Jun 182022
 


Paul Ranson Apple tree with red fruit 1902

 

Putin Claims New World Order, Blasts The West For ‘Insane’ Sanctions (ABC/AP)
Putin Says Sanctions Cost EU $400BN, Warns Of Severe Fertilizer Shortage (ZH)
Biden Told Secretaries Of Defense And State To Tone It Down (NBC)
Two Awkward Biden Moments Draw Online Scrutiny (JTN)
Macron Bends to Pressure, Now Says Ukraine ‘Must Win’ War With Russia (Celente)
Pro-Ukrainian, but Anti-Nazi (Batiushka)
How Low Can You Go? (Jim Kunstler)
Last Tango in Washington? (Brenner)
The Ukrainian Endgame: An Imperfect Peace Is Better Than Endless War (Bandow)
US Drone Sale To Ukraine Hits Snag (R.)
Stephen Colbert Staffers At House Office Charged With Illegal Entry (Fox)
Hunter Biden’s ‘Troubling’ Connection With Big-Name Hollywood Lawyer Probed (ET)
Deflationary Tsunami On Deck: Tidal Wave Of Discounts And Crashing Prices (ZH)
Britain Orders Extradition Of Julian Assange To United States (ABC.au)

 

 

 

 

Never sick

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..came to think of themselves as God’s own messengers on planet Earth..”

Putin Claims New World Order, Blasts The West For ‘Insane’ Sanctions (ABC/AP)

In one of Vladimir Putin’s most substantial addresses since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the Russian President used his nation’s pre-eminent investment conference as an opportunity to lash out against his Western enemies. After a lengthy denunciation of countries that he claims want to weaken the Russian state with “reckless and insane” sanctions, President Putin used the stage at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum to lambaste the United States. “[The United States] declared victory in the Cold War and later came to think of themselves as God’s own messengers on planet Earth,” he said. In his 73-minute speech, he also said Russia was taking its place in a New World Order in which rules would be set by “strong and sovereign states”.


After sending troops into Ukraine in February, Russia came under a wide array of international sanctions, with hundreds of foreign companies also suspending operations or pulling out of the country entirely. But Mr Putin said these attempts to damage the Russian economy “didn’t work”. “Russian enterprises and government authorities worked in a composed and professional manner,” he said. “We’re normalising the economic situation. We stabilised the financial markets, the banking system, the trade system.” While Russia’s projected inflation rate has fallen marginally, Mr Putin conceded that the current projected annual rate of 16.7 per cent is still too high. Mr Putin also vehemently defended his country’s actions in Ukraine, as Russia has contended that its neighbour posed a threat due its desire to join the NATO military alliance.

Putin Spief

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From the PR team: “We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream.”

Putin Says Sanctions Cost EU $400BN, Warns Of Severe Fertilizer Shortage (ZH)

Ukraine just got a big boost for its EU membership bid on Friday, with the 27-member nation bloc’s executive giving full support for its candidate status. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced for the first time that the commission recommends “that Ukraine is given candidate status. This is of course on the understanding that the country will carry out a number of further reforms.” She said further while speaking from Brussels, “In the view of the Commission, Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the country’s aspiration and the country’s determination to live up to European values and standards.”

Von der Leyen included further: “We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream.” “Yes, Ukraine should be welcomed as a candidate country — this is based on the understanding that good work has been done but important work also remains to be done,” von der Leyen said. The day prior, on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi traveled to Kiev by train where they delivered a unified and “strong signal of support” to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion. They publicly backed Ukraine’s path to the EU, urging “immediate EU candidate status.”

[..] Russian President Vladimir Putin in statements issued the same day as von der Leyen’s EU candidacy preliminary approval announcement stressed the growing ‘cost’ to Europe over its intransigent pro-Ukraine position and anti-Russia sanctions. He estimated that the European Union will incur “losses of at least $400 billion” due to its multiple waves of sanctions imposed on Moscow thus far. He once again rejected responsibility for the global economic downturn, stating instead that inflation, energy costs and food crisis are all linked to the West’s policies. He further predicted a potentially disastrous development for the global food supply, already under threat, according to news wires:

“Putin predicted the fertilizer shortage could push food prices even higher, adding that Russia could boost its exports of fertilizer and grain. He also claimed that “gloomy forecasts” about the state of the Russian economy did not come true and that his government has successfully stopped the rise of domestic inflation.”

Read more …

Back in April.

Biden Told Secretaries Of Defense And State To Tone It Down (NBC)

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken had taken off on separate flights from southeastern Poland after their risky, high-stakes visit to Kyiv when they were conferenced into a phone call from President Joe Biden. During their whirlwind April trip, Austin appeared to expand the U.S. goals in Ukraine, saying publicly that the administration wanted the Ukrainians to win the war against Russia, not just defend themselves, and that the U.S. hoped to weaken Russia to the extent that it could not launch another unprovoked invasion. Blinken had publicly aligned himself with the remarks. Now Biden wanted to discuss the mounting headlines that resulted. Biden thought the secretaries had gone too far, according to multiple administration officials familiar with the call.

On the previously unreported conference call, as Austin flew to Germany and Blinken to Washington, the president expressed concern that the comments could set unrealistic expectations and increase the risk of the U.S. getting into a direct conflict with Russia. He told them to tone it down, said the officials. “Biden was not happy when Blinken and Austin talked about winning in Ukraine,” one of them said. “He was not happy with the rhetoric.” The secretaries explained that Austin’s comments had been misconstrued, another senior administration official said. But the displeasure Biden initially conveyed during that phone call, the officials said, reflected his administration’s belief that despite Ukrainian forces’ unexpected successes early on, the war would ultimately head in the direction it is now in two months later: a protracted conflict in which Russia continues to make small and steady advances.

U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that the trajectory of the war in Ukraine is untenable and are quietly discussing whether President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should temper his hard-line public position that no territory will ever be ceded to Russia as part of an agreement to end the war, according to seven current U.S. officials, former U.S. officials and European officials. Some officials want Zelenskyy to “dial it back a little bit,” as one of them put it, when it comes to telegraphing his red lines on ending the war. But the issue is fraught given that Biden is adamant about the U.S. not pressuring the Ukrainians to take steps one way or another. His administration’s position has been that any decision about how and on what terms to end the war is for Ukraine to decide.

“We are not pressuring them to make concessions, as some Europeans are. We would never ask them to cede territory,” one U.S. official said. “We are planning for a long war. We intend to prepare the American people for that, and we are prepared to ask Congress for more money.”

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“A staggering 47% of responders “strongly” disapproved of his performance.”

Two Awkward Biden Moments Draw Online Scrutiny (JTN)

Amid reports of record low approval ratings for his performance in office, President Joe Biden drew online scrutiny for two awkward moments which have fueled renewed concerns over his fitness to lead. On Thursday, Biden offered somewhat blunt condolences for the passing of Jo-Ann Stores CFO Matt Susz, who died suddenly the day before. In a White House speech addressing efforts to curb inflation, Biden ripped international shipping companies but paused briefly to address the head of the company, saying “and by the way, my sympathies to your family of your CFO, who dropped dead very unexpectedly.”

The ungentle “dropped dead” description of Susz’s death, prompted a torrent of jokes and criticism with many Twitter users disapproving of Biden’s tone and word choice while others made references to oft-repeated concerns that the president may be experiencing mental deterioration. In a Friday episode, first lady Jill Biden abruptly yanked her husband away from reporters as he attempted to answer questions about rising inflation. The Bidens, and first cat Willow, were on their way to their home state of Delaware for the long weekend. “It should not be this high,” he said to reporters, per the New York Post. “They’re making exorbitant profits, number one. Number two, I’ve contacted them, my team has, to ask what their plans are and to give any suggestions they have.”

“Number three, I think we’re going to be in a position where we’re gonna,” he continued before his wife pulled him toward the plane, firmly stating “we gotta go!” The Friday episode also attracted a flurry of mockery, with commenters taking the first lady’s assertive role in the moment as evidence of the presidents “cognitive issues.” Others took issue with Biden’s routine departures from Washington to his home state. Biden’s approval rating stood at 39% on Friday, per a USA TODAY/Suffolk poll. A staggering 47% of responders “strongly” disapproved of his performance.

Biden oil

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“Any world leader who does not vow complete loyalty to Zelensky’s effort to win back every inch of his country is met by anger in the Western media..”

Macron Bends to Pressure, Now Says Ukraine ‘Must Win’ War With Russia (Celente)

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday passed the litmus test during a high-profile meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv when he told reporters that Ukraine must defeat Russia in its war. Macron was joined by Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The three took an 11′-hour train ride to Kyiv. They were also joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. “We saw a devastated city and traces of barbarism. And also the heroism of Ukrainian men and women who stopped the Russian army when it went to Kyiv. Ukraine is resisting. She must be able to win,” Macron said after a a tour of Irpin. The French president came bearing gifts. He promised Ukraine six massive truck-mounted artillery guns so “Ukraine alone can decide its fate.”

Any world leader who does not vow complete loyalty to Zelensky’s effort to win back every inch of his country is met by anger in the Western media that has become nothing more than mouthpieces for governments that hate Russia. Macron felt the wrath when he said, “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means. I am convinced that it is France’s role to be a mediating power.” Dmitro Kuleba, the Ukrainian foreign minister, took to Twitter at the time and posted, “Calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it.” Even after the visit by the four European leaders on Thursday, Ukrainian leaders still insisted on not giving up an inch of territory.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai told the Associated Press that the visit would not yield progress if the leaders ask Ukraine to sign a peace treaty with Russia that involves giving up territory. “I am sure that our president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is not going to make concessions and trade our territories. If someone wants to stop Russia by giving them territories, Germany has Bavaria, Italy has Tuscany, the French can concede Provence, for instance,” he said.


It’s the little people!

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Batiushka is an interesting writer. Here (s)he takes things a step further. Can we follow?

Pro-Ukrainian, but Anti-Nazi (Batiushka)

The problem has never been one of Ukrainians. The problem has always been that of the spiritual disease of Nazism. And that is what it is – a spiritual disease. Once the soul of the Ukraine has been liberated from this disease, in other words, once it has been denazified, a New Ukraine will be born. It may well take the form of a Protectorate centred around Kiev and speak a mixture of Ukrainian with Russian and Surzhyk (Ukrainian Russian). It will have secure borders and its people will be patriotic Ukrainians, not in some racist way that denigrates others, but in a positive way that respects others. Once freed of parasitic oligarchs and corruption, the naturally rich New Ukraine could have a brilliant future and take a positive part in the Concert of the Nations.

Once it has been understood that there is no problem with the Ukraine or Ukrainians, but only with Nazism, there may take place other Special Operations in other parts of the world. China may soon launch an Operation in Taiwan to free the ethnic Chinese there from the Nazism of its US-appointed elite. As for Russia, it has not yet finished the job in the Ukraine, where the task is constantly being extended because the Nazi West keeps sending long-range missiles and artillery to Kiev. As long as these weapons are in use, firing on Donetsk or anywhere else in liberated territory, the war will be extended and continue. Russia may physically have to liberate the whole country, mobilising more forces beyond the small expeditionary force it originally sent.

And then if Western aggression continues, it may have to launch other operations in Moldova and the Baltics in order to liberate those peoples too from NATO Nazism, from their corrupt US-appointed elites and EU exploitation. It may have to rebuild them, so that their peoples, economic refugees from corruption living now in Western Europe, can gratefully come home. Beyond that, as regards Western Europe in general, it too will surely one day find itself liberated one way or another from transatlantic tyranny and threats, safe under the Russian security and nuclear umbrella. Someone must defend Western Europe from the threats which for the moment are still coming from outside Afro-Eurasia, which is 86% of the world. Only Russia can do that. Russian troops once liberated Berlin and Paris. Will it have to happen again and maybe this time be extended to include Rome, Madrid and London?

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“..our Ukraine project “to weaken Russia” brought on an epochal shift in the balance of power to our enormous disadvantage.”

How Low Can You Go? (Jim Kunstler)

Lots of things are going south all at once: the stock markets and bond prices, Bitcoin is doing a vanishing act. The Colorado River reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, are so low that, by September, both water and electricity may run out for a vast region that includes Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Southern California. The housing market is tanking (suburbia’s business model is broken). Whole herds of beef cattle roll over and die out on the range. Fertilizer is scarce. Food processing plants get torched by the dozen. Shortages loom. The oil-and-gas industry is getting killed four ways: 1) our stupid Russia sanctions queered longstanding global distribution arrangements; 2) the industry is starved for capital; 3) depletion is seriously kicking in; and 4) “Joe Biden” and the knuckleheads running the EU countries are trying to kill it so as to usher in a Green New Deal that just doesn’t pencil-out.

The car dealers have no new cars on their lots, and pretty soon they’ll run out of decent used cars — which, these days, are often priced higher than the non-existent new cars. How’s that for a business model? Plus, the financially beaten-up middle-class can’t afford cars in either case, and increasingly can’t qualify for car loans. The airline industry reels with a sucking chest wound due to a pilot shortage (thanks to vaxx mandates) and the high cost of jet fuel. The trucking industry’s business model is also broken with diesel fuel over six dollars a gallon — the cost of delivery exceeds the value of the cargo. America runs on trucks and if they stop running, so does everything else. Replacement parts are growing scarce for every mechanical device in the land. It’s getting harder to fix anything that’s broken.

“Joe Biden’s” proxy war against Russia in Ukraine isn’t working out. It was flamboyantly stupid from the get-go. We deliberately broke the Minsk agreements for a cease-fire in the Donbas to goad the Russians into action. NATO didn’t have the troops or the political mojo to back up its US-inspired bluster. Our financial warfare blew back in our faces and actually benefited the Russian economy and its currency, the ruble. The billions of dollars in weapons we’re sending into the war are easily interdicted in transport, or else are getting loose in a world of non-state maniacs ranging from the Taliban to al Qaeda to drug cartels. Meanwhile, Russia steadfastly grinds out a victory on-the-ground that will leave it in control of the Black Sea and will reveal the USA’s lost capacity to impose its will around the world. In other words, our Ukraine project “to weaken Russia” brought on an epochal shift in the balance of power to our enormous disadvantage.

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“..you are stuck with the albatross of a truncated, bankrupt Ukraine hung around your neck.”

Last Tango in Washington? (Brenner)

Reality has a way of catching up to us. Sometimes it comes via a sudden shock — Sputnik or Tet. Sometimes it creeps up incrementally — as in Ukraine with each thousand round Russian artillery barrage and the steady rise of the ruble now 25 percent higher than at the onset of the crisis. Dim the lights, the party’s almost over. But that is not the end of the affair. Whatever the exact outcomes, there is no going back to the status quo ante — the world, especially Europe, has changed in fundamental respects. Moreover, it has changed in ways diametrically opposite to what was desired and anticipated. The West has been inhabiting a fanciful world that could exist only in our imaginations. Many remain stranded in that self-deluded mirage. The more that we have invested in that fantasy world, the harder we find it to exit and to make the adjustment — intellectual, emotional, behavioral.

[..] Necessity is the mother of invention — or so it is said. However, grasping what is “necessary” can be a very slippery business. An actual recasting of how one views a problematic situation normally is a last resort. Experience and history tell us that, as do behavioral experiments. The psychology of perceived necessity is complex. Adversity or threat in and of itself does not trigger improvisation. Even the survival instinct does not always spark innovation. Denial, then avoidance, are normally the first, sequential reactions when facing adversity in trying to reach an objective or to satisfy a recognized interest. A strong bias favors the reiteration of a standard repertoire of responses.

True innovation tends to occur only in extremis; and even then, behavioral change is more likely to begin with minor adjustments of established thinking and behavior at the margins rather than modification of core beliefs and patterns of action. Those truths underscore the American dilemma as the Ukraine venture turns sour on the battlefield and your enemy is faring far better than expected while your friends and allies are faring far worse. Russia has blunted everything thrown at them – to the shock of Western planners. Every assumption underpinning their scorched-earth assault on the Russian economy has proven mistaken. A dismal record of analytical error even by C.I.A. and think tank standards.

Off-the-charts forecasts on the country’s economy, and the global impact of sanctions, crippled Washington’s plan from the outset. Tactical initiatives of a military nature have proven equally futile; another 1,000 vintage Javelins with dead battery packs will not rescue the Ukrainian army in the Donbass. So, you are stuck with the albatross of a truncated, bankrupt Ukraine hung around your neck. There is nothing that you can do to cancel these givens — except a direct, perhaps suicidal test of force with Russia. Or, perhaps, a retaliatory challenge elsewhere. The latter is not readily available — for geographic reasons and because the West already has expended its arsenal of economic and political weaponry.

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Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

The Ukrainian Endgame: An Imperfect Peace Is Better Than Endless War (Bandow)

For good reason, then, Americans worry about deepening US involvement in the Russo-Ukrainian war. While it is unsurprising that Kyiv and its Washington factotums advocate going all in, even risking escalation of the conflict, doing so is not in this nation’s interests. Unfortunately, President Joe Biden’s recent article in the New York Time did little to ease public concerns. Especially his promise not to “pressure the Ukrainian government – in private or public – to make any territorial concessions.” The US and Europe should focus on ending, not winning, the war. The longer the conflict goes, the more it will devastate Ukraine and undermine the Ukrainian state. The economic harm to the allies and beyond also will grow, weakening support for Kyiv.


An American attempt to carry Ukraine to victory is more likely to encourage Putin to double down, perhaps even using nuclear weapons, than meekly yield. Washington’s goal should not be to save the Russian dictator from personal humiliation, which retired diplomat Dan Fried deemed “risible,” but to forestall Putin from engaging in dangerous escalation to prevent personal humiliation. Life is unfair, President Jimmy Carter once observed. That is especially true when it comes to international affairs. In a perfect world Ukraine would recover its territory, including that seized in 2014, collect reparations from Moscow, and frame Putin’s written apology for invading. However, none of these should be Washington’s objective. The US should promote a stable, peaceful settlement, one that keeps the Pandora’s Box of nuclear war closed.

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“..reviewed higher up the chain of command at the Pentagon..”

US Drone Sale To Ukraine Hits Snag (R.)

The Biden administration’s plan to sell four large, armable drones to Ukraine has been paused on the fear its sophisticated surveillance equipment might fall into enemy hands, according to two people familiar with the matter. The technical objection to the sale was raised during a deeper review by the Pentagon’s Defense Technology Security Administration charged with keeping high value technology safe from enemy hands. Previously the plan, which has been circulating since March, had been approved by the White House, three people said. The plan to sell Ukraine four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones that can be armed with Hellfire missiles for battlefield use against Russia was first reported by Reuters earlier in June.


The objection to the export of the drones arose due to concerns the radar and surveillance equipment on the drones could create a security risk for the United States if it fell into Russian hands. The sources said this consideration had been overlooked in the initial review but came up in meetings at the Pentagon late last week. “Technology security reviews are a standard practice for the transfer of U.S. defense articles to all international partners. All cases are reviewed individually on their own merit. Through the established process, national security concerns are elevated to the appropriate approving authority,” said Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough. The decision on whether or not to continue with the deal is now being reviewed higher up the chain of command at the Pentagon, but the timing of any decision is uncertain, one of the people a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.

Read more …

Adam Schiff did it.

Stephen Colbert Staffers At House Office Charged With Illegal Entry (Fox)

The U.S. Capitol Police arrested a group of staffers with CBS’s “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” after they allegedly illegally entered a U.S. House of Representatives office building on Thursday night, Fox News has learned. The group of seven people were arrested in the Longworth House Office Building after being escorted out of the Jan. 6 committee hearing earlier in the day because they did not have proper press credentials, according to sources. The same group resurfaced later on Thursday night after the Capitol complex was closed to public visitors and Fox News is told that they took videos and pictures around the offices of two Republican members of Congress, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy R-Calif. and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.

A senior source in the U.S House of Representatives told Fox News that seven individuals associated with Stephen Colbert’s show were arrested. The group was unescorted and charged with illegal entry to House office buildings after hours. Fox News is told that the “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” team applied to get press credentials for the Jan. 6 hearing, but the House Radio/TV Gallery rejected the request because they are not considered “news.” The issue didn’t go to the Radio/TV Correspondents Association, which usually handles credentialing. In addition to a regular Capitol Hill press pass, a special “overlay” is required for members of the press who want to be in the room for the Jan. 6 Committee hearings.


Members of Colbert’s team could have been in House office buildings if they were invited, which they were. Fox News is told that Colbert’s team conducted interviews earlier on Thursday with members of the Jan. 6 Committee, including Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. and Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. They also interviewed Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass. [..] “On June 16, 2022, at approximately 8:30 p.m., U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) received a call for a disturbance in the Longworth House Office Building. Responding officers observed seven individuals, unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway. The building was closed to visitors, and these individuals were determined to be a part of a group that had been directed by the USCP to leave the building earlier in the day,” the statement says. “They were charged with Unlawful Entry. This is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the U.S. Attorney.”

Tucker Colbert

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“We are investigating the domestic and international business dealings of President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to determine whether these activities compromise U.S. national security and President Biden’s ability to lead with impartiality..”

Hunter Biden’s ‘Troubling’ Connection With Big-Name Hollywood Lawyer Probed (ET)

The ranking member of the House’s principal oversight committee has launched a probe into a Hollywood lawyer’s “sudden patronage” of Hunter Biden allegedly involving financial and pro-bono legal support. “We are investigating the domestic and international business dealings of President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to determine whether these activities compromise U.S. national security and President Biden’s ability to lead with impartiality,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, wrote to Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris on behalf of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in a letter dated June 14.

