Jun 032024
 


Domenico Fetti The Good Samaritan c.1620

 

Trump and ‘Our Democracy’: When A Political System Becomes A Meme (Johnston)
Trump Says He’s ‘OK’ With Serving Potential Jail Term (RT)
Maher: If Trump Goes To Jail There Will Be A Racial Civil War (MN)
Trump Campaign Raises Staggering $200 Million Since Thursday Conviction (ZH)
US Secret Service Reacts To Trump’s Criminal Conviction (ZH)
The Deepfake Privilege? (Turley)
‘Leader of the Free World’ Permits Genocide And Global Annihilation (SCF)
Biden Doesn’t Want To Be Responsible For WW3 – White House (RT)
Germany Bickers Over How to Get ‘Fit for War’ as Ukraine Drains Coffers (Sp.)
Saudi Arabia Won’t Attend ‘Ukraine Conference’ as Russia is Not Invited (Sp.)
Alex Jones Repels Ambush Seizure Of Infowars, Sleeps In Studio (ZH)
Boeing Enters ‘New Territory’ With Federal Probe, Possible Criminal Charges (ET)

 

 

 

 

Scharf

 

 

New Trump ad

 

 

O’Leary

 

 

Gov. Abbott

 

 

The largest organization in the history of the world: the US goverment

 

 

“German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock seriously stated at the Green party congress that her grandparents gave peace in Europe a second chance. It follows from this that now we cannot deviate from traditions and we must continue to support Ukraine for the sake of peace – “as long as it needs us.” Only the grandfather of the respected minister was not at all in the peacekeeping detachment, but, like a true Nazi, bravely defended the interests of the Third Reich. Yes, a minor nuance.”

 

 

Orwell 1943

 

 

Jim Rickards: U.S. is set to steal Russian-owned Treasury securities at the G7 summit in Italy on June 13. That theft will not destroy the Treasury market overnight. It will actually do something far worse. I explain in this new interview with @DanielaCambone

“Russia could retaliate by freezing the entire Western clearance system, warns Jim Richards, New York Times bestselling author. In an exclusive interview with Daniela Cambone, Richards explains that if Western countries seize Russian assets, Russia could sue Euroclear, the largest clearing, settlement, and custody organization in Europe, to recover damages. “You could throw a monkey wrench into the entire global clearance and settlement system by disrupting Euroclear, which is probably second only to DTCC in terms of settlement and clearance.” Additionally, Richards states that we may need to return to the gold standard to restore confidence in the U.S. dollar. “But if you have to go back to a gold standard, $27,000 would have to be the price in order to avoid massive deflation.”

 

 

 

 

The more people talk about democracy, the less of it there is.

Trump and ‘Our Democracy’: When A Political System Becomes A Meme (Johnston)

The verdict in Donald Trump’s hush money trial has bestirred the usual characters in all the predictable ways. And never far from anybody’s lips is the word ‘democracy’. “Donald Trump is threatening our democracy,” President Joe Biden himself opined, calling the ex-president’s questioning of the verdict “dangerous.“ The editorial board of the New York Times lauded the “remarkable display of the democratic principles” on display in convicting a former president, arguing that this proves that even men as powerful as Trump are not above the law. The word democracy is everywhere in the Western world these days. Hardly a day goes by without pleas to defend it, protect it, fight against its sworn enemies, or celebrate its virtues with pompous clichés. Precise and neutral usage has given way to an ideological tinge that is as electrified as it is vague. One senses the word is invoked in defense of a certain decaying America-led order and the elite institutions that uphold it – and yet, like its cousin the ‘rules-based-order’, it is never quite defined. In the 2024 US presidential election, we are told, democracy itself is on the ballot. Whatever that means.

If Trump is the archetypal demonic figure in the eyes of polite society, democracy is the bulwark against him. Democracy has been imbued with a primitive metaphysical potency that almost seems a stand-in for religious faith. Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address contained an exhortation to cure cancer once and for all, followed immediately by a grand summation of what has underpinned all American successes for all time – and, implicitly, will underpin futures ones, such as curing cancer. “Folks, there’s one reason why we’ve been able to do all of these things: our democracy itself.” Biden concluded: “With democracy, everything is possible. Without it, nothing is.” Turn back the clock a century or so, replace the word ‘democracy’ with ‘the grace of God’ and give the same speech and nobody would bat an eye. Democracy is a shield against accusations of wrongdoing. The defense being mounted against the war crimes charges facing the Israeli leadership is that the country is a democracy. As if how a government elects its leaders somehow changes the laws of war.

