian Grain Union and the Berry Union, and leaked to Vedomosti, a Moscow business newspaper. With imported seeds accounting for 97% of commercial beet plantings, 72% for sunflowers, 69% for potatoes, 56% for corn, and between 75% and 100% for berries, forcing the exit of foreign companies from the Russian market will cause scarcity, price inflation, and consumer protest.

[..] “The fact is that our seed production in Russia was destroyed back in the 90s,” tomato breeder Tatiana Tereshkova told an industry publication a year ago. “Once we had specialized farms with special equipment and people. But since they completely switched to import, the farms were overturned, and the specialists went to other areas. Now all this needs to be revived from scratch. If the state considers that this is really necessary, then everything can be resuscitated. There are the people; there is also the will. The main thing is that there should be no indulgence towards foreign manufacturers. It seems to me that in two to three years we will cope if necessary.”

After President Yeltsin and his US proxies, acting prime minister Yegor Gaidar and Kremlin chief of staff Anatoly Chubais had destroyed the Soviet seed research and development centres, Russian agriculture lagged far behind other countries. The commercial incentives were also transformed in favour of imports of foreign seeds, plant stock, and insecticides and herbicides. According to Vitaly Barakhtenko, founder of the Museum of Seeds and Plant Protection Products in St. Petersburg, “across the world seeds are usually harvested from the equatorial zone, because there are the most favourable conditions on the planet: constant sun, stable temperature. Imagine, in winter and summer about 28 degrees! Under these conditions, the seeds develop much better. Plus, you can grow three to four crops. No greenhouse in Russia will give such a result. But you can approach it.”

“Today we are buying seeds abroad, because during Yeltsin’s time all the seed banks were destroyed, and the seed breeding stations were closed,” Arkady Dudov, a Leningrad region farmer told an agro-industry website. “It takes decades to revive all this. Here in Leningrad we kept the seed bank for the country safely underground . Above, during the Great Patriotic War, the city population under the blockade were dying of hunger, but they did not eat the seeds. And then Yeltsin blew it all. As a result, all the seeds we have now are Dutch and American. They sell us the hybrids that we grow. But we cannot immediately cultivate a clean line from these fruits, it takes five years to do this. I took care of this problem for myself seven years ago, got the first seeds, the first results. But at the local level, this is not supported in any way; on the contrary, they are strangling the farmers by all sorts of checks.”

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Pure horror.

Pfizer & FDA Knew About Safety Concerns For Pregnant And Nursing Women (CR)

No wonder Pfizer and the FDA sought to hide these documents from the public for 75 years. To this day, the medical field is pressuring pregnant women to get these terrible shots, but now we know that Pfizer was tracking safety concerns for these women from day one. As we observe plummeting birth rates and skyrocketing fetal losses throughout the world, it is now clear that Pfizer and the FDA were aware that the vaccine could spread through the placenta and breast milk, as later studies seemed to confirm. Where is the action from Congress? This affects all of humanity, including a generation yet to be born. The eight-page confidential document was dated April 20, 2021, but tracked 458 pregnant women and 215 lactating women from the time the shots were released until February 28, 2021. That was the same date that Pfizer already recorded over 1,200 deaths and over 1,000 categories of serious adverse events. Here are the gory details, courtesy of Trial Site’s Sonia Elijah.


Pregnancy
• 54% of the 458 pregnant women reported adverse events. These included symptoms in line with AEs experienced by others who took the shots.
• 53 of the women (11.6%) experienced miscarriages, which is definitely on the high end of what we should expect.
• Most notably, six of the babies experienced serious AEs that Pfizer admitted were caused by the vaccine transferring “transplacentally.” This likely caused them to be born prematurely. So Pfizer knew from day one not only that the shots do not remain in the shoulder muscle and do indeed spread throughout the body, but that the spike protein could spread to the placenta.

• Two of the babies died after suffering from known respiratory ailments associated with the spike protein (severe respiratory distress and pneumothorax) after their mothers received the vaccine during the second semester.
• One of the infants was born at 24 weeks, which is extremely precarious, yet Pfizer never followed up on the outcome, even though the company seemed to think the baby was exposed “via transplacental route.”
• Another premature baby developed fetal tachycardia (rapid heart rate) just one week after the mother received her second dose. The baby was hospitalized, but the company never followed up on the outcome. Surveys have shown 8%-13% of people suffered rapid heartbeat after getting the shots.

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Are these people for real?

Biden Energy Secretary Wants All US Military Vehicles To Be Electric By 2030

As if the US military was not already crippled by woke activism at the highest levels of the Department of Defense, the latest news suggests that the nation’s military vehicle fleet will be hobbled as well. Biden Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, a Canadian born lawyer with no military background, testified Wednesday to the Senate Armed Services Committee that she supported requiring the United States military to move to an all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030. That’s less than seven years. She added: “And I do think that reducing our reliance on the volatility of globally-traded fossil fuels where we know that global events, such as the war in Ukraine, can jack up prices for people back home – it does not contribute to energy security.” “I think energy security is achieved when we have homegrown, clean energy that is abundant, like you see in Iowa. We think we can be a leader globally in how we have become energy-independent…”

Her assertions rest on a number of fallacies. First, Granholm does not address where the energy would come from to power the lithium based batteries that an EV fleet would rely on. Generally, green energy options are highly inefficient and carbon based fuels are the primary source of electricity for much of the nation. They seem to think electricity is magic, but every time a climate activist charges up their EV they are most likely using “fossil fuels” to do it. Iowa is held up as a golden idol among climate activists for its large windmill farms that produce up to 40% of the state’s power, but such systems tend to fail under harsh conditions and are in no way portable, which makes one wonder why Granholm cited Iowa as a reference for justifying military EVs? The advantage of gas based vehicles over EVs is obvious – There is no long wait time for recharging, refueling is instant and access to a large energy producing source is not required.

In a war zone, there are few places to plug in your Tesla Humvee. Shifting to EVs would essentially bottleneck operations, making vehicles less independent with less range and easier to disrupt. Second, as a side note, gas prices were rising well before the war in Ukraine due to inflation caused by government mismanagement and central bank fiat money creation. Let’s stop trying to perpetuate the lie that Russia is somehow responsible for our economic troubles. Third, a few years ago the US was a net exporter of crude oil, and after Biden’s entry into the White House this advantage suddenly disappeared. This increased production along with the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline would have ensured US energy security for many years to come. That was until the government interfered with oil output and Biden blocked Keystone. He then began selling off US strategic oil reserves in order to artificially manipulate market prices down while depleting military resources.

It’s also important to realize that the lithium needed to create the batteries for EVs is primarily mined overseas in countries like China (often with child slave labor). How does switching to EVs reliant on lithium make US energy secure, let alone the military more capable? Fourth, there is no evidence of a “climate crisis.” It doesn’t exist. So why are we talking about this at all? There is no telling how much damage the climate agenda will ultimately do to US defensive capabilities, but the overall trend in energy is more and more centralization. Centralization, as opposed to redundancy, leads to weakness. The reduction of US carbon based energy and the over-reliance on a green electrical grid is expected to trigger skyrocketing consumer prices over the next several years. Transfer this dynamic of high cost and logistical uncertainty over to the military and you have a recipe for disaster.

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Giraffe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651518468955467780

 

 

Parrot pump

 

 

Sea butterfly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651570161965514752

 

 

DogCat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651676706862690330

 

 

 

 

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Apr 192023
 
 April 19, 2023  Posted by at 8:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Ito Shinsui Snowy night 1923

 

China Offers To Facilitate Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks (AP)
Macron’s Yet-to-be Drafted Peace Plan: Long-term Guarantees To Kiev (TASS)
Russia ‘Winning’ Fight Against Ukraine – Retired US Army Colonel Macgregor (RT)
Lloyd Austin: ‘We Won’t Be In A War With Russia’ (Az.)
Russian Forces Control Almost All Of Bakhmut – DPR Head’s Advisor (TASS)
Kiev ‘Pissed Off’ UN Chief – WaPo (RT)
Leaked Document Reveals the US Spying on the UN Secretary-General (Antiwar)
White House: China Wants To See Dollar Weaken As Reserve Currency (Az.)
BRICS To Pass G7 In Economic Might – Bloomberg (RT)
Can BRICS Weaken the Dominance of the IMF and World Bank? (Baroud)
Russian Envoy Slams Die Welt Over ‘Kill Putin’ Quote (RT)
Russia Officially Rebukes UK Envoy Over Remarks On Journalist’s Verdict (TASS)
EU Funds Enslavement Of African Migrants In Libya – UN (GZ)
Trump Says Disney ‘Destroying’ Florida Governor DeSantis (RT)
Then There Were Nine (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Elon Tucker

https://twitter.com/i/status/1648488786056151041

 

 

 

 

CO2

 

 

Maddow leaks

 

 

 

 

China has solved problems in Yemen and Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia. And seemingly without major issues. If they succeed in the Israel-Palestine talks, they will be the new world leader.

China Offers To Facilitate Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks (AP)

China’s foreign minister told his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts that his country is ready to help facilitate peace talks between the two sides, in its latest effort at mediation in the region. In separate phone calls to the two officials on Monday, Qin Gang expressed China’s concern over intensifying tensions between Israel and Palestinians and its support for a resumption of peace talks, the Foreign Ministry said in statements issued late Monday. Last month, Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a deal in China to restore diplomatic ties that were cut off in 2016. It was a dramatic moment of diplomacy for China that Beijing touted as evidence of its ability to be a diplomatic player in the Middle East. Qin stressed in his talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen that Saudi Arabia and Iran have set a good example of overcoming differences through dialogue, a statement about that phone call said.

He told Cohen that Beijing encourages Israel and the Palestinians to show political courage and take steps to resume peace talks. “China is willing to provide convenience for this,” he was quoted as saying. Israel and the Palestinians have not held substantive peace talks on ending the century-long conflict in over a decade. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is committed to expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank — which most of the international community considers illegal and an obstacle to peace — and several of his key allies are staunchly opposed to the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Cohen expressed his country’s commitment to reducing tensions, but said the problem appeared to be difficult to resolve in the short term, the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Qin and Cohen discussed “the importance of maintaining quiet at the Temple Mount, particularly in the final days of Ramadan,” the Muslim holy month, but made no mention of peace talks with the Palestinians. It said that Cohen conveyed “the threat that we see in Iran’s nuclear program” and called on China to help prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Qin also told Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad al-Maliki that China is willing to play an active role in the resumption of talks, a second statement said. On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin confirmed Qin’s outreach to the two officials. “It is never too late to do the right thing,” he said.

This month, violence in Israel and the West Bank has increased, touched off by an Israeli police raid on Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, the compound home to the Al-Aqsa mosque. The Israeli military struck sites linked to the Palestinian group Hamas in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip after militants in the two territories fired rocket salvos at Israel. The mosque sits on a contested hilltop revered as the third-holiest site in Islam and the holiest site in Judaism.

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Compared to China’s initiatives, Macron looks defunkt. His “peace plan”: “Future measures will be aimed at upgrading Kiev’s armed forces. NATO members are also working to ensure steady supplies of weapons and military equipment.”

Macron’s Yet-to-be Drafted Peace Plan: Long-term Guarantees To Kiev (TASS)

French President Emmanuel Macron’s yet-to-be drafted peace plan, which he hopes to negotiate with China, would be based on long-term security guarantees for Ukraine, Bloomberg said, citing sources. The agency speculates that the plan would be based on long-term security guarantees to Kiev. However, as the report specifies, Western countries also plan to discuss the details of support for Ukraine at the NATO summit in Lithuania due in July. Future measures will be aimed at upgrading Kiev’s armed forces. NATO members are also working to ensure steady supplies of weapons and military equipment.


Macron has reportedly instructed his adviser Emmanuel Bonn to stay in touch with the head of the office of the Chinese Communist Party’s Foreign Affairs Commission, Wang Yi, in order to formulate a program that might serve as the basis for future negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. During his state visit to China, Macron told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he counted on Beijing’s mediation in settling the Ukrainian conflict. Le Monde has said that Macron’s visit to China has failed to bring about any change to Beijing’s position regarding the Ukrainian conflict and Russia.

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“The Ukrainians themselves know the truth. They’re in a very terrible position right now.”

Russia ‘Winning’ Fight Against Ukraine – Retired US Army Colonel Macgregor (RT)

Russia is defeating Ukraine and the recent leaks of US classified documents will not change the outcome on the battlefield, retired US Army colonel and former Pentagon adviser Douglas Macgregor has said. “I think the Russians are winning anyway, and the Russians know the truth,” Macgregor said in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel on Sunday. “The Ukrainians themselves know the truth. They’re in a very terrible position right now. We’ve been pushing them to launch this massive offensive in the spring,” Macgregor argued. “And, frankly, [Ukrainians] don’t have the forces, they don’t have the resources to make a difference at this point. They really need to fall back and defend against the Russians, who are ultimately going to attack in May and June.”


The documents dumped online sometime this year and recently discovered by news organizations include US intelligence dispatches and documents purported to be the Pentagon’s daily reports on the Ukraine-Russia conflict. According to a file dated February 28, Western countries have been training and equipping nine Ukrainian brigades for a counteroffensive slated for April 30. The same document said that three more brigades were to be formed “internally” in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have said in the past that offensive operations would depend on the supply of tanks and other heavy weapons from the West. Prime Minister Denis Shmigal confirmed on Monday that the counteroffensive would begin “in the nearest future.” He rejected the idea that Kiev was being pressured from abroad regarding the timetable.

Doctorow

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Denial is useless. Who’re you gonna fool?

Lloyd Austin: ‘We Won’t Be In A War With Russia’ (Az.)

“We are not in a war with Russia, and we won’t be in a war with Russia,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in an interview with The Washington Post. Asked what happens if Ukraine doesn’t succeed in pushing back Russian front lines and reclaiming significant territory, the Pentagon’s top official deflected.

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90%, from 80% a week ago.

Russian Forces Control Almost All Of Bakhmut – DPR Head’s Advisor (TASS)

Russian forces have taken control of almost 90% of the city of Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine), Yan Gagin, an advisor to the Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) leader, told TASS on Tuesday. “The Wagner private military company controls about 90% of Artyomovsk and its advance is inevitable,” he said. Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on April 11 that Russian forces controlled more than 80% of Artyomovsk, including all administrative buildings. Gagin specified that Ukrainian troops were booby-trapping and blowing up major infrastructure facilities before leaving the western outskirts of Artyomovsk.


“The Ukrainian armed forces are okay with using scorched earth tactics. This is what they did in Volnovakha and Mariupol, and now, they are blowing up and booby-trapping major infrastructure facilities in Artyomovsk before retreating from the western outskirts of the city. A local community center was one of the buildings that they blew up recently,” Gagin noted. Earlier, he told TASS that Ukraine was redeploying troops to Artyomovsk but the majority of new soldiers were getting killed on their approach to the city. Artyomovsk, located in the Kiev-controlled part of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), is an important transport hub in terms of Ukrainian military supplies. Heavy fighting is raging in the area.