“Your sudden patronage of the President’s son, enormous financial contributions to President Biden, and outsized role you are taking in defending against both congressional and criminal investigations raise serious concerns about whether you are providing in-kind contributions to President Biden’s re-election efforts,” Comer wrote. Morris is known for negotiating a $550 million licensing deal for the creators of “South Park” and has won a Tony award as a co-producer of the Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon.” His law firm has represented Hollywood celebrities including Chris Rock, Scarlett Johansson, and Matthew McConaughey. Comer’s letter came after a New York Times report in early May that alleged that Morris has taken on a “financier, confidant and would-be avenger” for the president’s son.

The latter is under federal investigation into his tax payments and alleged foreign deals with entities affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, Morris donated $2,800 to Joe Biden’s campaign “Biden for President” in October 2019, and a total of $55,000 in 2020 to the American Bridge 21st Century Political Action Committee, which supported Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. The New York Times reported that these donations occurred before Morris met and developed a relationship with the president’s son. According to Comer, the oversight committee Republicans are “particularly troubled” in seeing Morris’s alleged role in “attempting to personally shield Hunter Biden from congressional and criminal investigation.”

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You won’t know what hit you.

Deflationary Tsunami On Deck: Tidal Wave Of Discounts And Crashing Prices (ZH)

Three weeks ago, we showed readers what happens when the infamous “Bullwhip effect” reversal takes place by presenting the unprecedented surge in the “Inventory to Sales” ratio for a broad range of US retailers covering the furniture, home furnishings and appliances, building materials and garden equipment, and a category known as “other general merchandise,” which includes Walmart and Target. Since then, this ratio has only gotten even more extended, and as shown below it is now at the highest level since the bursting of the dot com bubble! What does this mean for retailers and the price of goods? Three weeks ago we said “Think: widespread inventory liquidations” and added…

To be sure, not every product will see its price cut: commodities, whose bullwhip effect take much longer to manifest itself, usually lasting several years in either direction, are only just starting to see their price cycle higher. However, other products – like those carried by the Walmarts and Targets of the world – are about to see a deflationary plunge the likes of which we have not seen since the global financial crisis as retailers commence a voluntary destocking wave the likes of which have not been seen in over a decade. Today both Wall Street and the mainstream media have caught up, with both predicting unprecedented deflationary price cuts in the coming weeks.

We start with Morgan Stanley’s bearish strategist Michael Wilson, who in his latest bearish weekly note (available to pro subs) focused on shrinking margins in general, and on retailer discounting in particular, and wrote that while there is a modest pick up in over sales, the far more concerning issue is that “inventory across the sector is up about 30% YOY and sales growth is up about 0% YOY translating to approximately 30% YOY of excess inventory” and while mark down/margin pressure did not hit in 1Q it should hit June/July. Indeed, “store checks show that aggressive discounting has already started as of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Discounting pressure could accelerate through July.” And since more retailers are now discounting, “companies are having to offer even bigger discounts to compel consumers to buy, and it is a race to the bottom in margins in order to clear through inventory.”

It gets much worse, however, because courtesy of the delayed nature of the bullwhip effect, Morgan Stanley thinks it will be some time before retailers can cut back on forward inventory orders! Companies are no longer in a position to order 6 months in advance because of delays in the supply chain, and are currently working with about an 8 month lead time. Shockingly, this means decisions today to cut forward orders could begin to eliminate the inventory problem in 1Q23, but not likely before then.

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“The elected Prime Minister stated that it’s time for Julian to come home..”

Britain Orders Extradition Of Julian Assange To United States (ABC.au)

The British government has ordered the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, but WikiLeaks said it would appeal against the ruling. Home Secretary Priti Patel made the decision after Mr Assange was denied a Supreme Court appeal back in March. That case related to Mr Assange’s physical and mental health, and the US government won after offering assurances he would not be held in solitary confinement. The Home Office said in a statement: “The UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. “Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

The decision is a big moment in Mr Assange’s years-long battle to avoid facing trial in the US — though not necessarily the end of the tale. The 50-year-old Australian still has 14 days to appeal against his extradition based on issues like freedom of speech, arguing the espionage charges against him are politically motivated. “Today is not the end of the fight. It is only the beginning of a new legal battle,” Mr Assange’s wife Stella said. Ms Assange also called for Australian Prime Minister Albanese to apply some pressure. “Our expectation as a family is the Australian government will do whatever it takes to get him home,” she said. The Australian federal government says it will continue to offer consular assistance to Mr Assange.


“We will continue to convey our expectations that Mr Assange is entitled to due process, humane and fair treatment, access to proper medical care, and access to his legal team,” said a joint statement released late on Friday night from Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus. “The Australian government has been clear in our view that Mr Assange’s case has dragged on for too long and that it should be brought to a close. “We will continue to express this view to the governments of the United Kingdom and [the] United States.” Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has labelled the decision by the UK government to green-light the extradition as an “outrageous betrayal of rule of law, media freedom and human rights”. “The elected Prime Minister stated that it’s time for Julian to come home,” Mr Wilkie said, “enough is enough, that he couldn’t see what was served by Julian remaining in prison.

Stella Moris

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Jun 152022
 


Ivan Aivazovsky Constantinople in Moonlight 1846

 

 

We associate the term “mass psychosis” with the reaction(s) to Covid, but I would argue it’s been around a lot longer, and broader. At least since 2015, and the media coverage (if you can even call it that) of Donald Trump, his campaign and his presidency. I have no special sympathy for Trump (though some people doubt that), but that episode, and the “coverage” of it, did wake me up -even more- to how the media -and US “intelligence”, and Trump’s various opponents- influenced the way they wanted people to think.

And perhaps the best way to illustrate this is the “heroes” they have been promoting ever since. It’s not just Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden during the “Trump days”, this model is still used to date. They make people like, and thereby trust, certain characters, and we’re off to the races. One thing that sticks out is how in the cases of Trump-Russia, Covid, and Ukraine-Russia, there are these personae that were getting adorned with celebratory candles and stuff like that.

The first person we saw that with was Robert Mueller. He did a 2-year “investigation”, which resulted in absolutely nothing -other than some vague allegations he had no proof of either-, and which he should have halted at least a year before he did, something nobody ever called him on. At his “closing” testimony he even claimed he had never heard of Fusion GPS, one of the key components in his own “investigation”, so we wondered if he ever had any control of this probe, or if it were perhaps Andrew Weizmann and the other 40-odd lawyers, paid god knows how many millions, and had god knows what other resources.

Robert Mueller turned out to be an utter disgrace to the whole nation, and he was never called on it. Nor was anyone else involved in the Steele Dossier, or any of the other false papers in the Trump persecution. This is a pattern. And you cannot and will not have a healthy country if these things do not happen, if the invented out of whole cloth falsehoods can be swept under the carpet. The complicity of US intelligence, moreover, means that nobody will ever know. They won’t investigate themselves. Or the Democratic party that ran the whole thing. Here is Mueller on July 24, 2019. Watch and weep.

 

 

Another main character in the Trump era was Adam Schiff, who repeated numerous times that he had “ample evidence” of collusion between Russia and Trump. But who, like Mueller, never showed one single shred of evidence for it. And now Schiff is back in the January 6 committee. Look, the guy lied in Congress and the Senate, so many times he would put Pinokkio to shame, but he’s still a Congressman, and he gets to do it all over again. You cannot have a functioning society, or political system, if people get away with lying incessantly, and there’s no penalty for that.

But still, here we go again. Legal expert Jonathan Turley noticed the exact same thing:

Schiff: House Select Committee Has Evidence That Trump “Engaged in Likely Multiple Criminal Acts”

Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) went on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight” to tout the work of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6th riot. In that interview, Schiff declared that the Committee has enough evidence showing former President Donald Trump “engaged in likely multiple criminal acts.” While vague on the specific crimes, Schiff emphasized that the Justice Department did not have to wait any further to launch a criminal investigation based on what has already been disclosed.


While the Committee has disclosed new evidence in the form of videotapes and testimony, it has not presented new material evidence of criminal acts in my view. That could still come but the first two hearings largely focused on a “conspiracy” to challenge the election certification and allegations that Trump knew the there was no compelling evidence of widespread election fraud.

 

 

And from the Trump investigation disgrace for America, we moved on seamlessly to Covid. Another bizarre freak show, and another media-appointed hero for whom candles were dedicated and burned: Anthony Fauci. We’re two years and change after Fauci caught the limelight, and we now know nothing, absolutely nothing, he said was true. Face masks don’t work, they instead risk making people sicker, if anything; lockdowns: same thing, and the vaccine injuries have only just started. Saw the first study today that says unvaccinated people have less risk of severe Covid, which is the 180º opposite of the last alleged positive effect the jabs were supposed to bring. Game over.

What an insane story. But Fauci, and the FDA, and all these “experts”, are preparing to jab babies. Which puts them at great risk, who have no risk from Covid . Because it puts their immune systems in danger. For life. For Pfizer and Moderna profits. How many people were killed by lockdowns? How many by vaccines? We will never know. Your grandchildren are not going to believe you allowed it to happen. But yeah, go burn a candle for Tony. And for all his brethren in all other countries. They will try again this fall. Based on no other “proof” than that provided by Pfizer. Clown world. Latest EU vaccine deaths number is 44,348. That Eudra Vigilance number, like the US VAERS system, catches maybe 1 in 10 adverse effects. If that. But we saved so many lives! No, you did not. You were killing people, under coercion, all along. For money.

 

 

Today, then, we have the Russian Special Military Operation, totally unprovoked, unless you ask Pope Francis I. And again, the media present you with a hero for whom, again, celebratory candles are consecrated. And y’all fall for it again: Vlod Zelensky. Who’s doing the most elaborate PR campaign we’ve ever seen, dozens of media appearances per day, while hundreds of his people are dying daily in a “war” effort that has zero chance of succeeding.

Sending him more weapons will only mean killing more of his people, but that doesn’t appear to be his main concern, does it? How strange! Zelensky is the alleged -but not actual- leader of one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and certainly the no. 1 in the “west”. But he provides the western arms industries with a theater in which they can test their new weapons, while at the same time raking in huge profits for old and new systems. And as the only casualties are Ukrainians and Russians, but no Americans or Germans, Raytheon and Boeing couldn’t have asked for a better set-up.

And do remember that Zelensky has also claimed that the Russians want to eradicate the entire Ukrainian population, obliterate their whole culture, kill as many Ukrainians as they can, and that Russians kill Ukrainians just for fun. Among many other things. While the reality is that Russia has sacrificed the lives of many of its soldiers in order to prevent many more Ukrainian deaths. Russia could have taken Ukraine much faster than they have without that. That is, the consideration that they are brotherly people. But that reality does not fit the west’s picture.

We are a utterly sick culture, and we don’t have much time left to wake up from that and repair it. Our real heroes have been silenced, banned, imprisoned or murdered. We will not be able to live like this much longer.

 

 

 

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Jun 112022
 


Robert Campin Portrait of a woman 1430-35

 

The Goal Is Not To Help Ukraine, But To Fight Putin – Jacques Baud (TP)
Biden Tries Blaming Russia for White House Energy Policy and Inflation (CTH)
Ukraine Is Blackmailing The Global South By Demanding Weapons For Wheat (Kol.)
Traitors and Patriots (Batiushka)
UK: 5,000 Non-Covid Excess Deaths in the Last Five Weeks (DS)
Funding of Promising COVID-19 Treatment Withdrawn Without Explanation (DS)
Get Your Monkeypox On (Jim Kunstler)
Primetime Jan. 6 Hearings Air To Dismal TV Ratings (JTN)
Liz Cheney Said Trump Had A ‘Seven-part Plan’ To Overturn The Election (CNN)
Trump Pentagon First Offered National Guard to Capitol on Jan 2 (JTN)
Perry to Cheney: Your Pardon Story Is An Absolute Shameless, Soulless Lie (JTN)
Erdogan Threatens Greece Over ‘Militarizing’ Aegean Islands (ZH)
Agreement In The Dispute Over Spying Attacks On Julian Assange’s Lawyer (Zeit)

 

 

 

 

Ryan Cole

 

 

 

 

Kerseboom

 

 

Original from Swiss journal, Zeitgeschehen im Fokus.

Baud is a former strategic intelligence officer in the Swiss Department of Defense.

“This is about supporting decision-making based on facts and not on the basis of divine inspiration.”

The Goal Is Not To Help Ukraine, But To Fight Putin -Jacques Baud (TP)

JB: It is also interesting that if one takes some distance to assess the conflict and does not immediately side with Ukraine, one is declared a ” Putin-Empathizer.” This is unbelievable. What I think about Putin has nothing to do with the assessment of the situation. That is the business of the Ukrainians. I have said this several times: if I were Ukrainian, I probably would have taken up arms. But that is not the point. I, as Swiss, will not give up my Swissness. In order to help Ukraine, I don’t have to become a Ukrainian; but I have to look at the big picture I have as Swiss to bring a less passionate but more constructive point of view. The journalists who criticize me are more Russia-haters than Ukraine-lovers.

JB: When an onlooker sees an old lady being attacked by a thug on the street, he does not encourage her to fight back, but tries to separate the two. We are in the situation of this onlooker; but our response is to give weapons so that Ukraine fights. For a Ukrainian it is legitimate to want to fight. But for a Swiss or another European, our role is to try to limit the damage. But no one is even attempting to do that in the West. When Zelensky was looking for a mediator, he turned to Turkey, China, and Israel. He did not choose a European Union country or even Switzerland. He understood that Switzerland is no longer an independent partner.

[..] JB: Paradoxically, everything we give to Ukraine today only highlights the help and compassion we have not given to those who have been unjustly attacked by the West in the Middle East and elsewhere. This will have consequences in the future. Many have noticed this with the refugees. The “blond, blue-eyed” refugees are gladly helped; the others are not. Maybe we can understand this, even if we cannot approve of it. But what is incomprehensible, remains the fact that we keep silent about one attacker, while another is punished with more than 6 000 sanctions.

[..] It also doesn’t mean that you have to be in favor of Russia; that has nothing to do with it. If you look at Justitia, she is blind and holds a scale in her hand. That is exactly what is missing today. Western countries are partial and biased. The same applies to the European Union. A modern state should not be guided by passion, but by reason. These principles were established by Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau in the 18th century. Our “woke” culture has forgotten them. We let our feelings guide us and we follow them. That is the problem.

[..] The rule of law means that decisions are not based on feelings or intuitions, but on the basis of facts. That is why modern states have intelligence services. This is about supporting decision-making based on facts and not on the basis of divine inspiration. This is a fundamental difference between enlightened governance and despotic obscurantism. Fighting a dictatorship does not entitle us to forget the principles of the rule of law. Since the Balkan War, the West seems to believe that the end justifies the means. It is irrelevant what individual ministers think as persons, they are allowed to hate Putin, that is their right as citizens —but not as ministers. Feelings cannot be the basis of their policy.

Read more …

Kissinger in 2014: “Demonizing Vladimir Putin is not politics; it is an alibi for not having politics.”

Biden Tries Blaming Russia for White House Energy Policy and Inflation (CTH)

It’s worth paying attention to where and when Joe Biden is standing when he makes his ridiculous economic claims today about Russia being the cause of the energy policy from the White House. Do not let it go unnoticed that it’s June, the last month of the second quarter for economic data. Do not let it pass your reference that Joe Biden is speaking from the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) as he spins his nonsense about the inflation, he alone is responsible for. And do not overlook the attendee mentioned in this subtle statement, “And, John, I can’t thank you. You’re — you’re the real deal. Anybody — well, I won’t get into — get you in trouble, but thanks for sticking up for me.”

“John” is the White House Port Envoy John D Porcari. A severely partisan former Obama official who was selected by Joe Biden to lead the fraudulent effort to improve supply chains when the White House was under assault in the fall of 2021. Porcari was the person who designed “operation hide the ships” to give the illusion of port efficiency improvement, and it is almost a certainty that it was Porcari who leveraged his influence with the POLA to hold back the December 2021 import data in order to try and improve the GDP statistics. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters with negative GDP growth. The first quarter of 2022 was -1.5% as detailed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That means if April, May and June 2022 are also negative GDP then we are factually in an economic recession.

That makes this month, June 2022, critical for Joe Biden. The White House will do anything to avoid that label appearing on their economic policy when the reporting is released at the end of July. So it’s June, the last month of the second quarter…. and Joe Biden is giving a speech from the Port of Los Angeles….. and the White House will do anything and everything to avoid that “economic recession” label. What does that mean? That means it’s time for John Porcari to work his magic influence again and get the POLA import data held back and delayed so that it is not deducted from the GDP.

Read more …

Not how we prefer to see it.

Ukraine Is Blackmailing The Global South By Demanding Weapons For Wheat (Kol.)

Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasily Bodnar officially demanded weapons in exchange for resuming wheat exports by sea in what amounts to the blatant blackmailing of the Global South in the midst of the artificially manufactured food crisis. He said that “Effective security guarantees are required for maritime shipments to resume. These guarantees must be provided through the supply of appropriate weapons to Ukraine to protect its coasts from maritime threats and the involvement of the navies of third countries in protecting the relevant part of the Black Sea.” This comprehensively debunks the US-led Western Mainstream Media’s (MSM) fake news that Russia is the one that’s supposedly holding the Global South hostage by allegedly blockading Ukrainian ports.

The background context is that Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya already explained the artificially manufactured origins of the global food crisis late last month. In short, he blamed it on the economic consequences caused by the West’s response to COVID (particularly with respect to spiking inflation and influencing food demand); Ukraine’s mining of its own ports; and the anti-Russian sanctions. President Putin later reiterated these causes in a TV interview that he gave a little over a week later on the same day that he met with Macky Sall, the Chairman of the African Union. His guest extended credence to the Kremlin’s explanation by declaring that “Anti-Russia sanctions have made this situation worse and now we do not have access to grain from Russia, primarily to wheat.”

All the while and in spite of the artificially manufactured origins of the food crisis that lie entirely beyond Russia’s control, Moscow has been doing its utmost to encourage Kiev to at the very least resume its wheat exports to the Global South. To that end, it proposed four potential corridors: the Azov Sea; the Black Sea; overland through Belarus en route to Baltic ports; and across Western Europe. Suffice to say, Kiev has flat-out refused to employ any of these means, though it’s also worth noting that Nebenzya mentioned in his speech late last month that Russia has “reasonable suspicions” to believe that Kiev is exporting wheat to those Western European countries that already have copious reserves of this commodity in exchange for arms exactly as happened with the Central Powers near the end of WWI.

Read more …

“..Putin has very slowly and very cautiously, but incrementally, been remedying the situation. It is his life’s work – to reverse treachery.”

Traitors and Patriots (Batiushka)

The prolific Russian nationalist author of 91 books, Oleg Platonov (born 1950), relates in his work on the fall of the Soviet Union how in the 1980s, on the eve of the country’s collapse, Westerners, whom The Saker rightly calls ‘Euro-Atlanticists’, betrayed the USSR. These ‘Euro-Atlanticists’ were the ‘Communists’ who in the 1990s overnight became super Capitalists, bought shares for almost nothing in valuable, about-to-be privatised national companies and so became ‘oligarchs’. Their shameful acts, in fact thefts of national property by those with insider knowledge, created an underclass of homeless. They reveal how these money-launderers sold out their own country and people and souls, often then going to live in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Nice, Marbella, Nicosia etc.

The Traitors were opposed by the Patriots, some of whom worked in the national intelligence services, where some of the best brains met. One of these Patriots, the future President Putin, was then a lowly colonel in Dresden in East Germany, working in the Soviet intelligence services (not a head of it, like so many US Presidents, heads of the CIA). When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, his office sought answers from Moscow as to what to do. And there was no answer. ‘Moscow is silent’. I believe the story is related in many places, among them in ‘The Putin Interviews’ by Oliver Stone. It was that paralysis and silence of the Centre in Moscow that was among the most decisive events in the future President’s life. He realised that Moscow was betraying the Soviet Union, that it had been taken over by the Traitors, the ‘Nomenklatura’. They believed in nothing, except in their own disgraceful gain. They were anti-Patriots.

Since coming to power in 2000, V. V. Putin has very slowly and very cautiously, but incrementally, been remedying the situation. It is his life’s work – to reverse treachery. In 19th century Russian history people like him were known as ‘Slavophiles’ and they were opposed by ‘Westerners’. These are very vague and rather crude terms, for there are many types of Slavophiles, from primitive and bigoted nationalists to genuine Patriots, who are well-educated realists and seek only the well-being of their people. Similarly, the term ‘Westerners’ can describe outright Traitors and murderers, like Litvinenko and Skripal, but also those who realise that if Russia is to defend itself against the West, it must fight obscurantism and make use of, and then improve on, Western technology. President Putin would probably not identify with either of these historical tags, but rather perhaps with aspects of both of them.

Read more …

We see this in lots of places. I added the New Brunswick chart.

Still, when Justin Bieber gets facial paralysis, it is reportedly from Covid….

UK: 5,000 Non-Covid Excess Deaths in the Last Five Weeks (DS)

New official data from the ONS released today add a further 730 non-Covid excess deaths in England and Wales to the total of the last five weeks, bringing the figure to 4,964. This means nearly 5,000 more people than usual have died in England and Wales in the last five weeks of causes other than COVID-19. The total deaths in the most recent week were 10.1% above the five-year average, as depicted in the chart below. The chart shows in blue that Covid deaths account for less than half of the excess deaths this week, though note that the chart over-counts Covid deaths as it includes any death with Covid. The 4,964 figure for non-Covid excess deaths quoted above is calculated using deaths due to Covid, i.e., where Covid is recorded as the underlying cause on the death certificate.

Private homes, care homes and hospitals are all experiencing excess deaths at present: 23.4%, 6.5% and 5.3% respectively in the most recent week. The ONS report does not comment on what might lie behind these worrying trends. The fact that it coincides with the spring vaccine booster campaign among older folk has raised worries for many, particularly in light of the ONS data showing hospitalisation rates for non-Covid reasons many times higher in the vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated, and the vaccine safety concerns raised by clinical practitioners who believe their vaccinated patients are at greater risk of disease and death.

