Aug 032022
 


Odilon Redon The winged man (The fallen angel) 1880

 

US Directly Involved In Ukraine Conflict – Moscow (RT)
West Advises Ukraine On Strikes With Supplied Weapons – Top Intel Official (RT)
Russia Strikes Foreign Fighters’ Base In Ukraine (RT)
African Nations To Make Case For Big Rise In Fossil Fuel Output (G.)
EU Facing Winter Energy Crisis – Borrell (RT)
Netherlands Faces Winter Of Smog – Media (RT)
EU Is Not Our Boss – Hungary (RT)
Canada’s Travel Ban Had No Scientific Basis (CS)
Are Lockdowns Effective in Managing Pandemics? (MDPI)
New Zealand Plans To Tax Farmers For Livestock Burps (TCS)
When The Just Go to Prison (Chris Hedges)
Top Epidemiologist Predicts Insurers Will Go After Covid Vax Makers (JTN)
An Honest Money Would Stop Inflation by Don Werkheiser (Greco)

 

 

 

 

Tedros
https://twitter.com/i/status/1553858888260325377

 

 

Biden ice cream
https://twitter.com/i/status/1554282827046440960

 

 

 

 

Kamala
https://twitter.com/i/status/1554216124845379588

 

 

 

 

“No other confirmation of the direct involvement of the United States in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine is required..”

The US made itself a target. And all NATO countries too.

US Directly Involved In Ukraine Conflict – Moscow (RT)

Statements made by Vadim Skibitsky, a representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, confirm that the United States is directly involved in the ongoing conflict there, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. In an interview with the Telegraph published on Monday, Skibitsky refused to answer questions about whose satellites are used for strikes when talking about American HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems. He did acknowledge, however, that they consult with Washington before launching strikes and that Washington has veto power over decision-making.

“No other confirmation of the direct involvement of the United States in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine is required,” Zakharova said on Tuesday, because the US doesn’t just arm and train Ukrainian forces but essentially shoots the weapons themselves. Zakharova stressed that the US is directly involved and that its distance from the situation is irrelevant. “They are fully involved. Now Kiev representatives are talking about their military involvement not only through the supply of weapons, but through personnel management in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, direct instructions and the choice of targets,”Zakharova added.

Speculation has been ongoing about Washington’s involvement in the conflict. For example, in April French journalist Georges Malbrunot went viral on social media after claiming to have seen first-hand that Americans are “in charge” of the Ukrainian war effort on the ground.However, he stressed that this was not an official involvement as it was American mercenaries that he met in Ukraine. Nevertheless, skeptics have questioned the veracity of promises by US officials to avoid direct involvement or so-called “boots on the ground.”

Read more …

“Advises”? They supply the weapons, the intelligence, and have a veto on “decision-making”. They might as well pull the trigger too. And for all we know they do.

West Advises Ukraine On Strikes With Supplied Weapons – Top Intel Official (RT)

A senior Ukrainian military intelligence official has claimed his agency was getting advice from British and American counterparts on which targets to attack with Western-supplied weapons, like the HIMARS multiple-launch rocket systems. The Americans can ban any strike they don’t like, the general reportedly said. The revelation came on Monday in an interviewthat Major General Vadim Skibitsky gave to The Telegraph newspaper. When discussing Ukraine’s reported successes in destroying Russian military targets with weapons provided by the West, he claimed Ukrainian forces were using “real-time information” to direct fire. “I can’t tell you whether [we are directly tasking] British and American satellites, but we have very good satellite imagery,” the British newspaper cited him as saying.

The general did not claim that US officials were feeding targeting information directly to Ukraine, but said troops were getting feedback from Washington and London before launching rockets. This allows “Washington to stop any potential attacks if they were unhappy with the intended target,” The Telegraph said. US officials have frequently claimed that America does not have direct involvement in Russia’s hostilities with Ukraine, since it would put it at risk of escalating the conflict. Russia and its allies in Donetsk and Lugansk accused Ukraine of using the US-made launchers to strike non-military targets. In a recent incident a rocket attack hit a detention facility, where dozens of Ukrainian POWs were kept. Officials from the Donetsk People’s Republic showed images of what they described as fragments of HIMARS rockets used in the strike.

Over 50 of the prisoners were reported killed in what Russia alleged to be an assassination of potential witnesses and perpetrators of war crimes committed by the Ukrainian side. Kiev denied responsibility for the incident and accused Russia of hitting the prison camp in Elenovka. Ukrainian officials claimed the attack was meant to cover up either abuse of the POWs or the embezzlement of money.

Read more …

“..the best thing that awaits them if they are captured alive is a trial and maximum prison terms.”

Russia Strikes Foreign Fighters’ Base In Ukraine (RT)

Over 200 foreign mercenaries have reportedly been killed in a missile strike in southern Ukraine, Russia’s Ministry of Defense reported on Tuesday. The statement also added that over 20 units of military equipment were also destroyed during the attack. In its daily briefing on Telegram, the ministry reported that Russian Aerospace Forces delivered a blow to a temporary deployment point of the Ukrainian ‘foreign legion’ near the city of Nikolaev, using high-precision weapons. As a result, up to 250 foreign mercenaries were eliminated, according to the report. Russia also claims to have neutralized up to 500 nationalist fighters in the Kharkov region via high-precision strikes, as well as “a significant amount” of military equipment.

Last week, Russia also claimed to have killed over 40 foreign mercenaries, most of whom were Polish citizens, after a missile strike on a temporary deployment point near Konstantinovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). The week before that, the Russian military claimed it had killed up to 250 such soldiers in the same settlement. Kiev’s international military unit was created in late February at the request of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, and is officially known as the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine. In April, the Russian military estimated their numbers at almost 7,000.

However, an updated estimate provided by the Russian defense ministry earlier this month suggests that only about 2,700 of these soldiers remain in Ukraine. Many of them were eliminated while others fled abroad, some complaining about disorder in the ranks of the Ukrainian forces and about poor equipment. Moscow has repeatedly warned that it will not view foreign mercenaries in Ukraine as combatants as defined by the Geneva Convention and that “the best thing that awaits them if they are captured alive is a trial and maximum prison terms.”

Read more …

“..developed countries by contrast must take the lead on sharp cuts to their emission..”

African Nations To Make Case For Big Rise In Fossil Fuel Output (G.)

Leaders of African countries are likely to use the next UN climate summit in November to push for massive new investment in fossil fuels in Africa, according to documents seen by the Guardian. New exploration for gas, and the exploitation of Africa’s vast reserves of oil, would make it close to impossible for the world to limit global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. However, soaring gas prices have made the prospect of African supplies even more attractive, and developed countries, including EU members, have indicated they would support such developments in the current gas shortage.

The Guardian has seen a technical document prepared by the African Union, comprising most of Africa’s states, for the “second extraordinary session of the specialised technical committee on transport, transcontinental and interregional infrastructure and energy committee”, a meeting of energy ministers that took place by video conference from 14 to 16 June. The five-page document, and accompanying 25-page explanation, indicates that many African countries favour a common position that would inform their negotiating stance at the Cop27 UN climate summit, scheduled for this November in Egypt, which would entail pushing for an expansion of fossil fuel production across the continent.

The document states: “In the short to medium term, fossil fuels, especially natural gas will have to play a crucial role in expanding modern energy access in addition to accelerating the uptake of renewables.”Member states of the African Union will meet again, in Addis Ababa, this week to confirm the stance to be taken. They are expected to argue that Africa must be allowed to benefit from its fossil fuel reserves, as rich countries already have done, and that developed countries by contrast must take the lead on sharp cuts to their emissions.

Read more …

Of its own choosing.

EU Facing Winter Energy Crisis – Borrell (RT)

The EU may run out of gas during the upcoming winter season amid supply shortages, the bloc’s senior diplomat Josep Borrell has warned. “Europe is facing a perfect storm: energy prices are up, economic growth is down and winter is coming,” the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy wrote, in a blog published Monday on the website of the Diplomatic Service of the EU. There is “real uncertainty” over whether the EU will have enough gas and whether it will be able to afford it, Borrell said in the piece, titled “Europe’s energy balancing act,” describing the upcoming winter as “exceptional.” His comments come amid a reduced flow of natural gas from Russia, a major supplier to the bloc. Borrell warned that countries of the continent must prepare for a possible total cut-off by Moscow, and suggested that Europe has struggled to replace Russian supplies.


“The hard truth is that for this winter, we are approaching the limits of what extra gas we can buy from non-Russian sources. So, the bulk will have to come from energy savings, i.e. demand reduction.” he wrote. Last month the EU approved a plan that would see member states voluntarily reduce their gas consumption by 15%, to enable the bloc to accumulate the fuel ahead of winter. In case of an emergency, the voluntary reduction may become mandatory. According to Borrell, the bloc has managed to reduce the share of Russian gas in its imports from 40% at the beginning of the year to around 20% today, by buying more LNG and receiving gas via pipelines from Norway, Algeria and Azerbaijan. Russia has repeatedly said it remains a reliable supplier and honors its contractual obligations, but that international sanctions are preventing pipeline operator Gazprom from delivering gas to the EU at full capacity.

Read more …

Wood and brown coal. Take that, Putin!

Netherlands Faces Winter Of Smog – Media (RT)

Smog and particulate pollution will rise in the Netherlands this winter, public health authorities have warned. The rise is linked to more households choosing to burn firewood as gas prices skyrocket. Sales of wood and pellet stoves have increased by 30% since last summer, De Volkskrantreported on Sunday. Demand is now so high, the newspaper reported, that manufacturers are struggling to deliver enough of these stoves. Firewood suppliers, meanwhile, are already running out of stock, and sourcing more logs is a difficult proposition, as the Dutch forestry agency refuses to supply trees to the firewood industry. With gas and electricity bills at record highs, the shift among some consumers to wood burning will have environmental consequences, the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) warned.

“The sale of wood is linked to consumption and it is indeed expected that this will not have a positive impact on air pollution,” a spokesperson told De Volkskrant. While the institute is investigating what measures can be taken to reduce this pollution risk, its powers are limited at present. It can warn households against lighting fires on days when the smog risk is high, but cannot enforce a ban. Health experts called for a ban last month, telling parliament that such a measure would be necessary in winter when more fires would increase the chance of smog. However, there is currently no other viable heat source to replace either gas or solid fuel, although the RIVM is investigating heat pump technology, according to the newspaper.

The Netherlands is not the only European country where wood fires are making a comeback. Poland gave its citizens permission to hoard timber for burning last month, while Latvians have rushed for firewood collection permits and Hungary has ordered a halt to firewood exports. In the UK, the London Fire Brigade said in May that its officers had responded to 100 house fires in the preceding months, started by people burning wood in open fires to stay warm. While gas prices throughout Europe were steadily rising since the end of the coronavirus pandemic, the increase accelerated sharply since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February. The EU has begun phasing out Russian fuel imports in response, while Russian gas giant Gazprom has said that sanctions are impeding its ability to deliver gas to the region.

Read more …

The sole voice of reason in the EU. Something has to give.

EU Is Not Our Boss – Hungary (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban lashed out at the European Union on Monday evening in a Facebook post, reminding his followers that Brussels doesn’t dictate European affairs. “The European Union is not in Brussels. The European Union is in Vienna, Budapest and Warsaw, Berlin and Madrid,” the prime minister said. “Brussels is not our boss We are an independent, sovereign Hungarian nation. We make decisions together. If they’re not good for us, we’ll tell them. If they are not good and we can prevent them, the common decision will not be made.” Orban has made international headlines in recent weeks for his blunt statements criticizing the West’s policies. On July 28, the premier blasted NATO’s support for Kiev during a meeting in Vienna with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.


“The Hungarian assessment is that the concept of NATO supporting Ukraine with weapons and training officers, and the Ukrainians fighting against the Russians, is a construct that has now been shown not to result in a Ukrainian victory,” Orban said at a press conference. The prime minister has been a holdout amongst European leaders in jumping on board Brussels’ harsh sanctions campaign against Russia, particularly a total embargo of Russian natural gas. In his remarks criticizing NATO, Orban also made reference to the fact that sanctions on Moscow are causing serious economic hardship in the bloc. He said that a peaceful settlement needs to be reached in Ukraine because its absence it will spur economic recession in the EU that will be accompanied by political instabiliy.

Read more …

Or others would do the same.

Canada’s Travel Ban Had No Scientific Basis (CS)

On August 13, 2021, the Canadian government announced that anyone who hadn’t been vaccinated against Covid would soon be barred from planes and trains. In many cases, The Backward could no longer travel between provinces or leave the country. If you lived in Winnipeg and wanted to visit your mother on her deathbed in London or Hong Kong or, perhaps, Quebec City, you’d better get jabbed—or resign yourself to never seeing your mother again. Jennifer Little, the director-general of COVID Recovery, the secretive government panel that crafted the mandate, called it “one of the strongest vaccination mandates for travelers in the world.” It was draconian and sweeping, and it fit neatly with the public persona that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had cultivated—that of the sleek, progressive, forward-looking technocrat guided by fact and reason.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal, in a June 2022 article, observed that “Canada had among the most sustained stringent policies regarding restrictions on internal movement.” But recently released court documents—which capture the decision-making behind the travel mandate—indicate that, far from following the science, the prime minister and his Cabinet were focused on politics. (Canadians are hardly alone. As Common Sense recently reported, American public-health agencies have also been politicized.) Two days after announcing the mandate, Trudeau called a snap election—presumably expecting that his Liberal Party, which was in the minority in the House of Commons, would benefit from the announcement and be catapulted into the majority. As it turned out, the Liberals failed to win a majority in the September 2021 election.

In the meantime, roughly five million unvaccinated Canadians were barred from visiting loved ones, working or otherwise traveling. (Trudeau, for his part, stayed in power. Even though the Conservatives have won the popular vote in the past two elections, because of Canada’s parliamentary system, they have been denied the top job.) The court documents are part of a lawsuit filed by two Canadian residents against the government. Until last month, they were under seal. Both plaintiffs are business owners. Both have family in Britain. Both have refused the vaccine on the grounds of bodily autonomy. Both were reluctant to identify their businesses out of fear of losing customers

Read more …

“..we estimate that lockdowns may claim 20 times more life years than they save..”

Are Lockdowns Effective in Managing Pandemics? (MDPI)

The present coronavirus crisis caused a major worldwide disruption which has not been experienced for decades. The lockdown-based crisis management was implemented by nearly all the countries, and studies confirming lockdown effectiveness can be found alongside the studies questioning it. In this work, we performed a narrative review of the works studying the above effectiveness, as well as the historic experience of previous pandemics and risk-benefit analysis based on the connection of health and wealth. Our aim was to learn lessons and analyze ways to improve the management of similar events in the future.


The comparative analysis of different countries showed that the assumption of lockdowns’ effectiveness cannot be supported by evidence—neither regarding the present COVID-19 pandemic, nor regarding the 1918–1920 Spanish Flu and other less-severe pandemics in the past. The price tag of lockdowns in terms of public health is high: by using the known connection between health and wealth, we estimate that lockdowns may claim 20 times more life years than they save. It is suggested therefore that a thorough cost-benefit analysis should be performed before imposing any lockdown for either COVID-19 or any future pandemic.

WHO Treaty Christine Anderson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1554364529236234240

Read more …

“Face masks. Yes, face masks for cows.”

New Zealand Plans To Tax Farmers For Livestock Burps (TCS)

It seems like governments across the Western world are hellbent on destroying the lives of their farmers, and New Zealand is no different, with the government bringing in a “burp tax” for livestock. It’s become almost a meme to talk about the government taxing you for breathing in oxygen in the age of climate insanity and carbon taxes, but New Zealand is by far the closest to doing so. According to climate radicals in the country, cow and sheep burps are just too harmful to the environment due to the methane released, and they need to be reduced, and farmers need to be taxed into submission. “There is no question that we need to cut the amount of methane we are putting into the atmosphere, and an effective emissions pricing system for agriculture will play a key part in how we achieve that,” New Zealand Climate Change Minister James Shaw told BBC News.


Under the proposed legislation, the government would begin taxing livestock farmers for their gas emissions starting in 2025, with incentives and lower tax rates being offered to farmers that feed their livestock special anti-burp diets and plant more trees to offset their supposed emissions. According to WebMD, other strategies the government is recommending include “face masks for cows that trap and turn methane into water and carbon dioxide, a method that reduces emissions by more than 50% according to Zelp, the company that invented the contraption. Some farmers are already experimenting with feed made from seaweed. And scientists are tinkering with cow genetics to increase their digestive efficiency.” Face masks. Yes, face masks for cows.

Read more …

Daniel Hale.

When The Just Go to Prison (Chris Hedges)

Hale, a 34-year-old former Air Force signals intelligence analyst, is serving a 45 month prison sentence, following his conviction under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified documents about the U.S. military’s drone assassination program and its high civilian death toll. The documents are believed to be the source material for “The Drone Papers” published by The Intercept, on October 15, 2015. These documents revealed that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations drone airstrikes killed more than 200 people — of which only 35 were the intended targets. According to the documents, over one five-month period of the operation, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”

The terrorizing and widespread killing of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of civilians was a potent recruiting tool for the Taliban and Iraqi insurgents. The aerial attacks created far more hostile fighters than they eliminated and enraged many in the Muslim world. Hale is composed, articulate and physically fit from his self-imposed regime of daily exercise. We discuss books he has recently read, including John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden and Nicholson Baker’s Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act, which explores whether the U.S. used biological weapons on China and Korea during World War II and the Korean War. Hale is currently housed in the Communications Management Unit (CMU), a special unit that severely restricts and heavily monitors communications, including our conversation, and visitations.

The decision by The Bureau of Prisons to lock Hale up in the most restrictive wing of a supermax prison ignores the recommendation of the sentencing Judge Liam O’Grady, who suggested that he be placed in a low-security prison hospital facility in Butner, North Carolina, where he could get treatment for his PTSD. Hale is one of a few dozen people of conscience who have sacrificed their careers and their freedom to inform the public about government crimes, fraud and lies. Rather than investigate the crimes that are exposed and hold those who carried them out to account, the two ruling parties wage war on all who speak out. These men and women of conscience are the lifeblood of journalism. Reporters cannot document abuses of power without them.

The silence on the part of the press over Hale’s imprisonment, as well as the persecution and imprisonment of other champions of an open society, such as Julian Assange, is stunningly shortsighted. If our most important public servants, those with the courage to inform the public, continue to be criminalized at this rate, we will cement in place total censorship, resulting in a world where the abuses and crimes of the powerful are shrouded in darkness. Barack Obama weaponized the Espionage Act to prosecute those who provided classified information to the press. The Obama White House, whose assault on civil liberties was worse than those of the Bush administration, used the 1917 Act, designed to prosecute spies, against eight people who leaked information to the media including Assange — although he is not a U.S. citizen, and WikiLeaks is not a U.S.-based publication — along with Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, Chelsea Manning, Jeffrey Sterling and John Kiriakou, who spent two-and-a-half years in prison for exposing the routine torture of suspects held in black sites.

Also under The Espionage Act, Joshua Schulte, a former CIA software engineer, was convicted on July 13, 2022 of the so-called Vault 7 leak, published by WikiLeaks in 2017, which revealed how the CIA hacked Apple and Android smartphones and turned internet-connected televisions into listening devices. He faces up to 80 years in prison.

Read more …

I’d like to see that.

Top Epidemiologist Predicts Insurers Will Go After Covid Vax Makers (JTN)

Yale University epidemiologist Harvey Risch is expecting insurers to seek financial compensation from COVID-19 vaccine makers to cover “early unexpected mortality claims,” as they “they have a major financial risk that they have to figure out how to manage.” Insurers’ actuaries estimated COVID vaccinees would “live longer than they have” based on misrepresentations about “all-cause mortality … from the original [clinical] trials,” Risch told the “Just the News, Not Noise” TV program. In a followup interview he pointed to statements by insurers that offer group life insurance. OneAmerica CEO Scott Davison told a healthcare conference in December that death rates had risen an “unheard of” 40% in the working-age people it insures compared to pre-pandemic rates, when a “one-in-200-year catastrophe” would only bring a 10% increase.


Most claims aren’t filed as COVID-related deaths, he said. Public records show that Lincoln National, a much larger insurer, reported a 163% increase in death benefits paid out in 2021, the first year of the COVID vaccines: $1.4 billion, compared to $500 million in pre-pandemic 2019 and $548 million in 2020. It largely blamed a $41 million operations loss in the first quarter of 2022 on “non-pandemic-related morbidity, including unusual claims adjustments, and less favorable returns within the company’s alternative investment portfolio.” Lincoln Financial Group Vice President of Corporate Communications Kelly DeAngelis told Just the News the 2020 statutory filings didn’t include Lincoln Life Assurance Company of Boston. The 2021 supplement includes results from both companies, which merged that year.

Pfizer attacks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1554122422537916416

Read more …

1982.

An Honest Money Would Stop Inflation by Don Werkheiser (Greco)

This little vignette written by Don Werkheiser remains one of the best concise explanations of inflation I’ve ever seen. It was published in the spring 1982 edition of Green Revolution, the journal of the School of Living a non-profit organization with which I was associated throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s.

A rural village has no money. All trade is by barter. A farmer comes to town and deposits 10 bushels of corn with a man who has a store room. This operator gives the farmer 10 receipts, each redeemable in a bushel of corn. But the farmer asks for receipts in smaller denominations. The storekeeper gives him 40 receipts for 40 pecks. The farmer trades ten of these corn-receipts for other products; they are each accepted at the value of a peck of corn. That acceptance constitutes the issue of corn notes as money. Such receipts are generalized credit instruments. They refer to stored corn, but not to any specific peck of corn. When the seller wants a peck of corn the receipt is redeemed. Otherwise it is spent again, and ownership of a peck of corn is conveyed to the next seller.

The next day the farmer returns to town and spends 10 corn notes (each of one peck of corn in value) for his wife’s birthday present. Now the farmer has doubled the money supply in circulation, but there is no inflation; there are redeemable goods back of them. What then is inflation? We must understand “money” and the storekeeper’s actions. The store room owner noticed that the corn notes were accepted in trade. So he made 40 more “peck-receipts” looking just like corn-receipts and then he spent them into circulation. That is inflation–counterfeit receipts passed as valid receipts. Assume that the counterfeit receipts were accepted at face value. In that case, the counterfeiter effected a robbery of commodities equal in value to 40 packs of corn, while those who accepted them received receipts which measured the extent to which they had been robbed.

