Feb 252024
 
 February 25, 2024  Posted by at 9:33 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Paul Cézanne Sugar Bowl, Pears and Blue Cup c.1866

 

House Democrats Could Vote Against Certifying Trump If He’s Elected (Fox)
Trump Seeks Dismissal of Mar-a-Lago Case, Says Jack Smith Lacks Authority (ET)
McCaskill: Media Must Stop Fact Checking Joe Biden (Turley)
China Lashes Out At ‘Agent Of Trouble’ NATO (RT)
2 Years After the Start of the SMO, West is Totally Paralyzed (Pepe Escobar)
Collapse of Operation Citadel 2.0 (Sivkov)
Mood In Zelensky’s Office ‘Grim’ As US Aid Delayed – Politico (RT)
Ukraine Ready For War With China If US Asks – MP (RT)
Growing Rift Over Further Arming Ukraine ‘Jeopardizes EU Unity’ (Sp.)
US Spent ‘Decades’ Worth of Weapons Supplies on War in Ukraine – Senator (Sp.)
US Sees No Chance Of Ukraine Peace Before Election – WSJ (RT)
Netanyahu’s Post-War Plans for Gaza Call for Indefinite Occupation (Antiwar)
UK’s Failed Trident Missile Test Emblematic of Its ‘Decline and Demise’ (Sp.)
Former Panama Border Chief: UN Is Behind the Chaos at US–Mexico Border (ET)
New York Prosecutes Couple For Fraud (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Obama

 

 

Miller

 

 

 

 

Tucker Steve Kirsch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1761369027685793810
https://twitter.com/i/status/1761435501943312491

 

 

 

 

Bukele

 

 

 

 

“.. liberal and conservative justices alike seemed inclined to dodge the question of his eligibility altogether and throw the decision to Congress.”

House Democrats Could Vote Against Certifying Trump If He’s Elected (Fox)

A new piece published in The Atlantic this week floated the idea that there might be room for House Democrats to vote against certifying former President Trump for office if he wins re-election. The article, written by staff writer Russell Berman, argued that if the Supreme Court declined to weigh in on whether Trump is eligible to run for office under the 14th Amendment, then House Democrats could take it upon themselves to vote against certifying him, as it’s up to them to say he’s ineligible. Berman wrote that “legal scholars say that, absent clear guidance from the Supreme Court, a Trump win could lead to a constitutional crisis in Congress. Democrats would have to choose between confirming a winner many of them believe is ineligible and defying the will of voters who elected him.”

The theory stems from the Colorado Supreme Court case to kick Trump off the state’s primary ballot, which the U.S. Supreme Court took up and heard oral arguments for earlier this month. As Berman’s piece suggested, if the high court does not come down one way or another on whether Trump is eligible for office – as Colorado’s court argued he violated the 14th Amendment’s “Insurrection” clause – then Democrats who believe he is ineligible will have a decision to make. Berman continued: “In interviews, senior House Democrats would not commit to certifying a Trump win, saying they would do so only if the Supreme Court affirms his eligibility. But during oral arguments, liberal and conservative justices alike seemed inclined to dodge the question of his eligibility altogether and throw the decision to Congress.”

He also noted that “Democrats have a serious chance of winning a majority in Congress in November,” so they would have the power to do something. Additionally, he reminded readers that “in early 2021, every House Democrat (along with 10 Republicans) voted to impeach Trump for ‘incitement of insurrection,’ and a significant majority of those lawmakers will still be in Congress next year.” Given those factors, Democrats who believe that Trump committed insurrection and have the majority in Congress might feel compelled to decide whether Trump enters office, if the Court declines to declare he’s eligible. Berman asked Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., currently a leading contender for the U.S. Senate in California, what would happen if the Supreme Court declined to weigh in on Trump’s eligibility. “I don’t want to get into the chaos hypothetical,” Schiff replied, though he did note that if the court said Trump was eligible, he would certify him.

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“President Biden’s DOJ is paying for this politically-motivated prosecution of Biden’s chief political rival ‘off the books,’ without accountability or authorization..”

Trump Seeks Dismissal of Mar-a-Lago Case, Says Jack Smith Lacks Authority (ET)

Former President Donald Trump filed several motions to dismiss a classified documents case being pursued against him in Florida on Thursday, arguing that, amongst other things, special counsel Jack Smith “lacks the authority” to prosecute the case. In one of four motions, attorneys for the former president contend that neither the U.S. Constitution nor Congress had officially established the special counsel’s office, rendering Mr. Smith’s appointment invalid. Furthermore, they argue that the special counsel’s office is being funded “off the books” by the Biden administration. The motion, which cites the Appointments Clause, argues that Attorney General Merrick Garland did not have the authority to appoint a “like-minded political ally” as special counsel “without Senate confirmation.” “As such, Jack Smith lacks the authority to prosecute this action,” the motion reads.

President Trump’s lawyers argue that the only remedy is to dismiss the superseding indictment. The Appointments Clause stipulates that all federal offices, except for the president’s, must be established by Congress and appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate. This is with the exception of federal offices created through the Necessary and Proper Clause, which empowers Congress to make laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested in the government. “There is, however, no statute establishing the Office of Special Counsel,” the motion reads. “As a result, because neither the Constitution nor Congress have created the office of the ‘Special Counsel,’ Smith’s appointment is invalid and any prosecutorial power he seeks to wield is ultra vires,” meaning beyond his authority. In addition to arguing that Mr. Smith’s appointment was unlawful, the four motions argued that the case should be dismissed on the basis of presidential immunity, the Presidential Records Act, and unconstitutional vagueness.

Mr. Garland appointed Mr. Smith as special counsel on Nov. 18, 2022, to “prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation” into President Trump’s handling of classified documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. President Trump’s attorneys argue in their Thursday filing that Mr. Smith, at best, is classified as an employee rather than an “officer” under the statutes cited by Mr. Garland in making his appointment, which they say lacks the legal foundation required by the Appointments Clause. Attorneys for the former president argue that Mr. Smith’s office is drawing from an endless “off the books” pot of money from the Department of Justice (DOJ) instead of the ordinary budget process, in violation of the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution. “President Biden’s DOJ is paying for this politically-motivated prosecution of Biden’s chief political rival ‘off the books,’ without accountability or authorization,” the motion reads.

President Trump’s attorneys, Christopher Kise and Todd Blanche, note in their motion that Mr. Smith’s office spent nearly $13 million in Fiscal Year 2023. According to the filing, this money did not come from the DOJ’s budget but from the “permanent indefinite appropriation” only available to independent counsels appointed under the Independent Counsel Act or other law—and not to special counsels. “Smith is not an independent counsel, but the nearly $13 million that Smith spent in Fiscal Year 2023—with no accountability—is more than 10% of the annual budgets of DOJ’s Tax and Environment and Natural Resources Divisions,” the motion reads.

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“..The only blemish on the great country of America worldwide is, in fact, Donald Trump.”

McCaskill: Media Must Stop Fact Checking Joe Biden (Turley)

MSNBC contributor and former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill has been one of the most vocal voices attacking critics of Joe Biden and opposing any investigations into his family or his policies. She attacked journalists and others who spoke in favor of free speech, calling them “Putin apologists” and Putin lovers. Now she is lashing out at the media for fact checking Joe Biden’s false claims . . . any false claims. McCaskill called The New York Times “ridiculous” for a story correcting Biden’s false claims about the economy. She warned the media that they are only helping Trump by pointing out Biden’s false or misleading claims: “What everyone says when you travel, ‘Well, you wouldn’t elect him again, would you? Hasn’t the country learned? You wouldn’t ever give this guy power again, would you? Tell us that he’s not going to be re-elected. Please, tell us you’ve learned your lesson.’ So The only blemish on the great country of America worldwide is, in fact, Donald Trump.”

She then added, “Can I make a suggestion? I move that every newspaper in America quits doing any fact checks on Joe Biden until they fact check Donald Trump every morning on the front page. It is ridiculous that The New York Times fact check Joe Biden on something. I mean, he vomits lies, Trump vomits lies. And he, every day over and over and over again. And it’s just ridiculous that The New York Times is doing a fact check on Biden while they let Trump- they’re numb to the torrent of lies coming out of Trump’s mouth.” It is that easy. Just stop fact checking. Of course, the media has always fact checked Trump with a certain glee. Such fact checks are a good thing and Trump has been legitimately criticized for many claims.

However, McCaskill and others believe that the media must fall in line with the effort to reelect Biden. The Washington Post previously gave Biden a rare “bottomless Pinocchio” for his false claims. According to McCaskill, that must stop at least until after the election. The public simply does not need to know such facts when democracy is at stake. It appears that ignorance is bliss when it comes to politics. Of course, it was Benjamin Franklin who said “being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”

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“..stop saber-rattling, and do things that are genuinely conducive to world peace.”

China Lashes Out At ‘Agent Of Trouble’ NATO (RT)

NATO should cease its “saber-rattling” and start promoting global peace, Chinese envoy Zhang Jun has said at a UN Security Council meeting dedicated to the second anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine. The struggle between Moscow and Kiev, which started on February 24, 2022, is a “tragedy that could have been avoided,” Zhang stressed in his address on Friday. ”The situation Europe is facing today is closely related to the repeated eastward expansion of NATO since the end of the Cold War,” he said. Russia singled out preventing Ukraine from joining NATO as one of the main goals of its military operation in the neighboring country. Moscow warned on numerous occasions that it viewed Kiev’s possible membership in the US-led military alliance as a major threat to its security.

The Chinese envoy underlined the need to “respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries,” who are members of the UN. “Regional security cannot be guaranteed by strengthening or even expanding a military bloc,” he added. ”We encourage NATO to do some soul-searching, come out of the cage of Cold War mentality, and refrain from acting as an agent of trouble instigating bloc confrontation,” Zhang said. He also called on NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg “to look at the world through an objective lens, stop saber-rattling, and do things that are genuinely conducive to world peace.” According to the envoy, the parties to the Ukraine conflict should work towards creating “favorable conditions for the resumption of negotiations… not man-made obstacles to make peace harder to achieve, much less to supply weapons, stoke the fire and pour oil on it, and to profit from the prolonged crisis.”

In an interview with American journalist Tucker Carlson earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that “the promise was that NATO would not expand eastward” after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. But the West deceived Moscow, with the US-led bloc adding new members from among Eastern European and former Soviet states on several occasions since then, he said. In 1999, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland were the first former Soviet-bloc nations to join NATO. An even bigger wave of expansion occurred in 2004 when Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia became members. At its Bucharest summit in 2008, the alliance said that Georgia and Ukraine would become members in the future, spurring vigorous protests from Russia.

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“..the destruction of the European economy has been a massive tactic, historic victory for the Hegemon..”

2 Years After the Start of the SMO, West is Totally Paralyzed (Pepe Escobar)

Exactly two years ago this Saturday, on February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin announced the launching – and described the objectives – of a Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. That was the inevitable follow-up to what happened three days before, on February 21 – exactly 8 years after Maidan 2014 in Kiev – when Putin officially recognized the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. During this – pregnant with meaning – short space of only three days, everyone expected that the Russian Armed Forces would intervene, militarily, to end the massive bombing and shelling that had been going on for three weeks across the frontline – which even forced the Kremlin to evacuate populations at risk to Russia. Russian intel had conclusive proof that the NATO-backed Kiev forces were ready to execute an ethnic cleansing of Russophone Donbass.

February 24, 2022 was the day that changed 21st century geopolitics forever, in several complex ways. Above all, it marked the beginning of a vicious, all-out confrontation, “military-technical” as the Russians call it, between the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder, its easily pliable NATOstan vassals, and Russia – with Ukraine as the battleground. There is hardly any question Putin had calculated, before and during these three fateful days, that his decisions would unleash the unbounded fury of the collective West – complete with a tsunami of sanctions. Ay, there’s the rub; it’s all about Sovereignty. And a true sovereign power simply cannot live under permanent threats. It’s even feasible that Putin had wanted (italics mine) Russia to get sanctioned to death. After all, Russia is so naturally wealthy that without a serious challenge from abroad, the temptation is enormous to live off its rents while importing what it could easily produce.

Exceptionalists always gloated that Russia is “a gas station with nuclear weapons”. That’s ridiculous. Oil and gas, in Russia, account for roughly 15% of GDP, 30% of the government budget, and 45% of exports. Oil and gas add power to the Russian economy – not a drag. Putin shaking Russia’s complacency generated a gas station producing everything it needs, complete with unrivalled nuclear and hypersonic weapons. Beat that. Xavier Moreau is a French politico-strategic analyst based in Russia for 24 years now. Graduated from the prestigious Saint-Cyr military academy and with a Sorbonne diploma, he hosts two shows on RT France. His latest book, Ukraine: Pourquoi La Russie a Gagné (“Ukraine: Why Russia has Won”), just out, is an essential manual for European audiences on the realities of the war, not those childish fantasies concocted across the NATOstan sphere by instant “experts” with less than zero combined arms military experience.

Moreau makes it very clear what every impartial, realist analyst was aware of from the beginning: the devastating Russian military superiority, which would condition the endgame. The problem, still, is how this endgame – “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine, as established by Moscow – will be achieved. What is already clear is that “demilitarization”, of Ukraine and NATO, is a howling success that no new wunderwaffen – like F-16s – will be able to change. Moreau perfectly understands how Ukraine, nearly 10 years after Maidan, is not a nation; “and has never been less than a nation”. It’s a territory where populations that everything separates are jumbled up. Moreover, it has been a – “grotesque” – failed state ever since its independence. Moreau spends several highly entertaining pages going through the corruption grotesquerie in Ukraine, under a regime that “gets its ideological references simultaneously via admirers of Stepan Bandera and Lady Gaga.”

None of the above, of course, is reported by oligarch-controlled European mainstream media. The book offers an extremely helpful analysis of those deranged Polish elites who bear “a heavy responsibility in the strategic catastrophe that awaits Washington and Brussels in Ukraine”. The Poles actually believed that Russia would crumble from the inside, complete with a color revolution against Putin. That barely qualifies as Brzezinski on crack. Moreau shows how 2022 was the year when NATOstan, especially the Anglo-Saxons – historically racist Russophobes – were self-convinced that Russia would fold because it is a “poor power”. Obviously, none of these luminaries understood how Putin strengthened the Russian economy very much like Deng Xiaoping on the Chinese economy. This “self-intoxication”, as Moreau qualifies it, did wonders for the Kremlin. By now it’s clear even for the deaf, dumb, and blind that the destruction of the European economy has been a massive tactic, historic victory for the Hegemon – as much as the blitzkrieg against the Russian economy has been an abysmal failure.

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Konstantin Sivkov is Vice President of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences for Information Policy, Doctor of Military Sciences.

Collapse of Operation Citadel 2.0 (Sivkov)

The goals of the Ukrainian army’s offensive in the summer of 2023 and the size of combat groups formed to carry it out are to a certain extent comparable with what the German military fielded for its Operation Citadel in 1943. This gives us the grounds for calling Kiev’s offensive in the summer of 2023 Operation Citadel 2.0. Considering its military-political consequences, the collapse of Citadel 2.0 meant not simply the Ukrainian army’s military-strategic defeat but also the collapse of the consolidated West’s hybrid blitzkrieg. We can state boldly that the so-called counteroffensive attempted by the Ukrainian military in the summer of 2023 was an event against whose background all the other developments could hardly attract so much attention. This is not surprising because this counteroffensive was of key significance in the standoff between the West and Russia as its outcome largely shaped not only the situation in the special military operation area, Russia and Ukraine but also trends of the changing global situation.

Therefore, it is quite natural that all leading media outlets paid much attention to the fronts of the special military operation, giving details of the tactical situation in key frontline areas. However, open sources of information have not yet offered an operational-strategic analysis of this key event of the past year at least in broad outline. This analysis is, perhaps, available in special classified literature, though, but is inaccessible to the public at large. That is why, this requires an operational-strategic review of the events that took place in the summer of 2023 in open media sources as this effort is vital for our people to understand their scope and significance. Aside from the operational-strategic aspect proper, we should pay attention to military-political implications of these developments. It is quite natural that we can hardly make such a detailed analysis within one article and, therefore, we will focus on the most important aspects showing the dimension and significance of these events.

We should primarily say that the actions undertaken by the Ukrainian army in the summer of last year were not a counteroffensive proper. This was a classical strategic offensive operation carried out by the Ukrainian army’s grouping. For this operation, the enemy created a formidable grouping of forces, which numbered almost 160,000 personnel (110 battalions), 2,100 tanks and other armored vehicles, 960 field artillery guns and 114 aircraft. Such an amount of artillery helped create a fire density of up to 10 guns per km of the frontline in the directions of the main attack. The Ukrainian military set up substantial stocks of ammunition: over 500,000 155mm shells, more than 150,000 shells of other calibers, 560,000 mortar rounds and 50 Storm Shadow long-range precision cruise missiles. This density of the Ukrainian army’s artillery and ammunition stocks enabled it to carry out as many as 190 firing missions daily.

The so-called strategic reserve created with the help of Western aid constituted the basis of that grouping of forces and included 20 brigade-level large units numbering 80,700 personnel, of whom more than 60,000 had undergone instruction in Western training centers on the territory of the United States, Britain, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Therefore, over 45% of the grouping’s personnel and more than 75% of the strategic reserve were trained under NATO standards. In other words, precisely the NATO-trained personnel confronted Russian troops .

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“..keeping Ukraine in an artificial shortage of weapons… allows [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to adapt to the intensity of hostilities..”

Mood In Zelensky’s Office ‘Grim’ As US Aid Delayed – Politico (RT)

The “frustration” in Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s office is “palpable,” Politico reported on Friday. According to the news site, the Ukrainian president is growing impatient waiting for more military aid from Washington. The atmosphere in Kiev has been “quite grim, and frustration was palpable” in recent weeks, “a person close to Zelensky’s office” told Politico. “Almost everyone is convinced that the aid will come soon,” the source said, adding that “while the president’s office is waiting for good news from the US, it is also working to improve mobilization and war planning.” The US has already doled out around $45 billion in military aid to Kiev, out of a total of $113 billion allocated for Ukraine. However, the $45 billion war chest has been all but expended, and US President Joe Biden is currently lobbying Congress to pass a foreign aid bill that would include another $60 billion worth of arms, ammo, and other military support.

However, the bill has been stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, with the GOP refusing to bring it to a vote unless it is tied to increased funding for border security and a tightening of US immigration law. At a meeting in Lviv this week, Zelensky told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that Ukraine “will surely lose the war” if Congress fails to pass the bill, Schumer claimed on Friday. Russian forces captured the key Donbass town of Avdeevka last weekend, driving Ukrainian forces from a stronghold that they had occupied and fortified since 2014. Zelensky insisted from the moment Avdeevka fell that the town would have remained in Ukrainian hands had the US provided him with adequate weapons and ammunition. “Unfortunately, keeping Ukraine in an artificial shortage of weapons… allows [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to adapt to the intensity of hostilities,” he said.

The White House and the Pentagon have both warned that without more American funding, the situation in Avdeevka could soon be repeated in other Ukrainian-held cities and towns. Aside from a worsening shortage of ammunition, Zelensky is also facing a “critical” manpower shortage, the Washington Post reported earlier this month, adding that this deficit could result in collapse along the front. Ukraine has lost more than 383,000 men since the conflict began two years ago, according to the latest tally from the Russian Defense Ministry. Despite the scale of Kiev’s losses, Zelensky is currently aiming to conscript another 450,000-500,000 soldiers, using a mobilization law currently making its way through parliament. In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Zelensky said that his military would soon “prepare a new counteroffensive, a new operation.”

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“[The] United States of America told [us that] we will be with you ‘as long as it takes.’ Now it’s time to keep the promises.”

Ukraine Ready For War With China If US Asks – MP (RT)

Kiev is ready to assist the US in a war against any enemy, be it Iran, North Korea, or China, a senior Ukrainian MP has said, claiming that his country would prove to be a valuable military ally. In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Friday, Aleksey Goncharenko doubled down on calls for the US to send Ukraine more military aid amid gridlock in Congress. “[The] United States of America told [us that] we will be with you ‘as long as it takes.’ Now it’s time to keep the promises.” Goncharenko rebuked US politicians for focusing too much on the looming 2024 presidential election, saying Ukraine should not be a “victim” of this. He also claimed that supporting Ukraine serves Washington’s interests regardless of who wins the race for the White House.

In the event of a future war, the Americans “will need people who will stand shoulder to shoulder with them,” but not many nations would be willing to go all-in to support the US, the lawmaker said. ”Ukrainians are ready… We are ready to stand with the United States shoulder-to-shoulder, either in trenches near Tehran, or in North Korea, or near Beijing. No difference,” he stated. “Because we appreciate your support.” Despite his plea for more Western military aid, Goncharenko argued that Ukraine has “the second strongest army in the free world” after the US, making it “a very valuable ally.”

“But today we need your support to defend our country,” he added, blaming gaps and delays in arms shipments for the loss of the strategic Donbass city of Avdeevka last week. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian retreat from the heavily fortified city, which was often used as a launching pad to target civilians in Donetsk, turned into a disorganized rout with heavy casualties. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the capture of Avdeevka is “certainly a success,” adding that it needs to be advanced further. Last year, Putin claimed that the Ukrainian government was defending the interests of other countries rather than its own, and that the West was using Kiev as “a battering ram” and a “testing ground” against Russia.

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“..governments in Western Europe “don’t understand that many in the east would never trust them again” if the Ukraine project fails..”

Growing Rift Over Further Arming Ukraine ‘Jeopardizes EU Unity’ (Sp.)

There is a growing rift in Europe between the east and the west over continuing to aid the regime in Kiev, Bloomberg reported. Germany, Spain, Italy, and others are being pressured to dip deeper into their own stocks of arms, regardless of the fact that propping up Ukraine has been exhausting their own defense capabilities. Ukraine continues to fail on the battlefield, with the loss of its stronghold of Avdeyevka particularly painful for Kiev’s nationalists. Furthermore, Ukraine’s troops are also running critically low on stocks of artillery shells, feeding into the panicky sentiments gaining a foothold in diplomatic circles in countries that are staunch supporters of NATO’s proxy war against Russia. The latter are described as believing that once Moscow prevails in the Ukraine conflict, the entire “European integration project could be jeopardized,” with the aforementioned rift becoming “an indelible scar.”

Amid deepening fractures within the EU, governments in Western Europe “don’t understand that many in the east would never trust them again” if the Ukraine project fails, a top European official was cited warning. The West “doesn’t seem to get the urgency,” another official ostensibly said. How to scrape together funds to prop up the Kiev regime while not letting the EU exhaust its own defense capabilities was one of the concerns at the Munich Security Conference last weekend. With countries like France eager to kick start Europe’s own defense industry, as arming Ukraine has already resulted in depleted weapons and ammunition stocks, Eastern European countries are reportedly accusing the wealthier Western states of still not doing enough for Kiev. After sending billions’ worth of weapons to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s nationalist forces, the West is now facing a plethora of procurement problems.

Last month, several EU leaders and officials admitted that a joint initiative to give Kiev the promised one million artillery rounds before the end of March 2024 would not make the deadline. Furthermore, Eastern European countries are described as lamenting the procrastination over providing Ukraine with longer-range firepower. Support for Ukraine is “looking fragmented,” the outlet underscored. It recalled that earlier in the week, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell was quoted as writing to ministers, urging to dig “further into your stock, where possible; placing orders by procuring on your own or – preferably – jointly from the European industry; buying ammunition immediately available on the market; or financing Ukrainian industry.” However, countries such as France, Greece, and Cyprus are against dipping into EU funds to place orders with, for example, NATO ally Turkiye, according to cited sources.

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“I hate to say it, but I think it’s all about the money..”

US Spent ‘Decades’ Worth of Weapons Supplies on War in Ukraine – Senator (Sp.)

US Republican Senator J.D. Vance has been a vociferous opponent of aid for the Kiev regime, warning at the Munich Security Conference that America’s defense industry doesn’t produce enough munitions for this. On the stalled Ukraine aid package in the Senate, Vance claimed that it would not “fundamentally change the reality on the battlefield.” The US has spent decades’ worth of weapons on the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) said in an interview at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). As a result, the US has been thrust into a situation where it might not be able to meet the needs of its own national security, the Republican from Ohio warned. “We have expended decades’ worth of supplies of American weapons” on the Ukraine conflict, Vance said. He deplored the destruction of the American manufacturing base over the years, which has resulted in that, “We don’t make enough of that stuff on our own.”

“Yet at the same time they want us to send all of our critical weapons overseas,” the politician pointed out. According to Vance, “the elites of America have fundamentally failed their own people” in several ways in their reaction to the Ukraine conflict, and he called out the Democrats for being “obsessed with Russia,” the “Russia collusion hoax,” which has clouded their judgment. “It is absurd for the US to devote so many resources, so much attention, and so much time to a border conflict six thousand miles away while out own US southern border is wide open,” insisted the Republican, adding: “We now no longer have the weapons in store to actually prosecute our own national security. Let’s focus on our own problems.” In a broadside targeting President Joe Biden, whose US foreign aid package that includes $60 billion for Ukraine is currently stuck in Congress, he succinctly pointed out: “If the thing you care most about is a conflict six thousand miles away you should not be a leader of this country.”

Elsewhere during the CPAC interview, Vance speculated that the Biden administration’s lack of effort to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine is rooted in financial interests. “I hate to say it, but I think it’s all about the money,” Vance said on Friday, adding that lots of money and resources being sent to Ukraine are getting “skimmed off the top.” The Ohio senator attempted to get across the same message at the recent Munich Security Conference. Vance argued that the US cannot continue to support Ukraine as its defense industry doesn’t produce enough munitions. “You don’t win wars with GDP or euros or dollars. You win wars with weapons, and the West doesn’t make enough weapons,” he was quoted as saying. Weighing in on the stalled aid package to Ukraine, and whether it could make an impact if it passed the US House, the Republican was cited by Politico as saying: “it doesn’t change the fundamental facts — that we are limited in the munitions that we can send, that Ukraine is limited in terms of its own manpower. The situation has to fundamentally change for them to make significant battlefield gains.”

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They don’t want peace. They want a forever war.

US Sees No Chance Of Ukraine Peace Before Election – WSJ (RT)

Western leaders have reportedly dismissed the possibility of reaching a negotiated peace agreement to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict before US voters go to the polls later this year. “Officials in Washington and European capitals are skeptical about the prospects of any peace talks with Russia and discount any possibility of a deal before the US presidential elections in November,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The Kiev regime has insisted that Russian forces vacate all of Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory, the outlet added, while US support could crumble if Donald Trump defeats incumbent President Joe Biden. The political stakes are even higher than when the Ukraine crisis began two years ago because Western leaders have invested billions of dollars in Kiev’s defense while repeatedly vowing to continue their backing “as long as it takes,” the WSJ said.

A Ukrainian defeat could shatter Washington’s geopolitical credibility, especially if Biden’s government fails to continue providing aid. “The level of US investment in the project of Ukraine’s independence has increased, and therefore the extent to which US credibility is judged based on Russia’s ability to accomplish or not accomplish its objectives in Ukraine,” Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at Washington think tank RAND Corp., told the newspaper. “If there were to be a dramatic reversal of fortunes in Ukraine, there would be a whole lot more confidence in the emerging pseudo-bloc of Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.” Moscow has always been open to peace negotiations and would welcome any US efforts to end the Ukraine conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin told American journalist Tucker Carlson in an interview earlier this month.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this week that neither Ukraine nor its Western backers are willing to end the bloodshed, leaving Moscow no choice but to continue fighting until its objectives are achieved. He suggested that the US election has little bearing on the issue because both Republicans and Democrats view Russia as an “adversary and a threat.” US House Republicans have meanwhile declined to approve Biden’s request for $60 billion in additional Ukraine funding. Washington ran out of money for Ukraine aid last month, after exhausting $113 billion in previously approved spending. Biden blamed Trump’s congressional allies for last week’s fall of Avdeevka, a key Donbass stronghold for Kiev, to Russian forces.

“It’s not just that American aid has been cut, but it’s been cut without warning and without giving us any time to adjust,” former Ukrainian Defense Minister Sergey Zagorodnyuk told the WSJ. He added, “If this crisis is not resolved, and Ukraine doesn’t receive the assistance, it will become a huge gift to Putin.” Washington’s European allies are so “spooked” by the potential loss of US protection that some German politicians have discussed seeking protection from nuclear-armed France and the UK, the report said. “It tells you about the level of doubt and fear about the world that we are entering – the one with the US not being there for us and where the hostile superpowers of Russia and China are potentially lining up against us,” said Thorsten Benner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin.

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“..Tel Aviv has ignored nearly all of Washington’s requests over the past four months with no impact on US aid shipments to Israel.”

Netanyahu’s Post-War Plans for Gaza Call for Indefinite Occupation (Antiwar)

Israel has released its first draft of its plans for post-war Gaza. Throughout the four months of a brutal onslaught, Israeli forces have decimated the Strip and killed 30,000 Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s post-war plans call for “operational freedom of action in the entire Gaza Strip without a time limit” and “demilitarization” of Palestinians. The Israeli government first released the document to some media outlets on Thursday. According to the translation from NBC News, the document says, Israel will “maintain its operational freedom of action in the entire Gaza Strip, without a time limit,” and “The security perimeter being created in the Gaza Strip on the border with Israel will remain as long as there is a security need for it.”

Israel is also requesting control of the border between Egypt and Gaza. Netanyahu’s plan may face resistance in Washington and Cairo. Egypt has demanded that Israel not deploy its forces along the border. The US has asked Israel not to expand buffer zones in Gaza. However, Tel Aviv has ignored nearly all of Washington’s requests over the past four months with no impact on US aid shipments to Israel. Netanyahu says he will not allow the rebuilding of the Strip to begin until the Palestinians have been “deradicalized.” Additionally, Tel Aviv plans to have complete control over the future political system in Gaza. Netanyahu says the Strip will be fully demilitarized. President Joe Biden has requested that Netanyahu allow Arab states to finance the reconstruction of Gaza and allow the Palestinian Authority (PA) to govern Gaza in the process of creating a sovereign Palestine.

Netanyahu’s proposal did not mention the PA. The Israeli government has repeatedly stated that it will not allow the PA to control Gaza or the Palestinians to have a state. In the statement released by the Israeli government, Netanyahu says, “Israel utterly rejects international diktats over a final-status agreement with the Palestinians.” Netanyahu additionally plans to shut down UNRWA, the main aid agency in Gaza, that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians rely on for survival. Tel Aviv recently accused the UN Relief and Works Agency of employing 12 people who took part in the Hamas attack in Israel. However, a US intelligence community assessment only endorsed the claim with “low confidence.”

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“Stop acting aggressive because you’re going to get the fight you’re asking for and you’re in no way prepared for it.”

UK’s Failed Trident Missile Test Emblematic of Its ‘Decline and Demise’ (Sp.)

On Wednesday, US media reported that the UK Royal Navy tested an unarmed Trident II missile in January, but the missile failed, falling just feet from the submarine it launched from. The failure was the latest in a string of embarrassing events for the Royal Navy. The recent missile failure by the UK military “is entirely linked to the kind of decline and demise of the UK as a serious nation,” Phil Kelly, a political contributor and socialist activist told Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Thursday. “It’s a nation that is in a deep economic and political crisis, and the military reflects that,” Kelly underscored. “I compare them to the [Scooby-Doo] character Scrappy-Doo because they run around after the United States as a small henchman talking up a bit beyond their own capabilities,” he added before mentioning a string of failures by the UK Royal Navy, including two warships colliding in the Gulf of Yemen.

“It’s a clown show that really isn’t fit for [its] purpose.” Like the Scrappy-Doo character, the UK Royal Navy acts supremely confident in its abilities, but can not back up its bravado. “This is an army, let’s not forget, that retreated at speed after a failed 20-year occupation of Afghanistan. They were beaten by men in pickup trucks… who’s [now] shaking its saber and threatening Russia, China, and Iran,” Kelly explained. “It’s kind of like that small man syndrome in a bar. Stop acting aggressive because you’re going to get the fight you’re asking for and you’re in no way prepared for it.” Kelly noted that not only is the UK military experiencing significant equipment problems, but it is also failing to meet its recruitment goals, calling it a “huge crisis” and doubling down on the fact that the issues are not limited to the naval branch.

“They used to have this great tagline about their main battle tank, the Challenger Two, that they said… had not been lost on the battlefield since it launched a couple decades ago. The tank itself managed about two to three weeks when it arrived in Ukraine before one of them was left as a burning hulk.” “If [the failed Trident missile launch] happened in North Korea, Western media would have been laughing at it,” Kelly said. “Here, we have the UK completely unable to launch a missile, which has cost an exorbitant amount of money while health and education are falling into rack and ruin.”

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“This isn’t a conspiracy theory,” he said; the “invasion” at the U.S. southern border is “strategic engineered migration.”

Former Panama Border Chief: UN Is Behind the Chaos at US–Mexico Border (ET)

The former director of Panama’s border patrol told The Epoch Times that the United Nations’ migration agenda is behind the chaos at the U.S. southern border and that U.N. partners are making things worse instead of better. Oriel Ortega, now a security and defense consultant to Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo, said during a Feb. 22 interview that he saw a jump in migration in 2016, at the same time that more nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) moved into Panama. That increase corresponded with the U.N.’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration meeting in 2016. Two years later, 152 nations—including Panama—voted in favor of the compact to manage global migration. The United States voted against it. But under the U.N., the migration process has been anything but orderly, Mr. Ortega said. “It’s completely opposite right now,” he said through an interpreter.

Documents show that in 2023, a record 500,000 migrants traveled through the dense jungle known as the Darien Gap from Colombia into Panama. Migrants from around the world are flying into South and Central America to start their journey because countries such as Suriname and Ecuador don’t require a visa to enter. Their final destination is the United States. The book “Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy,” written by Kelly Greenhill, suggests that weaker countries are using migration to destabilize their more powerful adversaries. Joseph Humire is the executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society and an expert on unconventional warfare. He told The Epoch Times that he believes that’s what Americans are seeing at the U.S. southern border now. “This isn’t a conspiracy theory,” he said; the “invasion” at the U.S. southern border is “strategic engineered migration.”

Mr. Ortega agreed that the NGOs have “exacerbated” mass migration problems. “Instead of helping, they’re being part of the problem,” he said. “It’s not the migrants themselves that are creating a national threat; it is the organized crime, and it is these international organizations.” At the Lajas Blancas camp in Panama, migrants have access to a number of large maps provided by NGOs that display detailed migration routes heading to the United States. One map is from HIAS, an NGO founded as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which recently received $11 million from the United States in two grants awarded for Latin American migrants.

Paxton

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“If they cannot pay by tomorrow, we will begin kidnapping their children to hold as ransom.”

New York Prosecutes Couple For Fraud (BBee)

Local couple Marty and Shelly Cross have been officially charged with fraud after listing their home for $499,000 when it ultimately sold for slightly less. “The Cross family knowingly and willfully tried to get a good deal when they sold their home,” explained Attorney General Letitia James. “The State of New York hereby assesses the Cross family a fine of $50 million for their egregious actions. If they cannot pay by tomorrow, we will begin kidnapping their children to hold as ransom.” According to sources, the bank had performed an appraisal and actually approved a loan for the buyer at $499,000, though ultimately after negotiations the selling price was slightly less. “Yes, the bank agreed to the price set by the Cross family,” admitted James.

“That doesn’t mean Mr. and Mrs. Cross did not commit fraud! Banks, as we all know, are poor and helpless and at the mercy of whatever amount of money people ask for. The feeble, powerless bank is the victim here, having been duped by the Cross family – and they will pay!” The Cross family were reportedly caught completely off guard by the charges, believing they had submitted a reasonable asking price. “All we did was ask for what we wanted! No one had to agree to it. I had no idea asking for the price you wanted for your home was illegal,” said Shelly. “I have to be frank, I just don’t quite see how our negotiating the price with the seller and the bank did fifty million dollars of damage to the State of New York. I’m really struggling to make the connection.” At publishing time, Letitia James had put up billboards across New York with the faces of the Cross family and how much they owed in fines.