Read more …

“..there did not seem to be enough support from the scientific community for a study on the benefits of fish liver oil against viral infections..”

Funding of Promising COVID-19 Treatment Withdrawn Without Explanation (DS)

In 2020 a cell culture lab-study performed by a group of Icelandic scientists led by Dr. Einar Stefánsson, Professor of Medicine at the University of Iceland, showed that free fatty acids found in fish liver oil can quickly destroy viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. The study was conducted in collaboration with U.S. partners. Laboratory results showed fish liver oil with 1% and 2% free fatty agents destroyed 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 within 10 minutes. According to an article in Vidskiptabbladid in November 2020, the research, in collaboration with fish liver oil producer Lysi hf. had been approved by the Scientific Ethics Committee and the first phase of the study was being planned with the participation of 30 infected individuals.


Icelandic daily Fréttin recently contacted Professor Stefánsson for news of the project, but he said the research project had to be discontinued due to lack of funds. According to Dr. Stefánsson, the Icelandic Centre for Research, RANNÍS, had approved a “substantial grant” to finance the study, but later the grant was withdrawn without explanation. He said there did not seem to be enough support from the scientific community for a study on the benefits of fish liver oil against viral infections, so unfortunately the project had to be cancelled. Related to this, it might be noted that in April 2020 the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority banned an advertisement from Lysi hf. which claimed the consumption of fish liver oil might be beneficial against viruses such as herpes, RS and coronaviruses, preventing infection. The authority had shortly before warned consumers of advertisements for products that might strengthen the immune system, for example against SARS-CoV-2 infection, since information or claims of such product characteristics was “wrong and misleading” for consumers.

Read more …

“And now, the Party of Chaos is so keenly desperate to stay out of prison that they apparently seek to repeat the trick in the fall midterm..”

Get Your Monkeypox On (Jim Kunstler)

If the January 6th Committee show is short-and-sweet, say a few weeks, it will be quickly forgotten in the welling summertime heat as the great masses of America groan under $5… $7… maybe $10-a-gallon gasoline prices (or maybe no gas at all) while diesel prices at $6.50 today are already destroying the trucking industry — and thus the entire system for delivering all goods around the country. The zeitgeist is quivering with intimations of food shortages and the philosopher reminds us that any given body politic is just nine missed meals away from bloody rebellion. Have another look at that motley January 6th committee group photo and consider the lampposts along Pennsylvania Avenue.

It’s a dangerous game trying to beat down the population this way, and to what end, exactly? I doubt that even the Blue Team could articulate it… or would dare to… because at this point their sole aim, really, is to hide their many acts of criminality over a span of the past six years and escape prosecution, a compelling motive. And it’s getting harder and harder to conceal all that, especially their campaign to physically harm over 200-million people with mRNA “vaccines.” The body-count is rising — way higher even than deaths from the hypothetical “pandemic” that the “vaccines” were supposedly concocted to vanquish, and spectacularly failed to.

And was this Covid-19 “pandemic” itself cooked up tacitly to disorder the 2020 election with mail-in ballots so easily replicated, harvested, and stuffed by the bale into drop-boxes under cover of night? Kind of looks like it, more and more. And now, the Party of Chaos is so keenly desperate to stay out of prison that they apparently seek to repeat the trick in the fall midterm, which is otherwise quite certain to sweep them ignominiously off the game board like so many misplayed quoits.

Read more …

Outdone by a rerun of Young Sheldon.

Primetime Jan. 6 Hearings Air To Dismal TV Ratings (JTN)

The primetime hearings for the Jan. 6 commission’s investigation into the 2021 Capitol riot were broadcast live on almost every major station, yet failed to capture national interest and produced ratings far below other comparable national televised political events. Almost 20 million viewers tuned in for the hearings on Thursday night, according to The Hill. By contrast, President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in March pulled in 38 million viewers. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union attracted over 45 million, per the New York Post. The 20 million figure did stand above a typical congressional hearing, The Hill noted, citing the roughly 9 million viewers for Trump’s first impeachment trial.


Members of the Jan. 6 Commission have sought to present a case blaming Trump for the violence that occurred at the Capitol amid congressional efforts to certify the presidential election results. Their narrative stands in contrast to growing sentiment among the American public who increasingly do not blame the former president for the incident. An NBC poll released Monday, showed that only 45% of Americans blamed Trump for the riot which, while still a plurality, marked a seven-point decline in that sentiment from January of 2021. Republicans have largely denounced the hearings as a “kangaroo court” and slammed the commission’s Republican members for their participation in it.

Tucker J 6

Read more …

Trump is certainly not squeaky clean, but this is ridiculous.

Liz Cheney Said Trump Had A ‘Seven-part Plan’ To Overturn The Election (CNN)

Former President Donald Trump had a “sophisticated seven-point plan” to overturn the 2020 presidential election over the course of several months, January 6 committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said, detailing how the panel plans to use its future hearings to tackle each part of the scheme. “On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain president of the United States, despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power,” Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said in her opening statement at Thursday’s prime-time hearing.

Cheney did not detail the specific points of the plan in her opening statement. She said that the rioters who breached the Capitol and fought with police were motivated by Trump’s actions falsely claiming that the election was stolen from him. “President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said, echoing the statement she made in 2021 when she voted to impeach Trump. A committee source later provided CNN the following description of the “sophisticated seven-part plan”: “President Trump oversaw a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the 2020 election and prevent the transition of presidential power.

  1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.
  2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Acting Attorney General, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims.
  3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the US Constitution and the law.
  4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results.
  5. President Trump’s legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives.
  6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the US Capitol.
  7. As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.

Read more …

Trump himself said this too. But it was refused.

Trump Pentagon First Offered National Guard to Capitol on Jan 2 (JTN)

The Pentagon first raised the possibility of sending National Guard troops to the U.S. Capitol four days before the Jan. 6 riots, setting in motion a series of rejections by Capitol Police and Democrats that left Congress vulnerable as threats of violence were rising, according to government memos that validate Trump administration officials’ long-held claims. An official timeline of the Jan. 6 tragedy assembled by Capitol Police shows that a Defense Department official reached out to a Capitol Police deputy chief, Sean Gallagher, on Jan. 2, 2021 to see if a request for troops was forthcoming, but the offer was quickly rejected after a consultation with then-Chief Steve Sund.

“Carol Corbin (DOD) texts USCP Deputy Chief Sean Gallagher, Protective Service Bureau, to determine whether USCP is considering a request for National Guard soldiers for January 6, 2021 event,” the timeline reads in the lone entry listed for Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. The following morning, the timeline states, “Gallagher replies to DOD via text that a request for National Guard support not forthcoming at this time after consultation with COP Sund.” The rejection came as the Capitol Police department was beginning to change its assessment, recognizing that the massive Trump rally to protest the November 2020 election results planned for Jan. 6, 2021 had the potential for violence.

Earlier analyses suggested such violence was unlikely and the Jan. 6 event was likely to be “similar to the previous Million MAGA March rallies in November and December,” police records show For instance, Capitol Police had determined that as of Dec. 16, 2020 there was “no information regarding specific disruptions or acts of civil disobedience targeting this function.” But by late December, Capitol Police internal emails and documents show, information began flowing in that some groups expected to attend were talking on social media or fringe websites about tactics like blocking tunnels leading to the Capitol. On Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, just hours after Gallagher rejected the Pentagon’s initial offer, the Capitol Police issued a new and darker security assessment to its commanders and executives and to the two political appointees in Congress responsible for security, the House and Senate sergeants at arms, the timeline shows.

“Due to the tense political environment following the 2020 election, the threat of disruptive actions or violence cannot be ruled out,” the new assessment declared. “Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021 as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election. This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent.” Within 24 hours, Sund had changed his mind and began seeking permission from the political powers surrounding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to deploy the National Guard as a preventive measure on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

[..] “The Capitol Police timeline shows what we have been saying for the last year — that DOD support via the National Guard was refused by the House and Senate sergeant at arms, who report to Pelosi,” Patel said. “Now we have it in their own writing, days before Jan. 6. And despite the FBI warning of potential for serious disturbance, no perimeter was established, no agents put on the street, and no fence put up.”

Read more …

“..shameless and soulless..”

Perry to Cheney: Your Pardon Story Is An Absolute Shameless, Soulless Lie (JTN)

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) blasted Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for claiming he sought a presidential pardon because he thought he may have done something wrong on Jan. 6. On the John Solomon Reports podcast Friday, when asked if he did anything wrong on Jan. 6, Perry said, “No, of course not. I was in the Capitol doing my legislative duties on January 6.” Rep. Scott Perry: Liz Cheney’s claim that I sought a presidential pardon for Jan 6, ‘an absolute shameless and soulless lie’ “[T]he notion that I ever sought a presidential pardon for myself, or other members of Congress, is an absolute shameless and soulless lie,” he added.

“It’s just simply no surprise, considering this latest fabrications come from a sham committee using a breathtaking abuse of power to conjure up political theater to destroy their opponents and … distract the American people from the economic and national security nightmare. This is a nightmare created by their one-party rule and quite honestly, rogue Republicans — and you know, Republicans in name only — and their compatriots on the radical left. “This is a kangaroo court. And it’s more fitting to be aired with the filth of scripted reality TV than masquerading as a newsworthy item, which is why I’m using all my time as a member of Congress to try to address the fact that Americans can’t literally afford gasoline, groceries, their food, and … to suffer under the policies of those who control the sham committee.”

Perry asked where the primetime committee hearing was for the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle and the inflation, border, and drug crises. “[T]hat’s what I’m working on and that’s exactly what the American people demand Congress work on, not producing political theater to the tune of $8 million to destroy their opponents.” During the Jan. 6 committee hearing aired on TV Thursday, Cheney said, “As you will see, Rep. Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6th to seek a Presidential Pardon.” She added, “Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

Read more …

A senior Turkish diplomat says Erdogan is full of it. The 1923 Lausanne Treaty simply states that all islands more than 3 km from Turkey are Greek. No more, no less. There are over 2,400 islands. No-one tried to name them all for the Treaty. No need.

Erdogan Threatens Greece Over ‘Militarizing’ Aegean Islands (ZH)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday accused Greece of militarizing its islands in the Aegean Sea with an eye toward threatening Turkey, in but the latest salvo in a series of tit-for-tat accusations between the two NATO members. Erdogan urged immediate demilitarization of the islands, stressing Turkey will never relinquish its “rights” in the Aegean Sea, statements which come weeks after he condemned Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for lobbying the White House to block impending US F-16 sales to Ankara. The fresh words also came on the final day of Turkey’s multi-national “Efes-2022” military drill, centered on the coastal city of Izmir. “We invite Greece to stop arming the islands that have non-military status and to act in accordance with international agreements,” Erdogan said.

“I’m not joking, I’m speaking seriously. This nation is determined.” “I warn Greece to avoid dreams, acts and statements that will result in regret. Come to your senses,” he said in a televised speech related to the drills. “Turkey will not renounce its rights in the Aegean and will not back down from using rights that are established by international agreements when it comes to arming islands,” he added. Erdogan further vowed that Turkey would continue its controversial hydrocarbons exploration of the region, which Greece, Cyprus, and some EU countries like France have condemned as violating Greek and Cypriot territorial waters. Erdogan claimed that Greece is violating the1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Paris Treaty. He declared that Greece was previously given the islands on condition that they’d remain demilitarized.

“The agreements are there but Greece is violating them. It’s arming them. If Greece does not stop this violation, the sovereignty of the islands will be brought up for discussion,” he said. “It’s that clear. You will abide by the agreements.” In questioning the “sovereignty of the islands,” Erdogan appeared to suggest Turkish military intervention is on the table, also given he uttered the veiled threat on the occasion of major Turkish-led military exercises. Greece responded by saying Turkey has long deliberately misinterpreted and misrepresented the content of the historic treaties, and further that Ankara’s standing threat of war justifies that Greece take steps to defend itself. As The Associated Press reports: In Athens, Greek government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said Greece was dealing with Turkish “provocations” with “calm and determination.””It is clear to everyone that our country has upgraded its geostrategic and geopolitical footprint as well as its deterrent capacity to be able at any time to defend its national sovereignty and sovereign rights,” he said.

Turkish ambassador
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535217612917026818

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Translation from Die Zeit.

Agreement In The Dispute Over Spying Attacks On Julian Assange’s Lawyer (Zeit)

A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is in prison in the UK, has reached an out-of-court settlement with the UK government over allegations of spying. As the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg announced, the government in London recognized that the rights of lawyer Jennifer Robinson had been violated by spying attacks. Confidential journalistic material was also affected. Robinson received a payment of 1,000 pounds (around 1,170 euros), the statement said. The lawsuit before the Human Rights Court, which has now been dropped, was also about the disclosure of information to the United States, which wants to obtain Assange’s extradition.


How exactly the lawyer from the law firm Doughty Street Chambers is said to have been spied on is not known. The government is keeping it under wraps for national security reasons, Robinson said in an interview with the dpa news agency. “I’d really like to know that too, because it raises important questions about what information was shared.” After a court in London approved Assange’s extradition, Home Secretary Priti Patel is eagerly awaiting the decision. The US judiciary wants to put Assange on trial for allegations of espionage. He faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted. He is accused of having stolen and published secret material from US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan together with whistleblower Chelsea Manning, thereby endangering the lives of US informants.

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Gonzalo blame game

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Gallery

 

 

kid+dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1534956581321850880

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 072022
 


Pablo Picasso Rest (Marie-Thérèse Walter) 1932

 

Zelensky Says Ukraine is Being Pushed to Make Concessions to Russia (Celente)
Blaming Putin Is Helping Putin (Dmitry Orlov)
Fury In Moscow After Air Closures Block Lavrov Trip To Serbia (AFP)
Your Show of Shows (Kunstler)
The White House Keeps Stoking Covid Fears (Bhattacharya)
COVID-19: Mask Mandates Could Increase Death Rate (Celente)
Florida Surgeon General Openly Questions Safety Of Covid-19 Vaccines (FP)
Elon Musk Threatens To Terminate Twitter Deal (PM)
Biden Admin Quietly Raised Amount of Ethanol Required in Gasoline (CTH)
Soros Spent $40 Million To Elect 75 ‘Social Justice’ Prosecutors (WE)
Exasperated Biden Has Only Himself To Blame For Poll Numbers (Levine)
Why Is Chuck Schumer Trying To Stop Antitrust Reform? (NW)
Ankara Tries To Sell ‘Ottoman Islands’ Theory (K.)
Nils Merzel’s New Book Argues Julian Assange Is Being Tortured (Conv.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuclear warheads

 

 

“Zelensky did not specify exactly what parties are beginning to grow impatient..”

Zelensky Says Ukraine is Being Pushed to Make Concessions to Russia (Celente)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday told reporters that he is starting to feel pressure from the West to negotiate for peace with Russia from a current position of weakness. Ukrayinska Pravda reported that Zelensky told reporters: “I do not have any negotiations on any plans (on the peace plan, which is being discussed by the United States, the European Union and Britain – ed.); such negotiations are currently at zero. Everyone really wants to push us little by little towards some result that is definitely undesirable for us, because we have not been asked yet, but beneficial for other parties that have their own interests. Again, different: both financial and political. “Fatigue is growing, people want some kind of result for themselves, and you and I need a result – for us. Thus, I did not discuss with them the structures for resolving the issue of this war with a positive result for us.”

Zelensky did not specify exactly what parties are beginning to grow impatient with the war but some high-profile people have recently said that Ukraine should consider some kind of concessions to achieve peace. Zelensky and his closest advisers have been adamant that they will not cede one inch of the country to Russia, despite Russian forces and separatists now controlling about 20 percent of the country. Zelensky has said earlier that Russian troops must leave the country before there can be any talk of a negotiate peace, which many see as an unfeasible position. Last week, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, called Zelensky’s demand idiotic “and unfeasible in principle,” Newsweek reported.

“Anticipating his inevitable defeat, Ukrainian President Zelensky found a convenient way out of the impasse,” Medvedev said. “No country, no problem. His actions and statements prove that now he is ready to put almost everything on the altar of his political ambitions.”

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“The logical steps needed to make it all Putin’s fault are then obvious: the shortages are because of the war and the war is Putin’s fault.”

Blaming Putin Is Helping Putin (Dmitry Orlov)

The systemic crisis which we are currently witnessing in the West (and in other parts of the world that are too tightly interconnected with the West to avoid experiencing it as well) is objectively being caused by the West itself. But Westerners, being unaccustomed to acknowledging their mistakes (being all superior, indispensable and infallible-like in their own addled minds), are forced to resort to explaining away their epic failures in virtually every sphere by blaming it all on Putin. That is, they don’t even blame Russia in general, but blame Putin personally; after all, Russia can be good and agreeable at times (as it was under Gorbachev and Yeltsin) but Putin makes it misbehave. That’s why it’s all got to be Putin’s fault.

Here’s what it’s come to: an entire President of the United States (or whoever runs his teleprompter), who, in the course of his election campaign, swore up and down that he will take responsibility for whatever happens under his command, now blames “Putin’s Price Hike” so regularly and monotonously that the phrase has become a meme. By now the narrative of “it’s all Putin’s fault” has spread to encompass all of the more sensitive problems: inflation, fuel prices, food price hikes and even… shortages of baby formula! It turns out that the shortages aren’t caused by the discovery of dangerous bacteria in the products of a monopoly producer but by shortages of imported sunflower oil from… the Ukraine. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, no less! The logical steps needed to make it all Putin’s fault are then obvious: the shortages are because of the war and the war is Putin’s fault.

This wonderful strategy works just fine for the short term, but it has a major vulnerability in the longer term because of a certain mechanism of mass psychology. Superficially, it is simple and seemingly bulletproof: Putin is irrational; he has imperial ambitions, suffers from paranoia, delusions of grandeur, is obsessed with restoring the USSR… Since his motives are irrational, they cannot be dealt with through rational means such as negotiation, diplomacy, compromise and so on. Putin is a crazy dictator with lots of nuclear missiles and so all we can do is suffer. This construct seems good enough for most purposes, such as explaining away social problems, economic issues and failures of leadership. But only in the short term.

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“This was a deprivation of a sovereign state of the right to carry out foreign policy.”

Fury In Moscow After Air Closures Block Lavrov Trip To Serbia (AFP)

Moscow on Monday furiously condemned the rejection by several European countries of a request for Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s plane to pass through their airspace, forcing him to cancel a trip to ally Serbia. “The unthinkable has happened,” Lavrov told an online news conference in Moscow. “This was a deprivation of a sovereign state of the right to carry out foreign policy.” Bulgaria, Macedonia and Montenegro refused a request from Russia for Lavrov’s plane to pass through their airspaces on the way to Serbia because of sanctions imposed over Moscow’s military action in Ukraine. Lavrov had been due to hold talks with top officials in Belgrade, one of Moscow’s few remaining allies in Europe since the launch of the offensive in late February.

Lavrov described the move as “outrageous”, insisting that Moscow’s relations with Belgrade would not be “destroyed”. He said Moscow had invited his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic to visit Russia in the near future instead. The Kremlin also denounced the moves, with President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman calling them “hostile actions”. “We are convinced that such actions will not be able to prevent our country’s continuation of contacts, especially with friendly countries,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists. Lavrov had previously been forced to cancel a trip to Geneva for disarmament talks in late February, after the European Union closed its airspace to Russian aviation.

A Russian diplomatic source told news agency Interfax there had been no choice but to cancel the visit to Serbia. “Russian diplomacy has not yet learned how to teleport,” the source said. The chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian parliament’s upper house, Konstantin Kosachev, suggested NATO was pressuring the three countries. “We are talking about a NATO demarche, and without the United States it could not have happened,” Kosachev said on Telegram.

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“..as a final indignity — actually, an advertisement to the world of our depraved weakness — the US military is hosting drag queen shows at our European air bases.”

Your Show of Shows (Kunstler)

The Party of Chaos certainly doesn’t need to reinforce the mass formation psychosis of its base who maintain that the 2020 election was the fairest-and-squarest in US history. The committee members will chant the talismanic phrase “The Big Lie” ad nauseam to ward off reasonable suspicions that they are the ones doing the lying. Since a kind of maniacal stupidity attends all the party’s doings these days, it could easily backfire on them. Even two years later probes are still pending in several swing states, and only a few weeks ago, the documentary 2000 Mules released time-stamped videocam footage of blatant wholesale drop-box ballot-stuffing around the country. Lawsuits filed lately also claim the committee itself is illegally constituted, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disallowed (against the rules) the minority Republicans from appointing their own chosen members.

Instead, she did it for them, planting the vehemently hostile rogues Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on it, meaning no witnesses will be called who might refute pertinent details of the “insurrection” narrative already constructed. Much of the testimony presented will be videotaped interviews with Trump White House officials and there will be no accounting for what may be edited out. In other words, you have an obvious setup for a star chamber, a device for disregarding individual rights and fair procedure. The context, of course, as I aver above, is a country that is imploding six ways to Sunday — to paraphrase Chuck Schumer, the Party of Chaos’s Senate leader. At least half the public is already onto the extravagant damage inflicted upon our national life by the beneficiaries of the 2020 election.

Thanks to “Joe Biden,” the dollar is hemorrhaging value, we instigated a war in Ukraine that will lead to global famine and mass refugee events, oil and natgas are unaffordable thanks to our destabilizing of global distribution networks, spare parts are unavailable for every imaginable machine in the land, the business model for farming is broken, real estate is groaning under rising mortgage interest rates, the CDC is still pushing Covid vaccines despite proof that they are ineffective and harmful, cities are overwhelmed with criminal violence and psychotic homeless drug fiends, and, as a final indignity — actually, an advertisement to the world of our depraved weakness — the US military is hosting drag queen shows at our European air bases.

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“..in at least 35% of pediatric “Covid deaths,” Covid couldn’t have been the cause.”