So long as confidence lasts, the game would continue and receipts could be spent. New sellers would be holding empty receipts. The game would collapse when all the corn in the warehouse was redeemed, and holders of the 40 counterfeit receipts found no one who would take them in trade. Worse could happen if the counterfeiter had the skills of a politician. If, when confronted by angry holders of his counterfeit receipts he declared himself a benefactor of the community–and showed that the original issue by the farmer was too limited, and that his own issues stimulated industry and trade (he would not mention that the farmers issue was redeemable while his own was not). He noted that most people did not want corn; they wanted a medium of trade that they could use to speed up trade.

They were told: “If the game stopped then, the holders would be losers, but if they continued, they could all buy what they wanted. In fact if they elected him Mayor he would declare pseudo-corn-notes to be legal tender, and he’d also begin a program of public works. Soon everyone would be rich.” An ignorant public agreed. Elected Mayor, the counterfeiter issue another stock of corn-notes called “pecks” and declared them to be worth a peck of corn in the market (but not anywhere redeemable). On each note was a picture of a peck-basket, but what it contained was not specified. Just a peck of value.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am the change

 

 

 

 

???

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 022022
 
 August 2, 2022  Posted by at 9:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Edward Hopper The long leg 1935

 

Germany Counts Cost Of Russian Gas Cut-off (RT)
Europe Has Lost The Energy War (Fazi)
Ukraine Limiting Russian Gas Flow To EU – Gazprom (RT)
Brandon Shifts The Narrative On Banderastan (Saker)
Anti-Russia Sanctions Don’t Reflect Global Reality – Putin (RT)
West Will Run Out Of Money To Support Ukraine – Macgregor (RT)
Hundreds Of ‘Petal’ Mines Reportedly Found In Donetsk (MSO)
Spain Comments On Kosovo’s Independence (RT)
Russia ‘Absolutely’ Supports Serbia – Kremlin (RT)
Supposed Killing Of Al Zawahiri Is Suspect, Weird And Fishy (CTH)
The Day Anthony Fauci Wrecked American Freedom (Tucker)
Atonement (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Graham McCain 2016
https://twitter.com/i/status/1554088190637740033

 

 

Ukraine produces 3.1% of global wheat. Let’s all panic!

 

 

 

 

“German inflation may well exceed 10% by the end of the year..”

Germany Counts Cost Of Russian Gas Cut-off (RT)

German inflation may well exceed 10% by the end of the year if gas supplies from Russia are cut off, Deutsche Bank head Christian Sewing said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, published on Saturday. “If Russian gas continues to flow [into Germany], we should reach an inflation rate of around 8% by the end of this year. But inflation would be higher if the gas stopped flowing. Then 10% or more is possible,” Sewing said. The CEO pointed out that losing gas supplies from Russia “would have a significant impact on economic growth in Germany” and the country “will definitely slip into recession.” He noted that “with the right interest rate hikes and the right policies, there is still a chance to bring [inflation] down to 5-6% next year, and then get close to the actual target of 2% again in 2024.”

However, such measures “will take time, so we should not give people false impressions,” he added. Commenting on the recent move by the European Central Bank (ECB) to hike interest rates, he said the ECB “is moving in the right direction.” “Currency devaluation is poison for people. I am grateful that the ECB is well aware of the problem and has now given a clear signal to raise the rate by 0.5 percentage points. We have been saying for a long time: higher inflation is not a temporary phenomenon, and it needs to be dealt with seriously,” Sewing stressed. He warned, however, that the worst may still be ahead for the German economy.

“The biggest burden for many people is yet to come. If monthly expenses exceed income, people will consume less and the mood of the country will deteriorate as well. It’s all the more important that the right steps are taken early on,” the banker stated. Inflation in Germany soared this month, jumping to 8.5% year-on-year in July after dropping to 8.2% in June as a result of government relief measures. This comes as elevated food prices and surging energy costs continued to plague the country. In a poll published by the newspaper Bild earlier this month, half of respondents said they feel their economic conditions are deteriorating, seeing rising prices as a heavy burden and fearing being unable to heat their homes this winter.

Read more …

It doesn’t feel like they ever tried to win.

Europe Has Lost The Energy War (Fazi)

After a decade of financial austerity, is Europe now on the brink of a new age of energy austerity? The city of Hanover has recently introduced strict energy-saving rules that include cutting off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms, banning mobile air conditioners, fan heaters or radiators, switching off public fountains, and stopping illuminating major buildings such as the town hall at night. Meanwhile, several countries across Europe are considering dimming or switching off public lights, and even adopting “energy curfews”, with early closures for businesses and public offices. And more drastic measures are under consideration — including gas rationing for energy-intensive industries such as steel and agriculture.

These measures are part of an EU-wide Gas Demand Reduction Plan, ominously titled Save Gas for a Safe Winter, to reduce gas use in Europe by 15% until next spring. Among the proposals is a provision that officials in Brussels impose fines for non-compliance if they decide the crisis is escalating dangerously. All of this comes amid growing fears that dwindling Russian gas supplies may plunge Europe into an energy crisis this winter. Overall, Russian gas exports to the EU are at about a third of last year’s levels, falling steadily since the invasion of Ukraine. While several European countries have been reducing their Russian gas imports, Russia itself has been reducing gas flows to Europe through Nord Stream 1, the continent’s biggest pipeline, citing mainly technical issues.

Just the other day, citing equipment repair, Russia announced yet another reduction in the amount of natural gas flowing through Nord Stream 1, which is now operating at only 20% capacity.This has caused natural gas spot prices to surge to levels not seen since early March; they are now almost 10 times higher than they were two years ago. In most countries, electricity prices have risen accordingly. Soaring energy prices are already fuelling record inflation — currently close to 9% and rising in the EU — squeezing people’s spending power, plunging thousands into poverty, and placing a huge burden on industry. This is especially true for Germany, which is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas imports. Indeed, the country’s industrial production has been contracting for over three months. Astonishingly, 16% of industrial German companies have reduced production or partially stopped their activities due to rising energy prices. This helps explain why last month Germany became the first country to escalate its warning over gas supplies to the “alert level”.

Read more …

Humor: Nord Stream 2 turbines come from Iran, not Germany.

Ukraine Limiting Russian Gas Flow To EU – Gazprom (RT)

Russia’s EU-bound natural gas supplies, pumped via Ukraine, are limited to one remaining entry point, while Kiev refuses to reopen a second transit station, energy giant Gazprom said on Monday. “Gazprom is supplying Russian gas for transit through Ukraine in the volume confirmed by the Ukrainian side through the Sudzha gas metering station – 41.7 million cubic meters as of August 1. The application to reopen the Sohranovka gas metering system has been rejected,” Gazprom’s representative told reporters. Ukraine shut down transit through the Sokhranovka station, which handles about a third of the Russian gas flowing through Ukraine to Europe, in early May, citing “interference by the occupying forces.”

Kiev argued that is gas transit operator GTSOU could not control the Novopskov border compressor station in Lugansk Region due to Russia’s military operation, and considered the situation a force majeure. However, Gazprom at the time said it did not see any grounds for halting gas flows. Kiev asked the Russian firm to transfer all gas transit to the Sudzha pumping station in the Kursk Region, which Gazprom ruled out as technically impossible. Meanwhile, Russia has also been forced to reduce its gas flow to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, due to turbine malfunctions. Gazprom has blamed the issue on the German company Siemens, which produced and maintains the equipment, accusing it of failing to fulfil its commitments.

The drop in Russian supplies has led to a surge in gas prices in Europe. In July, futures contracts for deliveries in August and September traded on the Dutch TTF exchange in the range of $1530-2385 per thousand cubic meters. In comparison, at the same time last year the spot price was less than $500.

Read more …

“And now “Biden” “generously” will allow Putin to stay in power. Yes, “Biden”, not the fact that the Russian population fully support Putin, and the SMO.”

Brandon Shifts The Narrative On Banderastan (Saker)

President “Biden” (i.e. the “collective” Biden, not the actual Bradon) penned an interesting article for the NYT entitled “President Biden: What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine“. The entire things is behind a paywall, and it is not really worth reposting it here. But I do want to comment on a few of “Biden’s” theses. First, I will ignore the obnoxious habit of calling the USA “America”, when just Canada and Brazil alone are almost as big as the USA. Furthermore, the USA is only 9,833,520 km2 (3,796,742 sq mi) while the total area of the Americas is 42,549,000 km2 (16,428,000 sq mi). Finally, there are 35 countries in the Americas but, fine, okay, if saying “‘Murica” evokes imagines of Captain America and waving (Chinese made) flags – then fine. Let’s look at a few key sentences:

“America’s goal is straightforward: We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression (…) We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia. As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow“. Now that is a HUGE change. In Russian, there is this expression of “changing shoes while in mid jump” which refers to situation when a person suddenly make a full and instantaneous 180 after pompously insisting on a goal which is now dropped. The initial plan was simple: to smash the Russian economy, have Putin overthrown in an insurrection of some kind, break apart Russia and then turn towards China and crush it.

And, considering the absolutely extreme demonization of Putin, he was clearly designated as the object of total hate by “all of progressive and freedom loving mankind”. And now “Biden” “generously” will allow Putin to stay in power. Yes, “Biden”, not the fact that the Russian population fully support Putin, and the SMO. How stupid does “Biden” think that we all are? Anyway, let’s continue, “We will also continue reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank with forces and capabilities from the United States and other allies. And just recently, I welcomed Finland’s and Sweden’s applications to join NATO, a move that will strengthen overall U.S. and trans-Atlantic security by adding two democratic and highly capable military partners“This entire paragraph can be summarized in all sorts of colorful ways, I will just call in counter-factual and delusional nonsense. Where do I even begin here?

Read more …

“..unfair competition, a bid by the West to hinder Russian businesses and reconfigure world markets in their favor…”

Anti-Russia Sanctions Don’t Reflect Global Reality – Putin (RT)

The West’s decision to sanction Russia over the Ukraine conflict was made for the sake of opportunistic political interests which do not reflect global realities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. Addressing a virtual meeting on Russia’s metals industry, the president noted that the sector continues to face challenges in light of the Western sanctions. He highlighted the problem of limited access to international markets and the ban on buying foreign equipment for the production of fittings, rolled metals and steel sheets in Russia. “As I have already said, these decisions were made by Western countries for the sake of political interests, moreover, current, opportunistic ones and not reflecting the realities either in world politics, nor in the world economy,” he claimed.

Vladimir Putin argued that the Western sanctions failed to take into account “obvious consequences”, such as the rising cost of building materials on the international market, and the spurring of global inflation.“The decline in well-being and the quality of life of ordinary citizens, first and foremost in Europe, is of no interest to politicians, not to mention such things as adherence to the principles of the World Trade Organization. These things have been simply tossed into the trash,” the Russian leader added. Putin described attempts to limit Russia’s metals industry as a blatant manifestation of unfair competition, a bid by the West to hinder Russian businesses and reconfigure world markets in their favor.

Western countries including the US and EU members have imposed sweeping sanctions on nearly all aspects of the Russian economy since the launch of Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine in late February. The measures include limitations on Russian oil and gas, goods and financial services.Last month, Putin branded the sanctions illegitimate, saying they ignore the fundamental principles of respecting another nation’s sovereignty and non-interference in its internal affairs. He insisted that such actions not only damage relations between states and peoples, but undermine the global legal system. Putin also reiterated Moscow’s stance that it will always be a reliable and responsible partner for those who are committed to mutually beneficial, predictable business cooperation. He pledged, however, that Russia will not work to its own detriment with “those who are clearly unfriendly towards us.”

Read more …

Will the support last till Christmas? Or will they be too occupied with China by then?

West Will Run Out Of Money To Support Ukraine – Macgregor (RT)

The West will eventually lose interest in the Ukraine conflict and run out of resources to support Kiev in its war against Russia, a top former US military official said. “There is no strategy. What we have is impulse,”retired Colonel Douglas MacGregor told Judge Andrew Napolitano on his YouTube channel on Friday. In a wide-ranging interview, MacGregor said much of the military aid earmarked for Ukraine never reaches the country itself. “Most of the money goes to the Department of Defense to compensate the armed forces for the movement of equipment and resources over to Europe. That money in turn is then transferred to the defense industries, the contractors who support and provide the replacement equipment,” he said, adding that the “whole circular operation enriches everyone who is important to Capitol Hill in terms of re-election.”


MacGregor called the situation a “shell game”that enriches the military-industrial complex, the same people who help politicians get re-elected in Washington. “My own view is that this war in Ukraine will not end with a bang but with a whimper, that eventually we will just sort of quietly run out of resources,” he said, adding that domestic problems in the West will overshadow the conflict. “We’ll have so many problems at home here in the United States that we’ll no longer bother with [Ukraine],” he said. In a combination of aid packages, the US is sending roughly $54 billion to Ukraine in both economic and military aid, with approximately $12 billion of that in weapons. At the same time, the US economy shrank 0.9 percent in the second quarter of this year, which is the second consecutive quarter of economic contraction, which technically meets one definition of a recession. Coupled with the highest inflation since 1981, the US economy faces a period of “stagflation” – defined as low growth with high inflation.

Read more …

Why?

Hundreds Of ‘Petal’ Mines Reportedly Found In Donetsk (MSO)

Ukrainian forces were accused of shelling residential areas of the eastern city of Donetsk on Saturday night with hundreds of so-called petal mines littering the streets in the aftermath. The tiny bombs, which are shaped like small flowers, were found in the centre of Donetsk, areas close to the city’s university, recreational areas and others.Journalist Eva Bartlett, based in Ukraine, heard the shelling start on Saturday night. “This morning I saw these mines in a heavily populated western Donetsk district,” she said. “They tear off limbs but don’t necessarily kill. Nasty war crimes to add to the list of Ukraine’s manifold war crimes.” Local authorities issued a warning to residents asking them to “watch your step carefully, walk only on asphalt” and to call emergency services if they spot one of the deadly mines.


Civilians were advised to only walk on open routes and to avoid shortcuts after the latest attack as the mines are difficult to spot in grass or other areas. The Lepestok cluster mines are banned under international humanitarian law and their use is deemed a war crime under the Geneva Convention. They were widely used in Afghanistan where children often mistook them for toys, and were seriously injured or killed after handling them. On Saturday, Donetsk authorities said that a large number of the petal mines were found by a school in the city’s Kirov district. The overnight shelling occured shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered troops and civilians to urgently evacuate from Donetsk. Transport networks were suspended across the city today as clear-up operations were under way.

Read more …

“Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 was illegal and can’t be recognized by Spain..”

Spain Comments On Kosovo’s Independence (RT)

Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 was illegal and can’t be recognized by Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Monday during a visit to Albania’s capital, Tirana. As Sanchez met with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama amid his tour of the Balkans, he stated that the “unilateral declaration of independence, in the view of the Spanish government and with respect to the Albanian government, was a violation of international law”and therefore “unacceptable” to Madrid. The Spanish PM also told Rama that Madrid fully supports Albania’s bid for European Union membership, citing the applicant’s “commitment and the reforms it has made.”

His comments come after tensions flared up over the weekend on the border between Serbia and its breakaway province, officially called the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija in the Serbian constitution, which received recognition by several Western powers in 2008. The government in Kosovo planned to ban the use of Serbian-issued license plates and ID papers starting from August 1, and was to use its police force to enforce the measure. Belgrade officials called it an attack on Kosovo’s Serbian population as President Aleksandar Vucic accused Pristina of violating the rights of local Serbs.

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti in turn has accused local Serbs of opening fire on police, and claimed his government is facing “Serbian national-chauvinism” and “misinformation” from Belgrade. On Sunday, Serbs in the north of the breakaway province set up roadblocks and rang alarm bells as heavily armed Kosovo special police took control of two administrative crossings with Serbia. The situation received a temporary resolution after Washington called on Kosovo officials to postpone the implementation of the controversial law until September 1. Pristina agreed, on condition that Serbia remove barricades from the de facto border. Vucic has said that he hopes for tensions to ease and promised that Belgrade would do everything within its power to preserve the peace through compromise.

Read more …

“..one-sided, spontaneous decisions aimed at squeezing [the Serbs] out of Kosovo..”

Russia ‘Absolutely’ Supports Serbia – Kremlin (RT)

Moscow fully backs its ally Belgrade in the dispute with Kosovo over the decision by the breakaway province to ban Serbian license plates and identification papers, the Kremlin press-secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. “Of course, we absolutely support Serbia,”Peskov replied, after being addressed on the issue by journalists on Monday. The decision by the Kosovo authorities to outlaw Serbian license plates and IDs was“absolutely unreasonable,” he stated. On Sunday, Serbs in the north of the breakaway province set up roadblocks and rang alarm bells as heavily armed special police took control over two administrative crossings with Serbia, preparing to implement the order by Pristina.

As tensions mounted, Kosovo’s prime minister Albin Kurti announced late in the day that the ban had been postponed at the request of the US ambassador to the province. However, Kurti stressed that the measure, which according to Pristina was needed to impose “law and order,”has only been delayed, not canceled. “Thank God, the escalation was avoided tonight, but this situation has only been postponed for one month, so it’s paramount for all sides to show prudence,” the Kremlin press-secretary pointed out. Russia’s ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko also warned on Monday that “it was difficult to see the conditions for finding sustainable solutions to those issues that caused the current spike in tension.”

The lack of agreement on license plates and IDs, and many other similar matters, are “being used by Pristina to make one-sided, spontaneous decisions aimed at squeezing [the Serbs] out of Kosovo,” he added. According to Peskov, Moscow believes that that the Western countries, which recognized the mainly Albanian-populated Kososvo in 2008,“should now use their influence to warn the authorities in Kosovo against making any ill-conceived steps,” he said. Serbia considers Kosovo a part of its territory, and is backed in doing so by Russia, China and the UN in general, who haven’t recognized the territory as an interdependent entity.

Read more …

“Since when does al-Qaeda wait 48+ hours to denounce hostile action in their territory?”

How many times has he been killed now?

Supposed Killing Of Al Zawahiri Is Suspect, Weird And Fishy (CTH)

Everything about the supposed killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri is suspect, weird and fishy. First, Al Zawahiri has been reported as killed or dead at least a half dozen times in the last 10 years; including by natural causes. Second, Ayman Zawahiri was very old. Western citations put his age at 71 (born 1951), however, that is suspect (sounds like his younger brother’s age). Third, the location of his reported killing in Kabul is odd. Zawahiri was known to avoid large populations, and even with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan the tribal conflicts with factions of the Taliban would have been an issue.

Fourth, somehow the Taliban waited until after the U.S. intelligence community leaked the strike to the media before they issued a statement condemning the drone attack. Since when does al-Qaeda wait 48+ hours to denounce hostile action in their territory? Coordinating and timed joint press releases between the White House and ‘Taliban‘ to western media outlets is seriously sketchy. Fifth, absolutely no official outline from the Pentagon or White House on this “successful counterterrorism strike“? Despite a primetime presidential address, the White House has no announcement, no official statement, nothing, on their website. Additionally, Biden leads off saying the attack was on Saturday, the Taliban waited 48-hours to denounce a U.S. drone strike?

Think about it. Doesn’t add up. More sketchy. Sixth, and seemingly just an oddball addendum, Fox News breaks the story using Jennifer Griffin as lead reporter. As I noted several days ago, Griffin had been missing from Fox News since she went bonzo in March attacking Tucker Carlson over his cynicism of the official State Dept and Pentagon narrative in Ukraine. May, June, July, nothing from pentagon deep state promoter Jenn Griffin at all. Then, suddenly, on the same day Griffin resurfaces, after months of nothing, there’s a major terrorism strike in Afghanistan, killing Zawahiri and she’s leading the coverage?…. With Brett Baier cheerleading? C’mon man. Sketchy, all of it.

Read more …

Trump was trumped.

The Day Anthony Fauci Wrecked American Freedom (Tucker)

Fears of a virus from China had been rising for two months in the spring of 2020. The White House under Donald Trump had already weathered two impeachment crises and was turning its attention toward reelection in November, which seemed assured. The virus was an enormously complicating factor. Trump surrounded himself with a small team of people among whom included supposed infectious disease experts such as Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health and Deborah Birx of the Centers for Disease Control. On the recommendation of his vice president and son-in-law, Trump trusted them.

Trump had already closed travel from China but now his scientific advisers were urging him to do more: stop travel from Europe, UK, and Australia. That was March 12. He made the announcement in a prime-time address. In that brief speech, he misread the teleprompter and said that the travel ban would include goods. He meant to say that it would not. The stock market tanked and the White House had to issue a clarification the next day. Already there was chaos in the air. Over the weekend, Trump spent most of his time in huddles with close advisors. The main influence over that period became Deborah Birx, whose job it was to convince Trump of the need for a two-week lockdown of the entire American economy.

Trump agreed to do the deed. He would appear with Fauci and Birx at a press conference on Monday, and preside over the call for a lockdown. “If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now,” Trump said, “we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration together.” Later Birx admitted that she knew that two weeks “was a start, but I knew it would be just that. I didn’t have the numbers in front of me yet to make the case for extending it longer, but I had two weeks to get them.”

Read more …

“..first they will have a lot of money that’s worthless and then they will have no money, like everybody else..”

Atonement (Jim Kunstler)

News flash to Boston: Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine is all over except the shouting. Plus, nobody in the USA cares about it anymore, and if they do, probably for the wrong reasons. The right reason to care is that the “Joe Biden” regime’s insane campaign to destroy Russia has only brought Western Europe to the brink of collapse and ruin, thereby threatening the continuation of Western Civilization altogether.

You don’t hear much chatter about this emanating from, say, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government because, apparently, they’re all-in on the demolition of Western Civ. It is the ultimate act of atonement, and atonement for the sins of culture and politics is the currency for personal status in Woke Elitedom. America’s elites are secretly disgusted with themselves, especially about the wealth they have been able to grift out of all the racketeering that has replaced honest work in our country — and nowhere is the racketeering more grotesque, or more pretentiously caparisoned, than in the Ivy League universities. Status drives Wokery because Woke Elitedom has more money than it knows what to do with, so just having a lot of money means less than it used to — just ask Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Don’t worry. Soon they will have a lot less money. Or rather, first they will have a lot of money that’s worthless and then they will have no money, like everybody else. The demoralizing inflation underway leads to the destruction of credit and when enough credit is destroyed, there will be no money, since our money is based on credit. When that happens, see what your self-proclaimed moral purity will buy you.

The credit-driven money system is a metaphor representing the expectation that we will always have more of everything. That was surely the consensus in 1913 when the Federal Reserve was born. 1913 was the last year of the Belle Époque, the beautiful era preceding the First World War. It was also the coming-of-age of economies based on oil. In that moment, Western Civ stood in amazement at its achievements and in thrall to its glittering future. The slaughter in the trenches of WWI shattered that confidence, nowhere more deeply than in Germany, which afterwards lurched from the degeneracy of the Weimar Republic to the depravity of Hitler’s Third Reich, and from there back to ruin in the Second World War.

