Albrecht Dürer Praying hands 1508
“When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.”
– Rudyard Kipling, “The Jungle Book”
Lavrov did a BBC interview yesterday.
Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s top diplomat, said in an interview Thursday that the Kremlin was forced to carry out a “special military operation” in Ukraine because there was “no other way of explaining to the West that dragging Ukraine into NATO was a criminal act.” Lavrov spoke with the BBC about the fallout from the war, and how Russia has been largely ostracized from the West. He pointed the the UK in particular. “I don’t think there’s even room for manoeuvre any more,” Lavrov said. He said both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have both said openly that “we should defeat Russia, we should force Russia to its knees.” “Go on, then, do it!” Lavrov said.
Truss and Johnson have been two of the most outspoken critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Lavrov may have been referencing Truss’ comment in February when she said she wanted to “degrade” the Russian economy. “We’ve now imposed the most severe sanctions that Russia has ever seen, stopping access to vast swathes of the Russian economy, and stopping them build up their armed forces, cutting the Russian economy off at the knees,” she said. Johnson in May called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “crocodile” chewing on Ukraine’s leg. “How can you deal with a crocodile when it’s in the middle of eating your left leg?,” Johnson said. “The guy’s completely not to be trusted.”
BAM!! Lavrov not taking any shit!! pic.twitter.com/uUeJZG9Hjc
— Pete Liquid (@PeteLiquid) June 16, 2022
“That’s not science. That’s conjecture. And we should not be making public policy on it..”
Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted Thursday that even though the Biden administration recommends that everyone over the age of 5 gets a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, there is currently insufficient evidence to prove that the boosters actually lower rates of hospitalization or death in children. During a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., asked Fauci if he was aware of any studies that showed a reduction in deaths or hospitalizations for children who had received boosters. “Right now, there’s not enough data that has been accumulated, Senator Paul, to indicate that that’s the case,” Fauci stated.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases began to explain that he thinks the basis for the recommendation had to do with looking at morbidity and mortality of children in different age groups, when the senator cut him off. “So there are no studies. And Americans should all know this. There are no studies on children showing a reduction in hospitalization or death with taking a booster,” Paul said. Paul, who is also a doctor, noted that the only studies that had been done were antibody studies, which he argued were not enough to prove a vaccine’s efficacy. He claimed that just because a vaccine produces antibodies, that does not mean it is necessary. To illustrate his point, he argued that a person could get 10 boosters and get antibodies from all of them, but that does not mean a person needs to get 10 booster shots.
Fauci, who testified virtually because he currently has COVID-19, called Paul’s hypothetical “somewhat of an absurd exaggeration,” but Paul claimed that this is basically what the government is doing. “That’s not science. That’s conjecture. And we should not be making public policy on it,” he said.
Rand Paul Fauci
I asked, "Can you tell me if anyone on the vaccine approval committees ever received money from the people who make vaccines?"
Fauci : "People who receive royalties are not required to divulge them." pic.twitter.com/a0YIm2jfvZ
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) June 16, 2022
The “pumping turbines” in Nordstream I need repair. German company Siemens sent them all the way to Montreal to be fixed. Because of Canada and German sanctions, they cannot be brought back to the pipeline. Unless both countries circumvent their own sanctions. They will.
Russian energy giant Gazprom on Thursday defended gas cuts to Europe as prices soared and tensions raged between Russia and the West over Ukraine. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that Moscow will play by its own rules after cutting daily gas supplies to Germany and Italy. “Our product, our rules. We don’t play by rules we didn’t create,” Miller said during a panel discussion at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia’s second city. Earlier this week, Gazprom slashed its natural gas deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline, after saying Germany’s Siemens had delayed the repair work of compressor units at the Portovaya compression station. “For now, there is no way to solve the problem that arose with the compressor station,” Miller said.