The White House Keeps Stoking Covid Fears (Bhattacharya)

“I’ve been a huge advocate of keeping schools fully open to in person education since October of 2020,” Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid response coordinator, tweeted last week. “Still am.” So why is Dr. Jha engaged in scare-mongering about the danger of Covid to children? In a May 30 tweet, Dr. Jha asserted that Covid is “a far greater threat to kids than the flu is.” He linked to an article by Harvard Medical School instructor Jeremy Faust, which claims that Covid killed more than 600 children in 2021, whereas the flu kills “an average” of only 120 children annually. But Dr. Faust’s data are severely skewed, for three reasons.

First, while flu is seldom tested, everyone admitted to a hospital for any reason gets a Covid test. Between October 2018 and September 2019, 1.4 million flu tests were reported to public-health and clinical labs. As of May 31, 2022, there had been 897 million PCR tests for Covid. Second, evidence from audits of death certificates found that 35% of all pediatric deaths in 2020 “had co-occurring diagnosis codes that could not be plausibly categorized as either a chain-of-event or significant contributing condition,” according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Put another way, in at least 35% of pediatric “Covid deaths,” Covid couldn’t have been the cause.

Third, Dr. Faust relies on a figure for confirmed flu deaths that is well-known to underestimate actual flu deaths by an order of magnitude. Correcting for the lack of flu testing, the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases estimated 1,161 pediatric flu deaths in the 2012-13 season rather than the 142 that Dr. Faust reported. For the White House to amplify a false message of high Covid risk for children undermines public health and erodes public confidence. It foments an erroneous assessment of risk and is the kind of misinformation that leads to more school closings as well as burdensome mask and quarantine mandates.

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“Results from this study strongly suggest that mask mandates actually caused about 1.5 times the number of deaths..”

COVID-19: Mask Mandates Could Increase Death Rate (Celente)

A new study out of Kansas found that mask mandates could be associated with a higher rate of death due to the spread of COVID-19. The observational study, which was published in Medicine in February considered “whether mandatory mask use influenced the case fatality rate in Kansas” from August 2020 to October of the same year, Town Hall reported. Dr. Zacharias Fögen authored the observational study titled, “The Foegen Effect: A Mechanism by Which Facemasks Contribute to the COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate.” He wrote the main takeaway was that “contrary to the accepted thought that fewer people are dying due to infection rates are reduced by masks, this was not the case.”


“Results from this study strongly suggest that mask mandates actually caused about 1.5 times the number of deaths or 50% more deaths compared to no mask mandates,” the German doctor wrote. Fögen’s theory is that hypercondensed droplets caught by masks are re-inhaled and “introduced deeper into the respiratory tract.” The study focused on Kansas because the decision to force masks was up to the 105 counties and 81 refused to impose them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to insist that masks are an effective tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19. President Joe Biden has made mask usage one of the central themes in his administration’s fight against the virus. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order requiring masks on federal property and called for their widespread use for 100 days.

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“How can you force people to take a vaccine in order to stop transmission when that vaccine is not effective at stopping transmission?”

Florida Surgeon General Openly Questions Safety Of Covid-19 Vaccines (FP)

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Friday made some of his strongest statements yet against receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Delivered at a press conference announcing an agreement with the Special Olympics to lift a vaccine mandate, the Florida Department of Health leader went much further. He called into question the efficacy of COVID-19 shots and whether they are even safe to use. “People will say oh, you know, millions of people have taken these vaccines, they must be safe,” he said. “Well, you can’t know the answer to that when it is taboo to talk about having a reaction after vaccines.” Citing only anecdotal evidence, he suggested the vaccine has produced more side effects than others such as flu shots.


“There’s another vaccine that over 100 million Americans take every year, and it’s the influenza vaccine,” he said. “And the stream of adverse events that I’ve heard from people all over this country after these vaccines is nothing like the years of my life when I’ve been in medicine and have been administering the influenza vaccines. There is a difference, and you can’t say that millions of people getting it excuses you from that.” Regarding vaccine mandates, he said those make no sense based on what science now shows about this coronavirus and about vaccines in use now. “Scientifically, it makes zero sense,” Ladapo said. “How can you force people to take a vaccine in order to stop transmission when that vaccine is not effective at stopping transmission?”

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“..Parag Agrawal, current CEO said that for Musk to undertake this count he would need access to information that is not currently public.”

You can buy this car, but you cannot look at the engine…

Elon Musk Threatens To Terminate Twitter Deal (PM)

Elon Musk has accused Twitter of “resisting and thwarting” his inquiries about how many fake, or bot accounts are currently on the Twitter platform. Musk has been trying to get this information since his acquisition process for the platform began. Musk has reportedly called Twitter’s unwillingness to provide the information a “clear material breach” to the terms of the agreement that is still under negotiation. As a result, Musk is reserving his right to not complete the transaction.In the letter to Twitter Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde, Skadden attorney Mike Ringler for Musk said that “Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” according to CNBC.

He said further that Twitter must provide the information that is being requested, and that the merger agreement requires it. Ringler disputed Twitter’s claim that they are not responsible to give that data in order to close the deal. “Mr. Musk is entitled to seek, and Twitter is obligated to provide,” Ringler wrote, “information and data for, inter alia, ‘any reasonable business purpose related to the consummation of the transaction.'” “At this point,” Ringler continued, “Mr. Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Mr. Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover.”

The letter, submitted to the SEC, posited that “If Twitter is confident in its publicized spam estimates, Mr. Musk does not understand the company’s reluctance to allow Mr. Musk to independently evaluate those estimates. As noted in our previous correspondence, Mr. Musk will of course comply with the restrictions provided under Section 6.4, including by ensuring that anyone reviewing the data is bound by a non-disclosure agreement, and Mr. Musk will not retain or otherwise use any competitively sensitive information if the transaction is not consummated.”

Musk has been adamant throughout the process that he needs to know how many of the accounts on Twitter are actual humans. There is speculation that if the number is higher than Twitter execs have reported, Musk could negotiate a new buying price that’s less than the $44 billion initially offered and agreed to. Musk and his team have been willing to do the calculations themselves, but Parag Agrawal, current CEO who took over after founder Jack Dorsey left in the fall, said that for Musk to undertake this count he would need access to information that is not currently public.

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From 10% to 15%. But small engines and older car engines cannot take more than 10%.

(bio-) Ethanol fulfills its promise as an unmitigated disaster.

But wait, didn’t we have a food problem?

Biden Admin Quietly Raised Amount of Ethanol Required in Gasoline (CTH)

Last Friday the Biden administration raised the mandatory amount of biofuel, specifically ethanol, that must be blended within the U.S. gasoline supply. The previous amount of 10% was raised to 15% by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is likely to lead to two sets of bigger issues, less food and higher gas prices. First issue. – The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a government mandate, passed in 2005 and expanded in 2007, that requires growing volumes of biofuels to be blended into U.S. transportation fuels like gasoline and diesel every year. Approximately 40 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is used for ethanol. Raising the amount of ethanol required in gasoline will result in the need for more biofuel (corn). With farming costs and outputs already under pressure this could be problematic.

Second issue – The EPA enforces the biofuel standard by requiring refineries to submit purchase credits (known as Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proving the purchases. This enforcement requirement sets up a system where the RIN credits are bought and sold by small refineries who do not have the infrastructure to do the blending process. They purchase second-hand RIN credits from parties that blended or imported biofuels directly. This sets up a secondary income stream, a trading market for the larger oil companies, refineries and importers. The RIN credit trading platform is similar to what we might expect to see if the ‘Carbon Trading’ scheme was ever put into place. However, now that the biofuel requirements for blended gasoline have gone from 10% to 15%, the price of the RIN credits will likely jump.

This will cost refineries billions in additional expenses,…. which will mean the cost of the gasoline from the refineries will increase,….. which will mean the cost of the gasoline at the pump will go higher. The EPA theory is that RIN credits should be expensive thereby forcing all oil refineries to invest in infrastructure that makes the blended fuel. All of the infrastructure from the refinery to the gas station would need to be modified to facilitate the new 15% RFS standard. Again, higher prices at the pumps as a result of oil companies and refineries needing to spend billions on upgrades. Which brings us to issue number three.

Third Issue – “Ethanol is a valuable source of octane in finished gasoline, but it is chemically different than petroleum gasoline and cannot be used in concentrations above 10 percent in small engines — like outboard boat motors, motorcycles, lawnmowers, generators or chain saws — or in any cars made before 2001. Complicating matters further, most cars on the road today still aren’t warrantied to run on gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol. Retail stations also must have compatible infrastructure in order to sell gasoline with higher ethanol blends.” This issue is known within the industry as “The Blend Wall.”

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America’s future is being shaped by a foreigner who will not see that future.

Soros Spent $40 Million To Elect 75 ‘Social Justice’ Prosecutors (WE)

Sky-high campaign donations from liberal anti-police billionaire George Soros and his groups have helped to elect 75 “social justice” prosecutors in whose cities jailings have plummeted and crime has surged, according to a new report provided to Secrets. In a 17-page report compiled by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, a decade of spending has put Soros prosecutors in enough big cities that they represent 1 in 5 people, or about 72 million. That includes about half of America’s 50 most populous cities and counties where 40% of U.S. homicides occur. Soros is a well-known proponent of social justice prosecution, which calls for lighter sentences, especially of minorities. The movement, however, has led to higher crime in some cities and has been decried by pro-law-and-order conservatives.


Police have led the charge against liberal prosecutors who have been refusing to file charges that lead to long prison sentences. In a statement to Secrets, LELDF President Jason Johnson hit the Soros funding. “Soros is using that campaign money and the hundreds of millions more for supporting organizations to quietly transform the criminal justice system for the worse, promoting dangerous policies and anti-police narratives to advance his radical agenda,” said Johnson. He added, “Over the past decade, George Soros has spent $40 million to elect 75 of his chosen prosecutors. In campaigns from Houston and Los Angeles to Philadelphia and Orlando, Soros was the campaign’s biggest spender by far — as much as 90% of the dollars spent in some races. Soros isn’t done yet — he’s already spent another million so far this year on his hand-picked district attorneys.”

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“Let Joe be Joe” is the thinking.”

Exasperated Biden Has Only Himself To Blame For Poll Numbers (Levine)

Leaks from the White House suggest that Joe Biden is in a snit over his plummeting poll numbers, now that they’ve sunk below those of Donald Trump. He is exasperated that he is not receiving credit for the great achievements of his administration and feels he is a victim of circumstances beyond his control: inflation, rising fuel prices, the border crisis, Afghanistan, the war in Ukraine, school shootings, COVID-19, and so on. Oh, woe is him. So goes the spin. Biden’s solution is to snarl at staff and demand better messaging. First lady Jill Biden and the president’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, are reported by Politico to be urging him to get out and about more. “Let Joe be Joe” is the thinking.

But isn’t that part of the problem? When Biden goes off script in front of a teleprompter, things go awry very quickly. He blurts out reckless thought bubbles, like when he said Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” or that the US would get involved militarily in Taiwan. The plan is to put the near-octogenarian president on the road to give him more opportunities to connect organically with people and talk up his accomplishments. Perhaps in a sign that he is upping the tempo of his lethargic work output, Biden cut short his weekend sojourn at his Delaware beach house earlier than usual, returning to the White House Sunday rather than Monday morning. But the subtext of the leaks of turmoil in the Oval points to one central grievance: Donald Trump.

The man whose legacy Biden has spent his entire presidency trying to erase just can’t be outstripped. It’s why Biden can’t mention his predecessor’s name, treating him more like Lord Voldemort than a former president. He is “seething,” reports Politico, that his standing in the polls is now worse than that of Trump, “whom Biden routinely refers to in private as ‘the worst president’ in history and an existential threat to the nation’s democracy.” What does that say about his own presidency? Biden’s Trump derangement is “the greatest source of West Wing frustration, coming from behind the Resolute Desk.” Well, no wonder. When you look at the polling comparison between Biden and Trump, there simply is no contest. There is not a single day in which Biden has done better than Trump in his second year in office.

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Money?!

Why Is Chuck Schumer Trying To Stop Antitrust Reform? (NW)

We’re all familiar with the concentrated market power of giant technology companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, which reach into all corners of Americans’ daily lives. For more than a decade, their monopolistic dominance has spawned Justice Department investigations, congressional hearings, civil lawsuits and legal penalties. Over and over again, antitrust bills are discussed and some are introduced—and then they die in the House and the Senate. Now, though, two bills that would begin to rein in the power of companies like these Big Tech behemoths are under consideration in the Senate. They’ve both passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by impressive margins and are ready for a full vote. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been dragging his feet on bringing them to the floor.

Letting these bills die would be a significant failure of the American antitrust movement, signaling to the Big Tech companies that even modest and highly limited restrictions on their behavior are politically impossible to achieve—that despite overwhelming popular support for reform, Washington is simply too intransigent and too bought and paid for to get anything done. A defeat would give these companies the green light to continue stomping all over their smaller competitors and harming consumers by invading our privacy and limiting our choice. But given Schumer’s own ties to Big Tech, his reluctance to bring this legislation to the floor—where it would almost certainly pass—is no surprise.

Schumer has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Tech and its employees over the past decade. Between 2013 and 2018—a time period when tough data protections were adopted in the European Union, and there were broad calls for the U.S. to do the same—these corporate giants gave Schumer more than almost any other member of Congress. In 2016, the technology industry gave Schumer $237,000. In just the spring of 2021, when antitrust legislation was under discussion in Congress, Schumer took $120,000 from Google and Apple executives and their aligned PACs. The ties go beyond campaign contributions. Schumer’s staff has been a revolving door for Big Tech. According to the New York Post, more than 80 former Schumer staffers have gone on to subsequently work at the Big Tech firms.

And Schumer’s two daughters have also both worked directly for Big Tech—one for Amazon, and one for Facebook subsidiary Instagram. Alison Schumer also advocated against regulation as a public affairs manager for Airbnb, the technology company that has in many ways distorted housing markets worldwide. Given all that money and those family connections, it’s no wonder that Schumer has been reluctant to take a hard line on the enormous problem of tech market concentration. Indeed, journalists who watch the sector have called Schumer a “quiet but reliable Washington ally” to Big Tech, as well as a “tech booster.” As recently as 2018, he said tech companies were too new to regulate aggressively. He proposed that the companies police themselves—an approach that has clearly failed.

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Lausanne Treaty, 1923. Yes, Turkey is smaller than the Ottoman empire. This is turning into a weird revisionist story.

Ankara Tries To Sell ‘Ottoman Islands’ Theory (K.)

The theory of “Ottoman islands” whose sovereignty has not been given to any country by any treaty is being pushed by Ankara in earnest. Indicatively, the idea has also been picked up and promoted by the Turkish media, targeting specific islands, such as Agathonisi and Farmakonisi. The pro-government Milliyet columnist and director of the Kanal D television network in Ankara, Zafer Sahin, said in an article that “a second Imia crisis is on the brink. This is because the situation has turned into a deep political and military crisis that goes beyond the Imia issue.” Greece and Turkey came close to war in 1996 over the rocky Imia islets.

In his article titled “The Ottoman Islands in the Aegean,” Sahin emphasized that Ankara, in addition to questioning the sovereignty of the eastern Aegean islands that are militarized, is also preparing to raise the issue of the sovereignty of islands whose sovereignty has not been determined, citing Gavdos as an example. “This is located south of Crete and is under a regime whose sovereignty has not been determined,” he said. Turkey has long promulgated theory of “gray zones” regarding the status of 152 Greek islands and islets, but it seems that now there is an attempt to connect them with the Ottoman Empire.

“There are Ottoman islands that have not been transferred to the maps of the US and Great Britain, issued after the Second World War, which appear outside Greek territory,” Sahin claims. These theories began to emerge after the statements of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last week, who tried to threaten Greece into demilitarizing these islands. “Otherwise, the debate over sovereignty begins as they have been given [to Greece] under conditions,” he said.

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Not a word so far from the new Oz PM.

Nils Merzel’s New Book Argues Julian Assange Is Being Tortured (Conv.)

It is easy to forget why Julian Assange has been on trial in England for, well, seemingly forever. Didn’t he allegedly sexually assault two women in Sweden? Isn’t that why he holed up for years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid facing charges? When the bobbies finally dragged him out of the embassy, didn’t his dishevelled appearance confirm all those stories about his lousy personal hygiene? Didn’t he persuade Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning to hack into the United States military’s computers to reveal national security matters that endangered the lives of American soldiers and intelligence agents? He says he is a journalist, but hasn’t the New York Times made it clear he is just a “source” and not a publisher entitled to first amendment protection? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are not alone. But the answers are actually no.

At very least, it’s more complicated than that. To take one example, the reason Assange was dishevelled was that staff in the Ecuadorian embassy had confiscated his shaving gear three months before to ensure his appearance matched his stereotype when the arrest took place. That is one of the findings of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, whose investigation of the case against Assange has been laid out in forensic detail in The Trial of Julian Assange.What is the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture doing investigating the Assange case, you might ask? So did Melzer when Assange’s lawyers first approached him in 2018: “I had more important things to do: I had to take care of “real” torture victims!” Melzer returned to a report he was writing about overcoming prejudice and self-deception when dealing with official corruption. “Not until a few months later,” he writes, “would I realise the striking irony of this situation.”

[..] He received nothing like full co-operation in investigating Assange’s case. He gathered around 10,000 pages of procedural files, but a lot of them came from leaks to journalists or from freedom-of-information requests. Many pages had been redacted. Rephrasing Carl Von Clausewitz’s maxim, Melzer wrote his book as “the continuation of diplomacy by other means”. What he finds is stark and disturbing: “The Assange case is the story of a man who is being persecuted and abused for exposing the dirty secrets of the powerful, including war crimes, torture and corruption. It is a story of deliberate judicial arbitrariness in Western democracies that are otherwise keen to present themselves as exemplary in the area of human rights.

“It is the story of wilful collusion by intelligence services behind the back of national parliaments and the general public. It is a story of manipulated and manipulative reporting in the mainstream media for the purpose of deliberately isolating, demonizing, and destroying a particular individual. It is the story of a man who has been scapegoated by all of us for our own societal failures to address government corruption and state-sanctioned crimes.”

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Rubik
https://twitter.com/i/status/1533888946723340288

 

 

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May 312022
 
 May 31, 2022  Posted by at 8:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


James McNeill Whistler Symphony in White, No. 3 1867

 

Ukraine Bits: Russian Artillery – Counter Attacks – New Missile Systems (MoA)
Biden Administration in No Rush to Help Ukraine Negotiate End to War (Jacobin)
US Won’t Send Ukraine Rocket Systems That Strike Into Russia (JTN)
Germany Is Failing Ukraine (Hoyer)
Why “Cancel” Russians? (Milacic)
Azov Battalion Drops Neo-nazi Symbol Exploited By Russian Propagandists (Times)
Putin Ready To Facilitate Export Of Grains From Ukraine (AlJ)
Gazprom Shuts Gas Deliveries to Dutch Trader GasTerra (WSJ)
EU Leaders Agree On Partial Embargo On Russian Oil (AP)
The Age of Exterminations VIII – How to Destroy Western Europe (Ugo Bardi)
Fauci’s Recent, $10M Monkeypox Grant (NP)
Almost 500,000 UK Small Businesses ‘At Risk Of Going Bust Within Weeks’ (G.)

 

 

 

 

Lara Logan

 

 

 

 

WHO Treaty

 

 

“To prolong it by supplying more money and weapons is criminal and should be punished.”

Ukraine Bits: Russian Artillery – Counter Attacks – New Missile Systems (MoA)

Former Lieutenant Colonel of the U.S. Army Daniel Davis has written some realistic pieces on Ukraine. His latest though are a bit of fantasy. He describes in three parts “How Ukraine Can Drive Russia Out”.First Ukraine would have to hold onto Donbas and with the help of raids and counterattacks unbalance the Russian forces. It would then perform a delaying retreat under fire to several new defense lines created in its rear. This delay action should allow for time to build a new force of 100,000 new troops in west Ukraine who would be equipped with a huge amount of new ‘western’ systems. It would take twelve to eighteen months to build and train that counterattack force.


Davis knows of course that each of those steps is completely unrealistic. His real advice is to negotiate an end to the war as soon as possible. But the writeup of what would really be necessary for the Ukraine to have at least a chance to win against Russia is helpful as it demonstrates the futility of such an effort. There is no way for the Ukraine to turn the situation around or to win the war. The Ukrainian government has to give up. To stop the dying and the extensive amount of damage the war causes it must end now. To prolong it by supplying more money and weapons is criminal and should be punished.

Media Is Far Too Late In Admitting Ukraine’s Severe War Losses

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Not as long as there are still Ukrainians alive.

Biden Administration in No Rush to Help Ukraine Negotiate End to War (Jacobin)

“Russians believe the US calls the shots,” says Chas Freeman, longtime US diplomat under successive presidents and assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs under Bill Clinton. “Therefore, talking to those who take direction from the US is unlikely to yield anything useful.” “You’ve got the issue of whether Ukraine will join NATO, and the sanctions,” says John B. Quigley, an expert in international law who led talks on the status of the Donbas and Crimea after the Cold War. “So I think the major powers do need to be involved.” But if the diplomatic line between Kiev and Moscow has gone cold in recent weeks, the one between Moscow and Washington is buried under an ice shelf.

While the United States and Russia have engaged in a prisoner swap and seen contacts between military officials, secretary of state Tony Blinken — the top US diplomat — and his Russian counterpart haven’t spoken once since before the start of the war. US officials have justified this lack of engagement in a variety of ways, arguing that Putin isn’t serious about negotiating, and that whether or not to negotiate “are decisions for [Ukrainians] to make.” But it’s been harder to wave off as US involvement in the war has deepened. “The idea is that we don’t negotiate with him, the Ukrainians decide,” says Rajan Menon, director of the Grand Strategy program at Defense Priorities. “But we are deeply implicated in this war — we can’t pretend we aren’t.”

