Mar 122024
 


Vincent van Gogh Le moulin de la galette 1886

 

Elite Units of Ukrainian Armed Forces Discuss Overthrowing Zelensky (Sp.)
Pentagon’s ‘Ukrainian Fantasy’ Is Falling Apart – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Ukraine Already Bankrupt Long Ago – Former Prime Minister (TASS)
Houthis ‘Schooling’ West in Asymmetric Warfare (Sp.)
God Is Underwriting Israel’s Genocide Bond (Helmer)
Chasing ‘Tactical’ Wins, Israel Now Faces ‘Strategic’ Defeat (Sweidan)
White House Fails to Navigate the Israeli Re-calibration (Alastair Crooke)
Biden a ‘Rare Kind of Idiot’ – Medvedev (RT)
Macron is a ‘Coward’ – Medvedev (RT)
‘Warmonger’ EU’s Defense Strategy a Wishful Dream (Sp.)
EU Nuclear Umbrella to Embolden Member States to Use French Nukes (Sp.)
Poland: the Biggest Army in the EU And the Biggest Risks in the Making (Babich)
Eventual Financial Death Spiral Now Imminent – John Rubino (USAW)
Global Hunger Isn’t The Worst Food-Related Threat To Humanity (Bridge)
Nanoplastics Linked to an Increase in Heart Attacks And Strokes (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Kimmel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767014173391585295

 

 

Mace

 

 

Schiff Trump

 

 

 

 

Melania

 

 

Rogan X
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767284402143334811

 

 

 

 

Bannon Rickards

 

 

Tucker Cuomo

 

 

 

 

“Let’s demolish this green rat and install Zaluzhny!”

Elite Units of Ukrainian Armed Forces Discuss Overthrowing Zelensky (Sp.)

Following the recent reshuffle in Ukraine’s military leadership, discontent is brewing among elite units, with discussions of ousting President Volodymyr Zelensky and reinstating Valery Zaluzhny, the former commander-in-chief, a source has revealed to Sputnik. Commanders and soldiers in elite units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are dissatisfied with the reshuffle in the country’s military leadership and are seriously discussing the ousting of Volodymyr Zelensky, a representative of the Russian security services has told Sputnik. He explained that specialists had gained access to a closed Telegram channel called “ParaBelum,” which consists of radically-minded fighters from the elite units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

“Our specialists have gained access to a resource in which members of various elite units, such as the Marines, special forces, intelligence, special forces of the SBU [Security Service of Ukraine], as well as various nationalist battalions, communicate. They are highly qualified specialists who are clearly dissatisfied with the change of command. They are seriously discussing options for overthrowing the current government and the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” the interlocutor said. Based on the materials at the disposal of Sputnik, the soldiers express dissatisfaction with the actions of Zelensky and the new commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleksandr Syrsky, who was appointed a month ago to replace Valery Zaluzhny. Thus, the commander of the reconnaissance group of Ukraine’s 80th Separate Air Assault Nrigade, Maxim Shevtsov, with the call sign “Winter,” calls on members of “ParaBelum” to overthrow Zelensky.

“If people don’t come to the defense of Zaluzhny, if the military doesn’t come to the defense of Zaluzhny, then this rat [Zelensky] will torpedo everyone… Let’s demolish this green rat and install Zaluzhny! In fact, it’s Zelensky who needs to be changed, not Zaluzhny. This rat feels that he has a zero rating, and Zaluzhny has a higher rating, and [this is why Zelensky] is trying to torpedo him,” a voice message from Shevtsov says. A recent poll by the Ukrainian Center for Social and Marketing Research SOCIS suggests that if the presidential election were held in Ukraine in 2024, former Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny would secure a significant lead, with 41.4% of the first-round vote, surpassing Volodymyr Zelensky’s 23.7%. In the parliamentary scenario, Zaluzhny’s hypothetical bloc would lead with 46.4% of the vote, according to the same poll.

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“This is to buy time for a miracle to happen and the Ukrainians are hoping the miracle will be the arrival of a French battlegroup.”

Pentagon’s ‘Ukrainian Fantasy’ Is Falling Apart – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

The US Pentagon’s fantasy in Ukraine is falling apart, former UN weapons inspector and commentator Scott Ritter told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Monday. Speaking on reports in US media that said there are growing tensions between Kiev and Washington because Ukraine reportedly did not listen to tactical advice offered by the Pentagon, Ritter said he believes the assertions are not based in reality but instead are designed to shift the blame away from the United States. “The Pentagon is definitely trying to create political cover for itself because their huge Ukrainian fantasy is falling apart,” Ritter asserted, explaining earlier that Ukraine had little choice but to hold Avdeyevka for as long as possible so that defensive lines could be built behind it, noting however, that Russian airpower prevented even that goal from being achieved.

“It’s easy to play armchair quarterback and just sit back there and pick apart. But the reality is what other choices [did] Ukrainians have but to try and hold onto the last defensible position they [had]?” The Kiev regime is “waking up to the reality that their so-called friends and allies are abandoning them and leaving Ukraine to its own fate” Ritter explained earlier while discussing Macron’s comments that French troops may be deployed in Ukraine, a hypothetical that Ritter says is only being discussed because of the position Ukraine is in. “To understand why Macron would be even talking about this, you have to understand how dire the situation is for Ukraine right now. They are facing military collapse, right now as we speak the last reserves of Ukraine are being thrown into the battle outside the village of Orlovka,” Ritter explained. “This is to buy time for a miracle to happen and the Ukrainians are hoping the miracle will be the arrival of a French battlegroup.”

That possible “miracle” would not change the outlook on the battlefield, Ritter argued, saying that their ability “to deploy a military meaningful force to Ukraine is very slim,” with or without the Baltic State allies Macron is reportedly seeking. Meanwhile, Ritter argues, the election season is forcing the United States to step back from the conflict. “Biden is in a presidential election cycle, we’re coming up on the final sprint to November. … Biden will do whatever is necessary to minimize his political exposure.” “We fired [Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs] Victoria Nuland, the architect of [the Ukraine] policy, and we [took] a step back.” That has left Europe “sitting there, realizing that, frankly speaking, they are nothing without American money. This is a hard pill to swallow and meanwhile, on the battlefield, the Ukrainian army is in absolutely desperate straits.”

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“..a highly telling stigma – ‘negative outlook,’ ‘a virtual certainty of default,’ ‘debt susceptible to non-payment..’”

Ukraine Already Bankrupt Long Ago – Former Prime Minister (TASS)

Ukraine has long been completely insolvent, former Ukrainian Prime Minister (2010-2014) Nikolay Azarov said in commenting on the Standard & Poor’s rating agency’s downgrade of its credit rating on Ukraine’s sovereign debt to “junk” status. “Ukraine is fully insolvent. However, international agencies do not risk assigning it a default rating. Although Ukraine went bankrupt long ago,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. Earlier, S&P downgraded Ukraine from a “CCC” rating to “CC.” “Now the country’s long-term sovereign [debt] rating has received a highly telling stigma – ‘negative outlook,’ ‘a virtual certainty of default,’ ‘debt susceptible to non-payment,’” the former head of the Ukrainian government added.

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“..the Houthis “demonstrating in real time just how target-rich developed nations are..”

Houthis ‘Schooling’ West in Asymmetric Warfare (Sp.)

The Yemeni militia has led a sustained campaign of ship seizures, drone and missile attacks against suspected Israeli-tied commercial vessels and Western warships operating in the Red Sea for nearly four months straight, with commercial freight volume through the strategic maritime chokepoint down as much as 80 percent. Ansar Allah, the Yemeni militia group also known as the Houthis, has “more surprises” in store for the US and Israel, and will continue its campaign of maritime attacks so long as Tel Aviv continues its brutal assault in Gaza and blocks humanitarian aid from getting through, leading Houthi figure Abdul Sattar Al-Nehmi has said. “We have a firm belief in our leadership and its decisions, which motivates us to continue these operations in support of our brothers in Gaza,” al-Nehmi said in an interview with local media. The official did not elaborate on the “surprises” Washington and Tel Aviv should expect, but stressed the maritime campaign will continue until the Houthis manage to “force” global powers to bring Israel to heel.

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi offered a tally of militia missile and drone attacks and ship seizures to date last week, saying 96 missile and drone attacks have been launched and 61 ships targeted so far amid the ongoing campaign. Separately on Monday, Bloomberg Middle East contributor Marc Champion warned that the Houthis have succeeded in “schooling” the West “in asymmetric warfare,” with neither the “extraordinary power of US carrier fleets,” nor attempts to “get tougher” by bombing the militia group succeeding in reining in Ansar Allah’s activities. “The first challenge is that advances in the production of missiles and drones have democratized extremely powerful weapons that until recently were available only to the richest states,” Champion wrote. “The second is a growing asymmetry of vulnerabilities,” with the Houthis “demonstrating in real time just how target-rich developed nations are,” and the US and its allies showing that they have much more to lose than humble Yemenis.

“When the Houthis disrupt the roughly 12% of global shipping that passes through the Bab al-Mandab Strait between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, it impacts consumers in Europe and manufacturers in Asia, but not Yemen. If oil tankers have to shift to longer, more expensive routes than the Suez Canal, nudging up the price of gasoline at US pumps, the Houthis will be much less affected,” the commentator emphasized. And that’s not to mention the “trillions of dollars” worth of information passing through the communications cables which lie at the bottom of the Red Sea, which Western media fear the Houthis might sabotage, or the “communications and the data that sophisticated militaries rely on to operate.” Champion urged Washington to “resist the temptation to escalate its fight with the Houthis,” and to prevent the situation from spinning even further out of control, as any “reliable success” against the militia would require a full-scale invasion or heavy bombardment – neither of which “would be remotely worth the cost.”

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“Israel’s public genocide is a private secret among Americans who are paying for it..”

God Is Underwriting Israel’s Genocide Bond (Helmer)

Last week it happened that God and the United States Treasury managed to underwrite a record issue of Israel Government bonds to continue the war against the Arabs in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq – and Iran if necessary. The war financing comprised $2 billion of five-year bonds, and $3 billion each of 10 and 30-year bonds. The US Treasury guarantees bond holders that if Israel defaults on repayment of its obligations, the US will pay instead. Notwithstanding this, the Israelis were obliged to offer an extra 1.35%, 1.45%, and 1.75% more in interest over the going rate for US Treasury bonds for the same length of term. The Reuters news agency headline on March 6 celebrated “Israel sells record $8 billion in bonds despite Oct 7 attacks, downgrade”. The propaganda agency based in New York quoted Israel’s Accountant-General as claiming the bond placement “results showed an “unprecedented expression of confidence in Israel’s economy by the world’s largest international investors”.*

In fact, according to well-informed bond trade sources in Europe, with the higher interest rates the market has just demanded from the Israelis, the spread between the Israel bonds and US Treasuries has never been wider, and the worse this spread will become for Israel. This is a vote of no-confidence from the market which the Israelis, the Americans, and their media are trying to keep secret. The longer the war is protracted, the more obvious the costs of Israel Defence Forces’ (IDF) failure will become – and the deeper the negative bond sentiment will grow. By converting secrecy into money, the market is signalling that it has begun to turn against Israel – and profit at Israel’s expense. Also unprecedented is the secrecy in which the “expression of confidence” has been managed by the US, French, and German banks acting as managers of the Israeli bond issue; and of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has had regulatory oversight of the process.

The debt financing has been reported as a “private placement”; this has removed the requirement that the Israelis produce a public prospectus explaining how they think their war – plausibly genocide, according to the International Court of Justice in its ruling of January 26, 2024 – is going, and how long the IDF claim it will last. This does not remove the legal requirement on the two US banks engaged in marketing the bonds to US investors, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, to submit a formal application for SEC approval of what is called a letter of consent. However, asked to confirm the contents of the letter of consent application for the sale of the Israeli bonds, and its official approval, the SEC has refused to give any answer. Goldman Sachs was asked the same questions. The bank also refuses to say.

Last October the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon,* issued a personal letter to the bank’s employees claiming the Hamas operation was a “violation of fundamental human values”: Solomon then proposed a $2 million gift of bank funds “to organizations providing critical support and humanitarian relief in Israel”; plus additional bank money, three bank dollars for every one contributed by bank staff making donations under $25, and one for one if the staff contribution was over $25. Asked how much money has been raised for Solomon’s gift to the Israelis, the bank is refusing to reply. In other words, Israel’s public genocide is a private secret among Americans who are paying for it, and among US government officials responsible for regulating the scheme according to US law. According to well-informed bond traders, this deal-making is worth in fees to the dealmakers, led by Goldman Sachs, about $100 million.

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“Everyone can see the tactics that are used to defeat the enemy in war, but what no one can see is the strategy from which great victory arises.”

Chasing ‘Tactical’ Wins, Israel Now Faces ‘Strategic’ Defeat (Sweidan)

In a fight like this, the center of gravity is the civilian population. And if you make them fall into the hands of the enemy, you turn tactical victory into strategic defeat. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued this warning to Israel back in December during his address at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California. Drawing on hard-earned lessons from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Austin stressed that winning battles on the ground does not guarantee a strategic victory and may even lead to a strategic defeat – if Israel refuses to look at the bigger picture. This is one of the main sources of Washington’s pressure on Tel Aviv, especially in light of the allies’ differing political visions for Gaza in the post-war period and the man-made humanitarian crisis Israel has imposed on the Strip. It’s a philosophy rooted in foresight, echoing Robert Greene’s wisdom from his 33 War Strategies: “Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the present battle and calculating ahead.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has outlined two primary objectives for the Gaza war: dismantling Hamas’ military infrastructure and securing the release of prisoners detained since 7 October. Netanyahu later expanded on these objectives, adding a crucial third goal: ensuring Gaza’s inability to threaten the occupation state’s security in the future. Consequently, the success of Israel’s brutal military assault on Gaza hinges on achieving these pivotal objectives. Despite their shared goals, disparities have emerged between the American and Israeli approaches. While both advocate for neutralizing Hamas, the Biden administration advocates for a more politically driven strategy, while Netanyahu seeks an almost entirely military-centric approach.

Hamas, on the other hand, announced three main objectives of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood immediately following the events of 7 October. First, success in conducting a prisoner exchange with the enemy entity. Second, retaliation against Israeli aggression in the occupied West Bank and safeguarding Al-Aqsa Mosque from settler extremists. Third, placing the Palestinian issue back on the global stage. Chinese General Sun Tzu’s timeless wisdom in his Art of War distinguishes between tactical maneuvers and strategic foresight: “Everyone can see the tactics that are used to defeat the enemy in war, but what no one can see is the strategy from which great victory arises.” In warfare, tactical objectives focus on short-term gains – specific engagements or territorial advances. In contrast, strategic goals require long-term vision, aligning military actions with political priorities. In essence, tactics look to answer the “how,” while strategy answers the “why” in military engagement, ultimately with a political endgame.

Any state or party to a conflict can achieve tactical objectives by excelling in battlefield maneuvers, using superior technology, or having better trained and equipped forces. But winning battles – that is, achieving tactical goals – does not necessarily mean winning the war. This discrepancy occurs because the cumulative effect of tactical victories may not align with or contribute adequately to broader strategic objectives. While tactics are essential to winning battles, they must be used as part of a strategy aimed at achieving the ultimate goals of war. History offers several sobering reminders of the perils of prioritizing tactics over strategy. For example, in the Vietnam War, the US achieved numerous tactical victories yet failed strategically. Despite inflicting heavy losses, the broader goal of fostering a non-communist South Vietnam remained elusive. The US’s longest war, in Afghanistan against the Taliban, ended in another humiliating withdrawal, only for the Taliban to return to unprecedented political power across the country.

Esteemed Israeli historian and critic of Zionism, Ilan Pappe, believes that the failures of the genocidal war on Gaza will ultimately lead to the downfall of the Zionist entity, with the war being the most perilous chapter in the “history of a project fighting for its existence.”

Yanis

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“Like Florida, [a] key state, where the votes of the Jews can decide who will move into the White House, so too can the votes of the Muslims in Michigan decide … ”

White House Fails to Navigate the Israeli Re-calibration (Alastair Crooke)

Alon Pinkas, a former senior Israeli diplomat, well-plugged into Washington, tells us that a frustrated White House finally has “had enough”. The rupture with Netanyahu is complete: The Prime Minister does not comport himself as ‘an U.S. ally’ should; he severely criticises Biden’s Middle East policies, and now the United States has come to understand this fact. Biden cannot afford any further Israel-affects to jeopardise his electoral campaign, and so – as his State of the Union Speech makes clear – he will double-down on misconstrued policy frameworks for both Israel and Ukraine. So what does Biden intend to do about Netanyahu’s act of defiance against the ‘holy grail’ of U.S. policy recommendations? Well, he invited Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s War Cabinet to Washington, and wrapped him around an agenda “reserved for a prime minister, or someone they think will, or should be, premier”. Officials apparently thought that by initiating a visit outside of usual diplomatic protocols, they may “have unleashed a dynamic that could lead to an election in Israel”, Pinkas notes, resulting in a leadership more amenable to U.S. ideas.

It was clearly intended as a first step to ‘soft power’ régime change. And the prime reason for the declaration of war on Netanyahu? Gaza. Biden apparently didn’t appreciate the snub received in the Michigan primary when the Gaza protest vote surpassed 100,000 ‘uncommitted votes’. Polls – especially amongst the young – are flashing red warning signals for November (in no small part because of Gaza). Democratic national leaders are beginning to worry. Leading Israeli commentator, Nahum Barnea, warns that Israel is “loosing America”: “We are accustomed to thinking of America in familial terms … We receive weapons and international backing and the Jews give their votes in the key states and money to the campaigns. This time, the situation is different … Since the votes in [presidential] elections are counted regionally, only a few states … actually decide … Like Florida, [a] key state, where the votes of the Jews can decide who will move into the White House, so too can the votes of the Muslims in Michigan decide …

“[Activists] called on the primary voters to vote “uncommitted” to protest Biden’s support for Israel … Their campaign succeeded beyond expectations: 130,000 Democratic voters supported it. The slap in the face to Biden reverberated across the entire length and breadth of the political establishment. It not only attested to the rise of a new, efficient and toxic political lobby, [but] also to the revulsion that many Americans feel when they see the pictures from Gaza”. “Biden loves Israel and is truly afraid for it”, concludes Barnea “but he has no intention of losing the elections because of it. That is an existential threat”. The problem however, is the converse: It is that U.S. policy is deeply flawed, and wholly incongruent with majority public sentiment in Israel. Many Israelis feel they are fighting an existential struggle, and must not become ‘just fodder’ (as they see it) to a U.S. Democratic electoral strategy. The reality is that Israel is rupturing with Team Biden – not the converse.

Biden’s key plan which rests on a revitalised Palestinian security apparatus is described – even in the Washington Post – as ‘improbable’. The U.S. tried a PA security ‘revitalising’ initiative under U.S. General Zinni in 2002 and Dayton in 2010. It did not work – and for good reason: Palestinian Authority security forces are simply viewed by most Palestinians as the hated stooges enforcing continued Israeli occupation. They work to Israeli security interests, not Palestinian security interests. The other main components to U.S. policy is an even more improbable ‘de-radicalised’ and anaemic ‘two-state solution’, buried within a regional concert of conservative Arab States acting as its security overseer. This policy approach reflects a White House out of kilter with today’s more eschatological Israel, and one failing to move on from perspectives and policies hailing from decades past which, even then, were failures. The White House therefore has resorted to an old trick: To project all of its own policy failings onto a foreign leader for not making the ‘unworkable’ work, and to try to replace that leader with someone more compliant. Pinkas writes:

“Once the United States became convinced that Netanyahu was not being cooperative, not being a considerate ally, behaving like a crude ingrate … focused only on his political survival after the October 7 debacle, the time was ripe to try a new political course”. However, Netanyahu’s policy – for better or worse – reflects what a majority of Israelis think. Netanyahu has his well-known personality defects and is seriously unpopular in Israel, yet that does not mean that a plurality disagrees with his, and his government’s programme. So “enter Gantz”, unleashed by Team Biden as prospective PM-in-waiting into the Washington and London diplomatic pool.

Kash Patel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766847857460437487

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“..Biden’s recent blunder in which he mixed up Ukraine and the Middle East sums up his poor mental state..”

Biden a ‘Rare Kind of Idiot’ – Medvedev (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s recent blunder in which he mixed up Ukraine and the Middle East sums up his poor mental state, former Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. Biden’s gaffe came in an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, as he discussed the Israeli military campaign in Gaza with host Jonathan Capehart. The US leader said West Jerusalem should not repeat the mistakes that Washington made following the September 2001 terrorist attacks. “America made a mistake. We went after Osama bin Laden until we got him, but we shouldn’t have gone into Ukraine,” Biden stated. He then corrected himself, saying he meant “the whole thing in Iraq and Afghanistan,” referring to the US invasions and occupation of the two Middle Eastern nations. Confusing places and people has been a recurring issue for the 81-year-old president. Medvedev, who serves as deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, posted a short clip of the gaffe on Sunday on social media, adding: “A rare kind of idiot.”

Some Russian officials have suggested that Biden’s slip of the tongue was Freudian. “He didn’t mix it up. He can no longer keep to himself what everyone understands – the US has disgraced itself in the bloodiest manner with the whole Ukrainian project,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as a US-led proxy war against Russia, in which Ukrainian soldiers serve as ‘cannon fodder’. The Russian military estimated that by the end of February, Kiev’s military losses had reached 444,000. In the nine-minute interview with MSNBC, Biden mentioned Ukraine once, calling out former President Donald Trump for his skeptical attitude towards NATO. The incumbent leader described the organization as “critical to our national defense.” Moscow has cited the expansion of the military bloc in Europe as a key cause of the hostilities with Ukraine.

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“Macron preparing to visit Kiev? But he’s a zoological coward!”

Macron is a ‘Coward’ – Medvedev (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed his visit to Ukraine because he is a pathological coward, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. The Elysee Palace announced on Monday that Macron’s long-awaited visit to Ukraine will take place sometime “in the coming weeks.” The announcement marks the third delay of the French leader’s visit to Ukraine. Macron had initially planned to visit Kiev to sign a bilateral security agreement last month, but the document ended up being signed during Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s trip to Paris. “Macron preparing to visit Kiev? But he’s a zoological coward!” Medvedev posted in French on X (formerly Twitter), recommending that Macron’s office pack “several changes of underwear” and prepare for a “strong stink.”

Medvedev claimed that he originally wrote the message in the morning, but by the time he decided to post it – the French president had already “s**t himself” and pulled out of the planned visit. “Poor France!” he added. Instead of hurrying to Kiev, Macron wants to “take the necessary time” for talks with allies to be able to visit Ukraine “with tangible results,” Politico wrote on Monday, citing an anonymous French diplomat. In recent weeks, the French president has escalated his hawkish rhetoric towards Russia, suggesting in late February that sending Western troops to Ukraine cannot be ruled out. Last Tuesday in Prague, he called on European nations to step up support for Kiev amid the Ukraine-Russia conflict, saying Europe is facing times “where it will be appropriate not to be a coward.”

NATO members are seeking to boost military aid to Kiev amid worries that funding from Ukraine’s biggest war sponsor – the US – will dry up. Earlier this year, the White House said that Washington had used up all the money allocated to Ukraine thus far – more than $113 billion. An additional $60 billion in US funding is still being held up in Congress, although recently it was suggested that the money should be loaned to Kiev, rather than given away. Moscow maintains that Western military aid to Ukraine does little to alter the course of the conflict, while extending the hostilities and causing needless deaths. Commenting on Macron’s words regarding the possibility of deploying Western troops to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that doing so would make a direct clash between NATO and Russia “inevitable.”

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“The EU, whose initial vocation as a peacemaker in Europe has completely slipped and transformed into a warmonger..”

‘Warmonger’ EU’s Defense Strategy a Wishful Dream (Sp.)

The European Commission’s newly proposed strategy to coordinate its military industries to tackle the “existential threat” posed by Russia is, above all, a pipe dream, Colonel Jacques Hogard, who served 26 years in the French Army as an airborne officer in the Foreign Legion and the special forces, told Sputnik. “The EU, whose initial vocation as a peacemaker in Europe has completely slipped and transformed into a warmonger, is seeking to exist, in the face of the visible disengagement of the United States in Ukraine. It clumsily tries to find a way out of the trap into which the Americans have made it fall. But in reality, ‘defense Europe’ is a dream. Born from a desire to bring the Franco-German couple together, this dream has never had the slightest beginning of concrete realization,” Hogard stated.

The pundit elaborated by pointing to the TIGER III, MAWS, and CIFS programs that were all successively “abandoned by Berlin, either to adopt purely German solutions or to turn to American equipment.” The remaining two programs – SCAF (Future Combat Air System) and MGCS (Main Ground Combat System) – were plagued by “disagreements over the distribution of roles between German and French industries.” “These programs were pushed through under pressure from politicians, without their future being assured,” Jacques Hogard said. Continuing to support Ukraine militarily has left European countries’ existing stocks depleted, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell admitted in his latest blog post. He urged moving “from an emergency mode to a longer-term vision, in a new strategy would allow the EU to be able to “replenish our stocks and develop the defense capabilities,” while continuing to provide “adequate military support to Ukraine.”

“To strengthen our defense in a tense geopolitical context, we urgently need to overcome the fragmentation of our defense industry through more joint procurement and more common projects,” he wrote. The blog post further elaborated on the new European Defense Industrial Strategy recently unveiled by Brussels. The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, touted its plan worth around €1.5 billion (US $1.6 billion) as a way to turbocharge the bloc’s military-industrial sector. The strategy is geared to reduce the EU member states’ dependence on the US for defense needs. Procurement outside the bloc was declared “no longer sustainable.” The plans will need to be approved by the European Parliament and by member countries, who are already squabbling over military and weapons spending on Ukraine aid.

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“..Macron effectively offered to share French nuclear weapons. “These statements by Macron are extremely serious..”

EU Nuclear Umbrella to Embolden Member States to Use French Nukes (Sp.)

The idea of the EU’s nuclear umbrella could lead to other countries using France’s nuclear potential, even though France might not be under any threat, the leader of France’s Patriots party and candidate for the European Parliament elections, Florian Philippot, told RIA Novosti. Earlier in the year, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Paris had a responsibility to defend the European Union. He added that France’s interests had a European dimension, which gave Paris a special responsibility that, in particular, affects French deterrence capabilities. The assertion, Filippot said, means that Macron effectively offered to share French nuclear weapons. “These statements by Macron are extremely serious. This is what should be the first guarantee of national sovereignty, nuclear weapons, which you need in case your vital interests are in danger, this is what nuclear doctrine is all about, the same for all nuclear powers. And what he is saying means that if tomorrow Poland is at war with Russia, it can use nuclear weapons while we are not in danger, we are not at war. And if tomorrow Ukraine becomes part of the EU, we could potentially let Ukraine use it, that’s completely insane,” the politician said.

Such statements indicate that the French president is not guided by the country’s national interest, he added. “Behind this is also pressure from Germany to get our nuclear weapons. They have long been willing to invest financially in our nuclear weapons in exchange for jointly controlling them. This is where the demand that France makes for Germany or the EU to take a place among the permanent members of the UN Security Council comes from. This goes hand in hand,” Philippot said. In February, European Parliament Vice-President Katarina Barley said in an interview with the Tagesspiegel newspaper that the creation of the EU’s own nuclear umbrella to replace the US umbrella could become a topic of discussion at the European level. At the same time, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner spoke in favor of greater cooperation with France and the United Kingdom on nuclear deterrence.

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““NATO is acting like a fireman, who sets on fire more and more buildings in order to show the community how much it needs him..”

Poland: the Biggest Army in the EU And the Biggest Risks in the Making (Babich)

The Polish ministers love surprises. This week, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski stunned the public when he said “several NATO countries already have their troops in Ukraine.” Sikorski represents the pro-EU “liberal” party Civic Platform, which recently replaced the “anti-European” nationalists from the Law and Justice (PiS) party. By voicing the shocking remark, Sikorski was effectively attempting to outdo the media star of the previous cabinet formed by the PiS. That media star was Mariusz Blaszczak, the former minister of defense who promised Poland would have “the strongest army in Europe” in two years In fact, Sikorski’s statement about NATO troops in Ukraine was not much of a secret for Russia. Even Sikorski’s attempt to create intrigue by saying he would not reveal the troops’ countries of origin was a failure. Maria Zakharova, the official representative of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, acknowledged that Russia knew about the presence of Western servicemen and which countries they came from.

She said: “It does not make sense for NATO to deny it’s sending soldiers to Ukraine any more.” However, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius again denied the presence of NATO troops in Ukraine recently, in this way one more time exposing himself or Sikorski as a liar. Sikorski made his revelation about NATO troops at a celebration devoted to the 25th anniversary of Poland joining the NATO alliance alongside Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999. In his speech, Sikorski also said that sending Western troops to Ukraine was a “creative” move, and that “the West should pursue the policy of asymmetrical escalation” in Ukraine. Through the official’s commentary and by ignoring Russia’s warnings of the inevitable retaliation for the escalation, Sikorski is – again – following in Blaszczak’s footsteps. It was under him that Poland, indeed, became Europe’s fastest growing military power, and the Civic Platform does not show any willingness to stop the project.

According to official data from Blaszczak’s defense ministry, in 2023 alone, Poland bought 1,000 K2 tanks from South Korea and 673 K9 howitzers from the same supplier. From the United States, Poland purchased 366 Abrams tanks and 32 F-35A fighter jets. “If Blaszczak’s plans are fulfilled, by 2030 Poland will have more tanks than the combined forces of the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands and Belgium,” the Wall Street Journal reported in an article headlined, “Poland Hardens Its Defenses Against Russia.” In 2023, Poland spent $ 23 billion on defense purposes, a sum that makes up 4% of the country’s GDP against the NATO-required 2%. But is spending tens of billions of dollars from a poor country’s budget for preparations of war against the historically and ethnically close eastern neighbor a wise policy? Not so, say cooler heads. “NATO is acting like a fireman, who sets on fire more and more buildings in order to show the community how much it needs him,” Mateusz Piskorski, a well known journalist and former leader of Zmiana party, told Sputnik.

In Piskorski’s opinion, NATO and Polish aggressive elite bear at least a part of the responsibility for the fire which is now devouring Ukraine. Ironically, these same elites point to Ukraine as the proof of Russia’s belligerence. These same Polish elites try to talk Poles into spending more money on arms for Ukraine and on increasing the power of the native Polish army. Blaszczak’s plan was to increase the staff of the Polish army from the current 172,000 men to 300,000. The timeframe for the reform is intended to proceed between two and three years, and this is one of the few initiatives of the outgoing PiS party, which the new “liberal” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk promises to continue.

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“You will get these massive bank runs that the government will have to step in and bail out. This is one of many things that will happen in the not-so-distant future..”

Eventual Financial Death Spiral Now Imminent – John Rubino (USAW)

Analyst and financial writer John Rubino warned nearly four months ago of a “U.S. Financial Death Spiral.” This past week, Bank of America caught up to Rubino and issued a warning about a “US dollar death spiral” because the federal government was going deeper in the red by creating “$1 trillion in new debt every 100 days.” Maybe this is why gold and Bitcoin have been hitting new all-time highs day after day. Rubino says, “When a building was worth $200 million and someone sells it for $48 million, that means there is a loss that someone has to take. Those losses are mostly on the books of regional and local banks. So, they are in big trouble financially. . . . You will get these massive bank runs that the government will have to step in and bail out. This is one of many things that will happen in the not-so-distant future. This will impact government finances in a scary way that will send people’s attention to the currency. In other words, if we have another $3 trillion bailout on top of everything else that’s going on . . .what is that going to do to the dollar? . . . .

Currencies are being inflated away with all these bailouts, deficits, wars and all these things that are going on that are bad for the currency. So, people start selling government bonds, which push up interest rates and blows up even more bad real estate and paper . . . until you get a debt spiral, a real live financial death spiral than cannot be fixed. . . . I was talking to a real estate guy the other day, and he said this is not just inevitable, it is imminent. It is happening now. It is happening quickly, and it is going to hit the headlines. . . . In this case, what is inevitable in commercial real estate is also looking imminent.” Rubino goes on to say, “The numbers are not lost on the guys running the big investment banks and the big media outlets. They are sitting around, and they are thinking we have to say something about this because this is obviously a very big financial story. So, we have to report on it. Finally, the numbers have gotten big enough with the deficits and government interest costs . . . that this is a story that cannot be ignored anymore.

“It’s got to be pretty far along before they reach that point because they really don’t want to report on this. To report on this is seen as a betrayal of the establishment, and they are part of the establishment. They are playing on that team. The debt numbers are finally big enough that they can’t be ignored anymore, and that implies that we are getting near the end of the road.” Gold and Bitcoin both hit all-time new highs this past week. What does it mean? Rubino explains, “This means the market is speaking, and it’s concluding these currencies have a problem. Capital is flowing into the alternatives. It’s flowing into the old kind of money that has held up for thousands of years like gold or the possible new kind of money like Bitcoin that has come on relatively recently (when compared to gold). . . . In either case, it is a vote against the dollar. When gold and Bitcoin are both spiking, it is a big vote of no confidence in the dollar.”

In closing, Rubino says, “There is no way to know how this plays out in the next six months, but this should terrify the central banks. By the way, the big central banks are behaving as if they are terrified because they are aggressively buying gold. They have bought about 1,000 tons of gold in each of the last two years. 1,000 tons is a fourth of the gold that comes out of all the gold mines in a given year. So, that is a major purchase, and they take the gold off the market. They don’t turn around and sell it. They put it away as a reserve asset. The gold is effectively disappearing. This makes the market even tighter, and this is also part of the reason why gold is going up.”

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Obesity. “It probably comes as no surprise that the same people who demand their food fast and fried, will also expect an easy cure as well..”

Global Hunger Isn’t The Worst Food-Related Threat To Humanity (Bridge)

World Obesity Day was marked this week and, with over a billion people afflicted worldwide, obesity is now considered more dangerous to global health than hunger. The numbers are staggering. Sometime in the mid-20th century a cameraman captured an unforgettable black-and-white photo depicting thousands of American sunworshippers crowded onto Coney Island, New York City. What is most conspicuous about the iconic photograph, aside from the sheer number of beachgoers, is the lack of excessive cellulite packed into the assorted bathing suits and bikinis. Sadly and not a little tragically, those halcyon days are over. While hunger overwhelmingly afflicts the poverty-stricken nations of the world, obesity represents a unique type of affliction in that it targets both rich and poor alike. Between 1990 and 2022, global obesity rates quadrupled for children and doubled for adults, according to a new study by the Lancet (The World Health Organization classifies obesity as having a body-mass index equal to or greater than 30 kilograms per square meter).

In the WHO’s top-ten ‘hefty’ list, it may come as some surprise that the tiny Polynesian nations of Tonga and American Samoa had the highest prevalence of obesity in 2022 for women, while American Samoa and [nearby] Nauru had the highest rates among men. In those picturesque island paradises, more than 60% of the adult population were clinically obese. Other surprises included Egypt, weighing in at number ten in the female category, while Qatar took tenth place in boys’ obesity levels. Among the wealthy countries, the United States was the heavyweight representative and is tenth in the world for obesity among men. Shockingly, the US adult obesity rate increased from 21.2% in 1990 to 43.8% in 2022 for women, and from 16.9% to 41.6% in 2022 for men, placing the nation of 330 million fast-food consumers 36th in the world for highest obesity rates among women and, for men, tenth in the world.

By contrast, the adult obesity rate in the United Kingdom increased from 13.8% in 1990 to 28.3% in 2022 among females, ranking it 87th highest in the world, while the obesity rate for males surged from 10.7% to 26.9%, placing Britain at 55th. Among children, the study found the US obesity rates increased from 11.6% in 1990 to 19.4% in 2022 for girls, 11.5% to 21.7% for boys. In 2022, the US ranked 22nd in the world for obesity among girls, 26th for boys. Considering the rapid rates of change among Americans, the US will be predictably dominating the charts in just a few years, creating what could be considered a national emergency. None of this should have been unpredictable. After all, what does a society expect that can’t even park the car and walk several steps into the restaurant? And it’s not like consumers are ordering homemade soup and salads at the drive-thru window.