Prigozhin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1648084845682196485

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“Zelensky “sprung the event” on Guterres, the newspaper said. The president’s aides later spun it to imply that the UN chief was “congratulating military personnel on one side of the Russia-Ukraine war.”

Kiev ‘Pissed Off’ UN Chief – WaPo (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky ambushed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with a surprise ceremony in Kiev during which the Ukrainian leader awarded medals to female soldiers, the Washington Post has reported, citing alleged US eavesdropping on the UN chief. Guterres’ reaction to the incident, which took place during his visit to the Ukrainian capital on March 8, was described in one of the slides purportedly leaked by a US National Guardsman who had access to classified US intelligence. The secretary general apparently discussed his experience privately with his spokesman Stephane Dujarric. Zelensky “sprung the event” on Guterres, the newspaper said. The president’s aides later spun it to imply that the UN chief was “congratulating military personnel on one side of the Russia-Ukraine war.”

Guterres “emphasized that he made a point of not smiling the entire time,” according to the US document purporting to describe the conversation. Footage of the ceremony, which took place on International Women’s Day, indeed shows Guterres maintaining an expressionless face as Zelensky awarded decorations to uniformed female troops. He offered a small nod and a brief smile to the ladies as he shook their hands while standing on the stage alongside the Ukrainian leader. Dujarric confirmed to the Post that his boss was “unpleasantly surprised” by the event, to which he did not consent in advance. Washington’s apparent snooping on the UN leader fits a long record of clandestine activities by the US and other Western powers, the Post noted.

Last week, a BBC report based on another slide from the same trove described the US’ displeasure with efforts undertaken by Guterres to deliver on his promise to Russia to facilitate exports of its food and fertilizers. The pledge was part of the so-called Black Sea Initiative, which allowed Ukrainian grain to be shipped out by sea. The UN chief’s attempts to deliver on the promise were “undermining broader efforts to hold Moscow accountable for its actions in Ukraine,” the slide said. Dujarric commented on the BBC report, stating that Guterres was “not surprised by the fact that people are spying on him and listening in on his private conversations.” “What is surprising is the malfeasance or incompetence that allows for such private conversations to be distorted and become public,” he added.

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“Washington’s apparent snooping on the UN leader fits a long record of clandestine activities by the US and other Western powers, the Post noted.”

Leaked Document Reveals the US Spying on the UN Secretary-General (Antiwar)

Classified documents allegedly leaked by Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira have revealed that the US is closely spying on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and is not happy with his engagement with Moscow. Several documents detail Guterres’ communications, including one that accuses him of “undermining” efforts to take action against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The document addresses his communications with Moscow regarding the grain deal that unlocked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. To broker the deal between Moscow and Kyiv, the UN agreed to help facilitate the export of Russian fertilizer and grain, which has been hindered by Western sanctions despite exemptions for agricultural goods.

The document reads: “UN Secretary-General Guterres is taking steps to accommodate Russia in an effort to protect the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), which he considers a pivotal UN success and key to addressing global food insecurity, and his actions are undermining broader efforts to hold Moscow accountable for its actions in Ukraine.” The document was likely written either in late February or early March before Russia and Ukraine agreed to extend the grain deal on March 18. It says in early February, Guterres “urged Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a letter to renew the BSGI before its term expires on March 18 and Guterres emphasized his efforts to improve Russia’s ability to export, even if that involves sanctioned Russian entities or individuals, according to FISA-derived signal intelligence.”

Signal intelligence refers to information obtained by intercepting communications. In response to the revelation that the US was spying on Guterres, his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told Al Jazeera that he is “not surprised by the fact that people are spying on him and listening in on his private conversations.” “What is surprising is the malfeasance or incompetence that allows for such private conversations to be distorted and become public,” Dujarric said. Other documents detailed private communications between Guterres and his deputy.

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Solution: more debt?!

White House: China Wants To See Dollar Weaken As Reserve Currency (Az.)

White House economist Jared Bernstein said there was “some evidence” that China wants to see the dollar weaken as the international reserve currency, and urged Congress to raise the US debt ceiling to protect the value of the dollar, Report informs referring to Reuters. Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told a Senate Banking Committee hearing on his nomination to head the body that US control of the world’s reserve currency offered benefits, including the ability to impose sanctions, as Washington had done on Russia over its war against Ukraine.

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Nominal GDP includes a lot of unproductive work (like people sitting through meetings all day long). Once we ditch that, the situation looks much worse for the G7.

BRICS To Pass G7 In Economic Might – Bloomberg (RT)

The BRICS group – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – is expected to increase their share of the global economy to nearly 35% by 2028, Bloomberg reported on Monday. According to the outlet’s calculations based on the latest IMF data, this year, the BRICS countries will contribute 32.1% of the world’s growth, compared to the G7’s 29.9%. The Group of Seven nations (G7), consisting of the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, is considered the most advanced economic bloc of countries on the planet. The report indicated that in 2020, the contribution of the BRICS countries and the G7 to global economic growth was equal, and from that moment on, the performance of the Western countries has been declining. By 2028, the G7’s contribution to the world economy is predicted to decrease to 27.8%.

Bloomberg calculations show that China will be the top contributor to global growth over the next five years, with its share set to be double that of the US. China’s share of global GDP expansion is expected to represent 22.6% of total world growth by 2028, the outlet wrote. India is projected to contribute 12.9% of global GDP. “In total, 75% of global growth is expected to be concentrated in 20 countries and over half in the top four: China, India, the US and Indonesia. While Group of Seven countries will comprise a smaller share, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and France are seen among the top 10 contributors,” the outlet wrote. A recent study by a UK-based macroeconomics research firm has also found that the gap between the two groups in terms of global economic weight is expected to continue to grow.

The analysts noted that China and India have been experiencing robust economic growth, and more countries are interested in joining BRICS. Earlier this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that “more than a dozen” nations have expressed interest in joining BRICS, including Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bangladesh have acquired equity in the New Development Bank, the funding organization of BRICS. Last year, BRICS countries proposed the creation of their own currency in order to move away from the US dollar and the euro in mutual transactions.

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“There may be an obsession in America about Chinese activity on the continent, but there is no such obsession here..”

Can BRICS Weaken the Dominance of the IMF and World Bank? (Baroud)

For decades, the US’s greatest weapon has been its dollar which, with time, ceased being a normal currency per se, to become an actual commodity. Wars have been fought to ensure countries, like Iraq and Libya, remain committed to the dollar. Following the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Baghdad returned to selling its oil in US dollars. This struggle over the dominance of the dollar was also painfully felt in Venezuela which has the world’s largest oil reserve, yet was reduced to abject poverty for attempting to challenge the supremacy of Washington its currency. Though it will take time, the process of lessening the reliance on US dollars is now in full swing. On March 30, Brazil and China announced a trade agreement that would allow them to use the two countries’ national currencies, the yuan and the reais, respectively.

This step shall prove consequential, for it will encourage other South American countries to follow suit. But that move was neither the first, nor will it be the last of its kind. One of the main decisions by finance ministers and central bank governors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) following their March 30-31 meeting in Indonesia is to reduce their reliance on the US dollar. They agree to “reinforce financial resilience … through the use of local currency to support cross-border trade and investment in the ASEAN region.” This too is a game-changer. The BRICS countries, in particular, are leading the charge and are set to serve as the facilitator of rearranging the world’s economic and financial map. While the West is busy trying to keep its own economies afloat, it remains wary of the changes underway in the Global South. Washington and other western capitals are worried. They ought to be.

Following a meeting between US President Joe Biden and 40 African leaders at the White House last December, it was clear that African countries were not interested in taking sides in the ongoing war in Ukraine. Consequently, US Vice President Kamala Harris flew to Africa on March 26 to meet African leaders, with the sole purpose of pushing them away from China and Russia. That effort is likely to fail. A perfect illustration of Africa’s refusal to abandon its neutrality is the press conference between Harris and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, on March 28. “There may be an obsession in America about Chinese activity on the continent, but there is no such obsession here,” Akufo-Addo told reporters.

To argue that BRICS is a purely economic group is to ignore a large part of the story. The timing of BRICS’ expansion, the stern political discourse of its members, potential members and allies, the repeated visits by top Russian and Chinese diplomats to Africa and other regions in the Global South, etc., indicate that BRICS has become the South’s new platform for geopolitics, economy and diplomacy.

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It’s become normal.

Russian Envoy Slams Die Welt Over ‘Kill Putin’ Quote (RT)

Germany’s Die Welt daily “hit rock bottom” in its anti-Russian zeal last week, the Russian ambassador to Berlin, Sergey Nechaev, said on Monday, in response to an interview with American columnist Fred Kaplan in which he said the “easiest way” to end the Ukraine conflict is for someone to “kill Putin.” Die Welt has left “this de facto call for murder” unredacted and uncommented on and even used it as a headline, Nechaev wrote in a damning post published on the embassy’s Telegram account. The envoy was apparently referring to Die Welt’s Twitter account, which used the “killing” quote to draw attention to the interview with Kaplan on its social media. “It is unfortunate that some German media keep crossing all the lines and hitting rock bottom,” the ambassador said, adding that “although this is outrageous, it is no longer surprising.”

Kaplan made the statement in response to Die Welt’s question about the “most plausible scenarios” of ending the military conflict between Moscow and Kiev, which has now been ongoing for now than a year. “The easiest way for this to end is for someone to kill Putin,” Kaplan stated, adding that a “new leader” could them come to power, who would declare Russia’s military operation in Ukraine “a folly” and gain the support of the Russian elites to end the conflict. The American journalist and political scientist said he does not believe that Moscow will prevail, adding that otherwise the conflict could last “for years” and potentially end with an agreement that would involve the US and China as “guarantors.”

The US columnist also admitted that Kiev is fully dependent on US aid and that a halt to this assistance might force the Ukrainian government to “strike a deal” with Moscow. “Without the US assistance, it [Ukraine] would not last long,” he said. Die Welt’s choice of a quote has also been met with criticism on social media. One person accused the outlet of being “no longer above … an incitement to murder.” “Is it a call for murder?” another person asked, warning that killing the Russian president could also bring “hardliners” to power in Russia, potentially putting the world on the brink of a nuclear war. The German media outlet has not commented on the criticism so far. Neither the text of the interview nor the Twitter post has been altered in any way as of the time of this writing.

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“..indicates London’s clear violation of the fundamental principles of the 1962 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and runs counter to the status of the British diplomatic mission in Moscow..”

Russia Officially Rebukes UK Envoy Over Remarks On Journalist’s Verdict (TASS)

Russia has issued a stern rebuke to British Ambassador to Moscow Deborah Bronnert over her remarks as well as statements by senior British Foreign Office officials regarding the court verdict handed down in the case against journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza (designated as a foreign agent in Russia), the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. “On April 18, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned British Ambassador to Moscow Deborah Bronnert to issue a protest to her against her unacceptable remarks as well as the provocative statements made by the highest officials of the British Foreign Office following the Moscow City Court’s verdict handed down in the case of Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian national convicted of high treason and making false reports about the Russian Army,” the statement reads.

The ministry added that London’s reference to the fact that Kara-Murza holds British citizenship was “legally null and void” under Russian jurisprudence. The Russian Foreign Ministry also pointed out that Moscow viewed foreign diplomats’ calls for revoking the verdict as blatant interference in Russia’s domestic affairs. “Such disrespectful behavior indicates London’s clear violation of the fundamental principles of the 1962 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and runs counter to the status of the British diplomatic mission in Moscow,” the statement added.

According to the ministry, Bronnert was informed that British officials’ attempts “to lecture Russia on respect for human rights” were unacceptable as the international community was well aware of London’s disregard for human rights issues. Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin said earlier that the Russian Foreign Ministry had strongly protested to Bronnert, pointing out that “the activity staged by the British, the Americans and the Canadians yesterday morning is regarded as blatant interference” in Russia’s internal affairs.

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Legacy of the west. Of course they will turn to China.

EU Funds Enslavement Of African Migrants In Libya – UN (GZ)

An investigation by the United Nations has concluded that money provided by the European Union to state entities in Libya has facilitated crimes against humanity ranging from forced labor and sexual slavery to torture. Through its financial support of the Libyan Coast Guard and the Libyan Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM), the European Union has aided and abetted crimes against humanity, according to a recent UN report. On March 27, 2023, the United Nations released the findings of a three-year investigation, confirming that “arbitrary detention, murder, rape, enslavement, sexual slavery, extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance” has become a “widespread practice” in the once-prosperous nation of Libya, which was plunged into civil war by NATO’s regime change war over a decade ago.

While crimes against humanity were found to be widespread throughout the country, the report homed in on the plight of migrants and blamed the European Union for enabling the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity to enact abuses against Africans seeking asylum in Europe. The report stated in its introductory section: “The Mission found that crimes against humanity were committed against migrants in places of detention under the actual or nominal control of Libya’s Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration, the Libyan Coast Guard and the Stability Support Apparatus. These entities received technical, logistical and monetary support from the European Union and its member States for, inter alia, the interception and return of migrants.”

In other words, rather than directly intercepting migrants traveling by boat to Europe, the European Union has outsourced the dirty work to the Libyan Coast Guard. Once the coast guard detains the migrants, they are sent back to Libya and transferred to both official and “secret prisons” where they are often exploited for financial gain through forced labor, ransom, or sexual slavery.

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Woke.

Trump Says Disney ‘Destroying’ Florida Governor DeSantis (RT)

Former President Donald Trump says Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is “being absolutely destroyed” in his months-long battle with Disney, after the governor unveiled a new bill that would give state officials more authority over the company’s massive Disney World amusement park. Trump took aim at DeSantis in a social media post on Tuesday, calling his feud with Disney unnecessary, while condemning the governor’s new legislative effort as a political stunt. “DeSanctus is being absolutely destroyed by Disney. His original PR plan fizzled, so now he’s going back with a new one in order to save face,” he said, using a disparaging nickname for the governor.

The former leader went on to predict that Disney – one of the state’s largest employers – would cut off investments in Florida “because of the governor,” suggesting the company “could even announce a slow withdrawal or sale of certain properties, or the whole thing. Watch!” While DeSantis has not announced a 2024 presidential campaign, he is expected to run for the White House and is widely considered Trump’s main Republican rival. On Monday, DeSantis announced a bill that would rescind an agreement Disney struck with state officials earlier this year, which granted Disney free rein to develop the district that hosts its Walt Disney World theme park and its related resorts. While DeSantis previously appointed officials to head up a new state board to oversee the district, the deal with Disney was completed before they began their roles, effectively circumventing the board in giving the company full developmental powers.

