Jun 172024
 


Edward Hopper Cape Cod morning 1950

 

Putin’s Peace Initiative Last Chance To Save Ukrainian State – Medvedchuk (TASS)
Putin’s Peace Proposals on Ukraine Are ‘Golden Opportunity & Lifeline’ (Sp.)
A Proposal, A Last Chance, An Ultimatum (SCF)
Zelensky Set The Trap That Threatens To Destroy Us (Dionísio)
Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’ Is ‘Animal Farm’ – Medvedev (RT)
Polish President Calls For ‘Decolonization’ of Russia (RT)
US Tried to Provoke China Into Attacking Taiwan – Xi (Sp.)
The Changing Nature Of Nuclear Deterrence (Malinen)
Europe’s Elections as a Mirror (Patrick Lawrence)
Musk Says “Eliminate Electronic Voting Machines” (ZH)
Biden-Trump Debate Rules Revealed (RT)
Biden “Losing Focus”, “Worst He’s Ever Been” (MN)
AI is Digital Control, You’ve Been Warned – Catherine Austin Fitts (USAW)
Judges Named for Assange Appeal (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

Elon multiply

 

 

 

 

Amnesty

 

 

Wisdom

 

 

Meloni

 

 

 

 

 

 

This may be Putin’s final peace plan. Better consider it.

“This is a concentration camp for the Ukrainian people, with everyone wanting to flee except the gang that is criminally reigning..”

Putin’s Peace Initiative Last Chance To Save Ukrainian State – Medvedchuk (TASS)

The peace initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin is the last chance to preserve the Ukrainian state, Viktor Medvedchuk, the former leader of the Opposition Platform-For Life party now banned in Ukraine, told TASS in an interview. “The new peace initiative of Vladimir Putin is the last chance to preserve the Ukrainian state. Ukraine at present with its illegitimate president, the regime adversary to the people, legal nihilism and the Nazi state ideology cannot be considered to be the state anymore,” the politician said. “Vladimir Putin suggests returning the state to Ukrainians, making it neutral, sovereign, demilitarized and denazified,” Medvedchuk said.

“The peace proposals returns not only the peace to Ukraine but also rights of Ukrainian citizens criminally overturned by the regime of [Vladimir] Zelensky,” he stressed. Ukraine at present “cannot exist without huge external borrowings. This is actually a bankrupt country, a black hole for the Western economy,” Medvedchuk noted. “This is a concentration camp for the Ukrainian people, with everyone wanting to flee except the gang that is criminally reigning,” he added. On June 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin named conditions for settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including withdrawal of the Ukrainian army from Donbass and Novorossiya and refusal of Kiev to join NATO.

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“It is to be expected that the West will do everything possible to prevent Ukraine from accepting Russia’s peace initiatives..”

Putin’s Peace Proposals on Ukraine Are ‘Golden Opportunity & Lifeline’ (Sp.)

Kiev should agree to the preconditions for peace talks laid out by Russian President Vladimir Putin, otherwise its position both in the combat zone and at the negotiating table will only get much worse, Persio Gloria de Paula, an expert at the Naval War College in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, told Sputnik. “One should bear in mind that Ukraine is suffering both hardware and personnel losses. For the first, it relies on its patrons in the West, while to replenish the second it will need to push through increasingly stringent mobilization and lower the conscription age,” he remarked. At the same time, the Russian proposal poses a challenge to Kiev and its sponsors on the eve of the so-called peace summit in Switzerland. “This calls into question the goals and effectiveness of a summit which is not attended by all the sides involved,” Persio Gloria de Paula said.

The conditions laid out by President Putin to resolve the Ukraine conflict are “a golden opportunity both for Kiev and the European countries to begin negotiations,” Iranian political scientist Emad Abshenas told Sputnik. “Of course, as expected, Russia insists on its key demands,” he noted, including a neutral, non-nuclear status for Ukraine, “as well as guarantees of independence, rights, freedoms and interests of the Russian-speaking population of the country.” He singled out Putin’s remarks that these fundamental parameters along with Ukraine’s demilitarization and de-Nazification were broadly agreed on during the Istanbul negotiations in 2022. However, on Western countries’ orders, Kiev ultimately rejected these conditions, the expert said. It is to be expected that the West will do everything possible to prevent Ukraine from accepting Russia’s peace initiatives, said Unver Sel, chairman of the Federation of Crimean Tatar Culture Societies of Turkiye.

Once again, settlement of the conflict will be delayed. When asked if the West will claim responsibility for what is currently happening in Ukraine, the pundit said:“It is naive to hope that the West will suddenly acknowledge its responsibility. This did not happen in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria… The West will continue to behave like a spoiled child who does not understand the consequences of his actions, and acts solely based on his own selfish goals.”

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“The Ukrainians will only have to bear the burden of a slow, long and bloody defeat. And NATO, the sponsor of the spectacle of death, will be responsible for every life lost on the battlefield.”

A Proposal, A Last Chance, An Ultimatum (SCF)

While the Kiev regime and its supporters continue to organize the “peace summit” in Switzerland, the Russian Federation is advancing its plans to bring a real end to the conflict. For Moscow, the conditions for peace or war are clear: either Ukraine recognizes the territories already liberated as Russian and promises neutrality, or the responsibility for the bloodshed from now on will lie entirely with NATO. Russia has never been in any kind of “rush” in this conflict. With less and less casualties, an overwhelmingly economic growth, and having the opportunity to destroy NATO military software and neutralize foreign mercenaries, there is no reason for the Russians to want to quickly end hostilities. The Russian initiative to put forward peace terms is due to a sincerely humanitarian concern, since, unlike the Kiev neo-Nazi junta, decision-makers in the Kremlin see the Ukrainian people as a sister nation and a vital part of Russian civilization.

Since February 2022, Russia has constantly offered peace terms in accordance with the update of its strategic interests. Before the referendums for the union of the New Regions with the Russian Federation, Moscow’s demand was limited to the recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent countries – there was not even any interest in reintegrating them into Russia at the time. It was Western interventionism in the peace negotiations and the fascist government’s subservience to NATO that prevented an agreement from being reached in the early stages of the special military operation. The lack of guaranteed recognition for Donetsk and Lugansk led the war to continue and motivated these regions to ask to return to their eternal home (the Russian Federation).

Then Ukrainian insistence on boycotting the normalization of life in Crimea led Russia to also reintegrate Kherson and Zaporozhye. For now, the four New Regions and Crimea (already reintegrated ten years ago) are Russia’s only formal territorial demands. The only thing Russia is asking for in addition to that is a guarantee of neutrality and demilitarization so that its civilian areas are not attacked, which Ukraine can provide simply by promising not to seek NATO membership. Obviously, Zelensky will not be able to accept the agreement proposed by Putin. Firstly, because he is a puppet who only obeys NATO orders. Furthermore, NATO has not yet managed to open another front to maintain its proxy war against Russia. The anti-Russian lobby in Moldova is still not enough to move aggression against Transnistria or Gagauzia, while in Georgia the Parliament said “no” to foreign saboteurs.

Without another flank, NATO will not allow any negotiations in Ukraine. Kiev will have to keep fighting, even if it is very close to reaching the “last Ukrainian”. And from this perspective, Putin’s proposal becomes an ultimatum. The last chance was given to end this war with “only” half a million Ukrainians dead and 25% of the (former) Ukrainian territory liberated. With the obvious Ukrainian rejection, it is clear that there will be an update of these interests. Only the Russians will be able to say how much more territory they will demand from now on. The Ukrainians will only have to bear the burden of a slow, long and bloody defeat. And NATO, the sponsor of the spectacle of death, will be responsible for every life lost on the battlefield.

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“Now, to finance the war effort, the illegitimate Zelensky [..] is preparing to sell what he still has left..”

Zelensky Set The Trap That Threatens To Destroy Us (Dionísio)

Bandera’s Ukraine, which has been furiously privatizing its remaining state properties left to it by Russia and the USSR, already has a large part of its valuable black lands in the hands of Blackrock, Monsanto and other U.S. interests. These are joined by energy, mining, agro-industrial and real estate ownership. Now, to finance the war effort, the illegitimate Zelensky, who is currently usurping the position of president (I can already see the meaning of that kiss from von der Leyen, the usurpers recognize each other), is preparing to sell what he still has left. The exigencies from the IMF and from financial agreements with the European Union always require privatizations and the businesses in question are, in some cases, important natural monopolies.We all know who will profit most from the purchase of these state assets. The U.S. will get the best share, but the United Kingdom, Germany, France, in that order, will also get their “fair share”.

If the Hotel Ukraine is the most famous asset of all those announced in this new package, here is a list, which the Kiev regime itself says is a “large privatization”. Energy companies, Port of Odessa, mining sector, distilleries, heavy machinery factories, such as a locomotives factory…The most serious thing about all this, the most tragic thing for all of us, is that the sale of the country to the interests of the United States and the West is not innocent and goes far beyond a simple act of corruption or handing over the country to foreign interests. Consciously or unconsciously, the acquisition of large and profitable properties, by large Western corporations, constitutes a very important step towards worsening the conflict and one that I believe goes unnoticed by many good people, normally concentrated in the specifically military aspect. In these cases, the military aspect is nothing more than the peak of the Iceberg, which hides all the complexity of economic relations that, at the base, constitute the reason for everything that is happening.

Recourse to the military happens when relationships at the base become irreconcilable. Zelensky, certainly aware that the war can only be won with the direct entry of the U.S., even if we all have to lose it (in wars everyone loses) for him to win it, as he hands over his country to the oligarchies that support the American political apparatus, will know how important it is, the control of Ukrainian properties, by those powerful interests. What better way to protect access to the Black Sea than by handing over the Port of Odessa to Western interests? History tells us that Western corporate interests, especially the United States, protect their assets, even if, to do so, they have to invade countries and occupy them. Consequently, Zelensky knows that the greater the dominance of American corporations in Ukraine, the greater the likelihood of worsening the conflict and direct U.S. entry.

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“According to an earlier Bloomberg report, Biden skipped the summit because it overlapped with a campaign fundraiser in California..”

Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’ Is ‘Animal Farm’ – Medvedev (RT)

The Swiss-hosted Ukraine ‘peace summit’ has turned out to be an erratic and dysfunctional event whose participants have no clue what they are doing there, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said. The June 15-16 conference at the Burgenstock Hotel near Lake Lucerne focuses on three points of Vladimir Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’, including prisoner exchanges and nuclear and food security. The plan calls for Russia to withdraw from all territories claimed by Kiev, but has been dismissed by Moscow as divorced from reality. Russia was not invited to the event. President Vladimir Putin has argued that it is simply an attempt by the West to create the illusion of a global anti-Russian coalition and distract attention away from the root causes of the conflict.

Writing on Telegram on Sunday, Medvedev, who is currently the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, compared the summit to George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. The novel, which is considered to be a veiled reference to the Stalin-era Soviet Union, reflects on how ideals of equality and freedom can become distorted and betrayed after a ruthless leader takes over. The ex-Russian president said the Swiss event is “pure surrealism” and that “none of the participants in the ‘peace forum’ know what they are doing there and what their role is.” He went on to say that the Swiss “shepherd boys” invited only “trustworthy animals,” including a “crazy puny swine” and his sidekick, as well as “a flock of slow-witted Western Alpine sheep blithely bleating about peace, as well as a pack of European chained dogs to guard the livestock.” Medvedev did not specify who these remarks were directed at. According to the former president, the ‘dogs’ are “barking and spitting poisonous saliva” to maintain order, which he said is warranted since the “sheep often bleat out of place and confuse the memorized statements.”

In an apparent reference to US President Joe Biden, he said the flock is led by “an elderly, weak-minded owner” suffering from “progressive dementia.” He added that the US, instead of sending Biden, sent “a soft-headed deputy who… said a phrase learned by heart and quickly went home,” referring to Vice President Kamala Harris. ”To sum it up, the grazing of cattle in the Alps is just a sad pile of poop that is burning up taxpayers’ money,” Medvedev said. According to an earlier Bloomberg report, Biden skipped the summit because it overlapped with a campaign fundraiser in California ahead of the presidential election this November. Zelensky criticized the US president’s absence, suggesting it “would only be met with applause by Putin.” A number of Western officials have acknowledged that the Ukraine conflict cannot be resolved without Moscow’s participation in talks.

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“..over 190 ethnic groups that speak more than 270 languages and dialects..”

Polish President Calls For ‘Decolonization’ of Russia (RT)

Polish President Andrzej Duda has called for the “decolonization” of Russia, claiming that ethnic minorities should break away from Moscow’s rule and form their own states. Russia is one of the most diverse countries in the world and comprises over 190 ethnic groups that speak more than 270 languages and dialects, according to the government. Speaking at the so-called “Peace for Ukraine” conference in Switzerland on Sunday, Duda described Russia as a “prison of nations.” The country is “home to almost 200 ethnic groups,” which “became the residents of Russia as a result of methods used in Ukraine today,” the Polish leader claimed, referring to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

“Russia remains the largest colonial empire in the world, which, unlike European powers, has never undergone the process of decolonization and has never been able to deal with demons of its past,” Duda stated. “As a member of the international community, we have to finally say – there is no [space] for colonialism in the modern world.” Poland has been one of the most vocal proponents of aid to Ukraine since Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state. According to the Polish media, Duda’s main mission in Switzerland was to “highlight the scale of the Russian threat.”

Earlier this year, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk suggested his country’s readiness to potentially host US nuclear weapons, which Moscow called a “provocation” and “deeply hostile policy.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that Moscow has no intention of attacking NATO members and has dismissed claims to the contrary as scare tactics. In August 2023, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote an op-ed for the Izvestia newspaper, condemning “the crimes of colonialism” committed by the West and arguing that Western overseas possessions, such as France’s New Caledonia, Britain’s Gibraltar, and US’ Guam, are modern-day “colonies.” She insisted that “the free world will undoubtedly win, and the process of decolonization will be completed.”

Duda

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“..continues to pursue the one-China policy and does not support Taiwan’s independence.”

US Tried to Provoke China Into Attacking Taiwan – Xi (Sp.)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly underscored that the Taiwan issue in China-US relations is a major red line that must not be crossed. Beijing has also urged Washington to stop sending “erroneous signals” to Taiwanese separatists. Xi Jinping warned Ursula von der Leyen about Washington’s attempts to provoke Beijing into attacking Taiwan, the Financial Times reported. China’s president delivered the cautionary message in April 2023 both to the European Commission president and officials in his own country, according to insiders. The gist of Xi’s warning was reportedly that the Biden administration was trying to goad the People’s Republic of China (PRC) into invading Taiwan, but the Chinese leader would not be taken in that easily.

When delivering the warning last year, Xi purportedly added that a conflict with the US would dismantle many of his country’s impressive achievements and undercut the stated goal of achieving a “great rejuvenation” by 2049. The report laid emphasis on the fact that if true, this would have been the first known case of Xi Jinping making such a claim to a foreign leader. There has been no comment specifically on the report from either the Chinese Embassy in Washington or von der Leyen’s spokesperson.

[..] The FT report comes amid heightened US-China tensions. Beijing has referred to the Taiwan issue as a “red line” that must not be crossed in its relations with Washington. “We will not turn a blind eye to the separatist activities of forces advocating ‘Taiwan’s independence’ and the connivance and support [of these forces] by outside forces,” Xi Jinping was quoted by the Xinhua news agency as telling US President Joe Biden during a phone conversation in April. Biden, in turn, reportedly said that the US does not support Taiwan’s independence and is not planning to enter into a conflict with China. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed these statements, telling Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the United States “continues to pursue the one-China policy and does not support Taiwan’s independence.”

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“According to how history is currently written..”

The Changing Nature Of Nuclear Deterrence (Malinen)

When I was around eight years old, my baby-sitter let me watch a documentary on nuclear war. Unsurprisingly, it shook me to the core. It’s kind of hard to know what went on in her head, but those images of nuclear detonations never left my head. Looking back at it now, this ‘incident’ starts to make sense, kind of. This is because over the decades I’ve read a lot on nuclear deterrence and on nuclear war simulations. I have had this graving to understand nuclear warfare and deterrence basically throughout my adult-life. Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 became something of a case study on nuclear deterrence to me. This was in no small part because of the magnificent movie, Thirteen Days (published in 2000), documenting the crisis through the eyes of President Kennedy and the White House. I have also had the privilege to grow with a highly objective lecturer of history, my mother, who has always questioned the current knowledge on history.

One of her best quotes is, “According to how history is currently written”. It summarizes all you need to understand about research of history. We simply do not know all the facts and politics plays a major role on how history is being written. In the movie Thirteen Days, there’s a scene where Bobby Kennedy (played memorably by Steven Culp) and Special Advisor Kenneth O. Donnell (always great Kevin Costner) arrive to Russian (Soviet) embassy, where they are burning secret documents in preparation for an evacuation. I vaguely remember that I would have talked with my mom about this scene and that she would have confirmed that such a thing (burning of documents) actually happened, but I cannot vouch for that. In any case, it was a beautiful movie trick, intensifying and underlining the gravity of the situation the world faced. Unfortunately, we are very close of such a situation, again.

During the Cuban crisis, the ‘Doomsday Clock’, kept by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, was set to seven minutes to midnight. Currently, it stands at 90 seconds to midnight, closest to midnight it ever has, and I am expecting that it will be moved to 60 seconds to midnight during the next 12 months. While the Bulletin, quite unnecessarily, recently mixed “climate change” to the setting of the clock, the unprecedented warning on the close proximity of a nuclear holocaust should be taken extremely seriously. I have been pondering the growing nuclear threat since basically the onset of Ukrainian conflict in early 2014. It has become very pervasive in my thinking during the past few weeks mostly due to strikes of Ukraine to Russian early-warning system. During my academic studies, I have taken two courses in game theory. One during graduate and the other during post-graduate studies. During those courses, I read also on game theoretical simulations of nuclear warfare.

I cannot help to think that I did this, because of the misjudgement of my baby-sitter all those years ago. Past week, I started to build game theoretical model on a tactical nuclear first strike to understand the situation better. In this entry, which is likely to start a short series on nuclear deterrence and war, I go through the basic building blocks of modern nuclear deterrence starting from tactical nuclear weapons. Then I explain the foundational principle of nuclear deterrence, mutually asserted destruction, or MAD, and lastly I go through the weak spots of modern nuclear deterrence. All detailed information on nuclear weapons and deterrence is based on recent research by several scholars, only few of which I will detail (link) here. My model describes in more detail, why deterrence is so close of failing, and I return to that later. In the conclusions I also comment the recent steps of escalation, i.e., the Russian flotilla just off the Floridan coast and fresh U.S. sanctions to Russian financial sector.

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“..the “center” liberal authoritarians speak of as some kind of sacred space..”

Europe’s Elections as a Mirror (Patrick Lawrence)

The E.U. Parliament, to get straight a few basic details, is one strut of the three-legged stool of which the union is made: The unelected technocrats are in Brussels, the unelected central bankers are in Frankfurt, and the elected legislature is in Strasbourg. Belgium, Germany, and France: The distribution of institutional power in this way is meant as a display of the Continent’s hard-won unity. The catch here, and the reason I and many others got off the E.U. bus years ago, is that the lawmakers in Strasbourg are essentially powerless. Yes, you had inspired MEPs such as Claire Daly and her colleague Mick Wallace, both Irish (and you have to love Daly’s lilting brogue). They made use of the legislative chambers in Strasbourg to articulate principled positions on Gaza, Ukraine, and other such questions, but there has never been any question of the E.U. Parliament having the power to legislate the union’s direction.

Parenthetically, Daly and Wallace were voted out of office in last week’s elections. The E.U. is as it has long been—an undemocratic institution atop which sit neoliberal ideologues and austerian central bankers, technocrats who take no interest in the democratic process or the wishes of the E.U.’s citizenry. Readers may recall the brutality with which Brussels and Frankfurt had Athenians eating out of garbage cans nine years ago to protect the interests of bond investors holding Greek sovereign debt. That was the E.U. in action, the E.U. that has perverted the worthy vision of its postwar founders.

When we look at the polls held June 6–9 across the Continent, we must recognize a certain paradox. The MEPs elected will have little power, as European voters know better than anyone, but it was precisely to protest the corruption of European democracy that these voters delivered so severe a blow to mainstream parties and the Brussels technocrats from whom they are virtually inseparable. The outstanding question in the European capitals now is whether the profound animosity evident in last week’s election results will carry over to national polls due in political seasons to come. Figures such as Emmanuel Macron think that in legislative contests that will have actual consequences, unhappy voters will pull back from the brink: The E.U. vote as an acting out, let’s call this reasoning. I am not sure the French president is right about this. The conditions that produced last week’s E.U.–wide results are clearly leading to a substantial migration away from the “center” liberal authoritarians speak of as some kind of sacred space.

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“The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.”

Musk Says “Eliminate Electronic Voting Machines” (ZH)

Elon Musk on Saturday suggested that electronic voting machines should not be used in elections, as “The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.” Musk was responding to the recent news that Puerto Rico is ‘reviewing’ their contract with Dominion Voting Systems after a ‘software issue’ caused machines supplied by the company to miscalculate vote totals, according to the country’s elections commission. According to AP, vote counts reported by Dominion machines were lower than paper counts in some cases, and some machines reversed totals or reported zero votes for some candidates. “The concern is that we obviously have elections in November, and we must provide the (island) not only with the assurance that the machine produces a correct result, but also that the result it produces is the same one that is reported,” said Padilla. The island nation used more than 6,000 Dominion voting machines in their June 2 primary.

The company claims that the software issues stemmed from the digital files used to export the results from the primaries. The President of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, José Varela, has Dominion’s back – calling for Padilla to appear at a public hearing on Thursday to address the issues. “We cannot allow the public’s confidence in the voting process to continue to be undermined as we approach the general elections,” he said. “The problems called to mind the island’s botched 2020 primaries, when a lack of ballots at some centers forced the government to reschedule voting in a first for the U.S. territory. On June 2, Puerto Rico held primary elections to select gubernatorial candidates for the pro-statehood New Progressive Party and the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the island’s territorial status. In a surprise upset, Jenniffer González, Puerto Rico’s congressional representative, beat Gov. Pedro Pierluisi in the primary held by the New Progressive Party. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz defeated Sen. Juan Zaragoza in the primary held by their Popular Democratic Party. Both parties reported hundreds of ballots showing inaccurate results, with the PNP reporting over 700 errors and the PPD pointing to some 350 discrepancies. These inaccuracies affected ballots for positions including governor, mayor and resident commissioner.” -AP

Following the discrepancies, the elections commission conducted a full vote tally and audited paper receipts from hundreds of ballot-counting machines – after which Ombudsman Edwin García Feliciano called the incident a “threat” to the island’s electoral system, and called on the governor and the island’s federal control board that oversees the island’s finances to establish a plan to improve election security. “All planning is based on resolving emergencies, including unlikely ones,” said García Feliciano, adding “But predictable circumstances, which are well known to the public, cannot be addressed by improvisation and in a rush.” The island’s general election will be held in November, where citizens will choose a new governor and local representatives. Meanwhile in Georgia, a federal judge ruled in February that Georgia’s electronic voting machines had issues related to security and transparency – yet she declined to immediately halt the use of said machines.

Despite identifying several problems with the state’s election system, US District Judge Amy Totenberg allowed Georgia to continue using the current electronic voting system while acknowledging the plaintiffs’ concerns about the risks to the integrity of the voting process. Also meanwhile; In March, Headline USA reported that during defamation lawsuit between Dominion Voting Systems and former Overstock.com CEO and Donald Trump supporter Patrick Byrne, one of Byrne’s attorneys, Stephanie Lambert, who was later arrested, leaked evidence that foreign nationals remotely accessed voting machines used in Michigan in the 2020 elections. In February of 2022, top officials at a U.S. federal cybersecurity agency are urging a judge not to authorize at this time the release of a report that analyzes Dominion Voting Systems equipment in Georgia, arguing doing so could assist hackers trying to “undermine election security.”

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“Let’s see if Joe can make it to the stand-up podium.”

Biden-Trump Debate Rules Revealed (RT)

US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will get two breaks when they face off in a CNN debate this month, and will not be allowed to talk to their campaign staff during the event, the network has announced. Biden and Trump agreed last month to a live debate at CNN’s studio in Atlanta, Georgia on June 27. The debate, the first head-to-head showdown of the 2024 election season, will be moderated by CNN hosts Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, with no studio audience present. CNN released a host of further details on Saturday. According to the network, both candidates will stand at podiums chosen by a coin toss, and will not be allowed any props or pre-written notes. Biden and Trump will both be given a pen, a pad of paper, and a bottle of water. Each candidate’s microphone will be muted while the other speaks, and the 90-minute debate will be punctuated by two commercial breaks, during which Biden and Trump are forbidden from interacting with their campaign staff.

The debate was organized after months of challenges from Trump, who said in March that he would face off against Biden “any time, anywhere, any place.” After multiple non-committal responses, Biden released a video message last month calling on Trump to “make my day, pal.” Biden and Trump agreed to the CNN debate on June 27 and an ABC News debate on September 10, while Trump has also called on his opponent to accept two more debates – on Fox News and NBC News – before November’s election. Trump and Biden debated twice before the 2020 election, with both candidates proclaiming victory. In the runup to this year’s debates, Trump has repeatedly ridiculed his 81-year-old opponent’s propensity for verbal gaffes and slip-ups. “Crooked Joe Biden is the worst debater I have ever faced – he can’t put two sentences together,” Trump said in a statement last month. “Let’s see if Joe can make it to the stand-up podium.”

Meanwhile, Biden told ABC News this month that he intends to let Trump “say what he thinks,” betting that the American public will be shocked by the former president’s “off the wall” comments. The CNN debate is open to any candidate who has received at least 15% support in four separate national polls and is registered on ballots in enough states to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidency. Only Trump and Biden satisfy these requirements at present, although independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has received 15% in three polls and is on the ballot in six states worth 89 electoral votes. Earlier this week, Kennedy claimed to have collected enough signatures for ballot access in 22 states, totaling 304 electoral votes.

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“I hear now we’re sitting at tables. I don’t want to sit at a table.” “I said, ‘No, let’s stand.’ But they want to sit at a table..”

Biden “Losing Focus”, “Worst He’s Ever Been” (MN)

A report quoting insiders at the G7 summit this past week has warned that Joe Biden struggled to focus at the meeting of world leaders in Puglia, Italy. According to one source, Biden is “the worst he’s ever been,” with attendees from other delegations saying it was “embarrassing.” As we highlighted, Biden was seen wandering off like a dementia patient and looking perpetually confused. The footage of Biden prompted mocking headlines.

Biden also skipped the dinner later in the evening, before returning to the US. Of course, the Biden campaign claims it’s all “lies” and the footage of him was “taken out of context.” Biden’s campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod described the headlines and reports as “disinformation” and suggested that social media platforms should prevent it from being shared. It has also been reported that the debate between Biden and Trump scheduled for June 27 will see the pair seated at tables at the request of Biden’s campaign. Trump told the hosts of the Cats & Cosby Show last month “I hear now we’re sitting at tables. I don’t want to sit at a table.” “I said, ‘No, let’s stand.’ But they want to sit at a table,” Trump further remarked, adding “So we’ll be sitting at a table as opposed to doing it the way you should be, in my opinion, in a debate.”

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“..artificial intelligence takes off on its own, and it starts functioning in a way it makes no sense. . . . and it’s just lying. It’s just making stuff up and lying. It’s literally like it’s under demonic possession.”

AI is Digital Control, You’ve Been Warned – Catherine Austin Fitts (USAW)

Catherine Austin Fitts (CAF), Publisher of The Solari Report, financial expert and former Assistant Secretary of Housing (Bush 41 Admin.) is sounding the alarm about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it will impact your world in very negative ways. It’s all in a new report called “The AI Revolution: The Final Coup d’Etat.” CAF explains, “This is a very serious look at Artificial Intelligence and how it’s going to be used to implement control. . . . This past week, there was this huge open board meeting at OpenAI. There were board members put there to make sure OpenAI and its products were in alignment with the best interests of the human race. Some of them got booted out. Now, we see the former head of the NSA (National Security Agency) get put on the board. I just realized it today, and I had not realized it before. Edward Snowden just tweeted out and said you should never use any of these products, which include ChatGBT. Snowden also said, ‘You have to understand where this is going. You have been warned.’

“The AI Revolution” also warns that AI “. . . will alter the prospects for a free society, even free will. . . and . . . attempt to seed the idea human-only decision-making will become a rarity and, in time, cease to exist.” Don’t think sophisticated AI is some idea that is far into the future. AI is here now, and CAF points out, “I just see more and more companies using this type of technology to institute financial fraud and make money from financial fraud in their pricing. . . . You also have thousands of companies to track you for their benefit. . . . It is trying to extract data from you to accomplish whatever its goal is. . . . It’s like a swarm of invisible locusts that are all trying to surveil and track, and none of them are trying to optimize your life and give you a free and inspired life. They are just trying to get their piece.”

AI will also be used to ignore and break all laws. After all, it’s robotic and can’t be held accountable. CAF says, “By removing moral obligations and legal and obedient respect for laws, the speed at which you can do evil is extraordinary. . . . One of my concerns, and I have said this for many years, I think this kind of technology allows interdimensional intelligence to act as material reality so that, literally, demonic intelligence can have far more influence and impact in our world. It operates at such high speed, and then you combine that with the payment systems in the financial system. . . the things that can go wrong are phenomenal. One of the main problems that we have seen in the past year is artificial intelligence takes off on its own, and it starts functioning in a way it makes no sense. . . . and it’s just lying. It’s just making stuff up and lying. It’s literally like it’s under demonic possession.”

CAF says, no matter what, “AI can’t beat God.” And instead of worshiping Jehovah and Jesus (like you should), the creators of AI want you to trust whatever this tech tells you to do. CAF says, “They want an AI Religion Revolution.” Don’t buy into this crap because AI is a disaster for humanity and your freedom. CAF thinks the Democrats will be forced to replace Joe Biden come November, and she explains why. Now, more than ever, CAF thinks physical gold and silver are good investments. She encourages people to expand the use of cash. CAF thinks two of the best weapons against this sort of artificial intelligence used for control and tyranny is to enforce the US Constitution and, above all, do not lose your faith in God the Father and Christ Jesus.

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“the same who granted Assange a rare victory last month..”

Judges Named for Assange Appeal (Lauria)

The judges in Julian Assange’s two-day appeal hearing on July 9-10 are the same who granted Assange a rare victory last month: his right to appeal the Home Office’s extradition order to the United States. Justices Jeremy Johnson and Victoria Sharp granted Assange the right to appeal on only two of nine requested grounds, but they are significant: 1). his extradition was incompatible with his free speech rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights; and 2.) that he might be prejudiced because of his nationality (not being given 1st Amendment protection as a non-American). However the denial of his rights in an American courtroom would go beyond the First Amendment to all of his U.S. constitutional rights, according to the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in USAID v. Alliance for Open Society International Inc., which says that a non-U.S. citizen acting outside the U.S. has no constitutional protections at all.

The United States was unable to provide assurances that the European equivalent of his constitutional rights would be protected, required under British extradition law. That raises hopes for Assange in his appeal. Assange has been imprisoned in London’s notorious Belmarsh Prison for more than five years on remand pending the outcome of his extradition. He has been charged in the United States for publishing classified documents that revealed prima facie evidence of U.S. state crimes. CN has received an award and many accolades for our coverage of the Julian Assange case. We will be inside the courtroom and outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London for both days of the hearing, bringing you the latest news, analysis and commentary.

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Hooker

 

 

Hitchens

 

 

King

 

 

Linden

 

 

Swim rabbits

 

 

Dachs

 

 

Dog tree

 

 

Humpback

 

 

 

 

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Jun 162024
 


Edward Hopper Summer interior 1909

 

Americans Must Criticize Our Corrupt Courts (Holloway)
Connecticut Bar Association Warns Critics of Trump Prosecutions (Turley)
The Corruption of Attorney General Merrick Garland (Turley)
DOJ Won’t Pursue Criminal Contempt Charges Against Garland (ET)
US Supreme Court Could Be Key Election Issue: ‘They’ve Grown Too Powerful’ (G.)
Jeffrey Sachs Blames US ‘Irresponsibility’ For Ukraine Crisis (RT)
Putin’s Peace Offer ‘Not Serious’ – Scholz (RT)
Rejection of Putin’s Peace Offer ‘Exposes’ NATO’s Proxy War in Ukraine (Sp.)
‘We Must Go After Everything Russian’ – UK’s Cameron (RT)
G7 Countries Could Lose $83 Billion If Russia’s Assets Confiscated (Sp.)
G7 Demands $486 Billion From Russia (RT)
Two Summits… Elitist Warmongering G7 And Peacemaking Multipolar BRICS (SCF)
Russian Wine Boom Follows The War (Helmer)
Putin On Seized Assets: “Despite All The Trickery, Theft Is Still Theft” (ZH)
Trump Vows To End ‘Gender Insanity’ In Schools (RT)

 

 

 

 

Trump votes

 

 

Vivek
https://twitter.com/i/status/1801839172467990616

 

 

Chamath

 

 

Trump 1980

 

 

Orban

 

 

Putin Eurasia

 

 

Fanny

 

 

Tucker Alex

 

 

 

 

“Prosecutors Got Trump, But They Contorted the Law.”

Americans Must Criticize Our Corrupt Courts (Holloway)

In the wake of his conviction in a New York court, President Trump has complained that the process was rigged against him, that the whole proceeding was a corrupt effort to persecute him with a view to influencing the 2024 presidential election. In response, many of his opponents have criticized him for undermining public confidence in our system of criminal justice and thus harming our democracy—a criticism that has been magnified by many in the media. These critics, however, are missing the point and undermining a principle that is in fact essential to preserving our republic: namely, that criticism of the justice system when it errs or overreaches is necessary to preserving freedom under the rule of law. Those who founded our nation were aware of this necessity. Alexander Hamilton, representing the defendant in the famous libel case People v. Croswell, warned that “the most dangerous, the most sure, the most fatal of tyrannies” operated “by selecting and sacrificing single individuals, under the mask and forms of law, by dependent and partial tribunals.”

“Against such measures,” Hamilton continued, “we ought to keep a vigilant eye and take a manly stand. Whenever they arise, we ought to resist, and resist till we have hurled the demagogues and tyrants from their imagined thrones.” No sensible American would look back on these remarks and think that, by them, Hamilton was undermining democracy. Hamilton’s great rival, Thomas Jefferson, acted on a similar view. As president, Jefferson pardoned publishers who had been convicted under the Sedition Act of 1798. Jefferson’s course of action here was inseparable from his belief that the Act was unconstitutional and that the courts of the United States had made themselves party to serious injustices by convicting defendants under it. Indeed, the pardoning power is included in the United States Constitution, and in many state constitutions, and is used routinely, precisely because prosecutors and courts can make mistakes and sometimes even willfully abuse their power over the lives and liberties of citizens.

These dangers are also recognized in federal law. Title 18 of the United States Code prohibits and punishes “deprivation of rights under color of law.” By its very terms this provision acknowledges that sometimes those entrusted with the administration of justice are themselves guilty of behaving lawlessly and abusively. The United States Department of Justice’s website observes that this provision may be applied not only against “police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and prison guards” but also, as appropriate, against “judges, district attorneys,” and “other public officials.” This important provision is itself an acknowledgment by the government that all the proceedings of our justice system are not entitled to uncritical acceptance.

Everyone conversant with American history knows that the problem of politicized and corrupt abuses of the justice system has not disappeared in the modern era, that it continues to rear its ugly head precisely when political passions run high and communities are inflamed against leaders for whom they harbor deep animosities. In the 1960s, Alabama state authorities brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to trial on charges that he had committed perjury in relation to his tax filings. This prosecution was a transparently cynical attempt to deprive an important American political and social movement of its most effective leader. In that case, however, even the Alabama jury, composed exclusively of white men, perceived the abusive character of the case and returned an acquittal. Afterwards, Dr. King thanked the jury for their “fair, honest, and just verdict” and commended the Alabama judge for the “high and noble manner” in which he had conducted the case.

If criticism of prosecutors and courts is permissible and necessary in certain circumstances, the only important question at present is whether such criticism is justified in the case of President Trump’s New York conviction. Would it be reasonable for impartial Americans today to echo Dr. King’s words and congratulate the Manhattan jury for a “fair” verdict and commend Judge Merchan for his “high and noble” handling of the case?For an answer to that question, we need not rely on Trump or his aggrieved supporters. We need only look to the evaluation of respected CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig, writing in New York Magazine: “Prosecutors Got Trump, But They Contorted the Law.”

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“Americans must criticize our corrupt courts“ vs are not allowed to.

Connecticut Bar Association Warns Critics of Trump Prosecutions (Turley)

I have previously denounced overheated rhetoric and share the concern over how such rage rhetoric can encourage violence. After the verdict, I immediately encouraged people not to yield to their anger, but to trust our legal system. I believe that the verdict in New York may ultimately be overturned. I also noted that I do not blame the jury but rather the judge and the prosecutors for an unfounded and unfair trial. Of course, the concern over rage rhetoric runs across our political spectrum. While rarely criticized in the media, we have seen an escalation of reckless rhetoric from the left. For example, Georgetown Law Professor Josh Chafetz declared that “when the mob is right, some (but not all!) more aggressive tactics are justified.” My concern is not with the plea for lawyers to take care that their comments do not encourage such “aggressive tactics.” The problem is the suggestion that lawyers are acting somehow unprofessionally in denouncing what many view as a two-tier system of justice and the politicalization of our legal system.

Like many, I believe that the Manhattan case was a flagrant example of such weaponization of the legal system and should be denounced by all lawyers. It is a return, in my view, to the type of political prosecution once common in this country. For those lawyers who view such prosecutions as political, they are speaking out in defense of what they believe is the essence of blind justice in America. What is “reckless” to the Connecticut Bar is righteous to others. Notably, the bar officials did not write to denounce attacks on figures like Bill Barr or claims that the Justice Department was rigging justice during the Trump years. Likewise, the letter focuses on critics of the Trump prosecutions and not the continued attacks on conservative jurists like Justice Samuel Alito. It has never published warnings about those calling conservative justices profanities, attacking their religion, or labeling them “partisan hacks” or other even “insurrectionist sympathizers.” Liberal activists have been calling for stopping conservative jurists “by any means necessary.”

In Connecticut, Sen. Richard Blumenthal has warned conservative justices to rule correctly over face “seismic changes.” That did not appear to worry the bar. Likewise, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also declared in front of the Supreme Court “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price.” The letter goes further and suggests that lawyers should speak publicly in support of trials like the one in Manhattan, a view that ignores the deep misgivings over the motivations and means used in New York to target an unpopular figure in this city. You have the top bar officials calling on lawyers to take a public position that is opposed by many lawyers and citizens in defending the integrity of these prosecutions. Imagine the response if the Idaho bar called on its lawyers to speak out against these cases and declared that it is reckless or unprofessional to defend them.

I expect that, in the very liberal bar of Connecticut, the letter is hardly needed. Indeed, this letter is likely to be quite popular. Yet, I would have thought that bar officials would have taken greater care to respect the divergent opinions on these trials and the need to avoid any statements that might chill the exercise of free speech. Ironically, the letter only reinforced the view of a legal system that is maintaining a political orthodoxy and agenda. These officials declare that it is now unprofessional or reckless for lawyers to draw historical comparisons to show trials or to question the motives or ethics underlying these cases. They warn lawyers not to “sow distrust in the public for the courts where it does not belong.” Yet, many believe that there is an alarming threat to our legal system and that distrust is warranted in light of prosecution like the one in Manhattan.

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“Garland’s tenure as attorney general has shown a pronounced reluctance to take steps that would threaten President Biden..”

The Corruption of Attorney General Merrick Garland (Turley)

Garland’s tenure as attorney general has shown a pronounced reluctance to take steps that would threaten President Biden. He slow-walked the appointment of a special counsel investigating any Biden, and then excluded from the counsel’s scope any investigation of the massive influence peddling operation by Hunter Biden, his uncle and others. However, it is what has occurred in the last six months that has left some of us shaken, given our early faith in Garland. I have long been a critic of Garland’s failure to order a special counsel to look into the extensive evidence of corruption surrounding the Bidens. As I stated in my testimony in the Biden impeachment hearing, there is ample evidence that Biden lied repeatedly about his knowledge of this corruption and his interaction with these foreign clients. However, a more worrisome concern is the lack of consistency in these investigations.

First, Special Counsel Robert Hur found that Biden knowingly retained and mishandled classified material. However, he concluded that Biden’s age and diminished faculties would make him too sympathetic to a jury. It was less sympathetic than pathetic, given that this is the same man who is running for re-election to lead the most powerful nation on Earth. More importantly, Garland has not made obvious efforts to reach a consistent approach in the two cases by dropping charges based on the same crimes by Trump in Florida. Second, Garland has allowed Special Counsel Jack Smith to maintain positions that seem diametrically at odds with past Justice Department policies. This includes Smith’s statement that he will try Trump up to (and even through) the next election.

It also includes a sweeping gag order which would have eviscerated free speech protections by gagging Trump from criticizing the Justice Department. While Garland has said that he wants to give the special counsels their independence, it falls to him to protect the consistency and values of his department. Garland’s most brazenly political act has been the laughable executive privilege claim used to withhold the audiotape of the Hur-Biden interviews. The Justice Department has not claimed that the transcript is privileged, but only that the audiotape of Biden’s comments is privileged. This is so logically disconnected that even CNN hosts have mocked it.