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RFK Fauci

 

 

Vaxx

 

 

GVDB
https://twitter.com/i/status/1761118837934600475

 

 

Lion vs tiger

 

 

Couple
https://twitter.com/i/status/1761425708297994481

 

 

Leopard

 

 

bbee
https://twitter.com/i/status/1761453868947267894

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 302023
 
 December 30, 2023  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  38 Responses »


Edward Hopper Two on the Aisle 1927

 

Putin ‘Tried Everything Possible’ To Make Peace – Ukrainian Diplomat (RT)
Is Talk of Peace in Ukraine a Washington ‘Deception’? (Sp.)
Beginning of the End of Ukraine Conflict Chance for Diplomacy, Negotiation (Sp.)
Ukraine ‘Thinks Like a Warmonger’ – Russian Foreign Ministry (Sp.)
EU States Knowingly ‘De-Industrializing’ – Gazprom (RT)
Russia Warns West On ‘Boomerang Effect’ Of Confiscating Assets (RT)
The Middle East on Fire (Sonja van den Ende)
US Allies Get Cold Feet on Red Sea Armada and Who Could Blame Them? (SCF)
Yemen Is Blocking US Hegemony In West Asia (Cradle)
Is Colorado Counting on a Mootness Escape Clause? (Turley)
Democrats Facing Election Wipeout Resort to Desperate Actions (PCR)
Judge Dismisses Attempt By Virginia Activists To Keep Trump Off Ballot (JTN)
Bud Light Sales Still Down 28% as Consumers Continue Boycott (Turley)
Do You Dare Even Look? – Forecast 2024 (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

 

 


Since August, there are officially more ILLEGAL MIGRANTS arriving each month than there are children being born to American mothers. And these are just the official encounters — we don’t know how many avoided detection.

 

 

Palestine UN

 

 

DC Draino:
This is insane corruption
FTX snowplowed millions of dollars into Democrat campaign accounts
DOJ separated campaign finance charges from his fraud trial
Now after being convicted for fraud, they’re dropping the 2nd trial for campaign finance crimes
Would’ve implicated too many Dems and RINOs
I know our gov’t is corrupt but sometimes things like this surprise even me

 

 

Grayzone Israel

 

 

Milei

 

 

Tomorrow

 

 

Judge Nap Schaffer

 

 

South Africa has triggered the Genocide Convention and instituted proceedings against #Israel before the ICJ over #Palestine

 

 

 

 

“..Russia’s stated goals of demilitarization and “de-Nazification” of Ukraine would have been addressed under the pre-approved treaty. “Options remain to either achieve them through an agreement or by force,” Putin stressed.

Putin ‘Tried Everything Possible’ To Make Peace – Ukrainian Diplomat (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin personally sought a peace agreement with Ukraine in April 2022, according to Ambassador Aleksandr Chaly, a distinguished member of the Ukrainian delegation. Chaly expressed this perspective during an event at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) in early December, where he dissected the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The ex-deputy foreign minister is an associate fellow at the Swiss government-funded foundation. His remarks drew media attention after a video of the event was released on YouTube last week. Chaly analyzed the roots of the ongoing conflict, which he described as “hard competition” for Ukraine that the US and the EU have with Russia, as well as Kiev’s intention to join the EU and NATO. He stressed that “Russian aggression” was not inevitable since the parties had sufficient tools to resolve their differences.

The diplomat called Putin’s decision to launch the special military operation against Ukraine in February 2022 “a crime” and “a mistake” and claimed that the Russian leader had been misled by “his own propaganda and his intelligence services.” Approximately a week into hostilities, Chaly believes Putin recognized the unrealistic nature of his expectations and actively pursued a negotiated resolution. He based his analysis on his personal involvement in the peace talks, which were first hosted by Minsk and culminated in Istanbul in late March with a draft truce approved by both sides. “Putin … tried to do everything possible to conclude [the] agreement with Ukraine,” the diplomat told the audience. The text made concessions to Kiev, compared to Russia’s initial position, and it was Putin’s “personal decision” to accept it, he claimed. We’ve managed to find a very real compromise. Putin really wanted to reach some peaceful agreement with Ukraine.

Chaly mused that “for some reason,” the Istanbul communique did not transform into an actual treaty. The Ukrainian delegation’s leader, MP David Arakhamia, said in late November that then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised Ukrainians to “just continue fighting” during his visit to Kiev after the conclusion of the talks. Remarks made by senior Russian officials, including Putin, partially back Chaly’s account. The president said during his year-end press conference this month that Russia’s stated goals of demilitarization and “de-Nazification” of Ukraine would have been addressed under the pre-approved treaty. “Options remain to either achieve them through an agreement or by force,” Putin stressed.

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“..a kind of a rolling offensive right now that at some point in my opinion would cause the Ukrainian army to crack and maybe the Ukrainian state to crumble.”

Is Talk of Peace in Ukraine a Washington ‘Deception’? (Sp.)

Analysis has emerged recently suggesting the conflict in Ukraine could be drawing to a close, presenting the opportunity for diplomacy. But former US diplomat Jim Jatras says Russia should be on guard against premature declarations that peace is at hand, warning that talk of negotiations could be a ruse by Washington to buy time for Kiev. The former senior foreign policy adviser to Senate Republicans made the claim Friday on Sputnik’s Political Misfits program. “If I were in the Russians’ shoes, that’s [negotiation] the last thing I would do,” said Jatras. “I would basically go forward with their military advantage and impose a settlement on Ukraine through military diktat.” “I think that these articles [that] are being floated – notably the one in the New York Times that the Russians are desperate for some kind of agreement – are designed… to trick the Russians into a kind of a phony deal like ‘Minsk 2’,” added the analyst.

“Where they get all sorts of promises [and] they forgo their military advantage in order to fall for another deception where they can put Ukraine on hold for a while while the United States and our allies focus on other things like Gaza or the Chinese or something like that.” The so-called Minsk accords were the culmination of internationally-mediated negotiations after Ukraine’s Euromaidan coup in 2014. The agreements were ostensibly designed to resolve tensions between Ukraine and Russia and respond to the demands of separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region. Although Ukrainian President Voloydymyr Zelensky ran on implementing the accords, he abandoned the effort once elected, under pressure from fascist and nationalist forces in the country.

It was later revealed that former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at the instruction of the United States, urged Ukraine to reject the agreement to increase the chance of military conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Former French President Francois Hollande confirmed the negotiations were merely a stalling tactic to allow Ukraine to strengthen its military, an account which was recently verified by former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Jatras said recent Western discussion of renewed negotiation may also be insincere. “If you look at the latest posts on X from Dmitri Medvedev, he’s making it pretty clear that they’re not going to fall for that,” said the ex-diplomat. “Does that mean that’s true or not? I don’t know.”

“I think that’s part of what I described earlier as part of a deception,” he added, “part of an attempt by people in Washington to look reasonable, to get Russians engaged in the talks, get them to to slow down what seems to be a kind of a rolling offensive right now that at some point in my opinion would cause the Ukrainian army to crack and maybe the Ukrainian state to crumble.” Host John Kiriakou noted Russia’s missile attack on Ukraine Thursday night, in which the country fired some 120 rockets at Ukrainian cities and also utilized exploding drones. Kiriakou speculated the attack could be designed to allow Russia to negotiate from “a position of strength” in any upcoming peace talks. But Jatras insisted he doesn’t believe Washington is “genuine” about the idea, even as Republicans in Congress say they will not approve another round of military aid to Ukraine.

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“..Finland, in its entire history, never enjoyed greater peace, prosperity, or democracy than during the period of ‘Finlandization’.”

Beginning of the End of Ukraine Conflict Chance for Diplomacy, Negotiation (Sp.)

A wind down of fighting in Ukraine could provide the opportunity for compromise, ‘Finlandization’, and maybe even a role for China, according to investigative journalist Daniel Lazare. Lazare made the claim on the Sputnik’s Political Misfits Thursday in a wide-ranging discussion that also touched on US drug and immigration policy. Host John Kirakou noted that “Republicans have been remarkably unified in their opposition to more military aid to Ukraine, and Democrats have been unsuccessful in tying that aid to aid to Israel.” “Are we seeing the beginning of the end of this conflict?” asked Kiriakou. “I think so,” responded Lazare, noting that Russia has a population some three times as large as Ukraine’s and enjoys a significant advantage in access to resources. “They are just grinding the Ukraine down and without massive outside assistance its fate is really fixed.”

But Lazare blamed the United States for the outbreak of the conflict and warned America could still stand in the way of peace. “The US pushed the Ukraine into an extreme position of rejecting any kind of compromise whatsoever even though a compromise really made sense. Because it’s clear that the population in the eastern Ukraine and the Crimea just have lost faith in the Kiev government, which was taken over by extreme nationalists.” “This seems to me to be a case of just a completely ill thought out policy that sort of just flowed from years of neocon arrogance,” claimed Lazare. US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy circle was dominated by neoconservatives like Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland during Ukraine’s so-called Euromaidan coup in 2014. Western governments cheered on anti-government protests at that time even though polling showed most Ukrainians disagreed with the demands of protesters at Kiev’s Maidan Square.

After neo-Nazi groups forced elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country, leaked audio emerged of Nuland discussing the United States’ attempts to shape the interim government. Nuland boasted of sending $5 billion to promote so-called “democracy building programs” in Ukraine – code for activity designed to promote US interests in foreign governments. The term “color revolution” has been coined to describe US regime change efforts spurred by the funding of opposition forces, especially in Russia’s sphere of influence. US interference helped “tear the country in two,” according to Lazare, and made “outright war more or less inevitable.” “And now the US is facing the consequences. Or rather Zelensky is facing the consequences while the US kind of walks away,” the analyst stressed. Lazare noted “the US will not find it easy to back off” from its support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but he proposed a future wherein peace could be brought to Ukraine if the country agrees to demilitarize.

“What Russia is looking for is ‘Finlandization’,” said Lazare, using the term for Finland’s foreign policy position throughout the Cold War that saw the country adopt a neutral stance towards the Soviet Union. “’Finlandization’ is a dirty word. But bear in mind that Finland, in its entire history, never enjoyed greater peace, prosperity, or democracy than during the period of ‘Finlandization’.” “I actually visited Finland in 1972 during the period of ‘Finlandization’ and it was a glorious society,” said Lazare. “I mean prosperous, egalitarian, socialistic… That was the Russian posture for good reason. It could’ve been worse. I mean, Russia could have demanded the ‘Mexicanization’ of the Ukraine, which would mean inclined to get into poverty and crime. But Russia didn’t do that. And so the deal they offered this border country was really pretty good. It would have been satisfactory [in Ukraine] to a wide range of interests. But the US blocked it.”

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“”Kiev still thinks like a warmonger and intends to continue the conflict ‘until the victorious end,’ which obviously means ‘war to the last Ukrainian..”

Ukraine ‘Thinks Like a Warmonger’ – Russian Foreign Ministry (Sp.)

Moscow sees no political will for peace either in Kiev or in the West, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin told Sputnik. The official reiterated that “a comprehensive, sustainable, and fair settlement of the Ukraine conflict depends to a large extent on the elimination of its root causes.” “The West should stop pumping arms into the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and Kiev should stop fighting and withdraw its troops from Russian territory,” Galuzin stressed. According to the top diplomat, “Ukraine’s neutral, non-aligned, and nuclear-free status should be confirmed and its demilitarization and denazification should be carried out. New territorial realities should be recognized, and the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities living in this country should be ensured.”

“Unfortunately, today we see no political will for peace either in Kiev or in the West,” the deputy foreign minister said, recalling Zelensky’s decree banning negotiations with Russia “The Kiev regime rejects peace mediation initiatives presented by various countries over the past months,” the official emphasized. Meanwhile, he noted that “the so-called ‘peace formula’ proposed by the Ukrainian president last November and presented by him and his Western partners as almost a final settlement plan in fact has nothing to do with peace, but is a set of ultimatums to Russia justifying the continuation of hostilities.””Kiev still thinks like a warmonger and intends to continue the conflict ‘until the victorious end,’ which obviously means ‘war to the last Ukrainian,'” Galuzin said.

“Washington and its NATO subordinates eagerly support Kiev on this, satisfying the growing military appetites of Volodymyr Zelensky’s regime. All of this only delays the conflict settlement,” he added. The top diplomat stressed that Russia has never refused to negotiate with Ukraine and has always advocated for a political solution to the conflict. “But so far we’ve had no other choice but to carry out the special military operation until the full implementation of all the set goals,” the Russian deputy foreign minister concluded.

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“..the policy of eliminating one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources is forcing “some EU member states to de-industrialize.”

EU States Knowingly ‘De-Industrializing’ – Gazprom (RT)

The EU is intentionally destroying demand for natural gas, Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller stated at a company meeting to discuss the year’s preliminary results. “We are well aware of the situation in Europe, where they have taken an unprecedented step,” the chief executive said. “There, for the first time in history demand for natural gas, a primary energy source, is being artificially destroyed.” He insisted that the policy of eliminating one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources is forcing “some EU member states to de-industrialize.” Global demand for gas, however, is expected to increase by 43% in the next 25 years, Miller noted, adding that the energy giant is ready, as it has been developing cooperation with nations that are interested in reliable energy supplies.

He pointed out that Gazprom has been working with Asia for a long time. “The volume of gas supplies to China in 2023 will be over 22.5 billion cubic meters, exceeding the contractual obligations by 500 million cubic meters,” Miller stated, adding that Gazprom plans to deliver as much as 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas to East Asian nation. Gazprom supplies natural gas under a long-term contract sealed with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The Power of Siberia pipeline is part of a $400 billion, 30-year agreement between Gazprom and the CNPC clinched in 2014. Russia’s gas exports to China are projected to reach 100 billion cubic meters annually, taking into account a transit pipeline through Mongolia. Russian gas exports to the EU have dwindled due to Ukraine-related sanctions and the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines last year, previously Russia’s key gas route to the region. However, Gazprom has successfully redirected its energy trade towards Asia, with China emerging as its largest importer.

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“..Moscow has a list of US, European, and other assets that would be seized if the G7 nations decided to confiscate the $300 billion in frozen reserves belonging to the Russian state.”

Russia Warns West On ‘Boomerang Effect’ Of Confiscating Assets (RT)

Russia will retaliate in kind to the potential confiscation of its assets by Western countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday.Russian authorities have assessed the unpredictability of the opposing side, as well as their tendency to violate international and other laws, Peskov stated, adding that, for now, confiscation of foreign assets in Russia can only be considered in theoretical terms.“When they [Western powers] started piling unprecedented economic sanctions on us, they did not think about the boomerang effect at all, but now it is obvious,” Peskov said, adding that a number of sanctions supporters are now wondering whether they did the right thing. According to the official, Moscow has a list of US, European, and other assets that would be seized if the G7 nations decided to confiscate the $300 billion in frozen reserves belonging to the Russian state.

“Of course, we analyzed possible retaliatory steps in advance. And we will do everything so that they best suit our interests. But in general, no theory can be legal; it can only be pseudo-legal,” Peskov explained. He emphasized that taking any step of the kind by the West would amount to “theft,” violate international law, and undermine reserve currencies, the global financial system, and the world economy. “This is fraught with serious consequences,” the Kremlin spokesman warned, adding that it would undermine other countries’ confidence in the US and the EU as economic guarantors. Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that Washington had proposed that working groups from the G7 explore ways to confiscate $300 billion in frozen Russian assets on February 24, 2024, the second anniversary of the start of hostilities in Ukraine.

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“..they are silent and again they support the side of murderers and madmen. They never learn and this among others is also part of the downfall of so-called Western civilization.”

The Middle East on Fire (Sonja van den Ende)

A few weeks after the attack of October 7, I was in Lebanon and felt the coming war, but most Lebanese (including Syrians and others) do not want war. I have spent a few hours with Hezbollah and Amal fighters and everyone assured me that it is actually war already and Hassan Nasrallah’s speech in November in front of the Blue Mosque confirmed this. The war in Syria that started in 2011, according to the Western version, a revolution over the dissatisfaction of President Assad’s government. But the real version is of course that it was a coup d’etat by the U.S. and its client states NATO/EU. A proxy war as they call it. The West supported Islamic radical groups such as Al-Qaeda and later ISIS (Daesh). This war was the West’s first loss since Vietnam (thanks to the help of Russia) and has seen so much death and barbarism that the genie was out of the bottle and has caused large parts of the Middle East to want to fight the West with everything they have.

If the genie was already out of the bottle in the Syrian war, this latest murder on Sardar Sayyed Reza Mousavi is the last straw that further stimulates the resistance against Israel. The murders committed in recent years against senior Iranian generals and scientists from the Israeli Mossad in collaboration with the U.S. and its Western client states have also not been forgotten. In particular, the assassination of Haj Qassem Soleimani has not been forgotten and Sardar Sayyed Reza Mousavi was Soleimani’s most loyal and closest associate. After the most extremist government that Israel has ever known since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 took office, the occupation, hatred and violence have escalated even more, a situation that is no longer tenable for the Palestinian population and it simply had to escalate.

But the war is not only in Gaza, heavy fighting is also reported from Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin and the rest of the West Bank. In other words, all of Palestine is in revolt and as the military leader of Hamas recently explained. What was to be expected is that the West will continue to support Israel, after all the U.S. is the stronghold of AIPAC, the Israeli lobby that influences all political leaders (with money and bribery) and who in turn buys, or rather buys, the political leaders of Europe said dictation, because for many Europe has still been occupied by the U.S. since 1945. “Senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan masterfully explains the reasons for the operation, lays out military and political strategies, and discusses the terms of the resistance. It’s about the liberation of Palestine and beyond, the Axis of Resistance is now involved as well, he said during an interview”.

For the first time, the world can see genocide being committed “live” on TV and social media. The West is silent for the second time in history, that is to say the politicians and media bought by the politicians and Zionist lobby. During the Holocaust of the Jews most Europeans were silent and now during the genocide of the Palestinians and previously the rest of the Middle East they are silent and again they support the side of murderers and madmen. They never learn and this among others is also part of the downfall of so-called Western civilization.

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“Going into the presidential election in less than 10 months with his poll numbers below the water line, Biden can’t afford any further fiasco.”

US Allies Get Cold Feet on Red Sea Armada and Who Could Blame Them? (SCF)

The United States-led naval coalition announced on December 20 for deployment to the Red Sea purportedly to protect international commercial shipping has quickly run into troubled political waters. European allies France, Spain and Italy are curbing their involvement. Australia has given it a miss. And so far, no major Arab countries have signaled their participation, apart from the tiny Gulf island nation of Bahrain which hosts the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet. The 10-nation flotilla was heralded with much fanfare by Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin with the stated objective of defending freedom of navigation through the Red Sea critical for cargo vessels and fuel tankers. That move followed numerous attacks on ships by Yemeni forces who said they would block the passage of Israeli-linked vessels as an act of solidarity with Palestinians suffering genocidal violence in Gaza.

Yemeni militants known as Ansar Allah (Houthis) in conjunction with Yemen’s armed forces say their embargo imposed on the Red Sea will continue until a ceasefire is called in Gaza and humanitarian aid is permitted entry to more than two million starving people. The decision by Washington to respond by further militarizing the Bab el-Mandeb Strait – the 30-kilometer-wide chokepoint largely controlled by the Yemenis – is a reckless escalation in what has now turned out to be a region-wide conflict. Yemen is an ally of Iran which has seen its other allies in the region attacked by the U.S. and Israel. The assassination of a top Iranian commander this week in an Israeli air strike on the Syrian capital Damascus is fueling an international conflagration. This danger could be easily averted if Washington abided by the democratic will of the vast majority of nations at the UN which has urged for an immediate ceasefire to the 80-day aggression by Israel on Gaza since October 7.

Washington has pointedly rejected several draft resolutions at the UN Security Council demanding a cessation of hostilities – the death toll of which has reached nearly 30,000 mainly women and children, according to the respected Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor. Deploying an armada to the Red Sea is almost an absurd and unnecessary complication. If the U.S. and Israel were to comply with basic international, humanitarian law, the interdiction on shipping would not be incurred. After all, Russian and Iranian oil and gas tankers are reportedly navigating unhindered through the Bab el-Mandeb en route to the Suez Canal further north in Egypt. So, the Yemenis appear to be honoring their word that only ships associated with Israel are being targeted. Nevertheless, other global cargo and tanker companies have opted to avoid the vital shipping lane, electing instead to route their vessels around Africa. That alternative route adds several days and significant transport costs.

The Red Sea accounts for the passage of 12 percent of global shipping. Already, the transits are down by one-third in volume. That will inevitably rebound badly on Europe’s hard-pressed economies from supply chain shortages and consumer price inflation. All this would dramatically deteriorate if the U.S.-led armada starts firing on Yemen. That will mean the naval coalition would been seen by the Yemenis (and other Arab nations) – if it is not clear already – as being deployed in support of Israel’s genocide of Palestinians. The Yemenis have defiantly warned that they are prepared to launch anti-ship ballistic missiles and a suspected arsenal of thousands of drones to sink U.S. and other warships. An interesting article by former CIA analyst Larry Johnson – now a respected independent commentator – contends that the U.S. Navy is not fit for purpose to take on the Yemeni threat. Western destroyers may fire million-dollar-missiles at $20,000 drones, but already the mathematics of that equation indicate the Yemenis have won.

If U.S. and European warships start to sink in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden all bets are off. We are then talking about a political crisis that compares with the Suez Emergency in 1956. That debacle ended in shame for the colonial powers Britain and France. Indeed, the 1956 Suez Crisis is cited as a watershed for the demise of these European powers and their pretensions of global power. Hence, the European members of the U.S.-led flotilla – dubbed Operation Prosperity Guardian – which tries a tad too much to sound justified – are peeling away from the misguided venture. If Washington decides to go it alone – which it probably won’t because of structural problems in its modern fleet, as Larry Johnson explains – then the political wrath for Biden among U.S. voters will be withering. Going into the presidential election in less than 10 months with his poll numbers below the water line, Biden can’t afford any further fiasco.

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Yemen surprised both Israel and US.

Yemen Is Blocking US Hegemony In West Asia (Cradle)

Given the renewed focus on Yemen’s de facto government led by Ansarallah and its armed forces, it is time to move beyond the simplistic and dismissive characterization of the Houthis as merely a ‘rebel’ group or a non-state actor. Since the start of the war by the Saudi-led coalition against Ansarallah in 2015, the Yemeni resistance movement has transformed into a formidable military force that has not only humbled Saudi Arabia but is also now challenging Israel’s genocidal actions in Gaza as well as the superior firepower and resources of the US Navy in the world’s most important waterway. In response to Israel unleashing unprecedented violence on Gaza, killing over 20,000 people, predominantly women and children, Yemen’s Ansarallah-led armed forces announced on 14 November their intent to target any Israeli-linked ship passing through the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait in the Red Sea.

This crucial waterway serves as the gateway to the Suez Canal, through which approximately 10 percent of global trade and 8.8 million barrels of oil travel each day. On 9 December, Ansarallah announced it would expand its operations further to target any ship in the Red Sea on its way to Israel, regardless of its nationality. “If Gaza does not receive the food and medicine it needs, all ships in the Red Sea bound for Israeli ports, regardless of their nationality, will become a target for our armed forces,” an Ansarallah Armed Forces spokesperson said in a statement. To date, Ansarallah has successfully targeted nine ships using drones and missiles, and managed to seize one Israeli-affiliated ship in the Red Sea, according to their official statements. These operations have prompted the largest international shipping companies, including CMA CGM and MSC, and oil giants BP and Evergreen, to re-route their Europe bound ships around the horn of Africa, adding 13,000km and significant fuel costs to the journey.

Delays, transit times, and insurance fees for commercial shipping have skyrocketed, threatening to spark inflation worldwide. This is especially worrisome for Israel, which is already contending with the economic repercussions of its longest and deadliest conflict with the Palestinian resistance in history. Additionally, Ansarallah has launched multiple missile and drone attacks on Israel’s southern port city of Eilat, decreasing its commercial shipping traffic by 85 percent. The disruption in the Red Sea directly undermines a key element of the White House’s 2022 National Security Strategy, which unequivocally states that the US will not permit any nation “to jeopardize freedom of navigation through the Middle East’s waterways, including the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab.”

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“..It is hard to portray yourself as the defender of democracy by preventing citizens from voting for the current frontrunner for the presidency..”

Is Colorado Counting on a Mootness Escape Clause? (Turley)

The office of Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswald issued a statement that, since the appeal was filed with the Supreme Court, Trump’s name will remain on the ballot “unless the U.S. Supreme Court declines to take the case or otherwise affirms the Colorado Supreme Court ruling.” That clause or provision from the opinion may offer a welcomed escape option for both the Supreme Court and the state. mThe timing question could have an interesting impact on the case. It could avoid a review by the Supreme Court by effectively mooting the case if the Supreme Court simply lets the clock run past January 5, 2024. The question is whether the Court would see a need to review the matter if no change would occur to the ballot itself. The Colorado Secretary of State issued a press release that stated in part:

“The Colorado Republican Party has appealed the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision in Anderson v. Griswold to the U.S. Supreme Court. With the appeal filed, Donald Trump will be included as a candidate on Colorado’s 2024 Presidential Primary Ballot when certification occurs on Jan. 5, 2024, unless the U.S. Supreme Court declines to take the case or otherwise affirms the Colorado Supreme Court ruling.” The Supreme Court should still take the case and reject the Colorado decision. This issue will only repeat itself in the general election and challengers are seeking additional judges or courts to embrace this dangerous theory. Currently, Colorado is an outlier. However, the Secretary of State in Maine has been as outspoken as Griswald on what she views as an “insurrection” on January 6th.

It is clear why challengers saw Democrat Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows as the most likely to endorse their theory. Bellows has already declared that “The Jan 6 insurrection was an unlawful attempt to overthrow the results of a free and fair election… The insurrectionists failed, and democracy prevailed.” A year after the riot, Bellows was still denoucing what she called “the violent insurrection.” Colorado may prefer to wait for states like Maine to join the cause rather than leave the state as the outlier. Moreover, it is clear to many of us that Colorado will lose before the Supreme Court if push comes to shove. This would remove the shove if the Court simply allows for review to continue beyond the certification on January 5th.

While the four Colorado justices have been lionized by pundits and the media, the optics could take a bad turn if liberal justices joined conservatives in setting aside this decision. Even on an all Democratically-appointed court, the majority was only able to eek out a 4-3 decision with three justices rejecting this novel theory. It is hard to portray yourself as the defender of democracy by preventing citizens from voting for the current frontrunner for the presidency. It is even more difficult when various states, including Democratic jurists and justices, reject this radical effort.The Secretary of State could have sought to lift the limitation on a pending review as barring removal. There was no effort to get the justices to reconsider that part of the ruling. Yet, Griswald could have argued that, once Trump is found to be an insurrectionalist under the Fourteenth Amendment, her office should not be compelled to include his name.

After all, the office is not an intermediate court and it has a ruling that Trump is disqualified as a matter of law. It appears, however, that Griswald accepts this condition that Trump will remain on the ballot unless the Court declines review (which seems unlikely) or affirms the Colorado Supreme Court (which seems even more unlikely). The question is whether Griswald herself will seek to have the matter declared as moot after January 5th. She can argue that, while the same objections could be raised for the balloting for the general election, it is pure conjecture that Trump will win the primary despite every poll showing an overwhelming lead. She could then avoid a likely reversal but arguing that there is no change on the balloting and thus no injury to the Colorado GOP.

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“..why not simply point out that the Colorado supreme court’s ruling is total nonsense as Trump has not been convicted of insurrection?”

Democrats Facing Election Wipeout Resort to Desperate Actions (PCR)

Civil rights groups are suing under US law in behalf of immigrant-invaders who are not US citizens and have no protection of US civil right laws. The issue is a Texas state law that permits Texas authorities to arrest and deport illegal immigrants. The claim is that illegal immigrant-invaders are protected from Texas law by federal civil rights law, a nonsense claim that destroys the concept of citizenship. Remember the “Covid pandemic” when New York was restricting entry of US citizens into New York? How is it that New York can control the entry of US citizens into New York by such measures as imposing a two week quarantine on arrivals, but Texas can’t control the entry of non-US citizens into Texas? Under the 10th Amendment, Texas has the power to control entry just as northern states such as New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois passed laws designed to prevent free blacks from entering the states to settle.

Those who prefer federal over state power claim that the 10th Amendment is a dead-letter Amendment overturned by the federal government’s assumption of powers not granted to it by the Constitution. A more accurate way to describe this is to say that the federal government’s assumption of powers granted to the states is unconstitutional and must be overturned by the Supreme Court. The only constitutional way an Amendment can be overturned is by repeal. What has happened is a coup against the US Constitution by the federal government. The 10th Amendment has not been repealed. It is still a part of the Constitution. It is simply ignored as all other Amendments increasingly are.

Counts will decide the issue between Texas and the US Department of Justice (sic) on the basis of whether state or federal government has the power to control immigration. As the record shows, northern states prohibited black immigration from the South. Were free blacks considered in the North to be US citizens? The answer seems to be partly but not wholly. The knee-jerk response of almost every jurist is that the 10th Amendment is no longer part of the Constitution. The ruling is expected to go against Texas. But the question remains why the federal government insists on its unique responsibility for immigration laws that it refuses to enforce.The greater threat is the claim of some immigrant-invader advocates that the illegal non-citizens have the right under US civil rights laws to residency in the US.

The effort by Democrats in Colorado (and other states) to prevent Donald Trump from being on the ballot in the 2024 election shows a total absence of legal comprehension on the part of the non-diverse 100% Democrat Colorado state supreme court. One wonders where they get these “judges.” The legally illiterate Democrat judges ruled that Colorado could ban Trump from being on the ballot in Colorado in 2024 for the reason that he engaged in insurrection against the United States. The legally illiterate Colorado secretary of state said that “Donald Trump engaged in insurrection and was disqualified under the Constitution from the Colorado Ballot. The Colorado Supreme Court got it right.”Maine’s secretary of state Shenna Bellows has taken it upon herself alone to remove Trump from the ballot for insurrection.

Think about what this means. Trump has not been convicted of insurrection. Every member of the Colorado entirely Democrat supreme court and Colorado’s and Maine’s Democrat secretaries of state assumes that assertion alone is proof of guilt. Clearly, Democrat Colorado and Maine are not states whose officials and judges understand law or are capable of serving justice. Neither do the Colorado Republicans understand. In their appeal to the US Supreme Court for a ruling on the Colorado state court decision, the Republicans argue that the President is not an officer of the US under the meaning of the provision in the 14th Amendment, that only Congress has the power to apply the insurrection provision, and that Colorado’s ruling, if allowed to stand, would violate the people’s ability to select candidates in primaries. Little doubt this is correct, but why not simply point out that the Colorado supreme court’s ruling is total nonsense as Trump has not been convicted of insurrection?

The persecutions of Trump are not legitimate. They are weaponizations of law designed to keep power in the hands of the ruling establishment. That these persecutions are not denounced by bar associations, law schools, politicians, media and the American people indicates that the weaponization of law is generally accepted as a legitimate tool in the struggle for power. The Democrats who falsely accused Trump of election interference are now interfering themselves. With the public alerted, the Democrats are unable to steal a third election in a row, and have resorted to the desperate attempt to claim authority they do not have to prevent Trump from running for president. Democrats have proven that they are tyrants. The acceptance by the American establishment of the obvious use of weaponized law associated with Joseph Stalin indicates that the rule of law is dead in the United States. As time passes, Americans will understand that they are prisoners, and not a free people.

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“President Trump remains undefeated in 14th Amendment ballot challenges in federal courts..”

Judge Dismisses Attempt By Virginia Activists To Keep Trump Off Ballot (JTN)

A federal judge Friday dismissed a motion by two Virginia activists to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot in the Old Dominion. Roy Perry-Bey and Carlos Howard, said in a statement announcing their complaint that, Trump’s “overt election interference undermine or deprive [sic] them of their right to participate equally in secure, free and fair elections, due to Trump’s filing his statement of candidacy to participate in the 2024 Presidential Primary election.” Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia granted Trump his request to dismiss the plaintiff’s case.

“President Trump remains undefeated in 14th Amendment ballot challenges in federal courts with today’s ruling in the Eastern District of Virginia,” said Steven Cheung, Trump campaign spokesperson, in statement. Calling the suits “bad-faith, politically motivated attempts to steal the 2024 election by disqualifying” Trump from the ballot, Cheung pointed to dismissals in the federal courts of West Virginia, New Hampshire, Florida, Arizona, and Rhode Island, as well as state courts in Michigan and Minnesota. “President Trump has pulled significantly ahead in the polls and is poised to defeat failed president Crooked Joe Biden, or whomever the desperate Democrats put forth in 2024,” Cheung said.

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“..Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, sought to dismantle Bud Light’s “fratty reputation.” She succeeded.”

Bud Light Sales Still Down 28% as Consumers Continue Boycott (Turley)

Beer analysts are saying that Bud Light is still struggling with the boycott that has reduced its sale by a whopping 28% over the four weeks leading up to Dec. 9 — and heading to the all-important New Year’s sale period. The tragic irony for the company is that Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, sought to dismantle Bud Light’s “fratty reputation.” She succeeded. It is now the symbol of woke companies for many and consumers seem to be treating the company as a vehicle to express their opposition to the social and political campaigns of companies from Disney to Nike. Notably, U.S. beer shipments dropped by more than 5% over the first nine months of 2023, reflecting a trend among younger voters away from alcohol.

However, Bud Light appears to be off the charts as consumers continue to send a message by buying other brands. The timing is critical. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, a quarter of the $49-billion-a-year distilled spirits industry’s profits come between Thanksgiving and the New Year. The continued struggle of Bud Light during this period could magnify the losses and the message in the market. The message appears to be getting through. Corporate executives have long yielded to demands for greater political and social agendas despite indicators that these campaigns were driving away business.

That is changing as shareholders object to subsidizing campaigns unconnected to products. Most recently, Disney appeared to acknowledge that its own campaigns were undermining sales and alienating consumers. It is the invisible hand of Adam Smith at work. However, this is more of a backhand for Bud Light, which has tried to distance itself from the earlier campaign. The problem is that many consumers now view the company as a symbol of this struggle between companies and the public. Some are seeking to “hoist the wretch” to warn other companies. It seems that Bud Light is now that wretch.

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Long forecast from Jim.

Do You Dare Even Look? – Forecast 2024 (Kunstler)

It’s absurd to imagine that “Joe Biden” can actually run. The current charade, with the Biden / Harris email campaign and few other trappings, is just a game of pretend. The focus just now, even on some blob-captive news sites, is on his unmistakable mental decline. Come January of ’24, though, Mr. Comer, chair of the House Oversight Committee, will unload hard evidence of bribery and treason against the phantom of the White House, and that will really be the end of him. Let him pardon himself and his whole family five minutes before he signs his resignation and be gone. The USA has never endured such a perfect wretch at that level of politics, not even Aaron Burr was this bad. “Joe Biden” was elected in a massive fraud, and he proceeded to just about wreck the country.

The massive exertions of the Intel blob managed to induce a psychotic spell on half the country, mostly to evade prosecution for their own misdeeds, but millions of victims of that psy-op are about to snap out of it. The Democratic Party might not survive the dreadful unmasking of its seditious machinations. By November, the “Joe Biden” regime may even try to involve us in another foreign war as the last desperate distraction. Aside from the demons in the State Department and the Raytheon /Lockheed Martin nexus, the whole country has no appetite left for war, and probably little ability to prosecute one.

As a last gasp, the Party of Chaos may attempt to insert Hillary Clinton back into the picture. They have nothing and no one else; a hail Mary on the theory that they can rev up every angry “Karen” in the land, and their nose-ring daughters, and simply make the election about the oppression of women, leading with abortion. It won’t work. The party will also have to answer for the weaponization of law, the humiliating defeat of the ill-conceived Ukraine project, the millions-fold invasion of illegal aliens, the shattered economy, and the after-effects of the evil vaccine program. If the blob manages to remove Mr. Trump Kagan-style, and the traitorous Republicans run their donor’s favorite, Nikki Haley, I’d look to Bobby Kennedy winning that three-way race not unlike Abe Lincoln winning the fractious election of 1860.

I doubt that even the enmities of 1861 – 1865 between one group of Americans and another were as vicious as they are now. “Joe Biden” was right about one thing: this is a battle over the soul of the nation. The catch is, he and the party behind him are a gang of lost souls who sold out their country and their culture, and took something precious from all of us that will be very hard to get back. We will be wildly lucky if blood does not spill over it.