“They negotiated with themselves, to give themselves the ability to maintain their self-governing status. Now that’s in direct defiance of the will of the people of Florida,” the governor told reporters on Monday. “They thought that they could create some type of development agreements that would essentially render everything that we did null and void and put them in control in perpetuity for this. Well, that’s not going to work.” DeSantis’ row with Disney kicked off last year after the company publicly opposed his ‘Parental Rights in Education’ bill, which barred certain public school teachers from classroom discussion or instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity. Dubbing the act the ‘Don’t Say Gay bill’, Disney said it “should never have been signed into law” and vowed to fight for its repeal.

The governor argued that Disney’s statement “crossed the line” and slammed the company for working to “repeal substantive protections for parents.” Since then, DeSantis has sought to strip Disney of its broad authority over the district housing its theme park, and more recently, requested an inspector general probe into Disney’s development agreement with the state for potential criminal or civil violations.

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“It is illegal to give a member of Congress or a president even $100 to gain influence. However, you can literally give millions to their spouses or children..”

Then There Were Nine (Turley)

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer has revealed that there are not three but nine members of the Biden family that may have benefitted from suspected influence peddling efforts. For those of us who have long criticized the corrupt practices of the Biden family, the identity of these other family members is intriguing after the Committee secured new bank and financial records. Democratic members again insisted that there is no need to investigate such influence peddling. The new information on the Biden family is due largely to the takeover of the House by the GOP. Previously, Democrats blocked efforts to investigate influence peddling by the Biden family for years. After assuming control of the Committee. Comer sought suspicious activity reports sent by banks to the Treasury Department alerting of potential criminal activity in transactions involving President Biden’s family.

He stated on Monday that “We’ve identified six additional members of Joe Biden’s family who may have benefited from the Biden family’s businesses that we are investigating, bringing the total number of those involved or benefiting to nine.” Those are six names are in addition to three Biden family members and two associates previously linked to payment from China in 2017. Three million was wired Biden family associate Rob Walker in March 2017, who then allegedly divided and distributed the funds later. There remains an “Unknown Biden” who received four payments in 2017 totaling $70,000. The investigation into the Bidens has made many in the Beltway uncomfortable. Influence peddling has long been the favored form of corruption in this city, but few families seem to have cashed into the extent of the Bidens.

I frankly do not understand the willingness of so many Democrats to cover for the Bidens. Democratic members have gone all in with censorship, but this is an effort to scuttle investigations into corruption that may have resulted in millions of dollars going to Biden family members. The Biden family has long been associated with influence peddling to the degree that they could add an access key to their family crest. Influence peddling has long been a cottage industry in Washington. For decades, I have written about this loophole in bribery laws. It is illegal to give a member of Congress or a president even $100 to gain influence. However, you can literally give millions to their spouses or children in the forms of windfall contracts or cozy jobs. James Biden has been remarkably (even refreshingly) open about marketing his access to his brother.

Former Americore executive Tom Pritchard and others allege that Biden openly referenced his access to his brother and his family name in his pitch for clients. James has faced a wide array of litigation over allegedly fraudulent activities as well as a personal loan acquired through Americore before it went into bankruptcy. Hunter worked with his uncle but also branched off on his own in the family business. While his father recently emphasized that his son was a hopeless addict, that defense stands in glaring contradiction to the fact that he maintained a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme. The question is why foreign figures (including some associated with foreign intelligence) rushed to him international money transfers and complex deals worth millions from Moscow to Kyiv to Beijing.

[..] Many Democrats and legal experts have objected that influence peddling is not a crime. However, it is corrupt and squarely within the oversight authority of Congress. Indeed, if it is not a matter for criminal charges, such congressional action may be the only way to force accountability for corrupt efforts to sell influence and access.

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Happy dog day
https://twitter.com/i/status/1648374882726559746

 

 

Walter

 

 


While it may look at first glance like a composite image, this mind-bending picture by Kenichi Ohno and titled “Gap”, is a real single-exposure photo and not the result of Photoshop manipulation

 

 

Armadillo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1648377460201865244

 

 

Nemrut

 

 


Given its transparent body, the glass octopus, Vitreledonella richardi, remains one of the most elusive creatures of the deep sea. Rare photos such as this reveal an array of opaque organs and a glimpse of its unusually shaped eyes

 

 

Draco

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 102023
 
 March 10, 2023  Posted by at 10:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Ray K. Metzker 58 AW-20, Chicago 1958

 

Chinese Think Tank Predicts Ukraine Conflict Will End Before Autumn 2023 (RT)
Ukraine Still Not Interested In Negotiating Conflict Settlement – Lavrov (TASS)
Kiev’s Security Chief Names ‘Dangerous Tendency’ Among Ukrainians (RT)
Commander: US Must Focus on Sinking Chinese Ships in Future War (Antiwar)
Kremlin: No Pro-Ukrainian ‘Doctor Evil’ Behind Nord Stream Attacks (TASS)
Lavrov Lays Into West’s Latest Nord Stream Explanation (TASS)
Moscow To Expose Nord Stream Stonewalling – Official (RT)
Kremlin: Unrest In Georgia Cause For Concern, Not Russia’s Fault (TASS)
US To Discourage Africa From Doing Business With Russia – Official (RT)
Oscars Reportedly Say No To Zelensky (RT)
Fire Victoria Nuland — Don’t Let Her Drive War (CN)
Did the “QAnon Shaman” Get Shafted on Sentencing? (Turley)
Trump To Publish ‘Private’ Letters From Foreign Leaders (RT)
Matt Taibbi Releases Twitter File Review #18 (CTH)
White House Claims Jan 6 Tapes Are Russian Disinformation (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Taibbi

Garcia
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633877478287773696

 

 

 

 

Tucker Redfield

 

 

Hero

 

 

Fiat Information Inflation
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633622889739042817

 

 

 

 

Cammack

 

 

 

 

“..draw to a close around summer 2023..”

“..Xi may come to Moscow in late April or early May..”

Chinese Think Tank Predicts Ukraine Conflict Will End Before Autumn 2023 (RT)

A top Chinese think tank close to the nation’s armed forces has predicted that the Russia-Ukraine conflict will end before autumn of 2023, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing sources close to the Chinese government. Beijing considered the assessment solid enough to try to assume the role of a mediator in the standoff before it potentially ends, the media outlet claimed. The assessment was issued by the Academy of Military Sciences (AMS), a Beijing-based think tank that reports directly to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and regularly issues recommendations to China’s top military decision-making body. The AMS issued its appraisal of the conflict as early as in December, Nikkei said. The newspaper added that the think tank’s view that an end to the hostilities was likely relatively imminent prompted Beijing to take a more active role in seeking a resolution.

The AMS forecast based on a military simulation of the ongoing conflict suggested that it would “draw to a close around summer 2023,” with Russia “having the upper hand,” Nikkei claimed, citing sources close to the Chinese government. The think tank believes that both the Russian and Ukrainian economies would be hard pressed to sustain the hostilities past the summer. The AMS analysis prompted Beijing to come up with a peace proposal, the Nikkei claimed. With this initiative, China sought to restore relations with Europe to ensure the continued flow of investment and technologies to the Chinese economy, the media outlet said. Another of Beijing’s goals was to maintain friendly relations with Kiev, the paper suggested.

“Along with Russia, we can’t afford to lose Ukraine,” a Chinese government source told the media outlet. The Nikkei also claimed that Beijing was contemplating sending economic aid to Kiev as part of its peace plan. Success in the mediation efforts would also help China assume a more prominent position in the eyes of Global South, Nikkei said, calling it another reason behind the initiative. To achieve this, Chinese President Xi Jinping is considering a visit to Moscow, the paper claimed. Beijing has not officially announced any such plans. The Wall Street Journal reported on supposed preparations for a visit in late February. According to the media outlet, Xi may come to Moscow in late April or early May in an attempt to push for multi-party peace talks.

“The visit to Russia can’t come too soon or too late,” a Chinese source told Nikkei, commenting on the potential visit. According to Nikkei, the “best scenario” for China would be for Russia and Ukraine to start talks right after Xi’s trip to Moscow. China unveiled its 12-point plan to resolve the Ukraine conflict in late February. It included calls for resuming peace talks, condemned unilateral sanctions, and upheld the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. Moscow welcomed Beijing’s efforts aimed at resolving the conflict, while the West has largely brushed off the initiative. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that China didn’t have “much credibility” in the issue. US State Secretary Antony Blinken, however, then said that the plan does include some “positive elements.”

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“..Russia welcomes Saudi Arabia’s interest in helping facilitate the settlement of the ongoing situation..”

Ukraine Still Not Interested In Negotiating Conflict Settlement – Lavrov (TASS)

Russia sees no desire on behalf of the Kiev authorities to launch substantial negotiations on the Ukrainian conflict’s settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. “So far, we see no desire on the part of our Ukrainian neighbors to begin serious talks,” Lavrov said at a news conference following talks with his Saudi Arabian counterpart Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud. “Moreover, I have stated repeatedly that [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky issued a decree last September prohibiting any negotiations with Russia, while Zelensky’s Western patrons constantly state that Russia should be defeated on the battlefield in order to start talks from a position of strength. Judge for yourself how reasonable such statements are.”


Lavrov noted that Russia welcomes Saudi Arabia’s interest in helping facilitate the settlement of the ongoing situation as soon as possible as well as resolving it in the context of Russia’s legitimate demands, which have for years gone ignored after the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine. “You have mentioned in particular the exchange of prisoners of war. There have been a series of them, with the latest one held recently, literally the day before yesterday,” Lavrov said. “To a large extent, the arrangements that made this possible were made with the assistance of Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab states. We are grateful and believe that it is important to maintain this course.” The Russian Defense Ministry announced earlier that 90 Russian soldiers had been returned from territory under the control of Kiev. They were airlifted to Moscow by Russian Aerospace Forces planes for medical treatment and rehabilitation at ministry facilities.

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Peace talks are dangerous.

Kiev’s Security Chief Names ‘Dangerous Tendency’ Among Ukrainians (RT)

A growing number of Ukrainians would like to see Kiev launch peace talks with Moscow, the head of the National Security and Defense Council, Aleksey Danilov, admitted on Thursday. The top security official blasted the development as a “very dangerous tendency” when he was live on the Ukrainian talk show ‘Greater Lviv speaks’. “[One should] bear in mind that those [people advocating talks with Russia] are growing in numbers. It is a very dangerous tendency when even people in western Ukraine are starting to talk about such things,” Danilov said, as cited by RIA news agency. He also pointed out a local politician in the western Lviv region that allegedly called on Kiev to sit down at the negotiating table with Moscow.

Russia has previously repeatedly indicated that it was open to communicating with Ukraine if its leaders accepted Moscow’s conditions and recognized what the Kremlin calls the “reality on the ground.” In autumn 2022, four former Ukrainian regions, including the two Donbass republics, officially joined Russia following referendums. Kiev blasted the vote as a “sham” and insisted all four territories remained part of Ukraine, along with Crimea, which joined Russia back in 2014 following another referendum in the wake of the Maidan coup.

Kiev has refused to enter into any negotiations with Moscow since spring 2022, when initial attempts to resolve the conflict through diplomatic means failed. At the time, Ukraine withdrew from talks with Russia following several rounds of negotiations in Belarus and Türkiye. In early October 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky ruled out negotiations with his Russian counterpart. Kiev is insisting on a military victory over Moscow. During a G20 summit in November 2022, Zelensky ruled out a potential new ‘Minsk-3’ agreement, referring to previous accords designed to resolve the conflict between Kiev and the two Donbass republics.

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Jello for brains.

Commander: US Must Focus on Sinking Chinese Ships in Future War (Antiwar)

The head of United States Pacific Air Forces said Wednesday that the US needs to focus on sinking Chinese ships in a potential conflict with China as US military leaders are speaking more bluntly about a direct war with Beijing despite the risk of it turning nuclear. Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach said the need to focus on sinking ships was the lesson of China’s response to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visiting Taiwan last August. The trip provoked China’s largest-ever military drills around the island, which included a simulated blockade.


“You saw when Speaker Pelosi went to Taiwan, what [China] did with their ships,” Wilsbach said at a symposium in Colorado, according to Military.com. “They put them on the east side of Taiwan … as a sort of blockade.” Wilsbach said the US wants to focus on deterring China from attacking Taiwan, although Beijing’s actions and rhetoric make clear more US military support for the island makes a conflict more likely. He said if China does attack, sinking ships would be the first priority. “We’ve got to sink the ships,” Wilsbach said. “Sinking ships is a main objective of not only PACAF [Pacific Air Forces] but really anyone that’s going to be involved in a conflict like this.”

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Do they make up the details as they go along?

Kremlin: No Pro-Ukrainian ‘Doctor Evil’ Behind Nord Stream Attacks (TASS)

The Kremlin does not believe that some pro-Ukrainian individuals could have been behind the Nord Stream explosions, as only a handful of intelligence services are capable of committing such a terrorist attack, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday. “As for [the idea that there exists] some sort of pro-Ukrainian ‘Doctor Evil’ who [allegedly] organized this: it’s hard to believe. It was too difficult an operation that could only be carried out by a well-trained state-sponsored special service. There are not that many of them in the world,” he said, commenting on a number of foreign media publications about the terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipelines. He highlighted that media reports about who was allegedly behind this terrorist attack had been “released simultaneously in different countries.”

“You see that the Anglo-Saxons, whom we’ve been talking about from the very beginning, are working up a sweat. They obviously are having a lot of uncomfortable interactions with the Germans due to this terrorist attack,” Peskov said. The Kremlin official stressed that it is necessary to identify those who ordered the crime and those who executed it, “because it is too dangerous a precedent to [permit] the commission of an act of terror against an internationally critical piece of energy infrastructure.” “We are still calling for a prompt, transparent probe. We are still demanding that we be given access to this investigation. We believe that one should not soft-pedal it. Diverting attention <…> to some secondary theories and hypotheses – [this] should not be allowed either,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

As the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, the German probe has almost completely ruled out the initial theory of Russia’s involvement in the sabotage of the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, while the United States does not believe in Russia’s culpability either. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported, citing US officials, that a “pro-Ukrainian group” that acted without the knowledge of US authorities could have committed the sabotage on the gas pipelines. The Zeit newspaper wrote that German investigators had identified a vessel used by the saboteurs. The company that rented it allegedly belonged to Ukrainian citizens and was registered in Poland. On Wednesday, the Times [of London] reported that European intelligence agencies were aware of the name of a “private sponsor” of the sabotage. While his identity is not being disclosed by the security services, he is described as a wealthy Ukrainian who purportedly has no links to President Vladimir Zelensky and his government.

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“The UN Secretariat which Moscow has asked to conduct an unbiased probe into the incident has been “absolutely passive and aloof,” he lamented.”