Today’s Woke Elitedom of Europe, led by Germany, is deliberately driving the EU nations into a ditch without bothering to go to war. They certainly don’t have the military mojo to prosecute a war with Russia — which is what they would be doing if NATO intervened actively in Ukraine (ain’t gonna happen). Instead, they have torn-up reams of trade agreements and imploded a richly-constructed supply network of basic operating resources like oil, natgas, minerals, and grains in an absurd act of atonement, in obeisance to the experts at the World Economic Forum and the fiends behind “Joe Biden.” And lately, they are bent on destroying their food supply with cockamamie campaigns against their farmers, in line with WEF hallucinations about climate change.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rutte

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 012022
 
 August 1, 2022  Posted by at 8:14 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  12 Responses »


Salvador Dali The knight of death 1934

 

 

If you’re Chinese or Russian, and you watch videos of the top three “most powerful” people in the US, Biden, Kamala and Pelosi, what do you think? You think all three are incoherent and should not be anywhere near any decisive, let alone nuclear, lever.

If you’re anybody anywhere, and you look at the top three “most powerful” people in the world, Xi, Putin and Biden, what do you think? You think two of them have got it together (nothing to do with you liking them or not), and one can’t even read coherently from a teleprompter.

Nowhere near half of Americans understand these two things to be true, but probably some 90% of Chinese and Russians do, as well as a vast majority of people in other non-US/NATO/EU countries.

Another threesome: Sergei Lavrov (Russia), Tony Blinken (US) and Liz Truss (UK) are all foreign ministers (or Secretaries of State, give the beast a name). Who would you trust to represent your own interests best in the field of diplomacy? It’s not even a question, is it? If the US or UK had a Lavrov, he would be their man (he would most likely decline). But they don’t. The US has a nobody (they have lots of those!) in the role, and the UK has someone with zero qualifications who dreams of getting the top job.

The world outside of the G7 or G20 (give the wheel a spin) sees this happening. Is it any wonder they clamor to be part of BRICS? The “collective west” is fast finishing off itself, and yes, you’re right, that is a dangerous moment. It’s also why it very much looks like the “collective west” is trying to open a second theater of war in Europe. One that looks a lot like the one they opened in Ukraine. And the EU, to its utter shame, does nothing to prevent this from happening – on its “own” soil!.

I know, there’s Crazy Nancy on her way to Taipei as well as we speak, we’ll get to that yet. Imagine: you’re 80-odd years old, and you want your legacy to be WWIII. Not your grandchildren, but live nukes. Just imagine that.

Kosovo’s unilateral secession from Serbia was recognized by the “main Western powers” in 2008. But not China, Russia, or the UN!. Not too long after Bill Clinton’s NATO bombed the heebeejeebees out of former Yugoslavia in 1990. Just because they could. Today, the US -and NATO- try to use a tiny sliver of former Yugoslavia to ignite a major fire in Europe, a second fire besides Ukraine.

Kosovo is the size of half a postage stamp, only two US states are smaller, Rhode Island and Delaware. 1.8 million people live there, it’s like one NYC borough. But you can use the historic hatred to rekindle the flames. Right, Blinken? Well, turns out there are still some Serbs living in Kosovo, because that’s where they grew up.

The brilliant Kosovo PM now has the fantastic idea to start a fight with these Serbs, over the fact that their cars have Serb license plates and they themselves have Serb IDs, a whole 14(!) years later. Yeah, that’s worth a fight, obviously.

So America’s “top diplomat” Blinken invited Kosovo president Osmani and PM Albin Kurti to DC last week.

 

 

I’ll let some people other than me explain this to you. First, political analyst Alexandar Pavic:

In Kosovo As In Ukraine, The Same Western ‘Invisible Hand’ Foments Conflict

In addition to the conflict in Ukraine, Europe is now faced with the prospect of renewed conflict in Kosovo, Serbia’s breakaway province (officially named Kosovo and Metohija according to the Serbian constitution). Kosovo’s unilateral secession was recognized by the main Western powers in 2008. This came nine years after NATO’s attack on Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, after which NATO forces occupied the province and helped install an ethnic Albanian-led government dominated by former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army terrorist organization.

The current crisis was triggered by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, who initially wanted to force the majority Serb population in the north of the region to accept Kosovan license plates and ID papers starting from August 1, and to ban entry to the province or issue temporary papers to travelers with Serbian-issued plates and documents.

Kurti attempted a similar stunt in September 2021, triggering a crisis where local Serbs in northern Kosovo organized roadblocks and Kosovo police reportedly beat up and intimidated Serb civilians, while the authorities in Belgrade put the Serbian military on high alert and ordered overflights by fighter planes over the administrative border between Serbia proper and Kosovo. The EU eventually brokered a temporary agreement, pending a final deal that was supposed to have been reached by April 2022, under EU auspices. However, nothing has come of that.

From Kosovo to Ukraine, it seems there’s a pattern regarding agreements in which Western powers have a hand. Since the start of this year’s special military operation in Ukraine, Russian officials have repeated time and again that the West had never pressed Kiev to fulfill its part of the 2015 Minsk 2 peace agreement, intended to end Kiev’s standoff with the Donbass republics. Recently, former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko openly admitted that Ukraine never intended to fulfill the agreement but was merely buying time until it could build up an army capable of overrunning Donbass.

The situation with Kosovo is not much different. The EU brokered an agreement between Pristina and Belgrade in April 2013, the so-called Brussels Agreement, by which Serbia was supposed to dismantle its “parallel” police and judicial structures in Kosovo and convince the Kosovo Serbs to accept integration into the Kosovo police and legal system, without recognizing the territory’s independence. And the Belgrade authorities did this, despite a large public outcry over the move.

 

However, there was a second part to the agreement, by which Pristina was obligated to form an Association of Serb Municipalities, with substantial local powers and ties to Serbia proper. The Albanian part of the Brussels Agreement has not been fulfilled to the present day. Or, as Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic noted on July 31, that 3,390 days have passed since the Brussels Agreement was signed, and still no sign of the Association.

As in the case of Ukraine, the collective West has put absolutely zero pressure on the side it supports to fulfill its part of a signed international agreement. And again, as in the case of Ukraine, this has encouraged Pristina to take an increasingly belligerent stance, which may very well lead to a more serious conflict.

There’s an additional ingredient to the Kosovo mix, thanks to the Ukraine conflict. Namely, the Serbs – both in Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina – stand practically alone among European peoples in refusing to join Western sanctions against Russia, and in consistently demonstrating open support for Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. As a result, the government in Belgrade has been under constant, increasing pressure by the main Western capitals, as well as the EU and NATO, to change its policy and join the West’s collective economic suicide.

Since Belgrade has proven to be a tough nut for the West to diplomatically crack when it comes to opposing Russia, it’s not at all far-fetched to imagine that the Kosovo Albanians just might be seen by the West as a useful tool by which to additionally turn the screws on Belgrade. In the same cynical way in which the unfortunate Ukrainians are being used to pressure and weaken Russia.

 

Next, from RT, about Richard Grenell. No love lost on my part about him, but he did negotiate a bunch of peace deals, and knows the territory much better than Blinken.

Trump’s Kosovo Envoy Slams US Over Crisis

Richard Grenell, who negotiated a Kosovo-Serbia deal under the Trump administration after a turn in charge of the US intelligence community, blamed the “reckless” prime minister in Pristina for the renewed tensions with Belgrade on Sunday and slammed the State Department for enabling him. “What’s happening in the Balkans isn’t Russia. Whoever says this to you is trying to manipulate you,” Grenell tweeted on Sunday evening. “This is about Albin Kurti trying once again to give it [to] Serbia. He is living in the past.”

“The people of Kosovo want peace and jobs, Albin. Stop picking fights,” Grenell added. Serbian military was placed on high alert and local Serbs put up roadblocks earlier in the day, after Kosovo police showed up at two administrative crossings with Serbia, intending to enforce Kurti’s decision to confiscate Serbian license plates and documents. This would have effectively cut off the remaining Serbs living in the north of the breakaway province.

According to Grenell, this was all about Kurti “making unilateral moves to reject Serbian IDs and license plates inside Kosovo,” which he called “unnecessary.” Describing the PM a “far left radical and experienced fascist,” Grenell further called his actions “foolish” and “reckless,” and urged Serbian leaders to “not take the bait.” “Even the Albanians know Kurti is the problem,”Grenell tweeted. He also blamed Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met with Kurti and Kosovo president Vjosa Osmani earlier in the week.

US President Joe Biden has “ignored the Balkans,” the envoy added, pointing out that he had negotiated multiple agreements between Kosovo and Serbia under President Donald Trump, trying to overcome the conflict through economic cooperation. Grenell also accused the EU of orchestrating war crimes charges against Kosovo President Hashim Thaci to punish him for working with Trump – resulting in Kurti and Osmani taking power.

And then Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

Why Are Serbia And Kosovo On The Brink Of War Again?

Tensions between Belgrade and Pristina occur regularly, as a result of the fact that the Kosovo issue has not been resolved since 1999, when the province de facto gained independence after the US-led NATO campaign against the former Yugoslavia. However, this time there is a risk of more or less routine friction escalating into a dangerous conflict, because the context has changed dramatically.

The problem of Kosovo was solved at the end of the twentieth century in strict accordance with the then dominant approach, and in the seeming absence of an alternative. Disputes in most of Europe (ie. outside the former USSR) were settled according to the EU’s ideas of fairness, and where they could not be worked out amicably, pressure was exerted on those who rebelled, up to the use of military force (primarily American, as always).

[..] it was the EU that regulated the processes taking place locally, and, in general, this setup was taken for granted. Moreover, other powers which have been traditionally active and important in the Balkans – Russia and Turkey – indicated their presence (sometimes quite clearly), but did not pretend to have a decisive voice in the way things were arranged. This framework also defined the room to maneuver for the countries of the region, including those who were most loudly dissatisfied, like Serbia.

Now two main circumstances have changed. First, the EU is in such a vulnerable state that it is not ready to take full responsibility for the extremely complex political situation in its immediate periphery. It cannot promise membership, and more precisely – even if such a pledge were made, it doesn’t guarantee anything.

The EU’s management of the central Balkan problems – in Bosnia and Kosovo – has not led to the desired outcome over the past quarter of a century. Thus, it’s all the less likely that it will work out now. Because the second circumstance is that Russia and the West (the EU plus the US and NATO) are in a state of acute confrontation.

As a result, there is no reason to expect Moscow’s assistance in resolving the situation (be it Kosovo or Bosnia). Right now, the West’s favorite practice of “selective interaction” (we work together with Russia where we need it, we refuse to engage on other issues) can no longer be applied. There will be no cooperation: Russia and the West will be on opposite sides of the barricades everywhere, no matter the issue at hand. We are in a systemic cold war. And this reality can greatly influence what will happen in the Balkans.

The question is to what extent regional actors have retained their passion for showdown, revenge or expansion. There are suspicions that this zeal has been exhausted and emasculated. But if it still burns, then external forces will enter the fray this time, supporting opposing sides.

Blinken et al, which very much includes his EU counterparts, see the past struggles in the Balkans as something they can reignite at their convenience today. The initial boundaries are simple. Russia will come to the aid of Serbia. Kosovo will appeal to Albania. And then to NATO. So the idea is you got this hot cauldron, with 5-6-15 nations, and NATO can do whatever it wants in there.

But NATO has no chance in Ukraine, and it doesn’t have one in Kosovo. But it can ship billions worth of weapons in there and pay Raytheon. Problem I see with this genius plan is that Russia saw it coming from lightyears away. And that is the same issue as the difference between Lavrov and Blinken: they may have the same job title, but there’s no comparison.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Jul 202022
 


Gustave Moreau Helen on the Walls of Troy 1885

 

In The Multipolar World Iran Will No Longer Fear U.S. Sanctions (MoA)
On Liberating Europe (Batiushka)
Kiev Names Condition For Peace Talks With Moscow (RT)
Kiev Threatens To Destroy Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (RT)
Zelensky Widens Purge Of Security Services (BBC)
Timetable For Return Of Nord Stream Turbine Revealed (RT)
Costs Of Ukraine War A Test For European Leaders – And It May Get Worse (G.)
US Army Cuts Force Size Amid Unprecedented Battle For Recruits (AP)
Ex-Trump Official In Demand After Twitter Backs Down On Covid Censorship (JTN)
Paul Pelosi $1M Chip Stock Purchase: A Long History Of ‘Timely’ Buys (JTN)
Prediction For Unvaccinated And Never Previously Infected (Geert)
Don’t Let ‘Voodoo Science’ Keep Djokovic From Competing in US Open (Thakur)

 

 

About eating bugs…

 

 

Attali

 

 

 

 

Biden Poroshenko

 

 

 

 

Tucker Ray Epps
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549054198855122947

 

 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry called for an international investigation of war crimes by the UK and the US
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549152060276441092

 

 

Soros Ukraine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549374225290596352

 

 

 

 

“With such a large deal will also come protection. Iran will be able to call on Russia should someone start hostilities against it…”

In The Multipolar World Iran Will No Longer Fear U.S. Sanctions (MoA)

But the greatest news for Iran is a new deal with Russia’s Gazprom that was signed today: “The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Russian gas producer Gazprom signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding worth around $40 billion, Iran’s oil ministry’s news agency SHANA reported. The deal was signed during an online ceremony by the CEOs of both companies on the day Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran for a summit with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts. Gazprom will help NIOC in the development of the Kish and North Pars gas fields and also six oil fields, according to SHANA. Gazprom will also be involved in the completion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and construction of gas export pipelines. Iran sits on the world’s second-largest gas reserves after Russia, but US sanctions have hindered access to technology and slowed development of gas exports.”

Gazprom is a strong partner and can not be hindered by U.S. sanctions. Iran will finally be able export more of its plentiful gas. Russia will also have a chance to work with Iran to keep the prices at a certain level. With such a large deal will also come protection. Iran will be able to call on Russia should someone start hostilities against it. When Iran produces enough gas it can also revive the old project of a pipeline to India. This could either go through Pakistan or, as India would probably prefer, through an undersea pipeline: “A 1,300-km undersea pipeline from Iran, avoiding Pakistani waters, can bring natural gas from the Persian Gulf to India at rates less than the price of Liquefied Natural Gas available in the spot market, proponents of the pipeline said on Tuesday. Releasing a study on the Iran-India gas pipeline, former oil secretary T.N.R. Rao said natural gas imported through the over $4 billion line would cost $5-5.50 per million British thermal unit at the Indian coast, cheaper than the rate at which some of the domestic fields supply gas”

Despite U.S. sanctions Iran is again becoming fully integrated into its region. It is a great success and the gas and transit deals will help its economy to make some gains even as the U.S. adds new sanctions. Russia, India and China are partners who can and will ignore those. Iran now also has the capability to produce sufficient nuclear material for a number of bombs. It will not use this capability as its religious ideology prohibits the making and use of such weapons. But it is a latent threat that can be used to deter Israel and the U.S. from any attack. That Trump left the nuclear deal was dumb. That Biden did not revive it immediately after taking office was even dumber. To now stay out of it, only to keep some stupid sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp, is the dumbest step I can think of.

Read more …

“..the bankruptcy of the West that should have happened over thirty years ago is happening now..”

On Liberating Europe (Batiushka)

Just over thirty years ago the Communist USSR went bankrupt – it could not raise enough money to pay off its debts on capital markets. The West should have gone bankrupt at the same time because it too had colossal debts, however through the financial manipulations of its Capitalism it was able to raise the capital. So it went morally bankrupt instead. Firstly, there was the fascism of political correctness. Like so many destructive movements the initial intentions were good, but as we know that the road to hell is paved with them. It was precisely after 1991 that the use of the phrase ‘political correctness’ as a pejorative phrase became widespread in the USA.

Secondly, at the same time there began the Western attack on Islam, or rather the Western grab of Arab oil and gas, by telling Saddam Hussein that he could recover Kuwait, which had been illegitimately cut off from oil-rich Iraq by British imperialism, but then withdrawing that support once he had done it and so pretexting a reason to attack him. The first Gulf War followed, with a second one to follow after the invasion and failed occupation of Afghanistan, and then chaos in the ‘Arab Spring’. Thirdly, at the same time, in 1992 there began the attempt to depopulate, dismantle and destroy the Russian Lands, culminating 22 years later in the US coup d’etat in Kiev in 2014, which cost US taxpayers $5 billion and has cost them many times more since. Inbetween there have been all manner of Western manipulations, from 9/11 to covid.

Such is hubris. ‘We are the only Superpower’. ‘The end of history has come’. And so today the Western world finds itself isolated. The ‘international community’, ‘the free world’, has only 13% of the world population and depends on the rest of the world, on the 87%. Outmatched by the population of the rest of the world and its GDP, it produces only a smallish amount of oil, gas, food, fertiliser and manufactured goods. Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, indeed nearly all of Asia, Africa and Latin America, stand together against the neocolonial manipulations and neocon lies of the Western world, whose unity is now crumbling. Moreover, the Western world is bankrupt. The USA alone owes an unpayable £30 trillion. Thus, the bankruptcy of the West that should have happened over thirty years ago is happening now.

Read more …

“..after Russia’s defeat on the battlefield..”

Kiev Names Condition For Peace Talks With Moscow (RT)

Peace negotiations with Moscow will make sense only after Russia’s defeat on the battlefield, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has declared. In an interview with Forbes Ukraine published on Monday, Kuleba named Russia’s “aggressive behavior” as a reason for the absence of peace talks, arguing that any negotiations “are directly linked to the situation at the front.” “I tell all partners a simple thing: ‘Russia should sit down at the negotiating table after defeat on the battlefield. Otherwise, it will be the language of ultimatums again,’” Kuleba explained. He stressed that President Zelensky does not rule out “the possibility of negotiations” but believes that “there is no reason” for talks now. “He communicated this very clearly to the leaders of the countries who had hinted at negotiations.

These leaders have also stopped talking about it,” Kuleba said. In June, Ukraine’s top negotiator David Arakhamia suggested that Kiev believes it could achieve “favorable position” by late August after it conducts “counteroffensive operations in certain areas.” On Sunday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who is now a deputy chairman of the country’s Security Council, said that there shouldn’t be any doubts that all the goals of his country’s military operation in Ukraine would be achieved. At the same time, he noted that “such actions are not of an immediate nature,” referring to some of Vladimir Putin’s previous statements. “The President has repeatedly spoken about this, there are certain scenarios of how such operations are unfolding,” Medvedev explained.

Moscow and Kiev started peace talks four days after the start of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine in late February. The sides have held several rounds in person in Belarus and then continued the talks via video link. In late March, the delegations from Russia and Ukraine met once again, in Istanbul. Since then, however, the talks have completely stalled. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia had provided Ukraine with a draft agreement but Kiev has ignored it. Peskov has previously accused the US and its allies of “actively betting on the continued war” and of not allowing Kiev “neither to think nor talk about or discuss peace.” Moscow has also warned the West against supplying Ukraine with weapons, saying that this would only lead to prolongation of the conflict and unnecessary casualties but would not change the outcome.

Read more …

With US weapons. What could go wrong?

Kiev Threatens To Destroy Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (RT)

Russian ships and Crimea could be attacked with Western-supplied weapons, Ukrainian deputy defense minister says Ukraine will crush Russia’s Black Sea fleet and regain control of Crimea with Western weapons, the country’s Deputy Defense Minister, Vladimir Gavrilov has vowed during a visit to the UK. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which is based in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, is “a permanent threat” to Ukraine, and Kiev has to address this issue, Gavrilov said in an interview with the Times on Tuesday. Kiev was waiting to get longer-range weapons from foreign nations before launching an assault, he added. “We are receiving anti-ship capabilities and sooner or later we will target the fleet. It is inevitable because we have to guarantee the security of our people,” the deputy defense minister explained.

Gavrilov claimed that Ukraine is also planning to take back Crimea – which overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in a 2014 referendum after a coup in Kiev. According to the official, the Ukrainian government was holding discussions with their Western backers on whether it could use foreign-supplied arms to target Russian forces on the peninsula. American officials earlier assured that Kiev had promised that US-made arms, including 142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS multiple launch rocket systems, would not be used to attack Russian territory. However, Kiev says it doesn t view Crimea as part of Russia, considering it to be a Ukrainian area occupied by Moscow. Sooner or later we will have enough resources to target Russia in the Black Sea and Crimea.

Crimea is Ukrainian territory, that s why any target there is legitimate for us, the deputy defense minister stated. Gavrilov also didn’t rule out the use of diplomatic means in order to reclaim Crimea, saying that we have to think very carefully how to do it in the right way. Russia will have to leave Crimea if they wish to exist as a country, Gavrilov insisted. His statements didn’t go unnoticed in Moscow, with Kremlin press secretary, Dmitry Peskov saying that they were “yet another proof that [Russia’s] special military operation was a correct and absolutely justified move because it was the only way to save Ukraine from such leaders” as Gavrilov.

Read more …

I don’t think we’re getting the real story here.

Zelensky Widens Purge Of Security Services (BBC)

President Volodymyr Zelensky has continued his purge of Ukraine’s security service (SBU) by dismissing the organisation’s deputy director. Volodymyr Horbenko is the latest official to lose his job after Mr Zelensky said bosses failed to root out pro-Russian elements in the agency. Regional chiefs in several other cities were also dismissed, Mr Zelensky said. It comes as MPs voted to dismiss SBU chief Ivan Bakanov and Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova. On Monday, an adviser to Mr Zelensky suggested that the pair had merely been suspended pending an investigation, after the president initially appeared to sack them in a late-night address. But on Tuesday the Ukrainian leader laid down a motion of no-confidence in the pair before parliament, which was approved by an overwhelming majority of MPs.


There have been reports for several weeks that Mr Zelensky wanted to replace Mr Bakanov after coming to blame him for failures in stopping the Russian advance in February. Neither of the top officials, both of whom Mr Zelensky personally appointed, are accused of betraying their country. But they ran agencies where Russian interference appears to have impacted Ukraine’s ability to hold territory in the opening days of the war. Speaking after the vote, the leader of Mr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, David Arakhamia, said new information had recently come to light, and the purge of the SBU would continue in the coming days. “There will be many ‘cleanses’, because over the years many residents of the Russian special services have secretly entrenched themselves within the walls of the SBU, unfortunately,” Mr Arakhamia said, adding: “They got access to materials that they didn’t have before.” On Sunday, Mr Zelensky said over 60 former SBU and prosecutor’s office employees were now working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied areas.