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Love it
https://twitter.com/i/status/1740418345965658117

 

 

Architects

 

 

Reindeer

 

 


India is the only country in the world that has both lions and tigers. Not only this: India is the only country in the world where all these animals can be found together in the wild. Why? Because India’s varied climate zones support about 65,000 animal species, including bears, elephants, pythons, river dolphins, and rhinos, and 12,000 types of flowering plants.

 

 

Octopus

 

 

Wild yak

 

 

FEAR

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 162023
 
 July 16, 2023  Posted by at 9:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Botticelli The Calumny of Apelles 1495

 

NATO Isn’t Defending Ukraine. It’s Stabbing It In The Back (Cook)
Kennedy Accuses Biden Of Preparing For ‘War With Russia’ (RT)
RFK Jr. Reams Establishment for ‘Manipulating’ Ukraine Into Conflict (Sp.)
RFK Jr. Triggers Overdue Debate About China’s Bioweapons Research (Public)
‘Disbanding’ NATO Would Be ‘Best’ Scenario for People of Ukraine (Sp.)
France and India Pool Efforts To Reach Peace In Ukraine – Le Monde (RT)
Did Biden Just Inadvertently Unveil the Path to Peace in Ukraine? (ElKishky)
Russia-Ukraine Conflict ‘At A Stalemate’ – Pentagon Official (RT)
US Delaying Approval Of F-16 Training For Ukraine – Politico (RT)
Russian Experts Issue Rebuke To Call For Preemptive Nuclear Strike (RT)
20% of Ukrainian Weapons Destroyed In Just Two Weeks – New York Times (RT)
Crimea Invasion Would Kill 200,000 Ukrainian Soldiers – Arestovich (RT)
Fear and Loathing on Air Force One (Seymour Hersh)
Zelensky Activates 3,000 U.S. Military Reservists (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Ritter nukes

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Byron Donalds

 

 

RFK DTP

 

 

 

 

“..the message Nato has sent Moscow is that Russia made exactly the right decision to invade – if the goal, as Putin has always maintained, is to ensure Kyiv remains neutral.”

NATO Isn’t Defending Ukraine. It’s Stabbing It In The Back (Cook)

The Nato summit in Lithuania this week served only to underscore the utter hypocrisy of western leaders in pursuing their proxy war in Ukraine to “weaken” Russia and oust its president, Vladimir Putin. Both the US and Germany had made clear before the summit that they would block Ukraine’s admission to Nato while it was in the midst of a war with Russia. That message was formally announced by Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fumed that Nato had reached an “absurd” decision and was demonstrating “weakness”. British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace lost no time in rebuking him for a lack of “gratitude”. The concern is that, if Kyiv joins the military alliance at this stage, Nato members will be required to leap to Ukraine’s defence and fight Russia directly.

Most western states balk at the notion of a face-to-face confrontation with a nuclear-armed Russia – rather than the current proxy one, paid for exclusively in Ukrainian blood. But there is a more duplicitous subtext being obscured: the fact that Nato is responsible for sustaining the war it now cites as grounds for disqualifying Ukraine from joining the military alliance. Nato got Kyiv into its current, bloody mess – but isn’t ready to help it find a way out. It was Nato, after all, that chose to flirt openly with Ukraine from 2008 onwards, promising it eventual membership – with the undisguised hope that one day, the alliance would be able to flex its military muscles menacingly on Russia’s doorstep.= It was the UK that intervened weeks after Russia’s invasion in February 2022, and presumably on Washington’s orders, to scupper negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow – talks that could have ended the war at an early stage, before Russia began seizing territories in eastern Ukraine.

A deal then would have been much simpler than one now. Most likely, it would have required Kyiv to commit to neutrality, rather than pursuing covert integration into Nato. Moscow would have demanded, too, an end to the Ukrainian government’s political, legal and military attacks on its Russian-speaking populations in the east. Now the chief sticking point to an agreement will be persuading the Kremlin to trust the West and reverse its annexation of eastern Ukraine, assuming Nato ever allows Kyiv to re-engage in talks with Russia. And finally, it is Nato members, especially the US, that have been shipping out vast quantities of military hardware to prolong the fighting in Ukraine – keeping the death toll mounting on both sides. In short, Nato is now using the very war it has done everything to fuel as a pretext to stop Ukraine from joining the alliance.

Seen another way, the message Nato has sent Moscow is that Russia made exactly the right decision to invade – if the goal, as Putin has always maintained, is to ensure Kyiv remains neutral. It is the war that has prevented Ukraine from being completely enfolded in the western military alliance. It is the war that has stopped Ukraine’s transformation into a Nato forward base, one where the West could station nuclear-tipped missiles minutes from Moscow. Had Russia not invaded, Kyiv would have been free to accelerate what it was already doing secretly: integrating into Nato. So what is Zelensky supposed to conclude from his exclusion from Nato, after he committed his country to an ongoing war rather than negotiations and neutrality?

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“..I want people to understand what this troop mobilization is about. It’s about preparing for a ground war with Russia,”

Kennedy Accuses Biden Of Preparing For ‘War With Russia’ (RT)

By ordering the deployment of 3,000 more reservists to Europe, US President Joe Biden is preparing to fight Russian forces on the ground in Ukraine, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said. “Biden has lost his way,” Kennedy tweeted on Friday, arguing that the president should focus on America’s domestic problems instead of trying to achieve “global military dominance.” “I want people to understand what this troop mobilization is about. It’s about preparing for a ground war with Russia,” he said. The idea of defeating Moscow in its conflict with Kiev is a “futile geopolitical fantasy” of the Biden administration, the Democratic presidential candidate added.

Thousands of Ukrainians have already lost their lives because “America’s foreign policy establishment manipulated their country into war… Now, rather than acknowledge failure, Biden admin prepares to sacrifice American lives too,” Kennedy said. On Thursday, Biden signed an executive order mobilizing 3,000 members of the US military’s Selected Reserve to boost the ranks of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which Washington launched in Europe in 2014 after Crimea rejoined Russia following the Western-backed coup in Kiev. According to Army Lieutenant General Douglas Sims, the Joint Staff director of operations, the move “reaffirms the unwavering [US] support and commitment to defend NATO’s eastern flank” in the wake of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

The US European Command (EUCOM) spokesman, Navy Captain Bill Speaks, said the deployment of reservists “will not change current force-posture levels in Europe.” The leading Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump, also had some harsh words to say about Biden’s decision to send more American troops to Europe. The “reckless escalation in Ukraine” pursued by the White House is “straining the US military to the point of disaster,” he said. “Joe Biden can’t even walk up the steps of Air Force One without tripping. The last thing this incompetent administration should be doing is pushing us further toward World War III.”

Trump reiterated his earlier claim that if he becomes president again, he would end the conflict in Ukraine in 24 hours. “Not one American mother or father wants to send their child to die in Eastern Europe. We must have peace.” Another Republican presidential candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy, said it is “downright disturbing” that the US media is largely ignoring the president’s order in its reporting. “What is the justification now [for sending reservists to Europe]? What are the operations? Where will they go? What will they do? We need answers, not sweeping this under the rug as Biden would prefer,” Ramaswamy said in a statement.

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“We can heal all of this if we try. But not if we pour our resources into foreign adventures,”

RFK Jr. Reams Establishment for ‘Manipulating’ Ukraine Into Conflict (Sp.)

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has condemned the US “foreign policy establishment” for its role in the Ukrainian crisis, and expressed fears that Washington may be preparing for a full-on conflict with Russia. “President Biden just called up 3,000 reservists to augment US troops in Europe as part of ‘Operation Atlantic Resolve’. I want people to understand what this troop mobilization is about. It’s about preparing for a ground war with Russia,” RFK Jr wrote in a viral tweet viewed over 2.4 million times Friday evening. “Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian youth have already died because America’s foreign policy establishment manipulated their country into war to fulfill [a] vain and futile geopolitical phantasy. Now, rather than acknowledge failure, [the] Biden administration prepares to sacrifice American lives too,” the candidate added in a separate thread viewed 4.8 million times.

“Meanwhile,” the candidate continued, US cities and infrastructure are falling apart, with the middle class being “hollowed out,” crime soaring, and “chronic disease and addiction run[ning] rampant.” “We can heal all of this if we try. But not if we pour our resources into foreign adventures,” RFK Jr. stressed. Separately, touching on the Biden White House’s recent approval to send cluster munitions to Kiev, RFK Jr. emphasized that this wasn’t “the first time the US has deployed cluster bombs,” and that the US military “used them against Serbia in 1999,” leading to mass civilian casualties. RFK Jr., the son of assassinated former attorney general and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, and nephew of assassinated US President John F. Kennedy, is polling at double digits weeks into his campaign, despite attempts by the media to silence and smear him as an anti-vaxxer nutcase.

RFK Jr. maintains that he is not “anti-vaccine,” but seeks more regulatory oversight of drug companies, and more accountability for federal health officials. A June Economist/YouGov poll showed that the candidate has a 49 percent favorability rating, higher than both President Biden and Donald trump (44 percent favorability each, respectively). The high favorability ratings have been attributed to the Kennedy namesake, which continues to hold massive sway among Democrats even six decades after JFK’s murder, and to RFK Jr.’s popularity among many self-declared Republicans, who agree with him on issues ranging from medical bodily autonomy to the need to challenge corporate and government corruption.

Kennedy is expected to have a hard time edging out Biden in 2024 even if he wins the primaries’ popular vote, given the existence of superdelegates, powerful electors to the presidential nominating convention who essentially have the power to override the wishes of ordinary voters. During the 2016 Democratic primary cycle, supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders accused the Hillary Clinton campaign of “rigging” the primary process using superdelegates and direct electoral manipulation, with the scandal leading to the resignation of Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. This time around, RFK Jr.’s supporters fear the party may move against him in a similar fashion. The candidate has ruled out a third party run.

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Alex Gutentag and Michael Shellenberger on a NY Post story about an RFK video.

RFK: “@nypost story is mistaken. I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews. I accurately pointed out — during an off-the-record conversation — that the U.S. and other governments are developing ethnically targeted bioweapons and that a 2021 study of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 appears to disproportionately affect certain races since the furin cleave docking site is most compatible with Blacks and Caucasians and least compatible with ethnic Chinese, Finns, and Ashkenazi Jews. In that sense, it serves as a kind of proof of concept for ethnically targeted bioweapons. I do not believe and never implied that the ethnic effect was deliberately engineered. That study is here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32664879/”

RFK Jr. Triggers Overdue Debate About China’s Bioweapons Research (Public)

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is feeding anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that China created COVID-19 as a bioweapon to kill whites and blacks but spare Chinese and Jewish people, says the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “The claim that COVID-19 was a bioweapon created by the Chinese or Jews to attack Caucasians and black people is deeply offensive,” an ADL spokesperson told the New York Post, “and feeds into sinophobic and anti-semitic conspiracy theories about COVID-19 that we have seen evolve over the last three years.” Kennedy made his remarks at a dinner party last Tuesday. “There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted,” said Kennedy. “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”

The New York Post cites The Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at the University of Tel Aviv to note that “Kennedy’s remark echoes well-worn anti-Semitic literature blaming Jews for the emergence and spread of coronavirus.” But there was nothing anti-Semitic about Kennedy’s remarks, nor did he say that the Chinese government deliberately targeted whites and blacks and spared Jewish and Chinese people. “We don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted or not,” he said. And a few hours ago, in response to the brewing controversy, Kennedy tweeted, “I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews.” It’s true that Kennedy pointed to evidence that Covid had a different impact on different groups. “There are papers out there that show the racial or ethnic differential and impact,” Kennedy said at the dinner party.

And in his tweet, he wrote, “I accurately pointed out — during an off-the-record conversation — that the U.S. and other governments are developing ethnically targeted bioweapons and that a 2021 study of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 appears to disproportionately affect certain races since the furin cleave docking site is most compatible with Blacks and Caucasians and least compatible with ethnic Chinese, Finns, and Ashkenazi Jews.” The paper Kennedy linked to in his tweet concluded, “Human genetic factors may contribute to the extremely high transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 and to the relentlessly progressive disease observed in a small but significant proportion of infected individuals, but these factors are largely unknown.”

At the same time, Kennedy is right to raise the alarm about China’s bioweapons program. And the debate over bioweapons research, which includes research into vaccines to protect against them, is long overdue. [..] Reached by telephone, Kennedy told Public, “My point was that what they’re doing is horrendous. Instead of being at war, we should be signing treaties for peace and for controlling bioweapons.”

RFK

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For everybody.

‘Disbanding’ NATO Would Be ‘Best’ Scenario for People of Ukraine (Sp.)

Against the backdrop of the Kiev regime’s much-hyped but faltering counteroffensive that kicked off in early June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had been craving tangible NATO entry promises at the military bloc’s recent summit. Yet, Kiev ended up with promises of more weapons to fan the flames of NATO’s ongoing proxy war against Russia. The dissolution of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would be the best scenario for Ukraine, according to American politician Geoffrey M. Young. “The best thing that could happen to the people of Ukraine would be for NATO to disband and for the US to remove ALL of our weapons and troops from Europe forever,” the Democrat wrote on Twitter. The politician who has been vocal about his support for Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine accompanied his post with a reference to recent remarks made by John Kirby.


The official, who serves as the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council in the White House, said an additional 3,000 US reserve troops have been authorized for deployment to Europe, and will predominantly focus on administrative and logistics tasks to “support and sustain a large troop presence for a long time.” John Kirby reiterated there are over 80,000 American troops in Europe, due to the “realization” that the “security environment in Europe is changed”. The aim is to ensure that the United States has “the proper force posture to be able to support an additional eastern flank presence for the long haul,” the White House official had added. “Kirby just inadvertently admitted that Ukraine’s Army is gone,” was the reaction of some people to the post on social media.

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Odd couple.

France and India Pool Efforts To Reach Peace In Ukraine – Le Monde (RT)

India and France have joined their efforts to develop a new plan seeking a peaceful settlement of the fighting in Ukraine, Le Monde reported on Saturday. The stage was set for the new apparent attempt to resolve the conflict when French President Emmanuel Macron met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Paris earlier this week. During the meeting, Macron signaled that he wanted the two countries to work together to address “global challenges” while also citing shared concerns about the “fragmentation of the international community” over Ukraine. According to Le Monde, France considers India, which has refrained from condemning Russia over its military campaign in the neighboring country, as “an essential partner in the search for a lasting solution.”

While Modi has so far refrained from following the lead of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva by portraying himself as a mediator, he has instructed his subordinates to work with their French counterparts to find a way out of the current diplomatic impasse, the report says. While Le Monde did not provide any details of the plan, it noted that at this stage it does not look like previous initiatives floated by China and several other nations. Since the start of the Ukraine conflict more than one year ago, many world leaders have called for peace negotiations between Moscow and Kiev, including Lula, who in April urged the US “to stop encouraging war” and instead focus on finding a diplomatic solution.

Lula’s statement came after China in February unveiled its own proposal, which called for “respecting sovereignty of all countries” and abandoning “the Cold War mentality.”At the same time, Macron struck a different tone, expressing hope that negotiations between Ukraine and Russia could start if Kiev manages to achieve success during its much-hyped summer offensive, which Moscow says has so far failed to gain any ground. However, while Moscow has repeatedly said that it is open to negotiations with Ukraine, last year President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning talks with the current Russian leadership. Later, Kiev also came up with its own peace plan demanding that Russia withdraw from all territories that it claims as its own and that Moscow pay war reparations. The Kremlin has dismissed the plan as detached from reality.

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“..firstly, Russia will not relinquish the territories it seized unless Ukraine reclaims them by force, or Putin is replaced by a West-appeasing leader willing to cede these territories via diplomacy.”

Did Biden Just Inadvertently Unveil the Path to Peace in Ukraine? (ElKishky)

In an interview with Fareed Zakaria aired on July 9th, 2023, US President Joseph Biden made comments that could potentially sketch out his administration’s vision of a realistic scenario that could potentially end the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. [..] Biden’s comments, if interpreted correctly, might carry significant implications. It seems that he outlined a scenario that would satisfy Russia’s conditions for peace, which could be summarized as follows: maintaining control over Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, and parts of Ukraine that Russia took control of post-February 2022, especially in Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts which Putin now considers part of Russia; no NATO membership for Ukraine; and the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.The last two conditions were stated in Putin’s speech on February 24th, 2022, the day the armed conflict started.

In this speech he stated “…in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22, I made a decision to carry out a special military operation. “The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine…” It is quite possible that these two conditions have lost their significance – despite being recently reiterated by Russian officials- as they were initially mentioned in the context of protecting ethnic Russians in both the then-Ukrainian Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts. According to Putin, these individuals faced discrimination, were being stripped of their Russian identity, and had been bombarded by Ukraine since 2014. These threats no longer exist after the annexation.

One implication of Biden’s comments, if read between the lines, might suggest a potential U.S. acceptance (which does not necessarily translate to an official recognition of legitimacy) of the status quo on the ground. He stated that Ukraine cannot be integrated into NATO while it’s engaged in conflict, owing to his solid commitment to safeguarding every inch of NATO territory. This indicates he cannot guarantee protection for Ukraine’s pre-2014 and 2022 borders without risking an undesirable direct conflict with Russia, a situation which, in his own words, would lead to the West being “all at war with Russia.”. It also implies that the primary responsibility for liberating Ukraine’s territory lies with Ukraine itself.

He stated that NATO will not accept Ukraine anytime soon, to prevent a direct NATO intervention in the conflict, and that Ukraine will be granted a status akin to Israel’s – which could potentially enhance its defensive capacity, but only after a ceasefire or a peace agreement is signed. Two realities Biden would have been surely well aware of entering this interview are: firstly, Russia will not relinquish the territories it seized unless Ukraine reclaims them by force, or Putin is replaced by a West-appeasing leader willing to cede these territories via diplomacy. The chances of this happening in the near future are slim. In fact, numerous Western and Russian analysts suggest that even if Putin were to be replaced, there are no guarantees his successor wouldn’t be equally or potentially more hawkish.

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Only until Russia attacks.

Russia-Ukraine Conflict ‘At A Stalemate’ – Pentagon Official (RT)

Fighting in Ukraine has reached “a bit of a stalemate,” US Defense Intelligence Agency Chief of Staff John Kirchhofer told a conference in Washington on Thursday. His assessment of Ukraine’s chances is considerably gloomier than that of other Biden administration officials. “Certainly we are at a bit of a stalemate,” Kirchhofer said, according to Bloomberg. “One of the things that the Russian leadership believes is that they can outlast the support of the West.” Ukrainian forces have been bogged down in a counteroffensive against Russian defenses from Kherson to Donetsk since early June, and have failed to make any significant territorial gains against the Russians. The offensive has cost Ukraine 26,000 men and more than 3,000 pieces of military hardware, according to the latest figures from the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Ukrainian President Zelensky and his top officials have publicly blamed the West for failing to provide enough weapons – including long-range missiles and fighter jets – to guarantee the offensive’s success. However, Kirchhofer warned that no one weapon system will change Kiev’s fortunes. Neither US-supplied HIMARS rocket artillery and cluster bombs, nor British Storm Shadow cruise missiles, have thus far tilted the battlefield situation in Ukraine’s favor, he pointed out. “None of these, unfortunately, are the holy grail that Ukrainians looking for that will allow them to break through,” he said. While recent media reports suggest that Kiev’s American and European backers are frustrated with the pace of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, Washington officials have publicly insisted that all is well.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said last month that Ukrainian forces were “advancing steadily,” but that progress would be slow and “very bloody.” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CNN last month that heavy Ukrainian casualties are “to be expected,” but that Zelensky will continue to receive “the support he needs not just from the United States, but from 50 other partners.” US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have both repeatedly rejected the idea of Ukraine entering into peace talks with Russia. Both insist that Ukraine will decide when to sit down to negotiate, and neither have spoken on whether this position will change if Kiev’s counteroffensive continues to fail. Russia maintains that Western arms deliveries will only serve to prolong the conflict, without altering its eventual outcome.

Stalemate

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Wonder why, after all the talk. No troops left?

US Delaying Approval Of F-16 Training For Ukraine – Politico (RT)

European countries have yet to receive formal approval from Washington to train Ukrainian pilots to fly US-designed F-16 fighter jets, Politico reported on Friday, citing sources. The ‘international coalition’ seeking to help Kiev procure F-16s and train Ukrainian pilots was first announced by the UK and the Netherlands in mid-May, with the US coming on board a few days later. A total of 11 countries have supported the initiative, with a training center expected to be set up in Romania. However, the US State Department has not approved the request to transfer instruction manuals, flight simulators, and other materials required for training, Politico said, adding, however, that there is no indication that the US will not eventually greenlight the move. Pentagon spokesman Garron Garn said the request “is still being reviewed.”

William LaPlante, the department’s acquisition chief, told the outlet that the Pentagon has to “make sure we’re ready to go with the technical manuals being translated and the tech data packages and a sustainment plan” before approving the transfer. In recent months, Ukraine has repeatedly demanded that its Western backers send F-16 jets, saying they could play a key role in countering Russian air power. Earlier this week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said Kiev could deploy the first F-16s by late March 2024. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that if F-16s are sent to Ukraine, they “will burn” just like other Western hardware. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has described the potential deliveries as an escalatory move, noting that the aircraft can carry nuclear weapons.

In early June, Politico reported that senior US officials believe that future support for Ukraine hinges on the success of its much-hyped counteroffensive, and should Kiev fail to deliver, the military assistance “will likely dry up.” Later the same month, the Financial Times reported, citing sources, that Western officials are not impressed by the results of the counteroffensive. The Russian Defense Ministry said the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which has been underway for more than a month, has failed to gain any ground. According to Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, since the start of the push, Kiev has lost more than 26,000 soldiers and around 3,000 units of heavy military equipment. Ukrainian officials, including President Vladimir Zelensky, attempted to shift the blame for the slow progress onto the West, citing delays in military aid.

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“..only if “the existence of the state as a whole comes under threat.”

Russian Experts Issue Rebuke To Call For Preemptive Nuclear Strike (RT)

It is extremely irresponsible and dangerous to call on Russia to carry out a preemptive nuclear strike in order to gain an upper hand in its current standoff with the West over Ukraine, more than 20 experts from Russia’s influential think tank have warned. The joint statement released by a group of members of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy on Thursday is one of the recent responses to the debate within the Russian expert community about the use of nuclear weapons, which was prompted by a controversial op-ed written last month by Sergey Karaganov, an honorary member of the council’s presidium. Karaganov has made a case for Moscow lowering the threshold for the first use of its nuclear arsenal, arguing that, at some point, it should consider striking targets in Europe.

Without mentioning Karaganov by name, a group of fellow think tank members said that they “unequivocally condemn” such reasoning. “It is beyond irresponsible to assume that one can manage a limited nuclear conflict and stop it from spiraling into a global nuclear war,” they warned, adding that, under such a scenario, “tens and perhaps even millions” of lives would be at stake. “It is a direct threat to humanity as a whole,” the statement said. “It is unacceptable to use pseudo-theoretical arguments and talk show-style emotional statements to stoke sentiments in society that could push one towards catastrophic decisions.” The think tank, also known under its Russian acronym SVOP, is the co-founder of the Valdai Discussion Club, whose annual sessions President Vladimir Putin attends.

Karaganov’s approach was previously criticized by other noted experts, including Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of SVOP’s presidium and editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs magazine, who argued that the damage from “the game of nuclear peek-a-boo is a gamble” would be “multiples worse than any hypothetical benefits.” Putin said last month that Moscow would resort to nuclear weapons only when faced with an existential threat. According to Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine, revised in 2020, the country reserves the right to use its nuclear arsenal if it comes under attack with nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. It may also use the nuclear option when attacked with conventional means, but only if “the existence of the state as a whole comes under threat.”

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“..the Ukrainian military lost 26,000 men and more than 3,000 pieces of military hardware..”

20% of Ukrainian Weapons Destroyed In Just Two Weeks – New York Times (RT)

The Ukrainian military lost 20% of the equipment it sent to the battlefield during the first two weeks of its counteroffensive, the New York Times reported on Saturday. This high attrition rate was reportedly a key factor in Kiev’s decision to pause the operation. Beginning in early June, Ukrainian forces launched a series of attacks all along the front line from Kherson to Donetsk. Advancing through minefields and without air support, the Ukrainian military lost 26,000 men and more than 3,000 pieces of military hardware, according to the latest figures from the Russian Ministry of Defense. Ukrainian losses were at their highest during the initial two weeks of the offensive, the New York Times claimed, citing unnamed American and European officials.

These officials said that up to 20% of Ukraine’s tanks and armored vehicles were destroyed in this period, including many Western-provided vehicles. For some units, Western equipment was lost at an even higher rate, the Times continued, citing figures from a pro-Ukrainian organization. Ukraine’s 47th Mechanized Brigade – a NATO-trained unit – apparently lost 30% of its 99 Bradley Infantry Fighting vehicles in two weeks, while the 33rd Mechanized Brigade lost nearly a third of its 32 German-made Leopard tanks in a single week. “They all burned,” said one Ukrainian soldier who witnessed at least six Western vehicles destroyed in a single Russian artillery barrage. Another Ukrainian fighter told the Times that his unit’s Bradleys run over anti-tank mines on a daily basis.

While the troops inside often survive, the vehicles are left immobilized long before they reach Russian lines. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian forces have destroyed a total of 311 Ukrainian tanks since June 4. “At least a third of them, I believe, were Western-made tanks, including Leopards,” Putin told Russia 24 TV on Thursday. After the first two weeks, Ukrainian commanders decided to pause the counteroffensive, and losses subsequently dropped to 10%, the Times claimed. President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged the pause this week, but blamed the West for failing to supply him with enough weapons and equipment for a successful operation.

With little territorial gain to show for Kiev’s losses, Western officials have expressed disappointment at the pace of the offensive, according to a steady trickle of media reports since mid-June. Zelensky and some of his top officials still insist that the decisive phase of their counteroffensive has yet to begin. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Western backers are running low on ammunition, particularly 155mm artillery shells. US President Joe Biden admitted this week that “we’re low” on these shells, explaining that the shortage compelled him to send controversial cluster munitions in their stead. The US has also stalled on approving the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, something that Kiev insists will help restart the faltering counteroffensive.

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“Stop the war and join NATO? Many people would say it is a historical chance,”

Crimea Invasion Would Kill 200,000 Ukrainian Soldiers – Arestovich (RT)

The cost of invading Crimea would be too high for Kiev, a former adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Aleksey Arestovich, said this week. The operation would likely lead to hundreds of thousands of casualties, he said, speaking to Russian journalist Yulia Latynina. There are “few prospects” of seizing the Crimean Peninsula through military means, Arestovich said, when discussing the options remaining to Kiev in its ongoing conflict with Moscow. “What will be the cost? Extermination of 200,000 of the adult male population?” he added, referring to the number of soldiers Ukraine would be likely to lose. Ukraine’s economy might also be “totally destroyed” in the process, he warned. Kiev is already “totally dependent”on its Western backers, the former presidential adviser admitted.

Should the US and its allies stop supplying Ukrainian troops with weapons, they would not only be unable to take back territories that had joined Russia, but would also struggle to defend their current positions, he said. Arestovich also openly charged that Washington and its allies were pursuing their own interests in the conflict. “Let’s be honest: our foreign policy goals in this war contrast sharply with the foreign policy goals of our sponsors and backers,” he said, adding that the West was willing to sacrifice Ukraine’s territory and lives of its people to achieve the desired outcome. Ukraine can now only influence the Western leaders at an “emotional”level, the former presidential adviser said, adding that Kiev should have focused on building up its own sovereignty instead. “We need relations… based on real profits. That’s the only thing they [the West] understand,” he added.

Arestovich also said that “immoral policies… and inability to take serious decisions” are the “major weakness of the West.” Still, Ukraine cannot just abandon its Western backers and pursue its own goals “at any cost,” the former adviser insisted, adding that that would be a “dead end”for Kiev. The only consolation would be the prospect of joining NATO in exchange for peace with Russia. “Stop the war and join NATO? Many people would say it is a historical chance,” the former presidential confidant said. He also described NATO guarantees in exchange for consenting to a peace with Russia along the current contact line as a “fairly good deal.” According to Arestovich, such an agreement would also likely require the West to lift some of its anti-Russian sanctions to convince Moscow to agree to such terms.

His remarks come amid the much-touted Ukrainian summer offensive, which has failed to bring about significant changes on the battlefield almost a month and a half after it was launched. Ukrainian troops have suffered heavy losses, including in Western-supplied heavy armor, during their largely unsuccessful attacks on the Russian defenses. According to Western media, Kiev’s backers have also been frustrated over the slow pace of the operation. Moscow has repeatedly signaled it was ready for peace talks with Ukraine. It has also blamed Kiev for the lack of progress in the diplomatic field, citing a decree signed last year by Zelensky that prohibits talks for as long as Russian President Vladimir Putin remains in power. Kiev put forth its own peace plan demanding Russia withdraw its troops from all the territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders. Moscow has rejected the proposal, calling it detached from reality.

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“Duplicity comes much differently in the United States.”

Fear and Loathing on Air Force One (Seymour Hersh)

Let’s start with a silly fear but one that does signal the Democratic Party’s growing sense of panic about the 2024 Presidential election. It was expressed to me by someone with excellent party credentials: that Trump could be the Republican nominee and will select Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as his running mate. The strange duo will then sweep to a huge victory over a stumbling Joe Biden, and also take down many of the party’s House and Senate candidates. As for real signs of acute Democratic anxiety: Joe Biden got what he needed before the NATO summit this week by somehow turning Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inside out and getting him to rebuff Vladimir Putin by announcing that he would support NATO membership for Sweden. The public story for Biden’s face-saving coup was talk about agreeing to sell American F-16 fighter bombers to Turkey.

I have been told a different, secret story about Erdogan’s turnabout: Biden promised that a much-needed $11-13 billion line of credit would be extended to Turkey by the International Monetary Fund. “Biden had to have a victory and Turkey is in acute financial stress,” an official with direct knowledge of the transaction told me. Turkey lost 100,000 people in the earthquake last February, and has four million buildings to rebuild. “What could be better than Erdogan”—under Biden’s tutelage, the official asked, “finally having seen the light and realizing he is better off with NATO and Western Europe?” Reporters were told, according to the New York Times, that Biden called Erdogan while flying to Europe on Sunday. Biden’s coup, the Times reported, would enable him to say that Putin got “exactly what he did not want: an expanded, more direct NATO alliance.” There was no mention of bribery.

A June analysis by Brad W. Setser of the Council on Foreign Relations, “Turkey’s Increasing Balance Sheet Risks,” said it all in the first two sentences—Erdogan won re-election and “now has to find a way to avoid what appears to be an imminent financial crisis.” The critical fact, Setser writes, is that Turkey “is on the edge of truly running out of usable foreign exchange reserves—and facing a choice between selling its gold, an avoidable default, or swallowing the bitter pill of a complete policy reversal and possibly an IMF program.” Another key element of the complicated economic issues facing Turkey is that Turkey’s banks have lent so much money to the nation’s central bank that “they cannot honor their domestic dollar deposits, should Turks ever ask for the funds back.”

The irony for Russia, and a reason for much anger in the Kremlin, Setser notes, is the rumor that Putin has been providing Russian gas to Erdogan on credit, and not demanding that the state gas importer pay up. Putin’s largesse has been flowing as Ergodan has been selling drones to Ukraine for use in its war against Russia. Turkey has also permitted Ukraine to ship its crops through the Black Sea. All of this European political and economic double dealing was done openly and in plain sight. Duplicity comes much differently in the United States.

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“If President Biden takes orders from him, then we’ll do whatever he says as well.”

Zelensky Activates 3,000 U.S. Military Reservists (BBee)

Casualties continue to mount in the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, causing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to make the decision to call up 3,000 U.S. military reserve soldiers. “I need all the forces I command at my disposal,” Zelensky said when announcing the activation of American troops. “These young men and women have been well-trained to defend Ukraine, and now is the time to fulfill their purpose.” As reports of Russian military advancements continued to filter in from the front lines, Zelensky — the commander of all U.S. armed forces — determined his best option was to call in reinforcements. Pentagon officials were quick to comply. “We’re here to follow orders from the top, and it doesn’t get any higher-up than Mr. Zelensky,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.


“If President Biden takes orders from him, then we’ll do whatever he says as well. The full might of the United States military is at his beck and call.” Though some pockets of opposition to the move were present within the U.S. Congress, the vast majority expressed full support. “It’s our job to stand by our leaders in times of war,” said Utah Senator Mitt Romney. “We’ll provide whatever President Zelensky needs. I’ve already got an appointment to shine his shoes the next time he’s here to speak to Congress.” At publishing time, Zelensky was reportedly preparing to scramble U.S. fighter jets to intercept incoming Russian air support while ordering all American missile launch sites to ready their nuclear payloads.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trombone
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680189525040021504

 

 

 

 

Caturday

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tornado
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680225076019429377

 

 

Mackerel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680244382476251136

 

 

Frog

 

 

happy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680255476871712770

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 012023
 
 July 1, 2023  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


Edward Hopper Approaching a city 1946

 

Time To Make Peace In Ukraine, Trump Tells Reuters (TASS)
Arming Ukraine Is A Cynical And Dangerous NATO Ploy – Bowes (RT)
Poland Wants US Nuclear Weapons – PM (RT)
Russia Always Emerged Stronger From All Troubles – Lavrov (TASS)
Russia Will Destroy Foreign Fighters, Western Generals In Ukraine – Lavrov (RT)
Ray McGovern: Russia’s ‘Coup’ Is Actually Biden’s Disaster (SP)
Orban Taunts EU’s Drained Coffers With Travolta Meme (Sp.)
Ukraine’s Top General ‘Pissed Off’ Over Counteroffensive Criticism – WaPo (RT)
Kiev Considers ‘Holding Crimea Hostage’ – WaPo (RT)
West’s Ideas About How To End Crisis In Ukraine ‘Schizophrenic’ – Lavrov (TASS)
CIA Chief Made Secret Trip to Ukraine to Discuss Battle Plans, Ceasefire (Sp.)
CIA Head Calls Russian Intel Chief To Say US Uninvolved In Wagner Mutiny (TASS)
Hunter Biden’s Lawyer Sends Scathing Letter to GOP Chair (Sp.)
The Long, Hot Summer (Kunstler)
America Is a Military Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy (Whitehead)

 

 

How much longer can Macron last? Very little in the press about the riots, and to post 100 videos of fires here is also not great. But it’s serious.

“2 Police Unions have written to Macron threatening to revolt. “Today the police are in combat as we are at war. Tomorrow we will be in the resistance and the government should be aware of this”

 

 

Comer

 

 

 

 

Maté Ritter

 

 

Tucker pride

 

 

Blumenthal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cancer cells

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think the biggest thing that the US should be doing right now is making peace..”

Time To Make Peace In Ukraine, Trump Tells Reuters (TASS)

The time is ripe for making peace in Ukraine, and the United States should contribute to the peace process right now, acting as a mediator, former US President Donald Trump said in a telephone interview with Reuters on Thursday. “I think the biggest thing that the US should be doing right now is making peace – getting Russia and Ukraine together and making peace,” he said. “This is the time to do it,” he added. The ex-US leader also believes Ukraine may be allowed to keep what it has “earned.” “I think they would be entitled to keep much of what they’ve earned and I think that Russia likewise would agree to that. You need the right mediator, or negotiator, and we don’t have that right now,” he lamented.


Without either elaborating on what Trump meant under “earned” or citing the former US president directly, Reuters said that he did not rule out that Kiev might have to concede some territory to Russia. Everything would be “subject to negotiation” though, Trump added. The former US leader has repeatedly said publicly that he would broker peace in Ukraine in 24 hours if he were to win the 2024 presidential election. However, he never explained exactly how he sees ending this conflict.

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“..weapons being supplied by NATO and their allies to Ukraine are being wilfully targeted against civilian populations on a daily basis… all miraculously invisible to the Western media..”

Arming Ukraine Is A Cynical And Dangerous NATO Ploy – Bowes (RT)

Western nations are pushing Ukrainian soldiers into suicide missions against Russian forces after providing them with outdated and often inoperative weapons, RT correspondent Chay Bowes has told the UN Security Council. The Irish journalist was among the speakers invited to address to the Council on Thursday, sharing his views on Western lethal aid to Ukraine and the related proliferation risks. The gathering was attended by ambassadors including Russian Permanent Representative Vasily Nebenzya and his UK counterpart Barbara Woodward. Bowes told the delegations that NATO nations have been helping Kiev to build up its military since 2014, training thousands of troops each year. He described the current hostilities as “a proxy conflict, where Ukraine supplies manpower… to support a de-facto NATO operation to prevent a Russian military victory”.