The junk food served at fast food enterprises is loaded with sodium content in order to prolong its shelf life, as well as saturated fatty acids that increase cholesterol levels in the body, clog the blood vessels and restrict normal blood flow, leading to heart disease. And that’s not even mentioning the high-fructose corn syrup found in the cola drinks. The real challenge, however, is how to combat obesity at a time when so many people have become addicted to a sedentary, order-online lifestyle. It probably comes as no surprise that the same people who demand their food fast and fried, will also expect an easy cure as well.

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“Researchers are curious as to how 40% of the participants showed no evidence of microplastics in their plaques, given that microplastics are ubiquitous..”

Nanoplastics Linked to an Increase in Heart Attacks And Strokes (Sp.)

Roughly a week ago it was reported that boiling one’s water could help reduce the amount of microplastics in it by nearly 90%, as long as that water is hard water. At the time, scientists were still studying the extent to which nanoplastics could cause harm to one’s body. A new study says that people with nanoplastics inside their bodies are 4.5 times more likely to suffer from a heart attack, stroke or die of other health related concerns over the next three years than people without them, scientists say. The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, and explained how micro- and nanoplastics (NMPs) are “emerging” as a potential risk factor when assessing cardiovascular disease. It is the first time that such a connection has been made.

Nanoplastics are tiny bits of plastic that can be as small as one-thousandth of a millimeter in diameter, though the definition applies to any small plastic piece that is less than five millimeters long in length. They are ubiquitous, long-lasting, and often require centuries to break down. But cells responsible for removing waste products can’t readily degrade them, so microplastics accumulate in organisms. These NMPs, about the size of a virus, are the perfect size to adversely affect how human cells function, and are capable of passing through key protective filters in one’s body including the intestinal lining and blood brain barrier. They have also been found in our food, breast milk and even the clouds in our skies. The researchers studied a group of patients who were already scheduled to undergo surgery for a condition known as carotid artery stenosis, which occurs when the carotid arteries—the main blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the brain—become narrowed after plaque, or fatty deposits, block normal blood flow. These arteries typically help supply blood to the brain, face and neck.

The researchers looked at plaque that was removed from 256 patients and tracked their health for an average of 34 months following the surgery. They found plastic particles, many of which were NMPs in the plaque of 150 patients—about 60%. At the follow-up, nonfatal heart attack, nonfatal stroke or death from any cause occurred in 20% of those patients and in 7.5% of the patients without detectable plastic particles. Chemical analyses showed that a majority of the particles were composed of either polyethylene, which is commonly used and is often found in food packaging, shopping bags and medical tubing. [..] Researchers are curious as to how 40% of the participants showed no evidence of microplastics in their plaques, given that microplastics are ubiquitous. One of the study’s co-authors says it could be that the participants behave differently or have different biological pathways for processing plastics, however, more research is needed.

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Antikythera

 

 

Tigers

 

 

Leopard
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767174087397253234

 

 

Adopted

 

 

 

 

Best life
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766933626250555510

 

 

Best lives

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 132023
 
 December 13, 2023  Posted by at 9:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Edward Hopper Chop Suey 1929

 

Netanyahu: Israel Received Full US Support for Gaza Ground Operation (Sp.)
Israel Losing Support Over ‘Indiscriminate Bombing’ – Biden (RT)
BRICS and the Resistance Axis (Pepe Escobar)
Germany’s Blind Support For Israel In Gaza (Cradle)
US Rapidly Coming To End Of Its Ability To Help Ukraine – Biden (TASS)
Ukraine, US ‘Digging’ for New Strategy as Time and Money Run Out (Sp.)
Ukraine on Brink of Coup as Zelensky Begs US for More Money (Sp.)
Biden Pledges $200 Million For Ukraine After Zelensky Meeting (RT)
Zelensky’s Visit ‘Disgraceful’ – Senator JD Vance (RT)
Ukrainian General Reveals Discord Among Frontline Troops (RT)
The Pentagon Is A Multitrillion-Dollar Fraud (Scott Ritter)
BRICS Candidate Ethiopia Likely To Default – Reuters (RT)
Tucker Carlson: 2024 Presidential Election Is Being Rigged (Kanekoa)
Tucker Carlson Says Does Not Think He Would Be Good Pick for Trump’s VP (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Optimus

 

 

 

 

80 years ago was WW2

80 years before that was the Civil War

80 years before that was the Revolution.

 

 

 

 

“..and containment of international pressure aimed at ending the war..”

Netanyahu: Israel Received Full US Support for Gaza Ground Operation (Sp.)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that the country received full US support for a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. “I really appreciate the US support for the destruction of Hamas and the return of our hostages. After intensive discussions with President [of the United States Joe] Biden and his people, we received full support for a ground entry [into the Gaza Strip] and containment of international pressure aimed at ending the war. Yes, there are disputes about the ‘day after Hamas,’ and I hope that we will come to an agreement here,” Netanyahu said in a video address posted on X (formerly known as Twitter). “I want to make my position clear — I will not allow Israel to repeat the mistake of Oslo. I will not allow that, after the enormous sacrifices among our citizens and soldiers, we allow those in the Gaza Strip who support terrorism, finance terrorism. Gaza will be neither Hamastan nor Fatahastan,” the PM added.

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Hmmm. Where do they get the bombs?

Israel Losing Support Over ‘Indiscriminate Bombing’ – Biden (RT)

US President Joe Biden warned that Israel risks losing international support if it continues its “indiscriminate” bombing campaign in Gaza at a campaign fundraiser in Washington, DC on Tuesday, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “change his government.” Biden offered some of his harshest criticisms of Israel to date, suggesting that its war against Hamas risked a loss of support among Washington’s allies. All of the other UN Security Council members except the UK (which abstained) had attempted to issue a resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza last week, which was vetoed by Washington. “Israel’s security can rest on the United States, but right now it has more than the United States. It has the European Union, it has Europe, it has most of the world… But they’re starting to lose that support by indiscriminate bombing that takes place,” Biden said.

He went on to cite a private discussion with Netanyahu in which Israel’s prime minister likened the Gaza conflict to the Second World War and observed that “a lot of civilians died” in Allied bombing raids. However, Biden said he rejected that comparison and told Netanyahu that “all these institutions were set up after World War II to see to it that it didn’t happen again.” Calling Netanyahu’s administration “the most conservative government in Israel’s history,” Biden said the prime minister must “change his government,” without elaborating, only adding that it had made long-term solutions “very difficult.” “We have an opportunity to begin to unite the region… and they still want to do it. But we have to make sure that [Netanyahu] understands that he’s got to make some moves… You cannot say no Palestinian state,” the president continued.

Although Israel has accepted the creation of a Palestinian state in principle in past negotiations, Netanyahu has long opposed the move. In a statement earlier on Tuesday, he insisted that he would never “repeat the mistake of Oslo,” referring to a 1993 peace deal which created a roadmap for a Palestinian state. Despite Biden’s more critical comments to donors, elsewhere he has continued to voice staunch support for Israel’s military operation. During a White House event to mark the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Monday, he told attendees “I am a Zionist” while reiterating Washington’s “unshakable” commitment to Israel’s security.

The president continues to urge lawmakers to approve a spending package which includes $14.3 billion in military aid for Israel, and recently bypassed a congressional review to fast-track the sale of $106.5 million in tank shells to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Israel began its assault on Gaza following a surprise attack by Hamas on October 7, which claimed the lives of some 1,200 Israelis and saw more than 240 people taken hostage. In retaliation, the IDF has pounded the Palestinian enclave with heavy airstrikes and launched a major ground invasion, killing more than 18,400 people so far, according to local officials.

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“..rumors that it needs Israel to finish Plan Gaza between Christmas and the start of January..”

BRICS and the Resistance Axis (Pepe Escobar)

At first, there were reasons to suspect that the bland condemnation of the genocide in Gaza by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was a sign of cowardice. Yet a renewed appraisal may reveal everything is evolving organically when it comes to the intersection of the Big Picture designed by the late Iranian Quds Force Commander General Qassem Soleimani with the meticulous micro-planning by Gaza’s Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, who knows the Israeli mentality inside out and considered in detail its devastating military response. Arguably, the most incandescent focus of detailed discussions in Moscow these past few days is that we may be approaching the point where “a signal” will unleash a concerted Axis of Resistance response.

For the moment, what we have are sporadic attacks: Hezbollah destroying Israel’s communication towers facing the southern Lebanon border, Iraq’s resistance forces attacking US bases in Iraq and Syria, and Yemen’s Ansarallah concretely blocking the Red Sea for Israeli ships. All that does not form a concerted, coordinated offensive – yet. And that would explain the desperation within the Biden administration in Washington, complete with rumors that it needs Israel to finish Plan Gaza between Christmas and the start of January. Not only have the global optics of the Gaza assault become horrifyingly unsustainable, but most of all, a lengthier military campaign dramatically raises the likelihood of a “signal” to the Axis of Resistance.

And that will result in the end of all the Hegemon’s elaborate plans for West Asia. The geopolitical goals of Zionism are quite clear: re-establish its self-constructed aura of dominance in West Asia and maintain steady control over US foreign policy and the military alliance. Depravity is a key component for accomplishing these goals. It’s so easy to bomb, shell, and burn ultra-soft civilian targets, including thousands of women and children, turning Gaza into a vast cemetery, while the White Man’s Burden Club urges Israeli occupation forces to kill them, of course, but more silently.

Cue to toxic Atlanticist and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen offering bribes, in person, to Egypt’s and Jordan’s leaders – $10 billion to Cairo and $5 billion to Amman – as confirmed with Brussels diplomats. That’s the mind-numbing EU solution to stopping the Gaza genocide. All Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah bin al-Hussein would need to do is to “facilitate” the forced exodus and Final Ethnic Cleansing of Gaza to their respective territories. Because the eschatological goal of Zionism remains an undiluted Final Solution, whatever happens in the battleground. And, of course, as the 7 October Hamas-led Al-Aqsa Flood operation suggests, to destroy Jerusalem’s Islamic Al-Aqsa Mosque and build a Jewish Third Temple on top of its ashes.

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“Nazi Germany [..] is documented to have killed 10,547,000 ethnic Slavics compared to 5,291,000 Jews..”

Germany’s Blind Support For Israel In Gaza (Cradle)

Since the 7 October Al-Aqsa Flood operation tore to shreds Israel’s security delusion, the west has rallied staunchly behind Tel Aviv, offering unwavering support across political, military, media, intelligence, and other domains. Amid this display of western unity, Germany has distinguished itself, standing prominently at the forefront of the EU as a fervent advocate for Israel and a solid opponent of any form of assistance to Palestinians, even the children among them. This, despite that the Israeli army has killed over 10,000 infants and children in Gaza since the start of its air and ground assault two months ago. Less than a week after Al-Aqsa Flood, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz offered up military aid toward Israel’s Gaza campaign, saying: “At this moment, there is only one place for Germany — the place at Israel’s side … Our own history, our responsibility arising from the Holocaust, makes it a perpetual task for us to stand up for the security of the State of Israel.”

According to Scholz and his ilk, Germany must constantly redeem itself by shielding the Jewish generations that followed World War II. But then why does Berlin not feel a similar obligation to protect the non-Jewish Slavic civilians, whose numbers killed by Nazi Germany equal those of the Jewish victims? The German “guilt complex” has manifested itself through annual payments exceeding $1 billion since the end of WWII in 1945. These reparations, totaling approximately $86.8 billion to Israel between 1945 and 2018, were recently extended until 2027. While these funds are ostensibly meant to compensate Jews for the horrors inflicted by Nazi Germany, a closer examination of the historical figures raises doubts about the coherence of the German narrative.

The enormous death toll of 17 million people at the hands of Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945 includes 6 million Jews and 5.7 million Soviet civilians. Yet other sources claim that the number of ethnic Slavic deaths far surpasses that of Jews. Shockingly, Nazi Germany, driven by radical ideological policies, is documented to have killed 10,547,000 ethnic Slavics compared to 5,291,000 Jews. If we look closer, we find that the majority of the Slav civilians killed were from Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, predominantly from Orthodox Christian backgrounds. Why, then, are they not receiving reparation payments out of a similar sense of German guilt, which weighs on the conscience of Germany’s leaders? This, in turn, raises questions about the true motivations behind supporting and financially aiding Israel – whether it is a principled stance as Berlin outwardly promotes, or merely a political maneuver.

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“Putin is banking on the United States failing to deliver for Ukraine,” he said. “We must prove him wrong.”

US Rapidly Coming To End Of Its Ability To Help Ukraine – Biden (TASS)

The US administration is about to exhaust its ability to help Ukraine unless the US Congress approves additional funding, US President Joe Biden said.”But without supplemental funding we are rapidly coming to an end of our ability to help Ukraine respond urgent operational demands that it has,” he said at a joint news conference after talks with his visiting Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky. The United States “will continue to supply Ukraine with critical weapons and equipment as long as we can,” he pledged, adding that earlier on Tuesday he approved $200 million-worth military assistance to Kiev, which included “critically needed equipment” such as air defense interceptors, artillery, and ammunition.

“Putin is banking on the United States failing to deliver for Ukraine,” he said. “We must prove him wrong.” The White House submitted to Congress in October a supplemental finding request for the 2024 fiscal year, which began in the US on October 1, primarily to help Israel and Ukraine, but also to contain China and Russia in the Asia Pacific regiion. In total, the executive branch, led by Democrat Biden, would like to have about $106 billion for these purposes.

The future of the request and alternative bills remains unclear. Several Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate have recently spoken out against continued financial aid to Kiev. House Speaker Mike Johnson repeatedly said that he intends to condition the provision of further aid to Ukraine to the tightening of the control over the US’ southern border. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell spoke in a similar way. On December 6, the bill on another large batch of aid to Ukraine and Israel, as well as on countering Russia and China in the Asia Pacific, failed a procedural vote in the Senate, despite Biden’s special address to the Congress, in which he called on the lawmakers to approve the spending before they break for the holiday recess.

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“..military officials are devising a new strategy to “create enough of a credible threat” forcing Moscow into “meaningful negotiations” at the end of 2024 or in 2025..”

Ukraine, US ‘Digging’ for New Strategy as Time and Money Run Out (Sp.)

With Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s arrival in Washington to plead for more aid, the US media is seemingly trying to assure their readers that not all is lost for the Kiev regime on the battlefield. The New York Times has hinted that American and Ukrainian military officials are devising a new strategy to “create enough of a credible threat” forcing Moscow into “meaningful negotiations” at the end of 2024 or in 2025. However, the two parties have yet to agree on the specific details that this strategy would entail. When evaluating the outcome of the failed Ukrainian counteroffensive, the newspaper pinned the blame on Kiev. It pointed out that the Ukrainians had divided up their forces between the eastern and southern fronts, rather than concentrating on retaking the southeastern coastline.

However, the media stated that the failure cannot solely be attributed to Ukraine not adhering to NATO’s strategic plan. The newspaper also recognized that American and Ukrainian strategists “did not initially realize” to what extent the Russians were strengthening their defenses. “Ukrainian troops training in Germany practiced breaking through defenses far less strong than what they would eventually face,” the report noted. Furthermore, Russia has demonstrated its expertise in employing diverse drone technologies and has effectively monitored the contact line, preventing Ukrainian forces from breaching its defenses. By the conclusion of 2023, Russia has bolstered its military presence, beefed up its arsenal, and obtained a significant advantage in terms of firepower, according to the report.

The only silver lining, in the eyes of the West, were Kiev’s missile attacks on Crimean infrastructure. However, even these actions failed to alter the overall power dynamics on the battlefield. Currently, the US military is urging their Ukrainian counterparts to embrace a strategy known as “hold and build.” This tactic entails reinforcing Ukraine’s military industrial capacity by digging in and making substantial improvements throughout 2024. Washington believes that this would “improve Ukraine self-sufficiency” and help it “repel any new drive” from Russia. The goal described by the media appears to be far more modest than what was declared by the West and Kiev before the Ukrainian counteroffensive disaster. Likewise, Washington’s funding for the effort would be more modest, too, the newspaper noted. Having forked out over $111 billion to Ukraine over the 21 months of the conflict, US lawmakers want to see “a new strategy” before they vote for any additional funds.

Furthermore, Ukrainian generals and senior civilian officials have “unrealistic expectations” about Washington’s capabilities, since the US simply does not have that amount of weapons that Kiev wants to be supplied with, according to the media. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has decided to dispatch Lt. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto Jr. on the ground “to work more directly” with the Ukrainian military leadership and bolster coordination with Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, the top American commander in Europe. International observers are taking the rhetoric coming from Ukrainian and American officials about a new “long-term” strategy of digging in or boosting Ukraine’s industrial capacity, with a grain of salt. Speaking to Sputnik on December 1, Russian military expert Ivan Konovalov wondered as to who would pay for Kiev’s plan to build new defenses along the contact line.

According to some estimates, Ukraine would have to strengthen at least 2,800 km (1,700 miles) to create a defense line. It would take at least eight to nine months to accomplish this feat, while its cost would be around $10 billion, per Russian military observers’ estimates. Given that Kiev is almost out of money and Republican lawmakers are hesitant to greenlight a new multi-billion package for Ukraine, the situation is hanging in the balance.

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“Ukraine (like the West, having broken all agreements with Russia) has nothing with which to negotiate.”

Ukraine on Brink of Coup as Zelensky Begs US for More Money (Sp.)

Nearly two years since the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict in February 2022, the regime in Kiev finds itself dependent on financial and military assistance from its Western sponsors. With Ukraine’s economy in tatters, the country’s leadership now struggles to find the money it desperately needs amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, as political powers in the United States and the EU become increasingly reluctant to waste their money on Kiev’s military escapades. Earlier, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Washington DC to plead before the US Congress for more military and financial help, essentially trying to convince the US legislators that spending another few tens of billions of dollars on satisfying Kiev’s war effort is a good idea.

While the fate of the next US package to Ukraine currently hangs in the balance amid the congressional debates between Democrats and Republicans, renowned political commentator and binary economist Prof. Rodney Shakespeare has suggested that “elements in the USA’s political structure” apparently hope to convince Ukraine to sue for peace by delaying this funding. Shakespeare, however, did not seem to think highly of this tactic, arguing that “Ukraine (like the West, having broken all agreements with Russia) has nothing with which to negotiate.” “Ukraine does not understand this and neither does the West. At present, both Ukraine and the West think that there is some sort of military stalemate. But there is NO stalemate – only the continuing and disastrous loss of Ukraine’s manhood (and now, apparently, even its pregnant womanhood),” he said, apparently referring to Kiev’s recent efforts to press-gang women into military service.

As the reality of the “disastrous situation” Ukraine currently finds itself in becomes apparent, “a coup in Kiev is becoming likely,” Shakespeare remarked. He added that the recent death of a top Ukrainian military officer who was killed by a grenade explosion while celebrating his birthday, as well as the poisoning of Ukraine’s spy chief’s wife, “all point in the same direction.” “Ukraine will stagger on for a little while but a coup and recognition of the disastrous military situation are likely to make irrelevant the terms for allocating (or not) new funds and make much more relevant the overall outcome of the war,” he said. Shakespeare also pointed out that in its current state, Ukraine “will soon collapse” if the flow of money from Kiev’s foreign sponsors were to cease.

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$200 million instead of $60 billion. “The latest $200 million in aid announced by Biden will come from the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA)..”

Biden Pledges $200 Million For Ukraine After Zelensky Meeting (RT)

US President Joe Biden has promised another $200 million in emergency military aid for Ukraine. He made the pledge during an Oval Office meeting with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Tuesday. The meeting comes after a bill intended to provide $60 billion in aid for Kiev was blocked in the US Senate last week, as Republicans demanded tougher immigration control on the southern US border in exchange for approving Ukraine assistance. Speaking to reporters after the Tuesday meeting, Biden insisted that Congress “pass the supplemental funding for Ukraine” before breaking for recess, adding that failure to do so would be “the greatest Christmas gift” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The decisions we make now are going to determine the future for decades to come, particularly in Europe,” Biden said. The latest $200 million in aid announced by Biden will come from the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), which allows the Biden administration to transfer weapons from US stocks without congressional approval in the event of an emergency. The package will include ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), high-speed anti-radiation missiles, anti-armor systems, artillery rounds, missiles, demolition munitions, 4 million rounds of small arms ammunition, generators and other equipment and spare parts, the Associated Press reported, citing US officials.

Earlier in the day, Zelensky met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to plead for more aid amid Kiev’s ongoing conflict with Russia. The Ukrainian leader met with House Speaker Mike Johnson, as well as a number of other senators. Posting on X (formerly Twitter), Zelensky said he’d had a “friendly and candid conversation” with senate leaders. Republican leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday, however, that it would be “practically impossible” for Congress to pass the supplemental funding package, which includes the stalled $60 billion for Kiev, before Christmas, saying it needed to be done as part of a broader package that includes changes to border security policy.

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“..if you want to secure your border first, you are actually a Putin puppet: He said this publicly today..”

Zelensky’s Visit ‘Disgraceful’ – Senator JD Vance (RT)

The visit by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to the US is an attempt to pressure Americans to give up their fight for border security and allow more funding for Kiev instead, Republican Senator James David Vance said on Tuesday. On Monday, Zelensky arrived in Washington, where he was scheduled to meet with US President Joe Biden, who is struggling to secure congressional approval for the new multibillion-dollar aid pledged to Kiev. Speaking to Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, the Ohio senator called Zelensky’s move to seek more funding “utterly disgraceful.” Vance added that the Ukrainian president is coming to the US “lecturing” Americans and “demanding” more of their taxpayer dollars.

He said Zelensky’s visit will end with an “undignified process” in which the Ukrainian leader will demand that US lawmakers sign off on further funding or be labeled “puppets” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. After arriving in Washington, the Ukrainian leader gave an address at the National Defense University of the US, claiming that the delays and scandals related to “unresolved issues on Capitol Hill” are inspiring the Kremlin. Commenting on this, Vance said that “if you want to secure your border first, you are actually a Putin puppet: He said this publicly today,” and added that he found it “disgraceful” and “grotesque.” Last week, a bill that was supposed to provide more than $110 billion for overseas security, including more than $60 billion for Kiev, was blocked in the Senate.

It came as Republicans demanded tougher immigration controls on the southern US border. On Tuesday, Zelensky was scheduled to meet with US President Joe Biden to discuss “the continuation of defense cooperation” between the states and their coordination of efforts in the coming year, according to his office. This all comes amid Ukraine’s six-month counteroffensive against Russia, which has failed to yield any significant results. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, since the beginning of June, Kiev’s troops have lost more than 125,000 military personnel and 6,000 pieces of heavy equipment.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that as Ukrainian leaders plead for more military aid from Western allies, draft-eligible men are trying to flee the country at a time when they are needed “more than bullets.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday reiterated that Moscow would prefer to achieve its goals in the Ukrainian conflict politically and diplomatically, noting that Russia is “still ready for negotiations.” He added that the possibility of reaching agreements has been disrupted by Kiev. Last October, Zelensky signed an official decree banning any negotiations with Russia under President Vladimir Putin.

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“There are not cemeteries, but entire burial fields. People on the frontline take such things to heart and they do not accept shades of gray..”

Ukrainian General Reveals Discord Among Frontline Troops (RT)

Ukrainian frontline troops are disgruntled with the way Kiev is handling the ongoing conflict with Russia, including the gaslighting it engages in via the national media, retired Gen. Sergey Krivonos warned on Monday. Soldiers wonder why they must shed blood on behalf of an uncaring government, he claimed. Krivonos is a critic of President Vladimir Zelensky, who sacked him from the National Security and Defense Council in late 2020 for allegedly not being a team player. The commander, who has since left the military, allegedly under pressure, blasted what he perceives to be a disconnect between the government and the military. He was interviewed by Priamyi, a TV channel that currently broadcasts only online that is historically associated with the country’s former president Pyotr Poroshenko.

The general said Kiev was “teasing the tiger” with its treatment of troops, who, he warned “may act quite harshly” in response. “There are not cemeteries, but entire burial fields. People on the frontline take such things to heart and they do not accept shades of gray. For them, there is either black or white,” he said. The Russian Defense Ministry has estimated Ukrainian losses between June and November at over 125,000 troops. Kiev does not report its casualties, but Western media say that they must be steep, judging by the rapidly expanding graveyards and other circumstantial evidence. Kiev is running out of career military and is struggling to conscript soldiers, since civilians “are less than eager to fight for a military and national government that is viewed as rife with corruption and incompetence,” the Washington Post reported last week.

Krivonos cited a recent announcement by the Ukrainian state-owned railway operator that seasonal trains would be on offer for people visiting ski resorts as an example of what irritates troops. He believes the country needs to go into total war mode and accused Zelensky of failing to do so due for fear of losing popularity. The Zelensky government has contributed to the problem by using the state-controlled “television marathon” – the only programming on the air – to gaslight the public, the general said. He called the content “one of the worst manipulations” of the Ukrainian people. Another problem is tolerance of graft, he alleged. People who empty their pockets buying overpriced eggs should not get farewell applause from MPs and disappear into the night, he said in a clear nod to Aleksey Reznikov. The former defense minister was sacked in September, months after a scandal erupted over the procurement of overpriced food for troops by his department. ‘Reznikov’s eggs’ reports became the subject of gallows humor in Ukrainian trenches.

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“..the US defense establishment increasingly physically resembles the numbers on the ledgers the accountants have been trying to balance – it just doesn’t add up.”

The Pentagon Is A Multitrillion-Dollar Fraud (Scott Ritter)

Recently, the Pentagon admitted it couldn’t account for trillions of dollars of US taxpayer money, having failed a massive yearly audit for the sixth year running. The process consisted of the 29 sub-audits of the DoD’s various services, and only seven passed this year – no improvement over the last. These audits only began taking place in 2017, meaning that the Pentagon has never successfully passed one. This year’s failure made some headlines, was commented upon briefly by the mainstream media, and then just as quickly forgotten by an American society accustomed to pouring money down the black hole of defense spending. The defense budget of the United States is grotesquely large, its $877 billion dwarfing the $849 billion spent by the next ten nations with the largest defense expenditures.

And yet, the Pentagon cannot fully account for the $3.8 trillion in assets and $4 trillion in liabilities it has accrued at US taxpayer expense, ostensibly in defense of the United States and its allies. As the Biden administration seeks $886 billion for next year’s defense budget (and Congress seems prepared to add an additional $80 billion to that amount), the apparent indifference of the American collective – government, media, and public – to how nearly $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars will be spent speaks volumes about the overall bankrupt nature of the American establishment. Audits, however, are an accountant’s trick, a series of numbers on a ledger which, for the average person, do not equate to reality. Americans have grown accustomed to seeing big numbers when it comes to defense spending, and as a result, we likewise expect big things from our military.

But the fact is, the US defense establishment increasingly physically resembles the numbers on the ledgers the accountants have been trying to balance – it just doesn’t add up. Despite spending some $2.3 trillion on a two-decade military misadventure in Afghanistan, the American people witnessed the ignominious retreat from that nation live on TV in August 2021. Likewise, a $758 billion investment in the 2003 invasion and subsequent decade-long occupation of Iraq went south when the US was compelled to withdraw in 2011– only to return in 2014 for another decade of chasing down ISIS, itself a manifestation of the failures of the original Iraqi venture. Overall, the US has spent more than $1.8 trillion on its 20-year nightmare in Iraq and Syria. These numbers are mind-numbingly large – so large that they become meaningless to the average person. The US defense enterprise is so massive that it is literally a mission impossible to speak of balancing the books.

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“Ethiopia will become a member of BRICS on Jan 1..”

BRICS Candidate Ethiopia Likely To Default – Reuters (RT)

Ethiopia will hold a call with its international bondholders later this week after the African nation failed to pay a $33 million bond coupon that was due on Monday, according to a senior finance ministry official, as quoted by Reuters. Last week, the finance ministry said the country’s efforts to renegotiate the bond terms before the deadline for the coupon payment had fallen through. The sides had reportedly disagreed over how long to extend the maturity and spread out repayments of its single $1 billion international bond maturing in December 2024 . After the grace period of 14 days expires, the East African nation is expected to become the latest emerging-market sovereign to default on its debt, unless Addis Ababa successfully restructures it in time.

Zambia, Ghana and Sri Lanka have defaulted on Eurobonds in recent years. Tunisia, Pakistan and Bolivia are also currently at risk, Bloomberg reported, citing bond market pricing. Ethiopia, which requested a debt overhaul under the G20 Common Framework in early 2021, had managed to service interest payments on its international bond until now. According to the statement issued by the Ethiopian finance ministry, the nation will seek a “broadly similar treatment” from bondholders. “It would be important to treat all our creditors equitably,” the ministry said. Meanwhile, State Minister of Fiscal Policy and Public Finance Eyob Tekalign Tolina told Reuters that the “authorities’ intention is to remain current on our obligations.”

According to Tolina, there will be a call with investors holding the international bond on Thursday. Ethiopia, which was severely hit by the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and a military conflict in its northern Tigray region, is currently struggling to pay its debts. The nation is also seeking a four-year loan from the International Monetary Fund. Ethiopia will become a member of BRICS on Jan 1. The invitation to join was approved in August and extended to Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The group currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

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X thread.

“..I’ve got a bunch of kids, and they have to live here…” “And I want them to live in a country with a functioning justice system and elections that are semi-real.”

Tucker Carlson: 2024 Presidential Election Is Being Rigged (Kanekoa)

.@TuckerCarlson talks about how the 2024 presidential election is being rigged by Biden’s bogus prosecution of Trump. “You are trying to take the front runner out of the race on bogus legal charges.” “You’re violating the rule of law. You’re mocking our sacred norms, and you’re doing it with the presidency at stake.” “To indict him on that at the same time that the sitting President did the same thing. And you’re expecting me to go along with it?” “The idea that you’re prosecuting a man with a felony charge for bringing home documents and not returning them to the national f**kin archives.”

“Are you serious? Is there a single high-level bureaucrat in Washington who doesn’t do that every single day?” “The second they indicted him on ridiculous charges and raided Mar-a-Lago and went through his wife’s underwear drawer and all of that s**t…” “That can’t stand because I have to live here and I’ve got a bunch of kids, and they have to live here…” “And I want them to live in a country with a functioning justice system and elections that are semi-real.” “And if we allow this to happen, none of that will come to pass.”

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“I know I can give good speeches. But there is much more to that. Would I be good at that? Probably not..”

Tucker Carlson Says Does Not Think He Would Be Good Pick for Trump’s VP (Sp.)

US media personality Tucker Carlson said Tuesday that he does not think he would be a good pick as the next US vice president if former US President Donald Trump wins the 2024 election. “I know I can give good speeches. But there is much more to that. Would I be good at that? Probably not,” Carlson said in a live broadcast on X Spaces, adding that he has never “done anything like that before.” As a main guest of the X Spaces conversation, Carlson also said he was concerned about the US judicial system, as it is trying to convict Trump to get rid of him from the presidential race. In mid-November, Trump said in an interview that he would consider picking Carlson as his running mate in the 2024 US presidential election because “he’s got great common sense.”

The US presidential election is scheduled for November 5, 2024. In a number of polls, Trump, who dominates the Republican primary race, maintains a narrow lead over incumbent US President Joe Biden. Trump was indicted by a grand jury in August on four charges connected to the January riot at the US Capitol. The former US president has pleaded not guilty. Trump’s trial is set to begin on March 4, 2024.

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First steps
https://twitter.com/i/status/1734644284526121079

 

 

Sand Tiger Shark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1734487380298715579

 

 

Gaboon Viper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1734502324536590734

 

 

Dogs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1734674483632542081

 

 

Xmas lights

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 102023
 
 October 10, 2023  Posted by at 8:07 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1896

 

Hamas’ Attack on Israel Is Puzzling (Paul Craig Roberts)
Will The Battle Of Gaza Strip Be Israel’s Iwo Jima? (Larry Johnson)
Race War Against The Palestinians Turns Into War Of The Worlds (Helmer)
Now We Have Your Attention (Craig Murray)
White House Hopes To Include Ukraine In Israel Aid (RT)
Military Operation ‘Will Take A Long Time’ – Israel (RT)
Moscow Blasts US Approach To Israel-Palestine Violence (RT)
US Has Enough Weapons For Israel, Ukraine And More – Pentagon (RT)
Hamas Using Weapons Given To Ukraine – Medvedev (RT)
Russia Throws Down the Nuclear Gauntlet (Scott Ritter)
RFK Jr Announces Independent Run for President (Sp.)
BIden Questioned In Classified Documents Probe (RT)
Investigations are Exposing the Bidens’ Influence-Peddling Dynasty (Turley)
Here We Go Loop-de-Loop (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

Editorial board of Haaretz, Israel’s leading newspaper

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other Palestinians

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“In the US no one was held accountable for the security failures on September 11, which should have told us a lot. Not knowing, we can but speculate. We have a motive. Israel can now steal the rest of Palestine.”

Hamas’ Attack on Israel Is Puzzling (Paul Craig Roberts)

I am being asked about the Israeli-Palestine conflict, which seems to be taking attention away from the Ukraine-Russia conflict. People, by which I mean people who pay attention, are wondering why the Palestinians would attack Israel like this as it provides Netanyahu with an excuse to grab the remaining bits of Palestine and destroy the Gaza strip, thus disposing of the two-state solution by conquest. Who can blame Israel after Palestinians killed Israelis and took hostages? I have heard the official explanation of Palestinian perfidy, but I don’t have an explanation for the attack. It seems it would have to be more than perfidy. I do agree with readers that it seems a curious thing for Hamas to do as it plays into Israel’s hands. I also agree that there is something else strange about the attack. How did drones and so many rockets, allegedly from Iran, and some say Ukraine, get into the Gaza strip, and how did the Hamas attackers get into Israel?

The Hamas attack has something of 9/11’s flavor. Just as every aspect of the US National Security State failed simultaneously on September 11, 2001, Israel’s security system, including the Iron Dome the US constructed for Israel, simultaneously failed. Mysteriously, the Hamas fighters entered Israel on the ground and through the air and on the sea without being detected. Mysteriously, large quantities of weapons entered Palestine through Israel without being detected. This is too much convenient failure to be believable. It will be interesting to see if anyone in Israel is held accountable for the total security failure. In the US no one was held accountable for the security failures on September 11, which should have told us a lot. Not knowing, we can but speculate. We have a motive. Israel can now steal the rest of Palestine.

Another motive might be that Israel can expand the conflict into a wider war and succeed this time in grabbing the water resources of southern Lebanon. It could even get nastier with Israeli moves against Syria and Iran. Oil prices could go sky high causing world disruption. A victorious war and the end of the Palestinian problem would free Netanyahu from his legal and political problems. There is a lot to think about. But let’s move on to the security failure that made the attack possible. Why would Netanyahu enable Hamas to attack Israel by standing down Israel security? It seems a nonsensical suggestion, but isn’t as it creates the conditions in which Israel can absorb all that remains of Palestine, just as 9/11 created the conditions for the neoconservatives to launch the wars they had planned in the Middle East.

The difficult question is why would the Palestinians bring on their own destruction by attacking Israel when Hamas has no prospect of defeating Israel? Again, we can only speculate. It could be an Israeli operation from start to finish. Israel infiltrates Hamas, just as the FBI infiltrates Trump supporters and patriotic groups now called domestic terrorists. The Israeli agents play up Israel’s abuse of the Palestinians. Netanyahu helps them along by blowing up the sacred Mosque. The agents come up with an attack plan made possible with weapons from Iran and devices from Iran to jam Israeli security. They go about this carefully, relying on the decades of anger and hurt and the prospect of release from impotence to crowd out Hamas’ reason. I don’t say these speculations suffice as the explanation. But I would not be surprised if these speculations, if investigated, would prove to be closer to the truth than whatever official narrative emerges.