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“..DOJ policy not to prosecute officials for contempt of Congress when they don’t comply with subpoenas due to a presidential claim of executive privilege..”

DOJ Won’t Pursue Criminal Contempt Charges Against Garland (ET)

An official from the Department of Justice (DOJ) told House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) in a letter that Attorney General Merrick Garland will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress because his refusal to hand over audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interview with a prosecutor did not amount to a crime. In the letter, which was obtained by several media outlets, the DOJ official said that Mr. Garland’s refusal to comply with a subpoena demanding audio records of an interview that special counsel Robert Hur conducted with President Biden in his investigation into the president’s alleged mishandling of classified documents “did not constitute a crime.”

“Consistent with this longstanding position and uniform practice, the Department has determined that the responses by Attorney General Garland to the subpoenas issued by the Committees did not constitute a crime, and accordingly the Department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the Attorney General,” Carlos Felipe Uriarte, an assistant attorney general, wrote in the letter. The letter also cited DOJ policy not to prosecute officials for contempt of Congress when they don’t comply with subpoenas due to a presidential claim of executive privilege.

[..] The refusal to pursue contempt charges against Mr. Garland comes after the House voted on June 12 to hold him in contempt for failing to comply with the subpoena to turn over the tapes.The House resolution, which passed in a mostly party-line 216–207 vote, came amid a months-long standoff between Republicans and the DOJ over the production of the audio recordings of President Biden’s two-day interview with the special counsel. House Republicans have said that they want to obtain the recordings to verify Mr. Hur’s assertions that President Biden couldn’t recollect certain facts during the interview. They have alleged that a two-tiered justice system exists because Mr. Hur opted to not charge President Biden while former President Donald Trump faces multiple charges in connection with his own classified documents probe.

Mr. Hur, who faced criticism from Democrats and the White House for remarks on the president’s cognitive capacity in his report, didn’t recommend charges against President Biden, in part because of his ailing memory. “At trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” the special counsel wrote in his 388-page report, which found that President Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials” when he was a private citizen after the end of his term as vice president during the Obama administration.

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Uber-left Guardian leads the anti-SCOTUS chorus. They’re not too powerful, they’re just not left-wing enough.

US Supreme Court Could Be Key Election Issue: ‘They’ve Grown Too Powerful’ (G.)

Look at me, look at me,” said Martha-Ann Alito. “I’m German, from Germany. My heritage is German. You come after me, I’m gonna give it back to you.” It was a bizarre outburst from the wife of a justice on America’s highest court. Secretly recorded by a liberal activist, Martha-Ann Alito complained about a neighbour’s gay pride flag and expressed a desire to fly a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag in protest. This, along with audio clips of Justice Samuel Alito himself and a stream of ethics violations, have deepened public concerns that the supreme court is playing by its own rules. The Democratic representative Jamie Raskin has described a “national clamour over this crisis of legitimacy” at the court. A poll last month for the progressive advocacy organisation Stand Up America suggests that the supreme court will now play a crucial role in voters’ choices in the 2024 election. Nearly three in four voters said the selection and confirmation of justices will be an important consideration for them in voting for both president and senator in November.

Reed Galen, a co-founder of the Lincoln Project, a pro-democracy group, said: “The idea that these guys act as if they are kings ruling from above, to me, should absolutely be an issue. It was always Republicans who said we hate unelected judges legislating from the bench and we hate judicial activism. That’s all this stuff is.” Public trust in the court is at an all-time low amid concerns over bias and corruption. Alito has rejected demands that he recuse himself from a case considering presidential immunity after flags similar to those carried by 6 January 2021 rioters flew over his homes in Virginia and New Jersey. Justice Clarence Thomas has ignored calls to step aside because of the role his wife, Ginni, played in supporting efforts to overturn Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in 2020.

Ethical standards have been under scrutiny following revelations that some justices failed to report luxury trips, including on private jets, and property deals. Last week Thomas, who has come under criticism for failing to disclose gifts from the businessman and Republican donor Harlan Crow, revised his 2019 form to acknowledge he accepted “food and lodging” at a Bali hotel and at a California club.These controversies have been compounded by historic and hugely divisive decisions. The fall of Roe v Wade, ending the nationwide right to abortion after half a century, was seen by many Democrats as a gamechanger in terms of people making a connection between the court and their everyday lives.There are further signs of the debate moving beyond the Washington bubble. Last week, the editorial board of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper argued that, since the court’s own ethics code proved toothless, Congress should enact legislation that holds supreme court justices to higher ethical standards.

The paper called for the local senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who is chair of the Senate judiciary committee, to hold a hearing on the issue. Maggie Jo Buchanan, managing director of the pressure group Demand Justice, said: “It’s important to keep in mind that, even though debate among members of Congress would lead you to believe that court reform is a polarising issue, it really isn’t. For years we have seen broad bipartisan support for basic supreme court reforms such as ethics. “A broad bipartisan consensus exists that they’ve grown too powerful, that they have too much power over laws and regulations. That’s shared among nearly three-fourths of Americans, including 80% of independents, so the demand is there and this isn’t something where it’s Democrats versus Republicans in the sense of real people. The American people want change and want to check the judiciary.”

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“This isn’t rocket science… Leave a little space in-between the major powers.”

Jeffrey Sachs Blames US ‘Irresponsibility’ For Ukraine Crisis (RT)

The West could have easily prevented the catastrophic Ukraine conflict, which had been brewing for many years, by abandoning its many escalatory policies including NATO expansion, according to Jeffrey Sachs, the president of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. In an interview with Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi on Saturday, Sachs, a prominent expert on post-Soviet economies who served for more than a decade as Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General, claimed that the Ukraine conflict represented the “utter failure” of US diplomacy. He said that G7 countries, particularly the US, “grew into a lot of arrogance,” in believing that they could do whatever they wanted. This approach, Sachs argued, has drawn the world into three major geopolitical crises, including the Ukraine and Gaza conflicts, while fueling Sino-US tensions over Taiwan.

”The US is… an irresponsible actor in all three of those events. When it comes to Ukraine, the irresponsibility is that this war could have been easily avoided… by NATO by declaring clearly [that it] will not expand into Ukraine,” he said. He also chided Western politicians and media for claiming that the Russian military operation in Ukraine was “unprovoked.” Sachs recalled that it had been preceded by numerous “provocations,” including several waves of NATO expansion, the Western-backed coup in Kiev, and the West’s failure to pressure Ukraine to implement the Minsk agreements. The now-defunct deal sought to end the bloodshed in the two Donbass republics by giving them a special status within the Ukrainian state.

The economist also suggested that the West could have easily ended the conflict early on, as Moscow and Kiev had largely worked out a preliminary peace deal during talks in Türkiye, which revolved around Ukraine’s neutrality. However, according to Sachs, then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson “swooped in” and advised Kiev against the agreement, a claim denied by Johnson. “This was a terrible piece of advice… and a dreadful, awful miscalculation,” Sachs said, adding that it had resulted in hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian deaths. He alleged that the US wants Kiev to “fight to the last Ukrainian” instead of helping to negotiate “the basic point” of Ukraine’s neutrality. “This isn’t rocket science… Leave a little space in-between the major powers.”

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Scholz says “not serious”; Stoltenberg says “not a proposal made in good faith.” But it is, and they know it. Moreover, Russia is tired of coming up with these proposals.

Putin’s Peace Offer ‘Not Serious’ – Scholz (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s new proposal to achieve a lasting peace between Moscow and Kiev, branding the overture a ploy to distract the global community from the Swiss-hosted Ukraine ‘peace summit.’ Speaking to the country’s top diplomats on Friday, Putin signaled that Russia “will order a ceasefire and start negotiations” as soon as Kiev completely withdraws its troops from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions. The four regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in referendums in the fall of 2022. Neither the West nor Kiev recognized the votes. Other conditions for a lasting peace, according to Putin, include Ukraine’s neutral status, a pledge not to seek to acquire nuclear weapons, “demilitarization” and “denazification,” and respect for the rights of the Russian-speaking population.

All of those points should be fundamentally recognized at the international level, followed by the removal of Western sanctions against Russia, the president said. However, in an interview with the broadcaster ZDF on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy on Saturday, Scholz stated that “everyone knows that it is not a serious proposal,” suggesting that “it has something to do with the peace conference taking place in Switzerland.” He also claimed that the initiative revealed that Putin was after “the classic, realistic conquest of land.” In similar remarks, the proposal was dismissed by Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky, who branded it “nothing different than other ultimatums that he has made before.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also claimed that “this is not a proposal made in good faith,” adding that it would require Kiev to “give up significantly more land” than Russia currently controls.

Putin’s new peace overture comes ahead of the Swiss-hosted conference on Ukraine this weekend. The event is expected to revolve around Zelensky’s ten-point ‘peace formula,’ which demands that Russia, among other things, withdraw from all territories claimed by Kiev. Moscow has rejected the initiative as detached from reality. According to Zelensky, the ‘peace summit’ will focus only on three points of Kiev’s plan: prisoner exchanges, and nuclear and food security. Putin has dismissed the conference as a Western trick to create the illusion of a global anti-Russian coalition, distract attention from the roots of the conflict, and boost Zelensky’s claim to legitimacy after his presidential term expired last month.

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“Trump may come in there and say, ‘hey, Putin offered a deal.’ People want a deal. Now the mainstream media will call him a Russian bot, but 94% of Americans want it.”

Rejection of Putin’s Peace Offer ‘Exposes’ NATO’s Proxy War in Ukraine (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated the country’s conditions for an end to the Ukraine conflict during a lengthy address at the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Friday. Moscow’s central demands are the same as those put forth during previous rounds of negotiations sabotaged by the United States: Ukraine must become a neutral state not aligned with Western powers’ crusade against the Russian nation. Additionally, Kiev must be demilitarized and de-Nazified, Putin stated, and the country must formally renounce plans to join NATO. The offer was rejected almost as soon as it was extended, leading Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to jokingly ask whether it had even yet been translated into Ukrainian. “With such statements they want to deprive the citizens of Ukraine of a real chance for peace,” said the Russian official. But a deeper analysis of the conflict and its history reveals why a peaceful resolution remains so elusive.

Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program hosted a series of guests to discuss the Russian president’s proposal, breaking down the context of the Ukraine crisis and Western elites’ deep-seated interest in its continuation. Anti-Russian sentiment has been on the rise in the West for a number of years, with the emergence of the Russiagate narrative alleging Moscow’s influence in the 2016 US presidential election representing a key acceleration of this trend. The conspiracy theory, widely promulgated by Western intelligence agencies in mainstream media, laid the groundwork for the Cold War-esque narrative that Russia once again represents an existential threat to the West’s purported democratic values and, by extension, to the West itself. Former President Barack Obama had announced a “pivot to Asia” just a few years prior, stressing the importance of responding to China’s ascendance as a major world power.

Meanwhile, the strengthening of Sino-Russian relations under Chinese President Xi Jinping helped solidify the formation of a geopolitical bloc countering US hegemony, a dynamic that has intensified with the growth of the BRICS economic alliance. The United States has become increasingly intent on challenging this counter-hegemonic force and undermining Russia in particular. The launch of Russia’s special military operation in the Donbass finally gave the US an excuse to confront Moscow militarily, with Western media portraying Russia as a belligerent imperialist power. But the claim bore little resemblance to reality. “We need to remember that Russia did not want to have to invade Ukraine,” noted Margaret Flowers, a peace activist and editor at the website Popular Resistance. “They tried and tried and tried to warn and say, ‘look, here’s what you need to do. Stop killing the ethnic Russians. Stop threatening to join NATO and take our security interests seriously, and the West refused to do that over and over again.”

Former Washington Post bureau chief Jon Jeter argued that Western elites still oppose any lowering of tensions between Russia and Ukraine as they remain intent on denying Moscow a victory. “I would be surprised to see any real discussion of this in the mainstream United States news media, or certainly at the White House itself,” Jeter said of Putin’s peace proposal. Independent journalist Caleb Maupin agreed that Western media would continue to help undermine any rapprochement with Moscow. “A recent poll showed 94% of Americans want exactly what Putin just offered, which is a diplomatic end,” he noted. “Trump may come in there and say, ‘hey, Putin offered a deal.’ People want a deal. Now the mainstream media will call him a Russian bot, but 94% of Americans want it.”

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UK gov’t is about to fall.

‘We Must Go After Everything Russian’ – UK’s Cameron (RT)

The West must show Moscow that it stands “completely” behind Ukraine by sanctioning everything Russian, Britain’s foreign secretary David Cameron has said. Cameron spoke at a press conference in London as British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government announced new sanctions against Russia. His remarks were published on Friday, by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.“We will show [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that we are completely behind Ukraine: we will chase the money and the oil, we will stop the gas, we will stop the ships, we will do everything we can to stop the Russian war machine and show Putin the folly of his actions,” Cameron told the Italian outlet The UK is “hunting” companies that do business with Russia “all over the world,” he said. “We will sanction companies in China, in Türkiye, in Kyrgyzstan, even in Israel, that we believe are supplying dual-use material” to Russia, he added.

Of special concern to Cameron was the so-called shadow fleet of tankers delivering Russian oil in defiance of the G7 “price cap” and the Western embargo. The UK has used its dominance in the global shipping insurance industry to blacklist all Russian vessels, hindering the deliveries of everything from oil to food – but blaming Moscow for it. Faced with Ukrainian setbacks on the battlefield, the US and the UK launched another wave of sanctions against Russia this week, expanding their definition of Moscow’s war effort to target individuals and companies around the world allegedly helping it. The US Treasury Department openly stated that its objective was to raise “the risk of secondary sanctions for foreign financial institutions” that deal with Russia, threatening to deprive them of access to Western finance.

China has responded by condemning “illegal unilateral sanctions” and vowing to protect its citizens and companies from American “abuse.” Beijing also denounced Washington for fueling the Ukraine conflict by sending weapons and ammunition to Kiev. The US “has totally undermined trust in the dollar as a global reserve currency by imposing illegal sanctions” against Russian banks, said the chairman of the Russian State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin. “The dollar has become toxic,” he added, predicting that the sanctions will result in more and more countries moving away from US securities. Cameron was prime minister from 2010-2016 but resigned after UK voters surprisingly voted to leave the EU. He returned to the government in November 2023 as Sunak’s foreign secretary. The UK is headed for a general election in July, which the ruling Conservatives are widely expected to lose.

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“..Moscow also has the option of not returning funds that Western countries have kept in Russia..”

G7 Countries Could Lose $83 Billion If Russia’s Assets Confiscated (Sp.)

The confiscation of Russian assets by G7 countries could cost them almost $83 billion in the amount of their investments in the Russian economy, Sputnik has calculated based on data from national statistical services. According to the calculations, the volume of direct investments of G7 members in the Russian economy by the end of 2022 (there is currently no more recent data available) amounted to $82.8 billion. The largest investor in the Russian economy was the United Kingdom, according to the latest available data, with assets estimated at $18.9 billion. Next was Germany ($17.3 billion), France ($16.6 billion), and Italy ($12.9 billion). Investments of American companies in the Russian economy amounted to $9.6 billion; Japan and Canada invested $4.6 billion and $2.9 billion, respectively.

In a statement following the first day of their summit in Italy on Friday, the G7 countries formally confirmed their intention to provide Ukraine with about $50 billion in loans by the end of the year, to be repaid from the proceeds of frozen Russian assets. The EU and G7 countries have frozen almost half of Russia’s foreign currency reserves, about 300 billion euros, since the start of Russia’s special military operation. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the seizure of Russian state assets by Western countries would not go unpunished. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the freezing of assets in Europe theft. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia would respond if its reserves were confiscated. According to him, Moscow also has the option of not returning funds that Western countries have kept in Russia.

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“..the G7 will launch ‘Extraordinary Revenue Acceleration (ERA) Loans’ for Kiev..”

G7 Demands $486 Billion From Russia (RT)

The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations have demanded that Russia pay $486 billion to Ukraine in damage allegedly inflicted by the ongoing conflict, according to a joint statement issued on Friday. The US and its G7 allies – the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan – indicated that Russian assets will remain frozen until Moscow ends the conflict and pays compensation. The West has frozen roughly $300 billion in Russian sovereign funds since the start of the Ukraine conflict. “Russia must end its illegal war of aggression and pay for the damage it has caused to Ukraine. These damages now exceed $486 billion, according to the World Bank,” the G7 statement, published by the White House, reads. The group declared that “with a view to supporting Ukraine’s current and future needs in the face of a prolonged defense against Russia,” the G7 will launch ‘Extraordinary Revenue Acceleration (ERA) Loans’ for Kiev. This will make available “approximately $50 billion in additional funding to Ukraine by the end of the year,” it said.

The G7 said it intends to provide financing that will be serviced and repaid by future flows of “extraordinary revenues stemming from the immobilization of Russian Sovereign Assets” held in the European Union and other relevant jurisdictions. “To enable this, we will work to obtain approval in these jurisdictions to use future flows of these extraordinary revenues to service and repay the loans,” the statement reads. The G7 intends to disburse the financing through multiple channels that direct the funds to Ukraine’s military, budget, and to its reconstruction needs, it added. The US has been pushing its allies to embrace a loan backed by income from the frozen Russian assets that could provide Ukraine with billions of dollars in near-term funding. Most of the frozen assets are being held in the EU. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said recently that the flow of windfall profits earned on the immobilized Russian assets amounts to around $3-$5 billion per year.

Russia has repeatedly stated that any actions taken against its assets would amount to “theft” and would violate international law. Moscow has warned it would respond in kind if the West went through with threats to confiscate Russian assets. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday outlined conditions for Ukraine peace talks, insisting that Ukraine should first of all remove its troops from Russia’s new regions. Putin also condemned Kiev’s Western backers for allegedly preventing it from holding peace talks with Moscow while also accusing Russia of rejecting negotiations. Accepting the terms would allow everyone involved to turn the page and gradually rebuild damaged relations, the Russian president said. Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has rejected Russia’s terms for ending the conflict, describing the peace conditions as an “ultimatum.”

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“..despite Russia winning decisively in that two-and-half-year conflict and the Kiev regime facing oblivion from corruption and alienation from a war-sickened population.”

Two Summits… Elitist Warmongering G7 And Peacemaking Multipolar BRICS (SCF)

This week provided an instructive juxtaposition of summits. In Italy, the United States and its Western allies convened the Group of Seven (G7) talking shop, while in Russia the BRICS nations held a workmanlike summit for their foreign ministers. The G7 has become a shorthand term for elitist Western dominance over the world economy. On the other hand, the relatively new group known as BRICS can be seen as a progressive forum and voice for the global majority. While the former is shrivelling with irrelevance, the latter is steadily growing in importance for authentic international development. There was a time when the U.S. and a clique of Western capitalist nations (including Japan) were viewed with respectability and an aura of global leadership. The heyday of Western economic and political power has waned in line with the systemic failing of U.S.-led capitalism as a model for the rest of the world to emulate.

The presumed moral authority of these nations has also diminished as their reputation for hypocrisy and insufferable arrogance has burgeoned. Indeed, the G7 has become a caricature of power. The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan are seen as being ruled by self-serving extortionists, contributing little to global development. Their presumed superiority is untenable and looks ridiculous. The group represents a neocolonialist clique whose exploitation of finance and natural resources of other nations is an obscenity and shackle on the abundant potential for world development. By contrast, the BRICS coalition of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa plus a growing number of other nations, collectively known as the Global South, is a living harbinger of a more just and equitable international order. The multipolar world that the BRICS represent and advocate has become the practical roadmap for proper international development.

It is based on cooperation, partnership, and mutual respect grounded in a genuine commitment to the principles of the United Nations Charter. The BRICS summit this week held in the beautiful city of Nizhny Novgorod on the Volga River was a convening of foreign ministers. In October, the national leaders of the BRICS will gather in the Russian city of Kazan. The list of nations seeking to join the group has reached 50, representing every continent. In terms of combined economic power and population, the BRICS Plus has far surpassed the G7. At the G7 confab, the leaders of that motley crew look like yesterday’s men. U.S. President Joe Biden is languishing in record-low poll numbers among his citizens while Britain’s Sunak, France’s Macron, and Germany’s Scholz are clinging onto power by their fingernails. European Union elections this week showed a cratering in voter support for Macron and Scholz.

No doubt their slavish pandering to Uncle Sam’s warmongering in Ukraine while their citizens endure hardship and poverty rightly took a toll. The G7 has dispensed with any pretense of standing for international economic development. The entire summit in Italy can be summed up as a gathering for warmongering and theft. The disreputable clique could henceforth be labeled the “economic wing of NATO”. Guest of honor was the corrupt dictator of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, wearing his pantomime military fatigues and being ladled with tens of billions more dollars. His G7 patrons pledged $50 billion a year for the NeoNazi Kiev regime to buy more weapons “until it prevails” in the proxy war against Russia. This is despite Russia winning decisively in that two-and-half-year conflict and the Kiev regime facing oblivion from corruption and alienation from a war-sickened population.

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“..real wages grew by a record 13.3% in May 2023..”

Russian Wine Boom Follows The War (Helmer)

Wine, and the money to spend on drinking it, are growing at an unprecedented pace in Russia. For a country at war in Europe this has not happened in modern times, and probably not since the ancient Roman emperors and medieval English kings arranged for their city fountains to flow with wine in celebration of military victories and coronations. The surge in wine consumption signals the growing confidence of Russian consumers in their future. A parallel surge in wine imports since April is also a signal that the Russian Finance Ministry aims to raise taxes on this good cheer. In 2023, 320 million litres of still and fortified wine were imported to Russia, which was 4.4% more than in 2022, according to a study by the large Moscow importer, distributor, and retailer, the Luding group.

According to other market reports, by the end of last year the largest supermarket groups had increased their imports of wine by 7% compared to the year before. The X5 group, for example, which operates the Pyaterochka and Perekrestok stores, reported an 18% annual increase; the Magnit chain was up 83%. This year the rate of increase in wine imports has been accelerating. Through April, the Russian Customs figures show a 20% rate of increase in the volume of wine imports compared to the first four months of 2023. The most noticeable surge was observed in April, when twice as much wine was imported as a year ago. Part of the reason is that the Russian war economy is now generating significantly faster growth in consumer income than the rate of inflation. Adjusted for that, real wages grew 0.3% between March 2022 and March 2023. This is after a prolonged decline in real wages between 2013 and 2021.

In the first quarter of this year, January through March, real disposable income – a slightly different metric measured by the state statistics agency Rosstat — jumped 5.8% compared to the year before. This was a relative slowdown compared to the last quarter of 2023, when real disposable income was up 7% year on year. Rosstat is reporting also that real wages grew by a record 13.3% in May 2023. The agency’s measurement reflected the jump in war-related civilian sector wages and in payments to military personnel. Pensions, by contrast, were shrinking slightly in real terms. The government is now estimating the full-year 2023 rate of real income growth at 5.4%; in 2024 at 2.8%, and next year at 2.8%. Consumer demand is predicted to rise in step. Despite Russian casualties at the front already running ahead of the ten-year Soviet Afghanistan War, the Russian war economy, and the impact of the NATO sanctions war, are paying a large domestic dividend – and not only at the wine shop.

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“In the West, the thesis that Russia started the war within the framework of a special military operation, that it is the aggressor, is constantly being repeated..”

Putin On Seized Assets: “Despite All The Trickery, Theft Is Still Theft” (ZH)

After on Thursday Group of Seven leaders agreed at a summit in Italy to give Ukraine $50 billion utilizing interest from frozen Russian Central Bank assets, President Putin has addressed the move during a speech before his Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He once again denounced this as brazen ‘threft’ and described that Western leaders are trying to come up with “some kind of legal basis” for the asset freezes, “but despite all the trickery, theft is still theft and will not go unpunished.” European Council President Charles Michel had announced the day prior, “Russia has to pay.” And President Biden had said, “I’m very pleased to share that this week the G7 signed a plan to finalize and unlock $50 billion from the proceeds of those frozen [Russian] assets, to put that money to work for Ukraine, [in] another reminder to Putin that we’re not backing down.’ Putin also warned that if the West steals Russia’s sovereign assets, then it is proof that “anyone” could be next.

Additionally, following up on Putin’s words Alexander Bespalov, co-chair of the Investment Russia public organization, addressed the G7 plan: “The idea of issuing any loans to Ukraine is inherently hopeless because only a person who is extremely detached from life and reality can suppose that it may win a conflict with Russia. Ukraine is already in a losing position. This is clear to everyone, and from an economic point of view there will be no growth or the capability to return loans in the next decades. So what we see is yet another attempt to establish some formal economic foundation to provide money for Ukraine’s military needs,” he told Izvestia. In Putin’s remarks before diplomats, he at one point asserted that Moscow did not start the war. Instead, “In the West, the thesis that Russia started the war within the framework of a special military operation, that it is the aggressor, is constantly being repeated,” he explained.

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“The left-wing gender insanity being pushed at our children is an act of child abuse. Very simple..”

Trump Vows To End ‘Gender Insanity’ In Schools (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has promised that if reelected this November, he will defund schools that promote “inappropriate” content to children such as gender identity and critical race theory. He also pledged to strip federal funding from schools mandating vaccines and masks, as well as banning men from participating in women’s sports. “On day one, I will sign a new executive order to cut federal funding for any school pushing critical race theory, transgender insanity, and other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content onto the lives of our children,” the presumptive Republican nominee for the White House told a cheering crowd at Turning Point Action’s ‘The People’s Convention’ in the state of Michigan on Saturday.

“And I will not give one penny to any school that has a vaccine mandate or a mask mandate,” he continued, adding that he will also “keep men out of women’s sports” and fully uphold the Second Amendment, which protects the right of Americans to keep and bear arms. “We will protect innocent lives and we will restore a thing called free speech, as it is being taken away from us by these radical thugs,” Trump vowed after announcing that he had received a full endorsement from the National Rifle Association gun rights advocacy group. Trump has said education is one of the main priorities of his presidential campaign, arguing that the system needs to be overhauled. He previously outlined plans to “break up” the Department of Education, change the school curriculum, and allow school principals to be elected.

Accusing the Democrats of forcing the “liberal indoctrination of America’s youth,” he vowed to reverse a new expansion by President Joe Biden’s administration of Title IX – which restricts federally funded schools from preventing transgender students from using bathrooms, locker rooms, and pronouns aligned with their identities. He also pledged to block doctors who provide gender-affirming care, as well as forbidding federal agencies from promoting “the concept of sex and gender transition at any age.” “The left-wing gender insanity being pushed at our children is an act of child abuse. Very simple. Here’s my plan to stop the chemical, physical, and emotional mutilation of our youth,” Trump said in a video address in January, in which he detailed a range of policies designed to curb the promotion of the LGBTQ agenda.

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Sopranos

 

 

Elon Optimus

 

 

AI

 

 

Poach

 

 

Lizard

 

 

Whale

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 152024
 


Édouard Vuillard In bed 1891

 

Russia and NATO Are Drifting Towards A Major War (Timofeev)
Putin Names Two Conditions For Ending The War ‘This Very Minute’ (ZH)
Putin Names Conditions For Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)
Ukraine’s ‘Room For Compromise Is Diminishing’ – Medvedev (RT)
Zelensky Responds To Putin’s Peace Offer (RT)
America Prepares for Global War, Restarts Draft for 18-26 Year Olds (Kucinich)
Scott Ritter: West Has to Decide If It Wants Peace After Putin’s Proposal (Sp.)
Biden’s 10-year Security Pact With Ukraine is Nothing But a PR Stunt (Sp.)
Moscow Reveals Further Steps After Putin’s Ukraine Offer (RT)
Russia Was Ready To Withdraw From Southern Ukraine – Putin (RT)
Russian Troops Never Intended To Capture Kiev – Putin (RT)
US Government Uses NGOs To Corrupt ‘Civil Society’ Around The World (Diesen)
Fossil Fuels: The Best-Kept Secret in Our World Today (RCW)
The Confiscation of Reality (Sinead Murphy)
The Afterlives of Lies (Patrick Lawrence)
Sick Of and Done With (Kunstler)
The Faux Outrage Over the Alito Flags and Tapes (Turley)
Searching for the Truth About the Raid at Mar-a-Lago (Julie Kelly)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Alex

 

 

Black vote

 

 

77

 

 

Logan Paul

 

 

 

 

“..it’s clear that foreigners are fighting on Ukraine’s side, that their participation is systematic rather than accidental, and that at least some of them are citizens of Western countries.”

Russia and NATO Are Drifting Towards A Major War (Timofeev)

Is it possible that NATO forces could become directly involved in the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine? Until recently, such a question seemed very hypothetical given the high risks of escalation of the military confrontation between the US-led bloc and Russia into a large-scale armed conflict. But this scenario should be taken seriously now. The direct participation of individual NATO countries or the entire bloc in hostilities could gradually spiral out of control. Crossing red lines can lead to the belief that there will be no consequences for engaging in war. The result of such movements can manifest itself at an unexpected moment and lead to a much more dangerous situation than the current one. Strictly speaking, NATO countries have long been involved in the conflict. This takes several forms.

First, Western countries provide Kiev with substantial financial and military assistance, including increasingly advanced and destructive weapons systems. As the stockpiles of Soviet-style kit in the arsenals of the USSR’s former allies in the Warsaw Treaty Organisation have been depleted, the Ukrainian army is receiving more Western systems and ammunition. So far, mass deliveries have been limited by the production capacity of the Western defence industry and size of existing stockpiles. But if hostilities are prolonged, industrial capacity has the potential to grow. Increasing supplies are also inevitable in the event of a peaceful pause, which would allow Ukraine to prepare for a new phase of hostilities. Russia can hardly hope that the West lacks the political will and resources to increase support for Kiev. Moscow appears to be preparing for the worst-case scenario, namely a steady increase in substantial and long-term military assistance to Ukraine. In addition to the supply of arms and ammunition, this aid includes the training of personnel, help with the development of military industry and infrastructure, and the reimbursement of expenses in other areas that allow Ukraine to focus its resources on the defence sector.

Second, Ukraine receives extensive Western support in the form of intelligence, including technical data from satellites, radars, reconnaissance aircraft, etc. The information received enables a wide range of operations, from scoping the theatre of operations to the identification of specific targets. Data providers can be selective in granting the Ukrainian side access. But its use in military operations against Russia is not in doubt. Third, military specialists who are citizens of NATO countries are involved in combat operations. Their role does not always appear to be official. They may be ‘volunteers’ or simply mercenaries, whose participation the authorities of their countries turn a blind eye to. Russian estimates put their number at around 2,000 in October 2023. Whether that is accurate or not, it’s clear that foreigners are fighting on Ukraine’s side, that their participation is systematic rather than accidental, and that at least some of them are citizens of Western countries.

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“As soon as Kyiv says it is ready to do this and begins really withdrawing troops and officially renounces plans to join NATO, we will immediately — literally that very minute — cease-fire and begin talks..”

Putin Names Two Conditions For Ending The War ‘This Very Minute’ (ZH)

Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Friday speech addressed the West’s efforts to host a major Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland this weekend. Though scores of world leaders will be there, Russia has not been invited, and China has snubbed the event citing that it’s pointless without Moscow’s representation given it is a party to one side of the war. Putin outlined his “conditions” for peace. He said for the military operation to be halted Ukrainian forces would have to withdraw from the four regions annexed by the Russian Federation. “Ukrainian troops must be completely withdrawn from the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions,” Putin said in a televised address. Russia held referendums in late September 2022 for these war-torn oblasts, and the overwhelming majority of voters were in favor of being absorbed into Russia, which Kiev and the West called a “sham” election.

Putin also stipulated a second main condition for ending the war: Ukraine must reject ambitions to join the NATO alliance. “As soon as Kyiv says it is ready to do this and begins really withdrawing troops and officially renounces plans to join NATO, we will immediately — literally that very minute — cease-fire and begin talks,” Putin said in the talk given to a gathering of diplomats. Interestingly, Putin showed signs he could be willing to compromise when it comes to territory, which is a bit of the first and hopeful sign that he’s serious about finding ways to wind down the war. According to AFP: The Russian leader said he did not “rule out maintaining Ukrainian sovereignty” over the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions “on the condition that Russia has a strong land link with Crimea.”

But despite what appears to be very serious possible overtures, the Zelensky government has long maintained that it will not countenance negotiations or peace settlement until there is a full withdrawal of Russian armed forces from Ukrainian territory as existed pre-February 2022. The weekend Swiss peace summit is expected to focus on gaining full international backing for Zelensky’s 10-point peace formula, however international press has acknowledged this as still “a largely symbolic effort”. The sixth point of Kiev’s plan reads as follows: it calls on Russia “To cease the hostilities, Russia must withdraw all its troops and armed formations from the territory of Ukraine, plain and simple. Ukraine’s full control over its state border, recognized internationally, needs to be restored.”

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“Our side will order a ceasefire and start negotiations the minute Kiev declares that it is prepared to take this decision and starts actual withdrawal of troops from those regions..”

Putin Names Conditions For Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)

Ukraine must remove its troops from Russia’s new regions before any meaningful peace talks can begin, President Vladimir Putin has said. Moscow rejects Kiev’s claims of sovereignty over five formerly Ukrainian regions, four of which have joined Russia amid the ongoing hostilities. People in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions voted for the transition in late 2022, though hostilities continue in all of them. Ukrainian troops must be removed from these territories, Putin said on Friday at a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other senior Russian diplomats. “I stress: the entire territory of those regions as defined by their administrative borders at the time they joined Ukraine [in August 1991],” Putin stated.

“Our side will order a ceasefire and start negotiations the minute Kiev declares that it is prepared to take this decision and starts actual withdrawal of troops from those regions, and also formally informs us that it no longer plans to join NATO,” the Russian leader pledged. Putin outlined the conditions after condemning Kiev’s Western backers for allegedly preventing it from holding peace talks with Moscow while accusing Russia of rejecting negotiations.“We are counting on Kiev to take such a decision on withdrawal, neutral status, and dialogue with Russia, on which the future existence of Ukraine depends, independently based on the current realities and guided by the true interests of the Ukrainian people and not at Western orders,” Putin stated. At this point, Moscow will not accept a frozen conflict, which would allow the US and its allies to rearm and rebuild the Ukrainian military, Putin claimed. The full resolution of the issue will involve Kiev recognizing the four new regions as well as Crimea as part of Russia, he insisted.

“In the future, all those basic principled positions have to be enshrined in fundamental international agreements. Naturally, that includes the lifting of all Western sanctions against Russia,” Putin stated. Accepting these terms will allow everyone involved to turn the page and gradually rebuild damaged relations, the president said. Eventually, a pan-European security system that works for all nations on the continent could be created, Putin added, noting that Moscow has sought this outcome for years.The Russian president’s keynote remarks came ahead of a Swiss-hosted summit supposedly meant to further peace in Ukraine. Kiev has insisted that Moscow could not be invited to the event because it would try to “hijack” it by promoting alternatives to the “peace formula” pushed by the Ukrainian government. Putin claimed that the event was meant to distract public opinion from the “true roots” of the conflict, and that Vladimir Zelensky has usurped power in Ukraine after his presidential term expired last month. Nothing but demagoguery and accusations against Russia can come out of the Swiss gathering, he predicted.

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“The room for compromise is diminishing like shagreen leather, together with the shrinking territory of the dying country.”

Ukraine’s ‘Room For Compromise Is Diminishing’ – Medvedev (RT)

Russia has repeatedly sought to resolve the Ukraine crisis through diplomatic means since 2014, but Kiev and its Western backers have always responded with either “manipulation” or “deception,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday. Now that the latest peace proposal has been offered by Russia, the time for compromise is running out, he warned. Kiev is about to face a “catastrophic scenario,” Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said in a statement published on his social media account. The former Ukrainian territories Kiev still lays claim to have officially become part of Russia as a result of referendums held there in 2022, Medvedev pointed out. “And this is forever.” Now, Moscow will only agree to peace talks if this fact is taken into account, he added.

“The room for compromise is diminishing like shagreen leather, together with the shrinking territory of the dying country.” The official was referring to the latest peace proposal put forward by President Vladimir Putin during his meeting with senior Russian diplomats on Friday. Moscow is demanding that Kiev withdraw its troops from all the regions that voted to join Russia in 2022 and forgo its plans to join NATO. In exchange, Russia is ready to order a ceasefire and start talks the moment Ukrainian officials agree to these terms. Medvedev described this weekend’s Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland as a “summit of the doomed” that will end in “total failure.”

Kiev has been actively promoting the conference, to which Russia has not been invited, to push its own peace plan. It includes the withdrawal of Russian troops from territories it claims as its own, a war crimes tribunal, and reparations. Medvedev dismissed Kiev’s peace proposal as a “stillborn formula,” commenting that its only purpose is to provide legitimacy to Vladimir Zelensky. Zelensky, whose presidential term officially expired in May, is nothing but an “usurper,” a “nobody” with “no real authority,” according to Medvedev. He has now seized power and “took the entire population hostage” while still “sending soldiers forth to die,” the Russian official concluded.

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“..Ukraine received very generous peace terms in March 2022, but rejected them “on orders from the British.”

Zelensky Responds To Putin’s Peace Offer (RT)

The terms Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined for ending the conflict are an “ultimatum” to Ukraine and as such unacceptable, Vladimir Zelensky has said. Speaking at a meeting with senior Russian Foreign Ministry officials on Friday, Putin said that Kiev would have to cede all the territory of four regions that chose to join Russia and guarantee it would never join NATO before peace talks could begin. “What can I say? These messages are ultimatum messages, they are nothing different than other ultimatums that he has made before,” Zelensky told the TV network Sky TG24 while attending the G7 meeting in the south of Italy. “He wants us to give up part of our occupied territories, but he also wants the unoccupied ones. He talks about regions of our country, and he won’t stop,” Zelensky claimed.

Zelensky’s characterization of Putin’s offer as an ultimatum was dismissed as “a wrong understanding, definitely,” according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday. “This is a comprehensive, very deep and constructive proposal,” Putin’s press secretary told Izvestia. If the terms seem harsher than those Moscow proposed in the spring of 2022, he explained, that’s because “a different situation has arisen,” with four regions choosing to become part of Russia. Residents of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions as well as the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics voted overwhelmingly in September 2022 to leave Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Kiev and its Western backers have denounced the vote as “rigged” and a “sham,” just as they refused to recognize Crimea’s return in 2014.

Peskov reminded Izvestia that Ukraine received very generous peace terms in March 2022, but rejected them “on orders from the British.” Ukrainian media and officials have confirmed that Boris Johnson, UK prime minister at the time, told them they should not accept any deal with Russia. Announcing the military operation against the government in Kiev, in February 2022, Putin said that Moscow intended to achieve the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine and secure guarantees that Kiev would never join NATO or any other anti-Russian military bloc.

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“There is no other conceivable reason to require more than 16 million American males to be automatically registered for the draft, other than to prepare for a large-scale war.”

America Prepares for Global War, Restarts Draft for 18-26 Year Olds (Kucinich)

Our government is planning a big draft, conscripting millions of young Americans for an even bigger war! I call to your attention a Democratic amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was slipped into the almost trillion-dollar Pentagon war spending bill, by voice vote, in the House Armed Services committee. The Democratic Amendment to H.R. 8070, the National Defense Authorization (NDAA) reads: “Section 531. Selective Service System: Automatic Registration. SEC. 3. (a)(1) “Except as otherwise provided in this title, every male citizen of the United States, and every other male person residing in the United States, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, shall be automatically registered under this Act by the Director of the Selective Service System.”

This amendment is in the NDAA legislation and there is no pending amendment to strip it from the bill. So, when the NDAA passes, as early as this week, Congress will have taken steps to make automatic conscription the law of the land. Why an automatic draft? Members of Congress and the President have an obligation to explain to the American people to which foreign land will their sons, and perhaps their daughters, be sent to die? The U.S. has been in a continuous “State of Emergency” since September 11, 2001, which provides a president with over 100 powers he would not ordinarily have. Notwithstanding that the automatic draft provision will go into effect in a year, a presidential order invoking emergency powers and/or an Act of Congress, could readily move millions from their civilian lives to the front lines of a war. WHAT WE KNOW: We know that America is fomenting wars around the world We know that the military industrial complex controls our government We know that we are on the precipice of a global war, provoking aggression rather than resolution with Russia, China and in the Middle East.

The only winners in these wars are the war profiteers. They’re now going to take our children to fight in unnecessary, destabilizing, dangerous, debt-creating wars. Just today President Biden committed the U.S. to an additional decade of support for Ukraine’s war with Russia. There is no other conceivable reason to require more than 16 million American males to be automatically registered for the draft, other than to prepare for a large-scale war.

The Selective Service System is the vehicle by which individuals are inducted into the armed forces. This NDAA Automatic Registration amendment facilitates an efficient, large-scale draft. The new law will automatically register all males between the ages of 18 and 26. Selective Service will notify in writing every young American male that they have been registered and will prescribe regulations which can require the registrant to provide “date of birth, address, social security account number, phone number and email address….” There are members of Congress who advocate that young women also be included in any draft, which could bring to 32 million the number of Americans of draft-eligible age. The U.S. currently has over 1,300,000 men and women, career soldiers, as well as volunteers, serving in the all-volunteer armed forces.

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“No longer will they be talking about Zelensky’s unrealistic expectation of having Russia leave the new territories. The West will now be saying, what about this offer? Can we do this offer?”

Scott Ritter: West Has to Decide If It Wants Peace After Putin’s Proposal (Sp.)

