Feb 042023
 


Henri Matisse Olive trees at Collioure 1906

 

Building A New World Order Is Now An Existential Issue For Russia (Trenin)
US-China War By 2025: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (Fomenko)
Pentagon Allows Ukraine To Fire Long-range Missiles At Will (RT)
Russia Responds To Latest US ‘Escalation’ (RT)
From Imperial Failures to Imperial Excuses (Batiushka)
UK MIlitary Could Run Out Of Ammo In Single Afternoon – Ex-commander (RT)
Serbia Names ‘Greatest’ Mistake By West (RT)
RAND Gets It, Sort Of (Helmholtz Smith)
The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t (Schryver)
Sanctions On Russian Oil Not Working – Analysts (RT)
Lose-Lose (Jim Kunstler)
Republicans to Force Nancy Pelosi to Testify About Jan 6 (TP)
Musk Wins Lawsuit Over ‘Funding Secured’ Tweet (ZH)
Thai Princess Coma Mystery – World Expert Says It’s A Covid Jab Injury (DTNZ)
Biden Announces U.S. Surrender To Chinese Balloon (BBee)

 

 

 

 

OH SH*T, HERE WE GO (MacGregor)

 

 

 

 

What Becomes of NATO After The Loss In Ukraine

 

 

 

 

Trump Ukraine

 

 

 

 

“..a defeat – if it is hypothetically possible – could provoke a destabilization of the country, accompanied by the disintegration of Russian statehood.”

Building A New World Order Is Now An Existential Issue For Russia (Trenin)

Let us begin by assessing the current situation. One effect of the conflict has already been a fundamental change in the external environment in which Russia finds itself. Its political relations with the collective West, and its allies, have become openly hostile and the armed conflict in Ukraine is a proxy war by the West against Russia. Economic relations with this part of the world have been permanently undermined and are shrinking like Mars bars. Cultural, scientific, sporting and humanitarian ties have been severely curtailed, the information war has reached maximum intensity, and the Iron Curtain in Europe has been rebuilt – this time by the West. However, Russia is not completely isolated. It maintains and develops partnerships in many areas with the world’s new centers of power, and other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

This part of the world community includes most of the world’s states, where the majority of the human population lives and where more than half of the global economy is concentrated. It can rightly be called a world majority with the clear understanding, of course, that this majority is not a bloc and that its members are not allies of Russia. They are guided primarily by national interests and are deeply integrated into the global economy and the Western-centric institutions that serve it, which significantly limits interaction with Moscow. The dramatic shift in the external cycle has led to profound changes within Russia. The old model of mainly exporting raw materials and importing technology no longer works. The political system, which was built on liberal American-French models and then adapted more or less successfully – in substance, not in form – to domestic traditions, is obviously in need of a profound overhaul.

The quasi-ideology of pragmatism and the cult of money, which dominated the country after the collapse of the USSR, proved to be flawed and harmful. In short, the end of the historical orientation towards integration with the Western world logically requires Russia to reorient itself. But what does this mean? To which “self”? Soviet, tsarist or otherwise? A prerequisite for Russia’s long-term strategy is victory in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The most important criterion for such a victory is a state that is guaranteed not to lead to a renewed war after some time. On the contrary, a defeat – if it is hypothetically possible – could provoke a destabilization of the country, accompanied by the disintegration of Russian statehood. The stakes for Russia in the current conflict are therefore existential and fundamentally higher than those of the US and its allies. This in itself is a factor working in Russia’s favor, but it certainly does not guarantee its success.

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“..It also sees the competition catching up, however, and is ready to use all means necessary, and to take massive risks, to prevent the rise of rival powers. ”

US-China War By 2025: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (Fomenko)

American Four-Star General Mike Minihan, head of the US Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) believes the US and China will go to war by 2025. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan reportedly wrote in a memo to his officers, obtained by media outlets. The message instructs AMC personnel to train and get their affairs in order so that they are “legally ready and prepared.” This prediction is the most direct and blunt yet from an American official on the prospect of a potential conflict between the US and China, besides President Joe Biden’s indications that the US would intervene on the side of Taiwan if China invaded.

Of course, Minihan is not a policymaker, and the memo is not an official statement of US military policy towards China. But the influence of the US military and by extension, the military-industrial complex, on US foreign policymaking and on the mood in Washington in general, should not be underestimated. The reality is, especially as seen in Ukraine, that the risk of a major-power conflict is arguably at the highest it has ever been since the end of World War II or the height of the Cold War. That is because the US sees itself as a rightful and permanent global hegemon. It also sees the competition catching up, however, and is ready to use all means necessary, and to take massive risks, to prevent the rise of rival powers. As such, the US and China risk falling into the so-called, “Thucydides Trap,” which is described as “an apparent tendency towards war when an emerging power threatens to displace an existing great power as a regional or international hegemon”.

The current distribution of power in the world is described as “emerging multipolarity”. Following three decades of American unipolarity, when the US ruled unchallenged, a number of emerging powers are changing the international order. Multipolarity differs from “bipolarity,” where two powers compete for hegemony, the best known example being the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. While bipolarity brings a form of stability, as the military capabilities of both powers are evenly matched and the stakes of a potential conflict are extremely high, history shows multipolarity typically brings instability as it creates an insecure, unpredictable, and competitive international environment. The world of 1914, where a theatre of competing European powers scrambled for international dominance, ultimately combusted into the First World War. As competing world powers expanded their imperialist ambitions, they sought to contain others by forming alliances and starting arms races.

Sounds familiar? It should. Today’s world has some disturbing parallels. The US – an insecure hegemon whose relative power is diminishing as other world powers emerge – is desperately seeking to degrade, undermine and contain its rivals by triggering arms races and expanding alliance systems. Already, the focus on expanding NATO has provoked the conflict in Ukraine, but worse still, the Biden administration is actively seeking to expand that model to East Asia against China, in the form of blocs such as the Quad and AUKUS.

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“..Moscow will “push back” the Ukrainian troops to a range at which they will not be a threat.”

Pentagon Allows Ukraine To Fire Long-range Missiles At Will (RT)

It is up to the government in Kiev to decide how to use the new rockets for the US-supplied HIMARS launchers, the Pentagon said on Friday, confirming that the latest batch of munitions the American taxpayers are funding will include Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB).The Boeing-manufactured munitions consist of a rocket motor mated with an airplane bomb, with an estimated range of up to 150 kilometers. While Friday’s announcement listed “additional ammunition” for the HIMARS and “precision-guided rockets,” Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder told reporters that this indeed included the GLSDB, confirming the information leaked to Reuters earlier this week. Ryder also confirmed that the US won’t stand in the way of Ukrainians using the missiles to strike deep inside Russia.

“When it comes to Ukrainian plans on operations, clearly that is their decision. They are in the lead for those,” he said on Friday. “So, I’m not going to talk about or speculate about potential future operations, but again, all along, we’ve been working with them to provide them with capabilities that will enable them to be effective on the battlefield.” The GLDSB are produced by Boeing in cooperation with Swedish Saab AB, and combine the GBU-39 small-diameter bomb with the M26 rocket motor. It was unclear how many of the munitions the Pentagon intended to send, or whether they would come from the US military stockpile or need to be freshly produced. Reuters claimed to have seen a Boeing document saying the first deliveries could be “as early as spring 2023.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg cited unnamed officials who said the timeline could be as long as nine months, depending on when the US Air Force issues the contract. Bloomberg also reported the GLSDB order would account for $200 million of the $1.75 billion in the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding, referring to contracts for weapons and ammunition not coming out of the Pentagon stockpile. Whenever the missiles actually arrive, Russia has already hinted at how it will respond. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin tasked the military with “eliminating any possibility” of Ukrainian artillery strikes on Russian territory. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Thursday that Moscow will “push back” the Ukrainian troops to a range at which they will not be a threat. “The longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved,” Lavrov said.

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“the longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved.”

Russia Responds To Latest US ‘Escalation’ (RT)

The decision to supply Ukraine with longer-range missiles marks a “deliberate escalation” by the United States, Russia’s ambassador to Washington has said, warning that Moscow would not tolerate strikes on Russian cities. In a statement on Friday evening, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov commented on the latest round of US military aid approved for Ukraine earlier in the day, which is set to include Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB) – munitions with an operational range of 93 miles (150 kilometers). “Washington sees no boundaries in seeking to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. The transfer of increasingly powerful weapons to the Kiev regime is a deliberate escalation of the conflict by the United States,” he said, adding “Any attempt to harm the Russian Federation is doomed to failure. The sooner the United States realizes this, the sooner the current conflict will end.”

Though the Pentagon did not mention the GLSDB by name in announcing the weapons transfer, Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder later confirmed that it would be included in the next round of aid, also noting that US officials would not stop Kiev from using the missiles to strike inside Russia. Fired from the US-supplied HIMARS missile launcher, the GLSDB is among the longest-range weapons authorized for Kiev to date, and could theoretically reach targets deep within Russian territory. Antonov went on to say the United States is “de facto inciting its proteges to attack Russian regions,” arguing that Moscow makes no distinction between newer territories which voted to join the Russian Federation last year and other Russian lands.

“For us there is no difference when we talk about a possible attack by Kiev criminals on the Zaporozhye or Bryansk regions, the Crimea or the Smolensk region,” he continued. Though the new weapons could take up to nine months to reach the Ukrainian battlefield, Russia has already suggested how it might react, with President Vladimir Putin ordering the military to eliminate “any possibility” of Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory earlier this week. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, said Russian forces would repel Ukrainian soldiers to a distance from which they would not pose a threat, declaring: “the longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved.”

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“..Only through such a crushing defeat for Western hubris can further crazy adventures, including nuclear ones, be avoided.”

From Imperial Failures to Imperial Excuses (Batiushka)

Western support for the Ukraine, the most corrupt country in Europe, has done nothing for America’s authority. It had already been undermined by war crimes, water-boarding, economic decline, a drugs epidemic, mass shootings, a trashed health system for 40 million in poverty and military debacles from Vietnam to Afghanistan. The ‘regime changes’, assassinations, electoral frauds, black propaganda (also called PR), massacres, torture in global black sites, proxy wars and military interventions carried out by the United States since 1945 have resulted in over 20 million dead and planetary revulsion for U.S. imperialism. ‘Yanks go home’. Blood lies on the US. Did they really expect to get away with this?

The conflict in the Ukraine is effectively World War III, or if you prefer, World War I, Part III. A proxy hot war between Washington and Moscow. Yes, the military phase is local, having started between Russia and the Ukraine in 2014. But the repercussions for Russia are enormous. They mark the end of a 300-year period when Russia was enamoured with the West. Now Western deceit means that Russians have lost their illusions and naivety for ever. Now Russia will fight on until the Armed Forces of Ukraine and all those who took up arms and have been fighting Russians for almost nine years are no longer a threat to anyone. The Kiev Army will be routed and Russia will return to its roots of over 300 years ago.

However, the political and economic repercussions for the Western world, held on a tight leash by its feudal US owner, are even more enormous: the end of the rule of the dollar. True, there are those who predict a second military phase between Iran and the US colony of Israel. And a third could be between China and the US, the pretext being the Chinese Ukraine, Taiwan. But nothing is certain. After the coming Russian victory in the Ukraine, all could still be averted, for that victory will be sobering for the Western world. This indeed is the last hope, that defeat here will at last bring the Western world back to its senses and reality. Only through such a crushing defeat for Western hubris can further crazy adventures, including nuclear ones, be avoided.

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“..British armed forces “are smaller and less ready to fight than at any time in living memory.”

UK MIlitary Could Run Out Of Ammo In Single Afternoon – Ex-commander (RT)

The UK could deplete its ammunition stocks in mere hours should it be drawn into large-scale fighting, a former British general warned on Thursday. This and other issues make the UK military unfit to be regarded as a “top tier” NATO member, he said. Retired General Richard Barrons, who formerly headed the UK’s Joint Forces Command, sounded the alarm in an op-ed published by The Sun in which he said the fighting force has been “hollowed out by spending cuts.” Barrons claimed that the British armed forces “are smaller and less ready to fight than at any time in living memory.” He also warned that the UK Army is on course to slip below 76,000 troops. However, even these service members often do not receive inadequate training, Barrons noted.

British tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery pieces mostly date to the previous century, while “years of cuts to ammunition production mean that, for some types of key weapons, the army would run out in a busy afternoon,” the general said. Barrons added that the Royal Navy and Air Force are “in better shape” and boast some “outstanding modern equipment,” but cautioned that without experienced personnel, ammunition, and spare parts they might turn out to be just a “glittering shop window” without much to show for it on the actual battlefield. The former commander said the UK should focus on Europe, arguing that the “tilt to Asia can wait.” He urged London to invest in modern capabilities, including drones, missiles, and cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.

Britain should also double its reserves to 60,000 troops, he said. Regarding Russia, Barrons estimated that to be able to handle a “surprise attack,” the British Army will need to spend “£3 billion ($3.67 billion) this year, and every year for the next ten years.” British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace admitted in the House of Commons on Monday that the military has been “hollowed out and underfunded.” His comments followed a Sky News report alleging that a top US general had told Wallace that British forces are “barely tier two” in terms of fighting capabilities.

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“..the West’s “biggest” political mistake because it effectively manages to “unite the Russians like never before.”

Serbia Names ‘Greatest’ Mistake By West (RT)

The West’s recent announcement that it would be supplying Ukraine with main battle tanks marks a major miscalculation, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday. That’s as Moscow has threatened to burn any Western equipment that enters Ukraine and has vowed to retaliate “far beyond the scope of armored vehicles.” Vucic noted that the decision to supply Ukraine with tanks, especially with the “terrifying” German Leopard 2s, is the West’s “biggest” political mistake because it effectively manages to “unite the Russians like never before.” Last month, Germany and the US agreed to provide a number of heavy tanks to Kiev. Washington has promised between 30 and 50 of its M1 Abrams tanks, while Berlin pledged 14 Leopard 2A6s from the Bunderswehr’s own stocks.

An additional 51 of the same model and 88 of the older Leopard 1 model may also come from Rheinmetall as they get refurbished, Germany said. Berlin also gave the green light to countries that have expressed a desire to export their own Leopards to Ukraine. Those include Poland, Finland, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands. The UK and Canada have also said they would be sending their heavy equipment to Kiev. The decision has been heavily criticized by Russia, which has called it an “extremely dangerous” move that threatens to escalate the conflict in Ukraine. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin likened the new threat of “German Leopard tanks with crosses on their hulls” to the Soviet Union’s struggle against Hitler’s forces and warned that Moscow’s response would not be limited to weapons.

Other countries have also voiced their concerns about the West’s move. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the delivery of NATO tanks to Ukraine was a “high-risk endeavor” that would fail to help end the conflict and only “line the pockets of gun barons.” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also slammed Germany’s decision, noting that these Western countries are “drifting” towards becoming active participants in the conflict. Orban has insisted that instead of arming Kiev, the West should be pursuing “a ceasefire and peace talks” in Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly objected to Western weapon deliveries to Ukraine, arguing that non-stop arms shipments only serve to prolong the conflict and risk direct confrontation with NATO. The Kremlin has also insisted that no amount of military aid will prevent Moscow from reaching its objectives and warned that the tanks would “burn like the rest of Western weapons” supplied to Kiev.

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“morally repugnant Russian invasion”, “international community”, “illegitimate and illegal”, “aggression”, “humanitarian reasons”, “international norms.”

RAND Gets It, Sort Of (Helmholtz Smith)

A few years ago RAND put out a report Overextending and Unbalancing Russia. “This brief summarizes a report that comprehensively examines nonviolent, cost-imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue across economic, political, and military areas to stress—overextend and unbalance— Russia’s economy and armed forces and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad.” One of the things recommended was exploiting Russia’s “greatest point of external vulnerability” by “providing lethal aid to Ukraine.” (Only someone as paranoid as Putin, of course, could see any hostility in this). Well, they did it and it’s time for a new RAND report – Avoiding a Long War.

To save you the bother of reading this trivial effort, I will summarize – they start with the usual posturing – “morally repugnant Russian invasion”, “international community”, “illegitimate and illegal”, “aggression”, “humanitarian reasons”, “international norms.” Then on to how Russia is losing – “Russia’s conventional capabilities have been decimated in Ukraine”, “the weakened state of Russia’s conventional military”, “It will take years, perhaps even decades, for the Russian military and economy to recover from the damage already incurred.” But, as you wade on, you begin to suspect that the authors aren’t as triumphant after all – perhaps victory is not quite so close “given the slowing pace of Ukraine’s counteroffensives in December 2022, restoring the pre-February 2022 line of control—let alone the pre-2014 territorial status quo—will take months and perhaps years to achieve” or even so certain “Continued conflict also leaves open the possibility that Russia will reverse Ukrainian battlefield gains made in fall 2022.”

The authors spend some space explaining why a long war is not to America’s advantage. So, RAND, they followed your advice but things aren’t going very well. Time to try and get out of it. “Since avoiding a long war is the highest priority after minimizing escalation risks, the United States should take steps that make an end to the conflict over the medium term more likely.”

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“..the US armaments industry is effectively a modestly scaled high-end boutique..”

The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t (Schryver)

You see, for all its massive plunder of the public purse, the US armaments industry is effectively a modestly scaled high-end boutique. And there is simply no way this domestic US industry can expeditiously expand its production. It would literally take years – probably a full decade – for the US to expand its military production to a seriously potent industrial scale. For one, the labor pool for these industries is extremely finite and highly specialized. In the overwhelmingly financialized and service-oriented US economy, there is a shocking dearth of technical expertise of ALL kinds. It’s not simply a boomer cliché that “kids these days are innocent of almost any mechanical know-how”. If the US wants to staff new armaments factories any time soon, it will have to import the skilled labor from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

Beyond that, the permitting of new factories, with the attendant bureaucratic delays, public hearings, environmental impact studies, and various special interest road-blocking … well, everyone knows how these things work now in America. It took five years to build the Hoover Dam in the early 20th century. It would take FIFTY here in the early 21st century – if it could be built at all. Those clamoring for the US to intervene in the Ukraine war in order to “teach those filthy Russians a lesson they’ll never forget” simply have no conception of the catastrophe that would ensue were their dreams to be fulfilled. If the Pentagon consented to such an undertaking, it could probably amass no more than 250,000 combat-capable troops in the theater, and to do so would entail the evacuation of virtually every major US military base on the planet (and most of the minor ones).

It could probably assemble an additional quarter million troops from the active reserves and National Guard units in the United States. That said, it is empirically impossible that 500,000 combat troops could be satisfactorily equipped for high-intensity conflict such as would be the scenario in a war between the US and Russia in eastern Europe. And even if they could be assembled and equipped, it would be an insufficient force to face over a million Russian troops, close to a third of which are already “battle-hardened” from almost a year of high-intensity combat in Ukraine. In anticipation of the casualties attendant to great power warfare, it would become necessary for the United States to reinstitute conscription almost immediately. If a strong anti-war movement had not already been incited by its previous actions, conscription in America would almost certainly induce a widespread political upheaval, with large and aggressive public protests cropping up in all the major cities of the nation.

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“oil friendships are greasy”

Sanctions On Russian Oil Not Working – Analysts (RT)

Sanctions imposed by the West on Russian crude oil exports have so far “failed completely,” and new price caps could also prove ineffective, according to a CNBC report on Friday, citing analysts. The conclusions come as the European Union plans to ban imports of Russian refined petroleum products, including diesel and jet fuel, from February 5. The bloc had already prohibited imports of seaborne crude oil from Moscow in December. The EU, G7 countries, and Australia have also set a $60-per-barrel price cap, which blocks Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shippers of Russian oil unless the cargo is purchased at or below the set price. The price cap “was invented by bureaucrats with finance degrees. None of them really understand oil markets,” Paul Sankey, president and lead analyst at Sankey Research, told CNBC.

“It’s been a total bomb; it has failed completely,” he stressed. According to Sankey, Russian oil supplies have not been significantly interrupted and “they’ve sustained exports at high levels.” “I heard it from a great source that the Saudis have been asking around as to how come Russian oil is still flowing,” he said. “That brings the question of what will happen with the sanctions coming up on products, because it just doesn’t seem to work.” The founder of analytics firm Vanda Insights, Vandana Hari, also told the US broadcaster she was skeptical about the upcoming restrictions on Russian refined oil products, noting that “the crude price cap was pretty inconsequential.” “I think the refined product caps that they’re planning – about a $100 [per barrel] for diesel and clean products and perhaps around $45 for dirty fuels like fuel oil – are probably going to be immaterial as well,” the analyst explained.

According to Hari, Russian oil will find its way into the markets that are “still welcoming it” such as China and India. “China and India have benefited quite a big deal last year from heavily discounted Russian crude prices and the same’s going to happen to Russian refined products,” Hari predicted, adding that it could be more complicated for Moscow to find markets for such products. Paul Sankey also noted that “oil friendships are greasy” and there’s a lot of different ways to move Russian oil around the world, bypassing the price caps. Meanwhile, the EU has been struggling to agree on the price cap for Russian oil products, with some members reportedly claiming the proposed level is too generous for Moscow, and seeking a lower ceiling. The measures are expected to come into effect on February 5 after gaining the approval of all 27 EU member states.

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“..The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion..”

Lose-Lose (Jim Kunstler)

For those of you not paying attention the past thirty-odd years, Russia, incorporated as the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1991. The USSR was a bold experiment based on the peculiar and novel ill-effects of industrialism, especially gross economic inequality. Alas, the putative remedy for that, advanced by Karl Marx, was a despotic system of pretending that individual humans had no personal aspirations of their own. That business model could be reduced to the comic aphorism: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. It failed and the USSR gurgled down history’s drain. Russia reemerged from the dust, minus many of its Eurasian outlands. Remarkably little blood was shed in the process. Mr. Orlov’s book points to some very interesting set-ups that softened the landing. There was no private property in the USSR, so when it collapsed, nobody was evicted or foreclosed from where they lived.

Very few people had cars in the USSR, so the city centers were still intact and people could get around on buses, trams, and trains. The food system had been botched for decades by low-incentive collectivism, but the Russian people were used to planting gardens — even city dwellers, who had plots out-of-town — and it tided them over during the years of hardship before the country managed to reorganize. Compare that to America’s prospects. In an economic crisis, Americans will have their homes foreclosed out from under them, or will be subject to eviction from rentals. The USA has been tragically built-out on a suburban sprawl template that will be useless without cars and with little public transport. Cars, of course, are subject to repossession for non-payment of contracted loans. The American food system is based on manufactured microwavable cheese snacks, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizzas produced by giant companies.