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“..this battle would likely endure for at least four months — perhaps longer. And Israel will suffer massive casualties..”

Will The Battle Of Gaza Strip Be Israel’s Iwo Jima? (Larry Johnson)

The Gaza Strip is the home base of Hamas, but there is not a single specific location in Gaza that can be targeted and destroyed in order to bring an end to Hamas. I believe that Israel is dangerously over confident in its bellicose declarations that it will wipe Hamas off the face of the earth. Short of using nukes, Israel will have to send its ground forces into the strip and fight house to house battles. I think many of Israel’s supporters labor under the delusions that Gaza is a small area that can be easily dealt with. It is not. Let me put this into perspective. The Gaza Strip is 141 square miles in size. Let’s compare it to Iwo Jima — that tiny island is almost 9 square miles. Unlike Iwo Jima — a small island — the Gaza Strip borders Egypt, which means it has a supply route that Israel cannot close unless Israel decides to go to war with Egypt as well.

Why do I bring up Iwo Jima? Because the Gaza Strip is ripe with tunnels and bunkers designed to protect Hamas fighters from aerial bombardment. Just as the United States Navy decimated the surface of Iwo Jima, Israel can flatten the dwellings and office buildings crowded into Gaza. But the U.S. Navy failed to destroy the Japanese force hiding below the surface with the naval fusillade. The U.S. Marine Corps had to land on the beaches and fight a bloody month long battle to clear the island. I think Israel is looking at the equivalent of fighting the Battle of Iwo Jima in the Gaza Strip. Only instead of a month long effort, this battle would likely endure for at least four months — perhaps longer. And Israel will suffer massive casualties. I believe the length of the battle hinges on two critical factors: 1) The ability of Hamas to get resupplied from Egypt with food, weapons and ammunition and 2) The skill and tenacity of Hamas in using anti-tank guided missiles and light artillery effective at short range.

If Hamas replicates the tactics Hezbollah employed against Israel in its 2006 incursion into Southern Lebanon then Israel’s chances of prevailing quickly are slim. Israel’s strategic position will be further complicated if Hezbollah decides to enter the fray in a significant way. Fighting a two front war over an extended period of time will sap Israeli resources. The problem this presents is that Israel’s traditional supplier of weapons and ammunition — the United States — is running on fumes having depleted its stores in order to support Ukraine. Let me give you some other urban combat battles that might provide some historical lessons for the campaign Israel is about to undertake — the Battle of Fallujah, the Battle of Hue City, the Nazi attack on the Jewish uprising in Warsaw. That should get the discussion going.

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“..the final Jewish solution to remove the Arabs from the territory according to the Basic Law, ratified by the Israeli Supreme Court in 2021, which legalizes the takeover of Palestinian territory as a “natural” Jewish right.”

Race War Against The Palestinians Turns Into War Of The Worlds (Helmer)

Between August 18 and September 1, the Soviet aircraft carrier Moskva passed through the Turkish Straits and into the Mediterranean, accompanied by two guided-missile destroyers. Over the next seven days the Soviet Navy gathered almost seventy surface ships – with uncounted submarines – and deployed between the Greek island of Crete and the point on the Libyan coastline where the Libyan and Egyptian border ran into the sea. That was fifty-four years ago in 1969. Ostensibly, the Soviet operation was to screen an amphibious troop landing exercise of Soviet, Egyptian and Syrian troops. In fact, the naval screen protected Libyan Army Captain Muammar Qaddafi and a dozen junior officer associates when, on September 1, 1969, they successfully toppled the regime of Libyan King Idris and ended US occupation and control of Libya through the Wheelus Air Force Base.

Can the Palestinian operation, Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, which Hamas forces commenced on Saturday morning, continue for long enough to engage the Arab state militaries, the Iranian, US and Russian forces, to turn into a new war of the worlds, as the US and NATO war against Russia is on the Ukrainian battlefield? Will the US force, including the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford and its five cruiser and destroyer escorts, screen Israel as it orders emergency resupply of US arms and ammunition? Will it attempt to blockade the Arab coast – Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Egypt – to prevent resupply convoys from Turkey or Iran aiding the Palestinians? “This is the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation and the last apartheid regime of earth,” the Hamas military commander, Mohammed Deif, has declared.

Is this the final Israeli war of “mighty vengeance”, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared, forcing all Palestinians in Gaza “to leave now”, and in the phrase of the spokesman of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), “end the Gaza enclave”? Is this the final Jewish solution to remove the Arabs from the territory according to the Basic Law, ratified by the Israeli Supreme Court in 2021, which legalizes the takeover of Palestinian territory as a “natural” Jewish right. “The State of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish People,” the constitution enacted in 2018 by the Knesset declares, “in which it realizes its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination. The exercise of the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People”; and “the State views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value, and shall act to encourage and promote its establishment and strengthening.” Is this race war — is it now the war of the worlds?

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“I am sorry even for the deaths of individual Israeli soldiers, and more so for all the innocents who died and are now dying. But I will not condemn Hamas.”

Now We Have Your Attention (Craig Murray)

There have been decades of photos of dead Palestinian women and children, and kids being beaten, humilated and imprisoned by Israeli soldiers. The historic killing rate in this “conflict” has been fairly consistent at about 40:1. None of this ever caused more than a raised eyebrow and a mild tut-tut from the western “liberal” Establishment. I can’t recall camera crews ever pursuing any zionist politicians down the street demanding that they use the word “condemn” of the latest Israeli atrocity. The paroxysm of hatred in the political and media class, unleashed by a single day of the boot being on the other foot is instructive. It is particularly instructive in their near complete unanimity – what percentage of the discussion on broadcast TV or radio have you heard this last 48 hours given over to Palestinian or pro-Palestinian voices?

Yet it is very plain from social media that the public is by no means as unanimous in their support of Israel as are the political and media class. But then the public are not bought and paid for. Asymmetric warfare tends to be vile. Oppressed and colonised peoples don’t have the luxury of lining up soldiers in neatly pressed uniforms and polished boots, to face off against the opposing army in an equality of arms. A colonised and oppressed people tends, given the chance, to mirror the atrocities perpetrated on them by their oppressor. This of course feeds in, always, to the propaganda of the Imperialist. A paroxysm of resistance by the oppressed always ends up portrayed by the Imperialist as evidence of the bestiality of the colonised people and in itself justifying the “civilising mission” of the coloniser.

Thus the “Indian Mutiny” became a Victorian tale of rape and murder of British women and of the Black Hole of Calcutta. Thus the Mau Mau were evil butchers, and the IRA were terrorists, which is the modern term of art for those resisting evil and foreign rule. The Israeli Ambassador to the UN yesterday described the Hamas fighters as “animal like”. This of course is not true. They are people, but people who have been crazed by unbearable levels of injustice and oppression. I am extremely sorry for all those who die, as in all wars. I am sorry even for the deaths of individual Israeli soldiers, and more so for all the innocents who died and are now dying. But I will not condemn Hamas.

For this I do not even need to delve into the backstory of Hamas’ initial sponsoring by Israel to split Fatah. They have grown well past that. I do not condemn Hamas because the resistance of the Palestinian people is a reflex response to their slow genocide. Yes it is an inchoate and violent response. Of course I wish it did not have innocent victims. The people I do condemn are the political class internationally who, with one voice, put out statements supporting “Israel’s right to self-defence”. A right they grant to the oppressor but deny to the oppressed. Those are the people who need to be condemned.

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“..one anonymous official told the Post that the move would be wise because it “jams the far right”..

White House Hopes To Include Ukraine In Israel Aid (RT)

Top White House officials are considering whether to include more Ukraine funding in an emergency aid package for Israel, multiple news outlets reported. One staffer suggested the move would force “far right” lawmakers to authorize additional aid for Kiev. Though President Joe Biden already announced that military assistance was “on its way” to Israel following a surprise attack by Palestinian militants over the weekend, the White House has signaled that it would soon ask Congress to approve additional aid for the Jewish state. Lawmakers in both parties and senior administration officials have hinted that the aid package could also include provisions for Ukraine, unnamed sources told the Washington Post, NBC News and other outlets on Monday.

Though no final decision has been made, one anonymous official told the Post that the move would be wise because it “jams the far right”– referring to Republicans who vocally support Israel but are skeptical of continued aid to Ukraine. White House spokesman John Kirby, meanwhile, declined to say whether the two aid packages would be linked, only stating “We believe both are important.” While debate over the aid is likely to be contentious, the Pentagon has assured that it has plenty of weapons for all US partners. During a background briefing on Monday, a senior defense official told reporters that Washington could “continue our support both to Ukraine, Israel, and maintain our own global readiness,” noting that the US has been able to meet “every request that our Israeli counterparts have made.”

Israel is among the largest recipients of US foreign aid, taking in some $3.3 billion in American tax dollars in 2022 alone – a comparable amount to previous years – according to US government statistics. Since the conflict with Russia escalated in February 2022, Ukraine has also become a major beneficiary, with the White House approving at least $45 billion in direct military aid through 47 separate transfers. Both Republicans and Democrats have largely voiced support for Israel after the deadly Hamas attack early on Saturday morning, which has prompted harsh retaliation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and an intense bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip. More than 1,500 people have been killed on both sides of the conflict so far, while Palestinian fighters claim to have captured over 100 Israeli and foreign hostages during their raids.

Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have evacuated their homes due to the violent flare-up, while the IDF has called on 300,000 reservists as it mobilizes for a larger conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that his country was in a state of “war” as the attack unfolded, and said on Monday that the military response was “just getting started.”

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“What was in the past will not be in the future.”

Military Operation ‘Will Take A Long Time’ – Israel (RT)

Israel will “never forgive” this weekend’s attack by Hamas and will take “a long time” to deal with the terrorist threat, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said on Monday. “It will take time. It will not take a few days. It will take a long time,” Cohen said during a video-link press conference from his office in Jerusalem, adding that such “inhuman terrorists” and “monsters” cannot be allowed to threaten Israel, the region and the world. Cohen called Hamas “the proxy of Iran” and accused the militant Palestinian group of carrying out “a historical massacre that the world will not forget.” According to Israeli authorities, more than 700 of their citizens have been killed since Saturday, when Hamas launched a rocket barrage against Israel and its militants crossed from Gaza into the surrounding Jewish settlements. “Israel will never forgive,” Cohen insisted. “What was in the past will not be in the future.”

Cohen also echoed the words of PM Benjamin Netanyahu that “Israel is at war” against Hamas, which he called a “vicious terror organization,” and vowed that Israel will “regain control, and win back security and stability.” The foreign minister claimed that Hamas only wants to “murder as much as they can” and that there was no land dispute between Israel and Gaza, because “we gave the Palestinians Gaza to the last millimeter.” As part of the 2005 “disengagement,” Israel paid some 8,000 Jewish settlers to dismantle 21 of their settlements in the Gaza Strip, which was then handed over to the Palestinian Authority. Israel remained in control of the sea, airspace, and all the utilities. In 2007, Hamas ousted the Fatah faction of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and became the de facto government in the territory. The UN still considers Gaza to be under Israeli military occupation.

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“Russia considers a two-state solution, as outlined in resolutions by the UN Security Council, to be the only viable way towards stability, but neither Israel nor Washington appear committed to it, Lavrov noted.”

Moscow Blasts US Approach To Israel-Palestine Violence (RT)

Moscow is deeply concerned at last weekend’s surge in violence between Israel and the Palestinian militant movement Hamas, but finds the US approach to the crisis problematic, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. Washington’s position is questionable “because they say: stop it all immediately, Israel must win, destroy the terrorists, and that’s it,” the top diplomat said on Monday. There were many escalations in this long-running conflict, “and never after the situation calmed down were the necessary efforts to remove the main cause undermining stability in the Middle East undertaken,” he added, referring to the fact that Palestinians don’t have a nation state. Russia considers a two-state solution, as outlined in resolutions by the UN Security Council, to be the only viable way towards stability, but neither Israel nor Washington appear committed to it, Lavrov noted.

Quashing extremism without creating a viable Palestinian state cannot bring peace, he said. Instead “the Americans are trying to monopolize mediation efforts” and focus attention on security problems, which are genuine, and discussions of how daily conditions may be improved for Palestinians, according to the Russian minister. Lavrov reiterated that Russia considered violence directed at civilians unacceptable, regardless of which side perpetrated it. He condemned the practice of taking hostages, as Hamas fighters had during their incursion from Gaza into southern Israel on Saturday. Of particular concern for Moscow is the threat that Russian citizens living in Israel face amid the escalation, the diplomat added, offering assistance to those who may seek evacuation from the country.

The minister made the remarks during a joint press conference in Moscow with Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit. He said the organization has recently achieved progress in reducing tensions between various players in the Middle East and was in a position to play a “definitive role in the complex improvement of the regional situation,” including in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Moscow will back the League’s effort, Lavrov pledged. Washington has declared its full support for Israel in the hostilities with Hamas and sought to make members of the UN Security Council condemn the group during an emergency session on Sunday. Many Arab nations stated that Israel was at least partially responsible for the violence, due to its treatment of Palestinians. Consecutive Israeli governments have been expanding Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law. The Gaza enclave, the domain of Hamas, has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.

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Yeah yeah.

US Has Enough Weapons For Israel, Ukraine And More – Pentagon (RT)

Washington can meet all of West Jerusalem’s requests for weapons, equipment and ammunition while continuing to support Kiev, a Pentagon spokeswoman told reporters on Monday. “We are able to continue our support both to Ukraine, Israel, and maintain our own global readiness,” a senior Defense Department official said in a background briefing. “While we are providing and will continue to provide a significant amount of support to Ukraine, we are careful about ensuring we can also respond to other crises and contingencies, support other partners and maintain our own military readiness and our ability to support others,” the official later added.

The US has been able to meet “every every request that our Israeli counterparts have made” and anticipate to see “continual delivery” on some of those requests, the official also said. While declining into specifics, the spokesperson said this does apply to ‘Iron Dome’ systems and other air defenses. The Pentagon is “working as fast as possible” to expedite the delivery of “critically needed” ammunition and equipment, as well as contacting military contractors to expedite pending Israeli orders. When reporters voiced concerns about how the US weapons might be used, the Pentagon official said there were “robust end-use monitoring practices and procedures” in place, and that the US was “in constant dialogue with the Israelis about their operational plans.”

US cargo planes have already begun landing in Israel, even as the government in West Jerusalem announced a “total siege” of Gaza in reprisal for Hamas incursions that began on Saturday. The conflict, which began on Saturday, is the bloodiest that Israel has seen since 1973. The Pentagon has described the deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean as “an unequivocal demonstration in deed and not only in words of US support for Israel’s defense.” The carrier is supposed to “serve as a deterrent signal to Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah, and any other proxy across the region who might be considering exploiting the current situation to escalate conflict,” the official said.

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Too late to start tracking them now. That was the plan?!

Hamas Using Weapons Given To Ukraine – Medvedev (RT)

The weapons Kiev’s Western backers have actively supplied to Ukraine have found their way to Hamas militants and are now “being actively used in Israel,”former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said in a Telegram post on Monday, adding that any future military hardware supplied to Kiev could end up on the black market as well. “It will only get worse from here,”Medvedev warned, predicting that the world should “expect missiles, tanks, and even planes from Kiev on the black market soon.” His words came amid rumors that Hamas militants that control the Gaza Strip had gotten their hands on some US-made weaponry before their attack on Israel over the weekend. No solid evidence confirming these claims has emerged so far.

However, an unverified video circulating online showed a Palestinian militant displaying assorted US-made pieces, including a standard-issue M136 anti-tank grenade launcher, while thanking Ukrainians for the weapons. According to Medvedev, “corrupt authorities” in Ukraine would not hesitate to trade everything they had received from their backers. “They would steal everything in sight,” the former president claimed, adding that the Western weapons sent to Ukraine would soon fuel conflicts in other parts of the world, just like the trove of weapons the Americans left in Afghanistan during their hasty withdrawal from the country in 2021. The aforementioned video has already sparked concerns in the US, with Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene saying on Sunday that its origins must be investigated.

The congresswoman also claimed on X, formerly known as Twitter, that some of the arms used by the militants might have come from Ukraine or Afghanistan. Washington has been Kiev’s biggest supplier of military aid since the onset of its conflict with Moscow. The US has poured a total of $46.6 billion into military assistance to Ukraine, including direct weapons and ammunition shipments, as well as grants and loans for weapons and equipment. Kiev has repeatedly faced accusations of misusing or selling off the weaponry, which it has vehemently denied. On Monday, the Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) blamed the rumors about weapons supposedly coming from Ukraine to Hamas on Russia.

Moscow was allegedly waging a “discreditation” campaign against Ukraine in the Middle East, GUR claimed in a Facebook post, adding that the weapons that ended up in the hands of Hamas were “trophy weapons” captured by Russian forces from Ukrainian troops. Russia has not commented on these claims so far. The news came amid the latest escalation between Hamas and Israel, which began last Saturday when the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack on multiple locations along the Gaza border. Israeli officials have estimated that more than 700 people have been killed in the Hamas assault and over 2,200 have been injured.

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“..no matter where it comes from—from any point of the world ocean or from any territory—such a number, so many hundreds of our missiles appear in the air in a retaliatory strike that there is no chance of survival..”

“Russia won’t be the first to resume testing of nuclear weapons. But if the United States were to go down that path, then Russia would respond immediately..”

“If the United States were to resume a nuclear arms race by returning to nuclear testing, Russia would begin such a race with an insurmountable lead in nuclear delivery systems. Game, set, match—Russia.”

Russia Throws Down the Nuclear Gauntlet (Scott Ritter)

In the audience at the Valdai Discussion Club was Sergei Karaganov, a well-known Russian political scientist who, in an article titled “A Difficult but Necessary Decision,” published on June 13, 2023, in the journal Russia in Global Affairs, articulated in favor of Russia moving away from a nuclear posture based upon assured nuclear retaliation to one that favored pre-emption. “We will have to make nuclear deterrence a convincing argument again,” Karaganov wrote, “by lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons set unacceptably high, and by rapidly but prudently moving up the deterrence-escalation ladder.” According to Karaganov, “If we correctly build a strategy of intimidation and deterrence and even use of nuclear weapons, the risk of a ‘retaliatory’ nuclear or any other strike on our territory can be reduced to an absolute minimum.

Only a madman,” Karaganov argued, “who, above all, hates America, will have the guts to strike back in ‘defense’ of Europeans, thus putting his own country at risk and sacrificing conditional Boston for conditional Poznan.” If such a madman did, in fact exist, then, Karaganov noted, “we will have to hit a bunch of targets in a number of countries in order to bring those who have lost their mind to reason. Morally, this is a terrible choice as we will use God’s weapon, thus dooming ourselves to grave spiritual losses. But if we do not do this, not only Russia can die, but most likely the entire human civilization will cease to exist.” President Putin, using the prerogative that is accrued through his position, called on Karaganov to ask a question. This was no accident, given the outcry that had followed the publication of Karaganov’s article, which led to much speculation that Putin was considering adopting a nuclear posture along the lines proposed by Karaganov.

The Russan academic did not disappoint, asking the Russian President whether it was not time for Russia to change its approach to nuclear arms and restore its deterrent strength in the eyes of Western elites who repeat endlessly that Russia is weak. It was a trap. “I have read your article,” Putin responded, before laying out a detailed answer that made it clear to all who listened that the Russian president did not agree with Karaganov’s thesis. “From the moment the launch of missiles is detected,” Putin said, “no matter where it comes from—from any point of the world ocean or from any territory—such a number, so many hundreds of our missiles appear in the air in a retaliatory strike that there is no chance of survival there will be no single enemy left, and in several directions at once.” Putin urged America to understand that any threats against Russia are “absolutely unacceptable for any potential aggressor.”In short, President Putin was reinvigorating the Cold War-era nuclear posture of mutually assured destruction as Russia’s go-to nuclear doctrine.

Moreover, Putin noted, Russia would launch a nuclear attack against any country or countries that threaten its continued existence as a sovereign state, regardless of whether the threat posed is by nuclear arms or conventional arms. Since there is no such existential threat to Russia today, the Russian President concluded, there is no reason to threaten the use of nuclear arms. However, Putin said, there was one aspect of Russian nuclear policy that could, and indeed should, be changed—Russia’s ratification of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The United States, Putin noted, had signed the treaty, but had never ratified it. Given Russia’s modernization of its nuclear arsenal, which included, in addition to the Burevestnik cruise missile, the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, the Poseidon nuclear torpedo, and hypersonic delivery vehicles, many in the Russian military were demanding that Russia resume nuclear testing to be sure that the new cutting-edge strategic weapons systems that constitute the heart of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces perform as intended.

Putin observed that this very same question had been discussed in the United States by its military officials, who were, de jure, unrestrained by a treaty that had not been ratified, and as such never entered into force. Thus, the big news out of the Valdai Discussion Club isn’t a new Russian missile or nuclear posture. The big news is that the Russian president will be sending a bill to the Russian Duma that would revoke Russia’s ratification of the test ban treaty. Russia won’t be the first to resume testing of nuclear weapons. But if the United States were to go down that path, then Russia would respond immediately. The important point here is that any US testing would be done in support of either legacy nuclear weapons that are in dire need of being replaced, or future nuclear weapons which have yet to be developed and fielded.

Russia, as Putin underscored, has already modernized its nuclear force. If the United States were to resume a nuclear arms race by returning to nuclear testing, Russia would begin such a race with an insurmountable lead in nuclear delivery systems. Game, set, match—Russia.

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“..in an era where figures on all sides of the ideological spectrum have found success running against establishment politics..”

RFK Jr Announces Independent Run for President (Sp.)

The unorthodox political figure declared he is running as an independent candidate Monday morning in a speech that called for national renewal via a rejection of America’s political order. “We declare independence from the two political parties and the corrupt interests that dominate them and the entire rigged system… that have turned government officials into indentured servants for their corporate bosses.” It’s a statement that could have come from Bernie Sanders or, if not for the vaguely anti-capitalist rhetoric, perhaps Donald Trump. But in an era where figures on all sides of the ideological spectrum have found success running against establishment politics, it instead came from activist and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Kennedy has made his name in public life as a highly idiosyncratic figure. After a brief stint as an assistant district attorney in New York City, he drifted towards environmental activism. Followers of online anti-vaccine discourse may know him for his prominent activism around that issue, which critics say trends towards conspiracy theory. On Monday, the heir to the influential Kennedy political brand cast himself as a champion of those estranged from US politics over a wide array of issues. “Most of us agree that we should take care of our veterans,” said Kennedy. “Most of us agree that we should seek peace abroad instead of war. We all agree that teachers should receive decent salaries and respect. We all agree that housing should be affordable and corporations should pay their fair share.”

“And yet these universal yearnings stand alongside a broad agreement that our country has lost its way.” Kennedy seems to believe the political party of his father and uncle has lost its way as well. Since first announcing his presidential bid under the Democratic banner half a year ago, Kennedy registered as high as 20% in voter intention surveys for the party’s primary. But party figures, fearing his candidacy would weaken presumptive nominee President Joe Biden, strongly rejected him. Spurned by liberal media, Kennedy instead turned to independent online outlets, as well as Fox News. In the process Kennedy gained a following among political conservatives, to the extent that Republicans now seem most fearful of the candidate’s spoiler potential.

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That concludes the investigation?!

Unlike in Trump’s case, there are zero legal reasons why Biden would have classified docs at home. Pretty simple.

It takes impressive legal gymnastics to accuse a president and leave a vice-president alone for the same thing.

Biden Questioned In Classified Documents Probe (RT)

sUS President Joe Biden met with federal investigators multiple times in recent days, as the Justice Department seeks to determine how classified documents wound up in Biden’s home and personal office without proper approval. The president sat down with special counsel Robert Hur to discuss the documents case on Sunday and Monday, the White House confirmed, noting that the interviews had “concluded” and were strictly “voluntary.” “As we have said from the beginning, the president and the White House are cooperating with this investigation, and as it has been appropriate, we have provided relevant updates publicly,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement, vowing to be “as transparent as we can” while preserving “the integrity of the investigation.”

The Justice Department launched the documents probe last November, after the president’s lawyers reported that a trove of secret files had been found in one of Biden’s private offices. Additional material was later turned up at Biden’s Delaware home, and in January Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hur to lead an investigation into “the possible unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents.” Hur has reportedly questioned Biden’s “closest aides and advisers” as part of a “quiet inquiry” over the last nine months, including top officials such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, according to the New York Times.

Investigators have worked to determine the chain of custody for the sensitive documents, and whether Biden’s team “adhered to security protocols in handling and packing up official documents and private notes from his vice presidency,” the outlet added. Until Monday, it was unclear whether the president would submit for an in-person interview, with the White House declining to comment on the matter previously. Hur’s team has similarly offered few details about the investigation to the public. The Biden probe coincided with another major classified documents case involving former President Donald Trump, who was indicted on 37 felony counts linked to the alleged mishandling of secret files in June. Federal agents previously raided the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and turned up a large number of classified papers, though Trump maintains he was authorized to possess the documents and denies any wrongdoing.

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“The Bidens had only one family business. They did not make furniture or sell groceries. They sold influence and, as Biden associate Devon Archer explained, Joe was their “brand.”

Investigations are Exposing the Bidens’ Influence-Peddling Dynasty (Turley)

There is a sharp disconnect between the public persona long maintained by the press and what is becoming more apparent to the public now. Although the image of a “unifier-in-chief” quickly collapsed, the most lasting portrayal is that Joe Biden cares. Unlike Trump, he is portrayed as acting not out of greed, but an overwhelming desire to do good. In a typical article, a contributor to Forbes gushed about “How Empathy Defines Joe Biden.” The article explained that “Biden feels empathetic because that is who he is.” That is not the image that emerges from the growing evidence about Biden and his family. The Bidens are suffering from legal exposure in actions concerning everything from withholding child support to peddling influence to federal felonies.

The investigations and inquiries often turn on questions of intent for actions taken by Biden family members, including the president himself. The motive is often all too apparent. Hunter Biden left a long trail of emails and texts seeking millions in exchange for access to his father. He is shown in messages invoking his father’s power, threatening foreign figures to send him money. In one message, he allegedly makes a demand for an immediate transfer of cash from a Chinese businessman by saying that his father is sitting next to him to make sure the payment comes through. Hunter Biden was burning through a fortune on drugs, prostitutes and high living. There were many eager to have the son of the vice president dependent on their largesse. While Hunter is often portrayed as a human wreck, salvaged by influence-seekers, his uncles generated their own controversies.

James has been a well-known figure among alleged influence peddlers for years in cashing in on access to his brother, Joe. Joe’s younger brother, Frank, has also been long identified as involved in the family influence peddling. Like Hunter, Frank appears to have been in dire financial straits due to his careening lifestyle and lack of any appreciable skills. Frank’s need for money was not only great but known to his brother. In 1999, at age 43, Frank was involved in a car crash in Cardiff-by-the-Sea near Encinitas, California. He was accused of responsibility for the death of single father Michael Albano and then of evading service and responsibility in lawsuits by Albano’s surviving children. He only recently began paying what he owes. [..] The Bidens had only one family business. They did not make furniture or sell groceries. They sold influence and, as Biden associate Devon Archer explained, Joe was their “brand.” As these investigations and prosecutions continue, the public may conclude that it is not empathy but avarice that defines the Bidens.

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“Reality is finally asserting its rugged old self to say that our country is as broke as broke can be..”

Here We Go Loop-de-Loop (Jim Kunstler)

I’m confident that Congress will sort out this new Speaker business in short order, now that the world appears to light up. But what of its current projects? For instance, the inquiry into the darkish business ventures of the Biden Family, Inc., and what to do about it? That look-see is tending toward a picture that shows an appalling connection between the Bidens’ lustful chasing of global main chances and the horrifying demolition of Ukraine currently ongoing. If it’s not already obvious to a majority of USA adults that “Joe Biden,” the cats-paw in the White House, must go, it will be in a matter of weeks as the bank records step into the spotlight and speak for themselves.

Are you ready for President Kamala and government-by-word-salad? E.g.: “It’s very important, as you’ve heard from so many incredible leaders, for us at every moment in time, and certainly this one, to seize the moment of time in which we exist, in our present, and be able to contextualize it, understand where we exist in history and in the moment as it relates not only to the past but the future,” she said. Doctoral dissertations will be penned explicating that mouthful for years to come (where and whenever those years might be located on time’s mystifying spectrum).

As for Congress and its grim duties, there is also the matter of the current laughable budget resolution running out again just before Thanksgiving. Work to do! The USA is in such a desperate debt and bond issuance dilemma that it’s like a trapped wild animal faced with having to chew off its own leg to escape death. And the cause of that dilemma is our legislature’s failure to control the nation’s spending. As America’s Venerable Bede, Sen. Everett Dirksen (d. 1969) used to say: “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” Well, that game is drawing to a close. Reality is finally asserting its rugged old self to say that our country is as broke as broke can be and there has to be a painful adjustment. It will be presented as a Hobson’s choice: you can have no money… or you can have plenty of money that’s worthless. What’s it gonna be?

I’d guess that the new Speaker will have to be Mr. Jordan of Ohio, because at this time Congress badly needs to be led by someone who at least appears to be muscular and confident. One has to wonder, though, that even muscles and confidence might not be enough in the current situation — that moment of time in which we exist, as the Veep put it so well. And yet, so many things are happening at once that it feels like someone up there is monkeying with time itself. Or perhaps a giant blob has gummed up its wheels. But, really, I must ask: are you not a little tired of being a country that doesn’t know what it’s doing?

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“Most of us have small, sad places in our hearts. My father felt deeply but kept his feelings to himself. Or rather, being a writer, he let them escape in his writing. And so such sadnesses as there were put on cap and bells and emerged as Eeyore.”~C.R.Milne

 

 

Goat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1711101692710633853

 

 

1 in every family
https://twitter.com/i/status/1711382255380074992

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 242023
 


Leonardo da Vinci Ginevra de’ Benci c. 1474-78

 

‘Counteroffensive’ Will Begin ‘Very Soon’ – Ukrainian Intelligence (RT)
Ukraine Can’t Win Against Russia – Orban (RT)
“Obvious” There Will Be “No Victory For The Poor Ukrainians”: Orban (ZH)
US Must Make Security Deal With Russia – Hungary (RT)
Orban Thinks NATO Reluctant To Deploy Own Troops To Ukraine (TASS)
Kremlin Spokesman Sees No Prerequisites For Ukrainian Peace Process (TASS)
Serb Leader Explains Why West Doesn’t Like Russia (RT)
Russia Continues To Supply Gas To EU Via Ukraine – Gazprom (RT)
Beijing Decries ‘Biggest Threat’ Label (RT)
China Hopes World Adequately Immune From Debt-Driven US Finance Risks (TASS)
Pentagon Loses A Million F-35 parts (RT)
Pentagon Can’t Account For 1000s Of Ultra-Expensive F-35 Parts Globally (ZH)
Why the Conspiracy Theory About Trump and Russia Won’t Go Away (Chris Hedges)
Whistleblower Says DOJ Interference In Hunter Biden Probe Dates Back Years (JTN)
First COVID Vaccine Injury Lawsuit in US Targets Gov’t, Social Media Giants (CHD)

 

 

 

 

FISA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661035995553210370

 

 

 

 

No Ukraine

 

 

 

 

Minsk 2019

 

 


M2 data was released today — it is down -4.63% since last year, the fastest pace of money supply destruction since January 1933. The Fed eased at 100 mph, now it is slamming on the brakes and credit markets are about to fly through the windshield.

 

 

Vladimir Putin : For 9 years, the enemy has been waging war against our people. We are told that Russia started the war. No, Russia, with the help of the SMO, is trying to stop this war against our people, who, due to historical injustice, found themselves outside the borders of our Motherland

 

 

 

 

Zero chance of winning, 100% chance of killing more young Ukrainians. No able bodies will be left to rebuild what’s left of the nation after Russia and Poland take their parts. Halliburton will have to come in to do the rebuilding. If Russia lets them.

They’re going to fire missiles into Crimea. The US just gave them the go-ahead..

‘Counteroffensive’ Will Begin ‘Very Soon’ – Ukrainian Intelligence (RT)

Ukraine has the weapons it needs to start its much-anticipated “counteroffensive,” but actually defeating Russia will require more, the head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), Kirill Budanov, said in an interview on Tuesday. “We already have the necessary minimum of weapons” for the attack, Budanov told the Japanese state broadcaster NHK. “I can only say that it will begin soon.” To successfully pursue a long campaign against Russia, however, Ukraine needs even more, according to Budanov. “We need a large stockpile of weapons and ammunition to successfully continue the operation,” he said. “We need more weapons. We need fighter jets. I hope the international community is ready to really help Ukraine.”

Kiev’s top spy added that he would pay close attention to the progress of military aid from the West after the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, where President Vladimir Zelensky made an appearance as a surprise guest. Over the weekend, Zelensky acknowledged the loss of the Donbass fortress of Bakhmut, known by Russians as Artyomovsk. Kiev responded by launching a raid into Russia’s Belgorod Region, which garnered a lot of social media attention but achieved nothing of military importance. Zelensky has assured his Western backers that the long-anticipated “counteroffensive” would be launched as soon as Kiev had accumulated the minimum of weapons and ammunition necessary for the effort, and that Ukraine needed just a bit more time.

Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has sought to manage expectations as well. Last week, Financial Times reported that Kiev has about “five months” to impress Washington, at which point President Joe Biden’s government will be under too much pressure to negotiate. Multiple Western outlets and experts have warned that Russia’s air campaign targeting Ukrainian supply depots and troop concentrations has already affected the planned offensive, going so far as to describe it as a “game changer.” Budanov waved off the campaign by telling NHK that Kiev had shot down 90% of the incoming missiles. He did not comment on last week’s destruction of the US-supplied Patriot air defense system in Kiev.

Sullivan

Read more …

Some partially overlapping articles today. First, on Orban’s speech in Qatar. Later, on Lockheed and the Pentagon working together to fleece the taxpayer.

“Emotionally, it’s tragic, all of our hearts are with the Ukrainians. But I’m speaking as a politician who should save lives..”

Ukraine Can’t Win Against Russia – Orban (RT)

It’s “obvious” that Kiev can’t win the war against Moscow, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said, urging for a diplomatic solution to the crisis instead of the West continuing to pour military aid into Ukraine. The PM made the remarks in a Bloomberg interview during the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday. “Emotionally, it’s tragic, all of our hearts are with the Ukrainians. But I’m speaking as a politician who should save lives,” Orban stated, noting that Hungary views the ongoing hostilities from a “special angle” that differs from the “mainstream” European position. Hungary itself is “losing lives” daily as well due to the conflict, Orban explained, referring to members of Ukraine’s Hungarian ethnic minority that have been “conscripted” to fight Russia.

He abstained from condemning Moscow for the “invasion” of Ukraine, stating only that the hostilities were due to a major failure in diplomacy. “[The] position of Hungary was, from the very first moment, that this war is the failure of diplomacy, it should have never happened,” Orban stated. “For us it’s obvious that the battlefield solution does not work.” Pressed further on whether, in his opinion, Kiev was able to win the conflict, Orban replied that the course of the hostilities had clearly shown it “obviously” was not possible. The PM also implied neither side could actually win the conflict, adding that it can only end in a “ceasefire” followed by peace talks. “My position is that, looking at the reality, looking at the figures, looking at the surroundings, looking at the fact that NATO is not ready to send troops, it’s obvious that there’s no victory for the poor Ukrainians on the battlefield.”