But what is curious is that this nauseating ubiquity of the word democracy has coincided with a period of deep dysfunction in actual self-proclaimed democracies. The more it is talked about, the less it seems to work and the larger the chasm between what is proclaimed and what is practiced. Many of the countries most vocally proclaiming democracy are the ones at the forefront of implementing highly undemocratic policies. It would be easy to become carried away pointing out the blatant hypocrisy in the Western embrace of all things democratic while at the same time leaning hard into authoritarian tendencies. Take your pick of stories: Earlier this month, for example, a German court rejected an AfD complaint about the classification of its youth organization as an extremist movement, meaning Germany’s domestic intelligence service can continue to monitor the activities and communications of the party itself. This was hailed as a victory by the government. “Today’s ruling shows that we are a democracy that can be defended,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said.

Clearly, for the current Western elites, democracy has come to mean a system not intended to be run democratically in response to the will of the people, but run by self-proclaimed democrats. But more interesting than simply laying out further instances of double standards and hypocrisy is to seek to grasp what explains the proliferation of democracy as a meme in exact proportion to the decline of the real thing. After all, the word democracy wasn’t always on the tip of every politician’s lips. Even Woodrow Wilson, the consummate evangelist of the American political order, whose “make the world safe for democracy” quote is now indelibly associated with his name, did not play loose with facile references to the political system through which everything is apparently possible. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 upon the conclusion of World War I, Wilson’s opening speech contained only one passing and modest reference to democracy. And yet at that time, America could much more reasonably than now lay claim to being the world’s preeminent democracy. What to make of this paradox?

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‘You don’t beg for anything..”

Trump Says He’s ‘OK’ With Serving Potential Jail Term (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump says he is “OK” with serving potential jail time or being under house arrest over his 34 convictions for falsifying business records. Any punishment, however, is not likely to be taken lightly by the public, he added. The ex-president made the remarks in an interview with Fox News aired Sunday. Asked about the potential punishments, Trump said he is “ok with it.” “I saw one of my lawyers the other day on television saying, ‘Oh no, you don’t want to do that to the president.’ I said, ‘You don’t beg for anything,’” he stated, suggesting, however, that the potential punishments would anger his supporters. “I don’t think the public would stand it. I’m not sure the public would stand for it.”

Trump jail

Trump reiterated his take on the case against him regarding alleged ‘hush money’ payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels in the wake of the 2016 election and the falsified paperwork to hide them, dismissing it as politically-motivated persecution. “People get it. It’s a scam. And the Republican Party… they’ve stuck together in this. They see it’s a weaponization of the Justice Department of the FBI and that’s all coming out of Washington,” he said. The former president was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records by a Manhattan jury on Thursday. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of four years behind bars. Trump’s legal team has already vowed to appeal, with the ex-president saying the “real verdict” will be delivered by the public in the election on November 5. Trump is now the first US president to be convicted of a felony. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 11, just ahead of the Republican National Convention.

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Not sure race will be the dividing line.

Brett Tolman: “I predict he will give him some jail time, I think he will fine him, he’ll give him a stern lecture and then he’ll promptly plan his retirement and a book deal..”

Maher: If Trump Goes To Jail There Will Be A Racial Civil War (MN)

HBO ‘Real Time’ host Bill Maher has predicted that if Donald Trump is sentenced to any prison time, there will be a civil war that will quickly evolve into a race war because of MAGA supporters. “Here’s the key question: Is he going to go to jail? Would this judge dare do that?” Maher said, adding “And should he? I heard some people say if his name wasn’t Donald Trump he would definitely get jail time.” “MAGA nation will go nuts. I don’t know if that’s a reason to or not to do something, but they will,” Maher continued during the discussion with former Obama chief strategist David Axelrod. Maher went on to suggest that “because the judge’s name was Juan,” putting Trump in jail would lead to racial political violence.

“Everything becomes racial in this country. That’s partly because of our horrible, despicable racial past, partly because some of that racism lives on in the present and some of it because the far left makes everything racial. But that’s what it’s going to be.” Maher further posited. “A civil war in this country, I’m sorry to say, becomes a race war. That’s the sad truth about this country,” the host continued, adding “And if they put him in jail, I mean, the first thing his supporters are going to say is, ‘Oh, that’s what it is.’ A Black district attorney. You know, all these people who are the district attorneys, they’re black. The judge was not White. This is what it is.”

As we highlighted earlier this week, former US Attorney for the District of Utah Brett L. Tolman is adament that Judge Merchan will give Trump jail time. “This judge has considerable power now, on July 11th he has the power to take Trump forthwith, he can take him, put him in custody right then and he can do it for whatever period of time,” said Tolman, warning that despite there being a range of sentencing, “the rules are out the window, who knows what this judge will do.” “I predict he will give him some jail time, I think he will fine him, he’ll give him a stern lecture and then he’ll promptly plan his retirement and a book deal,” concluded Tolman.