A defeated Ukraine would undermine the US-led military bloc itself, he predicted, which explains the escalation of arms supplies from the West. Many of the weapons provided to Kiev, especially by smaller nations, are often in a poor state of repair, Bowes said, citing multiple reports from the Western media and officials. Some are “outright lethal”to the Ukrainians using them. The sub-par weapons are being “dumped” as part of schemes by the larger powers, primarily the US, to replace and upgrade their own stocks. Meanwhile on the frontline, Kiev’s troops have paid a heavy price for “strategically insignificant” territorial gains during this month’s counteroffensive, he said. Ukrainian action essentially amounts to a “suicidal full-frontal attacks on in-depth prepared defenses”, and allowing them to occur is “deeply cynical” and “sinister”, the reporter argued. “No modern NATO military strategist or senior officer would suggest these maneuvers are anything but an inhumane ticket to tragedy, when commanding their own troops,” Bowes claimed.

“Yet when it comes to Ukrainian young men mounting these assaults being decimated – they are silent.” Continued hostilities are also taking a toll on civilians in Russia, some of which Bowes said he had met personally in places including Belgorod Region. “I’ve seen [Russian] villages burning, I’ve heard artillery strikes, and I have to tell you that weapons being supplied by NATO and their allies to Ukraine are being wilfully targeted against civilian populations on a daily basis… all miraculously invisible to the Western media,” he told the UNSC. Historical precedents, such as the Troubles in Northern Ireland or the terrorist attack on the 2015 Bataclan Theater in Paris, show that even a small number of weapons can cause much suffering by civilians, Bowes warned. The arming of Ukraine may lead to decades of instability in the region and cause spillover effects in far-away nations, he added.

Read more …

Why not give them directly to Kiev?

Poland Wants US Nuclear Weapons – PM (RT)

Warsaw is asking NATO to include it in the bloc’s Nuclear Sharing Program, Prime Minister Mateus Morawiecki told journalists in Brussels on Friday. The program allows the deployment of US nuclear bombs on the territory of other nations. Morawiecki called Poland’s appeal a response to Moscow’s decision to station its tactical nuclear arms in neighboring Belarus. “Due to the fact that Russia intends to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, we are… appealing to… NATO to [allow us] take part in the Nuclear Sharing Program,” the prime minister said. The final decision on the issue would rest with Washington, Morawiecki said, but added that Warsaw sought to “act quickly in this regard.”

Poland “does not want to sit idly,” he explained, while accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of increasing “all sorts of threats.” Launched in 2009, the NATO Nuclear Sharing Program has seen US B-61 nuclear bombs deployed to various locations around Europe, including in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Türkiye. Some nations have appeared to regret allowing the deployments. In 2010, German lawmakers made a decision on the withdrawal of America’s nuclear weapons from Germany but the arms have remained in place. In April 2023, Sevim Dagdelen, the deputy head of the Left party in the Bundestag, demanded a US troop withdrawal from Germany, alongside America’s nuclear weapons.

Moscow and Minsk signed a treaty on Belarus hosting Russian tactical nuclear weapons in May. The atomic warheads will be mounted on Iskander-M missiles and fighter jets specifically modified for the purpose, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at that time. Moscow pointed to the NATO Nuclear Sharing Program as its own justification for the move. An estimated 150 American atomic bombs were deployed across several NATO nations on the European continent as of April 2022.

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“This is an indirect, but very clear, explicit recognition of who is at war against whom..”

“So, thank you for your concern, but we can handle it ourselves..s”

Russia Always Emerged Stronger From All Troubles – Lavrov (TASS)

The West should not worry about Russia’s national interests; the country has emerged stronger from all troubles, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at an online briefing on Friday. “Thank you for your concern about our national interests, but you shouldn’t feel worried,” Lavrov said, responding to a question from Reuters. About the attempted mutiny in Russia Lavrov said that “Russia has always emerged stronger from any trouble.” “This will be the case this time,” he stressed. “Moreover, we already feel that this process has begun.” Lavrov added that the attempted mutiny in Russia brought to mind only one epithet – “much ado” – and could hardly be described in a different way.


Lavrov recalled how last Saturday some Western officials, in their comments on the internal political situation in Russia, said that “the facade of the Russian authorities has cracked” and that they were doing everything right with regard to Ukraine. Lavrov pointed out that in this way the Western officials acknowledged that it was they (and not Ukraine) who were at war with Russia. Lavrov also recalled the European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s statement that the West was doing the right thing by arming Ukraine and called for stepping up arms supplies to Kiev. “This is an indirect, but very clear, explicit recognition of who is at war against whom,” Lavrov pointed out. “So, thank you for your concern, but we can handle it ourselves,” he concluded.

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“..committing a war crime by allowing mercenaries, Western generals and instructors to use civilian objects to hold all sorts of meetings.”

Russia Will Destroy Foreign Fighters, Western Generals In Ukraine – Lavrov (RT)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused Ukraine of allowing foreign mercenaries and Western generals to use civilian infrastructure to fight against Russia, and has vowed to destroy these groups. Speaking at an online briefing on Friday, Lavrov said that Russia has “not seen confirmation of a single fact of deliberate shelling of civilian targets by the Russian army.” He claimed, however, that the Ukrainian side has been “violating international humanitarian law and committing a war crime by allowing mercenaries, Western generals and instructors to use civilian objects to hold all sorts of meetings.”

“If we discover such gatherings, for example, as in Kramatorsk, we will destroy them, because these are people who have declared war on us,” Lavrov said, referring to Russia’s recent high-precision strike on a temporary brigade base in the Donbass city of Kramatorsk on Tuesday. The Russian Defense Ministry had claimed that the base was hosting a staff meeting involving dozens of Ukrainian officers and foreign advisers, and reported that the attack resulted in the deaths of “two generals, up to 50 officers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as up to 20 foreign mercenaries and military advisers.”

Russian forces have continued to repel Ukrainian attacks on their defensive positions in Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, as well as in Donbass, since Kiev launched its much-hyped counteroffensive earlier this month. Ukraine has so far been unable to make any significant gains and has suffered numerous casualties, losing hundreds of servicemen and dozens of heavy equipment, including tanks and infantry fighting vehicles provided by Kiev’s Western backers, according to numerous media reports.

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“Ain’t because McGovern knows everything. It’s because McGovern knows guys who know everything. Scott Ritter. Colonel MacGregor.”

Ray McGovern: Russia’s ‘Coup’ Is Actually Biden’s Disaster (SP)

The reason I adduce the Iraq example is because it’s a mirror image of the media lying and being fed by the intelligence community that matters. Now, there’s something that I have that you don’t have, Robert. You have a much longer record of objectivity and fearless reporting. What I have I was two years an Army infantry intelligence officer. Okay. Now, let me be very brief here. This may sound corny, but the first thing we were drilled into that was drilled into our minds. You do an estimate of the situation. You get a map and you find out where Ukraine is relative to Russia and where the U.S. and Western Europe are. And then you try to figure out how many Russians are under arms and how many how many Ukrainians could be stood up. And then you say, well, are they motivated?

And then you say, well, what kind of weaponry they have? And then you say blocks. Now, locks, not like locks and bagels that were usually in the Bronx. Okay. This is lines of communication and control and supply, actually. Now, there’s no way that Russia facing an existential threat from NATO and the U.S. and Ukraine can lose this battle. And, you know, for proof. Well, don’t believe me now. Check with me in three weeks and see where the situation on the battlefield is, because the Ukrainians are almost down to their last soldier. And the question will be, where do the Russian army stop the Dnieper or do they go all the way to the Polish border? So check with me in three weeks on that. Don’t trust me now. Okay. But the cardinal thing is that Americans have been misled.

And, you know, I’m really glad that whether you’re playing devil’s advocate here or whether you’re I’m really glad you’re posing these questions, because I am supremely confident. Ain’t because McGovern knows everything. It’s because McGovern knows guys who know everything. Scott Ritter. Colonel MacGregor. Just like when I was briefing Schultz, I could say I know these guys who are serious analysts don’t pay any attention to Gates and his boss, Casey. I listen to me and them because we’re giving you the straight scoop. Now, again, my record is there for everyone to see what people call me as some sort of devotee of Putin. But that’s that’s only because what he and I say tend to coincide much more than what John Kirby and others say on behalf of the administration.

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“Where is the money?”

Orban Taunts EU’s Drained Coffers With Travolta Meme (Sp.)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban trolled the European Commission in a Twitter post on Thursday over its rapidly emptying coffers. “What happened to the 7-year budget?” Orban queried, accompanying his tweet with a John Travolta meme from the movie Pulp Fiction. “How did this happen? What happened to the budget? Where is the money?” were the questions that Orban put out there, as the European Commission requested an increase of €66 billion ($72 billion) on Tuesday for its long-term budget. A review of a draft budget for the 2024-2027 period by the European Commission triggered an urgent need to boost the rapidly dwindling budget, with most of the money ostensibly needed to fund additional assistance for Ukraine.


Viktor Orban’s post on Twitter kicked off a thread of comments. Many took to social media to deplore the money going towards propping up Ukraine’s “corrupt” President Volodymyr Zelensky. Since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation, EU members have provided more than 61.7 billion euros in direct support to Kiev, including over 10 billion euros in military assistance. Moscow has warned repeatedly that such aid threatens to escalate the crisis. Back in May, Hungary blocked the European Union from allocating the eighth €500 million package from the so-called European Peace Fund to pay for military assistance to the Kiev regime. Orban has insisted that the ongoing hostilities stem from a “failure of diplomacy.” Rather than pursuing a strategy of further ramping up tensions, the veteran Hungarian leader urged an immediate end to escalation by the West. Viktor Orban has also offered especially harsh criticism of the European Union’s aggressively anti-Russian policies.

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“It’s not a show the whole world is watching and betting on or anything..”

Ukraine’s Top General ‘Pissed Off’ Over Counteroffensive Criticism – WaPo (RT)

The commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces has vented his frustration over recurring remarks by international commentators and officials that the country’s counterattacks are proceeding too slowly. In an interview with the Washington Post published on Friday, General Valery Zaluzhny stressed that Kiev’s ongoing push – which Moscow claims has failed to gain any ground – is not a spectacle for the entire world to enjoy. “It’s not a show the whole world is watching and betting on or anything. Every day, every meter is given by blood,” he stressed. Zaluzhny, who was earlier reported to have been seriously injured in a Russian missile strike, also said that it “pisses [him] off” when he hears that Ukraine’s offensive is bogged down.

The Ukrainian general also reiterated that without adequate supplies, Kiev would not be able to implement its plans. “But they are being carried out. Yes, maybe not as fast as the participants in the show, the observers, would like, but that is their problem,” he added. Zaluzhny went on to complain that Ukraine still needs more weapons from its Western backers, saying that his troops have often been outgunned by their opponent due to limited resources. He also voiced frustration that Ukraine has to storm Russian lines without air support, with deliveries of advanced F-16 fighter jets still at least several months away.

Ukraine kicked off its much-anticipated counteroffensive in the early days of June, attempting to penetrate Russian defenses along several sections of the front. It has so far failed to gain any ground, according to Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Ukrainian losses have exceeded Moscow’s by a factor of ten, estimating that Kiev has lost 259 tanks and 780 armored vehicles since the start of the campaign. At the same time, Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov has described the attacks as a “preparatory operation” while President Vladimir Zelensky has admitted that the offensive is developing “slower than desired”in the face of “tough resistance” from Russian troops.

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“..they hope to gain leverage over Moscow by retaking “substantial territory by the fall,” and, “in an ideal scenario,” station artillery and rocket systems on the border with Crimea..”

Kiev Considers ‘Holding Crimea Hostage’ – WaPo (RT)

Ukrainian officials aim to station long-range weapons near Crimea in order to gain an upper hand in future peace negotiations with Russia, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing three people familiar with the matter. According to the Post, the Ukrainian leadership shared the plans with CIA head William Burns during his secret trip to Kiev last month, where he met with President Vladimir Zelensky. Zelensky and his aides are reportedly devising plans to end the fighting “on terms that are acceptable to Russia and the Ukrainian people.” To achieve that, they hope to gain leverage over Moscow by retaking “substantial territory by the fall,” and, “in an ideal scenario,” station artillery and rocket systems on the border with Crimea, where the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is located.

By “holding hostage” the peninsula, Kiev wants to “open negotiations” and demand that “Russia accept whatever security guarantees Ukraine can secure from the West,” the Post said. Ukraine’s top commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, has voiced frustration over criticism of the much-hyped counteroffensive, which was launched last month, but has so far failed to push back the Russians in any significant way. According to Moscow, multiple Ukrainian assaults were repelled, while Kiev’s forces had suffered heavy losses. The troops lost Western-supplied heavy tanks and combat vehicles to minefields and artillery fire as they tried to break through fortified Russian positions.

Peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine broke down in the spring of 2022. Kiev has since demanded that Russia surrender its four newly acquired regions, as well as Crimea, which Moscow stressed was non-negotiable. Russia also named Ukraine’s neutrality as one of requirements for the conflict to end. Crimea voted to join Russia in the wake of the 2014 Western-backed coup in Kiev. The regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye did the same after holding referendums in September 2022. Ukraine considers these territories illegally occupied by Russia.

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“..Ukraine must first win and carry out a successful counteroffensive, and only then will we decide to negotiate..”

West’s Ideas About How To End Crisis In Ukraine ‘Schizophrenic’ – Lavrov (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement about ending the conflict in Ukraine through “diplomacy” and “negotiation” strange against the backdrop of the West’s constant speculations about the need to defeat Russia first. “It’s a strange statement, I’ve heard about it,” Lavrov said in response to a TASS request for a comment. “This is all being said almost simultaneously with statements by the very same Secretary of State, Blinken, the very same leaders of the US National Security Council and the very same European Union and NATO functionaries, who keep saying: Ukraine must first win and carry out a successful counteroffensive, and only then will we decide to negotiate,” Lavrov explained. “This is a schizophrenic situation: they say that everything will be ended by negotiations, but first we have to defeat Russia.”

He also drew attention to the basis on which the West wished to negotiate. “The United States, together with NATO members and with the European Union, has stated firmly, repeatedly and uncompromisingly that the sole basis for negotiations is the notorious [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky peace formula, which consists of ten points,” Lavrov pointed out. “There are some neutral things there. Trivial, I should say.” “It is unclear why they were included there,” he noted, naming food and energy security among such things. “These are the very same things that have been undermined by the West’s sanctions.”

“But the main thing about the prospects for a peace treaty is that first Russia is to withdraw beyond the 1991 borders, the Russian leadership is to be put on trial, and Russia must pay reparations. Only after these preconditions have been met, will peace be made. This is what the West has in mind when it speaks of the need for negotiations and a peace settlement,” Lavrov explained. He remarked that “this split personality disorder does not help to correctly navigate the situation.” “The way I see it, they are trying to temporarily freeze this conflict, to achieve some kind of cease-fire and buy time to beef up Ukraine’s military muscle again, to create a new military infrastructure, and to supply it with new lethal long-range weapons,” Lavrov pointed out, adding that this scenario “is being advanced by US political scientists.”

He cited a recent article in Foreign Affairs magazine that promotes “exactly this type of scenario.” “Make peace, take a breather. Yes, Russia will also get a break, but the entire West is behind Ukraine, so we (the Western countries – TASS) will make it much stronger and then [will] continue to press ahead for the same aims mentioned in Zelensky’s plan.” “Demagogy has never hindered diplomacy in achieving certain aims, but that’s what diplomats are for: to distinguish some contrived moves from reality,” Lavrov concluded.

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“Ukraine officials told Burns they aim to move artillery and missile systems near the boundary line of Crimea and push further into eastern Ukraine by the fall. ”

CIA Chief Made Secret Trip to Ukraine to Discuss Battle Plans, Ceasefire (Sp.)

The head of the CIA in a secret trip to Ukraine reportedly held talks with officials on an ambitious strategy to retake territory from Russia and open ceasefire talks with Moscow by year-end. Citing officials familiar with the visit, US media reported that CIA Director William Burns during the trip in June met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine’s top intelligence officials. The purpose of the visit was to reaffirm the Biden administration’s commitment to sharing intelligence designed to help Ukraine in the conflict. Ukraine officials told Burns they aim to move artillery and missile systems near the boundary line of Crimea and push further into eastern Ukraine by the fall.

Then Kiev intends to open negotiations with Moscow for the first time since they broke down in March of last year, the report said, citing people involved with the planning. Officials reportedly later said they hope by agreeing not to take Crimea, Russia would accept whatever security guarantees Kiev can secure from the West. One Ukrainian official told the outlet “the US agrees that Ukraine should enter the negotiations from a strong position.” The CIA refused to comment when asked about Burns’ assessment of Kiev’s plans, the report said. Burns’ trip occurred just before Wagner chief Yevgeniy Prigozhin’s aborted mutiny. The report said the US intelligence community had detected in mid-June that Prigozhin was plotting something, but that those findings were not relayed to Ukrainian officials.

According to the report, Kiev is under extraordinary pressure from Western allies that provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in weaponry ahead of the counteroffensive. Earlier Friday, US media reported that Burns recently called his Russian counterpart, Sergey Naryshkin, to inform him that the United States had no involvement in Prigozhin’s aborted mutiny against the Russian government.

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“..the highest-level interaction between the US and Russia since the incident..”

CIA Head Calls Russian Intel Chief To Say US Uninvolved In Wagner Mutiny (TASS)

CIA Director William Burns called Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergey Naryshkin this week to tell him that the US had nothing to do with the mutiny attempt by the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC), The Wall Street Journal said on Friday citing its sources. According to them, the phone conversation between Burns and Naryshkin was the highest-level interaction between the US and Russia since the incident. The conversation, initiated by the American side, aimed to deliver a message that the US “had no involvement” in Wagner founder Evgeny Prigozhin’s actions and did not intend to exacerbate tensions in Russia, the newspaper writes, noting that the conversation took place this week.

According to the newspaper, Burns told Naryshkin that the US had no role in the mutiny and the incident was Russia’s internal affair. On the evening of June 23, several audio recordings were posted on the Telegram channel of Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin. In particular, he claimed that his units had come under attack, blaming the Russian military. The Russian Defense Ministry slammed the Wagner boss’ allegations of a strike on the PMC’s “rear camps” as fake news. The PMC units that supported Prigozhin headed to Rostov-on-Don and toward Moscow. The Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal case on calls for armed mutiny. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a televised address to the nation on June 24, described the Wagner group’s actions as armed mutiny and a betrayal.

Later on June 24, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in coordination with Putin, held talks with Prigozhin, resulting in the PMC standing down, turning its units around, and retreating to their base camps. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian authorities pledged not to prosecute those Wagner PMC fighters who took part in the mutiny in light of their “frontline achievements.” The criminal case on armed mutiny was dropped, the FSB said.

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Let’s get to court..

Hunter Biden’s Lawyer Sends Scathing Letter to GOP Chair (Sp.)

One of Hunter Biden’s lawyers reportedly sent a scathing letter on Friday to US Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), the chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, accusing him of feeding a “misinformation campaign” against the Biden son. US media reported the letter claimed Smith was trying to undermine the law and feed “the misinformation campaign to harm our client, Hunter Biden, as a vehicle to attack his father.” In the letter, Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell references transcripts of interviews between the committee and IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley, who earlier told the panel he had copies of WhatsApp messages in which Hunter Biden allegedly attempted to use his father’s position as then-vice president to influence his business dealings.

“I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction,” reads the message, from 2017, which was allegedly sent from Hunter Biden to a Chinese businessman. Last week, Smith released transcripts of the interviews while the White House and Justice Department dismissed the IRS whistleblowers’ claims. Smith also tweeted screenshots of the message, according to a report, which Lowell says are “complete fakes.” “Both include a photo of Mr. Biden not from 2017 but from the White House Easter Egg roll in April 2022 (long after the purported message was sent); both images portray the message in a blue bubble, when WhatsApp messages are in green; one image super-imposed the Chinese flag for the contact ID, when surely that was not how a text or contact was kept; and one purports to be a screenshot with the ‘…’ of someone composing a text (as in Apple’s iMessage) when that does not happen on WhatsApp,” Lowell wrote in his letter, in reference to Smith’s tweeted images.

“In short, the images you circulated online are complete fakes,” he concludes. In reference to the IRS whistleblowers, who Lowell says are “claiming that title in an attempt to evade their own misconduct,” Lowell added that the interviews were “orchestrated recitations of mischaracterized and incomplete ‘facts’ by disgruntled agents who believed they knew better than the federal prosecutors who had all the evidence as they conducted their five-year investigation of Mr. Biden.” “Chairman Smith, it is easy when a committee does not operate with fairness and thoroughness and an adherence to rules and procedures to forward a false political narrative,” concluded Lowell in his letter.

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“It’s unfortunate that America suffered three fake presidential impeachments in recent decades..”

The Long, Hot Summer (Kunstler)

Do you suppose that “Joe Biden” & Company can keep up this charade of a proxy war with Russia much longer? $150-billion pounded down the Kiev rat-hole, purchasing yet another foreign relations humiliation. Never has an American president been heaped with such an ignominious foundering and dishonor. He can only pretend to run for reelection as he wrecks the country. The DNC poohbahs, cross-eyed in transports of Woke-ism, must know that this bumbling grifter personifies a failing state. The White House press pool reporters are even flinging harsh questions at him these days as he desperately searches for doors to escape through. The tally in the Biden family bribery operation stands above $30-million now, with government whistleblowers pouring out of the agencies like termites from a burning house.

Most of them have not testified in Congress yet, or in any other venue, nor have the various DOJ and FBI officials associated with the broad-based cover-up of these blatant crimes. Do you doubt anymore that Attorney General Merrick Garland perjured himself testifying that the Delaware US attorney David Weiss was not interfered with in the Hunter Biden tax and gun violation case? The mounting evidence of foreign influence-peddling is hard and vivid now, viz., the Whatsapp text out this week of Hunter, “sitting here with my father,” extorting Chinese business associate Henry Zhao to fullfill his commitment or “regret not following my direction.” Hmmmmm. Explain that. Or the email archive carefully saved by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley, who was prudent enough to back up his story with docs apt to prove DOJ malfeasance.

It’s unfortunate that America suffered three fake presidential impeachments in recent decades — Bill Clinton’s over a sexual impropriety, which is hardly a high crime, and the two utter charades involving Donald Trump — because now our nation is faced with serious presidential crimes explicitly laid out in Article II Section Four of the Constitution: bribery. “Joe Biden” will be impeached if he doesn’t bail altogether, and he might not do that because then he loses the power to pardon the other Biden family members involved. The impeachment of Merrick Garland for debauching and dishonoring the Justice Department logically would be the warm-up act for the impeachment of the president. They’ve both got to go and they both could save our country a lot of trouble by just stepping down. Then we can see about Kamala Harris.

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This too made me think of France.

“..sometime over the course of the past 240-plus years that constitutional republic has been transformed into a military dictatorship disguised as a democracy..”

America Is a Military Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy (Whitehead)

The government is goosestepping all over our freedoms. Case in point: America’s founders did not want a military government ruled by force. Rather, they opted for a republic bound by the rule of law: the U.S. Constitution. Yet sometime over the course of the past 240-plus years that constitutional republic has been transformed into a military dictatorship disguised as a democracy. Most Americans seem relatively untroubled by this state of martial law. Incredibly, when President Biden bragged about how the average citizen doesn’t stand a chance against the government’s massive arsenal of militarized firepower, it barely caused a ripple. As Biden remarked at a fundraising event in California, “I love these guys who say the Second Amendment is—you know, the tree of liberty is water with the blood of patriots.

“Well, if [you] want to do that, you want to work against the government, you need an F-16. You need something else than just an AR-15.” The message being sent to the citizenry is clear: there is no place in our nation today for the kind of revolution our forefathers mounted against a tyrannical government. For that matter, the government has declared an all-out war on any resistance whatsoever by the citizenry to its mandates, power grabs and abuses. By this standard, had the Declaration of Independence been written today, it would have rendered its signers extremists or terrorists, resulting in them being placed on a government watch list, targeted for surveillance of their activities and correspondence, and potentially arrested, held indefinitely, stripped of their rights and labeled enemy combatants. This is no longer the stuff of speculation and warning.

For years, the government has been warning against the dangers of domestic terrorism, erecting surveillance systems to monitor its own citizens, creating classification systems to label any viewpoints that challenge the status quo as extremist, and training law enforcement agencies to equate anyone possessing anti-government views as a domestic terrorist. A 2008 Army War College report revealed that “widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.” The 44-page report goes on to warn that potential causes for such civil unrest could include another terrorist attack, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters.”

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This particular shark is believed to predate the existence of the United States of America. A team of scientists discovered a cluster of Greenland sharks and concluded that some of them are the oldest known vertebrates alive today. These sharks inhabit the frigid waters of Greenland and were the subject of a study conducted in 2017, which examined 28 individuals. The eldest shark in the study measured 16.5 feet (five meters) in length and was estimated to be approximately 392 years old. The researchers established, with a “95 percent certainty,” that the shark’s age fell within the range of 272 to 512 years, with a most probable age of around 390.

While the exact reasons behind their exceptional lifespan remain unclear, it is believed that the arctic temperatures they inhabit (plunging below 29 degrees Fahrenheit) contribute to their longevity. These low temperatures result in reduced body temperatures and slower metabolisms, thereby minimizing damage to the sharks’ tissues. Additionally, their growth rate is exceptionally slow, with less than half an inch (a centimeter) gained per year, suggesting a significantly longer lifespan compared to other vertebrates. Furthermore, the females of this species exhibit delayed sexual maturity, only beginning to mate at the age of 156.

 

 

Octopus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1674792210985021440
https://twitter.com/i/status/1674822032649863179

 

 

Tigers
https://twitter.com/i/status/1674806164310175744

 

 

Oarfish

 

 

Roman theater
https://twitter.com/i/status/1674843500917948420

 

 

 

 

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Apr 092023
 
 April 9, 2023  Posted by at 8:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  24 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Abraham and the angels 1646

 

Why Will Ukraine Disappear? Because Nobody Needs It (Medvedev)
Human Destiny In Ukraine (Eve Ottenberg)
BRICS Carries Greater Economic Weight Than G7 – Study (RT)
US Ready For War With China – Congressman (RT)
‘Peace In The Middle East? That’s A Threat.’ (MoA)
US Will Threaten Europe To Implement Sanctions on Russia (Antiwar)
Details Of Kiev’s Botched Assault On Nuclear Plant Emerge – The Times (RT)
Hidden Sanctions On Russian Grain Could Spark Global Famine – Official (RT)
Poland Suspends Imports Of Ukrainian Grain (Pol.eu)
Finland May Come To Regret Joining NATO When Everyone Sobers Up (Lukyanov)
Italy’s Birth Rate At Historic Low (RT)
RFK Jr. Strongly Disapproves Of CBDCs And Digital IDs (IP)
When Trump Sucks All The Oxygen In The Race – Katty Kay (BBC)
The Case Against the Case Against Julian Assange (Rohde)
Biden Admin Has No Plans To Drop Charges Against Assange (Maynard)

 

 

 

 

Ritter: “[Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery] Zaluzhny, in a conversation with Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Pentagon, said that 250,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed. About 83,000 are missing, of which about 60,000 are most likely dead. This gives an approximate number of 315,000 dead.”

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Just start in 1950

 

 

Ukr batallion
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644650854702538758

 

 

Odessa 2014

 

 

MAGS

 

 

 

 

Country 404.

“..those who stayed want to leave for any place: the hated Poland, EU, NATO, to be America’s 51nd state. Joining the Antarctic with its pinguins will also be fine.”

Why Will Ukraine Disappear? Because Nobody Needs It (Medvedev)

1. Europe doesn’t need Ukraine. The forced support of the Nazi regime, by the American mentor’s order, has put Europeans into a financial and political inferno. All for the sake of bandera’s unterukraine, that even the snobby, insolent Polacks don’t take for a valid country, and time and again toss in the issue of its western areas anschluss. There’s a nice perspective ahead: to permanently put the nouveau-Ukrainian blood-sucking parasites on the decrepit EU’s arthritis-crippled neck. That’ll be the final fall of Europe, once majestic, but robbed off by degeneration.

2. The US doesn’t need Ukraine. True, the military and sanction campaigns are attempted for PR by political blabbermouths, who long ago attested to their impotence and imbecility. Average Americans don’t understand what “Ukraine” is, and where “it” is. Most of them won’t show this “power” on the map on the first take. Why won’t the US establishment focus on inflation and job issues, or emergencies in their home States, instead of a country 404, unbeknownst to them? Why does so much dough go across the ocean? Sooner or later, they’ll ask for that. Then, storming of the Capitol in January 2021 would seem like scout games.

3. Africa and Latin America don’t need Ukraine. The hundreds of millions spent by US on pointless fights in Ukraine, could finance many development programmes for Latin American and African states. Latin America is gringos’ backyard – that’s what they’ve been rubbing in for decades. Africa’s had its share of suffering from the genocide, and colonial dependence, imposed by former western slave traders. That’s why the people of African huts and Latin American favelas ask a very reasonable question: for their former suffering and present-day loyalty, why is somebody else rewarded – very, very far away?

4. Asia doesn’t need Ukraine. By Russia’s example, they see “colour” technologies at work to eradicate the largest competing powers. They understand what scenario the America-led collective West has for them if they disobey. “Help us to overcome Russia, and we’ll soon come to you”, the utterly brazen Western leaders tell them. Such gigantic countries as India, China, and other Asia-Pacific states face the big enough challenge of post-pandemic economic recovery, let aside the drugged clowns, with their whining for aid. “We are not interested in you”, Asia tells their messengers, responding to the calls to support Ukraine and confine Russia. The country, geopolitically many times closer to Asian powers, the one that historically has proven itself a reliable strategic partner. Do Asian giants need such headache coming from former colonisers?

5. Russia doesn’t need Ukraine. A threadbare quilt, torn, shaggy, and greasy. The new Malorossiya of 1991 is made up of the artificially cut territories, many of which are indigenously Russian, separated by accident in the 20th century. Millions of our compatriots live there, harassed for years by the Nazi Kiev regime. It is them who we defend in our special military operation, relentlessly eradicating the enemy. We don’t need unterukraine. We need Big Great Russia.

6. Finally, its own citizens don’t need the Nazi-headed Ukraine. That’s why out of 45 million people there’re only some 20 million remaining. That’s why those who stayed want to leave for any place: the hated Poland, EU, NATO, to be America’s 51nd state. Joining the Antarctic with its pinguins will also be fine. As long as it’s quiet, and the food’s good. The ruling junta’s criminal ambitions forced Ukrainians to beg and roam around the countries and continents, searching for a better life. All that is for an obscure European perspective. Or rather, to let the harlequin in a khaki tricot and his band of thievish Nazi clowns to put the money stolen from the West into their offshore accounts. Would ordinary Ukrainians need that? Nobody on this planet needs such a Ukraine. That’s why it will disappear

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“The strengthening of [Ukraine’s] military power alongside powerful fortifications erected near Donbass indicates the U.S. intention to initiate a conflict in the region.”

Human Destiny In Ukraine (Eve Ottenberg)

The deficiencies in the American character have rotted the world. And that’s without discussion of the abyss of human wickedness of senators who, like Lindsay Graham or Tom Cotton, call for war which would end in nuclear winter and five billion starving, then dead humans, or Joe Manchin, who wanted a no-fly zone – with, of course, the same radioactive results. But these character deficiencies at the top also have had unintended consequences that could spell a swerve off the U.S.-caused fatal trajectory of human destiny. American bullying and relentless aggression has created problems for itself, namely the tremendous Russia/China alliance and the eagerness and support that union receives from the Global South. Washington elites would like nothing better than to splinter that alliance, and thus perhaps succeed at destroying first Russia then China, separately. But Beijing and Moscow have caught on. So has the Global South, whose members pile as fast as they can into Russian and Chinese-led groups like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS, which has now outstripped the G-7 in how much wealth – and certainly population – it represents.


Humanity stands at a crossroads. The American Empire’s hubris has brought our fate to a point where the two most heavily nuclear-armed nations could get into a shooting war. If nuclear war erupts, we’re not just talking about the incineration of American and Russian cities, but more – to repeat, those five billion people who starve to death due to nuclear winter. But this was the atrocious risk American elites were prepared to take when they provoked Russia. As John Ross writes in a new book, Waging the New Cold War, coauthored with Deborah Veneziale and John Bellamy Foster, since the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev in 2014, Washington has prepared for war against Russia in Ukraine, thrusting the human future into a crucible for superpower conflict centered on Kiev. “The strengthening of [Ukraine’s] military power alongside powerful fortifications erected near Donbass indicates the U.S. intention to initiate a conflict in the region.”

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That’s nothing yet. Pepe Escobar talks of BRIICSS, adding Iran and Saudi Arabia. And then there’s Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, all of whom want in.

BRICS Carries Greater Economic Weight Than G7 – Study (RT)

The BRICS group, comprising the world’s five major developing economies, has overtaken the Group of Seven (G7) by making up a larger share of the global gross domestic product (GDP) based on purchasing power parity, data compiled by Acorn Macro Consulting, a UK-based macroeconomic research firm, shows. According to the findings, the bloc of BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, contributes 31.5% of the world’s GDP. Meanwhile, the G7, consisting of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK, and considered the most advanced economic bloc of countries on the planet, add up to 30.7%. The gap between the two groups is expected to continue to grow, analysts say, as China and India are 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 an interest in joining BRICS, including Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bangladesh have acquired equity in the New Development Bank, BRICS’ funding organization. Last year, BRICS countries proposed creating their own currency in order to move away from the US dollar and the euro in mutual transactions. International settlements in those currencies were made difficult for Russia, a BRICS founding member, by Ukraine-related sanctions. More recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested the use of the Chinese yuan in transactions with BRICS allies and other international partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Malaysia
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644672070117097472

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McCaul is the quintessential American idiot.

US Ready For War With China – Congressman (RT)

US Congress would authorize a direct military confrontation with China if Beijing launched an attack against Taiwan, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul told Fox News on Friday evening. The Texas Republican representative was talking from Taipei during a three-day bipartisan delegation visit to the self-governing island. American lawmakers would consent to putting boots on the ground if people in the US support the measure, McCaul said, without elaborating on how exactly such support would be measured. “If communist China invaded Taiwan, it would certainly be on the table and something that would be discussed by Congress and with the American people,” he said, adding that “if the American people support this, the Congress will follow.”

However, McCaul insisted that a “conflict is always a last resort” and described the US delegation’s visit as a way to “provide deterrence to China.” US-Chinese relations have previously been strained by the visits of American delegations to Taiwan, which China considers an inalienable part of its sovereign territory. The representative also maintained that discussions about a potential use of force by America in the Indo-Pacific region serve as a “deterrent for peace” since “you don’t have NATO in the Pacific.” Doing otherwise would mean inviting “aggression and war,” McCaul claimed. Beijing has repeatedly opposed Taiwan’s contacts with the US. The Chinese Foreign Ministry warned on Wednesday that the Taiwan issue is “the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations.” Washington formally adheres to the One China policy, by which Taiwan is considered an integral part of China. At the same time, the US enjoys close informal relations with the self-governing island and supplies it with weapons.

Washington has ramped up military support for Taiwan in recent months. In the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that the US was planning to increase its troop presence on the island from 30 to between 100 and 200 soldiers as it seeks to help Taiwan make the island “harder to assault.” In early March, the US State Department also announced that it was approving arms sales to Taipei, including $619 million worth of munitions for F-16 fighter jets. On Saturday, the Chinese military announced the launch of three days of exercises in the Taiwan Strait. The drills, held at the same time as McCaul’s visit to Taipei and just a day after Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen returned from the US, was designed as a warning to Taiwan and “external forces,” the Chinese military said.

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“Brazilian journalist Jamil Chade reports that China and Brazil have already begun working on a joint peace proposal for the Russia/Ukraine conflict, which will be finalized and presented to the public during Lula’s visit to China (April 11-15).”