These items can’t be grown in home gardens. Many Americans don’t know the first thing about growing their own food, or what to do with it after it’s harvested. There’s another difference between the fall of the USSR and the collapse underway in the USA. Underneath all the economic perversities of Soviet life, Russia still had a national identity and a coherent culture. The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which is actually just a hustle aimed at extracting what remains from the diminishing stock of productive activity and giving the plunder to a mob of “intersectional” complainers — e.g. the City of San Francisco’s preposterous new plan to award $5-million “reparation” payments to African-American denizens of the city, where slavery never existed.

As for culture, consider that the two biggest cultural producers in this land are the pornography and video game industries. The drug business might be a close third, but most of that action is off-the-books, so it’s hard to tell. So much for the so-called “arts.” Our political culture verges on totally degenerate, but that is too self-evident to belabor, and the generalized management failures of our polity are a big part of what’s bringing us down — most particularly the failure to hold anyone in power accountable for their blunders and turpitudes. This might change, at least a little bit, as the oppositional House of Representatives commences hearings on an array of disturbing matters. Meanwhile, be wary of claims in The New York Times and other propaganda organs that our Ukraine project is a coming up a big win, and that the racketeering operations of the Biden family are a right-wing conspiracy theory. These two pieces of the conundrum known as reality are blowing up in our country’s face. It will be hard not to notice.

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“… Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador.”

Republicans to Force Nancy Pelosi to Testify About Jan 6 (TP)

As the Biden Documents Scandal continues to build and the Chinese spy balloon over Montana dominates the headlines, some Republicans are still focused on holding Nancy Pelosi to account for the failures of security at the US Capitol on January 6th, failures to which they claim she is connected. One such Republican is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who said: “The reason there wasn’t a proper security presence on that day goes right to the speaker’s staff and the speaker’s office. As you go back and look at the communications, there’s this pattern that develops where the Sergeant of Arms is meeting with Pelosi’s staff. Many of those meetings, Republican staff wasn’t allowed to be there, but they had this pattern where everything had to run through her office, her staff, before the Sergeant of Arms could make a decision.”

Joining Rep. Jim Jordan was Rep. Troy Nehls, who said “And Nancy Pelosi. You do have questions you need to answer … Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador.” The statements from Jordan and Nehls follow a late-December of 2022 report released by Republicans that blamed Pelosi for the security failures at the Capitol on that day, faulting her for creating “political pressures” that led to lackluster security and inadequate preparations. The New York Post, reporting on that report, said: “Leadership and law enforcement failures within the U.S. Capitol left the complex vulnerable on January 6, 2021,” says the report, which is based on a trove of texts and email messages, and testimony from Capitol Police leaders and rank-and-file officers.

House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, who answered to Pelosi as one of three voting members of the Capitol Police Board, “succumbed to political pressures from the Office of Speaker Pelosi and House Democrat leadership,” was “compromised by politics and did not adequately prepare for violence at the Capitol.” Pelosi and her staff “coordinated closely” with Irving on security plans for the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6, but Republicans were deliberately left out of “important discussions related to security.” And, in an apparent attempt to hide from Republicans the fact that they were being excluded from discussions, Irving asked a senior Democratic staffer to “act surprised” when he sent “key information about plans for the Joint Session on Jan. 6, 2021, to him and his Republican counterpart.”

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“..Musk testified that the “funding secured” tweet was “absolutely truthful..”

Musk Wins Lawsuit Over ‘Funding Secured’ Tweet (ZH)

Having previously noted the absurdity of the trial, Elon Musk has defeated a shareholder lawsuit alleging that tweets claiming he had the “funding secured” to take Tesla private cost investors billions of dollars in losses. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the nine-person San Francisco-based jury said the investors who brought the class-action case failed to prove that Mr. Musk hurt them by tweeting about a possible deal. “The jury got it right,” Alex Spiro, a lawyer for Musk, said after the verdict. Musk testified that the “funding secured” tweet was “absolutely truthful,” touting what he described as an “unequivocal” commitment by Saudi Arabia even though he had nothing in writing. As Bloomberg reports, Musk gave jurors other reasons to believe him.

He said he felt compelled to reveal that he was considering taking Tesla private because earlier that day, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia was building a sizable stake in Tesla. He testified he was afraid his going-private plans might also be leaked, and that he wanted to put all Tesla investors on equal-footing by broadcasting his plans on Twitter. Musk also said that if required, he could’ve divested his ownership stake in his closely held rocket-ship company, SpaceX, to fund the transaction. This case is unusual for having gone to trial. From 1997 to 2001, less than 0.2% of federal securities class-action cases, excluding those involving mergers or acquisitions, were tried to a verdict, according to Cornerstone Research.

Musk, who had taken the stand as a witness in the case, was present in court during closing arguments. As The FT reports, the “funding secured” tweet has already proven costly for Musk. He and Tesla each paid $20mn to settle legal action from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk also had to resign as the carmaker’s chair, although he kept his position as chief executive. However, Musk has criticized the SEC in the years since, saying he felt pressured to settle and suggesting that doing so made him appear guilty. This case, he said in a deposition, was an opportunity to “clear the record.” And now he has!

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“.. Pfizer BioNTech is going to have to pay back those billions to Thailand, with which Thailand will recompensate those peoples that have lost their existence…”

Thai Princess Coma Mystery – World Expert Says It’s A Covid Jab Injury (DTNZ)

44 year old Princess Bajrakitiyabha of Thailand collapsed while out walking her dogs on 14 december last year. According to sources she had not felt well after receiving her 3rd booster. After her collapse she lost consciousness and remains in a coma. According to a report in The Independent, she is ‘on medical equipment supporting her heart, lungs and kidneys.’ Princess Bajrakitiyabha is the eldest child of current King Rama X. The law graduate is a senior diplomat in the Thai government. The Thai palace confirmed she had suffered a ‘heart issue’. But the explanation given by the authorities and a local university that it was caused by a bacterial infection has been called ‘ridiculous’ by medical expert Professor Sucharit Bhakdi.

Thai-born Bhakdi, a former professor of microbiology at the University of Mainz in Germany had a celebrated career in medical science as a world expert on the immune system and arterial disease, until mainstream narratives and ‘fact checkers’ labelled him a ‘conspiracy theorist’ for his strong opposition to the COVID ‘vaccines’. According to Bhakdi, who claims he and his contacts have been in direct contact with the Thai Royal Family over the matter, the princess’ collapse was an adverse reaction to the COVID jab. She was previously healthy with no known medical conditions. Speaking on the ‘neutralswiss‘ Rumble channel yesterday, Bhakdi said:

“This whole COVID-19 agenda is a fake… And I was able to lay out for them the proof that the COVID vaccinations were based on fraud… The EMA declared that safety pharmacological studies were never performed – never. And they were never deemed necessary. So now we have it. So, when I told the Thais this, you know guys, they jumped up. They jumped up in the room. And so they said to me ‘we will see to it that Thailand is the first country in the world that is going to declare this contract null… Which means that Pfizer BioNTech is going to have to pay back those billions to Thailand, with which Thailand will recompensate those peoples that have lost their existence…”

“‘One daughter of the present king Rama X collapsed and is in a coma… within 23 days after the third shot, 44 years old, never been seriously ill, collapsed and is now in a coma. The diagnosis that was given by the authorities and by the university is so ridiculous – she’s supposed to have a bacterial infection that will never do what she suffered from. And so we are determined, and the activists in Thailand who have been on this many many months now – great guys, also a professor from the University of Bangkok, he’s gotten in touch with the Royal Family, and we are sending information to the Royal Family to alert them to the fact that in all probability the princess is suffering as a victim of this jab, as so many people around the world have been suffering.’

Read more …

Whenever a story this crazy comes along, we suspect something’s hiding behind it.

Biden Announces U.S. Surrender To Chinese Balloon (BBee)

In a surprise statement to the world from the White House Situation Room, President Biden has announced America’s unconditional surrender to the Chinese Spy Balloon. “Listen, folks, it’s over,” said Biden as a single tear ran down his face. “We’re outgunned here. There’s no hope that we can match the awesome power of this giant balloon.” Biden’s voice was drowned out by the dozens of weeping journalists gathered outside the room. “I urge you all to hug your loved ones and embrace your children, for the end is near. God help us all,” Biden finally said before signing off for the last time. At publishing time, Americans had been urged by the administration to start learning Mandarin.

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Jan 022023
 
 January 2, 2023  Posted by at 10:03 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Edward Hopper Burly Cobb’s House, South Truro 1930-33

 

Drone Attacks Continue On Kyiv And Eastern Ukraine (BBC)
Nancy Pelosi Is Stepping Down As US House Speaker, And Few Will Miss Her (RT)
Twitter’s COVID-19 Censorship Led to Loss of Life – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)
Fauci Fibbed on the Day Everything Changed (Tucker)
How China Changed Its Zero-COVID Policy to a ‘Zero Non-COVID’ Policy (ET)
States Grand Jury to Hold Big Pharma Accountable for Covid Vaccines (BN)
Elon Musk Says He Is ‘Open’ to Idea of Buying Out Major Media Companies (BN)
In 2023 It Will Be All About The Dollar (Macleod)
USD Exchange Rates Hit Foreign Exchange Reserves (WS)
My Prediction On What 2023 Will Bring (Varoufakis)
1 Year On, EU Alternative To China’s Belt And Road Fails To Deliver (SCMP)
New Year, New Things (Denninger)

 

 

 

 

Free Assange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difference between BBC and RT is remarkable.

Drone Attacks Continue On Kyiv And Eastern Ukraine (BBC)

Air raid sirens sounded in Kyiv on Sunday night as the latest wave of drone and missile strikes from Russia continued. An attack which began shortly before midnight targeted critical infrastructure, Kyiv regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba said. One man in Kyiv was injured by debris from a destroyed Russian drone, the capital’s mayor said. The attacks have continued for several days over the New Year period. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said 400 Russian soldiers had been killed in on New Year’s Eve in Makiivka, in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region. In a rare move, pro-Russian authorities admitted to casualties. But Russia refused to confirm the number of deaths, and the BBC is unable to verify this.

It comes after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky wished for victory and a “return to normal” for Ukraine in 2023. In a new year address on Russian TV, President Vladimir Putin said Russia would fight to protest its sovereignty and independence. Kyiv’s military issued a warning of the latest attacks just after 01:00 (23:00 GMT) on Monday. “Air attack on Kyiv… Air alert is on in the capital,” it announced on the Telegram social media site. Serhiy Popko, the city’s military administration head, told people to stay in shelters. Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported an explosion in Kyiv’s northeastern Desnyanskyi district and said emergency services were attending. “An injured 19-year-old man was hospitalised in the Desnyanskyi district of the capital,” he said.

Mr Kuleba said the weapons were Iranian-made Shahed drones, adding that they were “targeting critical infrastructure facilities”. “The main thing now is to stay calm and stay in shelters until the alarm is off,” he said. It comes after a barrage of attacks on New Year’s Eve, which killed at least one person in Kyiv. Russia has been targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure for several months, destroying power stations and plunging millions into darkness during the country’s freezing winter.

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“Yeah, we completely agree with Satan on everything.”

Nancy Pelosi Is Stepping Down As US House Speaker, And Few Will Miss Her (RT)

The 118th United States Congress will be inaugurated on January 3, 2023, ushering in a number of changes, including Republican control of the House of Representatives and an attendant flip of the office of the speaker. That means that long-time Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi will have to give up her gavel and hand it over, most likely to Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. This has been Pelosi’s second tenure as speaker, as she served the first time from 2007-2011 and made history during that time by being the first – and so far only – woman to hold that title. Indeed, Pelosi’s record as the third-highest constitutional officer in the US has been historic – but maybe for some reasons that aren’t so savory. For one, the California Democrat is a notorious self-dealer. For instance, Pelosi was one of the most high-profile members of Congress implicated in a five-month corruption investigation by Business Insider.

She is reported to have deep holdings in companies such as Tesla, Disney, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and Meta (Facebook’s parent company), which she is directly responsible for regulating as a member of Congress. And it should also not be a surprise that she has repeatedly come out against barring members of Congress from trading stocks and other financial assets, even if she did an about face when public pressure mounted. “We are a free-market economy. They (members of Congress) should be able to participate in that (trading),” she told reporters in December 2021. There is actually an argument to be made that indeed members of Congress should be able to engage in such investments. After all, they have to pay two sets of housing costs in their district and in the notoriously expensive Washington, DC area.

They also have to pay all of their own traveling expenses to and from their district. And they have to do all of that, plus probably also have a family, with a salary of $174,000. It’s not all that glamorous when you think about it. But if we look at Pelosi’s net worth of $114,662,521, according to 2018 data by OpenSecrets, then we can see that this argument hardly applies. In fact, if you look at the chart of her individual wealth over the years, you’ll notice that her wealth exponentially increased with her position as speaker. It’s like her power in Congress directly translates to her own personal wealth accumulation – which, I think we can all agree, would be the definition of corruption. Along with being greedy, the outgoing speaker is a devout war hawk. She once told reporters in Damascus in 2007, during George W. Bush’s presidency, that “there is no division on policy between us and President Bush, be it on Israel, Palestine or Syria.” For anyone familiar with Bush’s genocidal Middle East scheme, this is basically like saying, “Yeah, we completely agree with Satan on everything.”

[..] To put in perspective how unpopular Pelosi is, according to Public Policy Polling, a higher share of Americans believe that JFK was killed by a conspiracy (51%) and that Bush intentionally misled the public on Iraq’s WMDs (44%) than like Pelosi, with just a bit less (37%) thinking global warming is a hoax. For the sake of our country, it is to be hoped that the 82-year-old will retire from political life after her term as speaker comes to a close. But unfortunately, as is ever the case with Pelosi, her career might just outstay its welcome and drag on endlessly.

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Atlas was completely silenced by Fauci and Birx. Strange story.

Twitter’s COVID-19 Censorship Led to Loss of Life – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)

When discussing censorship, there are often “vague implications” on the effects of that restriction. But by censoring medical science and health policy, “you are killing people,” Dr. Scott Atlas firmly stated in an interview that aired on Newsmakers by NTD and The Epoch Times on Dec. 28. “Censorship of the correct science and medical information, during this pandemic, absolutely killed people. It prevented people from making intelligent decisions. It prevented people from making the appropriate use of caution,” Atlas alleged of Twitter censoring doctors such as himself. Furthermore, Atlas charged, Twitter’s censorship was particularly “harmful” and “shocking” because the United States was founded on freedom.

“This kind of censorship was, in my view, unheard of in the United States,” Atlas stated. “It’s reminiscent of everything that we, as a free society and democracy, abhor about countries that are authoritarian, like China, the former USSR and now Russia, North Korea. “This is the kind of censorship that occurs in those countries. And now it’s occurring in our country.” According to Atlas, censorship at the government’s behest isn’t limited to social media and is far more insidious than first imagined. “It’s not simply blocking information. It’s also—being less overt about it—it’s limiting the public’s access to information. It’s impugning people who are speaking correct information,” Atlas said.

In Atlas’s view, there was only one acceptable COVID-19 narrative at the height of the pandemic, and that was the one put forward by those in authority, specifically Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. Consequently, when other health authority figures, such as Atlas, advanced conflicting information, the above authorities enlisted help from the media to squash that dissent. “Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, etc., went to their friends in the media and undermined people like me. Who, in fact, were saying what was correct, what has been validated as being correct this entire time. “But the reality is, yes, the censorship of science kills people. And it killed people during this pandemic. There’s no doubt about that,” Atlas stated.

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“..he threw around so much data confetti that a person could have easily believed that he was downplaying the severity to promote calm. His intention was the opposite.”

Fauci Fibbed on the Day Everything Changed (Tucker)

Anthony Fauci is finally gone from his government perch. Let us recall that it was he who set this calamity in motion, squandering his credibility, while taking down public health and much else with it. More than anyone, he bears responsibility, even if he was acting on others’ behalf. That is especially true if he was carrying out a hidden agenda (take your pick of theories). There was already growing political and societal panic on March 11, 2020, when the House Oversight and Reform Committee convened a hearing on the new virus circulating. Fauci was the key witness. The only question on everyone’s mind came down to the most primal fear: am I going to die from this thing, like in the movies?

This was one day before Trump’s announcement of the travel ban from Europe, the UK, and Australia, essentially sealing the borders of the US to an extent never before attempted, thus separating families and loved ones and trapping billions of people in their nation states. It was five days before the evil declaration by all health authorities to immediately shut down all places where people could congregate. These few days will remain a case study in irrationality and crowd madness. Fauci, on the day of his testimony, however, seemed like a paragon of stability. He was calm and clear, nearly bloodness in his tone. The substance of what he said, at the same time, was clearly designed to generate panic and create the conditions for a full lockdown.

He had the countenance of a doctor who was telling the family that a beloved father was terminally ill with 30 days to live. In particular, and in contrast to the testimony prepared by CDC/NIH, Fauci spoke to the severity of the virus. To the average member of Congress, the answer here was crucial because it addressed the only two serious issues: “Am I going to die?” and “Will I be blamed and politically punished if my constituents die?” To this, he responded with what seemed like science but was actually completely wrong, dreadfully wrong, catastrophically wrong. He claimed that we knew for sure that at best Covid was 10 times deadlier than the flu. In fact, he threw around so much data confetti that a person could have easily believed that he was downplaying the severity to promote calm. His intention was the opposite.

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Pushing infection?!

“A local official in Shanghai told The Epoch Times on Dec. 27 that his office had received instructions to do whatever it could to push the city into the COVID peak status.”

How China Changed Its Zero-COVID Policy to a ‘Zero Non-COVID’ Policy (ET)

“Zero non-COVID” is the name that people in China are calling the regime’s new pandemic management policy. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has aggressively pushed the whole country towards an all-COVID-positive state. China’s annual rubber-stamp legislature is usually in session during the month of March. It is widely expected that the coming session will focus on saving China’s economy because it is on the edge of collapse after the three-year long zero-COVID policy. Party leader Xi Jinping is clearly willing to pay any price to reopen the country. Government employees of Chongqing City and Zhejiang Province received notices telling them return to their offices to work even if they have tested positive for COVID-19, as long as their symptoms are mild.

The total population of Chongqing City is more than 31 million, and Zhejiang province more than 57 million. Rumors on the Chinese internet talked about local governments of Chongqing City and Zhejiang Province being criticized by Beijing because these regions were too slow to reach a high percentage of COVID positive patients. A local official in Shanghai told The Epoch Times on Dec. 27 that his office had received instructions to do whatever it could to push the city into the COVID peak status. “Let those who are supposed to become positive become positive, and let those who are supposed to die, die,” said Song Wen (pseudonym). All state-owned media are mute about the current situation in the country, and reports from different government agencies are conflicting.

The Zhejiang Provincial government recorded one million new COVID cases on Dec. 25, while the Chinese national CDC only reported 2,983 new cases in the whole nation for the same day. The regime announced that on Jan. 8, 2023, China will totally reopen travel in and out of the country, which has triggered concern in countries around the globe. Italian officials reported on Dec. 28 that 50 percent of passengers on two flights from China tested positive for COVID. China, a country with a population of more than 1.4 billion, moved from the zero-COVID policy to a zero non-COVID policy within a month. The sudden change has left health experts worldwide feeling uncertain, because the explosion in COVID cases in China may lead to the whole world being exposed to new variants.

The Western media have widely attributed the sudden policy change to the late November White Paper protests against the zero-COVID policy in China. However, according to World Health Organization (WHO) emergencies chief Michael Ryan, the COVID spike in China was not due to the lifting of the government mandated restrictions. Before the policy change, “the disease was spreading intensively because I believe the control measures in themselves were not stopping the disease. And I believe China decided strategically that was not the best option anymore,” Ryan said.

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Wonder if this can/will carry over into other states. Perhaps not even necessary, depending on what they find.

States Grand Jury to Hold Big Pharma Accountable for Covid Vaccines (BN)

A states grand jury to investigate Big Pharma for civil and criminal wrongdoing related to its COVID-19 mRNA vaccines has been approved by the Supreme Court of Florida. “A statewide grand jury shall be promptly impaneled for a term of twelve calendar months, to run from the date of impanelment, with jurisdiction throughout the State of Florida, to investigate crime, return indictments, make presentments, and otherwise perform all functions of a grand jury with regard to the offenses stated herein,” the court order stated. “The Petitioner, the Honorable Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, has alleged that good and sufficient reason exists and that it is in the public interest to impanel a statewide grand jury, with jurisdiction throughout the State of Florida, to investigate crime, return indictments, make presentments, and otherwise perform all functions of a grand jury with regard to the offenses listed,” the court order continued.


The grand jury probe will have sweeping scope and will include many targets for investigation.Those include: “Individuals, persons, and entities, including, but not limited to, pharmaceutical manufacturers (and their executive officers) and other medical associations or organizations involved in the design, development, clinical testing or investigation, manufacture, marketing, representation, advertising, promotion, labeling, distribution, formulation, packing, sale, purchase, donation, dispensing, prescribing, administration, or use of vaccines purported to prevent COVID-19 infection, symptoms, and transmission.” The grand jury will also investigate “other criminal activity or wrongdoing that the statewide grand jury uncovers during the course of the investigation if it determines that pursuing the criminal activity or wrongdoing is in the best interests of the investigation.”

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“The legacy media should worry about its reputation,” Musk retorted. “We have only just begun.”

Elon Musk Says He Is ‘Open’ to Idea of Buying Out Major Media Companies (BN)

Billionaire tech CEO Elon Musk is entertaining the idea of buying out top digital media companies. Journalist and media commentator Dave Rubin started a Twitter thread discussing the tremendous influence that Google and YouTube have on the nation’s politics. “Let me get ahead of this one right now…” Rubin tweeted. “I think YouTube’s (and Google’s) manipulation for political purposes is FAR worse than Twitter’s.” “And we might find out as @rumblevideo will get discovery in its lawsuit against Google…” Rubin added. One user suggested Musk should try to buy Substack, which is a subscription-based platform used by many influential journalists.“You would have the information layer with Twitter and the narrative layer. Corporate media would then have specialize on reporting government leaks, from ‘people familiar with the matter,’” the user said.

Musk responded by saying: “I’m open to the idea.” Earlier in December, Musk also suggested he could try to buy Wikipedia, but was informed it was not for sale by its founder Jimmy Wales. The “Twitter Files,” a series of releases on Twitter showing the prior regime’s coordination between Big Tech and U.S. government agencies, has been spearheaded by a number of notable journalists, such as Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, and Michael Shellenberger. The subsequent Fauci Files and forthcoming Covid Files have additionally spurred independent journalistic accountability that has been denied by corporate media and the U.S. Congress. On Wednesday, Musk dropped a ‘Fauci bomb’ that exposed Twitter’s extreme bias on Covid issues.