Washington has begun sending heavy weaponry that was considered too escalatory only weeks earlier, and has boasted of its role in helping Ukraine kill a series of Russian generals and sink the flagship of its Black Sea fleet. Multiple US officials have now openly described the conflict as a proxy war with Russia, while Steny Hoyer, the second-highest-ranking Democrat in the House, declared that “we’re at war.” The feeling is mutual over on the Russian side. The stakes of not reaching a settlement are high. For the world, there’s the hovering specter of nuclear escalation that could quickly envelop all of Europe and North America in the devastation, along with the government-toppling economic instability being fueled by the war’s resulting supply shocks. For Ukrainians, it means more death, destruction, and economic chaos, with the World Bank predicting the invasion will shrink its economy 45 percent this year.

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We only kill Ukrainians.

US Won’t Send Ukraine Rocket Systems That Strike Into Russia (JTN)

President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House on Monday that the U.S. won’t send Ukraine rocket systems that could possibly reach Russia. It was previously reported that the Biden administration was considering sending such systems to the Ukrainian government during the ongoing invasion of its country by Russia. “We are not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that strike into Russia,” Biden said on Monday. He also addressed potential gun control measures that could be put into place after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas. Biden was asked if there’s an area he sees agreement on with Republicans in terms of gun policy, such as a potential red flag bill.


“That’s hard to say because I have not been negotiating with any of the Republicans yet,” he said. In terms of a possible ban on semi-automatic weapons, Biden said, “The Constitution, the Second Amendment, was never absolute,” according to a White House press pool report. Biden also reportedly told the press that “there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of self-protection, hunting.”

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“..the Bundeswehr currently only has 50 modern tanks..”

Germany Is Failing Ukraine (Hoyer)

A giant step for German and European security,’ is how Chancellor Olaf Scholz described his government’s €100 billion cash injection for the country’s depleted military. But while Germany’s newfound commitment to its own defence is welcome, its commitment to Ukraine’s is still questionable at best. Over the weekend, the German newspaper Die Welt reported that it had seen documents showing that Berlin had reduced military support for Ukraine to ‘a minimum’. According to inside sources, only two German weapon deliveries have reached Ukraine since the end of March. Both contained light equipment such as mines, hand grenades and spare parts for machine guns. The last delivery of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry dates back to 25 March.

This reality is strangely at odds with Scholz’s combative rhetoric. Last week, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Chancellor condemned Putin’s ‘imperialism’. He said that the invasion had led to a fundamental change in German foreign policy: ‘For the first time ever, Germany is delivering weapons into such a war zone, including heavy gear.’ He added: ‘Putin will only seriously engage in peace negotiations when he realises that he cannot break Ukraine’s defences.’ So why has Germany been so poor at shoring up those Ukrainian defences? The reluctance to support Kyiv persists out of a misguided sense of historical legacy. As the historian Timothy Snyder argued: ‘the confusion of responsibility and guilt has become a Russian weapon’. It’s clear that Germany could have delivered more weapons earlier, even if it might have taken longer than its better-funded American and British allies.

Others have argued that Berlin has now overcome its reluctance and wants to deliver but can’t because of its depleted military supplies. Look to the deal struck with Poland, these people arguer. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki confirmed that his country had sent over 240 Soviet-era T-72 tanks to Ukraine and hoped, in return, that western allies might help replenish Poland’s stock. In return, Germany was asked to send a set of Leopard 2 tanks to its neighbour. Yet the Polish President Andrzej Duda claimed last week Germany had agreed to send the tanks but then broke its promise. Berlin responded with surprise and indignation at the accusations. Spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said the German government was ‘baffled’ by the allegations and said no promise had been made, adding that the Bundeswehr currently only has 50 modern tanks.

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“It turned out that picturing Russia as a wild Cossack riding a bear, a ruthless Asian “enemy” at Europe’s border was more desirable than integration with Russia.”

Why “Cancel” Russians? (Milacic)

There is a persistent belief in both Europe and the United States that the “Western” economies are the most developed around, just as the “Western” culture and democracy, with its culture of abolition and total tolerance, is the only correct and advanced system. Russia, which is a bridge connecting Europe with Asia since Tsar Peter, has apparently chosen the European path. With all its exotic image and totalitarian regimes that oppressed the Russian people, deep down, the latter considered themselves Europeans. Their jokes and humor are easily understood in both North America and in Europe, and the Russians’ values in life are in many ways similar to European ones. And still, they were not accepted into the European family.

During the 18th and 19th centuries Russia accepted and completely assimilated tens of thousands of Polish, Dutch, German settlers, but was never recognized in Europe as one of their own. It turned out that picturing Russia as a wild Cossack riding a bear, a ruthless Asian “enemy” at Europe’s border was more desirable than integration with Russia. The notion of the “Russian threat” has been exploited since the 18th century by politicians, from Louis XV to Barack Obama. After all, nothing brings small European countries closer together than the image of a common enemy. The Russians sincerely did not understand why they were not accepted into the European family. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow even asked to join NATO.

The only thing that politicians in Moscow asked their Western partners for was not to offend the Russian-speaking residents of the Baltic countries and Ukraine, who, in the wake of the Soviet collapse, had became second-class people there. Let us be honest, however. Russia was purposefully being nurtured as an enemy. The Russophobic policy of the Baltic republics led to a break with Russia and forced Moscow to urgently start building, due to logistical security concerns, new ports in the Baltic. Two color revolutions in Ukraine, orchestrated by Western “democracies” brought local nationalists to power and eventually sparking a conflict in Donbass, where 95 percent of people were not native speakers of the “state” Ukrainian language.

Even then, the Russians tried to demonstrate their friendliness to Europe. In the spring of 2021, when Italy’s medical system was paralyzed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russians sent there several planes with doctors and medicines, along with a team of military personnel from the chemical defense forces, who helped the Italians disinfect quarantine zones in hospitals. Following the November 2015 terrorist attacks in France, the Russian military, which had previously suffered from radical Islamists itself, wrote on the missiles, which they used against terrorist groups in Syria “For Paris.” Russia’s opposition-minded intellectuals sincerely believed that Russian liberals would be dear guests in Europe. It seems that until February 2022, pro-government circles in Russia sincerely believed that the West could force Kiev to start implementing the Minsk agreements on Donbass.

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Speechless. How dare you publish this?

Azov Battalion Drops Neo-nazi Symbol Exploited By Russian Propagandists (Times)

The Azov Battalion has removed a neo-Nazi symbol from its insignia that has helped perpetuate Russian propaganda about Ukraine being in the grip of far-right nationalism. At the unveiling of a new special forces unit in Kharkiv, patches handed to soldiers did not feature the wolfsangel, a medieval German symbol that was adopted by the Nazis and which has been used by the battalion since 2014. Instead, they featured a golden trident, the Ukrainian national symbol worn by other regiments. “On the same principles and ideological basis as the legendary Azov regiment, we form new divisions. Every day they become more numerous and professional,” Maksym Zhorin, an Azov commander, said at the ceremony on Sunday.

Created in 2014 as a paramilitary organisation to fight pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donbas region, the Azov Battalion first attracted far-right volunteers harbouring anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish views. This background has been used by the Kremlin to justify its assertion that Ukraine needed “de-nazifying”. Now incorporated into the national guard, the regiment has attracted fighters from a diverse range of backgrounds. It has played a decisive role in key battles in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol as part of the nationwide resistance effort. In March, President Zelensky, who is Jewish, awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to an Azov commander.

The Kremlin’s use of the Azov Battalion as a pretext for invasion is undermined by the presence of neo-Nazi divisions within its own ranks. Rusich, whose fighters have been photographed in Ukraine, is a mercenary group that uses in its insignia the valknut, an old Norse symbol appropriated by white supremacists.

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“..in case sanctions against Moscow are lifted..”

Putin Ready To Facilitate Export Of Grains From Ukraine (AlJ)

President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia is ready to facilitate the unhindered export of grain from Ukrainian ports in coordination with Turkey, according to a Kremlin readout of talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Russia and Ukraine together account for 29 percent of global wheat exports, mainly via the Black Sea, and for 80 percent of global exports of sunflower oil. Ukraine is also a major corn exporter. In a call with Erdogan on Monday, Putin said that global food shortages were the result of “short-sighted” Western policies, adding that Russia was ready to export significant volumes of fertilisers and food in case sanctions against Moscow are lifted, according to the Kremlin readout of the talks.


“During the discussion of the situation in Ukraine, emphasis was placed on ensuring safe navigation in the Black and Azov seas and eliminating the mine threat in their waters,” the Kremlin said. “Vladimir Putin noted the readiness of the Russian side to facilitate the unhindered sea transit of goods in coordination with Turkish partners. This also applies to the export of grain from Ukrainian ports.” It was not immediately clear which Ukrainian ports Putin was speaking of. Ukraine’s main grain export ports include Chornomorsk, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Kherson and Yuzhny. Erdogan told Putin that peace needed to be established as soon as possible and that Turkey was ready to take on a role in an “observation mechanism” between Moscow, Kyiv and the United Nations, if an agreement is reached.

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The increase in the cost of living has only begun.

Gazprom Shuts Gas Deliveries to Dutch Trader GasTerra (WSJ)

Gazprom PJSC will stop supplying gas to Dutch wholesaler GasTerra from Tuesday due to the latter’s refusal to make payments in rubles. Gas trader GasTerra said Monday that it has decided not to comply with Gazprom’s payment requirements because doing so risks breaching European Union sanctions. The cessation means that around 2 billion cubic meters of contracted gas won’t be delivered between now and Oct. 1, when the deal was due to end, it said. “GasTerra has repeatedly urged Gazprom to respect the contractually agreed payment structure and supply obligations, but to no avail,” the trading company said.


GasTerra warned that it is impossible to predict whether the European market can absorb this loss of supply without serious consequences. In 2021 the EU imported 155 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia, around 40% of its total gas consumption, according to the International Energy Agency. GasTerra is 50%-owned by the Dutch government–partially through its gas company Energie Beheer Nederland B.V. The remaining shareholding is owned by Shell PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp., with each holding a 25% stake.

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Shoot Slo-mo Foot.

EU Leaders Agree On Partial Embargo On Russian Oil (AP)

European Union leaders reached a compromise Monday to impose a partial oil embargo on Russia at a summit focused on helping Ukraine with a long-delayed package of sanctions that was blocked by Hungary. The watered-down embargo covers only Russian oil brought in by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline. EU Council President Charles Michel said on Twitter the agreement covers more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia, “cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine. Maximum pressure on Russia to end the war.” The EU had already imposed five previous rounds of sanctions on Russia over its war. It has targeted more than 1,000 people individually, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and top government officials as well as pro-Kremlin oligarchs, banks, the coal sector and more.

But the sixth package of measures announced May 4 had been held up by concerns over oil supplies. Hungarian Prime minister Viktor Orban had made clear he could support the new sanctions only if his country’s oil supply security was guaranteed. The landlocked country gets more than 60% of its oil from Russia and depends on crude that comes through the Soviet-era Druzhba pipeline. Ursula Von der Leyen, the head of the EU’s executive branch, had played down the chances of a breakthrough at the summit. But leaders reached a compromise after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged them to end “internal arguments that only prompt Russia to put more and more pressure on the whole of Europe.”

Von der Leyen said the punitive move will “effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year.” The EU gets about 40% of its natural gas and 25% of its oil from Russia, and divisions over the issue exposed the limits of the 27-nation trading bloc’s ambitions.

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“For the time being, Russian gas keeps flowing into Europe and the lights are still on in Europe, although it cannot be said for how long.”

The Age of Exterminations VIII – How to Destroy Western Europe (Ugo Bardi)

In 1944, Henry Morgenthau Jr., Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, had proposed the plan that would take his name, the “Morgenthau Plan.” The plan called for the complete destruction of Germany’s industrial infrastructure and the transformation of Germany into a purely agricultural society at a nearly medieval technology level. As a consequence, Germany wouldn’t have been able to import food from abroad and that would have resulted in the death of tens of millions of Germans. The Morgenthau Plan was initially approved by President Roosevelt, and it was even publicly diffused in the press. Fortunately for the Germans, it was then abandoned by President Truman, but it remained active as a practical set of guidelines for the allied policies in Germany until 1948.

As a result, untold numbers of Germans died as the consequence of starvation. Some people speak of at least one million victims (or several million) of famine during the period from 1945 to 1948, but we’ll never know the exact number. As we all know, the Germans were far from being innocent in this worldwide extermination game. In addition to the Shoah and the extermination of other ethnic groups, including German citizens judged to be a burden for society, in 1942 the German government had developed the “Generalplan Ost” (General Plan for the East) that foresaw the extermination of tens of millions of Slavs in Eastern Europe. The survivors would be used as servants and laborers for the German “master race” (Herrenvolk).

It is impressive for us to remember how, less than a century ago, there were Western governments happily engaged in planning exterminations involving tens of millions of Europeans. Could these dark times return? It is said that civilization is just three hot meals away from barbarism, and we could rephrase this old saying as “society is just one defeat away from extermination.” Indeed, the events of the past few months saw Western Europe close to inflicting a terminal defeat on itself by abandoning its main source of energy: Russian oil and gas. Fortunately, it seems that, after all, Europe won’t commit economic suicide as it seemed to be intentioned to do. For the time being, Russian gas keeps flowing into Europe and the lights are still on in Europe, although it cannot be said for how long.

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Why am I not surprised?

Fauci’s Recent, $10M Monkeypox Grant (NP)

Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Health agency was funding research to identify treatments for monkeypox shortly before the virus began spreading in a global outbreak. Fauci’s agency, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has previously come under scrutiny for funding bat coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which many public health experts and intelligence officials believe to be the source of COVID-19. NIAID has also funded research into potential cures for monkeypox, shortly before the viral disease began spreading in a global outbreak. The curious timing of the NIAID grant comes amidst pharmaceutical giants including Pfizer and Johson & Johnson making record-level profits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant supports a “randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the safety and efficacy of tecovirimat for the treatment of patients with monkeypox virus disease.” “The funding supports a clinical trial to identify effective treatments for monkeypox virus disease,” explains a summary of the research, which, despite beginning in September 2020, has not generated any publicly available studies, papers, or patents. “The similarity between monkeypox and the variola virus, coupled with concerns about the potential of the variola virus as a potential bioterrorism agent, have placed monkeypox treatments at the forefront of public health and scientific research agendas in many countries,” adds the grant summary.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant database shows that $9,824,009 was sent to Leidos Biomedical Research, which partners with the NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) to operate Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, in 2021. The grant, which is set to conclude on September 27th, 2025, was distributed to Lori Dodd, who serves as a Mathematical Statistician in the Biostatistics Research Branch of the NIAID. Dodd was previously exposed for her involvement in the NIAID’s efforts to cover up the agency reportedly altering the endpoint in a trial testing the effects of remdesivir against COVID-19 to make it look more effective.

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” They don’t have any way they can tackle this problem.”

Almost 500,000 UK Small Businesses ‘At Risk Of Going Bust Within Weeks’ (G.)

Rising costs have created a “ticking timebomb” for UK small business owners, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned, with almost half a million firms at risk of going bust within weeks without a fresh wave of government support. While the FSB chairman, Martin McTague, applauded the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s latest support for consumers through the £15bn cost of living package announced last week, he said some of those recipients could lose their jobs unless the government rolled out targeted measures for their employers. “We don’t have any problem with the way the chancellor dealt with consumer needs,” McTague told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “But there is still a massive problem with small businesses.


“They are facing something like twice the rate of inflation for their production prices, and it’s a ticking timebomb. They have got literally weeks left before they run out of cash and that will mean hundreds of thousands of businesses, and lots of people losing their jobs.” McTague pointed to figures from the Office for National Statistics, which showed that 40%, or 2m, of the UK’s small businesses had less than three months’ worth of cash left to support their operations. Of those 2m, the FSB chairman said about 10% – or 200,000 – were in “serious trouble”, and that another 300,000 “have only got weeks left”. He said: “It is a very real possibility because … they don’t have the cash reserves. They don’t have any way they can tackle this problem.”

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Julian Assange: ‘This generation is the last free generation’

 

 

 

 

 

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May 292022
 


Edouard Manet Gypsy with a cigarette 1862

 

Servant Of The Corrupt (IM1776)
Russia Solidifies Gains in Eastern Ukraine (CTH)
US To Transfer Long-range Rocket Systems To Ukraine (PressTV)
Putin Urged To Hold ‘Direct, Serious Negotiations’ With Zelensky (BBC)
Russia’s Necessary and Legal Military Response to US/NATO Aggression (Gritsch)
The Eurasian Economic Union Steps Up (Escobar)
Qatar Gas Shipments To Germany Will Actually Come From Texas (MEE)
Civilisation and Anti-Civilisation (Batiushka)
Mexican President Unlikely To Attend Summit Of The Americas (LATimes)
The World Health Organisation Has Lost All Credibility (Clark)
California Poised to Adopt ‘Medical Misinformation Bill’ (ET)
SEC Publishes Letter Asking Elon Musk To Explain Late Twitter Filing (G.)
UN Warns of ‘Total Societal Collapse’, Breach of Planetary Boundaries (BT)

 

 

 

 

Bidenese

 

 

 

 

Maajid
https://twitter.com/i/status/1530516870436200448

 

 

“.. the Pandora Papers showed him to be just as crooked as his predecessors.”

Servant Of The Corrupt (IM1776)

In February 2021, by order of President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine shut down three domestic television channels, accusing them of spreading Russian “propaganda.” Three months later, Zelenksky arrested Viktor Medvedchuk, who was at the time leading the second-biggest party in Ukraine’s national parliament, the pro-Russia and Eurosceptic Opposition Platform for Life (OPZZh). Zelensky didn’t have trouble incinerating vaunted democratic norms well-before Russia crossed the Rubicon into Ukraine this year. So it was no surprise when he did it again amid the war in late March, invoking emergency powers under martial law to nationalize TV channels and ban 11 opposition parties, including OPZZh — all supposedly done in the name of combatting Russian misinformation and Russian sympathizers, even though OPZZh’s then-chairman, Yuriy Boyko, denounced the war and called for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Zelensky, however, wouldn’t miss another opportunity to clip the wings of political opposition in his country, certainly not now that Western media rationalizes and glorifies his every move.

But the portrait of the Ukraine President as a democratic paragon whitewashes the real Zelensky and conceals a vast web of corruption and international skullduggery of which Ukraine is situated in the centre. Understanding the real Zelensky, requires seeing him as a creation of Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. He is, in truth, a puppet of intrigue. It might be hard to believe now, but revelations from documents in the Pandora Papers — millions of files from offshore service providers leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with partners around the world — sent Zelensky reeling last year, threatening to end his political career. Though the actor-turned-politico campaigned as an anti-corruption reformer, the Pandora Papers showed him to be just as crooked as his predecessors.

Of more than 300 politicians and public officials, including several current and former national leaders, in more than 91 countries and territories to whom the documents were linked, Ukraine was home to more secret offshore holdings than any other, including Russia. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which contributed to the investigation, found that just before Zelensky was elected president, “he gifted his stake in a key offshore company, the British Virgin Islands-registered Maltex Multicapital Corp., to his business partner — soon to be his top presidential aide. And in spite of giving up his shares, the documents show that an arrangement was soon made that would allow the offshore to keep paying dividends to a company that now belongs to his wife.”

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“come back coward, I’ll bite your kneecaps.”

Russia Solidifies Gains in Eastern Ukraine (CTH)

If you were to read the play-by-play of information in the U.K. Telegraph, you could get whiplash from the diametrically opposed narratives coming from both sides in the propaganda war. On one hand the western narrative is that Russia is losing, getting weaker, running out of money and weapons. On the other hand, France and Germany are asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to release all of the captured soldiers he is gathering, while western media claim all the Ukraine retreats are “strategic”. It would appear the Monty Python knight has lost all his appendages and is yelling, “come back coward, I’ll bite your kneecaps.”

(Via Telegraph) – “Russia said its forces were in full control of the Ukrainian town of Lyman, a railway hub in the Donetsk region, on Saturday in a gain that would help set the stage for the next phase of the Kremlin’s offensive in the eastern Donbas. Ukrainian and Russian forces had been fighting for Lyman for several days. The town lies 40 km (30 miles) west of Severodonetsk, the largest Donbas city still held by Ukraine but now under heavy assault from Russian forces. The governor of Luhansk region, which along with Donetsk makes up the Donbas, said on Friday that Russian troops had entered Severodonetsk. The Russian gains indicate a shift in momentum in the war.”


Meanwhile the U.S. State Department, the actual combatant command center for the U.S. proxy war, along with internationally aligned diplomatic corps and the U.S. intelligence apparatus, are continuing to push the propaganda as if we cannot see how clearly staged it is. Indeed, with the Pentagon preferring a ceasefire and peaceful negotiations while the State Dept demands more war, these are very remarkable times on the other side of the looking glass.

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“a serious step towards unacceptable escalation”

US To Transfer Long-range Rocket Systems To Ukraine (PressTV)

The US has decided to further extend military aid to Ukraine, transferring long-range rocket systems to the country while Russia continues to make advancements in its special operations in the Donbas. US officials said on Friday that despite its earlier reservations in regard to sending missile systems to Ukraine, following Kiev’s insistence Washington had agreed to deliver them the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) or the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) next week. Western countries led by the United States had already provided Ukraine with long-range weaponry, including M777 howitzers. However, Kiev insisted that it wanted longer-range ground weapons, especially rocket launchers, to help it win artillery battles.