“Siemens is still silent, trying to find a solution.” Italian energy giant Eni also reported problems, saying it will receive only 65 percent of the gas requested Thursday from Gazprom. Gazprom has said exports to countries that did not belong to the former Soviet Union were down 28.9 percent between January 1 and June 15 compared to the same period last year. “Of course, Gazprom is reducing the volume of gas supplies to Europe,” Miller said, pointing out that the prices have increased several-fold. [..] Moscow has lost several European gas clients after it demanded that all “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian natural gas in rubles in response to a barrage of Western sanctions over Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and the Netherlands have had their natural gas deliveries suspended over refusing to pay in rubles. The Nord Stream pipeline was commissioned in 2012 and delivers gas from northwestern Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The launch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was set to double Russian gas deliveries to Germany was halted in response to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine. “Nord Stream 2 is under pressure and gas could be supplied to Germany even today via it. But it has not been put in operation because it is not certified,” Miller said.
Your governments volunteer to do this to you.
A gas shortage and high prices will send “shockwaves through the country,” leading to landlords cutting the heat for tenants and widespread company bankruptcies, warned Klaus Müller, the head of Germany’s Federal Network Agency, which is the regulatory office for electricity, gas, telecommunications, postal services, and railway markets. Müller paints a bleak picture about the crisis in an interview with German newspaper Rheinische Post, saying it will “send shockwaves throughout the country. Banks will ramp up their business with installment loans, and ailing companies will fall into insolvency.”
Müller’s office, which is a federal agency within the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, has a bird’s eye view of the economic situation in Germany and also special insight into how economic conditions will develop into the future. Müller says he expects gas prices to continue to climb, resulting in increased inflation that goes far beyond energy. He also warns that there will be a dramatic lack of gas in the winter, which could lead to landlords turning down the heat to save on energy. In turn, Germans may have to grapple with colder apartments. [..] The government has already pushed businesses and citizens to reduce their energy consumption, but that pressure may come in the form of new laws and regulations in the future, with Müller calling for more pressure to be applied to save gas.
Although Germany has pushed for a general ban on Russian oil imports, the country is highly reliant on natural gas from Russia. If Russia were to cut gas in the critical winter months or even restrict supplies, it could lead to critical damage to the German economy, a scenario energy experts have already warned about. Germans will not only be colder in their apartments, but companies will also face mass bankruptcies, said Müller. However, he said government policies could help mitigate financial losses and preserve critical gas supplies. He said he wants to encourage companies to save gas with a bonus scheme.
Bigger market share, less income.
Tesco said sales have fallen at its UK stores in recent weeks as its customers face “unprecedented increases in the cost of living”. The UK’s largest supermarket said it had gained market share but sales in the three months to 28 May fell 1.5% on the same period last year when the UK was in lockdown. Ken Murphy, the chief executive of Tesco, said: “The market environment remains incredibly challenging.” He said it was difficult to separate the significant impact of last year’s coronavirus lockdowns from other influences on shoppers but said Tesco was seeing “some early indications of changing customer behaviour as a result of the inflationary environment”.
He said: “Customers are facing unprecedented increases in the cost of living and it is therefore even more important that we work with our supplier partners to mitigate as much inflation as possible.” Tesco said sales of clothing and general merchandise, such as homewares and toys, were most affected, while online sales were also affected as shoppers returned to supermarkets. It said the decline in the volume of goods sold was partly offset by inflation. Sales in the Republic of Ireland were down 2.4% but were up 2% overall because of strong growth in central Europe and at its Booker wholesale chain. The retailer’s comments come after more than one in five (22%) of those who took part in a recent survey said they skipped a meal or reduced the size of meals because they could not afford to buy food.
Looking for a scapegoat.
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is expected to meet with refining executives on June 23 as tensions between the White House and the oil industry mount over soaring gasoline prices, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The planned talks come as President Joe Biden, under pressure over high gasoline prices, has demanded that oil refining companies explain why they are not putting more fuel on the market as they reap windfall profits. read more The Energy Department had no comment, but referred to a letter Biden sent on Wednesday to executives from companies, including Marathon Petroleum , Valero Energy and Exxon Mobil, that said he had directed Granholm to hold an emergency meeting and engage the National Petroleum Council in coming days.
The NPC is a privately-funded panel that makes recommendations to the energy secretary and executive branch. The U.S. oil industry’s main trade groups pushed back on the Biden administration on Wednesday in a letter to Biden, pointing out that the nation’s oil refineries are already running at close to full capacity. “Any suggestion that U.S. refiners are not doing our part to bring stability to the market is false,” said Chet Thompson, the head of the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers. Energy companies are enjoying bumper profits since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as punitive U.S. sanctions against Moscow add to a global supply squeeze driving crude prices above $100 a barrel and U.S. gasoline prices to records over $5 a gallon. U.S. refiners, meanwhile, are running at near-peak levels to process fuel – currently at 94% of capacity, according to government data.
