Apr 272024
 


Herri met de Bles c1510-after 1555 Saint Jerome medidating

 

Trump Responds to Main ‘Hush Money’ Trial Witness’s Claims (ET)
Immunity for Me but Not for Thee (Woodruff)
Justices Signal a Desire to Avoid Both Cliffs on Presidential Immunity (Turley)
Emergency-O-Rama (Kunstler)
Trump Plans To Sanction Countries For Refusing To Use Dollar – Bloomberg (RT)
The Impotence of Antony Blinken (Patrick Lawrence)
Blinken Threatens China Over Russia Ties (RT)
Here’s What Makes Blinken’s Job In China So Difficult (Blankenship)
Facade of Diplomacy Masks US Efforts to ‘Smear, Isolate, Suppress’ China (Sp.)
Russia Must Fear NATO – Poland (RT)
Congress Panics Over Ukraine as Russian Drones Kill Abrams Battle Tanks (Sp.)
Ukraine’s Deep Manpower Shortage Overshadows Arms Deliveries (Sp.)
Pelosi Insulting Americans – Zakharova (RT)
US Congress Probing 13 Banks For January 6 ‘Collusion’ (RT)
Biden: White Americans Are the Threat (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Tucker fraud poll

 

 

Trump ad
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783877767827775661

 

 

Rogan Tucker Dumb

 

 

Watters Five Eyes

 

 

 

 

“..the former president “had no idea what [he] was talking about” when he asked about reimbursing Mr. Cohen.”

Trump Responds to Main ‘Hush Money’ Trial Witness’s Claims (ET)

Former President Donald Trump praised the first witness in his New York City “hush money” trial, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, as he is scheduled to deliver more testimony in the case on Friday. “He’s been very nice. David’s been very nice. He’s a nice guy,” President Trump said on Thursday, responding to a question about Mr. Pecker’s testimony over the past week or so. During cross-examinations Thursday, Mr. Pecker detailed how he obtained potentially damaging stories about the candidate and paid out tens of thousands of dollars to keep them from the public eye. But when it came to the seamy claims by adult performer Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, the former National Enquirer publisher said he put his foot down.

“I am not paying for this story,” he told jurors Thursday at President Trump’s trial, recounting his version of a conversation with President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen about attempts to suppress allegations that prosecutors claim amounted to election interference in the 2016 campaign. Mr. Pecker said that he remembers saying he “didn’t want to be involved in this.” President Trump has maintained he is not guilty of any of the charges, and says the stories that were bought and squelched were false. “There is no case here. This is just a political witch hunt,” he said before court in brief comments to reporters on Thursday. Ms. Daniels was eventually paid by Mr. Cohen to not speak about her claim of a 2006 sexual encounter with President Trump. The ex-president denies it happened, while his lawyers have said that she is using the claims to make money and bolster her fame.

Although he did not buy her story, Mr. Pecker told Mr. Cohen that someone should make a move to suppress the claims from going public. “I said to Michael, ‘My suggestion to you is that you should buy the story, and you should take it off the market because if you don’t and it gets out, I believe the boss will be very angry with you,’” he said. Later, Trump defense attorney Emil Bove opened his cross-examination by asking Mr. Pecker about his recollection of specific dates and meanings. He appeared to be laying further groundwork for the defense’s argument that any dealings President Trump had with the National Enquirer publisher were intended to protect himself, his reputation, and his family, not his campaign.

At one point on Thursday, Mr. Pecker said that when he spoke to President Trump about the former president reimbursing Mr. Cohen for paying Ms. Clifford, the former president told him that he had no idea what Mr. Pecker was referring to. He specifically testified that the former president “had no idea what [he] was talking about” when he asked about reimbursing Mr. Cohen. He also said that he purchased the rights to former model Karen McDougal’s story as well but he stipulated that President Trump never told him to purchase that story—only that he and Mr. Cohen were concerned about the McDougal story from emerging.

Read more …

Hot potato.

Immunity for Me but Not for Thee (Woodruff)

“Whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office?” That is the question the Supreme Court will answer when it hears oral argument in Trump v. U.S. on April 25, 2024. Legacy media and the ladies of “The View” nearly lost their collective minds when the Court agreed to hear Trump’s appeal of the D.C. Circuit’s decision denying him immunity for his actions surrounding the events of Jan. 6, 2021. However, even Jack Smith, the Special Counsel prosecuting the case, argued that it was of “imperative public importance” that the Court resolve the immunity question before trial. But forget about Trump for the moment. The issue is bigger than Trump and his legal woes. As the partisan divide between the left and the right grows larger, there is a real risk that the criminalization of policy differences could raise our current state of “lawfare” to a new level.

Several retired four-star generals and admirals, as well as former cabinet officials, have filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that granting immunity to former presidents for actions within the outer perimeter of their official duties would raise questions about the ability of the United States to peacefully transfer power from one administration to another, and thereby pose a grave risk to national security. The retired officials’ brief also argues that granting immunity would undermine civilian control of the military and undermine trust and confidence in the military as an institution. The “parade of horribles” in the retired officials’ brief assumes that a future president would instruct subordinate military officers to carry out illegal orders for which they, but not the president, would be criminally liable. The brief also suggests that an unrestrained incumbent would use the military to retain power and, thus, destabilize America’s diplomatic and military standing among nations. Of course, none of the hypotheticals feared by the brief writers occurred in the case pending before the Court. Apparently, they are afraid not of Donald Trump but of some unidentified future president. To analyze the pros and cons of immunity, however, there is no need to speculate about what some future president might do. We need only look at actual events from our recent history.

Situation #1. President Obama ordered a drone strike in Yemen to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen and Islamic Imam critical of American foreign policy in the Middle East. Before releasing the drones that killed al-Awlaki and two others, the White House sought and received a Memorandum from the Department of Justice providing legal justification for the attack. Several questions come to mind. Should the memo from DoJ authorizing the killing of an American citizen abroad without judicial due process immunize President Obama for violating the federal criminal statute that imposes criminal penalties for the extra territorial killing of an American citizen? Could a subsequent President, a member of the opposing political party, direct a new Attorney General to investigate whether the killing of the U.S. citizen by drone attack in Yemen violated federal criminal law? If an indictment is returned against the now former President for that killing, should President Obama be allowed to claim immunity or be forced to stand trial?

Situation #2. President Biden revoked many of President Trump’s Executive Orders addressing border security when he took office. He also halted construction of physical barriers intended to secure the southern border and stem the flow of illegal border crossings and the smuggling of dangerous drugs. The number of illegal border crossings skyrocketed. Instead of remaining in Mexico until asylum claims were adjudicated, migrants were “paroled” into the interior of the United States and given a court date for their asylum claim years into the future. The quantity of illegal drugs, and the deaths of American citizens from accidental drug overdoses smuggled across the southern border, escalated astronomically. Federal law imposes criminal penalties on those who enter the United States illegally. It also punishes conspiracies to violate federal law. So, if the White House switches parties when President Biden leaves, should the new president’s Attorney General seek an indictment against Biden for conspiring with the Secretary of Homeland Security to violate U.S. immigration laws by facilitating the illegal entry of millions of migrants into the United States? Or should those policy choices be protected by a cloak of immunity?

Situation #3. Eager to deliver on a campaign promise, President Biden announced a policy to “forgive” billions of dollars in student loan debt. The Supreme Court struck down the President’s plan and held that Congress had not authorized the Executive to unilaterally forgive student loan debt. Instead of seeking legislative authority, President Biden reworked his plan to rely upon a different statute for authority. Assume the courts dismissed lawsuits challenging Biden’s “Plan B” because the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue. “Plan B” went forward and billions of dollars in federal student loans became “grants” instead of loans that had to be repaid. The federal Anti-deficiency Act imposes criminal penalties on anyone who authorizes the expenditure of federal funds without a valid congressional appropriation. When President Biden leaves office, can he be indicted and tried because his “Plan B” loan scheme violated federal law?

Read more …

“..Alvin Bragg is the very personification of the danger immunity is meant to avoid..”

Justices Signal a Desire to Avoid Both Cliffs on Presidential Immunity (Turley)

Writer Ray Bradbury once said, “Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.” In Thursday’s case before the Supreme Court on the immunity of former President Donald Trump, nine justices appear to be feverishly working with feathers and glue on a plunge into a constitutional abyss. It has been almost 50 years since the high court ruled presidents have absolute immunity from civil lawsuits in Nixon v. Fitzgerald. The court held ex-President Richard Nixon had such immunity for acts taken “within the ‘outer perimeter’ of his official responsibility.” Yet in 1974’s United States v. Nixon, the court ruled a president is not immune from a criminal subpoena. Nixon was forced to comply with a subpoena for his White House tapes in the Watergate scandal from special counsel Leon Jaworski. Since then, the court has avoided any significant ruling on the extension of immunity to a criminal case — until now.

There are cliffs on both sides of this case. If the court were to embrace special counsel Jack Smith’s arguments, a president would have no immunity from criminal charges, even for official acts taken in his presidency. It would leave a president without protection from endless charges from politically motivated prosecutors. If the court were to embrace Trump counsel’s arguments, a president would have complete immunity. It would leave a president largely unaccountable under the criminal code for any criminal acts. The first cliff is made obvious by the lower-court opinion. While the media have largely focused on extreme examples of president-ordered assassinations and coups, the justices are clearly as concerned with the sweeping implications of the DC Circuit opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts noted the DC Circuit failed to make any “focused” analysis of the underlying acts, instead offering little more than a judicial shrug.

Roberts read its statement that “a former president can be prosecuted for his official acts because the fact of the prosecution means that the former president has acted in defiance of the laws” and noted it sounds like “a former president can be prosecuted because he is being prosecuted.” The other cliff is more than obvious from the other proceedings occuring as these arguments were made. Trump’s best attorney proved to be Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. If the justices want insight into the implications of denying any immunity, they just need to look north to New York City. The ongoing prosecution of Trump is legally absurd but has resulted in the leading presidential candidate not only being gagged but prevented from campaigning.

Alvin Bragg is the very personification of the danger immunity is meant to avoid. With cliffs to the left and the right, the justices are looking at a free-fall dive into the scope of constitutional and criminal law as they apply to presidential conduct. They may be looking not for a foothold as much as a shorter drop. Some of the justices are likely to be seeking a third option where a president has some immunity under a more limited and less tautological standard than the one the DC Circuit offered. The problem for the court is presidential privilege and immunity decisions are meant to give presidents breathing room by laying out bright lines within which they can operate. Ambiguity defeats the purpose of such immunity. So does a test that turns on the motivation of an official act.

Turley

Read more …

“Whichever way the verdict goes in the Alvin Bragg case, epic looting and rioting will commence..”

Emergency-O-Rama (Kunstler)

So far, the spring rioting has mostly been fun for the rioters. Unlike the J-6-21 “paraders,” locked up in the putrid DC jail for years pending trial, the Hamas frolickers are at near-zilch risk of any serious consequences. Few will even be suspended from school. They are doing exactly what the schools trained them up for: destroying Western Civ, one acanthus leaf at a time. According to the shadowy stage-managers behind “Joe Biden,” this will save our democracy.

That and stuffing Donald Trump in jail for the rest of his natural life. Alas, the lawfare cases cooked up toward that end appear defective to a spectacular degree. It really says something about the true authors of these beauties brought by Alvin Bragg, Letitia James, Fani Willis, and Jack Smith. I speak of the behind-the-scene blob lawfare ninjas Norm Eisen, Andrew Weissmann, Matt Colangelo, and Mary McCord, who wrote the scripts for all four of this year’s big elephant trap cases against the former president. You have to wonder how that bunch made it through their law boards. The current extravaganza in Manhattan that centers on alleged book-keeping errors in furtherance of an unstated federal offense is due to go on a few more weeks. The howling errors of both the prosecution and Judge Juan Merchan are so extravagant that the proceeding looks like it was cribbed from the pages of Lewis Carroll.

Yet, there is near unanimous sentiment that the Trump-deranged New Yawk jury will convict, no matter how much more idiotic the case turns out to be. By then, we will be verging on summer. The college campuses will be shuttered and the youth-in-revolt action will necessarily move to the regular streets. Whichever way the verdict goes in the Alvin Bragg case, epic looting and rioting will commence. Sometime this summer, I predict, the Mar-a-Lago documents case will get tossed on something like malicious prosecution. Jack Smith’s DC case, kneecapped by SCOTUS, won’t start before the November election (or maybe ever) and ditto the Fani Willis fiasco in Atlanta. George and Alex Soros will pour millions into box lunches for the kids burning down what’s left of the cities and the demure gals of the Ivy League Left will find plenty of love in the ruins.

The two major party conventions in July (Republican) and August (Democrat) are sure to out-do the 1968 lollapalooza in Chicago (I was there) in mayhem and property damage. “Joe Biden” — really the blob behind him — will ache to declare a national emergency, perhaps even a second emergency after the recently unveiled “climate emergency” supposedly pending any day. The USA will be in an historic horror movie you could call Emergency-O-Rama. If you think the financial system, and the US economy that has become the tail on the finance dog, can survive all this, you will be disappointed. The army may have to step in and put an end to these shenanigans. Don’t think it can’t happen.

Read more …

“I would not allow countries to go off the dollar because when we lose that standard, that will be like losing a revolutionary war..”
]
Sorry, but that train has sailed.

Trump Plans To Sanction Countries For Refusing To Use Dollar – Bloomberg (RT)

Economic aides to former US President Donald Trump are looking for options to stop countries from shifting away from the US dollar as it faces a growing challenge from emerging markets, including BRICS nations, Bloomberg reported on Friday. The presumptive Republican nominee for the November presidential election and his team are discussing penalties against both allies and adversaries who seek to divert their trade from the greenback to other currencies. The options could include export controls, currency manipulation charges, and tariffs, the outlet said, citing people familiar with the matter. The global trend toward using national currencies in trade instead of the dollar gained significant momentum after Russia was cut off from the Western financial system and had its foreign reserves frozen in 2022, as part of Ukraine-related sanctions.

A bill with provisions authorizing the US to confiscate frozen Russian assets, which Biden signed on Wednesday, could further spur de-dollarization, financial experts have warned. The so-called REPO Act, which was incorporated in the $61 billion military aid package for Kiev, authorized the US president to seize Russian state assets held in American banks. As quoted by Bloomberg, Trump warned on Thursday that with US President Joe Biden, “you’re going to lose the dollar as the standard. That’ll be like losing the biggest war we’ve ever lost.” According to the news agency, Trump’s economic advisers and his campaign team have specifically considered curbing de-dollarization efforts by BRICS countries.

The group – which recently expanded and now comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Ethiopia, Iran, Egypt – is boosting the use of national currencies in mutual trade. It has even signaled the possibility of introducing a new single currency in the coming years. Trump has repeatedly said that he wants the dollar to remain the world’s reserve currency. “I hate when countries go off the dollar,” Trump told CNBC in March. “I would not allow countries to go off the dollar because when we lose that standard, that will be like losing a revolutionary war,” he said, adding that it would be a “hit” for the US.

Read more …

“..there’s no mileage in predicting success when Blinken boards a plane for the great “out there.”

The Impotence of Antony Blinken (Patrick Lawrence)

Antony Blinken is now in China for his second such journey as secretary of state and his third encounter with senior Chinese officials: This is our news as April marches toward May. I have to say, it is a stranger state of affairs than I can figure when the State Department and the media that clerk for it tell us in advance that America’s top diplomat is going to fail to get anything done as he sets out for the People’s Republic. “I want to make clear that we are realistic and clear-eyed about the prospects of breakthroughs on any of these issues,” an unnamed State Department official said when briefing reporters last week on Blinken’s agenda. This is how State warns in advance that the secretary will be wasting his time and our money during his encounters in Shanghai and Beijing. What is this if not an admission of our secretary of state’s diplomatic impotence? Or do I mean incompetence? Or both?

This is the man, after all, who arrived in Israel five days after the events of last Oct. 7 to announce, “I come before you as a Jew.” Does this guy understand diplomacy or what? The media followed the State Department’ lead, naturally, in advising us of the pointlessness of Blinken’s sojourn in China—this at both ends of the Pacific. CNBC: “Washington is realistic about its expectations on Blinken’s visit in resolving key issues.” Japan Times: “While crucial for keeping lines of communication open, the visit is unlikely to yield major breakthroughs.” Matt Lee, the very able diplomatic correspondent at The Associated Press, got it righter than anyone in his April 22 report: The point of Blinken’s three days of talks with top Chinese officials, he reported, is to have three days of talks with top Chinese officials. “The mere fact that Blinken is making the trip might be seen by some as encouraging,” Lee wrote, “but ties between Washington and Beijing are tense and the rifts are growing wider.”

This is our Tony. As the record makes pitifully clear, there’s no mileage in predicting success when Blinken boards a plane for the great “out there.” This is unequivocally so in his dealings with the western end of the Pacific. There is a long list of the topics Blinken was set to raise with Chinese officials, notable among these Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Taiwan and the South China Sea, military-to-military contacts, artificial intelligence applications, illicit drug traffic, human rights, trade: These are standards on the American menu when a U.S. official addresses Chinese counterparts. The last is especially contentious just now, given the Biden regime’s disgraceful determination to subvert those Chinese industries with which the U.S. cannot compete. With plans to block imports of Chinese-made electric vehicles already afoot, last week President Biden announced new tariffs on imports of Chinese steel. And it is now “investigating” China’s shipping and shipbuilding industries, which sounds to me like prelude to yet more measures to undermine China’s admirable economic advances.

Read more …

Imagine you’re mini-me and the CEO of China is persuaded to receive you. What do you do then? Well, you insult him, of course…

Blinken Threatens China Over Russia Ties (RT)

Washington is ready to introduce more sanctions against China over its alleged transfer of dual-use goods and components, which it claims can be used by the Russia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday. Speaking at a press conference in Beijing following a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the US official recalled that Washington has already imposed sanctions against more than 100 Chinese entities and is “fully prepared to act” and “take additional measures.” Blinken claimed that China’s alleged support for the Russian defense industry raises concerns not only about the situation in Ukraine, but also about a “medium to long-term threat that many Europeans feel viscerally that Russia poses to them.” Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal also reported that the US was drafting sanctions that could cut off some Chinese banks from the global financial system unless Beijing severs its economic ties with Russia.

The outlet claimed that US officials believe trade with China has allowed Russia to rebuild its military industrial capacity and could help it defeat Ukraine in a war of attrition. Beijing, in turn, has accused the US of hypocrisy for providing billions of dollars in assistance to Ukraine while “unreasonably criticizing the normal trade and economic relations between Russia and China.” “This is a very hypocritical and irresponsible approach,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on Friday in response to Blinken’s concerns about Beijing’s support of Moscow. China has also vehemently rejected accusations leveled by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg of “fueling” the Ukraine conflict. Beijing has instead blamed NATO for instigating the crisis by continuing its expansion in Europe and refusing to respect Russian national security concerns. Following his meeting with Blinken, Xi suggested that the US and China “should be partners, not rivals” and should strive towards achieving “mutual success and not harm each other.”

“I proposed three major principles: mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation. They are not only a summary of past experience, but also a guide to the future,” the Chinese leader was quoted as saying. Beijing has maintained a policy of neutrality on the Ukraine conflict, with Chinese officials repeatedly stating that the country is not selling weapons to either Russia or Ukraine. Earlier this month, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Ning insisted that China “regulates the export of dual-use articles in accordance with laws and regulations,” urging “relevant countries” not to “smear or attack the normal relations between China and Russia.” In December last year, US President Joe Biden issued a decree which enabled sanctions on foreign financial institutions that continue to deal with Russia. It targeted lenders outside US and EU jurisdictions that help Russia source sensitive items, which reportedly include semiconductors, machine tools, chemical precursors, ball bearings, and optical systems.

Read more …

TikTok.

Here’s What Makes Blinken’s Job In China So Difficult (Blankenship)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in China on Wednesday to kick off a three-day trip. It is reported that he will speak with his Chinese counterpart and potentially with President Xi Jinping. As the New York Times reported, quoting officials privy to the visit, one of the main topics will be China’s alleged support of Russia, which includes the supposed sale of weapon components and dual-use products. It also comes at a time of increased tensions. Relations have shown a flicker of warmth since US President Joe Biden and Xi’s encounter at the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco last year. However, this visit comes sandwiched between significant moves by the Biden administration. On the one hand, Biden recently signed off on a hefty military aid package for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel, coupled with a divest-or-ban provision for the Chinese social media juggernaut, TikTok.

On the other, a historic trilateral summit involving the US, Japan, and the Philippines hints at potential formal military collaborations down the road, with the US deploying medium-range missiles in the Philippines, a move with unmistakable implications for China. Blinken’s trip also follows closely on the heels of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent visit to China, which coincided with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s presence in the country. Lavrov’s visit underscored the enduring bond between Russia and China, while Yellen’s seemed to foreshadow potential trade tensions over what Beijing perceives as baseless accusations of “overcapacity.” Behind the diplomatic niceties lies a deeper agenda: the concerted effort by the US and some of its allies to curb China’s economic and technological ascent. This was laid bare when EU officials on Tuesday executed unannounced raids on the offices of a Chinese company in Poland and Denmark.

The European Commission said that its “unannounced inspections” are based on “indications that the inspected company may have received foreign subsidies that could distort the internal market pursuant to the Foreign Subsidies Regulation.” Despite this explanation, it appears the EU is mirroring Washington’s growing scrutiny of and hostility against Chinese firms. The EU’s alignment with the US on trade policy, particularly regarding China, signals a loose front aimed at constraining China’s global economic reach. The issue of Russia is also another excuse to limit China. The bilateral partnership has been extraordinarily beneficial for both sides: their trade reached a record $240.1 billion in 2023, and Russia’s economy grew by 3.6% the same year despite Western sanctions. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts Russia’s economy will grow faster than all advanced economies in 2024.

This is due in no small part to trade with China, the world’s second-largest economy, but it’s also due to the fact that many other large countries, such as Brazil and India, have not joined Western sanctions on Russia – they just aren’t trading in strategic sectors of the economy like China is. But even in those sectors, the US and its allies have never revealed evidence that Beijing is directly helping Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1783971853981155437

Read more …

“Imagine them [China] looking at Elon Musk and saying that you need to sell Tesla or else,” suggested Thomas. “It’s just astonishing stuff.”

Facade of Diplomacy Masks US Efforts to ‘Smear, Isolate, Suppress’ China (Sp.)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s second visit to China in less than a year this week signifies the importance the Biden administration places on Sino-US relations in addressing various global challenges, according to Chinese commentator Anna Ge. “The United States aims to sustain dialogue with China and collaborate on addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues and also domestic issues,” said the CGTN Radio host, who frequently discusses China-related issues in mainstream media in South Africa, India, and Central Asia. But the US maintains its own motives in such discussions, according to Ge, frequently using China as a scapegoat for its own geopolitical and economic difficulties. The political commentator joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program Friday to discuss the issue. “It is interesting to see how China-US relations develop today,” said Ge as host Jamarl Thomas noted the often chaotic nature of diplomacy between the two countries in recent years.

US President Joe Biden referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “dictator” the last time the two met in the United States, a gaffe judged to have damaged relations between the two countries. “We are left with a contradiction [between] messages and reality,” she said. “On the one hand, we hear relations are more stable with the personal diplomacy of [Janet] Yellen and Blinken in attending cultural events, etcetera. in line with the increase of flights and other types of people-to-people exchanges. These were impossible last year when the weather balloon lies and provocation in Taiwan and the South China Sea were edging towards a military confrontation.” “On the other hand we have become accustomed to anticipating negative developments shortly after high level US officials depart, often leading to any positive outreach being subsequently retracted or modified by the American side… Washington has been testing China’s limits unilaterally,” the commentator highlighted.

Biden signed a bill likely banning the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok shortly after Blinken arrived in Shanghai this week, an unprecedented measure. TikTok CEO Shou Chew, a Singaporean businessman, has vowed to oppose pressure to sell the social media platform to an American owner, which would result in the application being banned unless the company succeeds in launching a judicial challenge. US politicians have cast TikTok as a threat to US security and Americans’ privacy, but a raft of concessions won by former US President Donald Trump resulted in all data associated with the platform being hosted in the United States, with periodic auditing from US-based companies. Critics have claimed the strongarm tactic is merely a strategy to undermine competition from a successful Chinese competitor, as when the United States pressured European allies to ban 5G technology from the Shenzhen-based Huawei. “Imagine them [China] looking at Elon Musk and saying that you need to sell Tesla or else,” suggested Thomas. “It’s just astonishing stuff.”

Read more …

They do not.

Russia Must Fear NATO – Poland (RT)

Russia should fear clashing with NATO because such a war would end in “inevitable defeat” for Moscow, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in parliament on Thursday, claiming that the US-led military bloc has several times more troops and resources. Sikorski’s comments come as a number of European leaders have raised concerns that Russia may attack an EU member state if it is allowed to defeat Ukraine on the battlefield. “It is not we, the West, who should fear a clash with Putin, but the other way around,” he insisted, adding that “it is worth reminding [people] about this” to show that an attack by Russia on any NATO member would end in Moscow’s defeat. “Putin’s only hope is our lack of determination,” he stated. The minister said the US-led military bloc remains a “defensive pact,” but nevertheless boasted that it has three times as many military personnel, three times the aerial resources, and four times as many ships as Russia.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk had previously also warned that Europe is in a “pre-war era,” while President Andrzej Duda has expressed the country’s readiness to host US nuclear weapons under NATO’s nuclear-sharing program. The move would place the bloc’s nuclear arsenal on the border of Belarus – a key Russian ally. Moscow has responded by stating that its military would take “all necessary countermeasures” to ensure its security if US nuclear weapons were deployed to Poland. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has also slammed Warsaw’s statements as a “provocation” and an attempt to “snuggle up” to Washington with its “deeply hostile policy towards Russia.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that Moscow has no plans to attack any US “satellites” in Eastern Europe, and insists that claims of a potential Russian invasion are merely government propaganda aimed at scaring citizens “to extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden [of funding Ukraine] on their shoulders.”