“The Saudis have had enough of U.S. interference in their region. They are looking for development and development requires peace.”

Ending the war on Yemen is the deal clincher.

‘Peace In The Middle East? That’s A Threat.’ (MoA)

Thanks to China’s and Russia’s mediation peace is breaking out in the Middle East. Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai – 4:14 UTC · Apr 8, 2023 #BreakingNews: “The United Arab Emirates has begun withdrawing its forces from #Yemen. The Saudi-Emirati-Yemenite agreement will be announced soon.” The Middle East is solving its conflicts without the #US negative impact. Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai · Apr 7 Great news: “#SaudiArabia will announce the end of the war in #Yemen after the Eid al-Fitr. Saudi is ending all its (high/low) conflicts in the Middle East with #Iran, #Syria, #Iraq, #Yemen & #Lebanon (not interested in the country for now) to turn towards its own development. …” Peace will also come to Syria. The foreign minister of Saudi Arabia will soon visit Damascus. He will invite Syria to rejoin the Arab League. An Arab League summit will be held next month in Saudi Arabia and the Syrian president Bashar al Assad is expected to be there.

This comes after agreements between Iran and Saudi Arabia to bury the hatchet and after agreements between Iraq and Iran to reign in a Kurdish uprising in Iran that was controlled by Kurdish forces in Iraq. ‘We can’t have that’, says U.S. president Joe Biden. He sent CIA director Bill Burns to Saudi Arabia to threaten consequences: “CIA Director Bill Burns made an unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia this week where he reportedly aired Washington’s frustrations over Riyadh’s opening to Iran and Syria through mediation brokered by US rivals China and Russia. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a US official confirmed the trip to Al-Monitor. “Director Burns traveled to Saudi Arabia where he met with intelligence counterparts and country leaders on issues of shared interest,” the US official said.”


The official did not disclose the exact day of the trip but said that Burns discussed intelligence cooperation, especially in the area of counterterrorism. The CIA director met the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Burns likely threatened to withhold U.S. intelligence on terrorist groups from the Saudis. The CIA could additionally push some of its ISIS assets to make some nasty appearances in Saudi Arabia to then offer ‘help’ to ‘fight terrorism’. I do not think that this will work. The Saudis have had enough of U.S. interference in their region. They are looking for development and development requires peace.

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It is simple: “..the more countries the US sanctions, the more these targeted nations may cooperate as trading partners..”

US Will Threaten Europe To Implement Sanctions on Russia (Antiwar)

The White House plans to send a clear message to its European partners in the economic war against Russia, “you are either with us or against us.” Two US Treasury officials will visit European and Central Asian partners next month to demand all sanctions on Russia be implemented. Treasury officials Liz Rosenberg and Brian Nelson will meet with leaders of financial institutions in Switzerland, Italy and Germany. The AP reports the officials will have a simple message, “1. Continue to provide Moscow with material support or 2. Keep doing business with countries that represent 50 percent of the global economy.” Rosenberg and Nelson will provide their European counterparts with intelligence on alleged sanctions evaders. If those countries fail to crack down on those still doing business with Russia, then Washington is threatening to issue “penalties.”

It is unclear how far the Joe Biden administration is willing to punish NATO allies for violating sanctions. The policy echoes President George W. Bush’s doctrine that countries must either actively align with Washington in its Middle East wars, or else be judged as working “with the terrorists.” It is unclear how Europe will respond to the Joe Biden administration’s threats. Some EU members were in favor of a plan that would lift sanctions on the Belarusian fertilizer industry. Additionally, stricter sanctions implementation could threaten the Black Sea grain export agreement. The deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN, allows Ukraine’s heavily mined Black Sea ports to export agricultural products. Moscow has been willing to extend the agreement several times but is threatening to terminate it over Western sanctions preventing Russia from reaping the agreement’s benefits. After Russia invaded Ukraine last year, the White House unleashed a series of sanctions that it considered an economic nuclear weapon.

However, the attempt to isolate Moscow’s economy has largely floundered. While the Russian rouble has dipped in recent days, throughout most of the war Moscow has weathered the sanctions by increasing trade with Asia. Washington has only rallied its NATO allies and other close partners to adopt the sanctions. Meanwhile, China has added more countries to its Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and Saudi Arabia and Turkey are two of the latest prospective members. Upon becoming a member of the SCO, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi observed that the more countries the US sanctions, the more these targeted nations may cooperate as trading partners.”The relationship between countries that are sanctioned by the US, such as Iran, Russia or other countries, can overcome many problems and issues and make them stronger,” he said. “The Americans think whichever country they impose sanctions on, it will be stopped, their perception is a wrong one.”

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“..the attack involved some 600 elite Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross the Dnieper River on October 19 by boat..”

Details Of Kiev’s Botched Assault On Nuclear Plant Emerge – The Times (RT)

Ukraine’s “highly dangerous”operation to capture the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant last year ended in failure due to heavy Russian resistance, The Times reported on Friday, citing its sources. According to Kiev’s military personnel interviewed by the British newspaper, the attack involved some 600 elite Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross the Dnieper River on October 19 by boat. The operation hinged on the presumption that Moscow’s troops would not be able to fire artillery so close to the nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe, one officer told The Times. However, the paper’s sources said the team met unexpected resistance. Moscow’s forces had “mined everything” and “even pulled up tanks and artillery” to fire on Kiev’s forces while they were on the water, the officer added.

The assault was supported by Ukrainian artillery, including US-made HIMARS systems, but Russian resistance resulted in only a fraction of the Ukrainian force coming ashore. After a three-hour firefight on the outskirts of Energodar, the town hosting the plant, the Ukrainian soldiers were forced to retreat, the report says. Some senior Ukrainian officials viewed the offensive as controversial, with the president of Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom, Pyotr Kotin, telling The Times: “it is very dangerous to do such things near nuclear material. Any damage will bring radiation to the people and to the whole world.” The report appears to echo the Russian Defense Ministry’s statement at the time. On October 19, it said Kiev’s forces attempted – without success – to mount an amphibious operation in the area, involving up to two Ukrainian companies and a total of 37 boats.

The military claimed Ukraine lost over 90 soldiers and 14 boats. Russia and Ukraine have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the Zaporozhye NPP, which has been under Moscow’s control since last February. Russian officials have on numerous occasions warned that Kiev’s attacks could trigger a nuclear disaster. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has called on both parties to create a safe zone around the facility, but the negotiations on the matter have failed to achieve a breakthrough. In late March, Rafael Grossi, the nuclear watchdog’s chief, said the idea was no longer being considered. Instead of establishing a safe zone, the IAEA now wants Kiev and Moscow to promise not to target the plant, or use it for staging attacks.

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Short: you can buy it, but you cannot pay for it.

Hidden Sanctions On Russian Grain Could Spark Global Famine – Official (RT)

Russian grain exporters have been hit by indirect sanctions, as Western businesses were unable to provide services critical to the industry, the head of the Russian Union of Grain Exporters has said in an interview with RT. Eduard Zernin explained that even though grain is exempt from anti-Russia sanctions imposed by Western powers, firms located or registered in those countries were systemically refusing to work with Russian suppliers. “Among them are banking institutions of this or that country that have been rejecting payments, or vessels flying the flag of this or that country that suddenly stopped entering Russian ports despite all the valid licenses,” Zernin said. “We have seen a wave of individual initiatives, the scale of which was massive.”

Russia accounts for more than 20% of the world’s grain shipments, the official noted, adding that the latest attempts “to erase or cancel Russian produce from global markets has failed,” as the elimination of such a prodigious amount of supplies would inevitably trigger a global food crisis. “Direct pressure is impossible, but if we face another upsurge in disguised sanctions targeting shipments of Russian grain, famine may be inevitable,” he warned. According to Zernin, the hidden sanctions applied to Russian exporters last year sent prices for wheat surging from $300 to $450 per ton. He added that prices began declining only when those restrictions were eased, after the Russian Union of Grain Exporters raised concerns on the international level, having alerted the United Nations to the issue.

“We have faced and are still facing challenges related to banking operations,” Zerin said. “We managed to resolve nearly all the issues relating to fleets, partly arising from increased freight tariffs.” According to the head of the union, Russian grain exporters have also been cut off from the legal regulation platform as part of Western restrictions. “As a result, we are not able to resolve any legal disputes at specialised arbitration platforms,” he said. Zernin noted that the Russian Union of Grain Exporters has had to establish direct contacts with major importers of agricultural produce, to reduce the impact of sanctions. “We have defined our focus markets, such as the Middle East and North African countries, the world’s biggest grain consumers, we have established direct ties with them, and developed new strategies for trading with every nation separately,” he explained. According to the official, Russian exporters now work either under Russian legislation or follow the requirements of domestic laws of partners, staying out of global legislative framework.

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“Romania and Bulgaria have seen similar waves of unrest, with farmers staging demonstrations in the capitals and blocking border crossings.”

Poland Suspends Imports Of Ukrainian Grain (Pol.eu)

Poland will temporarily stop all imports of grain from Ukraine, the two countries’ governments announced Friday. The measure comes after a meeting earlier in the day between Poland’s new Agriculture Minister Robert Telus, who took office Thursday, with his Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Solskyi at a border crossing between the two countries. “The Ukrainian side has proposed to severely restrict, and for the moment even stop completely, grain arrivals to Poland,” Telus said during a joint press conference after the meeting. He added that restrictions would not extend to the transit of grain intended for other countries. Following Russia’s invasion, Ukraine was forced to divert around half of its exports from the blocked Black Sea ports into Poland, Hungary, Romania and other border countries.

The move, facilitated by the European Commission and EU countries, was meant to throw an economic lifeline to Ukraine, one of the world’s largest agricultural producers, and ensure its exports could reach global markets. But, instead of leaving the EU’s eastern member countries, much of the produce has instead flooded local markets. Earlier this week, Telus’ predecessor, Henryk Kowalczyk, resigned amid mass farmers’ protests over the issue. Romania and Bulgaria have seen similar waves of unrest, with farmers staging demonstrations in the capitals and blocking border crossings.

“The situation is difficult for both Ukrainian and Polish farmers. We all understand who is to blame, but we have to solve this problem. The Ukrainian side will refrain from exporting wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower to Poland until the new season,” Solskyi said, referring to this summer’s harvest. Solskyi added that the two sides would meet again in the coming days to ensure smooth transit of grain intended for other countries. “We are counting on the most constructive position of the Polish side regarding the transit of Ukrainian grain to Polish ports and ports of other EU countries,” he said.

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“..the desire for a sense of security (belonging to a powerful community) overrides the practical considerations of avoiding danger (the prospect of becoming a target or a battlefield)”

Finland May Come To Regret Joining NATO When Everyone Sobers Up (Lukyanov)

The idea of abandoning the policy of non-alignment has always been present in Finland, as has a public and political consensus that it was inadvisable. Indeed, for 30 years the idea of a new military confrontation in Europe was solely the preserve of the most indomitable ‘Cold Warriors,’ and even the enlargement of NATO was presented primarily in political and ideological, not military, terms. The return of the reality of war has shaken all of Europe. In Sweden and Finland, the decision to abandon non-alignment and join NATO was taken immediately, and public opinion was turned on its head. Remarkably, there was almost no discussion of whether neutral status was a more reliable way of ensuring national security; membership of the military bloc was seen as the only option. Before that, non-participation had long been considered the most sensible approach. So, why the sudden change?

There are several reasons for this, but one is worth highlighting. There is a term known as ‘securitization’ – where a security dimension is given to everything: economic, cultural and even humanitarian processes. There is now a counter-experience, with the issue of classical security taking on a value-based form. That is, belonging to a particular ideological and ethical group, and being openly opposed to others, is seen as a more effective way of protecting oneself than remaining aloof from confrontation. This is a psychological rather than a military-technical phenomenon. Put simply, the desire for a sense of security (belonging to a powerful community) overrides the practical considerations of avoiding danger (the prospect of becoming a target or a battlefield).

This in itself is a result of the radicalization of values that took place in the West, as part of the wave of euphoria following the Cold War, when the “right side of history” prevailed. Hence the rejection of neutrality and the need to take into consideration the concerns of the “wrong” side, on the basis that those who aren’t in the same moral and ethical boat can’t be trusted. The current attitude to neutrality is the product of two simultaneous concepts: ’the long peace’ and ’the end of history.’ The first is because it has become obvious that delicate balances and safeguards are simply no longer relevant. The second is down to the belief that it’s clear whose side the historical truth is on (the West), so there is no need to flirt with representatives of the “doomed” opponent. Both perspectives are already things of the past. A rethink is inevitable.

Ritter Finland

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” Italy had 12 deaths for every seven births last year..”

Italy’s Birth Rate At Historic Low (RT)

Fewer than 400,000 babies were born in Italy in 2022, deepening what has been referred to as a “national emergency” as the country’s population declines to historically low levels, according to figures released by the EU nation’s National Institute of Statistics. The total number of newborns dropped about 1.8% from the 400,249 births recorded in Italy in 2021, the lowest such figure since 1861. The newly tallied statistics, released on Friday by Italy’s statistics bureau, mean that Italy had 12 deaths for every seven births last year as the country’s overall population dropped by 179,000. “It’s a demographic crisis,” said Maria Rita Testa, a demographer at Luiss University in Rome, via the Financial Times. “We are going to lose a lot of people in the future,” she said of a situation attributable simply to the fact that “women are just having fewer children.”

The population decline follows the introduction of a financial incentive scheme in 2021 by the former government led by Mario Draghi, which would provide families with monthly financial incentives for each child born, ranging between €50 to €175 ($55 to $192) depending on the family’s income. The leader of Italy’s current right-wing government, Giorgia Meloni, made addressing the population decline a key element of her election campaign last year. This policy pledge came amid concerns that the dwindling populace would put increasing strain on various key public sectors such as the funding of healthcare systems. Italy already has one of the highest debt-to-GDP levels in Europe at 135%.

“Having a low fertility rate is an issue that doesn’t belong to the right or the left-wing political side, it’s a national emergency,” Senator Lavinia Mennuni of the ruling Brothers of Italy party said last year. “We have to put working mothers back at the center of any political decision.” Italy’s population has been falling since 2014, with a total drop of around 1.36 million people during that time – roughly equivalent to the population of Milan, Italy’s second-largest city. However, these numbers have been partially offset by immigration as immigrants exceeded emigrants by 229,000 in 2022.

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“The central bank will have the power to enforce dollar limits on our transactions restricting where you can send money, where you can spend it, and when money expires.”

RFK Jr. Strongly Disapproves Of CBDCs And Digital IDs (IP)

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is resisting the notion of centralized control and recently blasted CBDCs and digital IDs. Kennedy, who is an environmental lawyer, has announced his plan to run for the US presidency as a Democrat in 2024. He made this announcement after filing the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on April 5th. In a separate event, Kennedy shared his views on CBDCs on Twitter. “The Fed just announced it will introduce its ‘FedNow’ Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in July,” he said.

This statement is not entirely accurate. Although the Federal Reserve has revealed its plans to launch the FedNow payment system in July, it is not considered a CBDC. Nevertheless, the implementation of this system could potentially aid in the development of a future CBDC, which the Biden Administration has expressed interest in supporting. “While cash transactions are anonymous, a #CBDC will allow the government to surveil all our private financial affairs,” the environmental lawyer warned. “The central bank will have the power to enforce dollar limits on our transactions restricting where you can send money, where you can spend it, and when money expires.” Kennedy also warned about the possible risks of such technology.


“A CBDC tied to digital ID and social credit score will allow the government to freeze your assets or limit your spending to approved vendors if you fail to comply with arbitrary diktats, i.e. vaccine mandates. “The Fed will initially limit its CBDC to interbank transactions but we should not be blind to the obvious danger that this is the first step in banning and seizing bitcoin as the Treasury did with gold 90 years ago today in 1933. “Watch as governments, which never let a good crisis go to waste, use Covid-19 and the banking crisis to usher in a new wave of CBDCs as a safe haven from germ-laden paper currencies or as protection against bank runs.” His tweet had 7.3 million views at the time of writing this article.

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“Trump still makes news and boosts ratings in a way that no other US political candidate ever has. Which is a problem for anyone running against him.”

When Trump Sucks All The Oxygen In The Race – Katty Kay (BBC)

“Down in Mar-a-Lago, they’re calling it total dominance,” the Trump associate chuckled as he slid his phone across the desk to show me a photo. The image was of a dozen different TV channels all tuned to Trump’s speech hours after the former president’s historic arrest. It was taken by one of Trump’s aides who was with him down in Florida and then sent around as bragging rights to show how much coverage Trump can still command. “They just give us free airtime,” the associate added, almost perplexed. If American election campaigns are a war, TV is the battlefield and this week team Trump blew all his opponents off the map. [..] The arrest was a big deal and it will change American politics. But hours of coverage of an uneventful journey from Palm Beach to Manhattan gave Mr Trump a lot of TV time that he didn’t have to pay for out of campaign funds.

Back in 2016 the US press was criticised for covering the ever colourful Mr Trump more extensively than his Republican rivals for the presidential nomination. He would famously call into cable news TV shows on his cell phone and get 20 minutes of airtime (full disclosure, I took part in some of those interviews. He once told me I was too negative about his campaign, but added that I shouldn’t worry about it.) Afterwards there was some hand wringing among Democrats who accused the media of helping Mr Trump win the White House just by covering him so much – which is ironic since the American media is often accused of skewing left. But at least when Mr Trump called into TV shows he was talking and saying something and being interviewed by reporters who had often tough questions and he got a lot of push back.

This week he got airtime by just sitting on the tarmac. Total dominance. This is not 2016, and most newsrooms have thought hard about their Trump coverage. On Tuesday night several TV stations, including the BBC, dipped out of Trump’s speech after a couple of minutes in order not to relay what was effectively a campaign rally. MSNBC didn’t run the speech at all. But nearly all stations were glued to his flight up to New York the day before his court appearance – I even saw a tweet that an Italian TV channel was running it live. And of course the reason is clear. Trump still makes news and boosts ratings in a way that no other US political candidate ever has. Which is a problem for anyone running against him. Did you know that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was in the swing state of Michigan this week, talking to a packed convention hall of Republican voters?

Or that Nikki Haley, one of only three Republicans actually officially running for the presidency, announced this week that she’s raised $11 million in campaign funds? Maybe you missed that news because you were glued instead to President Joe Biden’s speech in Minnesota, touting the benefits of his administration’s manufacturing policy. No? Don’t feel bad, we’re all in the same Trump-powered boat. It is too soon to say whether this week’s arrest is good news for Donald Trump’s candidacy or not. But it did teach us one thing for sure – Mr Trump still dominates headlines. Which means the other Republican candidates, as well as the current president himself, will have to find a way to get media coverage of their own. And the American TV networks will have to decide what is newsworthy in the Trump campaign, and what isn’t. None of that is easy.

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Book review.

The Case Against the Case Against Julian Assange (Rohde)

Like the Trump administration that preceded it, the Biden administration is seeking the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to stand trial on an indictment under the infamous Espionage Act of 1917. As the unprecedented U.S. prosecution of Assange reaches a critical stage, a growing number of elite media outlets, human rights advocates and press freedom organizations around the world are demanding his release. All have expressed basic agreement with Nils Melzer, former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, who describes the case against Assange as a scandal that “represents the failure of Western rule of law.”

Time is running out to correct this failure. Last August, Assange filed an appeal before the U.K. High Court of Justice Administrative Court arguing that his extradition would violate U.K. law because he is being prosecuted for his political opinions and protected speech; that the request itself violates the U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty and international law because it is based on “political offenses;” that the U.S. government has misrepresented the core facts of the case to the British courts; and that the extradition request and its surrounding circumstances constitute an abuse of process. If Assange loses this appeal, his last resort is the European Court of Human Rights.

No one has covered the Assange case more tenaciously, as well as the broader attack on whistleblowers, than journalist Kevin Gosztola. In “Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange,” Gosztola expands upon his reports of Assange’s extradition hearings in London during September and October 2020, and in a clear and compelling style, recounts the key events in the case. But he also does more than that. “Guilty of Journalism” offers revelations of egregious conduct by the U.S., including the use of knowingly false testimony, illegal surveillance of Assange and his lawyers and CIA plans to kidnap and assassinate him. These disclosures compound an already shocking tale of injustice at the hands of the U.S. government.

Opening his first chapter with the unequivocal declaration, “Julian Assange is a journalist,” Kosztola never loses sight of the extraordinary contributions WikiLeaks has made through its public disclosures since its founding in 2006. He includes an informative Appendix entitled, “Thirty WikiLeaks Files the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read,” covering climate change and the environment, corporate power, human rights abuses, regime change, foreign policy and U.S. politics. These files, he writes, “reflect the positive impact that WikiLeaks has had by boosting our shared knowledge of a government that rules the most powerful country in the world.”

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“I can confirm we are continuing our efforts to seek the extradition of Julian Assange..”

Biden Admin Has No Plans To Drop Charges Against Assange (Maynard)

In a week when the Biden administration worked to free a truth teller arrested in Russia, it doubled down on its commitment to punish another truth teller arrested in Western Europe. “I can confirm we are continuing our efforts to seek the extradition of Julian Assange,” Justice Department spokesperson Nicole Navas Oxman told Poynter on Monday. The statement was released in a period when pressure to release the WikiLeaks founder has come from many directions, with members of Congress, the British press and a Russian state official all chiming in on Assange’s continued detention in Britain at the behest of American authorities.

[..] The U.S. government’s push to punish Assange is a matter of the public’s right to know, Morinière said, with his case setting “a dangerous precedent that any member of the media, in any country, can now be targeted by governments, anywhere in the world, to answer for publishing information in the public interest.” “Debating whether he is a journalist is a distraction from the indisputable fact that he’s being (prosecuted) for committing acts of journalism,” said Seth Stern, director of advocacy for the Freedom of the Press Foundation, in an email. “The First Amendment doesn’t limit itself to protecting card-carrying journalists,” he said. “It says ‘Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.’ Assange is being prosecuted under a law that not only abridges freedom of the press but criminalizes essentially the dictionary definition of investigative journalism. If that’s permitted by the First Amendment then the First Amendment does not mean much.”

[..] Much of the debate over WikiLeaks during the Obama administration — which used the constitutionally dubious Espionage Act of 1917 more than all past administrations combined, but still restrained itself when it came to prosecuting Assange — hinged on what was at the time called the “New York Times problem.” That debate postulated that if the prosecution of Assange set a marker, there would be little to prevent future administrations from prosecuting reporters from The New York Times, as most Times reporters who wrote military and national security stories regularly did most of the actions Assange was accused of doing. Prosecuting such a publication “would obviously be undesirable,” said a representative for Britain’s National Union of Journalists via email. That’s both because the Times is North America’s most established and trusted news organization, the spokesperson said, and also because “when it was tried in 1971 (USA v. NYT) over publication of the Pentagon Papers, the Supreme Court upheld the NYT’s rights under the First Amendment.”

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O’Looney funeral director
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644656316173160449
https://twitter.com/i/status/1641600075531968512

 

 

Makis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644670228008239106

 

 

Food vaccines


https://twitter.com/i/status/1642910169230381056

 

 


Yareta is an evergreen perennial plant with tens of thousands of flowering buds. It is estimated to grow approximately 1.5 centimeters per year and many yaretas are estimated to be over 3,000 years old.

 

 


Grandala are deeply sexually dimorphic and this is the difference. While females are brown with white streaks all over the head, males are almost eye-searing blue. This picture captured by Rajesh Panwar in North Sikkim, India

 

 

Orca
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644743191596285952

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 212023
 


Rene Magritte Memory 1948

 

Even Peace Is Made In China (Juan Cole)
Xi’s Moscow Visit Is A Key Moment In The Struggle To End US Hegemony (Trenin)
Xi Says Deepening Ties With Moscow Is Beijing’s Strategic Choice (TASS)
Putin Tells Xi He’s “Open To Negotiating Process” On Ukraine (ZH)
The Lord of Chaos (Chris Hedges)
Orbán: ‘Europe Suffers From War Psychosis’ (RMX)
US Obsessed With Idea Of Dealing Strategic Blow To Russia – Antonov (TASS)
Ukraine Will Have Only One Shot At A Counteroffensive – Czech President (RT)
Russia Wrote Off $20 Billion Of African Nations’ Debts – Putin (TASS)
African Countries Always Been Equal Allies For Russia – Duma Speaker (TASS)
Putin Makes Prediction About Africa (RT)
This Has Got to Stop (Kunstler)
House GOP Demands Answers From Manhattan DA Over Trump Indictment (ZH)
NYPD Mobilizes 700 Riot Cops, Steel Barricades For Potential Trump Arrest (TP)
Ron DeSantis Breaks Silence On Trump’s Possible Arrest (RT)
The Financial System Is Terminally Broken (Egon von Greyerz)
US Studies How To Guarantee All $18 Trillion In US Bank Deposits (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Sperm has been almost entirely replaced by spike proteins

 

 

 

 

Our friends are dead

 

 

Today they need tanks

 

 

 

 

Tucker Dowd
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637859586500640768

 

 

Tucker Biden Inc.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637988901217505284

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“Xi Jinping, upon his arrival in Moscow, uttered the most seditious words from the point of view of the West: ‘China is ready to stand together with Russia to guard the world order based on int’l law’ not on the ‘rules’ invented by someone, but on the law!” — Vladimir Kornilov

Xi Jinping: “The international community has recognized that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order. The common interest of all humankind is in a world that is united and peaceful, rather than divided and volatile.”

p> 

 

Galloway
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637951197255548928

 

 

 

 

Interview with Robert Scheer.

Even Peace Is Made In China (Juan Cole)

I think the United States still has it in its mind that it’s the world hegemon and that they can do what they want. So if they want to break treaties with Iran and put them under an economic blockade, they can do that with not very much consequence to the United States. But what they don’t realize is that, well, the U.S. has something like a $20 to 23 trillion economy annually, and China now has a $17 trillion economy annually. So the United States is just not the only game in town anymore. And that’s not been the case since the end of World War II, when the U.S. was 50% of the world economy. It’s just becoming smaller, it has a smaller proportion of world wealth and power. And it is also true that the United States, you know, is in the Middle East for particular purposes.

They want to guarantee that the oil comes out of the Persian Gulf. And so it’s very security oriented. And to the extent that they saw Iran as a spoiler, the Islamic revolution of 1979 was explicitly anti-American. It has had potentially bad effects on American investments in the Middle East. American corporations have suffered. So the U.S. sees Iran as a bad actor and wants to contain it, put it in a cage, crash its economy if it can, overthrow its government, if it’s not too much trouble, and China is not behaving that way in the Middle East, the Chinese have, for a long time, had this doctrine of harmonious development, and they just don’t want any trouble as they grow into this enormous behemoth on the world stage. And so they don’t have anything against Iran. It doesn’t say anything to them.

And they also don’t have anything against Saudi Arabia. They do trade with both and that’s their policy to do trade with everybody if they can. And so I think they can just be more evenhanded. The United States has picked winners and losers in the region and people that it wants to punish and people that it wants to help. And, you know, it has this, you mentioned, that it has this rhetoric of spreading freedom and democracy and so forth. But it’s all very hypocritical because Saudi Arabia is one of the pillars of U.S. policy in the Middle East and it’s the least democratic country you could hope to find. And it’s never criticized by the State Department for its human rights abuses in any concerted way or in a very public way, whereas Iran is a very flawed system and very dictatorial.


“We see increasing threats from China, in particular in the Indo-Pacific. We feel like we’re not moving fast enough to build a bigger Navy,” says U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher.

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Dmitry Trenin is a research professor at the Higher School of Economics and a lead research fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. He is also a member of the Russian International Affairs Council.

Xi’s Moscow Visit Is A Key Moment In The Struggle To End US Hegemony (Trenin)

[..] the Chinese and Russian leaders certainly understand that they must wreck Washington’s plan of defeating Moscow first and then turning on Beijing. As a result, American warnings and threats to the Chinese over the assistance they can give to Russia may actually be counter-productive. The leadership will find the tone of these admonitions rude and disrespectful – particularly in conjunction with forthcoming American arms deliveries to Taipei. While China certainly cares about the US and EU markets for its goods and services, but it wonders whether it can really trust Washington and its allies, given Moscow’s experience with the Minsk agreements on Donbass which, as the former German and French leaders have admitted, were nothing but a ploy to buy time.

Thus, much more coordination between Beijing and Moscow can be expected. This does not presage a new military bloc in Eurasia, but instead a greater joint effort to help the world move faster toward multipolarity, which effectively means ending American global hegemony. One way to achieve this would be by reducing role of the US dollar in international transactions. Much of the Sino-Russian bilateral trade is already carried out in the Chinese yuan; but the yuan can also be used in dealing with third countries. Another way to help bring about the new world order is upgrading non-Western institutions, such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to set the agenda for the world in areas such as finance and technology, energy and climate, and, not least, international security.

China’s recent rise as a worldwide geopolitical – not just geo-economic – player, exemplified by its recent brokering of the Iranian-Saudi rapprochement, is welcomed in Russia as a practical step toward the new order. Moscow and Beijing can be more successful if they act jointly to reduce the economic and political dependence of many countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America on the US and its European allies. In the field of military security, there is much that Russia and China can benefit from through closer collaboration – beyond the existing formats. The main goal here is dissuading Washington, by deed not just word, from escalating the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and from provoking Beijing over Taiwan.

One specific area is in-depth dialogue on nuclear policies and nuclear proliferation under the present conditions of major-power confrontation and actual conflict. Even as they work on transitioning to a multipolar future, Putin and Xi bear a huge responsibility to make sure that this transition happens without a shooting war between the major powers. China and Russia cooperating more closely on security issues would make the transition safer.


10 years ago today, the newly elected Chinese President Xi Jinping came to Moscow with his wife, Peng Liyuan.

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Talked for 4.5 hours. The actual talks start only today.

Xi Says Deepening Ties With Moscow Is Beijing’s Strategic Choice (TASS)

During a Moscow meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said that fostering bilateral relations was Beijing’s strategic choice, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its website on Tuesday. “To consolidate and develop well China-Russia relations is a strategic choice China has made on the basis of its own fundamental interests and the prevailing trends of the world,” China’s MFA said on its website, underscoring the statements Xi made during the informal meeting.


Xi also noted that China was firm in pursuing its course toward strengthening strategic cooperation with Russia. The two presidents “had an in-depth exchange” of opinions on Ukraine. According to the Chinese leader, most countries support easing tensions, stand for peace talks and oppose “adding fuel to the fire,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry added. Xi assured Putin that “China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine issue,” the Chinese MFA said.

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“we have looked at your proposals for the resolution of the Ukraine conflict” and previewed that “we will discuss this question.”

Putin Tells Xi He’s “Open To Negotiating Process” On Ukraine (ZH)

What’s being described as an initial, informal meeting between Presidents Xi and Putin is underway at the Kremlin. While the expected cordialities and expressions of closer relations were exchange, among the most notable early statements came from Putin, who said he’s “open” to peace talks with Ukraine and China’s mediation efforts. “We have a lot of joint tasks, goals,” Putin told his Chinese counterpart while also congratulating him on re-election as the head of the Chinese state for a third 5-year term. Xi in return said “Russia succeeded in promoting prosperity under Putin’s leadership.” Putin further expressed that “we will discuss your initiative [on Ukraine] which we view with respect.”

“We are open for a negotiating process on Ukraine,” the Russian leader added. He noted to Xi that “we have looked at your proposals for the resolution of the Ukraine conflict” and previewed that “we will discuss this question.” The day prior in media interviews, White House NSC spokesperson John Kirby declared that any “call for a ceasefire” in Ukraine is “unacceptable.” Likely Moscow will only be satisfied with nothing short of a full Kiev recognition of the Donbass being under Russia; however, this is the very thing Washington will condemn and seek to induce the Zelensky administration to resist.

According to state media commentary (RT), “Moscow has said that it would consider the proposal but has pointed to several factors that stand in the way of a peaceful resolution in Ukraine.” And more of Moscow’s perspective headed into more Xi meetings: “Those include the insistence of Kiev and its Western backers on inflicting a military defeat of Russia, their firm opposition to any sort of ceasefire, as well as a law enacted by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that forbids holding negotiations with Russia as long as Putin remains in office.”

Putin Xi Ukraine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637820477736361984

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“We are trying to wish the nightmares we perpetuated in the Middle East away, burying them in a collective amnesia. “World War III Begins With Forgetting,” warns Stephen Wertheim.”

The Lord of Chaos (Chris Hedges)

The occupation of Iraq, beginning 20 years ago today, turned the Muslim world and the Global South against us. The enduring images we left behind from two decades of war include President Bush standing under a “Mission Accomplished” banner onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier barely one month after he invaded Iraq, the bodies of Iraqis in Fallujah that were burned with white phosphorus and the photos of torture by U.S. soldiers. The U.S. is desperately attempting to use Ukraine to repair its image. But the rank hypocrisy of calling for “a rules-based international order” to justify the $113 billion in arms and other aid that the U.S. has committed to send to Ukraine, won’t work. It ignores what we did. We might forget, but the victims do not. The only redemptive path is charging Bush, Cheney and the other architects of the wars in the Middle East, including Joe Biden, as war criminals in the International Criminal Court. Haul Russian President Vladimir Putin off to The Hague, but only if Bush is in the cell next to him.

Many of the apologists for the war in Iraq seek to justify their support by arguing that “mistakes” were made, that if, for example, the Iraqi civil service and army were not disbanded after the U.S. invaded, the occupation would have worked. They insist that our intentions were honorable. They ignore the hubris and lies that led to the war, the misguided belief that the U.S. could be the sole major power in a unipolar world. They ignore the massive military expenditures spent annually to achieve this fantasy. They ignore that the war in Iraq was only an episode in this demented quest. A national reckoning with the military fiascos in the Middle East would expose the self-delusion of the ruling class. But this reckoning is not taking place. We are trying to wish the nightmares we perpetuated in the Middle East away, burying them in a collective amnesia. “World War III Begins With Forgetting,” warns Stephen Wertheim.

The celebration of our national “virtue” by pumping weapons into Ukraine, by sustaining at least 750 military bases in more than 70 countries and by expanding our naval presence in the South China Sea, is meant to fuel this dream of global dominance. What the mandarins in Washington fail to grasp is that most of the globe does not believe the lie of American benevolence or support its justifications for U.S. interventions. China and Russia, rather than passively accepting U.S. hegemony, are building up their militaries and strategic alliances. China, last week, brokered an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to re-establish relations after seven years of hostility, something once expected of U.S. diplomats. The rising influence of China creates a self-fulfilling prophecy for those who call for war with Russia and China, one that will have consequences far more catastrophic than those in the Middle East.

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Hungarian FM Szijjártó: “In France, the pension law was amended without a parliamentary vote. In Germany, the electoral law was changed by a simple majority. If anyone criticizes the Hungarian rule of law after this, let us laugh together!”

Orbán: ‘Europe Suffers From War Psychosis’ (RMX)

The main issue facing Europe today is war, which puts Hungary in a difficult situation, as the effects of war are severe and immediate, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a meeting of the Organization of Turkic States summit in Ankara. The prime minister stressed that, unfortunately, Europe was suffering from a “war psychosis,” with the continent drifting further into war day by day. Orbán thanked the leaders of the Turkish states for strengthening the voice of peace. Hungary — on account of its population’s Asian origins — is an honorary member of the Organization of Turkic States. Orbán thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, he said, had so far been able to mediate successfully between the warring parties, and called on him to continue his efforts in the future.

“Only in this way can we have a chance for peace,” Orbán said. He also thanked the Turkish president for the fact that Hungary and Turkey could coordinate their work within NATO. Hungary’s geographical proximity to the war has placed the issue of pursuing peace at the top of the agenda for Hungary, according to Orbán. “Ukraine is a neighboring state, and the effects of the war are therefore severe and direct, with inflation skyrocketing and energy prices at an all-time high,” he said, adding that “many Hungarians have now died in the war because men from the Hungarian community in western Ukraine are also being conscripted into the army.” “For Hungary, the most important thing is to save human lives, and that is why we are advocating a ceasefire as soon as possible and peace negotiations.”