OPEC+ has brought Putin and MBS closer than you may think.
The administration’s argument for a Biden-MBS meeting is that it is in the greatest interest for Middle East peace and peace “around the world” that the two should talk. Overall peace as well as increased oil production override the horrendous human rights record of the Saudi leader, according to the Biden team. If “pariah” was the term Biden used to describe MBS during his campaign and then changed his mind, what about the president’s views on Vladimir Putin? If the Biden team sees meeting MBS face-to-face as a positive step to increase oil production and reduce tensions in the Middle East, surely there is a more pressing need to have another Biden-Putin summit to stop the carnage in Ukraine and increase grain delivery.
But the last and only summit between the two, in Geneva on June 16, 2022, led to no concrete results. On the contrary; eight months later Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Putin was obviously not impressed enough with Biden to alter his plans for attacking Ukraine. For the moment, no mention is being made of a follow-up meeting. If Biden can’t talk to Putin, who can? The most promising candidate is French President Emmanuel Macron. According to reports, Macron has had a hundred hours of telephone conversations with the Russian president since December. To what avail? While the conversations may have solidified Macron’s self-image as a big league international leader, the war continues to rage in Ukraine. So President Biden is planning to meet MBS in the interest of Middle East peace and peace “around the world,” but no mention is being made of a follow-up to the Geneva summit in the interest of peace in Ukraine.
Biden is also to meet MBS for increased oil supplies but he is not willing to meet Putin for increased grain. The problems of peace and oil override (I avoid the use of trump even with a small t) human rights violations while a direct discussion with Putin for peace and grain has no possibility. The fundamental question is the value of talking. Any proposal to have Biden meet again with Putin brings back memories of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain 1938 talks with Hitler. The appeasement agreed upon in Munich had no positive effect in stopping World War II. Macron is being criticized along these lines. Biden would certainly be rebuked for even proposing a second summit.
“it’s essential to have free speech and for people to be able to communicate freely.”
Elon Musk is aiming to significantly transform Twitter, according to him during a meeting with the platform’s employees on Thursday. He plans to purge it of bot/fake accounts, increase the number of real users, and allow free speech to flourish while boosting profitability. Employees who do their job responsibly will not be fired. Elon Musk met with Twitter employees on Thursday to answer their questions, clarifying the future of the platform that will become his if the purchase will be completed. He spoke about some plans, and also explained his views on remote work and layoffs, which employees are afraid of.
"It’s essential to have free speech."
"It’s important to represent multiple opinions & not driving a narrative."
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) June 16, 2022
During the meeting, Musk made it clear that freedom of speech is a priority for him. Speaking about his stance on content moderation, he said, “We should allow people to say what they want.” Musk emphasized that “it’s essential to have free speech and for people to be able to communicate freely.” To be very clear, he said that Twitter should work to prevent the spread of potentially harmful or offensive content in order for users to feel comfortable using the platform. “There’s freedom of speech and freedom of reach,” Musk said. He explained that anyone can go to Times Square and say whatever they want, but this does not mean that it needs to be advertised to millions of people.
Therefore, Musk believes that people should be allowed to say whatever they want that is within the law, but they should not be amplified and widely spread. “Anyone could just go into the middle of Times Square right now and say anything they want. They can just walk into the middle of Times Square and deny the Holocaust … but that doesn’t mean that needs to be promoted to millions of people. So I think people should be allowed to say pretty outrageous things that are in the bounds of the law but that don’t get amplified and don’t get a ton of reach.” In addition, Musk said that he has a plan to attract hundreds of thousands of new users to the platform, bringing their total to a billion or more. To date, the platform has just over 200 million accounts, although it is difficult to say for sure how many of them are bots/fake.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) June 16, 2022
CNN is losing too much money.