Read more …

So-so tanks.

Congress Panics Over Ukraine as Russian Drones Kill Abrams Battle Tanks (Sp.)

The rush to fast-track $6 billion in military aid to Ukraine on Friday reflects the panic felt by the Biden administration and in Congress that the Zelensky regime’s forces are collapsing, veteran UK diplomat, former ambassador and political commentator Peter Ford told Sputnik. Reports that Russia’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now proving successful at targeting and destroying US-supplied Abrams Main Battle Tanks causes a lot of concerns among the Biden administration and Congress, according to Ford. “The haste to release billions of dollars of funds for Ukraine betrays US alarm at the dire situation facing its client state on the battlefront,” he said on Friday. On Tuesday, the US Senate passed a $95 billion bill containing approximately $61 billion in Ukraine-related funding, including via a loan. US President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on Wednesday.

The US Department of Defense later unveiled a $1 billion military aid package for Kiev, including cluster munitions and air defense supplies. In addition, the Pentagon announced on Friday its largest-ever $6 billion military aid package that will include interceptors for Ukraine’s Patriot and NASAMS systems, more counter-drone systems, significant amounts of artillery ammunition, and air-to-ground munitions. However, the move came amid reports that the Ukrainian armed forces moved Abrams tanks from the frontlines due to threats from Russian drones. Ford observed that the rush to send so many more advanced weapons systems to Ukraine came hard on the heels of these reports. “The announcement coincides with reports that the Ukrainians are withdrawing US Abrams tanks from the front because they have shown themselves to be vulnerable to drone attack,” the analyst highlighted.

However, the main US defense contractors were oblivious to the multiple failures of their weapons systems on the battlefields of Ukraine and were only interested in further expanding their already enormous profit margins, the ex-diplomat emphasized. “Never mind, the main aims are being achieved. Not to help Ukraine – how naive! – but to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars down the gullet of the arms manufacturers,” Ford clarified. The other purpose of the otherwise futile and too late new arms package was to give Biden domestic credibility before his re-election campaign against former President Donald Trump this fall, he explained. The $6 billion arms package was therefore meant “to make Biden look resolute and consistent as he positions himself for the presidential election campaign,” the analyst said. The people of Ukraine once again had become the victims of cynical and ruthless US political manipulations and intrigues, Ford stressed.

Read more …

“..the former Ukrainian lawmaker estimates that about 1.5 million men of military age are currently on the run across Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s Deep Manpower Shortage Overshadows Arms Deliveries (Sp.)

New arms deliveries from the US cannot compensate for Ukraine’s deep manpower shortage and exhaustion, Volodymyr Oleynyk, a Ukrainian politician and former member of the Verkhovna Rada, told Sputnik.
Although the lack of ammunition has been alleviated to some extent by foreign aid, Ukraine’s main weakness is an acute shortage of soldiers, the Western press acknowledges. Since the beginning of the special military operation, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have lost nearly 500,000 servicemen, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. To make matters worse, Ukraine has been “plagued by draft dodging,” with young men evading conscription and failing to register as required, Politico reported in March. “Many [Ukrainian] commanders say that their combat units suffer from a 30-40% deficit in manpower,” Volodymyr Oleynyk told Sputnik.

“Entire brigades break the law, violate orders and arbitrarily leave combat positions. Some of them are elite brigades. One of them was disbanded – the one that included the Right Sector*, which is considered very ‘patriotic’.” In recent months, there has been a significant increase in the number of Ukrainian troops using the special “Volga” 149.200 radio frequency to communicate their desire to disarm, according to Sputnik’s sources. The frequency was set up by Russian forces for Ukrainian troops wishing to surrender. Oleynyk quoted the head of the Ivano-Frankovsk regional military commissar as saying last month that some 30,000 potential conscripts were in hiding in the region. By 2020, Frankovshchyna will have a population of only 1.3 million. Doing the math, the former Ukrainian lawmaker estimates that about 1.5 million men of military age are currently on the run across Ukraine.

In addition, Ukrainian military personnel are increasingly deserting, Oleynyk added. “I’ve analyzed the situation for the first quarter of this year: about 20,000 criminal cases related to desertion have been opened over the past three months,” he said. “In general, it is believed that about 100,000 deserters are on the run. How many cases have been sent to court? Over these three months only 80 criminal cases were sent to court. This shows that even the judicial system does not want to consider these cases, because officials are afraid of later revenge by those convicted.”

Read more …

“..trying to blame Moscow for a wave of pro-Palestinian protests across the country..“

Pelosi Insulting Americans – Zakharova (RT)

Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is insulting American voters by trying to blame Moscow for a wave of pro-Palestinian protests across the country, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. The senior Democrat has linked pro-Palestinian protests in the US with alleged foreign influence on multiple occasions, most recently in an interview with Irish public broadcaster Raidio Teilifis Eireann (RTE) this week. Pelosi also took issue with the ‘Genocide Joe’ nickname that US President Joe Biden has been branded with over his failure to pressure Israel into showing more restraint in its military campaign in Gaza. Pelosi acknowledged that pro-Palestinian sentiment could impact Biden’s support during the US presidential vote in November, and claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted the presumptive Republican candidate, Donald Trump, to be elected.

“It’s in Putin’s interest for – what’s his name? – to win. And therefore I see some encouragement on the part of the Russians of some of what is going on,” she alleged of the demonstrations. Pro-Palestinian activists are genuine in their feelings, she conceded, but “some of it has a Russian tinge to it.” Responding to Pelosi’s remarks in a social media post, Zakharova said they “can only be taken as an insult to the Americans and a disregard for democracy.”

In January, the former House speaker called on the FBI to investigate the financing of pro-Palestinian groups, claiming that their demands for a ceasefire in Gaza were “Putin’s message.” Pelosi was also caught on camera lashing out at hecklers outside her home, telling them to “go back to China,” supposedly where their “headquarters” were located. Biden’s approval ratings have taken a hit among Democratic voters over his pro-Israeli stance, although Pelosi insisted that the president has been “the biggest advocate for humanitarian assistance to Palestinians” amid the conflict in Gaza. “The groups outside with their protest lay some blame at his doorstep, when he is the only one advocating at that level,” she added.

This week, local authorities across the US used force to disperse pro-Palestinian rallies at university campuses, with mass arrests reported in some cases. Protesters were targeted at Yale, Harvard, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Southern California, and other institutions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed the US crackdown, branding the activists “anti-Semitic mobs” and comparing them to Nazi sympathizers in the 1930s. Putin has publicly stated that he would be more comfortable with “predictable” and “old-school” Biden than Trump as the next US president.

Read more …

Your bank spies on you…

US Congress Probing 13 Banks For January 6 ‘Collusion’ (RT)

Republicans in the House of Representatives have sent letters to 13 financial institutions they suspect of colluding with the FBI and the Treasury Department to spy on Americans without a warrant in relation to the 2021 Capitol riot. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had stormed the legislature just as Republican lawmakers were starting to register objections to certifying the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden. Democrats labeled the unrest as an “insurrection” and sought to arrest over 1,000 people involved in any way. Some of these people were apparently targeted by financial institutions working with the FBI and Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), according to the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, led by the Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

“The Committee and Select Subcommittee remain concerned about how and to what extent federal law enforcement and financial institutions continue to spy on Americans by weaponizing backdoor information sharing and casting sprawling classes of transactions, purchase behavior, and protected political or religious expression as potentially ‘suspicious’ or indicative of ‘extremism’,” said a letter from Jordan, which the Daily Mail obtained exclusively on Thursday. Jordan has pointed to evidence that the FBI and FinCEN instructed banks to look for purchases of Bibles or search terms such as “Trump” or “MAGA,” the acronym for the 45th president’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Congress was already investigating Bank of America, Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Citi Bank and Truist. Thursday’s letter was sent to Charles Schwab, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, PayPal, Santander, Standard Chartered and Western Union. That makes 13 banks or financial institutions potentially involved in the dragnet.

Bank of America alone sent data on 211 individuals to the FBI and FinCen by January 17, 2021. However, its Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) was sent after the federal agencies asked banks to look for “extremist” purchases. Four of the 211 were tagged for a follow-up and visited by FBI agents. None of them ended up being charged with anything. “This kind of warrantless financial surveillance raises serious concerns about the federal government’s respect for Americans’ privacy and fundamental civil liberties,” Jordan wrote in a separate letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, also obtained by the Daily Mail. Since 2021, the FBI has targeted “radical-traditionalist Catholics” as well as parents who spoke up at school board meetings – on issues such as mask mandates or critical race theory – as potential domestic terrorists. Both programs were officially denounced after being revealed by whistleblowers.

Read more …

” What future can such a collection of morons have?”

Biden: White Americans Are the Threat (Paul Craig Roberts)

The Main Goal of the Biden Regime Is to Sell-out the Majority White American Population and to declare them as a menace. Tucker Carlson points out that president Biden, illegitimately in office due to the theft of the 2020 election, has as president of the United States defined America’s majority white population as the major cause of racism and a threat to national unity. Note: it is the majority that is the threat. Yet, tens of millions of dumbshit white Americans designated as America’s worst threat by Biden vote for him. What future can such a collection of morons have?

A white heterosexual who votes for Biden is expressing a death wish. It is the US whose Democrat Government is alienated from its own white majority population that intends to fight wars against Russia, Iran, and China. This is insanity. Who is going to fight these wars for Biden? The answer is Europeans and the immigrant-invaders into America thanks to Biden’s open border policy. Like Rome in its own self-inflicted decay, the US will be dependent on troops from the immigrant-invaders overrunning its own borders to fight its wars abroad in defense of the borders of foreign countries.

There is no discussion of this whatsoever.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Swan

 

 

Tokyo

 

 

Fukuoka Imaya Hamburger
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783862345821016170

 

 

70 meters

 

 

Tusk

 

 

Rope

 

 

Drink of water

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 252024
 


Amedeo Modigliani Nu allongé 1917

 

US Sided With Evil And Fascism – Russian Envoy (RT)
Alvin Bragg Has His Trump Trial, All He Needs Now Is A Crime (Turley)
Romney and the Wrong Question (Turley)
Musk Concurs That Civil War Looming In West (TASS)
Musk Warns Australia Against ‘Controlling Entire Internet’ (Sp.)
Mitch McConnell Blames Tucker Carlson For Delaying Ukraine Cash (RT)
Future Of The World Will Be Decided In Ukraine – Lukashenko (RT)
All Ukrainian Presidents Are Thieves – Lukashenko (RT)
Poland Ready To Help Ukraine Hunt Down Military-Aged Men (RT)
Ukraine Conflict ‘A Bonanza’ For US Military – NYT (RT)
G7 Could Take 10 Years to Catch Up With Russian Nuclear Fuel Output (Sp.)
European Bureaucrats Serve America’s Economic Interests (Dionísio)
Iran’s Nuclear Plans Are Clear. Just Read Its Own Islamic Law (Juma)
Why Iran Decided Not To Attack Israel Again (Gurevich)
Netanyahu Should Resign – Nancy Pelosi (RT)
Unconventional Russian Warfare Threatening British Grannies – Wallace (RT)

 

 

 

 

Trump immunity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782847341952729139

 

 

Watters trial

 

 

Alina
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782784975521120376

 

 

Tucker Weak men

 

 

 

 

Julie Kelly


https://twitter.com/i/status/1783175943831367849

 

 

Arizona

 

 

mask
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783164740459762075

 

 

 

 

“..the US government has effectively been funneling billions of dollars into its own defense industry through the aid scheme..”

US Sided With Evil And Fascism – Russian Envoy (RT)

The US government has made its choice in favor of war, siding with evil and supporting fascism, the Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov has said, in comments on the latest massive American military aid package for Ukraine. On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden signed a long-stalled $95-billion foreign-aid package, including $61 billion for Ukraine. Biden said the US would start sending weapons and military equipment to Ukraine “in the next few hours.” Washington is balancing on the brink of a direct clash between nuclear powers, Ambassador Antonov told reporters following the news. The development strikes a severe blow to prospects for a hypothetical revival of Russian-American relations in the future, Antonov believes.

“For the sake of its greedy and insatiable defense industry, the [Biden] administration sacrifices the lives of ordinary people. With their decision, local politicians actually put an end to the fate of the entire state [of Ukraine], which is used as a ‘battering ram’ against Russia,” he stated. The high-ranking Russian diplomat accused the US administration of violating the UN Charter’s obligation to maintain ‘primary responsibility for international peace and security.’

“American aid will not save [Ukrainian President] Zelensky” he stressed, adding that any new weapons being sent by Washington to Kiev would be destroyed, and that the tasks and goals of Moscow’s military operation will be realized. The Kremlin has repeatedly warned that Washington’s lethal aid will not change the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine’s favor. According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, the US government has effectively been funneling billions of dollars into its own defense industry through the aid scheme.

Cheers

Read more …

“We’ve never seen a case like this one where a dead misdemeanor from 2016 could be revived as a felony just before the 2024 election..”

“Cohen will soon go on the stand and tell the jury it should send his former client to jail for following his legal advice.”

Alvin Bragg Has His Trump Trial, All He Needs Now Is A Crime (Turley)

For many of us in the legal community, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Donald Trump borders on the legally obscene: an openly political prosecution based on a theory even legal pundits dismiss. Yet Monday the prosecution seemed to actually make a case for obscenity. It wasn’t the gratuitous introduction of an uncharged alleged tryst with a former Playboy Bunny or expected details on the relationship with an ex-porn star. It was the criminal theory itself that seemed crafted around the obscenity stan- dard Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously described in 1984’s Jacobellis v. Ohio: “I shall not today attempt further to define [it]. . . . But I know it when I see it. The prosecution must show Trump falsified business records in “furtherance of another crime.” After months of confusion on just what crime underpinned the indictment, the prosecution offered a new theory so ambiguous and undefined, it would have made Justice Stewart blush.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jury that in listing Stormy Daniels payments as a “legal expense,” Trump violated this New York law: “Any two or more persons who conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means and which conspiracy is acted upon by one or more of the parties thereto, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” So Trump committed a crime by conspiring to unlawfully promote his own candidacy, by paying to quash a potentially embarrassing story and then reimbursing his lawyer Michael Cohen with other legal expenses. Confused? You are not alone. It’s not a crime to pay for the nondisclosure of an alleged affair. It’s also not a federal election offense (the other underlying crime Bragg alleges) to pay such money as a personal or legal expense. Federal law doesn’t treat it as a political contribution to yourself. Yet somehow the characterization of this payment as a legal expense is an illegal conspiracy to promote one’s own candidacy in New York.

In New York, prosecutors are expected to have extreme legal myopia: They can see no farther than Trump to the exclusion of any implication for the legal system or legal ethics. Of course, neither Bragg nor his office has ever seen this type of criminal case in any other defendant. Ever. We’ve never seen a case like this one where a dead misdemeanor from 2016 could be revived as a felony just before the 2024 election, The statute of limitations for this case’s misdemeanors, including falsifying payments, has expired. But Bragg (with the help of counsel and former top Biden Justice Department official Matthew Colangelo) zapped it back into life by alleging a federal election crime the Justice Department itself rejected as a basis for any criminal charge. It’s not clear Trump even knew how this money was characterized in records. He paid it to his lawyer, who had put together the settlement over the nondisclosure agreement.

Cohen will soon go on the stand and tell the jury it should send his former client to jail for following his legal advice. Besides running for president, Trump was married and had hosted a hit television show. There were ample reasons to secure an NDA to bury the story. Even if it was done with the election in mind, it is not unusual or illegal. There is generally no need to list such payments as a campaign contribution because the federal government doesn’t see them as a campaign contribution. It’s not even clear how this matter was supposed to be noted in records. What if the Trump employee put “legal settlement in personal matter” or “nuisance payment”? The crime itself may not be clear or even comprehensible. But the defendant’s identity could not be clearer, and the prosecutors are hoping the jury, like themselves, will look no further

Read more …

A case about nothing.

Romney and the Wrong Question (Turley)

Yesterday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) had a much covered interaction with CNN’s Manu Raju who asked him about Trump’s criminal trial and whether he was guilty of the underlying criminal conduct. Romney responded “I think everybody has made their own assessment of President Trump’s character, and so far as I know you don’t pay someone $130,000 not to have sex with you.” I have previously defended Romney in his votes on impeachment despite our disagreement on the constitutional standard. I also understand that he was making a more general comment on character. However, his response is precisely what Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is seeking from the jury: a verdict on Trump as a person rather than the underlying criminal allegations. Trump is currently facing 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree regarding payments made to Daniels during the 2016 presidential election.

As I discuss today in the New York Post, many of us (including liberal legal experts) still question whether there is any crime alleged by Bragg. Raju reasonably asked Romney for his own view. Romney is an interesting person to ask. He is not only a critic of the President from within his own party but he is a former businessman who has had to deal with complex reporting and business obligations. Romney’s response must be encouraging for Bragg. Rather than address the ambiguous criminal allegation, Romney suggested that Trump was guilty as charged in having a tryst with a former porn star. The defense is not contesting the payment and the fact of the affair is not central to the allegations. The question is whether the payments were unlawfully denoted as legal expenses with the intent to somehow steal the 2016 election.

It is not a crime to use a NDA or other means to quash an embarrassing story. Bill Clinton had a host of lawyers quashing allegations of affairs and sexual assaults throughout his presidency. He ran into trouble when he committed perjury in the effort to hide what Hillary Clinton called one of his “bimbo eruptions.” Moreover, denoting this as a legal expense, on the advice of counsel, is not necessarily wrong. It is not clear how it should have been to be denoted as, according to Bragg. A “nuisance payment”? The campaign of Hillary Clinton and its general counsel Marc Elias hid the funding of the Steele dossier as a legal expense and was fined by the government for doing so. They litigated the question and insisted that that is precisely what it was. Romney is precisely what Bragg is looking for in these jurors. Smart and savvy, he still viewed the question of the trial as whether Trump had an affair with Stormy Daniels.

If so, it was not a legal expense. Yet, quashing the story and avoiding any litigation was a legal matter with the eventual crafting of the NDA. There are a lot of motivations for NDAs of this kind. Trump was married. He was the host of a hit television show (with a clause on termination for scandalous conduct). And, yes, he was also seeking to be president. He wanted these stories killed and friends like David Pecker were helping in that effort. What those facts say about the former president’s “character” will remain a matter of public debate and, as Romney said, most long ago reached their own conclusions. Yet, it is the crime not the character of Trump that is at issue in Manhattan.

Alvin Bragg would like the trial to remain a verdict on character, which is why he started the trial discussing not the Daniels matter but an uncharged affair and settlement with a former Playboy bunny. It is why he fought hard (and succeeded) in being able to question Trump about past cases involving an alleged assault and fraudulent conduct. As legal experts continue this week to debate if there is even a crime alleged in the indictment, Bragg is making a case that Trump’s lack of character is beyond a reasonable doubt. To be fair, Romney was not giving a full interview on the case in his statement to CNN and may well have some reservations about the Bragg indictment. However, Bragg is likely hoping that “everybody has made their own assessment of President Trump,” including twelve jurors currently sitting in the Manhattan courtroom.

Read more …

“Musk said that migration issues in the US are threatening the very existence of the American state..”

Musk Concurs That Civil War Looming In West (TASS)

US entrepreneur and one of the world’s wealthiest people Elon Musk has asserted that a civil war will break out in the West over the situation around migrants. “War will come whether we want it or not,” he wrote on the X social network commenting on remarks by Gad Saad, a Canadian professor of Lebanese origin, who insisted that “the path that the West is taking will result in civil war.” Saad said that Western countries are committing “civilizational suicide.” “Many Western men who are currently asleep at the wheel will wake up, and realize that they don’t like being pushed around in their homelands; they don’t like their women attacked; they don’t like their freedoms curtailed; they don’t like their faiths disrespected,” he noted. Earlier, Musk said that migration issues in the US are threatening the very existence of the American state. He also branded the US migration policy as insane because over the past three years it allowed more than 7 mln illegal migrants enter the country.

Read more …

Australia is just a little country. With little brains.

Musk Warns Australia Against ‘Controlling Entire Internet’ (Sp.)

The X chief executive earlier denounced that a video of a stabbing attack on an orthodox bishop had been censored in Australia, with Canberra threatening X with a daily fine of $510,000 over the company’s reluctance to completely remove the footage. Elon Musk has made it clear he will not comply with Australia’s order to remove a video of a terror attack against a Sydney cleric from X (formerly Twitter). “Our concern is that if any country is allowed to censor content for all countries, which is what the Australian ‘eSafety Commissar’ is demanding, then what is to stop any country from controlling the entire Internet?” the tech billionaire tweeted. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO added that X has “already censored the content in question for Australia, pending legal appeal, and it is stored only on servers” in the US.

Per X, Canberra threatened it with a daily fine of $510,000 over the company’s unwillingness to remove the video across the globe. Musk’s remarks came after Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese slammed the X owner as an “arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law, but also above common decency.” Speaking to broadcaster ABC, Albanese added that “the idea that someone would go to court for the right to put up violent content on a platform shows how out-of-touch Mr. Musk is.” This followed Australia’s eSafety Commission calling for X to completely remove the video from its platform for all users rather than just block the footage in the world’s sixth-largest country.

According to Australia’s eSafety commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, “Every minute counts, and the more this content is up there, the more it is reshared, the more the velocity and the virality continues and we need to stem that.”
In the video, Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel of the Assyrian Orthodox Church is seen being stabbed during a church service in the suburbs of Sydney that was being livestreamed on April 15. The non-fatal attack, which the authorities said was a terrorist act motivated by suspected religious extremism, quickly garnered multiple views online and reportedly led to protests near the crime scene.

Read more …

“I think the demonization of Ukraine began by Tucker Carlson..”

Mitch McConnell Blames Tucker Carlson For Delaying Ukraine Cash (RT)

The top-ranking Republican in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, has claimed Tucker Carlson’s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin convinced too many “rank-and-file Republicans” that spending billions of taxpayer dollars on arming Kiev against Moscow was harming Americans and wrecking the economy. As a new multibillion-dollar US aid package to Ukraine was clearing the last procedural hurdles on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader McConnell attempted to pin the blame for months of delays on former Fox News anchor Carlson and former President Donald Trump. “I think the demonization of Ukraine began by Tucker Carlson, who in my opinion ended up where he should have been all along, which was interviewing Vladimir Putin,” McConnell told a press briefing.

“He convinced a lot of rank-and-file Republicans that maybe this was a mistake,” he added, arguing that Trump’s “mixed views” on Ukraine aid further fueled confusion over the official narrative in Washington. “And then our nominee for president didn’t seem to want us to do anything at all,” McConnell claimed. “That took months to work our way through it.” Carlson recorded a lengthy interview with Putin in February, a first by a Western reporter since the conflict with Ukraine began. The pair discussed the ongoing hostilities and Moscow’s standoff with NATO. The exchange went viral globally, garnering over 200 million views on X (formerly Twitter) alone, yet critics accused Carlson of not being confrontational enough with the Russian leader. The American journalist argued that most Western media outlets lie to their audiences, mainly by omission, and that the point of his interview was “to have more information brought to the West so people could make their own decisions.”

“I reject the whole premise of the war in Ukraine from the American perspective,” Carlson said in February, looking back at his conversation with Putin. “There’s a war going on that is wrecking the US economy in a way and at a scale that people do not understand.” US President Joe Biden requested additional cash for Ukraine last October after burning through $113 billion in previously approved spending bills. However, the request had been stalled until this week due to opposition from Republican lawmakers, who argued that Biden was merely prolonging Kiev’s conflict with Russia while offering no clear strategy for victory or a peace agreement. Most Republicans voted against the aid bill on Saturday, but House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) overrode his own party by enabling a vote and pushing it through with unanimous Democrat support.

Read more …

“Everyone understands that today’s Ukraine is a military range, where the future of the world order is partially decided..”

Future Of The World Will Be Decided In Ukraine – Lukashenko (RT)

The Ukraine conflict is among the major events that will determine the future of the world, and the West is emerging weaker from it, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed on Wednesday. The leader of Belarus, a close Russian ally, addressed the situation in Ukraine during a keynote speech to the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, a gathering of officials and public figures. He contrasted Kiev’s policies with those of Minsk, arguing that unlike its southern neighbor, his nation has preserved its independence under Western pressure. “Everyone understands that today’s Ukraine is a military range, where the future of the world order is partially decided. The largest nuclear powers indirectly, and now even directly, are waging a war on its territory,” Lukashenko stated.

“Meanwhile its authorities have sunk to the level of striking a bargain with the West to exchange weapons for the lives of Ukrainians. Watching this is painful,” he added. Kiev has miscalculated, Lukashenko argued, because “whoever is willing to serve a master for scraps will sooner or later lose.” Ukraine is risking its statehood after betraying its past and traditions, he also warned. The Belarusian leader described the entire conflict as the latest clash “between the West and the East,” and suggested that neither side has become stronger. The outcome of the confrontation “will not save the existing order,” Lukashenko further predicted. He urged the US and its allies to accept that their future role will be restricted as one of several centers of power that determine world affairs.

Read more …

“And they grew rich, but only very few, in the very ‘best’ traditions of Western European democracies..”