Orban’s remarks come as Hungary has opted to block a new €500 million ($544 million) military aid package from the EU’s so-called European Peace Facility (EPF). The fund – which is designed to reimburse the bloc’s own members to send arms and equipment overseas, as well as to finance foreign militaries directly – has been used almost exclusively to pour weaponry into Ukraine. Hungary has taken a neutral stance on the ongoing hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, consistently refusing to provide military aid to Kiev or even allow the transport of military shipments through its territory. Budapest has also opposed the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions, particularly those that would have damaged the country’s own economy, including its nuclear and conventional energy sectors.

Ritter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661168351635226624

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“The war can be stopped only if the Russians can make an agreement with the US. In Europe, we are not happy with that, but it’s the only way out.”

“Obvious” There Will Be “No Victory For The Poor Ukrainians”: Orban (ZH)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has once again spoken the quiet part out loud, as he continues to be a thorn in the side of NATO and the EU regarding continually escalating arms deliveries to Ukraine, with F-16 fighter jets poised to be delivered to Kiev in the near future. The first day of the annual Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) included a speech and on-stage interview by Orban wherein he bluntly stated that Ukraine can’t win the war against Russia, short of NATO directly sending troops – which it isn’t willing to do, and which Hungary stands against. He also reminded the West that the Hungarian government isn’t part of the “mainstream” European Union approach to the war, but has pursued attempts at peaceful negotiations.

“The only solution is ceasefire, and then after the ceasefire, peace talks should start,” he said. He explained this is the only path forward given Kiev can’t win. As Bloomberg reports, “Hungary was in talks with Qatar to buy gas in an effort to reduce its reliance on Russia for energy and for help to buy Budapest airport,” according to Orban’s words. He had been pressed over the question of Hungary blocking more defense aid to Ukraine, and in that context asserted that ultimately Russia and the US must make a deal to end the war, which is “the only way out”: “Looking at the reality, the figures, the surroundings, the fact that NATO is not ready to send troops, it is obvious that there is no victory for the poor Ukrainians on the battlefield. That’s my position,” he said, offering an outlook few European leaders would publicly agree with, given their solidarity with Kyiv.

“The war can be stopped only if the Russians can make an agreement with the US. In Europe, we are not happy with that, but it’s the only way out.” His assessment, which is likely going to be deeply unpopular and somewhat divisive in terms of public reception, comes just on the heels of the weekend Russian capture of Bakhmut, which was announced by Wagner Group raising the Russian flag over the strategic city. Despite initial Ukrainian officials rejecting that Bakhmut had fallen, at this point there’s widespread acknowledgement both in international press reports and among Western officials that Russia exercises effective control of the city. Wagner is due to hand captured territory over to regular Russian military forces by June 1.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1660962012141174784

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“Orban has repeatedly accused EU leaders of serving American, rather than European, interests by continuing to bankroll Kiev..”

US Must Make Security Deal With Russia – Hungary (RT)

An agreement between the US and Russia is the only thing that can end the conflict in Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated on Monday. Orban has repeatedly accused EU leaders of serving American, rather than European, interests by continuing to bankroll Kiev. Speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Tuesday, Orban reiterated his position that Ukraine cannot win on the battlefield, and that Kiev and its Western backers must pursue peace talks with Russia. “First we should have a ceasefire,” he said. “Then let’s talk about the new security architecture of the European continent.” “The only peace agreement that could close this whole conflict is if it is between Russia and the United States,” he elaborated.

“What is at stake is the future security of Europe. It’s obvious that without the US there is no security architecture for Europe, and now the war can only be stopped if the Russians can make an agreement with the United States.” “As a European I am not happy with that,” he added. “But this is the only way out.” Throughout the conflict, Orban has repeatedly spoken out against the West’s twin policies of military aid to Kiev and sanctions on Moscow, arguing that the former risks escalating the conflict to a global war and the latter harms Europe’s economy more than Russia’s. The Hungarian prime minister has also argued that only Washington has the power to pressure Kiev into peace talks, and that decisions made in Brussels “reflect American interests more often than European ones.”

With the US dragging Europe into a conflict it cannot win, Orban has suggested that “the solution would be a European NATO” without the US as a member. Hungary is currently blocking a €500 million ($540 million) EU military aid package for Ukraine. Apart from his long-standing opposition to escalating the conflict, Orban cited Ukraine’s sanctioning of a Hungarian bank as a reason for the hold up. “If a country like Ukraine would like to get our financial support, they can’t put our companies on a blacklist,” he said on Tuesday. “If you need our money, please respect us.”

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“We must think of how to save people’s lives. This is my position,” Orban asserted.”

Orban Thinks NATO Reluctant To Deploy Own Troops To Ukraine (TASS)

Ukraine will not be able to prevail in the conflict with Russia, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday, noting an unwillingness by NATO to deploy alliance troops to Ukraine and urging that a peaceful settlement be reached as soon as possible. Addressing a public debate at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Tuesday, the head of Hungary’s government said, “If you look at how things stand in reality, at the figures, the situation in general, and the fact that NATO is reluctant to send its troops [to Ukraine], you will clearly see that the Ukrainians will be unable to win a victory on the battlefield.” His comment came in response to a question about whether he actually thinks that Ukraine stands no chance of success.


Orban’s speech in Doha, in essence, morphed into an interview with the forum’s moderator and was streamed live on the Hungarian government’s page on Facebook (prohibited in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, which has been designated as an extremist organization). When asked about the conflict in Ukraine, the Hungarian prime minister reiterated that Budapest has favored a peaceful solution from the very start of the conflict while consistently calling for an immediate ceasefire. “We must think of how to save people’s lives. This is my position,” Orban asserted.

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Talking to Zelensky is no use to begin with.

Kremlin Spokesman Sees No Prerequisites For Ukrainian Peace Process (TASS)

It would be too early to speak about a peaceful solution of the Ukrainian conflict because no prerequisites for this scenario are currently in place, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told TASS in an interview. When asked which one of various reconciliation plans, put forward by other countries, would be preferable for Russia and whether Moscow has its own variant, the Kremlin press secretary replied: “It is too early to speak about it. No prerequisites for a peace process are yet in place, evidently.” “The special military operation continues,” he added. Answering to a question of whether the Kremlin was ready to negotiate with anyone from the incumbent Kiev government, Peskov replied: “This is hardly possible, because any negotiations with Russia are prohibited [in Ukraine].” Last October, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky issued a decree banning any talks with Moscow stating that he was not interested in interacting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

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Not “the”, but “a” Serb leader, the president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik. He met with Putin yesterday.

Serb Leader Explains Why West Doesn’t Like Russia (RT)

Russia has fallen out of grace with the West because it wouldn’t play ball with Europe any longer when it comes to supplying the continent with cheap gas, the president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, said in an interview released on Monday ahead of a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Speaking to Russia’s NTV channel, Dodik, who heads one of the regions within Bosnia and Herzegovina that is predominantly populated by Serbs, offered his take on the ongoing Ukraine conflict. He said that “the Russians have been giving cheap gas to Europe and Germany for an unreasonably long time, for years, strengthening their economy.”

“Of course, the West doesn’t like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. How could they like him when he doesn’t give them resources?” he said, adding that the international community should “respect” Russia and understand the role it plays globally. Against this backdrop, Dodik noted that when the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev started over a year ago, Berlin was willing to deliver “only helmets” to Ukraine, but ended up sending Kiev Leopard main battle tanks. “Why should we believe in their good intentions now?” he asked. Dodik went on to point out that while the West is trying to portray itself as a “defender of ordinary people in Ukraine,” it never really cared to protect the population in countries such as Syria, Libya or Yugoslavia. The latter came under “baseless” air strikes conducted by Western countries themselves, he claimed.


Dodik’s remarks come after he held a meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev in Moscow, during which the two discussed regional security. According to the Serb leader, he also informed Patrushev of the challenging conditions Republika Srpska has found itself in due to Western pressure over its refusal to join the sanctions against Russia. Meanwhile, the Republika Srpska leader, who has long promoted his region’s independence, was himself hit by US sanctions in 2017 after Washington accused him of obstructing the 1995 Dayton Accords, which put an end to the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On Tuesday, Dodik is set to sit down with Putin in Moscow, with the agenda expected to revolve around economic cooperation, according to Republika Srpska officials. Dodik said he planned to discuss with the Russian leader “how the world would look in the future.”

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And Ukraine continues to be paid.

Russia Continues To Supply Gas To EU Via Ukraine – Gazprom (RT)

Russian energy giant Gazprom continues to supply gas for transit to Western and Central Europe through Ukrainian territory via the Sudzha gas pumping station in amounts approved by Ukraine, the company said on Tuesday. Supplies rose to 41.2 million cubic meters (mcm) on May 23, compared to 40.9 mcm pumped the previous day through the Sudzha entry point, which remains the only operating interconnector in Ukraine. “Gazprom supplies Russian gas for transit through the territory of Ukraine in the amount confirmed by the Ukrainian side through the Sudzha… Application for ‘Sokhranovka’ was rejected,” Gazprom spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov told reporters.


Ukraine shut down transit through the Sokhranovka station, a key gas transit route which handled around a third of the Russian gas flowing through the country to the EU, in early May, citing “interference by the occupying forces.” Russian gas deliveries to the EU via Ukraine were slashed last May in the aftermath of the bloc’s sweeping sanctions, with shipments plunging to 24 mcm in January this year. Since February, however, daily transit volumes have been gradually increasing. Gas transit through Ukraine remains the only route for Russian supplies to the countries of Western and Central Europe after sabotage attacks in September rendered the Nord Stream pipeline inoperable. Gazprom also exports gas via the TurkStream and Blue Stream pipelines to Southern and Southeastern Europe.

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“If China is a threat, then what are some G7 members that go for wars on sovereign states, overthrow legitimate foreign governments, exit multilateral treaties and coerce other countries to sever supply chains?”

Beijing Decries ‘Biggest Threat’ Label (RT)

The G7 countries will not be able to trick the world into believing that Beijing is undermining global stability, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday. In a series of posts on Twitter, Hua blasted such a stance, writing: “Some G7 members called China ‘the biggest threat to global security and prosperity’. Seriously?” She was apparently referring to remarks by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said during the group’s summit in Hiroshima, Japan, that “China poses the greatest challenge to global security and prosperity in our time,” as he called for decreasing dependence on Chinese supply chains. He added that the UK and G7 were taking steps to prevent Beijing from using “economic coercion to interfere in the sovereign affairs of others.”

“If China is a threat, then what are some G7 members that go for wars on sovereign states, overthrow legitimate foreign governments, exit multilateral treaties and coerce other countries to sever supply chains?” Hua asked. The spokeswoman went on to emphasize China’s place as “the No.1 engine of global economy,” and that Beijing was contributing to global growth more than all G7 members combined while being the second largest donor to UN peacekeeping funding. “The real world will not be brainwashed and fooled,” she said. Sunak’s rebuke of China appeared to be much tougher than G7 joint communique outlining challenges posed by Beijing.

The group’s members, in particular, insisted that they are “prepared to build constructive and stable relations with China,” adding that “we are not decoupling or turning inwards” when it comes to economic ties with the Asian giant. However, the G7 stressed the need for what it called “de-risking and diversifying” and reducing “excessive dependencies in our critical supply chains.” The group also scolded Beijing for “non-market policies and practices, which distort the global economy,” vowing to build resistance to what it termed economic coercion. China’s foreign ministry was not convinced, however, stating that “massive unilateral sanctions and acts of ‘decoupling’… make the US the real coercer” while urging the G7 not to become Washington’s “accomplice” in this regard.

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“Beijing also hopes that “the United States will refrain from harvesting yields around the globe in order to protect its own interests..”

China Hopes World Adequately Immune From Debt-Driven US Finance Risks (TASS)

China has expressed the hope that the United States, as the world’s largest economy, will not attempt to shift its financial risks onto the international community, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said at a news briefing on Tuesday. “The debt issue is an internal affair of the United States, but given that [the US is] the world’s largest economy, their own situation and political decisions may have critical knock-on effects for the global economy,” Mao said, when asked by a TASS reporter to comment on the ongoing political debate in Washington over raising the US debt ceiling. “Hopefully, the United States will maintain a responsible fiscal and monetary policy and will not shift US risks onto the entire world,” she added. Beijing also hopes that “the United States will refrain from harvesting yields around the globe in order to protect its own interests,” the Chinese diplomat said.


The Global Times reported in March that, as of late January, China was the second largest foreign holder of US debt ($843.7 billion), trailing only Japan, which holds $1.104 trillion in US government securities. The publication mentioned that China has been reducing its holdings of US government debt in recent years. The US government may find itself unable to meet all of its obligations unless Congress agrees to raise the debt ceiling later this month, with technical default otherwise occurring “potentially as early as June 1,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned on Monday. Unless a bipartisan compromise on the debt ceiling is hammered out on Capitol Hill in time, she has repeatedly warned, the country may default, which would lead to an “economic and financial catastrophe” for the US that would reverberate across the global economy.

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Two articles on the same topic that -only- partically overlap.

“Only about 30% of America’s F-35 fleet is “fully mission capable” on any given day.”

Pentagon Loses A Million F-35 parts (RT)

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has been unable to account for about 1 million missing spare parts for its F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, the costliest weapon system in the nation’s history, a government review has found. The lost parts, which include such items as bolts, tires, and landing gear, are valued at about $85 million, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on Tuesday. Since 2018, the Pentagon has reviewed the circumstances surrounding only 2% of identified parts losses. “Without DOD taking steps to ensure that these spare parts are accountable under a contract, the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) will be unable to either gain or maintain accountability over these spare parts and will not have data, such as locations, costs, and quantities, needed for financial reporting or to ensure that government interests are protected,” the GAO said.

The spare parts are stored around the world for use on the F-35 by the US military and allied nations that have purchased the aircraft, which is made by defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Because the Pentagon’s F-35 JPO lacks a process for tracking losses, Lockheed Martin hasn’t reported on over 900,000 additional spare parts valued at more than $66 million for review, the GAO said. The GAO’s report marks just the latest black eye for the $1.7 trillion F-35 program, which has been plagued by reliability struggles, including an issue with engine vibration that led to a global recall order in March. Only about 30% of America’s F-35 fleet is “fully mission capable” on any given day. US Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Schmidt warned last month that a thin supply of spare parts could jeopardize the ability of American forces to keep the aircraft in service during the country’s next major war.

The GAO report blamed the parts losses partly on the Pentagon’s failure to oversee components that are owned by the DOD and managed by contractors. DOD officials and the contractors haven’t reached an agreement on whether the parts should be categorized as government-furnished property, which hinders the processing of lost inventories. As of last October, the Pentagon had over 19,000 spare parts globally that had been awaiting disposition instructions from the F-35 JPO – for as long as five years in some cases. The GAO said the DOD agreed with its four recommendations on beefing up accounting for the parts pool.

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This is Lockheed’s business model. Nothing is audited, nobody knows where all the parts are, so they have to order again.

Pentagon Can’t Account For 1000s Of Ultra-Expensive F-35 Parts Globally (ZH)

Just three weeks ago Defense News published an extensive investigative report which posed the question in its headline, Lockheed eyes new F-35 parts deal, but can it handle wartime demands? The report introduced: By the end of the year, a new and unusual deal for the F-35 fighter’s spare parts could be in place — one that would flip the current supply model on its head. If the proposed performance-based logistics contract works the way F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin has promised, it will save the government money, improve the availability of spare parts and give the company greater flexibility on how it assists repairs, such as making it easier to fix a broken part without fabricating a new one. Fast-forward to Tuesday, and the congressional watchdog Government Accountability Office (GOA) released a devastating report which reveals the entire question of “saving the government money” to be laughable and way off.

Bloomberg writes based on the new GOA findings that “The Pentagon can’t account for hundreds of thousands of spare parts worth millions of dollars that are stored worldwide for the US and allies for its costliest weapon, the F-35 jet, according to congressional auditors.” So perhaps the Pentagon should think about simply locating the missing ones first before a giant Lockheed parts overhaul is put into place. Even long before this, going years back, the controversial program to develop the ultra-costly stealth multirole combat aircraft produced periodic headlines like the following in 2020: The Pentagon’s $35 Trillion Accounting Black Hole. The fact that the Department of Defense has failed to pass a DOD-wide audit for the fifth consecutive year has compounded the problem which has been months or years in the making, to the tune of billions lost – which could eventually add up to a one-and-a-half trillion dollars black hole.

This as the GOA report has confirmed the Pentagon’s F-35 program office doesn’t provide oversight for the parts: “Unlike scores of GAO reports and other assessments that analyze the fighter jet’s cost, schedule and flying performance, the new audit delved into the more mundane and largely invisible work of supporting the aircraft once it’s delivered to international customers. The operation and support bill for the F-35 may reach an estimated $1.4 trillion through 2088. Allies don’t own parts and tap into the Defense Department’s worldwide shared pool of spares, including engines, tires, landing gear and items such as bolts, screws and fasteners. The Pentagon’s F-35 program office doesn’t maintain accountability over the parts, “the total value of which is unknown,” the GAO said.” It is manufacturer Lockheed Martin which solely “tracks” the records (supposedly), given the Pentagon has been “unable to provide the cost, total quantity, and locations of spare parts in the global spares pool.”

According to the GOA report: The lack of visibility into the inventory “increases the risk of misstatement on DOD’s financial statements and the risk of mismanagement of the F-35 global spares pool,” it said. All of this comes the same week that multiple media reports and former top US officials have highlighted that contractor price-gouging is common and routine when it comes to the gargantuan defense budget, at taxpayer’s expense of course. For example, former Pentagon insiders told Newsweek that the Biden administration’s ‘blank check’ approach to Ukraine has resulted in a massive arms flow to Kiev “no matter the expense.” Naturally this has resulted in diminished incentive to engage in serious and timely audits for things like expensive jet parts, and to determine where they are globally. Lockheed continues to be front and center in these whistleblower and former DoD official tell-alls…

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“Salacious allegations such as this one would be passed by the Clinton campaign to the FBI and then leaked to the press which would report on the FBI investigations, giving the fabrications credibility.”

Why the Conspiracy Theory About Trump and Russia Won’t Go Away (Chris Hedges)

All the investigations into Trump’s ties with Russia are unequivocal. There was no collusion. The Steele dossier, financed at first by Republican opponents of Trump and later by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and compiled by former MI6 British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, was a fake. The charges in the dossier — which included reports of Trump receiving a “golden shower” from prostituted women in a Moscow hotel room and claims that Trump and the Kremlin had ties going back five years — were discredited by the FBI. Sources, including the one that claimed Trump had long-held ties to the Kremlin, turned out to be fabricated. Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller concluded that his investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Mueller did not indict or accuse anyone of criminally conspiring with Russia.

Durham’s 306-page report, sent to Congress by Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this week, is even more excoriating. It concludes that the FBI engaged in a witch hunt — code named Crossfire Hurricane — orchestrated by Hillary Clinton’s campaign that was aided and abetted by senior FBI officials who loathed Trump. The Clinton campaign provided bogus information to the FBI about ties between Trump and Russia, including a charge made by Michael Sussmann and Marc Elias, the General Counsel to the Clinton campaign, that there was a secret channel between the Trump Organization and the Russian Alfa Bank. Salacious allegations such as this one would be passed by the Clinton campaign to the FBI and then leaked to the press which would report on the FBI investigations, giving the fabrications credibility.

For example, the Clinton campaign posted a tweet through Clinton’s Twitter account on Oct. 31, 2016 that read: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based Bank.” The tweet, Durham’s report notes, “included a statement from Clinton campaign advisor Jake Sullivan that made reference to the media coverage of the article and stated, in relevant part, that the allegations in the articles ‘could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow[,]’ that ‘[t]his secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia[,]’ and that ‘[w]e can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia as part of their existing probe into Russia’s meddling in our elections.’” The FBI later determined there were no ties between the Trump organization and Alfa Bank.

Tammy Bruce
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661036063496740865

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The FBI whistleblowers are angry.

“They r being treated like skunks at a picnic under ur watch UNACCEPTABLE u must protect them from retaliation it’s the law.”

Whistleblower Says DOJ Interference In Hunter Biden Probe Dates Back Years (JTN)

An IRS agent working with federal prosecutors and investigators on the Hunter Biden tax probe is alleging the agency ignored his team’s warnings about years of improprieties by Justice Department officials supervising the case. The allegation appeared in a May 18 letter the agent sent to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, and it was made public Monday evening as part of a whistleblower package his supervisor sent Congress and the Office of Special Counsel, the government’s official whistleblower protection agency. Last week, attorneys for an IRS supervisory special agent (SSA) informed Congress that the DOJ had removed their client and his entire team from the investigation in what they deemed an act of retaliation.

The SSA came forward in late April, alleging that federal prosecutors had engaged in “preferential treatment and politics” to prevent charges from being filed against Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden. The whistleblower further alleged that his entire team had been sidelined after he made protected disclosures. He also asserted that Biden appointees had limited the ability of Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to pursue charges against his son by refusing to grant Weiss permission do so within their jurisdictions. That claim appeared to undercut testimony from Attorney General Merrick Garland, who had contended that Weiss enjoyed full freedom to pursue the investigation and to bring charges in another jurisdiction should the need arise.

The whistleblower approached IRS internal watchdog late last year with the help of attorney Mark Zaid, who previously represented whistleblowers whose disclosures led to the first impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. A May 20 letter from the whistleblower’s current counsel to Werfel, however, references the May 18 letter sent by one of the supervisory agent’s subordinates. That communication suggests IRS agents have been concerned for years about the DOJ’s conduct in the Hunter Biden probe and felt left “out on an island” because the agency brass would not intervene. Former DOJ lawyer Mark Lytle and former congressional investigator Tristan Leavitt, who now serves as president of Empower Oversight, currently represent the unidentified whistleblower. In the letter, the pair pointed to a protected disclosure from one of the IRS supervisory special agent’s subordinates made directly to Werfel following the team’s removal from the case.

In the disclosure, the case agent, a subordinate of Lytle and Leavitt’s client, recounts his extensive, but unsuccessful efforts to highlight the issues, before contending the agency’s decision to remove him and the team meant the IRS had sided with the officials facing allegations of impropriety. “For the last couple years, my SSA and I have tried to gain the attention of our senior leadership about certain issues prevalent regarding the investigation,” he told Werfel. “I have asked for countless meetings with our chief and deputy chief, often to be left out on an island and not heard from. The lack of IRS-CI senior leadership involvement is deeply troubling and unacceptable.” [..] The latest revelations generated an immediate rebuke of the IRS from Republican Sen, Charles Grassley of Iowa, a longtime champion of whistleblowers. “IRS commissioner Werfel: what r u doing to protect IRS whistleblowers??” Grassley tweeted Monday evening. “They r being treated like skunks at a picnic under ur watch UNACCEPTABLE u must protect them from retaliation it’s the law.”

Hunter

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Many more will follow. And Big Pharma has immunity.

First COVID Vaccine Injury Lawsuit in US Targets Gov’t, Social Media Giants (CHD)

Five people injured by COVID-19 vaccines, along with a father whose 16-year-old son died from vaccine-induced cardiac arrest, are suing the Biden administration and top U.S. public health officials. In a lawsuit filed Monday, the plaintiffs — including Brianne Dressen who suffered severe nerve damage after taking the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine — allege the U.S. government colluded with social media companies to censor them when they posted stories about their personal vaccine injury experiences. Defendants include President Biden and top-ranking White House officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This is the first lawsuit brought by U.S. citizens injured by the COVID-19 vaccines [..]

Dressen — a preschool teacher from Saratoga Springs, Utah — volunteered to participate in AstraZeneca’s clinical trial for its COVID-19 shot. Now, she says, she is “collateral damage of the pandemic.” Dressen co-chairs React19, a “science-based non-profit offering financial, physical, and emotional support for those suffering from longterm COVID-19 vaccine adverse events globally.” After receiving the AstraZeneca shot, Dressen experienced extensive adverse effects — including doubled and blurry vision, severe sensitivity to sound and light, heart and blood pressure fluctuations and intense brain fog — that worsened over time. She said Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, GoFundMe, Reddit and Instagram removed content she posted about her injuries.

According to Dressen, the plaintiffs’ experiences of censorship “pale in comparison to the thousands of Americans we know who all have experienced the same thing.” “There is nothing scarier than reaching out for help only to be silenced,” Dressen told The Defender. “It was as scary as the vaccine reaction itself. “Our constitutional freedoms must be protected, regardless of whether or not we are in a national emergency,” Dressen added. Dressen — who now experiences “permanent disability” with “ups and downs” — said she and the other plaintiffs are “not fighting this fight for a select few” but are fighting on behalf of the “tens of thousands who are experiencing the same kind of censorship.”

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I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties, that no matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just as infinitely complex as the whole was to start with.
— Isaac Asimov (I Asimov, 1995)

 

 

Antonova

 

 

UN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairywren

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 132023
 


William Adolphe Bouguereau Girl with a pomegranate 1875

 

Zelensky ‘Will End Up Like Hitler’ – Medvedev (RT)
Ukraine Wants To End War By Winter, Says Oleksii Danilov (RT)
False Claims About Russia Continue To Cloud The ‘West’s’ Vision (MoA)
Beltway Mediocrities Bumble Toward Armageddon (Eve Ottenberg)
People In West Are Paying For Their Leaders’ Mistakes – Peskov (TASS)
‘Migrant Village’ For Conservative Americans To Be Built In Russia (RT)
Pentagon Acknowledges Uncertainty in Defending Against Hypersonic Missiles (ET)
EU Warns China To Use Influence With Russia To End War In Ukraine (SCMP)
Grain Deal Extension Possible Only If Russian Part Implemented – Peskov (TASS)
The Smell of Goose Cooking (Jim Kunstler)
James Woods Rips McCarthy Over Biden Border BS (AW)
Open Border Catastrophe is the Cloward-Piven Plan to Destroy America (Wayne Root)
Comer’s Presser And Biden’s Family (Denninger)
Who Is Linda Yaccarino, Elon Musk’s Pick For New Twitter CEO? (Ghaffary)
“Veganism is Bad for You – Now I Only Eat Red Meat” – Bear Grylls (DS)

 

 

 

 

RFK Russell

 

 

Fenton excess deaths

 

 

 

 

Very fine people

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The creature in green wished death on everyone in the Kremlin. And not by hand. Who will die how, we do not know, because the ways of the Lord are inscrutable. But the drug addict in Kyiv just has a chance to disappear from his own hands. Go nuts by committing cowardly suicide. Like Hitler swallowing dog poison.”

Zelensky ‘Will End Up Like Hitler’ – Medvedev (RT)

Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky could suffer the same fate as Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. The comments came in response to Zelensky’s suggestion that Kremlin officials would meet a “sad end.” “We do not know who will meet which end,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram, before comparing the Ukrainian president to Hitler, who committed suicide during the final stages of World War II as Soviet troops stormed Berlin. The former Russian leader also accused Zelensky of “wishing death to everyone in the Kremlin.” His remarks came in response to an interview published by the BBC on Friday, in which Zelensky stated: “Believe me, those in the Kremlin… it will end badly for them.” The Ukrainian president expressed his desire for the rapid demise of the current Russian leadership, claiming that they “will certainly not die a natural death.”


The interview with Zelensky comes less than two weeks after a drone attack on the Kremlin, which Moscow described as an assassination attempt against President Vladimir Putin and an act of terrorism. The Russian leader was not at the Kremlin at the time of the incident. Russia accused Kiev of orchestrating the attack and said it reserves the right to respond as it sees fit. Ukraine denied any involvement in the incident, although the attack prompted Medvedev to call for the “physical removal” of Zelensky. Kiev’s intelligence chief, Kirill Budanov, later vowed to “keep killing Russians anywhere” until Ukraine’s “complete victory.” The Kremlin branded the statement “truly heinous,” and said it was confirmation that Kiev was involved in orchestrating terrorist attacks.

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Talk is cheap.

Ukraine Wants To End War By Winter, Says Oleksii Danilov (RT)

By winter, we want to end the war completely, Oleksii Danilov, secretary of the Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, told Report. According to him, the Ukrainian military knows exactly what they have to do: “They are experts and have proven to the whole world that our army is ready for battle, moreover, it is fully creative, and we strike at the enemy from where they least expect it. I think it will be the same this time.” Danilov noted that the main thing is the result: “We must liberate our territories. Taking into account all the factors, the measures will start at the necessary time. We must start on time, not early or late. We have a common plan – to liberate all our territories from the terrorists who attacked us. The only thing left is time. Whether it will be one or more operations depends on many circumstances. We will not be limited by time. We will fight as long as it takes.”

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“Only a realistic assessment and more respect for Russia’s capabilities can correct the mistake of waging and losing a proxy war against it.”

False Claims About Russia Continue To Cloud The ‘West’s’ Vision (MoA)

The pro-Ukrainian Spectator states correctly that the sanctions on Russia have failed. But its reasoning is dubious: “The West embarked on its sanctions war with an exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world. As we have discovered, non-western countries lack the will to impose sanctions on either Russia or on Russian oligarchs. The results of the miscalculation are there for all to see. In April last year, the IMF forecast that the Russian economy would contract by 8.5 per cent in 2022 and by a further 2.3 per cent this year. As it turned out, GDP fell by just 2.1 per cent last year, and this year the IMF is forecasting a small rise of 0.7 per cent. And that is all in spite of the war in Ukraine going much more badly than many imagined it would in February of last year. The Russian economy has not been destroyed; it has merely been reconfigured, reorientated to look eastwards and southwards rather than westwards.”

Yes, the ‘West’ had an “exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world”. But that is only a part of the problem. The ‘West’ still thinks it is superior to other countries even as at least some other countries have caught up with it and are, in parts, superior in the use of science and technology. Moreover the ‘West’ thought that Russia was inferior to it. In 2015 the late Senator John McCain called it a “gas station masquerading as a country”: “Look, Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country,” McCain said. “It’s kleptocracy. It’s corruption. It’s a nation that’s really only dependent upon oil and gas for their economy, and so economic sanctions are important.” In the early 1990s Russia surely was down. But it wasn’t out. It had a heavy industry and everything it needed to feed it. It had well educated people and large scientific community.

When McCain spoke, 25 years after Russia’s downfall, the country was largely back in the upper league. Its per head production of steel, cement, energy and food was and is higher than in most ‘western’ countries. Those are the basics numbers one needs to judge an industrial country and its capabilities, not some dubious number like the Gross Domestic Product which includes ‘services’ of dubious value. (For example the share of health expenditure in the quite high U.S. GDP is 16.8% with a worse outcome for the general population than in less spending European countries.) As it has now become clear even to the Spectator that the sanctions on Russia have failed one would hope that the ‘West’ would come to a more realistic view of itself and of Russia economic capabilities. Unfortunately that is not yet the case.

Witness Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis who in March 2023 basically repeated McCain’s false claim: “… DeSantis said of Putin. “And so, he’s basically a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons and one of the things we could be doing better is utilizing our own energy resources in the US.” The ‘West’ will continue to underestimate Russia’s capability as long as such false claims are still believed. Only a realistic assessment and more respect for Russia’s capabilities can correct the mistake of waging and losing a proxy war against it.

Sachs

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“This very unfortunate and wildly provocative legislation mandates “the restoration of Ukraine’s 1991 borders and to bring Ukraine into NATO after the war is over..”

Beltway Mediocrities Bumble Toward Armageddon (Eve Ottenberg)

Our government is run by second-raters. Mediocrities in the state department and national security apparatus have seized the political steering wheel, because president Joe Biden, like senator Dianne “No Show” Feinstein and many others in our extensive gerontocracy do not inspire confidence. And the results are disastrous for Americans. De-dollarization across much of the planet and the possibility of a two-front, conceivably radioactive war against China and/or Russia. You think these two developments sound far-fetched? Well, the former is already underway, and as for the latter, rabid neo-cons and jingoistic four-star generals have stepped into the vacuum at the top and on your TV screen, and these dimwits can’t imagine losing, so now we move closer than ever before, even during the Cuban Missile Crisis, to igniting nuclear Armageddon.

Just picture the Ukrainian drone that struck the Kremlin May 3 and ask yourself what would have happened had a Russian drone collided with the roof of the white house? The U.S. might well have launched nuclear missiles – amirite? We denizens of planet earth are all very lucky, and especially those of us who reside in American cities, that Russian leaders were rational enough not to target western metropolises with nuclear warheads. They have made clear that they won’t be further provoked, even by preposterous U.S. media claims that the Kremlin droned itself, claims that reveal yet again two sorry facts: first, our press outlets think we are morons and second, they parrot CIA talking points.

That’s the hot war. Then there’s the economic one. Dollar boosters like Treasury secretary Janet Yellen like to note that it would be very difficult for any other country’s money to replace the greenback as the world’s reserve currency. True enough. But who says the world has to HAVE a reserve currency? What China, Russia and the Global South show, as they stop trading in dollars and dump U.S. Treasuries, is that they can conduct business in their own currencies and will do so, having witnessed Washington’s idiotic sanctions on numerous nations and thus having been terrorized by the imbecilic weaponization of the dollar. So most of the world, aside from the west, now takes steps to abandon the U.S. financially. The dollar’s reign is ending, and soon we Americans will face a radically altered and indisputably grimmer future. All thanks to the stupidity of the very pedestrian people at the top in Washington, starting back in the Clinton administration.

As for the China-Russia alliance, anyone with a brain could see that coming. But not our congressmembers. And those forewarned had not a care in the world. As long ago as 1997, senator Joe Biden proclaimed: “And then the Russians say to me ‘You keep expanding NATO, we’re going to make friends with China.’ I almost burst out laughing. I could barely contain myself, I said ‘Good luck to you guys. If China doesn’t work out, try Iran.’” Well, who’s laughing now? Not the U.S. president, who can’t even get China’s leader to answer his phone calls. Not the American people, who, according to some polls (58 percent, said a Reuters-Ipsos poll in October), worry that this administration of very unexceptional people will enrage the Russia-China colossus and thus stumble into a nuclear holocaust.

Meanwhile congress throws gasoline on this political dumpster fire with its Ukrainian Victory Resolution. In the House, Tennessee Dem Steve Cohen and South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson sponsored this bill. A companion resolution, introduced by senators – Connecticut Dem Richard Blumenthal, liberal darling and Rhode Island Dem Sheldon Whitehouse, and South Carolina Republican Lindsay “Bombs Away” Graham – now percolates through that chamber of the capitol. This very unfortunate and wildly provocative legislation mandates “the restoration of Ukraine’s 1991 borders and to bring Ukraine into NATO after the war is over,” according to Daniel Larison in Responsible Statecraft April 28.

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But their media won’t tell them..

People In West Are Paying For Their Leaders’ Mistakes – Peskov (TASS)

People in the West should understand that they are paying the erroneous and ineffective policy of their leaders, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. “More and more analysts [in the West] begin to elaborate on the topic of the efficiency of the collective West’s policy, on the topic of the efficiency of the [anti-Russian] sanctions,” he said. “It is rather good than bad.” “We would like people in the collective West to know that they have to reap the consequences of the erroneous, wrong and ineffective policy of their leaders,” the Kremlin spokesman stressed.

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“Today they have 70 genders, tomorrow who knows what,” Beslangurov told the conference. “Many normal people do not understand this, and they want to emigrate..”

‘Migrant Village’ For Conservative Americans To Be Built In Russia (RT)

Construction of an “American village” for 200 families of conservative immigrants will start in Moscow Region in 2024, immigration attorney Timur Beslangurov has revealed. Beslangurov, a partner in the Vista law firm, brought up the new settlement at a session of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum on Thursday. “Basically, they are Orthodox Christians, Americans and Canadians who, for ideological reasons, want to move to Russia,” he said. The regional government approved the construction, but the prospective immigrants are funding the settlement themselves, according to Beslangurov. It will be built in the Serpukhov district, due south of the Russian capital. Tens of thousands of Westerners would like to move to Russia, the attorney claimed, including people with no Russian roots.