President Vladimir Putin has outlined another proposal to solve the Ukraine crisis once and for all at a meeting with top diplomats at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow, making clear that Moscow is not interested in freezing or postponing the conflict. According to the president, Russia is ready to cease fire and start negotiations once Ukraine begins to withdraw from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions within their administrative borders and officially renounces plans to join NATO. Additionally, Russia requires Ukraine to adopt a neutral, non-aligned, and non-nuclear status. “We are ready to sit at the negotiation table tomorrow,” said Putin. “Today, we made another specific, real peace proposal. If Kiev and the Western capitals refuse it, as they have previously, then ultimately, it is their matter, their political and moral responsibility for the continuation of bloodshed,” the president stressed.

Putin’s new peace proposal is a brilliant move, according to former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter. “A [Western] peace conference in Switzerland [from June 15 to 16] that was never going to succeed now has a completely different angle to it,” Ritter told Sputnik. “It will now be discussing the Russian peace initiative. No longer will they be talking about Zelensky’s unrealistic expectation of having Russia leave the new territories. The West will now be saying, what about this offer? Can we do this offer? The NATO summit won’t be about ‘How do we expand, how do we enlarge?’ It will be about ‘What do we do about the Russian peace proposal?’ This puts the West in the horns of a dilemma. That’s exactly where Russia wants them.” Ritter underscored that Russia isn’t looking for a ceasefire or freezing the conflict to make it fester any longer: “Russia’s looking for conflict resolution. They want a genuine peace plan.” The plan is based on the 2022 Istanbul communiqué while taking into account the reality on the ground, the former US Marine Corps intelligence officer noted.

The roadmap proposed by Vladimir Putin also meets the initial goals of the special military operation launched on February 24, 2022, i.e. de-militarization and de-Nazification, the military expert continued. “Demilitarization will occur through the negotiation process. When Ukraine commits to not being a member of NATO, this resolves a number of issues, such as what to do with all of this NATO equipment that has been accumulated by Ukraine. There’s no longer a need for it. It will go away. So too will the NATO advisors. Demilitarization has been accomplished.” “De-Nazification… Vladimir Putin made it clear that Volodymyr Zelensky is not the political future of Ukraine. Neither are the right-wing political parties that have produced Nazi-type organizations like the Right Sector, Svoboda*, Azov**, and other neo-Nazi-affiliated paramilitary and military organizations.

These will, of course, have to be done away with. But who’s going to do away with that? Russia’s not occupying Ukraine. This will be part of the post-conflict political rebuilding, restructuring of Ukraine. And again, once Ukraine has walked away from NATO and has assumed a position of genuine neutrality, this changes the domestic political dynamic inside Ukraine, empowering political entities that otherwise have been suppressed, the opposition that Volodymyr Zelensky has sought to silence over these many years,” Ritter explained. The military veteran pointed out that the Russian president has also made it clear that if the proposals are snubbed, the military confrontation will continue and the future requirements for peace could be very different.

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“The deal is not a “treaty”, but an “executive agreement” since Biden didn’t seek a congressional approval to make it..”

Biden’s 10-year Security Pact With Ukraine is Nothing But a PR Stunt (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden struck a 10-year security deal with the Kiev regime at the recent G7 Summit. Volodymyr Zelensky, whose presidential tenure expired on May 20, inked the agreement on behalf of Ukraine. Despite the White House calling the deal “historic” the US media says its future is in doubt. The deal is not a “treaty”, but an “executive agreement” since Biden didn’t seek a congressional approval to make it. Treaties, which require the consent of two-thirds of US senators, are legally binding agreements between nations; they become part of international law. Executive agreements are concluded on the authority of the incumbent president and don’t necessarily bind his successors. President Donald Trump tore apart his predecessor Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran (which was not confirmed by Senate) in 2018. This illustrated the fragility of the executive agreement – which was also called “historic” in July 2015.

Recent YouGov, Yahoo News, Emerson polls show Trump leads Biden in the 2024 presidential race. Trump is also leading Biden in key battleground states which provided for Biden’s victory in the 2020 elections, as per RealClearPolitics.
Even if Biden wins in 2024, his second tenure will end in 2029, meaning the fate of the 10-year accord will depend on his successor. Treaties aren’t immune to the US president’s unilateral action: In 1978, President Jimmy Carter withdrew from 1954 Mutual Defense Treaty with the island of Taiwan. President George W. Bush tore apart the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Moscow in 2002. Last but not least, in the absence of clarification of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, Zelensky’s legitimacy as a signatory is null and void: under the nation’s Constitution, the presidential tenure is limited to five years and is not subject to extension under martial law.

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“..the lack of will and responsibility on part of the Western elites is the main obstacle on the road towards a durable peace..

Moscow Reveals Further Steps After Putin’s Ukraine Offer (RT)

Russia’s diplomats will communicate President Vladimir Putin’s latest Ukraine peace proposal to Western leaders in “in meticulous detail,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists on Friday. Earlier the same day, the head of state set conditions for peace negotiations with Kiev. The Russian president’s initiative includes a demand that Kiev withdraw its troops from all former Ukrainian territories that joined Russia following referendums in the fall of 2022 and abandon its plans to join NATO. Moscow is ready to order a ceasefire and start negotiations “the minute” Ukraine agrees to those terms and starts the withdrawal, he told Lavrov and other senior Russian diplomats at a meeting.

Following the event, Lavrov told journalists that he believes the world is already well-aware of the president’s proposal. Moscow has no plans to issue the offer in a formal document, the minister said. Russia’s ambassadors will nevertheless hand the text of Putin’s speech to the relevant foreign officials and clarify the Kremlin’s stance, he said. “We won’t chase after anyone,” Russia’s top diplomat said, adding that Moscow would simply make its position clear and “look at the reaction” of the foreign nations. He stated that his ministry plans to raise the issue at the meetings of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as well as in talks with China and the Latin American and African nations.

The minister also expressed his hope that the initiative would be discussed at the ongoing G7 summit in Italy and at the conference on Ukraine which Switzerland is set to host this weekend. When further asked by journalist Pavel Zarubin if he believes the latest peace initiative could lead to some meaningful dialogue with the West, Lavrov responded by saying that “hope is the last to die.” “Those that have ears to hear, let them hear. Those that have brains, let them understand,” the minister said, adding that, although he was “not sure that everything is alright with those organs” when it comes to the Western politicians, he still hopes that some good can come of it.

Putin’s proposal was also lauded by Valentina Matvienko, the head of the Russian Federation Council – the upper house of the national parliament. She described the initiative as a “real peace offer” opening the “only possible path towards the end of the Ukraine conflict.” The Russian president’s words also made it clear that “the lack of will and responsibility on part of the Western elites is the main obstacle on the road towards a durable peace,” she said. The initiative came just a day before the start of the Swiss-hosted summit supposedly meant to further peace in Ukraine. Kiev insisted that Moscow could not have been invited to the event because it would try to “hijack” the agenda by presenting alternatives to the plan being proposed by the Ukrainian government. Putin stated that the meeting was only meant to distract the public opinion from the real roots of the conflict.

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“..when Bennett traveled to Kiev to present Moscow’s proposal to the Ukrainian government, it was rejected, and the Israeli leader was branded a Russian sympathizer..”

Russia Was Ready To Withdraw From Southern Ukraine – Putin (RT)

Russia was open to withdrawing its troops from Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions early in the Ukraine conflict on the condition that Kiev agreed to an uninterrupted land connection between Crimea and the mainland, President Vladimir Putin stated on Friday. Speaking at a meeting with the country’s senior diplomats, Putin revealed that in early March 2022, as Russian troops were advancing into southern Ukraine, a senior foreign politician representing the West proposed mediating the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. While Putin did not name the leader, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev identified him as then-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. According to the Russian president, Bennett asked officials in Moscow at the time why Russian troops were operating in Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, given that their stated goal was to help Donbass.

Bennett was told the decision to send Russian troops to those regions was made based on the plans drawn by the General Staff, which sought to bypass heavily fortified Ukrainian positions in Donbass, Putin explained. According to the Russian leader, when Bennett asked whether Russian troops would remain in Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions after the end of the conflict, Putin said he was open to the idea of pulling them back to their bases. “I replied that, in general, I do not rule out that Ukraine will retain its sovereignty over these territories, provided that Russia will have a solid land connection to Crimea.” Putin noted that to secure the guarantee, Moscow and Kiev would have to sign a legally binding “servitude” agreement, a property law that ties rights and obligations to the ownership or possession of land. The deal would then have to be finalized with the involvement of the UN Security Council, as well as local citizens and the Russian public.

However, when Bennett traveled to Kiev to present Moscow’s proposal to the Ukrainian government, it was rejected, and the Israeli leader was branded a Russian sympathizer, Putin noted. Now, this proposal is off the table, given that Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, along with the two Donbass republics, voted to join Russia in public referendums in the fall of 2022, Putin stated. “There can be no talk of violating our national unity… This question is closed forever and beyond any debate.” At the same time, Putin signaled that Moscow was ready for talks with Ukraine on the condition that Kiev fully withdraws its troops from Donbass, Kherson, and Zaporozhye regions and abandons plans to join NATO. But the proposal has been rejected by Kiev, which insists upon returning the country to its 1991 borders.

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“On March 29, 2022, we withdrew our troops from Kiev because we were assured that it was essential to create conditions for the conclusion of the political negotiating process..”

Russian Troops Never Intended To Capture Kiev – Putin (RT)

Russian forces did not plan to storm Kiev when they advanced towards the Ukrainian capital in the first weeks of the conflict between the two countries, President Vladimir Putin has said. During a meeting with his Russia’s top diplomats on Friday, Putin noted continued “speculation” in Ukraine and the West about the intentions of Russian units when they reached the outskirts of Kiev in late February 2022. “But there was no political decision to storm the city of 3 million, no matter what anyone says due to their lack of thought,” Putin insisted. According to the president, the Russian advance towards Kiev was “nothing more than an operation to persuade the Ukrainian regime to [make] peace.” “The troops were there to motivate the Ukrainian side to engage in negotiations, to try to find an acceptable solution and this way end the war unleashed by Kiev against Donbass back in 2014,” he said.

The conflict between the Ukrainian government and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, which erupted after the Western-backed coup in Kiev in February 2014, “posed a threat to the security of our country, to the security of Russia,” Putin stressed. The move by Russia did result in talks that led to agreements that “in principle, suited both Moscow and Kiev,” he said, referring to the negotiations that took place between the two sides in the Turkish city of Istanbul in late March 2022. “On March 29, 2022, we withdrew our troops from Kiev because we were assured that it was essential to create conditions for the conclusion of the political negotiating process,” the president recalled. “Our Western colleagues” insisted back then that the Ukrainian authorities “cannot sign such agreements… with a gun to their head,” he added.

However, Kiev and its Western backers have been claiming that the Russian withdrawal from the area of the Ukrainian capital was not a goodwill gesture by Moscow, but the result of military successes achieved by Kiev’s troops. Already in April 2022, US President Joe Biden said “the ‘Battle of Kiev’ was a historic victory… won by the Ukrainian people with unprecedented assistance by the US and our allies.” The next day after the Russian troops left, the Ukrainian leadership seized their participation in the negotiating process, staging “a provocation” in Bucha, Putin said.On April 1, 2022, the Zelensky government blamed the Russian military for massacring civilians in the town of Bucha near Kiev. Moscow denied those accusations, saying that the purported evidence of the crimes was fabricated. “I think it’s clear now that this dirty provocation was needed to somehow explain the rejection of the results that had been achieved during the negotiations. The path to peace was again turned down,” the Russian leader stressed.

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“..they rest on the source credibility of being “non-governmental” and merely devoted to human rights, which increases the effectiveness of their messaging..”

US Government Uses NGOs To Corrupt ‘Civil Society’ Around The World (Diesen)

In the West, and beyond, pressure groups operating under the banner of “human rights non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) have become key actors in disseminating war propaganda, intimidating academics, and corrupting civil society. These outfits act as gatekeepers determining which voices should be elevated and which should be censored and canceled. Civil society is imperative to balance the power of the state, but governments are increasingly seeking to hijack it through NGOs they fund. They can enable a loud minority to override a silent majority. In the 1980s, the Reagan doctrine exacerbated the problem as these “human rights NGOs” were financed by the government and staffed by people with ties to intelligence agencies, to ensure civil society won’t deviate significantly from government policies.

The ability of academics to speak openly and honestly is restricted by these gatekeepers. In a case in point today, NGOs limit dissent in academic debates about the great power rivalry in Ukraine. Well-documented and proven facts that are imperative to understanding the conflict are simply not reported in the media, and any efforts to address these facts are confronted with vague accusations of being “controversial” or “pro-Russian,” a transgression that must be punished with intimidation, censorship, and cancellation. I will outline here first my personal experiences with one of these NGOs, and how they are hijacking civil society. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is financed by the US government and CIA-cutout the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). They regularly publish hit pieces about me and rarely miss their weekly tweets that label me a propagandist for Russia. It is always name-calling and smearing, rather than anything that can be considered coherent argument.

The standard formula for cancellation is to shame my university in every article and tweet for allowing academic freedom, with the implicit offer of redemption by terminating my employment as a professor. Peak absurdity occurred with a seven-page article in a newspaper in which it was argued I’d violated international law by spreading war propaganda. They grudgingly had to admit that I have opposed the war from day one, although for a professor in Russian politics to engage with Russian media allegedly made me complicit in spreading war propaganda. Every single time I am invited to give a speech at any event, this NGO will appear to publicly shame and pressure the organizers to cancel my invitation. The organization also openly attempts to incite academics to rally against me to strengthen their case for censorship in a trial of public opinion. Besides whipping up hatred in the media by labeling me a propagandist for Russia, they incite anonymous online troll armies such as “NAFO” to cancel me online and in the real world.

After subsequent intimidations through social media, emails, SMS and phone calls, the police advised me to remove my home address and phone number from public access. One of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee recently posted a sale ad for my house, which included photos of my home with my address for their social media followers. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee also infiltrates and corrupts other institutions. One of the more eager Helsinki Committee employees is also a board member at the Norwegian organization for non-fictional authors and translators (NFFO) and used his position there to cancel the organization’s co-hosting of an event, as I had been invited to speak. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is also overrepresented on the Nobel Committee, to ensure the right candidates are picked.

Why would a humanitarian NGO act like modern Brownshirts by limiting academic freedom? One could similarly ask why a human rights NGO spends more effort on demonizing Julian Assange rather than exploring the human-rights abuses he exposed. This “human rights NGO” is devoted primarily to addressing abuses in the East. Subsequently, all great power politics is framed as a competition between good values versus bad ones. Constructing stereotypes for the in-group versus the out-groups as a conflict between good and evil is a key component of political propaganda. The complexity of security competition between the great powers is dumbed down and propagandized as a mere struggle between liberal democracy versus authoritarianism. Furthermore, they rest on the source credibility of being “non-governmental” and merely devoted to human rights, which increases the effectiveness of their messaging.

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“For a group claiming to seek “Our Children’s Trust,” this activist group seems to be deliberately abusing children’s trust.”

Fossil Fuels: The Best-Kept Secret in Our World Today (RCW)

Apparently, you can litigate anything these days, and it’s gotten far more insidious than suing McDonald’s over hot coffee being, you know, hot. A new climate activist group called Our Children’s Trust is suing state and federal government agencies on behalf of individual children, claiming that fossil fuel regulators are negligently ruining their future. That children should feel entitled to come of age under a specific set of favorable environmental and political circumstances — and to demand punishment for individuals they disagree with — isn’t just a testament to the egocentrism dominating the 21st Century. It also exposes our culture’s deeply warped understanding of climate science, which, surprisingly to many of us, actually shows global warming has no meaningful negative effects on our lives or our environment.

In fact, we have fossil fuels to thank for the twenty-first century for being the best time in human history to be alive. Unfortunately, it’s the best-kept secret in our world today. If we really want to earn “our children’s trust,” we should teach them the truth instead of foisting crippling and needless anxiety on an entire generation. Contrary to the attention-grabbing clips of forests burning and shock-inducing statistics about record-high temperatures, modern climate science suggests that warming is likely to remain mild and manageable while our resilience continues to improve. In fact, despite average global temperatures increasing about 1° Fahrenheit and our population quadrupling in the last century, climate-related disasters claim 99% fewer lives.

Our resistance to severe weather events (which actually have remained consistent or even declined in recent decades) is actually growing at a faster rate than non-weather-related natural disasters like volcanoes and earthquakes. The alarmists want you to believe a changing climate is jeopardizing human lives; however, the opposite is true. Our environment is also better than ever. The U.S. has cut air pollution by nearly 80% in the last 50 years and ranks number one in the world for access to clean drinking water. In fact, those infamous greenhouse gases may actually help the planet. Mild increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide create a “global greening” effect that stimulates plant growth, which both helps natural ecosystems and makes agricultural production more efficient.

Meanwhile, this is the best time in human history to be alive, thanks largely to widespread access to affordable, reliable energy. Children today have a far greater chance of living a long, healthy, fruitful life than ever before. Around the world, in both developing and developed nations, poverty has plummeted and people are enjoying the tangible, life-improving benefits of lower infant and child mortality, better nutrition, improved education, lower infectious disease rates, more economic opportunity, gender equality, and longer lives. It’s no coincidence that global quality of life spiked and has continued to improve consistently since the Industrial Revolution — or that communities without access to electricity are still plagued by poverty, danger, and disease. For a group claiming to seek “Our Children’s Trust,” this activist group seems to be deliberately abusing children’s trust.

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“It appears, however, that we do not want it back, that the lockdown mode continues to tantalize..”

The Confiscation of Reality (Sinead Murphy)

The UK Meteorological Office has just reported that we have enjoyed the hottest May on record. Meanwhile, those of us who have lived in the UK during May have endured unseasonal cold and rain, and have complained to one another constantly about it. Welcome to the age of abstraction, when lived experience is irrelevant and theoretical constructions carry the day – when what is deemed right and true is unmoored from what is actually happening here and now. Over four years ago, Covid lockdowns staged a dramatic confiscation of present reality. The question is, did we ever get it back? When the UK government ordered its first lockdown at the end of March 2020, the present reality was put on hold – businesses were shut, schools closed, social activities banned, and human interactions restricted. Chaos and suffering inevitably ensued. But in the midst of the misery, there arose a new possibility.

With present reality in abeyance, we were freed of its reality check. And we began to indulge in a new and joyous expectancy, of a wonderful future to revive a glorious past. ‘We’ll meet again,’ Queen Elizabeth assured us, reprising in her words and presence a fondly recalled togetherness of the last world war and promising its restoration as if it had only just been paused – as if the decades-long decimation of community and family and individual had never happened, as if only a temporary order to Stay Home stood between us and a lost world. This new possibility was tantalizing and quickly took hold of Middle England, the BBC-believing bastion of British Values, bent ever more implausibly on keeping calm and carrying on. By 2020, this beleaguered demographic had been all but spent from spotting certainties and consolations on the horizon of Left and Right, to forestall a looming vertigo at elite interests dashing its hopes from above and state-reliant deplorables whose fate beckoned from below.

Middle England, front and centre of policy and institution, had long been demoralized by its present reality: Consigned to jobs made ever more bullshit by the erosion of ambition and discipline; flip-flopping between debt and the dregs of old desires; addled by precarity and the virtuosity that survives it; overseeing the retreat of human sympathy everywhere and applying for relief to anxiously awaited festivals that never failed to disappoint. Lockdowns’ suspension of this reality was in itself a great boon. But greater still was what followed: unimpeded anticipation, of a happy tomorrow to follow a happy yesterday, in which all we would do because all we had done was Hug Granny and Play Whist and Toast Marshmallows and Sing Carols. This was not nostalgia. It was infinitely more potent. mIn nostalgia, the past is glorified as what is dead, as what is ‘vintage’ or ‘retro,’ as what can therefore only be remembered, however wistfully. In lockdown, the past was reanimated, suddenly reframed as what would be again once universal cocooning came to an end.

Lockdowns relieved us of the one thing that had stood between us and fantastic recollections of Digging For Victory and Winning At Cribbage: present reality. We were free now to regret the past, not hopelessly as what was lost and gone, but hopefully as what had just been put on hold and would soon resume once things got back to normal. Yes, we still went through the present realities of 2020 and 2021. We ate food and washed clothes and logged on, and drank too much and fought too hard and lost our sense of purpose. But suddenly, all of that was in parentheses – not real at all, just for now. Lockdowns achieved a transfer of the reality-effect from an inglorious present, sodden with disappointment, to a host of abstract ideas plundered from an invented past and projected to an inflated future. Over four years on, we are no longer supported in our exemption from present reality by government orders to Shelter In Place. Present reality is returned to us, after a fashion. It appears, however, that we do not want it back, that the lockdown mode continues to tantalize.

The reluctance with which many have relinquished their facemask has surely warned of this. As has the ongoing normalization of work-from-home. But there is another and more insidious aspect to our cleaving to lockdowns’ suspension of present reality: our growing enthusiasm for theoretical constructions for which present reality is irrelevant. During lockdowns, we plundered the almost-dead stock of yesteryear for content for the new mode of fond expectancy – abstract ideas of Dunkirk Spirit and Oh! What A Lovely War were hastily put abroad, adorned with Union Jack bunting, mugs of builders’ tea, allotment lemonade, and royal memorabilia. But already before lockdowns ended, the stock of abstract ideas began updating. The widely disseminated death of George Floyd launched a Black Lives Matter theme complete with its cartoon fist, and the rainbow of Gender was a seamless segway from the I Heart NHS refrain that had played ad nauseam for Covid. As lockdowns receded, we were encouraged to extend our exemption from present reality by a growing fund of available abstractions: Climate, Health, Equity, Security, Safety, Identity…

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“.. those who continue to peddle the junk conjured by the Israeli propaganda machine will merely expose themselves as unserious buffoons..”

The Afterlives of Lies (Patrick Lawrence)

Last Friday, while President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and other Western leaders, along with the reporters who clerk for them, were in Normandy busily airbrushing out the Red Army’s heroism in defeating the Reich 80 years ago, something truer to history occurred in the pages of The Times of London. Under the headline, “Israel says Hamas weaponized rape. Does the evidence add up?” two investigative reporters, Catherine Philp and Gabrielle Weiniger, decisively shredded the dense fabric of lies on this topic, woven these past eight months by the Israelis, Western media, freakishly obsessed Zionist sympathizers and various feminist poseurs.Philp and Weiniger have produced an exceptional piece of journalism, the virtues of which I will shortly consider. For now, just this: You will never read a piece of this integrity on this side of the Atlantic — and certainly never in The New York Times, whose infamous dishonesty in the matter of alleged sexual violence in the Gaza crisis has few matches in the history of the once-but-no-longer newspaper of record.

But the significance of The Times piece extends well beyond its quality as first-rate work. Mainstream media have at last reported on the monstrous propaganda operation that has fabricated lurid allegations of sexual abuse on the part of Hamas militias. The surface of silence has finally been disturbed. The historians will have a record with which to work. And the record will include, as reflections in a mirror, the base derelictions of other major media — The New York Times, the BBC, the wire services, and so on down a long list — as they collaborated with the Zionist state to advance this edifice of lies to justify the barbarities of the Israel Occupation Forces. (And let us rename these savages in uniform.) [Three Israeli experts claim their comments were misrepresented in The Times of London piece.]

I liked Aaron Maté’s remark when he posted a link to The Times piece on X soon after it came out: “Establishment media starting to catch up with independent journalists and a squirrel Twitter account” – the latter a reference to the man, woman, or entity that flagged the piece when it was published last Friday. Just the point, or one of many. Various independent publications, notably but not only The Grayzone, Mondoweiss, Electronic Intifada and The Intercept, were swift to expose the Israelis’ aggressive propaganda op when, with Jeffrey Gettleman’s breathtakingly counterfeit pieces in The New York Times last December, the lying got entirely out of hand. These publications kept the light shining on a story that otherwise would have disappeared in darkness. We see in their reports the increasing power of independent media to force accurate accountings of events into the record. In this case if not in many others, those airbrushing the picture failed.

Answering the question posed in the headline atop their piece, Philps and Weiniger reply with an unambiguous “No”: there is no sound evidence whatsoever that Hamas militias, and others that crossed into southern Israel with them last Oct. 7, engaged in systematic, officially planned sexual violence against Israelis, women and men, during their attacks on various kibbutzim just across the Gaza–Israel border. These fabrications began to appear within days of the Oct. 7 events and have ever since polluted public discourse across the West. We must now bear another bureaucratic acronym, CRSV, “conflict-related sexual violence,” to secure the gravity of the charges in our minds. Prominent faux-feminists — Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg chief among them — continue to indulge in “the politicization of rape,” as one of Philps and Weiniger’s sources calls it. But the air begins to clear. From here on out, those who continue to peddle the junk conjured by the Israeli propaganda machine will merely expose themselves as unserious buffoons in the service of an apartheid state. Let them.

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“Biden is not well. Everyone knows this even those who support him…the difference is they don’t care and that’s the most frightening aspect of this situation.” — Edward Dowd

Sick Of and Done With (Kunstler)

I’m a little sorry to go all quasi-supernatural with you about this, but we are truly faced with the fact that the devastation in sexual relations and failures of family formation in recent decades has produced a very particular form of anomie in Western Civ’s female population — and the dynamic has badly deranged increasingly feminized men, too. Covid-19 was basically a Munchausen-by-proxy event, which ChatGPT describes accordingly:”. . . a psychological disorder wherein a caregiver, typically a parent, exaggerates, fabricates, or induces illness or injury in a person under their care, usually a child. The primary motive is to gain attention, sympathy, or praise from medical professionals and others, rather than any tangible benefit like financial gain.”

Actually, ChatGPT was wrong about the financial gain part. There were billions made off Covid by Big Pharma, including hundreds of millions in royalties doled out to public health employees. The government played the role of “mother” in the Covid caper, keeping you (her “children”) safe. You’ve noticed, I’m sure, that claims about safety and safe places have been major themes in Wokery both before and during Covid. Anyway, as usual with Munchausen-by-proxy syndrome, the “children” (i.e., the US population) were injured badly by the “treatment,” the mRNA vaccines. And also as usual with mothers displaying Cluster-B personality disorder, the “bad” children who refuted the narrative and refused the specified “treatment” were punished severely. (Cluster-B is sadistic.)

One thing this suggests is that the cabal running things behind the empty suit “Joe Biden” is dominated by women, and my guess would be the women directly associated with Barack Obama: Susan Rice, Lisa Monaco, Kathryn Ruemmler, Sally Yates, Valarie Jarrett, Samantha Power, Avril Haines, Torie Nuland, give-or-take some combo of them, et al. I have alleged for years that the motif driving batshit-crazy, Cluster-B Democratic Party women is that Donald Trump represents Daddy’s-in-the-house. In their boundaryless state-of-mind nothing threatens the Cluster-B ladies as much as the imposition of boundaries by a fearsome daddy figure. Daddy = the monster of monsters to them.

Thus, the “Biden” regime’s remorseless persecution of Mr. Trump — like the village rabble hunting down Frankenstein with torches and pitchforks — and the fantasies, were he allowed to live, about being sent to concentration camps by the likes of Rachel Maddow. There’s nothing like barbed-wire and sentry towers to vividly suggest the imposition of “boundaries” on your behavior.

I have strayed a bit from my initial theme concerning the grotesque game of “pretend” being played around “Joe Biden’s” re-election candidacy. Let’s say this: it is the terminal op being run by an out-of-control Deep State blob now losing its mojo in big gobs each day as its epic dishonesty gets exposed. This blob had some very potent tools at its command to jerk around the people of this land, especially the legacy news media. Most of that consisted of deception which is to say the tactical application of untruth. The op was tragically effective for some years, but its victims — US citizens — are onto the game now and they are angrily flipping over the game board. Mark this essential fact of life: truth is sturdy and lies are fragile. So, now you know what must, in the end, prevail.

“Joe Biden” is not long for this world as a token in that game. Mere days, I’d say. There is no way that the Democratic Party can afford to put him in a debate arena June 27th with Mr. Trump. Two minutes in, “JB” would be leaking sawdust and stuttering incoherently. The Party would be revealed as a fraud for the ages. And then, by the time you’re scarfing down blueberry pie on the Fourth of July, Hillary Clinton (better known here as Rodan the Flying Reptile, or She-Whose-Turn-It-Is) will be flapping her leathery wings on-high in triumph as “JB’s” emergency replacement. I am here to save our democracy, caw caw—! Wait for it! Trouble is, batshit crazy women are exactly what our country is sick of and done with.

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“I don’t think it’s something we can do. We have a very defined role and we need to do what we’re supposed to do. But this is a bigger problem. This is way above us.”

The Faux Outrage Over the Alito Flags and Tapes (Turley)

In a world of moral relativism, Lauren Windsor may reign supreme. The Democratic activist recently lied to justices in order to record answers at a dinner. In an interview with CNN, the filmmaker (who has been lionized by many in the media for her dishonesty) cheerfully explained that she lies to “elicit truths that serve the greater public good.” The “greater good” is to contribute to a campaign of harassment and attacks on Supreme Court justices by academics, the media and Democratic members. The chief target of these efforts lately has been the author of the decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, Justice Samuel Alito.

For years, the left has maintained a well-funded, unrelenting campaign against the court and its conservative majority. This has included an effort by such figures as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) to pack the court immediately with a liberal majority. Warren declared that the court must be packed because it is daring to oppose “widely held public opinion.” The statement, of course, ignores that the court was designed to resist public pressure (and even members of Congress) in order to protect the constitutional rights and liberties of minority groups.

Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects have assembled again to call for resignations and impeachments after Windsor’s surreptitious taping of both Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts. That includes Warren, who declared that “Alito is an extremist who is out of touch with mainstream America. His rising power on the Supreme Court is a threat to our democracy.” It did not matter that what Windsor captured on her secret recording was neither surprising nor unethical. Pretending to be a religious conservative at a dinner of the Supreme Court Historical Society, Windsor successfully induced the deeply religious Alito to say . . . wait for it . . . that he believes the country should return to a place of “godliness.”

It was an otherworldly moment as this notoriously anti-conservative activist asked an unsuspecting Alito why the nation was so filled with rage. In the recording, Alito laments the divisions in the country, stating, “I wish I knew. I don’t know. It’s easy to blame the media, but I do blame them because they do nothing but criticize us. And so they have really eroded trust in the court…American citizens in general need to work on this to heal this polarization because it’s very dangerous.” When pushed on what the court can do, Alito again answered honestly: “I don’t think it’s something we can do. We have a very defined role and we need to do what we’re supposed to do. But this is a bigger problem. This is way above us.”

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“What the hell was the Secret Service management thinking, letting the FBI in there with guns? It was a protected facility.”

Searching for the Truth About the Raid at Mar-a-Lago (Julie Kelly)

Top officials at the Department of Justice are downplaying recently disclosed documents showing FBI agents were authorized to use deadly force during their 2022 raid of Donald Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago. Responding to Trump’s claim that “Joe Biden was locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau was following “standard operating procedure” as it executed a search warrant on Aug. 8, 2022, regarding classified material that the former president was holding at Mar-a-Lago. While noting that Trump was not present during the raid, Attorney General Merrick Garland dismissed Trump’s claim as “false” and “dangerous.” Garland said the same language was used in a later search warrant seeking classified documents President Biden was storing in various locations.

But critics argue that there was nothing ordinary about the Mar-a-Lago raid, in which more than 30 FBI agents descended on Trump’s Palm Beach estate, potentially creating a dangerous situation with the armed Secret Service agents on site. “There was zero reason to create an unnecessary, even one in a thousand chance, of a blue-on-blue situation with firearms,” former Secret Service agent and political commentator Dan Bongino said on his podcast. “The FBI, DOJ, and management of the Secret Service effed this up royally.” Even as the DOJ presents its actions as business as usual, the newly released documents and other public records suggest the department’s actions entered uncharted territory. While the department claims that all citizens must be treated equally, critics note that no former president was ever the subject of an FBI search warrant before Trump.

A recently discovered Department of Defense memo suggests that the federal government may well have had copies of the documents in Trump’s possession, also raising questions about the need for the raid. The content of those documents has not been disclosed but, critics ask, if Trump was not retaining copies of information that threatened national security, what was the need for an armed raid? Many on the right see the Mar-a-Lago raid as part of a broader effort by the Department of Justice to intimidate its political enemies. They say it is part of a larger pattern that includes the armed morning raid on the home of Trump associate Roger Stone in 2019, the arrest of anti-abortion activist Mark Houck by dozens of armed agents in 2022 a year after he was accused of pushing someone outside a Philadelphia clinic, and the DOJ’s aggressive efforts to find and charge to date more than 1,400 people connected to the Jan. 6 protest at the Capitol.

The recent court disclosures also underscore the very different treatments the department has accorded to Trump and the Biden family. Trump, who has asserted that his presidential authority empowered him to retain and declassify documents, got a surprise nine-hour raid a few months before announcing his plans to run for reelection. President Biden, who never had the authority to declassify or take home classified records as a senator or vice president, received the courtesy of at least two consensual FBI searches, presumably unarmed. IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler, who has worked on tax cases involving Biden’s son Hunter, has testified that Hunter Biden’s lawyers were tipped off that investigators had probable cause to search his Northern Virginia storage unit. Trump’s attorneys are now asking Judge Aileen Cannon, who is presiding over Special Counsel Jack Smith’s espionage and obstruction case against Trump in Florida, to prohibit Smith from using any of the materials seized during the Mar-a-Lago raid at trial. The FBI sought the warrant as part of its attempt to recover classified records, including national defense materials, which Trump supposedly took with him at the end of his presidency.

[..] Another section of the order addressed a possible response if the Secret Service attempted to impede the search or if Trump showed up that day. (Trump, at the time, was residing at his Bedminster, New Jersey, home for the summer.) “Should FPOTUS [Former President of the United States] arrive at MAL [Mar-a-Lago], FBI [agents] will be prepared to engage with FPOTUS and USSS [U.S. Secret Service] Security Team,” the order read. In a partially redacted portion of the plan, agents were advised to “engage” with an unidentified Secret Service contact “should USSS provide resistance or interfere with FBI timeline or accesses.” Dan Bongino faulted the Secret Service for permitting armed police into Mar-a-Lago. “What the hell was the Secret Service management thinking, letting the FBI in there with guns? It was a protected facility.”

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Ryan Cole

 

 

Elon semi

 

 

Grouper

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 082024
 
 June 8, 2024  Posted by at 8:12 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


René Magritte Le Mal du Pays (Homesickness) 1940

 

Trump Judge Flags Facebook Post Suggesting Possible Mistrial (RT)
Putin’s 4D Chess: West ‘Losing’ War on Four Fronts (Sp.)
West Will Remove Zelensky – Kremlin (RT)
Kremlin Responds After Biden Claims He’s Known Putin For 40 Years (RT)
Some Dads Don’t Pardon (Manley)
Media Shrugs as Biden Laptop is Authenticated in Federal Court (Turley)
Retired US Army Officer: West Pushing World to Brink of Nuclear War (Sp.)
US Won’t Tolerate Dissent On Russia Narrative – Scott Ritter (RT)
Tara Reade: If Biden is Reelected, ‘We’re Looking at World War III’ (Sp.)
US Faces ‘Economic Degradation And Misery’ Due To Foreign Policy – Hinkle (RT)
Most Germans Disagree With Berlin On Russia Policy – Bismarck Descendant (RT)
The Myth That Biden Had Nothing To Do with the Prosecutions of Trump (VDH)
Time to Jettison the Animals (Kunstler)
FBI Agents Fear Being Jailed By Trump – McCabe (RT)
Power Play: Von der Leyen Faces Showdown in EU Leadership Race (Sp.)
EU Is In ‘War Psychosis’ – Orban (RT)
Bob Iger, DEI, and Wokism Broke Disney’s Trust with America (AmG)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trump Dr Phil

 

 

Yale Law professor

 

 

Bomb jobs – The Arsenal of democracy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798965632022819096

 

 

Holder

 

 

Trump Arpaio

 

 

Roseanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making sure that Trump cannot use it on appeal?!

Trump Judge Flags Facebook Post Suggesting Possible Mistrial (RT)

The judge presiding over the New York criminal case in which former US President Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 felony charges has notified defense lawyers and prosecutors of a social media post indicating possible jury misconduct, raising questions over whether the verdict could be nullified. Judge Juan Merchan sent a letter to attorneys in the case on Friday, flagging a comment that was apparently posted on the New York State Unified Court System’s Facebook page on May 29, the day before Trump’s guilty verdict was announced. The author, identified as Michael Anderson, said, “My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted. Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!” Merchan gave no indication of whether he considered the post to be legitimate, and he didn’t ask the prosecution or defense teams to do anything in response.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1799193726557868517

The judge said the court “became aware” of the pre-verdict comment and was therefore bringing it to the attention of parties in the case. Jurors were given strict instructions not to discuss the case or their deliberations with anyone besides each other. If those rules were proven to have been violated, Trump could seek a mistrial to have his conviction thrown out based on jury misconduct. The jury deliberated from May 28 to May 30 before finding Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to boost his chances of winning the 2016 presidential election. Lawyers for the ex-president had unsuccessfully sought a change of venue in the case, arguing that they couldn’t get a fair trial with a jury in one of the most staunchly Democrat cities in the nation.

It’s not clear whether Anderson was actually related to one of the 12 jurors; nor has it been verified that he posted his message before the verdict was declared. Nevertheless, Trump supporters quickly seized on Merchan’s letter as further evidence that the trial wasn’t fair. “If true, this is likely headed to a mistrial because a juror isn’t allowed to discuss the case with family or friends like this,” conservative podcast host Robby Starbuck said. “Big deal.” Former federal prosecutor Joyce Alene said that it was smart for Merchan to notify the parties of the potentially incriminating post and hold a hearing to resolve the issue. “Why does a clear record matter?” she asked. “Because Trump will raise this on appeal to argue for reversal. Now, both sides have notice of this issue, and there’s an opportunity to get all of the details and facts out so that if there is nothing to this, it won’t affect the appeal.”

Juror

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“The West is losing four wars in one – economically (in trade and debt), financially (de-dollarization and international payment systems), militarily (in Ukraine in battle and in a comparison of weapons systems) and geopolitically with a massive loss of influence around the world..”

Putin’s 4D Chess: West ‘Losing’ War on Four Fronts (Sp.)

Tens of thousands of sanctions leveled against Russia by Western countries have paradoxically failed to crush the Russian economy, and on the contrary the country is seeing economic growth at rates almost unprecedented in its post-Soviet history. “We have set a goal to enter the top four largest economies in the world,” President Putin said during his speech at SPIEF on Friday. “Just last week the World Bank made additional calculations and put Russia in fourth place. We found ourselves ahead of Japan. Russia ranks fourth in terms of purchasing power parity GDP.” But Russia won’t rest on its laurels, Putin said, noting that the difference in GDP remains “small,” that other countries are not standing in one place, and that “leadership positions need to be constantly confirmed and strengthened.”

To that end, Putin outlined an economic growth and investment strategy over the next six year period, including, among other things, a drive toward increased self-sufficiency, a substantial jump in capital investment, changes to the tax code, and a renewed push to attract private investment. Highlighting Russia’s reorientation in trade and payments away from the West toward the developing world, the Russian president said the West had “been dealt a significant blow,” largely “by Western countries themselves,” with countries boosting trade in currencies other than the dollar and the euro. At the same time, Putin said, the hegemon of the Western economic order, the United States, faces serious financial straits which would be even more serious were it not for its continued plunder of developing nations. “They have a current account deficit of a trillion dollars. What is this? I think, everyone will understand what I’m talking about. This is neocolonialism in its modern iteration. Using the monopoly position of the dollar, the United States consumes a trillion dollars a year more than it produces. They seem to be pumping out these resources from other countries,” Putin said. He added that America’s gargantuan debt, which runs in the tens of trillions of dollars, is not backed by any tangible assets.

“The growth in the Russian economy (outpacing Western economies) is spectacular and it shows that the 15,000 sanctions applied by the West have blown back on them,” British academic and author Rodney Atkinson told Sputnik, offering his key takeaways from Putin’s speech. “The West is losing four wars in one – economically (in trade and debt), financially (de-dollarization and international payment systems), militarily (in Ukraine in battle and in a comparison of weapons systems) and geopolitically with a massive loss of influence around the world,” Atkinson explained. To make matters worse, the political and economic commentator stressed that the hostility with which the West has responded to the metamorphosis of a unipolar world order into a multipolar one has only made matters worse for itself thanks to its selfish and short-sighted policy elites.

“Even before the 20-year expansion towards Russia and the 2014 Maidan-instigated war, European imperial ambitions and US neocon aggression were unpopular. Now that the Global South has witnessed recent events and the BRICS offer an alternative and the US has descended into record debt and industrial weakness, it is very difficult for the West to recover its influence. Plagued by geopolitical ignorance, financially irresponsible policies and weak leadership, the US and its allies may not even survive as one of the poles of the multi-polar world,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson emphasized the madness of the West’s logic of slapping sanctions against a country the size of Russia with its abundance of food, mineral and energy resources. What’s worse (for the West) is that Moscow has been trailblazing a path to independence which can be emulated by other nations. “Import substitution by Russia and the unwillingness of Western companies to leave Russia (1,600 international companies have left Russia since 2022 but there are more than 2,100 left) and the substitution of national currencies for dollar-based trade (i.e. rupee, yuan, ruble) all show the Global South that there are alternatives to a Western-based system based on sanctions,” Atkinson said.