“Almost no one seems to realize that the head of bioethics at NIH – the person who is supposed to make sure that Fauci behaves ethically – is his wife,” Musk remarked. “‘Gain-of-function’ in this context is just another way of saying ‘bioweapon’,” Musk added. “Some good nuggets in article. Important to note that Fauci authored 2012 paper arguing for gain-of-function research! Obama wisely put this on pause, but Fauci restarted it.” “Despite these glaring issues, Twitter nonetheless had an internal Slack channel unironically called ‘Fauci Fan Club’,” he added. Dr. Pierry Kory in a Twitter Spaces on Wednesday praised Twitter for providing a forum for physicians and policy critics to discuss the pervasive bias in medicine, which would help correct the “information assymetry” that has been perpetuated by the mainstream media and in medical journals.

Elon Musk also fired a warning shot to the corporate media about his mission to protect free speech and develop a forum for actual journalism. His response came after an attack by Axios reporter Hope King on CNBC, who said that his “reputation is in danger.” “The legacy media should worry about its reputation,” Musk retorted. “We have only just begun.”

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“Putin [..] probably has a greater influence on the dollar’s future than the US Treasury and the Fed combined.”

In 2023 It Will Be All About The Dollar (Macleod)

One of the factors which supported gold in the final quarter, offsetting moderate ETF liquidation of about 300 tonnes over the year has been central bank demand, which the World Gold Council estimates to have been 364 tonnes by October. Including more recent purchases by China and others adds nearly 300 tonnes. The Chinese purchase was confirmed in recent days by Mark Bristow, CEO of Barrick Gold, the world’s second largest gold mining corporation, who claimed China had bought “tonnes of gold around the high 200-tonnes mark”. Why China has bought this gold, when it has ample bullion additional to its declared reserves, is an interesting question. The answer probably lies with President Xi’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, where it was agreed that sales of oil would be paid in yuan, replacing the petrodollar with petroyuan.

According to Aljazeera, Saudi exports to China are worth $33.4bn equivalent, while its imports are $31.8bn, so the net surplus is $1.6bn. The official communiqué referred to “levelling up trade, investment and financial cooperation”. We know that China is keen to internationalise its markets, which is what investment and financial cooperation is about. The international section of the Shanghai Gold Exchange will be used by Saudi Arabia for its yuan to gold transactions. It is therefore likely that some of China’s purchase of nearly 300 tonnes in recent weeks will be to provide liquidity to backstop this market. With regard to prospects for next year’s gold price, it should be noted that the major factor will be the fate of the dollar. It appears likely that dollar oil prices will increase in the coming months, while foreign holders of dollars will continue to reduce their dollar exposure, which in the year to October declined by $3.8 trillion.

But a rising interest rate trend leading to falling financial asset values and the petroyuan replacing the petrodollar, events could coalesce into a perfect storm for the dollar. This is not how conventional analysts look at the gold price. They would argue that higher interest rates, if they occur, will drive gold lower. But that is an argument that denies the role of gold as money. Tell that to President Putin, who by cornering global hydrocarbon supplies probably has a greater influence on the dollar’s future than the US Treasury and the Fed combined.

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Still amazed at the strength of the USD in the face of so much opposition.

USD Exchange Rates Hit Foreign Exchange Reserves (WS)

The last three years were complicated for the dominant reserve currency. At first there was the Fed’s $5-trillion money-printing orgy and interest-rate repression. Then there was raging inflation, which the Fed brushed off as “transitory.” Through this period, the dollar fell against other currencies. But then the Fed got religion and began to tighten: since March 2022, it has hiked rates by 425 basis points, accompanied over the past six months by $414 billion in QT so far. As a result, the dollar bounced off and shot higher against other currencies, particularly the euro and the yen – the #2 and #3 reserve currencies.

At the end of Q3, the share of US-dollar-denominated foreign exchange reserves rose to 59.8%, the third quarter in a row of increases, and the highest since Q3 2020, according to the IMF’s new COFER data on reserve currencies. Since the end of 2021, the share of the dollar rose by nearly 1 percentage point. But this increase came off a 26-year low at the end of 2021. Note that this does not include the dollar-denominated assets on the Fed’s balance sheet, but only dollar-denominated assets held by foreign central banks and foreign official institutions.

[..] The euro is the second largest reserve currency. The Eurozone encompasses 19 countries with a population of 340 million people. Over two decades ago, when the euro was being promoted to Europeans, they often talked about “parity” of the euro with the dollar on all levels: as global reserve currency, as trading currency, and as financing currency. This reserve currency parity made progress until the Euro Debt Crisis brought to light the euro’s structural weakness. And that put an end to this parity talk. Since then, the euro has had a share of about 20% of global reserve currencies (in Q3, 19.7%), about as large as all also-rans combined. But it was far below the dollar (black line, red dots in the chart below).

The yen (purple line at the top of the colorful spaghetti at the bottom in the chart) had a share of 5.3%. It became the #3 reserve currency in 2018, when its share surpassed that of the British pound. The British pound, the #4 reserve currency, had a share of 4.6% (blue line just under the yen in the spaghetti). The Chinese renminbi, the #5 reserve currency, dipped to a share of 2.8% in Q3 — only 2.8%, despite the huge size and global interconnection of China’s economy!

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“..the designed irrelevance of the European Union.”

My Prediction On What 2023 Will Bring (Varoufakis)

This will be the year that Europeans realize the designed irrelevance of the European Union. The quagmire in Ukraine’s killing fields will bring on the realization of the need for a diplomatic process to end the war, but also the realization that the EU is radically incapable of playing any significant role in it. Who will represent Europe in these talks? The EU’s eastern and Nordic governments trust neither Paris nor Berlin – without whom, however, there can be no EU role.


On the economic front, the German mercantilist economic model will remain broken even as inflation abates – with dire repercussions for a eurozone still reliant on German surpluses. Europe’s deepening economic and geopolitical woes will, naturally, reinforce America’s hegemony and, with it, exacerbate its chosen policy of escalating a new cold war with China. Caught up in all this, humanity will be spending another year not investing in the green transition on which our species’ future hinges.

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Competing with the BRI is just a weird pipe dream. They wanted to do it in a year. China’s been building it for many years.

1 Year On, EU Alternative To China’s Belt And Road Fails To Deliver (SCMP)

In December 2021, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stood on a Brussels podium and confidently announced that the European Union’s new infrastructure drive would be a “true alternative” to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. “We are able to do that. Countries made their experience with the Chinese investments. They need better and different offers,” she said of Global Gateway, a spending drive that promised to mobilise up to €300 billion (US$318 billion) by 2027 for modern infrastructure projects outside the EU. With some blowback forming towards China’s trillion-dollar plan to connect China with the rest of the world after high-profile allegations of “debt-trap diplomacy”, both Europe and the United States were positioning to offer a different model, grounded in democratic norms, transparency of funding, and with sustainable objectives.

But one year on, observers are growing increasingly sceptical about von der Leyen’s claims. So far, Global Gateway has delivered plenty of hype, but little in terms of concrete projects, while confusion reigns in Brussels and beyond about what the initiative actually is. At a hearing in the European Parliament last month, lawmakers pressed officials for details, only to learn that none of the €300 billion would be “new”. “Global Gateway does not bring new financial means – there is no additional money when it comes to the EU level,” said Vincent Grimaud, an acting director in the commission’s department for international partnerships. The statement sparked incredulity from members of the parliament. “There’s no new money. And I’ve always held the view that if there’s no new money, there’s no new policy,” said Barry Andrews, an Irish lawmaker with the centrist Renew group.

“This is a communications exercise. It’s a strategy to put together what was already going to happen and present it as something new. And if our partners are tricked by this, then more fool them.” Hildegard Bentele, a German member from the centre-right European People’s Party, said she had been trying to find German companies who are “part of this adventure”, but had failed to locate any. “If I talk to journalists, journalists are asking me what are these Global Gateway projects? If I go on the website of the European Commission, I do not find it – this is really difficult,” she said. The commission’s efforts to promote the initiative have added to the bemusement. A recent gala event held in the metaverse to explain the Global Gateway concept to 18-35 year olds was lampooned online after just a handful of users logged on – despite the EU forking out €387,000 (US$410,000) to host it.

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“..the utter failure of the “green energy shift” in the face of real-world tests..”

TVA=Tennessee Valley Authority.

New Year, New Things (Denninger)

So it is January 1st, 2023. Those reading this made it there. That’s good, I think. With that said here’s some “news” on The Ticker itself and my intentions going forward as to focus. You can take it for whatever you think its worth, but this, from my perspective, is the right way to look at things in the world. Of course there is room for plenty of other opinions all over the ‘net and so-called “traditional media” too, so it is what it is. If you remember a big shift occurred during the second Trump impeachment coverage, which I was doing on a daily basis, including most days a podcast. That of course was Covid, which showed up right on the tail end of that. That chapter has run in America and even the “mainstream media” is reporting that (like it or not, politicians) running stories about, for example, Atlantic City and its prospects forward – – and that they’re now returning to their regularly-scheduled debate (like, for instance, can you smoke in a casino?)

We’ve got plenty to talk about, such as, for instance, the utter failure of the “green energy shift” in the face of real-world tests. In a just world people would already be in irons and headed for prison; TVA, for example, was only able to produce 68% of its claimed capacity when all of it was required. WPLN tries to blame this on “natural gas being the bet” but in fact the reality of it is that TVA has shut down what was plenty of coal capacity and they did it on purpose over the space of years without replacing that with known reliable generation. In the summer the peak of demand tends to mostly-track with when the sun is up because its hottest and, while the peak shifts a bit off noon its not at 3:00 AM. In winter it is every time; its coldest when there’s no sun at all and thus the solar generation capacity is always zero at the times of peak demand in winter.

Thus any solar you put in must be counted as zero in the winter months when things get nasty, because it will either be snowing, icing (both of which wildly cut solar cell output) or at 3:00 AM when there’s no solar radiation available at all. Wind has similar issues; you can fit windmills with heating systems but obviously they require energy and they have both a lower and upper wind limit where they either produce nothing of value or must be intentionally shut down to avoid destruction. Thus you can’t count them as anything other than zero in the winter because you can’t count something that is less than 100% available, with proper maintenance and such, as “there.” We also know that in the face of such nasty weather EVs are worthless too. They’re nice secondary vehicles, basically, but when you must be able to rely on them they’re just not up to the job. People are figuring this out and that will continue; in short how you were sold these cars and light trucks was a lie and worse, the people selling them knew all that as they did the engineering on them.

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Richard Fleming

 

 

 

 

Bernardi WEF

 

 

 

 

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Dec 282022
 
 December 28, 2022  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  77 Responses »


Lorenzo Monaco (Piero di Giovanni) Nativity 1406-10

 

The Most Important Question (Saker)
US Should Think Twice Before Contemplating ‘Decapitating Strike’ – Lavrov (RT)
Russia Issues Cyber Warning About Ukraine (RT)
US Adviser To Ukraine Calls For Cluster Bombs (RT)
Putin Bans Russian Oil Exports To Countries That Implement Price Cap (R.)
Every Social Media Company Censoring For Government – Elon Musk (RT)
63% of Americans Want FBI ‘Censorship’ of Twitter Investigated (ET)
Twitter Won’t Go Bankrupt Anytime Soon – Musk (RT)
World Economic Forum Cancels Twitter (Schachtel)
TEACH Your Kids, and LEARN Yourself (Denninger)
CIA Should Get Out of the Laboratory (John Kiriakou)
Fighting the ‘Psyopcracy’ (Lauria)
What Did Nancy Pelosi Know and When Did She Know It? (Julie Kelly)
Do Covid mRNA Vaccines Damage Our Immune Systems? (Berenson)
The Sudden Decline In Birth Rates Post-Vaccination (Horowitz)

 

 

 

 

Rogan Gates

 

 

 

 

libsoftiktok

 

 

 

 

Julian

 

 

 

 

 

 

Existential: “So, will we make it to December 31, 2023? Maybe, but this is by no means sure.”

The Most Important Question (Saker)

For Russia this war is clearly, undeniably and officially an existential one. To dismiss this reality would be the height of folly. When the strongest nuclear power on the planet declares, repeatedly, that this is an existential war everybody ought to really take it seriously and not go into deep denial. For the US Neocons this is also an existential war: if Russia wins, then NATO loses and, therefore, the US loses too. Which means that all those SOBs who for months fed everybody nonsense about Russia loosing the war to the general public will be held responsible for the inevitable disaster.

[..] I submit that the fact that the US ruling class is seriously contemplating both a “limited” use of “tactical” nukes and “decapitating strikes” is a very good indicator of the fact that the US is running out of Wunderwaffen and that the Neocons are desperate. And to those who might be tempted to accuse me of hyperbole or paranoid delusions I will say the following: This war is NOT, repeat, NOT about the Ukraine (or Poland or the three Baltic statelets). At its absolute minimum this is a war about the future of Europe. Fundamentally it is a war about the complete reorganization of our planet’s international order. I would even argue that the outcome of this war will have a bigger impact that either WWI or WWII. The Russians clearly understand this (see video above if you doubt that). And so do the Neocons, even if they don’t speak about it.

The current situation is much more dangerous than even the Cuban missile crisis or the standoff in Berlin. At least then both sides openly admitted that the situation was really dangerous. This time around, however, the ruling elites of the West are using their formidable PSYOP/propaganda capability to conceal the true scope what is really going on. If every citizen of the US (and EU) understood that there is a nuclear and conventional cross-hairs painted on his/her head things might be different. Alas, this is clearly not the case, hence the non-existent peace movement and the quasi consensus about pouring tens of BILLIONS of dollars into the Ukrainian black hole. Right now, the crazies are playing around with all sorts of silly ideas, including booting Russia off the UNSC (not gonna happen, since both Russia and China have veto power) or even creating a “peace conference” about the Ukraine without Russia’s participation (in a remake of the “friends of Syria” and “friends of Venezuela” thingie). Well, good luck with that! Apparently Guaido and Tikhanovskaia are not enough to discourage the Neocons and they are now repeating the exact same nonsense with “Ze”.

So, will we make it to December 31, 2023? Maybe, but this is by no means sure. Clearly, this is not an assumption the Kremlin makes, hence the truly immense strengthening of all of Russia’s strategic deterrence capabilities (both nuclear and conventional). God willing, the old adage “si vis pacem, para bellum” will save the day, as Russia is very clearly prepared for any time of conflict, including a nuclear one. China will also get there soon, but it is likely that 2023 will see some kind of end to the Ukrainian war: either a Russian victory in the Ukraine or a full-scale continental war which Russia will also win, (albeit at a much higher cost!). So by the time the Chinese will be truly ready (they probably need another 2-5 years) the world will be a very different place. For all these reasons I submit that 2023 might well be one of the most important years in human history. How many of us will actually survive it is an open question.

Why is Russia Conducting its Special Military Operation this Way?

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Twice is by no means enough.

US Should Think Twice Before Contemplating ‘Decapitating Strike’ – Lavrov (RT)

Reported comments by US officials about the possibility of a “decapitating strike” against Russia strongly suggest that Washington does not rule out the assassination of President Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with TASS news agency published on Tuesday. The minister noted that some “‘unnamed officials from the Pentagon actually threatened to conduct a ‘decapitating strike’ on the Kremlin…What we are talking about is the threat of the physical elimination of the head of the Russian state,” he said. The top diplomat went on to warn against such a line of thinking. “If such ideas are actually being nourished by someone, this someone should think very carefully about the possible consequences of such plans.”

Lavrov was apparently referring to a September article by Newsweek, which alleged that US defense officials are considering a number of options to respond against a potential Russian nuclear strike, including “a decapitation strike to kill Putin in the heart of the Kremlin.” Fears of a possible nuclear conflict have been sparked in the West after Putin said in September that Moscow would use “all means” necessary to defend Russia and its people if its territorial integrity is threatened. However, Moscow has repeatedly stated that it has no plans to deploy atomic weapons, maintaining that a nuclear war should never be fought.

The foreign minister also accused some of America’s partners of embracing a confrontational approach in the nuclear sphere. “They seem to have gone completely beyond the bounds of decency,” he said, recalling that former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss “without a shadow of a doubt declared during the election debates that she was quite ready to order a nuclear strike.” Lavrov also recalled Ukraine’s statements on the matter, saying “I not even mentioning the Kiev regime’s provocations, that go off the chart. [Ukrainian President] Vladimir Zelensky went as far as to demand preventive nuclear strikes by NATO countries on Russia. This is also beyond the bounds of what is acceptable,” he noted.

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“..the US-led military bloc “is essentially distributing digital weapons in an uncontrolled fashion” via Ukraine..”

Russia Issues Cyber Warning About Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine poses a global challenge to the international community, as the country is being used by NATO as a vehicle for the uncontrolled sharing of cyberweapons, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said on Wednesday. Speaking to RIA Novosti, Syromolotov stated that the “threats posed by Ukraine in the information space are of a universal nature.” He went on to say that the US-led military bloc “is essentially distributing digital weapons in an uncontrolled fashion” via Ukraine. These activities could trigger “unpredictable consequences for all members of the international community,” the deputy foreign minister warned. “Today, it is Russia which is in the crosshairs, and tomorrow it may be any other state that Washington dislikes.”

Syromolotov did not elaborate on the type of weapons he meant, but noted that after Russia began its military operation in the neighboring state in late February, it faced “unprecedented external aggression in the information space,” with the number of cyber-attacks on Russia increasing by as much as 80%. Earlier, he claimed that these attacks mostly come from the EU and North America. In October, he said that the US Department of Defense and National Security Agency (NSA) encourage “Russophobia” among international hackers while leveraging the private sector, including tech giant Microsoft, to “implement their aggressive plans.” The US-based company has committed more than $400 million in support of Kiev.

In early August, Syromolotov also claimed that the US and their allies had admitted to creating a volunteer “IT-army of Ukraine” to attack Russian infrastructure. This came after General Paul Nakasone, the head of US Cyber Command, confirmed that Washington had “conducted a series of operations” in support of Kiev, including offensive, defensive, and information operations. In September, the Washington Post revealed that the US had developed a network of fake social media accounts to conduct psychological and information warfare and spread pro-Western narratives. It allegedly deployed hundreds of accounts over the past five years, to advance “anti-Russia narratives.”

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“..though the export of such weapons has been banned by Congress, media outlets such as Politico have suggested that President Joe Biden and even his Secretary of State Antony Blinken could potentially override this ban.”

US Adviser To Ukraine Calls For Cluster Bombs (RT)

Dan Rice, an American adviser to the Ukrainian military, has called on Washington to authorize the delivery of cluster munitions to Kiev to increase its “base lethality” and “win the war” against Russia. During an interview with CNN last week, Rice, who is officially the special adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, insisted that the US “really needs to” supply Kiev’s forces with cluster bombs. They are like throwing “a flame thrower at a bunch of ants” and would “multiply the artillery shells by five to ten times more lethal,” he argued, according to a transcript posted by the channel. “This is how you increase the base lethality and win the war. If we want to win it, we need to give them something like that,” he told the outlet, calling cluster bombs a “game changer.”

However, he noted that US President Joe Biden’s administration is not currently willing to supply such munitions to Ukraine, as it would anger Western European states that have signed a treaty banning these weapons. “According to our own policy, we have concerns about the use of those kinds of munitions,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told journalists earlier this month. The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) banning these types of weapons was signed by over 100 nations, including most EU member states. Russia, the US and Ukraine have not signed the Convention. One of the main concerns related to cluster bombs is the large amount of unexploded munitions left behind after strikes which pose a threat to civilians.

Rice, however, insists that Kiev forces would use these weapons responsibly and “clean up” after themselves “as soon as they liberate a town.” Russia has repeatedly accused Kiev of using Soviet-made cluster bombs both before and after Moscow launched its military campaign against the country. In March, the Ukrainian army reportedly used a Tochka-U missile with a cluster payload to strike the center of Donetsk, leaving over 20 civilians dead and dozens injured. In October, Russian officials accused Kiev’s forces of using a cluster munition for the US-made HIMARS rocket launcher to strike a river crossing in Kherson, which killed four civilians, including a journalist. Kiev has denied responsibility for the attacks.

The US is believed to be sitting on a stockpile of cluster munitions but has so far refrained from officially sending any of it to Ukraine. However, even though the export of such weapons has been banned by Congress, media outlets such as Politico have suggested that President Joe Biden and even his Secretary of State Antony Blinken could potentially override this ban.

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Consistent.

Putin Bans Russian Oil Exports To Countries That Implement Price Cap (R.)

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday delivered Russia’s long-awaited response to a Western price cap, signing a decree that bans the supply of crude oil and oil products from Feb. 1 for five months to nations that abide by the cap. The Group of Seven major powers, the European Union and Australia agreed this month to a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil effective from Dec. 5 over Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. The cap is close to the current price for Russian oil, but well beneath the windfall price Russia was able to sell for this year and that helped offset the impact of financial sanctions on Moscow.


Russia is the world’s second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, and a major disruption to its sales would have far reaching consequences for global energy supplies. The decree, published on a government portal and the Kremlin website, was presented as a direct response to “actions that are unfriendly and contradictory to international law by the United States and foreign states and international organisations joining them”.

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“..mountains of domestic moderation requests.”

Every Social Media Company Censoring For Government – Elon Musk (RT)

All social media platforms work with the US government to censor content, Twitter CEO Elon Musk claimed on Tuesday. Documents released by Musk following his purchase of Twitter showed that the platform colluded with the FBI, CIA, Pentagon and other government agencies to suppress information on elections, Ukraine, and Covid-19. “*Every* social media company is engaged in heavy censorship, with significant involvement of and, at times, explicit direction of the government,” Musk tweeted, adding that “Google frequently makes links disappear, for example.” Musk was referring to internal Twitter communications published by journalist Matt Taibbi, which suggested that the platform’s senior executives held regular meetings with members of the FBI and CIA, during which the agencies gave them lists of “hundreds of problem accounts” to suspend in the runup to the 2020 election.

In addition to Twitter, the government was in contact “with virtually every major tech firm,” Taibbi claimed. “These included Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, Reddit, even Pinterest.” CIA agents “nearly always” sat in on meetings of these firms with the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, Taibbi claimed, explaining that although this task force was convened to fight alleged election interference by foreign states, it made “mountains of domestic moderation requests.” A lawsuit filed earlier this year by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana alleges that officials from no fewer than 12 government agencies met weekly with representatives of Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech firms in 2020 to decide which narratives and users to censor, with topics ranging from alleged election interference to Covid-19.