“The reasons are known, it’s the imposition of radical left-liberal values in the West, which basically have no limits. Today they have 70 genders, tomorrow who knows what,” Beslangurov told the conference. “Many normal people do not understand this, and they want to emigrate. Many choose Russia, but face a huge number of bureaucratic problems related to the imperfection of Russian immigration laws.” One potential group of immigrants are traditionalist Catholics who are “white Americans with many children,” said Beslangurov, adding that the US government considers them “domestic terrorists.” A FBI memo made public in February referred to “radical-traditionalist Catholic” believers as potential “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.” After 19 Republican state attorneys-general demanded of the federal government to stop its “anti-Catholic bigotry,” the FBI disavowed the document.

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In short: they have no idea. For one thing, they can’t test it.

Pentagon Acknowledges Uncertainty in Defending Against Hypersonic Missiles (ET)

The United States Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking nearly $30 billion in its $842 billion Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budget request for missile defeat and defense programs across all branches of the military. Right now, the DOD is in a race to develop its own hypersonic missiles and engineer effective defenses against the high-velocity, maneuverable missiles being developed by Russia and, particularly, by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). During questioning by Senate Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chair Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) in a May 9 budget hearing, four flag officers said some existing systems have “capabilities” against hypersonic weapons but did not know for sure until they are tested against the evolving missile systems.

King was not happy. “It seems to me that we are spending a lot more money to developing hypersonic missiles than we are developing capabilities to defend against them,” he said. King asked Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. Jon A. Hill if an aircraft carrier could be defended against a hypersonic missile attack. “We have the capability to stop it in two places, in the boost-glide phase” and when the missile re-enters the atmosphere, Hill said, noting the Navy’s SM-6 missiles are “cruise missile killers” designed to track and kill fast-moving, maneuverable targets that can fly high and skim the surface. “It would be defeated by a destroyer defending a carrier.”

Noting Ukrainians claim they shot down a Russian hypersonic weapon last week with a Patriot anti-air missile provided by the U.S., Hill said the Patriot systems, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missiles (THAAD), and Aegis ballistic defense system all have “capability” demonstrated in tests against hypersonics. “THAAD operates on the edge of the atmosphere,” he said. “We haven’t tested it against hypersonic, but I’m willing to bet there are capacities that we can leverage there.” [..] King said these ant-missile systems are based on technologies from the 1980-90s and asked why DOD is not experimenting with using direct energy weapons to knock down missiles. At $4 to $10 million each, using missiles in a “bullet on bullet approach is an expensive proposition” in defending against other missiles.

Developing a “directed energy” weapon for missile defense has been “a target for a period of time,” Hill said with prototypes being tested in the fleet. “It is scaling its way there. That work is being done today.” King said he’s been lobbying to aggressively ramp up direct energy weapons development for five years without “any sense of urgency” from the DOD. Direct energy is “clearly preferable to a $4 million bullet,” he said. “More investment is required,” Hill said. “It is all science and engineering right now.”

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“EU Warns China” equals: they have no idea what their place in the world is. What are they going to do? Stop imports from China?

First time I’ve seen Borrell claim that “what is happening in Ukraine is an existential threat for us..” He stole that line from Putin. But it obviously doesn’t work. The existence of Russia is not the same as the “existence” of a fleeting political and economic bloc.

EU Warns China To Use Influence With Russia To End War In Ukraine (SCMP)

The European Union has warned China again to use its influence to end Russia’s war in Ukraine, or their already strained relations will worsen. “Life is complicated,” said top diplomat Josep Borrell at a press conference in Sweden on Friday evening. “If I don’t like your behaviour, you cannot expect to be good friends. It is as simple as that.” He welcomed the news that China’s special envoy for Eurasia would embark on a trip to Ukraine, Russia and other European capitals next Monday in a bid to help resolve the 15-month armed conflict. “It is so important that China understands that what is happening in Ukraine is an existential threat for us, and we expect that China will use its role and its responsibilities. If this is not the case, our relationship will not be so good.”

“We had been asking China to get involved with Ukraine, and this phone call with President Xi [Jinping] was the first small step. And this special envoy is another step towards China using its influence to stop this war,” Borrell told the Post, in a separate conversation. But he added that “we know China is practising pro-Russian neutrality”. “So this [peace] initiative is important for us, because we cannot have a good relationship with China if China is clearly supporting Russia.” Borrell spoke to the Post on the eve of a debate focused on China involving the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers. Wary of leaks and security breaches after a morning discussing Ukraine, ministers were bused off to a 17th century castle on the outskirts of Stockholm. There they were locked in a room with no phones or other electronic devices for four hours to discuss how to recalibrate ties with China.

The conversation was guided by a position paper on China policy written by the bloc’s foreign service, which was sent to member states on Thursday after intense internal haggling about its content. The Spaniard claimed members stood united behind the nine-page document, which calls for continued engagement with Beijing, even as it warned of the growing threat from an increasingly “nationalist and ideological” rival. “The 27 are united behind the music of this text,” Borrell said. “I haven’t seen any concrete disagreement.” [..] However, behind the scenes some diplomats were already pushing back against the assertion that the 27 were on the same page. “It seems that somebody is tone-deaf,” said one, adding that the document conveyed an “apologetic tone” suggesting Brussels was not seriously committed to revamping ties with Beijing.

A second described it as “meandering”, but believed such as the price the EU would pay for trying to accommodate members with such competing interests. “It is a big tent. It has to suit everyone from Lithuania to Hungary,” the official said, referring to the most hawkish and dovish of the bloc’s members regarding China. Arriving at the Stockholm summit on Friday morning, ministers offered mixed reviews on the report. “I underline that unfortunately systemic rivalry has risen significantly in recent years. We have to make that clear together here, we as Europeans can only speak with one voice, which is then heard in foreign policy,” said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, ostensibly approving of the text. “We as Europeans do not want decoupling. We do not want distraction. But we want to minimise our own risks that endanger our security,” she said, highlighting one of the document’s leading themes.

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“..the grain deal will cease to be effective if Moscow does not receive guarantees that its demands will be met by May 18..“

Grain Deal Extension Possible Only If Russian Part Implemented – Peskov (TASS)

The only chance of the grain deal being extended is if the Russian part of the agreement is implemented, regardless of any phone conversations that take place between the Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday. “For a [grain] deal to take place, a conversation between the two presidents will not help. In order to seal the deal, the second part of the agreement, which concerns promises to us (the Russian Federation – TASS), must be implemented,” the Kremlin spokesman stressed. Speaking in general about the possibility of a conversation between Putin and Erdogan, Peskov said that it is not on the schedule now, “but it may be penciled in within a few hours if necessary.”

Agreements to enable the export of food and fertilizers to world markets were signed on July 22, 2022 in Istanbul. They were originally meant to last 120 days and were extended for another 120 days in November. Russia announced on March 18 that the deal had been extended for another 60 days, saying this would be enough time to assess the effectiveness of the memorandum signed with the UN. Moscow has said repeatedly that any further extension of the deal hinges on whether the Russian part of the deal is implemented. The lack of progress on this issue jeopardizes the future of the entire initiative.

On May 10-11 representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN met in Istanbul to discuss a potential extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement for supplies of grain and fertilizers. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told journalists after the negotiations that the grain deal will cease to be effective if Moscow does not receive guarantees that its demands will be met by May 18. They concern the export of agricultural products and fertilizers, the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT system and some other issues.

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“Here’s an interesting take from a reader of this blog for your consideration: “I have had a theory that the FBI made Hunter Biden a Confidential Human Source..”

“Rep James Comer (R-KY) formally requested it from FBI Director Chris Wray, who has declined to furnish it on the grounds that the doc contains info from a “confidential human source”..”

The Smell of Goose Cooking (Jim Kunstler)

“Joe Biden could go to jail and The New York Times wouldn’t tell anybody he was no longer president.” — Peter A. Golden

Reality has become so elastic in America now that it stretches to a cosmic event horizon deep in the Twilight Zone where everything is magically transformed into its opposite. Note The New York Times report on Thursday saying that the House Oversight Committee showed “no proof” in its disclosures of the Biden Family’s international money laundering and racketeering operations. In fact, the committee outlined a shit-ton of documentation in the form of bank records detailing exactly how gobs of money from foreign lands were washed and rinsed through a dozen shell companies and disbursed to everyone in the immediate Biden family down to the president’s grandchildren. The committee’s preliminary report was precise as to the money’s exact origins, its journey through the laundering apparatus, and the owners of the bank accounts it landed in. Thus: “No evidence of wrongdoing.”

Meanwhile, another whistleblower from the FBI emerged claiming that an unclassified FBI document called an FD-1023 report exists detailing the Biden Family moneygrubbing scheme. Rep James Comer (R-KY) formally requested it from FBI Director Chris Wray, who has declined to furnish it on the grounds that the doc contains info from a “confidential human source” (CHS), and the bureau can’t compromise an investigation, blah blah…. Here’s an interesting take from a reader of this blog for your consideration: “I have had a theory that the FBI made Hunter Biden a Confidential Human Source. They can pretend that they were monitoring CCP figures in the US and that Hunter was in a position to provide them with counter intelligence. As with Whitey Bulger, the whole business was just a scam to keep him out of jail on legitimate charges.

This would explain why the FBI’s Wray is claiming national secrets now that Comer is closing in on Biden family corruption and influence peddling.” It would also help to explain why Hunter Biden has been untouchable despite clear evidence of firearms felonies, money laundering and influence peddling crimes. All in plain sight for years. This CHS bullshit has been used repeatedly by the FBI and DOJ to shield Democrats and their henchmen from legal jeopardy. Stephan ‘Hamburger’ Halper, Christopher Steele and various other foreign election meddlers have been shielded by the FBI under the pretense of protecting sensitive intelligence, methods and foreign sources. Would they dare pull this one with Hunter? Why not? The DOJ and the FBI spent years sitting on his laptop stuffed with incriminating docs and videos, obviously shielding him.

The people running these agencies must be liable now for a range of crimes running from obstruction of justice to interfering in a presidential election, to acting as accomplices in the Biden Family bribery crimes. Mr. Comer’s Oversight Committee has only just started. Soon, they will be hauling in witnesses, and even if the cable news networks and the big newspapers don’t report about them, there are too many alt-news outlets that can only be stifled by a Carrington Event.

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“Just stop talking, for the love of God, and DO SOMETHING.”

James Woods Rips McCarthy Over Biden Border BS (AW)

Now that Title 42 has officially ended, the humanitarian catastrophe at the nation’s southern border is set to dramatically intensify as hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are expected to swarm into the country, overwhelming already stressed to the extreme Customs and Border Protection agents with the responsibility for the unprecedented mass invasion solely belonging to President Joe Biden, at least according to the union that represents the CBP. Harrowing videos of the sea of humanity descending upon and pouring over the border into El Paso, Texas have been posted to social media, images reminiscent of a third-world country which the nation is now becoming under the stewardship of the nation’s 46th president and CBP professionals are bracing for the situation to become far worse now that the Trump era policy put into place to mitigate the spread of COVID is no more.

On Thursday, the union that represents Border Patrol agents didn’t hold anything back as it laid the blame for the crisis solely at the feet of the Democrat career politician who has repeatedly lied about the consequences of his open borders policies. “This is by far the worst sustained disaster that any BP agent, active or retired, has ever seen at our border,” the NBPC tweeted along with a picture of smiling Joe on Thursday. “And one man is responsible for every single bit of it, with the worst still to come.” “The Biden Administration is absolutely corrupt to its core,” the NBPC stated in another Thursday tweet.

Also singling out Biden was conservative actor James Woods, a legendary Twitter warrior who turned up the heat on feckless Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) whose tough talk has yet to amount to the decisive action that many feel is necessary to right the ship. “Either impeach him or shut up,” the exasperated Woods said in response to a McCarthy tweet. “Just stop talking, for the love of God, and DO SOMETHING.”

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“..My classmate Barack Obama and I graduated on the same day in Spring of 1983..”

Open Border Catastrophe is the Cloward-Piven Plan to Destroy America (Wayne Root)

This open border disaster is not a “Johnny-come-lately” story. It is a plan that was created many decades ago by leftist radicals intent on destroying America. I should know. I was there. I am a witness. I am a blue collar S.O.B. (son of a butcher) from the wrong side of the tracks- a poor majority-black town on the Bronx borderline. I attended almost all black middle school and high school in Mt Vernon, New York. After I graduated Valedictorian, I was accepted at prestigious Ivy League Columbia University. What I found there shocked me to the core. Columbia University was filled with spoiled-brat, “Lucky Sperm Club,” privileged white kids who were obsessed with hatred for America. These radical nutjobs bragged about being communists and Marxists. They bragged about their hatred of white people (even though they were white themselves).

They bragged about hating rich people (even though they were from rich families themselves). This was one gigantic guilt trip. My classmates hated themselves, their country, their parents, their wealth, and most of all- their whiteness. They talked all day long about their plans to bring America down; destroy the economy; bankrupt white businessmen; and create “equality and fairness” by turning America into a socialist/Marxist/communist country. It’s important to note that one of my classmates at Columbia was Barack Obama. My classmate Barack Obama and I graduated on the same day in Spring of 1983. This very month is the 40th anniversary of our Columbia graduation. These Columbia University radicals (and traitors) had a plan named Cloward-Piven. It was named after two Columbia University professors- the husband-and-wife team of Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.

The plan was actually simple- get everyone possible in America on welfare, food stamps and a hundred other government welfare programs. Get so many on the government dole that the economy is overwhelmed, destroyed and collapses under the weight of the exploding national debt. Basically, America goes bankrupt. At this point, Americans would be in so much pain and so frightened, they would beg government to save them. And that is how they would “fundamentally change America forever.” Remember those words? They came out of the mouth of Barack Obama. He learned those words and this plan at Columbia. Because of the collapse of the economy and society, Cloward and Piven believed America would be ready for socialism- bailouts, a permanent welfare state, and a monthly universal income check. The goal? Equality, equity, social justice. Recognize those words? Everyone would be in the same boat- dependent on Big Brother for survival.

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“..every member of the Biden family that received any of the funds is implicated AND MUST BE INDICTED..”

Comer’s Presser And Biden’s Family (Denninger)

Cormer claims that the House Oversight Committee has uncovered a network of of roughly a dozen shell companies that moved money around in various transactions and had no business purpose at all. In other words, other than taking in cash from someone — foreign entities — and distributing those funds through a series of smaller transactions the firms had no offices, no people, conducted no business and produced nothing, whether at a profit or loss. The beneficiaries, that is the final persons, all in Biden’s family, who received the funds did not produce anything in return for same and couldn’t have given the convoluted path the funds took.

The structuring of transactions for the purpose of concealing the source or destination of funds is money laundering — also known as “structuring.” It is a serious felony even if no other criminal charge is proved; the intent is to evade reporting requirements. In these cases the attempt to evade the reporting failed as SARs were filed anyway, but that doesn’t matter. The attempt is illegal. FCPA prohibits taking funds from a foreign entity for corrupt purpose; that is, an effective bribe in exchange for anything of value where the other end of the transaction is outside the United States is illegal. That is also a serious criminal felony and has applied to all US persons since 1977 and, since 1998, to foreign entities as well if the funds or acts touch the United States.

“Specifically, the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA prohibit the willful use of the mails or any means of instrumentality of interstate commerce corruptly in furtherance of any offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of money or anything of value to any person, while knowing that all or a portion of such money or thing of value will be offered, given or promised, directly or indirectly, to a foreign official to influence the foreign official in his or her official capacity, induce the foreign official to do or omit to do an act in violation of his or her lawful duty, or to secure any improper advantage in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person.”

This is black-letter law folks. Being VP at the time is no defense. There is zero exemption available to anyone irrespective of their position when it comes to this law; indeed, the entire point of it is to prevent US businesses from bribing foreign government entities and to prevent foreign entities from bribing US Government officials and instrumentalities. The structuring of transactions so as to “break them up” and conceal is otherwise a straight-forward payment from one person to another is evidence of knowledge that the act is in fact corrupt and illegal; nobody bothers to conceal a lawful transaction as there is simply no purpose to it. These findings demand a hearing in open court with all the evidence. The FBI apparently has hard evidence backing this they refuse to turn over, although House Oversight has obtained many SARs and bank records and those, standing alone, appear to make a prima-facia case that Biden family members received funds in size in exchange for……. nothing.

What sort of legitimate claim could someone make here that isn’t a criminal enterprise? Are you really going to tell me that unrelated foreign entities gave gifts to a whole list of Biden family members with no expectation of anything in return? Really? C’mon folks. This looks like wild-eyed bribery by foreign entities buying influence from the Vice President of the United States. Calling that “Treason” is factually wrong; Treason is defined in the Constitution and in fact is the only crime that is. However, it is evidence of a series of serious felonies and every member of the Biden family that received any of the funds is implicated AND MUST BE INDICTED. In addition the foreign entities forced to divulge what they were attempting to obtain from the United States Government in exchange for those funds.

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“He’s running product and technology for a 100% software company. What is the CEO in charge of: not paying the vendors?”

Who Is Linda Yaccarino, Elon Musk’s Pick For New Twitter CEO? (Ghaffary)

Elon Musk said he has picked NBCUniversal advertising executive Linda Yaccarino to be the new CEO of Twitter. Musk announced on Thursday that he had chosen his replacement as the chief executive of Twitter and its parent company, X, and that “she” (without naming who) will be starting in about six weeks. Musk confirmed his selection on Friday morning. Yaccarino is a seasoned media executive who could help repair Twitter’s relationship with its advertisers, many of whom have quit or cut back from the platform recently because of Musk’s perceived volatility. She has a reputation for being a tough negotiator and was key in the launch of NBCUniversal’s digital Peacock streaming service, according to the Wall Street Journal. She’s also a known Trump supporter, according to sources. In the past few months, Yaccarino has publicly praised Musk, and she interviewed him at a major advertising conference in April — paving her way, in the eyes of media insiders, to take on the role.

[..] But if you think that means the Elon-Twitter story is over, don’t hold your breath. Musk is still very much in control. He will still be the owner of Twitter. Unless he sells the company — or a controlling share of it — he’s the one calling the shots. How much power he gives Yaccarino is entirely at Musk’s discretion. “I can think of no finer way to restore trust in the advertising community than by recruiting Linda Yaccarino for the CEO role,” said Lou Paskalis, longtime ad executive and CEO and founder of AJL Advisory. “But the only way that would work is if she has autonomy from the erratic behaviors of Elon that have undermined his efforts thus far.” Although Yaccarino is not vocal about her political beliefs, it’s well known in the advertising community that she’s conservative, according to several sources. She served on former President Donald Trump’s Council on Sports and Nutrition, and many have noted that she likes and follows conservative accounts on Twitter.

But she’s also drawn flak from the right. Some of the more extreme right-wing Twitter influencer accounts have criticized her for praising diversity in the workforce and for being chair of the Taskforce on the Future of Work at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF), which they view as an elitist organization. Even if Musk follows through with this plan and actually gives up his job as CEO — and this is not at all guaranteed to happen until it happens — the billionaires’s ownership of Twitter means he can essentially hire or fire a new CEO as he pleases. Twitter is now a private company, so Musk has virtually no outside accountability from an independent board of directors to question his decisions.

In a tweet announcing the leadership change, Musk said he “will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.” These roles still represent a major part of the business’s operations. So while Musk could decide to give a new CEO control over some parts of Twitter’s day-to-day business, just how much control he gives up is entirely his choice. In other words, Musk’s critics may be celebrating at the prospect of a new person in charge at Twitter, but it’s not guaranteed how much — especially on the product side — will change, even with someone new at the top. “He’s running product and technology for a 100% software company. What is the CEO in charge of: not paying the vendors?” Jason Goldman, Twitter’s former board member and first head of product, told Vox in a text.

Twittter CEO

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“Veganism is Bad for You and I’m Embarrassed I Promoted it – Now I Only Eat Red Meat,” Says Bear Grylls..”

“Veganism is Bad for You – Now I Only Eat Red Meat” – Bear Grylls (DS)

Bear Grylls has said he is “embarrassed” by his past support of veganism, which he now says is bad for you and that his health has been transformed by only eating red meat, in the latest blow for the woke fad. The Telegraph has more. The adventurer, whose diet is now mostly composed of red meat and organs, has claimed he was wrong to think that eating a plant-based diet was good for the environment and his health. “I was vegan quite a few years ago – in fact, I wrote a vegan cookbook – and I feel a bit embarrassed because I really promoted that,” the 48-year-old said in an interview with PA. “I thought that was good for the environment and I thought it was good for my health. And through time and experience and knowledge and study, I realised I was wrong on both counts.”

The television star published a cookbook in 2015 called Fuel for Life, which promoted achieving “maximum health with amazing dairy, wheat and sugar-free recipes”. He wrote in the book: “To satisfy our insatiable appetite for meat we have developed very unnatural ways of breeding, keeping and killing animals. This far exceeds our nutritional needs for the health of myself and my family.” But the father-of-three has made quite the U-turn since then, and now completely avoids vegetables as part of his “ancestral way of living”. “For a long time, I’d been eating so many vegetables thinking it was doing me good, but just never felt like it had given me any good nutrients compared to the nutrient density I get from basically blood or bone marrow – red meat,” he said. “I’ve tried to listen to my body more, tried to listen to nature, and I don’t miss vegetables at all. I don’t go near them and I’ve never felt stronger, my skin’s never been better, and my gut’s never been better.”

And despite his once proud advocacy of veganism – he reportedly used to turn his nose up when his filming crew were eating sausages for lunch – Grylls says that embracing red meat and organs has been the “biggest game-changer” for his health. “I’ve found a counterculture way of living, of embracing red meat and organs – natural food just like our millennia of ancestors would have eaten for hundreds of thousands of years. “And out of all the different things I do for my health, I think that’s probably been the biggest game-changer, in the sense of improving my vitality, wellbeing, strength, skin and gut. “It’s just been getting away from the processed stuff and making the predominant thing in my diet red meat and liver and the natural stuff – fruit, honey, that sort of thing. It’s just about finding a more ancestral way of living,” he said.

Kolakusic

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Tucker Max Keiser

 

 

 

 


The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St Petersburg

 

 

 

 

Rabbit cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 252022
 


Salvador Dali Figure at a window 1925

 

Media Serve the Governors, Not the Governed (Lauria)
Musk Announces Twitter Amnesty (RT)
Musk Says Granting ‘Amnesty’ To Suspended Twitter Accounts (AP)
NATO Doesn’t Supersede the U.S. Constitution (McKnight)
Electric War (Escobar)
Belarus Paints Grim Picture For Ukraine If It Won’t Negotiate (RT)
Pentagon Dodges Ukraine Aid Question (RT)
French Interior Minister Labels Italy Enemy Of France After Migration Row (RMX)
EU Fails To Agree On Gas Price Cap – Hungary (RT)
Estonia Warns It Will Veto EU Price Cap On Russian Oil (RT)
Hungary Faces Pressure To Ratify NATO Expansion (RT)
Oddsmakers Favor DeSantis For 2024 (JTN)
Climate Policy Makes Europe Too Expensive for Low-Cost EV Manufacturing (CTH)
Meta Uncovers US Military-Linked Propaganda Campaign (RT)
You’re Going To Get Robbed (Denninger)

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk a bit about Twitter and its amnesty policy Elon Musk announced yesterday. Which is basically free speech. Which in turn is something many people feel threatened by. The Constitution itself is a threat to them.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in 1971:“In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy..”

Media Serve the Governors, Not the Governed (Lauria)

In his 1971 opinion in the Pentagon Papers case, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote: “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government.” That’s what WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have been doing since 2006: censuring governments with governments’ own words pried from secrecy by WikiLeaks’ sources—whistleblowers. In other words, WikiLeaks has been doing the job the U.S. constitution intended the press to do.

One can hardly imagine anyone sitting on today’s U.S. Supreme Court writing such an opinion. Even more troubling is the news media having turned its back on its mission. Today they almost always serve the governors—not the governed. The question is why. Consolidation of media ownership has increased obedience of desperate journalists; entertainment divisions have taken over news departments; and careerist reporters and editors live vicariously through the power of those they cover, rejecting the press’ unique power to hold those officials to account. It comes down ultimately to lifestyles. Men go to war to protect and further their lifestyles. The press cheers them on for residual material betterment and increase in status. Millions of lives erased for lifestyles.

It used to be accepted in television that news departments would lose money and would be supported by the entertainment division. That’s because news was considered a public service. TV newsmen — they were almost all men in those days— were former wire service and newspaper reporters. But greed has put the presenters’ personalities before public service, as entertainment masquerades as news. Newspapers have sacrificed investigative units to maximize profit. Government is the winner. The abdication of the mainstream media of their constitutional responsibility to serve the governed and not the governors has left a void filled for more than a decade by WikiLeaks.

No longer do today’s Daniel Ellsbergs need to take their chances with editors at The New York Times or The Washington Post, or with their reporters spinning the damning information they risk their freedom to get to the public — no matter how disinterested and distracted the public may be. Now the traditional media can be bypassed. WikiLeaks deals in the raw material, that governments hang themselves with. That’s why they want Assange’s head. They lust for revenge and to stop further leaks that threaten their grip on power. That the corporate media has turned on Assange and WikiLeaks reveals their service to the state and how much they prioritize their style of life — disregarding the carnage they help bring about.

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Twitter “amnesty”. RT provides a factual story…

Musk Announces Twitter Amnesty (RT)

Twitter boss Elon Musk has vowed to extend a “general amnesty” to an unspecified number of suspended users, a week after reversing former US President Donald Trump’s lifetime ban from the platform. “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week,” Musk tweeted on Thanksgiving Day. He added “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” a Latin phrase that means “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” The SpaceX and Tesla CEO launched a Twitter poll on Wednesday, asking if Twitter should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” Out of more than 3.1 million users who took part, 72.4% voted ‘yes’ and 27.6% voted ‘no’.

In a separate message Musk also promised to start freeing and offering up for grabs “vast numbers of handles” that had previously been “consumed” by bots and trolls. Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion last month, Musk has faced growing criticism for laying off hundreds of employees and reversing the permanent suspensions of multiple notable accounts, including former US President Donald Trump following a similar public vote. While critics claimed that Musk’s actions fuel hate speech, harassment and misinformation, he has rejected accusations he was some kind of “right-wing bogeyman” and insisted that Twitter under his ownership has not banned any leftists, not even for “utter lies.”

It remains to be seen how many users would be eligible for amnesty. This week the platform already reinstated Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose personal Twitter account had been permanently banned since early January 2022 for posting “misinformation” about the Covid-19 pandemic. Musk, however, drew the line at Alex Jones, saying he had “no mercy” for someone who used children’s deaths for clout. Musk had vowed to transform the platform and turn it into a bastion of free speech, saying it was “important to the future of civilization” to have a digital town square where a wide range of beliefs could be discussed.

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…but the MSM, in this case AP, sees enormous threats in free speech. And if free speech equals freedom, we know what they’re afraid of. It reminds me of Sartre’s “L’enfer c’est les autres”, (Hell is -the- other people). In other words, if you honor the priciple of free speech, you welcome hell into your world. That sounds like the opposite of what the founding fathers thought. Hell is other people’s freedom.

Musk Says Granting ‘Amnesty’ To Suspended Twitter Accounts (AP)

New Twitter owner Elon Musk said Thursday that he is granting “amnesty” for suspended accounts, which online safety experts predict will spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation. The billionaire’s announcement came after he asked in a poll posted to his timeline to vote on reinstatements for accounts that have not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” The yes vote was 72%. “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God.” Musk used the same Latin phrase after posting a similar poll last last weekend before reinstating the account of former President Donald Trump, which Twitter had banned for encouraging the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

Trump has said he won’t return to Twitter but has not deleted his account. Such online polls are anything but scientific and can easily be influenced by bots. In the month since Musk took over Twitter, groups that monitor the platform for racist, anti-Semitic and other toxic speech say it’s been on the rise on the world’s de facto public square. That has included a surge in racist abuse of World Cup soccer players that Twitter is allegedly failing to act on. The uptick in harmful content is in large part due to the disorder following Musk’s decision to lay off half the company’s 7,500-person workforce, fire top executives, and then institute a series of ultimatums that prompted hundreds more to quit. Also let go were an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation.

Among those resigning over a lack of faith in Musk’s willingness to keep Twitter from devolving into a chaos of uncontrolled speech were Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth. Major advertisers have also abandoned the platform. On Oct. 28, the day after he took control, Musk tweeted that no suspended accounts would be reinstated until Twitter formed a “content moderation council” with diverse viewpoints that would consider the cases. On Tuesday, he said he was reneging on that promise because he’d agreed to at the insistence of “a large coalition of political-social activists groups” who later ”broke the deal” by urging that advertisers at least temporarily stop giving Twitter their business.

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More violations of what the founding fathers bestowed upon us. How did all these things become so normal?

NATO Doesn’t Supersede the U.S. Constitution (McKnight)

As our government continues to bumble and stumble at full speed towards World War III, the concept of tripwires and the legal authority of Article 5 become required understanding for the vigilant citizen. Last week the American people received the then-breaking news that a missile had landed in Poland and killed two people.Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said that this was a purposeful act of war by Russia, and that the West must respond with full kinetic retaliation. He was joined by his amen corner here in the United States, that group of politicians, regime journalists, and paid lobbyists who have sold out their country for the requisite thirty pieces of silver. The War Party immediately jumped into action: this was what they’ve been waiting, praying for. A catalyst to launch the missiles, and sacrifice the world.

Poland, like the United States and nearly all of Europe, is a member of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. (Maybe we should wonder why countries like Poland, Estonia, and Romania are in an “Atlantic” alliance.) A provision of NATO is Article 5, which popular conception treats as a mandatory obligation to go to war when a member of the alliance is attacked. It’s a one way pass into World War III. There were just two things wrong with this narrative. First, as was revealed within forty-eight hours and confirmed by both the Polish government and Biden White House, the missile was Ukrainian, not Russian. Vladimir Putin had not attacked NATO—purposefully or accidentally. Instead, a Ukrainian air defense missile attempting to intercept a Russian strike went off trajectory killed two Poles across the border.

All of a sudden “collective security” was no longer threatened, and no one on cable news was talking about how this required NATO retaliation on Kiev. (Surprised?) Secondly, even if it had been a Russian missile, and even if Vladimir Putin himself had aimed directly at that Polish farm, Article 5 obligates the United States to nothing. The NATO Treaty also has an Article 11, which specifies that the provisions of the alliance will be carried out in accordance with the domestic constitutions and processes of the respective members. That means a majority vote of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on a formal declaration of war. Any member of Congress or news talking head saying Article 5 requires an immediate military response without a debate or vote is either lying or woefully uninformed.

And even if the NATO Treaty didn’t have that provision, we’d still rest our argument of Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, the supreme authority of our laws. We are a sovereign nation, and the American people always have a choice on whether or not to go to war. Any international piece of paper trying to say otherwise be damned. Unfortunately, the War Party doesn’t always make that choice easy. They bribe politicians with weapon contract profits, flood the corporate press with propaganda, and instruct the American people that they must either commit to endless war or lose their liberty. They manufacture themselves consent.

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“..a Polish farmer, his footfalls echoing in our collective memory, may have saved the world from WWIII..”

Electric War (Escobar)

Spare a thought to the Polish farmer snapping pics of a missile wreckage – later indicated to belong to a Ukrainian S-300. So a Polish farmer, his footfalls echoing in our collective memory, may have saved the world from WWIII – unleashed via a tawdry plot concocted by Anglo-American “intelligence”.Such tawdriness was compounded by a ridiculous cover-up: the Ukrainians were firing on Russian missiles from a direction that they could not possibly be coming from. That is: Poland. And then the U.S. Secretary of Defense, weapons peddler Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin, sentenced Russia was to blame anyway, because his Kiev vassals were shooting at Russian missiles that should not have been in the air (and they were not). Call it the Pentagon elevating bald lying into a rather shabby art.

The Anglo-American purpose of this racket was to generate a “world crisis” against Russia. It’s been exposed – this time. That does not mean the usual suspects won’t try it again. Soon. The main reason is panic. Collective West intel sees how Moscow is finally mobilizing their army – ready to hit the ground next month – while knocking out Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure as a form of Chinese torture. Those February days of sending only 100,000 troops – and having the DPR and LPR militias plus Wagner commandos and Kadyrov’s Chechens do most of the heavy lifting – are long gone. Overall, Russians and Russophones were facing hordes of Ukrainian military – perhaps as many as 1 million. The “miracle” of it all is that Russians did quite well.

Every military analyst knows the basic rule: an invasion force should number three times the defending force. The Russian Army at the start of the SMO was at a small fraction of that rule. The Russian Armed Forces arguably have a standing army of 1.3 million troops. Surely they could have spared a few tens of thousands more than the initial 100,000. But they did not. It was a political decision. But now SMO is over: this is CTO (Counter-Terrorist Operation) territory. A sequence of terrorist attacks – targeting the Nord Streams, the Crimea Bridge, the Black Sea Fleet – finally demonstrated the inevitability of going beyond a mere “military operation”. And that brings us to Electric War.

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“If they [Kiev] don’t want people to die, and to die in huge numbers … It’s hard, but [the conflict] must be stopped, because the complete destruction of Ukraine will follow..”

Belarus Paints Grim Picture For Ukraine If It Won’t Negotiate (RT)

Ukraine should do its best to end the conflict with Russia, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday, adding that failure to do so would bring about the total collapse of the nation. Commenting on the hostilities in the neighboring country, the Belarusian leader noted that “everything is in Ukraine’s hands now.” “If they [Kiev] don’t want people to die, and to die in huge numbers … It’s hard, but [the conflict] must be stopped, because the complete destruction of Ukraine will follow,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of the summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Armenia. Lukashenko added that it is not just “the loss of statehood” that is at stake for Ukraine, but its very existence.

He claimed that the Ukrainian people, who are bearing the brunt of the conflict, would eventually force President Vladimir Zelensky into a diplomatic engagement. “In one or two years, the people will be accusing him: ‘What did you do to start this war?’ According to Lukashenko, the situation will “press the Ukrainian leadership – if it is reasonable – into sitting at the negotiating table.” After Russia launched its military campaign against Ukraine in late February, Belarus hosted several rounds of talks between Moscow and Kiev. At the time, however, these diplomatic efforts failed to garner any results. In October, the Belarusian president claimed that while Minsk takes part in Russia’s military operation, its role is limited.

He said that his country is preventing the conflict from spreading into its territory while making sure that “nobody would shoot Russians in the back from the territory of Belarus.” In late September, he also claimed that the conflict could end “in just a few days” if Western powers were to back a peaceful settlement. This statement was to some extent echoed by Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said last week that the participation of Western nations in dialogue could be a “guiding and reinforcing element.” While Moscow has repeatedly signaled that it is open to negotiations, President Zelensky has set some conditions. They include the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage,” and the “punishment of every war criminal.”

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“I am not going to take the question because I’m answering your question.”

Pentagon Dodges Ukraine Aid Question (RT)

The US military has declined to give an exact breakdown for billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine requested by the White House last week, saying it would not discuss funding to replenish domestic arms stocks amid reports of growing shortages. Asked about President Joe Biden’s letter to Congress requesting an additional $37.7 billion in assistance to Kiev, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh refused to offer details. “I would not be able to tell you how much of that… is going back to replenishment,” she told reporters during a Tuesday press conference. “With every security assistance package that we announce, we assess our own readiness and capabilities and also what needs to be replenished.”

Pressed on whether she could take the question back to the Pentagon and provide an answer later, Singh doubled down, insisting: “I am not going to take the question because I’m answering your question.”“I just don’t have a number or a dollar figure for you right now on what that looks like, and I don’t think that’s something that we would broadcast from here,” she reiterated. Though the White House previously said that $21.7 billion of the requested aid would be devoted to both “equipment for Ukraine” and the “replenishment of Department of Defense stocks,” it did not specify how much would go to each. Repeated weapon shipments to Kiev have taken a toll on the domestic stockpile.