All Ukrainian Presidents Are Thieves – Lukashenko (RT)

Ukraine has devolved into a Western-style oligarchy where all of its leaders are only interested in “plundering” the country and getting rich, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has claimed. The president made the remarks on Wednesday during an address to the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, a gathering of high-profile officials and public figures. Lukashenko fired a broadside at the neighboring country, accusing its presidents and “oligarchs” of stealing Ukraine’s riches. The process began immediately after Ukraine became an independent state following the collapse of the Soviet Union and has worsened over time, Lukashenko argued. “Just think – a prosperous country. The land is fertile, half of the periodic table in its soil, two seas, mines, industrial giants. The people are creative, hard-working. Live, be happy and grow rich. And they grew rich, but only very few, in the very ‘best’ traditions of Western European democracies,” the Belarusian leader said.

Every Ukrainian president, from “the first to the last one,” has been “plundering and stealing,” Lukashenko asserted, claiming that this inevitably led to political infighting and enduring unrest. “The oligarchs and those in power have gathered all the resources under their control. The oligarchs, having received the wealth created by the people, wanted power. They went into politics and began to drag bandits and people into their squabbles. The Maidans have begun,” Lukashenko stated. Ukrainian leaders, however, have consistently blamed the internal turmoil they created on foreign powers, primarily Russia and to a lesser extent Belarus, Lukashenko alleged. “They created the necessary image of the enemy, ‘the culprit behind the hardships and poverty of the people’ – Russia, as well as us, Belarusians. We, you see, are now somehow to blame,” the leader said.

Read more …

Hunt Them Down

Poland Ready To Help Ukraine Hunt Down Military-Aged Men (RT)

Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz has said Warsaw is willing to “help” Kiev repatriate men of fighting age, an unspecified portion of some 950,000 Ukrainians granted temporary sanctuary in Poland. Earlier this week, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry banned all men between the ages of 18 and 60 from receiving or renewing their documents, including passports, at consular offices outside the country. The Polish defense chief told the Polsat broadcaster on Wednesday that he was “not surprised” and supports Kiev’s move. “The Ukrainian authorities are doing everything to provide new soldiers to the front, because the needs are huge,” Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz said. The Polish official said that Warsaw had previously offered to help Kiev track down those who dodge their “civic duty,” but noted that “the form of assistance depends on the Ukrainian side.”

“I think that many of our compatriots were and are outraged when they see young Ukrainian men in cafes and hear about how much effort it takes us to help Ukraine,” he added. Kosiniak-Kamysz also echoed Kiev’s official narrative that Ukrainians who could not avoid the draft have “justified grievances against their peers who have scattered around the world.” Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba claimed on Tuesday that the decision to strip Ukrainian men of their rights was “fair” and in line with controversial military mobilization reforms, which President Vladimir Zelensky signed into law this month. Zelensky’s reforms, set to take effect next month, will lower the draft age from 27 to 25, tighten exemptions, and oblige all men, regardless of eligibility, to report to a conscription office to “update” their personal data. According to EU officials, an estimated 650,000 Ukrainian men of fighting age are living in the bloc. Kiev has identified that pool as a significant untapped source of manpower for the armed forces. However, asked in early April how many troops Kiev intended to mobilize, Zelensky dodged the question.

Read more …

“When new technology meets the brutality of old-fashioned trench warfare, the results are rarely what Pentagon planners expected..”

Ukraine Conflict ‘A Bonanza’ For US Military – NYT (RT)

The US military is reportedly using the Ukraine conflict to test a new artificial intelligence technology that helps detect targets on the battlefield using drone footage, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. Dubbed Project Maven, research into the technology was initially picked up as a government contract by Google six years ago, according to the outlet. However, after pushback from engineers and employees, who did not want to take part in building an AI tool for military use, the tech giant stepped away from the project, which was picked up by other contractors. Now, the technology is being tested on the front line in Ukraine, the NYT claims, as Western and Ukrainian officers, along with some of Silicon Valley’s top military contractors, are “exploring new ways of finding and exploiting Russian vulnerabilities.”

So far, the results of the testing have reportedly been “mixed.” While Project Maven allows commanders to identify the movements of Russian forces and use AI algorithms to predict their next steps, it has apparently been “difficult” to bring “21st-century data into 19th-century trenches.” One of the main barriers, the Times said, is that due to restrictions imposed by US President Joe Biden, the US military can only provide Ukrainians with a “picture of the battlefield” without giving precise targeting details. It is also unclear if the new technology would even be able to change the course of the conflict, given Russia’s ability to quickly adapt to technologies being used by the Ukrainian side.

“When new technology meets the brutality of old-fashioned trench warfare, the results are rarely what Pentagon planners expected,” the outlet said. Nevertheless, the Ukraine conflict remains “a bonanza for the US military” in the minds of American officials, and a testing ground for rapidly evolving technologies. “At the end of the day this became our laboratory,” Lt. Gen. Christopher T. Donahue, who commands the US Army’s 18th Airborne Division, told the NYT. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly decried increasing US involvement in the conflict. Moscow describes it as a proxy war being waged by Washington and its partners, using Ukrainians as “cannon fodder” to further Western interests.

Read more …

“..it’s almost impossible to immediately make them as economically efficient as those in Russia. It had taken decades for Russia to set up its [nuclear fuel] production.”

G7 Could Take 10 Years to Catch Up With Russian Nuclear Fuel Output (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden and his G7 have vowed to end imports of Russian nuclear fuel, but leading Western economies still lag behind Moscow in innovative atomic technologies, nuclear expert Valery Menshikov told Sputnik. The US Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) asserted in a recent press release that the Biden-Harris administration is doing whatever it takes to ensure the nation’s independence in terms of secure nuclear fuel supplies as well as to “re-establish US leadership in nuclear energy more broadly.” The agency stressed that President Joe Biden’s government is leading the “Sapporo 5” group, consisting of the US, the UK, France, Japan and Canada to support the growth of nuclear energy deployment around the world “free of Russian influence.” But the NE was forced to admit that Russia presently supplies around 44 percent of global uranium enrichment services and 20 to 30 percent of enriched uranium products used in the US and Europe.

To complicate matters further for the Sapporo 5, Russia is the only country selling high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), which is indispensable for advanced nuclear reactors, on a commercial scale. President Joe Biden stated on April 19 that a US plant had managed to produce the first 200 lbs (90 kg) of HALEU and would make nearly a ton of the “powerful” nuclear fuel by the end of 2024. Given that in 2020 the US Department of Energy (DoE) projected that more than 40 metric tons of HALEU will be needed before the end of the decade to meet Washington’s pressing climate goals, those amounts are a drop in the ocean. “Undoubtedly, the speeches that Biden is now delivering are just another contribution to his collection of campaign promises. And since, the United States still depends on the supply of fresh enriched fuel for nuclear power plants, this task is one of the most important, including in political terms,” Valery Menshikov, member of the Public Council of Rosatom Corporation and member of the Council of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy, told Sputnik.

Russia maintains leadership in global uranium enrichment services, Sputnik’s commentator stressed, adding that neither US nor European scientists have been able to achieve enrichment capacities matching those of their Russian peers. Russian nuclear fuel is also comparatively cheaper, Menshikov pointed out. The expert recalled that the Russo-US nuclear fuel trade started immediately after the collapse of the USSR: the 1992 Megatons to Megawatts Program envisaged the recycling of weapons-grade uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads into low-enriched uranium used to produce fuel for American nuclear power plants. Over the decades, Russia routinely delivered large volumes of enriched uranium to the US.

The expert expressed doubts that the US will be able to completely stop purchases of Russian nuclear fuel by 2028, as Biden has pledged. “The problem is that the process [of making nuclear fuel] is very complex,” Menshikov said. “The most important thing is that while it is possible to launch such productions, it’s almost impossible to immediately make them as economically efficient as those in Russia. It had taken decades for Russia to set up its [nuclear fuel] production.” When it comes to the European Union (EU), the situation is complicated by the fact that there are 19 Russia-designed reactors within the bloc. The list of countries which have Russian-made nuclear equipment includes Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. Although some European countries, such as Finland, have recently halted cooperation with Russia, others — like Hungary — are proceeding with new projects.

Read more …

“What appears on the horizon, without any in-depth national discussion, after being approved by the Council and the European Parliament, is a global austerity package, on a European scale..”

European Bureaucrats Serve America’s Economic Interests (Dionísio)

Once again, the European bureaucracy is living up to the saying that “what has born crooked, late or never is straightened out”. This is the case with the European Union, which was built as a political response to a reality that is no longer there — the socialist bloc — and which, when faced with the absence of its vital force, embarked on an erratic process of enlargement, aimed above all at provoking Russia, creating the conditions for NATO expansion and responding to the monopolies’ growing need for new markets and new sources of skilled and cheap labor, as is the case in Eastern Europe.

Within this framework and in response to the same needs, the EU is once again reissuing a recipe already widely known to the peoples of the South. While there is widespread recognition that the budgetary criteria contained in the Stability and Growth Pact constitute a stranglehold on public investment and is responsible for the short-term vision that has left the member states hostage to the financial authoritarianism of Brussels, at a time when the European bloc is losing more and more ground to the economies with which it has to compete, the unelected supranational power of the EU is once again proposing, this time to all Europeans, something that none of these peoples would ever vote for: austerity for the next four years (at least).

What appears on the horizon, without any in-depth national discussion, after being approved by the Council and the European Parliament, is a global austerity package, on a European scale, applicable to almost all the countries of the Union, which has been given the pompous name of “New Economic Governance Framework” and which is based on instruments such as the “Debt Sustainability Analysis” and “Specific Fiscal Plans” per member state, which will be developed within the framework of a 4-year adjustment period, which can be extended to 7. If the Stability Pact was not enough to bring most of the countries to austerity, this time EU autocracy is working to leave no one behind. Every country must bring to an end every evidence or memory that a social state has once worked with huge success.

That’s why we have to say that “it’s coming in handy”! At a time when countries should be investing absolutely decisively in industrialization, innovation and conquering a place at the top of the future technological chain, as China and Russia are doing and the US is going into brutal debt to do, what do the accountants in Brussels decide to do? Postpone the race, calling into question the targets they themselves have set for 2030 and 2050. Once again, the story of the well-behaved and thrifty countries versus those that don’t know how to govern themselves is being repeated. But this time, with the exception of five countries (Cyprus, Sweden, Estonia, Denmark and Ireland), all the others will have to tighten their belts and cut 100 billion from their public budgets right in the first year of adjustment. Incidentally, 100 billion is more or less what the EU has offered the Kiev regime to date (in January 2024 it was 85 billion euros according to the Kiel Institute). And any of those lucky countries is important for the financing of the pluriannual European budget.

Assuming that this mass economic destruction is the continuation of a process that began with subprime, from which European economies had to pay for the losses of American banks, and continued with the NATO/Russia conflict in Ukraine, which has not only deprived European countries of important production factors, at a low price and with guaranteed quality and quantity… How should the European Union act, especially knowing that in Biden’s USA, the implementation of Inflation Reduction Act is well underway, with a vast investment program in key technological areas such as electric vehicles, lithium batteries, photovoltaic panels and semiconductors?

Read more …

“..Iran’s nuclear doctrine is based on a fatwa (a ruling based on Islamic law) issued by the country’s Supreme Leader..”

Iran’s Nuclear Plans Are Clear. Just Read Its Own Islamic Law (Juma)

In light of the direct conflict that broke out between Israel and Iran, rumors that the Islamic Republic could produce nuclear weapons began circulating again. In addition, just a few days ago Reuters and other media outlets quoted a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) saying that Iran may review its nuclear doctrine following Israeli threats. The US, EU, and Israel have long feared that Iran may produce nuclear weapons, and have used this threat to justify their actions against the Islamic Republic. However, it is important to understand that Iran’s nuclear doctrine is based on a fatwa (a ruling based on Islamic law) issued by the country’s Supreme Leader. According to this fatwa, the production of nuclear weapons is a sin. However, Iran’s opponents do not believe in the sincerity of this ruling and, they suggest, it can be renounced at any time.

On April 17 and 18, the first Tehran International Conference on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation took place. The motto of this conference was “Nuclear energy for everyone, nuclear weapons for no one.” There, Ali Akbar Velayati, adviser to the Supreme Leader of Iran, read Ayatollah Khamenei’s message in front of officials and members of various international delegations and organizations. “All of you know that, in the absence of the Imam Mahdi, whose coming is expected by the Shiites, the Shiite legal system is based on the opinion of authoritative and highly competent experts in the field of Islamic law (which Iran’s decisions are based on). These religious scholars issue fatwas which clearly indicate whether any action is permissible or not. One [important] issue is the permissibility of the production and use of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons) …”.

Ayatollah Khamenei had carefully analyzed the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons by the Americans in Japan as well as the use of chemical weapons against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, and stated his position on this issue: “We believe that, besides nuclear weapons, other types of weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and biological weapons, also pose a serious threat to humanity. The Iranian nation, which is itself a victim of chemical weapons, feels more than any other nation the danger that is caused by the production and stockpiling of such weapons, and is prepared to make use of all its facilities to counter such threats. We consider the use of such weapons as haraam [forbidden] and believe that it is everyone’s duty to make efforts to secure humanity against this great disaster.” In the period from 2010 to 2015, other religious authorities, such as ayatollahs Makarem Shirazi, Jafar Subhani, Noori-Hamedani, and Javadi Amoli, also issued fatwas that prohibited the production and use of weapons of mass destruction.

But can the issued fatwas be changed or canceled? Can Iran’s position in this regard change? From a theological point of view, certainly not. Islamic law states clear reasons for this. Nuclear weapons and the radiation which results from their use threaten the environment, causing the destruction of crops and the death of offspring. Verse 205 of Surah al-Baqarah says: “And when he goes away, he strives throughout the land to cause corruption therein and destroy crops and animals. And Allah does not like corruption.” The protection of the environment, the preservation of the life of living beings and plants is every Muslim’s obligation under Sharia, Islamic law. The production and stockpiling of nuclear weapons, even if they are never used, may endanger the lives of people on the planet as a result of human error. According to Islamic law, this is unacceptable. Islam believes that a victory must be achieved by reasonable, lawful, and humane means. As for the rules of warfare, Islam strictly prohibits the killing of civilians, women, children and the elderly, as well as attacks on civilian infrastructure.

Read more …

“..they prefer to pretend that they are fighting for peace. The very peace for which no stone should be left unturned on this planet. But that will come later..”

Why Iran Decided Not To Attack Israel Again (Gurevich)

Iran has again threatened Israel with a harsh response to aggression. The army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will make those who cross red lines regret it, said the Deputy Chief of the Army for Coordination, Habibollah Sayyari.Meanwhile, Israel has refrained from speaking out against Tehran. Politicians have focused their rhetoric on Hamas. In particular, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to increase military and political pressure on the Palestinian group in the near future in order to motivate it to release hostages, writes the Times of Israel. The good news is that there will be no Iran-Israel war. At least not at this stage. Tehran has chosen not to react vociferously to the Israeli air force’s retaliatory strike, dismissing all reports of the destruction of the radar protecting the Natanz nuclear centre as Zionist intrigues.

Well, the bottom line is that we have two air raids attributed to Israel and one very large Iranian strike. In the latter case, everything was official and the Islamic Republic can therefore claim an entry in the Guinness Book of Records with an article on the largest number of UAVs and ballistic missiles involved in a single offensive operation. Incidentally, we do not know what the real effect of the large-scale attack was. Iran, like Israel, is carefully hiding data on the damage. However, the political consequences of such events are far more important. And, as usual in the Middle East, a dozen seemingly unrelated problems have become intertwined. After the Iranian strike, for example, Western countries began to advise Israel not to react, and rumour has it that the Jewish State was negotiating for the right to launch a military operation in Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold in Gaza.

Then in the end, it could no longer remain patient and responded. The Iranians had options. The Ayatollahs could have said that Israel had again crossed all the red lines. This would have led to further escalation, but might have protected Hamas. But Iran, for its own reasons, ignored the Palestinians and reported through the press that nothing serious had happened. The reason for this peacefulness is probably that they saw a working alliance between Israel, Jordan and the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf. This is precisely the nightmare that the Iranians have done their utmost to prevent. They even restored diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia in 2023. But apparently confrontation with the Shiites is more important to moderate Sunnis than dislike of the Jews.

According to military analysts, if the Israeli Air Force did attack Iranian air defences, it means that the Israelis probably flew over Jordan or the Arabian Peninsula to carry out the task, and it is unlikely that this was done without the consent of the Hashemite Kingdom or the Saudis. As a result, the military alliance is not only defensive, which means that virtually all of Iran’s proxies in the region, including Hezbollah, the Houthis and the Shia militias in Iraq and Syria, are at risk. For now, however, this is all a hypothetical picture. Its implementation requires the normalisation of Israel’s relations with Riyadh and, as part of the deal, the signing of a defence agreement with the US, as well as American-Israeli goodwill for the establishment of a nuclear capability in Saudi Arabia. And all this has to happen before the end of June. Otherwise, Washington will not be able to get the relevant decisions through Congress because of the upcoming election. Obviously, the Iranians believe that further escalation will only accelerate the process described above. That is why they prefer to pretend that they are fighting for peace. The very peace for which no stone should be left unturned on this planet. But that will come later.

Read more …

“..she doesn’t know whether the Israeli leader is “afraid of peace, incapable of peace, or just doesn’t want peace.”

Netanyahu Should Resign – Nancy Pelosi (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an obstacle to peace in Gaza and “should resign” from his position, former US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said. She made the remarks on Monday in an interview with Irish public broadcaster Raidio Teilifis Eireann (RTE) during her visit to the country. Pelosi criticized the Israeli leader’s response to the October 7 Hamas attack which saw Palestinian militants kill over 1,100 people on Israeli territory and take around 250 hostages. The former House speaker cited the recent resignation of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intelligence chief Major General Aharon Haliva over the failure to prevent the attack, before pointing the finger at Netanyahu.

“We recognize Israel’s right to protect itself. We reject the policy and the practice of Netanyahu – terrible. What could be worse than what he has done in response?” Pelosi told the outlet. “He should resign. He’s ultimately responsible,” she added. When asked if Netanyahu is a “block” to peace, Pelosi replied that “he has been for years,” adding that she doesn’t know whether the Israeli leader is “afraid of peace, incapable of peace, or just doesn’t want peace.” She went on to argue that Netanyahu been an “obstacle to the two-state solution, I emphasize the word, ‘solution.’”

Health authorities in Gaza have estimated that more than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed amid Israel’s siege of the enclave, which has included extensive bombardment as well as a ground incursion. Earlier this month, Pelosi joined more than 30 US Congress members who signed a letter urging President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to halt weapons transfers to Israel. The change of tune in Washington, Israel’s key ally, followed the killing of six aid workers from the World Central Kitchen humanitarian organization. The IDF targeted the group’s convoy in what it claimed to be a tragic mistake, despite the food supply mission being closely coordinated with the military.

Read more …

Cyber crime is part of Russian warfare, apparently. Impoverishing grannies…

Unconventional Russian Warfare Threatening British Grannies – Wallace (RT)

The UK is facing certain forms of “unconventional warfare” waged by its enemies, potentially including Moscow-backed online scams that target the elderly, former British Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace has claimed. The Conservative MP, who resigned from the cabinet last August, told Sky News on Wednesday that the world today reminded him of the interwar periods during the last century. The situation, Wallace explained, is similar to “the 1930s, but with an added challenge of terrorism and a challenge of unconventional warfare.” As examples of the latter, he cited “disinformation campaigns, the enemies in this country using cyber to divide us, to rob from us, to spy on us, and to create frictions in our society.”

When asked by host Kay Burley which nation posed the biggest threat to the UK, Wallace said it was Russia. ”Many of the big cyber-crime syndicates are based in Russia, curiously protected by the Russian state,” he claimed. “They are the ones robbing your granny and my parents with phishing emails. So, Russia is directly challenging us at all levels.” Earlier this month, British police reported busting a UK-founded international ring of scammers, which since 2021 alone has stolen from some 70,000 victims in the country. Thirty-seven people were arrested around the world in the LabHost case, the force reported. The statement didn’t mention Russia.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Climate Emergency

 

 

Wealth
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783136306400497981

 

 

Your value
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783165842433474992

 

 

 

 

Cub


https://twitter.com/i/status/1782896073578582350

 

 

Baby Hippo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782886328171905240

 

 

Scratch

 

 

Healed

 

 

Adrenochrome

 

 

Robotina
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783391212558262482

 

 

Cabal full movie

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 072024
 
 April 7, 2024  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  28 Responses »


James McNeill Whistler Miss Ethel Philip Reading 1894

 

Extremism On The Ballot (Keenan)
America Is Hurtling Toward a Full Blown Hot Civil War (BP)
Liberals Trying to Force Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Retire (ET)
Trump Accuses Biden of Unfairly Targeting 71-Year-Old Jan. 6 ‘Hostage’ (ET)
Fani Willis Accused Of Illegally Recording Lawyer, Till Monday To Recuse (ZH)
US, Allies Understand Ukraine Will Never Join NATO – Journalist (TASS)
Russia and Ukraine Must Talk – Austrian Chancellor (RT)
NATO 75 Years On… A War Machine Long Past Its Sell-By Date (SCF)
NATO’s ‘Losing War’ and an Empty Promise to Ukraine (Sp.)
New Rustled-Up Joint NATO Mission Shows West ‘Has No Real Plan in Ukraine’ (Sp.)
1992 Explicit NATO Pledge Not to Meddle in Russia’s Neighborhood (Sp.)
Pelosi Joins Call For Biden To Stop Arming Israel (ZH)
Scott Ritter: Israeli Attack on Consulate Could ‘Throw World Into Chaos’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Superman

 

 

What time it is
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776328737874743402

 

 

 

 

O’Reilly

 

 

GenZ

 

 

MEP, Christine Anderson

 

 

Post human
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776488310304604352

 

 

 

 

Trump 1987
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776642658657505457

 

 

 

 

“The 2024 election is between a dangerous madman and Donald Trump…”

Extremism On The Ballot (Keenan)

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful day with family and friends on the holiest day of America’s liturgical year, the Transgender Day of Visibility. I had never heard of this blessed Federal holiday until a few days ago, but my kids loved it. We had a visit from the Easter Drag Bunny and it/they filled the kids’ baskets with all kinds of treats. Puberty blockers, dilators, lipstick for the boys, packers for the girls. She/They is risen—and you will bow down and worship Her/Them! Of course, Joe Biden’s Easter sacrilege was only the latest travesty that proves what you and I already know, which is that the 2024 presidential election is a contest between common-sense centrism and dangerously radical extremism. One candidate is a classical liberal whose positions are squarely in the middle of the political spectrum. On nearly every issue, his views are anodyne, conventional, mainstream—positions that were the norm, nationwide, in every state, on both sides of the aisle, within recent memory (not including a few fringe strongholds in Berkeley and the West Village).

His opponent, however, is a dangerous radical extremist; a divisive, fanatical agent of chaos who holds frightening positions that threaten to destroy America. To preserve what’s left of Our Sacred Democracy, the extremist must be stopped. The radicals we are up against are so deranged that they are embracing and even leaning into the Replacement Theory they once vilified and dismissed as fake. You will recall that “replacement theory” was a taboo conspiracy only racists and bigots believed in until about 15 minutes ago. But the extremists running the country recently decided that akshally, “replacement” is the perfect strategy to finish off what’s left of what you and the country formerly known as “America.” Replacement means you don’t need to worry about convincing Congress to pass new laws or give speeches or waste time governing. To get your way, just replace everyone. But the extremists in charge are not going to stop after replacing you with “newcomers.” They’re replacing everything not nailed down.

Easter just got replaced with a demonic child abuse cult festival. Jews are getting erased, literally chased out of cities, harassed out of college, and replaced with ululating Hamas enthusiasts. Your grandchildren got replaced with fur babies. Formerly great universities have been replaced with plagiarizing paperclip factories. Your borders have been replaced with Welcome Centers. Your retirement has been replaced with twenty more years of work to pay for safe injection sites for your kids and free gender affirmation surgeries for the world. As Elon Musk likes to point out on X, Americans are just four percent of the Earth’s population. Soon, they’ll be just four percent of their own country. This is, in President Biden’s own words, going according to plan. “Just like we drew it up,” he tweeted ominously. An explosion in robberies and violent crime. Two dangerous new foreign wars. Forced conversion therapy on normal people to make them believe children can change their sex. Rampant hate crimes and open, gleeful discrimination against people who are not “of color.”

Who is the extremist again? The dangerous tyrant seeking re-election has the full support of our bloodthirsty elites, a warmongering foreign policy establishment, virulently antisemitic academia, and the entire mainstream media apparatus. Sometimes it’s hard to even fathom what we are facing, but then you remember that they had the nerve to arrest and sentence a young man to prison for… wait for it… sharing a funny Hillary Clinton meme. That actually happened in real life. The humble moderate whom these frightening cretins hope to defeat this fall faces expropriation of his property to satisfy hundreds of millions of dollars in absurd fines, plus hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees to fight regime lawfare on a Hiroshima scale. The threat of prison looms. His support comes not from wealthy celebrities, titans of industry, or the tech billionaires. It comes from the peasants. The rabble. A ragtag coalition of nobodies, the working class, the powerless middle class, and a few anonymous dissidents forced to post samizdat from undisclosed locations to avoid the eye of Sauron.

The radical extremist we face wants to empty our treasury so he can continue to launder hundreds of billions of our dollars through the most corrupt nation in Europe, which for decades was the world’s number one producer of child pornography, among other evils.

Read more …

“.. an evil, unrestrained, immoral freedom that is no freedom at all, a bringer of Death..”