Read more …

Early August.

Timetable For Return Of Nord Stream Turbine Revealed (RT)

A crucial turbine from the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline was airlifted from Canada to Germany on Sunday, Kommersant newspaper has reported, citing its sources. The part will then travel for another five to seven days by ferry to its destination in Russia, the paper revealed on Monday. If everything goes smoothly and there’s no delay at customs, the turbine will be fitted and ready to pump gas in early August, Kommersant noted. The Siemens turbine was stuck in Canada after undergoing repairs there due to Ottawa’s Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia. Canada initially refused to return the part, as it regarded the equipment as a dual-use product subject to sanctions.


After negotiations with Berlin, however, Ottawa decided to use an indirect delivery route to avoid violating its own sanctions against Moscow. The delay forced Russian gas exporter Gazprom to slash exports of natural gas to Germany by as much as 60% last month, as the pumping station was technically unable to pump at normal levels without the turbine. The Nord Stream pipeline is an important route for gas exports from Russia to the EU because it offers direct deliveries to Germany, bypassing Ukraine. Deliveries via the pipeline were temporarily stopped on July 11 for 10 days of scheduled maintenance.

Read more …

Whack-a-mole.

Costs Of Ukraine War A Test For European Leaders – And It May Get Worse (G.)

Desperate efforts in Italy to prevent the fall of Mario Draghi’s government are only the latest political firestorm in Europe tied to Vladimir Putin’s tests of the west’s powers of endurance. Draghi’s foreign minister, Luigi di Maio, suggested it will be Putin who celebrated the fall of another western government if Draghi does not survive a confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday. “A boat without a rudder goes adrift,” said Ferruccio Resta, the president of the Conference of Italian University Rectors – a metaphor that could apply, to Putin’s satisfaction, to much of Europe as governments come under growing pressure over the perceived domestic cost of the war in Ukraine.

The narrative of a brewing popular revolt against western sanctions on Russia certainly fits well with Putin’s central narrative that time and economics are on his side since the sanctions are damaging European consumers more than Russia’s. He feels soaring fuel prices are the most lethal of macroeconomic shocks for politicians as they drive inflation while slowing economic growth. As yet it is premature to take a definitive view about the scale of the potential electoral backlash in Europe, and Josep Borrell, the EU foreign affairs spokesperson, for instance, angrily complained that rising prices were being attributed to EU sanctions without any evidence. Borrell said of the critics of EU sanctions: “Don’t they have eyes? Do they not look at the graphs? Do they not consider figures or facts?”

In France, Emmanuel Macron has been weakened if not muted by the loss of his parliamentary majority to parties more naturally sympathetic to Putin. In Spain, the Socialists, facing elections next year, have just lost their power base in Andalusia, the most populous region. The centre-right People’s party achieved a new record high of 36.3 % in the latest GAD3 poll, its best result since April 2017. If repeated in an election it would be its best result since 2011. In Estonia, the fiercely anti-Putin prime minister, Kaja Kallas, survived last week after her previous coalition government fell in a dispute linked to the country’s inflation rate of 19%, the highest in the 19-nation eurozone. Electricity prices in Estonia are at a record high, averaging €300 per megawatt-hour last week.

Kallas skilfully reconstructed her government, but at some cost to the Estonian budget and her credibility. If the economy has not improved by the time of legislative elections next March, she could be in trouble. In Warsaw, the PiS frets about electoral defeat next autumn, even if the opposition would remain supportive of Ukraine. In Bulgaria, a pro-western government has fallen. And, of course, Volodymyr Zelenskiy has just been let down spectacularly by the self-inflicted demise of Boris Johnson in Britain. The politician who has fared best at the ballot box most recently is probably Viktor Orbán, Putin’s greatest ally in Europe. Orbán is glorying in it. He said at first he believed European politicians had only “shot themselves in the foot”, but now it is clear that it was a shot to the lungs of the European economy, which is struggling for air everywhere.

Read more …

Jesse Kelly’s comment is spot on.

US Army Cuts Force Size Amid Unprecedented Battle For Recruits (AP)

The Army is significantly cutting the total number of soldiers it expects to have in the force over the next two years, as the U.S. military faces what a top general called “unprecedented challenges” in bringing in recruits. Army officials on Tuesday said the service will fall about 10,000 soldiers short of its planned end strength for this fiscal year, and prospects for next year are grimmer. Army Gen. Joseph Martin, vice chief of staff for the Army, said it is projecting it will have a total force of 466,400 this year, down from the expected 476,000. And the service could end 2023 with between 445,000 and 452,000 soldiers, depending on how well recruiting and retention go. With just two and a half months to go in the fiscal year, the Army has achieved just 50% of its recruiting goal of 60,000 soldiers, according to Lt. Col. Randee Farrell, spokeswoman for Army Secretary Christine Wormuth.

Based on those numbers and trends, it is likely the Army will miss the goal by nearly 25% as of Oct. 1. If the shortfalls continue, Martin said, they could have an impact on readiness. “We’ve got unprecedented challenges with both a post-COVID-19 environment and labor market, but also competition with private companies that have changed their incentives over time,” Martin told a House Armed Services subcommittee on Tuesday. Asked if the Army will have to adjust its force structure to meet national security and warfighting missions around the world, Martin said: “We don’t need to do that immediately. But if we don’t arrest the decline that we’re seeing right now in end strength, that could be a possibility in the future.”

Cutting the size of the Army is the best option, said Wormuth. “The Army is facing our most challenging recruiting environment since the inception of the all-volunteer force. This is not a one-year challenge. We will not solve this overnight,” she said, adding that the service is looking at a wide range of steps to recruit more soldiers without lowering standards or sacrificing quality. “We are facing a very fundamental question,” she added. “Do we lower standards to meet end strength, or do we lower end strength to maintain a quality, professional force? We believe the answer is obvious — quality is more important than quantity.”

The Army’s recruiting problems are the most severe across the military, but the other services are also having a tough time finding young people who want to join and can meet the physical, mental and moral requirements. Senior Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps leaders have said they are hopeful they will meet or just slightly miss their recruiting goals for this year. But they said they will have to dip into their pool of delayed entry applicants, which will put them behind as they begin the next recruiting year.

Read more …

“I won’t lose,” he said, tagging Twitter support. “I have your receipts and it’s clear you have amateurs in charge of your censorship operation.”

Ex-Trump Official In Demand After Twitter Backs Down On Covid Censorship (JTN)

A Trump administration lawyer secured journalist Alex Berenson’s reinstatement to Twitter in a legal settlement and got quick results when he warned the social media platform on behalf of Ivy League epidemiologist Andrew Bostom last week. James Lawrence III, former Department of Health and Human Services deputy general counsel and chief counsel at the FDA, is now being sought by other users also sanctioned for sharing “misleading and potentially harmful” information related to COVID-19. Kevin McKernan, a veteran genomics researcher on the verge of permanent suspension, said he’s “in contact” with Lawrence but declined to specify further to Just the News.

Daniel Kotzin, an outspoken critic of COVID-19 vaccines with a large Twitter following, suggested he’d hire Lawrence after losing his first lawsuit, which alleged Twitter colluded with federal officials to sanction him. (A similar lawsuit by Republican attorneys general is moving into discovery.) Bostom told Just the News that Twitter reinstated his account, suspended for sharing a peer-reviewed study on COVID vaccines and male fertility, within “a few hours” of Lawrence’s legal threat letter, which gave Twitter a July 21 deadline. Lawrence noted Bostom’s voluminous research and publishing when he was on the faculty at Brown University’s medical school. He’s now a research physician at a Brown-affiliated hospital.

Bostom was not saying “the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility” but rather “citing research and asking questions,” Lawrence told Twitter head of legal Vijaya Gadde. Twitter’s misinformation ban explicitly exempts “debate about research” that does not “intentionally misrepresent research findings.” Using the same breach-of-contract argument that convinced a federal judge to let Berenson’s lawsuit continue, Lawrence said Twitter ignored “its own progressive discipline policy” and instead “retrofit” Bostom’s single flagged tweet into its repeated-violation policy. Kevin McKernan managed MIT’s research and development for the Human Genome Project. “You can restore this account to zero strikes, or prepare for some legal expense,” he wrote in a Saturday tweet thread after his latest lockup in “TwitMo.” “I won’t lose,” he said, tagging Twitter support. “I have your receipts and it’s clear you have amateurs in charge of your censorship operation.”

Read more …

Shameless.

Paul Pelosi $1M Chip Stock Purchase: A Long History Of ‘Timely’ Buys (JTN)

Paul Pelosi, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, purchased between $1 million and $5 million of stock in a semiconductor company ahead of an upcoming vote on legislation containing $52 billion for chipmakers — the latest in a long history of similar purchases. A Data for Progress poll found that 70% of respondents support a ban on lawmakers trading individual stocks and 68% agree with extending the ban to their spouses. Pelosi’s husband made headlines when he purchased a substantial amount of tech stock last year under his wife’s speakership. Pelosi made millions on “timely” bets with Big Tech stock buys in advance of an antitrust bill that was moving through the House, according to a Fortune report from July 2021. The antitrust legislation ultimately stalled, but Pelosi tech stock buys have continued throughout this year.

In March, the speaker disclosed that her husband bought Apple as well as Disney and PayPal shares. Retail traders track Pelosi’s trades to “find winners,” Yahoo reported. Pelosi was involved in controversy regarding Visa stock purchases he made in 2008 while credit card companies were reportedly lobbying his wife to stop legislation that would curb credit card swipe fees to vendors, CBS News reported at the time. “The Pelosis purchased 5,000 shares of Visa at the initial price of $44 dollars,” the CBS report read. “Two days later it was trading at $64.” CBS noted that the swipe fee legislation, the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, eventually did pass the House. “I will hold my record in terms of fighting the credit card companies as speaker of the House or as a member of Congress up against anyone,” Speaker Pelosi told “60 Minutes.”

[..] Peter Schweizer, author of the 2011 book “Throw Them All Out,” was instrumental in educating the public about the lack of stock trading laws applicable to members of Congress. After his book was published, Congress passed the STOCK Act, and former President Obama signed it into law. The bill is designed to prevent insider trading, but it doesn’t ban members of Congress or their spouses from buying individual stocks. Under the bill, lawmakers are required to file financial disclosure reports that show the purchases made. Schweizer has long called on Congress to prohibit lawmakers and their spruces from trading individual stocks.

“They still sort of continue to blatantly trade in stocks,” Schweizer told Just the News in October 2021. “So in the case of the Pelosis, for example, she’s the Speaker of the House, legislation that’s going to affect Big Tech in a positive way or big contracts going to Big Tech, her husband’s not only buying and selling stock in Big Tech, he’s actually buying options, which are sort of leveraged bets that the stock is going to go one way or the other. And, of course, Paul Pelosi Sr. just happens to be really good at making those predictions.”

Read more …

“Unvaccinated can now largely forget about contracting severe C-19 disease as the next big mutation will most likely make the unvaccinated resistant to the virus..”

Prediction For Unvaccinated And Never Previously Infected (Geert)

What would be your prediction for those who are both unvaccinated against COVID-19 and never previously infected? Let’s say those of working age(20 – 55) in fairly good health. Should they be worried about Avian Flu and Monkeypox, since they have not experienced an infection by SARS-CoV-2? Are they at risk for serious illness from these more infectious (and future more virulent) SARS-CoV-2 mutants?

Answer: It would be quite unbelievable that they didn’t get exposed to SC-2 given the high infectiousness of previously and currently circulating variants. Ideally, they should have their Abs tested (anti-S would be sufficient since they’re not vaccinated). They can also have their Abs tested against Flu. If all this is negative (which would point to poor activation of natural immunity), they can just take one shot of a live attenuated measles or mumps or rubella or varicella vaccine (or all together in one shot) to boost their innate immune response. (However, they should only do so if they got MMR(V)-vaccinated in the past. The better their innate immune status, the lower the likelihood they are going to catch severe disease from these viruses. But anyhow, for a person in good health, it is highly unlikely to develop severe disease from Monkeypox (as it is – for now(!) – not highly infectious) or from Avian Flu as they must at least have had contact with Flu viruses in the past and hence, have some ‘Flu-trained’ innate immunity.)

Unvaccinated can now largely forget about contracting severe C-19 disease as the next big mutation will most likely make the unvaccinated resistant to the virus. However, if they have not yet been infected at all by any of these highly infectious variants, they could still contract C-19 disease (before that new variant emerges) and become seriously ill (but not ‘severely ill’ as long as they are in good health with no comorbidities and predisposing factors). To avoid this, they should either prevent risky contacts (difficult) till the next variant appears (in my opinion, just a matter of weeks) or take Ivermectin orHCQ as soon as symptoms manifest (but not prophylactically).

Read more …

“Djokovic had to be kept out of Australia not because he could infect others but because he is a visible reminder of vaccine failure.”

Don’t Let ‘Voodoo Science’ Keep Djokovic From Competing in US Open (Thakur)

So Novak Djokovic has won Wimbledon, the second tennis major this year to be plagued by self-inflicted wounds following the Australian Open whose crown Djokovic was unceremoniously prevented from defending. I concluded then that God must be a Djoker. How else to explain that banks that once feared masked robbers insisted on masked customers in 2020-21, Big Pharma blamed the failure of a product on those who refused to take it and sporting bodies that banned drug-injecting competitors mandated a drug with no long-term safety data? According to one site that tracks the adverse events associated with sportspeople, by mid-July 1,174 athletes — by definition one of the fittest cohorts in society — had suffered cardiac arrests and other serious side effects, of whom 779 had died.

The claim that “No-vax” Djokovic poses a threat to others’ health is risible. Among the best tennis players of all time, one of the greatest contemporary athletes across all sporting codes and also possibly the healthiest human being on the planet who is obsessive-compulsive about his fitness, Djokovic was unable to play in the Australian Open because he refused to take a COVID vaccine. Now he faces the repeat prospect of the Biden administration barring him from entering to compete in the US Open, even though unvaccinated Americans can compete. That would be unfortunate. The vaccination mandate for international arrivals made little sense back in January and is now demonstrably reliant on voodoo science.

[..] It’s indisputable that vaccination does not provide protection against getting infected or infecting others. If health authorities were honest, then to be consistent with their 2021 messaging, they would now be using the language of the pandemic of the vaccinated. The scale of the problem is such that suspicions arise that rapidly waning efficacy, especially after repeated boosters, might not be the only issue. In addition to the studiously ignored problem of adverse events, many serious and some fatal, could the vaccines themselves be sustaining and driving the pandemic? Against this hard data that is now available, the decision in January to stop Djokovic from coming into Australia seems even more perverse. As a BBC analysis made clear, that decision was neither medical nor legal but political.

A court overturned the entry ban on procedural and substantive grounds. The government then made an end run around the legal system by relying on ministerial discretion that had deliberately been made nonjusticiable. Accepting that Djokovic posed “a negligible individual risk of transmitting COVID-19” to others, the minister nonetheless concluded that because Djokovic had a “well-known stance on vaccination,” his very presence could fuel anti-vaccination sentiment in Australia. Consequently, his participation was not in the public interest. Thus Djokovic had to be kept out of Australia not because he could infect others but because he is a visible reminder of vaccine failure.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Simpsons 2006

 

 

Tucker Harrowing

 

 

 

 


Mount Fuji

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 272022
 
 June 27, 2022  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Henri Matisse Woman with a hat 1905

 

G-7 Unveils $600 Billion Plan to Counter China’s Belt and Road (R.)
Russia Defaults On Foreign Debt For First Time Since 1917 Revolution
Chomsky on the Root Causes of the Russia-Ukraine War (CD)
John Mearsheimer’s Ukraine Crystal Ball (ZH)
Herr Habeck Firehoses Oil & Gas (Vilches)
Pelosi Leads Democrats In Effort To Codify Roe v. Wade Into Law (JTN)
White House: Biden ‘Does Not Agree With’ Expanding The Supreme Court (JTN)
Top Republican Signals 2023 Investigation: Biden ‘Compromised’ By Son (JTN)
NYT Reports On Large CIA ‘Stealth Network’ Of Spies & Commandos In Ukraine (ZH)
Covid’s Infection Fatality Rate Now Same as Seasonal Flu (DS)
Taibbi Talks Reaction To Him Reviewing ‘What Is A Woman’ (DW)

 

 


“Pfizer regional sales leaders”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too late.

G-7 Unveils $600 Billion Plan to Counter China’s Belt and Road (R.)

Group of Seven leaders (G-7) on Sunday pledged to raise $600 billion in private and public funds over five years to finance needed infrastructure in developing countries and counter the Chinese regime’s Belt and Road project. U.S. President Joe Biden and other G-7 leaders relaunched the newly renamed “Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment,” at their annual gathering being held this year at Schloss Elmau in southern Germany. Biden said the United States would mobilize $200 billion in grants, federal funds, and private investment over five years to boost infrastructure development in lower- and middle-income nations. The United States says the G-7 backed effort promotes responsible investments that aim to benefit the communities they are made in.

“I want to be clear. This isn’t aid or charity. It’s an investment that will deliver returns for everyone,” Biden said, adding that it would allow countries to “see the concrete benefits of partnering with democracies.” Biden said hundreds of billions of additional dollars could come from multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, sovereign wealth funds, and others. Europe will mobilize 300 billion euros for the initiative over the same period to build up a sustainable alternative to the Chinese regime’s Belt and Road Initiative scheme, which Chinese leader Xi Jinping launched in 2013, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the gathering.

The leaders of Italy, Canada and Japan also spoke about their plans, some of which have already been announced separately. French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were not present, but their countries are also participating. The Chinese communist regime’s Belt and Road scheme involves development and programs in over 100 countries.

Read more …

This is just too stupid. Richard Werner says it best:

“The US adopts yet another pro-Russia policy that strengthens Russia at the expense of the West: Russia is told it doesn’t have to service its debt. Normally the IMF enforces foreign debt to protect US investors, pushing foreign countries hard to pay up.”

Russia Defaults On Foreign Debt For First Time Since 1917 Revolution

Russia has defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since the 1917 revolution, according to reports, further alienating the country from the global financial system after sanctions imposed over its war in Ukraine. The country missed a deadline of Sunday night to meet a 30-day grace period on interest payments of $100m on two Eurobonds originally due on 27 May, Bloomberg reported on Monday morning. Some Taiwanese holders of Russian Eurobonds said on Monday that they had not received interest payments due, two sources told Reuters. Official confirmation of the default was expected to come from international ratings agencies.


Russia’s efforts to avoid what would be its first major default on international bonds since the Bolshevik revolution more than a century ago hit a insurmountable roadblock in late May when the US treasury department’s office of foreign assets c (OFAC) effectively blocked Moscow from making payments. “Since March we thought that a Russian default is probably inevitable, and the question was just when,” Dennis Hranitzky, head of sovereign litigation at law firm Quinn Emanuel, told Reuters. “OFAC has intervened to answer that question for us, and the default is now upon us.” While a formal default would be largely symbolic given Russia cannot borrow internationally at the moment and doesn’t need to thanks to plentiful oil and gas export revenues, the stigma would probably raise its borrowing costs in future.

Read more …

“This is a level of hysteria that I have never seen, even during the Second World War, which I am old enough to remember very well.”

Chomsky on the Root Causes of the Russia-Ukraine War (CD)

Soon after the war, “the United States Department acknowledged that they had not taken Russian security concerns into consideration in any discussions with Russia. The question of NATO, they would not discuss. Well, all of that is provocation. Not a justification but a provocation and it’s quite interesting that in American discourse, it is almost obligatory to refer to the invasion as the ‘unprovoked invasion of Ukraine’. Look it up on Google, you will find hundreds of thousands of hits.” Chomsky continued, “Of course, it was provoked. Otherwise, they wouldn’t refer to it all the time as an unprovoked invasion. By now, censorship in the United States has reached such a level beyond anything in my lifetime. Such a level that you are not permitted to read the Russian position.

Literally. Americans are not allowed to know what the Russians are saying. Except, selected things. So, if Putin makes a speech to Russians with all kinds of outlandish claims about Peter the Great and so on, then, you see it on the front pages. If the Russians make an offer for a negotiation, you can’t find it. That’s suppressed. You’re not allowed to know what they are saying. I have never seen a level of censorship like this.” Regarding his views of the possible future scenarios, Chomsky said that “the war will end, either through diplomacy or not. That’s just logic. Well, if diplomacy has a meaning, it means both sides can tolerate it. They don’t like it, but they can tolerate it. They don’t get anything they want, they get something. That’s diplomacy.

If you reject diplomacy, you are saying: ‘Let the war go on with all of its horrors, with all the destruction of Ukraine, and let’s let it go on until we get what we want.'” By ‘we,’ Chomsky was referring to Washington, which simply wants to “harm Russia so severely that it will never be able to undertake actions like this again. Well, what does that mean? It’s impossible to achieve. So, it means, let’s continue the war until Ukraine is devastated. That’s US policy.” Most of this is not obvious to western audiences simply because rational voices are “not allowed to talk” and because “rationality is not permitted. This is a level of hysteria that I have never seen, even during the Second World War, which I am old enough to remember very well.”

Read more …

Consistent.

John Mearsheimer’s Ukraine Crystal Ball (ZH)

A new talk by Professor John J. Mearsheimer has recently been made public, wherein the famous author and political science theorist details the causes and consequences of the Ukraine war. Mearsheimer became more well-known, and “controversial” in establishment circles, after it emerged that he clearly predicted going back to 2014 the war which kicked off in Feb. 2022. He had said in a 2014 University of Chicago lecture, “The West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path and the end result is Ukraine is going to get wrecked.” This tragedy for the Ukrainian people is playing out now, with little hope that now totally defunct Russia-Ukraine ceasefire talks will halt the fighting. Other than efforts of France’s Macron, attempts at basic diplomacy and direct communications are all but dead.

As the lecture intro describes: Prof. Mearsheimer focused on both the origins of the war in Ukraine and some of its most important consequences. He argues that the crisis is largely the result of the West’s efforts to turn Ukraine into a Western bulwark on Russia’s border. Russian leaders viewed that outcome as an existential threat that had to be thwarted. While Vladimir Putin is certainly responsible for invading Ukraine and for Russia’s conduct in the war, Prof. Mearsheimer states that he does not believe he is an expansionist bent on creating a greater Russia.