Earlier this week, the US Army’s chief of arms acquisition, Doug Bush, said the military was accelerating its process to procure weapons in order to make up for shortages, though Pentagon documents recently seen by the New York Post suggested it will take “multiple years” to resupply the Army. Even as early as March, just weeks after the conflict in Ukraine kicked off, the Defense Department was already scrambling to replenish thousands of shoulder-fired missiles supplied to Kiev. US arms transfers have only increased in the time since, with the Pentagon’s latest fact sheet reporting more than $19 billion in direct military aid approved since February, including over 46,000 anti-armor systems, nearly 200 Howitzers, 38 long-range High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and a litany of other heavy weapons, vehicles and ammunition.

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“She argues that France continues to act like a colonial power, which drives Africans to migrate in the first place.”

French Interior Minister Labels Italy Enemy Of France After Migration Row (RMX)

Following growing tensions between Italy and France over the issue of boat migrants in the Mediterranean, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has resorted to extremely harsh rhetoric, referring to the Italian government as “enemies of France.” Darmanin made the comment in response to a question from a National Rally MP Mathilde Paris during a Q&A session in the French parliament, saying Italy is “attacking France.” Paris was inquiring why the majority of the migrants aboard the Ocean Viking ship, which France allowed to dock, have been released from the administrative center housing them, despite the minister’s previous assurances that “(they) will not be able to leave the administrative center.” Instead of addressing the question, Darmanin claimed she was an “ally” of the “enemies” of France.

“In fact, madam, you are not patriotic if you ally yourself with the enemies who are attacking France at the moment,” Darmanin said in response to a question by Paris. “You are siding with Madam (Giorgia) Meloni and her government who did not respect international law, instead you are attacking French policemen,” he added. The French government is being criticized for taking in the migrants, and a report shows that 26 of the 44 minors taken in have already escaped the migrant center. The language being deployed by Darmanin is sure to add further tension between the two countries, which has been growing ever since Italy rejected taking 234 migrants from the NGO ship Ocean Viking, which had mostly North Africans on board.

Italy argues that it has already accepted 90,000 migrants in 2022 alone, and even after rejecting Ocean Viking, it still allowed three NGO ships to dock and 600 migrants to disembark. Although French President Emmanuel Macron has labeled Meloni “inhumane” for not taking in the Ocean Viking migrants, at the same time, France has now said it is retaliating by not accepting 3,000 migrants from Italy it had promised to take in. Meloni has responded, pointing to France’s CFA franc program, in which France agrees to print money for 14 African countries in exchange for mint fees, which can go as high as 50 percent. She argues that France continues to act like a colonial power, which drives Africans to migrate in the first place.

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Hopeless. They all want different price caps for different reasons.

EU Fails To Agree On Gas Price Cap – Hungary (RT)

EU nations have failed to reach an agreement on imposing a price ceiling on natural gas following a Council of Energy Ministers’ meeting, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday. Ministers from the bloc will discuss the proposed measure further during an extraordinary meeting scheduled on December 13, two days before the Summit of European leaders. “Today we started negotiations on the introduction of a ceiling on gas prices. I can say that these are bad proposals, which also threaten Europe’s energy security,” Szijjarto said. “At the meeting, no decision was made that could meet the objectives of the European Commission,” the minister stated, adding that most member states, including Hungary, see such a step as a misguided intervention with work of the natural gas market.


Szijjarto stressed that Hungary, which is heavily reliant on Russian energy imports, is planning to seek exemptions from any EU price caps on oil and gas supplied under long-term contracts. The EU has proposed introducing a cap when prices on the TTF exchange, Europe’s gas benchmark, reach €275 per megawatt hour and when prices are €58 ($59.53) higher than the LNG reference price for ten consecutive trading days within the two weeks. Both conditions need to be met for the cap to be triggered.

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“It is hoped that the price limit would allow Russian production to remain at pre-sanctions levels, but reduce the country’s oil revenue.”

Estonia Warns It Will Veto EU Price Cap On Russian Oil (RT)

A price cap on Russian oil proposed by the European Commission is too high and may be blocked by Estonia, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu said on Thursday, as quoted by Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR). The proposal by Brussels to set a limit of between $65 and $70 per barrel on Russian sea-borne oil is insufficient, he stated, arguing that Moscow would make too much revenue at that price. “Estonia finds that the price horizon’s ambition is too low, considering that the EU has also failed to agree on a ninth sanctions package. The cap seems too high,” Reinsalu said at a government press conference, adding that discussions were ongoing.

Earlier, EU energy chief Kadri Simson confirmed that bloc members had failed to reach an agreement on a Russian oil price cap, but said negotiations would continue. Estonia’s warning came after EU leaders had already watered down the proposed cap by weakening some shipping provisions and delaying the implementation of the measure. Under the updated plan seen by Bloomberg, a grace period would apply to crude loaded before December 5, when oil-related sanctions come into effect, and unloaded by January 19. If approved, the measure would ban Western companies from providing insurance, brokerage or financial assistance to vessels loaded with Russian crude, unless the cargo is purchased below an agreed price.

It is hoped that the price limit would allow Russian production to remain at pre-sanctions levels, but reduce the country’s oil revenue. The proposal was reportedly rejected by Poland along with all three Baltic States, which called the cap “too generous” for Russia and pushed for the price ceiling to be imposed at $30 per barrel. Meanwhile, nations with major shipping industries like Greece and Malta insisted the cap should not be below $70. On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would embargo nations that support the proposed price limit on its oil.

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“I would like to underline that the Swedes and the Finns have not lost a single minute of membership because of Hungary,” Orban said..”

Hungary Faces Pressure To Ratify NATO Expansion (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has promised that Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bids will definitely be among the first items on the agenda when the country’s parliament reconvenes next year, likely around mid-February.“I would like to underline that the Swedes and the Finns have not lost a single minute of membership because of Hungary,” Orban said, as cited by Euronews, adding that the prime ministers of Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia had nudged him to move forward with the process during their meeting on Thursday.

“We have already confirmed to both Finland and Sweden that Hungary supports the membership of these two countries in NATO, and at the first session of next year, Parliament will put this on the agenda,” the Hungarian PM stated, apparently after facing pressure during a Visegrad Group meeting in Slovakia. Last month, Orban’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said there was a “good chance” the Hungarian parliament would vote before its autumn session ends mid-December. The parliament usually reconvenes in early February. In May, amid Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, Sweden and neighboring Finland broke with their decades-long neutrality stance and formally applied for NATO membership. While the bloc accepted the requests, the Nordic nations’ bids have to be ratified by all 30 member states, and Türkiye and Hungary’s approval is still pending.

Earlier this month, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock rebuked Budapest and Ankara for delaying the ratification process, insisting that there is a “crystal clear basis” for allowing the two Nordic nations to join the military bloc. Hungarian officials have repeatedly stated their support for NATO expansion, and the measure is expected to be easily passed once it comes to the floor. Meanwhile, Ankara is demanding that Stockholm and Helsinki do more to fight “terrorism,” particularly Kurdish groups which are outlawed in Türkiye. Negotiations on the matter are still underway.

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Pence and Buttigieg. What a waste of time.

Oddsmakers Favor DeSantis For 2024 (JTN)

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is the odds-on favorite to win the 2024 presidential election. Betting website Covers.com currently assigns DeSantis a 30.77% chance of winning the 2024 electoral contest, with former President Donald Trump coming in second with 22.22%. President Joe Biden rounds out the top three with 20% while Vice President Kamala Harris and Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom tie for fourth with 6.67% each. Former Vice President Mike Pence and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg each have a 4.35% shot at the nation’s top job. Thus far, only Trump has officially launched his 2024 campaign, though Biden is expected to eventually do so. DeSantis, meanwhile, has declined to fuel speculation about his own potential bid, instead asserting that the GOP should focus on the upcoming Georgia runoff election.

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Want to use less oil? Stop making stuff.

Climate Policy Makes Europe Too Expensive for Low-Cost EV Manufacturing (CTH)

We have been closely monitoring the signs of a global cleaving around the energy sector taking place. Essentially, western governments’ following the “Build Back Better” climate change agenda which stops using coal, oil and gas to power their economic engine, while the rest of the growing economic world continues using the more efficient and traditional forms of energy to power their economies. Within the BBB western group (identified on map in yellow), the logical consequences are increased living costs for those who live in the BBB zone, and increased prices for goods manufactured in the BBB zone. In the zone where traditional low-cost energy resources continue to be developed (grey on map), we would expect to see a lower cost of living and lower costs to create goods. Two divergent economic zones based on two different energy systems.

This potential outcome just seemed to track with the logical conclusion. The yellow zone also represented by the World Economic Forum, and the gray zone also represented by an expanding BRICS alliance. Against this predictable backdrop we have been watching various events unfold, some obvious and some less so. Today, we get an obvious example: NEW DELHI, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Fiat parent Stellantis (STLA.MI) has concluded it can’t currently make affordable electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe and is looking at lower-cost manufacturing in markets such as India, its chief executive told reporters. If India, with its low-cost supplier base, is able to meet the company’s quality and cost targets by the end of 2023, it could open the door to exporting EVs to other markets, said Carlos Tavares, CEO of the group whose brands also include Peugeot and Chrysler.

“So far, Europe is unable to make affordable EVs. So the big opportunity for India would be to be able to sell EV compact cars at an affordable price, protecting profitability,” Tavares told reporters at a media roundtable in India late on Wednesday. Stellantis is investing heavily in EVs and plans to produce dozens in the coming decade, but Tavares warned last month that affordable battery EVs were between five and six years away. On his first visit to India since taking over as Stellantis CEO, he said the company was still working out a plan regarding EV exports from the country and had not yet taken any decisions.”

Normally we would expect to see market forces determining the ultimate economic outcome. Historically, we would not expect government policy that puts their nation at an economic disadvantage. However, in this WEF controlled new western economic normal we see multinational corporations’ making decisions and government leaders creating policy to support the corporations. There is money to be made by corporations within the climate change agenda, and there is money to be made by producing goods with low-cost wages and cheap materials. Eventually, if you keep following this to its natural conclusion, the entire yellow zone becomes a service driven economy.

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What on earth made them go public with this?

“..the Pentagon was forced to launch a “sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare,” after a variety of social media accounts, which its operatives used to target foreign audiences in elaborate psychological warfare efforts, were exposed.”

Meta Uncovers US Military-Linked Propaganda Campaign (RT)

Facebook’s parent company Meta has acknowledged the discovery of several clusters of fake accounts and pages believed to be linked to individuals “associated with the US military,” according to the company’s latest adversarial threat report published this week. “Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the US military,” the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. The influence campaign was discovered earlier this year and in total Meta removed 39 Facebook and 26 Instagram accounts, as well as 16 Pages and two groups, all for violating the policy against “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

The social media giant admitted that the large-scale operation ran beyond those several dozen accounts and across many other internet platforms, including Twitter, YouTube and Telegram, as well as major Russian social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. It apparently attempted to downplay the discovery by insisting that the “majority of this operation’s posts had little to no engagement from authentic communities” and highlighting similar “deceptive campaigns” by China and Russia. Meta’s acknowledgement substantiates a bombshell investigation by Washington Post that revealed that the Pentagon was forced to launch a “sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare,” after a variety of social media accounts, which its operatives used to target foreign audiences in elaborate psychological warfare efforts, were exposed.

The takedown of the influence network was initially highlighted by researchers at Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory, which back in August published a report about online networks allegedly pushing “pro-Western,” anti-Russia and other politicized narratives. While the original study did not pin blame for the fake accounts on any particular actors, two officials later told the Post that US CENTCOM – the combatant command which oversees forces in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia – “is among those whose activities are facing scrutiny” for its influence operations. At the time, CENTCOM refused to comment on whether any of the suspicious accounts were created by its personnel or contractors, but one official claimed such behavior would “absolutely be a violation of doctrine and training practices.”

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Death, taxes and getting robbed.

You’re Going To Get Robbed (Denninger)

Read this Twitter thread in full.: Today, we issued a final rule that allows retirement plan investors to take climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into consideration when making investment decisions: Oh really? Did you not just see a prime example of what happens when “ESG” takes over a corporation? Why, you did. It’s called Twitter. Three quarters of the people, all hired with “ESG” in mind, were just fired by Musk who as a private owner has zero obligation to any such so-called “principle.” The various screaming parties in the ESG cult all predicted immediate doom and disaster. No such disaster has occurred; the firm’s only service it provides to the public is running just fine with one quarter of the staffing load — and thus cost — it used to have. If you think Twitter is unique in this regard you’re too stupid to have a retirement and deserve to lose every cent of whatever you claim to be “investing.”

Let’s put this in simple terms: If “ESG” is a net positive for a company then nobody has to exempt anything or make it a separate subject of consideration and in fact doing so is stupid because if it in fact makes the firm more competitive and operating at a lower cost per unit of output it wins all on its own. What the Department of Labor has said by issuing this advisory is that your “retirement plan” can now be disadvantaged to any degree whatsoever, including losing all of it, when (not if) these “ESG” initiatives cause the firms invested in to underperform or fail outright and when that occurs you can’t sue the plan provider for violating their fiduciary responsibility to you as the true owner of the asset.

In other words the Department of Labor is formally admitting that these “ESG” initiatives are not to the benefit of the firm’s operating results and thus are also not to your benefit as an investor. This fact has now become a formal admission by our Federal Government. What’s worse? This “rule” amounts to an admission of collusive price-fixing — albeit indirect — between what are supposed to be competing firms. Under 100+ year old law that is a serious criminal felony. You will get screwed out of trillions of dollars over the coming years as a result of this and you are responsible for that screwing because you have and continue to permit this sort of rank corruption to take place without demanding it stop and backing up that demand with whatever is necessary to eliminate it.

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Steve Kirsch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1595893348035751936

 

 

 

 

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Sep 302022
 


Pavel Filonov The Kolkhoznik (Member of a Collective Farm) 1931

 

Kremlin Reveals Next Step On Donbass, Kherson, And Zaporozhye (RT)
Erdogan Speaks On Referendums On Joining Russia (RT)
Pentagon To Create ‘Ukraine Command’ – Media (RT)
Russia Mulling Face-To-Face Nuclear Arms Treaty Talks With US (ZH)
Multipolar World Order – Part 2 (Iain Davis)
West ‘Clinging To The Past’ – Putin (RT)
Putin Outlines Goals Of ‘Geopolitical Adversaries’ (RT)
US Puts Energy Operators On ‘Heightened Alert’ (RT)
Key Russian Black Sea Gas Pipeline Under Threat (RT)
Durham Prosecutes FBI Informants, While Protecting Their Handlers (Sperry)
US Offers A New Definition Of ‘Healthy’ (RT)
NHS Nurses Not Eating At Work In Order To Feed Their Children (G.)
Cardiologist: The Greatest Miscarriage Of Medical Science (ToI)
Safe and Effective: A Second Opinion (Oracle)

 

 

 

 

Gervais
https://twitter.com/i/status/1575538121713672193

 

 

 

 

History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.
– George Orwell, 1984

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russia will officially annex the four regions today. Then Ukraine will no longer be shelling its own -Russian speaking- citizens on its own land. They’ll be shelling Russians on Russian land. Which makes it much easier for Moscow to protect them, something they’re obliged to do. Putin waited 8 years -of constant shelling- to recognize the Donbass republics, and he was’t going to wait another 8. As Gav Don said yesterday at the Saker, htis may be A Possible Strategy For Peace. It may seem a bit contradictory, but it might just work.

Kremlin Reveals Next Step On Donbass, Kherson, And Zaporozhye (RT) 

The Kremlin has revealed when Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign treaties on the inclusion of the two Donbass republics, as well as the self-proclaimed states in Kherson and Zaporozhye, into the Russian Federation. The move follows referendums held in the respective territories. The ceremonial signing will take place in the St. George Hall inside the Kremlin Palace on Friday at 3pm Moscow time, after which Putin will deliver a“voluminous speech,” according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. The Russian president will also personally meet with the heads of the new territories. The announcement comes after the two republics and two self-proclaimed states made official requests to join the Russian Federation after having held public referendums on the issue between September 23 and 27.

The move was overwhelmingly supported by the local population, according to official results announced late on Tuesday. Peskov separately noted that Putin’s speech on Friday will not be a formal address to the Federal Assembly – the country’s parliament – stating that such a speech will be held in a completely different format and is yet to be announced. As explained by Senator Konstantin Kosachev, the vice speaker of the upper house of Russia’s parliament, signing the treaties is only one of the key steps necessary to officially incorporate the new territories into the Russian Federation. After Putin signs the treaties, they must be submitted to the country’s Constitutional Court to ensure they comply with Russian law.

Once they are cleared, the documents have to be ratified by the lower house, the State Duma, and the upper house of parliament, the Federal Council. Only after that will the DPR, LPR, and the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye officially become integrated into the Russian Federation. The next session of the Federal Council is planned for October 4, according to chairman Valentina Matvienko, who said that if “everything is confirmed” the body will take the treaties on accepting the new territories up for consideration. The EU and the US have repeatedly refused to accept the results of the referendums, calling them a “sham.”Western leaders have also vowed to never recognize “any kind of annexation in Ukraine.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen claimed she was “determined to make the Kremlin pay for this further escalation,”while US State Secretary Antony Blinken stated that Kiev had “every right” to take back the territories that are trying to secede from its rule.

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“Erdogan claimed that Ukraine and Russia may reach a peace settlement only if Moscow returns to Kiev all the lands that it has captured since the beginning of the military operation..”

Not going to happen.

Erdogan Speaks On Referendums On Joining Russia (RT)

Recent referendums in the Donbass republics and two Ukrainian regions on joining Russia are of great concern, and it would be better to “solve this problem diplomatically,” Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told local media on Wednesday. In an interview with CNN Türk on Wednesday, Erdogan sounded the alarm over the public vote, adding that dialogue would be a preferable option in tackling this issue. “The decision to hold referendums in some occupied regions of Ukraine is quite worrying… There may be an annexation here,” he said, adding that “if Putin, whom I know, has put something in his head, he will do it.” Erdogan said that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had asked for Türkiye’s diplomatic support on the issue of the referendums.

“[He] wants us to convince Putin. I intend to discuss these issues in detail with Putin tomorrow [on Thursday],” he said. He also noted that another major issue on the agenda would be the UN- Türkiye-brokered deal which unblocked Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea. According to Erdogan, 80% of grain shipments from Ukrainian ports “unfortunately went to rich countries.” “This has been a serious concern for Putin. We hope that we will be able to send it to poor countries and achieve the result,” he added. However, on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov noted that the Russian leader has no talks scheduled with Erdogan. During the interview, Türkiye’s president also stressed that a possible nuclear war would be “catastrophic.”

“One should not even think about this, let alone talk about it. Solving this issue through diplomacy would be the most appropriate step,” he said. This was an apparent reference to the warning the Russian leader issued to the West last week, saying that those who use nuclear blackmail against Moscow “should know that the wind can turn around.” Last week, Erdogan claimed that Ukraine and Russia may reach a peace settlement only if Moscow returns to Kiev all the lands that it has captured since the beginning of the military operation in late February. During the referendums that were held between September 23 and 27, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics along with Kherson Region and part of Zaporozhye Region overwhelmingly voted to join Russia.

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But they’re not involved in the conflict!

Pentagon To Create ‘Ukraine Command’ – Media (RT)

The Pentagon is working to create a new military command devoted to arming and training Ukrainian soldiers, US officials told multiple media outlets, suggesting the effort will effectively “overhaul” the current process for weapons transfers to Kiev. The command would be based in Wiesbaden, Germany – where the US Army keeps its European headquarters – and be made up of 300 staffers led by General Christopher Cavoli, who heads up the military’s European Command, according to unnamed officials cited by the New York Times and CNN on Thursday. “The changes, which aim to give a formal structure to what has been improvised since the war’s onset, are roughly modeled on US train-and-assist efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past two decades,” the Times reported.

While the new unit would look to make major alterations to the current train-and-equip program for Kiev, Wiesbaden will remain a key component in the scheme, as most Ukrainian troops currently being instructed on American weapons are doing so in or near the city. Since Russia sent troops into the neighboring country in late February, US military aid to Ukraine has largely been managed from Germany and Poland by Lieutenant General Christopher Donahue, who also oversaw the chaotic evacuation of US forces from Afghanistan last year. However, Donahue and his staff are set to return home next month, creating the need for a specialized command oriented toward training and arming Ukrainian troops. The proposal for the new unit was initially floated earlier in the conflict by General Tod Wolters, with Cavoli ‘fine-tuning’ the idea after taking his place at EUCOM in July, according to the Times.

In late August, the Wall Street Journal similarly reported that Washington was looking to appoint a general to lead the arm-and-train program in Ukraine, suggesting the initiative could receive an official mission name, as well as “long-term, dedicated funding” from the US government. The outlet added that the changes would mark a “shift from the largely ad hoc effort to provide training and assistance to the Ukrainians for years.” The US has authorized nearly $17 billion in arms transfers to Ukraine’s military so far this year, with the vast majority of that aid approved since hostilities escalated in February. Though large quantities of gear and ammunition have come directly from existing stockpiles, the Pentagon is also working with arms contractors to manufacture weapons specifically for Kiev, including 18 brand-new High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) announced earlier this week – one of the longest-range platforms provided by Washington to date.

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In the next room, negotiate peace please.

Russia Mulling Face-To-Face Nuclear Arms Treaty Talks With US (ZH)

Russia says it is mulling a face-to-face meeting with US officials in order to discuss the New START nuclear arms treaty (Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms). Amid heightened nuclear tensions related to the Ukraine war, in a rare moment of potential good news, given the prior collapse of several US-Russia Cold War era treaties which were meant to avoid confrontation between nuclear armed superpowers. “Within the framework of the [advisory] commission, a remote discussion continues on what organizational and technical problems need to be addressed. Some of them have been removed, while others have made significant progress,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a Thursday press briefing.

But she cited that “a number of significant difficulties remain: the implementation of the treaty’s essentially routine measures is complicated by the unconstructive anti-Russian actions of the United States and its partners,” according to state media. “They continue to introduce new sanctions prohibitions, impede the normal interaction of the parties. We will seek to resolve all problematic issues in the context of the implementation of the Treaty on an equal basis, taking into account our national interests,” Zakharova said of the US administration. In March 2021 the two sides renewed New START for a period of five years, and it will expire in February 2026 if it’s not continued – an increasing possibility given US-Russia relations have deteriorated so fast they are near complete breaking point.

The treaty is intended to limit and reduce nuclear arms on either side, setting a limit of no more than 1,550 deployed warheads and 700 missiles. START I began in 1991, with New START signed under the Obama and Medvedev administrations in 2010 as a successor agreement. Compliance inspections are part of the deal, but that’s precisely a current issue of contention, given that last month Russia informed the US that it was temporarily suspending American inspections of its nuclear weapons sites under the 2010 treaty. “On August 8, 2022, the Russian Federation officially informed the United States via diplomatic channels that our country is temporarily exempting its facilities from inspection activities under the New START Treaty,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in August, adding it also covers “facilities that can be used for demonstrations under the treaty.”

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Everyone wants one. But only if they’re in the middle.

Multipolar World Order – Part 2 (Iain Davis)

We ask: who wants a multipolar world order? The short answer: everyone. The longer answer: everyone who has sufficient power and influence to change global governance. The multipolar model isn’t being pushed solely by the Russian and Chinese governments, their oligarchs and their think tanks. It’s also being promoted by the erstwhile “leaders” of the unipolar world order. Consider this remark by German Chancellor Olaf Sholtz. His speech, set within the context of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine—which every member of the Western establishment lambastes for the cameras—was given at the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Davos gathering:

“I see another global development that constitutes a watershed. We are experiencing what it means to live in a multipolar world. The bipolarity of the Cold War is just as much part of the past as the relatively brief phase when the United States was the sole remaining global power[.] [. . .] The crucial question is this: how can we ensure that the multipolar world will also be a multilateral world? [. . .] I am convinced that it can succeed – if we explore new paths and fields of cooperation. [. . .] If we notice that our world is becoming multipolar, then that has to spur us on: to even more multilateralism! To even more international cooperation!”

Western central banks, too, have looked toward the multipolar model. In a 2011 round table discussion at the Banque de France, then-French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who subsequently became the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and then was appointed President of the European Central Bank (ECB), said: “Our starting point is to create the conditions to achieve two closely intertwined objectives, i.e. strong, sustainable, and balanced growth, on the one hand, and an orderly transition to a world that is multipolar in economic and monetary terms, on the other. [. .] The G20 reached agreement [to] promote the orderly transition from a world where a small number of economies, with their currencies, represent the bulk of wealth and trade, to a multipolar world where emerging countries and their currencies represent a growing if not predominant share.”

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Well, their future does’t look very bright.

West ‘Clinging To The Past’ – Putin (RT)

Unwilling to accept the inevitable end of its unipolar hegemony, the West is generating problems and crises everywhere in order to cling to the past, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “We are witnessing a complex process of a more just world order being established ” Putin told the video conference of intelligence and security chiefs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). “Unipolar hegemony is inexorably collapsing, this is an objective reality that the West categorically refuses to accept, and we see everything that follows from this.”

The US and its allies “cling to the past and try to dictate policy everywhere, from international relations and economics to culture and sports,” Putin said, adding that the collective West “does not disdain any method of pressuring countries that choose a sovereign path of development, those who do not wish to submit but freely and independently choose their own future, safeguarding their culture, tradition and values.” Washington has accused Russia and China of revisionism and of challenging the “rules-based world order.” The CIS was created in 1991 from the newly independent republics of the USSR. While the West is trying to foment new crises in their territory, Putin noted, there were plenty of real ones dating back to the Soviet Union’s break-up.

The Russian president pointed to the present conflict with Ukraine but also the recent border battles between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, warning that “risks of destabilization are still growing”and threatening to expand to the entire Asia-Pacific. On the other hand, Putin noted, trade, industrial and investment cooperation between Russia and other CIS members has been increasing “in spite of pressure, blackmail and illegal sanctions from the US and its satellites.” In addition to Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan make up the CIS. Georgia left the organization in 2009 and Ukraine stopped participating after the US-backed coup in Kiev in 2014.

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“the notorious collective West” was unable to accept the inevitable collapse of the “old unipolar hegemony.”

Putin Outlines Goals Of ‘Geopolitical Adversaries’ (RT)

Russia’s adversaries in the West are willing to create crises and unleash violence anywhere in the post-Soviet world, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Thursday. Addressing a meeting with the heads of intelligence for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Putin said Russia’s “geopolitical adversaries” are prepared to turn any country “into a ground zero of a crisis,” and to unleash “bloody massacres.”“We also know that the West is devising scenarios for inciting new conflicts in the CIS. But we already have enough of them,” Putin said by videolink. He pointed to the current military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, as well as “what is happening on the borders of other CIS countries,” an apparent reference to recent border clashes between Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan, as well as between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

All such conflicts have resulted from the collapse of the Soviet Union, Putin said, noting that this was “understandable.” “But the risks of destabilisation are growing again, including the risks of destabilisation in the entire Asia-Pacific region,” he added, claiming that “the notorious collective West” was unable to accept the inevitable collapse of the “old unipolar hegemony.” “We are seeing the difficult process of the forming of a more just world order,” the Russian president said. Putin has long spoken about the end of the so-called “unipolar” world dominated by the United States and its allies. In his infamous speech at the 2007 Munich Security Conference, he slammed Western leaders for deliberately eroding trust and said that a unipolar system was “not only unacceptable but also impossible” in the world today.

Earlier this month, during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Putin said Western attempts to preserve the existing world order “have taken an absolutely ugly form lately.” The idea of a new “multipolar” world has been discussed in the West, too, most recently by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who told the World Economic Forum at Davos in May that he hopes for “more multilateralism” and “more international co-operation.” Following Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine, however, the West declared its intention to “isolate” Russia and imposed unprecedented sanctions on it. Russia views these actions as another manifestation of Western attempts to “contain” it and maintain the existing world order.

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“With NATO having tested underwater drones near Bornholm this summer, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called on Washington to “confess” to destroying the pipelines.”

US Puts Energy Operators On ‘Heightened Alert’ (RT)

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm warned the American energy industry, including LNG tanker operators, to be on “high alert” after a series of explosions disabled Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea. Moscow has suggested that the US was responsible for the blasts. “Everybody should be on high alert,” Granholm told Bloomberg on Wednesday, two days after the vital Russia-Europe gas conduits were taken out. With the flow of gas to Europe halted for the foreseeable future by the blasts, Granholm said the incident illustrated the risks to European countries of “relying on another entity for their energy.”

Multiple US officials have labeled the explosions, which occurred off the Danish island of Bornholm, as “apparent sabotage,” but have not blamed any one country or group. The attacks came after successive US administrations had been attempting to prevent the completion of Nord Stream 2 and convince European states to swap cheap Russian gas for the more expensive American liquefied natural gas. Furthermore, US President Joe Biden said in early February that the US would “end” Nord Stream 2 if Russian troops entered Ukraine, telling a reporter “I promise you, we will be able to do it.” With NATO having tested underwater drones near Bornholm this summer, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called on Washington to “confess” to destroying the pipelines.

“The scale of destruction indicates that it really was a sort of a [terrorist] act,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated, adding that such an attack is unlikely to have happened “without the involvement of some state power.” Granholm’s warning suggests that the US is concerned about attacks on its own gas infrastructure, with LNG shipments in particular being a vulnerable point. The Sandia National Laboratories warned in 2004 that a deliberate attack on one of these ships could cause a fireball that would be hazardous to human health as far as 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) away. “Of course” LNG shipments to Europe should take more precautions, Granholm told Boomberg, adding “we have to be on heightened alert.”

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From sanctions.

Key Russian Black Sea Gas Pipeline Under Threat (RT)

If anything happens to the TurkStream natural gas pipeline, its operator won’t be able to repair the damage, since the Dutch government revoked their license due to EU sanctions against Russia, the US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty alleged on Thursday. RFE/RL claimed to have obtained a letter from Oleg Aksyutin, CEO of South Stream Transport BV, informing the company’s managers to stop all work and cancel contracts with Western suppliers. The letter is reportedly dated September 14, and says that the Netherlands where the company is registered – had canceled its operating license, effective September 17.

The suspension affects “all contracts related to the technical support of the gas pipeline,” including “design, manufacture, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, and training,” according to the US outlet. South Stream Transport operates TurkStream, a pipeline finalized in 2020, which runs under the Black Sea to Türkiye and then on to Serbia and Hungary. It has an annual capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of gas. According to Reuters, SouthStream confirmed on Thursday that their license has been revoked, but said it had requested a resumption of the license and “will continue gas transportation.” While there are no reports about interruptions in the TurkStream supply, RFE/RL noted that much of the pipeline is at the depth of three kilometers, and needs to be constantly monitored for damage due to “seismic activity.”

The revelation comes just days after both Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea were disabled in a series of explosions, venting millions of cubic meters of gas into the water. Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the explosions as an “act of international terrorism” and Moscow intends to raise it before the UN Security Council. NATO said Thursday that the pipelines were damaged in what appeared to be a “deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage,” promising to meet any attack on its critical infrastructure “with a united and determined response.” The US, which has long tried to stop NordStream and managed to derail TurkStream’s predecessor SouthStream – which the Dutch-based company was originally supposed to manage – has denied having anything to do with the Baltic Sea explosions.

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Can’t touch the FBI.

Durham Prosecutes FBI Informants, While Protecting Their Handlers (Sperry)

Danchenko’s legal team points out that he turned over an email to the FBI during a January 2017 meeting with agents and analysts that indicated a key dossier subsource may have been fictionalized. Stuart Sears, one of Danchenko’s attorneys, argued earlier this month in a motion to dismiss the charges that investigators “essentially ignored” any concerns they may have had about Danchenko’s sourcing, because they continued to renew the FISA warrants based upon it. Therefore, he argued, any lies his client allegedly told them were inconsequential, making them un-prosecutable under federal statutes requiring such false statements to have a “material” impact on a federal proceeding. While Durham did not dispute the FBI’s apparent complicity in the fraud, he waved it aside as immaterial to the case at hand.

“The fact that the FBI apparently did not identify or address these inconsistencies is of no moment,” he said in his filing. At the same time, Durham acknowledged agents allowed the fabrications to contaminate their wiretap warrants – noting they were “an important part of the FISA applications targeting Carter Page.” But he stopped short of blaming the FBI, even for incompetence. According to Durham, the nation’s premiere law enforcement agency was misled by a serial liar and con man. “He’s painting it as though the FBI was duped when the FBI was more than willing to take the initiative and go after Trump,” Kamenar said, adding that though Danchenko may have been a liar, he was a useful liar to FBI officials and others in the Justice Department who were pursuing Trump.

The special prosecutor’s indifference to the FBI’s role in the scandal is more remarkable in light of what Danchenko admitted in his January 2017 interviews with the FBI. He told investigators that much of what he reported to Steele was “word-of-mouth and hearsay,” while some was cooked up from “conversation that [he] had with friends over beers,” according to a declassified FBI summary of the interviews, which took place over three days. He confessed the most salacious allegations were made in “jest.” Still, the FBI continued to use Danchenko’s claims of a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between Russia and Trump to convince the FISA court to allow investigators to continue to surveil Page, whom the FBI accused of masterminding the conspiracy based on Danchenko’s bogus rumors.

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Frm the least healthy country on earth..

US Offers A New Definition Of ‘Healthy’ (RT)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday proposed a new set of standards that food products must meet to be labeled “healthy.” The new rules would align the definition, which has not been updated since 1994, with “current nutrition science,” the watchdog said in a statement. Under the updated definitions, in order to obtain a “healthy” label, the products should satisfy two criteria. First, they need to contain “a certain meaningful amount” of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups recommended by the ‘Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025,’ such as fruit, vegetable or dairy. Second, the foods should adhere to specific limits of certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, sodium and added sugars.

The new standards would not only help people to build healthier diets but could also help to improve the quality of food products, the watchdog believes. According to the FDA, in a bid to secure a “healthy” label for their products, manufacturers might include more “fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains, and limit saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars” in their products.“Today’s action is just one part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to reduce diet-related chronic diseases and advance health equity,” the FDA, which is part of the Health Department, said. Nutrition-related illnesses are now “the leading cause of death and disability in the country,” according to the agency.

By providing manufacturers with clear guidelines, and customers with clear labels on packaging, the FDA hopes to help people “to build healthy eating patterns” and thus to improve public health in general. The watchdog is suggesting a comprehensive approach to a healthy diet. Under the new rules, some products which currently cannot be labeled “healthy” can eventually get this mark by becoming part of “a diet consistent with current dietary recommendations.” As examples of such products, the FDA cites nuts, seeds, higher-fat fish such as salmon, as well as certain oils.

The public consultations on the proposal will last 90 days. Meanwhile, the FDA is also looking for a new, easily recognizable logo for the labeling of “healthy” products. According to the ‘Dietary Guidelines,’ more than 80% of US residents aren’t eating enough vegetables, fruit and dairy, while most people consume too much added sugars, saturated fats and sodium. The World Population Review this year placed the US in 12th place globally for population obesity, with more than 36% of Americans categorized as obese.

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Well-being pays less than profits.

NHS Nurses Not Eating At Work In Order To Feed Their Children (G.)

Some nurses are so hard up that they are having to not eat at work in order to feed and clothe their children, research among hospital bosses has found. Lack of money is also prompting some NHS staff to call in sick in the days before they get paid because they can no longer afford the travel costs for their shift. Others are taking a second job outside the NHS in an effort to make ends meet. The impact of the cost of living crisis on health service workers in England has emerged in a survey of chief executives, chairs and other senior figures in health trusts undertaken by NHS Providers, which represents trusts. Miriam Deakin, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said: “There are heart-rending stories of nurses choosing between eating during the day and being able to buy a school uniform for their children at home.