America Is Hurtling Toward a Full Blown Hot Civil War (BP)

In an ideal and perfect world, all Americans would be following a righteously guided conscience and their better angels, and they could trust that their elected leaders were doing likewise; but, we live in a far from perfect world or society, and the fools of the country have abandoned Christian kindness, the Golden Rule and humanity for the evil of trans-humanism. Heartwarming words advocating for true freedom and liberty are far and few between in today’s society and political arenas, in a manner not too unlike the years between 1850 and 1860 that led to the Civil War; and tho’ some on both side of the political aisle still exude goodness in a way that makes each day seem a bit brighter, by and large, the Democratic Party has been completely infiltrated by Marxist-Maoist Communists, who are driving the nation towards the darkest tyranny and bloodiest days ever witnessed in America, as they attempt to stamp out the tenderness and beauty in each person’s soul and reduce us all to mere mindless cogs in their authoritarian machine.

Look around. Half or more of America’s citizenry have lost their minds and are six steps or more removed from reality, either due to the mind-numbing communist indoctrination they have absorbed from their “education” in the public school system, something genetic or a trauma from their life, some new maniacal drug that has them hooked and out of their minds, or a combination of all three. Some would suggest that we set about immediately reforming public education to promote and defend the ideas that originally built America, but we don’t have time to change hearts and minds to counter a movement that started over a hundred years ago and now sits on the cusp of being able to solidify its current stranglehold on America, if the tide swings its way in the 2024 Election or they are able to steal the election through current fraud facilitating mechanisms.

Although we can still move to properly educate the next generation in a newly reformed education system or through homeschool, now is the time to organize and assemble those within the country who already know and hold to the truth of American principles and all the freedom and liberty that follow — time to gather our like-minded American patriots and those Lions of Liberty who have had enough of witnessing this America we love so well so sorely abused, put upon and assaulted. It doesn’t help when we have self-serving, corrupt people in high office promising to save the gullible and ill-informed from their hell and the misery it brings, if only they will support more madness to be placed in U.S. code. Vote for more economy killing “climate change” change regulations and initiatives and “we’ll put more money on your EBT cards, courtesy of Uncle Sam and the American taxpayer”.

“Help us make sure the government has the final say over everybody’s children and can kill babies as they exit the birthing canal, and we’ll make certain you get privilege over all other Americans”, one can almost hear Traitor Joe whispering in some dimly lit concert hall. “You can be a champion among champions”, they say — “Let us help you change your gender”. And if anyone stands in your way in the pursuit of any evil, it is they who will be called evil and fallen upon by the full weight of the U.S. Federal Government. Oh yea. And as if that isn’t bad enough, Biden is now moving as fast as he can to forgive $144 billion more in student loans. He plans to announce this on Monday, April 8th 2024, and for anyone with eyes to see, this is simply corruption at its worst and Biden buying votes in the upcoming presidential election. What a slap in the face of Americans who couldn’t afford to go to college but now will be forced to bear the tax burden this move will bring.

I see the immorality growing every day, the people who revel in its evil, freaks from some futuristic sideshow that bodes ill and speaks to the destruction of humanity. and with each passing day, I find myself moving farther and farther away from those with whom I have little or nothing in common with, adrift from most of humanity too. Not in any manner that lends itself to any sadness over my situation, but rather as if to say “whew” in a realization of the relief that has come by way of my separation from those I despise most. It’s sort of like I’m standing on the river bank watching the “ship of fools” sailing over the river falls in denial of their own mortality, thinking their crazy ideas will save them and hold them invincible, or worse, knowing they are going to die and not caring who they drag to Hell along with them. They think we’re crazy for defending America’s righteous and true founding principles and virtues and the liberty associated with them, and we think them mad for denying God, reality and the best mankind has to offer in exchange for an evil, unrestrained, immoral freedom that is no freedom at all, a bringer of Death.

Read more …

They’re scared stiff Trump will win.

Liberals Trying to Force Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Retire (ET)

Liberals are mounting a pressure campaign to force liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to retire from the bench so President Joe Biden, who faces a tough reelection fight in November, can appoint a younger liberal successor before the election. Democrats fear that the 6–3 conservative majority on the nation’s highest court could become a 7–2 conservative majority if President Donald Trump wins the election in November and she dies during his second term of office. They point out that President Trump was able to replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died of pancreatic cancer complications on Sept. 18, 2020, at 87, with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett days before the 2020 election. Justice Ginsburg refused to step down despite her fragile health. Justice Barrett’s appointment, they say, helped supply the votes on the Court needed to overturn abortion rights precedent Roe v. Wade by a 5–4 vote in June 2022.

The ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization found there was no right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution and returned the regulation of abortion to the states, which Roe had taken away. Justice Sotomayor, 69, is reportedly in good health, but activists have seized on the fact that she has had Type I diabetes since she was 7 years old and that she has had some health scares. They note that she is the only Supreme Court justice to have traveled with a medic and remarked she was “tired” during a talk in January at UC Berkeley Law School. In January 2018, she was reportedly treated at her home for low blood sugar by paramedics but was able to report for work afterward. Left-wing activists seem emboldened because they successfully pressured liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, now 85, to retire in June 2022, which allowed President Biden to replace him with liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, now 53.

In an April 3 broadcast on NBC News, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), said Justice Sotomayor should consider stepping down soon. “Justices have to make their personal decisions about their health, and their level of energy, but also to keep in mind the larger national and public interest in making sure that the Court looks and thinks like America,” the senator said. “We should learn a lesson, you know? And it’s not like there’s any mystery here about what the lesson should be—that the old saying, ‘graveyards are full of indispensable people,’ ourselves in this body included.” Before that, left-wing commentator Mehdi Hasan published a column in The Guardian (UK) saying it pained him to argue that Justice Sotomayor should make way for a younger successor who can serve for decades on the Court because she is a good standard bearer for the progressive cause. He described Justice Sotomayor as “the greatest liberal to sit on the Supreme Court in my adult lifetime.” Mr. Hasan added that she is “the first Latina to hold the position of justice, [and] she has blazed a relentlessly progressive trail on the highest bench in the land.”

Read more …

Liz Cheney’s the one who belongs in jail.

Trump Accuses Biden of Unfairly Targeting 71-Year-Old Jan. 6 ‘Hostage’ (ET)

Former President Donald Trump has criticized President Joe Biden and the Justice Department for “unfairly” targeting a 71-year-old woman dubbed the “J6 Praying Grandma” who entered the U.S. Capitol for around 10 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021. Rebecca Lavrenz was convicted on April 4 on four federal misdemeanor charges, including entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly and disruptive conduct. She faces up to a year in prison and $200,000 in fines, with her sentencing scheduled for Aug. 12. President Trump took to social media on Friday to denounce the conviction. “Rebecca Lavrez, also known as the ‘J6 Praying Grandma,’ has been unfairly targeted by Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, and now faces up to 1 YEAR in prison for peacefully walking around the Capitol, and praying for our Failing Nation on January 6th!” he wrote in a post on Truth Social.

President Trump said that Ms. Lavrez, a 71-year-old grandmother and small business owner from Colorado, has now become “one of Joe Biden’s J6 HOSTAGES!!!” President Trump has made the alleged mistreatment of Jan. 6 defendants a cornerstone of his reelection campaign, vowing to use executive power to issue pardons and free Jan. 6 “hostages” soon after taking office, if elected. “Crooked Joe Biden spends more time prosecuting Patriots like Rebecca, AND ME, than Violent Criminals, Thugs, Murderers, and ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS who are destroying our Country. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST,” President Trump added in his post. President Biden has been sharply critical of President Trump’s statements about the Jan. 6 defendants, while Attorney General Merrick Garland has promised to press ahead with more Jan. 6 prosecutions—and to cast the Justice Department’s dragnet even more widely to include people who weren’t even present at the Capitol that day.

“As I said before, the Justice Department will hold all January 6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under the law—whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy,” Mr. Garland said in a speech on Jan. 5. More than 1,350 people have been charged with various crimes in relation to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, ranging from misdemeanor offenses such as trespassing to felonies such as seditious conspiracy and assaulting police officers. Of these, roughly 800 have been sentenced, with nearly two-thirds receiving some time in prison.

Read more …

Fani’s biggest talent is compromising herself.

Fani Willis Accused Of Illegally Recording Lawyer, Till Monday To Recuse (ZH)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been accused of illegally recording a lawyer in the Trump-Georgia case. During an interview with Townhall columnist and legal analyst Phil Holloway, an attorney for Trump co-defendant Harrison Floyd, Christopher Kachouroff, claimed that Willis recorded a phone call between herself and one of his colleagues in Maryland. “Fani did reach out to one of my colleagues in Maryland” said Kachouroff. “And was rude and abrupt with him on the phone … and she ended up recording him.” He further noted that Maryland is a “two party state,” meaning that both parties on a phone call have to consent to being recorded. “So, are you saying she illegally recorded a phone call?” asked Holloway. “Oh yeah, it’s a felony in Maryland,” Kachouroff replied. Maryland is one of 11 states which require two-party consent. Under the state’s Wiretap Act, recording a private conversation without consent from both parties is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Harrison Floyd, the defendant, has given Fani until noon on Monday to recuse herself from the case or he “may have no other choice than to pursue all lawful remedies.” As Redstate notes: In Floyd’s tweet, it refers to Willis providing a copy or a recording of a call to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution between herself and Carlos J.R. Salvado, an attorney in Maryland, who also represents Floyd on an unrelated matter. Atlanta News First and Newsweek have reached out to Willis’ office for comment on this new allegation but she doesn’t appear to have weighed in yet. It will be interesting to see what her response to this allegation is. Floyd, who served as a senior campaign staffer for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, was indicted by Willis on three felony counts stemming from his alleged efforts to help Trump overturn his loss in the state. The charges include conspiracy to solicit false statements, influencing witnesses, and racketeering. He has also been accused of assaulting an FBI agent in Maryland. He has pleaded not guilty.

Fani’s wiretapping accusation is the latest debacle involving Willis’ RICO case against Trump and his allies. On Wednesday, special prosecutor Nathan Wade’s estranged wife filed contempt of court proceedings against him. Wade and Willis’ romantic relationship was the focal point of the disqualification efforts against the district attorney’s office. However, Judge Scott McAfee ultimately allowed Willis to remain on the prosecution so long as Wade stepped down. Wade handed in his resignation hours after McAfee’s ruling. -Newsweek. Floyd, a former Black Voices for Trump leader, turned himself in without a lawyer or bond agreement on August 24 of last year, and was released August 30 on $100,000 bond. He is one of 19 defendants in the case.

https://twitter.com/hw_floyd/status/1776060884546113790

Read more …

“.. join a defensive alliance when the need for defense is over..”

US, Allies Understand Ukraine Will Never Join NATO – Journalist (TASS)

The US administration and authorities of NATO member-countries understand full well that Ukraine will never join the alliance, senior editor of The American Conservative Sumantra Maitra said in his article. “Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that Ukraine will one day join NATO. It is a meaningless, almost theological gesture—practically pagan hymn-chanting at this point. Blinken knows his promise to be untrue. European allies know it to be untrue. The majority of Americans either don’t care about Ukraine or are actively opposed to further engagement in Europe,” Maitra said. “It is, of course, deeply cynical to dangle the NATO carrot in front of Ukraine especially, when NATO did not let them join after the Bucharest summit [in 2008] and will not in future,” he noted.

“The argument goes that NATO members will welcome Ukraine only once they have solved their existing security issue, i.e. join a defensive alliance when the need for defense is over. To any sane person, that sounds absurd—that would mean the security issue will not be solved in this lifetime, and it will continue to be a frozen conflict,” Maitra said. “There will not be any NATO cavalry over the hills,” the journalist wrote. “The best we can do is seek a compromise making Ukraine and Georgia neutral buffers, similar to Austria during the Cold War. But for that, Washington needs bolder leadership to admit some hard truths and render some strategic coherence,” Maitra concluded.

Read more …

Slovakia, Hungary, Austria speak with reason. The countries closest to Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine Must Talk – Austrian Chancellor (RT)

The Ukraine conflict can only be resolved if Russia is present at the negotiating table, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has said. In an interview with the French daily Le Figaro on Friday, the chancellor reiterated that the West should continue to be in “full solidarity” with Kiev and support it in its fight against Russia. However, Nehammer said “it is also important to think about how the conflict could end.” The Austrian leader noted that when he went to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in April 2022, several weeks into the conflict, Moscow and Kiev were still engaged in direct talks. ”This is no longer the case today, because Russia shows no desire to negotiate. But without the Russian Federation there will be no peace,” he said, adding that the situation remains difficult. “But the resumption of a dialogue, when the day comes, is a necessity,” he stressed.

Moscow and Kiev held several rounds of talks early on in the conflict, which revolved around Ukrainian neutrality. While the negotiations initially made some headway, Kiev later walked away. Moscow has claimed that the peace process was derailed by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who advised Ukraine to keep fighting, which Johnson has denied. Russia also maintains that it is open to new talks with Kiev. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning all negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow after four former Ukrainian territories voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia in autumn 2022. Meanwhile, Nehammer has said he has some disagreements regarding support for Ukraine with French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently stated that he cannot rule out the possibility of putting NATO troops on the ground in the embattled country.

The chancellor noted that while he and Macron believe in the need to support Ukraine and that Moscow and Kiev should eventually engage in diplomacy, they are at odds over the way to achieve this. ”I am in favor of the precautionary principle. The French president is a supporter of the principle of deterrence,” Nehammer said, acknowledging that some elements of this approach are “convincing” given what he called Russia’s “aggressiveness.” “However, I also think that we must apply the precautionary principle to avoid an uncontrollable escalation,” he added. In a rare phone call earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned his French counterpart, Sebastien Lecornu, that Paris would only “create problems for itself” if it decides to send troops to Ukraine.

Read more …

“..the United States and its NATO partners embarked on an orgy of aggression and militarism over the next three decades..”

NATO 75 Years On… A War Machine Long Past Its Sell-By Date (SCF)

This week marks the 75th anniversary of NATO’s founding in April 1949. The organization has become a global danger to peace and security and should have been disbanded more than 30 years ago when the Cold War supposedly ended. That the alliance was not disbanded attests that its real purpose was always to serve as a weapon for U.S.-led Western imperialism. Barely four years after the end of World War Two – the greatest calamity in world history – and amid the ruins of a devastated Europe and Asia, Western imperialism was once again reinventing its nefarious internal forces. Nearly 30 million citizens of the Soviet Union had died at the hands of Nazi Germany. And yet despite the horror and evil of war, the Western powers were busy reconfiguring their military forces to confront again the Soviet Union. With the defeat of the Nazi war machine largely by the Soviet Red Army, the Western imperialists innovated a new instrument in the form of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The betrayal and treachery were not just to the Soviet people. All of humanity was once again subjected to the warmongering designs and necessities of a global elite under Western imperialism. NATO’s declared purpose was to defend Europe from Soviet aggression. The same pretense exists today in the claim that the alliance is defending Ukraine from Russian belligerence. The proof of NATO’s real function is demonstrated by the fact that the organization did not disband in 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. Over the ensuing 33 years, the military bloc has doubled its membership to 31 nations. Russia has replaced the Soviet Union as the Western-designated security threat to Europe. But such rationale turns reality on its head. NATO has always existed as a tool of aggression for Western imperialism. Where Nazi Germany failed to do the job of conquering the Soviet Union, NATO tacitly took over the task, and when the Soviet Union disappeared, the new enemy of convenience became the Russian Federation.

Twenty-five years ago, the U.S.-led NATO axis engaged in a pivotal step change when it unilaterally bombed former Yugoslavia in an audacious aggression based on duplicity and lies (as usual). That illegal military intervention was the opening of a new phase of Western imperialism that blatantly snubbed international law and the United Nations Charter. In the same year, 1999, the NATO alliance began its rapid expansion by acquiring new members across Eastern Europe up to Russia’s borders. Having smashed legal restraints against war, the United States and its NATO partners embarked on an orgy of aggression and militarism over the next three decades, invading and sabotaging countless countries and unleashing global problems of terrorism, displacement, poverty, and mass migration.

In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a seminal speech at the Munich Security Conference in which he warned of the looming chaos and conflict from unbridled Western militarism. The next year, in 2008, the NATO alliance declared that it would admit Ukraine and Georgia to its ranks. Neither of the former Soviet Republics has yet joined the bloc, but for Moscow, such a move has long been demarcated as an intolerable red line. The expansion of NATO all the way to Russia’s doorstep is not some ad hoc innocent development. It is a deliberate plan of aggression to strategically defeat Russia for the conquest of its natural wealth by Western imperialism.

Read more …

“Clearly the US does not like to lose wars or to be associated with losing wars. And clearly they don’t want to be associated with a losing war that Biden is responsible for..”

NATO’s ‘Losing War’ and an Empty Promise to Ukraine (Sp.)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated Thursday that Ukraine will eventually join NATO. It was the same message the US has been repeating since 2008, although the alliance has not revealed a concrete timeline for Ukraine’s accession. US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (often referred to as MTG) and US Senator JD Vance took to social media to decry Blinken’s comments as irresponsible and dangerous, saying inviting Ukraine to join NATO during a war is to “invite our nation to war.” KJ Noh, a scholar, educator and journalist and member of Veterans for Peace, joined Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Friday to discuss these developments. Sputnik’s Michelle Witte asked Noh what would happen if Republicans decided that opposing NATO expansion is a winning political message. “I think it would signal the end of NATO,” answered Noh. “I mean, it’s an interesting situation because this entire war was provoked on the idea that Ukraine would eventually join NATO. So they can’t, from this administration, can’t abandon the concept completely.”

“But let’s come back to MTG and JD Vance. You know, they are not the most informed people in the political classes, they’re clearly pandering to the base,” he claimed. “And as I said if you recall on this show, the US public tends to reflexively support most US wars initiated by their elites until they start losing and then they stop supporting them.” “I think it has to do with the fact that they don’t believe it’s a winning proposition to be associated with NATO, which is currently losing a war, and this is a NATO war. And, of course, it also has to do with the fact that [former President Donald] Trump himself has a very mercantile, business view of NATO. He sees them as free riders on the American military, and he wants the quid pro quo.” “Clearly there is popular opposition to the Ukraine war. Clearly the US does not like to lose wars or to be associated with losing wars. And clearly they don’t want to be associated with a losing war that Biden is responsible for,” Noh concluded.

Former President Donald Trump said recently he would “100%” keep the US in NATO should he return to the Oval Office, as long as European countries pay their “fair share” and “play fair.” The former president told British media the US pays for “90% of NATO,” adding that it is the “most unfair thing.” NATO estimates that for 2023 Poland was actually the top spender and allocated 3.9% of its GDP to the alliance, which was more than twice the amount it had spent in 2022. In contrast, the US spent 3.5% of its GDP – about the same amount it has been spending for the last decade. However, only 35% of NATO member states meet the alliance’s spending targets on defense, prompting criticism from Trump and aligned “America First” conservatives. Proposals to resurrect European countries’ weakened defense industries have been greeted with skepticism as the continent is rocked by protests over economic concerns.

Read more …

“..support for Ukraine is “limited to certain logistic, advisory and training functions,” and under the current North Atlantic Treaty, “it would not be possible to do more.”

New Rustled-Up Joint NATO Mission Shows West ‘Has No Real Plan in Ukraine’ (Sp.)

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski’s thoughts regarding a new joint NATO mission in Ukraine are “more a wish than reality,” strategic analyst Paolo Raffone told Sputnik. “To date, nobody in NATO is willing to engage with a stable allied military presence in Ukraine,” said the director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels. “Sikorski’s thoughts do not match with David Cameron’s statements at the NATO summit in Brussels. The UK foreign secretary acknowledged that the ‘war will be lost if the allies don’t step up,’ but when asked whether Western nations should send troops into Ukraine, Lord Cameron replied ‘no,’” Paolo Raffone said. The Polish foreign minister earlier told journalists after a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO council that members of the alliance had decided to establish a joint mission in Ukraine.

“This does not mean that we are entering a war, but it means that we will now be able to use NATO’s coordinating, training, and planning capabilities to support Ukraine in a more coordinated manner,” the minister clarified. Sikorski added that more Ukrainian troops will be undergoing training in Poland. As for the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, he said that there were no plans for deploying NATO troops on the territory of Ukraine. “We don’t have any plans of having any NATO combat troops inside Ukraine, there have been no requests for that, but the Ukrainians are asking for equipment, for ammunition, for weapons and we are providing that to Ukraine — that doesn’t make NATO allies party to the conflict,” Stoltenberg told a press conference. He did, however, add that NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) is working on a proposal to enhance the alliance’s coordinating security role in Ukraine.

According to officials, this would presuppose bringing the Ukraine Defense Contact Group – currently led by the US –under NATO’s control. It is this group that coordinates the delivery of weapons to Kiev. [..] Paolo Raffone underscored that the alliance’s support for Ukraine is “limited to certain logistic, advisory and training functions,” and under the current North Atlantic Treaty, “it would not be possible to do more.” “Diplomats in Brussels do not see any concrete space for a direct engagement of NATO troops in Ukraine. NATO posturing is to avoid the collapse of Ukraine under the constant Russian pressure with the strategic aim to create the conditions for a negotiated settlement, whatever it may be,” the analyst said.

Read more …

“We would like to establish [the] most friendly relations with all the former Soviet republics. This will suit our common interests and as such we will be able to provide more lasting stability..”

1992 Explicit NATO Pledge Not to Meddle in Russia’s Neighborhood (Sp.)

The US National Security Archive dropped a fresh trove of documents this week on previously classified conversations between senior Russian officials and their US and NATO counterparts in the period between 1992 and 1995, detailing what at the time seemed like rosy prospects for cooperation, and featuring a key pledge related to the internal affairs of the new post-Soviet republics. A transcript of a meeting between then-chairman of the Russian parliament Ruslan Khasbulatov and NATO secretary general Manfred Woerner dated February 25, 1992, exactly two months after Mikhail Gorbachev declared the USSR defunct and resigned from office, features an unmistakably blunt commitment by Woerner that the alliance will not meddle in the internal political affairs of Russia and other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

“We would like Russia and all other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States to join the Council for Cooperation [under NATO, ed.],” Woerner said during his conversation with Khasbulatov in Moscow. “From what I hear, -and you yourself talked about this – that some people still doubt our intentions. I would like to state here very clearly that we need stability, or some kind of stabilizing element for peace. We are not going to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs, as well as the internal affairs of other sovereign member states of the CIS. We would like to establish [the] most friendly relations with all the former Soviet republics. This will suit our common interests and as such we will be able to provide more lasting stability. We will all be better off as a result,” the NATO chief assured.

“We want to see close cooperation between states in a Europe composed of sovereign democratic states. How can this be achieved? We want to build a Europe that will inhabit a new security environment from [the Urals] to the Atlantic. It will be a unified Euro-Atlantic community built on three pillars. The first is the Helsinki process, the second – the European Community [predecessor to the European Union, ed.], which will create a basis for a solid political future for our community, and the third pillar is NATO,” Woerner added. A second document, dated March 8, 1994, and recording a conversation between senior Russian Duma leaders and Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry, offered clues of the extent of security concerns felt even by members of the liberal, highly pro-American Yeltsin government regarding US and NATO policy toward Russia.

By that time, the Clinton administration had firmly committed to the expansion of the Western alliance in Eastern Europe in spite of fervent (but impotent) opposition by Yeltsin. “As Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense, I am interested in a whole range of issues,” lawmaker Sergei Yushenkov was recorded as saying. “These include US military doctrine…NATO’s prospects in connection with the end of the Cold War, issues of our collaboration in peacekeeping actions, concrete approaches to the implementation of the Partnership for Peace program (which I consider a thin veil for NATO expansion), prospects for the ratification of START-2 and the implementation of START-1,” Yushenkov said.

Read more …

“..vehemently opposed to any Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, or any person who has an ounce of humanity” attending the event..”

Pelosi Joins Call For Biden To Stop Arming Israel (ZH)

A divide among Democrats over whether to halt defense aid to Israel is growing more fierce, causing a crisis and headache for Biden strategists ahead of the presidential election, which has only intensified in the wake of last week’s Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attack on the World Central Kitchen convoy in Gaza, which left seven international workers dead, including an American. This intensifying fragmentation of Biden’s base has been on display this weekend also given former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – still very influential among Dems – has publicly come out against Biden’s policy to continue arming Israel. The issue is entering the heart of the Democratic establishment, threatening unity. Axios reports that she “signed onto a call by progressive members of Congress for the U.S. to stop transferring weapons to Israel over a strike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza.”

The letter she signed, and which was led by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), included the signatures of some 40 Democrats. “In light of the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustifiable to approve these weapons transfers,” the lawmakers stated in the letter addressed to President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “If this strike is found to have violated U.S. or international law, we urge you to continue withholding these transfers until those responsible are held accountable,” the lawmakers wrote. However, a follow-up statement from a Pelosi representative to Axios has this to say: “Speaker Pelosi knows President Biden’s support for Israel and empathy with the innocent civilians in Gaza, and she respects his judgment in how to proceed.” This trend of the Gaza war becoming a bright red dividing line among Democrats is also on display with recent stories like the following from Epoch Times– Pro-Israel Democrat Group Endorses ‘Squad’ Primary Opponents:

“A Democrat pro-Israel group has endorsed candidates challenging incumbents who are members of the far-left congressional group “The Squad.” Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) announced on April 3 its backing of Westchester County Executive George Latimer and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. DMFI did not state its reasons for backing the two other than through announcing a slate of endorsements.” So now the ‘fight’ is on and it’s becoming a real issue with campaign money lining up on either side. Still, those voters who put the Squad members in office in the first place are more than likely to come down on the anti-Israel side. Another indicator that the internal Democrat divide is accelerating is that the controversy has completely altered a long-standing White House tradition. Muslim leaders are boycotting an annual White House Ramadan gathering which marks the end of the Muslim season of fasting:

“The Biden administration is hosting a scaled-down Ramadan gathering for Muslim and Arab Americans after several community leaders declined the invite over the unrelenting and steadfast nature of US support for Israel’s war on Gaza. The event scheduled for Tuesday will be in stark contrast to previous Muslim celebrations and gatherings under the Biden administration, which have seen packed ballrooms of Muslims from all over the country joining the White House festivities. This year, the iftar will be confined to staffers only, and a separate gathering will take place for Muslim community members.” One such Muslim community leader and activist told Middle East Eye that Palestinian-Americans are “vehemently opposed to any Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, or any person who has an ounce of humanity” attending the event. All of this is of course a plus for Trump’s chances of retaking the White House going into November, also given the Israel-Gaza issue is much less of a divisive flashpoint issue for Republican voters.