Regarding the war’s consequences, the greatest danger is that the war will go on for months if not years, and that either NATO will get directly involved in the fighting or nuclear weapons will be used — or both. Furthermore, enormous damage has already been inflicted on Ukraine. A prolonged war is likely to wreak even more devastation on Ukraine. Mearsheimer calls the war an “unmitigated disaster” and with “no end in sight” – for which he lays chief blame on the West. Lately student groups at the University of Chicago, as well as some pundits within the mainstream media, have sought to censor his views and “cancel” him – despite that he’s been on record and consistent in his predictions and views for years.

Read more …

Oil refinery is a tricky business. Changes take time. Europe does not have time.

Herr Habeck Firehoses Oil & Gas (Vilches)

One way to begin to understand the problem is agreeing and accepting that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden made a historical bad joke, by saying “ The EU will make sure to phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion to allow us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes minimizing the impact on global markets”. Nope, you can´t do that in 6 months Ursula, if ever. So if you accept that´d be absolutely impossible then you are on the right track to understand the rest. Otherwise you´d be just playing games running around in circles. Hint: it´d be like trying to change the engine oil while cruising at 150 km/hr on a German autobahn. Of course, you can stop the car and change the oil, but in this case it would mean shutting down Europe for months. You cannot do that, can you ?


By any standards, there are definitely not enough adequate oil blends around to come close to satisfying European refinery requirements comparable to homogenous continuous over-abundant constant Russian high-quality Urals which the EU now has decided to ban. And also please accept once and for all that a specific oil blend is not just “any oil blend” to be plugged & played anywhere anytime. Oil blends are not fungible. A very specific refinery or processing plant tune-up needs to be specifically matched with an always constant high-quality homogenous oil blend in large enough quantities and for a given desired output such as diesel fuel, or whatever. No “open architecture” is possible here, that´s just for IT nerds, not for refineries. And definetly there are no vendors all lined up happily willing and able to sell you their oil blend in unlimited quantities already fully adapted to whatever plant you may have ´as-is´ for whichever desired production output you may need delivered just-in-time on-demand and only when you need it.

Read more …

How long has she been in DC? Last chance to use abortion to get votes, Nancy

Pelosi Leads Democrats In Effort To Codify Roe v. Wade Into Law (JTN)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is vowing to fight in Congress to codify Roe v. Wade after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark decision. “Democrats will keep fighting ferociously to enshrine Roe v. Wade into law of the land,” Pelosi said. “This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart wrenching.” The California Democrat called the decision a “slap in the face to women about using their own judgment to make their own decisions about their reproductive freedom.” Democrats have tried to codify Roe v. Wade into law in the past, but it has never passed Congress. In September, the Democrat-led House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, but the bill didn’t move forward in the Senate.

After the draft opinion of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade leaked in May, Democrats in the Senate tried to pass legislation to codify Roe, but Republicans were able to block the measure. Realizing they lack the votes to codify a right to abortion into law in the 50-50 Senate, Democrats are calling on their base to mobilize and vote in November. “This fall, Roe is on the ballot,” President Biden said at the White House on Friday. “Personal freedoms are on the ballot. The right to privacy, liberty, equality they’re all on the ballot. Until then, I will do all in my power to protect a woman’s right in states where they will face the consequences of today’s decision.”

Pelosi also said Roe v. Wade is “on the ballot in November.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the decision to overturn Roe “makes crystal clear the contrast” between both parties as the November elections approach. “Elect more MAGA Republicans if you want nationwide abortion bans, the jailing of women and doctors and no exemptions for rape or incest,” Schumer said. “Or elect more pro-choice Democrats to save Roe and protect a woman’s right to make their own decisions about their body, not politicians.”

Read more …

Done.

White House: Biden ‘Does Not Agree With’ Expanding The Supreme Court (JTN)

The White House on Saturday confirmed that President Joe Biden has no desire to expand or pack the Supreme Court in the wake of the Court’s unprecedented repeal of Roe v. Wade earlier this week. Asked by reporters on Air Force One while en route to Munich about the possibility that Biden might move to add more justices to the Court amid the fallout from the ruling, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Saturday: “I was asked this question yesterday, and I’ve been asked it before…about expanding the Court. That is something that the President does not agree with.” “That is not something that he wants to do,” she added.


Progressives have argued that packing the Court with more justices could offer Democrats a remedy to the strong conservative majority the institution currently enjoys. President Donald Trump appointed three justices during his administration, all of whom are seen as reliably conservative votes on the bench. Though she said Biden has no plans to pursue such an agenda, Jean-Pierre on Saturday did take time to slam the court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which eliminated the half-century-old federalization of abortion rights first implemented in 1973. “It’s so out of step not only with this decision, but it’s also so out of step with the Constitution,” she argued.

Read more …

They’ll hit the ground running.

Top Republican Signals 2023 Investigation: Biden ‘Compromised’ By Son (JTN)

Some conservatives have fretted the four years it has taken federal prosecutors to investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings. But make no mistake, the man most likely to run the main House investigative committee if Republicans win control of Congress next year is determined to document how President Joe Biden’s foreign policy has been compromised by his son’s infamous wheeling and dealing. “We feel that Hunter Biden is a national security threat,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) told Just the News in a wide-ranging interview Friday laying out his priorities if he becomes chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. “We’ve been poring over his financial records for many weeks now, and it’s troubling.

“So we’ve got a lot of questions about Hunter’s business dealings and questions for Biden administration officials to determine if thepresident is in fact compromised because of Hunter’s shady business dealings.” Comer was asked whether the evidence he has seen shows the president’s son ran “an influence peddling scheme” that sold access to his father to foreigners. “There’s no question,” he answered. “That was confirmed with the recent tape that emerged last week from the laptop that showed that Hunter Biden said that, you know, his dad would do anything he asked him to do,” said Comer. “I think that was the sales pitch that Hunter would make to the questionable shady figures in Russia who he received compensation from, the shady, questionable figures in communist China he would receive payments from, and those in Ukraine and Africa and everywhere else around the world.”

“No one would think that anyone wanted to do business with Hunter Biden because of his stellar resume or his record of achievement,” Comer added. “It was because his last name was Biden. And his father was the vice president of the United States.” Comer said the House oversight committee’s job wouldn’t be to focus on whether Hunter Biden evaded taxes, an issue already under investigation by federal prosecutors since late 2018, but rather on what government or policy favors countries and players got for paying the presidential son, including for a recent set of paintings.

Read more …

“..directing much of the vast amounts of intelligence the United States is sharing with Ukrainian forces..”

NYT Reports On Large CIA ‘Stealth Network’ Of Spies & Commandos In Ukraine (ZH)

A fresh New York Times report has confirmed what many already suspected – that the CIA is still very active inside Ukraine – especially with training as well coordinating weapons among its Ukrainian allies. The Times report details “a stealthy network of commandos and spies rushing to provide weapons, intelligence and training,” based on US and European intelligence officials with knowledge of the operations. The report says Ukrainian forces are reliant on this Western clandestine network “more than ever” while outgunned by the Russians. This comes months after investigative journalist Zach Dorfman’s bombshell expose in Yahoo News which detailed how a prior 8-year long CIA covert program to train Ukrainian fighters helped provoke the Russian invasion. The only question that remained after that March report was the extent to which the CIA was still active in the ongoing fight against the invading Russians.

The new Times reporting confirms that the US program is not only active and ongoing, but appears larger in scale than previously thought given the CIA’s close cooperation with the Ukrainians is happening both inside and outside the country, across multiple locations. “Much of this work happens outside Ukraine, at bases in Germany, France and Britain, for example. But even as the Biden administration has declared it will not deploy American troops to Ukraine, some C.I.A. personnel have continued to operate in the country secretly, mostly in the capital, Kyiv, directing much of the vast amounts of intelligence the United States is sharing with Ukrainian forces, according to current and former officials,” the report indicates.

It appears much the CIA’s work in Ukraine is centered on coordinating intelligence with local intel services and counterparts. “Few other details have emerged about what the C.I.A. personnel or the commandos are doing, but their presence in the country — on top of the diplomatic staff members who returned after Russia gave up its siege of Kyiv — hints at the scale of the secretive effort to assist Ukraine that is underway and the risks that Washington and its allies are taking,” NY Times continues. Over the weekend, Canada also has been reported to have special operations troops inside Ukraine. This was reported months ago, but with a separate NYT report offering further confirmation. “Both CTV and Global News reported in late January that Canadian special forces had been sent to Ukraine, but National Defence did not comment on that deployment,” Ottawa Citizen writes Sunday.

Read more …

“..the Government is right not to be concerned and has come to the conclusion that there is no need for restrictions.”

Covid’s Infection Fatality Rate Now Same as Seasonal Flu (DS)

Death rates from Covid are lower than ever, according to an analysis by Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr Jason Oke carried out for the Mail on Sunday. The IFR is now ~0.0333%, similar to seasonal influenza. “Experts say there is little need to fear a recent surge in cases as fewer than one in 3,000 infected people now dies from coronavirus – with the rate even lower for the vaccinated. The analysis of official data by Oxford University shows the ‘infection fatality rate’ has dropped about 30-fold since the pandemic began due to a combination of vaccine protection and naturally acquired infection.


Professor Carl Heneghan of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, who carried out the analysis with statistician Jason Oke, said: “There have been an astonishing number of Covid infections so far this year, but deaths have come down. “Now we are looking at an infection fatality rate for Covid of around one in 3,000 which is comparable with seasonal influenza. That’s why the Government is right not to be concerned and has come to the conclusion that there is no need for restrictions.”

Read more …

“..as the Left radicalized, and Taibbi stayed the same, the journalist found himself in a new space.”

Taibbi Talks Reaction To Him Reviewing ‘What Is A Woman’ (DW)

Old-school liberal investigative journalist Matt Taibbi told Ben Shapiro on this week’s episode of “Sunday Special” that he “lost friends” for merely reviewing Matt Walsh and The Daily Wire’s groundbreaking documentary, “What is a Woman?” Taibbi was a star writer at “Rolling Stone” magazine and beloved by the elite liberal media, but as the Left radicalized, and Taibbi stayed the same, the journalist found himself in a new space. Like, for example, sitting down for a lengthy conversation with one of the most prominent conservative figures in American politics — and seeing a lot of agreement. “The response was unbelievable, just for reviewing the movie — forget about what I said about it,” Taibbi told Shapiro about his review.

“I lost friends over that. There were people who I’ve known for decades who basically said I’m a transphobe and I’m … out of their loop.” Taibbi explained that he first noticed an unwillingness from the Left even to discuss the transgender issue before he chose to review The Daily Wire documentary. “With the trans issue, there would be some people who would talk to me, and then there would be some people who were furious that you even called, would refuse to have any kind of discussion, would call you a transphobe for even asking certain kinds of questions — and this is before you even have a point of view on the subject,” he said, recalling a time he tried to gather quotes for a story. “I thought that was odd.”

Taibbi noted that this was a rehash of what he witnessed as a journalist in 2016 when reporting on former President Donald Trump. He recalled including a quote from a pro-union lifelong Democrat who said he voted Republican for the first time, for Trump, because he felt lied to about the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. The pushback from the leftist media community told Taibbi he wasn’t allowed to report or say true things if they went against the greater narrative. Taibbi didn’t abide by the leftist media rules with Trump and didn’t with the trans issue, either. Though, he admitted, the trans issue pushback did give Taibbi a momentary pause. “I had kinda tried to stay away from the issue. It’s complicated, and I try to stay away from issues I don’t know a whole lot about,” he said.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 082022
 


Pablo Picasso Napping 1932

 

The Very Special Operation (Batiushka)
Biden Works to Prolong Ukraine War (Craig Murray)
The West and the Rest (Münchau)
‘I Don’t Blame Myself’: Merkel Defends Legacy On Russia And Ukraine (Pol.eu)
Studies Show Link Between Prion Brain Disease and Covid-19 Vaccine (GP)
This Is Why It Doesn’t Work (Denninger)
FBI Seizes Retired General’s Data Related To Qatar Lobbying (AP)
White House Refuses To Comment On Hunter Biden Pictures (Radar)
Nancy Pelosi’s Husband Bought $2.1M Worth Of Apple, Microsoft Shares (NYP)
Civil Liberties Are Being Trampled by Congress’s 1/6 Committee (Greenwald)
Peter Navarro: Jan. 6 Panel’s Tactics Designed to Stop Trump Before 2024 (NM)
Trafigura Warns Oil Prices Could Reach ‘Parabolic State’ In Threat To Economy (FT)
Is Our Time Together Running Out? (Stella Moris)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trump

 

 

“When evil comes disguised as progress, celebrated in ignorance as righteous, when truth triggers vitriol & disgust, as the good are slandered & silenced, and when the sick are hailed as heroes, while the natural state of things is ridiculed, then truly we are in dangerous times”

 

 

“Either Russia is victorious in this Very Special Operation or else we shall enter a Dark Age..”

The Very Special Operation (Batiushka)

A Russian Orthodox priest and cultural historian, who has lived in several Western and Eastern European countries, including Russia and the Ukraine, I cannot fail to feel great sorrow at the events unfolding today. But I also feel great hope. The process of barbarous injustice that began in 1914 and ended the Old Europe and has been through all manner of fateful dates, 1917, 1929, 1939, 1945, 1968, 1989, 1991, 2014, to name but a few, is now further unfurling and reaching a global crescendo. As Nikolai Patrushev has stated, the Special Operation is not just a military event, it is far, far more profound than that, this is military, political, economic and cultural. This is why it took so long, eight years, to carry out the necessary painstaking preparations for the Operation, in view of the high probability that the West would refuse to get off its high horse of hubris and negotiate like reasonable people do.

Since the West did refuse to negotiate, the battleground is for now the ultra-militarised Eastern Ukraine. However, the War is not between brother Ukrainians and brother Russians, but between Washington with its NATO/EU vassals and Moscow with its Donbass Allies. There is no doubt that Russia will win in the Ukraine, as it has complete air and naval superiority. The Russian-speaking East and South of the Ukraine, Novorossija, part of Russia until 1922, is being liberated by a smallish expeditionary force of the Russian Army together with local troops. However, the Operation was never planned to be a short one, most knew that it would take months and perhaps, on account of possible NATO meddling, a year or more.

The War is longer because the Kiev Army has been preparing for it for eight long years. It has been building trenches and fortifications, arming itself with a huge amount of NATO training and weaponry, which the Russian Armed Forces are being forced to destroy, together with Ukrainian Nazis, Western mercenaries and NATO instructors. From this conflict a new Ukraine will be born. Perhaps it will once more be called Malorossija or perhaps it will keep its ‘Borderlands’ name. In any case it will be a smallish country, with a population of perhaps some 15 million, centred on Kiev. Whatever its name, it will effectively be the Kievan Protectorate, part of the Union State with the Russian Federation, Belarus and probably others.

[..] Let us be honest. Either Russia is victorious in this Very Special Operation or else we shall enter a Dark Age, from which there will be no end because it will be an Orwellian One World Government. Such One World Dictatorship will brook no opposition, all who challenge it will be repressed. This is our last chance to resist and strike back against the aggression that began in 1914, aggression that was military, political, economic and cultural, a totalitarian aggression that leads to total death, the death of body and soul. But according to all the military reports, let alone the prophecies, Russia will be victorious.

Read more …

“..it is actually blocked in by Ukraine’s own mines, which they currently refuse to allow Turkey to remove.”

Biden Works to Prolong Ukraine War (Craig Murray)

I was in Turkey to try to further peace talks, as an experienced diplomat with good contacts there, and as a peace activist. I was not there as a journalist and much of what I discussed was with the understanding of confidence. It will be probably be some years before I judge it reasonable and fair to reveal all that I know. But I can give some outline. Turkey continues to be the centre of diplomatic activity on resolving the Ukraine war. It is therefore particularly revealing, and a sign of Western priorities, that I did not come across a single western journalist there trying to follow and cover the diplomatic process. There are hundreds of Western journalists in Ukraine, effectively embedded with the Ukrainian authorities, producing war porn. There appear to be none seriously covering attempts to make peace.

There was a sea change two weeks ago when Ukraine shifted to a public stance that it would cede no territory at all in a peace deal. On 21 May, Zelensky’s office stated that “The war must end with the complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.” Previously while they had been emphatic that no territory in “the East” would be ceded, there had been studied ambiguity about whether that referred to Donbass alone or also the Crimea. The new Ukrainian stance, that there will be no peace deal without recovering the Crimea, has ended for now any hopes of an early ceasefire. It appears to be a militarily unachievable objective – I cannot think of any scenario in which Russia de facto loses Crimea, without the serious possibility of worldwide nuclear war.

This blow to the peace process was a setback in Ankara, and I should say that every source I spoke with believed the Ukrainians were acting on instructions conveyed from Washington to Zelensky by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who openly stated he wanted the war to wear down Russian defence capabilities. A long war in Ukraine is of course massively in the interest of the US military industrial complex, whose dripping roasts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have gone rather off the heat. It also forwards the strategic objective of severely damaging the Russian economy, although much of that damage is mutual. Why we live in a world where the goal of nations is to damage the lives of inhabitants of other nations is a question which continues to puzzle me.

Turkey has for now turned towards the more limited goal of ensuring that grain supplies can be shipped out from the Black Sea through the Bosphorus. This is essential for developing nations and essential for world food supplies, which were already under pressure before this war began. Turkey is offering to clear sea lanes of mines and to police the ships carrying grain from the port of Odessa, which is still under Ukrainian control. Russia has agreed to the deal. Ukraine is objecting to this plan to export its own wheat, because it objects to the removal of the mines, which I should be clear were put down in the sea lanes by Ukraine to prevent amphibious attack on Odessa. There is monumental hypocrisy by the West on this, blaming Russia for preventing the export of the grain while it is actually blocked in by Ukraine’s own mines, which they currently refuse to allow Turkey to remove.

Read more …

“..did we think we can adequately address a global starvation crisis by pointing the finger at Putin?”

The West and the Rest (Münchau)

The pandemic and the war taught me something I sort of knew, but not really. It is a one thing to say that the world is interconnected, as a cliché. It is quite another to observe what actually happens on the ground when those connections get torn apart. The western sanctions were based on a formally correct but misleading premise, one that I believed myself at least up to a point: That Russia is more dependent on us than we are on Russia. Russia has more wheat than it can eat, and more oil than it can burn. Russia is a provider of primary and secondary commodities, on which the world has become dependent. Oil and gas are the biggest sources of Russian export revenues. But our dependency is most acute in other areas: food and also rare metals and rare earths.

Russia is not a monopolist in any of the categories. But when the largest exporters of those commodities disappears, the rest of the world experiences physical shortages and rising prices. Russia is the world largest exporter of gas, accounting for just under 20% of global exports. Russia is the largest exporter of oil, after Saudi Arabia, and accounts for 11% of world exports. It the largest exporter of fertilisers, and of wheat. Russia and Ukraine together account for almost a third of global wheat exports. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of palladium, a metal that is critical in the production of catalytic converters and fuel cells. Russia is also the largest world exporter of nickel, which is used in batteries, and in the production for hybrid cars. German industry is warning that it is reliant not only on Russian gas, but on other critical supplies from Russia.

Did we think this through? Did the foreign ministries that drew up the sanctions discuss at any point what we would do if Russia were to blockade the Black Sea and not allow Ukrainian wheat to leave the ports? Did we develop an agreed-upon response to Russian food blackmail? Or did we think we can adequately address a global starvation crisis by pointing the finger at Putin? The lockdown taught us a lot about our vulnerability to supply chain shocks. It has reminded Europeans that there have only two routes to ship goods en masse to Asia and back: either by container, or by rail through Russia. We had no plan for a pandemic, no plan for a war, and no plan for when both are happening at the same time. The containers are stuck in Shanghai. The railways closed because of the war.

Read more …

“..she said Ukraine “was not a democratically consolidated country” then, still strongly influenced by oligarchs and plagued by corruption..”

“Then”? But not now? What changed?

‘I Don’t Blame Myself’: Merkel Defends Legacy On Russia And Ukraine (Pol.eu)

Angela Merkel defended her diplomatic legacy as German chancellor Tuesday, rejecting accusations that her policies while leading Europe’s largest economy for 16 years were indirectly to blame for Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine. In her first public interview since leaving office in December, Merkel argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin would have fully invaded his neighboring country much earlier if she and other allies had not taken controversial decisions such as blocking Ukraine’s membership bid for the NATO military alliance in 2008, or negotiating the Minsk peace accords in 2014 and 2015, which Ukraine viewed as disadvantageous for its own security. “I don’t blame myself,” Merkel told an audience at the fully sold-out Berliner Ensemble theater in the German capital.

“I have tried to work in the direction of preventing mischief. And if diplomacy doesn’t succeed, this doesn’t mean that it was therefore wrong. Thus I don’t see why I should say: ‘That was wrong.’ And therefore I won’t apologize.” However, Merkel — who condemned Putin’s invasion as “a brutal assault in defiance of international law for which there is no excuse whatsoever” — also showed some cautious self-criticism: She said she had failed during her tenure “to create a security architecture that could have prevented this [war] from happening.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in April called out Merkel and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, arguing their longstanding policy of “concessions to Russia” and opposition to putting Ukraine and Georgia on a path toward NATO membership had encouraged Moscow to think “they are allowed to do anything they want” with Ukraine and commit “even the most horrific war crimes” such as in Bucha.

Yet Merkel on Tuesday defended her decision not to grant Ukraine the so-called NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the alliance’s Bucharest summit in 2008, citing two reasons: First, she said Ukraine “was not a democratically consolidated country” then, still strongly influenced by oligarchs and plagued by corruption. Second, Merkel said she was convinced taking such a step would have certainly led to war. “I was very sure that Putin would not just let [Ukraine’s NATO membership] happen. That would have been … a declaration of war for him,” she said, arguing that the Russian leader would have used the NATO accession process, during which Ukraine probably would not have yet benefitted from the alliance’s mutual security guarantees, to “do something.”

Read more …

It’s getting very scary.

Studies Show Link Between Prion Brain Disease and Covid-19 Vaccine (GP)

Two new clinical studies – one peer-reviewed by researchers in Turkey, and one pre-print by researchers in France – have begun to establish an alarming link between an incurable, degenerative brain disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and the experimental Covid-19 vaccine. CJD is a “rare” disease that is caused by abnormal infectious proteins in the brain called “prions,” according to NHS. Although the presence of prions is not necessarily dangerous or deadly, the proteins will cause degenerative brain damage if they become diseased or misfolded. Once this process begins, the malfunctioning prions will continue to corrupt other cells, leading to a prognosis that is always fatal.