Till now, Washington had held back from providing Kiev with such weapons partly to avoid an escalation should Ukraine strike targets deep inside the Russian territories. American and diplomatic officials told Reuters that Washington had even relayed to Kiev the concerns White House officials had in regard to this issue. “We have concerns about escalation and yet still do not want to put geographic limits or tie their hands too much with the stuff we’re giving them,” one US official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had already warned the White House against providing long-range missile systems to the country. Lavrov pointed out that providing Kiev forces with weapons that could reach Russian territory would be “a serious step towards unacceptable escalation” of the conflict.

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Macron and Scholz spent 80 minutes demanding Putin do things they know he cannot do.

Putin Urged To Hold ‘Direct, Serious Negotiations’ With Zelensky (BBC)

The leaders of France and Germany have urged Russia’s Vladimir Putin to hold “direct [and] serious negotiations” with Ukraine’s president, the German chancellor’s office said. Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz spoke to Mr Putin by phone for 80 minutes. The pair “insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops”, the chancellor’s office said. Russia’s leader said Moscow was open to resuming dialogue with Kyiv, according to the Kremlin. It did not mention the possibility of direct talks between Mr Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. The Ukrainian president earlier said he was not “eager” for talks, but added they would likely be necessary to end the conflict. Russian and Ukrainian delegations have held multiple rounds of talks remotely and in person since Russia invaded on 24 February, but efforts have stalled of late.


France and Germany also urged Mr Putin to release 2,500 Ukrainian fighters taken as prisoners-of-war at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol. The sprawling factory became the last holdout in the southern port city, which endured relentless bombardment from Russian forces and now lies in ruins. Earlier this month, Moscow officials said the last fighters defending the plant had surrendered, while President Zelensky said they had been given permission to leave. Russia has previously said more than 900 of the fighters were moved to a reopened prison colony in Olenivka, a village in Russian-occupied Donetsk. A smaller number with serious wounds were taken to a hospital in the town of Novoazovsk, also in Donetsk. Ukraine hopes they will be released as part of a prisoner exchange – but Russia has not confirmed that. Some Russian lawmakers argue the fighters should be tried or even executed.

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“..Russia exhibited enormous restraint as the US and Ukraine violated the Minsk Protocols and rejected requests for diplomacy..”

It doesn’t matter if you agree or not, what matters is that everyone in the west should be exposed to Russians view of this. And then form their opinions.

Russia’s Necessary and Legal Military Response to US/NATO Aggression (Gritsch)

In 2014, the US initiated a proxy war against Russia by engineering the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically-elected president. This ignited a bloody civil war on Russia’s border in which the US-installed and US-armed Kiev regime attacked the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk whose largely ethnically Russian residents opposed the US coup. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) documented the Kiev regime’s attacks that killed thousands of civilians and terrorized the populace. In 2015, the US-installed then-president, Petro Poroshenko, publicly articulated Kiev’s anti-Russia stance and its policy for the Donbass:

“We will have jobs—they will not. We will have pensions—they will not. [….] Our children will go to schools and kindergartens—theirs will hide in the basements.” Popular Ukraine pundits openly called for Donbas residents’ extermination. In 2015, Congress lifted its ban on funding Ukraine’s neo Nazi militias and placed US military trainers on the ground inside Ukraine. NATO and the CIA also began training Ukraine regime forces–effectively establishing Ukraine as a de facto US/NATO mercenary state. During the past eight years, Russia exhibited enormous restraint as the US and Ukraine violated the Minsk Protocols and rejected requests for diplomacy. In 2021, US aggression against Russia increased dramatically once Biden took office–in Ukraine and in the Black Sea. US actions and Ukraine President Zelensky’s public statements generated immediate threats to the survival of the Russian nation-state.

The US government and the corporate media falsely characterize Russia’s special operation as entirely ‘unprovoked’ and an ‘illegal invasion’. These allegations ignore four conditions which each independently compelled President Putin and the Duma to initiate Russia’s denazification and demilitarization operation and which establish this intervention as consistent with international legal norms. Chief among the factors necessitating Russia’s immediate military response were indications of an imminent new massacre as 125,000 Ukraine forces amassed along the border of Donbass in December of 2021. This was never reported in the US corporate press. Instead, the US government and corporate media repeatedly stated that Russian troops were gathering on Ukraine’s border (inside Russia) and predicted an impending Russian invasion.

In hindsight, US intelligence could make this accurate claim because it was aware of the menacing buildup of Ukraine forces. Anticipating an imminent massacre, Russia was obligated to intervene militarily because it had a Responsibility to Protect (R2P) the citizens of Donbass. R2P is a political commitment to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity; it was endorsed by the United Nations at its 2005 world summit.

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“..the centre of economic development [..] continues to move into the Asia-Pacific Region.”

The Eurasian Economic Union Steps Up (Escobar)

The first Eurasian Economic Forum, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, took place this week at a very sensitive geopolitical juncture, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov keeps stressing that, “the West has declared total war against us, against the entire Russian world. Nobody even hides this now.” It’s always important to remember that before Maidan in 2014, Ukraine had the option to become a full member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and even balance it with a loose association with the EU. The EAEU comprises five full members – Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia – yet 14 nations sent delegations to the forum, including China, Vietnam and Latin American nations. There was much rumbling that the proceedings would be jeopardized by the serial sanctions packages imposed on Russia by the collective West.

There’s no question that some EAEU members – such as Kazakhstan – seem to be more worried about the effects of the sanctions than about fine-tuning business with Russia. Yet that’s not the point. The crucial point is that by 2025 they have to harmonize their legislation concerning financial markets. And that’s directly connected to what the executive body of the EAEU, led by Sergey Glazyev, is working on, extensively: designing the lineaments of an alternative financial/economic system to what the West would rather coin as Bretton Woods 3. The Eurasian Economic Forum was established by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council explicitly to further deepen economic cooperation between EAEU members. No wonder the official theme of the forum was Eurasian Economic Integration in the Era of Global Shifts: New Investment Opportunities, focusing on strategic development in the industrial, energy, transport, financial, and digital areas.

President Putin’s speech to the plenary session was quite revealing. To really appreciate the scope of what’s implied, it’s important to remember that the Greater Eurasian Partnership concept was presented by Putin in 2016 at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, focused on a “more extensive Eurasian partnership involving the Eurasian Economic Union” and including China, Pakistan, Iran and India. Putin stressed how the drive for developing ties “within the framework of the Greater Eurasian Partnership” (…) “was not the political situation but global economic trends, because the centre of economic development is gradually – we are aware of this, and our businesspeople are aware of this – is gradually moving, continues to move into the Asia-Pacific Region.”

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“Qatar produces around 107 billion cbm of gas annually, and 80 percent of that is locked in long-term contracts. Only 10-15 percent can be diverted to Europe – the numbers don’t add up..”

Qatar Gas Shipments To Germany Will Actually Come From Texas (MEE)

Germany and Qatar signed a deal last week to deepen their energy partnership focusing on the supply and processing of liquified natural gas (LNG). LNG is Qatar’s main export and is desperately needed in Germany as it seeks alternatives to its current energy dependency on Russian natural gas. Berlin is under pressure to introduce an energy embargo in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It also faces the prospect that Moscow could cut off gas supplies unilaterally – as it has already to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland – in retaliation for Germany’s diplomatic support and military aid to Ukraine But industry experts tell MEE that the deal is mired with caveats on the German side.

Thomas O’Donnell, an energy and geopolitical analyst based in Berlin, says the German government is losing political ground due to rising energy costs. He suggests the deal with Qatar amounts to a short-term gimmick intended to shore up support. “They failed to fill their gas storage before the winter last year and that led to nearly a 30 percent hike in energy costs for the domestic consumer. If they fail again there might be calls for the government to go,” said O’Donnell. “Around 56 percent of Germany’s gas consumption comes from Russia. That’s billions of cubic metres of gas through dedicated pipelines, NordStream1 and TurkStream. It would take a monumental effort to shift that heavy a dependency to another supplier.” According to O’Donnell, in 2021 Germany used around 71 billion cubic metres (cbm) of gas from Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Replacing such large volumes with Qatari gas is simply not possible. “Qatar produces around 107 billion cbm of gas annually, and 80 percent of that is locked in long-term contracts. Only 10-15 percent can be diverted to Europe – the numbers don’t add up,” he said. O’Donnell said that European countries’ desperation means that they are paying a heavy price for spot gas – that is large deliveries of gas purchased in one-off transactions. These transactions are often made on an emergency basis when the buyer has to pay a much higher rate than when purchased on long-term contracts. The current price of spot gas is up 176 percent from last year. “The US has the most spot gas available in the market and much of it is being bought by Europe at very high rates,” said O’Donnell.

Von der Leyen is a psychopath

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“..just because God ‘told’ George Bush to invade Iraq in 2003, that did not make him or his forces Christian.”

Civilisation and Anti-Civilisation (Batiushka)

Western war has always consisted of highly organised violence, aided by the most aggressive high technology. Advances in military technology have all been initiated by the West. It used to be castles against arrows, the lethal crossbow against pikes, cannon against stone walls, the musket against bows, the Maxim gun, invented by the Anglo-American ‘Sir’ Hiram Maxim (3) against spear-throwing Africans, then it was poison gas (as used by Hitler, that is Churchill (sorry for the Bushism, ‘anyway’) against the Kurds), then Agent Orange, cluster bombs and uranium-tipped shells against rifles. To illustrate this, let us think about how those used to the way that such technology is exploited criticise the special operation (not war) in the Ukraine (4). They claim that the progress of the Russian operation, carried out by relatively small numbers of liberation forces from Donetsk and Lugansk and of Confederate Russian troops, is ‘too slow’.

Here they misunderstand how the Allied/Confederate forces use their military technology. It is quite unlike the US and its Union NATO vassals. The latter carpet bomb, they cause ‘collateral damage’ (the NATO euphemism for the mass murder of innocent victims) and are hugely destructive, as though war was all a special effects show, a spectacle for entertainment as in Hollywood films, most of which portray great destruction. This is why nearly 20 years ago the American Rumsfeld spoke of the US destruction of civilian infrastructure in Iraq as ‘shock and awe’, which is just another euphemism – Hitler would have called it ‘Blitzkrieg’. Yes, of course, Russian civilisation conducts military operations ‘slowly’ (5): it is not a US-style special effects operation, it is meant to avoid civilian and military casualties. You cannot translate ‘collateral damage’ into Russian, you can only paraphrase it.

Western religion has a similar story to tell. As we have said, every civilisation has a set of sacred values. The Western too and though it calls its religion ‘Christianity’, it is not. For instance, it insists on calling the Crusaders and Teutonic Knights ‘Christians’. But just because you are a bloodthirsty barbarian who commits genocide with a cross on your uniform, that does not make you a Christian. Just as Nazis wore a belt with ‘Gott mit uns’ (‘God with us’) stamped on it, that did not make them Christian either. And when the Nazis put crosses on their tanks and dive-bombers, it did not make them Christian either (though the crosses did take in some naïve Western Ukrainians in 1941). And just because God ‘told’ George Bush to invade Iraq in 2003, that did not make him or his forces Christian. Frankly, the Western use of the word Christian is blasphemous to Orthodox Christians and the more accurate use of words like ‘Catholic’ and ‘Protestant’ is insulting to those who are of those religions.

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“What is this supposed to be, the Summit of the Americas, or the Summit of the Friends of America?”

Mexican President Unlikely To Attend Summit Of The Americas (LATimes)

Despite a major U.S. lobbying effort, the president of Mexico hinted strongly on Friday that he will not attend a high-stakes regional summit next month in Los Angeles because the Biden administration refuses to invite a trio of leftist governments. Mexico is arguably the most important Latin American participant in the upcoming Summit of the Americas, which administration officials have said will include a special focus on immigration. It starts June 6. In his daily marathon press conference, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he was still awaiting a response from President Biden or the U.S. State Department to his demand that all countries in the Western Hemisphere be invited.

Every host nation for the summit, which occurs every three or four years, has discretion in drawing up the guest list, and most if not all countries are routinely included. This is the first time the summit is taking place in the U.S. since its 1994 inaugural session in Miami. Administration officials have made it clear they will not invite Venezuela or Nicaragua, because those countries’ authoritarian leaders do not represent the model of democracy Washington and others in the region seek to promote. U.S. officials also said initially they would not invite Cuba, then suggested they might welcome a “low level” delegation from Havana. A diminished status did not appeal to Cuban officials, however, and President Miguel Díaz-Canel said earlier this week he will not attend.

Cuba was present at the last two Summits of the Americas, in Panama and Peru. In Panama in 2015, then-President Obama famously shook hands with then-President Raul Castro, the first such contact between the Cold War enemies in decades. Months later, Washington and Havana opened diplomatic ties and began a warming of trade and travel relations not seen for half a century. The opening was frozen by President Trump and has only haltingly and in minor ways been renewed by Biden, despite his promises as a presidential candidate.

López Obrador, a consummate showman, deliberately did not commit in his remarks Friday morning but ultimately made clear he would not attend if Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua were not invited. Instead, he would send a delegate, most likely his more-U.S.-friendly foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard. “We are going to wait to see what they [U.S. officials] decide, but regardless, Mexico will participate,” the president said. “It’s just that I will not attend if all countries are not invited.” He added: “What is this supposed to be, the Summit of the Americas, or the Summit of the Friends of America?”

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“The only European country on the WHO’s board is Slovakia..”

The World Health Organisation Has Lost All Credibility (Clark)

Let’s be honest: is there anyone out there who has faith in the ability of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to tackle a future pandemic? Any lingering hope that the WHO might be an organisation fit to be trusted with global heath concerns has pretty well evaporated with the election, by acclamation, of China as one of the 12 members of its executive board on Friday. It is true, of course, that an international body must have representation from all over the world if it is going to win the near-universal cooperation it needs in order to operate. It can’t be led entirely by western democracies and wealthy South Asian countries even if they might have the best skills available; you need members able to tap into every culture and religion on Earth.

But ought we really be trusting leadership of the WHO to a government which is not merely a malignant dictatorship, accused of human rights abuses against its own citizens – but which has also obstructed an investigation into the high likelihood that it accidentally caused the last pandemic? The story of how Covid-19 began has been investigated very thoroughly in Alina Chan and Matt Ridley’s excellent book, Viral: the Search for the Origin of Covid-19. If no one has quite pegged down where the virus came from – and probably never will – there is at least a very strong case to answer that it originated in Chinese laboratory experiments aimed at researching how to tackle coronaviruses, and that it entered the population through a laboratory leak. It would hardly be unprecedented for a virus to leak from a laboratory in this way – even if it would make it way and above the world’s most expensive laboratory accident.

What has been China’s response to this possibility? To try to snuff out any investigation into the matter. Bizarrely, a WHO team allowed into China in early 2021, and chaperoned at every turn, tried to dismiss a lab leak, announcing that it would not investigate the matter any further. It isn’t just China whose presence on the WHO Executive Board will cause alarm. Also on the list is Brazil, whose own parliament has recommended criminal charges against the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, over his handling of the pandemic. Then there is Yemen, which is in the grip of civil war. The only European country on the WHO’s board is Slovakia, which hardly has the greatest political clout and which happens to have had one of the highest deaths rates from Covid-19 anywhere.

Sagan

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All critical thinking banned. Why would anyone still want to become a doctor?

California Poised to Adopt ‘Medical Misinformation Bill’ (ET)

The California Legislature is poised to pass Assembly Bill 2098, described as a “medical misinformation bill.” If passed, the new law would prohibit doctors from freely providing medical advice and treating their patients if those practices run counter to the official state sanctioned position. In April 2020, the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, the California State Board of Pharmacy, and the Medical Board of California issued a statement regarding the “improper prescribing of medications related to treatment of Novel Coronavirus,” such as hydroxychloroquine, warning that “inappropriately prescribing or dispensing medications constitutes unprofessional conduct in California.”

On June 29, 2021, the Federation of State Medical Boards issued a warning, stating that “Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license.” In August 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci said there was no evidence that ivermectin works, and that it’s more likely to cause harm. In December 2021, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning headlined, “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.” In an updated April 29, 2022, report, the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel said it “recommends against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, except in clinical trials.”

Should AB 2098 become law, doctors who prescribe medications not approved by the state or who claim unsanctioned drugs are effective would see their licenses revoked and face strict penalties and disciplinary actions by the Medical Board of California. In short, AB 2098 would designate the dissemination of information not approved by the state related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes “COVID-19,” as misinformation or disinformation, which constitutes unprofessional conduct. One physician, Dr. Syed Haider, has already been reported to four state medical boards by pharmacists he says “don’t like filling ivermectin prescriptions.” He has also been forced to retain a lawyer to protect his medical license.

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And they’ll all sell their Tesla’s.

SEC Publishes Letter Asking Elon Musk To Explain Late Twitter Filing (G.)

The US financial watchdog has contacted Elon Musk about the disclosure of his stake in Twitter, asking the Tesla chief executive why he appeared to file a crucial form late. The Securities and Exchange Commission published a letter sent to the world’s richest man in which it asks a series of questions about how he declared his acquisition of a 9.2% stake on 4 April. The move prompted a flurry of corporate activity that led to Twitter accepting a $44bn (£35bn) takeover bid from Musk on 25 April – although he has since announced that the deal is “on hold” while he seeks more information about the proportion of fake accounts on Twitter.

In the 4 April letter, the SEC asked why a schedule 13G form announcing Musk’s acquisition of a large shareholding “does not appear” to have been filed within the required 10 days of the stake passing the 5% level where it needs to be disclosed publicly. According to Musk’s own filing, he passed the 5% level on 14 March and therefore should have filed the form by 24 March. “Please advise us why the schedule 13G does not appear to have been made within the required 10 days from the date of acquisition as required by rule 13d-1(c), the rule upon which you represented that you relied to make the submission,” said the SEC in the letter, dated 10 days before Musk announced his takeover bid. The SEC said that once it had reviewed Musk’s reply it “may have additional comments”.

In 2018, Musk reached a settlement with the SEC over a tweet in which he said was considering taking Tesla off the stock market and into private ownership and had “funding secured” for the proposal. Investors filed a lawsuit against Musk on Wednesday in which they claimed Musk had saved himself $156m by failing to disclose that he had bought more than 5% of Twitter in a timely manner. The letter also asks Musk to explain why he filed a 13G, which is for passive investors who are not preparing to shake up the business in question. The SEC points out that an investor must file a different form, a 13D, if they have bought the shares with the intention of changing or influencing the control of the company in question. The day after filing his initial form, Musk refiled it as a 13D, for investors who intend to take an active role.

Read more …

Problem: the UN has no credibility left either.

UN Warns of ‘Total Societal Collapse’, Breach of Planetary Boundaries (BT)

When the United Nations published its 2022 ‘Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction’ (GAR2022) in May, the world’s attention was on its grim verdict that the world was experiencing an accelerating trend of natural disasters and economic crises. But not a single media outlet picked up the biggest issue: the increasing probability of civilisational collapse. Buried in the report, which was endorsed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, is the finding that escalating synergies between disasters, economic vulnerabilities and ecosystem failures are escalating the risk of a “global collapse” scenario. This stark conclusion appears to be the first time that the UN has issued a flagship global report finding that existing global policies are accelerating toward the collapse of human civilisation.

Yet somehow this urgent warning has remained unreported until now. The report does not suggest that this outcome is inevitable or specify how close to this possibility we are. But it does confirm that, without radical change, that’s where the world is heading. he UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework are a set of social, economic, legal, political and institutional measures to reduce “disaster risk and losses” – both involve targets to 2030 which the world is in danger of failing to meet. That failure, however, is directly linked to the rate at which human activities are interfering with natural systems, in particular, ‘planetary boundaries’.

The planetary boundaries framework was developed by the Stockholm Resilience Centre in 2009 to provide what it calls a “science-based analysis of the risk that human perturbations will destabilise the Earth system at the planetary scale”. This framework identifies a range of nine key ecosystems which, if pushed passed a certain threshold, will dramatically reduce the “safe operating space” for human habitation. The report notes that at least four of the nine planetary boundaries now seem to be operating outside the safe operating space. While land system change and climate change are in a zone of “uncertainty with increasing risk” of overstepping the safe operating space, the report says, biochemical flows and ‘novel entities’ (“new engineered chemicals, materials or organisms and natural elements mobilised by human activity such as heavy metals”) have “far exceeded” that space.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Bourla neck

 

 

 

Life is so, so beautiful
https://twitter.com/i/status/1530264225763020801

 

 

 

 

 

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May 172022
 
 May 17, 2022  Posted by at 5:16 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  16 Responses »


Herbert James Draper A Deep Sea Idyll 1902(?!)

 

 

You’re not going to hear it from the western media or politicians, let alone NATO, but overnight the Ukraine war, or special operation, ended. And Russia won, on all fronts and on their own terms. Thre’ll be some more skirmishes, and a few more body bags, but not because the outcome of the war could still be changed. It’s done.

It’s funny to see how the nazi Azov “soldiers” that surrendered are now portrayed as heroic defenders of Ukraine, after hiding in a steel plant for 80 days, but they still lost. There are probably a few hundred left there, the ones who have most to fear from being captured, and all Russia has to do is to wait for them to come out. Or not.

The reason they went from nazis to heroes in no time at all in the western and Ukrainian press was that they were counted on to be the “real fighters” their country needed. Now that they’ve surrendered, without “fighting to the end”, the country, army and civilians alike, will see its morale plummet. Ukraine lost, Zelensky lost, and NATO lost. While at the same time, “our” press keeps on coming up with stories of Russian losses and weakness etc. And war crimes.

The only sensible thing left to do is to negotiate a peace in the conflict, in which Russia will see -most of- its demands (no nukes, no nazis, no NATO) granted. It’s either that or Zelensky will become guilty of the death and long drawn-out misery of many of his compatriots, without gaining an inch, and it’s hard to see him desiring that. Don’t be surprised if Zelensky surrenders soon as well, or leaves the country, claiming that Russia wants him dead and his escape was “heroic”.