Sachs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776496160821449125

Read more …

“..wasn’t just a onetime ‘oops’. It was three deliberate attacks designed to kill everybody involved in the WCK convoy, to leave no survivors. And they left no survivors..”

Scott Ritter: Israeli Attack on Consulate Could ‘Throw World Into Chaos’ (Sp.)

Israel targeted the Iranian Embassy compound in Damascus, Syria on Monday, killing 16 people, including a top IRGC Quds Force commander. The same day, IDF drones struck three World Central Kitchen vehicles in Gaza, killing seven aid workers. Scott Ritter tells Sputnik how these events are connected. “In the span of a week, the world has witnessed two wanton violations of international law and the norms and standards of civilized nations by the state of Israel,” Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector and retired US Marine Corps intelligence officer, said, commenting on the twin April 1 attacks in Syria and Gaza. The Damascus attack ostensibly targeted high-ranking IRGC officers operating in Syria. “But the fact that Israel views these officers as legitimate targets doesn’t give them the permission to violate the protections that are afforded to these structures. Diplomatic immunity is a reality, and these buildings (consulates, embassies), are afforded inviolability, protection of international law, and Israel opted to violate this,” Ritter emphasized.

The consequences of the Embassy attack “have yet to be fully borne out…but based on Israel’s own reaction and anticipation could be quite severe. And this could throw not just the region but the world into chaos, turmoil and conflict, all because Israel decided that it could operate above the law,” the observer warned. As for the strikes against vehicles carrying World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity workers in Gaza, Ritter doesn’t buy Israeli assurances that they were accidental. “This wasn’t an accident. The Israelis claim it was a mistake, an accident. It wasn’t. These aid workers were driving on a route that had been identified to the Israeli military in advance and approved. They were riding in three clearly-marked vehicles. And the attack that took place wasn’t just a onetime ‘oops’. It was three deliberate attacks designed to kill everybody involved in the WCK convoy, to leave no survivors. And they left no survivors,” Ritter stressed. The consequences of the WCK were predictable, the observer said.

“Almost immediately, ships filled with humanitarian aid turned around and refused to offload their life-sustaining cargoes in Gaza out of fear of being attacked by Israel. Israel achieved its objective. It is terrorizing, intimidating international aid groups so that they don’t provide the assistance necessary for the sustainment of life in Gaza, because that’s what the Israeli policy in Gaza is all about,” Ritter said. Ritter expects Israeli “crimes” and “wanton” lawlessness to continue unless and until Tel Aviv is made to face consequences for its actions, and for so long as the government of Benjamin Netanyahu remains in power.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Assange Al Jazeera 25 m.

 

 

Eclipse


https://twitter.com/i/status/1776687977772515458

 

 

Kitten
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776532560497070579

 

 

Horse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776583393590821029

 

 

Cartoons

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 272024
 
 March 27, 2024  Posted by at 10:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  60 Responses »


John La Farge Girls Carrying a Canoe, Vaiala in Samoa 1891

 

US, UK and Ukraine Could Be Behind Moscow Terror Attack – FSB Chief (RT)
US Backs Itself Into Corner By Blaming IS For Crocus Hall – Zakharova (TASS)
The Evidence On The Crocus Gang Attack In Moscow (Helmer)
Crocus City Hall Terror Attack Cast Slur Upon West (Sp.)
EU Leaders Have Decided To Militarize, So What Now? (Drize)
‘Day May Come’ For EU Troops In Ukraine – Kiev (RT)
Trump: Israel Has To Finish the War, It’s Losing a Lot of Support (Antiwar)
‘Serious Concerns’ Raised About NY Judge’s Trump Judgment (ET)
Pelosi, Accused of Insider Trading, Makes Major Stock Move (Sp.)
The DNC Moves To Block Third Party Candidates (Turley)
RFK Jr Picks Nicole Shanahan As VP, May Seek Libertarian Nomination (ZH)
‘Literally Anybody Else’ Announces US Presidential Campaign (RT)
‘Triumph’ for Assange But Battle Far From Over (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1772696421675774006

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1772661091128004874

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Simonyan

 

 

Shellenberger

 

 

 

 

“When asked whether the US, Britain and Ukraine could be behind the terrorist attack, the FSB chief responded: “We think that this is so..”

US, UK and Ukraine Could Be Behind Moscow Terror Attack – FSB Chief (RT)

The US, UK and Ukraine may have been behind last Friday’s terrorist attack on a concert venue in a suburb of Moscow, which claimed lives of 139 people and left around 200 injured, according to the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). Aleksandr Bortnikov told reporters on Tuesday that the authorities are currently trying to establish the identity of everyone involved in the attack, both inside and outside Russia. When asked whether the US, Britain and Ukraine could be behind the terrorist attack, the FSB chief responded: “We think that this is so. In any case, we are now talking about the information that we have. This is general information, but they [investigators] also have concrete results.” Bortnikov’s statement to the media follows a meeting of the expanded board of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia. The FSB director told reporters that the intelligence service will do everything necessary to identify the direct organizers and sponsors of the terrorist attack.

On the evening of March 22, a group of men armed with assault rifles attacked the Crocus City Hall music venue in the Moscow suburb of Krasnogorsk, just before a concert by the rock band Picnic was due to start. The 7,500-capacity venue was almost full at the time of the attack. The terrorists killed guards, shot concert-goers on sight, then started a fire that quickly spread throughout the building. At least 139 people, including three children, were killed in the attack, the chair of the Russian Investigative Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, reported on Monday. Around 200 people were injured, according to the latest data. After the attack, Russian security services detained 11 people connected to the incident, including those believed to be the gunmen who carried out the attack. Moscow’s Basmanny Court has since arrested seven other suspects who are accused of helping organize the terrorist attack.

Read more …

“It took them only a few hours to get to a microphone, turn on the lights, summon the press and draw a conclusion about who is to blame..”

US Backs Itself Into Corner By Blaming IS For Crocus Hall – Zakharova (TASS)

The US has backed itself into a corner by jumping the gun to lay blame on the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, outlawed in Russia) for the terrorist attack on Crocus City Hall even as the incident was still in progress, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “The very fact that within the first 24 hours [after the attack], even before the fire was put out, the Americans started screaming that it wasn’t Ukraine, I think, is a piece of incriminating evidence. I can’t classify it otherwise; it is evidence in and of itself,” the diplomat said on air during a Sputnik radio broadcast. “The second fact to note concerns the clamor by the US that this assuredly was the work of ISIS (former name of IS – TASS),” the spokeswoman pointed out.

“Of course, the speed with which they were able to [come to such forthright conclusions] is astonishing. It took them only a few hours to get to a microphone, turn on the lights, summon the press and draw a conclusion about who is to blame for this horribly bloody terrorist attack,” Zakharova said. “I think they’ve boxed themselves into a corner, because as soon as they started screaming that it was ISIS, all those people who work in international relations, who are political scientists and experts, recalled and reminded everyone else what ISIS really is,” the diplomat said. “You are behind all those ISIS-type structures, you – the United States, Great Britain – yourselves brought them into being,” she concluded.

Biden ISIS-K 2021

Read more …

“..the men drove due south and on the highway near Khatsun, they were about 100 kms from the Ukraine border..”

The Evidence On The Crocus Gang Attack In Moscow (Helmer)

For the time being, the only evidence connecting the four shooters to the Ukraine is the direction they were taking when their vehicle was stopped by the security forces. In a shootout the car overturned, and three of the gunmen fled into the forest beside the road, leaving one man injured in the car. The head of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Alexander Khinshtein, is the source for press reporting on the site of the interception. That was on Highway E101 about seven kilometres south of the P-120 intersection east of Bryansk city. From Bastrykin’s report, and from an award ceremony in Bryansk on Monday for the forces who made the capture – Federal Security Service (FSB), Interior Ministry, National Guard, and border forces of the Defense Ministry — the getaway was being tracked for some time before it reached the P-120 intersection.

At that point, if the four men planned to head for Belarus, they would have turned right, followed the south circular road around Bryansk, and then turned left on to the A-240 towards the Belarus border, about 100 kms to the southwest. Instead, the men drove due south and on the highway near Khatsun, they were about 100 kms from the Ukraine border. There have been reports they were expecting to make a rendezvous with accomplices they believed would guide them to safety over the Ukraine border, and to payday. Or, as Moscow sources speculate, to their execution by the Ukrainians. Speculation, however, including analysis of the cui bono, who gains type, the sequence of statements from Washington, and the history of association between the US, British and Ukrainian secret services and Tajik mercenaries, creates a balance of probabilities, but not an explanation beyond reasonable doubt.

“Of course, we must also answer the question of why the terrorists, after committing their crime, attempted to flee specifically to Ukraine,” the president said at his meeting with security officials on Monday. “Who was waiting for them there? It is clear that those supporting the Kiev regime do not wish to be implicated in acts of terrorism and be seen as sponsors of terrorism. But there are indeed numerous questions.” Public comments to reporters on Tuesday by the FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev have answered with emphasis on the Ukrainians, backed by the US and UK. Boris Rozhin (Colonel Cassad) has followed their remarks with a detailed statement of the history of the intelligence service operations before the Crocus attack, and a circumstantial detail of Ukrainian border drone operations in the area and on the night the getaway car was headed through Bryansk region.

Read more …

“Joe Biden, the Biden family, the Clinton family, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and George Soros (directly or indirectly) apparently have deep, unexplained ties to oligarchs and individuals inside Ukraine..”

Crocus City Hall Terror Attack Cast Slur Upon West (Sp.)

The Crocus City Hall, a music venue located in the Moscow region, was still burning when White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby asserted to the press that “there is no indication” that Ukraine was involved in the shooting. The US State Department doubled down on Ukraine’s supposed non-involvement on March 23, despite Russia’s investigation being far from over. A social media account allegedly belonging to ISIS* released a statement of responsibility hours after the attack. As if that were not enough, an additional statement by the group popped up later, accompanied by what appeared to be bodycam footage of the attack. The repeated statements have only triggered skepticism among netizens and international observers, especially given that the Russian Security Service (FSB) announced that four suspects with contacts in Ukraine had been arrested while en route to the Eastern European state on Saturday. New evidence suggested the case is far more complicated than Team Biden imagined.

“The Biden Administration has scant credibility left whether in official statements or in off-the-record communications, particularly when it comes to matters outside America’s nominal ‘borders’,” Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel told Sputnik. “The real question is what shadowy actors acquired the resources and training to perpetrate these vile acts and who are the ultimate paymasters, masterminds and ‘beneficiaries’.” According to Washington, the perpetrators belonged to ISIS-Khorasan, the terror group’s affiliate that is active in Afghanistan and the surrounding region. However, there are at least two reasons why international commentators reacted to Team Biden’s assertions with disbelief, according to Ortel.

“Joe Biden, the Biden family, the Clinton family, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and George Soros (directly or indirectly) apparently have deep, unexplained ties to oligarchs and individuals inside Ukraine who have funneled money into and outside Ukraine, for which there has never been an honest and rigorous accounting,” the analyst said, referring to Washington policymakers’ motif to divert any possible suspicions from Ukraine. Team Biden’s finger-pointing at Islamists does not make matters any easier for the West, the analyst continued. The attack spells reputational damage to the West given its intelligence operatives’ decades-long hand-in-glove cooperation with jihadist elements, involving using them as proxies.

Read more …

They have no army. Can’t build one overnight either.

EU Leaders Have Decided To Militarize, So What Now? (Drize)

The EU does not intend to die for the Donbass. This was stated by its foreign policy commissioner Josep Borrell last week. The leaders of the countries of the Western European bloc will discuss increasing defense spending and decide on the fate of frozen Russian assets at their next summit. Borrell urged his colleagues not to inflame the situation and frighten ordinary people for nothing. The senior official was referring to recent comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has spoken of possibly sending troops into Ukraine. From the Kremlin’s standpoint, the behavior of Western leaders so far seems indecisive, but serious changes could be afoot. The next EU summit could be described as historic. The main issue is not even the fate of Russia’s frozen assets, but the fact that, perhaps for the first time, the bloc is discussing the transition to a military economy.

As European Council President Charles Michel put it, the time has come to change the paradigm of defense and security relations. The essence of this is that Western Europe was totally unprepared for war. Nobody expected it, and nobody even thought it was possible. What were their priorities? Climate – they wrote guidelines for farmers on how much carbon monoxide their cows should emit so that they don’t spoil the environment. What else? Gender neutrality, multiculturalism, gender equality – against such a happy, rosy background, they forgot about the military threat. Now they have to catch up. They will have to trade in not only their economic but also their political yardsticks so that the electorate really and seriously believes in a Russian threat. That, too, will require considerable investment.

There are no details yet, but the extreme poles have been outlined. The tone has been set by Macron. The French president has not ruled out sending troops to Ukraine. Some of his allies have expressed alarm at this and are denying the possibility in every possible way. However, the reality is that nothing can be ruled out, including this scenario, especially if the Ukrainian front line falls. To avoid all this, they need to find the means to help Kiev more actively. Incidentally, Donald Trump spoke about this when he was in office – they did not listen. But he was right. Now, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has said that the policy of increasing military spending is political suicide for her, but there is no other choice.

Read more …

Imagine the protests.

‘Day May Come’ For EU Troops In Ukraine – Kiev (RT)

The conflict between Moscow and Kiev could reach a stage where EU countries have to deploy combat troops to Ukraine in order to counter Russian advances, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has warned. In an interview with Politico on Monday, Kuleba complained about the decline in Western military aid for Kiev in recent months. “Give us the damn Patriots,” he said, referring to the US-made air-defense missile systems, which, he insisted, Kiev needs to target Russian jets that launch aerial guided bombs. Moscow’s increased reliance on these upgraded munitions is why “Ukrainian troops are losing positions,” the foreign minister claimed. Kuleba once again expressed regret over the resistance of Republican lawmakers to attempts by the administration of US President Joe Biden to push through another $60 billion in assistance for Ukraine.

He also dismissed a question about Germany’s reluctance to supply long-range Taurus missiles, saying he is “tired of answering this. Sorry.” However, French President Emmanuel Macron, who said last month that he “cannot exclude” the possibility of soldiers from NATO countries being sent to Ukraine, avoided Kuleba’s criticism. “We were pleased to see President Macron evolve in that direction,” the foreign minister said. The French leader’s remarks led to a wave of denials from the leaders of other NATO member states, who insisted there are no such plans to send Western troops to Ukraine. Kiev never asked for “European combat troops’ boots on the ground,” but EU leaders need to get used to the idea that “the day may come,” Kuleba stressed.

“I’m perfectly aware that Europeans are not used to the idea of war. But this is a carelessness Europeans simply cannot afford – neither for themselves nor their children,” because “if Ukraine loses, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will not stop,” he said. Putin said earlier that claims by Kiev and its foreign backers that Russia will target NATO states are “nonsense.” However, in another interview, the president stressed that Moscow will treat Western troops as “interventionists” if they are deployed to Ukraine, and would respond accordingly. The deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy, warned Macron last week against directly engaging Russia on the battlefield. “We will kill all French soldiers who set foot on Ukrainian soil. Every single one that comes,” Tolstoy said in an interview with French broadcaster BFMTV.

Read more …

“It’s a very bad picture for the world. The world is seeing this…every night, I would watch buildings pour down on people..”

Trump: Israel Has To Finish the War, It’s Losing a Lot of Support (Antiwar)

Former President Trump said in an interview with Israel Hayom over the weekend that Israel made a “big mistake” by broadcasting images and videos of the destruction in the Gaza Strip, saying it’s losing Israel “a lot of support.” Trump said he would have done the same thing as Israel in response to the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel but said it was time to “finish your war” as global opinion is turning on Israel. “You gotta get it done. And, I am sure you will do that. And we gotta get to peace, we can’t have this going on. And I will say, Israel has to be very careful, because you’re losing a lot of the world, you’re losing a lot of support, you have to finish up, you have to get the job done,” Trump said. When asked by the interviewer about how he would respond to the “wave of anti-Semitism” since October 7, Trump replied, “Well, that’s because you fought back. And I think Israel made a very big mistake. I wanted to call [Israel] and say don’t do it.

These photos and shots. I mean, moving shots of bombs being dropped into buildings in Gaza. And I said, oh, that’s a terrible portrait. It’s a very bad picture for the world. The world is seeing this…every night, I would watch buildings pour down on people,” Trump said. The interviewer then claimed that “terrorists” were hiding in the buildings. Trump replied, “Go and do what you have to do. But you don’t do that. And I think that’s one of the reasons that there has been a lot of kickback. If people didn’t see that, every single night I’ve watched every single one of those. And I think Israel wanted to show that it’s tough, but sometimes you shouldn’t be doing that.” Trump also took shots at Democrats for the growing criticism of Israel from within the party.

“Some 15 years ago, Israel had the strongest lobby. If you were a politician, you couldn’t say anything bad about Israel, that would be like the end of your political career. Today, it’s almost the opposite. I’ve never seen you have AOC plus three, these lunatics, frankly. But you have AOC plus three plus plenty of others. And all they do is talk badly about Israel, and they hate Israel, and they hate the Jewish people,” he said. Trump said the Hamas attack on Israel wouldn’t have happened if he was still president, something he has repeatedly claimed in recent interviews. “It was an attack that I blame on Biden because they [Hamas] have no respect for him. He can’t put two sentences together. He can’t talk. He’s a very dumb person,” he said.

Read more …

Only SCOTUS can stop this.

‘Serious Concerns’ Raised About NY Judge’s Trump Judgment (ET)

After a New York court reduced former President Donald Trump’s bond to appeal his civil fraud case, several legal analysts weighed in on the decision. On Monday, a state appeals court agreed to hold off collection of the former president’s more than $454 million civil fraud judgment if he puts up $175 million within 10 days. If he does, it will stop the clock on collection and prevent the state from seizing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s assets while he appeals. Greg Germain, a law professor at Syracuse University in New York, said that President Trump may have a strong case to challenge Judge Arthur Engoron’s ruling in February that he must pay $455 million in his civil fraud case. “I think the $175 million reduction … shows that the appellate division has serious concerns about the validity of Judge Engoron’s decision,” Mr. Germain told Newsweek.

While he believes the judgment was “seriously flawed,” the professor said that President Trump will have a difficult time overturning the judge’s “findings that his financial statement was grossly overstated.” “The standard for the appeals court to review factual findings is ‘clearly erroneous,’ which means that there was no evidence in the record to support the judge’s findings. Engoron was very careful to cite to the record for his factual findings, which were very solid,” Mr. Germain said. But the judge, he added, “made no attempt to determine what portion of the profit was solely due to the financial statement as opposed to other factors” before handing down his ruling. The former president “has some strong legal arguments to make on appeal,” Mr. Germain added. “Unfortunately for him, I think he’s so focused on denying that he did anything wrong that the strong legal arguments may be lost in his unwinnable arguments on the facts.”

The former president has said he did nothing wrong, adding that he actually undervalued his net worth when communicating with banks and insurers at the center of the civil fraud lawsuit. He said that the case is politically motivated, and that both the New York attorney general and Judge Engoron are biased against him. Meanwhile, a constitutional scholar said that the bond for an appeal should be been reduced to basically nothing. “The Court of Appeals may have felt that they can’t prejudge the evidence, and so to reduce the bond further would have been heavy-handed,” George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley told Fox News on Monday. “I actually think they could have reduced this bond to virtually nothing, because the amount set by [Judge Arthur] Engoron was absurd.” In a post on social media, Mr. Turley wrote that the New York appellate court may “restore a degree of objectivity and restraint missing on the trial level,” referring to the Engoron decision. “Both Engoron and [New York Attorney General Letitia] James would have gained greater credibility if they recognized the obvious unreasonableness of the original demand,” he continued.

Read more …

“Her net worth is thought to be over $100 million, although her current salary as a US congresswoman is just over $220,000..”

Pelosi, Accused of Insider Trading, Makes Major Stock Move (Sp.)

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) raised eyebrows recently with the revelation the former US House Speaker placed a big bet on a little-known San Francisco tech startup. A disclosure made last week showed the powerful Democratic Party politician purchased $5 million in stock of the privately-held company Databricks, a cloud data company. The stake is one of dozens Pelosi holds in US tech companies, some obscure and some well-known such as Tesla and Microsoft. The lawmaker has reportedly invested more than $120 million in stock purchases since entering federal government in 1987. Her net worth is thought to be over $100 million, although her current salary as a US congresswoman is just over $220,000. Pelosi has never been convicted of criminal wrongdoing in her investment activity, although her portfolio’s impressive return of 65% last year might suggest the legislator is more informed than average traders. US stock indices grew an average of 26% in 2023.

“From an ethical perspective, I believe it is extremely harmful for politicians to trade individual stocks,” said Chris Josephs, the founder of a stock trading service, to US media. “There are numerous jobs out there that don’t allow employees [to conduct] trading, yet our most powerful Americans can.” Pelosi opposed attempts to ban lawmakers from buying and selling stocks in 2021 under the claim such activity could be viewed as insider trading. “We are a free-market economy,” she said at the time. “They [Congress members] should be able to participate in that.” Former director of the US Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub slammed the argument as “ridiculous.” “She might as well have said ‘let them eat cake,’” said Shaub, referring to famous comments by the French queen Marie Antoinette. “Sure, it’s a free-market economy. But your average schmuck doesn’t get confidential briefings from government experts chock full of nonpublic information directly related to the price of stocks.”

Late last week it was announced that an activist involved in pro-Palestine protests at the California lawmaker’s home had been arrested on felony vandalism charges. Cynthia Papermaster, 77, is reportedly being held on a $50,000 bond. “We want to see a permanent and immediate ceasefire,” said Papermaster in an interview recently. “We can’t control what the Israelis do, but we can control what our own government does, or at least that’s the aspiration.” Pelosi called for the anti-war activists to be investigated by the FBI in an appearance on US television after the incident earlier this year. Pelosi first claimed the demonstrators were being paid by China, then later clarified she believed Russia was behind the act of civil disobedience. The former House speaker joins the ranks of opponents of US civil rights with her comments; detractors frequently claimed racial justice protests in the 1960s and 70s were fomented by Russia to sow discord in the United States.

Tucker Tulsi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1772516274418880932

Read more …

“That can only work reliably if there is no other choice for citizens tired of the duopoly and the political (and media) establishment..”

The DNC Moves To Block Third Party Candidates (Turley)

The last time that the Chicago Democratic Convention was held in Chicago in 1968, the resulting riots led to one of the greatest Freudian slips in American politics. Mayor Richard Daley declared “the policeman isn’t there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder.” The Democratic National Committee has now added its own gem: the Democratic Party is not here to preserve democracy, it is here to prevent democracy. That’s because the DNC is seeking to block third party candidates from ballots — Robert Kennedy Jr., Cornell West, and Jill Stein. All three are liberal and are considered a threat to Joe Biden. This effort will likely include any ticket put forward by the No Labels group, seeking a moderate alternative to the two parties. Mary Beth Cahill, the former interim DNC CEO, and long-time DNC staffer Ramsey Reid will lead this effort. According to media reports, former Buttigieg campaign aide Lis Smith will lead the effort with another Buttigieg alumni, Matt Corridoni.

This effort includes not just a public campaign against Kennedy and Stein as spoilers, but “legal action” to solve the problem by denying voters a choice. The media does not appear at all alarmed or critical of the effort to limit democratic choice. The Washington Post stated clinically “Democrats are taking third-party threats seriously this time.” Taking it seriously appears to mean using legal means to keep them from the ballots. It is true that the main political parties have challenged qualification signatures and paperwork in the past. However, the reports indicate a systemic effort geared toward reducing the choices for voters. What is striking is that this is coming from democratic groups and the DNC, which are raising money on the “save democracy” narrative. The contradiction is spellbinding. On the same sites promising to oppose the third party candidates, the DNC and other groups push the narrative that only the Democrats are working to protect the right to vote.

The Post reports that Democrats have studied the Hillary Clinton campaign and vowed not to allow third party candidates to drain away millions of voters as they did in 2016. Of course, the comparison is particularly telling because in both 2016 and 2024, the DNC chose the least popular Democratic candidates. Polls showed that Clinton was the worst possible candidate for the party, but the Clintons had control over the DNC and state party organizations. Of particular concern is the fact that Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan by only 67,000 votes. In just those states, Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Stein received more than half a million votes. Rather than actually pick a candidate that most citizens want, the DNC wants to replay the 2016 strategy of forcing the choice between two evils in a Biden-Trump choice. That can only work reliably if there is no other choice for citizens tired of the duopoly and the political (and media) establishment. So Kennedy, Cornell, and Stein just have to go.

Read more …

Imploding?