At the same time, the prime minister expressed the view that what is happening in Europe is more than just war, because in fact, “the whole of Europe is being reshuffled in terms of power relations,” and this will also have repercussions for Turkey. He added that Hungary is also seeing another threat: “There are processes going on in the world economy that could lead to a new global balance.” He said that the segmentation of the world economy is against Hungary’s interests, and Hungary sees its future not in segmentation, but in acting in the collective interest and improving interconnectivity. “The Turk states can play a key role in this, because here we are European, Caucasian and Central Asian countries connected to each other on the basis of mutual respect, setting a good example for the whole world,” the prime minister said in his speech.

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“In the end – it’s not up to Washington to decide..”

US Obsessed With Idea Of Dealing Strategic Blow To Russia – Antonov (TASS)

The United States has been causing the geography of the Ukrainian crisis to expand and it turns a blind eye to the corrupt Kiev regime, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said on Monday. Commenting on a new $350 million package of US military aid for Ukraine, he said, “Washington is obsessed with the idea of inflicting a strategic defeat on our country. With its steps, the [US] administration is only pushing the Ukrainian radicals toward new terrible deeds,” the embassy quoted Antonov as saying. According to the Russian envoy, “with each delivery of military equipment, the [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky regime feels more and more impunity. It continues to kill civilians in the Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions of Russia with pure cynicism,” the head of the Russian diplomatic mission underscored.

“The United States does not think that by such actions they are adding fuel and provoking the expansion of the geography of the Ukrainian crisis. This policy jeopardizes the security of all of Europe, increasing the risk of a direct clash between Russia and NATO,” Antonov warned. Washington “turns a blind eye to the corruption of the Ukrainian elite. We have serious concerns that some of the defense products may end up on the black market,” he added. “Where will weapons pop up? Who will bear responsibility when it falls into the hands of some terrorist groups and criminal organizations?” he asked rhetorically.

Antonov urged the US leadership to stop fueling the conflict in Ukraine. “And even more so – to refrain from public statements about the expediency or inexpediency of entering into negotiations. In the end – it’s not up to Washington to decide,” he concluded. On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a new military assistance package for Ukraine that, among other weapons, would include ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons, and riverine boats. In all, during Joe Biden’s presidency, Washington has given more than $33.2 billion worth of military assistance to Kiev.

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“If it fails, “it will be extremely difficult to obtain funds for the next one.”

Ukraine Will Have Only One Shot At A Counteroffensive – Czech President (RT)

With the US set to refocus attention on domestic issues next year, Ukraine may not get funding for continued military action, Czech President Petr Pavel has said. The former army officer said Kiev’s armed forces may therefore have just one shot at conducting a major push against Russian troops. “The window of opportunity is open this year. After next winter, it will be extremely difficult to maintain the current level of aid,” Pavel told the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita. “Ukraine will only have one attempt to launch a major counter-offensive,” he added as quoted by the outlet on Monday. If it fails, “it will be extremely difficult to obtain funds for the next one.”

Pavel, a retired general who served as chair of the NATO Military Committee until 2018, predicted that US interest in aiding the Ukrainian army would likely dwindle in 2024. The political focus in the country will shift to the presidential campaign, and US-China relations are likely to be the top foreign policy issue. European nations will likely reduce their funding of Ukraine too, the politician predicted. He said it was up to Ukraine to decide what constitutes a victory over Russia, which Pavel assured would happen. But if it fails despite all Western help, there will be a “long war of attrition.” “You cannot pretend that the only possible solution is complete success,” he said.

Pavel’s preferred outcome for the conflict is a weakened Russia that prefers “cooperation, not aggression.” He stated that it would take a change of the “Russian regime from within” before the EU would go back to business as usual with the country. Kiev has declared full control of the territories it claims sovereignty over as the objective of its military campaign. It has refused talks with Moscow as long as President Vladimir Putin remains in office. Washington, for its part, has pledged to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to defeat Russia. Russia considers the hostilities in Ukraine to be part of a US-led proxy war, with Ukrainian troops being used as “cannon fodder” by Washington.

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Second Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference in Moscow. 45 African nations.

Russia Wrote Off $20 Billion Of African Nations’ Debts – Putin (TASS)

Russia has written off debts of African nations amounting to more than $20 bln, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. “Russia wrote off debts of African states in the amount over $20 bln,” the President said. “The mutual trade turnover is growing from year to year, which reached almost $18 bln as of the last year-end,” the Russian leader said. “The more vigorous transition to national currencies in financial settlements and the establishment of new transport and logistics chains will facilitate the development of countertrade turnovers,” Putin added.

Grain deal
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637800706777182208

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“Today the African continent plays an important role in solving global and regional problems. And it will only grow..”

African Countries Always Been Equal Allies For Russia – Duma Speaker (TASS)

Relations between Russia and African countries have always been built on an unselfish basis and equality, which cannot be said of the United States and Europe, which continue their colonial policy, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Monday, speaking at the plenary session of the Second Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference. “It is necessary to emphasize: Russia and African countries are equal allies and partners. Our relations have always been built on an unselfish basis, on the principles of mutual respect and non-interference in domestic affairs,” Volodin said, stressing that for Russia “the African continent has never been a subject of mercantile interest, use of labor and raw material resources.” However, according to the speaker, the US and Europe have a different approach.


“Washington and Brussels seek to take control of Russian and African natural resources. In fact, they continue their colonial policy. They go to any measures, including force and terrorist nature, for their own benefit,” the politician pointed out. “It is not for Washington to teach us how to build relationships, be friends and make plans for the future,” Volodin pointed out. The Duma speaker recalled that “despite illegal sanctions from Washington, Russia and African states are developing trade and economic cooperation.” In particular, according to the politician, the trade turnover is growing, which at the end of last year amounted to 17.9 billion dollars. “Today the African continent plays an important role in solving global and regional problems. And it will only grow,” Volodin concluded.

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“..Africa will become one of the leaders in the emerging new multipolar world order – all objective prerequisites for this exist..”

Putin Makes Prediction About Africa (RT)

Moscow is “determined to continue building a strategic partnership” with African nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, expressing confidence that the continent is set to become one of the leaders of the emerging multipolar world. The president made the remarks at the International Parliamentary Conference ‘Russia – Africa in a Multipolar World,’ which kicked off in Moscow on Monday and brought together representatives of some 40 nations. The conference comes ahead of the second Russia-Africa summit, which is scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg in July. “African nations are continuously increasing their weight and role in international affairs, and are asserting themselves more and more confidently in politics and economy. We are convinced that Africa will become one of the leaders in the emerging new multipolar world order – all objective prerequisites for this exist,” Putin stated.


Russia and African nations stand together against “the neo-colonial ideology” imposed by certain powers in the world, Putin went on. “Many states of Asia, the Middle East, and South America stand on similar positions, and together we make up the world majority,” he added. Moscow is committed to continue building a “strategic partnership” with Africa, while multiple Russian state-owned and private companies are already actively investing into the continent, Putin stressed. “We are ready to jointly shape the global agenda, work together to strengthen fair and equal interstate relations, and improve mechanisms for mutually beneficial economic cooperation,” he said, describing African nations as Russia’s “friends in the full sense of this word.”

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“..the locked-down public’s attention was galvanized by the George Floyd, BLM, and Antifa riots until the 2020 election was upon us..”

This Has Got to Stop (Kunstler)

The Covid-19 release seems to have been an act motivated by multiple players for their own reasons which, combined, amounted to crimes against humanity. Anthony Fauci, America’s infectious disease czar, apparently sought a crowning career triumph, which would have been a successful vaccine against a dangerous virus. So, he arranged to engineer the organism that he could then triumph against. Like all of Dr. Fauci’s projects over the roughly forty years that he ran the NIAID agency, the mRNA vaccines — subcontracted to the US Military and manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna — turned out to be an epic fiasco. Covid-19 also happened to be a convenient device for ridding the government of the troublesome President Trump, who threatened to disassemble major parts of the permanent US bureaucracy.

If you revisit the many videos of Mr. Trump appearing in the White House Covid crisis room in early 2020 with Dr. Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, and other public health officials, I’m sure you will notice his discomfort, as if he suspected he was being played (he was). And conveniently, right after that, the locked-down public’s attention was galvanized by the George Floyd, BLM, and Antifa riots until the 2020 election was upon us. (Another grotesque prank against the people, never adjudicated.) It took more than a year after the “vaccines” came out for the disturbing actuarial data to emerge from the life insurance industry that many non-elderly people were being killed and disabled by the shots’ adverse effects. (I think the censors were caught by surprise that the truth leaked out from there.)

Meanwhile, any able investigator could understand how the half-assed “vaccines,” along with the denigration of off-label early treatment medicines, the reckless use of dangerous remdesivir combined with enormous government payments to hospitals for mis-treating patients with it, the gaming and hiding of CDC statistics, and the obvious censorship of all that information in the corporate news and social media (with help from the CIA and FBI), all added up to a monstrous criminal offense against human decency. The government, now led by the career criminal “Joe Biden,” needed another distraction from intrusive reality in 2022 — including the emergence of the Biden family’s crimes — so it arranged to start a war in Ukraine by threatening to turn that country into a forward NATO base on Russia’s border. Russia was exceptionally clear and straightforward that it wouldn’t accept such an arrangement and the US proceeded anyway. Our country was exceptionally dishonest in its positioning for this conflict. (And our NATO allies were astoundingly credulous going along with it, even after we fatally damaged the EU’s economy.)

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“You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office..”

House GOP Demands Answers From Manhattan DA Over Trump Indictment (ZH)

House Republicans on the Weaponization of the Federal Government subcommittee are using their new investigative powers to look into liberal Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, over the Soros-funded DA’s reported plans to indict former President Donald Trump on felony charges this week related to hush money he allegedly paid to porn star Stormy Daniels seven years ago – a charge which would normally be a misdemeanor. Bragg would also be prosecuting the case beyond the five-year statute of limitations. “You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office,” reads a Monday letter to Bragg from Reps. Jim Jordan (Judiciary Chairman), James Comer (Oversight Chairman) and Bryan Steil (House Admin Chairman).

“This indictment comes after years of your office searching for a basis – any basis – on which to bring charges, ultimately settling on a novel legal theory untested anywhere in the cuntry and one that federal authorities declined to pursue.” The letter goes on to shred the ‘untested legal theory’ underpinning Bragg’s expected indictment, and calls out former Trump Attorney Michael Cohen, Bragg’s star witness and a convicted perjurer, as having a “serious credibility problem.” The letter demands all documents and communications related to the decision. “This is the type of thing America hates, and it divides America and it is wrong,” McCarthy said this week while conferring with House Republicans in Orlando, Florida. McCarthy has accused Bragg of lowering penalties for criminals in New York while prosecuting his political opponents.

“It’s interesting to me he spent his whole time as a DA lowering felonies, not to prosecute,” said McCarthy. “I think Republicans and Democrats alike hate this type of justice.” “Republicans stopped the radical D.C. crime law, and we will investigate any use of federal funds that are used to facilitate the perversion of justice by Soros-backed DA’s across the country,” he continued.

Tucker Justice
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637973070546624512

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“Republicans plan to use their new investigative powers in the House majority to ramp up probes into the Biden family and liberal Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg..”

NYPD Mobilizes 700 Riot Cops, Steel Barricades For Potential Trump Arrest (TP)

The New York Police Department is preparing for civil disorder should the Manhattan District Attorney’s office order the arrest of former President Donald Trump. The NYPD has ordered the mobilization of 700 riot police and has erected steel barricades around the Manhattan Criminal Court in preparation for a potential grand jury indictment. The New York Times fantasized about the “likely indictment” and “unprecedented arrest” of Donald Trump. “He would be fingerprinted. He would be photographed. He could even be handcuffed. And if Donald J. Trump is indicted by a Manhattan grand jury in the days ahead for his role in a hush money payment to a porn star, the former president of the United States of America will be read the standard Miranda warning: He will be told that he has the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.”

“These are among the routine steps for felony arrests in New York. But the unprecedented arrest of a former commander in chief — one whose devoted supporters once staged a violent attack on the Capitol — will be anything but routine,” the story added. The Times also reported that “more than a dozen senior Police Department officials and two of the mayor’s top public safety aides held a virtual meeting to discuss security, staffing and contingency plans in the event of any protests, one person with knowledge of the meeting said.” The Times drew a parallel between New York City’s security preparations for the potential Trump indictment this week and the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021. “That meeting followed a call from Mr. Trump himself, in a post on his site Truth Social on Saturday morning: ‘PROTEST,’ he exhorted his supporters. ‘TAKE OUR NATION BACK!’

“The former president’s rallying cry, with an indictment looming, conjured up memories of the Jan. 6, 2020, assault on the Capitol,” the Times added. Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is set to use his Congressional authority to investigate Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for alleged political prosecution of the former president. “Republicans plan to use their new investigative powers in the House majority to ramp up probes into the Biden family and liberal Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg amid reports that Mr. Bragg is on the verge of indicting former President Donald Trump on felony charges,” the Washington Times reported.

“An aide to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, told The Washington Times on Sunday that Mr. Jordan’s panel on the weaponization of the federal government “’is expected to respond’ to Mr. Bragg’s plans to indict Mr. Trump with an investigation and possible hearings,” the report added. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Sunday underscored that Manhattan D.A.’s case against Trump will be investigated by the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

Mark Levin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637661335835009024

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“I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair,” the governor said. “I just can’t speak to that.”

Ron DeSantis Breaks Silence On Trump’s Possible Arrest (RT)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has ripped the New York City prosecutor behind a possible criminal indictment against Donald Trump while sideswiping the former president with an apparent dig alluding to the “porn star hush money” at the center of the case. DeSantis, who is currently Trump’s top rival for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, had been pressured to comment on the New York case since Trump said over the weekend that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday. He finally weighed in when asked by a reporter on Monday about the possible indictment, arguing that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was among the US prosecutors who were using their positions to pursue a leftist political agenda after being elected with campaign funding from billionaire George Soros.

“These Soros district attorneys are a menace to society, and I’m just glad that I’m the only governor in the country who’s actually removed one from office during my tenure,” said DeSantis, referencing his firing in January of a prosecutor in Tampa, Florida. He added that Soros-backed DAs “weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety.” While some prominent Republicans, such as former vice president Mike Pence, rallied to Trump’s side over his looming arrest, DeSantis said he wouldn’t get involved in the case “in any way,” suggesting that he wouldn’t try to help block the Florida resident’s extradition to New York. “I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair,” the governor said. “I just can’t speak to that.”

“But what I can speak to is that if you have a prosecutor who is ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction, and he chooses to go back many, many years ago to try to use something about porn star hush-money payments. That’s an example of pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office.” Bragg reportedly aims to prosecute Trump over a $130,000 payment that was made to porn star Stormy Daniels to secure her silence during the 2016 presidential campaign. The DA would need to prove that the money was paid for the sole purpose of the campaign, rather than other possible motives, such as avoiding public embarrassment or keeping Trump’s wife from finding out about an affair. DeSantis has declined to push back publicly after being attacked on multiple occasions by Trump, who has nicknamed him “Ron DeSanctimonious.” A Yahoo/YouGov poll conducted last month found that voters favored DeSantis over Trump in a head-to-head race by a margin of 45%-41%.

DeSantis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637826647167516677

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“No, the Death of Money means a total and final collapse of this financial system..”

The Financial System Is Terminally Broken (Egon von Greyerz)

[..] the Swiss banking system is very unsound, just like the rest of the world’s. A central bank which is bigger than the country’s GDP is extremely unsound. And a banking system which is 5x Swiss GDP makes it too big to save. Although the Fed and ECB are much smaller in relation to their countries’ GDP than the SNB, these two central banks will soon discover that their assets of around $8 trillion each are grossly overvalued. With a global banking system on the verge of a systemic failure, Central Bankers and bankers have been working around the clock this weekend to temporarily avoid the inevitable collapse of the bankrupt financial system. As I pointed out above, the main Central Banks would also be bankrupt if they valued their assets honestly. But they have a wonderful source of money that they will tap to save the system.


Yes, I am of course talking about money printing. We will in coming months and years see the most massive avalanche of money printing that has ever hit the world. For anyone who believes that we are just seeing another bank run that will quickly evaporate, they will need to take a shower in ice cold Alpine water. What we are witnessing is not just a temporary drama that will be sorted out by “the all powerful and resourceful” central banks. No, instead what we are seeing is the end phase of this financial era which started with the formation of the Fed in 1913 and in the next few years, or much sooner, will end with the death of money.

But the Death of Money doesn’t just mean that the dollar (and most currencies) will make their final move to ZERO, having already declined 98% since 1971. Currency debasement is not the cause but the effect of the banking Cabal taking control of the money for their own benefit. As Mayer Amschel Rothschild said in the late 1700s: “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws”. Sadly, as this Cassandra (me) has written about since the beginning of the century, the Death of Money is not just all currencies going to ZERO as they have throughout history. No, the Death of Money means a total and final collapse of this financial system.


No depositor must believe that the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp) in the US or similar vehicles in other countries will save their deposits. All these organisations are massively undercapitalised and in the end it will be the governments in all countries which step in. We know of course, that the government has no money. They just print whatever they need. That leaves ordinary people taking the final burden of all this money printing. But ordinary people will have no money either. Yes a few rich people will be taxed heavily to cover bank deficits and losses. Still, that will be a drop in the ocean. Instead ordinary people will be impoverished with little income, no government handouts, no pension and money which is worthless.

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“Shares of that one, First Republic Bank, tumbled an additional 47% on Monday..”

US Studies How To Guarantee All $18 Trillion In US Bank Deposits (ZH)

After repeated laments by the likes of Bill Ackman, who most recently said that “I continue to believe that the best course of action is a temporary @FDICgov deposit guarantee until an updated insurance regime is introduced” (and who just flip-flopped on his “Fed must hike with shock and awe” call from 2022 and is now urging for a Fed hiking pause), and following a Bloomberg weekend report that US mid-sized banks demanded a two-year total deposit insurance scheme from the FDIC, and warned if it doesn’t arrive, there may lots more shotgun weddings (or shotguns), moments ago Bloomberg reported that “US officials are studying ways they might temporarily expand Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. coverage to all deposits, a move sought by a coalition of banks arguing that it’s needed to head off a potential financial crisis.” Guess our March 12 tweet was ahead of its time yet again.

The BBG report explains that “Treasury Department staff are reviewing whether federal regulators have enough emergency authority to temporarily insure deposits greater than the current $250,000 cap on most accounts” without formal consent from a deeply divided Congress, and goes on to note that “authorities don’t yet view such a move as necessary, especially after regulators took steps this month to help banks keep up with any demands for withdrawals” which is an important caveat, and is the same one that hawks are using to justify why a Fed pause would be self-defeating (“why is the Fed blowing up their last bit of inflation-fighting credibility; what do they know that we don’t): the same question can be applied to the Treasury: “what does the Treasury know that we don’t.” Most likely nothing – after all bank crises are non-linear, but as Bloomberg notes, “still, they are developing a strategy out of due diligence in case the situation worsens.”

“We will use the tools we have to support community banks,” White House spokesman Michael Kikukawa said, without directly addressing whether the measure is being studied. “Since our administration and the regulators took decisive action last weekend, we have seen deposits stabilize at regional banks throughout the country and, in some cases, outflows have modestly reversed.” Still, the report notes, the behind-the-scenes deliberations show there are concerns in Washington’s corridors of power as midsize banks call for broader government intervention after three lenders collapsed this month when uninsured depositors pulled their money, and as a fourth firm strives to avoid a similar fate. Shares of that one, First Republic Bank, tumbled an additional 47% on Monday as industry leaders tried to find a way to bolster the company’s finances.

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Mountain goat eagle

 

 

Marmot

 

 

 

 

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Mar 022023
 


Camille Pissarro Plum Trees in Blossom, Éragny 1894

 

Zelensky, Cronies In Major Corruption Scandal In Ukraine – And US? (Lavrenin)
Zelensky Floats ‘Strategic Pullback’ From Bakhmut (ZH)
Germany’s Scholz: Russia Must Take First Steps Towards Peace In Ukraine (TASS)
UK Ex-Foreign Secretary: US Makes Decisions On Arms Supplies To Ukraine (TASS)
Ready to Die for Ukraine? Russia Warns of Nuclear Annihilation (Celente)
Deep State Absolutely Wants to Kill You – Alex Newman (USAW)
EU Is Threatening Serbia – Vucic (RT)
Pentagon Says It Struggles To Track US Weapons In Ukraine (RT)
Deadly Balancing Act For Region With US Hell Bent On China War (Lo)
US Rallying Allies For New China Sanctions (RT)
Russiagate Spells Journalism’s Death (Chris Hedges)
Greek Consumers Pay Up To 45% More This Year For Basic Food Items (K.)
Ghislaine Maxwell Reportedly In Solitary After Saying Epstein Was Murdered (GP)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Penn Blitzer

 

 

 

 

Bukele
https://twitter.com/i/status/1630958207530065927

 

 

Keir Simmons
https://twitter.com/i/status/1631096391488471042

 

 

 

 

“..we can be certain that the inspectors won’t disclose any serious abuses following the audit, since this would deal a blow to President Joe Biden..”

Zelensky, Cronies In Major Corruption Scandal In Ukraine – And US? (Lavrenin)

The corruption scandals in Ukraine are being actively publicized by the media and are linked not only to the government’s political opponents, but also to Ukraine’s partners, primarily the United States. For example, Bihus.Info published an investigation into Yermak’s ties with former deputies from the now banned “Opposition Platform – For Life” party. This was Ukraine’s second largest political faction, until it was prohibited by Zelensky, as part of his crackdown on political opponents. Many experts have viewed the saga as an attempt by the American government to solve its own pressing issue of Republican demands that the White House establishes control over US aid to Ukraine. Having gained a majority in the House of Representatives, the Republican Party wants stricter controls over the expenditure of multibillion-dollar tranches allocated to Kiev. In Ukraine, the political consequences may also be significant.

On January 29, several inspectors arrived in Kiev from the US. The commission included Inspectors General Diana Shaw, Robert Storch, and Nicole Angarella from the US Department of State, the Pentagon, and the Agency for International Development (USAID), respectively. According to the US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink, the purpose of their visit was “to advance independent oversight of US assistance to Ukraine”. The offices of all three inspectors have established an interdepartmental working group that includes similar services in other departments and several government auditing services – 17 in total. The group will be responsible for holding meetings with “key American and Ukrainian officials, colleagues in various government agencies and non-governmental organizations implementing programs funded by the United States.” The inspectors are clearly trying to work with the civilian population, bypassing the Ukrainian authorities.

Among the inspectors, Robert Storch is closely familiar with Ukraine’s internal affairs. From 2007 to 2009, he worked in Ukraine as a consultant on anti-corruption issues, and in 2014, he returned to Kiev to help develop anti-corruption legislation. He also advised the authorities on the creation of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU). Storch has already been active in Ukraine. He met with Vitaliy Shabunin, director of the Anti-Corruption Centre (ACC), who recently criticized the Ukrainian Presidential Office and raised issues of graft in the higher echelons of power, and who was in turn criticized by Reznikov. After the meeting with Storch, however, the anti-corruption activist wrote in his Telegram channel that “all three inspectors-general are deeply aware both of corruption in food purchases and other problems in the Ministry of Defence (which will soon become public)”.

Storch also made time to hold a meeting with Reznikov directly. What’s next? It remains unclear whether the increased interest in policing corruption is an initiative by Ukraine’s pro-Western structures or is part of a new strategy from Washington. Nevertheless, the US inspectors’ main goal was to investigate the misuse of allocated funds. Given that the aid accounts for about half of Ukraine’s budget, the US reasonably expects the funds to be used for achieving set goals and not enriching officials. Consequently, we can be certain that the inspectors won’t disclose any serious abuses following the audit, since this would deal a blow to President Joe Biden and would also reflect negatively on American officials.

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PR dep. working overtime.

Zelensky Floats ‘Strategic Pullback’ From Bakhmut (ZH)

Zelensky officials are now openly talking about a possible ‘strategic pullback’ from the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut. This comes after Zelensky himself said he’s not ready to order a continued defense of the city at all costs. By all accounts both sides are suffering huge casualties, but Russia has the superior artillery fire, which has been sustained around the clock, also as Kremlin forces have the city almost completely surrounded. According to The Hill: “A Ukrainian presidential adviser on Tuesday said troops may “strategically pull back” from the town of Bakhmut, the focus of intense and brutal fighting for the past few months. Alexander Rodnyansky told CNN the Ukrainian army has not yet pulled out of the city, but Kyiv may soon decide the cost of holding Bakhmut “outweighs the benefits.”


“Our military is obviously going to weigh all of the options,” the Zelensky aide told CNN. “So far they’ve held the city, but if need be, they will strategically pull back because we’re not going to sacrifice all of our people just for nothing.” President Zelensky has also admitted defense of the town has proven “most difficult” for his forces. However, in rare comments, Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said Ukrainian forces continue putting up a fierce resistance on Wednesday. So far they’ve been throwing an immense amount of manpower into Bakhmut, he said. “The Ukrainian army is throwing extra reserves into Artyomovsk and trying to hold the town with all their strength,” Prigozhin said, using the Russian name for Bakhmut, in an audio message published by Wagner’s press service. “Tens of thousands of Ukrainian army fighters are putting up furious resistance. The bloodiness of the battles is growing by the day.”


Russia just took Khromove

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“He would like to see the withdrawal of Russian troops in the first place..”

Germany’s Scholz: Russia Must Take First Steps Towards Peace In Ukraine (TASS)

The German government thinks that Russia should be the first to take a step towards achieving peace in Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a joint press conference with Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins in Berlin on Wednesday. Scholz argued it was “clear” to him that Russia had attacked Ukraine, and that Russia was the country that “must do something” to make peace possible. He would like to see the withdrawal of Russian troops in the first place. Scholz stated that attention should now be paid to what he described as “the security policy situation on NATO’s eastern flank.” “In the event of an attack, we will together defend every centimeter of the alliance’s territory,” Scholz argued. He assured that the West would continue to “support Ukraine as much as necessary.”

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UK=Perfect Puppets.

UK Ex-Foreign Secretary: US Makes Decisions On Arms Supplies To Ukraine (TASS)

Britain will not be able to independently expand the supply of arms to Ukraine, since the main decisions in this regard are still being made in Washington, former British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a conversation with Russian pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov (Vovan) and Alexei Stolyarov (Lexus), published on Wednesday. Hague served as Britain’s Foreign Secretary from 2010 to 2014. In a conversation with pranksters who called him on behalf of Ukraine’s former president, Pyotr Poroshenko, he said that he remained in touch with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, advised him on the need to increase arms supplies to Ukraine and was sort of a mentor for the head of the British Cabinet. “Great Britain will not change its policy without the United States, without coordinating it with the United States. In other words, the main decisions are still made in Washington,” Hague said.


He noted that if Britain had free reign to make a decision to supply long-range weapons to Ukraine, there would be no doubt on that score. He added that the process of Ukraine’s accession to NATO, in his opinion, would last for years. Hague speculated that the scheme that existed between the United States and Israel might serve as a solution for such a transition period. This is not an agreement or a defensive alliance, he said, but political certainty that Israel will always have the most advanced systems for defense. Ukraine, too, can have such relations with Britain, the US and many other Western states. “As for NATO, you can only imagine how long all this coordination will take in the alliance,” Hague said.

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“If the issue of the very existence of Russia is raised seriously, it won’t be decided on the Ukrainian front. [It’ll be decided] together with the issue of the further existence of the entire human civilization.”

Ready to Die for Ukraine? Russia Warns of Nuclear Annihilation (Celente)

Last week, in an article published in Izvestia newspaper, the former president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev warned of a nuclear ‘apocalypse’ if NATO and the U.S. continued to ramp up the Ukraine War. Noting that the West and its “satellites” represent only 15 percent of the world’s population, he wrote it is “delusional” if they think that, “after putting the Soviet Union to rest, it’ll be able to also bury modern Russia without significant problems for itself, by throwing the lives of thousands of people involved in the conflict [in Ukraine] into the furnace,” and that those are “extremely dangerous misconceptions.”

The now deputy chair of the Russian Security Council also noted that “If the issue of the very existence of Russia is raised seriously, it won’t be decided on the Ukrainian front. [It’ll be decided] together with the issue of the further existence of the entire human civilization.” He warned the more weapons the U.S., NATO and its allies send to Ukraine while failing to discuss peace, the more it’s “…bound to lead to a total fiasco; the defeat for everyone; a collapse. An apocalypse when the former life would have to be forgotten for centuries, until the smoky debris ceases to emit radiation.” Echoing Medvedev’s nuclear warning, on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow must take into account NATO’s nuclear capabilities as he claimed that the West wants to destroy Russia.

“Where the leading NATO countries have proclaimed their main goal to be the strategic defeat of Russia, in order for our people ‘to suffer’ as they put it, how, in these conditions, could we not take into account their nuclear potential?” he asked. Putin said the West is complicit in “crimes” being committed by Ukraine by supplying the country with weapons and that the end goal is to destroy and divide Russia. Resonating that sentiment on Monday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said America and its allies want to “isolate, and even dismember” Russia and the future world order is being formed.

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Mengele, Rockefeller, Schwab.

Deep State Absolutely Wants to Kill You – Alex Newman (USAW)

Award-winning journalist Alex Newman, author of the popular books “Deep State” and “Crimes of the Educators,” predicted at the beginning is this year that the Deep State demons will have one crisis after another to keep people confused and afraid. The latest crisis is the economic and ecological disaster in East Palestine, Ohio. Newman says expect many more disasters and explains, “All across the country we are seeing very bizarre things happen. Factories and chemical plants going up in flames, food processing facilities blowing up, airplanes crashing in mysterious ways, and I think we are heading into an era of really serious crisis. Last summer, I was putting together the wave of crises that the Deep State was preparing for us, and one of the terms I used was ‘polycrisis.’ Then, right before the World Economic Forum meeting this year, they actually put on their website is 2023 the year of the polycrisis? Of course, it will be the year of the polycrisis.

I think we are prepared and being groomed for cyber-attacks, currency crisis, economic crisis and, of course, Russia/Ukraine and China/Taiwan. I think all of this is going to be used for a series of never-ending crises until we are ready to give up our freedoms, give up our national sovereignty and self-government, and move towards this crazy totalitarian, technocratic system they want.” Newman says it’s not going to be a kind transition for most people. Newman says, “The thing that is so hard for people to understand is that there are very powerful people that are working together, and they absolutely want to kill you. That is not speculation. These people have been openly saying for a century that they believe there are too many people on this planet. . . . The eugenics movement never died. Margaret Sanger, the Rockefellers, Dr. Joseph Mengele was funded by the Rockefeller dynasty. These people are very much still around. Bill Gates is the perfect example. His dad was on the board of Planned Parenthood, the largest butcher of unborn babies in America. . . . Bill Gates says openly and frequently that there are too many people on this planet. He wants to use vaccines and healthcare to reduce the number of people on the planet.”

Newman has a dark warning for America and explains, “Now that they are done with America and we are no longer useful and an obstacle to this global agenda, they need to knock us out. They may not want to resort to nuclear bombs, but if they did, it would not surprise me. . . . America is founded on very important ideals, and these are, once again, making a resurgence. Our self-evident truths that are enshrined in our Constitution, that God created us equally, that God gave us the right to property. God gave us our right to life. Government exists to protect these rights. These are Biblical ideas distilled into a political document. . . . These are ideals that are fundamental to liberty, and as long as the United States exists in its present form . . . . America is a major threat to this agenda. I don’t think we should put it past them that they would use nuclear bombs against us. I also think there is a fifth column in Washington that would be more than happy to collaborate.

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“Vucic vowed that he would never sign any “formal or informal recognition of Kosovo” as long as he is Serbia’s president..”

EU Is Threatening Serbia – Vucic (RT)

Serbia has not agreed to the EU’s “normalization” proposal on its relations with the breakaway province of Kosovo, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday while appearing on national TV. He added that Belgrade was facing threats from Brussels, but still refused to discuss the recognition of Kosovo and its accession to the UN. His words came a day after the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said on Twitter that both Belgrade and Pristina supported the Franco-German proposal for a “path to normalization” of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti then said he had offered to sign the plan, but that Vucic refused to do so, even though he had apparently “agreed to” it. On Tuesday, however, Vucic said that the sides “did not agree,” but simply agreed on continuing the talks. He added that “nothing has been signed in Brussels.”

Serbia is “ready to work on the implementation of many [points of] this plan,” Vucic said, but Belgrade still does not want to discuss “mutual recognition” as well as Kosovo’s accession to the UN. Serbia has not struck any “secret agreements,” the president said, adding that “not a single agreement is hidden” and he has “nothing to hide.” Vucic also called Borrell’s statement “very vague” and said that he was ready to discuss the “concept” of normalization. Vucic vowed that he would never sign any “formal or informal recognition of Kosovo” as long as he is Serbia’s president. He also admitted that Belgrade was facing pressure from Brussels and that the consequences of rejecting the plan would be a halting of Serbia’s integration into the European Union and a withdrawal of EU investments.

“We currently have 80,000 people working in German-owned factories alone. They threatened a number of other measures, including that Serbia would become a pariah isolated from the [rest of the] world,” Vucic said. An EU plan published by the bloc’s External Action Service says that Serbia and Kosovo would “develop normal, good-neighborly relations with each other on the basis of equal rights” and their dialogue would be guided by UN principles, including “those of the sovereign equality of all States.” The EU has insisted on Serbia recognizing Kosovo’s independence as a precondition for joining the bloc, even though five member countries – Spain, Slovakia, Cyprus, Greece, and Romania – do not recognize it either.

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“..refused to say whether his team had encountered any such corruption in Ukraine..”

Pentagon Says It Struggles To Track US Weapons In Ukraine (RT)

A classified report last year found that the Pentagon was unable to keep tabs on tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons sent to Ukraine. Details of the report were revealed – apparently inadvertently – by a Republican lawmaker during a hearing on Tuesday. Speaking at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee in Washington on Tuesday, Pentagon Inspector General Robert Storch noted that the US has allocated $113 billion in aid to Ukraine since the conflict there began last February, around 60% of which went to the country’s military. Storch – who is tasked with ensuring that this money is accounted for and not lost to waste, fraud, or abuse – refused to say whether his team had encountered any such corruption in Ukraine. However, Republican Rep. Mike Johnson stated that a report from Storch’s office last October found that the Pentagon was unable to carry out monitoring of weapons deliveries to Ukraine in line with its own policies.

Storch responded that the report in question was supposed to remain classified, but admitted that it was “accurate” in acknowledging “challenges” faced by the US in Ukraine. Monitoring of such arms deliveries is governed by the 1996 Arms Export Control Act. Questioned by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz – a vocal opponent of military aid to Ukraine – Storch would not confirm or deny under oath whether the Pentagon was complying with this act. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby claimed in January that the Biden administration has “not seen any signs” that military or economic aid “has fallen prey to any kind of corruption in Ukraine.” However, the classified document mentioned by Johnson appears to back up a slew of reports suggesting that weapons often disappear once delivered. Reports from last year – backed up by Amnesty International – claimed that as little as 30% of Western weapons sent to Ukraine were actually making it to the front lines.

American and Canadian officials admitted at the time that they had no idea where most of these weapons were ending up, with one US intelligence source telling CNN that they vanish “into a big black hole” once they enter Ukraine. The Kremlin has claimed that up to $1 billion worth of these weapons are funneled from Ukraine to criminals and terror groups in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia every month, while Europol and Interpol both warned that weapons have likely been transferred from Ukraine to criminal organizations in Europe. Pressed by Gaetz on Tuesday, Storch admitted that “there’s a long history of issues with corruption in Ukraine.” Earlier on Tuesday, a former American soldier who fought for Ukraine’s foreign legion before defecting to Russia told RT that he had personally seen commanders selling off Western missile launchers and rifles.

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“Why talk when you can just pull out a gun? That’s America’s style..”

Deadly Balancing Act For Region With US Hell Bent On China War (Lo)

In one respect, Antony Blinken’s latest claim about Taiwan is right. The US secretary of state said any cross-strait crisis is “a matter of concern to quite literally the entire world”. That’s true because Washington has made it so by deliberately escalating what are already high tensions into a powder keg. When arsonists like Blinken are threatening to torch a house, which is Taiwan, to save it, it’s no wonder the whole neighbourhood is alarmed. It doesn’t help when top US military men just keep on predicting a war with China, any time now, and up to 2027 at the latest. It also doesn’t help when the United States keeps selling more weapons to the island, and is now increasing its military presence with actual boots on Taiwanese ground. If that’s not provocation, I don’t know what is.