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“..Putin explained. It is now June 2024, and in order to do this, I feel, it will take a year. He will be tolerated until the spring, until the beginning of next year..”

West Will Remove Zelensky – Kremlin (RT)

The US and its allies will tolerate Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky until he has served his purpose, at which point he will be replaced, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman gave an interview to Izvestia on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), where he addressed recent remarks by the president about the likely fate of Zelensky. “Obviously, he will be removed,” Peskov said. “Obviously, reducing the mobilization age will cause an increasing wave of negativity in Ukrainian society.”

Peskov’s comments came as clarification to statements made by Putin on Wednesday, in a meeting with the heads of international news agencies that lasted more than three hours. At one point, the Russian president noted that the US has been pressuring Ukraine to mobilize increasingly younger men. According to Putin, Washington has already compelled Kiev to lower the draft age from 27 to 25, with a view of moving it down to 23 next, and then to 20 or straight to 18. “The law has to be passed and certain steps have to be taken,” Putin explained. “It is now June 2024, and in order to do this, I feel, it will take a year. He will be tolerated until the spring, until the beginning of next year at the very least. When it is done, they will say goodbye.”

Ukraine is currently losing around 50,000 troops per month and is able to mobilize only 30,000 replacements, leaving Kiev with an unsolvable problem, Putin added. The West already has “a few candidates” lined up to serve as president of Ukraine, according to the Russian president. Earlier in the conversation, Putin said that Zelensky had effectively carried out a coup by extending his presidential term past May 20, when it legally expired. Zelensky has argued that Ukrainian law forbids elections during a state of emergency, so he has to stay in office until the end of the conflict with Russia. The Ukrainian constitution, however, contains no such provisions – and in fact stipulates that the head of the parliament should assume power.

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“..The two officially met for the first time in 2011..”

Kremlin Responds After Biden Claims He’s Known Putin For 40 Years (RT)


Vladimir Putin wearing KGB uniform in 1980. © Wikipedia

It is often difficult to fathom what US President Joe Biden means with his statements, including when he claims to have known his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for 40 years, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. Biden lashed out at Putin during an interview with ABC News on Thursday, saying: “I have known him for over 40 years. He has concerned me for 40 years. He is not a decent man. He is a dictator.” Speaking on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday, Peskov stated that Putin “does not react and will not react” to insults such as Biden’s. The spokesman added that he could only express regret that “in international politics at this level such rhetoric and such expressions are employed regarding a head of state.”

Referring to Biden’s claim that he has known the Russian leader for four decades, Peskov added that “sometimes one can only wonder what the US president means, including when he speaks about [knowing Putin for] 40 years.” Some commentators have already “rolled back time to understand what Putin was doing 40 years ago. One can make very deep analytical conclusions about how Biden could have become acquainted with him [at that time],” Peskov said, prompting laughter from journalists. The presidential spokesman was apparently referring to the fact that 40 years ago, the then 32-year-old Putin was working for the Soviet security agency, the KGB. Biden was 41 at the time, serving as senator for the US state of Delaware. The two officially met for the first time in 2011, when Putin held the post of prime minister under President Dmitry Medvedev, and Biden was US vice president in the administration of Barack Obama.

Posting on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, conservative commentator and former US Senate staffer Steve Guest wrote that by claiming he had known Putin for four decades, the 81-year-old Biden was “either… lying or he is admitting he was in contact with a KGB agent since 1984 or Biden’s brain is so cooked that he doesn’t know what on earth he is talking about.” The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week, citing dozens of people who have been in contact with Biden recently, that beyond his frequent mental gaffes in public, the president is also showing “signs of slipping” in closed-door meetings with US lawmakers. Biden has directed insults at Putin throughout his presidency, among other things calling the Russian leader a “killer” in 2021 and a “crazy SOB” in February. The Kremlin has denounced the comments as “shameful,” but has declined to respond with equally harsh rhetoric.

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He says he won’t pardon Hunter because he knows he doesn’t have to..

Some Dads Don’t Pardon (Manley)

The maximum sentence for the first son’s most serious charge is 10 years in prison, but if he is convicted he would most likely face a lighter sentence. US President Joe Biden said he would not pardon his son, Hunter Biden, if he is convicted in his criminal trial in Delaware. The president sat down for an interview with ABC News in Normandy, France during a trip in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the WWII D-Day landings. During the interview, the president was asked if he would accept the outcome of his son’s trial in Wilmington, Delaware, to which he said, “Yes.” During the interview, Biden said that former President Donald Trump got a “fair trial” and said the “jury spoke”. The president also said he would not pardon his son if he is convicted, which he has reportedly been saying for months. Biden issued a personal statement on Monday offering support for his son and said he was a father as well as the president.

“I’ve been very clear — the president is not going to pardon his son,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, told reporters in December. Former Republican presidential candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy, said on social media that Hunter Biden’s trial is a “smoke screen”, and is “designed to make the prosecution of Trump appear nonpartisan, yet the outcome of the Hunter trial doesn’t matter” because the president “can and will pardon him.” The trial is on felony charges related to the first son’s efforts to obtain a .38 revolver from a gun shop in 2018 while allegedly battling drug addiction. Prosecutors allege that in October 2018, the president’s son visited StarQuest Shooters & Survival Supply in Wilmington to purchase the gun but say he lied about his drug addiction.

The younger Biden is now facing charges of false statement in purchasing of a firearm, false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer, and possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance. This is the first time that the son of a sitting president has faced a criminal trial. On Thursday, the widow of Hunter Biden’s late brother, Hallie Biden, testified. Following Beau Biden’s death in 2015, Hunter began an affair with Hallie Biden who said she “panicked” when she found a Colt Cobra revolver in Hunter’s vehicle on October 23, 2018. She said she threw it away in a trash can as a result. Hallie claims that Hunter smoked crack on a “daily” basis or “frequently” during her testimony. However, she told the jury that she did not see Hunter Biden abusing drugs or alcohol for most of the month of October.

Prosecutors said that they will rest their case on Friday and that they have two more witnesses – a DEA drug specialist and an FBI chemist. Meanwhile, the defense counsel said they would call two or three witnesses and would likely rest their case by the end of the day on Monday. The trial comes on the heels of Trump’s own criminal trial, the conclusion of which found the former president guilty of 34 felonies, making him the first president in US history to be criminally convicted. Hours before leaving office, Trump himself pardoned 70 people and commuted the sentences of 73 others. Of the 143 people he excused, his former chief strategist Steve Bannon and his former top fundraiser Elliott Broidy, were on the list. Others he pardoned included those committed of fraud schemes, the illegal use of a disadvantage business enterprise to receive government-funded construction contracts, a Google engineer sentenced for stealing a trade secret, bank fraud over the 2009 collapse of a mortgage company, and the ex-husband of a Fox News host.

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51 former spooks (+ Blinken) to prosecute… for election interference..

Media Shrugs as Biden Laptop is Authenticated in Federal Court (Turley)

Watching the coverage this week out of Delaware was like finding oneself in a parallel universe. There were ABC, NBC, CBS, the Washington Post and other news outlets reporting matter-of-factly that the Hunter Biden laptop showed no evidence of tampering and was both real and authentic. These are the same outlets, and some of the same reporters, who eagerly spread the false claims that the laptop was “Russian disinformation.” Yet, what followed the testimony of FBI agent Erika Jensen was absolute crickets. There was no effort to track down the signatories of the now-debunked letter from former intelligence officials just before the election. In the letter, figures such as Leon Panetta, former CIA director in the Obama administration, claimed that the laptop had all the markings of a Russian disinformation effort by intelligence services. (Panetta continued to make the assertion even in late 2023 in pushing what the federal government is now calling a “conspiracy theory.”)

There was no attempt by the media to confront associates of the Biden campaign (including now Secretary of State Antony Blinken) who pushed a long effort to get former intelligence officials to sign a letter. There was no attempt to question President Joe Biden, who made this false claim in the presidential election to deflect any questions about the evidence of corrupt influence peddling on the laptop. Years ago, I wrote that the Biden campaign had pulled off the single greatest political trick in history. As I wrote back then, the key to this Houdini-esque trick was to get the media to invest in the deception like audience members called to the stage.Houdini used to make his elephant Jennifer disappear on stage every night because he knew that the audience wanted her to disappear. They were part of the act. The Bidens made the media part of the act, and these reporters have to back the illusion or admit that they were part of the deception.

They are all laptop deniers, but they know that there are few who will call them to account for their conspiracy theory. Rather, it is social media where readers can see videos of leading media claiming that the laptop is the work of Russian intelligence. In 2020, CBS News’ Lesley Stahl literally laughed mockingly at then-President Donald Trump when he raised the Hunter Biden laptop and what it revealed about the Bidens. Figures like former Chief of Staff at the CIA and Department of Defense Jeremy Bash, who told MSNBC that the laptop “looked like Russian intelligence” and “walked like Russian intelligence.” He dismissed the relevance of the laptop before the election by declaring that “this effort by Rudy Giuliani and the New York Post and Steve Bannon to cook up supposed dirt on Joe Biden looks like a classic, Russian playbook disinformation campaign.”

Bash added that it made Trump an effective agent of Russian intelligence since he kept referencing the laptop: “[when] Rudy Giuliani suddenly comes forward with these mysteriously created emails, probably hacked through a Russian intelligence operation, we have to acknowledge the fact that the President of the United States is supporting, is condoning, is welcoming a Russian intelligence operation in 2020. … This is collusion in plain sight.” Bash, like others behind the conspiracy theory, was later given an intelligence position by Biden.

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“.. there are facilities that the entire US Congress and their families will be safe with, if we get to a nuclear stage. But they don’t care about the actual people. They don’t care about their own people..”

Retired US Army Officer: West Pushing World to Brink of Nuclear War (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with foreign journalists on June 5 within the framework of the 27th annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Addressing the Ukraine conflict the Russian president noted that Western weapon deliveries to the Kiev regime, coupled with the approval to hit targets deep inside Russia, is fraught with severe escalation risks. “How do you respond to this use of weapons and allowing them to attack and basically violate the sovereignty of Russia itself?” Earl Rasmussen, a retired US Army lieutenant colonel and international consultant told Sputnik. “If we look at these attacks, they’re not targeting military targets, or they’re targeting strategic targets. They’re targeting civilians, many of them, or strategic targets as well. It’s essentially, basically authorizing and supporting terrorism.”

Russia is aware of the fact that while Ukrainian military personnel can participate in the selection of targets for long-range NATO-grade missiles, decisions to strike are made by those who supply the weapons, the president emphasized. Putin made it clear that Russia will respond and consider various options to do this. To illustrate his point, the president suggested delivering weapons to third countries confronting NATO member states involved in the Ukraine conflict. “Why do we not have the right to supply our weapons of the same class to those regions of the world where attacks on sensitive facilities will be carried out… The answer may be asymmetric. We will think about it,” Putin remarked. For his part, Rasmussen said that, “He could be looking at something that’s not the typical type of response, but much broader, perhaps looking at other areas of the world, perhaps looking at where weapons are originating from, or where advisers or intelligence information is gathered to provide for firing. Perhaps we’re looking at Western efforts in the Middle East or in Asia.”

While Russia pursues a policy of no first use (NFU) of nukes, Putin did not rule out using all means available to Russia if the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are threatened in accordance with its nuclear doctrine. “Russia, and to another extent China as well, has been very patient,” Rasmussen highlighted. “They have been measured in their responses to different situations. (…) We need to have a grasp, and President Putin has shown a much more understanding and grasp of where we are in this situation. He went on to say that, unfortunately, Western leaders continue to move up the escalation ladder being completely detached from reality. “[Western leaders] really would not accept failure. It’s scary. They’re moving the world to the precipice, to the cliff. And they would rather destroy the world, I think. It’s astonishing that we’ve somehow come to the point with leaders that have very little vision,” Rasmussen said.

“Sometimes I think that they have their nuclear-hardened bunkers for senior decision makers. I mean, there are facilities that the entire US Congress and their families will be safe with, if we get to a nuclear stage. But they don’t care about the actual people. They don’t care about their own people,” Rasmussen said. The expert lamented the fact that the Western establishment is trying to silence voices in the US and Europe which are warning against raising stakes in Ukraine and bringing the ongoing proxy war with Russia to a direct confrontation. Rasmussen particularly referred to the US authorities’ decision to seize the passport of former Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter to prevent him from traveling to Russia. Given all of the above, it’s hardly surprising that Western elites are eager to fight for the last Ukrainian in its proxy war against Russia, the expert remarked. During the meeting with foreign journalists, Putin drew attention to the US behind-the-scenes efforts to force the Kiev regime to lower the draft age to 18 in order to replenish its huge losses on the battleground.

According to Putin, the Ukrainian Army loses about 50,000 soldiers a month, with sanitary losses accounting for only 50% of them. “I said 50,000, but this is the most modest estimate. These are 50,000, this is what we see on the battlefield,” the president said, adding that Russia’s losses are several times less with an approximate one-to-five ratio. “The unacceptance of the Western leaders to recognize this clearly shows they do not care or have any ambitions or any desire to support Ukraine itself,” the military expert said. “Their entire desire is to try to weaken Russia. And it has been a complete failure. Yet politically they don’t want to accept that.” “It’s almost as if Western leaders are living in a parallel universe and they couldn’t care less. They do not care about the Ukrainian people whatsoever. They don’t care about Ukraine as a country. They do not care. They’re purely using it as a tool and it has not been working. The Ukraine project is a failure and the current leadership will not accept it,” Rasmussen concluded.

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“Anyone who goes against US national security goals, including the escalation of tensions with Russia, is “deemed an enemy of the state – literally..”

US Won’t Tolerate Dissent On Russia Narrative – Scott Ritter (RT)

Western governments need the people to perceive Russia as a threat, so they target anyone who tries to show the reality of the country, American political commentator Scott Ritter said at a St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) panel on Friday. Ritter was invited to take part in an RT-hosted panel discussion on Western efforts to vilify Russia. He was not able to do so in person because his passport was seized by the US authorities just as he was boarding a plane, so he joined the event remotely via video link. The former US Marine and UN weapons inspector in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq became a vocal critic of Washington’s foreign policy in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of the Middle Eastern country.

Anyone who goes against US national security goals, including the escalation of tensions with Russia, is “deemed an enemy of the state – literally,” he told the audience. ”It comes down to perception vs. reality, and perception is going to win if you are not able to put an alternative point of view out there. It’s a constant struggle.” The US and its allies need Russia as an enemy, since they are consolidating resources on the pretext of countering a threat, Ritter, who is an RT contributor, explained. Apart from Ritter, the event gathered several high-profile speakers, including Tara Reade – a former aide to Joe Biden – former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, and the great nephew of Otto von Bismarck, Alexander von Bismarck.

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The Dems are all about #MeToo, but they force Tara Reade to flee the country.

“I don’t think the US wants their citizens to know how good it is because the Russian state provides education, medical care, and housing in a way that America does not..”

Tara Reade: If Biden is Reelected, ‘We’re Looking at World War III’ (Sp.)

If Biden is reelected for another four years, “we’re looking at World War III,” Tara Reade, a writer, and former assistant in Joe Biden’s Senate office, told Sputnik. “There’s no question, that’s where we’re at right now,” she said on the sidelines of the 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). “So the administration is very hawkish, the people around him and behind him. His leadership is feeble at best. I don’t even know if he’ll last that long, much less through the campaign. So no, I don’t think America economically and existentially can survive Joe Biden and his administration,” Reade said. Tara Reade, a former staffer in Biden’s US Senate office, spoke out about allegedly being sexually assaulted by the current president in 1993 after several women reported Biden’s unwelcomed “touching.” She was also spurred on by the #MeToo movement.

However, after telling her story in 2019 about then-candidate Joe Biden, she found herself branded “a Russian asset.” The Biden administration has vehemently denied her claims.Reade currently lives in Russia, where she has continued writing, and hosts a podcast. She claims she was forced to move to Russia because the FBI was harassing her, noting that they issued sealed subpoenas against her social media accounts. Weighing in on her impressions of life in Russia under sanctions, she extolled the thriving economy of the country, and how safe she felt living here. “Russia is so safe. It’s safer than the United States actually. You have a much lower crime rate. And I have been here a year and I can’t tell you how much I love it,” said Reade.

The former Senate staffer lauded everything from the culture to the food and the efficiency of the transportation. She added that her travels had taken her outside Moscow, and everywhere across the country she witnessed, “a lot of development and building because …Russians have a thriving middle class and working class.” “I don’t think the US wants their citizens to know how good it is because the Russian state provides education, medical care, and housing in a way that America does not. So we have 700,000 homeless right in comparison to Russia where there is virtually no homeless.” People in Russia enjoy “a better standard of living because the economy is really thriving,” said Reade, pointing to the 5.7% growth rate of one of the world’s largest economies. “That’s a thriving economy. That’s a sign that things are going the right direction,” underscored Tara Reade.

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“You cannot have 1% of the world that stands on the neck of the 99% of the world and expect that to continue..”

US Faces ‘Economic Degradation And Misery’ Due To Foreign Policy – Hinkle (RT)

Washington is wasting money on foreign policy blunders like Ukraine, instead of improving the lives of American people, US journalist Jackson Hinkle has said.The political commentator was one of the guests for a discussion panel on US information warfare against Russia, which RT hosted on Friday as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). He lampooned the administration of US President Joe Biden for trying to justify continued military assistance to Ukraine by highlighting its intention to spend the money at home to ramp up military production. Biden and other senior officials have repeatedly used this narrative when a White House appropriation request stalls in Congress due to Republican opposition.

It was a “pragmatic” decision to tell the Americans that “the money is actually going to Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, which are, of course, historic friends of the American people, right?” Hinkle joked. People in the US would rather see the funds spent “to fix our roads, our infrastructure, the trains that are blowing up, the planes that are cruising,” he added. But there are also indirect consequences, since the US is antagonizing the rest of the world with its foreign policy, Hinkle warned. As Washington loses its clout, Americans face “economic degradation and misery,” he said, adding that America’s claim to global hegemony is leading it towards disaster. “Unipolarity cannot exist. You cannot have 1% of the world that stands on the neck of the 99% of the world and expect that to continue,” he said.

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“[Otto] used to say: if Russia and Germany go together and be friends together, then Europe will be well,” he stated.”

Most Germans Disagree With Berlin On Russia Policy – Bismarck Descendant (RT)

The Western mainstream media is distorting reality regarding Russia and doesn’t reflect what people really think of the country and its actions, German politician Alexander von Bismarck, great nephew of his nation’s first chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, has claimed. Speaking during an RT panel discussion titled ‘The Empire of Evil: Has the West Successfully Demonized Russia?’ at the 2024 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday, the politician argued that the media toeing the line drawn by Western governments regarding Russia and the Ukraine conflict. Berlin and its Western partners sided with Kiev when the conflict began in 2022, and has been instrumental in supporting Ukraine’s military effort with financial aid and sanctions against Moscow. Bismarck, however, said ordinary Germans are not fooled by the anti-Russian narrative.

“[The view of] the German political elite on Russia is very different to the rest of Germany. 80% don’t believe what our government does and says… The mainstream media want to push the people, they want to give another picture, but most young people look not at the mainstream – they look at the social media and […] the thinking of the young people is other than the political elite,” he stressed. Bismarck also stated that the policy of painting Russia in an unfavorable light dates back to the days of the Cold War, when the US wanted to promote the idea of “the crazy Russian people” in West Germany. The general opinion of those living in East Germany always focused on separating people from politics when forming opinions on Russia and Russians, he added. The politician signaled that his renowned ancestor, who at one point served as an envoy to Russia, would not have approved of the current state of relations between Moscow and Berlin.

“[Otto] used to say: if Russia and Germany go together and be friends together, then Europe will be well,” he stated. He added that he has faith in the younger generation, which has an opportunity to communicate globally through social media and form opinions without the influence of political agendas, to change Berlin’s policies. Otherwise, Bismarck warned, Germany may find itself “the biggest loser” in the Ukraine conflict by continuing to act on orders from Washington. “The younger generation… they look to many countries and say: yes, America does bad things, they only think about themselves for money, and Europe pays for this conflict, and Germany is the biggest loser in the whole of Europe,” he stated.

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Victor Davis Hanson sees just the little parts, but not the connection.

The Myth That Biden Had Nothing To Do with the Prosecutions of Trump (VDH)

Given Politico was publicly reporting six months ago about Biden’s anger at the pace of his DOJ’s prosecution of Trump, does anyone believe his special counsel, Jack Smith, was not aware of such presidential displeasure and pressure? Note Smith had petitioned and was denied an unusual request to the court to speed up the course of his Trump indictment. And why would Biden’s own Attorney General, Garland, select such an obvious partisan as Smith? Remember, in his last tenure as special counsel, Smith had previously gone after popular Republican and conservative Virginia governor Bob MacDonald. Yet Smith’s politicized persecution of the innocent [MacDonald] was reversed by a unanimous verdict of the U.S. Supreme Court. That rare court unanimity normally should have raised a red flag to the Biden DOJ about both Smith’s partiality and his incompetence. But then again, Smith’s wife had donated to the 2020 Biden campaign fund. And she was previously known for producing a hagiographic 2020 documentary (“Becoming”) about Michelle Obama.

Selecting a special counsel with a successful record of prior nonpartisan convictions was clearly not why the DOJ appointed Smith. The White House’s involvement is not limited to the Smith federal indictments. Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis’s paramour and erstwhile lead prosecutor in her indictment of Trump, Nathan Wade, met twice with the White House counsel’s office. On one occasion, Wade met inside the Biden White House. Subpoenaed records reveal that the brazen Wade actually billed the federal government for his time spent with the White House counsel’s staff — although so far no one has disclosed under oath the nature of such meetings. Of the tens of thousands of local prosecutions each year, in how many instances does a county prosecutor consult with the White House counsel’s office — and then bill it for his knowledge? Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s just-completed felony convictions of Trump were spearheaded by former prominent federal prosecutor Matthew Colangelo.

He is not just a well-known Democratic partisan who served as a political consultant to the Democratic National Committee. Colangelo had also just left his prior position in the Biden Justice Department — reputedly as Garland’s third-ranking prosecutor — to join the local Bragg team. Again, among all the multitudes of annual municipal indictments nationwide, how many local prosecutors manage to enlist one of the nation’s three top federal attorneys to head their case? So, apparently, it was not enough for the shameless Bragg to campaign flagrantly on promises to go after Trump. In addition, Bragg brashly drafted a top Democratic operative and political appointee from inside Joe Biden’s DOJ to head his prosecution. Not surprisingly, it took only a few hours after the Colangelo-Bragg conviction of Trump for Biden on spec to start blasting his rival as a “convicted felon.” Biden is delighted that his own former prosecutor, a left-wing judge, and a Manhattan jury may well keep Trump off the campaign trail.

So, it is past time for the media and Democrats to drop this ridiculous ruse of Biden’s White House “neutrality.” Instead, they should admit that they are terrified of the will of the people in November and so are conniving to silence them.

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“More than twenty states have “motor-voter laws” that automatically register anybody with a driver’s license. And these enrollees don’t even have to cast their ballot..”

Time to Jettison the Animals (Kunstler)

The most astounding part of America’s “Joe Biden” three-plus-years thrill ride is that the Party of Chaos and Hoaxes was able to pretend until just a few days ago that this political phantasm could run for re-election. Now, regime insiders are forced to confess that they can’t hide it anymore. They spilled the beans as “unnamed sources” this week in a huge Wall Street Journal article. The president is going necrotic in full view of the whole world. His mind is gone. He looks ridiculous when he shuffles in front of the cameras. He utters obvious absurdities and lies. His wife has to lead him around like a dog on a leash. Everyone can see it. He’s got to go. ASAP.

The embarrassing ineptitude has been on view since the 2020 campaign, yet his handlers managed to flimflam half the country ever since, thanks to a news media captured by intel blob gaslighters and to half the country’s susceptibility to mass formation psychosis — fear driven thought disorder — that gave cover to treasonous actors seeking to save their asses even if they had to wreck the USA doing it. Who were these actors? The Clintons and the coterie around them, steeped in financial crime and sex trafficking; the Obama coterie of anti-white racists and bungling Marxists; the batshit-crazy Woke race-and-gender hustlers working to derange the merit-based social order (and get paid for doing it); the congressional grifters living off Pharma and Pentagon loot; the agency top bureaucrats who became a corrupt praetorian guard for all the above players, now desperate to evade accountability.

Everything they’ve done since 2020 has been in the service of covering up their crimes, and each hoax has just compounded the damage done to our country. The Covid-19 prank was pulled to enable mail-in ballot fraud so as to assure a permanent government-by-blob, of which the Democratic Party is now a mere tentacle. We don’t know yet whether the mRNA vaccine module of the prank was a deliberate effort to kill a lot of people or a grievous blunder by greedy drug-makers, or some wicked combo — with assistance from the WEF or China.

They can’t afford to lose their grip on the levers of power in the 2024 election — lose control of the Justice Department, the FBI, and the so-called “national security” apparatus, especially. The open border is just an effort to illegally import and enlist a vast wad of potential new voters to ensure an election victory. More than twenty states have “motor-voter laws” that automatically register anybody with a driver’s license. And these enrollees don’t even have to cast their ballot. Their names can just be “harvested” systematically, attached to voting documents, and bundled to be submitted for them. Millions have entered the country illegally since 2021 at “Joe Biden’s” direct invitation. There’s nothing hidden about this — but all you see is the learned helplessness of actual US citizens unable to stop it.

And yet, even that prank may not work to keep the Party of Chaos and Hoaxes in power. Designated candidate “Joe Biden” is obviously so far gone that even actual citizen voters under the mass formation spell can’t be counted on anymore. His poll numbers look abysmal. He’s scheduled to debate his opponent, the outlaw Donald Trump, on June 27. If his handlers allow that to actually happen, it will be like the unmasking scene in The Phantom of the Opera: brain-ringing horror, from sea to shining sea! Of course, an insult to the zeitgeist that severe will force the party leaders into some ‘splainin’, and I personally doubt they will be able to ‘splain their way out of it. Did all of you Democrats not notice?

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“On a very personal level, these are torturous discussions with their family members about whether or not they have to leave the country to avoid being unconstitutionally and illegally detained..”

FBI Agents Fear Being Jailed By Trump – McCabe (RT)

Former US intelligence and law enforcement officials are fretting that they may face retribution, including incarceration, if Donald Trump wins back the presidency in November, an ex-deputy director of the FBI has claimed. Andrew McCabe, who was fired by the Trump administration in 2018 for lying to investigators about a media leak, revealed his fears in a CNN segment on Thursday. Now working as an analyst for the media outlet, he called the prospect of a potential Trump victory in the presidential election “terrifying” and “frightening.” “If he feels like he’s been wronged in some way, then he focuses on revenge and vengeance,” McCabe said. “And so, he’s made it perfectly clear that that’s what he’s going to do.” McCabe did not spell out what he and other Washington officials had done to make themselves enemies of the former president, but some of their clashes with Trump are well known.

Trump has accused the US Department of Justice (DOJ) of trying to help block his return to the White House by filing bogus criminal charges against him. Just last month, Trump said FBI agents were “locked and loaded” to potentially shoot him when they raided his home for classified documents in 2022. The FBI improperly spied on a Trump campaign staffer in 2016 and lied to the US FISA court to obtain warrants in a probe of alleged Russian interference in that year’s election. The agency also covered up its knowledge that the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy narrative was false. A high-level FBI agent and his mistress, an FBI lawyer, discussed the use of the Russia investigation as an “insurance policy” to ensure that Trump did not win the election. Trump suggested in 2019 that McCabe and other FBI leaders had committed treason. More than 50 former intelligence agency officials put their thumbs on the scale in the 2020 election when Trump was running against Joe Biden.

They falsely claimed that a Biden influence-peddling scandal – reported by the New York Post just weeks before the election – appeared to stem from “Russian disinformation.” McCabe said he has spoken to many former intelligence and law enforcement colleagues who are trying to assess the risks they would face in a second Trump presidential term. “On a very personal level, these are torturous discussions with their family members about whether or not they have to leave the country to avoid being unconstitutionally and illegally detained. I mean, people are actually worried about being thrown in jail or grabbed in some sort of extrajudicial detention.” Trump runs the risk of “dismantling and gravely incapacitating” the DOJ and the FBI, McCabe argued. “That is something that Americans on both sides of the political aisle should be worried about. We depend on those institutions to protect us, and he is proposing to tear them down.”

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“She must be turned out of office. But for this salutary change to happen, the rightist parties must achieve big results on June 9th.”

Hmm. I’d say if she plays her cards, she’ll become the elected head.

Power Play: Von der Leyen Faces Showdown in EU Leadership Race (Sp.)

With the European Parliament (MEPs) elections taking place on June 6-9, the chances of the European Commission’s head Ursula von der Leyen keeping her job are slimming. Rising non-systemic right-wing mobilization may boost Eurosceptic MEPs, challenging von der Leyen’s pro-American stance. Loss of support in the European Council adds to her woes. On the eve of the Euroelections, Politico has published a story headlined “Charles Michel Plots A Revenge Against Ursula Von Der Leyen.” The story attracted a lot of attention, since the position of the European Commission’s president is crucial. The president heads the whole executive branch of power inside the EU. But that is not all: only the commission and its head can present draft laws for the vote in the European Parliament, which gave von der Leyen (VDL) some legislative leverage, too.

During her mandate, VDL made several controversial steps, which make her, too, a divisive candidate. These steps included:
• Invitation of embattled and impoverished Ukraine to the EU and a promise of speedy membership amid the protests in Poland and Rumania against cheap Ukrainian exports;
• Non-collegial way of running EU policy, with even the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell telling El País* that “she should not take personal credit for all the successes of the European Commission”;
• active lobbying of greater involvement of the EU in anti-Russian sanctions and of EU member countries in military aid to Ukraine, which led to protests from Hungary and the non-systemic right wing in France and Germany.

No wonder that news about von der Leyen having a powerful enemy in the person of Michel, the head of the European Council, attracted attention. Gilbert Doctorow an international relations and Russian affairs analyst accused VDL of “usurping” power. “The biggest usurper is, of course, the Commission’s president Ursula von der Leyen who has taken into her hands all manner of decision-making which under her predecessors was left to the [European] Council, meaning the heads of state acting together, or to individual EU member states,” he told Sputnik. “She must be turned out of office. But for this salutary change to happen, the rightist parties must achieve big results on June 9th.”

Several European media outlets have recalled that VDL became the president of the European Commission in 2019 in an undemocratic way, with Michel’s European Council involved. As Germany’s Der Spiegel reported, von der Leyen did not win an honest vote in the newly elected European Parliament with many candidates running. Instead, her candidacy was “handpicked at a confidential meeting” of the European Council. An unelected institution, the European Council is a body that unites presidents and prime ministers of the EU’s member countries. This time, von der Leyen, most likely, will have to go through a real election through the European Parliament, without the European Council throwing its weight behind her candidacy. So, relying on its own calculations, Politico concludes in another headline, “Von der Leyen needs 361 votes to keep her job.” But this is a tricky challenge.

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“..if Budapest’s troops were to do so, they would be commanded by officers appointed by the US-led military bloc. “If this happens, then we have lost a very important part of our sovereignty..”

EU Is In ‘War Psychosis’ – Orban (RT)

The EU has plunged into “war psychosis” in the Ukraine conflict, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said, arguing that this mindset will almost certainly lead to the deployment of Western troops in the country. In an interview with Radio Kossuth on Friday, Orban said the West was “approaching the end of its possibilities” for the conflict between Moscow and Kiev to be ended, adding that “whoever claims that there is no immediate danger of war is deceiving people.” “Only a blind person does not see that there is a war psychosis in Europe, the logical conclusion of which will be the arrival of the military units of the Western European countries on the territory of Ukraine, at best not on the front line,” the prime minister said.

Orban said that, despite tensions reaching boiling point, “hope dies last” and the ongoing European Parliament election could defuse the crisis to a certain extent. According to the Hungarian leader, if the conflict does not spill beyond the Russian-Ukrainian front in the coming weeks, “as early as November if [US presidential candidate] Donald Trump returns, and with a good European election behind us, we can make a pan-Western, transatlantic peace coalition” to cease hostilities. Orban insisted that Hungary must refrain from taking part in any possible NATO mission in Ukraine, noting that if Budapest’s troops were to do so, they would be commanded by officers appointed by the US-led military bloc.

“If this happens, then we have lost a very important part of our sovereignty,” he said, adding that Hungary was already paying an economic price for the conflict. Budapest has consistently slammed the Western approach to the Ukraine conflict, warning that it could result in an escalation and direct NATO-Russia clash. The EU country has also opposed arms shipments to Kiev and called for immediate ceasefire talks. It has also pushed back against remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron, who had suggested that the West should not rule out the option of sending troops to Ukraine, warning that such a move could trigger World War III.

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It’s like it is all on purpose. How many blunders is credible?

Bob Iger, DEI, and Wokism Broke Disney’s Trust with America (AmG)

On May 7, 2024, in the wake of its successful battle to keep activist investor Nelson Peltz off its Board of Directors back in April (after which Peltz liquidated his Disney holdings, walking away with more than $1 billion), Disney CEO Bob Iger held Disney’s quarterly earnings call, during which its stock tanked almost 10%, losing $20 billion in its market cap. While it has recovered a bit, to $105 a share, it’s well below its 52-week high, $123.72, and off its all-time highest closing price of $201.91 on March 8, 2021. Those investors who abandoned Peltz in his proxy battle for two seats on the Disney Board of Directors can now lick their financial wounds. There is speculation in the financial community that if Disney stock again falls below $90 a share, Peltz could mount a third bid for two or more seats on the Disney board or possibly oust Iger.

It’s hilarious to watch the New York Times put its spin on the battle, saying Peltz lost his battle with Iger. Actually, Peltz and his Trian Partners investment group walked away with $1 billion. Yes, Peltz lost the battle, but he won the war. Despite the current dip, many stock analysts are predicting that Disney stock will rebound. That seems unlikely. Here are the reasons why things are likely to get worse, not better, for The Walt Disney Company for the remainder of 2024 and into 2025. Disney is one of America’s wokest companies. It sees itself as being out in front on cultural and social issues, especially where Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are concerned. This has been a huge issue in America’s—especially American parents’—loss of trust in the House of Mouse. You can’t watch this clip from Disney programming Vice President Latoya Raveneau bragging about how she pushed LGBTQ messages anywhere she could into Disney’s programming without parents seeing that agenda.

Because of this agenda, Disney parks, Disney feature films, Disney animation, and especially the Disney Channel have lost trust with many parents. Disney has lost its decades-long leadership in animation to NBCUniversal’s Dreamworks Animation studio. Its slate of feature films—with their bloated $250,000,000 production budgets requiring a $500,000,000 theatrical run to just break even—has been an unmitigated disaster. Along the way, it has destroyed two of the successful film franchises it acquired during Iger’s first term as CEO: Star Wars and Indiana Jones. And its long-delayed live-action remake of its own 1937 Snow White classic animated film is mired in its own disaster, mostly due to woke comments from its star, Rachel Ziegler. It was moved back a year from a March 2024 release to 2025. But could its theatrical release be scrapped entirely and go directly to the Disney+ streaming service?

Related to its film franchises, which also include Marvel and Pixar (which just laid off 175 employees), was the company’s $250,000,000 misadventure, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a $6,000 two-night Star Wars-themed hotel experience that opened on March 1, 2022, and closed on September 30, 2023. It was forced to take a charge against earnings for this catastrophe. This disaster was documented in a four-hour viral video by YouTuber Jenny Nicholson that has received an incredible seven million views in a little more than two weeks. (That was 10 times the number of views CNN’s coverage of the debacle received.)

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Marathon

 

 

Dogbed

 

 

Argue
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798616700549759035

 

 

Maravilloso

 

 

Productive
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798683288539697184

 

 

Car washer

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 062024
 


Paul Gauguin We hail thee Mary 1891

 

RNC Backup Plans for Presidential Nomination If Trump Is In Prison (ET)
X Urges Supreme Court for Review After Jack Smith Obtained Trump Files (ET)
J6 Committee Delayed Secret Service Driver From Refuting Limo Story (Turley)
Poll: Plurality of Americans Believe Trump Trial was Politically Motivated (AmG)
“Biden Allies Freak After WSJ Blasts “Slipping” Brain (ZH)
Is Hunter Biden Pursuing a Jury Nullification Strategy? (Turley)
Scott Ritter on Reason Behind Move to Stop Him From Traveling to Russia (Sp.)
NATO Would Stand No Chance’ Against Russia-China Military Alliance (Sp.)
The West Is Already At War With Russia But Its Leaders Can’t Wake Up (Jay)
Ukraine To Recruit Deserters – Media (RT)
Ukraine No Longer Allowing Dual Citizens To Leave (RT)
Nobody in US Has Ukraine’s Interests At Heart – Putin (RT)
Austria’s Ex-FM Kneissl Says Europe ‘Lost Its Soul,’ Entered War Path (Sp.)
Americans Are an Abused People (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Huckabee
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798530465214693854

 

 

Trump ad


https://twitter.com/i/status/1798402097773428890

 

 

Ron Paul

 

 

John Roberts
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798137403019768042

 

 

The greatest temptation is to settle for too little. – Thomas Merton

 

 

Trump Black Panthers

 

 

Putin on Trump case

 

 

Laptop

 

 

Laptop
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798383585683968496

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last paragraph is golden.

RNC Backup Plans for Presidential Nomination If Trump Is In Prison (ET)

With former President Donald Trump facing the possibility of being sentenced to prison just days before the Republican National Convention, GOP officials are formulating backup plans in case the former president isn’t able to receive the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in person. “We’ll be thinking about it, and we’re working on that right now,” Republican National Committee Chair Michael Whatley told Newsmax in an interview on June 4, when asked whether the Republican Party is preparing for the possibility that the former president can’t attend the convention because he’s behind bars. The convention, which will take place in Milwaukee from July 15 to July 18, is expected to draw thousands, but President Trump might not be one of them, given his recent felony conviction and the possibility that, on July 11, Justice Juan Merchan will sentence him to prison.

President Trump was recently found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide nondisclosure payments, supposedly to prevent bad press and sway the 2016 election in his favor. He maintains his innocence and says he’s the victim of a vindictive political prosecution meant to derail his 2024 comeback bid. Justice Merchan could sentence President Trump to up to four years on each business records falsification count, with a maximum of 20 years. The former president said in a June 2 interview on Fox News that he could handle being jailed or imprisoned, while calling the people involved in his conviction “sick” and “evil.” The former president and his attorneys have vowed to appeal the conviction, with President Trump even calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to step in before the sentencing date and overturn the guilty verdict.

Although a former Manhattan district attorney predicted that President Trump would receive no prison time regardless of any appeals process, GOP officials say they’ll be ready to handle whatever scenario presents itself at the convention. “We expect that Donald Trump is going to be in Milwaukee and he’s going to be able to accept that nomination,” Mr. Whatley said. “And if not, we will make whatever contingency planning we need to make for it.” Although Mr. Whatley didn’t provide specifics about the contingency plans, he said the RNC will “certainly” have a plan in place to make sure President Trump receives the nomination no matter what. “We want to have a show that is going to roll out Donald Trump and his vision for America, which is going to set up this election cycle,” Mr. Whatley said while expressing confidence that President Trump will become the 47th president when the Election Day dust settles in November.

In response to Mr. Whatley’s preparing for the possibility of President Trump virtually addressing the Republican National Convention, Democratic National Committee Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd released the following statement: “Even before Donald Trump became a convicted felon, his inner circle was already staffed by a roster of convicts and fraudsters brought on board for their loyalty to Trump and his MAGA agenda over the rule of law. Now Trump’s hand-picked RNC chair is openly floating Trump calling into the convention from a jail cell because the Republican Party has become completely beholden to a criminal who is willing to undermine our justice system and our democracy to pursue his agenda of revenge and retribution.”

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“..disclosing the warrant would result in “destruction of or tampering with evidence, intimidation of potential witnesses, and serious jeopardy to the investigation,” and let President Trump “flee from prosecution.”

X Urges Supreme Court for Review After Jack Smith Obtained Trump Files (ET)

Elon Musk’s X Corp. has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider stepping in against a process that lets officials obtain information from social media companies and bars the companies from informing people whose information is handed over. The process wrongly enables officials to “access and review potentially privileged materials without any opportunity for the user to assert privileges—including constitutional privileges,” lawyers for X said in a filing to the nation’s top court. Unsealed documents in 2023 showed that X provided data and records from former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account to special counsel Jack Smith after Mr. Smith obtained a search warrant. X was blocked from informing President Trump by a nondisclosure order that Mr. Smith also obtained. The order said disclosing the warrant would result in “destruction of or tampering with evidence, intimidation of potential witnesses, and serious jeopardy to the investigation,” and let President Trump “flee from prosecution.”

X challenged the order, arguing it violated its First Amendment rights and noting that President Trump might have reason to claim executive privilege, or presidential privilege. The company wanted to alert the former president so he could assert the privilege, but U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled against it, claiming during a hearing that the only reason X was issuing the challenge was “because the CEO wants to cozy up with the former president.” A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the ruling from Judge Howell, an appointee of former President Barack Obama. “The government proffered two compelling interests that supported nondisclosure of the search warrant: preserving the integrity and maintaining the secrecy of its ongoing criminal investigation of the events surrounding January 6, 2021,” U.S. Circuit Judge Florence Pan wrote. She was joined by Circuit Judges Cornelia Pillard and Michelle Childs. Judge Pillard was appointed by President Obama; Judges Pan and Childs were appointed by President Joe Biden.