RFK Jr Picks Nicole Shanahan As VP, May Seek Libertarian Nomination (ZH)

The Wall Street Journal reports that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has picked Nicole Shanahan, a California-based attorney who was previously married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, as his running mate for his long-shot presidential bid, according to people familiar with the decision. Shanahan, 38, also runs a foundation focused on reproductive rights, criminal justice and the environment. Before backing Kennedy’s independent bid, Shanahan had previously been a donor to Democratic campaigns, including supporting Joe Biden’s election in 2020. Kennedy was slated to announce his choice Tuesday in Oakland, Calif., where Shanahan grew up. Shanahan, a political novice, was thrust into the spotlight over her public split with Brin amid a brief alleged affair she had with Elon Musk in 2021 that ruptured the billionaires’ long friendship, The Wall Street Journal reported. After the article published, Musk denied the allegations and Shanahan later followed suit.

It isn’t clear yet whether Shanahan plans to assist by tapping into her own wealth. Ahead of the announcement, Kennedy’s campaign manager confirmed on X that Shanahan was under consideration, along with several others including New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs. Meanwhile, lured by the promise of turnkey ballot access across the country, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr is seriously considering a run to win the Libertarian Party presidential nomination. However, his stance on the Israel-Gaza war and other issues could make his candidacy a tough sell with non-interventionist libertarians. Navigating the varied and complex patchwork of state ballot-access qualifying rules is one of the most grueling and expensive impediments to anyone seeking to challenge America’s two-party duopoly — to say nothing of the legal challenges filed by the Republican and Democratic parties along the way. So far, reports Politico, Kennedy’s backers say they’ve cleared the key hurdles in just eight states.

Meanwhile, it’s already pretty much a given that the Libertarian Party will be on the ballot in all 50. The top ticket will be selected by delegates at the party’s national convention in Washington DC over Memorial Day weekend. Selected by state conventions, those delegates are free to vote for whomever they like at the national convention. Kennedy’s flirtation with Libertarian Party members has been simmering since last year, and has included appearances on libertarian podcasts and an interview with Reason magazine. His most direct outreach came with a February appearance at the party’s California state convention, which has been credited for helping set a new California Libertarian convention attendance record. “I’ve always been aligned with libertarians on most issues,” Kennedy told Reason last summer. “I mean, there’s tweaks that I have.”

Some of those tweaks are doozies. For example, Kennedy said if Congress passed a so-called assault weapon ban, “I would sign it.” (On the other hand, he also said, “Anybody who tells you that they’re going to be able to reduce gun violence through gun control at this point, I don’t think is being realistic.”) He’s also called for a $15 national minimum wage, more free childcare, and abolishing interest on all federal student loans. However, it’s Kennedy’s statements on Israel-Palestine that seem to have caused the most damage to his prospects with staunchly non-interventionist libertarians — which is to say, most libertarians — who oppose entangling alliances, foreign aid, and US-enabled warfare. Kennedy has called for the United States to arm the “moral nation” of Israel, has expressed skepticism about a ceasefire in Gaza, and said “the Palestinian people are arguably the most pampered people by international aid organizations in the world.” Some libertarians are also put off by Kennedy’s embrace of controversial Israel advocate Shmuley Boteach.

Read more …

And why not… ‘Mickey Mouse’, ‘Jesus Christ’, and ‘Batman’..

‘Literally Anybody Else’ Announces US Presidential Campaign (RT)

Texas voters could get the chance to cast their ballots for a man named ‘Literally Anybody Else’ this November, if his long-shot scheme to protest the US’ two-party system is successful. Math teacher and military veteran Dustin Ebey formally changed his name to ‘Literally Anybody Else’ earlier this month, and is now scrambling to gather the 113,151 signatures required to appear on Texas ballots as an independent candidate, WFAA News reported on Friday. “I’m not delusional,” Else told the outlet. “This will be very hard to do, but it’s not impossible. My hope is to have Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and then Literally Anybody Else right underneath,” he continued, explaining that “I really want there to be an outlet for folks like me who are just so fed up with this constant power grab between two parties that has no benefit for the common person.”

“This isn’t about me… more so as it is an idea,” Else told WFAA. “We can do better out of 300 million people for president.” Else is far from the only American dismayed at a Trump/Biden rematch. A NewsNation poll conducted in January found that 59% of registered voters were ‘not too enthusiastic’ or ‘not at all enthusiastic’ about seeing the pair compete for the presidency again. However, despite majorities in both parties calling for fresh faces, Trump easily defeated all of his Republican rivals during the last three months’ primaries, while Biden faced no competition from any high-profile Democrats. Else faces an uphill struggle to even enter the race. First, he has until May 13 to collect 113,151 signatures from registered voters who did not vote in either the Republican or Democratic primaries in Texas.

Having achieved this, he must replicate the feat in every other US state and territory, all of which have similar rules for independent candidates. Failing this, he could register as a write-in candidate. However, he would then have to build up a national profile and convince voters to actually write in ‘Literally Anybody Else’ on election day. No write-in candidate has ever come close to being elected president of the US, although two US senators have won office this way since the 1950s. Voters often write in undeclared candidates as a means of prank or protest, with ‘Mickey Mouse’, ‘Jesus Christ’, and ‘Batman’ all picking up a handful of votes in 2020.

Read more …

“..this again gives him an opportunity to prevent spending the rest of his life in a US prison. So that is always welcome..”

‘Triumph’ for Assange But Battle Far From Over (Sp.)

Julian Assange will not be extradited immediately to the US, a London High Court has ruled. Likewise, Washington has been given three weeks to provide “satisfactory assurances” that the WikiLeaks founder will face a fair trial, could rely on the First Amendment, and will not be subject to the death penalty. The Tuesday ruling by the London court grants the WikiLeaks founder an opportunity to continue his fight against extradition to the US where he faces a whopping 18 charges, all bar one under the Espionage Act, Sputnik interlocutors have explained. “The court decision is a great triumph for freedom of speech and journalism conduct,” Andy Vermaut, a Belgian human rights activist and the president of the World Council for Public Diplomacy and Community Dialogue, told Sputnik. “This ruling illuminates the enduring struggle for freedom of the press and the rights of individuals to uncover truths that are in the public’s best interest.”

While the court’s ruling spells a victory for the Assange legal team, the WikiLeaks founder is being granted permission to appeal on only three of the nine grounds, remarked Taylor Hudak, an independent investigative journalist. She noted that people “do feel that this was somewhat of an injustice.” “The court has given the United States government three weeks to issue satisfactory assurances on those three grounds of appeal,” Hudak told Sputnik. “[Assange] is permitted to appeal on the First Amendment issue, that is whether or not he will be given First Amendment protections in the United States, that he is not prejudiced at trial due to his nationality, and that the death penalty not be imposed.”

“Another point to make is that he will not be immediately extradited, obviously, and this again gives him an opportunity to prevent spending the rest of his life in a US prison. So that is always welcome,” the independent journalist continued. The battle is far from over, pointed out Dr. David William Norris, a political commentator and former teaching fellow at a college in Birmingham. “The United States authorities will not relinquish their efforts to get hold of Assange and see him imprisoned for the 175 years they have promised him. It would be, as we all recognize, a death sentence,” Norris warned while speaking to Sputnik.

Stella

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Cheese rennet

 

 

China one side
https://twitter.com/i/status/1772607719716868526

 

 

Facetime
https://twitter.com/i/status/1772633886092054827

 

 

Blend in
https://twitter.com/i/status/1772538115564904585

 

 

Owl
https://twitter.com/i/status/1772613727306543352

 

 

Golf bird
https://twitter.com/i/status/1772631686552879521

 

 

Elephant


https://twitter.com/i/status/1772644817488531916

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 142023
 
 October 14, 2023  Posted by at 5:15 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  8 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Old Man Sitting 1631

 

 

Benjamin -Bibi- Netanyahu has always been a warmonger. He thinks he, and his people, are superior to the Palestinians, and come to think of it, to Muslims in general. And when he first appeared on the scene some 30 years ago, he might have had a point, at least from a military point of view.

But he does not today, and that is very dangerous for his people. Bibi lives in the past, because he liked that past – he could feel superior. He does not recognize to what extent the world, including his, has changed. But change it did, while he was dreaming of winning warfare.

He is not unique in this. The entire US political system suffers from the same “affliction”. There has never been a better reason to introduce term limits in Congress and the Senate. Politicians like Pelosi and Feinstein are just about crying out for help: please get me out of here! Enter Joe Biden stage left. At least Joe has the excuse that he can’t find the exit.

Bibi is not 85 or 90 yet. He’s “only” 73. But he’s been around long enough to get stuck (rusted) in his own preferred ideas and view of the world. Bibi thinks he can do with the Palestinians whatever he sees fit. But, again, the world has changed. And Israel’s alleged military superiority has changed with it.

It didn’t have to be this way. Bibi is more or less the successor to Yithzak Rabin, who was elected PM in 1992 (he had earlier been PM from 1974-77) , and murdered in 1995. Rabin had entirely different ideas about his country. He rejected the use of force in favor of peace negotiations with the Palestinians (1993 Oslo Accords, 1994 Nobel Peace Prize).

That’s why he was murdered. Bibi first became PM in 1996. He had several stints in the job and kept floating to the top. And now Bibi threatens to raze the Gaza strip, and potentially kill 100s of 1000s of civilians. But there is no place in the world for people like him.

The Arab world around Israel has become much stronger and richer and more united. If Israel attempts to kill that many Muslims, it’s not just the Gaza strip that is under threat, but Israel itself is.

The Saudi’s have started talking to Iran, and there are many more such initiatives underway. Dividing the Arab world is no longer a feasible plan of action. Watch Turkey! But exactly like Bibi, the US political system doesn’t understand that either.

They could have though; the Ukraine war could have told them that. But Washington does not want to face its own diminishing role in the world any more the Bibi wants to in his part of it. Russia and China have advertized it loud enough through the BRICS, but the old US system wants nothing to do with multipolarity. They want things back to what they were 30 years ago, when those in charge today could still understand what was happening, and were the “masters”.

It’s not just Pelosi and Biden, Donald Trump doesn’t get it either. If he gets re-elected, he’ll move another embassy to Jerusalem. Bobby Kennedy also has a blind spot on Israel. They are all blind. They should go talk -a lot- to Putin and Xi. If there is to be peace in the Middle East, it will come from them.

Xi Jinping is 70, Putin is 71. Not the youngest either. But there is one main difference. They did not grow up in positions where they were kings. China and Russia 30 years ago were poor countries, perhaps desperately so. Therefore, the architects of the multipolar world have seen the changes they implemented, come to fruition.

That makes for a completely different world view from the Bibi’s and Pelosi’s etc etc who’ve only seen their positions shrink, and are trying to deny and counter that development. Growing at 70 is not the same as shrinking at 70. Or 80.

Yes, Bibi might well be crazy enough to drop a nuclear bomb. It’s up to Israel to get rid of him, and that threat. And it’s up to Xi and Putin to help them do that.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 052023
 
 October 5, 2023  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Jan van Eyck Saint Barbara 1437

 

Is McCarthy Saga A Bipartisan Strategy To Quietly End Aid To Ukraine? (Reade)
Apparently, Kevin McCarthy’s Ouster Is Putin’s Fault (Marsden)
Office Purge Follows Ouster Of US House Speaker (RT)
Ukraine Could Reap $200 Billion EU Bonanza – FT (RT)
Ukraine ‘Very Cheap Way’ To Fight Russia – Dutch Defense Minister (RT)
US Funding for Ukraine Gov’t Reportedly to ‘Run Dry by November’ (Sp.)
Ukraine Fatigue Is Worrying NATO Elites (Cunningham)
Tunisia Rejects EU Financial Aid (RT)
Creation of Multipolar World Inevitable, Necessary – Putin (Sp.)
Quoting RT Plays Into Putin’s Hands – Hillary Clinton (RT)
Biden’s “Secret Money Machine” (ZH)
Gagging Trump – Shows Fear (AMAC)
Trump Says Will Testify ‘At The Appropriate Time’ In NY Civil Fraud Trial (RT)
Dianne Feinstein’s Replacement Cranks Her Problems Up To 11 (Blankenship)
Alarming Covid Jab Contamination Shocks Scientists (Mercola)

 

 

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

I was asked for 60 second answers for social media. I was horrified, my style is more discursive. I did my best but thought the result would be bad. But I love this.

 

 

 

 

Tucker Moritz

 

 

Something’s afoot…

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

“What is happening to President Donald Trump has never been done in the history of the United States. Liberals, put your anger aside for one moment and read this: The AG couldn’t find a crime, so she’s charging a criminal case covered as a Civil matter. The Judge is working in conjunction with her and they decided Trump is guilty, and the AG has submitted a motion for Summary Judgement.

He doesn’t get to defend himself in court. The gag order doesn’t allow him to defend himself publicly. The Judge decided before the case that he was guilty, and is now attempting to strip his businesses and properties. None of this has been done before. This is one of the biggest abuses of power we’ve ever witnessed as American Citizens. They’ve taken the leading candidate for President of the United States and refuse to give him a fair trial.

Disbarring the Judge and AG isn’t enough. The punishment should be the most severe allowed by the Justice System. If you’re on the left or on the fence or even a conservative and you’re supporting this, you’ve lost your moral compass. Your blind anger is causing you to sit back and watch as this country crumbles. ”

 

 

 

 

“It also conveniently provides Democrats with a scapegoat if the government shuts down and legislation gets stuck, causing further economic harm.”

Is McCarthy Saga A Bipartisan Strategy To Quietly End Aid To Ukraine? (Reade)

For the first time in US history, the speaker of the US House of Representatives has been ousted. Rep. Kevin McCarthy had only graced the speaker seat for nine months before a bold move by Representative Matt Gaetz, a fellow Republican, pushed him out. A few days before the vote to end McCarthy’s leadership, Gaetz had been making rounds on social and legacy media discussing his push to end McCarthy’s short tenure. He accused McCarthy of striking a secret deal with Democrats to allow for aid to Ukraine to be included in the government funding bill to avoid a government shutdown. Gaetz spoke about the debt crisis, McCarthy lying to his own party and lack of desire to investigate US President Joe Biden for corruption as some of the reasons he was leading the call for McCarthy’s removal. When asked what would happen if the Democrats saved McCarthy, Gaetz brashly replied, “…they can have him.”

The Democrats did not save McCarthy. In fact, 208 Democrats and eight Republicans voted to unseat him (only five Republican votes were needed). All this signals that whatever deal McCarthy may have brokered, the chaos is more politically advantageous to the elites and provides much-needed cover for what is actually happening to the country economically. On the surface, this looks like another chapter in the chaotic Congressional saga about the divide between RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) and the America First group in the Republican party. It also conveniently provides Democrats with a scapegoat if the government shuts down and legislation gets stuck, causing further economic harm. However, this may also be the uniparty exit strategy for ending the flow of billions of dollars to Ukraine.

A recent Politico article cited a leak of information that the White House is concerned about the corruption in Ukraine and sustainability of continued funding. Most likely, this was a purposeful leak by intelligence to prepare an off-ramp away from more spending into the bottomless pit that is Kiev. The growing dissent regarding more billions to Ukraine, a country most Americans cannot find on a map, is getting louder. This all happening as the US heads for an election year is another significant factor. However, the actors keep playing their roles in this political theater, welcoming Zelensky’s begging and propping up his propaganda. Biden made a stern, if slightly slurred, statement demanding Congress “stop playing games” and authorize the additional $24 billion he had requested, bringing the total spent on aid to Ukraine to over $137 billion. All this as Biden and other Democrats’ polling numbers are lower than ever, hovering at 30% or worse.

The interim speaker’s first action was to tell Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat and herself a former speaker, to vacate her office in the Capitol building within a week. Allowing a former speaker to keep using their office in the building is a tradition, one that McCarthy apparently hadn’t bucked. Rumors are floating around as to who will be the new speaker. According to the Constitution, it doesn’t technically have to be a sitting member of the House, and there is even talk about nominating Donald Trump for the seat. While the wild days ahead will reveal the new leadership in Congress, perhaps they will also bring about an end to the blank checks for Ukraine.

Read more …

“McCarthy has denied the backroom dealing, but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck… ”

Apparently, Kevin McCarthy’s Ouster Is Putin’s Fault (Marsden)

In a vote of 216-210, Republicans voted with 208 Democrats in the US House of Representatives to regime-change one of their own — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). McCarthy had tried appeasing the establishment over Ukraine funding while also paying lip-service to the populists to whom he owed his job as House speaker – and has just been rewarded with the honor of being the first dethroned speaker in US history. It’s a victory for the average American — unless you’re an establishment hack, in which case it’s all about Russia. “The Chinese are happy, the Russians are happy, the Iranians are happy. Americans should be mad as hell that these eight people did this to our country,” said Rep. Dan Bacon (R-NE). How dare anyone derail the establishment policies when they’ve made everything so great for the average American.

McCarthy’s supporters accuse opponents within his own party of fundraising off his ouster. If Americans are willing to reward the ouster by donating to those responsible, then it would seem that they aren’t actually “mad as hell” and it’s establishment Republicans who are offside.How fitting is it that the last straw in McCarthy’s case seems to be allegations, evoked by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) that he had gone behind the GOP’s back to the Biden administration to work something out on the continued stream of aid to Ukraine, which had been shamelessly tacked on to the budget legislation that would keep the federal government running for at least another 45 days. The Ukraine funding provision had been the sticking point that had been preventing Republicans from approving the bill until McCarthy stripped it out. But then Gaetz accused McCarthy of making a deal with Biden to revive a vote on yet another round of aid for Ukraine in a separate House vote.

If Biden wanted to take the risk of tacking support for Ukraine on to the bill that he figured that lawmakers would be forced to pass lest the alternative be a shutdown of the whole government, then he should have had to assume the full consequences of that gamble. Let the government shut down because the American president figured that its funding is as important as Ukraine’s – and that paying American bureaucrats would be directly tied to lawmakers’ willingness to keep paying Kiev’s. Then when those who feel that they best represent the growing constituency of American voters who are increasingly against more cash for Kiev as they feel the pinch of their own worsening economic situation brought about by misguided establishment policies reject the two-headed legislative abomination – then let them place the blame squarely in Biden’s lap for even taking the risk of conjuring it up in the first place.

McCarthy has denied the backroom dealing, but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck… McCarthy arguably wouldn’t have even been in the job had it not been for promising the populist faction of the GOP – the Freedom Caucus – that he wouldn’t give Ukraine a “blank check.” But he seemed influenced by the criticism of establishment GOP fixtures like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). “The idea that the party is now no longer going to support the Ukrainian people. For somebody who has the picture of Ronald Reagan on his wall in his office in the Capitol, the notion that now Kevin McCarthy is going to make himself the leader of the pro-Putin wing of my party is just a stunning thing,” Cheney said in an interview last year.

Read more …

“Now that she and other Democrats have caused there to be an immediately preceding speaker, she has removed herself from that office.”

Office Purge Follows Ouster Of US House Speaker (RT)

Two former top Democrats in the US Congress lost their “hideaway offices” on Wednesday, as the acting speaker of the House reassigned them to Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who lost his leadership position on Tuesday in a historic vote. Congressman Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, sent an email within 90 minutes of becoming speaker pro tempore on Tuesday, ordering Representatives Nancy Pelosi to “vacate the space tomorrow,” Axios has revealed. “The office that Pelosi currently occupies is the office of the preceding speaker,” Congressman Garret Graves, a Louisiana Republican, told the outlet. “Now that she and other Democrats have caused there to be an immediately preceding speaker, she has removed herself from that office.”

Graves was referring to the fact that every Democrat present at Tuesday’s session voted with eight of the Republicans to vacate the speakership, making McCarthy the first-ever speaker to be voted out in the 234-year history of the House of Representatives. There are approximately 100 secret offices in the US Capitol complex, mainly used by senators as private spaces for confidential business or personal matters. They are called “hideaways” because they are unlisted in official directories and are marked only with a room number. Pelosi did not actually vote against McCarthy, because she was back in California for the funeral of the late Senator Dianne Feinstein. She released a statement on Wednesday denouncing McHenry’s decision as “a sharp departure from tradition.”

“As Speaker, I gave former Speaker [Dennis] Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished,” Pelosi said, further lamenting that she was “unable to retrieve my belongings” due to being out of town. Axios reported that staffers for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, helped evacuate Pelosi’s hideaway office, as well as that of Jeffries’ predecessor, Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer, also ordered out by McHenry. Pelosi and Hoyer stepped down from leadership posts – but remained members of Congress – after Republicans retook the House in the 2022 midterm elections.

Read more …

“All member states will have to pay more to and receive less from the EU budget; many member states who are currently net receivers will become net contributors..”

Ukraine Could Reap $200 Billion EU Bonanza – FT (RT)

Ukraine could receive billions of euros in subsidies from the EU upon the country’s accession to the bloc, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing an internal study by the secretariat of the EU Council. According to the report, Kiev would be entitled to €96.5 billion ($101 billion) in payments from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Ukraine would also be eligible for €61 billion ($64 billion) in subsidies from the EU’s cohesion funds, dedicated to improving infrastructure in poorer member states. In total, the bloc may have to allocate roughly €186 billion ($195 billion) for Ukraine in the seven years following its entry. The paper notes that this would greatly affect the EU’s agricultural subsidy regime. According to calculations, Ukraine has 41.1 million hectares of utilized agricultural area, and would become the bloc’s largest recipient of subsidies.

This would force a cut in payments for existing recipients by some 20.3% per 1 hectare of farmland. Experts say the changes may be too high a price to admit Ukraine as a member, unless adjustments are made to the EU budget. “These numbers aren’t going to work for anyone. They make clear that root and branch reform of the EU budget and its major policies will be needed if Ukraine is to ever join, or that the entire Ukraine question will have to be dealt with innovatively and outside of existing EU budget structures,” Mujtaba Rahman, managing director for Europe at the Eurasia Group, told the news outlet. The EU Council based its study on the bloc simultaneously accepting nine additional members: Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and six western Balkan states.

According to the analysis, the cost of adding them all to the EU’s existing budget would amount to roughly €256.8 billion ($269 billion). The study warned that the entry of new members would cause a drastic redistribution of funds within the union. For instance, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Cyprus, and Malta would no longer be eligible for cohesion funding. All member states will have to pay more to and receive less from the EU budget; many member states who are currently net receivers will become net contributors, the document stated. It added that whilst for several policies, opportunities may outweigh the costs/risks, the enlargement would bring very significant challenges for the EU budget, which would need to be addressed as soon as possible. According to reports, the EU is ready to start membership negotiations with Ukraine, which could be announced by the end of the year. The head of the European Council, Charles Michel, earlier stated that Ukraine could become a member of the bloc by 2030.

Read more …

These people belong in mental institutions. If you call 400,000 deaths “very cheap”, you are retarted.

Ukraine ‘Very Cheap Way’ To Fight Russia – Dutch Defense Minister (RT)

Arming Kiev is a cost-effective way of preventing Moscow from threatening NATO, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren argued on Wednesday at the Warsaw Security Forum. Ollongren was asked whether the US and its allies can continue supporting Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” given the political in-fighting in Washington. “We cannot pretend that we’ll just wait and see how the American elections are going,” she said. “Because they have the same interest, in a way. Of course, supporting Ukraine is a very cheap way to make sure that Russia with this regime is not a threat to the NATO alliance. And it’s vital to continue that support.” “It is very much in our interest to support Ukraine, because they are fighting this war, we are not fighting it,” Ollongren noted, while admitting that NATO had “skin in the game.”

Ollongren explained that she had recently visited the US and that political developments there are cause for concern, but that Western Europeans need to talk with their American colleagues and persuade them to stay the course. “I think that we are capable of a lot, and we have proven that in the past year and a half, and the only thing we have to do is keep it up,” the minister said, adding that the scale of military assistance to Kiev has surprised Ukraine, Russia and even NATO itself. The US and its allies have channeled a large amount of money, weapons, ammunition and supplies to Ukraine since the conflict with Russia escalated in February 2022. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell revealed earlier this week that the bloc has sent Ukraine €85 billion ($89.8 billion) so far, of which more than €25 billion ($26.4 billion) was military aid.

The most recent estimates of US spending were from the end of July, and amounted to $46.6 billion in military aid, $3.9 billion in humanitarian aid, and about $26.4 billion in loans and cash payments to keep the government in Kiev going. Moscow has repeatedly warned that the deliveries of heavy weapons and other aid are tantamount to direct involvement in the hostilities. Washington and Brussels, however, insist they were not actually a party to the conflict. Russia said foreign arms would not change the course of the fighting and would not deter Moscow from achieving its goals in Ukraine. Russian officials also repeatedly cited NATO’s expansion eastward as one of the root causes of its current conflict with Ukraine and the standoff with the West.

Read more …

“..without additional funding, the US will be forced to delay or slash supply of air defense weapons, ammunition, drones, and demolition equipment.”

US Funding for Ukraine Gov’t Reportedly to ‘Run Dry by November’ (Sp.)

Without another abundant infusion of cash from Congress, US funding for Ukraine’s government expenditures will run dry by November, a report citing officials in Washington and Kiev says. Congress passed a temporary funding bill to keep the federal government running until November 17 and dodge a shutdown by leaving out $6 billion for Ukraine. The sum was part of the $24 billion in emergency aid for Kiev requested by President Joe Biden, on top of the over $100 billion in assistance already provided to the regime. While Ukraine’s Finance Ministry has resources to cover the budget needs for October, “beyond November the government could face decisions about what services or salaries to cut, or whether to attempt to borrow,” a Ukrainian official was cited as saying.