There is an easier and sensible way to ease tensions with China, and that’s by trying to reach an understanding with Beijing over the island, as both the US and the mainland have managed to do in the past 40 years, until now. But then the US decides it must openly confront and contain a rising China. And what’s more convenient than playing the Taiwan card, Asia’s peace and security be damned? After all, if the whole region goes up in smoke, that’s someone else’s neighbourhood, not America’s. It’s déjà vu. How many times have we seen this film before? Why talk when you can just pull out a gun? That’s America’s style. It’s apparently even written into its constitution. Washington plans to significantly increase its presence of troops on Taiwan, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, by quadrupling the number to 200 military personnel in the coming months.

Meanwhile, separate reports also say Taiwanese troops will be sent to the US for combat training. Until recently, there were not supposed to be any US troops on Taiwan; and even up to the start of 2021, no more than two dozen were reported. The military exchange will be a real escalation. Such moves are usually between the militaries of two sovereign countries. It’s clear while the Joe Biden White House claims to uphold the one-China principle, its actions say otherwise. For a while, President Tsai Ing-wen tried to put a lid on the rising US presence of troops, but now she doesn’t even bother. Washington keeps arguing for increasingly assertive and overt support, especially with frequent US naval operations across the strait. It’s the only way to help deter “Chinese aggression”. That’s a matter of perspective. For Beijing, it just looks like deliberate provocation.

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All these economies are overflowing with Chinese imports.

US Rallying Allies For New China Sanctions (RT)

The US is coordinating with its close allies to impose new sanctions on China should it decide to support the Russian campaign in Ukraine, according to Reuters. Beijing has rejected claims that it intends to offer military aid to Moscow, and recently unveiled a plan seeking a peaceful settlement to the conflict. Washington is in “consultations” with foreign partners, namely those from the G7 nations, regarding new economic penalties, several unnamed US officials told the outlet on Wednesday. They declined to provide details about the potential sanctions, only confirming that discussions are “laying the groundwork for potential action.” The report follows repeated warnings toward China from the US and other Western nations, which claim Beijing intends to supply weapons to Russian forces for the campaign against Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg echoed the charges during a recent interview with the Associated Press, saying “we have seen some signs that they may be planning for that,” but without offering evidence. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that Washington would “not hesitate” to target Chinese firms with sanctions in the event that Beijing supplies lethal aid to Moscow, saying the move would carry “implications and consequences.” Blinken added that he raised the issue with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi when they met at the Munich Security Conference last month. China has dismissed the charges as “groundless speculation,” arguing that it does not intend to provide weapons to Russian troops while accusing Washington of hypocrisy.

“The US has no right to dictate China-Russia relations, and we will never accept coercion and pressure from the US,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Monday. She went on to observe that it is Washington, not Beijing, that has been “pouring lethal weapons into the battlefield in Ukraine.” While Western nations have long pressured China to sever ties with Russia, accusations toward Beijing have only grown louder since it unveiled a 12-point roadmap for a diplomatic settlement for the conflict in Ukraine last month. Moscow has signaled willingness to “carefully analyze” the details of the proposal, though US officials quickly rejected the plan, claiming Beijing has adopted “Russia’s false narrative about the war” and is not “serious” about ending hostilities.

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Russiagate to Covid to Ukraine. Who could have predicted?

Russiagate Spells Journalism’s Death (Chris Hedges)

Gerth, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who worked at The New York Times from 1976 until 2005, spent the last two years writing an exhaustive look at the systemic failure of the press during the Trump-Russia story, authoring a four-part series of 24,000 words that has been published by The Columbia Journalism Review. It is an important, if depressing, read. News organizations repeatedly seized on any story, he documents, no matter how unverified, to discredit Trump and routinely ignored reports that cast doubt on the rumors they presented as fact. You can see my interview with Gerth here. The New York Times, for example, in January 2018, ignored a publicly available document showing that the F.B.I.’s lead investigator, after a 10-month inquiry, did not find evidence of collusion between Trump and Moscow.

The lie of omission was combined with reliance on sources that peddled fictions designed to cater to Trump-haters, as well as a failure to interview those being accused of collaborating with Russia. The Washington Post and NPR reported, incorrectly, that Trump had weakened the GOP’s stance on Ukraine in the party platform because he opposed language calling for arming Ukraine with “lethal defensive weapons” — a position identical to that of his predecessor President Barack Obama. These outlets ignored the platform’s support for sanctions against Russia as well its call for “appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine and greater coordination with NATO defense planning.” News organizations amplified this charge. In a New York Times column that called Trump the “Siberian candidate,” Paul Krugman wrote that the platform was “watered down to blandness” by the Republican president.

Jeffrey Goldberg, editor of The Atlantic, described Trump as a “de facto agent” of Vladimir Putin. Those who tried to call out this shoddy reporting, including Russian-American journalist and Putin critic Masha Gessen were ignored. After Trump’s first meeting as president with Putin, he was attacked as if the meeting itself proved he was a Russian stooge. Then New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote of the “disgusting spectacle of the American president kowtowing in Helsinki to Vladimir Putin.” Rachel Maddow, MSNBC’s most popular host, said that the meeting between Trump and Putin validated her covering the Trump-Russia allegations “more than anyone else in the national press” and strongly implied — and her show’s Twitter account and YouTube page explicitly stated — that Americans were now “coming to grips with a worst-case scenario that the U.S. president is compromised by a hostile foreign power.”

The anti-Trump reporting, Gerth notes, hid behind the wall of anonymous sources, frequently identified as “people (or person) familiar with” — The New York Times used it over a thousand times in stories involving Trump and Russia, between October 2016 and the end of his presidency, Gerth found. Any rumor or smear was picked up in the news cycle with the sources often unidentified and the information unverified. A routine soon took shape in the Trump-Russia saga. “First, a federal agency like the CIA or FBI secretly briefs Congress,” Gerth writes. “Then Democrats or Republicans selectively leak snippets. Finally, the story comes out, using vague attribution.” These cherry-picked pieces of information largely distorted the conclusions of the briefings.

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Great! Now go run a homeless kitchen…

Greek Consumers Pay Up To 45% More This Year For Basic Food Items (K.)

Greek consumers are paying up to 45% more this year for basic food items compared to a year ago, as estimates of temporary price appreciation, which started before the war in Ukraine and intensified later on, turned out to be false hopes, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data show. Although there were eventually no food shortages and the market caps imposed on some products in the first weeks after the Russian military invaded Ukraine, such as flour, sunflower oil, sugar and chicken, did not have to last for long, the price increases have not only not been contained since then, but are continuing in 2023. Despite the significant de-escalation in recent months, the prices of electricity and natural gas also remain high, having been up to four times higher in the past year than in 2021, even after the government subsidies for household consumers’ bills.

Increased spending on food and other household essentials, as well as inflated energy bills, despite subsidies, resulted in more than half of households reporting that their monthly income was sufficient up to the 18th of each month. Out of a total of 62 food items, only in one case was there a price reduction in January 2023 compared to a year earlier and that was negligible (-0.02% for fresh fish). All other products saw prices increase from 0.29% (fresh fruit) to 44.96% (sugar). In fact, the increase is over 20% in 14 types of food, which includes the most basic ones, such as milk (24.29% for fresh milk with even greater increases in other types), bread (25.55%), flour (26.89%), eggs (26.27%), cheeses (26.61), yogurt (21.65%), olive oil (22.37%), beef (20.15 %), lamb and goat (21.35%).

For a “basket” with 25 basic products – food and household items – on March 1, 2022 Greeks paid 76.26 euros, while the exact same products (same brand and code) now cost €91 – i.e. 19.33% more money. In some cases the increases even reach 60%, such as in branded toilet paper or detergents and shower gels, where price hikes of over 50% are recorded.

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“I probably wish I had stayed in England.”

Ghislaine Maxwell Reportedly In Solitary After Saying Epstein Was Murdered (GP)

Convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell was reportedly punished by authorities at the Federal Correctional Institute Tallahassee over a recorded jailhouse interview that aired in January. The onetime British socialite, who was accused of procuring underage girls for convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, “was handcuffed and slung into solitary confinement for 48 hours after prison authorities accused her of profiting from a media interview,” the Daily Mail reported Monday. “She protested her innocence but was marched off to the Special Housing Unit (SHU) — a ‘prison within a prison’ comprising tiny, grim cells where inmates are locked up for 23 hours at a time and fed through slits in the door.”

The news outlet quoted unnamed “insiders” as saying that the inmate they know as “Max” “was just minding her own business when they came in, turned her around and handcuffed her.” “She got really upset, she was crying, she was yelling that she hadn’t received any money, but nobody saw her again for three days.” The Mail’s source said, “The SHU is not a nice place.” “It’s like a little box and you’re only allowed out to shower once a day. There’s no contact from anyone, no privileges, they slide your meals through a slot.” According to the report, Maxwell’s interview, which was aired Jan. 23 on TalkTV, would have violated the terms of her 20-year federal prison sentence if she received payment for the appearance.

Also in question was how the interview was obtained. As federal prisoner number 02879-509, she is permitted video calls with only those family members and friends on a list approved by the federal prison, according to the report. She apparently conducted the interviews during phone calls with her friend, filmmaker Daphne Barak. Maxwell made headlines for several remarks made during those interviews. One much-publicized comment was that she believed Epstein, contrary to the official narrative, did not commit suicide in his jail cell in 2019. “I believe that he was murdered,” Maxwell said.

When she heard the news of his death, “I was shocked,” she said. “And I wondered how it had happened. Because as far as I was concerned, he was going to … I was sure he was going to appeal. And I was sure that he was covered under the non-prosecution agreement.” She also expressed regret for her association with Epstein during the interview. “I honestly wish I’d never met him, you know, looking back now,” she told the interviewer. “I probably wish I had stayed in England.”

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Fingers don’t have muscles, apart from the arrector pili, which are completely unrelated to motion. The 34 muscles that actually move human fingers are all located in the palm and forearm

 

 

AI sign language

 

 


Chand Baori is the deepest and probably the oldest stairwell in the world

 

 

Silent flight

 

 


The tufted ground squirrel is noted for having the largest known tail to body size ratio of any mammal, with the volume of its tail including the air included in the fluff being 130% of the volume of its body

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 172022
 


Saul Leiter Phone call c1957

 

Moscow Reveals Capabilities Of Forthcoming ICBM Mobile Launcher (RT)
US Considers Providing Ukraine With More Weapons – Politico (RT)
Kissinger Outlines Ukraine Peace Proposal (RT)
Time For Ukraine Talks ‘Not Right Now’ – White House (RT)
Carthage Must Be Destroyed! (David Sant)
Approval of EU Support For Ukraine Lags Among Greeks (K.)
THE TWITTER FILES: Twitter… The FBI Subsidiary (ZH)
Twitter Docs Reveal FBI Pressure To Control Speech (RT)
EU Threatens Elon Musk With Sanctions (RT)
AOC Accuses Musk Of ‘Proto-fascism’ (RT)
What I Discovered At Twitter HQ (Jay Bhattacharya)
Truth And Consequences (Jim Kunstler)
Has ‘The End Of History’ Arrived In The Balkans? (Lukyanov)
Is Europe’s Energy Crisis Actually A Boon? (OP)
German MP Blasts ‘Absurd’ Price Cap On Russian Oil (RT)
The Petrodollar’s Long Goodbye (Prashad)

 

 

 

 

FTX O’Leary This is good.

 

 


Germany died suddenly

 

 

Dutch farmers nitrogen

 

 

Trump

 

 

 

 

Tucker vaccine risks

 

 

 

 

“..capable of evading any anti-ballistic missile system that could be fielded in the foreseeable future..”

Moscow Reveals Capabilities Of Forthcoming ICBM Mobile Launcher (RT)

Russia will commence the development of a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system next year, which will be a significant upgrade on the existing Yars system, Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) Commander Sergey Karakaev has said. The new platform will have increased mobility to facilitate “swift redeployment and launch from any region anywhere in the Russian Federation,” he told Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star), the official newspaper of the country’s military. Karakaev offered no further details about the new project. The interview was published on Friday, ahead of SMF Day, which will be celebrated on Saturday. The SMF is the arm of the Russian military responsible for the country’s ground-based nuclear deterrence. It is currently “on the lookout for new technologies… which could be used to improve strategic weapon systems or create new ones,” Karakaev stated.


The silo-based Sarmat ICBM, as well as the Avangard and Yars systems, are examples of what is possible through such research, he added. The general praised the Sarmat missile in particular, which he said was capable of evading any anti-ballistic missile system that could be fielded in the foreseeable future. Russia approved production of the rocket following a successful test launch in April. Earlier this week, the Defense Ministry showcased the rearmament of an SMF site in central Russia by releasing footage, which showed two Yars missiles being loaded into silos. The ICBM has silo-launched and road-mobile variants.

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“..an additional 300 tanks, up to 700 infantry fighting vehicles, and 500 Howitzers would be needed to repel the Russian forces..”

US Considers Providing Ukraine With More Weapons – Politico (RT)

The US is planning to provide Ukraine with more weapons in the near future, extending the strike range of its military, Politico has reported. The media outlet, citing “six people with knowledge of the discussions,” claimed the move to provide additional supplies was prompted by concerns among top Ukrainian officials that Russia is amassing forces ahead of a major winter offensive. In its report on Thursday, Politico alleged that the Biden administration is currently entertaining the possibility of providing Kiev with, among other things, ground-launched small diameter bombs – high-precision munitions with a range of 150km (94 miles). Also under consideration, according to the article, is the delivery of joint direct attack munition kits, which are used to convert unguided aerial munitions into smart bombs.

These deliveries would be in addition to existing plans for the shipment of Patriot air-defense systems, Politico reported. Several US media outlets have indicated that those plans are in the final stages. Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Russia would certainly target these missile systems in Ukraine, should they be deployed there. On Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder announced the expansion of a training program for Ukrainian military personnel at a US base on German soil. The number of troops attending there each month is reportedly expected to rise to around 500. In recent days, top Ukrainian officials – including the country’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, and Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba – have expressed concerns that Russia could launch a massive offensive as early as next month.

Zaluzhny did not rule out a new attempt by Moscow’s forces to take the Ukrainian capital Kiev. He also called on the West to provide Ukraine with more weaponry, saying that an additional 300 tanks, up to 700 infantry fighting vehicles, and 500 Howitzers would be needed to repel the Russian forces. While the US has already supplied Ukraine with short-range NASAMS air-defense systems, Kiev has been specifically requesting Patriot batteries since October, when Russia began massive missile and drone strikes on the country’s critical infrastructure. Moscow said the new strategy came in response to Ukraine’s attacks on Russian infrastructure, including the Crimean Bridge. Back in September, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned Washington that “it would cross the red line and become an actual party to the conflict,” should it provide Ukraine with longer-range missiles.

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“..the other territories Ukraine claims – Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea – “could be the subject of a negotiation after a ceasefire.”

Kissinger Outlines Ukraine Peace Proposal (RT)

Urgently negotiating an end to hostilities in Ukraine would prevent another world war, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger argued in an essay published on Friday. The 99-year-old statesman noted that, in 1916, the US government had the chance to end the First World War through diplomacy, but missed it for reasons of domestic politics. Kissinger laid out his reasoning in the December 17 issue of The Spectator, describing the current conflict as a “war in which two nuclear powers contest a conventionally armed country,” a clear reference to Ukraine being a proxy war between the US and Russia. The “peace process” Kissinger proposes would “link Ukraine to NATO, however expressed,” as he believes neutrality for Kiev is no longer an option.

He also wants Russia to withdraw to the lines before February 24, while the other territories Ukraine claims – Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea – “could be the subject of a negotiation after a ceasefire.” In addition to “confirming the freedom of Ukraine,” the arrangement would strive to “define a new international structure, especially for Central and Eastern Europe,” in which Russia should “eventually” find a place, he explained. While some would prefer “a Russia rendered impotent by the war,” Kissinger disagrees, arguing that Moscow’s “historical role should not be degraded.” Dismantling Russia could turn its vast territory into a “contested vacuum,” where “competing societies might decide to settle their disputes by violence” and neighbors could seek to claim territory by force, all in the presence of “thousands of nuclear weapons.”

In substance, this is the same proposal Kissinger had first floated in May, for which he was labeled an enemy of Ukraine and added to the notorious ‘Peacemaker’ kill list. In an interview earlier this month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky categorically rejected any sort of ceasefire that did not take Kiev’s claimed 1991 borders as the starting point. It was also unclear whether Moscow would accept any Western-mediated ceasefire at all, after former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s admission that the 2014 Minsk armistice was intended to “give Ukraine time” to prepare for war. What’s fresh in Kissinger’s Spectator essay is his reasoning. He points to August 1916, at the height of the First World War, when the warring powers sought US mediation to end the unprecedented bloodshed.

Though “a peace based on the modified status quo ante was within reach,” President Woodrow Wilson delayed the talks until after he could get re-elected in November. By then it was too late, and the war would go on for two more years, “irretrievably damaging Europe’s established equilibrium.” Asked about Kissinger’s proposal, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “eager to give the article a thorough reading,” but “hasn’t had a chance to do so yet, unfortunately.” Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The Kremlin demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that would never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.

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“..if and when the diplomacy is ripe, they will be in the best possible position at the negotiating table.”

Time For Ukraine Talks ‘Not Right Now’ – White House (RT)

It is not yet time for Ukraine to negotiate with Russia, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan argued in an interview on Friday. Meanwhile, Henry Kissinger – who held the same post in the early 1970s – has said talks should happen sooner rather than later. “We don’t know where this is going to end up,” Sullivan said of the conflict, speaking at the Carnegie Endowment think tank in Washington. “What we do know is that it’s our job to continue to sustain our military support to Ukraine, so they are in the best possible position on the battlefield, so that if and when the diplomacy is ripe, they will be in the best possible position at the negotiating table.” “That moment is not right now,” he added. According to Sullivan, Ukraine has won a series of battles, “repelled the Russian invaders from most of the country,” and is now “fighting to reclaim the remaining land.”

He called it “a remarkable thing” and said the Biden administration is asking Congress for “a substantial amount of further resources” to ensure “Ukraine has the means to fight this war.” Meanwhile, Americans training Ukrainian troops on the ground have spoken of mounting casualties and Ukraine’s chief of general staff, Valery Zaluzhny, is asking for more tanks, armored vehicles and artillery than most NATO members have in their arsenal, much less to spare. The US and its allies have supplied Ukraine with tube and rocket artillery, air defense systems, small arms, vehicles and ammunition, allowing Kiev to fight long after its domestic capabilities had been degraded. Russia has condemned the shipments as needlessly prolonging the conflict and increasing casualties, repeatedly warning the West that it risks becoming an open party to the conflict.

Earlier in the day, Sullivan applauded Japan’s new national security strategy, which will see Tokyo embark on massive military expansion citing the “strategic challenge posed by China.” The Japanese constitution – drafted mainly by the US occupation authorities after the Second World War – had renounced war and limited the country to a “self-defense” force. There was no indication that 46-year-old Sullivan was aware of his predecessor’s essay in The Spectator, in which the 99-year-old Kissinger called for an armistice in Ukraine before the conflict spins out of control. He pointed to the missed US opportunity to negotiate an end to the First World War in 1916, which led to millions more deaths and a far less stable post-war world that eventually collapsed into another global conflict.

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“One might say that the West forgot the art of diplomacy..”

Carthage Must Be Destroyed! (David Sant)

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 was not the result of losing a war. It was caused by the failed policies of a centralized economy, exacerbated by American manipulation of the oil markets, and a costly American-backed guerilla war in Afghanistan. The United States moved in with “shock therapy” economic advisors and took the opportunity to restructure a confused and gullible Russia, including writing a new constitution. For Russia the collapse of the Soviet Union had many similarities to the loss of Carthage in the Second Punic War. Despite making peace with their former adversary, and honoring their treaties, Russia found that she could never be accepted as a friend on equal terms by the Western world order. And this was for the very same reason that Carthage could never be tolerated by Rome.

Russia was and is in every way an equal to the Anglo-American Empire. Ever since Vladimir Putin became President of Russia, the chorus of the West has become louder and louder that Putin must go. While they cannot say it aloud yet, what they really mean is “Russia must be destroyed!” If Russia had continued the policy of submission to Western control that was begun by Boris Yeltsin, we can be assured that Moscow would have eventually met the same fate as Carthage from the Anglo-American Empire. However, the appointment of Vladimir Putin as President of Russia derailed their plans. Under his rule Russia has steadily reasserted her former leadership and strength against the machinations of the Anglo-American Empire.

While at first Mr. Putin made a genuine effort to be a “partner” with the West, by the year 2011 it was clear that the West would never accept Russia as a friend or an equal. The West had enjoyed two decades of bossing everyone else around and had learned to enjoy giving orders rather than negotiating. One might say that the West forgot the art of diplomacy. After watching in horror the NATO-led destructions of Serbia, Libya, and Syria, the Kremlin began asserting itself with foreign policy problems that directly affected Russian security interests starting in 2013.

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Harder to brainwash.

Approval of EU Support For Ukraine Lags Among Greeks (K.)

Deviating from the general mood in Europe, a large number of Greeks hesitate to declare their approval of the European Union’s backing for Ukraine following the Russian invasion. In the relevant question of the Parliament’s Eurobarometer for autumn 2022, a majority of citizens in the 24 member-states approve of the position taken by the EU, with the exception of Slovakia, Bulgaria and Greece, which have the lowest percentages (49%, 48% and 48% respectively). The highest levels are recorded in Sweden (97%), Finland (95%), the Netherlands (93%), Portugal (92%) and Denmark (92%). The same survey showed that three quarters of European citizens (73%) agree with the specific measures taken by the EU, namely sanctions against the Russian government, as well as economic, military and humanitarian support to Ukraine. Again, Greece is at the bottom of the ranking, with only 46%.

Loffredo

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And the FBI works for the DNC, Pfizer and Raytheon..

THE TWITTER FILES: Twitter… The FBI Subsidiary (ZH)

Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary. Between January 2020 and November 2022, there were over 150 emails between the FBI and former Twitter Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth. Some are mundane, like San Francisco agent Elvis Chan wishing Roth a Happy New Year along with a reminder to attend “our quarterly call next week.” Others are requests for information into Twitter users related to active investigations. But a surprisingly high number are requests by the FBI for Twitter to take action on election misinformation, even involving joke tweets from low-follower accounts.


The FBI’s social media-focused task force, known as FTIF, created in the wake of the 2016 election, swelled to 80 agents and corresponded with Twitter to identify alleged foreign influence and election tampering of all kinds. Federal intelligence and law enforcement reach into Twitter included the Department of Homeland Security, which partnered with security contractors and think tanks to pressure Twitter to moderate content. It’s no secret the government analyzes bulk data for all sorts of purposes, everything from tracking terror suspects to making economic forecasts. The #TwitterFiles show something new: agencies like the FBI and DHS regularly sending social media content to Twitter through multiple entry points, pre-flagged for moderation.

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“..she asked whether there would be “impediments” to passing along classified information to industry partners. In response, the FBI was “adamant” that there were “no impediments to sharing.”

Twitter Docs Reveal FBI Pressure To Control Speech (RT)

Twitter has maintained “constant and pervasive” contacts with the FBI and other US intelligence agencies for several years, according to internal company documents leaked to reporters. The files appear to show a concerted government campaign to blacklist content labeled as “misinformation.” Published by journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday, the sixth installment of the ‘Twitter Files’ revealed additional pressure placed on the website by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) between January 2020 and as recently as last month, largely focused on moderating particular posts and accounts discussing American elections. While earlier documents indicated high-level coordination between intelligence agencies and Twitter, the latest files suggest such collusion took place on a larger scale than was previously known.

In a period of less than three years, the site’s former Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth alone exchanged more than 150 emails with the FBI. Prior to Friday, Roth was the only executive said to have had regular, direct contacts with the bureau, however the new files show that legal exec Stacia Cardille also held weekly meetings with not only the FBI, but the DHS, Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) beginning in September. In a letter addressed to Twitter’s former Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker – himself an ex-lawyer for the FBI – Cardille noted that she asked whether there would be “impediments” to passing along classified information to industry partners. In response, the FBI was “adamant” that there were “no impediments to sharing.”

“This passage underscores the unique one-big-happy-family vibe between Twitter and the FBI. With what other firm would the FBI blithely agree to ‘no impediments’ to classified information?” Taibbi asked. A number of messages sent to Twitter by the FBI contain explicit requests to take down certain posts, or even ban accounts altogether. In one case, the agency flagged so much “possible violative content” that Twitter staffers were later seen congratulating each other in an internal company chat for the “monumental undertaking” of reviewing it. Another missive sent on November 5, 2022 from the FBI’s ‘National Election Command Post’ provided a list of 25 accounts that “may warrant additional action.” Twitter was quick to permanently ban seven of those handles, while it temporarily suspended another and deleted eight tweets for alleged “civil misinformation policy violations.”

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EU=hot air.

EU Threatens Elon Musk With Sanctions (RT)

The EU has warned Elon Musk that Twitter could be targeted by sanctions after the platform owned by the entrepreneur suspended several journalists for allegedly sharing real-time location data about the billionaire and his family. “News about arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is worrying,” wrote EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova in a tweet on Friday. “EU’s Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom and fundamental rights,” she said, adding that these rights are reinforced under the recently adopted European Media Freedom Act.= “[Elon Musk] should be aware of that. There are red lines.

And sanctions, soon,” Jourova warned, as the Digital Services Act is set to start coming into force next summer and will be fully implemented by 2024. Her threats come after Twitter suspended around half-a-dozen journalists on Thursday who reported and shared links to ElonJet, which provides real-time tracking of Musk’s personal flights. Musk has explained the decision by stating that the information being shared was “basically assassination coordinates” and pointed to Twitter’s terms of service, which prohibit doxxing – the illegal publishing of personal information – of anyone by anyone. “Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else,” the billionaire wrote on Thursday.

Twitter has previously suspended the original @elonjet account, as well as other similar flight-tracking channels owned by Florida student Jack Sweeney, who had been posting real-time data on private flights of the world’s wealthiest men, including Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Musk – a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” – purchased Twitter for $44 billion in late October. Back then he initially promised not to suspend any accounts that were exercising free speech, noting that that extended “even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.”

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“Take a beat and lay off the proto-fascism. Maybe try putting down your phone,” the New York congresswoman suggested. Musk brushed off AOC’s criticism by simply replying: “You first.”

AOC Accuses Musk Of ‘Proto-fascism’ (RT)

Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, commonly referred to as AOC, has joined the backlash against Elon Musk after Twitter suspended several journalists for allegedly violating the platform’s anti-doxxing policies while reporting on the ElonJet flight tracker. AOC accused Musk of abusing his power as the new owner of Twitter and told him to “lay off the proto-fascism.” That was after he temporarily suspended half-a-dozen journalists from CNN, the New York Times, and The Washington Post, among others, for reporting on and providing the links to ElonJet – a flight tracker that posted real-time flight data about Musk’s private jet.

Musk had accused the journalists of sharing information that was “basically assassination coordinates” and cited Twitter’s terms of service, which prohibit doxxing – publishing the personal information and real-time coordinates of other people. In a series of Twitter posts on Friday, Cortez insisted that Musk should not have suspended the reporters because he was “a public figure,” suggesting that being the victim of such location information-sharing comes with the territory. “You’re a public figure. An extremely controversial and powerful one,” AOC wrote. “I get feeling unsafe, but descending into abuse of power + erratically banning journalists only increases the intensity around you.”

“Take a beat and lay off the proto-fascism. Maybe try putting down your phone,” the New York congresswoman suggested. Musk brushed off AOC’s criticism by simply replying: “You first.” The billionaire had previously stated that he was fine with any criticism coming his way over his handling of Twitter, which he purchased in late October for $44 billion, but insisted that threatening the safety of his family was over the line. “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not,” he wrote.

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“I could have bought an island with the $44 billion, but this was a much better use of the money.”

What I Discovered At Twitter HQ (Jay Bhattacharya)

You spoke with Elon for almost an hour. How was your conversation? The topic, of course, was censorship. My sense is that he bought Twitter in part because he is deeply offended by the idea that something like Twitter, which is so important for public communication… had put their thumb on the scale. It wasn’t specifically about Covid. Generally, his sense was that one side of the conversation wasn’t being heard on many, many issues… I think he views this as: he’s in a very privileged position that allows him to restore free speech, allow for free discussion of ideas. And he wants to use what gifts he’s had for that purpose. He even made a joke: I could have bought an island with the $44 billion, but this was a much better use of the money.

Was he a lockdown sceptic during the pandemic? I think he generally was a lockdown sceptic… He famously, early in the pandemic, protested against being locked down when the shutdown orders came, and then moved Tesla’s headquarters to Texas… He was very clear that he was aware of the harms of lockdowns. He mentioned the early days of the pandemic — that he had a number of plants in China, with tens of thousands of employees. He said: “Look, if somebody dies in amongst my employees, I find out immediately, because we stop paying them.” But he noticed that there were very, very few deaths on that metric early on. So his view was that it wasn’t clear that the case fatality rate numbers that were coming out matched reality in China itself, even from the earliest days of the pandemic… Certainly at this point, he was very sympathetic to my message about the harms to the poor of the world threatened by the economic dislocation caused by lockdowns, the closing of schools — all of that I think he opposed.

So then an engineer shows you your files. What did you find out? An engineer comes to me, we talk in this little cubicle. And so it turns out that there are two major sources of information for the journalists that are looking at this. First, there’s this tool, which Bari Weiss made famous: for each person, they’ll have the status of the person and history of the status of that person… That includes some personal identifying information, which is why you’re not seeing a dump of those files for everybody, because they’re not supposed to share that… I had got permission to look at myself of course. And I asked for permission to look at Martin Kulldorff.

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“The Big News Media may not be able to avoid reporting on it, especially with Twitter loosened up, and their lying attempts to spin events is going to look pathetic..”

Truth And Consequences (Jim Kunstler)

Even if NBC, CBS, CNN, The New York Times, The WashPo, and the rest of the Big News Media mafia ignore the Twitter Files story, the revolution at Twitter is going to shake their windows and rattle their walls. There will be free debate in 2023 on this social media platform. News and ideas will be set loose across the landscape, and, for the first time in years, reality will have a chance to compete with the bad faith narratives of a regime at war against its own people. We’ll have to see how long this lasts before the Intel Community tries to shut Twitter down, ramp up a campaign to defame it, or blow it up as a viable business. Or make a move to, shall we say, neutralize the person behind the revolution there.

The more that free speech is actually permitted on Twitter, the more every other platform will look like a lame organ of propaganda, especially when it comes to issues that really matter such as the deadly consequences of the mRNA “vaccines,” the shady doings around recent US elections, the actual condition of the US economy, the perilous folly of “Joe Biden’s” war in Ukraine (and the family grifting operation that prompted it), and the evil machinations of the Intel Community itself. In about three weeks, the Party of Chaos will be swept out of power in the US House of Representatives. Their opponents will take control of all the House committee chairs, with subpoena power to compel the testimony of public figures who have managed to avoid answering questions for years. The Big News Media may not be able to avoid reporting on it, especially with Twitter loosened up, and their lying attempts to spin events is going to look pathetic when it is instantly contrasted with free analysis and informed debate in the public arena.

You can’t overstate what an advantage the insidious takeover of social media gave to forces seeking to wreck the country, though the effects have not been adequately explored yet. The people remain bamboozled over the Covid-19 operation especially. It certainly wasn’t some random act by Mother Nature, not with US public health agencies supporting gain-of-function research on coronaviruses from Ukraine to North Carolina to Wuhan, China. And the subsequent damage caused by the government’s response to the outbreak was either an epic fiasco of inept officialdom, or something that smells like mass murder. Dr. Anthony Fauci’s little trick to so far avoid answering questions about these matters was simply to not use the term “gain-of-function” in his correspondence arranging grants for it — especially after President Barack Obama banned that type of research by its name in 2014. So when asked about gain-of-function, he could just lie with abandon. After that simple ruse is exposed, the patent and royalty benefits enjoyed by Dr. Fauci — who doubled his net worth after 2019 — will be dragged into the light of day.

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“Current events in northern Kosovo resemble an attempt to bring about the “end of history” in the Balkan context..”

Has ‘The End Of History’ Arrived In The Balkans? (Lukyanov)

Current events in northern Kosovo resemble an attempt to bring about the “end of history” in the Balkan context. Of course, the same one that was promised 30-odd years ago, on a global scale, hasn’t happened, but the idea behind it has remained in people’s minds. Francis Fukuyama, the author of the concept, later admitted that he had been hasty and had failed to take into account important circumstances in the development of societies. However, he hasn’tabandoned it, and continues to believe that the predicted triumph of Western liberal ideology, and the corresponding way of life, will still take place, just later than expected. What has Kosovo got to do with this? The disintegration of Yugoslavia has taken as long as the concept of “the end of history” has existed.

And it has been, perhaps, the clearest example of what it meant in practice. The nature of that state – a socialist federal republic – was diametrically opposed to what was thought to be right after the Cold War. Firstly, socialism as a socio-political construct was simply written off as having failed. Secondly, it was a complex federation dominated by the largest ethnic group. This, to be fair,could be described as being in the spirit of multiculturalism, which has become popular in developed countries over the past couple of decades. But no, because multicultural communities have only been welcomed if they were part of a process that develops from homogeneous to heterogeneous through immigration and the influx of new citizens of different origins.

Thus, multinational states like Yugoslavia or the USSR (or even Czechoslovakia) have instead been perceived through the prism of self-determination. In other words, national aspirations were worthy of support but the desire to maintain (con)federative unions was equated with imperial ambitions.

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“..now that winter proper has begun and the cold is settling in, consumption will increase, whatever the price of gas.”

Is Europe’s Energy Crisis Actually A Boon? (OP)

The energy crisis that began last year in Europe and dramatically escalated following the EU response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seen many in government worry about the survival of the continent during the winter. Yet not all see such a bleak picture. In fact, some believe that not only is the worst over for Europe but that the crisis actually did the EU a favor. That favor took the form of accelerating the buildout in renewables and the restart of hydrocarbon-fueled power plants. This take, which is certainly not very common right now, came from one investment manager, Per Lekander, who is managing partner at a firm called Clean Energy Transition LLP. Speaking to CNBC this week, Lekander said that Russia had, in fact, very little to do with Europe’s crisis, and it could even be said Vladimir Putin did Europe a favor.

“This [the crisis] is the consequence of long term under-investments in conventional, long term red tape in renewables and then these political closures of nuclear, coal, lignite, etcetera,” Lekander told CNBC. He then went on to add that the measures that European countries took after Russia began responding to EU sanctions by reducing gas flows went a long way toward ensuring that the continent would survive this winter. Energy demand reduction was one of these measures, according to the financier, and returning to hydrocarbons for power generation was another. A third one was the planned reduction in red tape in wind and solar power system construction—obstacles that these two industries have been complaining about for years.

It could be argued that this energy demand reduction that has allowed Europe to save on gas was a result of exorbitant prices rather than any voluntary change in energy consumption behavior patterns. Indeed, millions of people across the continent are being hit with electricity bills that are substantially higher than last year’s bills because of the international gas price inflation caused by the tightening of supply following the EU sanctions on Russia and Russia’s easy to predict response. The sabotage of Nord Stream added to this tightening and pushed prices higher. Another reason for the lower demand was the warm European autumn, as many noted at the time. As the weather was warmer than usual, people’s heating needs were lower. Yet now that winter proper has begun and the cold is settling in, consumption will increase, whatever the price of gas.

Indeed, the worst might not be over. The Guardian reported this week that Germany was at risk of gas shortages because it had failed to hit its consumption reduction target. The reason it had missed it—the target is 20 percent of consumption—was the colder weather last week, the head of the country’s energy regulator said. The European Union last month approved a gas consumption reduction target of 15 percent, but Germany was more ambitious because of its high reliance on the commodity. Whether the rest of Europe would be able to hit the 15-percent target is yet to be seen because, as Klaus Mueller said, “With temperatures of -10C [14F], gas consumption shoots up dramatically.”

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“..such policies are “leveled against” ordinary consumers across the bloc.”