Lavrov Lays Into West’s Latest Nord Stream Explanation (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday called attempts by Western media to shift the blame for the blasts on the Nord Stream gas pipelines on to a Ukrainian oligarch shameful. “The attempts to explain, with reference to some Western intel services, that a certain Ukrainian oligarch was behind these (blasts on the gas pipelines – TASS), I think, are shameful for all those who have been pushing such a version through Western media outlets,” Lavrov said at a news conference following talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud. Russia’s top diplomat slammed what he said was a disgraceful reaction by Western media to the blasts and assured that the reports would not go unnoticed. The UN Secretariat which Moscow has asked to conduct an unbiased probe into the incident has been “absolutely passive and aloof,” he lamented.


“Reporters [have been asking] the secretary general and his representatives whether they find it necessary to investigate the screaming reports that have popped up about how the West views last September’s terrorist attack on the Nord Streams. Both the [UN] secretary general and his employees have been dodging these justified questions,” Lavrov added. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported, citing US officials, that the latest intelligence data suggest a pro-Ukrainian group could have been behind the sabotage at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. Also on Tuesday, Germany’s Zeit published a report saying that German investigators had identified the ship that was used by the saboteurs. The company that rented it was allegedly owned by Ukrainian nationals and was registered in Poland.

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“Russia intends to share with the UN Security Council the exchanges it had with Germany, Denmark, and Sweden..”

Moscow To Expose Nord Stream Stonewalling – Official (RT)

Russia intends to share with the UN Security Council the exchanges it had with Germany, Denmark, and Sweden regarding the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, a senior Russian diplomat has revealed. Moscow is seeking to press its case for an impartial, UN-backed investigation of the incident. Dmitry Polyansky, the deputy head of the Russian mission to the UN, told US political commentator Jackson Hinkle on Thursday that Moscow is not participating in investigations conducted by the three European countries, “not because we don’t want to, but because they keep us at bay.” The diplomat claimed that, in a nutshell, the message from the three nations was: “We are doing what we are doing, mind your own business.”

The Russian mission will distribute the exchanges among members of the UN Security Council in an effort to initiate an “independent, unbiased international investigation with all parties concerned,” Polyansky added. Moscow wants the UNSC to authorize Secretary General Antonio Guterres to launch a probe into the attack on the undersea energy links, which were built to pump Russian natural gas directly to Germany. Three of the four pipes were ruptured by explosions in September last year in the territorial waters of Denmark and Sweden. According to Polyansky, Russia intends to put its proposal to a vote by the end of March, although Western powers will inevitably object. Veteran US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported last month that the sabotage was a clandestine US-Norwegian operation meant to prevent Germany from straying from the American-led campaign of sanctions against Russia.

Moscow’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, called the revelation “more than a smoking gun.” The US and Norway have denied Hersh’s allegations. A series of publications in American and German media suggested this week that a Ukrainian oligarch had sponsored the operation, which was said to have been conducted by a small team of private divers from a rented yacht. Polyansky claimed the reports were an obvious attempt to distract the public. The diplomat insisted that the Nord Stream incident was “an extreme act of sabotage” and that the perpetrators should face accountability. Should that not happen, it would open a dangerous new chapter in international relations where attacks on civilian infrastructure are condoned, Polyansky argued.

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“It is definitely important to us that there is calm along our borders and of course, the current situation there leaves much to be desired..”

Kremlin: Unrest In Georgia Cause For Concern, Not Russia’s Fault (TASS)

Russia has no connection to the Georgian foreign agent bill that has caused protests in the country, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday. “The Kremlin did not inspire anything and has absolutely nothing to do with this,” he stressed. Peskov pointed out that the United States was a pioneer in terms of such laws. “If we understand correctly, one of the versions of the [Georgian] bill was actually very similar to the US law on the matter. The second version did not resemble the US law so much and was much softer. However, we certainly have nothing to do with any of them,” Peskov said.


He added that the unrest in Georgia was cause for concern. “It is our neighboring country after all, and although we don’t actually maintain relations with Georgia, we are certainly concerned about the situation there. It is definitely important to us that there is calm along our borders and of course, the current situation there leaves much to be desired,” he noted. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on March 7-8 after lawmakers had passed the first reading of the Georgian version of a foreign agent bill. On March 9, the ruling party decided to withdraw the bill from parliament.

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“..EU nations and other “upper-middle income countries” are receiving 81% of the grain from Ukraine, with only 2.6% going to the countries that need it the most..”

US To Discourage Africa From Doing Business With Russia – Official (RT)

US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo is planning a trip to Africa, where he will press officials in Ghana, Nigeria, and another unnamed country to cut their business ties with Russia, he said on Wednesday. Speaking to ‘Pod Save the World’ host Ben Rhodes, Adeyemo said that the trip would take place this month. The goal of the trip, he explained, will be to convince those countries that the worldwide spike in food and energy prices is the fault of Russia, even though US President Joe Biden has admitted that Washington’s sanctions on Russia have raised costs in “an awful lot of countries.” “Our goal is to make very clear to [these] countries from an economic standpoint: your economic interests are aligned with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ending as soon as possible,” Adeyemo said.

The US is “trying to do everything we can to reduce the costs [that Africa is] facing due to this war,” he claimed, adding that Africans “should be asking Russia to do the same.” Ghana and Nigeria, like many other African nations, rely heavily on grain and fertilizer imports from Ukraine and Russia. Although Russia and Ukraine signed a deal last August to establish a safe corridor to transport grain from Ukrainian ports to countries facing food insecurity, Moscow warned earlier this month that EU nations and other “upper-middle income countries” are receiving 81% of the grain from Ukraine, with only 2.6% going to the countries that need it the most.

Meanwhile, Western sanctions are impeding the delivery of Russian grain by sea. Kiev also continues to block a vital ammonia pipeline, causing a shortage of the compound that could be used to produce seven million tons of fertilizer, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated. Adeyemo said that the US does not want African nations to trade with Russia. “They can support Russia, which is a small economy that’s getting smaller because of our actions, or [they] can continue to have access to doing business with companies and individuals in countries that represent more than 50% of the global economy,” he told Rhodes.

While both Ghana and Nigeria voted at the United Nations to condemn Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, neither have imposed sanctions on Moscow. The majority of UN members have taken a similar position, which the US Treasury has worked to change. In a visit to Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman last month, Brian Nelson, the department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, warned that these countries could lose access to Western markets if they continued to trade with sanctioned Russian entities. Adeyemo’s boss, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, went on a similar junket to Senegal, Zambia and South Africa in January.

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Overkill.

Oscars Reportedly Say No To Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s bid to appear virtually at the Academy Awards has been rejected for the second year in a row, Vanity Fair said on Thursday. Mike Simpson, a high-powered Hollywood agent from the WME agency who also represents directors Quentin Tarantino and Bong Joon Ho, was supposedly sent in to try to clinch the deal, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was not swayed, the article says. The Academy declined to comment to Vanity Fair. Zelensky’s efforts to appear at the Oscars last year were also rebuffed, reportedly because the Academy wanted to “steer clear of anything political.” Oscars producer Will Packer also allegedly complained that Hollywood was fawning over Zelensky because those affected by the conflict in Ukraine were white, while the many wars impacting non-white people around the world have been largely snubbed by the cultural elite.

Hollywood actor and vocal Zelensky supporter Sean Penn called for a boycott of the awards show and even vowed to melt down his own Oscar statues if his friend was not permitted to speak, a campaign that gained little traction at the time. While Penn did not end up liquefying his awards, he did give one of them to Zelensky during a visit to Kiev, and has not commented on this year’s developments. The Ukrainian president has been ubiquitous at large-scale public events in the West since the start of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine last year, appearing via video link to plead for financial and moral support at the Cannes, Venice, and Berlin film festivals, the Grammy Awards, the Glastonbury music festival, and even the New York Stock Exchange, where he rang the opening bell “virtually” in September.

However, Americans appear to be tiring of the comedian-turned-politician’s routine, with polls showing a growing portion of the electorate believes too much of their money is being sent to Ukraine. A recent analysis by German research firm Statista found President Joe Biden’s administration had spent more money on military aid to Ukraine than the US spent annually to fight its own war in Afghanistan. Italy’s Sanremo song festival last month pulled a planned Zelensky appearance after widespread criticism that saw one of the event participants forgoing his own live appearance in protest.

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She’s been there for many years.

Fire Victoria Nuland — Don’t Let Her Drive War (CN)

For the women of Ukraine, the illegal Russian invasion — which Nuland provoked over the years with NATO expansion — has led to heightened sex trafficking and increased gender violence. According to the United Nations and relief organizations, this includes not only rape as a weapon of war, but “intimate partner violence and sexual harassment.” With Ukraine under martial law and men aged 18-60 forced to the front lines, young women refugees — often unaccompanied — are vulnerable to abuse at border crossings. On International Women’s Day, women don’t let women drive war. Instead, we at CODEPINK urge Biden to fire Nuland and pursue a people-centered feminist foreign policy that employs diplomacy to bring this war to an end now.

The fact that Nuland was given a diplomatic job in the Biden administration in the first place never ceases to amaze because her record reads like a war criminal’s rap sheet. Nuland served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s deputy national security adviser from 2003-2005, during the illegal U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, a painful chapter in U.S. history that left over a million Iraqis dead and thousands of U.S. soldiers in body bags. In 2005, Nuland became ambassador to NATO, where she lobbied Europe to participate in the disastrous U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. In persuading other governments the U.S. could win that war, she sold a lie across Europe to prolong a near 20-year occupation that left Afghanistan broke, with 6 million children and adults at risk of starvation. In May 2013, Nuland was nominated to act as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, where she was supposed to employ diplomacy in relations with Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet states.

Instead, Nuland and the White House hurled $5 billion in taxpayer money at Ukraine to overthrow its democratically elected president and engineer a transition government to privatize Ukraine and prepare for war with Russia. After Nuland passed out pastries during the Maidan coup, before President Viktor Yanukovych fled under a hail of bullets, Nuland was caught in a scandal involving a leaked phone call. On the phone with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland was secretly recorded saying “F .. the EU” if the European Union did not approve of her choices to run Ukraine’s transition government. The West gasped at her use of profanity. The more egregious profanity, however, was her insistence on manipulating the political affairs of another country to provoke Russia.

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“He made himself the image of the riot, didn’t he? For good or bad, he made himself the very image of this whole event.”

Did the “QAnon Shaman” Get Shafted on Sentencing? (Turley)

If there is one image from Jan. 6th that will remain indelible with the day, it is the “QAnon Shaman.” Bare chested and wearing an animal headdress, horns and red-white-and-blue face paint, Jake Angeli Chansley is to the Capitol riot what Rosie the Riveter was to World War II. Howling and “chanting an unintelligible mantra” on the Senate floor, he is the embodiment of the unhinged rage that led to one of the most disgraceful attacks on our constitutional process in history. However, the newly released Fox footage from that day raises serious questions over the prosecution and punishment of Chansley. The videotapes aired on Tucker Carlson this week show Chansley being escorted by officers through the Capitol. Two officers appear to not only guide him to the floor but actually appear to be trying to open locked doors for him. At one point, Chansley is shown walking unimpeded through a large number of armed officers with his four-foot flag-draped spear and horned Viking helmet on his way to the Senate floor.

It is otherworldly footage. While I admit that I approach these stories from the perspective of a long-standing criminal defense attorney, I would be outraged if I was unable to see such evidence before a plea or sentencing. At no point in the videotapes does Chansley appear violent or threatening. Indeed, he appears to thank the officers for their guidance and assistance. On the Senate floor, Chansley actually gave a prayer to thank the officers agreed “to allow us into the building.” Before addressing the legal implications of this footage, one thing should be clear. The public should have been given access to this footage long ago and the Jan. 6th Committee withheld important evidence on what occurred inside the Capitol on that day.

While it is understandable that many would object to Carlson being given an exclusive in the initial release, many in the media are denouncing the release of the footage to the public at all. The press and pundits are now opposing greater transparency in resisting any contradiction of the narrative put forward by the Jan. 6th Committee. Indeed, MSNBC’s Jason Johnson angrily objected that this is “federal evidence” — ignoring that it is evidence that was denied to criminal defendants. This is not just material that the public should be able to see, it was potential evidence in criminal cases like that of the QAnon Shaman. When the footage aired, I wrote a column raising the question of whether this evidence was known to or shared with Chansley’s defense. After all, he was portrayed as a violent offender by the Justice Department at his sentencing.

It now appears that the answer is no. I spoke with Chansley’s new counsel, Bill Shipley, and confirmed that defense counsel did not have this material. In the hearing, federal prosecutor Kimberly Paschall played videos showing Chansley yelling along with the crowd and insisted “that is not peaceful.” That portrayal of Chansley would have been more difficult to maintain if the Court was allowed to see images of Chansley casually walking through a door of the Capitol with hundreds of other protesters and then being escorted by officers through the Capitol. At no point is he violent and at no point is he shown destroying evidence. Instead, he dutifully follows the officers who facilitate his going eventually to the unoccupied Senate floor.

We all knew that Chansley was treated more harshly because of his visibility. It was his costume, not his conduct, that seemed to drive the sentencing. In the hearing, Judge Royce Lamberth noted, “He made himself the image of the riot, didn’t he? For good or bad, he made himself the very image of this whole event.” Lamberth hit Chansley with a heavy 41-month sentence for “obstructing a federal proceeding.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1634003776146219009

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“Trump noted that while he still thinks highly of the talk show star, he said the feeling is no longer mutual, adding “Sadly, once I announced for president, she never spoke to me again.”

Trump To Publish ‘Private’ Letters From Foreign Leaders (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump is set to publish scores of letters from a range of world leaders, celebrities, athletes and business moguls, among them North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, the late Princess Diana and even Hillary Clinton. Trump announced the upcoming book in a social media post on Thursday, while Winning Team Publishing, which will print the collection, stated the work will present the “incredible, and oftentimes private” communications with Trump over the last 40 years. “We had lots of great letters from lots of great people and not so great people, to be honest with you,” Trump told reporters on Thursday. “But they’re very famous people. And probably there’s never been such diversity as this in terms of people where the letters come from and who they come from.”

In addition to some 150 letters from big names ranging from Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, US Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, golf legend Arnold Palmer and even his bitter rivals in the Clinton family, the book will also contain “original commentary” from Trump and a collection of photos. It is set for release next month, following his first book published last year, ‘Our Journey Together,’ which raked in $20 million in sales after just two months on the shelves. One letter from Winfrey dated to the year 2000 gives effusive praise to Trump, saying “too bad we’re not running for office. What a team!” Trump noted that while he still thinks highly of the talk show star, he said the feeling is no longer mutual, adding “Sadly, once I announced for president, she never spoke to me again.”