A self-described “free speech absolutist,” Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion in October. He has since released batches of documents shedding light on the platform’s previously opaque censorship policies. Published by several independent journalists, these document dumps have shown how Twitter suppressed information damaging to Joe Biden’s election campaign, colluded with the FBI to remove content the agency wanted hidden, assisted the US military’s online influence campaigns, and censored “anti-Ukraine narratives” on behalf of multiple US intelligence agencies. The FBI said last week that correspondence between its agents and Twitter staff “show nothing more than examples of our tradition [of] longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements.”

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Let’s see them do it.

63% of Americans Want FBI ‘Censorship’ of Twitter Investigated (ET)

A majority of Americans want Congress to investigate whether the FBI was involved in censoring posts on Twitter and other social media sites following new revelations from billionaire CEO Elon Musk’s release of the “Twitter Files,” a poll released on Dec. 26 found. A total of 63 percent of likely voters think Congress should probe “whether the FBI was involved in censoring information on social media sites” and only 22 percent oppose such an investigation, the poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports found. Another 15 percent said they weren’t decided. Rasmussen also found that 63 percent “believe it is likely that the FBI encouraged social media sites like Facebook and Twitter” to “suppress, silence, or reduce the reach of certain political speech and speakers.”

About 27 percent said it isn’t likely that the FBI didn’t try to silence or suppress political speech on social media, and 11 percent said they’re not sure. About 46 percent view the FBI unfavorably, while 50 percent view the bureau favorably, the poll showed. Some 74 percent of Democrats have a favorable opinion of the FBI, while only 34 percent of Republicans share the same perception. About 40 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of unaffiliated voters, and 10 percent of Democrats have a “very unfavorable” opinion of the law enforcement agency, it found. The survey was released after several journalists published Twitter’s internal communications, showing that the FBI had extensive communications with Twitter’s previous management before Musk’s takeover. Starting in early December, Musk endorsed the disclosure of that information, known as the “Twitter Files.”

House Republicans have signaled they’re willing to conduct a top-to-bottom of investigation of the FBI following the recent disclosures on Twitter. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) have floated a Church Committee-style probe, referring to the 1970s investigations led by then-Sen. Frank Church into allegations of U.S. government spying on its own citizens. “We’ve been looking at a Church-style committee to look at this,” Jordan told Just the News last week. McCarthy also told Fox News, “We’ve got to get to the very bottom, and I think just subpoenas are starting, but you’re almost going to have to have a Church-style investigation to reform the FBI, the more that we are learning.”

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“..in the beginning, we’ll make a lot more mistakes because I’m new. Hey, I just got here, man!“

Twitter Won’t Go Bankrupt Anytime Soon – Musk (RT)

Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, has stated that the social media platform is no longer “in the fast lane to bankruptcy.” However, Musk said that there is a lot that needs to be done on the platform. “But overall it seems to be heading in a good direction,” he said. Musk said over the weekend on the All-In podcast that the company will not be filing for bankruptcy soon. He said, “We’ve got the expenses reasonably under control, so the company’s not in the fast lane to bankruptcy anymore. It has been quite a roller coaster. It has its highs and lows, to say the least, but overall it seems to be going in a good direction.” Following the podcast, Musk tweeted saying that Twitter is not secure yet and there is still “much to do.” The Twitter boss further shared on the podcast: “My error rate and sort of being the chief twit will be less over time but, in the beginning, we’ll make a lot more mistakes because I’m new. Hey, I just got here, man!”


He added: “If you look at the actual amount of improvement that has happened at Twitter in terms of having costs that aren’t insane and shipping product that, on balance, is good, I think that’s great. We’re executing well, and getting things done.” The billionaire first warned about the prospect of bankruptcy for Twitter just a few weeks after he took over the social media platform. After purchasing Twitter for about $44 billion at the end of October, Musk immediately made some drastic changes to the platform as he focused on free speech. Soon the company lost half of its top 100 advertisers which made up a large chunk of Twitter’s revenue. Since then Musk has been trying to generate revenue for the social media company, including charging $8 ($11 for iPhone users) a month for the Twitter blue checkmark.

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Schwab goes TikTok.

World Economic Forum Cancels Twitter (Schachtel)

Prior to its upcoming conference in Davos next month, the World Economic Forum (WEF) appears to have joined the cancel campaign against Twitter, taking to recommending Chinese state-controlled social media apps to “follow along” with Davos Man into the future. Twitter is noticeably absent from the entities listed on the organization’s “How to follow Davos 2023” social media pamphlet, and that appears to be no accident. To stay up to speed with all that is happening within the invite-only doors of the ruling class confab, the WEF recommends following along through a handful of social media sites. They include the U.S.-based narrative-compliant Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, along with the Chinese social media apps TikTok WeChat, and Weibo.

Twitter, which has freed itself from the grasp of the WEF-endorsed censorship-compliant social apps, is no longer included. Through its founder Klaus Schwab and partner organizations, the WEF has a very cozy relationship with the Chinese government. Davos recently revealed that their China office now has 40 full time staffers. Moreover, every year in Beijing, the WEF hosts its “Annual Meeting of the New Champions,” which facilitates partnerships between international businesses and the Chinese Community Party. In 2018, the CCP awarded Klaus Schwab with its China Reform Friendship Medal, a medal for non-Chinese people who do the CCP’s bidding overseas. Davos 2023 will feature Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok, on stage. First reported by The Dossier, he will appear at an event titled “Tackling Harm in The Digital Era.”

In case you missed it, The Dossier has obtained an early, partial list of both events and confirmed speakers for Davos 2023. On the agenda for the 2023 conference includes event titles such as Why We Need Battery Passports, Leading The Charge Through Earth’s New Normal, A Living Wage For All, Enabling An Equitable Transition, and Beyond The Rainbow: Advancing LGBTQ+ Rights, among others. The Bird App has faced a ferocious cancel campaign following its change of management. Elon Musk’s pledge to turn Twitter into a free speech platform has met major resistance from the institutional corporate and governmental ruling class. Several WEF partners, such as BlackRock, have joined the attacks against Twitter, boycotting the platform in protest of its “content moderation” policies.

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“Use your head. It’s Winter.”

TEACH Your Kids, and LEARN Yourself (Denninger)

Cold is much more dangerous than heat is. I can always take off more of my clothes and as long as I can find a source of water and shade, which is not all that hard in most places (Death Valley and similar are exceptions, of course) I won’t die. In 0F cold with the wind blasting at 30kts if I’m caught without shelter and a means of keeping warm I’m dead within hours every single time. Easy times and nostrums make for soft people because thinking becomes optional, or so said people come to believe. When bad things happen soft people die. Don’t be one of them. You were conned into believing a pack of lies, starting with the weather and that this is “all man’s fault” when its warm and then, magically, “all man’s fault” when its cold and is “unprecedented” when utterly none of that is true.

Nashville, which is well south of Buffalo, had a daily mean record low of -5F in 1985. That is not “once in a lifetime”; I was an adult in 1985 and that is a 24 hour mean temperature! Buffalo had a -8F record recorded in 1993 and in fact had a two-day nasty cold snap over Christmas that year so save me the “never before” nonsense as I see plenty of single-digit high temperatures recorded across December in Buffalo, as was the case where I used to live that was at roughly-equivalent latitude, and it often snowed like Hell too because I was on the leeward side of a large lake just as Buffalo is. You were led to believe that magic little box in your pocket could always summon help immediately and you’d get it if you needed it. In short you were led to believe that whatever befell you wouldn’t impact everyone else like, for example, the dude with the tow truck.

What happens when the roads become impassable? Even if your phone works that doesn’t mean someone can get to you. Never mind that this storm was forecast a week in advance so if you didn’t have blankets and survival gear in the car you had plenty of warning and decided to ignore it. Its WINTER. In WINTER it snows. It gets cold — life threatening cold. Cold is not “inconvenient” — it is deadly if you can’t obtain shelter from it or warmth to stave it off. That shelter and/or warmth had better be reliable, 100% of the time or you are very likely to die. If you have a good reason to go out in those conditions (such as work) you need emergency gear in your vehicle sufficient to survive for a day or two because you might need it.

I put over 30,000 miles a year on my rattrap vehicles in the late 70s and early 80s (Buick Skylark with the infamous garbage-can 231-V6 anyone?) and where I lived these sort of outdoor conditions were utterly common from Thanksgiving to roughly the end of March. If I had to go somewhere, I went — but I had proper snow tires on my car, I had emergency equipment in the vehicle and I never left to go anywhere without that stuff because if I crashed or broke down 20 miles from anything and couldn’t keep warm I was going to be dead and I knew it. Stop relying on technology; its great when it works but it doesn’t always work and sometimes the same thing that got you in trouble will prevent those who you would summon from being able to reach you. Its the same thing I tell people who go out in the backcountry — why don’t you have a PLB? Yeah, it costs a bit of money. Can you hike out 10 miles or more down that trail if you break your leg back there? Well? Use your head. It’s Winter.

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There is much more of this.

CIA Should Get Out of the Laboratory (John Kiriakou)

The Central Intelligence Agency announced in October 2020 — which was ignored until just the past few weeks, when it began circulating on social media — that it had launched something called C.I.A. Labs, “a federal laboratory and in-house research and development arm for C.I.A. to drive science and technology breakthroughs for tomorrow’s intelligence challenges.” [..] The new lab is actually not new. The C.I.A. has long had labs, whether overt or covert, where terrible things happened. Before we celebrate this new C.I.A. lab, let’s look at what its predecessors did.

MKULTRA is probably the best-known example of something awful that came out of a C.I.A. lab. The official explanation to Congress of the purpose of MKULTRA was the development of drugs to aid in interrogations. But it wasn’t quite that simple. Under MKULTRA, the C.I.A. experimented on unwitting Americans, including their own employees. The Church Committee’s investigators concluded that MKULTRA “aimed to develop mind-controlling drugs for use against the Soviet bloc” and “to produce a perfect truth drug for interrogating suspected Soviet spies and to explore other possibilities of mind control.”

MKCHICKWIT was a program whereby the C.I.A. would infiltrate foreign pharmaceutical companies to steal drug samples and information about the drugs’ development. It would then seek to duplicate or to modify those drugs in its own labs. A similar operation, dubbed MKOFTEN, started off as a study on dopamine before morphing into something far more sinister. By the end of the “study,” it had expanded to include the hallucinogen ibogaine and to LSD in the hopes of “creating a new pharmacologically active drug affecting the central nervous system to modify men’s behavior.” Thousands of active duty U.S. servicemen were unwittingly dosed during this operation.

Operation Midnight Climax was a program in the 1960s and 1970s, carried out in C.I.A. safehouses in San Francisco, to dose non-consenting individuals —mostly homeless men and prostitutes — with LSD and other drugs, monitor them from behind one-way glass, and determine if they would voluntarily reveal secrets. The prostitutes eventually were also taught to dose their clients and were then debriefed as to whether or not the johns had revealed any personal secrets. The C.I.A.’s very first foray into drug experimentation was Project CHATTER, in which both animals and humans were dosed with the drugs anabasine (a product of the tobacco plant, it is chemically similar to nicotine,) scopolamine (a drug used to treat motion sickness and post-operative nausea,) and mescaline (a hallucinogen similar to LSD and psilocybin) to see what the effects might be. The operation ended in 1953.

As you can see, the C.I.A.’s track record when it comes to developing things in labs isn’t a good one. And we only know about the above programs thanks to the Church Committee and the Freedom of Information Act. Otherwise, the information likely would still be kept from the American people.

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“..many examples have followed of completely false stories being planted into people’s minds to start and keep a war going..”

Fighting the ‘Psyopcracy’ (Lauria)

Cathy Vogan, the executive producer of Consortium News‘ webcast CN Live!, recently coined a new term to describe rule by psyops, or psychological operations: psyopcracy. According to Wikipedia: “Psychological operations (PSYOP) are operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of United States psychological operations is to induce or reinforce behavior perceived to be favorable to U.S. objectives.” William Casey, C.I.A. director under Ronald Reagan, said: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

Thus the American people are continuously subject to a number of psychological operations otherwise known as “the news.” U.S. intelligence officials feed journalists disinformation to create a false narrative that is intended to mislead the public and cover-up what is actually taking place. The constant reinforcement of these lies becomes entrenched in the public mind and after time comes to be accepted as unquestionable truth. [..] Through such operations, the American people were led to believe for years that the United States was winning in Vietnam, when it was actually losing, as the Pentagon Papers proved. Since then, many examples have followed of completely false stories being planted into people’s minds to start and keep a war going, the fake WMD narrative in Iraq perhaps the most infamous.

Today the war people are being fooled about is in Ukraine. Sometimes a psyop doesn’t involve inserting false information, so much as leaving out what’s true. The American people, and by extension people around the world, have been led to believe that an unprovoked Russian madman started the war last February. That’s because they are purposely not told that the war actually began in 2014 after a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev led Russian speakers in Donbass to declare independence, after which the coup government militarily attacked them. Other facts are removed from the story, such as Russia’s proposed treaties with the U.S. and NATO last December that would have prevented Russia’s intervention in the Ukrainian civil war.

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“In one case, Irving even asked a senior Democratic staffer to ‘act surprised’ when he sent key information about plans for the Joint Session on January 6, 2021 to him and his Republican counterpart. The senior Democratic staffer replied: ‘I’m startled.’”

What Did Nancy Pelosi Know and When Did She Know It? (Julie Kelly)

Analysis of how law enforcement and intelligence services failed to prepare for the “attack,” a promise made by the committee in its original sell job to the public, is buried in a relatively brief appendix at the end. And despite confirmation the government was aware violence might occur—the FBI used a threat tag, “CERTUNREST2021,” purportedly to categorize in advance information related to January 6—federal and local agencies did not prevent what the Biden regime branded a terror attack comparable to 9/11. (FBI Director Christopher Wray’s name is not mentioned once in the report and it appears unlikely he sat for a transcribed interview.)

Even so, in the face of extensive evidence that those agencies were on high alert, committee members still faulted Trump: “Few in law enforcement predicted that the President of the United States would incite a mob attack on the Capitol, that he would send them to stop the joint session knowing they were armed and dangerous, that he would further incite them against his own vice President while the attack was underway, or that he would do nothing to stop the assault for hours,” the report dishonestly stated. Another official who escaped accountability in the report is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the lawmaker mainly responsible for protecting Capitol grounds. Committee members avoided any criticism of Pelosi, instead allowing her to write the foreword. (It’s also unclear whether committee investigators interviewed the speaker.)

For two years, Pelosi has played the role of victimized bystander in the events of January 6 rather than being recognized as the incompetent steward of public safety she is—or worse, someone who was complicit in manufacturing the entire spectacle. After all, her filmmaker daughter just happened to be on site as the historic event, one usually considered a pro forma ceremony, went down. But a competing report also released last week by a handful of Republican House members did not let Pelosi off the hook; to the contrary, “Security Failures at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021” presented new disclosures about how Pelosi’s staff spent weeks ostensibly preparing for the electoral certification vote that afternoon.

“[Then] House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving—who served on the Capitol Police Board by virtue of his position—succumbed to political pressures from the Office of Speaker Pelosi and House Democrat leadership leading up to January 6, 2021,” the report authored by Representatives Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), James Banks (R-Ind.) and others revealed. “He coordinated closely with the Speaker and her staff and left Republicans out of important discussions related to security. Irving only provided information to Republicans after receiving instruction from the Speaker’s office. In one case, Irving even asked a senior Democratic staffer to ‘act surprised’ when he sent key information about plans for the Joint Session on January 6, 2021 to him and his Republican counterpart. The senior Democratic staffer replied: ‘I’m startled.’”

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Your immune system is shifted to see the virus as a harmless allergen.

I use Berenson’s take, but there’s much more from Igor Chudov: Booster-Caused IgG4 Immune Tolerance Explains Excess Mortality , leaning heavily on Rintrah Radagast’s The Trainwreck Of All Trainwrecks: Billions Of People Stuck With A Broken Immune Response .

Do Covid mRNA Vaccines Damage Our Immune Systems? (Berenson)

A group of German scientists released the research as a preprint in July, but it attracted little notice until Science Immunology formally published it on Dec. 22. It is not clear if the new interest comes because the paper has passed peer review or because Covid’s continued surge is troubling researchers. Like many other scientists, the German researchers measured anti-spike-protein antibodies that people produce after Covid vaccination. Both mRNA and DNA jabs cause the body’s cells to produce spike proteins like those on the surface of the coronavirus. Those proteins then cause the immune system to make antibodies – Y-shaped proteins which attach to pieces of the spikes. In the case of a real coronavirus infection, the vaccine-generated antibodies stick to the surface spikes on the coronavirus and keep it from attaching to our cells.

Confirming hundreds of similar studies, the German researchers found that levels of a crucial antibody called Immunoglobulin G, or IgG, rose dramatically after the second and third mRNA doses. Those increased antibodies have been the triumph of the mRNA vaccines. Then the German scientists took a step other researchers had not. They looked at the specific subtype of IgG antibodies people had produced over time. IgG antibodies come in four subcategories, called IgG1 through IgG4. IgG1 is the most common, while IgG4 is the least, accounting for fewer than 5 percent of all IgG antibodies under normal circumstances. One 2009 review calls it an “odd antibody.” Most notably, unlike the other three antibodies in its class, IgG4 does little to help other immune system cells attack viral or bacterial invaders directly.

Compared to the other IgGs, it rarely promotes “phagocytosis,” the process by which other immune cells “eat” the virus or bacteria to which the antibody has attached. A 2017 review found that it “plays a limited role in the immune process.” In fact, because it provokes a weaker immune response, IgG4 has been shown to become more common in people chronically exposed to allergens. Beekeepers famously develop higher levels of IgG4 antibodies to bee venom over time, for example. When the German researchers looked at the way the classes of IgG antibodies changed over time, they saw something they weren’t expecting. Shortly after a second mRNA dose, vaccinated people had almost no IgG4 spike protein antibodies. Only 0.04 percent of all the IgG antibodies were IgG4 at that point.

But then the level of IgG4 antibodies began to rise. And they skyrocketed after the third shot, topping 19 percent about six months after that jab. In other words, they rose from 1 out of 2,500 shortly after the second shot to about 1 in 5 a few months after the third. In people who had been infected after being receiving a third dose, the percentage of IgG4 antibodies rose even further, in some cases becoming more than half all anti-spike IgG antibodies, the researchers found. The researchers then checked whether the rise in IgG4 antibodies after the third dose had any appreciable effect on people’s overall ability to destroy the virus. They found it had.

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“It ranks alongside “died suddenly” both in terms of its magnitude to humanity and the shocking degree of silence in response..”

The Sudden Decline In Birth Rates Post-Vaccination (Horowitz)

In 2010, Bill Gates famously articulated a four-part equation to reducing the world’s carbon output. Seemingly bizarrely, his first component was reducing the population — through vaccination. “The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about nine billion,” bemoaned Gates in his now infamous TED Talk. “Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by, perhaps, 10% or 15%.” Until recently, I thought this must have been a gaffe. After all, how could vaccines reduce the world’s population? Well, enter the COVID jabs – if you even want to call them vaccines – and we might have our answer. Questions about fertility issues, stillbirths, and neonatal deaths began to be raised last winter when Scotland experienced a month of higher infant mortality than at any time over the past three decades.

Then in the spring of 2022, roughly nine months after most young adults were jabbed with the COVID shots, COVID data analysists began noticing unusual drops in birth rates. The hope was that these numbers were just short-term aberrations due to some unknown transient cause. But months later, the evidence is growing too strong to ignore, suggesting a much longer-term problem, which bizarrely has garnered little concern from policymakers, governments, the medical establishment, or the media. It ranks alongside “died suddenly” both in terms of its magnitude to humanity and the shocking degree of silence in response. In fact, some media outlets were even celebrating the low birth rates without expressing any curiosity as to the sudden cause. While it’s impossible to prove definitively that the correlation equals causation, it’s stupefying that these shots are not under suspicion given that they are already tied to heart problems, blood clots, massive inflammatory syndromes, and menstrual irregularities and that the lipid nano particles are deposited largely in the ovaries and the testes.

When you are dealing with 1-in-1,000-year anomalies, it takes a civilization-changing event to account for the anomaly. COVID itself cannot be a factor in the sudden drop, because the birth rates were not declining nine months after COVID hit or even in the first year and a half. The other culprit could have been lockdowns, which perhaps disrupted travel, relationships, and cohabitation. But if that were the case, by now we should be seeing a bounce-back effect. Instead, as my friend “Gato Malo” points out on his Substack, the numbers are getting worse.

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Picasso Moth (Baorisa hieroglyphica)

 

 

 

 

Bald Eagles

 

 

Ghost crab

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dec 252022
 
 December 25, 2022  Posted by at 10:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  52 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds 1634

 

Jesus Would Be Branded A “Domestic Terrorist” Today (Whitehead)
Christmas Eve Cold Weather Brings Rolling Blackouts Along East Coast (CTH)
Peace In Ukraine Depends On Washington – Orban (RT)
Only Putin Can End Ukrainian Conflict – Draghi (RT)
US Says Putin Finally “Acknowledging Reality” After 300 Days Of War (ZH)
China Calls US A ‘Direct Threat’ To The World (RT)
US Defense Act Is A ‘Political Provocation’ – China (RT)
Twitter Files Thread: The Spies Who Loved Twitter (Taibbi)
CIA Pushed Twitter To Censor ‘Anti-Ukraine Narratives’ (RT)
US Moving Bioweapons Research Out Of Ukraine – Moscow (RT)
Russia To Divert Gas Away From West – Official (RT)
German Coal Consumption Soars – Bloomberg (RT)
Without a Hope or a Prayer (Turley)
Traitors (Julie Kelly)
GOP Wants Pelosi to Testify Before Jan. 6 Committee (CB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stone Flynn Zel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..a world that has allowed the life, teachings and crucifixion of Jesus to be drowned out by partisan politics, secularism, materialism and war..”

Jesus Would Be Branded A “Domestic Terrorist” Today (Whitehead)

The Christmas story of a baby born in a manger is a familiar one. The Roman Empire, a police state in its own right, had ordered that a census be conducted. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled to the little town of Bethlehem so that they could be counted. There being no room for the couple at any of the inns, they stayed in a stable (a barn), where Mary gave birth to a baby boy, Jesus. Warned that the government planned to kill the baby, Jesus’ family fled with him to Egypt until it was safe to return to their native land. Yet what if Jesus had been born 2,000 years later. What if, instead of being born into the Roman police state, Jesus had been born at this moment in time? What kind of reception would Jesus and his family be given? Would we recognize the Christ child’s humanity, let alone his divinity?