German MP Blasts ‘Absurd’ Price Cap On Russian Oil (RT)

Imposing an artificial ceiling on the price paid for Russian oil will provoke an increase in prices for the commodity, the chairman of the Bundestag committee on energy, Klaus Ernst, said in an interview with TASS, calling the measure “absurd.” Berlin is planning to entirely abandon energy imports from Russia, according to Ernst, who stressed that the operations at an oil refinery in the German city of Schwedt are critically dependent on Russian supplies. “It is absolutely clear that when a ceiling is introduced on energy prices, the object targeted by the measure will inevitably reduce the supply. It is clear that this will be counterproductive, because the price will rise,” Ernst argued. “In this regard, I think that such a restriction is absurd.”


The price limit on Russian seaborne oil, set at $60 per barrel, was introduced earlier this month by the EU, the G7 countries, Australia and Norway. The measure bans Western companies from providing insurance and other services to vessels loaded with Russian oil, unless the cargo is bought at or below the price indicated. The EU is currently debating a similar step targeting Russian gas supplies. According to Ernst, the policies pursued by Brussels are “self-destructive.” “The EU deliberately excluded pipeline oil supplies from sanctions. The government rejects them, although there is no need for this,” he said, adding that such policies are “leveled against” ordinary consumers across the bloc.

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“..they will do so slowly, as they both remain exposed to the U.S. economy..”

The Petrodollar’s Long Goodbye (Prashad)

At this first China-GCC summit, Xi urged the Gulf monarchs to “make full use of the Shanghai Petrol and Gas Exchange as a platform to conduct oil and gas sales using Chinese currency.” Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia suggested that it might accept Chinese yuan rather than U.S. dollars for the oil it sells to China. While no formal announcement was made at the GCC summit nor in the joint statement issued by China and Saudi Arabia, indications abound that these two countries will move closer toward using the Chinese yuan to denominate their trade. However, they will do so slowly, as they both remain exposed to the U.S. economy. (China holds just under $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds).

Talk of conducting China-Saudi trade in yuan has raised eyebrows in the United States, which for 50 years has relied on the Saudis to stabilise the dollar. In 1971, the U.S. government withdrew the dollar from the gold standard and began to rely on central banks around the world to hold monetary reserves in U.S. Treasury securities and other U.S. financial assets. When oil prices skyrocketed in 1973, the U.S. government decided to create a system of dollar seigniorage through Saudi oil profits. In 1974, U.S. Treasury Secretary William Simon — fresh off the trading desk at the investment bank Salomon Brothers — arrived in Riyadh with instructions from U.S. President Richard Nixon to have a serious conversation with the Saudi oil minister, Ahmed Zaki Yamani.

Simon proposed that the U.S. purchase large amounts of Saudi oil in dollars and that the Saudis use these dollars to buy U.S. Treasury bonds and weaponry and invest in U.S. banks as a way to recycle vast Saudi oil profits. And so, the petrodollar was born, which anchored the new dollar-denominated world trade and investment system. If the Saudis even hinted towards withdrawing this arrangement, which would take at least a decade to implement, it would seriously challenge the monetary privilege afforded to the U.S. As Gal Luft, co-director of the Institute for Analysis of Global Security, told The Wall Street Journal, “The oil market, and by extension the entire global commodities market, is the insurance policy of the status of the dollar as reserve currency. If that block is taken out of the wall, the wall will begin to collapse.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Play
https://twitter.com/i/status/1603760623858376704

 

 

 

 

Wood art
https://twitter.com/i/status/1603925323166646272

 

 


Wat Samphran is a Buddhist temple in Amphoe Sam Phran, Nakhon Pathom province, around 40 km west of Bangkok. The temple is notable for its 17-story tall pink cylindrical building with a gigantic dragon sculpture curling around the entire height

 

 

Goose
https://twitter.com/i/status/1603508898421673985

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 142022
 
 December 14, 2022  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  64 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Portrait of Dora Maar 1943

 

Twitter Is Actually an Intelligence Gathering and Propaganda Tool (CTH)
Twitter Disbands Trust and Safety Council Amid Child Abuse Criticism (ET)
Jack Dorsey Responds To Twitter Files (RT)
Zelensky Aide Accused Musk Of Hiding ‘War’ From Twitter Trends (RT)
White House Defends Fauci From Musk (RT)
Zelensky: Russia Must Withdraw All Forces By Christmas (ZH)
NATO Chief Says Full-Blown War With Russia Is a ‘Real Possibility’ (Antiwar)
US Patriot Missiles to Ukraine: Peace Continues to be Banned in DC (Celente)
Peace Advocates Seen As ‘Traitors’ In EU – Former Austrian Vice-chancellor (RT)
Biden Operatives Plan “Swat Force” on Hunter Biden Scandal (Turley)
After the Ukraine Is Over, Many a European Heart is Aching (Batiushka)
NATO Is Trying To Find A Pretext To Attack Serbia -Again- (Saker)
EU Fails To Agree On Gas Price Cap (RT)
DOJ Faces Questions After Preventing SBF from Testifying in Congress (Turley)
The Seth Rich Case Gets Richer (Billingsley)

 

 

 

 

Laura Roth

 

 

 

 

DeSantis vaccine panel

 

 

 

 

Lapado

 

 

 

 

 

 

More from sundance.

“DHS doesn’t operate on the backbone of Twitter, Twitter operates on the backbone of DHS.”

Twitter Is Actually an Intelligence Gathering and Propaganda Tool (CTH)

Tucker Carlson hits the bullseye in a late show segment discussing the framework of the Twitter social media company. Stunningly, Carlson is the first person to ask the question that we have outlined for years, it is the essence of how Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop evolved. “It’s all pretty weird. Could it be that while the rest of us imagined that Twitter was a social media site … could it be that Twitter was actually, maybe primarily, a propaganda tool and intelligence gathering apparatus for a variety of intel agencies?” ~ Tucker Carlson. Yes. Exactly this. Yes. It’s not that DHS had a portal into Twitter, it’s that DHS took over the operation of Twitter and controlled every element of it. That’s also why profits and losses were never part of the viability equation. DHS controls Twitter operations, that’s the essential baseline for Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop. Well done Tucker Carlson.

Once you change your reference point and review the data from a different perspective, things make sense. DHS doesn’t operate on the backbone of Twitter, Twitter operates on the backbone of DHS. The information and content on Twitter exist, or not, by the permission and authority of the national security state, DHS. Narratives can be enhanced or throttled. Public perceptions can be uplifted or deemphasized. Candidates can be boosted or dismissed. Control over the public conversation is not simply in the hands of Twitter executives, the platform content is shaped by the guiding hand of the controlling interest – the government. So why did they permit it to be sold? Again, control.

Every non-Twitter, non-DHS controlled, information and discussion site is a watering down of the influence of Twitter. The inability to influence a platform like Truth Social would be particularly troublesome. So, launder the handling of the DHS platform to Elon Musk and create the illusion of a refresh. Twitter 2.0 now rebrands with a renewed ability to influence. Not accidentally, a pro DeSantis shaping is part of the objective. In the eyes of the control state Rumble and Truth Social represent the threat that is Donald Trump, while Twitter and YouTube representing the controlled alternative, Ron DeSantis. There are trillions at stake.

Read more …

“As Twitter moves into a new phase, we are reevaluating how best to bring external insights into our product and policy development work…”

Twitter Disbands Trust and Safety Council Amid Child Abuse Criticism (ET)

Twitter has disbanded its Trust and Safety Council, according to an email, after new owner Elon Musk criticized members over a lack of action to rid the platform of child sexual abuse material. In an email to the council’s members, Twitter said the Trust and Safety Council was no longer deemed the best way for the social media platform to “bring external insights into our product and policy development work.” “As Twitter moves into a new phase, we are reevaluating how best to bring external insights into our product and policy development work. As part of this process, we have decided that the Trust and Safety Council is not the best structure to do this,” the email stated.

“Our work to make Twitter a safe, informative place will be moving faster and more aggressively than ever before and we will continue to welcome your ideas going forward about how to achieve this goal,” the email continued. “We will also continue to explore opportunities to provide focused and timely input into our work, whether through bilateral or small group meetings.” The council was informed of the change before it was scheduled to meet with Twitter representatives on Monday night, according to The Associated Press. The webpage for the Trust and Safety Council is now blank. The group was previously made up of around 100 stakeholders, including independent civil, human rights, and other organizations.

The Trust and Safety Council has been criticized by Musk for not taking action to remove child sexual abuse material from Twitter. The council was established in 2016 to address problems such as hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm, and other issues on the platform. After three members of the council resigned in protest over allegations of increased hate speech on the platform on Dec. 8, Musk declared on Dec. 10 that it was “a crime that they refused to take action on child exploitation for years!” Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey replied to Musk, saying: “This is false.” “No, it is not,” Musk replied, adding: “When Ella Irwin, who now runs Trust & Safety, joined Twitter earlier this year, almost no one was working on child safety.”

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“..the right thing for the public company business at the time, but the wrong thing for the internet and society.”

Jack Dorsey Responds To Twitter Files (RT)

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has issued a response to the recently leaked ‘Twitter Files,’ admitting to a host of major mistakes during his time as chief executive while warning of “centralized control” of the internet by governments and corporations. The tech entrepreneur addressed the leaked internal documents in a Tuesday blog post, acknowledging that Twitter failed to uphold its guiding principles near the end of his tenure, and that he “completely gave up” on his own vision for the site after “activist” investors bought into the company sometime in 2020. Though he did not elaborate on the new investors or how they might have swayed the platform, Dorsey said Twitter’s focus on controlling public dialogue was ultimately one of its greatest errors.

He cited the decision to permanently suspend President Donald Trump in the wake of the riot at the US Capitol in January 2021, saying it was “the right thing for the public company business at the time, but the wrong thing for the internet and society.” “The biggest mistake I made was continuing to invest in building tools for us to manage the public conversation, versus building tools for the people using Twitter to easily manage it for themselves,” he said. “This burdened the company with too much power, and opened us to significant outside pressure (such as advertising budgets). I generally think companies have become far too powerful, and that became completely clear to me with our suspension of Trump’s account.”

Dorsey was reportedly on vacation at the time of the Trump ban and had delegated decision-making to executives Yoel Roth and Vijaya Gadde – as revealed in the Twitter Files – but nonetheless said he bears sole blame for the errors in judgment. “The current attacks on my former colleagues could be dangerous and [don’t] solve anything. If you want to blame, direct it at me and my actions, or lack thereof,” he continued, also insisting “there was no ill intent or hidden agendas” behind Twitter’s more contentious decisions and that the company “acted according to the best information we had at the time.” Tuesday’s blog post also included a lengthy section warning of “centralized” power over the internet, stating that social media platforms should remain “resilient to corporate and government control” while suggesting Twitter had failed to do so under his watch.

The former CEO, who stepped down from the role in November 2021, went on to say that he welcomes the “fresh reset” brought by Twitter’s new owner, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, expressing hopes that the site will become “uncomfortably transparent.” However, he argued that the Twitter Files should have been released “Wikileaks-style,” or in full, rather than being leaked to select journalists by the site’s new management. Spearheaded by reporters Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss, the documents have been published on a rolling basis with Musk’s blessing, shedding light on a number of controversial decisions made by the company. Five installments have gone public so far, including material surrounding Trump’s suspension, Twitter’s close cooperation with US intelligence agencies, the practice of ‘shadowbanning,’ as well as a site-wide ban on a New York Post report about the foreign business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden.

Read more …

“..the biggest bot attack I’ve ever seen.”

Zelensky Aide Accused Musk Of Hiding ‘War’ From Twitter Trends (RT)

Mikhail Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, has accused Twitter of hiding trends related to the ongoing conflict in the country. The official took to the social media platform on Tuesday, blasting the platform’s CEO, billionaire Elon Musk, directly. ‘War in Ukraine’ disappearance from Twitter trends. Radical curtailment of tweets mentioning ru-aggression coverage. Users aren’t allowed to register or log into accounts with Ukrainian phone number,” Podolyak wrote. According to Twitter, its trends are “determined by an algorithm and, by default, are tailored for you based on who you follow, your interests, and your location.” The algorithm “identifies topics that are popular now, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis.”

The presidential aide was apparently referring to Ukrainian media reports that users with Ukrainian phone numbers were no longer able to log in or register on the platform. While the social media giant has not produced any statements on the issue yet, Musk cryptically warned Twitter “bots” were “in for a surprise tomorrow” on Sunday. Podolyak was also critical of the recent release of ‘Twitter files’, which disclosed censorship practices on the platform amid the 2020 US presidential campaign. The official apparently hinted that Twitter’s new leadership was now censoring coverage of the Ukraine crisis. “Elon Musk, I wonder if we will ever see ‘Twitter Files’ about Fall/Winter 2022?” Podolyak wrote. In recent weeks, Musk has repeatedly engaged in a bitter back-and-forth with the pro-Ukrainian crowd on the social media platform, including the country’s top officials.

The spat began with a peace plan, floated by the billionaire, who suggested Ukraine should commit to neutrality and relinquish its claim to Crimea, while Russia “redo” referendums in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as in Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions “under UN supervision.” The remarks angered Kiev officials, who raided Musk’s feed in order to vent. The poll on the peace plan itself was subjected to what the billionaire called the “biggest bot attack I’ve ever seen.” The spat has been aggravated by Musk, who threatened to stop payrolling Starlink’s services, which are actively used by the Ukrainian military. In early November, Twitter also began labeling tweets from Ukrainian state-run media – in the same way it does with a number of Russian government-owned outlets – causing a new meltdown among Kiev’s backers.

Read more …

“..Fauci told Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky in May 2021 that NIAID and the National Institutes of Health “categorically” never funded such research..”

White House Defends Fauci From Musk (RT)

The US government has come to the defense of President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 czar, saying that Dr. Anthony Fauci is a paragon of public service and that Elon Musk’s suggestions that the octogenarian bureaucrat should be prosecuted are dangerous “personal attacks” divorced from reality. The Tesla and SpaceX magnate took over Twitter in October and has been sharing details of the platform’s operations under the previous management. Teasing revelations about the pandemic-related censorship, Musk tweeted on Saturday that his pronouns are “Prosecute/Fauci.” The post went beyond viral, garnering more than 1.2 million likes so far – and attracting the attention of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

“These attacks, these personal attacks that we have been seeing, are dangerous – on Dr. Fauci and other public health professionals as well. They are disgusting, and they are divorced from reality,” Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday. Fauci has “given his almost entire career to civil service, public service, as a public servant. His work on infectious disease, from HIV/AIDS to Covid, has saved countless lives,” said Jean-Pierre, and America is fortunate he has devoted “his exceptional talent” to public health. “And that’s what should be discussed right now,” she concluded. Now 81, Fauci has been running the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He will retire from his government job at the end of the year, just before Republicans – who promised to hold hearings about his handling of the pandemic – take over the House of Representatives.

Fauci became an idol of Democrats in 2020, advocating for longer and tougher lockdowns when President Donald Trump wanted to see them lifted. When Biden became president, he named Fauci his chief medical adviser and followed his strategy of “shutting down the virus” through mask and vaccine mandates. Several prominent Republicans have clashed with Fauci in congressional hearings, accusing him of funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, where the pandemic supposedly originated. Fauci told Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky in May 2021 that NIAID and the National Institutes of Health “categorically” never funded such research. Documents published in September showed NIH and NIAID giving money to the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, which funded experiments with bat coronaviruses in Wuhan. NIH has continued to fund EcoHealth, however.

Read more …

N’importe quoi..

Zelensky: Russia Must Withdraw All Forces By Christmas (ZH)

Ukraine now says that it has lost half of its energy system amid recent stepped-up Russian aerial attacks, which have continued to include suicide drones, some of which are believed supplied by Iran. President Volodymyr Zelensky communicated this in a Monday phone call with President Joe Biden, briefing the US leader on “the consequences of the Russian missile terror, as a result of which about 50% of the Ukrainian energy infrastructure was destroyed.” In the mid-afternoon on Tuesday (local time), air raid alerts have reportedly been issued all across Ukraine, with sirens blaring in the capital after Zelensky warned that the next major wave of Russian airstrikes are imminent.

Starting Friday Kyiv authorities began revising their estimate upward from the 40% they had been estimating in statements as of weeks ago. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmygal recently described, “Unfortunately, Russia continues missile strikes on Ukraine’s critical civilian infrastructure, fighting against the civilian population and depriving them of light, water, heat and communications during the winter… Nearly half of our energy system is disabled.” The past month has witnessed some of the largest missile barrages targeting energy infrastructure to date, which has left whole cities, including Odesa and a number of cities in the south without power amid frigid temperatures.

Also on Monday Zelensky gave a virtual address before G7 leaders, wherein he urged more arms including “modern tanks” and “rocket artillery and more long-range missiles” while acknowledging his military is running low in the face of the more superior-armed Russian forces. He asked G7 nations for “about 2 billion cubic meters” of additional gas to help the population get through winter. Among the more interesting things he said was that Moscow must withdraw all forces by Christmas. “The occupier must leave. It will certainly happen. I see no reason why Russia should not do it now – at Christmas.” Vowing the counteroffensive will not stop even as the ground freezes, he appealed for Russia to avoid “further confrontation with the world.”

“Very soon we’ll have holidays celebrated by billions of people. Christmas – according to the Gregorian calendar or the New Year and Christmas – according to the Julian calendar. This is the time for normal people to think about peace, not aggression. I suggest Russia to at least try to prove that it is capable of abandoning the aggression. It would be right to start the withdrawal of Russian troops from the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine this Christmas. If Russia withdraws its troops from Ukraine, it will ensure a lasting cessation of hostilities,” the President said, speaking at the G7 Summit.

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“..the continent’s “peace and freedom” would be threatened if Putin wins in Ukraine.”

NATO Chief Says Full-Blown War With Russia Is a ‘Real Possibility’ (Antiwar)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Friday that he fears a full-blown war between Russia and NATO is a “real possibility” in a rare acknowledgment of the dangers of backing Ukraine. “I fear that the war in Ukraine will get out of control, and spread into a major war between NATO and Russia,” he said, according to The Telegraph. “If things go wrong, they can go horribly wrong.” Russian officials have made clear that they believe they are fighting against NATO in Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said recently that both the US and NATO are “directly participating” in the war in Ukraine, meaning Russia has the pretext for strikes on NATO bases in Europe if they choose to take that step. Despite the risk, Stoltenberg stressed that NATO countries should continue arming Ukraine and that the best way to deter Russia is to strengthen the alliance’s positions in Eastern Europe.


Stoltenberg said Russian President Vladimir Putin “knows it’s one for all, and all for one,” referring to NATO’s mutual defense commitments as outlined by Article 5. The risk of escalation rose last week after Ukrainian drones struck air bases hundreds of miles inside Russian territory, killing three Russian soldiers and damaging two Russian bombers. Citing unnamed US military sources, The Times reported Friday that the Pentagon has given Ukraine its tacit endorsement to launch such attacks. Stoltenberg said that he understands why some people in Europe are getting tired of supporting Ukraine as they face rising energy and food prices. But the NATO chief claimed that the continent’s “peace and freedom” would be threatened if Putin wins in Ukraine.

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“..It now seems apparent why Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was so giddy after a phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday.”

US Patriot Missiles to Ukraine: Peace Continues to be Banned in DC (Celente)

The U.S. is about to approve a Patriot missile battery to counter Russia’s recent missile bombardments despite Moscow’s previous threat that these systems would be “legitimate targets” for its forces. CNN first reported on the Biden administration’s plan that could be announced later this week. The Pentagon and State Department did not immediately respond to emails from The Trends Journal. Washington has already provided Ukraine with short-range NASAMS anti-air systems. Ukraine has been asking the U.S. for these systems for months, but Washington knows that it would be a major escalation and risk a confrontation with Russia. Germany understands the significance of providing these systems.

Berlin refused Poland’s push to put Patriot missiles in Ukraine instead of Warsaw after the Ukrainian missile killed two in the country a few weeks ago. Germany offered Poland the Patriot missile system, and Warsaw insisted that these missiles be sent to Ukraine instead. Germany ended up refusing the idea. Germany presented Poland with these systems on Monday. Michal Baranowski, the regional managing director of the German Marshall Fund in Warsaw, told The New York Times that the brief tussle between Berlin and Warsaw was “like an X-ray of miserable Polish-German relations.” “It’s worse than I thought, and I’ve watched it a long time,” Baranowski said. CNN noted that these missile systems, one of the most advanced from the U.S., are effective in nailing distant targets but it requires about a dozen troops to operate and months of training. Ukraine does not have anyone trained to used the system.

The system is widely considered one of the most capable long-range weapons to defend airspace against incoming ballistic and cruise missiles as well as some aircraft. Because of its long-range and high-altitude capability, it can potentially shoot down Russian missiles and aircraft far from their intended targets inside Ukraine. It now seems apparent why Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was so giddy after a phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday. He thanked Biden for the “unprecedented” support from the U.S. “I had a phone call with U.S. President Joseph Biden and thanked for the unprecedented defense and financial assistance that the U.S. provides to Ukraine,” Zelensky said. NATO has been trepidatious to provide these systems because of the risk that Kyiv uses them to fire deeper inside Russia. Ukraine has been blamed for several attacks on Russian territory.

Read more …

“..a “global war” between Russia and NATO, into which European leaders have been “drawn.”

Peace Advocates Seen As ‘Traitors’ In EU – Former Austrian Vice-chancellor (RT)

Former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache has told RT that the EU’s sanctions policy has brought Ukraine no closer to peace, and those who complain are “branded and defamed” as traitors. Strache is a vocal critic of the EU’s sanctions on Russia, which he has repeatedly blamed for destroying the bloc’s economy, triggering rising inflation and unemployment, and potentially bringing a wave of “mass insolvencies and bankruptcies” in the new year. Speaking to RT on Tuesday after addressing a pro-neutrality rally in Vienna last weekend, Strache described the conflict in Ukraine as part of a “global war” between Russia and NATO, into which European leaders have been “drawn.”

“Unfortunately, I do not see any European political leaders who want to approach the negotiating table and call for a negotiated ceasefire agreement and a peaceful solution,” he lamented. “We Austrians in particular should adhere to our neutrality and our neutrality status could also play a decisive mediating role here. So far, this has not been practiced.” “Of course, the media in the European Union are silent about all this,” he continued. “And if you express criticism here today, you are often branded and defamed as a Putin and Russia sympathizer and also as a traitor to Europe.” While Strache condemned the lack of a “strong European peace movement,” he predicted that worsening economic conditions will eventually force citizens to demand an end to the Ukraine conflict.

“People are confronted with the catchphrase that they have to freeze for peace, and then you come to the conclusion: well, freezing doesn’t help, because unfortunately there is no peace…and then you become unemployed and unemployment has not brought peace because there are no negotiation initiatives – people naturally find [this] very, very repulsive and very questionable,” he stated. European leaders have presented the rising price of energy as a necessary cost of supporting Ukraine, with European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager famously telling people earlier this year to say “take that, Putin” as they turn off their hot water. Ultimately, Strache argued that the EU is bearing all the costs of the conflict while the US is “profiteering,” an assessment shared by European Council President Charles Michel and other senior Brussels officials. “More and more people are becoming aware of this,” Strache continued, adding that “Europe urgently needs to implement concrete peace initiatives.”

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“Generally, political operatives lay out scorched-earth campaigns in secret. But someone wanted this campaign to be public before the House can call any witnesses.”

Biden Operatives Plan “Swat Force” on Hunter Biden Scandal (Turley)

Just when you thought our politics could not get more poisonous, a recent meeting in California suggests the past is mere prelude. The Washington Post, which revealed the powwow, described it as Biden family “allies” planning an offensive to blunt any investigation into the Bidens’ alleged multimillion-dollar influence-peddling schemes. Republicans will see it more like the gathering of the Legion of (Democratic) Doom. Some of the most controversial political operatives are involved in the all-hands-on-deck effort to protect the Bidens. The California meeting’s host was none other than Hunter Biden’s friend, agent and lawyer Kevin Morris. After Hunter was placed under investigation for, among other possible charges, tax evasion, Morris reportedly paid off as much as $2.8 million in back taxes for Hunter.

Morris, per The Washington Post, called for a “more aggressive” response to those seeking to investigate the alleged influence peddling. That plan includes hitting critics, such as Fox News, with possible defamation lawsuits. (For full disclosure, I appear as a legal analyst on Fox News.) The paper also reported Morris “outlined extensive research on two potential witnesses against Hunter Biden — a spurned business partner named Tony Bobulinski and a computer repairman named John Paul Mac Isaac.” “Spurned” is hardly the sole or most relevant description of Bobulinski: The businessman was recruited by the Biden family to manage foreign deals and later directly contradicted President Joe Biden’s claims he knew nothing of those dealings. His testimony could present a serious threat in the coming House investigation in establishing not only the president’s knowledge but his possible receipt of proceeds from the deals.

Morris’ plan could easily be taken as a declaration of all-out war on potential witnesses against Hunter Biden. What’s most interesting about the piece is why The Washington Post was given such access and such a detailed account. Generally, political operatives lay out scorched-earth campaigns in secret. But someone wanted this campaign to be public before the House can call any witnesses. For key witnesses like Bobulinski, the message is about as subtle as a two-by-four to the head. The Washington Post is viewed as one of the most pro-Biden newspapers in the country and only recently admitted the Hunter Biden laptop was authentic after pushing the false Russian-disinformation claim. Now the paper is detailing a plan that could create an open season on those who might try to substantiate the Biden family’s influence peddling.

Notably, the article stresses this effort is “operating separately from the White House. [David] Brock said his organization also remains independent of Hunter Biden and his team and is following its own strategy.” The separation is important to deflect any allegations of witness intimidation. Media and political figures leveled such claims against the Trump White House when impeachment witnesses were attacked in the press. Congressional Democrats denounced criticism of the witnesses as an effort to silence or deter witnesses from coming forward. (For the record, I also criticized the targeting of witnesses against Trump even if it did not constitute chargeable witness intimidation).

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“US-exploited Kiev regime territory, 40% of the whole, will be taken back without compensation.”

After the Ukraine Is Over, Many a European Heart is Aching (Batiushka)

Northern Europe, as far south as northern Italy, is now in the grip of a wave of icy cold (no doubt, the result of global warming). As a result, observers are expecting the Russian winter offensive in the Ukraine to start all the sooner, though nobody knows when. This month or next? Maybe a dramatic entry from Belarus, cutting off NATO supplies? Nobody knows. For the moment, Allied forces are content to grind down the undersupplied and freezing Kiev regime conscripts and mercenaries in situ, hoping that perhaps they will simply surrender en masse, despite the regime’s guns poking in their backs. Conditions are such that this could happen with very few Russian losses. There is no hurry. Over 500,000 Allied soldiers and 500 winter camouflage tanks are waiting for their moment to move in and denazify the Ukraine. They will wait for the right moment.s

Russia could no longer allow a hostile, US-controlled, NATO-armed and soon-to-be-nuclear Ukraine to exist. Therefore, it is being liberated. It should have happened long before, but Russia was much too weak to do so before. When the Zelensky regime falls, billions of dollars of Western arms and supplies will fall into Russian hands. The Kiev regime’s Western-incurred indebtedness to the West for arms and supplies over the last nearly nine years will be cancelled. US-exploited Kiev regime territory, 40% of the whole, will be taken back without compensation. This will be a small measure of compensation for the destruction that the US and its European vassals, including the Minsk I and Minsk II liars of Germany and France, have caused in the Ukraine, especially in the much-tried Donbass.

Apart from completing the liberation of the four provinces that it has taken back so far, Russia may also take back four more Russian-speaking provinces, those of Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Nikolaev and Odessa, so joining up with Russian Transdnestria. A coup in Kiev could take place, as the remnants of the Kiev Army collapse and the new Ukraine could then even become a Russian ally, like Belarus, part of the Union State. Whether the five far western provinces of the present Ukraine remain with the new Ukraine, or three of them return to Poland, and one each to Hungary and Romania, remains to be seen. It will all depend on what Russia allows. After this, the whole fragile Western European domino set, hastily stood up by the US-run NATO and its political wing the EU, could begin to tumble.

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“Pavelic, like Bandera, Franco or Petain, was a pure product of the Papacy, unlike Hitler and Mussolini who were, respectively, a pagan and an atheist..”

NATO Is Trying To Find A Pretext To Attack Serbia -Again- (Saker)

Once the NATO defeat in the Ukraine becomes undeniable, the organization will quickly become irrelevant and unable to agree on yet another military operation. As for the USA, having lost the “fig leaf” provided by NATO, they are unlikely to have what it takes to attack Serbia, not after having being comprehensively defeated in the Ukraine (the collapse of NATO will also trigger a major crisis inside the USA). The problem for Serbia is that it will take time (many months, probably a few years) to fully defang NATO while not triggering a fullscale continental war in Europe. And, let’s be honest here, if the Russians can now take their sweet time “demilitarizing” Banderastan, the Serbian minority in Kosovo cannot.

So what can the Serbs do in this situation? Do nothing would only empower the KLA terrorist and their western bosses and leave the long-suffering Serbian minority in Kosovo defenseless. Move in forces, even if fully allowed by the UNSC Resolution, would risk triggering a major economic and military US/NATO/EU attack on Serbia. Evacuate Serbian civilians from Kosovo? In theory that would be an option, but we have to understand that for the Serbian people Kosovo is truly sacred ground and that many would refuse to leave. Also, emptying Kosovo from its Serbian minority would only embolden the KLA and their patrons. Finally, when the Russians evacuated their civilians from Kherson it was at least credible that this was a temporary move and that the Russian military would be back, sooner rather than later. But in the case of Kosovo, Serbia is the weaker party and will remain so until:

1/ Serbia regains her sovereignty (right now Serbia is basically administered by the West, hence the threats from EU politicians like Baerbock) 2/Reunites with historically Serbian lands in Montenegro, Bosnia and Kosovo 3/ The US/NATO/EU are demilitarized and denazified, at least in Europe. This will all happen, the problem is *when*. I sure don’t know. What I do know is that the Serbian nation has survived absolutely horrific and even overtly demonic persecutions by both the Ottomans, the Anglos and the Latins (Pavelic, like Bandera, Franco or Petain, was a pure product of the Papacy, unlike Hitler and Mussolini who were, respectively, a pagan and an atheist).

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“..any price cap must aim to “ensure the stability of the financial markets.”

EU Fails To Agree On Gas Price Cap (RT)

EU nations have failed once again to finalize a bloc-wide gas price cap at a Council of Energy Ministers meeting, Hungarian FM Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday. Some states want to lower the ceiling, while others say the measure could wreak havoc on the energy markets. “There was a lengthy debate at the Energy Council meeting. No agreement was reached at the plenary, so discussions will continue on a bilateral basis,” Szijjarto wrote on Facebook. Opinions regarding the measure proposed weeks ago differ greatly among the 27 EU member states, with some doubting its effectiveness in fighting the energy crisis, and others calling for the lowest cap possible.

Under the original plan put forward by the European Commission, the gas price cap should be triggered when prices on the TTF exchange, Europe’s gas benchmark, reach €275 ($292) per megawatt hour and are €58 higher than the LNG reference price for two weeks. The plan was met with criticism, with some member states worried it would only worsen market volatility, while others argued that the level was too high to be effective.

Last week, the EU Council proposed reducing the level of the cap to €220 and slashing the timeframe to five days, while also lowering the gap with global LNG prices to €35, according to a draft document seen by Reuters. However, 12 countries reportedly said this cap would still be too high, demanding it be lowered to €160 with a €20 spread. Earlier on Tuesday, France’s minister for energy transition, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, said that an agreement over the cap could be reached sooner rather than later. “I believe we have started to bring our positions closer,” she told the press ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, adding that any price cap must aim to “ensure the stability of the financial markets.”

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They’ve shut him down:

“Sam Bankman-Fried was denied bail. He will be held in this prison until February 8th, 2023 if he isn’t extradited to the US.”

DOJ Faces Questions After Preventing SBF from Testifying in Congress (Turley)

The arrest of Sam Bankman-Fried yesterday was sudden and unexpected in light of Bankman-Fried’s plan to testify before Congress. As a criminal defense attorney, my reaction to the arrest last night remains unchanged: this is the first time that I can recall where prosecutors moved aggressively to stop a defendant from making self-incriminating statements. His testimony would have been entirely admissible and likely devastating at trial. I previously wrote how Bankman-Fried was doing harm to his case by speaking in the media and to Congress. So why would the Justice Department move to stop the self-inflicted damage? You have a major target who was about to voluntarily testify for hours.

That is ordinarily a dream for prosecutors, but the Justice Department moved quickly to prevent that from happening. At that stage, Bankman-Fried was not charged or in custody. He was not protected by Miranda or other constitutional rules from self-incriminating statements. Indeed, some of us had already warned that he was causing himself considerable damage in making such statements. This was a defendant with a large legal team facing possible criminal charges who seemed eager to speak about his actions and motivations. Most prosecutors would sit back, make popcorn, and watch this unfold. The curious move led many to question whether the Biden Administration was eager to prevent questions on Bankman-Fried’s political contributions and associations.

He was the second highest donor to Democratic causes in the last election cycle. His mother, a law professor at Stanford also heads a major Democratic campaign fund. It is also possible that the Justice Department simply wanted to show the public that it was moving aggressively despite his close Democratic ties. It may have secured sufficient evidence (including possible cooperating witnesses) to satisfy the basis for charges and an extradition request. Moreover, the charges are likely to make some Democratic figures uncomfortable as this matter enters the criminal process. Yet, that still does not explain why the Justice Department would not want to hear a full account from Bankman-Fried before effectively shutting him down as a criminal defendant. This is the first time that I can recall where the prosecutors, rather than defense counsel, moved effectively to muzzle a defendant.

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“..the body of Philip Haney, author of See Something Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad, was “found deceased” in Amador County, California..”

The Seth Rich Case Gets Richer (Billingsley)

The FBI not only has possession of a laptop computer owned by slain Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich,” the Epoch Times reports, “but a report detailing forensic imaging of what’s being described as Rich’s work computer.” The revelation came in a three-page forensic report about an “outside entity” working on imaging Rich’s work computer, also a laptop. According to the Epoch Times, that report “was among four documents that had never been disclosed by the FBI in relation to Rich’s case.” Seth Rich was the DNC’s voter expansion data director. On July 10, 2016, the 27-year-old was gunned down in Washington, D.C. Police called it a street robbery gone wrong, but the shooters did not take Rich’s wallet, watch, or phone.

Weeks after the murder, as the BBC reported, “Wikileaks published 20,000 emails obtained from Democratic National Committee computers via an anonymous source.” According to prominent Democrats, that was all part of Donald Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia. With that ploy exposed as a hoax, the people have cause to wonder. With Rich’s personal laptop, the FBI wants 66 years—a proxy for “never”—to produce data the bureau previously denied it even possessed. With Rich’s work laptop, the bureau is taking obstructionism to a new level. FBI records boss Michael Seidel is claiming that the computer is only a physical object, not an “actual record,” and therefore not subject to the Freedom of Information Act request from Texas resident Brian Huddleston.

His attorneys want the Obama-appointed Judge Amos Mazzant to order the release of the information from the personal and work computers of murder victim Rich. As it happens, those are not the only devices the FBI is harboring. On February 21, 2020, the body of Philip Haney, author of See Something Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad, was “found deceased” in Amador County, California. He was killed by a gunshot to the chest. The Amador sheriff “reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist in analyzing documents, phone records, numerous thumb drives and a laptop that were recovered from the scene and Mr. Haney’s RV.

Those items and numerous other pieces of evidence were turned over to the FBI. The FBI has performed a forensic examination of these items. We expect to receive these reports within the next few weeks.” Two years later, the Amador sheriff reported no new information on the case, and the FBI has yet to reveal what was on Haney’s laptop, thumb drives, and such. As with Seth Rich, the material could be of great interest to the public. In early 2020, according to Kerry Picket of the Washington Examiner, Haney was “recently in contact with top officials about returning to work for the DHS.” So maybe he had new information on terrorists. The erudite Haney was good at finding such information, but it wasn’t always welcome at the Department of Homeland Security.

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Mountain goats
https://twitter.com/i/status/1602359257319575561

 

 


Panulirus ornatus is a large spiny lobster with 11 larval stages. It migrates annually from the Torres Strait to Yule Island in the Gulf of Papua in order to breed

 

 

 

 

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


Vincent van Gogh Beach at Scheveningen in Stormy Weather 1882

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

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