The source voiced concerns that ending payments to Ukraine’s government could trigger discontent in the country and “potentially put political pressure on President Volodymyr Zelensky, who would face louder criticism from rival factions.” Meanwhile, one Washington official revealed that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will process an October funds transfer of $1.15 billion through the World Bank program, “assuming Ukraine shows that it has appropriately spent the previous transfer.” Future disbursements are unclear, it was added in the report. After October, the government in Kiev could dip into other funds “earlier than planned,” which would tide them over through November and December, but “without fresh funding the picture turns darker in 2024,” the US report cited a Ukrainian source as saying.

The World Bank’s Public Expenditures for Administrative Capacity Endurance (“PEACE”) program has sent Ukraine $23.4 billion, all told, with $20.2 billion funded by the US and $2 billion from the UK. Since the Ukraine conflict escalated, overall US aid to Ukraine totals $72.8 billion, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the report noted. The debate over economic aid to Ukraine has divided Congress. Republicans who oppose funding for Ukraine have argued the need to put domestic priorities first, instead of sinking cash into NATO’s proxy war with Russia. Ukraine’s botched counteroffensive has added to doubts, along with soaring prices and borrowing costs, economic slowdown, and inflation. An August survey found that 55 percent of Americans thought lawmakers should not authorize additional funding to support Ukraine.

Furthermore, the Pentagon recently issued a warning to Congress, saying it is rapidly running out of funds to replace its weapons stockpile, including artillery, rockets, and missiles, due to the rush to fulfill shipments to Ukraine. In a letter viewed by US media, Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord earlier informed House and Senate leadership that out of the $25.9 billion allocated by Congress to replenish US military stocks provided to Ukraine, only $1.6 billion remains. Long-term funding through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative for Kiev has been entirely depleted, McCord warned, saying that without additional funding, the US will be forced to delay or slash supply of air defense weapons, ammunition, drones, and demolition equipment.

Read more …

“All that largesse that is billed to U.S. and European taxpayers has resulted in a slaughter in Europe not seen since the Second World War – and a failed Ukrainian state.”

Ukraine Fatigue Is Worrying NATO Elites (Cunningham)

On both sides of the Atlantic, there is now discernible fatigue and anger among citizens over the bottomless money pit that is NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine against Russia. The only wonder is that it has taken so long for the Western public to get wise to the scam. The disgraceful adulation of a Nazi war criminal by the whole Canadian parliament in a perverse show of solidarity with Ukraine against Russia has helped focus public attention on the obscenity of the NATO proxy war. All told, since the NATO-induced conflict blew up in February last year, the American and European establishments have thrown up to €200 billion into Ukraine to prop up an odious Nazi-infested regime. All that largesse that is billed to U.S. and European taxpayers has resulted in a slaughter in Europe not seen since the Second World War – and a failed Ukrainian state.

And of course huge profits for the NATO military-industrial complex that bankrolls the elite politicians. Times are changing though. In the United States, the financially conservative Republicans have had enough of the blank checks to the Kiev regime. The U.S. Congress finally showed a modicum of sanity to prevent a government financial shutdown – by dropping military aid to Ukraine. That shows how twisted Washington’s priorities have become when national self-interest has to wrestle with funding for a Nazi regime. And then following the Congressional vote to temporarily end funding for Ukraine, the Kiev regime’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba dared to reprimand American lawmakers: “We are now working with both sides of Congress to make sure that it does not (get) repeated under any circumstances.”

Meanwhile in Europe, Slovakian citizens have voted for a new government to end the military fueling of war in Ukraine. The Smer-SD party led by Robert Fico won the parliamentary elections primarily on the vow to shut off any further weapons supply to the Kiev regime. This week also saw massive protests in Germany against Olaf Scholz’s coalition government over the latter’s abject pro-war policies in Ukraine. German Unity Day on October 3 prompted a mass rally in Berlin denouncing the NATO proxy war in Ukraine and calling for peace negotiations to end the conflict. There were also unprecedented protests across Poland in Warsaw, Lodz and other cities against the PiS government’s slavish implementation of the U.S.-led NATO proxy war in Ukraine.

Faced with millions of Ukrainian refugees and neglect of social needs for Poles, the PiS ruling party has recently threatened to end weapons supply to Kiev – a move less about principle and more about trying to buy votes in the forthcoming election on October 15. Nevertheless, the belated move by the Polish government illustrates the concern among European leaders about growing public disdain over the seemingly endless financial aid allocated to Ukraine. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, says it is a “worrying” sign that Washington for the first time closed the coffers for Ukraine.

Read more …

Rutte and Von Der Leyen flew to Tunisia to make a deal to stop refugee flows to Lampedusa, and turned their backs on it as soon as they got back home.

Tunisia Rejects EU Financial Aid (RT)

Tunisian President Kais Saied has rejected financial aid from the European Union intended to support the country’s budget and address a migration crisis, claiming that the bloc violated agreements signed earlier this year. “Tunisia rejects what the EU announced, not because of the small amount… but because this proposal contradicts the memorandum of understanding signed in July,” Saied said on Monday, according to a statement published by national broadcaster TAP. The EU signed a partnership agreement with Saied in July, pledging more than 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) to the North African country to help its battered economy and curb irregular migration from the Tunisian coast to Europe.

However, the European Commission announced last month that it would disburse 127 million euros ($133 million) in aid to the country, with the majority of the funds earmarked for addressing migration issues, including facilitating the deportation of migrants to their home countries. In response to the EU announcement, Tunisia’s president said on Monday that he would not accept the “small amount” because it “lacks respect.” “Tunisia, which accepts cooperation, does not accept anything that resembles charity or handouts,” Saied was quoted as saying by TAP during a meeting with Nabil Ammar, the country’s minister of foreign affairs and migration. In an interview with RT on Tuesday, international relations researcher Bechir Jouini said Tunisia’s rejection of the EU offer centered on the bloc’s handling of the agreement, which appears to prioritize financial aspects over other considerations.

If the EU wants to address the immigration crisis, Jouini believes it should prioritize genuine investments in African economies over exploiting the continent’s resources. “We are not just demanding money,” he said, arguing that “if there’s no stability, if there’s no growth in Africa, there’s no stability in all of Europe.” Migration has remained a source of disagreement within the EU since 2015, with an influx of migrants fleeing poverty and conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. Member states, including Hungary and Poland, have strongly opposed Brussels’ attempts to compel them to accept and settle migrants. Last month, Italian authorities reported the arrival of thousands of African migrants from Tunisia on the island of Lampedusa, prompting a state of emergency.

Read more …

“But I can tell you that such things are done by self-confident adults, uncles and aunts, who, apparently, are not very clever..”

Creation of Multipolar World Inevitable, Necessary – Putin (Sp.)

The creation of a multipolar world, more honest and fair for the majority of people, is inevitable and historically necessary, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated, addressing the Third International Olympiad on Financial Security in the Sirius federal territory near Sochi on Wednesday, October 4. “The process of building a multipolar world order – more democratic, more honest, fair for the majority of mankind – is simply inevitable and historically necessary. This fully applies to the creation of strong economic foundations of such a world order,” Putin stressed. In addition, the Russian president emphasized that those who seize other people’s assets are apparently not exceptionally intelligent. During his speech, Putin spoke about a joint project between a number of central banks in Asia and the Middle East that allows them to issue and exchange digital currencies.

“That is, no third party has any possibility for abuse and for interfering with payments. Including blocking, for example, a transaction, arresting accounts, appropriating someone else’s money or assets. And this, unfortunately, happens in the modern world. These are very young people sitting here. But I can tell you that such things are done by self-confident adults, uncles and aunts, who, apparently, are not very clever, if they commit such erroneous actions that ultimately harm themselves,” the president stressed. Moreover, the world is gradually getting rid of the dictatorship of an economic model where entire regions of the world are driven into bondage and loans, Putin said. “The world is gradually getting rid of the dictatorship of such a financial and economic model, the purpose of which is only to drive into debt, into bondage, turn into economic colonies, deprive entire regions of the world of resources for development,” the president highlighted, adding that “few people will like such a future.”

In addition, Putin emphasized that mutual trust and respect for each other’s interests are extremely important in terms of international economic cooperation. “You are well aware that the financial sphere is now undergoing rapid development of advanced solutions, advanced technologies. This is digital currency, digital financial assets, new payment services and financial settlement models. This includes the use of blockchain technologies, the so-called distributed ledger. I would like to say once again that in this area, especially when it comes to international economic cooperation, mutual trust and respect for the interests of partners and each other’s interests are extremely important,” the president said.

Read more …

Unstoppable.

Quoting RT Plays Into Putin’s Hands – Hillary Clinton (RT)

Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin is “thrilled” by the growing political divide in Washington over aid to Ukraine. She also alleged that the Russian leader “scores points”whenever Americans reference views shared by outlets such as RT. In an interview with PBS’s Geoff Bennett released on Tuesday, the former secretary of state and principal architect of the Russiagate conspiracy theory was asked how she thinks Russia perceives the growing opposition among US lawmakers to funding for Kiev. Clinton suggested that Putin was not only pleased with the rift among American politicians, but was also “fomenting” it in order to “undermine democracy” and “suborn political leaders.” “When I see people parroting Russian talking points that first showed up on Russia Today [RT] or first showed up in a speech from a Russian official, that’s a big point scored for Putin,” Clinton said.

She went on to suggest that despite the “ideological” and “partisan” political divide, the US Congress must work through its issues and ultimately pass legislation that would ensure continued aid for Ukraine. “This fight is our fight,” Clinton claimed, adding that she fails to understand how any Americans can “side” with Putin. “But we have seen it, and we have heard it, and we have to fight against it,”she declared. The former secretary of state’s comments come after the US Congress approved a last-minute 45-day stopgap government funding bill on Saturday that omitted any financial support for Kiev. The vote followed demands from Republican senators for military aid for Ukraine to be dropped from the spending bill, threatening to initiate a government shutdown.

Last week, Clinton also claimed during a speech at the State Department that Putin was personally to blame for NATO’s continued eastward expansion, which she insisted was a consequence of Russian policies. “Too bad, Vladimir. You brought it on yourself,” she said. Moscow responded by arguing that Clinton was well known “for her attempts to turn everything upside down and change concepts.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Western countries have repeatedly refused to discuss any of Russia’s proposals regarding security guarantees. At the same time, NATO has continued to launch “numerous waves” of expansion and has moved its military infrastructure right up to Russia’s borders. “It is absolutely clear what the underlying reasons were for Russia’s special military operation,” Peskov said.

Read more …

“According to a wide-ranging new book by Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow [..] the Biden family has a second, virtually unknown institute..”

Biden’s “Secret Money Machine” (ZH)

On December 11, 2018, the University of Delaware announced that it was naming its public policy school after Vice President Biden. Emails show that this move was orchestrated by members of UD’s Biden Institute. It was on the day of the announcement that Hunter Biden received a text message from his aunt and former Joe Biden campaign manager, Valerie Owens (who chairs the Biden Institute), crediting him for the deepening partnership with between the Biden family and the university: “Bravo Hunter—UD was your baby and you made sure I was part of it.” The University of Delaware Biden Institute was Hunter’s “baby.” And this was the type of baby the family most certainly was not going to ignore. -Breitbart

What’s more, the UD Biden Institute became home to at least 12 future Biden administration appointees, including soon-to-be senior Biden advisor Mike Donilon and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, while UD President Dennis Assanis would be named to Biden’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. But perhaps most intriguing is that soon after forging its partnership with the Bidens, the University of Delaware (UD) disclosed receiving funds from China. Assanis notably “has deep and long-standing ties to China,” according to Marlow, who reports that in addition to serving as the founding director of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center and Clean Vehicle Consortium (CERC-CVC) since 2003, Assanis has served as both a guest professor and an advisory professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) – which has a partnership with the Chinese military, and which has been identified as the source of cyberattacks on American companies.

And then the Chinese funds start flowing… As Marlow reports; The University of Delaware had never disclosed receiving funds from China until April 2018, when it accepted over $3.2 million for a contract with an unnamed Chinese entity. This came two months after the Penn Biden Center opened its DC office. Then, in December 2018, UD received $1.9 million from an unnamed Chinese entity. In 2019, UD received another $625,000 from China. In 2020, UD initiated three contracts with the Chinese entities and received over $1 million in funds. In sum, UD has received over $6.7 million from unnamed Chinese sources, including a substantial amount from the Chinese government. All these funds started flowing to UD after the Biden Institute was announced and increased immediately after the launch of the Penn Biden Center.

In addition to the obvious pay-for-play implications, the influx of Chinese money is even more alarming in light of UD’s thirty-seven international partnerships with Chinese universities – including several which are involved in the development of Chinese military technology. Concern over UD’s relationship with Chinese entities is such a concern that on Feb. 8, 2022, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote Assanis to ask him to terminate the institution’s academic and research partnership with Xiamen University, an active component of the CCP military-industrial complex, and which allegedly conspired with Huawei to perform corporate espionage against a US semiconductor start-up. According to the report, UD has worked with at least four other universities linked to CCP defense laboratories.

Read more …

“..they want him silenced. They fear his use of the 1st Amendment to defend himself. And that…is EXACTLY why we have a 1st Amendment.”

Gagging Trump – Shows Fear (AMAC)

Think hard: Why, after allowing two state and two federal indictments of Donald Trump, each transparently political, would a federal prosecutor seek the rare step of “gagging” a former president, who also happens to be the leading GOP candidate? Only one reason: fear. The reason for this highly unusual step seems deeper than analysts are looking. On one hand, protecting a national security secret might justify a gag order, but there is none here. Jury pools are continuously exposed to public information, thus methodically sifted in “voir dire,” a process that assures jurors selected will be “fair and impartial.” Gagging a defendant is never done for that reason, no matter how well-known the defendant is. See if you can find a case recently, even historically, to silence a defendant protesting his innocence.

Nor is a gag order sought, let alone granted, because a prosecutor fears the defendant will speak publicly about his innocence and try to defend himself or herself to the public. Far from it, defendants are typically told by their own counsel NOT to speak openly since anything said could be used against them by the prosecutor, no matter the allegations. Notably, the federal prosecutor here, Mr. Jack Smith, was previously censured by the US Supreme Court (9-0) for misapplying federal law, specifically for political overreach. Yet, by all indications, here we are again. We have questionable, seemingly political indictments. One is arguably based on evidence pulled in a violation of 4th Amendment guarantees – a “general warrant,” with armed agents swarming the former president’s home. The other appears to mock the 1st Amendment, criminalizing political speech – as never before alleged.

We see in these indictments, paired with two state indictments, the play of politics. Incredibly, briefing schedules sought by prosecutors mirror the presidential primary calendar, making the process – by all appearances and definition – deliberate “election interference.” Ironically, against this backdrop and rather unexpectedly for the White House, Justice, and Democrat prosecutors, Mr. Trump – their target – has rocketed to the top of polls. He has climbed so high that, combining Republican, Independent, and Democrat voters, he would decisively beat Mr. Biden – if the race were today. All this should give Americans pause. It is also embarrassing for Mr. Smith, Mr. Garland, and Mr. Biden, not to mention state political prosecutors. They all have egg on their face, a mess.

So, the answer? Apparently, their latest flash of brilliance is to officially “gag” put a legal towel in the mouth of Mr. Trump. They want to stop him from speaking at all, as his words might “disparage the process” of being prosecuted or persecuted. Like something out of Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland or the former Soviet Union’s definition of due process, the prosecutor’s request is to prevent Mr. Trump from speaking. The irony is too rich and has not escaped Americans on both sides of the aisle. If not for such moments, what perchance is the 1st Amendment for? This order is wild overreach, panic. Traditionally, the reason federal prosecutors do not seek “gag orders” against defendants, whether Al Capone, John Mitchell, or others, is that the credibility of the prosecutor, the credibility of the Justice Department, is presumed to be higher than that of any defendant.

Put differently: This federal prosecutor and Justice Department are afraid. They fear their constitutionally questionable, highly offensive actions will not hold up in public discourse. Pointedly: They think Mr. Trump’s credibility supersedes – is higher than – theirs. Thus, they want him silenced. They fear his use of the 1st Amendment to defend himself. And that…is EXACTLY why we have a 1st Amendment.

Read more …

“The assets are much more valuable as opposed to less valuable than earlier statements.”

Trump Says Will Testify ‘At The Appropriate Time’ In NY Civil Fraud Trial (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he will testify as part of an ongoing civil fraud trial that could see his business operations come to a halt in New York, according to Anadolu Agency. Asked if he would take the stand in the non-jury trial, Trump said: “Yes, I will. At the appropriate time I will be. “I think it’s going very well,” Trump said at the New York courthouse where proceedings are taking place. “The assets are much more valuable as opposed to less valuable than earlier statements.” “There was absolutely no fraud,” he added. New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in damages as part of a lawsuit tied to Trump and his organization’s business practices, alleging that they systemically overvalued their assets to enrich themselves.

Trump, who is voluntarily attending the trial, has alleged that the case is politically motivated and is part of efforts to hamper his 2024 election prospects, and he has sought to discredit the presiding judge as being a “rogue” who is biased against him, and calling James a “racist.” New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing the case, ruled in late September that Trump and his company committed repeated acts of fraud for years. Engoron found that Trump and his company deceived banks by submitting “fraudulent valuations” for assets that were then used by himself, his sons and his business to secure better loan and insurance terms. The judge immediately canceled all of Trump and his co-defendants’ business certificates in New York and ordered that they must recommend no more than three potential independent receivers to manage the dissolution of the canceled limited liability companies within 10 days.

Trump’s legal team said they plan to appeal. “For years, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth to enrich himself and cheat the system. We won the foundation of our case last week and proved that his purported net worth has long been rooted in incredible fraud,” James said in a statement Monday. “In this country, there are consequences for this type of persistent fraud, and we look forward to demonstrating the full extent of his fraud and illegality during trial,” she added. Engoron will now rule on six other claims brought by James’ office in the lawsuit. It also seeks a ban on Trump doing business in the state where he made his brand as a high-profile real estate developer.

Read more …

“..it would seem that the Golden State deserved a solid senator that understands its issues. Or at least, compared to the twilight years of Feinstein’s career, just knows where they are at any given moment.”

Dianne Feinstein’s Replacement Cranks Her Problems Up To 11 (Blankenship)

US Senator Dianne Feinstein, the longest-serving female senator in American history, passed away on September 29 after a long, trailblazing career in politics. With her death, California Governor Gavin Newsom was entitled to make yet another political appointment, this time promising to fill the role with a black woman. Indeed, the governor delivered – and big time. He appointed a gay black woman named Laphonza Butler. But read the fine print because Newsom never said he would appoint a Californian, as Butler actually resides in Maryland. And what are her credentials? Well, she’s apparently a “veteran organizer” who, after years of union work, was co-opted by Uber to help manage the company’s labor relations at a time when its partners sought full-employment status. She basically helped screw over a bunch of gig workers.

Since 2021, Butler has also served as the president of Emily’s List, a major Democratic Party donor network that helps raise money for women candidates who support abortion rights. The new California senator is a union-buster: check. She can raise money: check. She’s a black lesbian: check, check. (But she’s not from California, as if that matters.) In the Southern United States, we have an endearing term for a politician who settles in a place that they’re not originally from to seek office – “carpetbagger.” While this is a regional term that doesn’t apply with its historical usage, the way people use it today applies. Elected representatives are supposed to have a connection to the locality or state from which they are elected and vote on behalf of that region’s citizens. Having no connection to a place, or never having lived there, necessarily means one has no familiarity with important local issues.

Where I grew up, in Kentucky, we’ve had this happen a few times. Former Republican Governor Matt Bevin was elected in 2015 in a shocking vote that saw Democrats lose the Governor’s Mansion for the first time in nearly a generation. While Bevin’s victory was mainly a repudiation of the national Democratic Party and foreshadowed former President Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, he was a businessman from New England who essentially made a vanity run in a backwater state he thought he could win in. In addition to his myriad corruption scandals and his horrible policies for the commonwealth, the fact that he was a “carpetbagger” was a major factor in his defeat to Andy Beshear, the son of Governor Steve Beshear, in 2019. I also worked on congressional hopeful Amy McGrath’s campaign for a spell in 2018, and while she was a Kentucky native, she was a newcomer to the district she sought to win, which was a massive point of contention from locals and a factor in her defeat to Congressman Andy Barr. (I heard people call her a “carpetbagger”all the time when I was knocking on doors.)

So, needless to say, there are certainly a lot of Americans who view obvious political careerism with contempt. Add the fact that Butler is a longtime labor friend-turned-pro-employer stooge, and her token identity as an LGBTQ black woman, and you have a situation where pretty much anyone would agree that her appointment is nothing more than paper-thin corporate identitarianism. Having just endured over 31 years of representation from Feinstein, who was certainly not loved by organized labor or the working class of California (or the US) in general but was heralded as a trailblazer for the act of being a woman, it would seem that the Golden State deserved a solid senator that understands its issues. Or at least, compared to the twilight years of Feinstein’s career, just knows where they are at any given moment.

Alas, it was not to be. While Feinstein represented all of the things wrong with the Democratic Party – vanity, careerism, greed, and a general lack of authenticity – Butler cranks this up to 11. Perhaps, if she can survive a special election in five months and then win re-election six times in a row, she too can be a multi-millionaire through insider training like her predecessor – hell, maybe she can be the first gay black billionaire in Congress. Wouldn’t that be something? Jokes aside, there is far more to so-called public service than just supporting the national party on major issues. A lot of mundane things happen in the halls of Congress, much of which involves supporting one’s district or state on fairly trivial issues that locals appreciate. Given Butler’s lack of familiarity with Californian politics, anything she does will have to be communicated to her from somewhere else, which is just about the last thing people want from their leaders. Politics, in any case, shouldn’t be about such blatant opportunism.

Read more …

“there is a very real hazard” of the dsDNA integrating into a person’s genome and becoming a “permanent fixture of the cell” that can result in autoimmune problems and cancers,,”

Alarming Covid Jab Contamination Shocks Scientists (Mercola)

In early April 2023, microbiologist Kevin McKernan — a former researcher and team leader for the MIT Human Genome project1 — posted a preprint paper2 detailing massive DNA contamination in Pfizer’s and Moderna’s bivalent COVID booster shots. As explained in the abstract: “Several methods were deployed to assess the nucleic acid composition of four expired vials of the Moderna and Pfizer bivalent mRNA vaccines. Two vials from each vendor were evaluated … Multiple assays support DNA contamination that exceeds the European Medicines Agency (EMA) 330ng/mg requirement and the FDAs 10ng/dose requirements …” The highest level of DNA contamination found was 30%, meaning nearly one-third of the content of certain vials was plasmid DNA, the presence of which dramatically increases the likelihood of genomic integration and cancer.

What this means, in plain English, is that the shots could potentially alter your DNA, which is something vaccine makers, health authorities and fact checkers have vehemently denied and written off as “impossible.” Yet here we are, with inconvenient facts staring us in the face yet again. In a May 20, 2023, Substack article,8 McKernan pointed out that regulatory agencies were clearly aware of this problem early on, as Pfizer submitted documents to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) showing sampled lots had a broad range of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) in them. The EMA’s limit for dsDNA is 330 nanograms per milligram (ng/mg), and Pfizer’s data show sampled lots had anywhere from 1 ng/mg to 815 ng/mg of DNA. And, according to McKernan, the EMA’s limit may be too high to begin with, as “lower limits should be applied if the DNA is packaged in transfection ready lipid nanoparticles,” as they are in the shots.

In a sane regulatory environment, this kind of contamination would have resulted in a massive recall, considering the known and suspected dangers of dsDNA contaminants. Yet nothing was done about it. Since McKernan’s paper was posted, others have confirmed the presence of dsDNA contaminants in the COVID shots. To be clear, DNA should not be present in a commercial product that has been made under good manufacturing practices. Obviously, Pfizer and Moderna have not perfected their commercial process, or have taken shortcuts they shouldn’t have. As a result, countless millions have been injected with unnecessarily risky COVID shots. University of South Carolina professor Phillip Buckhaults has since confirmed the presence of dsDNA in the COVID shots. September 13, 2023, he testified10 to this before the South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Ad-Hoc Committee on the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

Buckhaults is a molecular biologist and cancer geneticist with extensive experience in DNA sequencing, and initially set out to debunk McKernan’s claims. To his shock, he replicated McKernan’s findings instead. In his testimony, he explained how these DNA contaminants can integrate into your genome and disrupt the function of other genes, either long term or permanently, and may be passed on to offspring for generations. He told the senators he was “alarmed about this DNA being in the vaccine,” as “there is a very real hazard” of the dsDNA integrating into a person’s genome and becoming a “permanent fixture of the cell” that can result in autoimmune problems and cancers.11 Buckhaults suspects high levels of DNA contaminants may also be causing some of the more serious side effects of the jabs, such as lethal cardiac arrest.12 Of the two lots he analyzed, he found between 5 nanograms and 20 ng of plasmid DNA — ranging from one to 200 base pairs long — per 300 microliter dose, and he points out that having a multitude of tiny fragments is far riskier than having one big piece of DNA.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog tunes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1709528796955574629

 

 

Hyperion

 

 

Octopus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1709451435845276152

 

 

Cat

 

 

Elephant

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 182023
 
 February 18, 2023  Posted by at 10:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Pablo Picasso The dream 1951

 

Seymour Hersh’s Trinity of Truth (Scott Ritter)
Seymour Hersh Believes Betting On Ukraine’s Victory ‘Suicidal’ (TASS)
‘Ukraine Would Have Wiped Out Donbass Last Year If Not For Russia’ (TASS)
Food For Thought (Gonzalo Lira)
NATO Involvement In Ukrainian Conflict Is Maximal – Zakharova (TASS)
Ukraine ‘Peace Petition’ Backed By Nearly Half A Million Germans (RT)
No Sense In Signing Any Agreements With Zelensky – Medvedev (TASS)
Moscow Warns EU Over Seized Assets (RT)
Oh Lightning, I Command Thee To Smite My Foe! (Kunstler)
George Soros Is Defending The Unipolar World Order, Not Freedom (Blankenship)
EU Parliament Blocks Scrutiny of Von der Leyen Over Pfizer Contract (Pol.eu)
Nancy Pelosi’s Daughter Caught on Tape Refuting J6 Narrative (GP)
Too Slow And Too Secret? Pace of Staley Investigation Undermines Trust (G.)
Trump Announces Upcoming Visit to East Palestine, FEMA Reverses Course {(CTH)

 

 

 

 

Galloway Ritter

 

 

 

 

Putin 2019

 

 

No more boosters in the UK.