The full court denied a rehearing en banc, although four judges said “we should not have endorsed this gambit,” referring to the combination of a warrant and nondisclosure order. “Rather than follow established precedent, for the first time in American history, a court allowed access to presidential communications before any scrutiny of executive privilege,” Circuit Judge Neomi Rao wrote in a dissent. The appointee of President Trump was joined by Circuit Judges Gregory Katsas and Justin Walker, other President Trump appointees; and Judge Karen Henderson, an appointee of former President George H.W. Bush. The Supreme Court should take up the case because the majority’s opinion conflicts with Supreme Court precedent and rulings from other circuits, lawyers for X said in the new petition. “This court has long held that holders of executive privilege must have notice and an opportunity to assert privilege before confidentiality of the potentially privileged documents is breached. The decision below departs from that precedent.

Because former President Trump was not informed of the warrant before his records were produced, he could not timely assert executive privilege,” they wrote. Several circuit courts have issued contrasting decisions, which creates a split that needs resolved, X lawyers said. That included a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that cleared a protocol for a warrant that involved giving people with attorney-client privilege “the first opportunity to identify potentially privileged materials” and did not let investigators access the materials until the parties or the court approved. Another circuit split exists in regard to the nondisclosure order, the lawyers said. In Freedman v. Maryland, the Supreme Court ruled that “any restraint prior to judicial review can be imposed only briefly in order to preserve the status quo.” While two circuit courts have found the ruling does not apply to nondisclosure orders, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has found that some nondisclosure orders must adhere to the ruling. The conflict “warrants this court’s review,” X lawyers said.

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What a disgrace that committee is/was.

J6 Committee Delayed Secret Service Driver From Refuting Limo Story (Turley)

Just the News is reporting that the January 6th Committee rebuffed repeated efforts from a Secret Service agent to refute the false story related by Cassidy Hutchinson alleging a violent episode with Trump in the presidential limousine during the Capitol riots. The J6 Committee staff repeatedly delayed the testimony of the agent to disprove the widely reported allegation. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, the chairman of the House subcommittee that is investigating the Jan. 6 riot, has obtained a transcript of the driver’s interview that was conducted months after he first offered to testify. However, it turns out that committee staff were asked repeatedly by counsel for the agent to let him present evidence debunking the claim. Despite being reported by virtually every news outlet, the Committee slow walked his appearance as the story went viral.

The transcript of the driver’s testimony contains express objections by the lawyer that his client had offered to testify in July, August and September of 2022, but was “rebuffed” by the committee. The account reaffirms a major criticism of the committee. After Democrats refused to allow the GOP to pick its members (as a long-accepted practice in the House), the Democrats selected two anti-Trump Republicans who did little to push for a full and fair display of witnesses and facts. The Committee was chaired by Rep. Benny Thompson, a Democrat, with Rep. Liz Cheney, as Vice Chairwoman. Cheney and the committee members clearly knew that Hutchinson’s account was debunked by the very driver who allegedly struggled with Trump. Yet, they allowed the media to report the incident for months while rebuffing the requests of the driver. Loudermilk is quoted as saying “We’re talking about the driver of the limousine, and the head of the entire protective detail. They were brought in by the select committee to testify, but they weren’t brought in until November.

The false account was given by Hutchinson in June of that year. The Secret Service driver testified Trump never tried to reach for or grab the wheel of the SUV. Notably, the transcript shows Cheney trying to explain the delay as due to the need for the Secret Service to produce all documents in the January 6 investigation. Yet, she had no problem with making the false story public through Hutchinson before such supporting material was supplied. She also did not suggest any countervailing testimony or witnesses on the issue as the media ran with the account. Instead, Cheney publicly teased the claim that they had much more evidence of crimes against Trump, which never materialized. Cheney ended one hearing by calling for more officials to come forward and noting that Trump family members and former officials have now come forward with their own public “confessions.” Many of us support the effort to bring greater transparency to what occurred on Jan. 6th and these hearings have offered a great deal of important new information.

Indeed, it has proven gut-wrenching in the accounts of lawyers and staff trying to combat baseless theories and to protect the constitutional process. Yet, the heavy-handed approach to framing the evidence by the Committee was both unnecessary and at times counterproductive. The strength of some of this evidence would not have been diminished by a more balanced committee or investigation. We previously discussed the highly scripted and entirely one-sided presentation of evidence in the Committee. Indeed, witnesses were primarily used to present what Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to as “the narrative” where their prior videotaped testimony was shown and they were given narrow follow-up questions. They at times seemed more like props than witnesses — called effectively to recite prior statements between well-crafted, impactful video clips. It had the feel of a news package, which may be the result of the decision to bring in a former ABC executive to produce the hearings.

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A mixed set of numbers.

Poll: Plurality of Americans Believe Trump Trial was Politically Motivated (AmG)

A new poll shows that a sizable plurality of the American people believe that the New York trial of former President Donald Trump was a politically-motivated show trial. As the Daily Caller reports, the ABC News/Ipsos poll shows that 47% of Americans believe the trial was indeed a political hit job, while 38% say that the trial was legitimate and fair. On the question of the “guilty” verdict, 50% of respondents believe the verdict was correct; by contrast, just 27% believe the verdict was wrong, while the remaining 23% said they “don’t know” what to believe with regards to the verdict. Among those who claimed to have followed the case closely, 55% say the verdict was correct while 35% say it was incorrect; another 8% said they “don’t know.”

After the verdict was announced, 49% of respondents said that Trump should end his campaign for re-election. Among partisan lines, just 16% of Republicans said Trump should drop out while 75% want him to continue his candidacy. Among Democrats, 79% want Trump to drop out now, while 52% of independents say the same thing. The same poll also showed that the trial and its outcome have had virtually no effect on Trump’s approval ratings, and may have even led to a slight increase. While the former president had a 29% favorability in March, his favorability currently sits at 31%. Biden’s favorability is at 32%, a slight decrease from 33% in March. The poll featured a sample size of 781 American adults, and was conducted from May 31st to June 1st. The margin of error is 3.7%.

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“I used to meet with him when he was vice president. I’d go to his house,” McCarthy said in an interview. “He’s not the same person.”

“Biden Allies Freak After WSJ Blasts “Slipping” Brain (ZH)

The Biden administration is scrambling for damage control over the president’s mental condition. Over the past month, the White House claimed executive privilege over an audio tape of Biden’s classified documents interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur, the transcripts of which were altered to make Biden seem more competent Next, TIME Magazine’s Massimo Calabresi couldn’t give a straight answer over Biden’s serious cognitive decline exhibited during an interview. Now, the White House and Biden allies are slamming a Tuesday report from the Wall Street Journal in which 45 people from both sides of the aisle told the outlet that Biden is, to put it mildly, two sandwiches short of a picnic. The Journal cites a January meeting behind closed doors during a critical discussion about Ukraine funding, Biden’s soft-spoken nursing home demeanor led some participants to question his engagement, as he occasionally read from notes and paused.

“You couldn’t be there and not feel uncomfortable,” one attendee noted about the meeting’s dynamics, adding “I’ll just say that.” In another example, Biden completely forgot the details of ‘his’ own policy on big energy projects during a one-on-one meeting with House Speaker Mike Johnson. Others who attended said Biden’s demeanor and level of engagement fluctuated and he seemed lively and engaged at some points. When the topic moved to an immigration overhaul, Johnson, the House speaker, offered Biden a list of dozens of executive actions he could undo to improve border security. Biden, rather than responding to Johnson’s suggestions, chided him, according to people at the meeting, “I’ve forgotten more about immigration than you’ll ever know.” -WSJ

Then, during debt ceiling negotiations with House Republicans, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and others noted that Biden’s demeanor and command of the details varied significantly from day to day. On some days, Biden was described as relying heavily on notes and mumbling, which could suggest inconsistency in cognitive performance. “I used to meet with him when he was vice president. I’d go to his house,” McCarthy said in an interview. “He’s not the same person.” -WSJ. The article also lays out public speaking errors, such as mixing up names of his Hispanic cabinet secretaries, mistakenly speaking about conversations with long-deceased leaders, and other factual errors. These instances contribute to the narrative of cognitive decline. In another section, the Journal reports that “The president moved so slowly around the Cabinet Room to greet the nearly two dozen congressional leaders that it took about 10 minutes for the meeting to begin, some people who attended recalled.”

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What are the odds of him being convicted in Delaware?

Is Hunter Biden Pursuing a Jury Nullification Strategy? (Turley)

There was an interesting development this week in the Hunter Biden gun trial: the fact that there will indeed be a Hunter Biden gun trial. That development is surprising only because there do not appear to be any facts in dispute in this case. And the primary witness against Hunter Biden will be Hunter Biden himself. The sole issue in this case is whether Biden filed a false gun form (ATF Form 4473) in which, as a condition for his purchase of a .38-caliber Colt Cobra revolver from the StarQuest Shooters and Survival Supply in Wilmington, Del., he stated that he was not a user of drugs. Biden’s counsel, Abbe Lowell, previously suggested that his client may have had a window of sobriety when he signed the form, but then returned to his addiction afterward. But then Hunter himself blew that theory away with his public comments and books. Lowell then suggested in court that someone else may have checked the box on the form.

In the interim, Lowell has brought a litany of challenges. At one point, he claimed that the government must fulfill a prior dead plea agreement. At another, he adopted an argument of the National Rifle Association challenging the underlying statute. The defense also failed this week to call a last-minute witness who would testify that Hunter may not have known that he was an addict. The defense was accused of essentially hiding the ball with the expert’s expected testimony so Judge Maryellen Noreika barred the appearance of the Columbia professor. Yet, again, Hunter Biden himself would have destroyed the defense. The form asks if Hunter was a user of drugs, not just an addict: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” Hunter wrote how he was a user of a wide array of drugs for years. It is hard to imagine he thought himself as clean as a clergyman in Wilmington in 2018.

So why wouldn’t Hunter just plead guilty? Even without his earlier plea deal, a guilty plea could significantly reinforce a request to avoid jail time in the case. It would also avoid an embarrassing trial for himself and his father during a presidential election. While Hunter could always throw in the towel before the start of testimony, there is currently no discernible strategy beyond hoping that a pending case in the Supreme Court might undermine the indictment. There may also be another possible strategy in play: jury nullification. Unlike Donald Trump in Manhattan, Delaware is Biden country. The chance that he will get strong supporters of his father on the jury is an almost statistical certainty. In 2020, Joe Biden received roughly 60 percent of the vote over Donald Trump in the state. Having first lady Jill Biden, who is extremely popular, at the trial will only reinforce the connection. In addition to a favorable jury pool, Biden may be hoping that testimony on his travails with drugs will prompt one or more jurors to ignore the law and vote to acquit.

Notably, virtually all of the selected jurors have said that they know of someone who has struggled with drugs. Indeed, Judge Noreika already appears to suspect such a strategy. Noreika rejected the effort of the defense to introduce an altered version of the federal firearms form created by the gun store employees. They argue that the alternation showed a political bias on the part of the prosecutors. The court found the document “irrelevant” and chastised the defense team for pursuing “conspiratorial” theories and an effort to confuse or mislead the jury. She noted that the use of the altered form would be “unduly prejudicial and invites (jury) nullification.” Jury nullification arguments have long been banned or discouraged in many courtrooms. Nevertheless, jury nullification has its advocates. For example, Georgetown Law Professor Paul Butler has called for Black jurors to refuse to convict Black defendants of drug crimes. Butler has said that “my goal is the subversion of the present criminal justice system.”

Hunter Biden is obviously not the primary concern of Professor Butler in the impact of drug prosecutions on the Black community. However, he has also argued that “jury nullification is just part of an arsenal of tools to end the failed “war on drugs.” Biden’s case has all of the characteristics of a nullification defense. Even if he cannot secure acquittal, the combination of political and social elements at play in Delaware could produce a hung jury. Trying a Biden in Delaware is a challenge for any prosecutor, even without the potential sympathies for a reformed drug addict. With the first lady sitting behind him, the family ties will be on full display. There is an understandable parental desire to show emotional support for Hunter, but prosecutors cannot be thrilled by the potential effect on jurors in the pro-Biden state.

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“They provided no explanation of what they were doing. They just did it..”

Scott Ritter on Reason Behind Move to Stop Him From Traveling to Russia (Sp.)

On June 3, the former Marine Corps intelligence officer and Sputnik contributor was removed by US Customs and Border Protection officers from a plane bound for Russia, where he was to attend the 2024 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). The US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) does not have the authority to seize passports without probable cause, former Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter told Sputnik, commenting on Monday’s incident. Ritter recalled that as he prepared to board the plane, he was pulled out of line by three armed CBP officers who took control of his passport. He said that when he asked them “on what authority,” they cited orders from the US Department of State. “They provided no warrant, no documentation, nor did they provide a receipt for my passport. They provided no explanation of what they were doing. They just did it,” the Sputnik contributor pointed out.

Ritter stressed that his constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment were violated because the document requires CBP officers to provide a warrant or some other form of authority upon which to conduct the seizure of his passport. “Under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution and others, I’m free to travel. The US government cannot restrict my travel without specific justification, none of which was articulated to me and none of which I believe exists. So it’s a violation of my Fifth Amendment,” the former Marine Corps intelligence officer added.] He suggested that “the real reason” behind all this “appears to be to prevent” him from participating in the SPIEF 2024 and to prevent the work he planned to do as a journalist with his documentary film crew. According to him, he was planning to make a documentary about “the reality of Russia”. “This is my First Amendment right under freedom of speech and a free press. And this right was likewise violated by the US government, by the Biden administration,” Ritter noted.

The Sputnik contributor recounted that he had traveled to Russia “two times in the last year using this same passport,” and that on each time, the US government was notified in advance of his intent to travel and of his itinerary.
In an apparent reference to his planned trip to Russia to attend SPIEF 2024, Ritter said he was “not off on a secret mission” and that the US government “knew full well” what he was up to. “And this is why I believe they acted in the way they did. This has a chilling effect, not just on me and the work I was doing, but on all Americans who choose to speak out against the policies of the United States that they disagree with and to travel abroad at the same time that they are criticizing the US government. And what the US government is saying is that we can control your movement. We can control your life. We can punish you for what you’ve been saying that we disagree with,” the former Marine Corps intelligence officer emphasized.

Nap Scott Ritter : On My Way to Russia I Met Big Brother.

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“The strategic alliance between Russia and China ain’t going to be about taking over countries, ain’t going to be about missile-producing or whatever. It’s going to be about ensuring justice and fairness on the global stage…”

NATO Would Stand No Chance’ Against Russia-China Military Alliance (Sp.)

The United States has historically worked to prevent an alliance between Russia and China, but the two global powers have joined together in an effort to guard themselves against Western aggression.One year before his death Henry Kissinger, a consequential – and highly controversial – former US Secretary of State, saw the writing on the wall. “The time is approaching to build on the strategic changes which have already been accomplished and to integrate them into a new structure towards achieving peace through negotiation,” said the top diplomat, urging an end to Ukraine’s Western-backed war against Russia. Kissinger made the comments in an article entitled “How to Avoid Another World War” in the British magazine The Spectator, noting that Russia’s “thousands of nuclear weapons” make it “one of the world’s two largest nuclear powers.”

With characteristic braggadocio, the veteran strategist’s remarks were slammed by the Ukrainian government and criticized by a fair number of Western liberals, by then fully convinced of the United States’ duty to once again safeguard freedom and democracy. The West’s apparent indifference towards the prospect of nuclear war and strategic incompetence in allowing Russia and China to join forces was criticized by former security analyst Dr. David Oualaalou, who discussed the latest developments in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict on Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Tuesday. “Putin will not bluff on this, because this is what’s going to be expected of the Russians, the Russian people, from their leader to defend the country by any means, as we are pushing more and more,” said Oualaalou, noting that Moscow views the conflict as a matter of existential importance.

“The idea to me, the way I look at it, is [Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor] Orban does not want to have his country caught in the middle of this, being a member of NATO or not at this point,” he added, characterizing the European leader as a voice of sanity on the issue. “He’s talking to his lawyers, the officers – they are looking for ways on how to opt out of this kind of involvement with NATO. Frankly, if I may use the term here, it’s about time for Hungary to make a decision whether to leave NATO altogether.” Oualaalou noted that the increasing unpopularity of Western involvement in the ongoing proxy war is leading to a surge in popularity for the right-wing across Europe, with French politician Marine Le Pen rising in popularity while suggesting the country should leave NATO.

Kissinger, credited with setting the United States on a path towards global dominance in the 1970s, worked to ensure China and Russia remained divided during his time as US Secretary of State, pursuing an opening of relations with China to pull them closer to the US. But Western bellicosity has now functioned to create a strong partnership between the two countries, Oualaalou argued – forming an alliance that Western powers would not be able to overcome through military means. “The strategic alliance between Russia and China ain’t going to be about taking over countries, ain’t going to be about missile-producing or whatever. It’s going to be about ensuring justice and fairness on the global stage… [With] these two countries – Russia and China – joined by others, NATO would stand no chance. The US would stand no chance,” he claimed.

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“..the West cannot entertain any of these requests and has taken so much control of the media that its leaders are starting to believe their own BS..”

The West Is Already At War With Russia But Its Leaders Can’t Wake Up (Jay)

Is NATO planning something big in Ukraine? Are we on the cusp now of WWIII really breaking out since the U.S. has now backed the idea that Ukraine can fire missiles beyond its borders into Russia? The news that President Joe Biden has given the go-ahead for long-range missiles to be fired into Russia should be worrying for a number of reasons. The dangerous game of escalation that the West is playing will have a breaking point in the not too distant future. The question is whether the West really understands how Putin thinks as it is presently betting on no retaliation from Russia, which is not only erroneous but very, very dangerous. Recent missile strikes into Russian territory destroyed two radar installations which western press refuse to report.

The significance of this strike is important as the more Ukraine loses on the battlefield, the more desperate its tactics, egged on by western leaders who still think that their stake in the war is minimal. Although just recently Germany’s leader Scholz did a U-turn at a conference in Berlin with French President Macron — in backing the missile strikes into Russia plan — the truth is that officially NATO does not support the plan, which is why the UK is doing it independently using Storm Shadows operated by SAS soldiers. This has been going on for months and so in many respects the news that the U.S. has authorised the practice could be taken lightly. What’s new? Or, more to the point, is Ukraine going to use longer-range U.S. missiles to keep up with such strikes like the radar stations? Does it have enough missiles in stock is also an important question.

With this strategy in play, we are looking in all scenarios at the slow demise of NATO as the more that such strikes occur, the more it is evident that NATO is a defunct organisation and only really a talk shop at best. NATO members are divided on an overall strategy with Ukraine and so member states do their own thing. If we see more of these strikes, the pressure on Putin to react will be overwhelming but when that time comes, he will practice and eye-for-an-eye strategy and strike the equivalent military installations within Europe or at least Ukraine’s drones operating in the Black Sea. This will be a shock for the West. It will take some days for such a strike to be seen for what it is: a warning. The message will be the escalation game has its limits and you’ve gone over a line.

But are the recent reports of a new offensive in the planning from NATO genuine? Probably not. Just like the reports of Putin wanting to negotiate a peace deal now. Both fake news are part of a strategy of panic from the Biden administration which really needs some sort of victory in Ukraine to present to the American people. Yet all of the aces are with Putin and he doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of falling into these traps. Putin has been pretty consistent in how he sees any kind of peace deal. Denazification, demilitarisation and no deal on NATO membership. The reasons why peace talks are a mere figment of the imagination of western journalists who sink to new lows is that the West cannot entertain any of these requests and has taken so much control of the media that its leaders are starting to believe their own BS. The fourth requirement also of Putin’s is that he can’t negotiate peace with a leader in the Ukraine who no longer has legitimacy as a president. One wonders how long the West can continue to kick up a fuss about that one.

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Anyone who can fog a mirror…

Ukraine To Recruit Deserters – Media (RT)

Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has allowed the country’s Armed Forces to recruit deserters as the military continues to experience personnel shortages after suffering heavy casualties, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday. The agency cited a letter sent by SBI Director Alexey Sukhachov to Ukraine’s commander-in-chief Aleksandr Syrsky. According to the document, up until now, how to deal with cases where servicemen who abandoned their units without permission or outright deserted have decided to voluntarily return to service had not been clearly defined to Ukrainian commanders. In his letter, Sukhachov reportedly asked Syrsky to “orient commanders of military units on the need to ensure the acceptance of the above-mentioned military personnel, who voluntarily returned to military units and expressed a desire to undergo further military service, to appoint them to positions and continue military service.”

Furthermore, RIA writes, the SBI chief asked that the service members who decide to return also be provided the right to monetary compensation. Sukhachov’s request comes as Kiev suffers from a shortage of military personnel having incurred heavy casualties on the battlefield. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Ukraine’s Armed Forces are estimated to have lost more than 35,000 troops in May alone, amid Moscow’s offensive in Kharkov Region. Despite the Ukrainian military’s efforts to ramp up mobilization, many people don’t want to serve in the army, prompting Kiev to further tighten mobilization rules and even reduce the conscription age limit from 27 to 25. Last month, Ukraine’s General Staff also announced that it intends to “optimize” its operations by releasing as many as 60% of its personnel and using them “to replenish the command and control bodies at the operational and tactical levels, as well as combat units.”

Ukraine’s mobilization campaign, which was announced shortly after the start of the conflict with Russia, has also been marred by widespread draft dodging. Many have tried to escape the country to avoid service, sometimes losing their lives in the process. According to the Ukrainian State Border Service, at least 45 Ukrainian men have already died while trying to illegally cross into the EU. In May alone, ten people were confirmed to have drowned while trying to cross the Tisza River, which flows from Ukraine’s southwestern border through Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Serbia.

Arestovich

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And that includes Americans…

Ukraine No Longer Allowing Dual Citizens To Leave (RT)

Ukrainian nationals with dual citizenship have been barred from leaving the country, a border guard official said on Tuesday. They are also no longer exempt from the military draft under a new mobilization law. The authorities are struggling to replenish the army ranks as a result of heavy casualties suffered on the battlefield. Russia’s Defense Ministry estimates that Ukraine’s armed forces lost more than 35,000 troops in May alone. Ukrainians with dual citizenship were previously allowed to leave the country, border service spokesman Andrey Demchenko told state TV on Tuesday. “We are not letting this category of citizens through now,” he added.He cited a recent government decree that obliged such people to register for the draft within 30 days. Previously, dual citizens and Ukrainians who were living abroad under a residence permit had been exempted from military service.

Earlier, Defense Ministry spokesman Dmitry Lazutkin also demanded the return of Ukrainians who were residing abroad, saying they should visit their territorial draft offices in person even if they have updated their data remotely. The US embassy in Kiev immediately warned Americans who hold Ukrainian citizenship against traveling to Ukraine. “Effective June 1, Ukraine has eliminated a ‘residence abroad’ exception that previously allowed certain Ukrainian males aged 18 to 60 to depart the country,” it said in a statement, adding that “US-Ukrainian dual citizens… may no longer be able to depart the country” in light of the changes. The diplomatic mission then advised those who are already in Ukraine to “shelter in place and obey all local orders,” while cautioning those “not currently in Ukraine” against traveling there. “There is an extremely high risk you will not be allowed to depart, even with a US passport,” the statement said.

Kiev has been ramping up its mobilization efforts in recent months. In April, Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky signed a controversial mobilization law that lowered the conscription age from 27 to 25, greatly expanded the powers of enlistment officers, and introduced additional penalties for draft dodgers. In May, he approved further legislation that provided a way for some prisoners to be paroled if they enlist. Later the same month, the country’s justice minister, Denis Maliuska, announced the first release of convicts to fill the military ranks.

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“..Americans are “not fighting for Ukraine or the Ukrainian people, they are fighting for their own grandeur and global leadership.”

Nobody in US Has Ukraine’s Interests At Heart – Putin (RT)

The US only cares about its own grandeur and is involved in the Ukraine crisis in order to fulfil its global ambitions, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the leaders of global media agencies ahead of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Wednesday. Washington has provided tens of billions of dollars in military aid to Kiev since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.When asked about a potential shift in US policy towards Russia, Putin said that it is largely dependent on Washington itself and its perception of reality. America is currently obsessed with globalist ambitions that are “destroying the US from within,” the president said. US involvement in the Ukraine conflict is just one manifestation of that globalist policy, he told journalists.“Nobody in the US cares about Ukraine’s interests,” Putin said. Americans are “not fighting for Ukraine or the Ukrainian people, they are fighting for their own grandeur and global leadership.”

According to Putin, the current administration is not so much interested in helping Kiev prevail in the ongoing standoff but is rather “determined to prevent any Russian success precisely because they believe it would damage US leadership [positions].” Those globalist ambitions are harmful to America itself, Putin maintained, naming “high inflation and a huge debt” among the biggest challenges the US is currently facing. A future administration could reverse this destructive trend by focusing on “strengthening the US from within, strengthening its economy and finances, and building up normal relations with the world,” he said, adding that such policies could then bring some “real change” in relations between Moscow and Washington as well. The president’s words came just a day after the Kremlin called the US an “enemy” for the first time. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov referred to Washington as such while speaking to journalists on Tuesday.

“We are now an enemy country for them – much like they are for us,” Peskov said at that time, describing the two nations’ attitudes toward each other. The Kremlin has previously referred to the US as an “unfriendly state” or “opponent.” Peskov was commenting on Washington’s decision not to allow former US marine, UN weapons inspector and RT contributor Scott Ritter to travel to St. Petersburg to take part in several SPIEF panel discussions. Earlier, the US also let Kiev use American-supplied weapons against targets inside Russia, beyond what the US considers Ukrainian territory. Moscow has repeatedly warned that such actions, alongside continued weapons shipments to Kiev, only lead to further escalation and increase the risk of an all-out war between Russia and NATO, which can easily spiral into World War III.

Putin US

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She fled her home country. A Foreign Minister.

Austria’s Ex-FM Kneissl Says Europe ‘Lost Its Soul,’ Entered War Path (Sp.)

Europe has “lost its soul” by stepping onto the path of war, ex-Austrian Foreign Minister and currently Director of the St. Petersburg State University G.O.R.K.I. (Geopolitical Observatory for Russia’s Key Issues) Center, Karin Kneissl, said on Wednesday. Speaking at a meeting of the Russian Historical Society in the presidential library, Kneissl recalled German philosopher Oswald Spengler’s book “The Decline of the West,” to argue that Europe has been degrading for 20 years.

“Unfortunately, Europe today is a Europe of war. This is the current European agenda… I cannot conceal my sadness… I have always dreamed about a Europe of pluralism, a Europe of freedom, constitution, art,” she told the meeting, adding that Europe has “lost its soul, it is dead.” Kneissl served as the Austrian Foreign Minister from December 2017 to June 2019. Her scapegoating at home was largely associated with the alleged “Russian ties”. The former diplomat moved to Lebanon in June 2022 after leaving Austria in September 2020 and residing in France because of persistent death threats and a de facto ban on working in her home country. In August 2023, it became known that Kneissl had moved to Russia.

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“But if they write to a representative or senator about the misallocation of resources they will get back a letter explaining that “we have to stop them over there before they get over here.”

Americans Are an Abused People (Paul Craig Roberts)

Americans are screwed over people and are too insouciant to notice. And not just on big things, such as being forced to be injected with an untested new kind of “vaccine” with unknown safety and effectiveness. Millions of Americans were faced with the choice of being injected or losing their job and ability to pay rent or mortgage, car payments, utilities, and buy food. The “vaccine” has caused many deaths and millions of injuries from new diseases and profusions of what previously were rare diseases among age groups not previously affected. American babies now die from strokes and heart attacks. And the grieving parents are denied any recourse. No one is being held responsible. And apparently Americans don’t care. How is this any different from the Zionist story of Jews being herded into gas chambers?

Americans can’t do anything about the hundreds of billions of dollars Washington sends to Ukraine to conduct Washington’s proxy war against Russia, or about the billions sent to Israel for the slaughter of Palestinians and physical destruction of Gaza, or the billions sent to Taiwan for Washington’s proxy war against China. Meanwhile homeless American veterans sleep on the streets while the Biden regime gives immigrant-invaders pre-paid debit cards and houses them in hotels. A few Americans might wonder if the billions of dollars could be better used getting the homeless out of their public parks and tent encampments off their sidewalks. But if they write to a representative or senator about the misallocation of resources they will get back a letter explaining that “we have to stop them over there before they get over here.”

The message is: “we are here to serve the military/security complex and Israel Lobby, the funders of our election campaigns, and to replace white Americans with the third world in the interest of diversity. It is not the big things that Americans notice. They are not personally at risk of being sent to war, and there is no specific tax taken from them to finance Israel’s and Ukraine’s wars. But you would think that Americans living on credit card debt would at least notice that which dramatically affects them. Do Americans living on credit card debt comprehend that under the guise of interest charged the credit card companies are taxing their balances at rates ranging from 19.49% to 29.99% based on the credit card company’s estimate of the debtor’s credit worthiness.

In addition to the federal and state income taxes on their income and the Social Security tax and the Medicare tax on income, the credit card companies are imposing a 20-30% tax on debt that is paying for housing, transportation, food, and utilities, as incomes alone in the age of jobs offshoring are insufficient to support living standards for about 40% of the population. I learned about modern day usury in May when my credit card bill did not show up. Perhaps it went into the spam or junk folders or fell victim to a glitch, all possibilities being joys of the digital revolution. Consequently the amount due on May 18 did not get paid until 4 days later on May 22 when an unpaid bill notice appeared in the email. The notice told me that I am charged a late payment fee of $29 plus an interest charge of $61.54. So a 4 day late payment cost me $90.54.

The late payment notice told me that my interest rate of 19.49% is charged from the “first day of the billing period until we receive your payment in full.” In other words, the interest was not charged for the 4 late days, but for the 4 days plus the month’s billing period. The notice also told me that if I missed a second payment, even for one day, during a 12 month period, my interest rate on my unpaid balance would jump from 19.49 to 29.99. There you have it. This is a system for the enserfment of the American consumer. If you are able to focus your attention, try to imagine the rapid rise of impossible indebtedness of Americans who can only make the minimum payment. The minimum payment is a tiny percentage of the balance due. For example, a balance of $4,173.66 has a minimum payment of $131.37. The minimum payment leaves a balance of $4,042.29 accumulating interest at double-digit rates.

Assuming he does not miss two payments in 12 months, his interest rate based on creditworthiness (he only makes minimal payments) is 27.49%. So, the interest on the unpaid balance adds $1,100 to his debt. And the growth in debt increases with the interest charged on the rising unpaid balance. I remember when credit card companies made their money by the 2.5% charge to the businesses that accepted payment via credit card. Those days have vanished. Now credit card companies live extravagantly on interest on consumer credit card debt, while businesses accepting credit card payment charge their customers a fee for paying with a credit card. As an economist I am really amazed that Keynesian economists, whose policy is based on the American consumer’s ability to spend, stood aside while such extraordinary restrictions on aggregate demand were allowed to be put in place. After paying debt service, people have nothing left to spend.

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Covid patents

 

 

Jack

 

 

Square?

 

 

Bird feeding
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798356457039319235

 

 

Beers for breeders

 

 

Tucker Bukele

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 202024
 


Wassily Kandinsky Moscow II 1916

 

Iranian President Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash (RT)
The Trump Trial Could Be Over Sooner Than You Think – Unless He Testifies (Taft)
House GOP Want to Replace Speaker Despite Trump’s Support (Sp.)
Putin and Xi Are World Statesmen, Western Elites Threat To Global Peace (SCF)
Putin and Xi in Beijing: Steps into the 21st Century (Patrick Lawrence)
Russian Economic Growth Hits 5.4% (RT)
Closer to Nuclear War (Jacob G. Hornberger)
Old Genocide Joe Has Got To Go! (Philip Giraldi)
Profit-Generating and Woke Brainwashing: What Happened to US Military? (Sp.)
UN: Gaza Facing ‘Apocalyptic’ Famine (Sp.)
Professor Denounces Romance as a Creation of White Supremacy (Turley)

 

 

Much is said about the Putin-Xi hug. Both sitting here without a tie seems just as important.

 

 

I accept
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791971045114511463

 

 

6’9’”
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791728529782034886

 

 

Loomer

 

 

Mike Rowe

 

 

Khodorkovsky

 

 

 

 

The president is not the Supreme Leader, but still.. Between Damascus and this, they lost many leaders…

Iranian President Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash (RT)

Iranian state media have confirmed that President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in the northwestern province of East Azerbaijan. His entire entourage, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Governor of East Azerbaijan Malek Rahmati, also perished. The head of state had traveled to the border region after joining Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on Saturday to inaugurate a dam. Raisi had pledged to visit each of Iran’s 30 provinces at least once a year, and regularly traveled around the country. Reports of a “crash landing” began circulating on Sunday afternoon, with Iranian state media citing Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi. IRNA news agency reported dense fog in the mountainous area where the aircraft went down.

Raisi was traveling in a US-made Bell 212. Low visibility and the impassibility of the area made search operations difficult, IRNA wrote. Rescue teams finally managed to locate the crash site on Monday morning with the help of Turkish surveillance drones. The wreckage was discovered in a wooded area on a mountain slope. The aircraft was severely damaged and charred, and there were no signs of survivors, the Iranian Red Crescent Society said. With Raisi’s passing, First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber is expected to take office as interim leader. A representative of the republic’s conservative wing, Raisi, was elected in 2021. Before assuming the presidency, he had worked his way up from Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor in Tehran in the 1980s and 1990s all the way to attorney general, and later chief justice.

Raisi

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“The Democrats’ latest Get Trump campaign [..] is circling a crusty drain into a gutter of ignominy..”

The Trump Trial Could Be Over Sooner Than You Think – Unless He Testifies (Taft)

The Democrats’ latest Get Trump campaign to smear the former president and keep him off the campaign trail is circling a crusty drain into a gutter of ignominy. When the prosecution rests in this Manhattan bookkeeping trial, which may be late Monday or Tuesday, this Russia! Russia! Russia! redux could be mere hours—or days— away from jurors. The timing depends on at least three considerations: • Will the defense mount a defense? • If so, will the defense be able to get two key witnesses to testify? • Would Donald Trump testify? Whether it’s hours or days will depend upon how much rehabilitation the prosecution will need to do in its re-direct questioning of Michael Cohen. Cohen, who was annihilated by Trump attorney Todd Blanche on Thursday, will return to the stand on Monday for more questioning. Court was dark on Friday so that Trump could attend his son Barron’s high school graduation. The former president also shoe-horned in a fundraiser in Minnesota on Friday night. What, no family rager at Mar-a-Lago for Barron?

Regardless, don’t expect miracles in the final few days of the Trump trial. There’s only so much that judges are willing to do to stay in the good graces of a daughter fundraising off daddy’s job or to keep those squash game invitations coming. Granting a directed verdict isn’t likely on the “to-do” list. When star witness Cohen, a “serial perjurer,” is done punching the time clock for the prosecution, the defense will ask for a directed verdict of not guilty or make another motion for a mistrial for putting on a witness prosecutors knew would lie on the stand. Trump’s team members have spent hours cogitating over whether they should mount a defense. On one side there are those lawyers who say Trump needs to do his best to direct a JDAM into the heart of the prosecution for the benefit of the court of public opinion. The other side says Team Trump should do a mic drop, declare that the prosecution didn’t prove its still-unstated case, and ask for an acquittal.

As usual in criminal legal cases, fates favor the prosecution. Their case resembles a teetering Jenga game. The case’s uncharged crime resurrects zombie misdemeanor charges, the statute of limitations of which has run out, and transmogrifies them into 34 felonies based upon an action—paying an adult movie contortionist extortionist $130,000 to take her and her stories of having sex with Trump in 2006 and go away. The payments were paid by Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Regardless of the suspicious nature and derivation of the case, a New York jury could will likely find him guilty. The uncharged portion of the case is campaign finance violations. So far the people who have testified to the existence of campaign violations are Cohen and the adult mattress actress Stormy Daniels.

The judge has already shrink-wrapped the kind of testimony the actual campaign finance expert, former Federal Elections Commission chairman Brad Smith, can attest to when or if he testifies. Cohen has been the only person called to assess Trump’s state of mind on whether he believed payments to Cohen were written to skirt election law or simply as a retainer for legal services. The person who arranged the payments is sitting at Rikers Island prison. Former CFO Allen Weisselberg was jailed for perjury in Trump’s other New York case about the value of his real estate holdings. He was at a meeting with Cohen and Trump on the 34 payments to Cohen. Weisselberg hasn’t been called to testify because it won’t help DA Alvin Bragg’s case. In what former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy called “one of the sleaziest moves I’ve seen in a long time,” instead of calling Weisselberg to testify, Bragg introduced the former CFO’s separation agreement with the Trump organization into evidence to signal to the jury that the agreement wouldn’t let him testify, which is untrue.

“Bragg, who won’t prosecute anyone, prosecutes [Weisselberg] twice in two years…” McCarthy said incredulously. So it’s Cohen or nothing. Unless… Another possible witness is Cohen’s former attorney, Robert Costello, whose devastating evidence to the feds and the FEC about his former client’s lying is what convinced them to decline to bring campaign violations against Trump. Costello’s testimony before the Congressional Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government was the first look many had at Costello’s story and why he could provide evidence that Cohen lied throughout the trial. At the behest of the feds, Cohen waived his attorney-client privilege, freeing Costello to tell his story. Go back and read that last sentence.

Alina
https://x.com/i/status/1791933868263518594

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MTG: “Everyone that’s gonna be voting for President Trump hates Mike Johnson..”

House GOP Want to Replace Speaker Despite Trump’s Support (Sp.)

The US Congress’ Republican Party members intend to replace incumbent House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson after the November elections to the lower chamber, despite the fact he has support from former President Donald Trump, the Axios news outlet reported on Saturday, citing sources. “Everyone that’s gonna be voting for President Trump hates Mike Johnson,” Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was quoted as saying. Furthermore, Congressman Jim Jordan has been preparing the groundwork to promote his candidacy to replace the incumbent House speaker, the news outlet wrote, citing multiple sources.

At the same time, Trump and Johnson have talked over budget priorities, energy and tax policy among other things, the news outlet wrote, citing sources. The two have deepened their relationship since 2019 when Johnson defended Trump while on his impeachment defense team, the news outlet wrote. Overall, the former president sees the House speaker as a “good enough ally,” a top Trump ally told the news outlet, and Johnson “respects him [Trump] as the party leader,” the outlet added, citing a senior GOP source. “Loyalty is always going to be chief among the things that [Trump] cares about, and Johnson has never wavered on that,” a former White House official was quoted as saying.

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“There is no partnership or mutualism in such an “order” because the entire system is predicated on privilege and exploitation, underpinned by fascist notions of superiority and exceptionalism.”

Putin and Xi Are World Statesmen, Western Elites Threat To Global Peace (SCF)

This week, for those willing to perceive reality objectively, displayed two kinds of world order. The heartening news is that one will prevail over the other and thereby produce a better world for humanity, one of dignity and development for the common good. It was a momentous occasion this week when Russian President Vladimir Putin visited China where he was warmly greeted by Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Both leaders affirmed their friendship and their vision of a multipolar world based on partnership and mutual benefit. Putin and Xi signed numerous agreements on a wide range of trade and development projects covering energy, technology, engineering, construction, agriculture, infrastructure and military defense. The visit was Putin’s second to China since October last year. It was his first foreign trip since he was inaugurated earlier this month as president for a fifth term.

Both leaders have established a tradition of visiting each other’s countries as a first international stop upon their respective inaugurations. On beginning his third time as China’s president in 2023, Xi made Russia his first international destination. Over the past two decades, both men have met as leaders on at least 40 occasions. The personal warmth attests to genuine friendship and also a closely shared political vision of the world. Putin and Xi have ardently advocated for a multipolar world based on respect, equality and cooperation. During his reception in Beijing this week on a two-day visit, Putin and Xi hailed their nations’ growing alliance as a fundamental factor in maintaining world stability and peace. Putin stated: “We work in solidarity on forming a more just and democratic multipolar world order which should rely on the central role of the United Nations and its Security Council, international law and the cultural and civilizational diversity, a verified balance of interests of all participants of the world community.”

For his part, Xi remarked that Russia-China ties have “set a model of mutual respect, frankness, harmony and mutual benefit,” and he emphasized their commitment to “fairness and justice”. Both men underscored that their alliance and vision did not seek to threaten anyone. They appealed for diplomacy and reasonable dialogue in settling international conflicts, including in Ukraine and the Middle East. President Xi did not mention specific nations but it was patent that he was referring to the United States when he denounced “Cold War mentality…unilateralism, hegemonism, bloc confrontation and power politics” as threats to peace and international security. By contrast, from two world statesmen representing progressive humanism, we may turn to the other kind of world on display this week, the one that Xi alluded to with his denunciation of Cold War mentality.

The second vision is anachronistic, abject, and failing. It is the world order that dominated since the Second World War based on Western hegemony, or more euphemistically, called the “rules-based order”. The lead hegemon is the United States whose Western allies are vassals to service its order of privilege and exploitation of others in a neocolonial paradigm. Today, this Western-dictated order is a hyper-militarized disorder where illegal wars and clandestine conflicts are fomented to shore up hegemonic suzerainty and parasitism. As in antiquated times, the majority are treated like slaves who must pay tribute to their overlords or be put to the sword. Today, the tribute system is manifested by trade exploitation, unfair terms of exchange, and financial predation from the abuse of fiat currency, the U.S. dollar. There is no partnership or mutualism in such an “order” because the entire system is predicated on privilege and exploitation, underpinned by fascist notions of superiority and exceptionalism.