As of right now, CJD is uncurable. There are zero treatment options available. The diagnosis is essentially a death sentence, but symptoms are traditionally dormant for several years before manifesting into a deadly complication. Unfortunately, with the new cases of CJD that have been linked to the vaccine, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The disease is progressing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. So much so that the team of French researchers highlighted their concerns of the experimental mRNA vaccines contributing directly to creating a new, more aggressive type of CJD. According to the French study, a total of 26 cases of vaccine-linked CJD were included in the research.

At the time of the study’s publication, a whopping 20 out of the 26 CJD patients had already passed away from the disease. Additionally, researchers found that there were “more than 50 cases” of the fatal disease that appeared after taking the experimental vaccines. Despite traditionally taking as much as a decade to manifest with symptoms, the study found symptoms in these new cases began appearing just 11.38 days post-vaccination. In these cases, the disease is killing the affected individuals in under 5 months’ time (4.76 months).

Read more …

Everything “green” is falling apart.

This Is Why It Doesn’t Work (Denninger)

Folks, right here: “To meet the nation’s clean energy goals, the US must develop a robust manufacturing capability to produce solar energy panels and components. It can do that by providing financial incentives to US manufacturers to help offset higher domestic production costs, which have been estimated to be 30% to 40% more than imports.” That is the problem. Congress handing out money will not solve it; forcing Americans to pay that 30-40% more simply bankrupts Americans but through a different way. There are many things we can do but they don’t make any sense to do. The only reason someone does it is that there’s a boot on someone’s neck (they’re a slave), the environment is destroyed without care (remediation costs money) and similar.


That’s the beginning and end of it, when you get down to facts. This is not just limited to solar panels. Its also true for EVs; you have to dig half a million pounds of earth up to make just one battery, and there is no economically viable means of recycling them either. Yes, technically they can be recycled, but then you get to pay even more. If the industry will collapse if the 30-40% has to be paid by the end consumer of the product then whatever you’re proposing does not work. Why would you pay 30 cents/kwh for power you can have for 10? Do you understand that this is exactly what we’re talking about here? At 30-40% more the panels are non-economic to put in and use; they’re simply not competitive. At 300% more than what you pay now for electric power you can’t heat or cool your house and eat at the same time.

Read more …

Craziest story of the day?! The head of the Brookings Institution.

FBI Seizes Retired General’s Data Related To Qatar Lobbying (AP)

The FBI has seized the electronic data of a retired four-star general who authorities say made false statements and withheld “incriminating” documents about his role in an illegal foreign lobbying campaign on behalf of the wealthy Persian Gulf nation of Qatar. New federal court filings obtained Tuesday outlined a potential criminal case against former Marine Gen. John R. Allen, who led U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan before being tapped in 2017 to lead the influential Brookings Institution think tank. It’s part of an expanding investigation that has ensnared Richard G. Olson, a former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan who pleaded guilty to federal charges last week, and Imaad Zuberi, a prolific political donor now serving a 12-year prison sentence on corruption charges.


Several members of Congress have been interviewed as part of the investigation. The court filings detail Allen’s behind-the scenes efforts to help Qatar influence U.S. policy in 2017 when a diplomatic crisis erupted between the gas-rich Persian Gulf monarchy and its neighbors. “There is substantial evidence that these FARA violations were willful,” FBI agent Babak Adib wrote in a search warrant application, referring to the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Allen also misrepresented his role in the lobbying campaign to U.S. officials, Adib wrote, and failed to disclose “that he was simultaneously pursuing multimillion-dollar business deals with the government of Qatar.” The FBI says Allen gave a “false version of events” about his work for Qatar during a 2020 interview with law enforcement officials and failed to produce relevant email messages in response to an earlier grand jury subpoena.

Read more …

Just keep publishing them. Hunter will have to resurface at some point.

White House Refuses To Comment On Hunter Biden Pictures (Radar)

White House officials and representatives of Hunter Biden remained mum in the wake of Radar Online reports showing President Joe Biden’s son naked with an illegally obtained gun. Officials from the White House, Hunter’s criminal attorney Christopher Clark and Hunter’s lover, Hallie Biden, all ignored requests to comment after the Radar report. Hours after being asked, all three had yet to respond about the pictures or possible legal charges in the case. A White House press office representative told Radar to email its request for comment, but that email has gone unanswered. On Monday, Radar published a series of stories about new photos. The images showed a naked Hunter Biden in October 2018. They also showed him holding a gun, including his finger on the trigger.

The gun was illegally obtained as Hunter lied on an application about his past drug use. His substance abuse addiction has long been documented and he has spoken about it, but he put “no” on a form when asked if he had an issue. The photos also showed apparent drug use and a prostitute as Hunter Biden engages in sex games. Making a false statement on a federal criminal background check, known as ATF Form 4473, is a violation of federal law under Section 922(a)(6) of the U.S. criminal code. It also could violate Section 922(g)(3), which prohibits a drug user from possessing a firearm with ammunition. Hunter was discharged from the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2014 after he tested positive for cocaine.

Eleven days after Hunter illegally purchased the weapon, his lover Hallie, the widow of his late brother Beau Biden, threw the gun into a supermarket garbage can, triggering a Secret Service, FBI, and Delaware State Police investigation. The photos are the latest in a string of wild behavior for the President’s son, including questions on his business dealings. His current partner, Hallie, is the widow of Hunter’s brother Beau, who died years ago. The newest gun pictures also come at a time when the White House is calling for new gun control measures after a series of mass shootings across the country.

Read more …

Infallible stock tip. Your chance to do some insider trading.

Nancy Pelosi’s Husband Bought $2.1M Worth Of Apple, Microsoft Shares (NYP)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband bought up to $1.5 million worth of Apple stock as well as up to $600,000 in Microsoft shares, according to recent financial disclosures submitted by the powerful Democratic lawmaker. The periodic transaction report, which was posted on the House of Representatives’ website, indicates that Paul Pelosi bought Apple call options between $500,001 and $1 million on May 13. Eleven days later, the venture capitalist bought additional Apple call options worth an amount between $250,001 and $500,000, according to the disclosure forms. That same day, Paul Pelosi also purchased Microsoft call options worth as much as $600,000.


A call option, or “call,” is a financial contract that gives the option buyer the right to purchase the stock at a certain price. In December, Nancy Pelosi, 82, revealed in filings that she and her husband made as much as $30 million in stock trades involving Big Tech firms. The financial windfall spurred lawmakers from both parties to push forward legislation that would ban members of Congress from trading in stocks. The latest disclosures come just days after it was learned that Paul Pelosi, 82, crashed a new Porsche just five miles from their multimillion-dollar Napa home and vineyard while allegedly under the influence of alcohol. Nancy Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, has been accused of profiting off companies which she is responsible for regulating.

Read more …

The circus starts tomorrow.

Civil Liberties Are Being Trampled by Congress’s 1/6 Committee (Greenwald)

[..] ever since the pro-Trump crowd was dispersed at the Capitol after a few hours of protests and riots, the same repressive climate that arose after 9/11 has prevailed. Mainstream political and media sectors instantly consecrated the narrative, fully endorsed by the U.S. security state, that the United States was attacked on 1/6 by domestic terrorists bent on insurrection and a coup. They also claimed in unison that the ideology driving those right-wing domestic terrorists now poses the single most dangerous threat to the American homeland, a claim which the intelligence community was making even before 1/6 to argue for a new War on Terror (just as neocons wanted to invade and engineer regime change in Iraq prior to 9/11 and then exploited 9/11 to achieve that long-held goal).

With those extremist and alarming premises fully implanted, there has been little tolerance for questions about whether proposed responses for dealing with the 1/6 “domestic terrorists” and their incomparably dangerous ideology are excessive, illegal, unethical, or unconstitutional. Even before Joe Biden was inaugurated, his senior advisers made clear that one of their top priorities was to enact a bill from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) — now a member of the Select Committee on 1/6 — to import the first War on Terror onto domestic soil. Even without enactment of a new law, there is no doubt that a second War on Terror, this one domestic, has begun and is growing, all in the name of the 1/6 “Insurrection” and with little dissent or even public debate.

Following the post-9/11 script, anyone voicing such concerns about responses to 1/6 is reflexively accused of minimizing the gravity of the Capitol riot and, worse, of harboring sympathy for the plotters and their insurrectionary cause. Questions or doubts about the proportionality or legality of government actions in the name of 1/6 are depicted as insincere, proof that those voicing such doubts are acting not in defense of constitutional or legal principles but out of clandestine camaraderie with the right-wing domestic terrorists and their evil cause.

When it comes to 1/6 and those who were at the Capitol, there is no middle ground. That playbook is not new. “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” was the rigidly binary choice which President George W. Bush presented to Americans and the world when addressing Congress shortly after the 9/11 attack. With that framework in place, anything short of unquestioning support for the Bush/Cheney administration and all of its policies was, by definition, tantamount to providing aid and comfort to the terrorists and their allies. There was no middle ground, no third option, no such thing as ambivalence or reluctance: all of that uncertainty or doubt, insisted the new war president, was to be understood as standing with the terrorists.

Read more …

“..no senior White House official has ever been put in leg irons for a contempt-of-Congress charge.”

Peter Navarro: Jan. 6 Panel’s Tactics Designed to Stop Trump Before 2024 (NM)

Peter Navarro, former trade adviser to former President Donald Trump, had some choice words for the federal government Tuesday on Newsmax in terms of its conduct with his arrest from last week and subsequent indictment on contempt-of-Congress charges, after defying a subpoena from the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. On “Eric Bolling The Balance,” Navarro characterized last week’s arrest and indictment experience as “beyond appalling,” before sharing a daily timeline of pre-arrest events with host Eric Bolling: On Tuesday of last week, Navarro said, he filed a lawsuit against the Jan. 6 House panel, which he called a “kangaroo committee.”

The rationale for the lawsuit: Navarro says the committee’s “illegal and unenforceable subpoenas” should never carry more weight than a senior White House official’s right of executive privilege. Also, Navarro bluntly says the Jan. 6 committee’s primary purpose isn’t to investigate the events leading up to the Capitol attack. Instead, their “No. 1 job is to stop Trump from running” for president in 2024. On Wednesday, Navarro says he penned a letter to the Jan. 6 panel’s deputy attorney, explaining that his executive-privilege rights would preclude him from speaking formally to the “witch hunt” committee. Later in the day, Navarro called the same FBI agent who visited his home the previous week, and said he’d be willing to surrender under “peaceful” circumstances.

Fast-forward to Friday morning: The feds apparently allowed Navarro to eat breakfast and pack for a quick domestic plane trip before making a “showy” arrest at the airport — with five FBI officials apparently taking Navarro down in public. After the arrest, Navarro said, federal officials didn’t let him make a phone call. Law enforcement officials also put Navarro in leg irons, strip-searched him, and provided no food or water, he said. Navarro’s perspective: This was akin to being in “solitary confinement.” In American history, Navarro said, “no senior White House official has ever been put in leg irons for a contempt-of-Congress charge.” He then added: “I remember thinking, while being held up in the cell, ‘This feels like Stalin’s Russia.'”

Read more …

We’re not done.

Trafigura Warns Oil Prices Could Reach ‘Parabolic State’ In Threat To Economy (FT)

The head of Trafigura has warned that the oil market could reach a “parabolic state” this year with prices surging to record highs and triggering a slowdown in economic growth. Jeremy Weir, chief executive of the commodity trader, said that energy markets were in a “critical” state as sanctions on Russia’s oil exports following its invasion of Ukraine had exacerbated already tight supplies created by years of under-investment. “We have got a critical situation,” Weir told the FT Global Boardroom conference on Tuesday. “I really think we have a problem for the next six months…once it gets to these parabolic states, markets can move and they can spike quite a lot.” A parabolic move in markets is generally defined as when a price that has been rising suddenly surges to hitherto unseen levels, mimicking the right side of a parabolic curve.

Weir added it was highly probable that oil prices could rise to $150 a barrel or higher in the coming months, with supply chains strained as Russia tries to redirect its oil exports away from Europe. Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, which is trading near $120 a barrel, hit an all-time peak of $147 on the eve of the financial crisis in 2008. The Trafigura executive was the latest to warn that the economy has not yet seen the worst of the energy crisis, with little way of lowering prices as already-squeezed global supplies are likely to get scarcer if Russian production falls further. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief executive, warned last week that prices could reach $150 or $175 a barrel this year. Analysts at Goldman Sachs are forecasting oil could average more than $140 a barrel in the third quarter, when the US summer driving season is at its peak.

Weir said the rising price of other commodities, including metals such as copper and lithium, was also likely to weigh on global economic growth and could ultimately trigger a slowdown to curb demand. “If we see very high energy prices for a period of time we will eventually see demand destruction,” he said. “It will be problematic to sustain these levels and continue global growth.” Russian oil production had already declined by as much as 1.3mn barrels a day — or more than 1 per cent of global demand — with the country’s output of refined products of diesel and gasoline also falling by a similar amount, Weir said.

Read more …

Moving. I don’t think we can afford to lose Julian Assange. Because we will lose ourselves.

Is Our Time Together Running Out? (Stella Moris)

When Julian is taken from his cell to the prison yard he tilts his head up so his eyes can focus on the distance. If he narrows his eyes, the double razor wire above becomes a blur. Beyond is the open sky. Julian recently discovered a family of nesting magpies. He spotted their home subversively nestled between the razor wire. I think our family is like those magpies. When we are together, we are always a few metres from their nest. Our children — Gabriel, who is five, and Max, three — only have memories of their father within the brutal surroundings of Belmarsh prison. We don’t know how long our children have left with their father. We don’t know if we can visit him or even talk to him on the phone. If the extradition goes ahead, US authorities retain the right to put Julian in conditions so cruel that no one in his position is likely to survive.

It is impossible for Julian and me to escape a feeling that he is on death row. Our weekly visits may be the only time we have left together. But for how much longer? A few months more, a few weeks, a few days and then only a few hours? I fear in the end we will count the minutes and the seconds. Were it not for our children, this approaching catastrophe would be all-consuming. But Julian and I know these may be the only memories that our children will have of their father. We make our visits as joyous as possible. I don’t need to explain to Gabriel and Max the reality of this place where we go to visit their father. They live it. The children walk under razor wire and past layers and layers of security to reach their daddy.

Guards search inside their mouths, behind their ears and under their feet. The prison dogs sniff them head to toe, front and back. Last week, Gabriel slipped some daisies he had picked by the prison walls into his pocket to give to his father. After he passed through the metal detector his daisies were confiscated during the pat-down search by one of the guards, albeit reluctantly. During visits, our family is allowed to embrace at the beginning and end. We can hold each others’ hands across the table. Julian and I are not allowed to kiss. But Julian would rather kiss his wife and be penalised than have that taken away from him too. So, we kiss.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Webb

 

 

 

 

Norm McDonald

 

 


Secretary bird

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mar 162022
 
 March 16, 2022  Posted by at 5:45 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


John Atkinson Grimshaw A moonlit lane 1874

 

 

It’s almost slapstick that people call for Putin to be hauled before some international court for war crimes, but it’s true; they do. It tells you what you need to know about your media, and then some. Because, whether you know it or not, the last 4-5 America presidents have been responsible for the deaths of millions of people in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan etc etc. Just not in Ukraine. Wait, that’s probably not true either. The estimated 15,000 deaths in the Donbass over the past 8 years would likely never have happened without some US help.

And we just see it all as par for the course. The “peace” negotiations between Ukraine and Russia look hopeful, but are they? Russia has always been very clear in what it wants from Ukraine, and that goes back way longer than the start of the “special military operation” 3 weeks ago, or Maidan in 2014. It goes back at least to the fall of the Berlin wall, but it’s really much earlier than that. How about 1945, and then throw in Brzezinski, and Wolfowitz, and Kissinger, and why not Mackinder as well?

But don’t let’s make it a book. To simplify, stop at 1991, when Yeltsin became president of Russia, with an alleged 1000 CIA operatives in his Kremlin tow. The Americans thought they had it made. That the deal with Gorbachev, in which he OK’d German reunification on the condition that NATO boundaries would stop right there, no longer mattered. But in 2000 Yeltsin made Putin his successor. I like the notion that the west promoted Putin because they thought he would do exactly what they wanted. But I also like the more romantic version that Yeltsin installed Putin because he felt remorse over selling out his country, and thought Putin might correct that. Fast forward to the “peace” negotiations. What Russia wants is crystal clear. As Robert Barnes put it:

What we see today is they are discussing “neutrality”. But that can still mean different things. Apparently, Russia has suggested a Sweden or Austria status, but Ukraine doesn’t find that safe enough. The idea becomes that if you are truly neutral, why would you need an army? The world’s most neutral country ever, Switzerland still has “something”, as Swissinfo says: “The Swiss Army largely is a non-career militia. Switzerland has compulsory military service for male citizens, though this and indeed the role of the army altogether have recently been called into question.”

That seems close to what Russia would seek for Ukraine. But why can’t Ukraine decide its status for itself? Well, 1/ it was part of Russia for a very long time, 2/ a lot of Russians live in the country, 3/ Russia doesn’t want NATO on its welcoming mat, 4/ it has allowed US/NATO to use its territory for activities that Russia sees as threatening to itself. Like 30 biolabs. That sort of thing. Oh, and 5/ they share a border.

Both sides said today that the talks appear to go well, there’s room for compromise, and Zelensky said yesterday that Ukraine won’t join NATO. And then today he asks the US Congress (both chambers) for more guns and bombs and planes and also a no-fly-zone, though he knows, and everybody knows, that it would be an all-out war declaration, reaching far beyond the borders of Ukraine. And gets cheered for it. But how does he -and they- think that went down in Russia? How is that supposed to solve the problem, and to end the military operation? “We need your help to start WWII!”. This is Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined! Applause, applause!

In that speech, he was also addressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of whom we had a clip earlier today, that really should also make you wonder: how do the Russians see this, or the Chinese? We have tons of clips from Joe Biden exhibiting very strange behavior, for everyone to see, and now this from the 2nd most powerful person in Washington?! At a moment in time when one -even mistaken- push of a button could unleash hell on earth, are you sure a couple of feeble octogenarians are the best people for the job?

 

 

Seriously, I know that Americans see this as normal behavior, but you should really ask yourself how the rest of the world sees it. How is Nancy Pelosi’s performance in that clip not something that would scare the heebees out of you, if you’re in Beijing or Moscow, or any capital city for that matter? To put a dark view on it: why would she care about the future? It’s not hers…

Zelensky is hailed as a hero, because he’s an easy on the eye person that’s ideal for the part, But that is the problem: Zelensky is an actor who plays a hero. What the situation needs is not Zelensky or Pelosi or god forbid Joe Biden (he’s flying to Europe next week). Or, you know, Jake Sullivan or Victoria Nuland.

What it needs is people like Lavrov, maybe Jimmy Carter, statesmen, there must be some sane people left in the US. We need people who genuinely seek peace, not trigger happy neocons and warmongers, on either side, on whatever side.

I think neutrality is possible, even if the Americans won’t like it and Zelensky is their puppet, simply because it’s by far the best, and quite likely the only solution. No Nukes is easy; that was never an option. So is No NATO, as Zelensky himself has already conceded. The crux may be No Nazis. Because Russia will want to make sure of that, before they even think of leaving. Theoretically, Ukraine can maintain an army (of sorts), but that would still be likely to have Azov et al elements.

The only acceptable way -to Moscow- would then be to install a court and drag all the “nazis” in front of it. But that would take a very long time, and the Russians would have to stay in the country for the duration. I wonder how they think that Gordian knot can be cut.

As for the news about Russian soldiers firing at people waiting in line for bread, or shooting at a convoy of people fleeing a city, or bombing a theater where 100s of people were sheltering, look we only get western news. And Russians are doing propaganda too, no doubt, but we can’t see that anymore after their news channels were banned over here. Don’t believe a word you hear or see, without solid proof. Indiscriminate targeting of civilians and children does not appear to be their MO. They could have flattened the entire country in just 3 days if it was.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Oct 012021
 
 October 1, 2021  Posted by at 8:26 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  69 Responses »


M. C. Escher Development II 1939

 

Boosters Aren’t Effective Because They Target Viruses Previous Identity (DCP)
The Impact Of Covid Vaccination On Alpha And Delta Variant Transmission (Mxiv)
It’s A MYSTERY! -The Hell It Is (Denninger)
Berejiklian Resigns As New South Wales Premier (Sky)
NSW Threatens Jail Time For Unvaccinated Who Try to Enter Businesses (SN)
Los Angeles Moves Toward Barring The Unvaccinated From Most Businesses (R.)
Majority Of Americans Think Those Refusing Vaccine Should Not Lose Job (JTN)
‘Build Back Better’ Act Proposes To Increase Unvaxx Fines Ten Fold (SN)
Progressive Democrats Derail Pelosi’s Planned Vote On Infrastructure Bill (JTN)
Durham Issues Fresh Round Of Subpoenas (CNN)
The News is America’s New Religion (Taibbi)
Julian Assange Supporters Write To Scott Morrison Over Reported CIA Plot (Abc.au)

 

 

Rand Paul
https://twitter.com/i/status/1443677734383898631

 

 

 

 

Land of the free

 

 

“..Iceland, where 77% are vaccinated but cases are now 677 per-cent higher than a year ago. Norway is 66% vaccinated and cases are up 1.067 per-cent.”

Boosters Aren’t Effective Because They Target Viruses Previous Identity (DCP)

Dr. Ryan Cole, a pathologist and a Mayo Clinic-trained medical expert said the so-called “vaccines” against COVID-19 aren’t really effective because they are made to address the virus as it previously was, not as it is now. “It’s because the coronavirus mutates,” Dr. Cole said when he was interviewed on the Steve Deace Blaze TV show online. Dr. Cole has dealt with thousands of COVID cases in recent months. Deace posed questions about the extremely inconsistent results from around the globe. For example, in Israel, 80% of adults are vaccinated, yet year-to-year cases are up 130% and deaths are up 56%. And in Iceland, where 77% are vaccinated but cases are now 677 per-cent higher than a year ago. Norway is 66% vaccinated and cases are up 1.067 per-cent. But in Malta, cases are down 10% from a year ago.

Cole explained that the inconsistencies and randomness come because the vaccine really isn’t a vaccine; it’s more of a “therapy.” Dr. Cole added, “A true vaccine would allow one to be immune. We’re not seeing that.” “What would be good is to implement are the drugs that shall not be named, as prevention protocols,” Cole explained. Deace then commented, “The government and its media allies have for more than a year now tried to suppress access to and information about products like Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine which have been shown to reduce the impact COVID-19. Dr. Cole responded, “With the existing programs to withhold treatments for COVID, and push ‘vaccines,’ both the vaccinated and unvaccinated get sick.” “Early treatments save lives in both of those groups,” he added.