 

 

And Idaho is putting it a bit stronger even.

 

 

Maersheimer

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Sy Hersh, through his reporting, has exposed truths which have the potential of bringing down a presidency, destroying NATO, and proving Russia right in the eyes of the world..”

Seymour Hersh’s Trinity of Truth (Scott Ritter)

I’ve read nearly everything Sy Hersh has written, and am able to put his considerable journalistic output in its proper historical perspective. It is therefore that I feel very comfortable in concluding that, in terms of its potential for bringing about tectonic geopolitical change, Sy’s Nord Stream reporting is his most important work ever. The GOAT has produced what I call the Trinity of Truth. Truth One: The President of the United States, Joe Biden, by conspiring with members of his national security team to deliberately bypass constitutionally-mandated reporting requirements to Congress regarding acts of war undertaken by the United States, has committed an impeachable offense unmatched by any other president in the history of the United States.

Truth Two: The blow-back that will occur inside Germany to the revelations put forward by Seymour Hersh that the United States carried out an economic Pearl Harbor by destroying energy infrastructure critical to the well-being of the German nation has the potential of breaking up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU), upending more than eighty years of post-war European security and stability, and resulting in the diminishment of the United States on the world stage as it becomes isolated from long-time European allies that served as the foundation of the global acceptance of the so-called “rules based international order” that has served as the means by which the United States exerted global hegemony.

Truth Three: The decision to attack the Nord Stream pipeline puts a lie to the US contention that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was an unprovoked act of aggression, instead underscoring the harsh truth that the United States had a strategic plan which hinged on provoking a conflict with Russia in Ukraine to provide the geopolitical cover for ending Europe’s reliance upon cheap Russian natural gas by demonstrating that every time Russia sought a negotiated end to the crisis, whether before the invasion through implementation of the Minsk Accords, or after in the Istanbul round of talks scheduled for April 1, the United States sabotaged the effort, keeping the conflict alive long enough to implement its major objective—the destruction of Nord Stream. In short, Sy Hersh, through his reporting, has exposed truths which have the potential of bringing down a presidency, destroying NATO, and proving Russia right in the eyes of the world.

Read more …

“..It’s impossible to believe how just dumb this leadership was. <…> And then they stick to the war..”

Seymour Hersh Believes Betting On Ukraine’s Victory ‘Suicidal’ (TASS)

The US administration’s hopes for Ukraine’s victory in the conflict with Russia are ‘suicidal,’ US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview with the Consortium News portal. “It was suicidal to think you can win that war, that Ukraine can win that war. There’s just too much corruption. That was a very, very bad decision. We should have been pushing for peace, we should have made an agreement,” said Hersh, who earlier published his findings about explosions targeting Russia’s Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. “It’s just silly not to right away assure the Russian government that we were not interested in making Ukraine a member of NATO. NATO didn’t want Ukraine anyway because of the corruption. There were just so many bad mistakes made. It’s impossible to believe how just dumb this leadership was. <…> And then they stick to the war,” he said.


On February 8, Hersh wrote in an article, citing sources, that US Navy divers had planted explosive devices under the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines under the cover of the BALTOPS exercise in June 2022 and Norwegians activated the bombs three months later. According to the journalist, the decision to conduct the operation was made by US President Joe Biden personally, following nine months of discussions with White House security specialists. White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a comment to TASS that Hersh’s account was utterly false and complete fiction.

Read more …

“700-800 rounds of ammunition per day flew into the republic.”

‘Ukraine Would Have Wiped Out Donbass Last Year If Not For Russia’ (TASS)

Ukraine would have levelled the Donbass republics a year ago if Russia had not intervened in time by recognizing the Lugansk and the Donetsk People’s Republics and launching its special military operation, Former LPR ambassador to Moscow Rodion Miroshnik said on Friday. “Exactly one year ago, the Ukrainian regime began artillery preparations before attacking Donbass! A 150,000-soldier group, armed and trained by NATO, was preparing to sweep away the Donbass. And if it were not for Russia’s decision to start a special military operation, we would have simply been levelled,” he wrote on his Telegram channel on the anniversary of the beginning of the escalation of the situation in the Donbass, “And neither the UN nor the OSCE would have noticed it.”


Miroshnik recalled that from February 17 to 24, when the Russian Federation began its special military operation, the Ukrainian armed forces fired 551 shells on the LPR territory. At that time, he recalled, “700-800 rounds of ammunition per day flew into the republic.” There were attempts to break through the defense, as well as casualties among civilians. Also on Friday, Miroshnik drew attention to the fact that a year ago, neither the guarantors (of the Minsk agreements) – France and Germany – nor the UN General Assembly had forced Kiev to fulfill its obligations. At that time, the republics understood that the clock was ticking as the Ukrainian military could wipe out the DPR and the LPR cities, so the emergency evacuation began. “But the world prefers not to see this and starts counting from February 24,” he pointed out.

Read more …

Twitter thread.

“They see the West as a paper tiger, run by fools and degenerates.”

Food For Thought (Gonzalo Lira)

I’ve been talking to a number of acquaintances in Russia. These are well-educated professionals who speak English fluently, many of whom have lived/worked in the US/Europe. Some are highly critical of Putin, and many were very much opposed to the SMO. Some observations. They are universally shocked at the racist Russophobia, from Europe especially. “I thought they were our friends/partners!” is a common complaint. They don’t understand why Europe destroyed its own economy with the sanctions. (There’s quite a bit of schadenfreude over that. They don’t understand why the Germans are not reacting to the Nord Stream terrorist attack. They see it as self-evident that the Americans did it—an act of war by one of Germany’s closest ally.

They have zero trust in the Europeans—because of the Russophobia and revelations. Hollande and Merkel have publicly bragged about how the Minsk agreements were entered into to buy time to arm Kiev. This has had a huge impact on them. So they won’t accept any negotiations or ceasefire. They all think Russia would be played for fools again by the West. Even the “doves” believe that the conflict can only end in total victory, i.e. complete military occupation of Ukraine. They don’t look forward to this—but they believe it is the only solution to guarantee Russian safety. They all view this conflict as a Russia vs. NATO war. And they all believe this war will last for years. There is a palpable sense of determination and *relief* that they too—like their grandfathers before—are involved in an existential war for the survival of their nation.

They one and all despise the Russians who fled to Europe, Israel and Georgia. They view them as fair-weather friends at best—traitors at worst. They all made it clear that they would not be welcomed back at the end of this conflict. Even the “doves” respect Putin, and they laugh at the idea of “regime change in Russia”. The principal criticism of Putin is that he’s been too gentle, too patient. Many (not all) would prefer a scorched earth, total war campaign, specifically targeting the Kiev leadership. All in all, they are satisfied with their leadership. Lavrov was universally praised, Peskov the one least respected. Shoigu, Gerasimov and Surovikin were all endorsed, though they all took some criticism, mostly because they think the war is going too slowly. Interestingly, I sensed a gnawing anxiety over Russia’s economy, which seems to be going so well—as if it’s too good to be true.

The 2015 sanctions nearly broke their economy—but now, with even worse sanctions, none are experiencing a loss of standard of living. They seem to have lost their respect, admiration—and fear—of the West. Certainly their trust. They all believe that “human rights”, “democracy”, etc. are empty platitudes the West uses to get its way. They see the West as a paper tiger, run by fools and degenerates. This is inevitably a very biased selection of opinions: Highly educated, well traveled, Western-oriented, fairly well-to-do people aged 27–60. So imagine how much more conservative Russian working class people’s opinions would be. Food for thought.

Read more …

“Now they directly control the leadership of the Kiev regime, they are all connected.”

NATO Involvement In Ukrainian Conflict Is Maximal – Zakharova (TASS)

The involvement of NATO countries in the conflict in Ukraine is maximal, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday. “NATO countries are playing innocent, trying to prove that they are not a party to the conflict [in Ukraine] <…>. The involvement [of NATO countries] is maximal, [they’ve been carrying out] provocative activity for many years. Now they directly control the leadership of the Kiev regime, they are all connected.” According to Zakharova, Moscow also drew attention to media reports that Ukraine might organize joint licensed production of shells and other weapons with the UK and create similar military enterprises with other NATO countries. “It is obvious that big Western capital is behind the pumping of the Ukrainian armed forces, the formation of combat operations,” the diplomat noted.

Read more …

“If the fighting goes on like this, Ukraine will soon be a depopulated, destroyed country..”

Ukraine ‘Peace Petition’ Backed By Nearly Half A Million Germans (RT)

Almost 500,000 Germans have supported a petition urging Chancellor Olaf Scholz to spearhead efforts for peace negotiations in Ukraine. The appeal is authored by journalist Alice Schwarzer and Sahra Wagenknecht, a prominent member of Germany’s Left Party (Die Linke), and implores officials in Berlin not to provide Kiev with more weapons. The document, which was published last Friday and has since gathered an increasing number of supporters, claims that the conflict in Ukraine has already cost the lives of more than 200,000 military personnel and 50,000 civilians. “If the fighting goes on like this, Ukraine will soon be a depopulated, destroyed country,” the authors warn. Wagenknecht and Schwarzer also argue that “a lot of people in Europe fear an expansion of the war.”

The petition asserts that Ukrainians need solidarity from Germany, but questions whether Berlin’s current policies truly reflect the support they require. “What is now, one year on, the actual goal of this war?” the authors ask, citing German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s recent comment about Europe being at war with Russia. The petition expresses skepticism over whether Scholz’s government will keep its word and not provide Ukraine with fighter jets. According to Wagenknecht and Schwarzer, the German chancellor has already crossed multiple “red lines” in recent months. The pair also warn that Russian President Vladimir Putin could unleash a “maximum counterstrike,” should Ukraine retake Crimea – which is among the goals set by senior officials in Kiev.

“Are we then inexorably sliding down a chute leading to a world war and nuclear war?” the petition asks, adding that numerous major conflicts have begun this way, and that another could end up being the last for mankind. The petition stresses that “to negotiate doesn’t mean to capitulate,” but rather to “make compromises on both sides.” The authors claim that half of the German population wants immediate peace talks, and suggest that the government should heed their calls. “We demand that the federal chancellor stop the escalation of weapons deliveries,” the document states, urging officials in Berlin to focus on peace efforts and form an international alliance to this end.

The petition had received 496,008 signatures at the time of writing. Moscow has repeatedly signaled it is open to talks with Kiev, provided that Ukrainian leaders accept Russia’s conditions and recognize what the Kremlin calls the “reality on the ground.” In early October 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky ruled out negotiations with his Russian counterpart. Kiev is insisting on a military victory over Russia, and refuses to make any territorial concessions to its neighbor.

Read more …

“..He is not supposed to hold any talks. He is supposed to sign what he is told to sign..”

No Sense In Signing Any Agreements With Zelensky – Medvedev (TASS)

Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that he sees no point in signing any agreements with Kiev, since it is highly likely that Ukraine’s next leader will annul them. Medvedev drew attention to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s statements that he was not inclined to hold any talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It’s not news, but there is a nuance he opted not to mention yesterday although he is quite aware of it. He is not supposed to hold any talks. He is supposed to sign what he is told to sign. Although, frankly speaking, this document will not be worth its weight in paper. You can remember the Minsk agreements that were signed by his predecessor,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel.

Read more …

The west keeps thinking they will be rebuilding Ukraine.

Moscow Warns EU Over Seized Assets (RT)

Any Western attempts to transfer seized Russian assets to Ukraine would be “barbarism,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed. If necessary, Moscow is ready to impose a tit-for-tat response, she added. Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, Zakharova noted that EU nations had invested heavily in Russia, meaning a significant amount of European-owned assets remains in the country. Their value is larger than that of the Russian assets seized by foreign nations, the spokeswoman argued. Zakharova insisted that Russia wants to operate within the law and would give the US and its allies “every last chance” to reconsider any plans to confiscate Russian property. However, she added that Moscow was fully prepared to defend its interests, including through the use of “equal compensatory measures.”

The remarks referred to a new EU working group, established to explore ways to make Russia fund the future reconstruction of Ukraine. “This must be done in accordance with EU and international law, and there is currently no direct model for this,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said, commenting on the new group. Stockholm currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council. Western nations have frozen hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Russian sovereign reserves, as well the assets of Russians whom they consider close to the government. Moscow has branded the measures an act of robbery. Zakharova stressed that property rights should not be subject to the whims and geopolitical needs of a handful of nations, adding that US foreign policy was often prone to wild swings.

She claimed that a case in point is Venezuela, where Washington previously referred to Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader who has the right to manage the nation’s wealth. “Now Western delegations visit [Nicolas] Maduro, whom we always considered the legitimate president, as if nothing happened,” Zakharova said. “So everything they say now about Russia, their accusations, threats, and blackmail… can flip-flop in a moment. Mark my words.” The spokeswoman warned that the international community should oppose the push for the expropriation of Russian property, if not for its own sake. Countries could otherwise find themselves on the receiving end of the “ostensibly impartial” West-controlled financial system, Zakharova cautioned.

Read more …

“..Russia has every intention of pacifying the joint at all costs..”

Oh Lightning, I Command Thee To Smite My Foe! (Kunstler)

In the meantime, America is rapidly disintegrating on the home front. Is it attempted suicide or murder? It’s a little hard to tell. Things are blowing up from sea to shining sea — food processing facilities, giant chicken barns, regional electric grids, oil refineries. The latest, of course, is a chemical spill from the Norfolk-Southern train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, set ablaze by a conclave of government officials purportedly to keep the toxic liquids from seeping into the Ohio River watershed and beyond. Of course, in the dithering prior to lighting it up, enough vinyl chloride leached into streams feeding the big river to kill countless fish. And then torching the remaining chemical pools sent up a mushroom cloud of dioxin and other poisons that killed wildlife, pets, and chickens in the vicinity before the evil miasma wafted eastward on the wind to the densely-populated Atlantic coast.

One has to wonder whether an army of saboteurs is on the loose across the land. Considering the border with Mexico is wide open, why wouldn’t America’s adversaries send whole wrecking crews over here to mess with our infrastructure? There’s no question that people from all over the planet have been sneaking across the Rio Grande. Surely some of them are on a mission. America is filled with “soft” targets, things unguarded and indefensible — not least, tens of thousands of miles of railroad track. Of all the reasons to be unnerved by “Joe Biden’s” open border policy, this one is the least discussed, even in the alt-media. But it seems like a no-brainer for nefarious interests who might want to bamboozle and disable us.

The sad truth of this moment in history is that the USA has too much going sideways with our own business at home now to be dabbling in any foreign misadventures — and we couldn’t have picked a worse place than Ukraine to do it. The sheer logistics are implausible. The geography is lethally unfavorable. The place has been inarguably within Russia’s sphere of influence for centuries and Russia has every intention of pacifying the joint at all costs. Peace talks are apparently out of the question for our leaders. Something’s got to give, and that something is probably Western Civ’s financial system. It’s primed to blow anyway, and when it does, we’ll have other things to think about.

Read more …

Soros picks DeSantis.

George Soros Is Defending The Unipolar World Order, Not Freedom (Blankenship)

Contrary to the causes Soros claims to champion, his vision is more likely to usher in a third World War – not prevent one. There’s no credible evidence of a Russian regime-change operation in Moldova. China’s global position has little to do with Russia’s success or failure in Ukraine — the two are partners, but not a unified entity, or even allies; their societies and economies are distinct. What Soros was really rambling against wasn’t corruption or anti-democratic behavior — but the emerging multipolar world order, of which India and Türkiye are, to various degrees, becoming a part. I will not waste my time defending the likes of Modi or Erdogan, as their records are, in my opinion, indefensible. But it’s not their autocratic leanings that Soros hates about them — it’s their flickers of independence.


He may, in this respect, ultimately come to be disappointed by Brazil’s turn to democracy, as it will lead to more development in multipolarism and visibility in multilateral institutions. I also believe he seriously underestimates the US Republican Party’s sheer lack of principles and its willingness to tap into even the most wretched sources of untamed hatred for political support. Despite what the aging “philanthropist” desires, the era of unipolar liberal hegemony is over. The world is entering a new era of multilateralism and anti-hegemony. Soros’ speech before the Munich Security Conference may, in this way, be a symbol. A symbol of how the old way of doing things dies with the ramblings of an old man while the emerging multipolar world order is born in the thunderous cry of billions of youth across the Global South.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1626539057684660225

Read more …

It’s a closed circuit. The opposite of democratic. They only need the chiefs. The rest have no say.

EU Parliament Blocks Scrutiny of Von der Leyen Over Pfizer Contract (Pol.eu)

The top ranks of the European Parliament have slammed the door shut to a public cross-examination of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen over her personal role in negotiating a multibillion euro vaccine deal with Pfizer. Last month, lawmakers in the Parliament’s special committee on COVID-19 proposed to invite von der Leyen to answer questions on the EU’s largest vaccine contract, signed at the height of the pandemic. It was in the run-up to this contract that she is reported to have exchanged text messages with Pfizer’s Chief Executive Albert Bourla. However, at a closed-door meeting Thursday of the Conference of Presidents (CoP) — which includes the heads of all the political groups and the Parliament’s president — leaders refused the request to hold a public grilling.


Instead they decided to ask von der Leyen to answer questions in private at some point in the future, watering down the invitation to almost nothing. “It was agreed that CoP will be able to raise … [the Parliament’s COVID-19 committee’s] concerns in their next regular meeting with the president of the Commission,” said an EU official with knowledge of the confidential discussions. The European People’s Party MEP in the room, Siegfried Muresan, dismissed the suggestion that the group was protecting von der Leyen — also affiliated with the EPP — as a “conclusion in search of an argument.” “The broad consensus was that we’re in dialogue with her [and] that should continue in the formats that have worked so far and that we have established,” he told POLITICO.

Read more …

“Nancy Pelosi has contributed to destroying countless lives with her “insurrection” narrative and sham committee – And here is her daughter on camera saying it’s all a crock.”

Nancy Pelosi’s Daughter Caught on Tape Refuting J6 Narrative (GP)

In the video below, Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra Pelosi, is meeting with a January 6 defendant she wanted desperately to be in her sham documentary. It is a meeting with this same J6 defendant and his attorney. Alexandra Pelosi asked the defendant numerous times to participate. He politely declined. The Gateway Pundit reached out to the January 6 defendant in this video to confirm the details in the recording. Alexandra Pelosi agreed to be recorded by the defendant. In this video, Alexandra Pelosi is on camera saying many very shocking things. She mocks the idea that January 6th was an insurrection and admits that DC is too biased to hold fair trials and that many J6ers would be found not guilty if their cases were handled anywhere else in the country, and much more.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1626678002602893335

This video has not yet been made public. This is an exclusive video for The Gateway Pundit audience. From our source: “I did a lot of due diligence making sure that the defendant who shot this video had permission to do so. I spoke with his attorney who provided me documentation that Alexandra agreed to be filmed if they met. I wanted to bring this to you before anybody else if you’re interested in featuring it. Nancy Pelosi has contributed to destroying countless lives with her “insurrection” narrative and sham committee – And here is her daughter on camera saying it’s all a crock.” Here are some of the key moments in the video where Alexandra makes some particularly audacious comments.


Key moments:
2:43: Pelosi: “The Shaman did noth(ing)… What did the Shaman do? He stood there.”
4:24: “After the Democrats lose the house, then they get rid of the committee, people may lose I think interest… no one is going to care after the democrats are out of power. And you take Biden out of office- then who cares!?”
4:50: “DC is a lot of people who work for the government. I don’t think they’re sympathetic. If you got it moved (changed trial jurisdiction from DC) you’d totally get off” (laughs while saying this)
6:50: “If there was an insurrection… you were supposed to have a plan!” “It was the sorriest insurrection in history”
8:11: “You’re going to be able to laugh about this one day”
14:53: Pelosi talks about her friendship with Gavin McInnes and laughs at the notion that Proud Boys are white supremacists.

Daughter Pelosi

Read more …

Why does the Guardian cover this all of a sudden?

Too Slow And Too Secret? Pace of Staley Investigation Undermines Trust (G.)

Three years after it began, the findings of a City watchdog investigation into whether the former Barclays chief executive Jes Staley gave a full account of his relationship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to the bank’s board are still pending. There is a risk that justice delayed may prove justice denied for the British public. Our system relies on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other regulators to uphold the integrity and honesty of those who manage our money. The issue came to the fore again this week after the publication of allegations made in a court case brought by the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a home, against Staley’s former employer, JPMorgan Chase bank.

It is alleged by Virgin Islands prosecutors that Staley held discussions with Epstein in which they referred to women by the names of Disney princesses, that Epstein procured women for Staley, and that Epstein emailed his friend photos of young women in seductive poses. Staley is not a party to the lawsuit and denies the allegations. JP Morgan declined to comment on the latest allegations. It previously called for the lawsuit to be dismissed, claiming it did not participate in or benefit from sex trafficking by its former client. As allegations about Staley’s ties to Epstein have mounted, so too has the pressure on the Barclays board to justify why they backed him to stay on as chief executive in 2020. The implications of this case are broad, says Simon Learmount, professor in corporate governance at Cambridge Judge Business School:

“This is a really, really important case, not just because of what it may reveal about the Staley-Epstein relationship, but the questions it raises about the Barclays board and boards in general.” Establishing who knew what, and when, and how they responded, is the task that faces the FCA. Its probe not only looked at Staley’s disclosures to the Barclays board, but those the board subsequently made to the FCA. The preliminary findings – which have still not been made public and are subject to legal challenge – therefore speak not only to Staley’s integrity but also the board’s. That includes Nigel Higgins, who received Staley’s disclosures and who is still chair of Barclays. Yet despite the clear public interest in good governance at the top of a British bank of systemic importance, the public may never know the final conclusions of the FCA inquiry. If its preliminary findings are successfully challenged, they will not be disclosed.

[..]Epstein’s luxurious celebrity lifestyle and royal friendships, his death in prison after a previous conviction for soliciting sex from a minor, have all served to keep his name in the headlines. As Epstein’s one-time banker at Wall Street investment bank JPMorgan Chase, Staley has been the focus of attention too. The pair exchanged thousands of messages, many of which were handed over to the UK authorities by US counterparts. A spokesperson for Staley admitted, following an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, that he had made multiple trips to Epstein’s private island, Little St James, in 2020. It was in February that year that the Barclays board decided, following an internal investigation commissioned from the law firm Clifford Chance, which reviewed the emails, that it would stand full square behind Staley. The banker, who had arrived from the US in 2015 with a £10m pay package, had their “full confidence”.

Read more …

They’ll blame Trump for the whole thing.

Trump Announces Upcoming Visit to East Palestine, FEMA Reverses Course {(CTH)

The announcement by President Trump with his intent to visit East Palestine next Wednesday, followed moments later by a reversal announcement from FEMA stating they will now offer support to East Palestine, do not seem coincidental. The Biden administration, including the EPA, FEMA and Transporation Secretary, was likely very worried about the optics of getting blasted by President Trump very visibly next week for their lack of urgency and concern. Moments after Trump announces his visit, FEMA reverses their prior denial of aid. lol

Ohio train tracks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1625998479393783809

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Just hours after saying he “[did] not expect” members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be in East Palestine, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine now confirms the government entity will, in fact, be sending a crew to assist with the aftermath of the train derailment in the village. In a joint statement released Friday night, DeWine and FEMA Regional Administrator Thomas C. Sivak said the agency would deploy a Regional Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) to Columbiana County starting Saturday, along with a senior response official. The workers will “support ongoing operations, including incident coordination and ongoing assessments of potential long-term recovery needs.”


[…] DeWine had previously requested federal help, and today the Department of Health and Human Services announced toxicologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be journeying to East Palestine to assist with public health testing. However, the governor’s request for FEMA assistance was initially denied, with the agency apparently telling his office the current situation “[did] not quality for assistance.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Treehopper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626574980644499465

 

 


“The incredible Gomesa Jiaho Queen orchid. It’s a hybrid originated by Jia Ho Orchids in 2018, being a cross breed of Gom. Mulattas’ Dancing and Gom. varicosa”

 

 

Black sea nettle

 

 

Frogfish

 

 

Lions
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626569203753926656

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

“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.”

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

“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.”

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

“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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

“… 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.”

Read more …

“..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!

Read more …

“.. 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.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Sika deer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621524781127573509

 

 

Water is life
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621438461151526912

 

 

Gallop croc
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621580255835181064

 

 

Dog doc
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621730772670349313

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Read more …

“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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

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.”

Read more …

“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.”

Read more …

“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.

Read more …

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!

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Fleming

 

 

 

 

Bernardi WEF

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1607804349857554433

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“..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.”

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

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”.

Read more …

“..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.”

Read more …

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.”

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

“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.’”

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“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.

Read more …

 

 

 

 


Picasso Moth (Baorisa hieroglyphica)

 

 

 

 

Bald Eagles
https://twitter.com/i/status/1607451350975262722

 

 

Ghost crab

 

 

 

 

 

 

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