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“..consider the May 16 joint statement from a few steps back. Apart from what is in it, what is conspicuously absent? There is no mention of the West, is there? The tone is strikingly self-confident and entirely self-referential..”

Putin and Xi in Beijing: Steps into the 21st Century (Patrick Lawrence)

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping added another to their count of 40–odd summit meetings when the Russian and Chinese presidents convened in Beijing, later proceeding to Harbin in Northeast China, for two days of talks that ended Friday. At 9:55 Thursday evening Beijing time, a day’s work done, the two sat behind a long table draped in green to address “members of the media,” as Xi put it. Western officials and the media that clerk for them have done their best, per usual, to dismiss this latest encounter of the Russian and Chinese leaders as of no account, just two authoritarians bound together by nothing more than their shared enmity toward the West. Pay no attention. We ought not miss the significance of what Putin and Xi had to say this week to one another and to the rest of humanity. The world just turned once again.

The Kremlin was first to publish a transcript of their “Media Statement Following Russia–China Talks.” The two presidents spoke in turn—Xi, the host, going first and Putin to follow. Here is a snippet drawn from Xi’s remarks: “We signed joint statements on enhancing the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation for a new era…. China and Russia have served as a role model by showing others ways of building state-to-state ties of a new kind and working together as two major neighboring powers … based on the principles of respect and equality.” Xi spoke in this vein for several minutes. Here is a little of what Putin then contributed: “Our talks have reaffirmed that Russia and China have similar or identical views on many international and regional issues. Both countries have an independent and sovereign foreign policy. We are working together to create a fairer and more democratic multipolar world order based on the central role of the U.N. and its Security Council, international law, cultural and civilizational diversity, as well as a calibrated balance of interests of all members of the international community.”

There are two things to note about these remarks straight off the top. One, Western media have reported for months that there is a rift between Beijing and Moscow just below the surface. The Chinese do not approve of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, we have read. The bilateral relationship is radically unbalanced in Russia’s favor and of little use to China. Etc. This is nonsense, we can now see. In their brief presentation to the media and in other statements since, Xi and Putin have made it plain that there is virtually no air between the non–West’s two leading powers. As to the Ukraine question, to be noted right away, China has been studiously neutral while cognisant of the West’s provocations. Russia has never asked for more than this.

If Xi and Putin have made it a point to display their two nations’ closeness over the years—and their own as friends as well as statesmen, indeed—the two days they spent together this week mark an important public reaffirmation of their shared commitment to that “fairer and more democratic multipolar world” Putin mentioned Thursday. We have told you we have begun to build a new world order, they may as well have said. We’re on for this project. Together with others we will get this done. Two, and related to the above, consider the May 16 joint statement from a few steps back. Apart from what is in it, what is conspicuously absent? There is no mention of the West, is there? The tone is strikingly self-confident and entirely self-referential. In my read, the two leaders could not have more clearly if subtly demonstrated that the new world order of which they speak is to be an initiative the non–West will advance whether or not the Atlantic world approves or wishes to participate in its construction.

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“..exceeding the expected growth rates for the US (2.7%), the UK (0.5%), Germany (0.2%) and France (0.7%..”

Russian Economic Growth Hits 5.4% (RT)

Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, the state statistics agency Rosstat said in a preliminary report published on Friday. According to the estimates, Russia saw robust growth in retail turnover (up 10.5%), manufacturing (up 8.8%) and construction (3.5%) in January-March. The Rosstat data aligns with an earlier estimate from the Economics Ministry, but exceeds that of the Bank of Russia (4.6% growth) and analysts’ expectations (5.3%). The agency is due to publish more detailed data on GDP in mid-June. According to an earlier forecast from the Bank of Russia, GDP growth is expected to slow in the second quarter due to tightening fiscal conditions. The regulator, however, expects consumer and investment demand to remain high and continue to drive economic growth.

The positive data comes despite multiple rounds of Western sanctions introduced since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The measures have ranged from blacklisting most Russian banks and cutting them from the SWIFT interbank messaging system, to freezing some $300 billion in Russian foreign exchange reserves. As a result, GDP suffered a downturn in 2022, contracting 1.2%. However, data for 2023 showed that the economy has recovered, posting growth of 3.6%. Many analysts have attributed this performance to Russia’s trade pivot to the East, and economic policies implemented to offset the effect of restrictions.

In April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it expects the Russian economy to grow faster than all advanced economies in 2024. GDP is forecast to expand by 3.2%, exceeding the expected growth rates for the US (2.7%), the UK (0.5%), Germany (0.2%) and France (0.7%). Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov earlier said he expects GDP growth in 2024 to equal that of last year, while the Bank of Russia has been more cautious in its predictions, expecting growth of 2.5-3.5%.

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“If the day ever comes when mushroom clouds are suddenly and unexpectedly enveloping cities in Russia and the United States, those who are still alive can mull over whether Ukraine’s membership in NATO was worth it..”

Closer to Nuclear War (Jacob G. Hornberger)

I can’t help but wonder what proponents of America’s participation in the old Cold War dinosaur known as NATO are thinking about NATO officials who are contemplating sending NATO military personnel into Ukraine to train Ukrainian troops in their war against Russia. Those who relish the idea of nuclear war between the United States and Russia undoubtedly must be ecstatic over the possibility of such a move. It has been clear for some time that Ukraine is losing its war with Russia. Ukraine has lost countless young soldiers and their front-line troops are now largely composed of middle-aged men. Its production has plummeted. Its supply of weapons is low, which is why it continues to desperately seek replacement weapons from the United States. Ukrainian forces continue to retreat. And there is the increasing possibility that Russian forces will achieve a breakthrough in Ukrainian defense lines.

Obviously feeling desperate over the battlefield situation, European officials within NATO are contemplating sending military personnel into Ukraine to help train Ukrainian soldiers. But wouldn’t that put NATO and Russia into direct military conflict? After all, what happens if a Russian missile kills a bunch of NATO soldiers inside Ukraine? According to the New York Times, “So far the United States has said no, but Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Thursday that a NATO deployment of trainers appeared inevitable. ‘We’ll get there eventually, over time,’ he said.” Brown’s objection, for now, seems to be based more on military practicality rather than the possibility than the increased likelihood of nuclear war. “For now, he said, an effort inside Ukraine would put ‘a bunch of NATO trainers at risk’ and would most likely mean deciding whether to use precious air defenses to protect the trainers instead of critical Ukrainian infrastructure near the battlefield.”

The Times adds the important kicker in all this: “As a part of NATO, the United States would be obligated under the alliance’s treaty to aid in the defense of any attack on the trainers, potentially dragging America into the war.” It’s important that we keep in mind why the United States continues to move ever closer to the possibility of all-out nuclear war with Russia. The reason is so that Ukraine can be a member of NATO, something that Russia has long opposed. If the day ever comes when mushroom clouds are suddenly and unexpectedly enveloping cities in Russia and the United States, those who are still alive can mull over whether Ukraine’s membership in NATO was worth it. Indeed, they can also contemplate whether U.S. membership in that old Cold War dinosaur was worth it too.

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“..a group of top federal judges have signed a letter stating that they will strike back against the demonstrating students by refusing to hire any graduates of Columbia University Law School as law clerks.”

Old Genocide Joe Has Got To Go! (Philip Giraldi)

It is extremely difficult to discern what might be the thinking behind the clueless President Joe Biden and his Blinken-Austin-Mayorkas foreign-policy-plus national security team. Or rather, the problem is that there does not appear to be any thinking about it at all if one measures it by what benefits it brings to the American people. It all actually seems to derive from a desire to construct a narrative that will win the presidential election coming up in November, which will fortunately be run against a deeply flawed GOP candidate named Donald J. Trump. But look at what is on the Biden record: the country’s southern border with Mexico is a porous as a Swiss cheese, allowing literally millions of illegal immigrants into the USA since Biden took office; Washington is both de facto and de jure simultaneously fighting and losing two unnecessary wars involving nuclear powers which has cost a nearly bankrupt Treasury well into the hundreds of billions of dollars; and the White House is needlessly sanctioning non-hostile competitors like China while also making illegal popular social media sites like TikTok which have committed the sin of reporting and disseminating accurate narratives about good old “best friend and closest ally” Israel. Predictably, neither of the assertions about the value of the Jewish state is true, nor is it a democracy, but who cares when you’re having fun shooting people and spending someone else’s money?

Oh, and just try to exercise your first amendment free speech rights by demonstrating against Israel’s slaughter of upwards of 40,000 Palestinian civilians using US provided weapons and you will be hit on the head by a cop, possibly arrested, and even expelled from college! If you want to see where this is all going, check out reports of the recent FBI detention and interrogation of distinguished Israeli historian Ilan Pappe seeking to enter the US through the Detroit International Airport. Pappe is a critic of the Netanyahu government and of US policy so he was held, questioned in detailed about his contacts, and had his phone copied before being allowed to proceed. Meanwhile, a group of top federal judges have signed a letter stating that they will strike back against the demonstrating students by refusing to hire any graduates of Columbia University Law School as law clerks.

And there even is a bill currently before Congress that would empower the government to label the foreign protesters “antisemites and terrorism supporters” and deport them, with some going to Gaza with the expectation that they would be killed, possibly by the mighty Israel Defense Forces (IDF)! It would be a startling new development to punish those whose crime consists mostly of trespass even given the rather loose ethical boundaries established by the war on terror and the Antisemitism Awareness Act! Or indeed one might follow the Senatorial route led by a chirping Lindsey Graham who recommends dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza to kill everyone who has survived the Israeli onslaught. The area then might be developed after the radiation dies down for those splendid seaside villas for Jews only suggested by the esteemed Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Biden black vote
https://twitter.com/i/status/1792358959979901427

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No such thing as a woke army.

“Just goofy sh*t all across, up and down the chain of command.”

Profit-Generating and Woke Brainwashing: What Happened to US Military? (Sp.)

The third saturday of May is celebrated in the United States as Armed Forces Day, an observance honoring all members of the country’s military. But many experts are not joining the celebrations, raising concerns about the state of the US troops. This year’s Armed Forces Day in the United States takes place as Washington’s war machine appears to be but a shadow of its former self, its reputation tarnished by the de facto humiliating defeat in Afghanistan in 2021 and the inability to stop Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping lanes. The decline of the once-powerful US Armed Forces could be traced to the 1990s, the time right after the end of the Cold War, argued former US State Department counterterrorism analyst Scott Bennett. What started with reforms to those who could serve eventually “cascaded into an avalanche of social justice, acquainted theorems and attitudes towards the military,” he said. “Suddenly you saw a weakening of the military and that was the beginning of the end of the US military,” Bennett said.

Following that, the 9/11 terrorist attacks triggered a wave of US military interventionism across the world, ostensibly aimed at fighting terrorism but in reality serving as an “enrichment exercise for the military-industrial complex.” “So you’ve seen the military transform from a nationally-owned organization to an organization that was really being used to feed corporate entities like Raytheon, McDonnell Douglas, Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, a myriad of defense contractors, missile manufacturers, arms dealers, and that was another death blow to the military because suddenly it became a profit-generating organization,” Bennett remarked. According to him, the US military during the Obama administration suddenly lost interest in winning wars and resolving conflicts – instead, it became interested in perpetuating conflicts and “in using the military as a social re-engineering organization”.

“They [US authorities] completely corroded and decayed the military from within, causing a lot of the best soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors to depart, to not re-enlist,” he continued. “And as a result of all of the social pathologies and perversions that have been used and put into the military (…) You’re witnessing the United States military completely coming apart at the seams from a moral point of view, from a esprit de corps point of view.” He also noted that most Americans are reluctant to enlist because they do not want to join “a military that is at odds with their moral, traditional religious values.” “For the first time in the history of the United States, the American people, I believe, are looking at the military with a sense of disgust and a sense of fear and loathing because it has been used to ignite wars around the world and destroy the American reputation in Syria and Afghanistan, in Iraq and Libya and in Ukraine,” Bennett added.

“And now Europeans are also waking up and seeing the US military is one of the biggest threats to world peace.” Comparing the US military to the Russian military today, Bennett argued that the latter is clearly superior. “The Russian military is superior in technology and its manpower. Its technology is superior because the Russian people and the Russian government use their military development of weapons solely for the purpose of defending the country and the people, not to enrich companies that manufacture these weapons,” he elaborated. “Russia’s military manufacturing of weapons is solely and completely dedicated to the preservation of the nation, and to do it at a cost-effective rate.” Bennett also pointed out that the Russian military does not allow “homosexuality and transgenderism and all of these perversions that the West has allowed.”

Meanwhile, US Navy veteran Mike James – who served in Iraq in 2008 – observed that the United States’ military is surprisingly amateurish. “We’re surprisingly caught up in such an enormous sense of false superiority and security that there’s just really bad decisions made all up and down the chain of command, even at the highest levels. Yeah, just generally quite unprofessional and immature and goofy,” he told Sputnik. “Just goofy sh*t all across, up and down the chain of command.”

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Note: we have seen it coming. That carries guilt.

UN: Gaza Facing ‘Apocalyptic’ Famine (Sp.)

The UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, told the AFP that “apocalyptic” famine is coming to Gaza “If fuel runs out, aid doesn’t get to the people where they need it. That famine, which we have talked about for so long, and which is looming, will not be looming anymore. It will be present,” Griffiths said. “And I think our worry, as citizens of the international community, is that the consequence is going to be really, really hard. Hard, difficult and apocalyptic.” Griffiths claimed that 50 aid trucks can reach the people of North Gaza through the recently reopened Erez crossing, but that fighting in the south and central parts of Gaza, combined with other border closings, means very little aid can reach the Palestinians in the southern city of Rafah where Israel has been bombarding with tanks and warplanes and seized the border crossing with Egypt earlier this month.

“So aid getting through land routes to the south and for Rafah and the people dislodged by Rafah, is almost nil. And we all said that very clearly, that a Rafah operation is a disaster in humanitarian terms, a disaster for the people already displaced to Rafah. This is now their fourth or fifth displacement,” Griffiths said.= The floating pier off the Gazan coast constructed by the US opened days ago and some aid can travel through there, but Griffiths said that it cannot make up for land routes. Israel has repeatedly claimed to be doing all it can to facilitate humanitarian aid to Gaza but aid organizations have repeatedly said they have been hampered by Israeli authorities. For months, Israeli settlers have blocked aid going into Gaza, oftentimes as Israeli police and military forces stand by. Those incidents reached a fevered pitch last week with several violent incidents.

On Friday, Israelis reportedly attacked a commercial truck drive in Kochav Hashahar, an Israeli West Bank settlement that is considered illegal under international law. The Israelis attacked the driver, injuring him, according to the reports. Three IDF officers who arrived to treat the driver were also attacked and reportedly suffered minor injuries. Last week, a truck was set on fire after Israeli settlers stopped an aid convoy and destroyed the loads of several trucks. Videos on social media depicted Israelis ripping up bags of flour and dancing on the now-empty truck beds. Meanwhile, on Friday, the US State Department released a report on whether Israel was breaking humanitarian law by blocking aid or using US weapons in a way that is against humanitarian law. While the report noted “deep concerns” about Israel’s “actions and inactions” preventing humanitarian aid, it said that there was insufficient evidence to justify cutting off aid to Israel.

As of April, more than 250 aid workers have been killed in Gaza, including seven World Central Kitchen workers who were killed in what appeared to be a coordinated attack by Israel, hitting three identified aid vehicles while the organization was coordinating with Israel, providing their locations to the government, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). “This was not just a bad luck situation where ‘oops’ we dropped the bomb in the wrong place,” the organization’s founder, Chef José Andrés said after the attack. “Even if we were not in coordination with the [IDF], no democratic country and no military can be targeting civilians and humanitarians.”

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“..Strings “challeng[es]readers to accept the end of love as they know it and to embrace more queer and feminist ideas of love, equity and partnership.”

Professor Denounces Romance as a Creation of White Supremacy (Turley)

In higher education, there is a virtual cottage industry of academics declaring everything from math to meritocracy to be forms of white supremacy and racism. Now, it appears romance will be added to the list. University of California Santa Barbara Black Studies Professor Sabrina Strings has written how romance promotes white supremacy and “global pigmentocracy.” In The End of Love: Racism, Sexism, and the Death of Romance, Strings recounts having “endured” her own bad relationships and maintains that “Romance is an old white cultural institution that began in the Middle Ages.” In an interview with The Current, Strings explains that “I am only one of the millions of Gen X-to-Gen Z women who have endured a seemingly endless array of miserable relationships with men. ”In viewing romance through her own lens, Strings comes up with distinctly different views of literature and famous relationships.

For example, many people have read the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, a story of forbidden love that introduced disharmony and disaster to King Arthur’s Round Table. It is a story of love and eventual betrayal. It is both irresistible and irrational. Many accounts show Lancelot rescuing Guinevere and, torn by their mutual loyalty to King Arthur, the couple finally succumbs to the inexorable pull of love to each other. It is a tragedy of love and loyalty that leaves everyone in ruin. Arthur would die of wounds in the later battles, Guinevere would die in a convent, and Lancelot would, according to some accounts, die as a hermit. It is a powerful tale of how love can overwhelm all other considerations and shatter every other bond. That is not exactly how Professor Strings sees it. She says that the tale is really about how a man of lower status is trying to secure greater power and prestige by seducing a higher class European Christian woman: “Love is very much about generosity but romance is very much about what you can get from somebody, especially if you’re a man who is social climbing.”

Professor Strings zeros in on the beauty and whiteness of Guinevere. She notes that the queen was viewed as irresistibly attractive and pale in complexion: “We can easily recognize these features today as those representing the apex of whiteness, even though race did not exist at the time of Troyes’s writing. Nevertheless, to the extent that some of these representations occurred before the seventeenth century dawn of race science, they have what historians have called a ‘proto-racist’ bent. Indeed, scholars have shown that the preference for light skin, hair, and eyes existed prior to the advent of racism, and that these characteristics were co-opted by it and enlisted for the purpose of installing a global pigmentocracy.” The “whitenesss” could also simply reflect the racial makeup of the historical characters as opposed to any “global pigmentocracy.” Yet, according to Professor Strings, romance is about “women who are not peak white or are ‘insufficiently white’ are subject deservedly to deceit, manipulation, assault and rape.”

Professor Strings previously wrote a 2019 book about how “fatphobia” is rooted in racism. In today’s academic environment, there often seems a rush to racialize common practices, customs, or terminology. Publications clamor for such articles and discovering another hidden racist element in society can bring academic accolades. However, others have already staked out many areas such as mathematics, astrophysics, statistics, meritocracy, climate change, dieting, tipping, skiing, chess, and organized pantries. Most recently, the American Psychological Association declared that merit-based hiring may be racist. Even robots are now declared to be part of the supremacist menace because they are often made of white plastic.

Indeed, it now appears that both romance and marriage are vehicles for white supremacy. We previously discussed the writings of George Mason Professor Bethany Letiecq on how marriage advances “White, heteropatriarchal supremacy in America.”Nevertheless, the Strings book has met with acclaim and praise from many. Ms. Magazine praised the book as espousing the foundations of romance in “the white supremacist cishetallopatriarchy. Personal, historical, rigorous and readable, this is a fresh and essential feminist analysis on sexism, whiteness and toxic masculinity.” Other reviews note that Strings “challeng[es]readers to accept the end of love as they know it and to embrace more queer and feminist ideas of love, equity and partnership.”

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Cybertruck
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791676003015672305

 

 

Cheetah

 

 

Blood vessels

 

 

Dozen

 

 

Tiger fish

 

 

 

 

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May 162024
 
 May 16, 2024  Posted by at 9:12 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Wassily Kandinsky Free Curve to the Point – Accompanying Sound of Geometric Curves 1925

 

Robert Fico’s Life No Longer in Danger – Deputy Prime Minister (Sp.)
Slovak PM Robert Fico: Noted Critic of Western Approach To Ukraine Conflict (RT)
RFK Jr. Cries ‘Collusion’ After Biden And Trump Ditch Him For Debate (ZH)
Did Michael Cohen Commit Perjury in the Trump Trial? (Turley)
Clint Eastwood: Justice Prevailing over Authority (Paul Craig Roberts)
Blinken Tells Ukrainians To Embrace Conscription (RT)
Zelensky’s Last Roll Of The Dice: A New Forced Conscription Drive (Poletaev)
The Russians Just Walked In. They Just Walked In (HE)
‘Guns & Butter’: Putin Explains Reason Behind Major Cabinet Shake-Up
US Death Rate Projected to Exceed Births in 2040 – CBO (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Ukr cheats
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790458285184672167

 

 

Russiagate 1.0

 

 

January 21, 2017

 

 

FBI Cyber

 

 

Massie

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lone gunman should get 1 shot max vs 5-6 security guards. This guy got 5. These guards should protect with their lives.

Robert Fico’s Life No Longer in Danger – Deputy Prime Minister (Sp.)

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was injured on Wednesday in a shooting at the venue of the government’s offsite meeting, the Pravda news agency reported, adding that the attacker was detained. “Robert Fico was wounded after an offsite meeting of the government. The attacker shot several times. He was detained by police,” the report said. According to Pravda, the attacker made several shots before the police detained him. The incident occurred after the government meeting when Fico came out to to the public. The prime minister was rushed to a hospital by helicopter.

Earlier, the government of Slovakia decided to focus on humanitarian aid and no longer send weapons to Ukraine. The Cabinet led by Robert Fico did not approve the proposal of the previous government, which concerned sending another package of military aid to Ukraine worth 40.3 million euros. It mainly involved ammunition. This package of military aid was supposed to be the 14th from Slovakia; since February 2022, the republic has sent weapons, ammunition, and equipment to Ukraine worth 671 million euros.

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“Slovakia needs a neutral Ukraine,” Fico said. “Our interests will be threatened if it becomes a NATO member state..”

Slovak PM Robert Fico: Noted Critic of Western Approach To Ukraine Conflict (RT)

Robert Fico’s third term as prime minister of Slovakia put him squarely at odds with both the European Union and NATO on the matter of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The Slovak PM was shot on Wednesday, during a visit to the town of Handlova, and was rushed to hospital for surgery in a serious condition. His attacker has been arrested but his identity and motives have not yet been revealed. “This is not only a shot at Fico and Slovakia, but also at Russian-Slovak relations,” Russian lawmaker Konstantin Zatulin said in reaction to the news. “Fico knew very well that the majority of Slovaks, at least half, sympathize with Russia, despite the campaign of deception that rules the roost in Europe,” Zatulin added, noting that the Slovak PM had been “subjected to endless extortion and threats” from the EU over his political positions that ran counter to those of Brussels.

Fico led the government in Bratislava twice before, from 2006 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2018. He returned to office last October, having campaigned on stopping weapons deliveries to Ukraine and arguing that “people in Slovakia have bigger problems” than the war. The Ukraine conflict “began in 2014, when Ukrainian Nazis and fascists started murdering the Russian population of Donbas,” Fico said at a campaign rally last August. He has also described Ukraine’s Azov Battalion as “clearly a fascist regiment.” Upon winning the election, Fico stopped all Slovak military aid to Ukraine. The previous government had already sent Kiev $728 million worth of weapons, equipment and ammunition. He also refused to join the coalition of about 20 states for buying weapons for Ukraine, led by the neighboring Czech Republic. Last month, Fico said Bratislava would block Kiev’s application to join NATO. Admission to the US-led bloc requires the unanimous consent of all 32 member states.

“Slovakia needs a neutral Ukraine,” Fico said. “Our interests will be threatened if it becomes a NATO member state because that is the basis of a large world conflict.” The new government in Bratislava has insisted that the conflict should be resolved through diplomacy – and the sooner, the better. Fico praised the peace plans put forth by China, Brazil and the Vatican, all of which Ukraine has rejected. Earlier this month, Fico pushed back on talk by French President Emmanuel Macron about possibly sending NATO troops to help Kiev’s war effort, saying this would bring the world to the brink of a third world war. “Slovakia has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine, and let me send a clear message to the whole of Slovakia: Whoever might ask us, no Slovak soldier will set foot beyond the Slovak-Ukrainian border,” Fico told the parliament in Bratislava.

Just a few days later, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell lamented that “not everybody in the EU” agreed with his assertion that Russia is an existential threat to the bloc, and that some members considered Moscow “a good friend.” While he did not name any names, both Fico and Hungarian PM Viktor Orban have dissented from Brussels on the matter of Ukraine, and have sought to maintain relations with Russia. During his first term as PM, Fico sought to improve relations with Moscow, citing Russia’s support for the Slovakian national awakening in the 1850s. He criticized the 2014 EU sanctions on Russia as “senseless” and harmful to Slovakia’s economy. He has said the same about the expanded sanctions imposed since February 2022.

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Neither have anything to win in debating him.

RFK Jr. Cries ‘Collusion’ After Biden And Trump Ditch Him For Debate (ZH)

After a morning of geriatric shit talking, President Biden and former President Trump have agreed to a June 27 debate hosted by CNN. The date means that the two will debate before either candidate’s nominations are formally complete, and will be their first televised encounter since 2020. The debate will be held in CNN’s studio in Atlanta, per Axios, citing a network announcement. No audience members will be present, per the Biden campaign’s demands.

President Biden on Wedensday says he won’t participate in the decades-old tradition of three fall debates by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, and has proposed two televised debates in June and September – with no audience, RFK Jr. can’t participate, and Trump’s mic will be muted when Biden is speaking. Oh, and they can only be hosted by a regime-friendly network. Outlined in a video message and a letter to the commission, Biden called for direct negotiations between his campaign and the Trump campaign over rules, moderators, and network hosts for the one-on-one debates. He proposed a separate VP debate in July, after the Republican nominating convention and before the Democratic nominating convention.

“Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020, and since then he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he is acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal. I’ll even do it twice,” Biden said in a video released Wednesday, poking fun at Trump’s trial schedule in which the former President is free on Wednesdays. “So let’s pick the dates, Donald. I hear you’re free on Wednesdays.”

According to Biden campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon, the commission’s proposed schedule and difficulty in keeping candidates from violating debate rules are the reason for the proposal, the Washington Post reports. “The Commission’s model of building huge spectacles with large audiences at great expense simply isn’t necessary or conducive to good debates,” she wrote in a letter. “The debates should be conducted for the benefit of the American voters, watching on television and at home — not as entertainment for an in-person audience with raucous or disruptive partisans and donors, who consume valuable debate time with noisy spectacles of approval or jeering.”

Trump responded to the challenge, telling Fox News’ Brooke Singman “I’m ready to go…The dates that they proposed are fine…Let’s see if Joe can make it to the stand-up podium,” adding “The proposed June and early September dates are fully acceptable to me. I will provide my own transportation.” Trump and the RNC have also shown interest in ditching the commission, which has held presidential debates since 1988. They have already scheduled three presidential and vice presidential debates starting on Sept. 16, as well as a presidential candidate meeting in Texas that would have been simultaneously broadcast by major networks. “Let’s set it up right now,” Trump told Biden in a May 9 video posted to Truth Social. “I’m ready to go anywhere that you are.”

The two camps will conduct extensive negotiations over the coming weeks, with Biden’s team requesting that only broadcast networks which hosted Republican primary debates in 2016 and Democratic primary debates in 2020 should be eligible to host – meaning CNN, ABC News, Telemundo and CBS News. To that end, Biden has ‘received and accepted an invitation from CNN for a debate on June 27th.’As far as moderators go, Biden’s team has proposed that the host be picked from networks’ “regular personnel,” and that the actual debate have firm time limits on answers, equal speaking time, alternative turns to speak, and microphones that are only active during each candidate’s turn.

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“Like their star witness, the prosecutors have shown that they simply do not take the law very seriously when there is an advantage to be taken.”

Did Michael Cohen Commit Perjury in the Trump Trial? (Turley)

Below is a slightly expanded versions of my column in the New York Post on the first day of cross examination for Michael Cohen. With the government resting after Cohen’s cross examination, I believe that an honest judge would have no alternative but to grant a motion for a directed verdict and end the case before it goes to a jury. Judge Juan Merchan will now have to give the full measure of his commitment to the rule of law. Given the failure to support the elements of any crime or even to establish the falsity of recording payments as legal expenses, this trial seemed to stumble through the motions of a trial. Michael Cohen was only the final proof of a raw political exercise. For critics, some of Cohen’s answers appear clearly false or misleading. Like their star witness, the prosecutors have shown that they simply do not take the law very seriously when there is an advantage to be taken. Cohen has truly found a home with the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Here is the column:
On Tuesday, the prosecution surprised many by suddenly announcing that it would rest its case against former president Donald Trump with the completion of testimony by Michael Cohen. It was surprising because the prosecution never clearly stated the crime that it was proving, the elements of that crime, or even why denoting payments related to Stormy Daniels were not properly recorded as legal expenses. Indeed, the only thing the prosecutors proved was that, in the pantheon of dishonesty, there are liars, pathological liars . . . and Michael Cohen. Cohen spent the last two days insisting that he used to be a liar but lied only to help former President Donald Trump. If that is the thrust of his testimony, it is just the latest lie told by Cohen under oath. Cohen has lied to Congress, courts, special counsels, the IRS, the banks, and virtually every creature that walks or crawls on the face of the Earth.

Notably, his past conviction for business and tax fraud were not taken in the interests of Trump but himself. When he admitted on the stand that he lied during his prior plea agreement, that was not to assist Trump who he had already denounced. It was to advance his own interests. There is every indication that Cohen is still lying. Cohen repeatedly said that he could not remember even recent calls after recounting calls from eight years ago with crystal clarity. He said that he could not remember if he leaked information in the case to CNN. However, these paled in comparison to other glaring moments. Take, for example, his testimony on his unethical decision to secretly record a Sept. 6, 2016 telephone call with Trump. It was a breathtaking betrayal that most lawyers would not contemplate, let alone carry out. When asked by the prosecutors about that act, Cohen bizarrely claimed that he did so to guarantee that David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, would “remain loyal to Mr. Trump.”

No one seriously believes that this is true. It does not even make sense. Pecker was speaking to Trump about the payments and even met with him at the White House. Playing for him a call with Trump would produce nothing but confusion rather than pressure for Pecker. Moreover, why would Cohen tape the call without letting Trump know? The obvious motive was to squirrel away material to use against Trump if he ever needed a little leverage. Again, it was for Cohen. Cohen’s testimony showed that he has consistently acted in his sole interest. After portraying his sudden cooperation with prosecutors as a type of Road to Damascus, jurors learned that all roads lead back to Cohen and his bank accounts.

After telling the jury that he has dedicated his life to righting the wrongs of Trump and holding him accountable, he admitted that he repeatedly acted to undermine the prosecution in order to make a buck. Told by prosecutors to stop doing public interviews, Cohen did not care. He did roughly two dozen television appearances and recorded hundreds of podcast episodes. He admitted that Trump is mentioned in virtually every episode, of which he did roughly four a week. He recounted how he raked in hundreds of thousands on books, including one titled “Revenge.” He admitted that he is selling items like a $32 shirt with a photo of Trump in a jumpsuit behind bars and a coffee mug with the phrase “send him to the big house, not the White House.”

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“Eastwood’s movie is guilty of having justice prevail over authority. In the Western world today this is unacceptable.”

Clint Eastwood: Justice Prevailing over Authority (Paul Craig Roberts)

In Washington, D.C., in 1992 a friend called and said there was a new Clint Eastwood western movie out, “The Unforgiven,” that the Washington Post reviewer said was anti-gun. In lieu of Eastwood’s former movies, we found this hard to believe. My friend insisted we see the movie. We arrived only to find that the next showing was sold out. My friend insisted that we could buy tickets for a later showing and spend the time in a nearby restaurant with good food and drinks. I was more or less captured and reluctantly agreed. When the time came, we reappeared at the theater to find a long line. Taking our place, I was struck by the expressions of the liberal men and women exiting the movie to which they had gone to see Clint Eastwood renounce “gun violence.” They were shaken people. I asked one woman, “Was it as bad as that,” and she burst into tears. My hopes for the movie went up.

It was difficult for the Washington Post morons to hold on to their delusion that Eastwood had joined their anti-gun ranks. One of the morons wrote that Eastwood’s film de-glamorized the Western genre in which right prevails over wrong. (A prostitute’s face is slashed by cowboys, thus ruining her livelihood as a “sex worker” to use the WP’s euphemism. The sheriff, Little Bill, refuses to do anything. The women in the brothel put up a reward for the cowboys execution, and William Munny, played by Eastwood, sees in the reward rescue from failing efforts to provide for two children. What the movie is really about is the view of the great British jurist, Blackstone, who created liberty for the English and the Americans, with his emphasis that the whole of society should protect all of its parts. Otherwise, it was impossible that protection could be extended to any.

Little Bill shows that a person deprived of his guns, his self protection, is beaten and humiliated and has zero protection from law. Munny comes into town sick and suffers the same brutal beating. His parter, a black man, who is no longer willing to kill, turns away from the task and leaves. Guiltless, he is captured and tortured to death by the law administered by Little Bill. Munny rides into town, a killer of men, women, children and “everything that walks or crawls at one time or another.” Little Bill is organizing a posse to go after Munny, but Munny walks into the Salon and kills Little Bill and his deputies. A reporter on the scene is delighted with the story of multiple deaths that he has lucked upon, and begins questioning Munny about who he killed first, reciting a formula given him by Little Bill. Munny tells him he can only tell him who will be last, and the reporter flees the scene.

The truth in the movie is above the heads of the people at the Washington Post, NY Times, NPR, CNN, who tell us Americans how to think and how to perceive the world. The rule of law failed. The sheriff does nothing about the assault on the prostitute. The women in the brothel find this unacceptable. They collect up their earnings and offer a bounty for justice. Munny accepts it and delivers justice. Eastwood’s movie is a rare statement of accountability in our time. Today when the massive sufferings of the American people are ignored while the secret agendas of the elite are supported, one man removed tyranny from a western town. This is not what the American elite, hell-bent on imposing tyranny on Americans and the world, want to hear. And so the excrement that rules us has created its own explanation. Eastwood’s movie is guilty of having justice prevail over authority. In the Western world today this is unacceptable.

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Sign for your death on the dotted line…

Blinken Tells Ukrainians To Embrace Conscription (RT)

Ukrainians must accept more mobilization as a necessary step toward the country’s eventual NATO membership, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a speech in Kiev on Tuesday. Speaking to students at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute, the top US diplomat noted that Ukrainians are relying on his country for continued support, but insisted that they must see the importance of the military draft for the fight against Russia. “Your recent mobilization was a difficult decision, but a necessary one. The defenders who have so courageously held the line for more than two years need help. They need rest,” Blinken said. Joining the military will “allow you to harden your defenses, to build more units, to take the fight to Russian aggressors,” he added. Blinken mentioned members of the university’s community who have enrolled as volunteers, and of whom 88 have been killed in the ongoing conflict, according to the diplomat.

Kiev has recently adopted a radical military reform which is set to enter force this month. It introduces harsh punishments for draft avoidance in an attempt to achieve higher mobilization rates. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has denied consular services for citizens living abroad in a bid to force Ukrainian men of fighting age to return home and take up arms. Russia has estimated Ukrainian military losses this year alone at over 111,000, as of early May. During his visit to Ukraine, Blinken also claimed that the US goal is to ensure the country’s future as a “free, prosperous, secure democracy fully integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community.” “We are bringing Ukraine closer to, and then into NATO. We’ll make sure that Ukraine’s bridge to NATO is strong and well-lit,” he promised, predicting “tangible” progress along that path later this year.

The US and its allies claim they are pouring assistance into Ukraine to stop Russian imperial ambitions. Moscow, however, perceives the conflict as a US-initiated proxy war against Russia. The increased NATO presence in Ukraine was a major cause for Russian military action, according to its leadership. In 2021, Russia urged the US-led military bloc to sign a binding agreement that would have addressed Moscow’s concerns over NATO’s expansion in Europe, but the call was rejected. In 2022, Moscow sought to sign a peace treaty with Kiev, which would have ensured its status as a neutral nation. The deal was allegedly derailed by the West, in what Russian officials have said was clear evidence that Kiev lacks sovereignty and that the US and its allies have hostile intentions.

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“The fines for violating the mobilization law will also increase tenfold.”

Zelensky’s Last Roll Of The Dice: A New Forced Conscription Drive (Poletaev)

Mobilization in Ukraine resembles a safari. For example, in one video, we see a man being chased by a car like an animal. In an attempt to save his life, he jumps over a high fence. A man who was watching this scene hid in an attic. Another male almost drowned in an attempt to cross a river on the border with Moldova. However, not all Ukrainian men are so unlucky – various videos on the internet show that there are plenty of them in big cities. We see them sitting in cafes, walking the streets, working, driving, and riding trains. So why aren’t they at the front? In order to answer this question, the Ukrainian authorities have adopted a new law on mobilization, which will come into force on May 18. Most of the innovations prescribed in the new law concern greater control over the registration of conscripts. The new rules are supposed to help the Ukrainian Army system easily find them instead of grabbing guys off the streets, as in the scandalous videos.

Within 60 days of the law coming into effect, all Ukrainian men aged between 18 and 60 (including those who live abroad) will have to update their military registration data. Men who are not registered for service won’t be able to get a passport or access consular services. In addition, the law restricts “draft evaders” from working in the civil service, and allows TRCs to deprive them of a driver’s license through a court ruling. The fines for violating the mobilization law will also increase tenfold. Why was this drastic law necessary? And will it improve the situation for the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) or only delay an inevitable defeat? At the time of the USSR’s collapse, the Kiev Military District was among the most advanced and combat-ready in the Soviet Union. It had the latest weapons, some of the biggest stocks of ammunition and armored vehicles, and many of the best officers of the Soviet Army were sent to serve there.

For the sake of better understanding, a few words must be said about the Soviet army recruitment system. In peacetime, units were mainly comprised of officers and a minimal number of soldiers who maintained military equipment for combat readiness. In the event of war, within a matter of days, these units were to be filled with reservists who had completed their mandatory military service after school or college. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, this system rapidly fell apart. In 2013, conscription in Ukraine was suspended, but after the Western-backed 2014 Kiev coup, it was restored. However, the system didn’t work. Between 2014 and 2022, the AFU consisted mainly of men serving under contract, and by February 2022, the Ukrainian Army reserve was made up of veterans of the so-called Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) in Donbass. According to various estimates, in eight years, up to 350,000 people participated in the ATO and gained practical combat experience.

Meanwhile, compulsory military service and the training of reservists in Ukraine existed merely on paper. Theoretically, all young men had to serve in the army, but in practice almost every potential conscript in Ukraine paid a bribe, and their military personnel file was either “lost” or didn’t even exist (if the bribe was given by the subject’s parents while he was still at school). And if a guy was registered for military service, it was easy to make sure his address of registration and place of residence didn’t match. In rural areas, draft evasion has been less common, and people are more likely to reside at the address that was stated in their documents. That is why there are few men left in certain Ukrainian villages – because so many have been conscripted into the army. The Western press occasionally talks about such situations, but in general, this is a rare phenomenon.

After the beginning of the Russian offensive and martial law, Ukrainian military enlistment offices had to draft people into the army. At first, there were no problems, since there were plenty of volunteers. In the early days of the war, when patriotic enthusiasm was still strong, men lined up to join the AFU. The last volunteer brigades were formed in the winter of 2022-23 to participate in the Ukrainian counteroffensive which was being prepared at that time (in particular, the rather famous 47th Brigade was put together around then), but subsequently the influx of volunteers almost completely stopped. Gradually, the lists of registered conscripts and reservists who had participated in the ATO were exhausted. There was simply no one to send summonses to, since most Ukrainian men weren’t registered for military service and enlistment offices had no information about them.

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Billions upon billions in fortifications never built.

The Russians Just Walked In. They Just Walked In (HE)

Head of the Mezha Anti-Corruption Center, Martyna Bohuslavets, has written a report in Pravda asking “Where are the fortifications?” She reports that millions of dollars that were intended for the construction of fortifications in Ukraine were instead “transferred to Kharkiv OVA to front companies of avatars.” Bohuslavets said the Ukrainian Kharkiv Regional Military Administration (Kharkiv OVA) paid out funds to fictitious companies during the construction and fortification of the Kharkiv region. The report comes as Russian forces have broken into the northern region of Ukraine and the US continues funding the war. According to Ukranian Pravda reports, the Russian military has begun to advance in the northern region of Ukraine where funding that was set for fortification was transferred to fake companies. The offensive from the Russian military launched on Monday with attacks on towns and villages, the Kyiv Post reports. A total of 7 billion hryvnias was spent there by Ukraine, according to the report.

This comes as the BBC reports that a regional Ukrainian commander in Kharkiv has said that the first line of defense was missing in a massive “betrayal” in the northern region of the country. Denys Yaroslavskyi, a commander in the region in charge of the Ukrainian Special Reconnaissance Unit, told the outlet, “There was no first line of defence. We saw it. The Russians just walked in. They just walked in, without any mined fields.” He told the BBC that government officials claimed to have built up the mines as the first line of defense at a huge cost. He told reporters, “Either it was an act of negligence, or corruption. It wasn’t a failure. It was a betrayal.” He then added, “When we were fighting back for this territory in 2022, we lost thousands of people. We risked our lives.”