“Increasing numbers of nurses and other staff, particularly in the lower pay bands, are finding they are unable to afford to work in the NHS.” More than a quarter (27%) of trusts already operate food banks for staff, and another 19% plan to open one, to help relieve the acute financial difficulties faced by staff. The survey also found that some staff: Are stopping contributing to their NHS pension in order to free up cash.Cannot fill up their cars because of petrol price rises. Have mental health issues due to the stress of paying their bills. The situation is so serious that some low-paid health staff, such as healthcare assistants, are quitting their jobs in the NHS and taking better-paid roles in pubs and shops instead, NHS chiefs said.

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Malhotra.

Cardiologist: The Greatest Miscarriage Of Medical Science (ToI)

A personal loss and tragedy made Dr Aseem Malhotra look into the evidence on COVID vaccines, specifically the mRNA vaccines. In his recent research paper, Dr Malhotra, a National Health Service (NHS) trained cardiologist, has ‘critically appraised’ the true benefits and potential harms of the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) coronavirus disease (COVID) vaccines. “I suffered quite a personal tragedy with the sudden death of my father in July last year. He was a very fit and well man. He was 73 years old. During the whole lockdown he was walking 10 to 15 thousand steps a day. He was very conscientious of his diet,” he told a media outlet. “I had assessed his heart a few years earlier, and in fact he had actually improved his lifestyle since then,” he adds.

Dr Malhotra has said that his father’s rapidly progressive coronary artery disease and sudden cardiac arrest was most likely due to the mRNA product. “His postmortem findings really shocked me. There were two severe blockages in his coronary arteries, which did not really make any sense. As a cardiologist and intimately knowing my dad’s lifestyle and health,” he says. Not long after that data started emerging on the possible link between mRNA vaccine and increased risk of heart attacks. From a mechanism of increasing inflammation around the coronary arteries. “Re-analysis of randomised controlled trials using the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology suggests a greater risk of serious adverse events from the vaccines than being hospitalised from Covid-19,” writes Malhotra in peer-reviewed Journal of Insulin Resistance.

“Pharmacovigilance systems and real-world safety data, coupled with plausible mechanisms of harm, are deeply concerning, especially in relation to cardiovascular safety,” he writes in the paper and adds that mirroring a potential signal from the Pfizer Phase 3 trial, a significant rise in cardiac arrest calls to ambulances in England was seen in 2021, with similar data emerging from Israel in the 16–39-year-old age group. I was one of the first to receive two doses of Pfizer’s messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine and though my individual risk was small due to my optimal metabolic health, “the main reason I took the jab was to prevent transmission of the virus to my vulnerable patients” writes the doctor in his paper.

To steer clear of what he considered as anti-vax propaganda at that time, he was asked to appear on Good Morning Britain to convince film director Gurinder Chadha, Order of the British Empire (OBE) to take the shot. A research study published in November 2021 in Circulation caught his attention, he says. “In over 500 middle-aged patients under regular follow up, using a predictive score model based on inflammatory markers that are strongly correlated with risk of heart attack, the mRNA vaccine was associated with significantly increasing the risk of a coronary event within fiveyears from 11% pre-mRNA vaccine to 25% 2–10 weeks post mRNA vaccine,” he writes. “I wondered whether my father’s Pfizer vaccination, which he received six months earlier, could have contributed to his unexplained premature death and so I began to critically appraise the data,” he adds.

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Great profits for Fauci.

Safe and Effective: A Second Opinion (Oracle)

Safe and Effective: A Second Opinion shines a light on Covid-19 vaccine injuries and bereavements, but also to takes an encompassing look at the systemic failings that appear to have enabled them. We look at leading analysis of pharmaceutical trials, the role of the MHRA in regulating these products, the role of the SAGE behavioural scientists in influencing policy and the role of the media and Big Tech companies in supressing free and open debate on the subject.

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Huawei
https://twitter.com/i/status/1575370629536104448

 

 

 

 

Fuellmilch

 

 


The San Francisco Garter Snake has been on the endangered list since 1967, and has been labeled the most beautiful snake in the U.S. Researches estimate only 1-2 thousand remain

 

 

 

 

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Aug 072022
 
 August 7, 2022  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Edward Hopper Ground swell 1939

 

Vaccine Deaths Outnumber Covid Deaths in US Households (DS)
Russian MIL Declares Ukraine Origin of C19 (Clandestine)
US Prepares New Weapons Package For Ukraine (RT)
Pentagon Chiefs’ Calls To China Go Unanswered Amid Taiwan Crisis (Pol.)
Erdogan’s Diplomacy With Russia Alarms West – FT (RT)
Putin Says EU Should Thank Turkey (RT)
100s Of New Mines Required To Meet 2030 Battery Metals Demand — IEA (Mining)
Sanctions On Russia ‘Irresponsible’, Adviser To Brazil’s Lula Says (RT)
Elon Musk Accuses Twitter of Fraud: Countersuit (ET)
Elon Musk Says He Will Buy Twitter On One Condition (RT)
VP Joe Biden Met With Two Chinese Energy Execs In The West Wing (DM)
EDF Cuts Output At Nuclear Power Plants As French Rivers Get Too Warm (G.)
China’s July Coal Imports Surge 24% To Meet Peak Power Load (R.)

 

 

 

 

Roger Waters
https://twitter.com/i/status/1555989512353890304

 

 

 

 

MacGregor China
https://twitter.com/i/status/1555974674357440512

 

 

 

 

Haditsch

 

 

BREAKING: Alex Jones has been ordered to pay an extra $45 million in punitive damages by a Texas Jury.


Robert Barnes @barnes_law: By law in Texas, this is reduced to $750K per plaintiff, so it’s actually $1.5M not $45M. Also, like everything else in the trial, a product of a court that denied Jones any evidence on his side or any witnesses at this stage, and should be set aside by Texas Supremes.

 

 

 

 

Based on Steve Kirsch studies/polls. How can you justify a mandate is the vaccines kill more people than the disease they “protect” from?

Vaccine Deaths Outnumber Covid Deaths in US Households (DS)

Polls of the U.S. public continue to show that up to twice as many Americans have lost a household member to a Covid vaccine injury as have lost one to Covid. The pooled results of five surveys of the American public, now totalling over 2,500 people, show that while 4.4% of respondents reported that someone in their household had died from COVID-19, 8.9% said someone had died as a result of Covid vaccination. The results also showed that 8.6% said they had been injured by their vaccination, 4.9% that they had sought medical help and 3.2% that they had been hospitalised, while 3.6% said that as a result of vaccination they were no longer able to work a full day or at all.

These are percentages of all respondents. If we look only at the 74.0% vaccinated with at least one dose then the figures, as a proportion of vaccinated persons, are 11.7% injured, 6.7% needing medical help, 4.4% hospitalised and 4.8% unable to work. While these figures are self-reported and there is no control group, since the unvaccinated were not asked about adverse events, they are still alarmingly high. The results also showed that, among those who reported a Covid death in their household, more than twice as many reported that it occurred after the person was vaccinated than before (2.8% vs 1.2%). The proportion who said they had contracted Covid before their vaccination (13.1%) was very similar to the proportion who said they contracted it afterwards (11.7%). These figures are not indicative of a highly effective vaccine against either infection or death.

The people polled were randomly selected, representative samples of the U.S. public, of whom 74.0% were vaccinated, so the samples were not inherently biased towards or against the reporting of vaccine problems, though as in all opinion polls (especially online ones) there may be an issue of self-selection bias.

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FYI

Russian MIL Declares Ukraine Origin of C19 (Clandestine)

New briefing from Chief of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defence Forces, General Igor Kirillov, on military biological activities of the United States in the territory of Ukraine. The Russian MIL have been studying biological samples from surrendered Ukrainian soldiers, and what they have been finding is beyond disturbing. Approximately 20% of them carrying West Nile pathogens, which were being studied “by the Pentagon as part of the Ukrainian UP-4 and UP-8 projects”. Suggesting that Ukrainian soldiers are being subject to involuntary biological experimentation and exposure to biological weapons (think Nuremberg). In addition to carrying pathogens, nearly all of the surrendered Ukrainian soldiers carried traces of a wide variety of narcotics and opioids, including Meth and Codeine.

Russia were sure to remind us of the Nazi’s usage of methamphetamines in WW2. I covered this 2 weeks ago, when the left-wing media tried to spin this reality as some sort of X-men mutant conspiracy theory. No, they are just Nazis, and historically, Nazis use drugs. Particularly as an advantage in war. Russia goes on to cite that this methamphetamine Ukraine are using, Pervitin, was also used by US soldiers during Vietnam and Korea. It’s designed to reduce the psycho-emotional burdens of war. However, an intended side effect is excessive aggression, which Russia alleges is one of the main factors for the Nationalist Ukrainian forces displaying “extreme cruelty” to civilians and the shelling of their own people in Donbas. Ukraine are using mind-numbing agents on their forces to make them more susceptible to carrying out heinous acts.

Next, we find perhaps the most explosive slide to date, in which Russia FINALLY comes out and DIRECTLY accuses the US of being responsible for the creation and release of Covid-19. What I have been saying from the beginning, is that this all leads to C-19, which will be the nail in the coffin and the red-pill that wakes up the world. The backlash the US are facing from Russia and the rest of Eastern world, is directly because the world found out THE UNITED STATES CREATED COVID. Specifically the “DNC/Liberal Globalists”, as the Russians allege. Not Trump. Russia clarifies they have record of over 16,000 biological samples, including blood and serum samples, transported from Ukraine to the US, Georgia, European countries.

[..] In conclusion, Russia have now DIRECTLY accused the DNC Globalists of: -creating and releasing new variants of Coronaviruses, and now Monkeypox, intentionally, for the purposes of political control and world domination. -using non-consensual experimentation on citizens of the world to create genome specific biological weapons for ethnic cleansing. -creation and usage of narcotics, such as methamphetamines, on Ukrainian forces to dehumanize them in order to carry out heinous crimes against humanity on civilians in Ukraine. Russia just confirmed my overall narrative; that the war in Ukraine is backlash for the Deep State’s creation and usage of C19. We are already in WW3 and C19 was the first weapon fired. The fact that Russia have now come out and openly called this spade a spade… suggests we are approaching the finish line. Russia claims final dossier will be complete in “Autumn”.

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Another $700 million straight down the drain.

US Prepares New Weapons Package For Ukraine (RT)

The US government is reportedly preparing its largest weapons transfer to Ukraine to date, with officials ready to authorize another $1 billion in military aid, including advanced rocket and missile platforms and additional ammunition. The new aid package could be announced as soon as next week, Reuters reported on Friday, citing three unnamed officials. It would bring the total US security assistance to Kiev to nearly $10 billion since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24. While the officials said President Joe Biden has yet to formally sign off on the transfer, the current proposal would see $1 billion in arms shipped to Kiev, including additional munitions for the HIMARS rocket system, NASAMS surface-to-air missiles, and up to 50 M113 armored personnel carriers, allegedly the ‘medical’ variant.


A separate military aid package to Ukraine was announced on Monday, worth around $550 million, and also featured HIMARS rockets. Washington has so far sent a total of 16 HIMARS systems to Ukraine, longer-range platforms capable of striking targets inside Russian territory. Though Moscow has claimed to have eliminated some of the weapons from the battlefield, US military officials have disputed the Russian account, insisting Kiev’s HIMARS remain intact. The new massive arms transfer also comes after a Pentagon decision to allow US military personnel to treat wounded Ukrainian troops at a large US-run hospital in western Germany, though the logistics for that arrangement remain unclear, as the facility is more than 1,000 miles away from Ukraine’s capital and even further from active battle zones in the Donbass region.

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Thanks Nancy.

Pentagon Chiefs’ Calls To China Go Unanswered Amid Taiwan Crisis (Pol.)

Top Chinese military officials have not returned multiple calls from their American counterparts this week as a crisis erupted in the Pacific over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, according to three people with knowledge of the attempts. Beijing’s ghosting of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley comes as China continues launching missiles and positioning warships and aircraft in unprecedented military drills around Taiwan. Officials and experts say China’s silence is a shortsighted and reckless move that increases the risk of escalation in an already tense situation.

“If the [Chinese military] is operating more aggressively, and in closer proximity to U.S. forces with greater frequency, we’d need these mechanisms even more to promote a safe operating environment,” said Randy Schriver, who served as the top Pentagon official for Asia policy in the Trump administration. U.S. military leaders strive to maintain open lines of communication even with potential adversaries such as China to prevent accidents and other miscalculations that could turn into a full-blown conflict. But the last call Milley had with his Chinese counterpart, Chief of the Joint Staff Gen. Li Zuocheng, was on July 7, the Pentagon said. The two spoke by secure video teleconference about the need to maintain open lines of communication, as well as reducing risk, according to a readout from Milley’s office.

Austin, meanwhile, met in person with Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe in June on the sideline of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. “The secretary has repeatedly emphasized the importance of fully open lines of communication with China’s defense leaders to ensure that we can avoid any miscalculations, and that remains true,” Todd Breasseale, the Pentagon’s acting press secretary, told POLITICO in an email. China on Friday announced that it was halting certain official dialogues between senior-level U.S. military commanders, including the regional commanders, as well as talks on maritime safety. The announcement does not specifically apply to Austin and Milley’s counterparts, and officials said they are still open to communication between those leaders.

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“..a NATO member since 1952 and an EU applicant since 1987..”

Erdogan’s Diplomacy With Russia Alarms West – FT (RT)

Western officials are “increasingly alarmed” that Turkey, a NATO ally and prospective EU member, is deepening its cooperation with Russia, the Financial Times has reported. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently returned from Sochi vowing to boost trade after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Six unnamed Western officials told the newspaper that they were “concerned”about the plans of Russia and Turkey to cooperate on trade and energy. One EU official said that Brussels was monitoring relations between Ankara and Moscow “more and more closely,” given how Turkey seems to be “increasingly” becoming a platform for trade with Russia. Following a four-hour meeting with Putin on Friday, Erdogan welcomed Russia’s role in building a nuclear power plant in Turkey.

The two nations aim for bilateral trade turnover of $100 billion, and are cooperating against terrorism and toward peace in Libya and Syria. Putin pledged that Russia would supply Turkey with oil, gas and coal “without any interruptions,” after the two leaders agreed that Ankara would pay for some of this gas in rubles. Another official told the newspaper that Erdogan’s behavior is “very opportunistic,”adding that “we are trying to make the Turks pay attention to our concerns.” Although a NATO member since 1952 and an EU applicant since 1987, Turkey has broken with both blocs on several occasions, most recently over the conflict in Ukraine.

Erdogan has described his diplomacy with Kiev and Moscow as “balanced,” and has refused to sanction Russia over its military operation. Turkey is the only NATO country not to impose such penalties. Erdogan also took the opportunity to host peace talks between the countries in March, which ultimately bore no fruit. Since then, however, he has won acclaim for overseeing talks that led to the resumption of grain shipments across the Black Sea from Ukrainian ports. As the Financial Times’ article went online on Saturday, the first ship carrying Ukrainian corn arrived in Istanbul for inspection by Turkish, Ukrainian, Russian and UN officials.

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“The Turkish Stream, unlike all other routes of our hydrocarbon supplies, works properly, works smoothly, without any failures.”

Putin Says EU Should Thank Turkey (RT)

Turkey has ensured a reliable supply of Russian natural gas to Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, adding that European nations should be grateful to Ankara for that. During a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Putin named the TurkStream pipeline as one of the most important arteries for delivering Russian gas to Europe. The Russian president praised the reliability of the pipeline, for which the Europeans should be grateful. “The Turkish Stream, unlike all other routes of our hydrocarbon supplies, works properly, works smoothly, without any failures. […] I think our European partners should be grateful to Turkey for ensuring uninterrupted transit of our gas to the European market,” Putin said.


TurkStream consists of two parallel lines running under the Black Sea from Russia and joins Turkey’s gas transportation network and sends Russian gas onward to Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. The route has been unaffected by the developments around Ukraine and the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the EU but rejected by Turkey. The main pipeline between Russia and the EU – Nord Stream 1, which carries gas to Germany – has been operating at 20% capacity recently due to equipment issues caused by sanctions. Meanwhile, additional routes via Ukraine’s gas transportation network have been restricted by Kiev. Deliveries via the Yamal-Europe pipeline continue, although Gazprom stopped using the Polish leg of the pipeline in May due to sanctions.

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Included the Charles Vance video again. It’s good.

100s Of New Mines Required To Meet 2030 Battery Metals Demand — IEA (Mining)

Global battery and minerals supply chains need to expand ten-fold to meet projected critical minerals needs by 2030, a report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found. The report concludes the industry needs to build 50 more lithium mines, 60 more nickel mines and 17 more cobalt mines by 2030 to meet global net carbon emissions goals. Pressure on the supply of critical materials will continue to mount as road transport electrification expands to meet net-zero ambitions. According to the IEA, demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries will increase from around 340 GWh today to over 3500 GWh by 2030.

“Additional investments are needed in the short-term, particularly in mining, where lead times are much longer than for other parts of the supply chain. In some cases requiring more than a decade from initial feasibility studies to production, and then several more years to reach nominal production capacity,” the report reads. The projected mineral supply until the end of the 2020s is in line with the demand for EV batteries in the ‘stated policies scenario’ of the IEA’s world energy model. But the supply of some minerals, such as lithium, would need to rise by up to one-third by 2030 to satisfy the pledges and announcements for EV batteries in the ‘announced pledges scenario (APS) of the same energy model.


“For example, demand for lithium – the commodity with the largest projected demand-supply gap – is projected to increase sixfold to 500 kilotonnes by 2030 in the APS, requiring the equivalent of 50 new average-sized mines,” according to the report. By 2030, nickel is facing the largest absolute demand increase as high-nickel chemistries are the current dominant cathode for EVs and are expected to remain so. For cobalt, the opposite is true as battery makers continue to thrift to lower cobalt content chemistries (and even potentially cobalt-free chemistries by 2030) to reduce costs and due to environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns. [..] “For the Announced Pledges Scenario, 60 nickel and 17 cobalt new mines are required in 2030, (assuming average annual mine production capacity of 38,000 tonnes for nickel and 7,000 tonnes for cobalt).”

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“..if he is elected, “Brazil will again become a protagonist on the international stage and we will prove that it’s possible to have a better world.”

Sanctions On Russia ‘Irresponsible’, Adviser To Brazil’s Lula Says (RT)

Celso Amorim, Brazil’s former foreign minister and current foreign policy adviser to presidential frontrunner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has condemned the West’s sanctions on Russia and said that should Lula take office, Brazil would chart a different course. In an interview with Bloomberg published on Friday, Amorim claimed that the West’s response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine – sanctions on Russia and billions of dollars worth of weapons for Ukraine – have made nuclear war a real possibility. “For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis we see articles about the risk of nuclear weapons published on a weekly basis,” he said, arguing that “it’s irresponsible not to seek peace.”

Amorim’s argument mirrors that of Lula himself. Back in May the former Brazilian leader toldTime magazine that he sees Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky as equally responsible for the conflict in Ukraine, and condemned Washington for encouraging him to oppose Russia. “The United States has a lot of political clout. And Biden could have avoided [the conflict], not incited it,” Lula argued at the time. From the perspective of the US, Amorim questioned the logic of driving Russia into a deeper partnership with China, another economic and military rival of America. “I have nothing against China,” he stated, adding that both are part of the BRICS group, but said that he “can’t understand the interest of the US in strengthening the China-Russia relationship.”

This relationship aside, Amorim told Bloomberg that an economy as large as Russia’s is “too big and strategic” to isolate, and that Lula’s administration would not pursue such policies if the two-term leftist president is elected in October. Speaking to Time in May, Lula said that “many different countries” are having to “foot the bill” for Washington’s hardline anti-Russia policies, and that if he is elected, “Brazil will again become a protagonist on the international stage and we will prove that it’s possible to have a better world.” Lula is currently polling 11 points ahead of incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, according to an aggregate compiled by the US-based Americas Society.

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Hard to read how the judge will see this.

Elon Musk Accuses Twitter of Fraud: Countersuit (ET)

Elon Musk in a countersuit has accused Twitter executives of fraudulently presenting an undercount of fake users, known as bots. Twitter in July sued Musk for withdrawing from a $44 billion acquisition agreement, alleging he breached the agreement. In the counter-filing, entered under seal last month and obtained by The Epoch Times on Aug. 5, Musk says he relied on statements from Twitter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about key components of the company, such as the percentage of fake and spam accounts and moderation practices. But once Musk entered the agreement, he found that the technology company refused to provide access to the company’s books and records to verify the information. “The more Twitter evaded even simple inquiries, the more the Musk Parties grew to suspect that Twitter had misled them,” the countersuit says.


One key statistic: 238 million monetizable daily active users (users who actually see ads on the platform and thus would be considered monetizable). But that number is an overcount because there are more false and spam accounts on the platform than Twitter says, according to the filing. There are just 173 million monetizable users and most ads are shown to less than 16 million, it says. Twitter has said under 5 percent of its users are bots. Musk, in a meeting in May, attempted to understand how Twitter reached that percentage. He “was astonished to learn just how meager Twitter’s processes were,” the countersuit says. Musk learned that human reviewers look at a sample of just 100 accounts, and that Twitter executives weren’t able to say how the accounts in the sample were selected.

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Clear that Twitter hasn’t been forthcoming with files. Less clear is if they had to.

Elon Musk Says He Will Buy Twitter On One Condition (RT)

Billionaire Elon Musk would go through with the deal to buy Twitter if the social media platform demonstrates how it checks the authenticity of user accounts, Musk wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Responding to a comment by another user, Musk said the deal to buy Twitter “should proceed on original terms” if the platform shares with him their method for sampling accounts to determine they are genuine. “If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms. However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then [the deal] should not [proceed],” he continued, referring to the regulatory documents that companies must submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the sake of transparency and to provide information on operations.


Musk previously warned he would personally authenticate 100 randomly selected accounts on the platform. In April, the entrepreneur announced his intention to purchase the social media platform, of which he is an avid supporter and frequent user, for $44 billion. Then in May, Musk said he was trying to obtain information that would confirm that fake accounts and those used to send mass advertising messages on the platform comprise less than 5% of the total number of Twitter users. In early July, Musk’s lawyers notified Twitter that he no longer wished to go through with the deal because the company had failed to provide him with this information. Twitter, although initially reluctant to agree to Musk’s acquisition plans, filed a lawsuit against him on July 12 in an attempt to compel him to complete the purchase. On July 29, Musk filed a counterclaim against the company

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A new scandal every day.

VP Joe Biden Met With Two Chinese Energy Execs In The West Wing (DM)

Two Chinese businessmen with ties to Hunter Biden’s company met with Joe Biden at the White House and followed up with the VP’s son days later with a fawning email and invitation, records reveal. The meeting is the fifteenth to be uncovered between Joe and businessmen linked to Hunter. Executives for Chinese energy company Wanxiang secured a meeting with the vice president in the West Wing in July 2014 with just one day’s notice, according to White House visitor logs. A client of Hunter’s company Seneca Global Advisors partnered with Wanxiang in 2012 on a $1.25billion natural gas plant in China. The ceremony for the signing of the deal between Hunter’s client GreatPoint Energy and Wanxiang was attended by then Chinese vice president Xi Jinping.

Wanxiang is a major Chinese company, and also partnered with the North Korean state for a giant copper mine. Through his firm Rosemont Seneca Partners, Hunter also invested in a car company, Fisker, that was later bought by Wanxiang. After the company went bankrupt in 2013, Hunter was listed as a creditor on its filings. He bought one of its electric sports cars for $142,300. According to the White House visitor logs, Wanxiang America president Pin Ni met with Joe on July 25, 2014. Four days later, Ni emailed Hunter offering help servicing his Fisker sports car. ‘Last Friday when we visited DC, I heard that your Fisker is out of order and could not get serviced. Sorry,’ Ni wrote. ‘It would be our honor to get your Fisker fixed… I would like to give you a call to see what we could do as next step. ‘It would be our great honor to welcome you to visit Fisker or Wanxiang at any time.’

Joining Ni for the White House visit was Wanxiang Resources Co. president Youhong Han. Records show his meeting was at 11am and he left at 12.15pm, after scheduling the meeting with VP just the previous day. Han, 57, appears in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ offshore leaks database, with a British Virgin Islands company called Elegant Sky Investments Limited that has a registered address in Shanghai. Emails between Hunter and his business partners show them monitoring reporting around the $1.25billion Wanxiang-GreatPoint deal. Wanxiang bought Fisker in February 2014. The luxury hybrid cars it makes were bought by celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber.

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When it rains it pours.

EDF Cuts Output At Nuclear Power Plants As French Rivers Get Too Warm (G.)

The French energy supplier EDF is temporarily reducing output at its nuclear power stations on the Rhône and Garonne rivers as heatwaves push up river temperatures, restricting its ability to use river water to cool the plants. The majority-state-owned company, Europe’s biggest producer of nuclear energy, said it would extend output cuts at several power stations on the two rivers as the hot spell continues – but that a minimum level of output would be maintained to keep the grid steady. EDF warned of potential output cuts at its nuclear power plants Tricastin, St Alban and Golfech in coming days due to high temperatures in the Rhône and Garonne rivers. It started imposing production restrictions in mid-July at Tricastin, St Alban and Bugey on the Rhône and Blayais at the mouth of the Garonne amid sweltering temperatures.

A spokesperson told the Guardian that the company was lowering production “for a few hours” where possible but not shutting the reactors completely. After the 2003 heatwave, France’s nuclear safety authority (ASN) set temperature and river flow limits beyond which power stations must reduce their production, to ensure the water used to cool the plants will not harm wildlife when it is released back into the rivers. Temperatures in southern France are expected to reach 40C over the next two days, according to the forecaster Météo-France. Since 2000, production losses due to high river temperatures and low river flows have represented an average of 0.3% of annual production.

However, half of EDF’s 56 nuclear reactors are offline due to planned maintenance and work to repair corrosion which was delayed by the pandemic, just as Europe faces an energy crunch following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result of the maintenance work, EDF estimates its power output this year will be the lowest in more than three decades. The company issued its fourth profit warning of the year last Thursday when it reported a first-half loss of €5.3bn. The French government, which owns 84% of EDF, is in the process of buying out minority shareholders to take full control of the business.

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Maybe this happens every year?

China’s July Coal Imports Surge 24% To Meet Peak Power Load (R.)

China’s coal imports in July rose by nearly a quarter from June to near the highest levels so far this year as power generators increased purchases to provide for peak summer electricity demand. Arrivals of the fuel totaled 23.52 million tonnes last month, up sharply from 18.98 million tonnes in June but 22% lower than a year earlier, data issued by the General Administration of Customs showed on Sunday. Over the first seven months of the year, China imported 138.52 million tonnes of coal, down 18% on the same period of 2021. Daily coal consumption in major coastal regions hovered around 2.2 million tonnes in late July, a similar level to last year, according to Shanghai Shipping Exchange.


A temperature spike across the country drove up the use of air conditioning. The government has vowed to avoid power rationing this year and has urged coal-burning power generators, which supply about 60% of the country’s electricity, to enlarge coal stocks. Data tracked by Refinitiv showed China’s seaborne coal imports from Russia would hit a record high of 7.38 million tonnes in July. However, analysts have expected coal demand will soon begin to ease as temperatures moderate, while industrial activity remains sluggish amid Covid-19 restrictions.

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Bill Maher: Fat celebrattion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coke Machine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1555919490017288195

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Apr 052022
 


Vincent van Gogh Tulip fields 1883

 

Zelensky Rejected German Security Proposal Before Russian Invasion (Antiwar)
Questions Abound About Bucha Massacre (Lauria)
Pentagon Can’t Independently Confirm Atrocities In Ukraine’s Bucha (R.)
Russia Threatens to Limit Exports of Ag Products to ‘Friendly’ Countries (ET)
NATO’s Internal Gold War (Vilches)
A Theory of the Case (Kunstler)
Sri Lanka Inflation and Food Crisis Results in Widespread Social Chaos (CTH)
Clinton, DNC Pay FEC Fines in Effort to Bury Story: Kash Patel (ET)
Media ‘Caught in a Coverup’ of Hunter Biden’s Laptop Story: Sen. Johnson (ET)
‘Big Guy’ Reemerges In Hunter Biden Grand Jury (WE)
White House Won’t Rule Out Pardon For Hunter, James Biden (ZH)
A Generation of Toddlers Struggling With Speech and Social Skills (SN)

 

 

 

 

Musk Twitter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1511209796531281921

Musk Trump

Bring them all back

 

 

 

 

Who are Zelensky’s handlers?

Zelensky Rejected German Security Proposal Before Russian Invasion (Antiwar)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected a proposal from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz just days before the Russian invasion. The February 19 offer called on Kyiv to renounce its NATO aspirations and declare neutrality. At the time, Zelensky rejected the security plan saying Russian President Vladimir Putin could not be trusted to uphold the agreement. Under Berlin’s plan, Putin and American President Joe Biden would sign the deal and jointly guarantee Ukraine’s security. The Wall Street Journal, which initially reported the proposal, said that Zelensky rejecting the offer “left German officials worried that the chances of peace were fading.”


The day after the meeting, French President Emmanual Marcon appealed to Biden in a call between world leaders to make another push for diplomacy. “I think the last person who could still do something is you, Joe. Are you ready to meet Putin?” Macron said to Biden. However, Washington appeared uninterested in a push for diplomacy. While the full details of the German offer are unknown, it appears similar to proposals Zelensky has outlined in recent weeks. Ukraine’s top negotiator David Arakhamia said Russia had “verbally” agreed to several of Kyiv’s positions. On Sunday, Russia’s top negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said the two sides are not close enough to an agreement for a meeting between Putin and Zelensky. “The draft agreement is not ready for submission to a meeting at the top,” the Russian chief negotiator said.

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“..photos now show many of the bodies out in the open on the streets of the town, something that presumably would be difficult to miss.”

Questions Abound About Bucha Massacre (Lauria)

Last Wednesday, all Russian forces left Bucha, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. This was confirmed on Thursday by a smiling Anatolii Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, in a video on the Bucha City Council official Facebook page. The translated post accompanying the video says: “March 31 – the day of the liberation of Bucha. This was announced by Bucha Mayor Anatolii Fedoruk. This day will go down in the glorious history of Bucha and the entire Bucha community as a day of liberation by the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the Russian occupiers.” All of the Russian troops are gone and yet there is no mention of a massacre. The beaming Fedoruk says it is a “glorious day” in the history of Bucha, which would hardly be the case if hundreds of dead civilians littered the streets around Fedoruk.

“Russian Defence Ministry denied accusations by the Kiev regime of the alleged killing of civilians in Bucha, Kiev Region. Evidence of crimes in Bucha appeared only on the fourth day after the Security Service of Ukraine and representatives of Ukrainian media arrived in the town. All Russian units completely withdrew from Bucha on March 30, and ‘not a single local resident was injured’ during the time when Bucha was under the control of Russian troops,” the Russian MOD said in a post on Telegram. What happened then on Friday and Saturday? As pointed out in a piece by Jason Michael McCann on Standpoint Zero, The New York Times was in Bucha on Saturday and did not report a massacre. Instead, the Times said the withdrawal was completed on Saturday, two days after the mayor said it was, and that the Russians left “behind them dead soldiers and burned vehicles, according to witnesses, Ukrainian officials, satellite images and military analysts.”

The Times said reporters found the bodies of six civilians. “It was unclear under what circumstances they had died, but the discarded packaging of a Russian military ration was lying beside one man who had been shot in the head,” the paper said. It then quoted a Zelensky adviser, who said: “’The bodies of people with tied hands, who were shot dead by soldiers lie in the streets,’ the adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said on Twitter. ‘These people were not in the military. They had no weapons. They posed no threat.’ He included an image of a scene, photographed by Agence France-Presse, showing three bodies on the side of a road, one with hands apparently tied behind the back. The New York Times was unable to independently verify Mr. Podolyak’s claim the people had been executed.’” It is possible that on Saturday the full extent of the horror had yet to emerge, and that even the mayor was unaware of it two days before, though photos now show many of the bodies out in the open on the streets of the town, something that presumably would be difficult to miss.

In Bucha, the Times was close to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, whose soldiers appear in the newspaper’s photographs. In his piece, McCann suggests that Azov may responsible for the killings: “Something very interesting then happens on [Saturday] 2 April, hours before a massacre is brought to the attention of the national and international media. The US and EU-funded Gorshenin Institute online [Ukrainian language] site Left Bank announced that: ‘Special forces have begun a clearing operation in the city of Bucha in the Kyiv region, which has been liberated by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The city is being cleared from saboteurs and accomplices of Russian forces.’

The Russian military has by now completely left the city, so this sounds for all the world like reprisals. The state authorities would be going through the city searching for ‘saboteurs’ and ‘accomplices of Russian forces.’ Only the day before [Friday], Ekaterina Ukraintsiva, representing the town council authority, appeared on an information video on the Bucha Live Telegram page wearing military fatigues and seated in front of a Ukrainian flag to announce ‘the cleansing of the city.’ She informed residents that the arrival of the Azov battalion did not mean that liberation was complete (but it was, the Russians had fully withdrawn), and that a ‘complete sweep’ had to be performed.” Ukraintsiva was speaking a day after the mayor had said the town was liberated.

Scott Ritter

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“We have no reason whatsoever to refute the Ukrainian claims about these atrocities..”

Pentagon Can’t Independently Confirm Atrocities In Ukraine’s Bucha (R.)

The U.S. military is not in a position to independently confirm Ukrainian accounts of atrocities by Russian forces against civilians in the town of Bucha, but has no reason to dispute the accounts either, a senior U.S. defense official said on Monday. “We’re seeing the same imagery that you are. We have no reason whatsoever to refute the Ukrainian claims about these atrocities — clearly, deeply, deeply troubling,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The Pentagon can’t independently and single handedly confirm that, but we’re also not in any position to refute those claims.” The Kremlin has denied accusations related to the murder of civilians in the town.

Escobar

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“We will supply food and crops only to our friends (fortunately, we have a lot of them, and they are not at all in Europe and not in North America)”

Russia Threatens to Limit Exports of Ag Products to ‘Friendly’ Countries (ET)

A senior Russian government official has threatened to limit exports of agriculture products to “friendly” countries only amid sanctions from Western nations in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Dmitry Medvedev, who previously served as Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012 and is now deputy secretary of the country’s security council, took to Telegram on April 1 where he warned of the potential move. Medvedev said that many counties depend on supplies of food from Russia, a major global wheat exporter, writing: “It turns out that our food is our quiet weapon. Quiet but ominous,” according to Breitbart. “The priority in food supplies is our domestic market. And price control,” he continued. “We will supply food and crops only to our friends (fortunately, we have a lot of them, and they are not at all in Europe and not in North America). We will sell both for rubles and for their national currency in agreed proportions.”


He then explained that Russia would not supply products and agricultural products to those countries it deems as “enemies.” “And we won’t buy anything from them (although we haven’t bought anything since 2014, but the list of products prohibited for import can be further expanded),” he continued. Russia previously imposed a ban on imports of certain agricultural products from the EU and other Western countries in 2014 after its annexation of Crimea. Russia serves as a major global exporter of several commodities, including sunflower oil, barley, and wheat; the latter of which it mainly supplies to Africa and the Middle East. It is the world’s largest exporter of wheat, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, having exported $10.1B in wheat in 2020 alone, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic and various supply chain issues.

Lavrov

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Grand theft. Ominous.