Would we treat him any differently than he was treated by the Roman Empire? If his family were forced to flee violence in their native country and sought refuge and asylum within our borders, what sanctuary would we offer them?A singular number of churches across the country have asked those very questions in recent years, and their conclusions were depicted with unnerving accuracy by nativity scenes in which Jesus and his family are separated, segregated and caged in individual chain-link pens, topped by barbed wire fencing. Those nativity scenes were a pointed attempt to remind the modern world that the narrative about the birth of Jesus is one that speaks on multiple fronts to a world that has allowed the life, teachings and crucifixion of Jesus to be drowned out by partisan politics, secularism, materialism and war, all driven by a manipulative shadow government called the Deep State.

The modern-day church has largely shied away from applying Jesus’ teachings to modern problems such as war, poverty, immigration, etc., but thankfully there have been individuals throughout history who ask themselves and the world: what would Jesus do. What would Jesus—the baby born in Bethlehem who grew into an itinerant preacher and revolutionary activist, who not only died challenging the police state of his day (namely, the Roman Empire) but spent his adult life speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo of his day, and pushing back against the abuses of the Roman Empire—do about the injustices of our modern age.

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“..the olden days, when service providers were generally focused on improving the quality of life of their customers..”

Christmas Eve Cold Weather Brings Rolling Blackouts Along East Coast (CTH)

If you visit a local library, you may discover there was a time when the focus of electricity companies was to generate and provide the most dependable, efficient, lowest cost and critical power to customers who need electricity to live. Alas, those were in the olden days, when service providers were generally focused on improving the quality of life of their customers. In the modern era, the horrible carbon emitters, aka customers, have become the parasite to manage. People are now a problematic encumbrance blocking the high-minded climate and financial aspirations of the energy corporations. Heating, cooling and comfort? Get a grip Boomers and GenXer’s, those insufferably selfish indulgences were the priorities of yesteryear.

Yes Alice, as we try to peer through the looking glass, we discover it’s a mirror now. The reflection is the opposite of normal, the reflection is the world of pretending. Say hello to the modern Christmastime when you pray for coal in your stocking. From Pennsylvania and New Jersey, westward to Illinois and Ohio and all the way south into South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and beyond, power companies are turning off the electricity to preserve and equally distribute the minimal amount of energy they are able to generate. This my friends, is the “equitable distribution of misery.” How weird does it feel to see that generational prediction turning into reality?


TENNESSEE – […] The TVA began instructing local power companies to reduce power usage on Friday night, and some have instituted rolling blackouts in some cities such as Nashville, Tennessee. Some local power companies have also started using rolling blackouts after the TVA asked them to reduce power usage. PJM Interconnection, based in Pennsylvania, also asked companies within its system to conserve energy. The company asked residents to turn off non-essential lights, set their thermostats lower than usual, and not use major appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines, the AP reported. PJM covers areas in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C, according to the AP.

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“We are pro-Hungarian. We are on the side of the Hungarians in the Russian-Ukrainian war..”

Peace In Ukraine Depends On Washington – Orban (RT)

The prospects of ending the Ukraine-Russia conflict are in the hands of the US, in its role as Kiev’s main backer, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. “Ukraine can only fight as long as the US supports it with money and weapons,” Orban insisted in an interview with the Magyar Nemzet newspaper on Saturday. “If Americans want peace, there will be peace,” he stressed. Since the conflict in Ukraine broke out in late February, Washington has provided Kiev with billions of dollars in military and financial assistance, as well as with military intelligence. Deliveries of lethal aid have included sophisticated hardware such as HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, M777 howitzers, and combat drones. It was recently announced that the Ukrainian military will also receive Patriot air-defense systems.


Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden welcomed his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky to the White House, and pledged: “we will stay with you for as long as it takes.” Russia has long insisted that a “proxy war” is actually being waged against it in Ukraine by the US and NATO. Orban was also asked how he felt about Hungary being branded “pro-Russian” in the EU over its continued economic cooperation with Russia, criticism of the bloc’s anti-Moscow sanctions, and reluctance to send arms to Kiev. “We are pro-Hungarian. We are on the side of the Hungarians in the Russian-Ukrainian war,” the PM responded. Budapest wants Ukraine to stay sovereign and Russia not to pose a threat to Europe, but believes that severing all economic ties with Moscow goes against the country’s interests, he explained.

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“The backing of Kiev has ultimately become one of the main reasons behind Draghi’s downfall..”

Only Putin Can End Ukrainian Conflict – Draghi (RT)

Only Russian President Vladimir Putin is able to end the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Italy’s former prime minister Mario Draghi believes. Russia, for its part, has repeatedly said it is open to talks, since negotiations with Kiev in Istanbul fell through in March. “The prospects for peace are difficult even if a lot has changed in the last period: the channels of communication are much more open and China seems to be more active in staging negotiations,” Draghi stated, in an exclusive interview with daily Corriere della Sera published Saturday. He added that it was still only up to the Russian leadership to end its offensive against Ukraine.

During his time in office, Draghi became one of the most vocal proponents of Ukraine in the West, sending in weaponry as well as rallying international support for the country. The backing of Kiev has ultimately become one of the main reasons behind Draghi’s downfall, as a disagreement over arms shipments caused a split in the Five Star Movement party, toppling his coalition government. Still, the former PM stood by his policies, claiming that his strong support of Ukraine has thwarted Russia’s plans, as Moscow has allegedly hoped for “ambiguity” in Rome. “I was aware of the strong past ties between Italy and Moscow, but we could not remain passive in the face of unmotivated aggression and systematic violations of international law and human rights,” Draghi stated.

“However, the Kremlin has so far shown that it does not want peace,” he went on. But it is only President Putin who can put an end to this bloodshed. Amid the ongoing conflict, he said, Moscow has repeatedly signaled readiness to negotiate with Ukraine but any talks must take Russia’s interests into account. Russia has also blamed the lack of any diplomatic effort to end the conflict on Kiev and on its willingness to continue the hostilities.

Moreover, top Ukrainian officials have repeatedly pledged to reconquer the formerly-Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – which formally joined Russia in early October – as well as Crimea, which has been part of Russia since a 2014 referendum. And Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky has formally ‘banned’ himself from negotiating with the Russian president altogether. The countries were on the verge of striking a peace deal after talks in Istanbul in late March. At that time they inked a proposed agreement, which would have given Ukraine international security guarantees in exchange for neutral status. Kiev pulled out of the talks soon afterwards, with Zelensky claiming that fresh evidence of war crimes allegedly committed by Russian troops had left him no other option. Moscow rejected the accusations, calling the evidence falsified.

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I think he always has recognized reality.

US Says Putin Finally “Acknowledging Reality” After 300 Days Of War (ZH)

The Biden administration has responded to a Thursday speech by Vladimir Putin wherein the Russian leader used the word “war” for the first time to refer to what for ten months he previously only called a “special military operation”. The State Department on Friday called on Putin to keep “acknowledging reality” and to pull his troops from Ukraine. “Since Feb. 24, the United States and rest of the world knew that Putin’s ‘special military operation’ was an unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine. Finally, after 300 days, Putin called the war what it is,” a State Department spokesperson said. “As a next step in acknowledging reality, we urge him to end this war by withdrawing his forces from Ukraine,” the US official added. The statement explained that regardless of Putin’s now apparent shift in terminology, it remains that “Russia’s aggression against its sovereign neighbor has resulted in death, destruction and displacement.”


“The people of Ukraine no doubt find little consolation in Putin stating the obvious, nor do the tens of thousands of Russian families whose relatives have been killed fighting Putin’s war,” the spokesperson said. Putin had said at a Thursday televised news conference: “Our goal is not to spin this flywheel of a military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war,” adding that “This is what we are striving for.” Putin’s unprecedented word choice of “war” came the day after Ukrainian President Zelensky visited Washington and met with President Biden, and gave an address before Congress, wherein he pledged “absolute victory”. Kremlin officials have throughout the invasion carefully avoided using the term “war” in describing the Ukraine invasion. US policymakers and defense officials have been forecasting a “very extended conflict” which could last “years” – and at the same time there seems little appetite for any level of dialogue or peace talks on either side.

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“either waged wars against other countries or created conflicts, causing massive casualties and displacement of innocent civilians.”

China Calls US A ‘Direct Threat’ To The World (RT)

Washington intentionally hypes up the “China threat” as an exuse to boost its military spending in an effort to maintain its global dominance, the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday, after President Joe Biden signed the 2023 US National Defense Authorization Act into law. “Facts have proved more than once that the US is the direct threat to the international order and the culprit of the regional turbulence,” said the ministry’s spokesman, Colonel Tan Kefei. The statement went on to claim that in pursuit of its selfish interests, the US on multiple occasions “either waged wars against other countries or created conflicts, causing massive casualties and displacement of innocent civilians.”


The $858-billion US military spending program for fiscal year 2023, which authorized $10 billion in security assistance and fast-tracked weapons procurement for Taiwan, is yet another in a series of provocative moves that “seriously jeopardize the peace and stability in Taiwan Straits and increase the risk of China-US military confrontation.” The Chinese People’s Liberation Army further vowed to “resolutely safeguard national reunification and territorial integrity of the country,” warning that Washington has no other choice but to “respect China’s core interests and major concerns.” The island of Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, but never officially declared independence from Beijing, with China viewing it as part of its territory. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have been high since the visit of US House speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August. Washington must drop its “old trick of unilateral bullying” that it hands out to Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call earlier this week. “It has not worked with China in the past, nor will it work in the future.”

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“..it would be beneficial for both sides if the US gives up on its “Cold-War and zero-sum mentality”

US Defense Act Is A ‘Political Provocation’ – China (RT)

The US National Defense Authorization Act hypes up the “China threat,” interferes in the country’s internal affairs and attacks the Chinese Communist Party, Beijing said on Saturday. The $858-billion military spending program for fiscal year 2023, signed into law by US President Biden on Friday, is “a serious political provocation against China,” that country’s foreign ministry pointed out in a statement. Beijing “deplores and firmly opposes” the new legislation, it added. The US defense act, which authorized $10 billion in security assistance and fast-tracked weapons procurement for Taiwan, is sending “a gravely wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and severely affects peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” it said. The island of Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, but never officially declared independence from Beijing, with China viewing it as part of its territory.


Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have been high since the visit of US House speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August. “The US needs to stop seeking to use Taiwan to contain China, stop fudging, distorting and hollowing out the One-China principle, and stop moving even further down the wrong and dangerous path,” the ministry warned. Among other things, the bill also contained an amendment that restricted US government agencies from buying products that contain computer chips made by a specific group of Chinese companies. Beijing has urged Washington to refrain from implementing the “negative China-related sections” in the act or face “strong and resolute” counter-measures. According to the foreign ministry, it would be beneficial for both sides if the US gives up on its “Cold-War and zero-sum mentality” and develops a rational view on relations with China.

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“Twitter had so much contact with so many agencies that executives lost track..”

Twitter Files Thread: The Spies Who Loved Twitter (Taibbi)

After writing quite the pre-Christmas reflection Friday, night, Journalist Matt Taibbi has decided to grace us with a Christmas Eve edition of THE TWITTER FILES – which he says details “Twitter’s relationship to other government agencies – including some that don’t like to see their name in print much.”

2. It didn’t refute allegations. Instead, it decried “conspiracy theorists” publishing “misinformation,” whose “sole aim” is to “discredit the agency.”

3.They must think us unambitious, if our “sole aim” is to discredit the FBI. After all, a whole range of government agencies discredit themselves in the #TwitterFiles. Why stop with one?

4.The files show the FBI acting as doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, encompassing agencies across the federal government – from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA.

5.The operation is far bigger than the reported 80 members of the Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), which also facilitates requests from a wide array of smaller actors – from local cops to media to state governments.

6.Twitter had so much contact with so many agencies that executives lost track. Is today the DOD, and tomorrow the FBI? Is it the weekly call, or the monthly meeting? It was dizzying.

7.A chief end result was that thousands of official “reports” flowed to Twitter from all over, through the FITF and the FBI’s San Francisco field office.

8.On June 29th, 2020, San Francisco FBI agent Elvis Chan wrote to pair of Twitter execs asking if he could invite an “OGA” to an upcoming conference:

9.OGA, or “Other Government Organization,” can be a euphemism for CIA, according to multiple former intelligence officials and contractors. Chuckles one: “They think it’s mysterious, but it’s just conspicuous.”

10.“Other Government Agency (the place where I worked for 27 years),” says retired CIA officer Ray McGovern.

11. It was an open secret at Twitter that one of its executives was ex-CIA, which is why Chan referred to that executive’s “former employer.”

12.The first Twitter executive abandoned any pretense to stealth and emailed that the employee “used to work for the CIA, so that is Elvis’s question.”

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“..the “government partners” were getting increasingly “aggressive” with their takedown requests..”

CIA Pushed Twitter To Censor ‘Anti-Ukraine Narratives’ (RT)

The CIA, Pentagon and other US intelligence and law enforcement agencies, referred internally as OGA, were getting increasingly “more aggressive” with their takedown requests, effectively pushing the platform to engage in censorship of foreign policy stories that ran against the Washington-approved narrative, the latest trove of Twitter documents reveals.“The files show the FBI acting as doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, encompassing agencies across the federal government – from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA,” journalist Matt Taibbi wrote in the Christmas Eve edition of the Twitter Files, released with a blessing from the company’s owner Elon Musk.

Among thousands of censorship requests flowing to Twitter from “Other Government Organizations” through the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, many had nothing to do with purported “foreign meddling” and were linked to purely domestic issues. But when they had, Twitter executives often struggled to validate government claims, and were under constant pressure – but unable to find evidence to blame a foreign actor, Russia in particular. “Found no links to Russia,” an unnamed analyst said in one of the emails, further suggesting he could “brainstorm” to “find a stronger connection.” Former Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth admitted he found “no real matches using the info” in another case. Internal communications show that Twitter had been getting so many requests that its executives lost track and had to improvise a system for prioritizing them.

The execs acknowledged it was “odd” how the feds apparently had dedicated personnel tasked with tailoring their takedown requests to Twitter’s policies for faster processing, but even then the company often struggled to find justification for censorship.“Many people wonder if Internet platforms receive direction from intelligence agencies about moderation of foreign policy news stories. It appears Twitter did, in some cases by way of the FITF/FBI,” Taibi wrote. At least some of these originated at the CIA, according to former agent and whistleblower, John Kiriakou, who said he “recognized the formatting.” The feds sometimes sent massive batches of over 1,000 accounts lined up for “digital execution,” with only a brief explanation of their alleged crimes. On multiple occasions they accused “Russian agents” of directing accounts that highlighted “predominantly anti-Ukraine narratives” or documented “purported rights abuses committed by Ukrainians.”

Another intelligence assessment sent to Twitter claimed that accounts spreading information about “neo-Nazis” in Ukraine were part of a Kremlin-controntrolled propaganda campaign and must be banned. In what Taibbi called a “damning admission,” an unnamed former CIA-turned-Twitter executive once noted that the “government partners” were getting increasingly “aggressive” with their takedown requests. “Due to a lack of technical evidence on our end, I’ve generally left it be, waiting for more evidence,” he said about one account. He further argued that since “BRICS is an inherently Russia-dominated economic organization” it was “always likely” that InfoBRICS was “directed by the Kremlin.” “Our window on that is closing, given that government partners are becoming more aggressive on attribution and reporting on it… I’m going to go ahead with suspension and marking the domain UNSAFE.”

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“made many member-states reflect on the risks posed by cooperation with Washington in the military-biological area..”

US Moving Bioweapons Research Out Of Ukraine – Moscow (RT)

After the operations of US-backed labs were uncovered in Ukraine, the Pentagon has been busy moving its bioweapons research to other countries, the head of Russia’s Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defense Troops has said. “The Pentagon is actively working to transfer its unfinished research projects to the countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe,” Igor Kirillov insisted during a briefing on Saturday. The Americans have also been boosting cooperation with Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Kenya and some other nations in the Indo-Pacific and Africa, with “the US Department of Defense being most interested in countries that already possess laboratories with a high level of biocontainment”, he added.

According to the commander, data on illegal operations of US-backed laboratories in Ukraine was presented at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons conference, which took place in Geneva between November 28 and December 16. It included “documentary evidence that work with components of biological weapons and studies of pathogens of especially dangerous and economically significant infections had been carried out on the territory of Ukraine with financial, scientific, technical and personnel support of the US,” he noted. Papers obtained by Russia during its military operation in Ukraine reveal that “military-biological programs” have been performed by such organizations as Mechnikov Anti-Plague Research Institute in Kiev, Institute of Veterinary Medicine in Kharkov and Lviv-based Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene, Kirillov said.

Those files also mentioned three Pentagon contractors and seven high-ranking officials of the US Department of Defense, he added. The full text of a report by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) on its work in Ukraine, seen by the Russian military, contained data, “confirming the conduct of exercises and training activities with pathogens of especially dangerous infections” in Ukraine, Kirillov said. When the Pentagon released this report to the public, 80% of its content had been redacted, he pointed out. According to the Russian commander, the head of the American delegation at the conference declined to respond to Russia’s accusations of violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) by his country.

“Such a stance by the US and its blocking of any initiatives to resume work on the verification mechanism of the CWC once again confirms that Washington has something to hide, and that ensuring transparency in terms of compliance with the convention doesn’t play into the hands of the Americans,” he said. However, the report by Russia didn’t go unnoticed by other countries and “made many member-states reflect on the risks posed by cooperation with Washington in the military-biological area,” Kirillov stressed. The Russian military has been gradually releasing materials on the work of the US-backed biolabs in Ukraine since March. Washington has denied Mocsow’s bioweapons claims, calling them disinformation and a conspiracy theory used by Russia to justify its military operation.

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“..our gas is in demand, it is cheap, we have large reserves, and we will develop these areas..”

Russia To Divert Gas Away From West – Official (RT)

Russian gas is still in high demand in the EU despite the bloc’s latest sanctions on the country’s energy exports, but Moscow intends to divert trade flows elsewhere, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Friday. In an interview with the Russia24 channel, he noted that European “colleagues are constantly asking us to increase supplies” via existing infrastructure such as the TurkStream or Blue Stream pipelines and the Ukrainian gas transportation system, adding that the European market remains relevant for Russia. But, given the current “political mood” in the EU to curb its dependence on Russian gas, Moscow is looking at other markets to redirect supplies, the official noted. “Because our gas is in demand, it is cheap, we have large reserves, and we will develop these areas,” he added.


Russia will diversify trade flows by boosting liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies and pipeline gas deliveries to China, making Asia one of its key directions, Novak said, adding that the country has beefed up LNG production more than threefold. “If earlier only 11 million tons [of LNG] were produced in Russia, today there are already four plants operating, with a total capacity of 36 million tons,” the minister stressed. In the next three or four years Russia is set to boost LNG production to 60 million tons and then bring the figure up to 100 million tons annually, Novak projected. He also reminded his interviewer that along with growing supplies via the Power of Siberia pipeline, Russia and China have an agreement to build gas infrastructure with a capacity to deliver an additional ten billion cubic meters annually.

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No gas? No problem!

German Coal Consumption Soars – Bloomberg (RT)

Energy shortages and surging power prices have pushed Germany to boost coal use despite the country’s commitment to fighting climate change, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. To keep the lights on, Europe’s largest economy is now burning coal at the fastest pace in at least six years, despite the government’s ambitions to phase out the fossil fuel. According to Bloomberg, Germany will be one of the few countries to increase coal imports next year. Facing the dilemma of whether to cut carbon emissions or guarantee energy security in the country, Germany opted for the latter and reopened a number of coal plants. The International Energy Agency said in a recent report that most countries are using “a limited amount of coal power capacity” and “only in Germany, with 10 gigawatts, is the reversal at a significant scale.”

Coal consumption in the country has surged at times this month, bringing it to pollution levels comparable to those in South Africa and India, Bloomberg said, citing Electricity Maps data. According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the country now produces more than one third of its electricity from coal-fired plants. Power generation using coal was up 13.3% in the third quarter compared to the previous year, data shows. “Coal is coming back as a baseload generator,” founder and director of Perret Associates energy consultancy Guillaume Perret said, adding that the commodity will be less seasonal than it has been “with more coal-burning in summer, spring and autumn, as long as coal remains so much in the money versus gas and there remains a gas shortage.”

While the deficit of natural gas in Germany is one reason for reviving coal, another is the growing demand in France, where power generation was disrupted by nuclear reactor outages. This year, Germany may become a net exporter of electricity to France for the first time since at least 1990, according to Destatis. It is likely that Germany will have to suspend the government’s planned closure of the most polluting power plants by at least nine months and keep them operational until the end of 2024, Perret said.

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Thought police.

Without a Hope or a Prayer (Turley)

This week, the arrest of British Catholic woman for ‘praying’ outside an abortion clinic has attracted international attention. However, the jailing of Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, director of anti-abortion group March for Life UK, is neither surprising nor particularly rare as a denial of free speech in Great Britain. While this form of “protest” is uncommon as the basis for an arrest, free speech has been in a free fall in the UK for years. It is also a cautionary tale for those in the United States, which is facing arguably the largest anti-free speech movement in its history.Pictures from Birmingham show Vaughan-Spruce, 45, simply standing near the abortion clinic silently praying when an officer confronts her. She was not blocking access or displaying any protest signs or material.

Nevertheless, she was arrested, jailed, interrogated, and ultimately charged with four counts of violating the abortion clinic “buffer zone.” According to reports, the West Midlands Police officer asked her “are you praying?” She responded “I might be praying in my head, but not out loud.” That was it. She was arrested for praying “in her head” near an abortion clinic.A recent order from September 7 made clear that praying near an abortion clinic is now a criminal act in the country. The Birmingham City Council order says that prohibited acts includes “but is not limited to graphic, verbal or written means, prayer or counselling.”Various individuals heralded the arrest. Dr. John Michael Leslie went on Twitter to declare “No, you’re in violation of it you repeatedly harass women going to a Family Planning Clinic who might be asking for Abortion Advice.

“Praying in her head” is the spin from her supporters.”However, legally, that is itself a dangerous pin. She was not arrested for past conduct but her current conduct, which was praying in her head.Another poster objected that “It’s so obvious she’s martyring herself in the glare of the public as a way of publicising her beliefs, she knowingly went into that area to get arrested. You must think we’re all crackers.” Indeed, though “crackers” does not quite capture the free speech crisis in the UK. This is not the first thought crime prosecuted in the country.