Trump previously said North Korea’s supreme leader penned him “beautiful letters” and that they “fell in love” during his time in office. His correspondence with Kim has taken on new importance after the federal government launched a probe into whether he had retained classified material after leaving the White House, which was reportedly triggered after officials noticed letters from the North Korean leader were missing from Trump’s presidential archives.

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Censorship-Industrial Complex.

Matt Taibbi Releases Twitter File Review #18 (CTH)

Journalist Matt Taibbi released another Twitter File review today showcasing how the opinion of government interests was pushed toward content censorship regardless of the truth within it. File #18 release is a walk through all of government interests from COVID-19, Vaccination Compliance and maintenance of the Trump-Russia narrative. I strongly suggest everyone to review the citations Taibbi presents from the documents contained within Twitter’s internal communication. . One aspect that draws particular interest to those who spent years deconstructing the false Trump-Russia narrative, appears in the section beginning in Tweet #34 where Taibbi again visits the influence of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).

At the epicenter of the SSCI effort we have always found then Vice-Chair Mark Warner manipulating events. Taibbi pulls this thread a little further with his review of how the SSCI contracted with outside government agencies to maintain the false premise of Russian interference in the 2016 election. A name that might be familiar to those who read the SSCI report on “Russian Active Measures and Disinformation in the 2016 Campaign” might be familiar to you. Taibbi notes: Profiles portray [Renee] DiResta as a warrior against Russian bots and misinformation, but reporters never inquire about work with DARPA, GEC, and other agencies. In the video below from @MikeBenzCyber, Stamos introduces [Renee DiResta] as having “worked for the CIA.”

DiResta has become the public face of the Censorship-Industrial Complex, a name promoted everywhere as an unquestioned authority on truth, fact, and Internet hygiene, even though her former firm, New Knowledge, has been embroiled in two major disinformation scandals. This, ultimately, is the most serious problem with the Censorship-Industrial Complex. Packaged as a bulwark against lies and falsehood, it is itself often a major source of disinformation, with American taxpayers funding their own estrangement from reality. DiResta’s New Knowledge helped design the Hamilton 68 project exposed in the #TwitterFiles. Although it claimed to track “Russian influence,” Hamilton really followed Americans like “Ultra Maga Dog Mom,” “Right2Liberty,” even a British rugby player named Rod Bishop.

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“Even Coast Guard Intelligence thinks it’s hogwash.” “Let that sink in.”

White House Claims Jan 6 Tapes Are Russian Disinformation (BBee)

Previously unseen footage, shown for the first time on Tucker Carlson Tonight, sparked controversy for its purported portrayal of the Deadly Jan 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol Insurrection™ as a “mostly peaceful” protest, but the intelligence community has gone on the record to claim all security footage from the event is nothing but Russian disinformation. “It is the consensus of the intelligence community that security footage from the Capitol building is part of an elaborate Russian disinformation scheme,” said White House Press Secretary Jean-Pierre. “Even Coast Guard Intelligence thinks it’s hogwash.” “Let that sink in.”


Fox News reporter Peter Doocy was quick to point out that the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol™ had access to the same footage. “Does that mean they were also duped by Russian disinformation?” “Only the footage showing peaceful protestors is Russian,” answered Jean-Pierre. “Duh!” Doocy tried to ask a follow-up question but was promptly shut down. “I shouldn’t have to explain this,” Jean-Pierre argued. “The last time the intelligence community agreed on anything was when they said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So obviously, we take their claims very seriously.” At publishing time, the FBI was investigating how Russians gained access to the U.S. Capitol Building to install security cameras in the first place.

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FBI subsidiary

 

 

Covid cover up

 

 

Whale shark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633775531597471746

 

 

 

 

Polar

 

 

Butterfly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633682217779236866

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 202022
 
 December 20, 2022  Posted by at 9:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Saul Leiter 463 1956

 

Managing the Ukraine Denial Narrative (Crooke)
News From The NATOstan-Imposed Meat Grinder (Escobar)
Why Time Isn’t Ripe For Ukraine Talks (Bhadrakumar)
How To Avoid Another World War (Kissinger)
Ukraine Blasts ‘Appeaser’ Henry Kissinger For Urging Peace Negotiations (ZH)
Moscow: Delivery Of Greece’s S-300s To Ukraine Would Be ‘Very Provocative’ (K.)
How Lobbyists Captured The EU (Fazi)
A Christmas Parable (Kunstler)
Will Musk Step Down After Twitter Poll? (Turley)
TWITTER FILES: How The FBI Moved To Quash Hunter Laptop Story (ZH)
‘Twitter Files’ Make it Clear: We Must Abolish the FBI (Ron Paul)
FBI Agent Elvis Chan Gave Twitter Execs Top Secret Clearance (Senger)
Canada Health Director Who Lead Vaccine Rollout Dies Suddenly at 35 (GP)

 

 

 

 

#StopTheTreaty

 

 

Greatest athletic achievement

 

 

Gonzalo

 

 

 

 

“The ‘writing is on the wall’, in other words. Ukraine cannot win.”

Managing the Ukraine Denial Narrative (Crooke)

Look around: the tectonic plates of geo-politics and geo-finance are shifting – shifting radically away from an increasingly flailing West.The inflection has begun. It has been messaged by the Financial Times (FT) and The Economist – the two media that so faithfully transmit any ‘replacement narrative’ to the globalist sherpas (those who carry the baggage up the mountain, on behalf of the mounted nabobs). The Economist leads with interviews with Zelensky, General Zaluzhny and Ukraine’s military field commander, General Syrsky. All three are interviewed – interviewed in The Economist, no less. Such a thing does not occur by happenstance. It is messaging intended to convey the Ruling Class’ new narrative to the ‘golden billion’ (who will all read and absorb it).

On the surface, it is possible to read The Economist piece as a plea for more money and many more weapons. But the underlying messaging is clear: “Anyone who underestimates Russia is heading for defeat”. The Russian force mobilisation was a success; there is no problem with Russian morale; and Russia is preparing a huge winter offensive that will start soon. Russia has huge reserve forces (of up to 1.2 million men); whereas Ukraine now has 200,000 who are militarily trained for conflict. The ‘writing is on the wall’, in other words. Ukraine cannot win. It is appended with a huge shopping list of sought-after weapons. But the shopping list is ‘pie in the sky’; the West simply does not have them in inventory. Period.

The FT’s ‘Big Read’, by contrast, is a venting of deep western anger at those Russian ‘reformist’ siloviki technocrats who, instead of breaking with Putin over the SMO, instead shamefully enabled the Russian economy to survive western sanctions. The message uttered – through clenched teeth – is that Russia’s economy has successfully survived western sanctions. Leading US military strategist, Col. Douglas Macgregor, here expands on the messaging: Even the provision of seven or eight Patriot missiles is “no escalation”. It will have at best – ‘marginal impact’ on the Ukraine battlescape; it is mere window dressing. Scott Ritter, in discussion with Judge Neapolitano, believes that The Economist interviews reveal the West pushing aside Zelensky – as Zaluzhny administers his large dose of reality (that will be shocking to many sherpa loyalists). The Economist interview emphasis thus was unmistakably on General Zaluzhny, with Zelensky pointedly de-emphasised – which Ritter suggests indicates that Washington wishes to ‘switch leadership horses’. Another ‘message’?

Judge Nap/Scott Ritter

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“..Russia can conveniently defeat the whole of NATO as there is hardly anything “there”..

News From The NATOstan-Imposed Meat Grinder (Escobar)

The non-stop trashy parade of Western military analysts is now “assessing” that the first targets of an incoming, joint Russia-Belarus attack on the 404 black hole formerly known as Ukraine will be Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne, Zhytomyr, and why not throw Kiev in the mix straight out of a second axis. The Russian General Staff is attentively monitoring all the action and may even follow the advice of such “analysts”. And then there’s outright panic, as the Ministry of Defense announced that the Strategic Missile Forces have loaded two Yars ICBMs into their intended silos. Cue to widespread shrieks of horror of the “Russia Readies Nuclear Missile Capable Of Striking Deep Into US” variety. Some facts though never change. Number One is NATO as a figment of the collective West’s – extremely impaired – imagination. If push ever came to shove – as Straussian/neo-con armchair warriors hope and pray – Russia can conveniently defeat the whole of NATO as there is hardly anything “there”.

That, of course, would require a massive Russian mobilization. As it stands, Russia may look feeble in a few quarters as they activated at best 100,000 troops against possibly 1 million Ukrainian troops. It’s as if Moscow was not exactly seduced by the idea of “winning” – which may be the case, in a quite twisted way. Even now, Moscow has not mobilized enough troops to occupy Ukraine – which, in theory, would be imperative to completely “denazify” the Kiev racket. The operative concept though is “in theory”. Moscow in fact is busy demonstrating a completely new theory – irrespective of the fact that a few exalted souls have been peddling that Putin should be replaced by the FSB’s Alexander Bortnikov.

With its array of hypersonic missiles, Russia can knock out all NATO bridges, ports, airports as well as power stations, oil and natural gas storage, Rotterdam oil and natural gas installations, in a matter of a few hours. All energy production equipment across NATOstan would be destroyed. Europe would be shut off from natural resources. A dazed and confused Empire would be unable to move troops, any troops, to Europe. And still provocations run unabated. The recent attack by Tu-141 Ukrainian drones against Engels-2 airbase was blamed by Moscow on Kiev – which predictably denied all responsibility. Yet what really mattered was Moscow’s strategic messaging to US/NATO, with Putin flirting with the notion that sooner or later the response may be up a serious notch in case US/NATO weaponry supplied to Kiev is used to strike deep into sensitive Russian Federation territory.

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Drawn in too deep.

Why Time Isn’t Ripe For Ukraine Talks (Bhadrakumar)

A Russian-American “consensus” is forming that the Ukraine conflict is far from a climactic stage leading to peace talks. Russia’s stance is that any settlement will devolve upon Kiev recognising “realities” — namely, acceptance of Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions being integral parts of Russian Federation. But wouldn’t Russia know that no government in Kiev can afford to concede a demand that entails loss of over a quarter of the country’s territory? On the other hand, Kiev wants to vacate the Russian occupation and restore Ukraine’s 1991 borders and the Biden Administration is supportive. Wouldn’t they know that is a pipe dream?

Truly, since four of the erstwhile Ukrainian oblasts (excluding Crimea) are far from under Russia’s total control and the Kremlin intends to fully “liberate” them, the fighting continues in Donbass and further Russian moves to gain full control over Zaporozhye and Kherson regions will depend on its outcome. But the big question remains: How could any government in Kiev surrender vast tracts of Ukrainian territory after such sacrifices by the people? That may leave Russia with no choice but to seek total victory. The attitude of the Biden Administration is crucial. The clearest indication that the US is far from in a hurry to negotiate comes from none other than the White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan whose visit to Kiev last month (just before the US midterms) had triggered a flurry of speculations that Washington was pressuring President Zelensky to negotiate.

Now, Sullivan’s remarks at an appearance at the Carnegie last weekend made it clear that the US is in Ukraine for the long haul. He said: “We don’t know when this is going to end up. What we do know is that it is our job to continue to sustain our military support to Ukraine so that they are in their best possible position on the battlefield, that if and when diplomacy is ripe, they will be in the best possible position at the negotiating table. “That moment is not ripe now, and so, as a result, we’ve gone to Congress and asked for a substantial amount of further resources to be able to continue to ensure that Ukraine has the means to fight this war. We’re confident we will get bipartisan support for that…

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“Auto-nomous weapons already exist, capable of defining, assessing and targeting their own perceived threats and thus in a position to start their own war.”

How To Avoid Another World War (Kissinger)

As the world’s leaders strive to end the war in which two nuclear powers contest a conventionally armed country, they should also reflect on the impact on this conflict and on long-term strategy of incipient high–technology and artificial intelligence. Auto-nomous weapons already exist, capable of defining, assessing and targeting their own perceived threats and thus in a position to start their own war. Once the line into this realm is crossed and hi-tech becomes standard weaponry – and computers become the principal executors of strategy – the world will find itself in a condition for which as yet it has no established concept. How can leaders exercise control when computers prescribe strategic instructions on a scale and in a manner that inherently limits and threatens human input?


How can civilisation be preserved amid such a maelstrom of conflicting information, perceptions and destructive capabilities? No theory for this encroaching world yet exists, and consultative efforts on this subject have yet to evolve – perhaps because meaningful negotiations might disclose new discoveries, and that disclosure itself constitutes a risk for the future. Overcoming the disjunction between advanced technology and the concept of strategies for controlling it, or even understanding its full implications, is as important an issue today as climate change, and it requires leaders with a command of both technology and history.The quest for peace and order has two components that are sometimes treated as contradictory: the pursuit of elements of security and the requirement for acts of reconciliation. If we cannot achieve both, we will not be able to reach either. The road of diplomacy may appear complicated and frustrating. But progress to it requires both the vision and the courage to undertake the journey.

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“Previously he’s been on record as saying “It was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO.”

Ukraine Blasts ‘Appeaser’ Henry Kissinger For Urging Peace Negotiations (ZH)

It didn’t take long for the Ukrainian government to blast and dismiss former US Secretary of State Kissinger’s peace plan proposal as “appeasing the aggressor”. “Mr. Kissinger still has not understood anything… neither the nature of this war, nor its impact on the world order,” Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said in response to the 99-year old influential US statesman’s Saturday op-ed in The Spectator entitled How to Avoid Another World War. “The prescription that the ex-Secretary of State calls for, but is afraid to say out loud, is simple: appease the aggressor by sacrificing parts of Ukraine with guarantees of non-aggression against the other states of Eastern Europe,” Podolyak stated, expressing a firm rejection of what Kissinger outlined in his piece.

The Ukrainian official added that the proposal was simplistic, saying: “All supporters of simple solutions should remember the obvious: any agreement with the devil – a bad peace at the expense of Ukrainian territories – will be a victory for Putin and a recipe for success for autocrats around the world.” In his weekend op-ed, Kissinger had warned that continued attempts to render Russia “impotent” could result in an uncontrollable and unpredictable spiral. He laid out that along with the sought after “dissolution” of Russia would come a massive power vacuum out of which new threats to the whole world would emerge as bigger powers rush in. “The dissolution of Russia or destroying its ability for strategic policy could turn its territory encompassing 11 time zones into a contested vacuum,” Kissinger wrote.

“Its competing societies might decide to settle their disputes by violence. Other countries might seek to expand their claims by force. All these dangers would be compounded by the presence of thousands of nuclear weapons which make Russia one of the world’s two largest nuclear powers.” Among the more controversial aspects of Kissinger’s plan was his suggesting the possibility of referendums for contested territories now occupied by Russia and still being fought over “which have changed hands repeatedly over the centuries” [i.e.: particularly the Donbas] – according to the essay. Kissinger last May also angered Ukrainian officails for daring to propose that Ukraine be willing to recognize Crimea as under Russia, and in return Russian forces would fall back to their lines before the Feb. 24 invasion. Previously he’s been on record as saying “It was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO.”