Dr. Cole further explained, “The viral mutations, however, prevent any developed vaccine from being fully effective, because it was made to address a previous rendition of the bug.” “What we have done is obviously made a shot that was partially effective, but these boosters are the wrong protection for the wrong virus,” Cole added.

Read more …

3 months. 12 weeks. Until your next shot.

The Impact Of Covid Vaccination On Alpha And Delta Variant Transmission (Mxiv)

Background Pre-Delta, vaccination reduced transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from individuals infected despite vaccination, potentially via reducing viral loads. While vaccination still lowers the risk of infection, similar viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals infected with Delta question how much vaccination prevents onward transmission.

Methods We performed a retrospective observational cohort study of contacts of SARS-CoV-2-infected index cases using contact testing data from England. We used multivariable logistic regression to investigate the impact of index case and contact vaccination on transmission, and how this varies with Alpha and Delta variants (classified using S-gene detection/calendar trends) and time since second vaccination. Results 51,798/139,164(37.2%) contacts tested were PCR-positive. Two doses of BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 vaccines in Alpha variant index cases independently reduced PCR-positivity in contacts (aOR, adjusted odds ratio vs. unvaccinated=0.18[95%CI 0.12-0.29] and 0.37[0.22-0.63] respectively).

The Delta variant attenuated vaccine-associated reductions in transmission: two BNT162b2 doses reduced Delta transmission (aOR=0.35[0.26-0.48]), more than ChAdOx1 (aOR=0.64[0.57-0.72]; heterogeneity p<0.001). Variation in viral load (Ct values) explained only a modest proportion of vaccine-associated transmission reductions. Transmission reductions declined over time since second vaccination, for Delta reaching similar levels to unvaccinated individuals by 12 weeks for ChAdOx1 and attenuating substantially for BNT162b2. Protection from vaccination in contacts also declined in the 3 months after second vaccination.

Conclusions Vaccination reduces transmission of Delta, but by less than the Alpha variant. The impact of vaccination decreased over time. Factors other than PCR-measured viral load are important in vaccine-associated transmission reductions. Booster vaccinations may help control transmission together with preventing infections.

Read more …

“Clotshot indeed.”

It’s A MYSTERY! -The Hell It Is (Denninger)

“During the summer there was a 25 per cent rise in the number of people rushed to the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank with partially blocked arteries cutting blood supply to the heart.”

C’mon jackasses — a 25% increase in one year? You know good and damn well that’s not environmental nor is it due to people’s lifestyles. Yes, lifestyle causes this in many cases but it takes decades to get you due to your lifestyle, not months or a year. What did we change in the subject population less than a year ago, and since this is now happening what leads you to believe it is a one-off?

Oh, this is largely in older people too. Which is exactly who the US Government, anyway, would like to see take the dirt nap since that cuts down Medicare expenses and, to the extent they wind up in nursing homes later, Medicaid expenses too if they have no money. Congratulations on increasing your odds of pulling the short straw — by a lot. Oh, and how many people have an occlusive heart attack at 42? Not many. This guy did — here in the US. DVT, heart attack and a PE at 42? Uh huh. You’re damned lucky you’re not dead and you and I both know damned well why it happened too. Clotshot indeed.

Read more …

Some things you can’t make up. Gladys Berejiklian is possibly the worst face of all lockdowns. She resigns because of a corruption investigation. What corruption? I kid you not: She’s been accused of taking tens of millions from Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

Berejiklian Resigns As New South Wales Premier (Sky)

Gladys Berejiklian has resigned as premier of New South Wales after it was revealed she is under investigation from ICAC. She will also step down as the member for Willoughby, which will trigger a by-election. “I have made it clear on numerous occasions that if any of my ministers were the subject of allegations being investigated by an integrity agency or law enforcement, then he or she should stand aside during the course of the investigation until their name was cleared,” Ms Berejiklian said. “The reason for my stance was not to have made any presumptions, as to their conduct, but rather to maintain the integrity of the public office which has held, which that person is held whilst an investigation was completed.


“That same standard must always apply to me also as the premier, however standing aside is not an option for me as the premier of New South Wales as the people of this state need certainty as to who the leader is during the challenging times of the pandemic. “I cannot predict how long it will take the ICAC to complete this investigation, let alone deliver a report in circumstances where I was first called to give evidence in a public hearing nearly 12 months ago. “Therefore, it pains me to announce that I have no option but to resign from the Office of Premier, my resignation will take effect as soon as the New South Wales Liberal Party can elect a new parliamentary leader in order to allow the new leader and government, a fresh start.”

Clive Palmer

Read more …

Yeah, same state, same woman.

NSW Threatens Jail Time For Unvaccinated Who Try to Enter Businesses (SN)

Authorities in New South Wales are threatening to jail Australians who don’t show a COVID-19 vaccination pass when they enter businesses. Yes, really. NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello threatened people who he described as “fraudsters” with arrest if they try to enter premises with “fake vaccine passports” “If people want to do the wrong thing, if they get found out, as I said, it could be jail time there,” said Dominello. According to the report, people who also try to enter without showing anything will also be subject to arrest.


“Mr Dominello reiterated that those who refuse to show their vaccine status when entering shops, restaurants and other venues should be reported to the police,” reports News.com.au. Enforcing such a system may be problematic however, as the Police Commissioner of New South Wales recently asserted that his officers wouldn’t be checking medical papers. “The role of police in terms of vaccine passports, we will not be walking through restaurants, cafes and pubs checking if people are double vaccinated,” said Mick Fuller. We now face a two tier society where the unvaccinated are not only brazenly discriminated against, but actually thrown in prison if they try to engage in basic commerce or lifestyle activities.

Read more …

People are planning to leave LA in droves. Businesses will follow.

Los Angeles Moves Toward Barring The Unvaccinated From Most Businesses (R.)

Los Angeles officials on Wednesday signaled they would vote next week to prohibit unvaccinated people from entering most businesses in the United States’ second-largest city, one of the nation’s most severe crackdowns so far of the COVID-19 pandemic. All but one of the City Council members present on Wednesday said they supported the proposed “emergency” ordinance, which would require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, shopping centers, gyms and other indoor spaces. “I am sick and tired of yahoos going into Trader Joe’s (grocery store) refusing to wear a mask,” City Council member Paul Kerkorian said in angry remarks. “I am fed up with people who want to make this into such a politicized issue they have lost all semblance of civility in our society.”


If the proposal is approved next week, as expected, Los Angeles would join San Francisco and New York among major U.S. cities requiring proof of vaccination for indoor businesses. The new rule would take effect in November. Political leaders across the United States, led by Democratic President Joe Biden, have ratcheted up pressure on the unvaccinated in recent weeks. Laws requiring proof of vaccinations are deeply controversial in the United States, with many Americans criticizing them as unconstitutional and authoritarian. A majority of the Los Angeles City Council was prepared to vote in favor of the proof-of-vaccine measure on Wednesday. They were frustrated in that effort by council member Joe Buscaino, who, by withholding his vote, stood in the way of a so-called “unanimous consent.” Buscaino said the vaccine mandate could not be enforced, citing a report by the city’s Department of Building and Safety that it was not equipped to take on such a law enforcement role.

Read more …

Impossible to even imagine a year ago, But here we are.

“..83.5% of Republican voters don’t want the unvaccinated to lose their jobs while 47.9% of Democrats feel the same way..”

Majority Of Americans Think Those Refusing Vaccine Should Not Lose Job (JTN)

New polling on President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate shows the majority of Americans do not think unvaccinated workers should lose their jobs. Convention of States Action released the poll Wednesday, which reports that 65% of surveyed voters “do not believe Americans should lose their jobs if they object to taking the COVID-19 vaccine.” The poll also found 22.2% believe those who refuse the mandate should lose their job, while 12.8% aren’t sure. The data comes as health care workers around the country have lost their jobs for refusing the vaccine, causing staffing problems in some hospitals. Under Biden’s rule, millions of more workers could be in the same position.

Feelings on the mandate differed significantly based on political affiliation. According to the poll, “63.6% of Independent voters do not believe Americans should lose their jobs if they object to taking the COVID-19 vaccine, while 15.5% believe they should, and 20.9% aren’t sure.” Those independents tend to be key swing voters targeted by both parties in election years. The poll found 83.5% of Republican voters don’t want the unvaccinated to lose their jobs while 47.9% of Democrats feel the same way. The mandate in question requires all federal employees and government contractors to be vaccinated. It also requires all businesses with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or test them weekly, among other new rules and guidelines released by the Biden administration earlier this month.

“This plan will ensure that we are using every available tool to combat COVID-19 and save even more lives in the months ahead, while also keeping schools open and safe, and protecting our economy from lockdowns and damage,” the White House said when announcing the mandate. Convention of States Action partnered with The Trafalgar Group to conduct the survey Sept. 17th through Sept. 19th. They queried 1,000 likely 2022 election voters. Biden already faces lawsuits over the requirement, and more than two dozen Republican governors have made clear their opposition to the vaccine mandate. The legal challenges and nationwide split on the federal order have set up a likely legal showdown that could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A different poll from the same group released earlier this month found that Americans support the Republican governors who oppose the mandate. The poll reported that 58.6% of those surveyed “do not believe President Biden has the constitutional authority to force private businesses to require vaccine mandates for employees.”

Read more …

“..any business that refuses to mandate COVID vaccination will face financial ruin…”

‘Build Back Better’ Act Proposes To Increase Unvaxx Fines Ten Fold (SN)

Joe Biden’s so called “Build Back Better’ Act has included COVID as an occupational hazard, and proposes to increase fines for non-compliant companies by TEN TIMES, meaning they could face punishments of $700,000 per violation for employees who are not vaccinated. The Daily Mail reports that fines for “willful and repeated violation” of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) will increase from $70,000 for each violation to $700,000 under the $3.5 trillion spending legislation. The report also notes that serious violations will go up from $7,000 to $70,000, while repeated violations will mean fines of no less than $50,000 per violation, increased from $5,000.


Any business that does not address and correct the violation within an allocated time period will then be fined $70,000 PER DAY, up from $7,000. In other words, any business that refuses to mandate COVID vaccination will face financial ruin. Biden has decreed that any company with over 100 employees will be subjected to the mandate. As we have previously noted, around half of Americans are opposed to the mandate, with almost 60 per cent saying they do not believe Biden has the constitutional authority to enforce vaccine mandates. Biden’s commerce Secretary has claimed that ‘no one is being forced’ to take the vaccines, and that “There’s always been a choice” for workers to stay at home.

Read more …

Tastes like a game.

Progressive Democrats Derail Pelosi’s Planned Vote On Infrastructure Bill (JTN)

Progressive Democrats derailed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned vote on the Biden-backed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Thursday. Moderate House Democrats had pushed for a vote on the bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill as opposed to waiting for the completion of the Democrats’ final filibuster-proof budget reconciliation bill. To pass the framework in August for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, Pelosi negotiated with moderate Democrats and had agreed to hold a vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill by Sept. 27. As of Thursday morning, Pelosi was not backing down from holding a vote on that bill, but House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said later in the day that he was not confident the bill would pass alone.

Meanwhile, on the Senate side, West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin reiterated he would not vote for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation proposal and tartly rejected its level of spending on new public benefit programs as “fiscal insanity.” Manchin indicated that he would support some of the tax reform items in the bill. Ahead of the scheduled House vote on the infrastructure bill, many progressives had said they were ready to vote against it if a final $3.5 trillion filibuster-proof budget reconciliation bill wasn’t voted on first. House Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal said recently that progressives had enough votes to sink the infrastructure bill. This scenario played out on Thursday evening when the vote was delayed, prompting Pelosi to send out a “Dear Colleague” letter indicating that she was pressing the pause button on the infrastructure bill vote.

“It has been a day of progress in fulfilling the President’s vision to Build Back Better,” Pelosi wrote. “Thanks to so many members and staff, the work is being done. Discussions continue with the House, Senate and White House to reach a bicameral framework agreement to Build Back Better through a reconciliation bill. Many thanks to members of our caucus for your participation and patience over the past few days. The bipartisan infrastructure bill has already had its rule passed and its debate has concluded. All of this momentum brings us closer to shaping the reconciliation bill in a manner that will pass the House and Senate.”

Read more …

CNN getting worried about Durham?

Durham Issues Fresh Round Of Subpoenas (CNN)

Special Counsel John Durham has issued a new set of subpoenas, including to a law firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, an indication that Durham could be trying to build a broader criminal case, according to people briefed on the matter. So far, Durham’s two-year probe into the FBI’s Russia investigation hasn’t brought about the cases Republicans has hoped it would. The grand jury subpoenas for documents came earlier this month after Durham charged Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann with lying to the FBI in a September 2016 meeting. During that meeting, Sussmann handed over data purporting to show links between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank. That tip became part of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election but the FBI ultimately couldn’t find evidence of a link.

In seeking additional documents from Sussmann’s former law firm, Perkins Coie, investigators from the special counsel’s office appear to be sharpening their focus on the Democratic political machinery during the 2016 campaign and efforts to tie Trump to Russia. Perkins Coie’s clients in 2016 included the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The law firm also hired on the campaign’s behalf a research company that commissioned the dossier from ex-British spy Christopher Steele that alleged that Trump was compromised by Russia. Durham has already accessed reams of the law firm’s records, such as billing records, meeting calendars and a log of documents that the firm protects under attorney-client privilege. Some of the newly sought-after documents have been guarded so far by attorney-client privilege.

Durham’s new subpoenas could lead to a court fight over privileged information and draw more about the Clinton campaign into the open. While working for Perkins Coie, Sussmann also represented Rodney Joffe, a cybersecurity expert referred to in Durham’s indictment as “Tech Executive-1.” In 2016, Joffe, who has not been previously identified, worked with researchers to collect internet data about the Trump Organization that Sussmann took to the FBI. Durham’s continued use of the federal grand jury in Washington, DC, signals that he could be interested in adding to Sussmann’s charges or bringing cases against additional defendants. Still, more than two years after being commissioned by then Attorney General William Barr to investigate whether federal authorities improperly targeted the Trump campaign, Durham has little to show for his efforts.

His special counsel probe, which has lasted longer than Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, has so far brought only two lying charges against little-known figures, including the case against Sussmann, who has pleaded not guilty. The results have underwhelmed Trump supporters who had hoped former top FBI and intelligence officials would be prosecuted for “spying” on Trump and his campaign. Already the scope of Durham’s probe has narrowed after Barr announced last year that investigators had found no wrongdoing by the CIA. Yet Durham has continued his investigation, largely in secrecy, working out of a non-descript office building near trendy Washington’s Union Market.

Read more …

Feels a bit stale, Matt.

The News is America’s New Religion (Taibbi)

News in America used to be fun to talk about, fun to joke about, interesting to think about. Now it’s an interminable bummer, because the press business has taken on characteristics of that other institution where talking, joking, and thinking aren’t allowed: church. We have two denominations, both as fact-averse as real churches, as is shown in polls about, say, pandemic attitudes, where Americans across the board consistently show they know less than they think. Surveys found a third of Republicans think the asymptomatic don’t transmit Covid-19, or that the disease kills fewer people than the flu or car crashes. But Democrats also test out atrociously, with 41% thinking Covid-19 patients end up hospitalized over half the time — the real number is 1%-5% — while also wildly overestimating dangers to children, the percentage of Covid deaths under the age of 65, the efficacy of masks, and other issues.

This is the result of narrative-driven coverage that focuses huge amounts of resources on the wrongness of the rival faith. Blue audiences love stories about the deathbed recantations of red-state Covid deniers, some of which are real, some more dubious. A typical Fox story, meanwhile, might involve a woman who passed out and crashed into a telephone pole while wearing a mask alone in her car. Tales of each other’s stupidity are the new national religion, and especially among erstwhile liberals, we take them more seriously than any religion has been taken in the smart set in a long, long time.

In the eighties we made celebrities out of televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, but none were believable as religious authorities. They were too interesting: they dressed like Vegas club acts, humped everything that moved, and had the enormous balls to stare at cameras and ask for money so the minister and his wife could be driving the right fully-loaded Caddy when Christ returned. By the Reagan years no one believed in miracles or divine retribution anyway, not even Catholics, whose priests had all read Nietzsche and would quietly concede the church’s whole act was a well-meaning metaphor, if cornered by an adult. (Their rap to kids was obviously different; insert your own joke here).

By the time Trump arrived, there was only one route left for media companies, who’d lost ad revenue to Internet platforms, to make money: putting content behind a paywall. Essentially, news companies passed a hat and asked for donations, just like churches. Also like churches, they began to sell belief instead of fact. They turned viewers and readers into congregationalists, people who’d be less interested in news than calls to spiritual battle. Fox had already proven this revenue model could work. In the Trump years, led by the New York Times — which lost other forms of income but went from 1.2 million digital subscribers in 2016 to 7.5 million in 2020 — the rest of the commercial media followed suit.

Read more …

I hope they don’t expect an honest answer.

Julian Assange Supporters Write To Scott Morrison Over Reported CIA Plot (Abc.au)

A group of prominent Australians have written to the Prime Minister, asking what the government knew about an alleged CIA plot to kill or kidnap WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, the ABC can reveal. The members of the group, who all visited Assange in London, have also demanded the government reveal whether they were caught up in the US plot and if their lives, too, were ever at risk. The group of 21 lawyers, journalists, academics, and activists wrote to Scott Morrison after revelations in the US media this week the CIA had contemplated kidnapping or assassinating Assange and others in 2017 while the WikiLeaks founder was living in Ecuador’s London embassy.

One of the letter’s signatories, barrister Julian Burnside, who has been negotiating with Canberra to have Assange returned to Australia since 2012, said the new allegations of a planned assassination were of concern. “It’s one thing [for the government] to ignore an Australian overseas who’s in difficulty,” Mr Burnside said. “It’s altogether another to ignore an Australian overseas who may be murdered by another government, a government that is ostensibly an ally.” Another of the signatories, Melbourne lawyer Lizzie O’Shea, said: “Recent events suggest that we’re in a closer relationship with the US than ever before.” “I would like to think that doesn’t come at the expense of our citizens’ rights, and this [letter] is one test of whether that’s true.”

The letter is signed by prominent Australians including Jennifer Robinson, Scott Ludlam, Mary Kostakidis and Kathy Lette. All of them have visited Assange at one time or another. All are concerned they may have been caught up in US intelligence operations. “We wish to know what surveillance or monitoring we have been subjected to by the intelligence agencies of our allies, the United Kingdom and United States,” the letter, sent yesterday afternoon, states. “Were any of us placed on speculative kill lists? “We also believe we have a right to know whether the Australian government was informed or consented to our communications and movements being tracked.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Aug 032021
 
 August 3, 2021  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  151 Responses »


René Magritte Man in a bowler hat 1964

 

Israeli Scientist Says Covid-19 Could Be Treated For Under $1/Day (JPost)
Necessity Of Covid-19 Vaccination In Previously Infected Individuals (Medrxiv)
Covid Vaccines: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (SPR)
Well, Duh. This Is Why It Was Stupid (Denninger)
When Things Don’t Add Up (Kunstler)
China Will Test All 12 Million Wuhan Residents (F.)
Millions Are Put Into Lockdown In China (DM)
Ratcliffe: COVID Lab Leak “Very Close To A Certainty” (ZH)
AOC Calls Fellow Democrats “Cowards” On The Eviction Moratorium (JTN)
Australians Getting Ready To Overthrow Tyrannical Government (BBee)

 

 

I knew it!

 

 

“99.999% survival vs 99.974% unvaxed. But they just say 25x higher chance of dying. Lmao. So vax increases your odds by .025%. Of surviving. Hmmmmmmmm”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1422202459036999687

 

 

How successful are the vaccines so far?

 

 

Why Macron insists on vaccine passports.

 

 

$1 a day is too cheap for political gain.

Israeli Scientist Says Covid-19 Could Be Treated For Under $1/Day (JPost)

Ivermectin, a drug used to fight parasites in third-world countries, could help reduce the length of infection for people who contract coronavirus for less than a $1 a day, according to recent research by Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. Prof. Eli Schwartz, founder of the Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Disease at Sheba, conducted a randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial from May 15, 2020, through the end of January 2021 to evaluate the effectiveness of ivermectin in reducing viral shedding among nonhospitalized patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Ivermectin has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration since 1987. The drug’s discoverers were awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine for its treatment of onchocerciasis, a disease caused by infection with a parasitic roundworm.

Over the years, it has been used for other indications, including scabies and head lice. Moreover, in the last decade, several clinical studies have started to show its antiviral activity against viruses ranging from HIV and the flu to Zika and West Nile. The drug is also extremely economical. A study published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Therapeutics showed that the cost of ivermectin for other treatments in Bangladesh is around $0.60 to $1.80 for a five-day course. It costs up to $10 a day in Israel, Schwartz said. In Schwartz’s study, some 89 eligible volunteers over the age of 18 who were diagnosed with coronavirus and staying in state-run COVID-19 hotels were divided into two groups: 50% received ivermectin, and 50% received a placebo, according to their weight. They were given the pills for three days in a row, an hour before a meal.

The volunteers were tested using a standard nasopharyngeal swab PCR test with the goal of evaluating whether there was a reduction in viral load by the sixth day – the third day after termination of the treatment. They were swabbed every two days. Nearly 72% of volunteers treated with ivermectin tested negative for the virus by day six. In contrast, only 50% of those who received the placebo tested negative. In addition, the study looked at culture viability, meaning how infectious the patients were, and found that only 13% of ivermectin patients were infectious after six days, compared with 50% of the placebo group – almost four times as many. “Our study shows first and foremost that ivermectin has antiviral activity,” Schwartz said. “It also shows that there is almost a 100% chance that a person will be noninfectious in four to six days, which could lead to shortening isolation time for these people. This could have a huge economic and social impact.”

Read more …

There is none: “Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination ..”

Necessity Of Covid-19 Vaccination In Previously Infected Individuals (Medrxiv)

Employees of the Cleveland Clinic Health System working in Ohio on Dec 16, 2020, the day COVID-19 vaccination was started, were included. Any subject who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 at least 42 days earlier was considered previously infected. One was considered vaccinated 14 days after receipt of the second dose of a SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine. The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection over the next five months, among previously infected subjects who received the vaccine, was compared with those of previously infected subjects who remained unvaccinated, previously uninfected subjects who received the vaccine, and previously uninfected subjects who remained unvaccinated.