Last year, Nicholas Brock, 52, was convicted of a thought crime in Maindhead, Berkshire. The neo-Nazi was given a four-year sentence for what the court called his “toxic ideology” based on the contents of the home he shared with his mother in Maidenhead, Berkshire. While most of us find Brock’s views repellent and hateful, they were confined to his head and his room. Yet, Judge Peter Lodder QC dismissed free speech or free thought concerns with a truly Orwellian statement: “I do not sentence you for your political views, but the extremity of those views informs the assessment of dangerousness.”

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“..hire almost 100 temporary government lawyers to help prosecute January 6 protesters, a caseload now nearing 1,000 Americans with promises to add another 1,000 more..”

Traitors (Julie Kelly)

Zelenskyy, always in character, couldn’t even manage to wear a proper suit. His attire, of course, didn’t matter as long as his costume had lots of pockets. Zelenskyy is set to receive $47 billion more in U.S. tax dollars when those same slobbering lawmakers pass a $1.7 trillion government spending bill this month—bringing Zelenskyy’s total grab to $100 billion and counting. The omnibus package itself is one insult after another to the American people. As Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) detailed in a December 20 tweet thread, generous funding to secure the borders of other countries is included in the bill with little more than crumbs to protect our southern border, now dangerously wide open to human smugglers and drug runners. Billions more will be spent to promote gender equity, fight “structural racism,” expand access to abortion, and construct buildings and parks named after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, retiring Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ark.) and former First Lady Michelle Obama among others.

Perhaps the most outrageous provision in the bill is a hefty budget hike for the Department of Justice. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who spends the majority of his time and resources targeting Donald Trump, his associates, and his supporters, will receive a nearly 10 percent raise next year, bringing the Justice Department’s annual budget to $38.7 billion. More than $212 million is earmarked to hire almost 100 temporary government lawyers to help prosecute January 6 protesters, a caseload now nearing 1,000 Americans with promises to add another 1,000 more. The Federal Bureau of Investigations will get $569 million more next year as that agency’s budget exceeds $11 billion for the first time. Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray have made it clear by word and deed that the imaginary threat of “domestic violent extremists,” i.e., those who dare to criticize the regime will remain their top priority.

This means more predawn FBI raids of Capitol “trespassers,” more indefinite incarceration for those awaiting trial, more prison sentences for nonviolent offenses, more misery, and more destruction of Constitutional rights. And that’s just fine with the overwhelming majority of Republicans in Washington who’ve been silent in the face of this unprecedented form of government retaliation against Trump supporters. In fact, outgoing Senator Roy Blunt (R-Miss.) explained that the Justice Department really needed the big funding boost. “I’ve always been for prosecuting anybody who violated the law on January the 6th,” Blunt told NBC News this week. “And there are, like, 800 cases already. So I can’t imagine that they don’t need some extra money.”

The FBI, particularly in light of recent revelations of the bureau’s collusion with Big Tech to suppress coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop and criticism of mail-in voting, should be dismantled and defunded, not rewarded for its interference in two presidential elections among other malfeasance. Nor should the agency receive $375 million in capital funding to build a shiny new headquarters in either Virginia or Maryland as the bill also provides.But that didn’t stop 18 Republican senators, including McConnell and two-time presidential loser Mitt Romney, from voting to pass the omnibus bill on Thursday. Another “yes” vote was from Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the former chair of the Senate Judiciary who promised for years to “get to the bottom” of numerous Justice Department scandals.

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“The reason there wasn’t a proper security presence on that day goes right to the speaker’s staff and the speaker’s office..”

GOP Wants Pelosi to Testify Before Jan. 6 Committee (CB)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will be forced to relinquish her gavel to Republicans early next month after the GOP won a majority in the chamber during the midterm elections last month. But a pair of GOP lawmakers want her to answer some questions — presumably under oath — before a committee she created ostensibly to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol Building. “The reason there wasn’t a proper security presence on that day goes right to the speaker’s staff and the speaker’s office,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Just the News Wednesday after the release of the House Republicans’ report detailing the security failures that led to the breach of the Capitol. “As you go back and look at the communications, there’s this pattern that develops where the Sergeant of Arms is meeting with Pelosi’s staff,” Jordan, the incoming House Judiciary Committee chairman, noted further.

“Many of those meetings, Republican staff wasn’t allowed to be there, but they had this pattern where everything had to run through her office, her staff, before the Sergeant of Arms could make a decision.” In a separate interview with the outlet, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) said that the National Guard was delayed in arriving at the Capitol on Jan. 6 because then-Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving was waiting to hear from Pelosi on the matter. “It’s almost like there were individuals within the current administration that wanted this to happen,” Nehls said. “All the intelligence was there, and what did they have? What did they have? They had bicycle racks. … A bicycle rack couldn’t keep your cat in your yard.” The two lawmakers are among five House Republicans who released the GOP report, which offered substantially more detail about events that day and leading up to it than have been noted or released by Pelosi’s Democrat-run committee.


Nehls made reference to some texts from Irving corroborating accounts that some U.S. Capitol Police officers ushered protesters into the Capitol Building, noting: “The American people aren’t hearing any of this from the sham [Jan. 6] committee.” The Texas lawmaker also said that a former D.C. National Guard commander told him that had Guard troops been deployed when police asked for assistance on Jan. 4, the riot would have “never, ever happened.” “And Nancy Pelosi. You do have questions you need to answer … Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador,” Nehls said, making reference to earlier reports that President Biden will offer the U.S. Ambassador to Italy post to Pelosi, who is 82. The GOP report, in addition to Pelosi and her staff, also cited the USCP Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division for ignoring or refusing to act on intelligence indicating there was a need for greater security due to politics, bureaucracy, and the “misplaced priorities of their leadership.”

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Box jellyfish

 

 

Swim tigers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 022022
 


Balthus Girl at a window 1957

 

Pentagon Confirms US Boots Are On The Ground In Ukraine (ZH)
Outrage Ensues After The Atlantic Suggests ‘Amnesty’ For Pandemic Authoritarians (ZH)
We Need Covid Accountability, Not Amnesty (QTR)
New World Order: The West Will Have To Live Within Its Means (Karaganov)
Zelensky ‘Nullified’ Grain Shipping Deal – Russian Duma Speaker (RT)
There Will Be No Deal – Zelensky Broke The Rules! (Milacic)
Russia Offers Alternative To Ukraine ‘Grain Deal’ (RT)
Russia Demands Black Sea Corridor Guarantees From Ukraine (RT)
Russia Responds To Kiev’s Nuclear Plant ‘Hypocrisy’ (RT)
Blue Checkers Revolt Over Musk’s Threatened Monthly Charge (Turley)
UK Households Face ‘Very, Very Hard’ Winter – National Grid (RT)
Cockamamie Story (Kunstler)
The Tale of Two Greedy Landlords (Catte Black)
Censorship and Suppression of Covid-19 Heterodoxy (Springer)
Fatal Flaw: 42% False Discovery Rate for SARS-CoV-2 nonQ-RT-PCR Test (PR)

 

 

 

 

 

 

GW

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..this is the start of perhaps inevitable ‘mission creep’..”

Pentagon Confirms US Boots Are On The Ground In Ukraine (ZH)

Two bombshell reports by the Associated Press and Washington Post Monday and Tuesday have confirmed that the United States has boots on the ground in the Ukraine conflict. Crucially, these troops are performing tasks separate from mere embassy security. The American troops are said to be performing “inspections” of US weapon caches after last week the State Department and Pentagon unveiled a new plan to track US-supplied weapons in efforts to implement accountability for the billions of dollars worth of arms and ammunition transferred to Ukrainian forces since near the start of the war eight months ago.

“A small number of U.S. military forces inside Ukraine have recently begun doing onsite inspections to ensure that Ukrainian troops are properly accounting for the Western-provided weapons they receive, a senior U.S. defense official told Pentagon reporters Monday,” the AP/WaPo reporting revealed. A Pentagon briefing confirmed this “small” contingency of troops has been advised to not do inspections “close” to the front lines of fighting: The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide a military update, would not say where the inspections are taking place or how close to the battlefronts the U.S. troops are getting. The official said U.S. personnel can’t do inspections “close to the front lines,” but said they are going where security conditions allow.

There have already been “several inspections” overseen by U.S. Defense attache and a US Office of Defense Cooperation team based out of the Ukrainian capital. The report underscores that “U.S. President Joe Biden has ruled out any combat role for U.S. forces inside Ukraine.” However, what’s clear is that despite the White House’s ruling out of “combat” troops, this is the start of perhaps inevitable ‘mission creep’ – as has been seen in other conflict zones (such as Syria). If US troops are doing inspections of Ukrainian arms and ammo, and presumably Russia is currently targeting any and all Ukrainian military bases, this puts American troops and assets in Russia’s crosshairs, greatly increasing the possibility that the US and Russia could stumble into a direct shooting war.

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“Hey I’m sorry we scared the hell out of you & lied for years & persecuted & censored anyone who disagreed but there was an election going on & we really wanted to beat Donald Trump so it was important to radically politicize the science even if it destroyed your children’s lives.”

Outrage Ensues After The Atlantic Suggests ‘Amnesty’ For Pandemic Authoritarians (ZH)

The Atlantic has come under fire for suggesting that all the terrible pandemic-era decisions over lockdowns, school closures, masking, and punishing an entire class of people who questioned the efficacy and wisdom of taking a rushed, experimental vaccine – for a virus with a 99% survival rate in most, should all be water under the bridge. “We need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID,” writes Brown Professor Emily Oster – a huge lockdown proponent, who now pleads from mercy from the once-shunned. “Let’s acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty, and then try to work together to build back and move forward,” she continues. Except, they weren’t “in the dark” about Covid.


There were numerous sources pointing out the actual science that ran contrary to the mandate claims, and they were deliberately silenced by a vast media campaign. Evidence suggests that media platforms worked in tandem with Big Tech, the CDC and the Biden Administration. It was not a simple matter of overreaction, there was collusion to remove all counter-information. Nice try, Emily. As the Daily Sceptic’s Michael P. Senger puts it: “There’s a lot wrong here. First, no, you don’t get to advocate policies that do extraordinary harm to others, against their wishes, then say, “We didn’t know any better at the time!” Ignorance doesn’t work as an excuse when the policies involved abrogating your fellow citizens’ rights under an indefinite state of emergency, while censoring and cancelling those who weren’t as ignorant. The inevitable result would be a society in which ignorance and obedience to the opinion of the mob would be the only safe position.”

And look at that ratio: In one epic Twitter thread, Claremont Institute Senior Fellow Matthew J. Peterson (@docMJP) excoriates Oster’s entire premise; “Hey—sorry you lost your job b/c of the vax that doesn’t work and your grandmother died alone and you couldn’t have a funeral and your brother’s business was needlessly destroyed and your kids have weird heart problems—but let’s just admit we were all wrong and call a truce, eh? It’s too bad we shut the entire economy down & took on tyrannical powers that have never been used before in this country—looking back, you should have been able to go to church and use public parks while we let people riot in the streets—but it was a confusing time for everyone.

Hey I’m sorry we scared the hell out of you & lied for years & persecuted & censored anyone who disagreed but there was an election going on & we really wanted to beat Donald Trump so it was important to radically politicize the science even if it destroyed your children’s lives. OK, yes we said unvaccinated people should die & not get healthcare while never questioning Big Pharma once but we are compassionate people which is why even though we shut down the entire economy we also bankrupted the nation & caused inflation. You’re welcome! Let’s be friends.”As QTR’s Fringe Finance notes, Oster’s plea for the decency that her ilk failed to offer up to most Americans during the throws of the pandemic comes at a point where the Covid narrative has been all but lost by the Democrats and the mainstream media.

There have been several recent large wins for the unvaccinated who had the constitution and backbone to stand up for themselves throughout a year of being constantly berated and ferociously scorned as second class citizens.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1587148452055629826

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Starting with Emily Oster and the Atlantic..

We Need Covid Accountability, Not Amnesty (QTR)

And now Emily Oster has the gall to write a ho-hum style piece calling for “amnesty” with nary a worthy apology to be seen? Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see any common sense making its way through the cracks. I support the apologies to the unvaccinated and the court rulings because I think they are just. I haven’t been gloating about them because I’m over the topic in general and because I’m simply ready to move on and not dwell on it. But the same hubris and arrogance that caused all of this poor decision-making to begin with is still dripping off of The Atlantic’s latest “mea culpa”, which makes an attempt to rewrite history and trivializes the trauma many endured. “Some of these choices turned out better than others,” the article casually writes at one point.

At another point, like an alcoholic who can’t stop himself from taking another swig from the bottle, it begrudgingly has to make a perfunctory and obligatory reference to “misinformation”: We have to put these fights aside and declare a pandemic amnesty. We can leave out the willful purveyors of actual misinformation while forgiving the hard calls that people had no choice but to make with imperfect knowledge. Instead of an apology, we are left with this kumbaya moment: The standard saying is that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. But dwelling on the mistakes of history can lead to a repetitive doom loop as well. Let’s acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty, and then try to work together to build back and move forward.


The Atlantic article can lead me to only one conclusion: many of the left simply don’t know how to apologize. After all, it wasn’t enough to tell honest people that they were wrong during the course of the pandemic for decisions that turned out to be right, The Atlantic now wants to tell them they’re wrong again if they don’t forgive those who made their lives hell over the last two years. A little tip for The Atlantic: next time, write a piece focused on apologizing instead of issuing orders about exactly how, when and why people should be forgiving you. In case you didn’t notice, it was trying to micromanage other peoples’ lives that got you in this mess in the first place. Talk to us when you offer up accountability, not amnesty.

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Professor Sergey Karaganov, honorary chairman of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and academic supervisor at the School of International Economics and Foreign Affairs Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow

New World Order: The West Will Have To Live Within Its Means (Karaganov)

We are living in a dangerous period, on the brink of a full-fledged third world war that could end humanity’s existence. But if Russia wins, which is more than likely, and the hostilities do not escalate into a full-blown nuclear conflict, we should not look at the coming decades as a time of dangerous chaos (as most in the West are saying). We have been living in this period for a long time. It will be, if we choose a world of constructive creation and the attainment of freedom, justice and dignity by peoples and nations. The old system of institutions and regimes has already collapsed (freedom of trade and respect for private property). Meanwhile, institutions like the WTO, the World Bank the IMF, the OSCE and the EU are, I am afraid, reaching their last years.

New bodies are beginning to emerge to which the future belongs. They are the SCO, ASEAN+, the Organisation of African Unity and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The Asian Development Bank is already lending many times more than the World Bank. Not all new institutions will survive, and let us hope that a number of them will survive, especially in the UN system, which urgently needs reform to primarily represent the Global Majority in the secretariat, rather than the West. The main thing is to prevent a losing West from stalling history or derailing it through a world war. Not only Global Majority countries, but Western countries can live quite happily in this world.

The West will simply lose the opportunity to plunder the rest of the planet and it will have to shrink a bit. They will have to live within their means. I am afraid that this new world taking shape now will be created beyond my intellectual or physical life. But my young colleagues and certainly their children will see it. But this beautiful vision has to be fought for, first of all by preventing a third world war, because of the attempted revenge of the West. Again, it was in Europe that the first two world wars were unleashed. Russia is now fighting, among other things, to ensure that the prerequisites for a third are not ripe. But conflicts will occur in an era of rapid change. So the struggle for peace should be one of the main themes of our intellectual community and the world at large.

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Wonder how this will end.

Zelensky ‘Nullified’ Grain Shipping Deal – Russian Duma Speaker (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has rendered the internationally brokered grain shipping agreement void by using the safe passage in the Black Sea to strike Russian warships, Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, said. Moscow claims that Kiev dispatched attack drones via the route designated for grain vessels. “The resumption of the grain deal is impossible as long as the safe corridor is being used for terrorist attacks,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday. “With his actions, Zelensky has nullified all of the agreements that were brokered by Türkiye and the UN. ”The senior legislator said the use of the safe corridor for the attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is “unacceptable” and that the grain agreement “cannot exist on the old terms.”

Under the deal struck in July, the sides agreed to unblock the export of grain and other agricultural products from Ukrainian ports. Ukraine, a major producer, is among the vital suppliers of wheat, corn, and barley. On Saturday, Moscow accused Kiev of sending aerial and seaborne drones to strike warships in the city of Sevastopol in Crimea, which hosts a naval base. A minesweeper was damaged in the raid, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The ministry claimed that the drones moved along the corridor set up for grain ships, and that one device may have been launched from a civilian vessel hired to transport grain. Moscow also said that a British Navy unit masterminded the attack. London has dismissed the accusation. Russia subsequently announced the closure of the corridor on Monday.

Zelensky accused Russia of blackmail and “deliberately exacerbating the food crisis.” Speaking to reporters on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that only 3-5% of grain that had been shipped through the safe corridor went to poorer countries. The UN, however, reported last month that 27% of the ships went to “low and lower-middle income countries” such as Egypt, Kenya, and Bangladesh. It said that 26% went to “upper-middle income countries” such as Türkiye and China, while 47% went to “high-income”nations such as Spain and Italy.

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“Western insurance companies, despite official permission, refused to insure cargoes of food and fertilizers from Russian ports under various pretexts.”

There Will Be No Deal – Zelensky Broke The Rules! (Milacic)

Just a few hours after the attack by sea “drones” on the ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the early morning of October 29, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the suspension of the “grain deal” – an agreement that had been in force since July 22 of this year. The fact that Russian military claims that naval drones have passed through the territory included in the “grain deal”, where there is no Russian fleet – it only made that decision stronger! The “grain deal” allowed Kyiv to freely export grain from the Black Sea ports under the auspices of the UN, in exchange for some easing of sanctions against Russian exports of grain and fertilizers. Formally, this agreement was strictly humanitarian and its sole purpose was to provide grain to the countries of Africa and Southeast Asia, dependent on food imports.

During the passage of the Bosporus, ships traveling from Ukraine and back were examined by UN inspectors to exclude the possible import and export of prohibited goods. But the Kremlin did not receive its benefit from the deal … Ukraine, having unblocked the export of grain by sea, at the same time was able to unload land communications and receive a significant income from the export of agricultural products. In addition, its Western partners were once again able to resell Ukrainian grain, which, with the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, rose significantly in price. But Russia continued to face difficulties in securing the export of its grain. Western insurance companies, despite official permission, refused to insure cargoes of food and fertilizers from Russian ports under various pretexts.

At the same time, information was increasingly appearing in the media that American and European authorities were putting significant pressure on insurers. Naturally, Moscow was more and more dissatisfied with the terms of the deal concluded before November 19 and doubted the possibility of its extension. The attack on Sevastopol gave the Kremlin a great trump card – the deal was instantly suspended, although the Russian fleet did not suffer significant damage. The military response of Russia also followed very quickly, the communications center and the base of the special forces of the Ukrainian fleet in Ochakiv were destroyed. However, both the attack on the Russian base and the actual breach of the deal with Russian exports are just the tip of the iceberg.

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“Currently, Russia is “not ready to say” what conditions would have to be met for it to resume its participation in the deal.”

Russia Offers Alternative To Ukraine ‘Grain Deal’ (RT)

Russia is ready to provide poorer grain-importing nations with supplies from its own stocks to replace Ukrainian exports, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday. Earlier, Russia suspended its participation in the so-called “grain deal” with Ukraine following an attack on its navy base in Sevastopol. “We can guarantee the Russian side’s readiness to compensate for the missing [grain export] volumes from its own stocks,” Peskov said. Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Moscow would continue to support African nations despite halting its compliance with the pact. The Kremlin spokesman also said only a tiny portion of all Ukrainian agricultural products exported under the deal were destined for the poorest nations anyway, while “not-so-poor nations located in Europe got the rest.”

Moscow also believes that the grain deal between Russia and Ukraine, which was reached in Istanbul with UN and Turkish mediation, is now in limbo for security reasons. “The deal could hardly be implemented when Russia says it cannot guarantee maritime security in the designated waters” of the Black Sea, Peskov said, adding that the implementation of the agreement is now “much more risky, dangerous and not guaranteed.” The Kremlin has not said the deal is dead altogether, however. Moscow is “still in contact” with other parties, including the UN and Türkiye, Peskov said. Currently, Russia is “not ready to say” what conditions would have to be met for it to resume its participation in the deal.

Under the agreement reached in July, Russia provided a secure “grain corridor” through the Black Sea waters to facilitate the exportation of Ukrainian agricultural products. The agreement was praised as critical for easing the global food crisis and helping the world’s poorest nations to avoid starvation. Last week’s decision by Russia to halt its compliance with the deal caused a grain price surge. Moscow suspended its participation in the deal last week after a massive drone attack on its naval base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the naval drones launched as part of the attack used the grain corridor to reach their targets and one of them may even have been launched from a civilian vessel supposedly chartered to ship Ukrainian grain.

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“Moscow is now ready to supply African nations with “large volumes” of grain and fertilizers out of its own stocks for free..”

Russia Demands Black Sea Corridor Guarantees From Ukraine (RT)

Kiev should provide “real guarantees” that it would not use the Black Sea corridor created as part of an Istanbul grain deal in its military activities, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone conversation on Tuesday. The two were discussing the circumstances that could convince Moscow to return to its own commitments under the agreement. Russia indefinitely suspended its participation in the deal last week following a massive drone attack on its naval base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol. Some of the naval drones launched by Kiev allegedly used the Black Sea grain corridor’s security zone to close in on their targets, according to the Russian military.

“It is necessary to conduct a detailed investigation of … this incident, as well as to get real guarantees from Kiev that it would rigorously abide by the Istanbul agreements, including the non-use of the humanitarian corridor for military purposes,” the Russian president said, according to the Kremlin’s press release. Russia would only consider re-opening this corridor if that happened, Putin added. He also pointed out that the part of the deal that involved lifting restrictions on Russia’s own agricultural and fertilizer exports had never been implemented. The corridor was touted as a way to secure food supplies to the neediest nations as a matter of priority. But this goal has not been reached in the three months since the agreement was established, Putin noted. “Moscow is now ready to supply African nations with “large volumes” of grain and fertilizers out of its own stocks for free, the president confirmed.