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“Biden and his Democrat allies have turned our legal system into a political tool, and Americans from every corner of the country have had enough..”

Trump Campaign Raises Staggering $200 Million Since Thursday Conviction (ZH)

If Democrats needed further confirmation that prosecuting Donald Trump on an obscure misdemeanor elevated to a felony just for him… (while the same DA reduced 60% of felonies to misdemeanors last year), the Trump campaign has raised over $200 million since Thursday’s verdict in the former president’s New York ‘hush money’ trial. Of that, $70 million was from small donors, and 30% of the total were first-time donors to a political campaign, Eric Trump told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. “I mean, these are Americans who are p*ssed off, said the younger Trump. “They’re coming out of the woodwork and they want to support a guy that they just believe is getting bamboozled by a system. “We saw it with Impeachment one, we saw it with Impeachment two, we see it where they weaponize every liberal DA and AG across the country with one intent: To take him down, to slander him, to ruin his reputation, to try and divide his family, to try and bankrupt him, to throw him in jail, to do whatever the hell they can do,” he added.

“America sees through it. They know exactly what’s going on.” As the Post Millennial notes further; The $200 million was raised in a matter of just three days, which far surpasses any amount raised by President Biden’s campaign in a similar time frame. Within 24 hours of President Trump’s guilty verdict, the Trump campaign received $53 million in donations. The Biden campaign raised a total of $51 million for all of April. According to a Friday statement by Trump campaign officials Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, “Biden and his Democrat allies have turned our legal system into a political tool, and Americans from every corner of the country have had enough,” adding “This momentum is just getting started and together, as President Trump stated perfectly, Americans will render the real verdict on November 5.”

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“..other 77-year-old, first-time offenders would never be sent to prison for this conduct.”

US Secret Service Reacts To Trump’s Criminal Conviction (ZH)

The US Secret Service on Friday said that Donald Trump’s conviction in his ‘hush money’ trial will have “no bearing” on whether the agency will protect him. According to the agency, “today’s outcome has no bearing on the manner in which the United States Secret Service carries out its protective mission,” adding that “our security measures will proceed unchanged,” the Epoch Times’ Jack Phillips reports. Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts for falsifying business records in connection with a 2016 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. He will face sentencing on July 11, during which Judge Juan Merchan could toss the former president in jail. Prosecutors have not indicated whether they will push for this, while Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg (who downgraded 60% of felonies in his district to misdemeanors, while elevating a an obscure, rarely prosecuted crime to a felony in Trump’s case).

As the Epoch Times notes, several weeks ago, the Secret Service issued a similar statement to The Epoch Times regarding how it would handle the former president’s security if he were jailed, coming after Judge Merchan warned him that he would be prepared to send him to jail over comments that he said violated his earlier gag order. On May 8, the agency responded to questions about how the Secret Service would respond if President Trump were jailed, saying that “under federal law, the United States Secret Service must provide protection for current government leaders, former Presidents and First Ladies, visiting heads of state and other individuals designated by the President of the United States.” That comment also didn’t go into specifics about how it would handle security. At the time, the spokesperson did not respond to a question about whether a Secret Service agent could be stationed in a cell with the former president.

“For all settings around the world, we study locations and develop comprehensive and layered protective models that incorporate state-of-the-art technology, protective intelligence, and advanced security tactics to safeguard our protectees,” the spokesperson said. “Beyond that, we do not comment on specific protective operations.” The lead attorney for President Trump, Todd Blanche, told CNN that he thinks the former president should not face prison time, in part due to his age. President Trump, 77, also has no prior convictions, he noted. “There’s a system in place where you rely on precedent, and somebody like President Trump should never, never face a jail sentence based on this conduct,” Mr. Blanche said. “And it would just kind of confirm what we’ve been saying all along,” he continued. “And a lot of people say that we’re wrong and that we’re missing key pieces. But other 77-year-old, first-time offenders would never be sent to prison for this conduct.”

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“..the legal version of a deepfake — misrepresenting the law to mislead citizens into believing that they are better off with less information..”

The Deepfake Privilege? (Turley)

We have been discussing the dubious constitutional basis for President Joe Biden withholding the audio tapes of his interview with special counsel Robert Hur. I have previously written that the claim of privilege makes little sense when the transcript of the interview has already been released. It seems curious that Biden is claiming to be the president “who cannot be heard” in withholding the audio version. It just got wackier as the Justice Department seeks to create a new type of “Deepfake privilege” that would effectively blow away all existing limits on the use of the privilege when it comes to audio or visual records of a president. Multiple committees are investigating Biden for possible impeachment and conducting oversight on the handling of the investigation into his retention and mishandling of classified material over decades. Classified documents were found in various locations where Biden lived or worked, including his garage. The mishandling of classified material is uncontestable. Broken boxes, unprotected areas and lack of tracking are all obvious from the photos.