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Erdogan plays this game a lot smarter.

Moscow: Delivery Of Greece’s S-300s To Ukraine Would Be ‘Very Provocative’ (K.)

The spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova stated on Monday that a potential delivery of Greece’s S-300 PMU1 missile defense system to Ukraine would be considered a very provocative move.“We consider plans to supply the Kyiv regime with S-300s or other Russian/Soviet air defense systems that will be used against Russia very provocative,” stated Zakharova. “The Greek authorities recently underlined their readiness to supply Ukraine with the S-300 PMU1 missile defense system, on condition of receiving additionally American Patriot missile defense systems to replace them,” she added. “There is a complete indifference by Greece on the international limitations on arms trading,” she concluded, stating that the Russian armed forces will locate and destroy all military supplies sent to Ukraine.

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“Bribery and corruption are endemic to the Brussels system — and most of it is perfectly legal.”

How Lobbyists Captured The EU (Fazi)

Addressing a recent European Parliament debate on “human rights in the context of the World Cup”, vice-president Eva Kaili had an unexpected message: “Qatar is a frontrunner in labour rights.” So, perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when, last week, she was among six people arrested by Belgian police amid allegations of Qatari corruption and money laundering . Members of the EU establishment have been quick to spin the issue as a problem limited to a few bad apples. Several European Parliament officials told Politico the allegations were limited to a “few individuals” who had gone astray. Others, however, expect more names to be drawn into the widening dragnet. But whether or not the scandal extends to other people is beside the point.

By focusing on “Qatargate”, we risk losing sight of the fact that the scandal is a symptom of a much deeper and more widespread malaise, involving not just the European Parliament but all EU institutions. Bribery and corruption are endemic to the Brussels system — and most of it is perfectly legal. It is estimated that there are more than 30,000 lobbyists working in Brussels, making it the second capital of lobbying in the world after Washington, DC. Most are in the service of corporations and their lobby groups, with huge sums at their disposal: the combined lobbying budget of the 12,400 companies and organisations on the EU lobby register has grown steadily over the years — especially since the pandemic — and today amounts to €1.8 billion.

Topping the list are Big Tech, Big Pharma and Big Energy giants such as Apple, Google, Meta, Bayer and Shell, as well as industry associations such as the European Chemical Industry Council, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), and BusinessEurope — all of which declare annual lobbying budgets of €4-6 million. The true figure is likely to be significantly higher, given the long history of businesses under-reporting their spending. Big Pharma and Big Tech, in particular, both significantly boosted their lobbying firepower throughout the pandemic. EFPIA alone — which represents Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson — increased its spending by 20% in 2020. A conservative estimate of total annual EU lobby spending by Big Pharma is now close to €40 million per year, with nearly 300 lobbyists officially working in Brussels to push the industry’s interests (though the actual number is probably higher, since disclosure rules do not capture all the spending on law firms, academic partnerships and activities in individual countries).

It’s safe to say the investment was amply repaid: by the end of 2021, the EU had signed €71 billion worth of confidential contracts, securing up to 4.6 billion doses of vaccines (more than ten doses for each European citizen). EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen negotiated its biggest deal yet with Pfizer — for up to 1.8 billion doses, worth up to €35 billion if fully exercised — via a series of text messages with the company’s chief. The European Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation into the matter. Such extreme cases, however, mask the true extent of the structural problem that pervades every aspect of the Brussels system. It goes without saying that this army of well-funded lobbyists, which far outnumbers and outspends public interest groups, gives corporations a massive influence over the European decision-making and legislative process.

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“Up rose a social movement, Wokery, that had the earmarks of a histrionic religious mania, with Satanic overtones. Up rose the demons, the Antifa louts, the BLM arsonists, the drag queens.”

A Christmas Parable (Kunstler)

It started when the women of the professional and managerial class watched their avatar, Hillary Clinton, lose the 2016 election against a man who seemed the quintessence of everything they hated about Daddydom. Donald Trump, flawed to perfection, wrecked the chance of the amalgamated successful women of America to run the national household. Out came the pussy-hats, the Wiccans, and the celebrities threatening to “blow up the White House.” Out came a savage animus against men generally, and a campaign to feminize them in retaliation — and then punish them for objecting to it. Up rose a social movement, Wokery, that had the earmarks of a histrionic religious mania, with Satanic overtones. Up rose the demons, the Antifa louts, the BLM arsonists, the drag queens.

Thus unrolled a national psychodrama that continues to spool out as every system, every business, every institution in our country wobbles and flies apart now. The men embedded in the professional and managerial class tried in 2016 to chivalrously protect their womens’ avatar and her steadfast followers and, failing ignobly that grim November day, then turned to actually attack their adversary, Donald Trump, with the explicit intent to destroy him by all means necessary. In the years-long process, they devolved into criminality, and in so doing they entered a vicious cycle of lying about everything they did to escape the consequences of their ostensible exercise in gallantry. In effect, the people running things went from a war against a particular person to a war against reality and its twin sister, truth.

Now they are deeply invested in unreality and untruth to the point where they have forgotten how this whole thing started and all they can do is desperately patch the dike they had to construct against a deluge of information composed of truth and reality coming at them like a tsunami rolling across the sea. The harder they work at this futile task of defense, the more absurd they make themselves, leading to ridicule, humiliation, and, finally condemnation in whatever remains of the legal arena, where their deeds will finally be judged. The first stage of that outcome for them is pretending that none of it is happening. That’s why The New York Times and Washington Post ignore the news that the gallant knights of the FBI and several other tentacles of the Intel octopus mounted a ferocious, long-running psy-op through the new phenomenon of social media — that happened to rise in importance through this whole period of national discord. In effect, the intel agencies seized the transmitters (as Fidel Castro might put it) and used them very effectively to control their hallowed narratives.

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Did he hold the poll just to expose the bots?

Will Musk Step Down After Twitter Poll? (Turley)

Many of us have supported Elon Musk in his fight to restore free speech protections to Twitter despite concerns over decisions like the use of polls to determine if individuals should be allowed back on the social media site. He has now subjected himself to the same poll judgment in asking if he should step down as CEO. After more than 17.5 million users voted, 57 percent said yes. Unless Musk was looking for an exit, it was a mistake. He handed his critics an easy opportunity to remove him. For the left, Musk has been a nightmare because he cannot be bullied like most corporate executives. He is an eccentric billionaire who has refused to yield despite a full mobilization of the political, media, and business establishment. That could now change.

While many on the left spent weeks dismissing Twitter’s polls as unscientific, they are now demanding that Musk follow through and step down. Some 42.5% of users wanted him to stay. On Twitter Sunday, Musk seemed to say that he would follow the results but expressed pessimism about the prospects for a new CEO. He said that the person “must like pain a lot” to run a company that “has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy.” He further noted that “no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.” That is precisely why the left wants Musk out. As shown in companies like Disney, the left can muscle executives to take actions even against the interests of the company or shareholders. The left has strived to make such campaigns personal for executives, who often yield rather than risk being individually tagged and targeted.

That is why it was essential to remove Musk. The political and media establishments generally are unstoppable forces — but they met their first immovable object in Musk. That immovable object has now taken a step to remove himself from the path of the establishment. One can hardly blame him, but, as Democratic members warned Facebook not to even consider following the path of Twitter, the prospect of Musk’s departure will strengthen the efforts to maintain censorship over social media. It is hard to ask anyone to continue to stand against this alliance of political, media, and business forces. Musk has been made a persona non grata for seeking to reduce censorship on the site. He has put billions on the line for the free speech of others. One can certainly understand why he would want this cup to pass from his lips. However, if he stays the course, his work at Twitter could prove to be his greatest legacy in resisting the trend toward censorship and speech controls in social media.

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Do we understand how crazy this is?

TWITTER FILES: How The FBI Moved To Quash Hunter Laptop Story (ZH)

In the latest episode of ‘THE TWITTER FILES,’ journalist Michael Shellenberger reveals “How the FBI & intelligence community discredited factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings both after and *before* The New York Post revealed the contents of his laptop on October 14, 2020.” The story begins in December 2019 when a Delaware computer store owner named John Paul (J.P.) Mac Isaac contacts the FBI about a laptop that Hunter Biden had left with him On Dec 9, 2019, the FBI issues a subpoena for, and takes, Hunter Biden’s laptop. By Aug 2020, Mac Isaac still had not heard back from the FBI, even though he had discovered evidence of criminal activity. And so he emails Rudy Giuliani, who was under FBI surveillance at the time. In early Oct, Giuliani gives it to @nypost.

Shortly before 7 pm ET on October 13, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, George Mesires, emails JP Mac Isaac. Hunter and Mesires had just learned from the New York Post that its story about the laptop would be published the next day. 7. At 9:22 pm ET (6:22 PT), FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan sends 10 documents to Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity, Yoel Roth, through Teleporter, a one-way communications channel from the FBI to Twitter. 8. The next day, October 14, 2020, The New York Post runs its explosive story revealing the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Every single fact in it was accurate. 9. And yet, within hours, Twitter and other social media companies censor the NY Post article, preventing it from spreading and, more importantly, undermining its credibility in the minds of many Americans. Why is that? What, exactly, happened?

10. On Dec 2, @mtaibbi described the debate inside Twitter over its decision to censor a wholly accurate article. Since then, we have discovered new info that points to an organized effort by the intel community to influence Twitter & other platforms

Berman

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“This should be a massive scandal and likely it would have been had it occurred under a Trump Administration.”

‘Twitter Files’ Make it Clear: We Must Abolish the FBI (Ron Paul)

As we learn more and more from the “Twitter Files,” it is becoming all too obvious that Federal agencies such as the FBI viewed the First Amendment of our Constitution as an annoyance and an impediment. In Friday’s release from the pre-Musk era, journalist Matt Taibbi makes an astute observation: Twitter was essentially an FBI subsidiary.The FBI, we now know, was obsessed with Twitter. We learned that agents sent Twitter Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth some 150 emails between 2020 and 2022. Those emails regularly featured demands from US government officials for the “private” social media company to censor comments and ban commenters they did not like.

The Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), a US government entity that included the FBI as well as other US intelligence agencies expressly forbidden from domestic activities, numbered 80 agents engaged regularly in telling Twitter which Tweets to censor and which accounts to ban. The Department of Homeland Security brought in outside government contractors and (government-funded) non-governmental organizations to separately pressure Twitter to suppress speech the US government did not like. US Federal government agencies literally handed Twitter lists of Americans it wanted to see silenced, and Twitter complied. Let that sink in.

This should be a massive scandal and likely it would have been had it occurred under a Trump Administration. Indeed, Congress would be gearing up for Impeachment 3.0 if Trump-allied officials had engaged in such egregious behavior. But since these US government employees were by-and-large acting to suppress pro-Trump sentiment, all we hear are crickets. What is interesting about these Twitter revelations is how obsessed the FBI and its government partners were with satire and humor. Even minor Twitter accounts with small numbers of followers were constantly flagged by the Feds for censorship and deletion. But knowledge of history helps us understand this obsession: in Soviet times the population was always engaged in joking about the ineptitude, corruption, and idiocy of the political class. Underground publications known as samizdat were rich with satire, humor, and ridicule.

Go home

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More insanity.

FBI Agent Elvis Chan Gave Twitter Execs Top Secret Clearance (Senger)

New internal documents from Twitter, revealed today as part of Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files” series, show FBI Agent Elvis Chan arranged for Top Secret security clearance—the highest level of US national security clearance—to be granted to Twitter executives for the purpose of facilitating the censorship of suspected misinformation in advance of the 2020 election. Elvis Chan has long been closely involved in working with social media companies to identify and censor suspected misinformation from sources both foreign and domestic, especially with regard to suspected election interference. This has included regularly sending lists of social media posts to social media companies for them to take down, as well as the suspension of the New York Post and others for what was subsequently borne out to be a true story about Hunter Biden’s laptop.

In his deposition last month, Chan described how the pressure that he and other FBI agents placed on social media companies to censor information about Hunter Biden’s laptop stemmed from a “thesis” that the incriminating content may have been uploaded onto the laptop as part of a Russian “hack-and-leak” operation. But the basis for this Russian hack-and-leak thesis is disputed, in no small part because the FBI took possession of the laptop in December 2019, nearly a year before the story was censored, and because there did not appear to be any new intelligence to suggest that Russia was interfering in the 2020 election. Elvis Chan’s regular emails and weekly meetings with social media executives raise new questions about the level of coordination taking place between the federal government and social media companies for the purpose of censoring suspected misinformation shared by ordinary citizens.

The level of this coordination is currently the subject of lawsuits including my own, Changizi v. Dept. of Health & Human Services, and Missouri v. Biden, in which a damning round of discovery previously revealed that more than 80 federal officials across a dozen agencies had been involved in the censorship of social media content. Upon hearing the news, one FBI agent expressed disgust at what he described as the “gross subservience” that’s been shown by social media companies to the FBI, noting that the “default position” is for private companies to be “totally adversarial” to inquiries by the FBI about their customers.

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Sad.

Canada Health Director Who Lead Vaccine Rollout Dies Suddenly at 35 (GP)

The Director of Parliamentary Affairs at Health Canada, who oversaw the country’s response to Covid-19 and the rollout of the vaccine, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 35. Adam Exton, a long-time Liberal Party organizer, died suddenly on Friday, December 9th, according to his family.“It is with great sadness that the family of Adam Exton announce his passing on December 9th, 2022 at the age of 35 in Ottawa, Ontario. Much loved son of Wendy Exton, brother of Bradley Exton (Ellen Wessel) and son of Allan Exton. He will also be deeply missed by his loving girlfriend, Reesha, as well as his many cousins, aunts, uncles and grandmother, Bette Readman,” his obituary reads. “As a young person, Adam became actively involved in politics and had a passion for public service and volunteering in the community. In 2012, Adam won the Ontario Young Liberal Volunteer of the Year Award.


He received a degree in political science from the University of Toronto. Adam spent many years working at various levels of government, eventually holding the position of Director of Parliamentary Affairs at Health Canada.” Adam Exton was a part of the group that orchestrated the response to Canada’s totalitarian mandates against its own citizens.His obituary stated, “During the challenging times of the pandemic, Adam was part of the leadership team that led Canada’s health response to COVID-19. He was a talented and respected campaign manager that was instrumental in helping to bring cabinet ministers and members to Queens Park and Ottawa. Adam always did and will continue to make his family extremely proud of who he was and his service to his community and country.”