The Russian military closed the Black Sea grain corridor on Monday, arguing that its security could not be guaranteed while Kiev used it for military purposes. Moscow had previously blamed Ukraine and UK Navy specialists for the attack on Sevastopol. London has dismissed the accusation. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the corridor would stay closed at least until all the circumstances of the attack were established. Russia has also repeatedly said that it has not left the deal entirely but only suspended its own commitments under the agreement. In the wake of Moscow’s decision, the UN insisted that “food must flow” regardless of the circumstances. Civilian vessels “can never be a military target or held hostage,” the UN coordinator for the Black Sea grain initiative, Amir Abdulla, said.

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“Ukrainian troops are shelling the region almost on a daily basis, threatening the lives and safety of people, but they keep silent about it, while expressing concerns about the fish..”

Russia Responds To Kiev’s Nuclear Plant ‘Hypocrisy’ (RT)

Kiev’s accusations that Moscow is responsible for an alleged environmental disaster at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant sound hypocritical, given that Ukraine has been constantly targeting the facility, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the administration of Russia’s Zaporozhye Region, said on Tuesday. His statement comes after the Ukrainian state-owned operator, Energoatom, claimed that Russian actions had led to a massive die-off of fish in the facility’s cooling pond.Rogov denounced Kiev’s accusations as the “wildest hypocrisy that knows no bounds.” “Ukrainian troops are shelling the region almost on a daily basis, threatening the lives and safety of people, but they keep silent about it, while expressing concerns about the fish,” he told RIA Novosti.

Moreover, he noted that the plant’s energy units had been shut down precisely because Kiev’s forces have been constantly targeting the area around the facility. On Monday, Ukraine’s Energoatom said that the shutdown of the plant’s energy units had resulted in a decrease in the water temperature in the cooling pond, which led to “mass fish death.” The fish had been “performing a sanitary function” by destroying the green algae and cleaning the cooling tubes of the turbine condenser, it said. However, Ukraine had gone to great lengths to paralyze the plant’s operations and prevent it from coming online again, according to Rogov.

The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which is Europe’s largest, has been under Russian control since March. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially placed the facility under Moscow’s management. The Russian leader signed the relevant order as Moscow was finalizing the accession of Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, as well as the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, to Russia following referendums that overwhelmingly supported the move. Russia has on numerous occasions accused Ukraine of shelling the Zaporozhye facility, warning that the attacks could lead to a nuclear disaster. Kiev has denied the allegations, blaming Russia for the shelling instead.

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“Musk is looking for ways to reduce the dependency on advertisers and many of us would support that effort.”

Blue Checkers Revolt Over Musk’s Threatened Monthly Charge (Turley)

As a regular MSNBC pundit is calling for Elon Musk to be stripped of his citizenship for trying to reintroduce free speech protections to Twitter, the new owner is outraging blue checkers by suggesting a monthly charge for verified users. Figures like CNBC’s Jim Cramer declared: “I’m not paying them anything. They should pay me.” Some of us would be willing to pay an added monthly fee to support a true free speech alternative on social media if Musk keeps his word. Of course, for full disclosure, I would first have to get a blue check to get charged for a blue check. I have been barred from being verified for years by Twitter despite being a columnist for newspapers like USA Today and the Hill as well as a legal analyst for CBS, NBC, BBC, and now Fox over the last two decades.

I have been ranked in the top five law professors on Twitter, but I was still turned me down over a dozen times under multiple categories. I have previously joked about the bar on verification and I am not sure how much the blue check honestly does for individuals. Indeed, there are some advantages. I can presumably deny prior statements since they were made by an entirely unverified person using my name for over a decade. Yet, as a long-time critic of Twitter’s censorship system, there has been a long curiosity over the denial. Musk has indicated that he is now looking into such concerns and there may be greater transparency in the weeks to come. However, Musk is looking for ways to reduce the dependency on advertisers and many of us would support that effort.

Recently, General Motors suspended advertising on Twitter until it can evaluate the implications of Musk’s new policies. Some of us immediately criticized the action by GM over the move. The company had no problem with supporting Twitter when it was running one of the largest censorship systems in history — or supporting TikTok (which is Chinese owned and has been denounced for state control and access to data). Twitter has been denounced for years for its bias against conservative and dissenting voices, including presumably many GM customers on the right. None of that was a concern for GM but the pledge to restore free speech to Twitter warrants a suspension.

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“..rolling blackouts could happen during “those deepest darkest evenings in January and February..”

UK Households Face ‘Very, Very Hard’ Winter – National Grid (RT)

Many British households will struggle to pay energy bills this winter that could be double what they are accustomed to despite a government price cap, the National Grid’s CEO, John Pettigrew, has warned. In an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday, he said he was “under no illusions” and that Brits would find the upcoming winter “financially very, very hard.” “Even with the [taxpayer-funded] price cap this is a doubling-up of what people are used to paying for their energy bills,” Pettigrew said, adding: “Therefore, inevitably there are going to be people who are going to struggle.” The British government has capped the unit cost of energy until April, meaning that an average household would pay about £2,500 ($2,885) over a year on average.

But last winter the equivalent amount was £1,277 ($1,474). Each household will also receive a £400 rebate on utility bills with additional means-tested payments through Social Security benefits. However, that will still be unable to make up the difference given the soaring energy prices. Pettigrew said the National Grid was working on a number of emergency plans to protect the UK against a shortfall of energy from Europe. Earlier, the grid operator’s boss warned that the country could face power cuts on “really cold” evenings this winter due to Europe’s continuing energy squeeze. He said that rolling blackouts could happen during “those deepest darkest evenings in January and February,” likely between 4pm to 7pm.


Such measures were “unlikely,” according to Pettigrew, who warned, however, that there were potential scenarios where Britain’s power generators would fail to secure sufficient supplies from Europe. Normally, during the coldest months and extreme weather events, the UK imports gas and electricity from continental Europe for its gas-fired power plants. However, this year European countries are themselves facing a severe energy crisis exacerbated by anti-Russian sanctions and a sharp decrease in Russian energy supplies.

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Top spot for craziest story.

Cockamamie Story (Kunstler)

So far, police have not disclosed how DePape journeyed from Berkeley to Pacific Heights at 2:00 o’clock in the morning, about fourteen miles. Did he walk from Berkeley across the Bay Bridge and then halfway across town? Mr. DePape is apparently also known to the police as a gay hustler, that is, a person who sells sex for money. Unless I’m mistaken, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has a detective department — experienced men and women who go around the city seeking clues, evidence, and testimony in order to make sense of perplexing crimes — and then solve them! Shall we assume they are on-the-job? Now, Paul Pelosi, 82, who made a $300-million fortune running a car service (also shrewd investments in real estate and the stock market), has been in quite a bit of trouble this year.

On May 28, 2022, he was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Napa (near a vineyard estate he owns with Nancy) when his 2021 Porsche crashed into a 2014 Jeep driven by one “John Doe” (as the police identified him). KGO-TV, ABC’s affiliate in the San Francisco area, said that there was a second person in the Porsche with Pelosi at the time of the accident. He has never been identified. In August, Mr. Pelosi was sentenced to five days in jail, a fine of roughly $7,000, a three-month drinking-and-driving course, eight hours of public service, and having an “interlock” device installed on his car that would require him to blow into an alcohol sensor before the engine can ignite. By any chance, were the Napa Police or the County Court contacted in the matter at some point by the US Capitol Police or the FBI? We may never know.

If David DePape didn’t walk fourteen miles from Berkeley to Pacific Heights, or take a cab (expensive), how did he get there? Here’s a theory: he rode the BART subway from Berkeley to the Church Street and Mission station in the city, a five-minute walk to the Castro, San Francisco’s fabled gay district. Sometime before 2:00 a.m. closing time, he met up in a bar there with Paul Pelosi, who drove DePape to the Pelosi house in a car not equipped with an interlock device. That is to say, David DePape was let into the house by Mr. Pelosi. The police and the news media have theorized that DePape broke into the place by smashing a glass door in back. Uh-huh…. Ask yourself: would there not be an alarm system at least on all the ground floor windows and doors in the house? Would there not be security cameras on the back side of the house — the side that burglars might prefer, if they could get over the wall?

Would the Speaker of the House, with a discretionary budget on top of a $300-million fortune, and in a time of epic political rancor, not have a team of security guards in place at her private home? Initial news media chatter had both DePape and Paul Pelosi dressed in their underwear, struggling over a hammer which turned out to belong to Mr. Pelosi. Not until the police entered the house did DePape wrest the hammer from Mr. Pelosi and commence to brain him with it. What does the arrest report actually say about the two men’s state-of-dress? It is not public information. How and why were the police just watching until DePape assaulted Mr. Pelosi — who was hospitalized afterward and had surgery on his cracked skull? (Uh, how did a blow that literally broke his skull not kill the elderly Mr. Pelosi?)

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“what would we do without the Banker to guide us!?”

The Tale of Two Greedy Landlords (Catte Black)

Once upon a time in a land far away and in a time of plenty there were two rich and prosperous Landlords who each owned large and spacious adjoining buildings wherein many people lived. The apartments were warm and comfortable and every week there was a market where grain was brought from Landlord B’s land and fruit and meat and vegetables from Landlord A’s. While wood from Landlord B’s copses kept the Communal Woodpile stocked with seasoned logs. Everyone was happy. The Landlords were both friends with a Banker. The Banker was richer than both the Landlords combined and in fact he owned their houses and their land and watched carefully what they did with them. And one day he invited them to a sumptuous dinner at his house and said “things could be better”.

“How could things be better, friend Banker?” asked Landlord B, “there is food in our granaries and money in our coffers, and everyone is happy”. “Your people are charged too little for too much luxury. They expect fuel for their stoves and food in their markets, and are never grateful enough to you for your kindness.” The two Landlords looked at each other and realized this might be true, for they rarely disagreed with the Banker. “Yes,” said Landlord A, sadly shaking his head, “our people are feckless children that never give enough thanks for our largesse, but alas, what can we do?”. “They need to be taught their place”, the Banker said. “They need to pay a proper price for what you provide and learn to be grateful. You should triple the price of food from your farms and fuel from the Communal Wood Pile”.

The two Landlords looked at each other in apprehension. They were greedy and liked the sound of this very much, but they were also cowards. “But”, said Landlord B, “but if we do that they may just become annoyed and might refuse to pay or break our windows or our bones and then we will be worse off not better!” This was true. And caused the Landlords to shake their heads regretfully. But the Banker was cleverer than either of them. He merely smiled. “They are children”, he said, “and children require stories in order to learn about life’s harsh truths. So, you will tell them a story”. The two Landlords looked at him, but did not understand.

“You will tell them there is a new and terrible plague which has broken the Supply Chain and consequently fuel and food are three times more expensive!” “But…but there is no new and terrible plague”, stammered Landlord A. “Of course there is”, smiled the Banker, “why else would hundreds of people be dying?” “But hundreds of people are not dying”, stammered Landlord B. “Of course they are,” smiled the Banker, “how could they not when there is a new and terrible plague?” They looked at him for a long time before gradual understanding dawned, and their puzzled frowns turned to smiles. “Of course!” they said in unison, “what would we do without the Banker to guide us!?”

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Pierre Kory, MD MPA @PierreKory:

A high quality Sociology journal finally publishes the truth about what happened in Medical Science during Covid.
Phenomenal paper.
Cue censorship by mass media and social media.
Hope Chief Twit starts making changes fast.

Censorship and Suppression of Covid-19 Heterodoxy (Springer)

Abstract: The emergence of COVID-19 has led to numerous controversies over COVID-related knowledge and policy. To counter the perceived threat from doctors and scientists who challenge the official position of governmental and intergovernmental health authorities, some supporters of this orthodoxy have moved to censor those who promote dissenting views. The aim of the present study is to explore the experiences and responses of highly accomplished doctors and research scientists from different countries who have been targets of suppression and/or censorship following their publications and statements in relation to COVID-19 that challenge official views.


Our findings point to the central role played by media organizations, and especially by information technology companies, in attempting to stifle debate over COVID-19 policy and measures. In the effort to silence alternative voices, widespread use was made not only of censorship, but of tactics of suppression that damaged the reputations and careers of dissenting doctors and scientists, regardless of their academic or medical status and regardless of their stature prior to expressing a contrary position. In place of open and fair discussion, censorship and suppression of scientific dissent has deleterious and far-reaching implications for medicine, science, and public health.

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Ouch.

Fatal Flaw: 42% False Discovery Rate for SARS-CoV-2 nonQ-RT-PCR Test (PR)

We have just published a new study that shows that nonQ-RT-PCR (non-quantitative RT-PCR testing as used to diagnose COVID-19 from 2020 to the present day suffers a flaw that ultimately draws into question all of what has been reported on COVID-19 by official channels, including the results of COVID-19. Specifically, assuming a 5% prevalence rate, the high false discovery rate (42%) of the use of nonQ-RT-PCR means


1. For every 50 true positives out of 1,000, a total of 86 people with or without SARS-CoV-2 infection or residual fragments will be reported. Of these, 36 of these will be false positives.
2. For every 50 true positives, 86 people without SARS-CoV-2 infection or residual fragments will be have to be isolated/quarantined. Of these, 36 will not be infected.
3. For every 50 true positives that are tested and found positive in-hospital, 86 people with or without SARS-CoV-2 infection or residual fragments will be told that they “have COVID-19”. If the 36 false positive patients are hospitalized with other COVID-19 patients, they will likely then contract a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
4. The number of “cases” via positive PCR has been overstated by a factor of 72% (the original post read “80:1” assuming a prevalence of 5%).
5. This is true for generic case reporting up until May 2021 when CDC decided to reduce the PCR cycle threshold value (Ct) for the vaccinated to less than 27, leaving the unvaccinated rate biased by high false discovery rate of arbitrarily high Ct, biasing all reported rates in these two groups favoring cases in the unvaccinated from that point on.
6. This +72% bias is true in any clinical trial or any study that used arbitrarily high Ct values, INCLUDING THE VACCINE STUDIES. As a direct result of this fatal flaw, combined with CDC’s gaff “PCR+ = COVID-19″? There are no credible COVID-19 vaccine trial data.

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Rogan list

 

 

 

 

Malone

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 152022
 
 October 15, 2022  Posted by at 8:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Harbour scene, Dieppe 1883

 

Borrell: The EU Is A Garden, The Rest Of The World Is A Jungle (RT)
Borrell: West Will ‘Annihilate’ Russian Army If Moscow Uses Nukes (Antiwar)
Borrell: ‘Propaganda Is Our Battlefield’ (ZH)
EU Opens Probe Into Vaccine Deals (RT)
Putin Explains Why There Are No Peace Talks With Ukraine (RT)
Russia Courts Muslim Countries As Strategic Eurasian Partners (Escobar)
The EU Courageously Denounces Terrorism (Saker)
Merkel Defends ‘Very Rational’ Russian Gas Deals (RT)
German Leaders Care More About NATO Than Their Own People – Putin (RT)
Russia ‘To Repair Crimea Bridge Damage By July 2023’ (RT)
Putin Reveals Threat To Istanbul Grain Deal (RT)
The Western Empire Attacks Russia: The World Strikes Back (Red)
The Supremes Get It Right – Again (Denninger)
We’re Coming For You (Jim Kunstler)
Trump ‘Loves The Idea Of Testifying’ Before Jan. 6 Committee (Fox)

 

 

 

That got Elon on the list:

 

 

Kuleba

 

 

 

 

George Webb Black Sea

 

 

This got the cartoonist banned.

 

 

Dec 2016. Got everything right, except one detail.

 

 

 

 

Borrell must go. I can repeat that every day. He’s the EU equivalent of Lavrov, but can’t stand in his shadow . Embarrassing.

Borrell: The EU Is A Garden, The Rest Of The World Is A Jungle (RT)

The European Union is a “garden” that has the best combination of “political freedom, economic prosperity and social cohesion” ever known to humankind – and must be protected from the outside “jungle.” That’s according to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who made the comparison while delivering a speech at the inauguration of a pilot university program designed to cultivate the next generation of European diplomats. Addressing a group of students at the College of Europe in Bruges on Thursday, Borrell said “The rest of the world… is not exactly a garden. Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden. The gardeners should take care of it, but they will not protect the garden by building walls.”

He insisted that Europeans have to be “much more engaged” with the rest of the world and put their “privilege” to good use. The gardeners have to go to the jungle… Otherwise, the rest of the world will invade us, by different ways and means. Led by Borrell’s predecessor, Federica Mogherini, the European Diplomatic Academy is a brainchild of the European External Action Service (EEAS) launched this year with the stated goal of cultivating a “truly European diplomatic corps.” Some 42 students are taking part in the first year pilot, mostly candidates from various EU institutions, but also diplomats from the Western Balkans countries, Georgia, Moldova and Türkiye – as well as two candidates from Ukraine.

“You are the first generation. You are the trailblazers of a process, and I hope that many others will come,” Borrel told the group of future diplomats. “Keep the garden, be good gardeners. But your duty will not be to take care of the garden itself but [of] the jungle outside.” It’s not the first time Borrell has compared the EU to a beautiful and tidy garden surrounded by a chaotic, lawless jungle. Back in March he told El Mundo that “if we don’t want the jungle to eat our garden, we have to wake up.”

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Not a day goes by without some westerner telling us Russia wants to use nukes. Problem is, they’ve made very clear that they don’t.

Borrell: West Will ‘Annihilate’ Russian Army If Moscow Uses Nukes (Antiwar)

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell issued a threat against Russia on Thursday, warning that Western powers would “annihilate” the Russian army if Moscow uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine. “Putin is saying he is not bluffing. Well, he cannot afford bluffing, and it has to be clear that the people supporting Ukraine and the European Union and the Member States, and the United States and NATO are not bluffing neither,” Borrel said at a European Diplomatic Academy event in Bruges, Belgium. “Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer, not a nuclear answer but such a powerful answer from the military side that the Russian Army will be annihilated,” he added. The warning from Borrel came as NATO defense ministers held the second day of talks in Brussels, which included a closed-door meeting of the alliance’s nuclear planning group, the body that sets and reviews NATO’s nuclear policies.


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also warned Russia against using nuclear weapons, saying it would have “severe consequences.” But he said the chances of NATO using a nuclear weapon are “extremely remote.” When announcing a partial mobilization last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Russia could use all of the weapons at its disposal to defend its “territorial integrity.” Russian officials insist Putin’s comments were nothing new and fell within Russia’s long-established military doctrine, which says nuclear weapons could be used if the country faces an “existential threat.” But the warning was significant since Russia has extended its territory by annexing areas in Ukraine under its control, and other Russian officials have explicitly said they could defend the new territories with nuclear weapons.

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“What would have happened if, instead of [Joe] Biden, it would have been [Donald] Trump or someone like him in the White House? What would have been the answer of the United States to the war in Ukraine?”

Borrell: ‘Propaganda Is Our Battlefield’ (ZH)

“This is a perfect storm,” exclaims European Commission Vice President Josep Borrell in his opening speech to EU Ambassadors this week. Having noted previously his warnings to The Fed that it is “bringing us to a world recession,” Borrell went considerably further in a surprisingly frank and plain-speaking address. He began by warning that “the world we are facing is a world of radical uncertainty.” The speed and scope of change is exceptional. We should not try to deny it. We should not try to resist it. It would be a futile effort. We have to accept it and to adapt [to] it, prioritising flexibility and resilience. But uncertainty is the rule. Events that one could imagine that they will never happen, they are happening one after the other. At this pace, the black swan will be the majority. It will not be white swans – all of them will be black – because one after the other, things have happened that had a very low probability of happening, nevertheless they happened, and they had a strong impact and certainly they happened.”

The EC VP then goes on to try and summarize the extent of the European crisis and how they got there, admitting that they were entirely dependent on China (trade), Russia (energy), and US (security)… “I think that we Europeans are facing a situation in which we suffer the consequences of a process that has been lasting for years in which we have decoupled the sources of our prosperity from the sources of our security. This is a sentence to provide the headline, and I am taking that from Olivier Schmitt, who has been developing this thesis – I think – quite well. Our prosperity has been based on cheap energy coming from Russia. Russian gas – cheap and supposedly affordable, secure, and stable. It has been proved not [to be] the case. And the access to the big China market, for exports and imports, for technological transfers, for investments, for having cheap goods.

I think that the Chinese workers with their low salaries have done much better and much more to contain inflation than all the Central Banks together. So, our prosperity was based on China and Russia – energy and market. Clearly, today, we have to find new ways for energy from inside the European Union, as much as we can, because we should not change one dependency for another. The best energy is the one that you produce at home. That will produce a strong restructuring of our economy – that is for sure. People are not aware of that but the fact that Russia and China are no longer the ones that [they] were for our economic development will require a strong restructuring of our economy.

The access to China is becoming more and more difficult. The adjustment will be tough, and this will create political problems. On the other hand, we delegated our security to the United States. While the cooperation with the Biden Administration is excellent, and the transatlantic relationship has never been as good as it is today – [including] our cooperation with the United States and my friend Tony [Anthony] Blinken [US Secretary of State]: we are in a fantastic relationship and cooperating a lot; who knows what will happen two years from now, or even in November? What would have happened if, instead of [Joe] Biden, it would have been [Donald] Trump or someone like him in the White House? What would have been the answer of the United States to the war in Ukraine? What would have been our answer in a different situation?

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And Von der Leyen should go too, of course. In a normal setting, her position would long have been untenable.

EU Opens Probe Into Vaccine Deals (RT)

The European Union prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the bloc’s procurement of billions of Covid-19 vaccine doses, amid allegations of corruption and secret backroom dealings from several members of parliament. EU officials announced the probe in a brief statement on Friday, confirming an “ongoing investigation into the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines in the European Union.” They added that the case follows “extremely high public interest” around the issue, though declined to share any other details. While prosecutors were tight-lipped about the exact nature of the probe, the announcement follows allegations from MEPs that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen conducted vaccine negotiations with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in secret.

Despite requests from journalists, lawmakers and an EU watchdog, von der Leyen’s office has failed to produce personal text messages sent to Bourla during talks for nearly 2 billion vaccine doses, prompting accusations of corruption. Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakusic noted the new investigation later on Friday, saying the decision was made thanks to pressure from lawmakers. Though he was unable to shed additional light on the probe, Kolakusic has been highly critical of the EU’s vaccine procurement process, claiming deals for billions of doses were marred by “corruption” and secrecy.

“Today, 10 of us MEPs asked [von der Leyen] the following question: when will she present to us… the communication she had with Pfizer during the procurement of 4.5 billion doses of vaccines at a time when there was absolutely no proof of the effectiveness, and especially not of the harmfulness, of that product?” he said in a tweet earlier this week, calling the issue the “biggest corruption scandal in the history of mankind.” Last month, the European Court of Auditors said that it has asked the commission to provide information on “preliminary negotiations” for the EU’s largest Pfizer purchase – including “scientific experts consulted and advice received, timing of the talks, records of the discussions, and details of the agreed terms and conditions” – but added that “none was forthcoming.” The European Commission still has yet to make the information public, fueling corruption allegations from MEPs.