“And now because someone didn’t build fortifications, we’re losing people again,” he stated. In March, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on the lack of oversight on the funds going to Ukraine during the war. GAO found in its report from March that the Defense Department is lacking in its ability to provide oversight on the resources being sent to Ukraine in the war. The GAO reported, “DOD does not have quality data to track delivery of defense articles to Ukraine. DOD guidance on PDA does not clearly define at what point in the delivery process defense articles should be recorded as delivered or provide clear instructions for how DOD service branches are to confirm delivery.” It added that full documentation of the funding being sent to the military effort has been lacking.

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You need to balance your economy.

‘Guns & Butter’: Putin Explains Reason Behind Major Cabinet Shake-Up

Russian President Vladimir Putin has for the first time explained the rationale behind this week’s major cabinet reshuffling, which for the first time of the Ukraine operation saw Sergey Shoigu removed as defense minister (and ‘promoted’ to head of the national security council), and former minister for economic development Andrey Belousov moved into the defense chief spot. He described the decision as due to the dramatic rise in the defense budget and military spending. Putin said of Belousov: “He understands perfectly well what needs to be done in order for the economy of the entire security complex – and the Ministry of Defense as its key component – to fit into the overall economy of the country,” according to state media translation. The Russian president was addressing a gathering of top military officers.

“This is extremely important and relates to the innovative development of industry and taking into account the capabilities of the economy and the budget,” he said, explaining further: “This relationship between ‘guns’ and ‘butter’, so to speak, must be organically integrated into the overall development strategy of the Russian state,” Putin said. “I hope that Andrey Removich [Belousov] will handle this task in the best possible way.” Putin noted that Russia’s military spending has grown to approximately 8.7% of GDP in 2024. While not quite the 13% that the Soviet Union was spending in the 1980s at the height of the Cold War, “these are significant resources, and we have to use them very efficiently and effectively,” the president explained. The appointment had raised eyebrows inside and outside Russia given Belousov has no military experience, nor has he been involved in strategic decision-making regarding the war in Ukraine. Instead, Belousov has always been a ‘numbers guy’ and Russian central bank planner.

The United States was among those countries claiming that the big shake-up points to a destabilizing trend in the Kremlin due to significant losses suffered by Russia in the context of Ukraine, as well as the sometimes devastating cross-border attacks on Russian soil. The Biden administration on Monday said it shows signs of “desperation” for Moscow sustaining the high costs of the Ukraine invasion, also amid unprecedented Washington sanctions aimed at Moscow (but which have by and large backfired).”Our point of view is that this is further indication of Putin’s desperation to sustain his war of aggression against Ukraine, despite it being a major drain on the Russian economy and the heavy losses of Russian troops, with some estimates as high as 315,000 casualties,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said to a press briefing.

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Hmmmm…

US Death Rate Projected to Exceed Births in 2040 – CBO (Sp.)

The death rate in the United States is projected to exceed the number of births in 2040, Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Phillip Swagel said on Monday. “In CBO projections, deaths exceed births beginning in 2040,” Swagel said during a discussion at the American Enterprise Institute. As a result of this process, the US population would shrink thereafter without a “support” of immigration, Swagel said. Net immigration and birth rates are to decrease between 2024 and 2029, according to CBO data. Swagel also said that higher-than-expected migration became the major driver of the labor force in the United States The CBO has increased its projection of the size of the labor market in 2033 by 5.2 million people from last year, Swagel added.

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Kestrel

 

 

Collie sheep

 

 

Eagle

 

 

Catnip ball

 

 

Moon

 

 

 

 

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May 152024
 


Vittorio Matteo Corcos Conversation in the Jardin du Luxembourg 1892

 

A Reckoning of Biblical Proportions (Turley)
“Trump Is Innocent”: Mike Johnson Speech Outside Trump Trial In Manhattan (ZH)
Putin Needs to Shake-Up Himself (Paul Craig Roberts)
Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Alito Warn About State of America (ET)
US Lags Behind Russia In Electronic Warfare – Ex-Pentagon Official (RT)
Western Elites Want To Prosper At The Expense Of Others – Putin (RT)
Russia-China Relations At Highest Level Ever, Still Strengthen – Putin (Sp.)
Just How Confused Is US Foreign Policy Right Now? (Jay)
RFK Jr. and AV24 Super PAC Sue Meta, Alleging Election Interference (ET)
West Considering Large-Scale Conflict – Russian Spy Chief (RT)
Erdogan Holds Emergency Meeting Following Coup Warning (Sp.)

 

 

Vivek
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790429079113543913

 

 

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó:
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790271559329788372

 

 

Bow
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790304550630339056

Bimbo

 

 

Rogan

Bug wiping device

 

 

 

 

“..the New York Post revealed that Cohen has been peddling a reality show called “The Fixer..”

A Reckoning of Biblical Proportions (Turley)

[..] my column in the New York Post on the first day of the examination of Michael Cohen. He is expected to start his cross examination today. How bad will it be? After lying to Congress, courts, banks, and most everyone else, it will be bad. Years ago, Cohen threatened a journalist and told him “what I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting.” Well, that bad. On cross examination, Cohen faces a reckoning of biblical proportions.

Michael Cohen apparently wants a reality show but, if his testimony Monday is any indication, reality is about to sink in for not just Cohen but the prosecutors and the court. In stoking interest in his own appearance, the former Trump counsel promised the public that they should be “prepared to be surprised.” Thus far, however, Cohen has offered nothing new and, more importantly, nothing to make the case for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Just before he took the stand, the New York Post revealed that Cohen has been peddling a reality show called “The Fixer,” including working with Colin Whelan, who helped create “Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up.” Whelan appears interested to stay within that genre. The Cohen pitch came with a cheesy promo video where he promised viewers, “I am your fixer.” His first post-Trump client, Bragg, may have to disagree. Cohen had only one advantage for Bragg: His notoriously flexible morals and ethics, which allows him to say most anything to support his sponsors.

With the prosecution’s case almost over, Bragg needed Cohen to clearly state that Trump intentionally committed fraud to conceal some still poorly defined crime. The problem is that Cohen only confirmed that Trump knew he was going to pay for the nondisclosure agreement and that it would be buried before the election. None of that is unlawful. On his reality show promo, Cohen tells viewers that he is now there to fix their problems because “the little guy doesn’t usually have access to people with my particular set of skills.” Those skills seem to have escaped all of the witnesses who were compelled to work with him. Witnesses detailed how Cohen was ridiculed as someone “prone to exaggeration” and unprofessional. Former Trump associate Hope Hicks said that Cohen was constantly trying to insinuate himself into the campaign and that he “used to like to call himself Mister Fix It, but it was only because he first broke it.” Cohen only succeeded in confirming that he put together this payment and advised Trump to go forward with it. He assured him that it would effectively kill the story before the election.

None of that is illegal. The “Fix it man” assured Trump that he fixed it and now wants Trump to go to jail for following that advice. In the course of that representation, Cohen also admitted to taping his client without his knowledge, a breathtaking breach of trust and confidentiality. This is the man who, according to Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Keith Davidson, expected to be Trump’s Attorney General. Davidson said that Cohen was “depressed and despondent” and “I thought he was going to kill himself” when he realized that he would not be made a cabinet member. Cohen contradicted Davidson and insisted that he only wanted to be Trump’s personal lawyer. He also admitted that he was unaware that the publisher of National Enquirer, David Pecker, had long killed negative stories about Trump and other celebrities for decades. Cohen has yet to fix the problem for Bragg.

More importantly, he has added to the problem for Judge Juan Merchan. Many of us have ridiculed this case as devoid of any criminal act. Indeed, Merchan has allowed the prosecutors to proceed without clearly stating what crime was being concealed. It is not even clear why paying one’s lawyer a lump sum for his services and costs (including the NDA payment) was not a “legal expense” or how it was supposed to be entered on a business ledger. Absent a sudden epiphany in his final testimony on Tuesday, Merchan should rule in favor of a directed verdict — that is, throwing the case out before it goes to a jury. If he instead sends this farcical case to the jury, it is Merchan, not Cohen, who may have a better claim to a reality show as the ultimate “Fixer.”

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“..Republicans are coming out of the woodwork to support him now that it’s safe..”

“Trump Is Innocent”: Mike Johnson Speech Outside Trump Trial In Manhattan (ZH)

Johnson, Ramaswamy, Doug Burgum, Byron Donalds, Cory Mills, and Eric and Lara Trump all joined Trump today. Johnson gave a speech. “This is the fifth week that President Trump has been in court for this sham of a trial. They are doing this intentionally to keep him here and keep him off of the campaign trail,” he said. “And I think everybody in the country can see that for what it is.” “President Trump is innocent of these charges,” he later declared. Johnson told reporters that he went to his “friend” Trump’s trial voluntarily. “I called President Trump and told him I wanted to be here myself to call out what is a travesty of justice. And I think everybody around the country can see that,” said Johnson. “President Trump is a friend and I wanted to be here to support him.” “I came here, again, today on my own to support President Trump because I am one of hundreds of millions of people, and one citizen, who is deeply concerned about this,” he added.

* * *
Now that Donald Trump’s Manhattan ‘hush money’ trial has revealed itself to be yet another Democrat farce, Republicans are coming out of the woodwork to support him now that it’s safe. On Monday, GOP Sens. J.D. Vance of Ohio (a VP hopeful) and Tomy Tuberville of Alabama went to the courthouse. Now, in a display of loyalty to Trump (and of course, optics), House Speaker Mike Johnson is reportedly expected to attend Trump’s trial, according to Axios, Other names expected to attend are North Dakota Gov. Burgum as well as Vivek Ramaswamy, both Trump VP contenders. The flood of support comes after a former attorney for Stormy Daniels – who claims she had a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump, and was paid $130,000 right before the 2016 election, testified that payments made to her weren’t “hush-money,” and were instead a “consideration.” On Monday, convicted felon and perjurer Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, testified that Trump was intimately involved in the scheme.

“Everything required Mr. Trump’s sign-off,” Cohen said, adding “What I was doing, I was doing at the direction of and benefit of Mr. Trump.” Johnson’s trip comes less than one week after House Democrats helped block an attempt by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to oust him from office over his successful ‘America Last’ effort to fund wars in Ukraine and Israel. Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly voiced support for Johnson – including during a joint appearance at Mar-a-Lago, after which he urged Republicans to table Greene’s motion to vacate.

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Includes criticism of central bank head Elvira Nabiullina. Rare. “Stalin would have long ago shot her..”

Putin Needs to Shake-Up Himself (Paul Craig Roberts)

Putin is conducting a large shake-up in the Russian government. He needs to give himself a good shaking as well. Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Russia’s Chechen providence said on Russia’s Rossiya TV channel: “I believe that we need to attack more actively, we need to hit hard while there is time. This month we need to take the nearest territory, we definitely need to take Odessa and Kharkiv. Then sit this Zelensky down and force him to sign all the papers that Russia needs for the security of our state, citizens and the Russian-speakers who live on the territory of Ukraine.” This is the second Russian war leader after Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, to express dissatisfaction with the glacially slow pace at which Putin is conducting the conflict. One wonders if Kadyrov will have a similar fate to Prigozhin.

I am not an expert on the Russian military. My impression is that the Wagner and Chechen soldiers are Russia’s best combat troops. It is a pity to waste such troops in a war conducted at a snail’s pace. The slow pace at which Putin has conducted the war has resulted in the war being greatly widened and thus made much more dangerous and difficult to resolve. Indeed, Putin is now in danger of NATO occupying Odessa before Russian troops can get there. If the West can keep Odessa and Kharkiv out of Russian hands, the war will be a defeat for Putin. It is inexplicable that Putin takes this risk. Putin’s dilemma is that a man who sees himself as an instrument of peace is a poor war leader. Curiously, Foreign Minister Lavrov says that the West has decided to prolong the war. No. The prolonged war was Putin’s decision. A war that should have been over in three weeks has lasted 27 months.

Putin’s neglect of the war’s requirements is the reason that Russians in the Russian city and region of Belgorod are slaughtered by drones and missiles on their way to work and why “Russian apartment buildings in Russian cities struck by high intensity weapons supplied to Ukraine by the West collapse on the inhabitants. The snail-paced conflict was supposed to save lives. Instead, casualties have multiplied many fold and spread to Russian civilians distant from the battlefield. Now there is a shakeup at the top of the Russian military with a civilian without military experience taking over as defense minister. I think Putin would be taken more seriously if he had appointed Ramzan Kadyrov as defense minister. Instead, Putin has stuck in an economist who, like Putin’s central bank director, is more concerned with the expense of the conflict–now one-third of the Russian budget–than they are about winning the war before it spins out of control.

The neo-liberal Putin supports as Russia’s central bank manager is a failure on all fronts. She left Russian assets in the West to be seized by Washington’s sanctions. She was unable to understand that Russia did not need loans from the West to develop economically. And now she imposes 16% interest rates on the Russian economy. Stalin would have long ago shot her. I have often wondered if Russia can survive Putin’s central bank director. Putin has done a good job of Russifying a population that was infatuated with the West. The population again thinks of itself as a distinct and proud national entity, not as a wannabe cog in globalist machinery run by Washington. Putin gets kudos for this, but his conduct of the war maximizes the likelihood of the conflict spinning out of control. Prigozhin understood this, and so does Kadyrov. Will Putin understand before his limited military operation spins into World War 3?

Read more …

The entire justice system is shaking. Look at the Trump indictments. Thomas and Alito should stand up and be heard.

Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Alito Warn About State of America (ET)

In separate remarks at two different events on Friday, Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito issued warnings about the state of affairs in America today, including support for freedom of speech “declining dangerously” and the nation’s capital becoming a “hideous” place where cancel culture runs rampant. Justice Thomas spoke at a conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Point Clear, Alabama, while Justice Alito delivered a commencement address at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Catholic college in Ohio, with both of the conservative-minded judges painting a dark picture—while encouraging action and offering hope. At the Alabama event, Justice Thomas was asked to comment by the moderator—U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle—about what it’s like to work “in a world that seems meanspirited.” “I think there’s challenges to that,” Justice Thomas said. “We’re in a world and we—certainly my wife and I the last two or three years it’s been—just the nastiness and the lies, it’s just incredible.”

Justice Thomas has faced heavy fire from Democrats who accuse him of skirting disclosure rules, of corruption in general, and of being too cozy with wealthy Republicans. They have not been able to point to any specific court cases in which the justice has misbehaved. Some activists have even pushed for Justice Thomas’s impeachment. By contrast, over 100 former Supreme Court clerks signed an open letter last year defending Justice Thomas’s integrity, calling him a man of “unwavering principle” whose independence is “unshakable.” They called various critical stories that have targeted him as “malicious” and “perpetuating the ugly assumption that the Justice cannot think for himself.” “They are part of a larger attack on the Court and its legitimacy as an institution,” the letter also stated. “The picture they paint of the Court and the man for whom we worked bears no resemblance to reality.” Public opinion polls suggest public trust in the Supreme Court recently fell to new lows.

Addressing the criticism, Justice Thomas said at the Alabama conference that Washington had become a “hideous” place where “people pride themselves in being awful,” while characterizing America beyond the Beltway as a place where regular people “don’t pride themselves in doing harmful things.” Justice Thomas also expressed concern that court writings have become inaccessible to the average person, engendering a sense of alienation. “The regular people I think are being disenfranchised sometimes by the way that we talk about cases,” Justice Thomas said, while expressing hope that this could change. Justice Alito warned graduates at the Catholic college in Ohio that freedom of speech and religion were both being assailed in today’s America, while expressing hope that young people would take up the mantle and fight for positive change. In his address, Justice Alito made a reference to pop culture, namely to a graduation speech delivered by the character Thornton Melon (played by Rodney Dangerfield) in the movie “Back to School.”

He jokingly cited Mr. Melon’s advice to graduates, which was not to go out into the world after graduating because “it’s rough out there” and instead move back in with their parents, let them pay all the bills, and “worry about it.” “As Mr. Melon said, it is rough out there,” Justice Alito said. “It’s probably rougher out there now than it has been for quite some time. But that is precisely why your contributions will be so important.” Justice Alito said that, outside the walls of the campus, “troubled waters are slamming against some of our most fundamental principles,” referring to freedom of speech. “Support for freedom of speech is declining dangerously,” he continued, noting that this problem is especially acute on college campuses, which he said are places where the exchange of ideas should be most protected.

Read more …

“..We will invite failure along the way, but if you’re not willing to fail, you’re not going to succeed.”

US Lags Behind Russia In Electronic Warfare – Ex-Pentagon Official (RT)

The US military has been surpassed by Russia and other potential adversaries in the field of electronic warfare, including jamming technology used to take down enemy weapons, a retired Pentagon official has reportedly lamented. Speaking at the SOF Week conference in Tampa, Florida, retired US Army Lieutenant General Mike Nagata warned that Washington is “still falling behind” its rivals in electronic combat. “The gap between where the United States should be and where we are, in my judgment, continues to expand not everywhere, but in far too many places,” Defense One quoted Nagata as saying. Jamming technology has become an increasingly important battlefield tool, as evidenced by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Russian forces have been successful in sending HIMARS rockets and other US-made weaponry off course, using electronic signals to scramble their guidance systems.

In fact, General Valery Zaluzhny, then Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, said in an interview last November that Russia had gained the upper hand. He called electronic warfare “the key to victory.” The Pentagon will need to be more creative in its use of radio technologies, especially space-based communications, to close the gap in the electronic warfare domain, said Nagata, who led US Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) in the Middle East. Russian jamming has reportedly reduced the accuracy rate of US-made Excalibur artillery shells to 6% from their normal level of 70%. Retired special operations officials told Defense One that Moscow had consistently invested in electromagnetic innovations for decades. While those advances were being made, the outlet said, US electronic-warfare efforts were focused on gathering intelligence in the Middle East.

Nagata said countering Russia’s jamming prowess will require more risk-taking in efforts to advance satellite communications and other technologies. “The US government, particularly its leadership – from senior military officers all the way to civilian policymakers – we have to be willing to take more risk in experimenting with, adopting and employing new technologies. We will invite failure along the way, but if you’re not willing to fail, you’re not going to succeed.” The Pentagon has reportedly been exploring the use of narrower and stronger signal bands to overcome jamming attempts. However, Mark Cancian, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told Business Insider that “game changers” should not be expected. “The other side always develops countermeasures that reduce effectiveness,” he said.

Read more …

Of course. There’s no other way to be an elite.

Western Elites Want To Prosper At The Expense Of Others – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has set the stage for his state visit to China by praising efforts by Moscow and Beijing to build a “just, multipolar world order” as Western leaders try to retain global dominance by disregarding the sovereign interests of other countries. In an interview with Xinhua News Agency that was published on Tuesday, Putin said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had achieved the strongest Russia-China relations in history by relying on “the principles of equality and trust,” as well as mutual respect for each sovereign nation’s interests. He contrasted that approach with Western attitudes toward other nations. “Earth is the cradle of humanity, our common home, and we are all equal as its inhabitants,” Putin said. “I am convinced that this view is shared by most people on the planet.”

However, he added, US led Western elites refuse to respect civilizational and cultural diversity and reject centuries-old traditional values, and have usurped the right to tell other nations whom they may or must not make friends and cooperate with. They seek to ensure their well being at the expense of other states, just like in the old days, and resort to neo-colonial methods to that end, Putin said. Putin is scheduled to begin his two-day visit to China on Thursday. Just as Xi chose Russia for his first foreign trip after being reelected last year, the Russian leader is heading to Beijing after winning his fifth term as president. The leaders sat down for more than five hours of face-to-face talks during Xi’s trip to Moscow in March 2023. During the meeting, the Chinese president reiterated his “long-term commitment” to strengthening the ties and practical cooperation between the two states.

The Ukraine conflict is currently among the top issues on that agenda. Putin noted that from the outset of the crisis, China had worked to find a diplomatic solution. Neither Ukraine nor its Western backers were ready for an “an equal, honest and open dialogue based on mutual respect and consideration of each other’s interests,” he told Xinhua. Even as the West tried to wreck the Russian economy with sanctions, trade between Russia and China surged to nearly $228 billion, more than doubling 2019’s volume. “Given global turbulence and economic issues in the West, such results prove yet again the strategic wisdom of our sovereign course and pursuit of national interests,” Putin said. Beijing has consistently refused to blame Russia for the fighting in Ukraine, arguing that the expansion of NATO and Washington’s “Cold-War mentality” are the root causes of the confrontation.

Read more …

None of it includes the west…

Russia-China Relations At Highest Level Ever, Still Strengthen – Putin (Sp.)

Relations between China and the Russian Federation are stronger than ever and continuing to strengthen, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. “Today, Russia-China relations have reached the highest level ever, and despite the difficult global situation continue to get stronger,” Putin said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency, ahead of a state visit to China. Putin said that the unprecedented level of strategic partnership between Russia and China contributed to his decision to choose China for his first state visit after his most recent inauguration as President of the Russian Federation. Russia-China trade and economic relations are developing rapidly and are showing immunity to external challenges, Putin said.

“Trade and economic relations between our countries are developing at a fast pace, showing strong immunity to external challenges and crises. Over the past five years, we have doubled the Russia-China turnover: it reached US$227.8 billion last year, against US$111 billion in 2019,” Putin said in an interview with China’s Xinhua news agency. Putin said more than 90% of settlements between Russian and Chinese companies are made in the countries’ national currencies. “So it would be more accurate to say that bilateral trade currently totals about 20 trillion rubles [about $219 billion], or nearly 1.6 trillion yuan. China has remained our key business partner for 13 years, and in 2023, Russia ranked 4th among the PRC’s major trading partners,” he said.

Read more …

“..Arafat was right..”

Just How Confused Is US Foreign Policy Right Now? (Jay)

Arafat was right. He knew at the Camp David Summit of 2000 that if he signed the deal offered to him – 92 percent of Gaza and 100 percent of West Bank – of a new Palestinian state, that in a matter of only hours the Israelis would have cheated him and invaded, given that the most controversial point of the deal was that they would both have to be demilitarized.

Today the case to distrust America and Israel is even stronger. Our parents who witnessed the Camp David Summit and before that the Oslo Accords of 1993 – both Bill Clinton’s failed attempt at creating a two-state solution within Israel for the Palestinians – would not believe what we are witnessing now, since the massacre of October 7th. Israel has been not only allowed but goaded into what is clearly becoming obviously a policy of ethnic cleansing in Gaza and western media are asking us to believe that there is reason to this madness which lets Israel bomb innocent civilians while sending food aid. Israel successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of around half a million Gazans to move to Rafah which was supposed to be a ‘safe zone’ only to take the genocide to the next level and murder them en masse while they are there – all under the eyes of the so-called international community which witnesses the failure of international law which should have prevented the IDF from even making it to the border crossing itself with Egypt, incidentally part of the Camp David agreement in the 70s.

Is Biden really running the U.S.? The only inkling which might indicate that he is, would be the incoherent decisions and actions by him and his administration, not to mention the State Department which concluded in a report recently that probably Israel was breaking international law by almost certainly using U.S. weapons to bomb Gazans in Rafah. But the report seemed to be a self-lancing boil. While it pointed the finger, it also pardoned Israel for its war crimes, thus encouraging the government to continue, led by Netanyahu who, in the late 90s when he became prime minister in Israel delivered an award-winning performance for Clinton whereby he and his government showed it was committed to the ethos of Oslo and Camp David accords. In reality it was a bluff as he cheated even a naïve U.S. president leaving the Palestinians to exercise their only tool they had in the coming years: terrorism.

Biden, when he is lucid, is less naïve about the game of cat and mouse which Netanyahu is playing and winning. The move by him to temporarily block arms deliveries to the IDF is of course a bluff as he knows very well that for at least a couple of months Israel has enough stocks. The truth of the ruse is that the U.S. itself is very low indeed on ammo and that Biden is actually giving the manufacturers some time to replenish their own stocks while he attempts to beguile a gullible U.S. public that he actually cares about Palestinian lives. The reality is that he has no real problem with them being mowed down like rats in a pen. He simply can’t state that though so pretends to be disturbed about the genocide which, according to the Palestinian health authority has reached 37,000 deaths. Nothing compared to the Holocaust of WWII right?

Read more …

Get out of jail free:

“The link was mistakenly blocked and was quickly restored once the issue was discovered.”

RFK Jr. and AV24 Super PAC Sue Meta, Alleging Election Interference (ET)

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and the super PAC backing him have filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms, Inc., for election interference after it allegedly shadow banned the documentary “Who is Bobby Kennedy?” on Facebook and Instagram. American Values 2024 (AV24) announced in a May 13 press release that they have filed the lawsuit in a California district court for violating the First Amendment and “the American people’s fundamental right to a presidential election decided by voters, not by trillion-dollar corporations.” The complaint alleges that Meta “brazenly” censored speech supportive of Mr. Kennedy, then lied about its actions. According to the complaint, Meta “sent users messages threatening to suspend their accounts or otherwise punish them if they sought to watch, share or even post a link to the film. And they made good on these threats, disabling and suspending users who did so.”

In addition, the complaint says that Meta stated that the film contained improper sexual or violent content. When users attempted to comment, those comments were removed, the complaint alleges. “Under the Support and Advocacy Clause of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, private companies and their officers and employees cannot in concert seek to prevent by force, threat or intimidation any citizen from engaging lawful speech supporting or advocating the election of a presidential candidate,” the complaint says. After AV24 released the documentary, it began trending on X. However, Facebook and Instagram—both Meta-owned—allegedly suppressed “the organic reach of content they don’t want to spread,” the PAC said in a May 6 press release. The film was also labeled with a COVID-19 vaccine disclaimer that referred users to other sources such as the Center for Disease Control’s website, the complaint said.

In response to The Epoch Times’ request for comment on the allegation last week, a spokesperson for Meta stated, “The link was mistakenly blocked and was quickly restored once the issue was discovered.” In response to a request for an updated comment on the allegation of election interference in the lawsuit, a Meta spokesperson repeated the above statement. AV24 said in its lawsuit that Meta’s claim of accidental censorship is “implausible on its face” and contradicts “the numerous messages users received from Meta offering other, equally implausible explanations.” The documentary film, released May 3, is narrated by actor Woody Harrelson. The film is a biography of Mr. Kennedy aimed at providing a look into who he is as opposed to how mainstream media portray him.

It begins with Mr. Kennedy quoting from various media reports that paint him as a “mentally disturbed” conspiracy theorist instead of an environmental attorney who took on corporate malfeasance. It discusses how he went after the pharmaceutical industry after meeting with mothers who believed vaccines injured their children. “Right now big oil funds the Republicans, Big Tech funds the Democrats, Big Pharma and the military contractors make sure to donate to both,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Who is liberal now and who is conservative? Who’s left and who’s right? These labels make less and less sense. I’ve been fighting corporate corruption for 40 years. I know how they work. I know how to clean them up. And that’s why I’m running for president.”

Read more …

“..such an escalation could actually occur if the West decides that it would be “reasonably safe” and beneficial to its interests..”

West Considering Large-Scale Conflict – Russian Spy Chief (RT)

A number of Western leaders believe they would be able to maintain their hegemony if they plunge the world deeper into turmoil, information possessed by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) suggests, according to the agency’s head, Sergey Naryshkin. The SVR chief’s statements come as French President Emmanuel Macron and several officials from the Baltic states have repeatedly hinted in recent months at the possibility of deploying Western troops to Ukraine. Russia has warned that such a move would escalate the conflict. Speaking during a plenary meeting of the Federation Council on Tuesday, Naryshkin stated that his agency had obtained information that “some Euro-Atlantic politicians consider it possible to unleash a large-scale military conflict in order to maintain their hegemony.”

He noted that there are “strong reasons” to believe that such an escalation could actually occur if the West decides that it would be “reasonably safe” and beneficial to its interests. However, the spy chief admitted that there are also “truly responsible” global and regional players in the world who, if united, could have the potential to “ensure the impossibility of unleashing such a conflict, including the use of nuclear weapons.” Russian special services will continue to monitor the development of the situation “very closely,” Naryshkin stated.

Macron has consistently refused to rule out the idea of sending NATO forces into Ukraine, calling such threats “necessary” to maintain the West’s “strategic ambiguity.” While NATO and most of its members, as well as the EU, have vehemently denied the possibility of such a move, Lithuania has backed Macron’s proposal. Meanwhile, Madis Roll, the national security adviser to Estonian President Alar Karis, has also stated that Tallinn was “seriously” considering sending troops to fill “rear” roles in Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that any NATO troop deployment to Ukraine would be treated as a major escalation and would almost certainly lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the US-led bloc. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also pointed out that any NATO troops that appear in the conflict zone would “inevitably become targets for the Russian military,” as would any foreign-supplied weapons used to strike Russian territory, no matter if they are deployed in Ukraine or elsewhere.

Read more …

There we go again.

Erdogan Holds Emergency Meeting Following Coup Warning (Sp.)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held an emergency meeting with the heads of intelligence and the ministry of justice after his fellow party member, Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli, had warned of a possible coup d’état being prepared by law enforcement agencies, the Turkiye newspaper on Wednesday. The dismissal of several police officers in Ankara’s security directorate accused of links to criminal organization Ayhan Bora Kaplan has caused widespread concern. Their homes had been searched to seize digital materials. Bahceli has said the situation could be a conspiracy against the government, and the suspension of several police officers alone cannot be avoided. The official, while addressing a party meeting in parliament, has warned of a possible repeat of the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

Erdogan held the emergency overnight meeting with Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc and National Intelligence Organization Director Ibrahim Kalin at the president’s residence following a warning from Bahceli, the report said. The Turkish president is expected to speak on the topic at an expanded meeting of the ruling party in the parliament on Wednesday. A Sputnik correspondent reported that Turkish citizens have since been actively posting messages in support of Erdogan on social media platform X with the hashtag #DevletimizinYanındayız, which translates as “we stand by our state,” and images of the Turkish president with words of support and quotes.

The Turkish government has accused Members of the organization of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen (FETO) of being responsible for a coup attempt in 2016. Over 80,000 people have been arrested in Turkey and some 150,000 civil servants and military personnel have been dismissed or suspended from their jobs over suspected links to FETO. Gulen, who has lived in self-exile in the US since 1999, rejected the accusations and condemned the coup attempt.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Hodkinson

 

 

Jordan Peterson

 

 

My bitches
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790322921216315516

 

 

Ali

 

 

Pouch time

 

 

Anaconda
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790306677226389996

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 142024
 
 May 14, 2024  Posted by at 9:18 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


Vittorio Matteo Corcos Sogni 1896

 

Scott Ritter: The Russians Advance and Ukrainians Can’t Stop Them (Sp.)
One of Russia’s Top Economists is Being Appointed as Minister of Defense (Sp.)
Belousov May Create Problems for Russia’s Adversaries as Defense Minister (Sp.)
Biden Is ‘Surrounded By Fascists’ In Oval Office – Trump (RT)
Biden ‘Doing It All Wrong’ – Ex-Clinton Adviser (RT)
‘Unusually Aggressive’ Anti-Trump Grand Jury Went Rogue With Indictments (ZH)
“I See Dead People”: Bragg’s Case Against Trump Goes Paranormal (Turley)
A Massive Transformation Is Taking Place In Russia (Trenin)
Elon Musk Wins Court Battle Against Australia (RT)
The Coming of BRICS+ Decentralized Monetary Ecosystem (Pepe Escobar)
Putin to Visit China at Invitation of Xi Jinping on May 16-17 – Kremlin (Sp.)
Latest Polls Show Biden Will Need Twice As Many Fake Ballots This Year (BBee)

 

 


“In a society of spectacle, of propaganda and of the totalitarian nature of Western systems, doubt is a fundamental stepping-stone to get out of the cave.”

Daria Dugina

 

 

Watters Cohen

 

 

Turley Trump

 

 

Fitton

 

 

Ed Dowd: “The Only Way Biden Wins Is If They CHEAT”

“We’ve never seen approval numbers like this. So if he wins, if he’s still actually alive, it’ll be theft.” Official reports suggest that Biden’s approval ratings are hovering around 36%. But Biden’s real approval rating is only about 8%, according to economic forecaster Martin Armstrong and an anonymous Big Tech source. Ed Dowd revealed that he has “seen numbers” to suggest that 30% of black men and 15% of black women will vote for Trump in 2024.

“That’s way above the numbers that Trump was getting in 2016 … These numbers just immediately turf the chances of Biden. Just those numbers alone.” When it comes to increasing Biden’s chances, Dowd says, “[War] is the only way to improve his approval rating.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1790055748312986006

 

 

Seinfeld

 

 

 

 

Kharkiv.

Scott Ritter: The Russians Advance and Ukrainians Can’t Stop Them (Sp.)

Russian forces have launched a large-scale offensive towards Kharkov, revealing apparent gaps in Ukraine’s previously proclaimed fortified defenses along the northern border. According to military analyst Scott Ritter, the Ukrainian military, expecting robust defenses including anti-tank obstacles and minefields, was significantly outmaneuvered. As Russian troops continue to push south from the Belgorod area, Ritter notes that the situation exposes a broader vulnerability within the Ukrainian defense strategy. “The Ukrainians are now in a panic, pulling forces from critical fronts elsewhere,” Ritter explained. This reallocation of troops to the north leaves other strategic areas, such as Kherson and Odessa, potentially exposed to new Russian attacks.

Simultaneously, Russia’s military seems to be capitalizing on a lack of Ukrainian reserves, with simultaneous pressures in the Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions contributing to what Ritter describes as “the collapse of Ukraine as a cohesive combat force.” In the midst of these battlefield developments, Russia has appointed a new Minister of Defense, Andrei Belousov, a move that has sparked discussions and speculation both within Russia and internationally. Belousov, an economist with extensive governmental experience but no military background, steps into a role that seems more focused on managing the defense industry’s growth and sustainability amid the conflict.

Some question the timing and suitability of appointing an economist as defense minister during wartime. However, supporters argue that his economic acumen is crucial for maintaining the efficiency and integrity of the defense sector’s expansion. “This is exactly the kind of person Russia needs,” Ritter states, asserting that the strategic appointment aims to strengthen Russia’s military capabilities indirectly through economic stability and reduced corruption. Meanwhile, General Gennady Gerasimov will continue to oversee the military operations, ensuring continuity in leadership. According to Ritter, this combination of economic and military leadership is far from a sign of Russian weakness. “By bringing in Andrei Belousov, we’re talking about Putin creating tempered steel,” he remarked, suggesting that the West may underestimate Russia’s strategic positioning.

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“..the new minister’s duties might involve issues related to weapon procurement and defense contracts..”

One of Russia’s Top Economists is Being Appointed as Minister of Defense (Sp.)

If economist Andrei Belousov does get appointed as Russia’s newest minister of defense, it would not be the first time a civilian got put into that office, retired Russian naval officer (Captain 1st Rank) and military analyst Vasily Dandykin told Sputnik. “I believe that, first and foremost, he’s a man from the president’s team,” Dandykin commented on Belousov’s candidacy. “He was the first deputy prime minister and he actually knows very well the problems that [Russian] military-industrial complex faces. As always, our supreme commander-in-chief, the President of Russia, supervises all decisions.” Russian military expert and military intelligence veteran Ret. Col. Rustem Klupov pointed out that Belousov is an accomplished economist of a very high caliber who advised prominent Russian statesmen “If he is being appointed as the defense minister, it means that there will be goals of economic nature to complete,” Klupov suggested.

According to him, the new minister’s duties might involve issues related to weapon procurement and defense contracts. “Gerasimov (Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Russian Armed Forces’ Chief of General Staff) will conduct military operations and the defense minister will handle his own matters,” Klupov added. Soviet and Russian Army veteran and military journalist Viktor Litovkin also highlighted Belousov’s impressive reputation as a scholar and an economist, noting that the latter also paid considerable attention to the military-industrial sphere and military matters during his career as a government official. “So far, there is no reason to question his expertise. He’s a distinguished man who paid a lot of attention while working in the government to the military-industrial complex and to the connection between the military and the industry.”

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War economy.

Belousov May Create Problems for Russia’s Adversaries as Defense Minister (Sp.)

While Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to replace Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu with veteran economist Andrei Belousov may come as a surprise to some, there seems to be a good motive behind his move. Andrei Belousov’s appointment as Russia’s newest minister of defense may help take Russia’s military-industrial complex and the entire weapon procurement system to a whole new level, argues Russian political analyst Sergei Poletaev. According to him, a de facto grassroots “technological revolution” has happened in Russia over the past two years when groups of enthusiasts supplied the armed forces with repurposed civilian drones worth no more than $300 apiece that could be used to take out enemy military hardware worth millions of dollars. Being a talented economist, Belousov can combine the pros of the two approaches in weapon procurement – the “planned, government” method and the “spontaneous grassroots” method – and weed out their cons, Poletayev suggests.

Many Russian soldiers in the field come up with technological and tactical solutions that could become a boon for the Russian Armed Forces, but there is no streamlined way for them to share their ideas with the higher-ups, he notes. “If Belousov can create a system, a platform to convert this experience into orders that could then be sent to weapon manufacturers who would thus be allowed to better understand what is required and to better react to this input, and then to mass produce the most successful solutions – that would generate a tremendous impulse,” Poletaev muses. He also points out that Russia’s military spending has been steadily growing in recent months, and while the situation is far from critical, it would be prudent for Moscow to ensure that this money does not go to waste. Last weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed the candidacy of Andrei Belousov for the position of Russia’s defense minister.

Belousov is a veteran Russian economist who started off as a researcher at the Soviet Academy of Sciences’ Central Economic Mathematical Institute and later with the Institute of Economic Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Sciences. After being appointed deputy minister of economic development and trade in 2006, Belousov served in several prominent positions in the Russian government before becoming first deputy prime minister in 2020 – an office he held until now.

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”Russia and China we can handle, but these lunatics within our government that are going to destroy our country and probably want to..”

Biden Is ‘Surrounded By Fascists’ In Oval Office – Trump (RT)

The White House has been infiltrated by “enemies from within,” former US President Donald Trump has claimed in a campaign speech, while lashing out at “crooked” Joe Biden. “Joe is weak. He’s only good at cheating on elections – but it’s not him, he’s surrounded by fascists around the Oval Office,” Trump told a crowd of supporters in Wildwood, New Jersey, on Saturday. ”The Democrat Party is becoming radicalized. It’s becoming radical left and they’re going to lose our country,” he predicted. Without naming names, Trump said administration’s “enemies from within” are more dangerous for America than foreign adversaries. ”Russia and China we can handle, but these lunatics within our government that are going to destroy our country and probably want to,” he claimed.

The “fascist” label has also been used by high-profile Biden supporters against Trump, with some Democrats suggesting that if he returns to the White House he could push the country toward dictatorship. Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent in the 2016 presidential election, claimed on The View program last year that her former rival was showing “dictatorial” tendencies, remarking that Adolf Hitler “was duly elected” before transforming Germany. “Trump is telling us what he intends to do. Take him at his word. The man means to throw people in jail who disagree with him, shut down legitimate press outlets, do what he can to literally undermine the rule of law and our country’s values,” she said.

Trump’s New Jersey rally served as a change of scenery for Trump, who has been spending much of his time attending court hearings in New York, on charges of using campaign funds to pay hush money to former porn actress Stormy Daniels. The Republican is facing dozens of charges in four separate criminal cases against him. He told supporters that “radical left Democrats, Marxists Communists and fascists” were behind the indictments, calling his New York hush money case “a Biden show trial.” Trump has repeatedly claimed that the 2020 election was “stolen.” One of the cases against him relates to his alleged attempt to subvert the election. Hearings are currently on hold pending a Supreme Court decision on whether the former president should be immune to prosecution.

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|”..his campaign is too focused on courting his left-leaning base, while neglecting swing voters..”

Biden ‘Doing It All Wrong’ – Ex-Clinton Adviser (RT)

US President Joe Biden risks losing a potential election rematch with Donald Trump because his campaign is too focused on courting his left-leaning base, while neglecting swing voters whose support could prove decisive, a former adviser to Bill Clinton has warned. In an opinion piece for the New York Times published on Sunday, Mark Penn, who advised the former US leader and his wife, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, from 1995 to 2008, suggested that “Biden is doing it all wrong” when it comes to his reelection campaign. According to Penn, many believe that a high turnout should be a priority for any candidate, because swing voters are fewer in number. In the current US political landscape, Biden and Republican frontrunner Trump each enjoy solid support from about 40% of the nation’s population, with only 20% on the fence, the adviser noted.

However, in a highly polarized political environment, those 20% “have disproportionate power because of their potential to switch,” Penn believes. Despite this, candidates are often convinced that they must feed their bases with “what they want to hear” to get them to the polling stations, the article said. While this may be true in some cases, the Democratic base is highly unlikely to sit idly by at the thought of a Trump victory in November, Penn wrote. At the same time, swing voters in battleground states who are concerned about immigration, inflation, and other major issues “are likely to put Mr. Trump back in office if they are not blunted,” according to the former adviser. “If Mr. Biden wants to serve another four years, he has to stop being dragged to the left and chart a different course closer to the center that appeals to those voters who favor bipartisan compromises to our core issues, fiscal discipline and a strong America,” he added.

Penn believes that most of the 101,000 “uncommitted” voters who refused to back Biden over his policy on the Israel-Hamas war would eventually return to the fold because they have nowhere else to go. At the same time, Biden could potentially seek the support of hundreds of thousands of moderate Republicans who chose to vote for former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley over Trump in the GOP primary. According to a Wall Street Journal poll last month, Trump retains a lead over Biden in six of seven battleground states. Meanwhile, a recent poll by the Financial Times found that Biden’s reelection prospects are being threatened by inflation concerns, with 58% of respondents disapproving of his handling of the economy.