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Smart dogs

 

 

Larry

 

 

It’s a wonderful life
https://twitter.com/i/status/1604624935569313793

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 112022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn The artist’s son Titus 1657

 

Will A Russian Kherson Exit Create The Right ‘Facts On The Ground’? (Snider)
The Pullout From Kherson (MoA)
Moscow Sets Out Conditions For Talks With EU (RT)
The Collective West Might Be Losing The War With Eurasia (Lee)
Energy Bills In Europe Are 90% Higher Than Last Year (OP)
Hungary Explains ‘Total Failure’ Of Sanctions On Russia (RT)
The Dysfunctional Relationship At The Heart Of The EU (Pol.eu)
Biden Supports National Security Review of Elon Musk Twitter Purchase (Turley)
Biden: GOP Vow To Investigate Son Hunter’s Business Deals ‘Almost Comedy’ (JTN)
Gingrich Suspects Trump Rethinking 2024 (JTN)
2022 Midterms Highlight the Distinct Difference Between Ballots and Votes (CTH)
Executives Flee Twitter As Musk Mentions ‘Bankruptcy’ (RT)
mRNA “Vaccines” Causing Cells To Produce Spike Proteins Is A Fairy Tale (OffG)
UK Exec Wining, Dining With People Plotting To Kill My Husband – Stella (DecUK)

 

 

Still puzzled by this.

 

 

Tucker midterms

 

 

 

 

A single word

 

 

 

 

 

 

“U.S. officials reportedly told Zelensky that Kiev “must show its willingness to end the war reasonably and peacefully.”

Will A Russian Kherson Exit Create The Right ‘Facts On The Ground’? (Snider)

Will the Russian withdrawal from the key city of Kherson this week continue what appears to be momentum toward a diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine? The signs may be pointing in that direction. In late September, Russia declared its annexation of the Donbas republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as well as the eastern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded by signing a decree banning any negotiations with Putin. Zelensky said that Ukraine is “ready for dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia.” That decree posed a problem, particularly for the United States, which is trying to maintain a coalition assembled to support Ukraine militarily, financially, and through sanctions on Russia.

Since imminent regime change in Moscow has appeared unlikely, waiting for another president might mean a potentially endless war. And that’s a hard sell for weary European allies — who are heading toward a cold winter — no matter their commitment to the cause of defending Ukraine. So, in a shift from its position that it had “ruled out the idea of pushing or even nudging Ukraine to the negotiating table,” the Biden administration reportedly began urging Zelensky to “signal an openness to negotiate with Russia and drop his government’s public refusal to engage in peace talks unless President Vladimir Putin is removed from power,” according to the Washington Post.

At first, Ukraine publicly rejected the pressure. Zelensky adviser Mykhailo Podolyak reiterated the promise that Ukraine will only “talk with the next leader” of Russia, and told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that talks could only resume once the Kremlin relinquishes all Ukrainian territory and that Kyiv would fight on even if it is “stabbed in the back” by its allies. But the pressure may have been strong. Several days of talks between Kiev and Washington culminated in a visit by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan with Zelensky. Perhaps coincidentally, Sullivan has also reportedly “been in contact with Yuri Ushakov, a foreign-policy adviser to Mr. Putin” and with Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. U.S. officials reportedly told Zelensky that Kiev “must show its willingness to end the war reasonably and peacefully.”

On November 8, the messaging from Ukraine suddenly changed dramatically. Zelensky announced that he is now open to diplomacy with Putin and urged the international community to “force Russia into real peace talks.” Zelensky insisted that his preconditions for talks are “restoration of (Ukraine’s) territorial integrity … compensation for all war damage, punishment for every war criminal and guarantees that it will not happen again.” Washington insists that its message was not an attempt to push Ukraine to the negotiating table, but rather an attempt to manage international perceptions. The plan was to “reinforce to the world that it’s Ukraine, not Russia, that wants to resolve the conflict.” One official said, “That doesn’t mean they need to go to the negotiating table right now. We don’t even think right now is the right time based on what Russia is doing.

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“Morale requires that the next Russian move has to be [a] big push with strategic significance.”

The Pullout From Kherson (MoA)

The Russian command decided to remove its troops in the Kherson region from the left bank of the Dnieper. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu did not look happy when he gave the order. He knows that another such setback will cost him his job. This move looks bad. That alone will have consequences. The Ukrainians, the Biden administration and the European supporter of Ukraine will be emboldened by this. The support in Russia for the war will shrink. Some people in Russia will start to call for President Putin’s head. There is no danger though that they will get it. This move is operationally sound. From the military point of view there is little chance to withstand a serious attack in the region as the resupply across the Dnieper river is very difficult and can not be guaranteed.

Moreover the possible breach of the Dnieper river dams would make any resupply impossible for at least a week or even longer. That would be enough time for the Ukrainians to slaughter whatever number of Russian troops were left behind. Strategically the move is bad. It closes for now the possibility of moving into Nikolaev (Mykolaiv) and further towards Odessa. This could have and should have been done earlier. But the Russian command did not commit sufficient forces for that fight. There were also sound reason for not doing that. Now it is too late to criticize those decisions. It is quite possible that, behind the scene, a deal has been made over this. If one was made we are unlikely to learn of it anytime soon. The priorities now should be to get the soldiers and equipment out of the area. It will require intense air defense coverage to prevent the close down of ferry points by Ukrainian artillery.

There is no reason to make it easy for the Ukraine to regain the area. Until the evacuation is done any significant Ukrainian move into the area should be responded to with effective artillery fire. Soon the Ukrainian army will start to move troops prepared for an attack in Kherson to other front lines. Russia must likewise move its troops to reinforce its positions elsewhere. Morale requires that the next Russian move has to be [a] big push with strategic significance. The concept of deep battle and deep operations should be reapplied. Historically it has nearly always worked to Russia’s advantage. But the big push does not need to be solely militarily. A further significant damage of Ukraine’s economy via its electricity network is an additional option. To severely interdict its supply lines from the west is another one.

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“Apparently, the EU needs to undermine its economy completely before calls to start the dialogue will be accompanied by concrete steps..”

Moscow Sets Out Conditions For Talks With EU (RT)

Russia is open to any negotiations with the EU to find a way out of the current crisis, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told local media on Thursday. However, she voiced concerns that any meaningful discussions may start only after the bloc has “completely destroyed” its own economy. Speaking to the Russian newspaper Argumenty i Fakty, Zakharova addressed a recent NBC report alleging that some Western officials believe that the upcoming winter may spell an opportunity for talks between Moscow and Kiev. However, she noted that Western calls to seek a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict, “unfortunately are just rhetoric,” adding that all EU policies, including military support for Ukraine, “are aimed at escalation.”

The shift in narrative has been spurred by an emerging rift between ordinary European citizens and policymakers, she believes. The former “are getting tired of permanent confrontation rhetoric and endless baseless accusations against Russia,” the spokeswoman said, adding that “there is a growing demand for putting an end to the Ukraine conflict.” These concerns are also underpinned by Europe’s economic woes, Zakharova continued. “News about new sanctions or regular calls to ‘punish’ Russia economically scare Europeans themselves,” she noted. “Apparently, the EU needs to undermine its economy completely before calls to start the dialogue will be accompanied by concrete steps,” the official remarked, adding the bloc is pursuing these policies to please the US. According to Zakharova, Moscow is open to “discussing ways out of the current crisis,” but any peace settlement must be of some benefit to Russia.

“It is important that any proposals take into account the real situation ‘on the ground’ and have an added value for our country,” she noted.In recent months, top EU officials have been sending conflicting signals about their stance on possible engagement with Moscow. While EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell claimed in April that the conflict in Ukraine “will be won on the battlefield,” last month he said that Brussels is ready to seek a “diplomatic solution” while vowing to continue to support Kiev militarily. Russian officials have repeatedly stated they are ready to conduct negotiations with Kiev to end the conflict. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has set out conditions for any diplomatic engagement, which include the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage” and “punishment of every war criminal.”

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“..the Europeans still constituted a new and serious – although declining – rival for God’s own People..”

The Collective West Might Be Losing The War With Eurasia (Lee)

[..] of all people, Leon Trotsky writing in, (War – In the International 1933) – opined … ‘’That prior to WW2 the US was Europe’s debtor but now Europe was relegated to the background. The United States is the principal factory, the principal depot and the Central Bank of the world.’’ America’s hegemony over Europe long pre-dated WW2 and actually later grew larger with the addition of ex Eastern European states which had been formerly part of the Soviet sphere of influence. Western Europe had willy-nilly long since been subordinated to the USA. A while later (1946) the Americans gave the British short shrift reminding them that they would have to adjust to the post-war realities and take the medicine – the American loan, as Michael Hudson explains:

‘’In effect the Sterling Area was to be absorbed into the Dollar Area, which would be extended throughout the world. Britain was to remain in a weak position in which it found itself at the end of WW2, with barely any free monetary reserves and dependent on dollar borrowings to meet its current obligations. The United States would gain access to Britain’s pre-war markets in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Far East. This first loan on the post-war agenda – which President Truman announced in forwarding it to Congress would set the course of American and British economic relations for many years to come. Truman was well aware of the change of fortunes for the UK, for the Anglo-American Loan Agreement spelled the end of Britain as a great power.’’(1)

Sometime later and under the changed geopolitical and economic conditions President Richard Nixon and his economist acolytes placed their chief diplomat, Henry Kissinger, in charge of arrangements to put in place a policy to keep the Europeans subordinate and while they were at it to simultaneously endeavor to put a limit on Japanese expansion. Then came the big game-changer: Gold was officially delinked from the US$ in August 1971. Nixon’s currency reforms – were designed among various other decisions and also generally aimed at European and Japanese interests. It should be noted that Japan did not play any political role at all but simply followed in America’s wake, as she invariably did in economic and even political matters since.

This unilateral decision by the Americans to deprive paper money from convertibility into gold was enough to tip the Europeans into disorder and turbulence. For all their protestations of loyalty in Europe, the leaders of each country feverishly groped for an outcome that answered their own interests. However still licking their wounds, and for all their weakness, the Europeans still constituted a new and serious – although declining – rival for God’s own People, American capitalism-imperialism, which says a lot about how far the former had slid down the slippery-slope.

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“..those loans would have long maturities of up to 35 years and require no repayment of the principal before 2033..”

Zelensky Says EU’s €18 Billion Aid Is What “True Solidarity” Looks Like (ZH)

What’s not to like about a massive interest-free loan that won’t have to be paid back for decades, or maybe never? Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says it shows “true solidarity”… “Grateful to the European Commission and President Ursula von der Leyen for announcing 18 billion-euro financial aid package for 2023,” Zelensky announced on social media Wednesday. “This shows true solidarity of the EU.” The EU Commission President explained in a statement that the whopping €18 billion support package for 2023 is being mulled to prepare the ground for the reconstruction of Ukraine as it continues on the path toward EU membership, after it was granted candidate status on June 23 of this year.

As Politico reported earlier, “Commissioners meeting today for their weekly College meeting will propose a new EU instrument to finance €18 billion (around €1.5 billion a month) in subsidized loans for Ukraine for 2023, according to a draft regulation also obtained by Paola.” The draft regulation reads as follows: “In order to finance the support under the Instrument in the form of loans, the Commission shall be empowered, on behalf of the Union, to borrow the necessary funds on the capital markets or from financial institutions.” The Commission would reportedly link interval disbursement of the funds based on commitments from Kyiv upholding ‘rule of law’ requirements and making democratic reforms, again as preparation for potential future EU admission.

According to further details, “Though the funds would officially be in the form of loans (aside from additional voluntary contributions by EU governments), those loans would have long maturities of up to 35 years and require no repayment of the principal before 2033. Interest would be subsidized by EU member countries.” The proposed package comes after last Thursday Ukrainian parliament approved a draft so-called “victory budget” for 2023, with a “record deficit” of $38 billion, including a little over $27 billion for the nation’s armed forces. Naturally the bulk of this is expected to be filled by donors, the IMF, United States and European Union.

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Europeans pay twice: billions for “True Solidarity” and double energy prices.

Energy Bills In Europe Are 90% Higher Than Last Year (OP)

Electricity and gas prices are soaring across Europe, with bills close to double from last year in most European capitals, according to new data from the Household Energy Price Index – a monthly tracker of energy prices for households across 33 European capitals, including the 27 EU member states and several non-members. According to the data collected for the HEPI, natural gas bills in Europe have gone up by as much as 111 percent over the past year, with electricity prices up by an average of 69 percent. Taken together, Euronews calculates these two make for a total 90-percent increase in household energy bills over the past year.

“Significantly higher [energy prices] compared to one year ago … can be attributed to a combination of factors, such as increased demand connected to post-pandemic economic recovery and extraordinary weather conditions, the record-high prices for natural gas, and high CO2 emissions allowances,” the authors of the latest HEPI report noted. The high energy bills are creating headaches for European governments: strikes and protests are multiplying and disgruntlement with energy policies is growing. The cost of living in most of Europe is already exorbitant because of the energy crisis and this crisis is only going to get worse after the EU embargoes on Russian oil and then fuels come into effect.

In some parts of Europe, according to the latest HEPI report, energy prices have reached record highs but in others, prices have actually fallen, at least in October. The news is not as good as it looks at first glance: the decline was a result of government intervention, i.e. energy subsidies. There have been a lot of subsidies as European governments try to alleviate the financial pain on households and businesses to avoid further disgruntlement. Germany alone will be spending some $200 billion on such coping measures, including a cap on energy prices up to a certain level of consumption.

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“Basically, we are the only ones in Europe who are arguing in favor of peace..”

Hungary Explains ‘Total Failure’ Of Sanctions On Russia (RT)

The sanctions on Russia have not achieved any of the EU’s stated goals and only backfired by hurting the economies of member states, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said.The EU, along with the US and several other countries, imposed sweeping restrictions on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in February. “The sanctions which have been introduced by the European Union [against] Russia have failed. It’s a total failure,” Szijjarto told Jordan’s Roya News on Sunday. It was said by the European Commission that the sanctions will help us to conclude this war as soon as possible and that it will bring Russia’s economy to its knees. What’s the outcome? It’s totally the opposite.

“The war is becoming more and more brutal … And, in the meantime, the European economy is suffering very badly,” Szijjarto stated, adding that the continent has been hit by a “tremendous energy crisis,” as well as high inflation and rising food prices. The minister said that Hungary paid €7 billion ($6.9 billion) for energy imports in 2021, but has to pay €19 billion ($18.9 billion) this year. “That’s huge. And this is the outcome of a failed sanctions policy.” Szijjarto said that, instead of economic restrictions, the EU should focus on achieving peace in the region. He argued that a settlement in Ukraine could come as a result of negotiations between Russia and the US.

“Basically, we are the only ones in Europe who are arguing in favor of peace,” he said. The foreign minister defended Hungary’s decision to reject Kiev’s calls to send weapons and not to participate in the training of Ukrainian troops. These measures “contribute to escalation” rather than helping to end the conflict, he said.Hungary’s economy heavily relies on Russian energy, and the government has resisted Brussels’ plans to completely ban oil and gas imports from Moscow. After tense negotiations, Budapest received several exemptions from the bloc-wide restrictions on purchases of Russian fossil fuels. Hungary said this week that it will not support the EU’s joint loan package, which would secure €18 billion ($17.9 billion) in aid for Kiev.