 

There is one alternative: a full scale NATO attack on Russia, but that would seem far-fetched. Behind the western rhetoric there are too many minds who have read about the defeats of Napoleon and Hitler when they tried that, and who also don’t like the risk of one of Russia’s 6,000 nuclear warheads landing on their territory.

The saddest thing is that there was never any reason for this. You can paint off Putin as a crazy monster a million times, and the special action as completely unprovoked, but you would have to ignore all of Russia’s warnings over decades that this is an “existential” issue for their country. Which means they won’t back down. And everybody knew.

And besides, a lot of NATO countries’ governments have an idea what would become of them without Russian resources, fertilizer, crops, oil, gas etc. They’re willing to support NATO only up to a point, including sanctions. They don’t want to be responsible for cold and hunger for their people. If only because that would end the careers of many a politician.

It’ll take some time to fabricate the language that allows for such a defeat to be presented as a victory, but Spin Doctors “R” Us. And all of the people who’ve displayed Ukrainian flags wherever they could will need to find a narrative to defend that as well, but time heals many wounds, also the imaginary ones.

 

And yes, all this changes the face of the world enormously. The US, and through it NATO, is officially no longer the unipolar ruler of the world. They will have to share that limelight with Russia, China, India and others (Brussels has sidelined itself). That may be bad news for whoever is in power in US/NATO, but for citizens it’s a different story. They have nothing to fear from Russia’s military, but a lot from missing out on Russian resources.

In short: the war is over. The US will try to send over another $40 billion in “aid” -at least half of it weapons-, but there’ll be nobody left to handle the small fraction that is not destroyed by Russia. And just like the Russians can simply wait for the last Azov troops to leave the steel compound, they can also sit back and track any NATO weapons deliveries, and then take them out. It is really over. Unless we go all out Napoleon. I don’t think we will.

Meanwhile, we should all be happy that the war is over. Well, are we?

 

 

 

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May 132022
 


Margaret Gillies Charles Dickens 1844

 

Rand Paul Blocks Fast-Track Senate Vote for $40 Billion Ukraine Funding (CTH)
Finlandization of Ukraine, Ukraine-ization of Finland (Nuna Costa)
The Guardian View On Expanding Nato: Putin Has Only Himself To Blame (G.)
‘Finland Will Be A NATO Backwater’ (ZH)
Two Months of Operation Z (Malenica)
‘Russia Started the War’ and Other Fallacies (Whitney)
The Destiny of Civilization – Michael Hudson (Norton)
Diesel Fuel Shortage Sets Stage for Next Biden Created Crisis (CTH)
Meet the Head of Biden’s New “Disinformation Governing Board” (Golinkin)
Beijing Residents Swamp Supermarkets After Lockdown Rumours (CNA)
“Genetically Edited” Food – The Next Stage of the Great Reset? (OffG)

 

 

I kid you not: People today blame NATO’s expansion on Putin.

 

 

Immune system shutdown
https://twitter.com/i/status/1524509732878548992

 

 

Russia has named 12 EU countries involved.

 

 

COVID vaccines have “rigorous standards that are much higher” than any in U.S. history

 

 

 

 

Glenn Beck Ecohealth

 

 

“Printing $40 billion to send to a deeply corrupt nation in Eastern Europe”. Rand Paul wants oversight of how the money will be spent. He can’t have it. None of the people who voted in favor have actually read the bill. There was no time. This will go into next week, giving them that time. How many do you think will read it?

Rand Paul Blocks Fast-Track Senate Vote for $40 Billion Ukraine Funding (CTH)

Senator Rand Paul has blocked a fast-track senate vote on the additional $40 billion funding package created by Joe Biden and House Democrats. Both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell approved a fast-track vote; however, senator Rand Paul (KY) stood defiant against their effort. Despite the high-profile pressure from the two Senate leaders, Rand Paul refused to move and that means the Senate will have to take procedural steps to overcome his objection, which could take several days. “My oath of office is the US constitution not to any foreign nation and no matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America,” Paul said in his remarks before objecting to moving to swift passage of the bill. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.”


The $40 billion supplemental spending bill for Ukraine is more than the total military budget of Russia. The combined Ukraine aid packages now exceed $60 billion, more than the entire budget for the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security including border protection. Rand Paul is on the right side of history with his position, and the overwhelming majority of Americans agree with him. However, the opinion of the people is irrelevant to the Senate. Even democrat Senator Chuck Schumer seemed to admit this point when he said Rand Paul’s position “was not the opinion of the overwhelming majority here,” meaning in the senate. Schumer would have used other terms if he thought the American people agreed with him. They don’t, and he knows it.

Rand Paul

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“..if this “express” entry of the Nordic country into the Alliance goes ahead, it will suppose an increment of more than double the length of the current border between NATO and Russia.”

Finlandization of Ukraine, Ukraine-ization of Finland (Nuna Costa)

The Finnish President and Prime Minister today announced their support for the country’s membership of NATO at the forthcoming summit in Madrid on 29-30 June. I have no illusions, this is bound to happen without the will of the Finns for which a popular referendum had been promised on the matter, or that it will even be submitted to Parliament, where it would be approved anyway. The main internal requirement for the admission of new countries is that they “add security” to the bloc. Since when does this move make Europe safer? But there are more conditions and clauses of the international legal framework that are being purposefully violated, and shameless disregard for signed agreements.

Let us not even mention the still pending demands that the Kremlin notified in writing to NATO in December, which NATO chose not even to respond to, and which obviously clash with the current situation. Russia had already made it known that the entry of Sweden and especially Finland into NATO is perceived as a threat. Perhaps it was reasonable to understand the Russian point of view. The President of Croatia has recently made it known that he will veto the planned extension as it is “a very dangerous adventure”, in the words of his MFA. Any country can and should oppose this clear provocation, but we know that if this happens, those who are interested in the militarisation of Europe will spin the issue one way or another, as there have never been legal or procedural limits of any kind to this complex.

So, if this “express” entry of the Nordic country into the Alliance goes ahead, it will suppose an increment of more than double the length of the current border between NATO and Russia. This should be viewed with great caution, since all members will be affected by whatever may happen from there. This has been said here before, but today the irresponsibility becomes clearer and the concomitant danger more imminent. After long years of discussion about the so-called possible and reasonable Finlandisation of Ukraine’ as a militarily neutral zone between Europe and the nuclear superpower Russia, we are now much closer to the Ukraine-ization of Finland. Do you know what that means?

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Willfully blind.

The Guardian View On Expanding Nato: Putin Has Only Himself To Blame (G.)

Nato expansion has doubtless contributed to Mr Putin’s paranoid mindset. He sees the organisation as little more than an expression of US power. But it is primarily Russian aggression that has driven expansion, not vice versa. The fear of provoking Moscow tied the hands of its neighbour Finland, and Sweden, for years. Now the all-out assault on Ukraine has led many to conclude that there is nothing to lose – while Russia’s failures there have suggested that it may be less fearsome than they thought. Sweden and Finland joining Nato would leave Kaliningrad, home of Moscow’s Baltic Sea fleet, encircled. Predictably, Russia has vowed retaliation for the Finnish announcement. It had already said it would deploy nuclear weapons in the Baltic, though the real threat is more likely to come in the form of disinformation, cyber-attacks, and other provocations.


Yet Moscow should not be the alliance’s only concern. It must also look closer to home. In the US, 57 Republicans voted against the $40bn aid package for Ukraine in the House of Representatives and it faces Republican objections in the Senate. As the Democrats flounder, the spectre of Donald Trump – or someone like him – as the 47th president looms larger. And despite the defeat of Marine Le Pen in last month’s French presidential election, ambivalence or antagonism towards Nato has not vanished from Europe. In Italy, where a general election is due next year, most voters oppose the government’s decisions to increase defence spending and send arms to Ukraine. The alliance exists to counter the threat on its eastern borders. It can only do so by remaining vigilant to internal vulnerabilities.

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Will Russia cut off oil and gas to Finland? It gets 100% of both that way.

‘Finland Will Be A NATO Backwater’ (ZH)

A Kremlin spokesman earlier in the day warned that Finland joining NATO would “definitely” be a threat that would trigger “retaliatory steps” – but stopped short of identifying specific possible courses of action. “NATO is moving toward us. That’s of course why all of this will warrant a special analysis and the development of necessary measures needed to balance the situation and guarantee our security,” the initial Kremlin response stated. Later in the day Thursday – a number of hours after Finland’s president Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced the country will apply for NATO membership “without delay” – Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov elaborated on Moscow’s likely response in an interview with Sky News.

“Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of military and other nature, in order to curtail the threats that arise to its national security in this regard,” Chizhov stressed in the interview when asked about its neighbor Finland as well as Sweden applying to NATO. The two countries first sent strong signals regarding this complete U-turn in historic policy last month in response to Russia’s ongoing military aggression against Ukraine. The Russian ambassador said further in the UK television interview that he’s “deeply disappointed and saddened” by the development, while saying in a somewhat condescending tone that Finland has been “pushing above its weight, having become in the last few decades a major power in promoting European security architecture.”

Further he said the Scandinavian neighbor which shares an 810-mile border with Russia would inevitably become a “NATO backwater” if it does move forward in entering the military alliance. Sky News also quoted Chizov as explaining the following possible change in defense posture: The ambassador said such a move would “certainly necessitate rethinking of Russian defence posture” but wouldn’t “necessarily [involve] troops and tanks, but certain preparations definitely… like radars, perhaps”.

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A long detailed overview.

Two Months of Operation Z (Malenica)

From the author’s perspective, what is currently happening in Ukraine is a conflict between the Russian and Western concepts of war, that is, the concept of war as conceived by NATO. Among other things, this conflict is also a question of the prestige for the West, which has so far seen itself as the most militarily capable bloc on the planet. Having trained Ukrainian ground army[50] to NATO standards and equipped it with anti-tank and anti-aircraft portable systems, the West is now observing performance of these forces against Russian troops. This is, as well, one of reasons for the omnipresent Western propaganda campaign. Moreover, within this conflict, it is necessary to view Ukrainian media and propaganda sources as organic offshoots of Western intelligence agencies and public relations firms, of which at least 150 have participated in creating and spreading propaganda for Kiev since the beginning of hostilities.

Likewise, make no mistake, majority if not all intelligence at disposal of Kiev is of NATO origin. In an event that Ukrainian troops are defeated by Russian units, it will be clear that equipping and training army in accordance with NATO standards does not guarantee the highest level of combat capability. At the same time, the possible defeat of Ukraine will shake the reputation of NATO itself, especially the United States, whose last year’s debacle in Afghanistan is still fresh in memory. Russia’s eventual victory would be the second major case in modern times where forces equipped and trained by the West have been defeated by non-Western armies.

In this context, one should also observe the huge military aid that has been pouring into Kiev for two months now by countries of the West and European Union. As US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently pointed out, the United States wants “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”[53] This only confirms what many analysts have already pointed out, that Kiev and Moscow are not at war in Ukraine, but Russia against the collective West led by Washington. The United States needs, both for domestic and foreign policy, Russian defeat in Ukraine.

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“..the indivisibility of security..”

“..signatories to these treaties are not free to develop their own military capability to the point where it poses a danger to their neighbors..”

‘Russia Started the War’ and Other Fallacies (Whitney)

On Monday, Putin delivered the annual “Victory Day” speech celebrating Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. The Russian president made none of the hyperbolic pronouncements the media had predicted but, instead, gave a brief recap of the events leading up to the war in Ukraine. There was none of the bravado you’d expect from a leader trying to gin up support for the ongoing war. Putin simply reminded the crowd that he had done everything he could to avoid the bloody conflict in which Russia is currently embroiled. Here’s part of what he said: “Last December we proposed signing a treaty on security guarantees. Russia urged the West to hold an honest dialogue in search for meaningful and compromising solutions, and to take account of each other’s interests. All in vain. NATO countries did not want to heed us, which means they had totally different plans. And we saw it.”

This is an accurate account of what took place in the months preceding the war. Putin tried to avoid a confrontation by repeatedly asking the US to address Russia’s reasonable security concerns. Unfortunately, the Biden administration brushed off Putin’s demands without even providing a response. The US and NATO insist that Ukraine has every right to choose whatever security arrangement it wants. But that’s clearly not the case. The United States and every nation in NATO have signed treaties (Istanbul in 1999, and Astana in 2010) that stipulate they cannot improve their own security at the expense of others. The principle underlying these agreements is called “the indivisibility of security”, which means that the security of one state can’t be separated from the security of the others.

In practical terms, that means that signatories to these treaties are not free to develop their own military capability to the point where it poses a danger to their neighbors. These terms are especially applicable to Ukraine which is seeking membership in a military alliance that is openly hostile to Russia. NATO membership has always been a “red line” for Putin who has stated repeatedly that he will not allow NATO bases, combat troops and missile sites to be located on Ukrainian soil where they’d be just a stone’s throw from Moscow. As one critic from Texas put it, “You wouldn’t let a rattlesnake make its home on your front porch, would you?” No, you wouldn’t, and neither would Putin.

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“..financial planning is short-termism; it’s short-term planning; it’s take your money and run. And that’s what is stripping and impoverishing the global economy today.”

The Destiny of Civilization – Michael Hudson (Norton)

[..] finance capitalism is what has essentially de-industrialized the United States and turned the Midwest into a Rust Belt. Well, the alternative, obviously, are the societies that have not followed this neoliberal finance capitalist plan. And the most successful economy, obviously, has been China, which is why it has been spending so much time there. And China has done exactly what 19th-century United States, Germany, England, and France did. It has kept basic utilities, basic needs, housing, and above all, finance and banking, in the public domain, as public utilities. Instead of having an independent financial sector operating on its own self-interest, the Bank of China creates the money.

And the Bank of China lends money by deciding, where do we need to have investment in real estate to provide housing for the population at as low a price as we can make it? How do we build up the industry? How do we provide an educational system with training? How do we provide health? And the fact is that the central planning in an efficient socialist style, not the Stalinist planning that everybody refers to of Russia, but a mixed economy as you have in China, which is truly a mixed economy, with guidance, like the French planification. Well, that is obviously the way in which you survive and you avoid the kind of overloading the economy with debt service, with high rents, with high payments to the health-care monopoly in the United States, by avoiding all of this payment to a rentier class that has what the classical economists call unearned income, predatory income.

And instead of unseating them, we’ve put them in charge, and made the banks and Wall Street, and the city of London, and the Paris Bourse, the central planners. So we do have central planning much more centralized than anything that was dreamed by the socialists. But the planning, the centralized planning is done by the financial sector. And financial planning is short-termism; it’s short-term planning; it’s take your money and run. And that’s what is stripping and impoverishing the global economy today.

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“..shortages of diesel fuel on the East Coast may happen in the coming week at some stores..”

Diesel Fuel Shortage Sets Stage for Next Biden Created Crisis (CTH)

It has often been said that if you chase the global climate change ideology to its natural conclusion, we end up in communal groups sitting around a tepid campfire eating some form of sustainable algae cakes and picking parasites off each other… Prior to Joe Biden that prediction might have seemed like hyperbole. Now, not so much. Indeed, the Green New Deal energy policy of Joe Biden creates massive downstream consequences. Unfortunately, the White House doesn’t seem to care. The high prices and scarcity of critical goods are a feature, not a flaw, as they chase their climate friendly Build Back Better agenda. Following the continuum of intended consequence, now we have diesel fuel shortages beginning to hit the U.S. economy; and with scarcity comes higher prices of an almost astronomical scale.

“The national average price of diesel is now $5.54 per gallon, which is an increase of 22 cents from last week, which was when the most recent record was set. Data shows there’s no state that’s currently seeing diesel prices below $5.12 per gallon.” Making matters even worse is a drop in available inventory of diesel fuel which is about to become a crisis for the east coast of the U.S. Some Truck Stop operators like Love’s and Pilot are already warning their big rig customers they may not have fuel for truckers. […] “Love’s is monitoring the fluid situation on the East Coast, we have experienced minimal outages during low traffic hours,” Oklahoma-based Love’s Travel Stops said in an emailed statement. “The company has no plans to restrict purchases of diesel.”

[…] Earlier on Wednesday, the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration said total inventories of distillates, which is mainly diesel fuel but also heating oil, fell last week to a 17-year low of 104 million barrels, which is 23% below normal. On the East Coast, the situation is even worse. The EIA said distillate fuel oil inventories in the so-called PADD 1 district that covers the Northeastern states fell by 1.1 million barrels last week to just 21 million barrels, the lowest ever recorded in data going back to 1990. Love’s truck stops, with some 550 locations across 41 states, also seemed to confirm reports on social media Wednesday that said Love’s and other truck stops such as Pilot were informing their fleet operators that shortages of diesel fuel on the East Coast may happen in the coming week at some stores.

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Azov whitewasher.

Meet the Head of Biden’s New “Disinformation Governing Board” (Golinkin)

Late last month, the Joe Biden administration publicly confirmed that a “Disinformation Governing Board” working group had been created within the Department of Homeland Security. The news prompted a flood of concern about the impact of such an Orwellian organ on America. But there’s no need to engage in hypotheticals to understand the dangers. One has to only consider the past of Nina Jankowicz, the head of the new disinformation board. Jankowicz’s experience as a disinformation warrior includes her work with StopFake, a US government-funded “anti-disinformation” organization founded in March 2014 and lauded as a model of how to combat Kremlin lies. Four years later, StopFake began aggressively whitewashing two Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups with a long track record of violence, including war crimes.

Today, StopFake is an official Facebook fact-checking partner, which gives it the power to censor news, while Jankowicz is America’s disinformation czar. If the Biden administration is serious about combating threats such as white supremacy, perhaps it should first reflect on the old Roman question: Who will guard the guardians? StopFake was founded right after Ukraine’s 2014 Maidan uprising ousted the country’s president and swept a new, US-backed government into power. Formed by professors and students from the Kyiv Mohyla Journalism School, StopFake presented itself as a plucky, grassroots group wielding hard facts and semi-permanent smirks as it shredded Russian propaganda. It gained notoriety by producing slick videos hosted by dynamic disinformation warriors debunking the Moscow lies of the day.

Western reporters—and checkbooks—were paying attention. Shortly after its creation, StopFake began receiving funding from Western governments, including the National Endowment for Democracy—an organization mainly funded by the US Congress—and the British embassy in Ukraine. It was also supported by George Soros’s Open Society Foundation. (StopFake has run numerous episodes that cover Soros but fail to disclose this potential conflict of interest—a violation of basic tenets of journalism.) Among StopFake’s hosts was Jankowicz, a graduate of Bryn Mawr and the Georgetown School of Foreign Service who was already part of the burgeoning disinformation warrior industry while in Ukraine as a Fulbright Clinton Public Policy Fellow. On January 29, 2017, she hosted StopFake Episode 117, whose lead story dealt with a perennial obsession of Russian propaganda: Ukraine’s volunteer battalions.

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“I’ll be fine whether I’m required to stay home for three days or seven.”

Beijing Residents Swamp Supermarkets After Lockdown Rumours (CNA)

Beijing residents rushed to supermarkets on Thursday (May 12) as Chinese officials tried to curb mounting panic over a rumour the capital would be placed under stay-at-home orders. The city has been trying to stamp out a wave of cases in recent weeks, closing subway stations and telling many residents to work from home, with hundreds of communities sealed off to contain cases. On Thursday there were rumours online that authorities were about to impose a strict lockdown, prompting many to rush to food stores and stock up. Beijing residents fear they may face draconian measures similar to those that have trapped most of Shanghai’s 25 million people at home for weeks – after what was initially described as a days-long shutdown.


No lockdown was announced Thursday, but officials confirmed they will start three more rounds of mass testing for residents in 12 of the city’s main districts and “recommended” that people stay home and “reduce movement” during that time. AFP saw staff at one local supermarket in central Beijing rushing to restock as shelves of vegetables were emptied out. Sui Xin, 41, told AFP that he had gone to the store after he read on social media that the capital’s officials might keep residents at home. “Everyone is stocking up,” he said, buying eggs and instant noodles. “I’ll be fine whether I’m required to stay home for three days or seven.” “I’m just buying some chicken wings and instant noodles, there’s nothing left,” a shopper surnamed Huang said, queueing at another packed supermarket.

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From “genetically modified” to “genetically edited”..

First you make them hungry, then you push their “new food” on them.

“Genetically Edited” Food – The Next Stage of the Great Reset? (OffG)

But the part I found most interesting is the stated plan to “encourage agricultural and scientific innovation at home” via the proposed Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill. The proposed bill (which, for some reason is not available through the parliament website) follows on from DEFRA’s announced “loosened regulation” of genetic research back in January. To quote the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), the legislation would “take certain precision breeding techniques out of the scope of restrictive GMO rules”. Essentially, this would see new “gene-edited” foods as distinct from old-fashioned “genetically modified” foods, and therefore not subject to the same rules and oversight.

The claimed distinction is that gene editing, as opposed to genetic modification, doesn’t introduce DNA from other species. Therefore, in effect, is merely speeding up what could potentially naturally happen over time. Now, you might think this is just semantics, and that such a law will just provide a loophole for ALL “genetically modified” foods to simply rebrand themselves as “genetically edited” foods, and thereby avoid regulation. But that is disgustingly cynical and shame on you for even thinking it. All in all, this is pretty on-message stuff, and not especially surprising. What’s noteworthy is – by pure happenstance, I’m sure – it appears to coincide with a renewed push on the GM food front in other countries all over the world.

In December 2021, Switzerland added an amendment to its moratorium on GMO crops, permitting the use of certain “gene editing” techniques. Last month, Egypt announced their new strain of GM wheat. Just two days ago, Ethiopia’s National Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center announced they had researched, and the country will now be growing, genetically modified cotton and maize. Despite Russia’s sweeping ban on the cultivation and/or importing of genetically modified crops, they have nonetheless created a 111 billion Ruble project to create up to 30 varieties of genetically edited plants and farm animals. Britain’s deregulation of GM food is always described as a “post-Brexit” move – with the EU chided around the world for its “precautionary principle” on GM crops – and yet as long ago as last April, the EU was calling for a “rethink” on GM crops.