Results Among the 52238 included employees, 1359 (53%) of 2579 previously infected subjects remained unvaccinated, compared with 22777 (41%) of 49659 not previously infected. The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection remained almost zero among previously infected unvaccinated subjects, previously infected subjects who were vaccinated, and previously uninfected subjects who were vaccinated, compared with a steady increase in cumulative incidence among previously uninfected subjects who remained unvaccinated. Not one of the 1359 previously infected subjects who remained unvaccinated had a SARS-CoV-2 infection over the duration of the study. In a Cox proportional hazards regression model, after adjusting for the phase of the epidemic, vaccination was associated with a significantly lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among those not previously infected (HR 0.031, 95% CI 0.015 to 0.061) but not among those previously infected (HR 0.313, 95% CI 0 to Infinity).

Conclusions: Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination, and vaccines can be safely prioritized to those who have not been infected before. Summary: Cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was examined among 52238 employees in an American healthcare system. COVID-19 did not occur in anyone over the five months of the study among 2579 individuals previously infected with COVID-19, including 1359 who did not take the vaccine.

Read more …

“..covid vaccines do not achieve mucosal immunity (in contrast to natural infection) and serum antibody levels (i.e. antibodies in the blood) decrease within months..”

Covid Vaccines: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (SPR)

The latest data from Israel, which has used primarily the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, indicates that vaccine effectiveness against Delta coronavirus infection and symptomatic (“mild”) disease has dropped from about 95% to about 40%, whereas effectiveness against hospitalization and severe disease (i.e. low blood oxygen levels) remains at 80% to 90% (see chart above). Importantly, in people who got vaccinated already in January 2021 (primarily the elderly), protection against infection and mild disease may already have dropped to near 0% (see chart above). Moreover, since the Delta covid outbreak is still accelerating in Israel, the effectiveness against hospitalization and severe disease may further decrease (due to lags in hospitalizations). (Update: New data from Hebrew University shows that protection against severe disease has already dropped to 80%; compared to the original 96%, this results in a five-fold increase in residual risk.)

In the UK, which has primarily used the AstraZeneca DNA adenovector vaccine, the latest estimate by researchers at University College London indicates an effectiveness against infection of about 20% and a total effectiveness against severe disease of about 60%. In very senior citizens, the effectiveness against severe disease may be even lower (due to a weaker immune response). (A substantially higher estimate by Public Health England, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was based on outdated data from early June. Interestingly, the British government hasn’t updated its data on AstraZeneca vaccine effectiveness since June 13. Update: New data from PHE confirms that effectiveness against infection has dropped below 20%.)

The Israeli data shown above indicates that effectiveness against infection and mild symptoms decreases rapidly over time and reaches near-zero levels after about half a year. Most likely, this is because covid vaccines do not achieve mucosal immunity (in contrast to natural infection) and serum antibody levels (i.e. antibodies in the blood) decrease within months. Thus, the false promise of very high protection against “symptomatic infection”, found during official vaccine trials, was simply based on very high short-term serum antibody levels mimicking mucosal immunity. Conceivably, the pharmaceutical companies may even have known that this was just a (very lucrative) “flash in the pan” and not a lasting protective effect.

In contrast, protection against severe disease is achieved by lower serum antibody levels in combination with immunological memory (B cells) and cellular immunity (T cells). However, the Delta variant has already achieved partial immune evasion (as did Beta and Gamma, but not Alpha), and future coronavirus variants will likely achieve almost complete immune evasion. Thus, vaccine protection even against severe disease will likely further decrease due to new variants, or, in the very worst case, will turn into antibody-dependent disease enhancement (ADE), if high levels of non-neutralizing antibodies aggravate the infection. Indeed, this is what happened in the case of vaccines against SARS-1 and dengue fever.


Serum antibody levels after vaccination with Pfizer (blue) and AstraZeneca (red).

Read more …

An addendum to Vanden Bossche:

“There is no safe means of mass-use of non-sterilizing vaccines so long as transmission within the community does or is likely to exist.”

Well, Duh. This Is Why It Was Stupid (Denninger)

I warned everyone. Now even CNN is on it, although they (like SAGE) think we’re smarter than nature — and evolution. “They write that some variants that have emerged over the past few months “show a reduced susceptibility to vaccine-acquired immunity, though none appears to escape entirely.” But they caution that these variants emerged “before vaccination was widespread,” and that “as vaccines become more widespread, the transmission advantage gained by a virus that can evade vaccine-acquired immunity will increase.” In a word: Duh. I know I’ve been banging on this drum since Covid-19 started but it is no-less important today, especially in the context of holding people accountable for killing several hundred thousand Americans and the economic destruction they brought upon the nation.

To be sterilizing a vaccine must prevent infection. Since you never get infected you never replicate the virus and thus do not shed it. If you do not shed it the potential path of the viral life-cycle for that particular infection ends with you and thus you cannot pass on or cause a mutation. You are sterile against that disease; from the point of view of the virus you are a lifeless rock. Among commonly-used sterilizing vaccines are MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), Varicella (chicken pox), OPV (oral polio) and others. The only time that such a vaccine fails is when you do not build immunity (such as due to immune compromise.) This is extremely rare and the protection from such vaccines tends to be either decades-long or lifetime.

A vaccine that is not sterilizing permits the virus to infect you and replicate and as a result you can infect others. Technically it is not a vaccine at all (which by definition prevents infection); it is a prophylactic therapy. Such a “vaccine” instead acts to reduce or eliminate symptomatic disease. You don’t know you’re sick and you don’t get sick. You don’t go to the hospital and you don’t die. Unfortunately since you don’t know you’re sick but are infected and the virus is both replicating in you and shedding you are more-likely to spread the infection to others. All of the current Covid jabs are in this category and so is, for that matter IPV (injected polio vaccine — the original Salk discovery.) During the original vaccine trials in the summer and fall of 2020 they deliberately did not test any of the recipients for asymptomatic infections.

Only a person who developed a significant illness was tested. This has continued post roll-out with the CDC specifying that a close contact of a known case who was vaccinated did not need to quarantine or be tested until and unless they became symptomatic. They knew damn well, in other words, that the jabs were not sterilizing but did not want that data up for public debate because then those who have read history would be likely to make the connection to the present day and thus they did their level best to hide it. That has now blown up in their face with it being conclusively known that jabbed people in fact not only get infected but spread the virus to others. The problem with non-sterilizing vaccines is simply this: There is no safe means of mass-use of non-sterilizing vaccines so long as transmission within the community does or is likely to exist.

Ever. There are no exceptions. This was known to public health officials and virologists seventy years ago and is why the United States used both IPV (injected polio vaccine) and OPV (oral polio vaccine) in sequence for polio until the 1990s. OPV produced sterilizing immunity but IPV did not. OPV had a very small (but non-zero, about 1 in a million) risk of causing polio because it was a codon-deoptimized live virus which, on rare occasion, would mutate back to its virulent form in the human body. So to mitigate that risk you got IPV first in the US (to prevent systemic infection; this was non-sterilizing), then OPV which is sterilizing — that is, it prevents not only getting sick from polio but also replicating and shedding the virus, thus giving it to others along with preventing the promotion of mutations that WILL eventually escape the vaccine.

Had we done with polio what we’re doing now with Covid — IPV (non-sterilizing) use only with virus circulating in the United States — it is very likely the virus would have mutated, escaped the vaccine and killed millions in America.

Malone Arms race.

Read more …

“All that sound-and-fury for what? For vaccines that don’t work… and which, quite possibly, could leave you seriously ill, even dead?”

When Things Don’t Add Up (Kunstler)

The Covid 19 panic, which has been driving formerly civilized societies crazy for eighteen months, prompted the bringing-forth of The Science’s follow-up project: vaccines to stop the spread of the virus. Enter the scene, these vaxes did, like, a day-and-a-half after Covid-19 pirouetted onstage. Hmmmm. Could someone have been working on those vaxes backstage before the dread virus even premiered? Were patents issued for them pre-dating January, 2020? Seems so. But never mind that for now. The vaxes were rolled out to fanfares over a year ago and those moiling masses of America, the superfluous holders of bachelor’s degrees in Oppression Studies — for whom, sadly, the world had run-out of paying positions — lined up like kids at Santa’s throne in Macy’s on Black Sunday for their Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson jabs. Whew…! That was a close call!

Or was it? Naw, not even close, actually. Since now it turns out that the jabs don’t seem to work that well. The official story got murkier last week when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported internally to staff (it leaked) that “fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant at the same rate as unvaccinated people.” Whoopsie…. In a Delta variant outbreak on Cape Cod last month, three-quarters of the infected were fully vaxed-up patients. The story got darker because The New York Times, the usually-reliable mouthpiece for The Science and his allies in “Joe Biden’s” public health bureaucracy, let slip that, “The Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be spread by vaccinated people as easily as the unvaccinated.”

Wuh-oh…! A worm the size of an Amtrak Acela train has turned in the myocarditic heart of our nation’s capital. Things have changed overnight — didn’t they see it coming? — and now the government is freaking out as it appears to have some serious ‘splainin’ to do — and right on the heels, too, of an hysterical month-long campaign to persuade the remaining unvaxed millions to submit to the needle, climaxed by threatening the obdurate “hesitants” with taking away their employment and ability to participate in commerce and social life. All that sound-and-fury for what? For vaccines that don’t work… and which, quite possibly, could leave you seriously ill, even dead?

Read more …

Chia uses nucleic acid amplification tests, not PCR.

China Will Test All 12 Million Wuhan Residents (F.)

Chinese authorities said Tuesday they will administer Covid-19 tests to all 12 million residents in Wuhan, where the first cases of Covid-19 were first reported, after the first local cases of infection by the highly contagious delta variant were reported in the city. On Monday, authorities confirmed three new delta variant Covid-19 cases in Wuhan, the first local cases since mid-May last year, Reuters reported. A city official told a news briefing that the city-wide testing was being done to screen out all asymptomatic infections and to ensure that everyone in the city was safe.


Besides Wuhan, China has detected new local infections in the nearby cities of Jingzhou and Huanggang, all of which have been linked to cases found in China’s Jiangsu province. The outbreak in Jiangsu was reportedly fueled by the delta variant which is believed to have entered the region from an infected passenger flying in from Russia. 414. That’s the total number of locally acquired Covid-19 cases China has reported since July 20, when the first infections in Jiangsu were reported. It’s unclear if all of these cases are delta variant infections.

Read more …

Zero covid is a bad idea.

Millions Are Put Into Lockdown In China (DM)

Millions of people have been placed back into lockdown in China as the country tries to contain its largest coronavirus outbreak in months with mass testing and travel curbs. The country reported 55 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases today as an outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variant reached over 20 cities and more than a dozen provinces. The latest surge, which state media has labelled the ‘most extensive outbreak of Covid since Wuhan’, began when airport workers in Nanjing who had cleaned a plane that arrived from Russia later tested positive for the virus. Local governments in major cities including Beijing have now tested millions of residents, while cordoning off residential compounds and placing close contacts under quarantine.

While the number of cases is relatively small they are spread out across the country, prompting state media to compare it to the initial outbreak in Wuhan in 2019. The central city of Zhuzhou in Hunan province ordered over 1.2 million residents on Monday to stay home under strict lockdown for the next three days as it rolls out a citywide testing and vaccination campaign, according to an official statement. ‘The situation is still grim and complicated,’ the Zhuzhou government said. Beijing has previously boasted of its success in bringing domestic cases down to virtually zero after the coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, allowing the economy to rebound.

But the latest outbreak, linked to a cluster in Nanjing where nine cleaners at an international airport tested positive on July 20, is threatening that success with more than 360 domestic cases reported in the past two weeks. In the tourist destination of Zhangjiajie, near Zhuzhou, an outbreak spread last month among theatre patrons who then brought the virus back to their homes around the country. Zhangjiajie locked down all 1.5 million residents on Friday. Officials are urgently seeking people who have recently travelled from Nanjing or Zhangjiajie, and have urged tourists not to travel to areas where cases have been found.

Meanwhile, Beijing has blocked tourists from entering the capital during the peak summer holiday travel season. Only ‘essential travellers’ with negative nucleic acid tests will be allowed to enter after the discovery of a handful of cases among residents who had returned from Zhangjiajie. Top city officials on Sunday called for residents ‘not to leave Beijing unless necessary’. The capital’s Changping district locked down 41,000 people in nine housing communities last week.

Read more …

No Democrat will listen.

Ratcliffe: COVID Lab Leak “Very Close To A Certainty” (ZH)

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe says that the lab-leak Covid-19 origin hypothesis isn’t just a “possibility,” but “more like a probability, if not very close to a certainty.” In a Monday Op-Ed, Ratcliffe excoriated China for rejecting new plans by the World Health Organization to investigate the lab-leak theory, which was “remarkable not only because of China’s continued belligerence, but also because the WHO was once complicit, caving to the CCP’s initial pressure to dismiss the lab leak theory and downplay the CCP’s coverup.” “I had access to all of the U.S. government’s most sensitive intelligence related to the pandemic. My informed opinion is that the lab leak theory isn’t just a “possibility,” at the very least it is more like a probability, if not very close to a certainty.

More than 18 months after the virus first leaked into the world, I still have not seen a single shred of scientific evidence or intelligence that the virus outbreak was a naturally occurring “spillover” that jumped from an animal to a human”. -John Ratcliffe Ratcliffe then notes that the CCP has gone to great lengths to ensure there is no “smoking gun,” and in fact – “every piece of evidence I have seen points to the pandemic’s origin being a leak out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).” The former DNI notes that classified intelligence has since been corroborated by public reporting with further details, yet “some in the media unwittingly helped the CCP in its disinformation efforts, dismissing the lab leak theory as a “conspiracy theory,” while Facebook affixed warnings of “false or misleading” to anyone who dared speak of it.”

Ratcliffe notes that before Trump left office, he tried to balance the need to protect intelligence gathering techniques with public disclosure – culminating in the State Department fact sheet which revealed that “several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and seasonal illnesses.”

Read more …

They could all have done this months ago, especially Pelosi, but also AOC.

AOC Calls Fellow Democrats “Cowards” On The Eviction Moratorium (JTN)

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling fellow Washington Democrats “cowards” for failing to extend a moratorium on evicting Americans during the pandemic, which after roughly 8 months of protection has put a reported 11 million Americans in jeopardy of losing shelter. “The House and House leadership had the opportunity to vote to extend the moratorium and there was, frankly, a handful of conservative Democrats in the House that threatened to get on planes rather than hold this vote,” Cortez said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have to call a spade a spade. We cannot in good faith blame the Republican Party when House Democrats have a majority.”

The White House has said it didn’t have the authority to extend the moratorium past August 31 and asked Congress to address the issue legislatively. The House vote failed Friday. The Democrat-controlled Senate has yet to vote on the matter, but likely also does not have the votes. Ocasio-Cortez, is the official leader of House Democrats’ so-called squad, the conference’s most progressive wing. Fellow squad members Reps. Cori Bush, of Missouri, Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota, and Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusetts, all slept just outside of the Capitol building this past weekend to protest the end of the ban.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with other key Democrat leaders have sent a letter to the White House asking it to make the order instead of Congress because they did not have the votes needed. “It is clear that the Senate is not able to [extend the ban], and any legislation in the House, therefore, will not be sufficient,” the letter reads. “Action is needed, and it must come from the administration.” The Senate is still in session, but the House is now out for the remainder of the summer. However, House members may be called back in to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

Read more …

“—Wait, Nevermind, Seems They Gave Up All Their Guns”

Australians Getting Ready To Overthrow Tyrannical Government (BBee)

Reports are coming in from the land down under that the people of Australia are getting ready to overthrow their tyrannical government—oh wait, they actually gave up all their guns. Amid the fears over the Delta strain of the virus, armed military members were patrolling the streets to make sure people were all at their correct address while helicopters and drones circled overhead to order people to go back inside if they ventured out at all in what the nation could only describe as some Orwellian nightmare. Many Aussies decided it was time to do something about the situation. “Blimey, this right here is a dog’s breakfast! No blokes gone walkabout since they brought in the military to cover us, shrimp on a barbie,” said a man who simply goes by Croc.


An American translator was found who told us that what Croc was saying was that the entire continent nation of 25 million people was living under martial law with no end in sight because a little over 900 people had died from coronavirus throughout the pandemic. “We were totally fed up with this and were all set to tell them Blokes and Sheilas to right buzz off, but then we remembered that we let the government have all our guns already,” Croc continued somberly. At publishing time, Australians were asking the aboriginals if they had any of those cool dart guns or at least some bevvies to make it through the lockdowns.

Read more …

 

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

 

 

 

 

Get up!

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Feb 142021
 
 February 14, 2021  Posted by at 3:05 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  20 Responses »


Jean-Michel Basquiat Warrior 1982

 

 

As the second Trump impeachment circus has come to an end, which it seems to have done last night, we have to try and map what lies ahead, not just in politics, but also in the media. Which for the past 5 years have run almost exclusively on banging the Trump drum. This is not true only for the MSM, it also includes other media, including the Automatic Earth.

What are we all going to report on going forward? Trump has been acting like a kind of black hole in “news”, sucking up all the light and matter that came close to him. We ourselves didn’t get close enough to be annihilated by the black hole, like CNN and New York Times did, but its gravity pull did shape -and distort- our universe as well.

Last week I ran a graph depicting US cable TV viewer numbers, and said: “Here’s what will determine US politics in the next 4 years. Lack of clickbait. War would be good for ratings.” The graph is devastating for CNN, which lost over 40% of viewers in just one week, before and after the Biden inauguration. The network that is most anti-Trump got hammered once he was gone. The irony is palpable. It was also entirely predictable.

 

 

What will CNN and NYT and WaPo turn to now? Not Joe Biden, that’s for sure. No energy there, hence no news. Or rather, no clickbait. Of course over the past few days they were fully focused on the second impeachment, but that was the worst dud ever, sucking blood out of a stone. Did anyone ever have the idea that the Dems even tried to win this?

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley wrote well before the acquittal vote that he thought they were “tanking” it, an American football term for losing on purpose:

 

Did The Democrats “Tank” The Second Trump Trial?

In the last impeachment, I criticized the House leadership for impeaching Trump on the thinnest record in the shortest time in history. It then outdid itself by impeaching him a second time with no record and no hearing. Even a day of hearings would have reduced the serious prudential concerns of senators, but the House pushed through a snap impeachment on a muscle vote. That left the House with no record despite being denied witnesses in the prior impeachment by the Senate

The greatest indication of tanking was the language of the article itself. Even a single day of hearings would have allowed experts to discuss the potential impeachable conduct and the crafting of articles of impeachment. There was credible impeachable offenses in Trump’s conduct on January 6th and its aftermath. Instead, the House leadership insisted on impeachment for “incitement of insurrection.” The House is not alleging reckless or negligent conduct leading to a riot. It is alleging incitement to actually seek rebellion or overthrow of the country.

The article specifically refers to section 3 of the 14th Amendment in its prohibition of anyone holding office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States. Even moderate senators who condemned Trump for his speech would be highly unlikely to convict on such an article. The House made it easy on those seeking acquittal. It could have crafted an article that would appeal to broader bipartisan support. Instead, it sought the most extreme language alleging incitement to an actual insurrection — virtually guaranteeing a partisan vote and likely acquittal.

 

And then yesterday what seemed to happen was that Nancy Pelosi, as soon as she understood she would be called as a witness if any were allowed, fumbled the ball and would not allow any witnesses. Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen turned on the MSM media for their coverage of the trial, but only after his home was vandalized and he received 100 death threats. Shame he wasn’t wearing a Viking helmet.

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1360815669294596096

 

But okay, for now it’s over. Trump has made some noise about ‘this is only the beginning’, exactly what the MSM have wet dreams about, but for the near future, it’ll be Biden all the way. Sure, they will try and pin Ol’ Joe’s mishaps on Trump, but at some point they must blame his errors on him. The end of a perfectly beautiful friendship. Joe is Kryptonite for the MSM.

How many Americans have died of COVID-related issues since Inauguration Day? Oh, but that’s all Trump’s fault. OK, so how many will die from today on? Also Trump’s fault? Till when does that last? Question: why did Biden keep Dr. Fauci in his job after so many people died? Because he was heroically battling Trump? Nothing was Fauci’s fault?

That leads me to another topic that, like Trump, we have written so much about that I sometimes don’t see what more there is to say. Well, perhaps other than: why doesn’t your government do everything in its power to keep its citizens from dying, and instead only locks them down and puts facemasks on their weakened immune systems? (This is not only true for the US, of course).

They can boost those immune systems, it’s very easy even, and they know about it. So why does it continue to (not) happen? And when will the MSM finally find out about it and start reporting on it?

In a Twitter thread, British MP David Davis points to a recent study linked to the Lancet named Calcifediol Treatment and COVID-19-Related Outcomes , and says:

This is a very important study on vitamin D and Covid-19. Its findings are incredibly clear. An 80% reduction in need for ICU and a 60% reduction in deaths, simply by giving a very cheap and very safe therapy – calcifediol, or activated vitamin D. The findings of this large and well conducted study should result in this therapy being administered to every Covid patient in every hospital in the temperate latitudes.


Furthermore, since the study demonstrates that the clear relationship between vitamin D and Covid mortality is causal, the UK government should increase the dose and availability of free vitamin D to all the vulnerable groups. These approaches will save many thousands of lives. They are overdue and should be started immediately.

Calcifediol is what your body turns vit. D into, and the study doesn’t appear to mention that adequate vit. D levels reduce risk of infection by some 50% to begin with. If an MP knows this, and talks about it, can the rest of government plead ignorance?

Then, there are 38 published trials for ivermectin as a COVID treatment. Are these being ignored by the west because they took place in countries such as Israel, Peru, Mexico, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey, Argentina, Iran? What say you, Fauci? What say your friends in the industry?

 

 

And of course just a few days ago we had our own resident MD, John Day, explaining how to Treat Your Own COVID. So the information is out there, even if Fauci and/or the MSM won’t give it to you. And it’s information that may well save your lives, or those of people close to you.

Anyway, the premise of this article was what the MSM are going to do now that their Golden Trump Goose can no longer deliver the desired clickbait. Will they be desperate enough to tell people how to save their own lives? I must say, I don’t really see that happening. It appears much more likely that they start banging war drums, their tried and tested MO.

Thing is, can you really send troops to far away deserts while your own health care systems are imploding? And before you give people the $2,000 $1,400 $600 checks that some pundits claim will allow them to pay all their bills until July? I’d almost wish you would try, but I don’t actually want more people to die.

If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on the MSM soon being back to where they were before Trump entered stage right: on the verge of bankruptcy. But I’m not a betting man, and I’m not always right. Still, if I were Trump I’d lay low for a while and let them draw their terminal breaths. But I’m not Trump either.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in 2021. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.