CNN’s new boss Chris Licht has ordered staff to stop using the phrase ‘the big lie’ to describe Donald Trump’s 2020 election fraud claims, as it’s a Democrat slogan. The wording is a popular one for the network. According to Mediaite, the phrase has been said 168 times in the first half of June alone. Hosts like Reliable Sources’ Brian Stelter are often fond of the phrase to the point where they use it prominently in graphic packages and chyrons. But Licht has ordered Stelter and other journalists to stop, and has suggested ‘Trump’s election lie’ or ‘election lie’ as possible replacements. He issued the edict days after warning staff over their incessant use of ‘BREAKING NEWS’ graphics on stories, which he said was melodramatic, and ultimately diluted the power of big stories when they did break.
Licht was asked to opine on the term during a conference call Tuesday with the network’s management and the producers of various shows. He allegedly said that he preferred staff avoid it, though was clear in saying that this was not mandatory. A source said that Licht believes the specific phrasing of ‘the big lie’ – a reference to Hitler’s Nazi propaganda efforts during the Third Reich – is a Democratic Party talking point. CNN has come under fire for moving away from its well-respected news coverage towards dreary opinion programming, where hosts on seven and eight-figure salaries parrot woke talking points. Licht is also said to be keen to move the well-resourced network back towards neutral news coverage, with CNN hailed over its coverage of the Ukraine war and other big international news stories.
[..] Licht, as part of his efforts to revamp the outlet, has been evaluating news personalities and programs that became polarizing during Donald Trump’s presidency. Those who fail to get on board with the network’s new priority to become ‘less partisan’ could be terminated, CNN insiders told Axios. Licht isn’t reportedly looking to get rid of primetime personality programming, but he does want CNN’s news staff to present information in a way that upholds the network’s apparent values of unbiased reporting. Analysts allege this could prove problematic for network correspondents Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, among others, who have ‘become the face of the network’s liberal shift.’
“Trump’s statement appeared to appeal to the Federal Communications Commission’s equal time provision that mandates that U.S. radio and television broadcast stations must provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates..”
Kept by congressional Democrats from putting on a defense, former President Donald Trump demanded Thursday that television networks airing the Jan. committee hearings provide him equal time to provide his side of the case. “I DEMAND EQUAL TIME!!!” Trump said in a midday statement posted on his Truth Social media site just hours before the Democrat-led panel began a new hearing on the Capitol riots. “The Fake News Networks are perpetuating lies, falsehoods, and Russia, Russia, Russia-type disinformation (same sick people, here we go again!) by allowing the low rated but nevertheless one sided and slanderous Unselect Committee hearings to go endlessly and aimlessly on (and on and on!),” the 45th president added.
Democrats holding the Jan. 6 hearings have refused to let House Republicans to put their own members on the committee and have openly talked about the hearings being a vehicle to keep Trump from running again. “The point is that the constitutional purpose is clear, to keep people exactly like Donald Trump and other traitors to the union from holding public office,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told ABC News earlier this year. Trump’s statement appeared to appeal to the Federal Communications Commission’s equal time provision that mandates that U.S. radio and television broadcast stations must provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates who request it if their opponents has gotten it. Trump called the Jan. 6 hearings “a one-sided, highly partisan Witch Hunt, the likes of which has never been seen in Congress before and that he deserved time on national TV to present his side of the case, including election irregularities and Democrat failures to secure Capitol.
Simone Gold was at the Capitol not to riot, but to talk about and protest the vaccine rollout. And she did.
Founder of America’s Frontline Doctors, Dr. Simone Gold, was sentenced to 60 days in prison for her role in the Jan. 6 riot. Gold, who rose to fame during the COVID pandemic for pointing out the vaccine’s unknown factors, will have one year of supervised release following the prison sentence, Department of Justice records show. She must also pay $500 in restitution and the maximum fine of $9,500. Gold pleaded guilty in December to entering and remaining in the Capitol building. On the afternoon of Jan. 6, Gold spoke in Statuary Hall about her opposition to vaccine mandates and government lockdowns, the DOJ’s Statement of Offense claims. She was arrested by FBI agents 12 days later. She made headlines in 2021 for telling the “Mad Truth with Dr. Gina” podcast that it is illegal “to mandate an experimental medication or treatment for anything” and advocating for those who are less vulnerable to abstain from vaccination.
Gonzalo Lira: “Oh boy. So one of the Americans captured in Ukraine, Robert Drueke, is not a trained combat soldier—he’s a chemical weapons specialist.”
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