NATO’s Internal Gold War (Vilches)

Brexitology focused keenly on UK fish but fully ignored the EU´s gigantic gold reserves supposedly still vaulted in custody at the Bank of England. Adding insult to injury, a UK-EU no-deal financial services crash-out divorce went by almost unnoticed… not only without the bang of the still postponed “financial equivalence” protocol… but also without a mere whimper from specialized media and Remainers. Now, the Ukraine crisis with its new payment requirements for the badly needed Russian oil & gas…overlapping with essential yet unfinished Brexit business…will necessarily evolve into a vicious NATO internal gold war. Paraphrasing James Carville spiced with some traditional British flavor, “It´s the bloody gold, stupid”

Rule Britannia As UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson would have it, the physical repatriation of the EU gold supposedly still vaulted in London would “mightily” affect the future of Europe with very deep, high-voltage political impact both sides of the English Channel. In this scenario No.10 Downing Street would easily negotiate the EU gold bullion availability only under specific Brexit conditions favorable to the UK. Actually, doing this could turn out to be absolutely necessary and should go far beyond the enormous intrinsic value of the EU gold supposedly still vaulted at the BoE. Let me explain.

NATO gold in London Russia´s new rubles or gold payment requirements for any of its goods or services will necessarily prompt a major gold war between the UK and the EU probably resulting in NATO´s first-ever internal head-on gloves-off confrontation. After WW2 the idea was to keep Europe´s gold bullion safely away from the former Soviet Union and Josef Stalin, just in case. So decades ago current EU member states deposited most of their gold in custody at the Bank of England (BoE) in London. Now, the UK will dare to weaponize the approval of EU gold repatriation requests and other gold-related issues as a very convincing bargaining tool for lots of still unfinished yet most important Brexit business. So, (a) Whitehall could indefinetly delay the EU gold delivery unless Brexit pending issues are agreed in favor of the UK.

(b) Or, quite simply, the BoE would not ever return such EU gold supposedly kept in custody for the past decades because it has been partially or totally sold off or loaned out or compromised as explained below with former UK Prime Minister James Gordon Brown knowing about it all too well. If history is any guide, hostilities will explode the instant the EU member states individually or collectively rightfully demand a yet-non-existant fully independent world-class functionally detailed audit of the EU gold supposedly still in ´custody´ at the BoE. This should take plenty of time and is the perfect excuse for delaying the whole process always under the exclusive perview of London, not Brussels.

Or unmanageable problems would arise as soon as EU nations require immediate repatriation of at least some of such ´theoretical´ bullion, most probably all of them at the same time in view of circumstances. Then, either (1) some gold could possibly slowly be returned here and there (albeit with great delay ) but only under very vague London terms and changing the unfinished Brexit aftermath to levels yet unheard of, or (2) no gold would be returned as it has been sold off or compromised in different ways as explained hereinafter. And the UK better not decide to pay Russia even with a single gold coin as the EU would rightly wonder who owns it.

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“Russia has been the all-purpose hobgoblin that every US agency and many political personages turn to when they are caught doing something nefarious.”

A Theory of the Case (Kunstler)

[..] since the State Department is most of all responsible for the Russian clean-up operation now underway in Ukraine, you can bet that CBS-News is in on the info-grift to protect State, its patron. What Russia had to clean-up was the long-building after-effects of now Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s 2014 engineered Maidan coup against the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych. The issue of that bygone day was a tug-of-war between the US and Russia, with Ukraine as the flag in the middle of the rope. Russia wanted Ukraine in the orbit of its economic “customs union” and the US was affecting to pull Ukraine into the Eurozone and NATO — or, at least, use Ukraine as a forward base for NATO, in order to antagonize Russia.

Russia has been the all-purpose hobgoblin that every US agency and many political personages turn to when they are caught doing something nefarious. When Hillary Clinton’s email trove was purloined through her poorly-defended illegal home server, Russia was to blame. That fiasco spawned the multi-year RussiaGate operation that bamboozled half the nation and ended up tainting the FBI, the DOJ, the FISA Court, and both the House and Senate Intel committees. Then, along came Hunter Biden’s laptop, infamously labeled “Russian disinformation” by every retired senior intel spook still drawing a fat pension. The news about the laptop and its lurid contents was strenuously suppressed by every mainstream media company except The New York Post, and its coverage was banished from Facebook and Twitter which so many Americans rely on for news — an obvious and true conspiracy between government, high tech, and the news media.

All this coincided you understand, with the horror-show official response to Covid-19 coming on the scene at exactly the same time: winter of 2019-2020. By then, half the country had already been groomed into a mass formation psychosis over the RussiaGate narrative that declared President Donald Trump was a stooge for Vladimir Putin… thus, Trump derangement.

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“Food inflation in Sri Lanka reached 30%…. things start immediately collapsing.”

Coming soon to a place near you.

Sri Lanka Inflation and Food Crisis Results in Widespread Social Chaos (CTH)

I have stated for the past year ‘the absence of food will change things‘. The inflation and food affordability crisis has now surfaced in Sri Lanka. Global media is paying attention, even sending out warnings about what this might represent for other nations. Sri Lanka has a debt to GDP ratio of 120%, approximately the same as the United States. However, Sri Lanka does not have the benefit of their currency being supported as the global trade currency; therefore, the debt and domestic inflation rate are directly tied together. The rate of food inflation in March has exceeded 30%…. the absence of the public being able to afford food has now surfaced and the government is collapsing. Read the news from Sri Lanka through the prism of what could happen in U.S. cities if we lose the dollar as the global trade currency.

(Via Reuters) – Reuters Breakingviews) – “Sri Lanka’s collapse is front of mind for many. Protesters fed up with crippling shortages of essential food and fuel items are on the streets, prompting multiple members of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s cabinet to offer to resign late on Sunday. Social unrest will probably accelerate a restructuring of some $44 billion of international sovereign debt. Though Sri Lanka’s problems follow years of mismanagement, its speedy unravelling is a warning to sturdier economies from Europe to Asia suddenly grappling with a spike in the cost of living.

A current account crisis read more has intensified after the West fired its sanctions bazooka at Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine. Rolling blackouts and a state of emergency are frightening away remaining tourists, a crucial source of foreign exchange. Food inflation hit an eye-watering 30.2% in March. The currency’s 40% depreciation against the U.S. dollar in one month, including a central bank managed devaluation, is blowing out leverage ratios: Public debt estimated by the International Monetary Fund at 120% of GDP is perhaps some 40 percentage points more than might be deemed sustainable, guesses Citi.

[…] It’s a reminder of the political implications of high prices. Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, few Asian countries had consumer inflation in double digits. The standouts were Sri Lanka and Pakistan, whose Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday dodged a no-confidence vote and called fresh elections. Poorer countries are more vulnerable to surging global food prices because their populations spend more on food than discretionary items.” Food inflation in Sri Lanka reached 30%…. things start immediately collapsing. Consider the recent projected rate of food inflation in the United States (wave 2, this summer):

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Admission of guilt?!

Clinton, DNC Pay FEC Fines in Effort to Bury Story: Kash Patel (ET)

The lead investigator for the House Intelligence Committee’s 2018 probe into the FBI’s investigation of alleged Trump–Russia collusion, Kash Patel, said the fact that the Hillary Clinton campaign is paying a penalty to Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an admittance of guilt. Clinton and DNC are doing so to bury the narrative and prevent more media coverage of these illegal activities, said Patel. “I think the public sees what that is. It’s their way of burying the narrative, because if they contested what happens, more media coverage, more people start looking into these things,” Patel said. “So the Hillary Clinton campaign is not contesting it, they’re paying the fine. It’s basically admitting that they did this and they’re out is: ‘we just don’t want a protracted legal deal, as if the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC ever shied away from taking something or someone to court,” Patel added.

Clinton’s campaign and the DNC agreed to pay a combined $113,000 to the FEC, according to documents made public on March 30, after the commission found probable cause that the entities violated federal law by describing payments that ultimately went to the Fusion GPS research group as going toward legal services and consulting. “It shows them how wrong they were to violate the law and spend political campaign dollars on hit job, opposition research pieces for then-candidate Trump, all of which, [to] remind the audience, was then used intentionally by the FBI—even though they knew it was false—to go to a federal secret court and surveil a presidential candidate and later a president of the United States.”

The FEC, which is responsible for overseeing federal elections, including the presidential election, found that the Hillary Clinton campaign broke FEC rules about how donations can be used. “What we knew when we ran the Russiagate investigation, Chairman Nunes and I, we exposed that the Hillary Clinton campaign paid for the Steele dossier, an opposition research hit job. We had proven that some years ago,” said Patel. “What the Coolidge Reagan Foundation did … based on our investigation, said ‘wait a second FEC, you as a political campaign cannot spend political dollars launching opposition research, false or otherwise,’” said Patel.

Dan Backer, an attorney who lodged the complaint with the election commission against the Clinton campaign and the DNC, told The Epoch Times that it’s the first time Clinton “has actually been held accountable for misconduct,” calling the fines “a great step for accountability.” “So they fined them, that’s the FEC’s job. And the Hillary Clinton campaign could have said: ‘We disagree with your finding. We’re going to go to court.’ What did the Hillary Clinton campaign do? … They agreed to the finding of probable cause by the FEC, which means they’re basically agreeing that it happened. … Like we’ve always said, ‘follow the money.’”

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Make sure he gets re-elected.

Media ‘Caught in a Coverup’ of Hunter Biden’s Laptop Story: Sen. Johnson (ET)

Johnson said that some outlets had participated in “what they call a limited hangout, or in [President Richard] Nixon’s case, a modified limited hangout. You’ve let out just enough information, just enough truth to try to get you by the moment.” A modified limited hangout is a public relations or propaganda technique in which the individual or official involved releases some information that was previously hidden, albeit still retaining important key facts, in an effort to prevent more important details from being exposed. According to former CIA official Victor Marchetti, the technique results in the public being “so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.”


“We can’t allow our intelligence agencies, the Department of Justice, the FBI, or the media to get away with this,” Johnson said. “This is serious business. This is incredible corruption at the highest levels of government and within our media. “We are all being snookered by them. This has been a—from my standpoint—a massive diversionary operation to, you know, to try to take the American public’s attention away from their wrongdoing, their lies, their cover-ups.” He said that “now we have actual bank records that verify what we reported” and that Hunter Biden’s “laptop is obviously a treasure-trove of additional corroborating evidence as well.”

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Special counsel required.

‘Big Guy’ Reemerges In Hunter Biden Grand Jury (WE)

A grand jury witness was asked to identify the infamous “big guy” mentioned in discussions regarding a Chinese business deal involving the president’s son Hunter Biden, according to a new report. The question came up after this person, who was not identified, was shown a piece of evidence before the grand jury, located in Wilmington, Delaware, a source told the New York Post. The answer that was given was not reported, though some have claimed the “big guy” is President Joe Biden, raising the prospect that the commander in chief could be drawn into a federal criminal investigation. So far, the White House has been adamant in asserting that the president is not involved and that Hunter Biden, 52, did not commit any crimes.

The New York Post has led the charge in reporting on the contents of an abandoned laptop that is believed to have belonged to Hunter Biden. While other major media outlets sought to cast doubt on its authenticity and Big Tech companies even took steps to suppress its spread in the final weeks of the 2020 election, in recent weeks, the New York Times and Politico have come forth with reports saying at least some of the contents on the laptop have been authenticated. At issue is one particular email, dated May 13, 2017, from investor James Gilliar to himself, Hunter Biden’s business associate Rob Walker, and James and Hunter Biden detailing a “provisional” business deal with a Chinese company called CEFC. The email, in part, asks about “10 held by H for the big guy,” as well as “10” for “Jim.” It appears “H” is a reference to Hunter Biden, “Jim” is Joe Biden’s brother, and “10” is a reference to 10%.

Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner Tony Bobulinski, a Navy veteran, corroborated the authenticity of the email in October 2020 and insisted the “big guy” was then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. The Washington Post recently reported on “verified emails illuminating a deal Hunter Biden developed with a fast-growing Chinese energy conglomerate, CEFC China Energy, for which he was paid nearly $5 million, and other business relationships.” The elder Biden has distanced himself from his son’s foreign business dealings. Over the weekend, a White House official claimed the president is certain his son did not break the law or do anything unethical as it relates to China.

“Of course the president is confident that his son didn’t break the law,” Ron Klain, the president’s chief of staff, said during an interview on ABC’s This Week. “But most importantly, as I said, that’s a matter that’s going to be decided by the Justice Department, by the legal process. It’s something that no one at the White House has involvement in.”

Solomon Hunter

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No pardon needed without an investigation.

White House Won’t Rule Out Pardon For Hunter, James Biden (ZH)

The White House won’t rule out granting pardons to Hunter Biden or James Biden, the son and brother of President Joe Biden, as investigations over their international dealings heat up. “That’s not a hypothetical I’m going to entertain,” White House communications director Kate Bedingfield told reporters last week when asked during the daily press briefing. “I don’t have anything to add from this podium.” Bedingfield was reluctant to address any aspect of the Hunter Biden story, after CNN, The Washington Post, and the New York Times recently published stories about the federal tax probe into Hunter Biden and his foreign business deals. When asked additional questions about Hunter Biden and the president’s brother James Biden, Bedingfield would only reply, “I don’t have anything further to add from this podium.” -Breitbart


Two weeks ago, the New York Times confirmed Hunter Biden’s controversial laptop exists, and is legit – and confirmed several previously reported aspects of the story, including correspondence between Hunter and his business partner Devon Archer, both of whom served on the board Ukrainian energy giant Burisma. Contained on the laptop were a trove of emails, text messages, photographs and financial documents. Last week, the Washington Post and CNN piled on – with the post reporting on Hunter’s “multimillion-dollar deals with a Chinese energy company,” and CNN running a blistering segment and reporting that the federal investigation into Hunter is ‘heating up.’

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As their parents have their own vaccine related handicaps.

A Generation of Toddlers Struggling With Speech and Social Skills (SN)

Lockdown restrictions, including adults wearing face masks, has left a generation of babies and toddlers struggling with speech and social skills, according to an official report. Inspectors working for Ofsted found that infants being surrounded by adults wearing face masks for significant periods of time over the last two years has damaged their learning and communication abilities. Those turning two “will have been surrounded by adults wearing masks for their whole lives and have therefore been unable to see lip movements or mouth shapes as regularly,” the report found. “Some providers have reported that delays to children’s speech and language development have led to them not socialising with other children as readily as they would have expected previously,” it added.


The restrictions also left toddlers struggling with crawling, using the toilet independently and making friends. Delays in learning had also regressed some children to the stage where they needed help with basic tasks such as putting on their coats and blowing their noses. “I’m particularly worried about younger children’s development which, if left unaddressed, could potentially cause problems for primary schools down the line,” said chief inspector Amanda Spielman. We previously highlighted another study out of Germany which found that the reading ability of children has plummeted compared to pre-COVID times thanks to lockdown policies that led to the closure of schools. Speech therapist Jaclyn Theek said that mask wearing during the pandemic has caused a 364% increase in patient referrals of babies and toddlers. “They’re not making any word attempts and not communicating at all with their family,” she said, adding that symptoms of autism are also skyrocketing.

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French doctor

 

 

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Oct 182021
 
 October 18, 2021  Posted by at 7:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


M. C. Escher Meeting (Encounter) 1940

 

Covid Infection In Vaxxed 40-49 Yr Olds Double The Unvaxxed Rate (DS)
Over 90% Of A Hospital’s Admissions Were Vaccinated For Covid-19 (Siri)
What Happens If Israel Fails The Stress Test? (Geert)
White House Tells Governors to Get Ready to Vaccinate Young Kids (CHD)
40% Of California State Workers Are Unvaccinated Despite Newsom’s Order (ZH)
Pentagon Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Vaccine Mandates (ET)
Ron Johnson Slams DOJ Probe Of Parents’ School Board Protests (JTN)
Facebook Announces 10,000 EU Jobs To Build ‘Metaverse’ (Y!)
MPs Back Challenge To Boris Johnson On Vaccine Passports (Exp.)
Bare Shelves, No Holidays… At Last, A Biblical Kind Of Christmas (Cumming)
Who Do You Blame When You’ve Killed The Scapegoat? (Fintan O’Toole)

 

 

Ivermectin works in Tokyo..

 

 

And in Indonesia.


Indonesia ramped up ivermectin production and the government assured national distribution and fair prices. IVM is considered by the government a COVID medicine.

 

 

But Singapore has the same pattern as Taiwan: very low infection rates, but then the vaccines came…

 

 

McCullough
https://twitter.com/i/status/1448336581358665733

 

 

Effectiveness Hits Minus-109%

Covid Infection In Vaxxed 40-49 Yr Olds Double The Unvaxxed Rate (DS)

In the latest Vaccine Surveillance report from Public Health England (PHE) the Covid infection rate in double-vaccinated people in their 40s went above 100 per cent higher than in the unvaccinated for the first time, reaching 109 per cent. This translates to an unadjusted vaccine effectiveness of minus 109 per cent.

Vaccine effectiveness continues to drop fast in all over-18s, hitting minus 85 per cent for those in their 50s, minus 88 per cent for those in their 60s and minus 79 per cent for those in their 70s. Vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation and death continues to hold up in all age groups, though with some signs of decline, particularly among older people. There is still nothing from Government sources acknowledging this failure of the vaccines against infection, its implications for policy and analysing what might be behind it.

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We’ve seen Deborah Conrad.

Over 90% Of A Hospital’s Admissions Were Vaccinated For Covid-19 (Siri)

A concerned Physician Assistant, Deborah Conrad, convinced her hospital to carefully track the Covid-19 vaccination status of every patient admitted to her hospital. The result is shocking. As Ms. Conrad has detailed, her hospital serves a community in which less than 50% of the individuals were vaccinated for Covid-19 but yet, during the same time period, approximately 90% of the individuals admitted to her hospital were documented to have received this vaccine. These patients were admitted for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to COVID-19 infections. Even more troubling is that there were many individuals who were young, many who presented with unusual or unexpected health events, and many who were admitted months after vaccination.


One would think that after an association was identified by a healthcare professional, our health authorities would at least review this finding, right? Sadly, when Ms. Conrad reached out to health authorities herself, she was ignored. My firm then sent a letter to the CDC and FDA on July 19, 2021 on Ms. Conrad’s behalf (see letter below), yet neither agency has responded. Even worse, when doctors came to Ms. Conrad for assistance with filing VAERS report for their patients, the hospital prohibited her from filing these reports. That the CDC and FDA failed to respond is arguably not surprising – they have been cheerleading this vaccine for months. Admitting almost any harm now would be akin to asking them to turn a gun on themselves. This again highlights the importance of never permitting government coercion and mandates when it comes to medical procedures.

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“..it is reasonable to expect booster injections to only enable the virus to more rapidly evolve resistance to the vaccines..”

What Happens If Israel Fails The Stress Test? (Geert)

It is well known that, regardless of any induced antigen (Ag)-specific adaptive immune response, all vaccines (including mRNA vaccines) have an adjuvant effect: they stimulate innate immune effectors, some of which have antiviral activity and/or facilitate adaptive immunity (2, 3, 4). Without going into mechanistic detail, there is no doubt that some of these innate, nonAg-specific immune responses have a short-lived antiviral effect. This could already explain why booster doses in the population described above can prevent viral infection while recalling anti-spike Abs. It may also be tempting to assume that these recalled Abs are now responsible for enhanced protection from both infection and disease.

However, from an immunological viewpoint, it is difficult to understand how a rapid recall of the very same anti-S Abs in a previously vaccine-primed population would now all of a sudden enable better protection from infection and disease. If innate immunity is indeed the confounder, then the outcome of long-term surveillance studies would look very different. Given the more potent neutralizing Abs booster shots are generating against variants (5), the S(pike)-directed immune pressure in the population will only continue to rise while still failing to curtail the spread of the predominantly circulating highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 variant (e.g., Delta variant). On the contrary, it would be reasonable to assume that upon an additional booster shot the more potent Abs further contribute to selecting S-directed immune escape variants and, therefore, turn the previously primed population in an even more fertile breeding ground for the highly infectious Delta variant.

As vaccine-elicited Ab responses have a much longer duration (and can be memorized) than that induced by short-term innate immune activation, and as vaccinal Abs suppress the functional capacity of pre-existing CoV-reactive innate Abs, short-term vaccine-mediated innate immune protection against viral infection or disease does not automatically imply a positive effect of the vaccine on viral infection or morbidity rates in the longer term. Interpretations from scientists who only conduct short-term surveillance studies in vaccinees, the majority of whom are adults or elderly, lead to erroneous, although peer-reviewed conclusions such as: ‘Although vaccines are less effective against asymptomatic disease (*) or against transmission than against severe disease, even in populations with fairly high vaccination rates the unvaccinated are still the major drivers of transmission and are themselves at the highest risk of serious disease’ (6).

This clearly illustrates their lack of understanding of the contribution of innate immunity in providing short-term protection after vaccination, and in the more durable protection of young and healthy unvaccinated age groups. Based on all of the above, it is reasonable to expect booster injections to only enable the virus to more rapidly evolve resistance to the vaccines. This evolution would be dramatically expedited by vaccinating and boosting more and more younger age groups.

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No FDA approval, but “..the Biden administration has already purchased 65 million doses of pediatric COVID vaccines..”

White House Tells Governors to Get Ready to Vaccinate Young Kids (CHD)

In a private phone call Tuesday with the nation’s governors, the White House told states to prepare to vaccinate children as young as 5 by early November. A White House official said the call was made in anticipation of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine being cleared for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the coming weeks for children ages 5 to 11. According to NBC News, the Biden administration purchased 65 million pediatric doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine — enough to vaccinate an estimated 28 million children who would be eligible should the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve Pfizer’s request to vaccinate the younger age group. In anticipation of a green light from the FDA, the administration began planning vaccination efforts with states, pharmacies and medical groups.

The administration told providers in a planning document last week the vaccine for children will be delivered to thousands of sites within one week of FDA authorization. The pediatric Pfizer vaccine will be distributed in 100-dose packs. Each dose is one-third of what is given to adults, and will be free through sites enrolled in a federal program that guarantees the shots are provided at no cost. Some states are planning to provide the vaccine through schools. “We’ve secured plenty of supply, and we’ll be putting in place an allocation, ordering and distribution system similar to what we’ve used for the other vaccines,” said Biden’s White House COVID coordinator, Jeff Zients, on a phone call, obtained by ABC News, with governors.

“It is distressing to hear that the Biden administration has already purchased 65 million doses of pediatric COVID vaccines,” said Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, pediatric physician and CEO of the Rimland Center for Integrative Medicine. “Vaccinating children is not the way out of the pandemic.” In an email to The Defender, Mumper said she hopes the White House will consider the following data:

• 99.998% of patients under the age of 18 survive COVID
• COVID “vaccines” have not undergone adequate long-term safety studies
• According to the latest available data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, as of Oct. 1, there have been a total of 21,298 reports of adverse events, including 1,284 rated as serious and 22 reported deaths (two of the 22 deaths were suicides) in the 12- to 17-year-old age group
• healthy adolescents given COVID “vaccines” have experienced blood clots, myocarditis, abnormal menses, neurologic symptoms and extreme fatigue
• most COVID cases are spread from adults to children — children are not a significant threat to the elderly and vulnerable

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“..a third of all hospitals in the state are experiencing critical staffing shortages because engineers, janitorial staff, respiratory therapists, nurses, midwives, physical therapists, and technicians have either staged strikes or have left the job over the mandate.”

40% Of California State Workers Are Unvaccinated Despite Newsom’s Order (ZH)

This might come as a surprise, but 40% of California state employees are unvaccinated despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive to mandate the jab or be subjected to regular testing. Newsom issued this new directive in July following a surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. At the time, he said, “We are now dealing with a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it’s going to take renewed efforts to protect Californians from the dangerous Delta variant.” Still months later, less than two-thirds of state workers, or 62%, were vaccinated, according to The Sacramento Bee. The figure is much lower than the state’s overall rate of 72%. Human Resources Department spokeswoman Camille Travis said her agency has only compiled 89% of state employee vaccination status.

She said the data so far suggests some state employees weren’t compelled to get jabbed after Newsom’s directive. Some of the state’s largest departments shared vaccination rates: 52% of California Highway Patrol employees, 60% of Department of Motor Vehicles employees, and 60% of prison employees have received the shots. California Department of Transportation has the highest with 70%. Newsom’s mandatory jab, or be forced to regular testing for state employees, is less stringent than those of health care workers who have been forced to get the vaccine unless they had a medical exemption or religious claim.

One emerging drawback of mandatory jabs, with no consideration for regular testing nor naturally-acquired immunity, are reports that a third of all hospitals in the state are experiencing critical staffing shortages because engineers, janitorial staff, respiratory therapists, nurses, midwives, physical therapists, and technicians have either staged strikes or have left the job over the mandate. Director of Medical Ethics, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty of the University of California, Irvine, challenged the constitutionality of the hospital’s vaccine mandate regarding individuals who have recovered from COVID and have naturally acquired immunity and was immediately placed on leave. There’s no room to debate science as only the government can decide what’s best for state employees.

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“..Attorneys argued in the suit that no COVID-19 vaccine is available in the United States that has received full licensing and approval..”

Pentagon Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Vaccine Mandates (ET)

Service members from all five branches of the U.S. military, federal employees, and federal civilian contractors have joined in a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Defense over its COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The 24 plaintiffs “face a deadline under the Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate to receive a COVID-19 vaccine that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs, and have been refused any religious exemption or accommodation,” according to Liberty Counsel, the Christian legal firm that filed the lawsuit. The lawsuit (pdf), filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, lists President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as defendants.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order (pdf) to prevent the COVID-19 vaccine mandates from taking effect, and ultimately issue an injunction to prevent the Pentagon from enforcing the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Biden on Sept. 9 issued an executive order requiring almost all federal employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. Regular testing isn’t an option. Civilian federal employees and contractors have until Nov. 22 to be fully vaccinated. Austin issued a memorandum on Aug. 24 saying that all military service members must receive a COVID-19 vaccine, after which all the branches of the military announced various deadlines for its troops to be fully vaccinated, regardless of whether they had previously survived a bout of COVID-19, and threatening suspensions or other disciplinary actions if service members don’t have a pending exemption request or fail to comply.

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps have set a Nov. 28 deadline for their active-duty service members; reservists have until Dec. 28. For the Army and the Air Force, the deadlines for active-duty service members are Dec. 15 and Nov. 2, respectively, and deadlines for National Guard and Reserve members are June 30, 2022, and Dec. 2, 2021, respectively. U.S. Coast Guard members have until Nov. 22 to be fully vaccinated. [..] Attorneys argued in the suit that no COVID-19 vaccine is available in the United States that has received full licensing and approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and as such, cannot be mandated.

Austin, in his memo on Aug. 24 (pdf), stated that the mandatory vaccinations “will only use COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the [FDA] in accordance with FDA-approved labeling and guidance,” attorneys noted, arguing that “additional military documents reveal that the Department of Defense is not following its own directive” and is using vaccines under emergency use authorization [EUA] “because there is no FDA approved vaccine available.” Austin’s memo came a day after the FDA issued full approval for future Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, which will bear the Comirnaty label. The latter vaccine wasn’t available in the United States as of Oct. 12, The Epoch Times reported previously.

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“Show up peacefully. Be respectful. But be insistent. Demand that the school boards follow your wishes. Not the wishes of Joe Biden and his cast of characters.”

Ron Johnson Slams DOJ Probe Of Parents’ School Board Protests (JTN)

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin says Attorney General Merrick Garland‘s order to have the FBI investigate parent protests of school policies is “outrageous” and a “method of intimidation.” “He is saying they are intimidating school board members. No, it is the attorney general of the United States that is intimidating people exercising their rights to free speech and the right to petition their government,” Johnson said in an interview aired Sunday on the Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis show on WABC radio in New York. Garland announced recently the FBI would be investigating comments made by parents during contentious school board meetings over curriculum issues such as critical race theory and transgender pronouns.


The Wisconsin Republican, who is up for reelection next year, encouraged parents not to be intimidated and to continue to press for the policies they want for their children. “I tell people in Wisconsin, if you don’t want critical race theory; if you don’t want the 1619 project taught to your children, don’t let it be,” he said. “Show up peacefully. Be respectful. But be insistent. Demand that the school boards follow your wishes. Not the wishes of Joe Biden and his cast of characters.”

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“..meetings in a virtual room where they all appear as cartoonish 3D versions of themselves..”

Facebook Announces 10,000 EU Jobs To Build ‘Metaverse’ (Y!)

Facebook on Monday announced plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to build the “metaverse”, a virtual reality version of the internet that the tech giant sees as the future. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been a leading voice in Silicon Valley hype around the idea of the metaverse, which would blur the lines between the physical world and the digital one. The technology might, for example, allow someone to don virtual reality glasses that make it feel as if they’re face-to-face with a friend — when in fact they are thousands of miles apart and connected via the internet. “The metaverse has the potential to help unlock access to new creative, social, and economic opportunities. And Europeans will be shaping it right from the start,” Facebook said in a blog post.


“Today, we are announcing a plan to create 10,000 new high skilled jobs within the EU over the next five years.” The European hires will include “highly specialised engineers”, but the company otherwise gave few details of its plans for the new metaverse team. “The EU has a number of advantages that make it a great place for tech companies to invest — a large consumer market, first class universities and, crucially, top quality talent,” the blog post said. [..] Facebook bought Oculus, a company that makes virtual reality headsets, for $2 billion in 2014 and has since been developing Horizon, a digital world where people can interact using VR technology. In August it unveiled Horizon Workrooms, a feature where co-workers wearing VR headsets can hold meetings in a virtual room where they all appear as cartoonish 3D versions of themselves.

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“If we start down this road the future is dark.”

MPs Back Challenge To Boris Johnson On Vaccine Passports (Exp.)

Campaigners for the Together Declaration petition, already signed by almost 110,000 people including more than 200 church leaders and representatives of businesses and groups, fear that the UK Government will be pushed into agreeing to a so-called plan B to bring in new restrictions over the winter. It follows warnings by chief medical officer Chris Whitty last week that the NHS will “experience an exceptionally difficult winter” this year. Already this has been taken as an indication that pro-lockdown scientists working for the government will push for vaccine passports which have been introduced by Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland and the Labour government in Wales. Already, Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, which represents backbench Conservative MPs has signed the declaration.

He said: “‘Vaccine passports would set an alarming precedent where our medical records become public and some people are subjected to discrimination as they seek to go about their everyday lives. Surely that isn’t the kind of society that we want to create?” Another senior Tory MP, Sir Desmond Swayne added: “It is contrary to all our values and traditions to have to prove that we have undergone a medical procedure to go about our lawful business. “It is coercive and discriminatory, the abandonment of liberal values; a frightful precedent to set. I am appalled that a Conservative government could contemplate such a measure. If we start down this road the future is dark.” Campaigners will meet former minister Steve Baker, deputy chairman of the powerful Covid Recovery Group (CRG), and other Parliamentarians tomorrow before unfurling a 40m banner in Parliament Square.

[..] Robert Dingwall, former government advisor, and professor of sociology from Nottingham Trent University, who has carried out extensive research on the use of vaccine passports said: “Vaccine passports are a tech industry idea in search of a problem. In terms of public safety, they have little to offer. “Vaccinated people have a high degree of protection from their own vaccination. They also still have a potential to infect other people. By now, anyone who wants to be vaccinated has had an opportunity to do so.

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“There won’t be any turkeys, or at least not dead ones.”

Bare Shelves, No Holidays… At Last, A Biblical Kind Of Christmas (Cumming)

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” says Jo at the start of Little Women. BoJo is going one better. This Christmas, not only will there be no presents, but there will be no anything. After cancelling Christmas altogether last year, this time around he is creating a kind of half-Christmas, Christmas methadone, to ease us back into the festival. There is nothing the man will not do to get himself compared to Churchill. Thanks to his foresight and the happy accidents of the global economy, we will be able to wallow in our beloved blitz spirit, making do and mending, with a safe low dosage of consumerism to tide us over.

There will be no PlayStation 5 under where the Christmas tree used to be. There will be no jokes in Mrs Brown’s Boys, as usual, but none in the Christmas crackers either. There’s no petrol or HGV drivers, of course, but correspondents also report shortages of tennis balls, merlot, white bread, sardines, M&S chicken kievs, fish sauce, frozen apple strudel, tinned sardines, spring onions, fire alarms, an effective opposition, chocolate Hobnobs, cat vaccines, cat worming pills, bubble bath, Leon fish-finger wraps, marmalade, butter beans, dog-poo bags, goats, crisps, decaf coffee, bulbs (plant), bulbs (light), pigs, blankets, pigs-in-blankets, roofing lead and Harry Potter merchandise, especially wands. The last is hard to take; usually there are more wands than you can shake a stick at.

On the off-chance you manage to get to 25 December with a full tank and are able to dodge Insulate Britain’s armed roadblocks, you’ll arrive at houses that are too expensive to heat. The environmentalists ought to be encouraging the free movement of cars this Christmas; there are few people more persuasive on the subject of double-glazing than a chilly mother-in-law. There won’t be any turkeys, or at least not dead ones. There are plenty waddling around in barns, but there’s nobody to slaughter them. For the handful that do make it to Bernard Matthews’ big barn in the sky, there’s nobody to drive them to the shops. In a delicious irony, there are shortages of everything except shortages. Like it or not, this is what leadership looks like.

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“Frost demanded that the EU agree to rewrite completely the Northern Ireland protocol of the withdrawal treaty that Johnson hailed in October 2019 as a “fantastic deal for all of the UK”.

Who Do You Blame When You’ve Killed The Scapegoat? (Fintan O’Toole)

Last week, Boris Johnson, with his paintbrush and easel at his holiday villa in Marbella, touched up his self-portrait as the reincarnation of Winston Churchill. Meanwhile, another bodysnatcher, Johnson’s Brexit tsar, David Frost, was also in sunny Iberia. In Lisbon on Tuesday evening, he channelled the intellectual father of modern conservatism, the 18th-century Irish writer and politician Edmund Burke. Frost demanded that the EU agree to rewrite completely the Northern Ireland protocol of the withdrawal treaty that Johnson hailed in October 2019 as a “fantastic deal for all of the UK”. His speech was entitled, in imitation of a famous Burke pamphlet, “Observations on the present state of the nation”.

In case his audience somehow failed to make the connection between the former chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association and one of the greatest political thinkers these islands has produced, Frost reminded them – how could they have forgotten? – that he had previously given a speech entitled “Reflections on the Revolutions in Europe”. Geddit? For those who did indeed get it, the first response was surely to sigh, like the ghost in Shakespeare’s tragedy, “O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there”. The second was the dizzying feeling that the “present state of the nation” is that of a skydiver, free-falling downwards from Burkean conservatism into pure Tory anarchism. In his Reflections on the Revolution in France, Burke wrote that “good order is the foundation of all good things”.

Somehow, when his soul was transmigrating to be born again in Brexit Britain, that bit got lost in translation. Disorder is now the royal road to all the good things that will come to those who keep the Brexit faith. Tearing up international treaties is, like the mass culling of pigs and fruit rotting in the fields, merely a manifestation of the creative chaos from which the new universe of “Global Britain” will emerge. It is rather unfortunate that the ground on which this big bang is set to explode, Northern Ireland, is a place that knows all about big bangs and the misery of chaos. And even more so that it is a place held together by one of those documents that Johnson and his government now hold in such contempt: an international treaty, the Belfast agreement of 1998.

Before Frost gave his speech on Tuesday, he knew full well that the EU was about to put forward a generous, sensible and very helpful set of proposals to deal with the difficulties in the practical implementation of the protocol. These proposals, unveiled on Wednesday, give civic and business leaders in Northern Ireland pretty much everything they have asked for to make the new arrangements work smoothly. Anticipating this EU move to calm everything down, however, Frost and Johnson chose to pre-empt the solutions by creating a new problem, one they know to be insoluble. They have hyped up an issue that no one in business or trade in Northern Ireland gives a damn about: the role of the European court of justice (ECJ) in any potential disputes about the interpretation of EU law. Deprived of the movement of sausages as a casus belli, they grasped another dubious foodstuff – the red herring.

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Earplugs
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