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“Those agreements were almost initialled. But as soon as the troops were pulled back from Kiev, the leadership in Kiev lost all desire to have talks..”

“[Boris] Johnson arrived in Kiev, “almost without warning” on April 9. He allegedly told the Ukrainian leader that Western nations would refuse to sign up to the security guarantees that Kiev wanted to receive under the proposed peace treaty.”

Putin Explains Why There Are No Peace Talks With Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine is refusing to engage in peace talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists on Friday, when asked about possible negotiations to end the conflict between the two countries. The Kiev government “had been saying that they wanted talks and ostensibly asked for them, but now they issued a formal decision that prohibits them,” he said during a press conference in Astana, Kazakhstan. Earlier this month, Zelensky signed a decree forbidding any negotiations with Putin, saying Ukraine will only talk to Russia when it has a different president. Speaking to journalists on Friday, Putin remarked that mediation by nations including Türkey between Moscow and Kiev may be required, if Ukraine’s position changes. Putin recalled that Russia and Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement which could have the halted hostilities, during Turkey-mediated talks in late March.

“Those agreements were almost initialled. But as soon as the troops were pulled back from Kiev, the leadership in Kiev lost all desire to have talks,” he remarked. The Russian Defense Ministry announced a withdrawal of troops from the Ukrainian capital after news broke that the negotiators in Istanbul had agreed on a draft treaty. Under its terms, Ukraine would have pledged to maintain a neutral status and not allow foreign troops and military installations on its soil, in exchange for security guarantees from foreign nations, including Russia. Days later, President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russian troops of committing war crimes, claiming that evidence was discovered in Bucha, one of the towns near Kiev that the Russian army had left. He declared that the Ukrainian people would not allow him to negotiate with Russia after the discovery.

Moscow claimed that the evidence was fabricated to justify breaking off the talks. According to Russian diplomats, Moscow wrote up a formal peace agreement based on Ukrainian proposals and sent it to Kiev, but never heard anything back. According to Ukrainian media reports in May, Zelensky was pressured into breaking off negotiations with Russia by Boris Johnson, then-prime minister of Britain. Johnson arrived in Kiev, “almost without warning” on April 9. He allegedly told the Ukrainian leader that Western nations would refuse to sign up to the security guarantees that Kiev wanted to receive under the proposed peace treaty. President Zelensky has repeatedly stated that his only goal in the conflict is to defeat Russia on the battlefield and retake control of all territories that Kiev claims to be under its sovereignty.

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Go east, young man.

Russia Courts Muslim Countries As Strategic Eurasian Partners (Escobar)

Everything that matters in the complex process of Eurasia integration was once again at play in Astana, as the – renamed – Kazakh capital hosted the 6th Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). The roll call was a Eurasian thing of beauty – featuring the leaders of Russia and Belarus (EAEU), West Asia (Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Palestine) and Central Asia (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan). China and Vietnam (East and Southeast Asia) attended at the level of vice presidents. CICA is a multinational forum focused on cooperation toward peace, security, and stability across Asia.,Kazakh President Tokayev revealed that CICA has just adopted a declaration to turn the forum into an international organization.

CICA has already established a partnership with the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). So in practice, it will soon be working together side-by-side with the SCO, the EAEU and certainly BRICS+. The Russia-Iran strategic partnership was prominently featured at CICA, especially after Iran being welcomed to the SCO as a full member. President Raeisi, addressing the forum, stressed the crucial notion of an emerging “new Asia”, where “convergence and security” are “not compatible with the interests of hegemonic countries and any attempt to destabilize independent nations has goals and consequences beyond national geographies, and in fact, aims to target the stability and prosperity of regional countries.”

For Tehran, being a partner in the integration of CICA, within a maze of pan-Asia institutions, is essential after all these decades of”maximum pressure” unleashed by the Hegemon. Moreover, it opens an opportunity, as Raeisi noted, for Iran to profit from “Asia’s economic infrastructure.” Russian President Vladimir Putin, predictably, was the star of the show in Astana. It’s essential to note that Putin is supported by “all”nations represented at CICA. High-level bilaterals with Putin included the Emir of Qatar: everyone that matters in West Asia wants to talk to “isolated” Russia. Putin called for “compensation for the damage caused to the Afghans during the years of occupation” (we all know the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder will refuse it), and emphasized the key role of the SCO to develop Afghanistan.

He stated that Asia, “where new centers of power are growing stronger, plays a big role in the transition to a multipolar world order”. sHe warned, “there is a real threat of famine and large-scale shocks against the backdrop of volatility in energy and food prices in the world.” He further called for the end of a financial system that benefits the “Golden billion” – who “live at the expense of others” (there’s nothing “golden” about this “billion”: at best such definition of wealth applies to 10 million.) And he stressed that Russia is doing everything to “form a system of equal and indivisible security”. Exactly what drives the hegemonic imperial elites completely berserk.

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“..Russia should simply forget about the West (at least for a decade or so)..”

The EU Courageously Denounces Terrorism (Saker)

In the meantime, the FSB has pretty much figured out how the explosives which were used by the Ukrainian GUR were brought into Russia: by using the Istanbul grain deal of course! [..] This would all be truly hilarious if it was not so evil, hypocritical and dishonorable. This is also very dangerous as the countries which participate in this farce are all showing either 1) their true allegiance to the AngloZionist Empire or 2) their total lack of courage. Which means that they are not only removing themselves from any real negotiations, they are also painting themselves into a political corner from which they won’t be able to get out again. To put it differently, the EU nations want to regime change Russia, which means that Russia will have to regime change them.

That is also what “denazification” and “demilitarization” means! Of course, the example of Serbia, which voted against Russia, shows that a comprador regime never represents the interests of the people it rules over. Besides, votes and declarations by non-sovereign states mean absolutely nothing. The only vote which counts is the vote of countries with actual agency and sovereignty. In conclusion, I will just repeat here what I have been writing for years and which I still believe to be true: Russia should simply forget about the West (at least for a decade or so). I mean, of course, Russia needs to be fully cognisant that the West will continue its total war against Russia in every conceivable manner short of a direct and overt military attack (and some hyenas and former empires are even capable of that!).

And if the West wants to buy something from Russia – by all means! Russia did not create these idiotic sanctions and she sure has no obligation or reason to enforce them against herself. But the future of Russia is in the South (Mediterranean, Middle-East, Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, etc.) the East (China) and the North (the Arctic, the Northern Route, the Russian Northeast). Russia is also making major inroads with various Muslim countries who, each for their own reasons, are really getting fed up with the infinite arrogance and incompetence of Uncle Shmuel and seek to collaborate with Russia. As for the West, it is turning itself into a pile of compost without any need for Russian assistance. Why interrupt it?

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“This is a turning point, and of course the new government has to deal with it. And that is what it is doing,” she said of the Scholz leadership.”

It is? You sure? Do we think NS2 would ever have been shut under Merkel, who initialled it?

Merkel Defends ‘Very Rational’ Russian Gas Deals (RT)

Germany’s former chancellor, Angela Merkel, has said she does not regret her decision to sign natural gas deals with Russia during her 16 years in power, arguing that Moscow has long been a “reliable energy supplier” and offers lower prices than its competitors. Speaking to reporters at an event in Lisbon, Merkel explained that Germany has long sought to move away from coal as an energy source, and that Russian natural gas was the best available option as Berlin aimed to eventually “arrive at CO2-free forms of energy.” “From the perspective of that time, it was very rational and understandable to obtain pipeline-bound gas from Russia, which was cheaper than LNG [liquefied natural gas] from other parts of the world,” she said on Thursday, adding that “Even during the Cold War, Russia was a reliable energy supplier.”

After taking office in 2005, Merkel presided over two major gas deals with Moscow, both intended to funnel energy directly into Germany from Russia through the Nord Stream 1 and later Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which bypassed transit states such as Ukraine and Poland.[..] After taking office in 2005, Merkel presided over two major gas deals with Moscow, both intended to funnel energy directly into Germany from Russia through the Nord Stream 1 and later Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which bypassed transit states such as Ukraine and Poland. However, Nord Stream 2 never became operational, as Merkel’s successor, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, paused the project’s certification just days before Russia sent troops into Ukraine in late February.

American LNG exports to Europe have ramped up significantly in recent months as much of the continent seeks to distance itself from Russian energy supplies, nearly doubling sales recorded in 2021. Given that Russia previously covered about 40% of the EU’s gas imports, however, prices have seen a sharp rise, stoking fears that some Europeans will be unable to heat their homes come winter. Merkel, who has faced criticism for maintaining Germany’s dependence on Russia, went on to say that it was “right to accelerate the fight against climate change at the end of my term,” referring to the Russian gas purchases and efforts to end the use of coal, but added that Moscow’s “brutal invasion” of Ukraine had changed Germany’s calculus. “This is a turning point, and of course the new government has to deal with it. And that is what it is doing,” she said of the Scholz leadership.

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“I believe that it’s a mistake, and business, the economy, and the citizens of the Federal Republic [of Germany] are paying for this mistake..”

German Leaders Care More About NATO Than Their Own People – Putin (RT)

Berlin made a mistake by placing its obligations to NATO above the interests of the German people, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. Now business, the country’s economy and its citizens are paying for this mistake, he told journalists on Friday. “Apparently, some kind of allied obligations have been placed to the forefront” by Germany “within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance,” Putin said at a press conference after the Central Asia-Russia summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. “Is it right or wrong? I believe that it’s a mistake, and business, the economy, and the citizens of the Federal Republic [of Germany] are paying for this mistake, because it has negative economic consequences for the eurozone in general and for the Federal Republic in particular,” Putin pointed out.

He was answering a question about Berlin’s role in the Ukraine conflict, where it has been among key backers of Kiev. According to the Russian leader, German authorities “should decide for themselves what is more important: the fulfilment of some allied obligations as they see them, or ensuring the interests of their own people, their national interests.” Earlier this week, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov announced that Kiev received the first unit of the German cutting-edge IRIS-T air defense system. His German counterpart Christine Lambrecht called the shipment an important contribution to the Eastern European nation’s ability to defend itself from “missile shelling.” That’s while the German military has so far not received a single unit of the ground-based IRIS-T system variant, which led to concerns being voiced by some politicians and media outlets, who believe that the country is depleting its own weapons stockpile by sending the arms to Kiev.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said earlier that Berlin will keep up its support for Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February, many Western states imposed unprecedented sanctions against the country. This has led to a significant drop in Russian natural gas shipments to Western Europe, including Germany, and resulted in soaring energy prices and accelerating inflation. Berlin has introduced a series of measures meant to reduce winter energy consumption. Meanwhile, prices for firewood and wood pellets rose by over 85% in August compared to the same month last year, according to a recent report by Destatis, the Federal Statistics Office.

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No hurry, security first.

Russia ‘To Repair Crimea Bridge Damage By July 2023’ (RT)

: Russia’s government has ordered contractors to finish repairs to a key bridge linking annexed Crimea to Russia by July 2023. The bridge was damaged by a blast last Saturday which officials say left at least three people dead. Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack but Kyiv has not said it was behind it. The 19km (12-mile) bridge, Europe’s longest, is a key supply route for Russian forces in Ukraine, but heavy goods vehicles are unable to use it. The explosion caused midway sections of two of the four carriageways of the bridge to collapse into the sea and also damaged the railway line. Currently, lorries are forced to queue for a ferry, in a process which is thought to take several days.


A document on the Russian government’s website said it had appointed the company Nizhneangarsktransstroy to be the sole contractor, tasked with the “design and restoration of destroyed elements of the transport and engineering infrastructure of the Crimean Bridge”. It sets “a deadline by which state contracts for the work are to be completed… of 1 July 2023”. The bridge was opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, four years after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

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“..if it turns out that humanitarian corridors [used] for grain shipments to the poorest nations… are used for terrorist attacks, it would put the very existence of these corridors in question.”

Putin Reveals Threat To Istanbul Grain Deal (RT)

Ukraine apparently transported the explosives used in last week’s attack on the Crimean Bridge by sea, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists on Friday, citing a report by the Federal Security Service (FSB). If it is proven that grain carriers operating in the Black Sea under the Istanbul grain deal were involved, it would have dire consequences for the agreement, he warned. Earlier this week, the FSB revealed that explosives disguised as a 22-ton shipment of plastic construction sheeting arrived at the Bulgarian Danube port of Ruse from Ukraine’s port of Odessa by sea. “It is not yet clear if grain carriers were involved,” Putin said at a press conference in the Kazakh capital of Astana. If it turns out that humanitarian corridors [used] for grain shipments to the poorest nations… are used for terrorist attacks, it would put the very existence of these corridors in question.

The president admitted that Russia still does not have any solid evidence confirming that Ukraine may be using grain exports for such activities. However, he warned that the response would be swift and tough if this is the case. “There will be a simple answer: We will shut down [the grain export corridors] and there is an end to it,”Putin warned, adding that Moscow would look for rock-solid proof first. The breakthrough grain deal between Moscow and Kiev was reached in Istanbul in July with mediation by the UN and Türkiye. It aimed to unlock exports of Ukrainian and Russian grain. The two countries are among the world’s leading grain exporters, but trade had come to a halt due to the protracted conflict between the two neighbors.

On Friday, Russia also warned that it may still quit the deal if obstacles to its own food and fertilizer exports are not removed. Moscow has been complaining for months that restrictions on its food and fertilizer exports linked to international sanctions have not been lifted, months after it provided conditions for the Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea. The developments also come in the wake of an attack on the Crimean Bridge linking the peninsula to mainland Russia. A truck explosion on the bridge killed at least four people and led to a partial collapse of the highway bridge section. Russia then declared the attack a terrorist act and blamed the Ukrainian security services. The Russian security services also detained a total of eight suspects, including Russians, Armenians and Ukrainians, in connection with the attack.

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“Jo Red is “lucky enough to be born in Italy: studied a lot, knows nothing”

The Western Empire Attacks Russia: The World Strikes Back (Red)

At this point, even Biden must be realizing that there were deeper reasons behind the Saudi prince’s decline of his phone call already in March, besides inflicting him and the American government the umpteenth humiliation on the world stage. Not only the US are finally given the brush-off in one of the most important regions of the world: the latter is actively being reshaped by the hatred of them. The Middle East connects three continents, including the two largest, not to mention oceans and seas, and by controlling its straits the Anglo-American have been able to choke the world economy for well over a century. Add the infamously rich resources of the region.

It is no coincidence that the same Raymond Geuss considers the British loss of control of the Suez strait in 1956 as the end of their empire, more than the independence of India. Let’s not forget this was “facilitated” by Khrushchev’s threat at the UN to resort to missiles in case the colonial powers did not withdraw from Egypt. The region continued to be torn apart by the West’s skillful exploitation of its ideological, social, national, and especially religious diversity: first of all, the conflict between Shia and Sunni Muslims. These are behind the most dramatic – and almost completely ignored – humanitarian crisis of our time: the devastation of Yemen.

It won’t be easy, but if the interests of such opposite countries as Saudi Arabia and Iran were to align, with a little help by American hostile resentment against the independence of both, and perhaps a friendly nudge by Russia (and China), this would be a massive blow to Western hegemony. Much more than the temporary occupation of I don’t know how many soccer fields in rural Ukraine.

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“..Constitutional Rights, such as they are, attach at birth as being born is the delineating point for the purpose of the Constitution at a federal level.”

The Supremes Get It Right – Again (Denninger)

Oct 11 (Reuters) – “The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to decide whether fetuses are entitled to constitutional rights in light of its June ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had legalized abortion nationwide, steering clear for now of another front in America’s culture wars. The justices turned away an appeal by a Catholic group and two women of a lower court’s ruling holding that fetuses lacked the proper legal standing to challenge a 2019 state law codifying the right to abortion in line with the Roe precedent. The two women, pregnant at the time when the case was first filed, sued on behalf of their fetuses and later gave birth.”

This is a correct decision; the Constitution is clear. This doesn’t mean a state cannot go further. It can; that which is not under the view of the Federal Constitution can still be addressed under a State Constitution. It cannot be argued that at the time of the drafting of the Constitution or that of the 14th Amendment there was any question as to the significance of gamete fusion and creation of a zygote. That event was known to the drafters of both along with its significance; there is no reasonable argument possible otherwise. Therefore there is no “controversy” nor anything to be “clarified” as to the meaning of the words in the Constitution: The words are clear on their face; Constitutional Rights, such as they are, attach at birth as being born is the delineating point for the purpose of the Constitution at a federal level.

If someone wants to change this (and clearly plenty of people do) the proper way to do it is through a Constitutional Amendment, not running to a court and demanding that the court rewrite that which is there, or simply ignore what’s written and make something up. Going through that process is difficult, it requires large super-majorities and thus it requires overwhelming consensus and careful consideration by everyone involved including input from the citizens in each of the respective 50 States and their Legislatures. It should require exactly that and people on both sides who are trying to short-cut that process are wrong and should be slapped down because the only reason to short-cut the process is that you do not believe you can carry the debate when it is held in full.

In other words you insist on short-cutting the process because it is your expressed intent to cheat! I don’t care which side of a given argument one may be on for a given issue; either the Constitution is contained within the four corners of the page and the words are as-written or it is toilet paper and of no force and effect whatsoever. In the latter case all law flowing from same is of no force and effect and nobody has an obligation to adhere to any of it, whether at a state, local or individual level. Think long and hard about the implication of that before you advocate for what these jackasses tried to do — and which was properly rebuffed by the Justices.

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“The lamp-posts in the WalMart parking lots could be decorated with dangling local election officials..”

We’re Coming For You (Jim Kunstler)

Have you noticed, as the election looms, the Party of Chaos trips deeper into its own self-created chaos? Turns out that the effort to make Ukraine the fifty-first state is not going over so well with the voters. Nor is the campaign to convince children to switch sexes. Or the crusade to sell ever more mRNA “vaccines” that the CDC knows good-and-goshdarn-well is killing and maiming credulous citizens by the millions. Or the program for importing limitless alien “vibrance” across the open border with Mexico…. As the venerable Rolling Stones sang more than a half century ago: “Rape… murder… it’s just a shot away!” This is the kind of country that the Party of Chaos has been grooming you up for.

It’s not working. We are coming for you: leaders, mesmerized minions, and obliging tools of this Satanic faction that seized the levers of power in America and turned them into wrecking bars. After the nervous hiatus from November to January, we’re coming for you in 2023. You are going to answer for the decisions you took and the rules you made that drove our country to its knees and half out of it’s mind. We are storming you in your Kafka’s Castle of lies and malice, and we are going to drag you out of there kicking and screaming. Preserving your decorum will not be our first consideration, Rochelle Walensky, Tony Fauci, Alejandro Mayorkas, Merrick Garland, Christopher Wray, and the people who work for you.

There’s a lot of loose talk about some as-yet-unknown Party of Chaos’s ploy to stave off the November 8th reckoning — say, drag out the vote count for weeks and confabulate the results… declare some emergency to shut down in-person voting… or somehow postpone the vote altogether. Nothing like that will go over successfully this time around. The lamp-posts in the WalMart parking lots could be decorated with dangling local election officials who get caught churning phony ballots, tweaking Dominion machines, and taping-up the polling places’ windows with cardboard. You’re getting no help, meantime, from the folks who run the maundering flunkey you installed as president. They just flipped-off Sergey Lavrov’s invitation to negotiate some reasonable end to your $60-plus billion orchestrated fiasco in Ukraine. These are the people that party apostate Tulsi Gabbard identified lately as “an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness.” She got that exactly right, and at exactly the right moment in history, too.

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Nancy Pelosi had her daughter lead an entire film crew on Jan 6. Who happened to catch it “all”. Doesn’t smell right.

Trump ‘Loves The Idea Of Testifying’ Before Jan. 6 Committee (Fox)

Former President Donald Trump “loves the idea of testifying” before the House select committee investigating January 6th, a source close to Trump told Fox News Digital just after the panel unanimously voted to subpoena him. The source said that if Trump complied with the subpoena and testified, he would “talk about how corrupt the election was, how corrupt the committee was, and how Nancy Pelosi did not call up the National Guard that Trump strongly recommended for her to do three days earlier on January 3, 2021.” The source told Fox News Digital that it is unclear at this point if Trump actually will testify before the committee, but stressed that Trump “loves the idea.” The committee — which consists of seven Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans — voted Thursday to compel Trump to testify about his conduct leading up to and during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday, Trump slammed the committee and its investigation as a “witch hunt.” “The committee is a hoax, a sham, a partisan witch hunt which is a continuation of the witch hunt that has gone on since the great day for our country that I came down the golden escalator with our future first lady,” Trump said. “They have no case, they have no ratings, so they have to try to do this to get publicity.” Trump told Fox News Digital that the investigation has been “a partisan witch hunt, together with two Republicans that have been thrown out of the party — one not wanting to run because he couldn’t win; and another losing by a record number of more than 40 points.” sTrump was referring to Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who lost her primary earlier this year, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who decided not to run for re-election.

Trump told Fox News Digital that the committee “never covered the important subject of election fraud, or why Pelosi and the mayor of D.C. did not call up the National Guard — which I strongly recommended.” “They didn’t cover the reason for January 6 — the largest crowd — it wasn’t set up by me,” Trump said. “The committee didn’t cover election fraud, which was massive, and they didn’t cover why Pelosi didn’t call the National Guard.” Trump said that he had recommended that Pelosi and the mayor of Washington call up the National Guard on Jan. 6 because he “felt the crowd was going to be far bigger than anyone understood.” “They didn’t do their job. I believed the crowd was going to be bigger — just my instinct — and they had the chance to call up the National Guard three days before Jan. 6, and if they did, Jan. 6 would have been a very different day,” Trump said. “But they didn’t do it.”

Epps Pelosi

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Misinformation. Maddow

 

 

Winston Churchill and prohibition.

 

 

 

 

Where are we on the graph?

 

 

 

 

Smart dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1580540061245853699

 

 

Nosey

 

 


The Emerald tree boa is a non-venomous boa species found in the rainforests of South America

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

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“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.

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“..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.”

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“..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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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“..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

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“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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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“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?

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“..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.”

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“..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.

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“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.

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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.”

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“..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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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“..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.

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“..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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.”

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“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).

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“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.

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Simpsons 2006

 

 

Tucker Harrowing

 

 

 

 


Mount Fuji

 

 

 

 

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