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Ursula vs Michel. The failure of the EU personified.

The Dysfunctional Relationship At The Heart Of The EU (Pol.eu)

When the leaders of the world’s most powerful countries meet at the G20 summit in Bali next week, don’t expect the European Union to present a united front. Rather than coordinate, the bloc’s top two officials — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel — are more likely to avoid each other, with staffers involved in organizing the trip under strict instructions to avoid any overlap in itineraries. In the nearly three years since their tenures began, relations between Michel and von der Leyen have undergone an extraordinary breakdown, with staff from the two institutions discouraged from communicating and the two leaders locking each other out from meetings with foreign dignitaries.

The dysfunctional partnership is not only impacting the EU’s legislative and political agenda, which depends on a delicate inter-institutional balancing act. It’s also threatening to undermine the EU’s standing in the world. One of the centerpieces of the G20 will be a meeting between Michel and Chinese leader Xi Jinping scheduled to take place on the fringes of the summit. Given the divisions within the EU about how to deal with Beijing, it’s shaping up to be a crucial meeting. But von der Leyen hasn’t been invited. The reason? Her refusal to allow Michel to attend a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G7 in Germany in June. Rivalry between the Commission and the Council has long been a challenge due to an inherent structural tension within the EU’s byzantine system.

The Commission is the bloc’s executive arm, with the ability to propose legislation, putting its president at the heart of nearly every EU initiative. But the Council is where heads of state or government meet to turn proposals into law. Though its president plays a coordinating role, moderating the debate between the real decision-makers, the position is arguably closer to where the bloc’s real power lies. One of the centerpieces of the G20 will be a meeting between Michel and Chinese leader Xi Jinping scheduled to take place on the fringes of the summit. Given the divisions within the EU about how to deal with Beijing, it’s shaping up to be a crucial meeting. But von der Leyen hasn’t been invited. The reason? Her refusal to allow Michel to attend a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G7 in Germany in June.

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“.. it’s worth being looked at.”

Biden Supports National Security Review of Elon Musk Twitter Purchase (Turley)

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that “I’m not going to change anything” after the midterm elections even with the possible loss of one or both houses of Congress. One thing that did not change is Biden’s continued suggestion that his political opponents are fascists or national security threats. Biden is now supporting an investigation into whether Elon Musk’s taking over of Twitter is a national security threat. Biden’s statement comes just a couple days after Musk’s call for supporters to vote for Republican control of Congress and the President attacking him for his plan to restore free speech protections on Twitter. During a press conference at the White House, a reporter asked Biden if he thought Musk was a national security threat because of his business ties to Saudi Arabia. Biden responded:

“I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation, and/or technical relationships with other countries, uh, is worthy of being looked at. Whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting that … it’s worth being looked at.” This followed Biden’s tirade against Twitter for moving toward less censorship. The President seriously asked “how do people know the truth” if social media companies did not control what they could read or hear on these platforms. Biden could have simply demurred and said that he would leave such matters to the responsible agencies to consider. Instead, he added his call to those of Democratic politicians and pundits to initiate a national security review.

The call to unleash a national security review on Musk’s takeover is being pushed by various liberal legal experts and pundits without any sense of concern over the use of such powers for political ends. Among those calling for an investigation is Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review the deal. Of course, many of these Democratic leaders and pundits supported Twitter silencing those with opposing views for years. In previous hearings, Democratic senators demanded greater censorship from Twitter in areas ranging from Covid to climate change. However, according to Murphy, they are now worried about “the potential influence of the Government of Saudi Arabia” and “[a]ny potential that Twitter’s foreign ownership will result in increased censorship, misinformation, or political violence is a grave national security concern.”

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But this is not “.. worth being looked at.”

Biden: GOP Vow To Investigate Son Hunter’s Business Deals ‘Almost Comedy’ (JTN)

In his post-election press conference, President Biden derided the House GOP’s pledge to investigate his son Hunter’s foreign business dealings as “almost comedy.” GOP Congressman James Comer, the potential chair of the House Oversight Committee, has said Hunter’s business deals in China, Russia and Ukraine pose a national security risk and might have “compromised” the president himself. Biden was asked on Wednesday for his message to Republicans who are considering investigating his family and, particularly, his son Hunter’s business dealings. “‘Lots of luck in your senior year,’ as my coach used to say,” Biden retorted. “Look, I think the American public want us to move on and get things done for them.


“It was reported — whether it’s accurate or not, I’m not sure — but it was reported many times that Republicans were saying, and the former president said, ‘How many times are you going to impeach Biden?’ You know, impeachment proceedings against, I mean, I think the American people will look at all of that for what it is. It’s just almost comedy. I mean, it’s — but, you know, look, I can’t control what they’re going to do. All I can do is continue to try to make life better for the American people.” Comer said in September that the U.S. Treasury Department has refused to provide Biden family members’ “suspicious foreign business transactions” that were flagged by U.S. banks. “We’re not investigating Hunter Biden for political reasons,” Comer said. “We’re investigating Hunter Biden because we believe he’s a national security threat, who we fear has compromised Joe Biden.”

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If Trump next week wants to announce running, he will do it without the momentum.

Gingrich Suspects Trump Rethinking 2024 (JTN)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Just the News that former President Donald Trump is likely “rethinking and reappraising” running for president again in 2024, adding that he personally doesn’t see a scenario where Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis decides not to run for president in 2024. “I mean, just in my own emails today, the number of people who want somebody other than Trump who have decided, literally overnight, that person is going to be DeSantis, he’s going to find it almost impossible to avoid running,” Gingrich said on Wednesday. “I think Trump’s got to look at the results and be troubled,” he added. “I can tell you, for me, this was not the result I expected. I thought we’d win a lot more seats.”

Gingrich added that Republicans have to look at the results and ask themselves what they did wrong and where they go from here. Gingrich was asked if he thinks Trump is going to announce a 2024 run or decide that it’s no longer his time. “I think he’s a very, very smart man,” he said. “And I’m sure that he is very disappointed. He worked very hard. He did a whole array of rallies with thousands of people. And I know, because I have the same feeling, I know that he went into Election Day thinking it was going to be a huge success. And I suspect that he’s going through the same kind of rethinking and reappraising that I’m going through.

“He is a very smart guy, and he’s got asked two questions: Can he in fact beat DeSantis? He probably would say yes. Coming out of that fight, would he be able to win a general election? I don’t think he wants to run and, you know, have that kind of situation.” Gingrich elaborated on his personal reaction to the results of the midterm election so far. “I was pretty shaken because that was not the election I expected,” he admitted. “And I don’t have as much confidence in my own judgment as I would have had yesterday morning.”

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“Democrat party officials and political activist groups knew how to exploit the opportunities within the new system of ballot distribution and collection..”

2022 Midterms Highlight the Distinct Difference Between Ballots and Votes (CTH)

As the political discussion centers on the 2022 wins and losses from the midterm election, one thing that stands out in similarity to the 2020 general election is the difference between ballots and votes. It appears in some states this is the ‘new normal.’ Where votes were the focus, the Biden administration suffered losses. Where ballots were the focus, the Biden administration won. Perhaps the two states most reflective of ‘ballots’ being more important than ‘votes’ are Michigan and Pennsylvania. Despite negative polling and public opinion toward two specific candidates in those states, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman achieved victories. Whitmer and Fetterman were not campaigning for votes, that is old school.

Instead, the machinery behind both candidates focused on the modern path. The Democrat machines in both states focused on ballot collection and ignored the irrelevant votes as cast. Since the advent of ballot centric focus through mail-in and collection drop-off processes, votes have become increasingly less valuable amid the organizers who wish to control election outcomes. As a direct and specific result, ballot collection has become the key to Democrat party success. The effort to attain votes for candidates is less important than the strategy of collecting ballots. It should be emphasized; these are two distinctly different election systems. The system of ballot distribution and collection is far more susceptible to control than the traditional system of votes cast at precincts.

A vote cannot be cast by a person who is no longer alive, or no longer lives in the area. However, a ballot can be sent, completed and returned regardless of the status of the initially attributed and/or registered individual. While ballots and votes originate in two totally different processes, the end result of both “ballots” and “votes,” weighing on the presented election outcome, is identical. While initially the ballot form of election control was tested in Deep Blue states, through the process of mail-in returns under the guise and justification of “expanding democracy,” a useful tool for those who are vested in the distinction, I think we are now starting to see what happens on a national level when the process is expanded.

The controversial 2020 election showed the result of making ‘ballots’ the strategy for electoral success. Under the justification of COVID-19 mitigation, mail-in ballots took center stage. Ballot harvesting by Democrat operations was one term for the outcome. Democrat party officials and political activist groups knew how to exploit the opportunities within the new system of ballot distribution and collection, and when you combine that with a massive legal pressure campaign to accept any and all forms of ballots, well, you can see how they are dependent.

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“On Thursday, he tweeted that the platform’s usage continued to rise: “One thing is for sure: it isn’t boring!”

Executives Flee Twitter As Musk Mentions ‘Bankruptcy’ (RT)

At least six executives have reportedly resigned from Twitter this week. The social media platform’s new owner Elon Musk has called an all-hands meeting on Thursday, announcing a return to office hours and mentioning the possibility of bankruptcy unless the company can find a way to become profitable. Among the departures was the head of safety and moderation Yoel Roth, Bloomberg reported citing insider sources. Musk had kept Roth on despite the complaints from conservatives that he had been responsible for much of the political censorship on the platform – one of the reasons the Tesla and SpaceX billionaire cited for buying the company. “The economic picture ahead is dire,” Musk wrote in an email calling the meeting, according to the New York Times.

“Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn.” Unless Twitter can generate profits from its $8 monthly Blue program, bankruptcy is a very real possibility, Musk reportedly said, adding that the platform is currently too dependent on advertising.A number of companies have pulled their ads from Twitter in recent weeks, due to a pressure campaign by activists angry at Musk’s buyout of the company – and endorsement of Republicans in the US midterm elections.Musk also told staff that the days of free food, teleworking and other perks were over, according to multiple outlets. “If you can physically make it to an office and you don’t show up, resignation accepted,” he reportedly said.

Along with Roth, five other executives quit this week. The heads of privacy, information security and compliance resigned just before the deadline to submit a report to the US government, required under a 2011 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.The FTC is “tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern,” said spokesman Douglas Farrar, adding that “no CEO or company is above the law.” On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden told reporters “there’s a lot of ways” to investigate Musk’s acquisition of Twitter as a potential national security risk. Musk has warned the public that Twitter “will do lots of dumb things in coming months.” On Thursday, he tweeted that the platform’s usage continued to rise: “One thing is for sure: it isn’t boring!”

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Interesting take by Stefano Scoglio. “And that also explains why this material is so toxic without needing to introduce any spike protein.”

mRNA “Vaccines” Causing Cells To Produce Spike Proteins Is A Fairy Tale (OffG)

“Why, then, is it impossible for mRNA to enter the cell and cause it to produce spike proteins?” The first thing the researchers in the field state is that the living cell is a “formidable barrier”, very difficult if not impossible to penetrate. And then they list 5 factors that prevent the mRNA to enter cells, getting into the ribosomes where the spike protein is supposed to be produced: First: As soon as the genic material is injected, it is attacked by specific enzymes called extra-cellular ribonucleases, which degrade any foreign genetic material. Pharmaceutical companies claim that the lipid nanoparticles are supposed to protect the mRNA from the enzymatic attack: But nobody knows how much protection is offered. As the Pfizer “vaccine” injects 30 micrograms of mRNA, let’s say that about half, 15 micrograms, survive.

Second: At this point, the mRNA/lipids blend has to enter the cell, supposedly through endocytosis, i.e. the cell is forming an external pouch that brings in the material. But, the researchers state, often instead of endocytosis the cell produces exocytosis, that is the pouch is used to keep the foreign material outside: Let’s say that half enters and so we now have 7.5 micrograms inside the cell. Third: At this point enters the endosomes/lysosome system: all scientists in the field know that this enzymatic endocellular system attacks, degrades and eliminate at least 98 percent of any foreign material entering the cells. We are now down to 0.15 micrograms, that 150 nanograms, an infinitesimal quantity.

Fourth: If this were the end, you could at least claim that a very minuscule dose would enter the ribosomes. But alas, the ribonuclease enzymes are also inside the cell, they are called endocellular ribonucleases, and they would dispose very quickly of the minuscule amount of mRNA. Finally, the researchers mention a fifth element, the most important, the one that makes all the processes described so far completely useless and unnecessary. And that also explains why this material is so toxic without needing to introduce any spike protein. They indicate that these “vaccines” are so highly immunogenic. Indeed, they use this word immunogenic.

Quality Issues With mRNA Covid Vaccine Production

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Dark.

UK Exec Wining, Dining With People Plotting To Kill My Husband – Stella (DecUK)

Assange’s treatment in the US would be much worse. In 2020, UK District Judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked Assange’s extradition to the US because of the risk of suicide under the onerous conditions he would face. Baraitser’s decision was based on the fact that, if convicted, Assange would likely be moved to the ‘Supermax’ Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado, home to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza and Mexican druglord El Chapo. A former warden of the prison has said: “There’s no other way to say it — it’s worse than death.” Pre-trial, Assange could also be held under Special Administrative Measures, or SAMs, where inmates spend 23 or 24 hours a day in their cells with no contact with other prisoners.

The US then appealed Baraitser’s ruling, saying it would promise that Assange would not be subject to SAMs or housed in ADX. Crucially, though, the US reserved the right to reverse these promises in case of further violations by Assange, which can be easily invented. In December 2021, the UK High Court agreed with the US appeal and reversed the lower court decision not to extradite Assange. Many believe Assange would commit suicide before being put on a plane to the US. “I’m convinced that Julian cannot survive under the conditions the US will put him in,” says Stella. “I have no doubt they will put him in a regime of isolation. The only reason he’s surviving now is because he’s able to see me, to see the children. He has a hope of fighting extradition to the US.”

She adds: “He’s facing trial in the Eastern District of Virginia with a jury that will be composed of people who are either working for or somehow linked to the national security sector, because that is what that area is. That is the jury pool. He faces 175 years under the Espionage Act, under which there is no defence. He cannot explain, he cannot justify, he cannot defend himself from the accusation.” She pauses. “Under the indictment, Julian is accused of conspiring with a source to publish information: receiving that information from the source, possessing that information, and communicating it to the public. That is journalism. And if you define journalism as a crime, then Julian is guilty and he has no defence.”

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Saylor

 

 

 

 

Cow
https://twitter.com/i/status/1590775125049081856

 

 

Moon

 

 

 

 

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