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Madonna

 

 

 

 

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May 102022
 
 May 10, 2022  Posted by at 1:41 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  16 Responses »


Ivan Aivazovsky Constantinople in Moonlight 1846

 

 

This is a letter by Scott Ritter, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. It was published on RT as “An Open Letter To The American People – as Russia celebrates its WW2 victory over the Nazis”, but since RT is mostly banned in the west, I’ll post it here. It absolutely deserves that.

 

 

Scott Ritter: An Open Letter To The American People – as Russia celebrates its WW2 victory over the Nazis

 

 

To those who have forgotten the sacrifices the ‘Greatest Generation’ made to defeat Hitler.

In his 1998 classic, ‘The Greatest Generation’, famed NBC journalist Tom Brokow examined the lives and experiences of some of the millions of American men and women who fought in the Second World War.

“At a time in their lives when their days and nights should have been filled with innocent adventure, love, and the lessons of the workaday world,” Brokow observed, “they were fighting in the most primitive conditions possible across the bloodied landscape of France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and the coral islands of the Pacific. They answered the call to save the world from the two most powerful and ruthless military machines ever assembled, instruments of conquest in the hands of fascist maniacs. They faced great odds and a late start, but they did not protest. They succeeded on every front. They won the war; they saved the world.”Brokow had “come to understand what this generation of Americans meant to history. It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced.”

I was born in 1961, some two decades after the United States entered the Second World War. By this time, the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan had receded into the history books, replaced by a new and even more menacing foe, the Soviet Union. My father was a US Air Force officer whose career path up to 1977 looked like a Cold War-era tourist map, with service in Vietnam, Korea, and Turkey. I grew up with the mantra “better dead than red”drilled into my head, convinced that the service my father was providing to our nation was essential for the survival of the free world.

In 1977, my family moved to West Germany. My father had been reassigned to the 17th Air Force, headquartered at Sembach Air Force Base. We opted to live off base, in “the economy” as we called it, eventually settling into a magnificent house in the village of Marnheim owned by a German family who had been renting it out to US servicemen for decades. The house had a history, too. In 1945, it had served as a temporary headquarters for General George S. Patton as his 3rd Army advanced through the Rhein Pfaltz region of Germany during the Second World War.

We were three decades removed from that war when we moved to Germany, but reminders of that conflict were all around us. I spent the summer of 1978 working in a meat inspection facility staffed by what we euphemistically called “DPs,” for “displaced persons.” When the Second World War ended, millions of Europeans who had been enslaved by Nazi Germany found themselves liberated from their prison-like existence, but with no home to return to. This population included many children. The United States provided many of these permanently displaced persons with jobs and a place to live.

For thousands this existence became a way of life, and they were employed in service of America’s expansive military presence in West Germany. By the time I became acquainted with the “DP” community, some 33 years later, these children had grown into adults who were deeply grateful for the opportunities provided by the United States. They were also deeply resentful of the German people for having imprisoned them and destroying the Europe of their childhood. The experience of the “DPs” was a wake-up call for an American teenager who, by living among the Germans, had grown to view them as simply a foreign-speaking mirror image of myself and my family. But it wasn’t that simple.

 

In January 1979 West German television broadcast, over four consecutive nights, the ABC miniseries ‘The Holocaust’. After each episode, the Germans ran a live panel of historians who would take questions from the audience (it is estimated that over half of Germany watched the series.) Like most Americans living in Germany, I had missed out on the series when it was originally aired in the United States the previous year. My family tuned in and, out of curiosity, remained tuned in during the panels.

We were shocked by what we heard – the children of Germans who had been alive during the Second World War were calling the panel, in hysterics, denouncing their parents and their nation for allowing such a thing to happen. The distinguished academics and psychologists that had been assembled for these panels were stunned into silence by the outrage and anger – they simply had no answer to the question of not only how such a thing had been allowed to happen, but why they had not been taught about it growing up. Germany, it seemed, had tried to erase the criminality of its Nazi past from its present reality.

As focused as my family was on living less than one hour’s drive from the border between East and West Germany where, on the other side, hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers were stationed, poised (in our minds, at least) to launch an attack at any moment which would bring our idyllic life to a sudden and horrific halt, we could not escape the constant reminder of what had transpired on the European continent a scant three-and-a-half decades past.

One of the most poignant reminders lay across another border, this one to the west, where, near the Luxembourgish town of Hamm, the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial was located. The final resting place for more than 5,000 Americans who died fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, Hamm was also where General Patton was laid to rest following his accidental death in December 1945 (his widow believed he “would want to lie beside the men of his army who have fallen.”)

My parents made it a point to take us to Hamm on several occasions while we lived in Germany; it was a short, scenic drive, and the cemetery itself was beautiful, a fitting memorial for those who had made the ultimate sacrifice. We would always visit the nearby Sandweiler German Cemetery, also in Luxembourg, where the remains of more than 10,000 German soldiers who died fighting the Americans were interned. Both cemeteries were a somber, sobering experience.

 

But it wasn’t until my Uncle Mel visited us that the reality of what those cemeteries represented hit home. Mel was the living embodiment of Tom Brokow’s ‘The Greatest Generation’, having served in the European theater during World War II, coming across the Normandy beaches a week or so after D-Day. His unit – a transportation company tasked with driving trucks along the famous “red ball express,” had enjoyed a relatively easy time of it in France. Part of Patton’s 3rd Army, they participated in the liberation of France, and by the time they rolled up to the Benelux (Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg) border with Germany, had suffered no major casualties.

Mel had asked to visit some of the areas he had passed through during the war. Most brought back good memories, but at one location he stopped talking. Here his unit had been bracketed by German artillery, and in an instant more than 200 of his comrades were killed or wounded; many of those who died were buried at Hamm.

The crosses and Stars of David that were so beautifully laid out on the manicured grass suddenly had faces, names and personalities that could not be ignored. What had been a peaceful haven transformed instantly into a horrible reminder of the awful cost of war. To this day, I can’t pass a military cemetery without visualizing the circumstances of the events that took the lives of those buried there. All the hopes, dreams, and aspirations that I and others have been able to act out during our lives were denied these young men, usually under circumstances that the average person cannot imagine.

And the persons responsible for their deaths were the same Germans with whom I so peaceably co-existed back across the border. The same ones whose children became infuriated at their parent’s forgetfulness about the nature of the regime which killed so many millions in pursuit of the ambitions of one of the most odious ideologies of all humanity – Nazism.

In college, I studied Russian history; indeed, my honors thesis discussed the historical links between the Tsarist and Soviet militaries. I was intimately familiar with the campaigns and battles fought between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and the horrific toll paid by the Soviet nation, whose casualties numbered in the tens of millions.

 

But it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to live and work in the Soviet Union, as part of a US inspection team stationed outside a Soviet missile factory in Votkinsk, tasked with implementing the provisions of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, that I realized the extent to which this sacrifice marked the daily reality of the Soviet people. In downtown Votkinsk, there was a monument to the citizens who lost their lives during the war, as well as those who had been awarded the title “Hero of the Soviet Union” for their wartime service.

Everywhere one traveled in the Soviet Union there were similar monuments constructed in communities that had made it an essential reality of their being never to forget the sacrifices made by their version of the “Greatest Generation” in saving not only their fellow citizens, but much of Europe as well, from the scourge of Nazi Germany.

This remembrance continued even after the Soviet Union collapsed; the heritage of the Soviet Union was passed to the new Russian Federation, which sustained the duty of honoring those who had served. Russia celebrates this service on May 9 – “Victory Day” – marking the defeat of Nazi Germany. One of the great traditions of this celebration was the image of those aged veterans of that conflict, bedecked in their campaign medals, parading before a grateful nation.

Even as time and old age removed the Russian “Greatest Generation” from the society and nation they had served, the Russian people continued to honor them, with the children and grandchildren of the departed veterans marching in their stead, holding aloft a photograph of the veteran, part of what is called “The Immortal Regiment.” Unlike the Germans, the Russian people don’t forget.

 

Sadly, I cannot say the same thing about the American people. There will be no Victory in Europe celebration in the United States this year, just as there hasn’t been for years past. We have forgotten our “Greatest Generation” and the sacrifices they made for our future. There is no American “Immortal Regiment” of family members marching proudly down the main streets of US towns and cities honoring the cause for which these young men and women served. We have forgotten what they even fought for.

There was a time when the United States and Soviet Union fought together to overcome the scourge of Nazi Germany and the ideology it espoused. Today, when Russia is locked in a struggle with the progeny of Hitler’s Germany, in the form of the ideological descendants of the Ukrainian nationalist, Stepan Bandera – one would logically expect that the United States to be on Moscow’s side. 

Bander’s followers fought alongside German Nazis as members of the Waffen SS, slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent civilians, many of them Jewish. By rights, Washington should be ensuring that the hateful cause so many had given their lives and livelihoods to eradicate from Europe never again raised its evil banners on European soil.

Instead, the United States is providing succor to the present-day adherents of Bandera, and by extension, Hitler; their hateful ideology disguised as Ukrainian nationalism. American military personnel, whose traditions are born from the heroic sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands of their fellow soldiers, sailors, and airmen who gave their lives to defeat Nazi Germany, are today providing weapons and training to Ukrainians whose bodies and banners bear the markings of Hitler’s Third Reich.

On May 9, Russia will celebrate Victory Day, marking the 77th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, the struggle against Nazi ideology continues to this day and, sadly, the United States finds itself on the wrong side of history, supporting those whom we once were sworn to defeat, while fighting against those whom we once called allies. I can’t help but think that Tom Brokow’s “Greatest Generation” would be ashamed by the actions of those for whom they sacrificed everything, and who have still proven insufficient for the task of honoring their memory in action and in deed.

 

 

 

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May 092022
 
 May 9, 2022  Posted by at 2:07 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  14 Responses »


M.C. Escher Gravitation 1952

 

 

Earlier today, I read that the Russian ambassador to Poland was hit by a paint bomb while laying a wreath for WWII fallen soldiers, with the culprits chanting: “fascist, fascist”! And I thought that is rich, on the day that Russia commemorates the 25-40 million Russian lives lost in WWII fighting fascism.

I don’t know how many of you ever saw Claude Lanzmann’s 1980’s 8-hour documentary “Shoah”, but I did at some point. It shook all of me, every molecule, and I will never watch it again. I come from the land of Anne Frank. What it told me was that nazism wasn’t just a German thing, it was the region, not the nation, it was where most Jewish people lived before Hitler and Goebbels came along.

Lanzmann interviewed scores of Polish people who were loudly proud of having pushed back Jews, trying to flee, onto the cattle trains bound for Auschwitz et al. That same mentality has prevailed in large parts of Ukraine as well over the by now 80 years or so. Just look at the map: that’s where this was happening. And the Russians defeated it in that part of the world, not western troops.

And when it was done, the role of the 25-40 million Russian deaths in it was denied in the west, because: communism vs capitalism. But of course Russia cannot just ignore or deny all those deaths, just because Hollywood wants to sell tickets to Saving Private Ryan. For Russia, WWII meant: never again. And for them that means something slightly different than for us. It’s not just never again fascism or nazism, it’s also that these two things are symbolic for having your motherland invaded from the west, and by the west. Never again. That is why Russia moved into Ukraine.

And they are convinced that NATO was getting ready, with the remaining nazis in Ukraine, to attack the Donbass and Crimea. Note: Russia has an excellent secret service. They’re not just guessing. 100s of 1000s of troops were amassing on their eastern border(s).

And now Zelensky is calling the Russians the nazis. That’s quite the about face. They lost all those lives fighting the nazis, only to become the nazis themselves. Labeled so by an actor who relies heavily on admitted, and tattooed, 2022 nazis to stay in power.

Western media, and governments, had a zillion predictions about what Putin would say today, but still there was no mobilization of Russians, and no total war declaration. They were all wrong, again. But it helped get the clickbait up! Still, he would have said it if we did not announce his intentions!, us who have a direct line into his brain…

I’ll leave you with three full reports from today, so you can make up your own mind- something I always try to do. First, RT, for which I cannot provide a link (banned because it’s propaganda!), then Guardian and then BBC.

 

 

Launching The Offensive Was “The Only Right Decision,” Russian President Insisted At The Annual Victory Day Parade (RT)

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine was a preemptive move against future aggression, President Vladimir Putin has outlined during his address at the Victory Day parade in Red Square in Moscow on Monday. Putin not only praised the achievement of the Soviet people during World War II, but also addressed the Kremlin’s reasons for the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Russia had to act because a large-scale offensive against the breakaway republics in the eastern Donbass region was being planned, he claimed.

“We saw the military infrastructure unfolding [in Ukraine]; hundreds of foreign advisers starting their work; there were regular deliveries of the most modern weapons from NATO countries. The danger grew every day,” the president explained. “Russia gave a preemptive rebuff to aggression – this was a forced, timely and the only right decision by a sovereign, strong and independent country,” he added, referring to the launch of the military operation. “Despite all the disagreements in international relations, Russia has always advocated the creation of a system of equal and indivisible security,” Putin continued. He cited Moscow’s attempts to engage in dialogue on security guarantees with Washington late last year, which failed to yield results.

“NATO countries didn’t want to hear us, which means that, in fact, they harbored completely different plans, and we saw it,” he elaborated. There were open preparations for a punitive operation in the Donbass and “an invasion of our historical lands, including Crimea,” Putin insisted, adding that Kiev also announced plans to restore its nuclear capabilities. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US has increasingly spoken of ‘American exceptionalism,’ Putin pointed out. By spreading those ideas, Washington is “humiliating not only the whole world, but also its satellites, which have to pretend that they don’t notice anything and humbly accept it all. But we are a different country,” he insisted.

Russia has a different character, we’ll never give up on our love for our Motherland, on our faith and traditional values and customs of our ancestors; on respect for all peoples and cultures. But the West has apparently decided to “cancel” those values, with such “moral degradation becoming the basis for cynical falsifications of the history of World War II, and the incitement of Russophobia,” he said. “We know that American veterans, who wanted to come to the parade in Moscow, were basically banned from doing so,” Putin added. But he pointed out that Russia remembered the feats of the US servicemen and their contribution to victory in World War II.

Returning to the military operation in Ukraine, the president illustrated that “the self-defense forces of the Donbass Republics together with the Russian military are fighting on their land… for the Motherland, for its future, to make sure that no one forgets the lessons of World War II, so that there would be no place in the world for butchers, punishers, and Nazis.” Announcing the “special military operation” on February 24, Putin said that Moscow should not repeat the mistakes of the Soviet leadership of 1940-1941.

Back then, he explained, the USSR tried not to provoke Nazi Germany by “refraining or postponing the most urgent and obvious preparations it had to make to defend itself from an imminent attack.” As a result, the president continued, the moment was lost and the country was not prepared to counter the invasion. “The attempt to appease the aggressor ahead of the Great Patriotic War proved to be a mistake which came at a high cost for our people…We will not make this mistake the second time. We have no right to do so,” Putin said.

 

 

The essence: “We will not make this mistake the second time. We have no right to do so,”

 

 

Putin Ties Ukraine Invasion To Second World War In Victory Day Speech (Guardian)

Vladimir Putin has told Russian soldiers they are “fighting for the same thing their fathers and grandfathers did” as he used his Victory Day speech to justify his invasion of Ukraine. As Putin sought to rally his country through the memory of the second world war, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, pushed back in his own address from Kyiv. “We will not allow anyone to annex this victory, we will not allow it to be appropriated,” he said. The dual speeches marked a closely watched anniversary in eastern Europe, where Russia has used claims that it is fighting fascism to justify its bombardment of cities such as Mariupol and Kyiv and to launch the largest military campaign in Ukraine since the 1940s.

Prior to the speech, foreign officials had said Putin could use it to launch a full mobilisation of Russian troops or formally declare war in Ukraine, but there were no large policy announcements. Instead he suggested Russia was “forced” into the war by Nato and pledged to provide aid for the families of soldiers who had died in what the Kremlin is calling a “special operation”. Speaking at the 77th annual celebration of the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Russian president launched a defence of his war in Ukraine, pivoting from a recognition of Russia’s “greatest generation” to a description of how it was believed Ukraine was being armed by the west for an imminent attack on Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

“Nato countries did not want to listen to us,” Putin said. “They had different plans, and we saw it. They were planning an invasion into our historic lands, including Crimea … Russia gave a preemptive rebuff to aggression, it was a forced, timely and only right decision.” He also described the war as “sacred”. “The defence of the motherland, when its fate was being decided, has always been sacred,” Putin said, speaking of the second world war. “And now, you are fighting for our people in the Donbas. For the security of our homeland – Russia.” Russia provided fewer armoured vehicles than in past years during the Red Square parade on Monday and a planned flyover was cancelled, ostensibly due to weather conditions.

Putin did not bring up specific Russian victories in his speech, despite speculation his forces were engaged in a last-ditch effort to secure Mariupol and its Azovstal plant from the remaining Ukrainian defenders by 9 May. Instead, the Russian president addressed troop losses in the war, saying he had signed a new order that would give educational aid to the children of those killed. The Kremlin has been accused of seeking to cover up losses. After the sinking of the Moskva cruiser in the Black Sea, a number of families went public with claims the Russian military was trying to avoid confirming deaths onboard the ship.

“The death of each of our soldiers and officers is a grief for all of us and an irreparable loss for relatives and friends,” Putin said. “The state, regions, enterprises, public organisations will do everything to take care of such families and help them. We will provide special support to the children of the dead and wounded comrades. The presidential decree on this was signed today.”

The muted speech came in stark contrast to that delivered by Zelenskiy, who delivered a recorded address to a piano accompaniment as he walked through central Kyiv past anti-tank barricades. “This is not a war of two armies,” he said. “This is a war of two world views. A war waged by barbarians … who believe that their missiles can destroy our philosophy.” In the speech, Zelenskiy took aim at Russian claims Ukraine had sought to block 9 May celebrations, a focus of Russian state media in advance of the holiday.

“Our enemy dreamed that we would refuse to celebrate 9 May and the victory over Nazism,” said Zelenskiy. “So that the word ‘denazification’ will have a chance [to succeed] … On the day of victory over Nazism we are fighting for a new victory. The road to it is difficult but we have no doubt that we will win. “And very soon there will be two Victory Days in Ukraine. And some will not even have one left.”

 

 

“The defence of the motherland, when its fate was being decided, has always been sacred.”

 

 

Putin Says Russia Fighting For Motherland In Ukraine In Victory Day Speech (BBC)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russian forces in Ukraine were fighting for the future of their motherland, in his annual address marking victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two. Despite rumours he would make a major announcement his speech stuck largely to defending Russia’s invasion. He tied the war in Ukraine to victory in 1945, blaming the West and Nato for rejecting security demands. Almost 10 weeks into the invasion, civilian casualties continue to mount. Some 60 civilians are feared dead in the eastern town of Bilohorivka, after a Russian attack on a school where people were trying to escape bombardment.

Flanked by military top brass, Russia’s leader spoke of Ukrainians as fascists, repeating his false claim that the democratic government in Kyiv was run by neo-Nazis. Defending the motherland had always been sacred, he said, referring to the eastern region which is now the main focus of Russia’s assault: “Today you are fighting for our people in Donbas, for the security of Russia, our homeland.” He also made unfounded allegations against Nato and Ukraine and described the invasion as a pre-emptive rebuff: “They were preparing a punishing operation in Donbas to intrude on our historic lands. In Kyiv they were saying they might get nuclear weapons and Nato started exploring the lands close to us, and that became an obvious threat to us and our borders.”

Ukrainian presidential official Mykhailo Podoliak later responded, tweeting that there were no rational grounds for the war: “Nato countries were not going to attack Russia. Ukraine did not plan to attack Crimea.” There had been speculation that Russia’s president may be considering a change of military strategy, either a full declaration of war, rather than the current so-called special military operation, or a mobilisation of Russian men to boost the armed forces. Instead he said he was signing a decree for families of the dead and wounded in Ukraine to receive special support.

There was a minute of silence, including for the fallen in Ukraine, and he ended his 11-minute address with the words: “Glory to our armed forces – for Russia, for victory, hurrah”, at which the assembled forces responded with a big cheer. The parade was more modest than in recent years. Russian news agencies said 11,000 troops and 131 armoured vehicles took part in the event, including Russia’s widely feted Armata tanks, which have not been considered combat-ready for the war in Ukraine.

Not everything went according to plan. A flypast by the air force had to be cancelled shortly before the parade because of “weather conditions”, according to the Kremlin. Ahead of Victory Day, warplanes had rehearsed over Red Square in a Z-formation, the motif used by the Russian state during its war in Ukraine. Smaller parades took part in cities across Russia and the weather was also blamed for similar cancellations of flypasts in Yekaterinburg, Rostov and Novosibirsk. There was no mention in Vladimir Putin’s speech of Mariupol, the southern Ukrainian port city where a small group of Ukrainian forces continue to hold out in a maze of tunnels under the Azovstal steelworks.

But Russia was able to claim limited success on Monday in Kherson, the one Ukrainian city it can claim to have fully occupied. State-run news agency Ria Novosti showed footage of a Victory Day march in memory of those who died in the war. It was led by Volodymyr Saldo, a pro-Russian local official who has been named Kherson governor and is now being investigated for treason by Ukraine. What was then the Soviet Union lost 27 million lives during World War Two, with Ukraine accounting for eight million of them. In a separate message marking 9 May, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Nazis had been expelled in 1945 and Ukraine would not allow anyone to “annex this victory”. Very soon, he said, Ukraine would have two victory days to celebrate.

 

 

 

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