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Does not smell squeaky clean.

‘Unusually Aggressive’ Anti-Trump Grand Jury Went Rogue With Indictments (ZH)

The Arizona grand jury that recently indicted 18 people for allegedly trying to help former President Donald Trump overturn the results of the 2020 election with so-called ‘fake electors’ went completely rogue and took ‘aggressive steps to haul in witnesses,’ to the point where they ‘even brought charges against some’ who were told by prosecutors that they weren’t under investigation, Politico reports. Their efforts ultimately resulted in a 58-page indictment which has ensnared various national and state Republicans – including one of Trump’s current top advisers, and several individuals who were previously in his orbit – with felony charges. Trump himself was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator.

“Documents reviewed by POLITICO reveal that at least two of the 18 people charged — former Trump lawyers Jenna Ellis and Christina Bobb — were assured by prosecutors that they were not targets of the probe, only to learn that the grand jury indicted them anyway. In fact, a letter that a prosecutor sent to Ellis just days before the indictment appeared to significantly understate her legal jeopardy. One witness who testified before the grand jury said a faction of the panel drove intense questioning that exceeded the limited scope that prosecutors had publicly acknowledged. The probe was led by the office of Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes.” -Politico.

Mayes, a Democrat who replaced a Republican in January 2023, has been accused of politically motivated lawfare – however Politico’s sources say that the grand jury was ‘surprisingly independent’ of her prosecutors – and ‘sometimes even hard for them to predict.’ “The State Grand Jury was given leeway to conduct an independent investigation, as it is entitled to do by law,” said Mayes’ spox, Richie Taylor. “I cannot confirm or deny the specifics of grand jury proceedings, and I will note that the investigation remains open and ongoing. I will have to decline to comment further.” Grand juries are empowered to conduct their own lines of questioning in order to reach conclusions which may not necessarily align with the wishes of prosecutors – though they typically defer.

That said, in high-profile cases, they’ve been known to take on more independence. “Every high-profile case that I’ve ever had, which is cases that have necessarily attendant publicity, or a public corruption case, or anything else, grand jurors become interested,” according to former Arizona prosecutor, Paul Charlton. “Ultimately, the Arizona grand jury investigating the 2020 election indicted former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, and close Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn. It also indicted the 11 Arizona Republicans who falsely claimed to be the state’s rightful presidential electors. Arizona is the fourth state — after Georgia, Michigan and Nevada — to bring criminal charges stemming from the efforts of Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 results in states that Biden won. At the federal level, special counsel Jack Smith has also charged Trump himself for the scheme.” -Politico.

“Not a target” (just kidding!)

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“Trump will be allowed to testify. He would be insane to do so..”

“I See Dead People”: Bragg’s Case Against Trump Goes Paranormal (Turley)

“I see dead people.” Before this week, that claim was most associated with the nine-year-old character Cole Sear from the 1999 film “The Sixth Sense.” But now it is one of the talents claimed by former adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her bizarre testimony in Manhattan during former President Donald Trump’s trial. It turns out that speaking to the dead was one of the few relevant things Daniels had to offer in the case, which is now on a collision course with a motion for acquittal before the case even goes to the jury. The Daniels testimony will live in infamy in the annals of criminal justice. For two days, she offered lurid and completely irrelevant details whose only possible purpose was to humiliate Trump. Admitting that she was coached by the prosecution in her testimony, it was clear that she was there not to win a case but to win an election.

Judge Juan Merchan allowed this legal burlesque to unfold in his courtroom, later blaming defense counsel who had vociferously objected to her appearance and the scope of the examination. The cross examination was devastating. It shattered her laughable claim that she had not really been seeking money in shaking Trump down for a non-disclosure agreement, a claim contradicted by her own former lawyer. Daniels also revealed that she had spoken with the dead, and that a ghost had once held her boyfriend under water in a bathtub. She also said that she lived in a haunted house, only to discover later that the spirit haunting it was actually a large possum. In a case based on a dead misdemeanor and a rapidly falling heart rate on the manufactured felony, one can understand the appeal of witnesses who can speak for the dead. Indeed, Daniels’s graphic testimony may prove the moral high point of this trial, since serial perjurer and disbarred attorney Michael Cohen is scheduled to testify Monday.

Cohen recently broke his pledge, midway through the trial, to stop attacking and taunting Trump. Cohen has insisted that he deserves the protection of the gag order by Judge Merchan as a witness, despite serious constitutional concerns. Merchan continues to threaten Trump with jail if he responds to Cohen’s unrelenting attacks. Merchan waited for the weekend before his testimony to suggest that the prosecutors tell Cohen to stop the public antics. But it remains unclear what the order is protecting Cohen from. Not only is he trolling for money on social media with reference to the trial, but he is also widely being attacked by others. It is only Trump who cannot address his attacks, including political opposition to his campaign.

Cohen’s testimony will be the culmination of this travesty of a trial. But Bragg already jumped the shark with Daniels. After three weeks, legal experts are still debating what the crime was that Trump was seeking to conceal by recording payments for a standard non-disclosure agreement as a legal expense. (That is the same characterization used by Hillary Clinton’s campaign for its funding for the infamous Steele dossier.) It is still unclear that Trump even knew how the payments were characterized, and the alleged false record was not even created until after the election was over. Yet he stands accused of using the “false business records” to somehow steal or rig an election that was already over.

After this circus with Cohen is complete, Trump will be allowed to testify. He would be insane to do so. Merchan has already said that he will allow a broad scope to cross-examination, making any appearance unlikely. That is when Merchan will face a key test of judicial ethics. He has failed to protect the rights of the defendant from a baseless, politically motivated prosecution. He could insist that he simply felt Bragg had a right to present his case. He will soon be done and, as expected, it is entirely based on Cohen, a disbarred perjurer who will ask for his former client to be sent to prison for following his own legal advice. After Bragg closes the prosecution’s case, the defense will make a standard motion for dismissal. Merchan should grant that motion.

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“Russian political culture is returning to its fundamentals. Unlike that of the West, but somewhat similar to the East – it is based on the model of a family..”

A Massive Transformation Is Taking Place In Russia (Trenin)

Two and a half years into its war against the West in Ukraine, Russia certainly finds itself on a course toward a new sense of itself. This trend actually predated the military operation but has been powerfully intensified as a result. Since February 2022, Russians have lived in a wholly new reality. For the first time since 1945, the country is really at war, with bitter fighting ongoing along a 2,000-kilometer front line, and not too far from Moscow. Belgorod, a provincial center near the Ukrainian border, is continuously subjected to deadly missile and drone attacks from Kiev’s forces. Occasionally, Ukrainian drones reach far deeper inland. Yet, Moscow and other big cities continue as if there were no war, and (almost) no Western sanctions either. Streets are full of people and shopping malls and supermarkets offer the usual abundance of goods and food items. One could conclude that Moscow and Belgorod are a tale of two countries, that Russians have managed to live simultaneously both in wartime and peacetime.

This would be a wrong conclusion. Even the part of the country that ostensibly lives ‘in peace’ is markedly different from what it was before the Ukraine conflict began. The central focus of post-Soviet Russia – money – has not been eliminated, of course, but has certainly lost its unquestionable dominance. When many people – not only soldiers but civilians, too – are getting killed, other, non-material values are coming back. Patriotism, reviled and derided in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse, is re-emerging in force. In the absence of fresh mobilization, hundreds of thousands of those who sign contracts with the military are motivated by a desire to help the country. Not just by what they can get from it. Russian popular culture is shedding – slowly, perhaps, but steadily – the habit of imitating what’s hot in the West. Instead, the traditions of Russian literature, including poetry, film, music are being revived and developed.

A spike in domestic tourism has opened to ordinary Russians the treasures of their own country – until recently neglected, as a thirst for travel abroad was quenched. (Foreign travel is still available, but difficult logistics make reaching other parts of Europe far less easy than before).Politically, there is no opposition to speak of against the current system. Almost all of its former figureheads are abroad, and Alexey Navalny has died in prison. A lot of former cultural icons who, after February 2022, decided to emigrate to Israel, Western Europe, or elsewhere, are fast becoming yesterday’s celebrities, as the country moves on. Those Russian journalists and activists who criticize Russia from afar are increasingly losing touch with their previous audiences, and are saddled with accusations of serving the interests of countries fighting Russia in the proxy war in Ukraine.

By contrast, nearly two-thirds of young men who left Russia in 2022 for fear of being mobilized have returned, some of them quite embittered by their experience abroad. Putin’s statement about the need for a new national elite, and his promotion of war veterans as the core of that elite, is more of an intention than a real plan at this stage, but the Russian elite is definitely going through a massive turnover. Many liberal tycoons essentially no longer belong to Russia; their desire to keep their assets in the West has ended up separating them from their native country. Those who stayed in Russia know that yachts in the Med, villas on the Cote d’Azur, and mansions in London are no longer available to them, or at least no longer safe to keep. Within Russia, a new model of a mid-level businessperson is emerging: one who combines money with social engagement (not the ESG model), and who builds his/her future inside the country.

Russian political culture is returning to its fundamentals. Unlike that of the West, but somewhat similar to the East – it is based on the model of a family. There is order, and there is a hierarchy; rights are balanced by responsibilities; the state is not a necessary evil but the principal public good and the top societal value. Politics, in the Western sense of a constant, often no-holds-barred competition, is viewed as self-serving and destructive; instead, those who are entrusted with being at the helm of the state are expected to arbitrate, to ensure harmony of various interests, etc. Of course, this is an ideal rather than reality. In reality things are more complex and complicated, but the traditional political culture, at its core, is alive and well, and the last 30 to 40 years, while hugely instructive and impactful, have not overturned it.

Russian attitudes to the West are also complex. There is appreciation of Western classical and modern (but not so much post-modern) culture, the arts and technology, and of living standards to an extent. Recently, the previously unadulterated positive image of the West as a society has been spoiled by the aggressive promotion of LGBTQ values, of cancel culture, and the like. What has also changed is the view of Western policies, politics and especially politicians, which have lost the respect most Russians once had for them. The view of the West as Russia’s hereditary adversary has again gained prominence – not primarily because of Kremlin propaganda, but as a function of the West’s own policies, from providing Ukraine with weapons that kill Russian soldiers and civilians, to sanctions which in many ways are indiscriminate, to attempts to cancel Russian culture or to bar Russians from world sports. This hasn’t resulted in Russians viewing individual Westerners as enemies, but the political/media West is widely seen here as a house of adversaries.

There is a clear need for a set of guiding ideas about “who we are,” “where we are in this world” and “where we are going.” However, the word ‘ideology’ is too closely linked in many people’s mind with the rigidity of Soviet Marxism-Leninism. Whatever finally emerges will probably be built on the values-led foundation of traditional religions, starting with Russian Orthodoxy, and will include elements from our past, including the pre-Petrine, imperial, and Soviet periods. The current confrontation with the West makes it imperative that some kind of a new ideological concept finally emerges, in which sovereignty and patriotism, law and justice take a central role. Western propaganda pejoratively refers to it as “Putinism” but, for most Russians, it may be simply described as “Russia’s way.”

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Civil servants blinded by power. Ugly.

Elon Musk Wins Court Battle Against Australia (RT)

Australian Federal Court judge has decided not to extend an order banning Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) platform from displaying a video of a stabbing attack in a church in Sydney. On Monday, Justice Geoffrey Kennett denied an application by the country’s eSafety commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, to extend restrictions on the clip, which she had deemed to be “class 1” material relating to high-impact violence. The judge hasn’t yet provided explanations for his ruling. The initial ban on the video, which was imposed by the Federal Court in Melbourne on April 22, expired on Monday. X had refused to comply with the order, which would have made the clip inaccessible to users worldwide. The platform only agreed to block the content in Australia. Musk insisted back then that one country should not have the power to censor the whole internet. The eSafety commissioner argued that a blanket ban was needed as Australians could still access the video through a VPN.

The clip in question showed a stabbing that took place during a live-streamed sermon at an Assyrian Christian church in the suburbs of Sydney on April 15. Four people, including Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, were injured in what the Australian authorities described as a “terrorist incident.” The footage of the attack was widely shared online and allegedly prompted heated protests near the crime scene. During the hearing on Friday, lawyer for the eSafety Commissioner, Tim Begbie, argued that the refusal to comply with the order by X amounted to mockery of the Federal Court. “What that says about the authority of the court is pretty striking,” he said.

X’s lawyer Bret Walker argued that the platform did not implement the ban on the stabbing video because the commissioner’s initial take-down notice was invalid and “manifestly inadequate” due to the absence of a detailed description of the reasons for the ban. The social media company believes that “global removal is reasonable when X does it because X wants to do it, but it becomes unreasonable when it is told to do it by the laws of Australia,” Walker told the judge. In late April, Bishop Emmanuel supported Musk during a sermon, saying that he wanted the video of the attack against him to remain online because it is “our God-given right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

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Sounds too much like a promo.

The Coming of BRICS+ Decentralized Monetary Ecosystem (Pepe Escobar)

Get ready for what may well be the geoeconomic bombshell of 2024: the coming of a decentralized monetary ecosystem. Welcome to The Unit – a concept that has already been discussed by the financial services and investments working group set up by the BRICS+ Business Council and has a serious shot at becoming official BRICS+ policy as early as in 2025. According to Alexey Subbotin, founder of Arkhangelsk Capital Management and one of the Unit’s conceptualizers, this is a new problem-solving system that addresses the key geoeconomic issue of these troubled times: a global crisis of trust. He knows all about it first-hand: a seasoned financial professional with experience in investment banking, asset management and corporate matters, Subbotin leads the Unit project under the auspices of IRIAS, an international intergovernmental organization set up in 1976 in accordance with the UN statute.

The Global Majority has had enough of the centrally controlled monetary framework put in place 80 years ago in Bretton Woods and its endemic flaws: chronic deficits fueling irresponsible military spending; speculative bubbles; politically motivated sanctions and secondary sanctions; abuse of settlement and payment infrastructure; protectionism; and the lack of fair arbitration. In contrast, the Unit proposes a reliable, quick and economically efficient solution for cross-border payments. The – transactional – Unit is a game-changer as a new form of international currency that can be issued in a de-centralized way, and then recognized and regulated at national level.The Unit offers a unique solution for bottlenecks in global financial infrastructure: it is eligible for traditional banking operations as well as for the newest forms of digital banking.

The Unit can also help to upend unfair pricing in commodity trading, by means of setting up a new – fair and efficient – Eurasian Mercantile Exchange where trading and settlement can be done in a new currency bridging trade flows and capital, thus paving the way to the development of new financial products for foreign direct investment (FDI). The strength of the Unit, conceptually, is to remove direct dependency on the currency of other nations, and to offer especially to the Global Majority a new form of apolitical money – with huge potential for anchoring fair trade and investments. It is indeed a new concept in terms of an international currency – anchored in gold (40%) and BRICS+ currencies (60%). [..] The Global Majority will instantly grasp the primary purpose of the Unit: to harmonize trade and financial flows by keeping them outside of political pressure or “rules” that can be twisted at will. The inevitable consequence translates as financial sovereignty. What matters in the whole process are independent monetary policies focused on economic growth.

That’s the key appeal for the Global Majority: a full ecosystem offering independent, complementary monetary infrastructure. And that surely can be extended to willing Unit partners in the collective West.

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Friends.

Putin to Visit China at Invitation of Xi Jinping on May 16-17 – Kremlin (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit China at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the Kremlin press service said. “At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin will pay a state visit to the People’s Republic of China on May 16-17 as his first foreign trip after taking office,” the statement said. Following the talks, it is planned to sign a joint statement by the heads of state and a number of bilateral documents, the statement read, adding that the leaders will determine the directions for further development of cooperation and discuss most pressing issues. “The program of the visit of the Russian president provides for his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, during which it is expected to discuss issues of bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic and humanitarian spheres,” the Kremlin said.

Additionally, Putin will visit Harbin, where he will take part in the opening ceremony of the eighth Russian-Chinese EXPO, meet with students and teachers of Harbin Institute of Technology. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will attend a gala evening to mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the opening of the Russian-Chinese Years of Culture. “During the visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will exchange views on bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields, as well as on international and regional issues of common interest, in the context of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

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“..this year, we’ve got to increase our production of hijinx and substantially raise the output of malarky.”

Latest Polls Show Biden Will Need Twice As Many Fake Ballots This Year (BBee)

As former President Donald Trump continued to build a sizeable lead in a majority of swing states, the latest polls suggest President Joe Biden would need twice as many fake ballots to win the election this year. The startling poll results presented the Biden campaign with a sobering reminder that the standard number of fake ballots used in previous election years needed to be increased significantly for him to win again in November. “We’ve got to double our target number of fake votes this year,” said a Biden campaign insider under the condition of anonymity. “In previous years, we could just coast by with the standard quota of shenanigans, but this year, we’ve got to increase our production of hijinx and substantially raise the output of malarky.”

The polls also led White House insiders to express concern that there may not even be enough dead people casting votes to overcome the deficit. “We need more dead voters,” another insider said. “We’ve always done a good job of turning out the dead vote, but this year it will be even more crucial to get as many deceased people to the polls as possible.” Democrat ballot production centers across the country have reportedly already been notified to ramp up production to have any chance of meeting the demand in November. At publishing time, the Biden campaign was rumored to be in negotiations with foreign countries for permission to use large quantities of the dead voters they use to rig their elections.

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CO2 history

 

 

Stairway to Heaven

 

 

Optimus

 

 

Ashley Biden
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790028497584259097

 

 

Dragonfly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1789665835604406444

 

 

Labrador vs. Border Collie

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 132024
 
 May 13, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  24 Responses »


Henri Matisse Odalisque couchée aux magnolias 1923

 

German MPs Suggest NATO Impose No-Fly Zone Over Western Ukraine (RT)
David Cameron: NATO Won’t Shoot Down Russian Missiles Over Ukraine (Sp.)
Ukraine’s Air Defense From NATO Territory? German MPs Give the Green Light (Sp.)
Putin Removes Shoigu As Russian Defense Minister (RT)
Putin Proposes Belousov As Shoigu’s Replacement: About Cabinet Reshuffle (TASS)
Kremlin Explains Decision To Change Defense Minister (RT)
Russia’s Top Security Official Dismissed (RT)
The Appearance of Michael Cohen: A Wreck in Search of a Race (Turley)
Lindsey Graham Urges Israel To Bomb Gaza Like Hiroshima (RT)
We Should All Be Stoics Now (Pepe Escobar)

 

 

Fareed

 

 

Tucker vax

 

 

Feynman
https://twitter.com/i/status/1789633440129908765

 

 

 

 

Germany’s in no position to enforce it.

German MPs Suggest NATO Impose No-Fly Zone Over Western Ukraine (RT)

German lawmakers from both the ruling coalition and the opposition support the idea of NATO imposing a no-fly zone over western Ukraine amid the conflict with Russia, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) has reported. For its article on Saturday, the paper asked members of parliament about the proposal, earlier floated by the defense minister’s chief of staff, Nico Lange, who suggested that Russian missiles and drones targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure and military installations could be shot down from the territory of neighboring Poland and Romania. According to Lange, this would lead to the creation of a 70-km-wide safe zone on the border between the EU and Ukraine, while also allowing Kiev to re-deploy its own air defense systems, which are in short supply, from the west of the country to the front line.

“Defending the airspace over Ukraine from Poland and Romania should not be ruled out in the long term,” Anton Hofreiter, a member of parliament for the Green Party, which is part of the German coalition, told FAZ. However, such a move is “not up for debate” at the moment as the current priority for the West is to supply Ukraine with “significantly more” arms and ammunition, he stressed. Marcus Faber from the Free Democratic Party (FDP), also in the ruling coalition, agreed that the “airspace over the Ukrainian border regions” could be “protected by air defenses on NATO territory.” According to Faber, this would only be “possible” if the West can secure enough ammunition for the air defense systems. A lawmaker for the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Roderich Kiesewetter, also said Kiev’s Western backers could shoot down Russian drones over western Ukraine. “This would relieve the Ukrainian air defense and enable it to protect the front,” he explained.

Kiesewetter recalled how the US, UK and France assisted Israel with countering a large-scale bombardment by Iran in April, saying it showed that countries can provide such help to their allies without actually becoming “a party to the conflict.” In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the US-made F-16 fighter jets that the West is planning to supply to Ukraine will be targeted at airfields in NATO countries if they are going to operate from there. Earlier this week, Russia said it would conduct tactical nuclear weapons drills as a warning to the US and its allies not to escalate the Ukraine conflict. The announcement followed a suggestion by Poland of potentially hosting US nuclear weapons, and remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron about the possibility of sending French and other NATO soldiers to Ukraine.

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Won’t shoot down a thing.

David Cameron: NATO Won’t Shoot Down Russian Missiles Over Ukraine (Sp.)

Moscow earlier warned European leaders from intentionally stirring up tensions around the situation in Ukraine now that they know perfectly well that the Kiev regime is on the verge of total breakdown. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has ruled out the possibility of NATO forces intercepting Russian missiles over Ukraine. Speaking to The Times, Cameron cited “many” allegedly “non-escalatory things” the UK “can do,” like supplying anti-tank weapons, tanks, and long-range artillery to the Kiev regime — military aid that Russia has repeatedly warned would only exacerbate the Ukraine conflict. “But the one thing we have to try to avoid is NATO forces in conflict with Russian forces,” Cameron stressed. “And that’s why, from the start, I’ve said I don’t think we can do a no-fly zone or NATO interception into Ukraine.”

At the same time, he argued that with NATO soldiers “not directly fighting off” Russian servicemen, any aid to Ukraine by the alliance is “acceptable. The British foreign secretary spoke after an array of German MPs backed the idea of NATO “cross-border” anti-aircraft units downing Russian missiles in Ukrainian airspace, something they claimed could “relieve the burden on Ukrainian air defenses and allow them to protect the front line.” Nico Lange, senior researcher at the Munich Security Conference, earlier insisted in a televised interview that NATO allies should use their “numerous” Patriot anti-aircraft systems to destroy “all Russian missiles and drones” over Ukraine from the territory of Poland. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointed out that Europeans are deliberately stoking tensions over Ukraine because they realize that Kiev’s forces face a complete collapse amid Russia’s ongoing offensive. “The moment is very important and, of course, this is very provocative on their part,” Peskov warned.

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“..NATO allies should use “the numerous” Patriot anti-aircraft systems to down “all Russian missiles and drones” over Ukraine from the territory of Poland…”

Ukraine’s Air Defense From NATO Territory? German MPs Give the Green Light (Sp.)

Despite Western aid, the Ukrainian military is reportedly already running low on air defense systems as Russian forces continue to successfully advance on several key areas of the front line. Several German MPs have approved the idea of Western “cross-border” anti-aircraft units shooting down Russian missiles over Ukraine n”This would relieve the burden on Ukrainian air defenses and allow them to protect the front line,” Roderich Kiesewetter of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) argued, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. He referred to the US, the UK and France helping Israel repulse Iran’s massive missile attack in April, which Kiesewetter claimed shows that “the involved states do not necessarily have to become ‘warring parties’ to a conflict.” Agnieszka Brugger of the Alliance 90/The Greens party insisted that “it’s OK to station air defense systems at the borders of Ukraine’s neighboring nations so that the western parts of the country can also be protected.”

“Ukraine’s air defense from Poland and Romania should not be ruled out in the long term,” Brugger’s colleague Anton Hofreiter said. But this is “not up for debate” currently because the current priority is to deliver “significantly more” military equipment and ammunition to Ukraine as part of Western aid, he added. “The airspace over the Ukrainian border regions” could in principle “be protected by air defense systems stationed on NATO territory,” Marcus Faber from the Free Democratic Party said. But he admitted that “[air defense] batteries and rockets are already in short supply.” The remarks come after Nico Lange, senior researcher at the Munich Security Conference, stated in an interview with the Tagesschau TV news program that NATO allies should use “the numerous” Patriot anti-aircraft systems to down “all Russian missiles and drones” over Ukraine from the territory of Poland.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has, meanwhile, stressed that Europeans are deliberately stirring up tensions around the situation in Ukraine because they realize the fact that Kiev faces a complete collapse. “The moment is very important and, of course, this is very provocative on their [Europeans’] part,” Peskov added. The Washington Post earlier reported that Ukraine’s “dwindling air defense capabilities are showing vulnerabilities, as more Russian missiles and drones are able to hit targets such as [Kiev’s] critical infrastructure facilities.” Western countries have ramped up military and financial aid to the Kiev regime since the start of the Russian special military operation, with Moscow condemning the ongoing assistance as proof of a NATO proxy war with Russia.

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He had the job since 2012. Major shuffle.

Putin Removes Shoigu As Russian Defense Minister (RT)

President Vladimir Putin has proposed that Sergei Shoigu be replaced as Minister of Defense of Russia by acting First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, the Federation Council said on Sunday evening. Shoigu has been appointed Secretary of the Russian Security Council. Senators are scheduled to engage in consultations regarding the nominees put forth by the president during committee sessions on May 13 and during a Federation Council meeting on May 14, as announced by the upper house of the Russian parliament.

No further alterations have been made to the roster of candidates Putin has submitted for cabinet positions. His nominations include Vladimir Kolokoltsev for the position of interior minister, Alexander Kurenkov for minister of emergency situations, Sergey Lavrov for foreign minister, and Konstantin Chuichenko for justice minister. Denis Manturov, who served as deputy prime minister and head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade during Putin’s last term in office, has been nominated for the position of first deputy prime minister.

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New Defense Minister Belousov is an economist.
“..the need of “making the economy of the security bloc part of the country’s economy.”

Putin Proposes Belousov As Shoigu’s Replacement: About Cabinet Reshuffle (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed appointing Andrey Belousov, who previously served as the first deputy prime minister, as Russia’s new defense minister. Russia’s current defense chief Sergey Shoigu will replace Nikolay Patrushev as the Security Council Secretary. Other heads of security ministries and services, as well as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, will retain their posts in the government. The president has also proposed appointing Boris Kovalchuk as the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber. This post has been vacant for one year and a half. TASS has summed up information about the cabinet reshuffle.

Sergey Shoigu, who has headed the Russian Defense Ministry since 2012, has been appointed Secretary of the Security Council. Putin has proposed appointing Andrey Belousov as Russia’s new defense chief. Belousov earlier served as minister of economic development, Russian presidential aide for economic issues and the first deputy prime minister, who oversaw the economic bloc. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the decision to appoint Belousov as the defense minister is linked to the need of “making the economy of the security bloc part of the country’s economy.” Now the budget of the defense ministry is nearing the level of the 1980s, “which is not critical but <...> extremely important.”

Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov will retain his post, Peskov stressed. Belousov’s appointment “will in no way change the current coordinate system” in terms of defense issues, he noted.As the Russian Security Council Secretary, Shoigu will among other issues oversee the work of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, which recently became directly subordinated to the president. Apart from that, Shoigu will also become the president’s deputy in the Military-Industrial Commission. Now Putin is its chair, while Dmitry Medvedev is his first deputy in this body.

Patrushev was relieved from his duties in connection with his new post, according to the presidential decree. The Kremlin will announce further details about his new position “in the coming few days,” Peskov said. Putin has proposed that the other heads of ministries and agencies of the security and foreign policy bloc should retain their posts. Thus, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Minister of Emergency Situations Alexander Kurenkov and Justice Minister Konstantin Chuychenko will keep performing their duties. Other officials who will retain their posts are Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin, the heads of Russia’s Federal Security Service and Federal Protective Service, Alexander Bortnikov and Dmitry Kochnev, as well as the head of National Guard (Rosgvardiya) Viktor Zolotov.

Alexander Lints will remain head of the Main Department for the President’s Special Programs (he is in charge of developing and implementing the state policy in the field of mobilization issues and planning respective events). Putin has also proposed appointing Boris Kovalchuk as the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber. This post has been vacant since November 2022 when Alexey Kudrin tendered his resignation. The chairman of the Accounts Chamber is appointed by the Federation Council. Kovalchuk was one of three candidates suggested for the president by Russia’s upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko. In 2010-2024, Kovalchuk was Chairman of the Board of Inter RAO. In March 2024, he was appointed deputy head of the control directorate in the Russian presidential administration.

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“Conflicts today are won by those “open to innovations,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said..”

Kremlin Explains Decision To Change Defense Minister (RT)

Andrei Belousov would be the best person to deal with the issues faced by the Russian military nowadays when it comes to their economic needs, the Kremlin spokesman told journalists on Sunday. Earlier, President Vladimir Putin named the former first deputy prime minister as his pick for the defense minister’s position. An economist by education, Belousov has long worked with the Russian government in various capacities but had previously dealt with civilian matters only. He served as Russia’s Economic Development Minister between 2012 and 2013 and worked as the president’s economic aide between 2013 and 2020 before taking over the position of the first deputy prime minister, which he held until May 7. When asked about the seemingly unconventional choice for the head of the defense ministry, Peskov replied that the “battlefield is now dominated by those who are more open to innovations and are [ready] to introduce them in the fastest way possible.”

The Kremlin spokesman also said that, with the Russian military budget rapidly growing, “it is very important to integrate the economy of the [military] into the national economy.” According to Peskov, the Russian military budget has grown from 3% to 6.7% of the national GDP since the start of the Ukraine conflict. It was not “critical” for the Russian economy but the situation still started to resemble the late Soviet era, when the USSR’s military expenditure amounted to 7.4% of its GDP, he added. Such a situation was still “extremely important” and demanded an adequate response from the authorities, the Kremlin spokesman added. Belousov is not just a “civilian person,” Peskov maintained, adding that he had proven to be “quite successful at leading the Economic Development Ministry” and then worked as an economic aide to the president “for a long time.” “The Defense Ministry should be absolutely open to innovations, to the introduction of the most advanced ideas and the creation of conditions favorable to economic competitiveness,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

Earlier, the Russian Federation Council revealed that Putin had proposed replacing the current acting defense minister, Sergey Shoigu, with Belousov. The Senators are scheduled to consider the nominees put forth by the president on May 13 and 14. Shoigu was appointed Secretary of the Russian Security Council by a presidential decree on Sunday. Commenting on the appointment, Peskov said that the former defense minister would act as the deputy head of the defense industry committee. Shoigu has a good knowledge of the field since he’s already been “deeply involved” in the work of the Russian defense industry and “is well aware of the production rates” required of each specific enterprise, he added.

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New blood all along…

Russia’s Top Security Official Dismissed (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree appointing Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as secretary of the Security Council, where he will replace Nikolai Patrushev, the Kremlin said Sunday. Another decree suspended Patrushev from his post. According to Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Putin opted to assign a “civilian” to lead the Defense Ministry, citing the necessity for the agency to embrace innovation and progressive concepts. Peskov further mentioned that Shoigu, in his capacity as secretary of the Security Council, will serve as the president’s deputy within the commission on the military-industrial complex.

The Kremlin’s spokesman added that Valery Gerasimov, the head of the General Staff of the Defense Ministry, will remain in his current role. Peskov noted that it will be revealed in the coming days who Nikolai Patrushev’s successor will be after his departure from the position of Security Council secretary. It was previously revealed that among the candidates nominated by Putin for cabinet positions in the government reshuffle, acting First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov was tapped to take on the role of Minister of Defense. During the president’s most recent term in office, he oversaw the socio-economic sector.

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“..Bragg first has to show Merchan that someone claimed to have evidence directly tying Trump to an intentional fraudulent scheme to conceal a crime. Thus far, Bragg is not even close..”

The Appearance of Michael Cohen: A Wreck in Search of a Race (Turley)

Michael Cohen is to criminal justice what car crashes are to Nascar: few want to admit it, but he is the perverse draw for the wreck-obsessed. The difference is that Cohen was already a rolling smoking wreck when he pulled up to the track. Even for those of us who have long been critics of this case and its dubious legal theory, it has been surprising to see that the prosecutors had no more evidence than what which we previously knew about. The assumption was that no rational prosecutor would base a major criminal case virtually entirely on the testimony of Michael Cohen who was just recently denounced by a judge as a serial perjurer peddling “perverse” theories in court. The calculus of Alvin Bragg is now obvious. He is counting on the jury convicting Trump regardless of the evidence. He believes that all he needs is to check the boxes on the elements of the crime, no matter how unbelievable the vehicle.

The reason is that Bragg likely fears a directed verdict more than a jury verdict. After the government closes its evidence, the defense will move for a direct verdict on the basis that the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction. In other words, when the prosecution rests this week, Trump’s counsel will stand and ask Merchan to end the case before it is even given to the jury. Many of us agree with that assessment. After three weeks of testimony, there is still confusion on what crime Trump was allegedly seeking to cover up. Bragg has vaguely referred to using the denotation of payments to Daniels as “legal expenses” as a fraud committed to steal the election. However, the election was over when those denotations were made.

Moreover, many believe that such a characterization for payments related to a nondisclosure agreement was accurate. (Hillary Clinton’s campaign claimed in the same election that hiding the funding for the Steele dossier as legal expenses was perfectly accurate). Judge Juan Merchan, in my view, has failed repeatedly to protect the rights of the accused in this case. However, he can claim that there was enough alleged to give Bragg the chance to make his case. Thus far he has not done so and, if he is truly neutral, Merchan should grant the motion.

Bragg is counting on not only a motivated jury but a motivated judge to keep this anemic case alive. All he hopes that he needs to do is get this to a Trump-loathing jury to set aside any reasonable doubt. To do that, he found the ultimate motivated witness with a record of saying whatever serves his interests and those of his sponsors. Even with a New York jury, however, you cannot assume that every juror will jettison doubt when it comes to the unpopular defendant. Yet, Bragg first has to show Merchan that someone claimed to have evidence directly tying Trump to an intentional fraudulent scheme to conceal a crime. Thus far, Bragg is not even close. Indeed, many of his witnesses helped Trump more than they hurt him on the actual charges. Bragg started with testimony on the killing of a story by David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid, on an uncharged transaction to kill a story of a Trump affair with a different woman, Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model.

The relevancy was marginal but the testimony backfired in that Pecker admitted that Trump told him that he knew nothing about any reimbursement to Cohen for any hush money. He further said that he had killed or raised such stories with Trump for decades before he ever announced for president. He also said that he had killed stories for other celebrities and politicians, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tiger Woods, Rahm Emanuel and Mark Wahlberg. For good measure, Pecker noted that Cohen often exaggerates and became loud and argumentative. Witnesses said that Trump likely had a mix of motivations including sparing his family from embarrassment. Daniels’ own counsel contradicted the prosecution’s reference to the payment as “hush money.” Prosecutors now need Cohen to check virtually every box on his own. It is not enough to say that Trump wanted the hush up the alleged affair. That is no crime and NDAs are common and legal.

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“..Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted on Sunday that Israel has failed to show any “credible plan” to get civilians out of harm’s way..”

Lindsey Graham Urges Israel To Bomb Gaza Like Hiroshima (RT)

Israel must do whatever needs to be done to win its “existential” war with Hamas, just like the United State was “justified” to disregard civilian casualties when it droped nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has claimed. The Israeli military is facing increased international scrutiny as its military operation in Gaza enters its eighth month, claiming the lives of more than 34,000 Palestinians. However, Graham argued in an interview with NBC News on Sunday that Hamas is to blame for the bulk of civilian casualties, and urged Israel to continue fighting until a decisive victory is achieved, no matter the cost. “When we were faced with destruction as a nation after Pearl Harbor, fighting the Germans and the Japanese, we decided to end the war by bombing Hiroshima, Nagasaki, with nuclear weapons,” Graham stated.

“So, Israel, do whatever you have to do to survive as a Jewish state. Whatever you have to do,” he added. While Graham did not call for the use of actual nuclear weapons in Gaza, he made a similar controversial comparison during a subcommittee hearing earlier in the week, referring to Israel’s war with Hamas as “Hiroshima and Nagasaki on steroids.” The White House recently suspended the supply of some of the larger-payload bombs that Israel could use in its new offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, outraging West Jerusalem’s staunch supporters. “Give Israel the bombs they need to end the war they can’t afford to lose, and work with them to minimize casualties,” Graham said.

Washington has acknowledged its “reasonable” concerns that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) may have violated international humanitarian law while using American weapons, but a new US State Department report failed to pin-point any specific violations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted on Sunday that Israel has failed to show any “credible plan” to get civilians out of harm’s way. President Joe Biden vowed not to support a “major” military operation in Rafah with US weapons, but indicated that Israel’s “limited” invasion has yet to cross Washington’s red line. On Friday, Israel’s war cabinet approved a “measured expansion” of the ground operation in Rafah, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledging to continue the military campaign and “fight with our fingernails” even without US weapons.

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“Sail away. Be Stoic. The complete antidote to the current insanity.”

We Should All Be Stoics Now (Pepe Escobar)

The great dilemma across the modern West that opposes free will – so eulogized by the bourgeois revolution – to the Law of an Omniscient God, omni-powerful, Mesopotamian, would seem quite pathetic to the Stoics. They would say there’s no problem in solving the exercizes of human will within a framework of possibilities created by an original Higher God; and the same applies for the lesser gods, local, regional. The result is the enchainment of Destiny. And on this enchainment, the Higher God exercizes His will. Seneca, in his Epistles, presented us with how Cleanthes approached this tension between human will and divine will with a remarkable sense of humor:
Destiny (or Zeus) conduces those of good will;
Those of bad will, He drags.
(Epistles 107.11)

So we started with the sound of the wind in the Gulf of Morbihan evoking Plato’s pneuma; but the synchronicity had actually started days before in Rio, when prior to one of my recent conferences in Brazil I was presented with a precious essay by Ciro Moroni who essentially revived Pearson’s nearly forgotten 1891 gem. I read Moroni’s essay on a flight to Salvador, the Brazilian Africa, and in a white fort facing the deep blue South Atlantic sea, silently praised his role as part of the “educated people’ that Western civilization cultivated until the mid-20th century”. This column owes as much to an educated man in Rio as to classicist Pearson and the Stoic posse. Until recently, across the collective West, Stoics were packaged in a bundle, alongside Epicureans and Skeptics, as if they were mere variations of a quite eclectic period, Hellenism.

These three philosophical strands would look like the equivalent of a cultural response to Platonists and Aristotelians, who would be credited as the foundational currents of Hellenism in Greek philosophical literature in the 6th, 5th and 4th century B.C. In an essay on the Stoics included in my previous book, Raging Twenties, I noted how the great ascetic Antisthenes was a companion of Socrates – and a precursor of the Stoics. The first Stoics took their name from the porch – stoa – in the Athenian market where Zeno of Citium used to hang out. Stoic specificity is a must. The collection of Stoic theses established by its founders was replicated for at least 5 centuries, non-stop, by authors from Athens and Alexandria to Rhodes and Rome – all the way to the Prince of the Romans, Marcus Aurelius, who wrote, in Greek, a devoted dissertation on the Stoic conduct.

Stoic tradition got some bashing by Plutarch because they did not actively participate on public matters and on war. But then Marcus Aurelius broke the mold – in an epic way. He was one of the five “enlightened” and quite successful emperors of the Antonine dynasty. Marcus Aurelius was an active Prince; a roving leader of this troops in several ops in the Danube; and while camping, he found time to write the legendary Meditations. Then we have Panecius from Rhodes – who was at the top around 145 B.C. Panecius was quite influential in Rome, and is considered a peripatetic Stoic-Platonic synthesizer, anticipating the way more famous Antiochus, who brought the stoa into the Academy, trying to show that Stoic beliefs featured heavily in Plato. By the way, the translation of stoa to porticus in Latin gave us “porch” in English and “portico” in Portuguese and Spanish.

Today we know there was a massively important movement of scientific, geographic and historical expansion of a new Greco-Roman synthesis from 200 B.C. to the year 200. This period may be easily compared to the Renaissance (roughly 1450-1600). Stoic themes are absolutely determinant in the Greco-Roman renaissance – even if they were traditionally obscured by Platonic theology or Aristotelian science. They were also neutralized in logic and epistemology by skeptical rhetoric and philosophical pessimism, and underestimated in ethics by Christian religious propaganda. Well, never underestimate the power of Heraclitus. Zeno and Cleanthes directly used Heraclitus to formulate their theses. Later on, Plotinus would come up with a legendary quote: “Ethereal Fire lies down, transforming itself”.

Jean-Joel Duhot, writing on Epictetus and Stoic wisdom, noted that Stoicism is not materialism: that would only make sense under the Platonic perspective of the rejection of matter. Anthony Long, an expert in Hellenistic Philosophy, got closer: Stoics are not materialists. They would be better described as vitalists. The Way, the Stoics tell us, is to own only the essentials, and to travel light. Lao Tzu would approve it. Wealth, status and power are ultimately irrelevant. Once again, Lao Tzu would approve it. So let’s finish, inevitably, where we began: by the sea, the wind – pneuma – on our sails. And let’s remember the Syrians – in many aspects quintessential Pilgrims of the Sea. Via Syrian colonies, papyrus, spices, ivory and luxury wines spread out all the way to, for instance, Bretagne. In Naples, Palermo, Carthage, Rome, even the Sea of Azov, Syrians and Greeks have been prime historical pilgrims on an ever-renewed Maritime Silk Road. Sail away. Be Stoic. The complete antidote to the current insanity.

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Happy donkey

 

 

Old friends
https://twitter.com/i/status/1789739411913003206

 

 

New fear

 

 

Manta

 

 

Water has memory
https://twitter.com/i/status/1789339242323235231

 

 

 

 

 

 

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