Biden made the situation even worse with a disastrous press conference in which he attacked Hur and misrepresented his findings. Hur’s ultimate conclusion that Biden’s diminished cognitive abilities would undermine any prosecution left many dumbfounded. After all, the man who is too feeble to prosecute is not only running a superpower with a massive nuclear arsenal but running for reelection to add four more years in office. From impeachment to oversight to the 25th Amendment (allowing the removal of a president for incapacities), there are ample reasons for Congress to demand information and evidence from the government on these questions. Congress is also interested in looking at repeated omissions for “inaudible” statements. Under this sweeping theory that Biden can legitimately withhold these recordings under executive privilege, any president could withhold any evidence of incapacity or criminality. As previously explained, the claim that the audiotape but not the transcript remains privileged is hard to square with precedent or logic. However, now the Justice Department appears to be pivoting with a new claim with a late Friday filing.

The filing obtained by Politico states that the audiotape must be withheld due to the risk that it could be altered by artificial intelligence and passed off as authentic in a deepfake release: “The passage of time and advancements in audio, artificial intelligence, and ‘deep fake’ technologies only amplify concerns about malicious manipulation of audio files.” Consider the implications of that argument for a second. It would mean that any visual or audio recording of the President could be withheld due to the danger of digital or other manipulation. It would eviscerate any existing limits on privilege assertions. It is also absurd since you could create such fake recordings using the transcript and Biden’s voice from countless interviews through AI programs. The Justice Department acknowledges that obvious logical disconnect by noting that the release would make any fake version more credible. “To be sure, other raw material to create a deepfake of President Biden’s voice is already available, but release of the audio recording presents unique risks: if it were public knowledge that the audio recording has been released, it becomes easier for malicious actors to pass off an altered file as the true recording,.”

The filing is logically and legally absurd. It is also dangerous. For a president who is already carefully insulated from questions and controlled in public appearances, the argument would allow staff to completely control any public or, more importantly, congressional review of his actual speech and discourse. In seeking to prevent “malicious actors” from altering reality, the government is claiming the right to frame reality as an inherent constitutional prerogative. The argument ignores that, if an audiotape is released, it is harder to pass off a fake as genuine. As it stands, actors can claim tapes as leaked or derived from other sources. In the absence of an official tape, such arguments can be difficult to refute. The fact that this spurious argument is being made by Merrick Garland’s Justice Department is another disappointing sign that he has abandoned his pledge to remain apolitical in office. This litigation is clearly designed for one overriding purpose: to delay any release until after the election when it cannot harm the President. It is the legal version of a deepfake — misrepresenting the law to mislead citizens into believing that they are better off with less information on the credibility and competence of their president.

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“If there is any hope, it may be that the abominable reality galvanizes the world to rise up against this criminal system and the war criminals that lord it in high office..”

‘Leader of the Free World’ Permits Genocide And Global Annihilation (SCF)

The nadir of Washington’s hypocrisy and collusion was seen following the massacres in Rafah this week. The Biden White House said the mass murder did not cross any supposed red lines that might cause Washington to end its huge military and financial support for the Israeli regime. Only a few weeks ago, the Biden administration was ostensibly warning Israel not to proceed with its offensive plans in southern Gaza. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken exhibited depraved psychopathy when he spoke during a visit to Moldova and claimed that it wasn’t clear if American weapons were used in the Rafah bloodbath. He went on to use weasel words to justify mass murder, saying: “I think we also see that even limited, focused, targeted attacks designed to deal with terrorists who killed innocent civilians that are plotting to kill more, even those kinds of operations can have terrible, horrific, unintended consequences.”

European powers are equally contemptible. Following the Israeli onslaught in Rafah, European figures like French President Emmanuel Macron and the European Union’s foreign affairs minister Josep Borrell voiced criticism of Israeli violence. Nevertheless, the European Union and its main members continue to provide vital military support and political cover for the Israeli regime to perpetuate the slaughter. In the news this week were moves by European states Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognize Palestinian statehood. However, such moves are tokenism and ineffective in halting the genocide. European “values” are worthless, if ambiguous. Ambiguity on Gaza is not for the Americans though. US complicity is flagrant and barbaric. The White House and Congress have boorishly dismissed the orders by the International Court of Justice and ICC as “outrageous”, insisting with barefaced perversion that “there is no genocide” in Gaza.

Washington has even threatened to impose sanctions on these legal bodies for daring to hold the Israeli regime to account. No doubt, part of the logic here is a concern that the United States and its Western accomplices could also eventually be indicted for complicity in Israel’s war crimes. The double standards and hypocrisy of the United States and its European partners are off the charts. Only a few months ago, they were hailing the ICC issuing an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. There is no credible basis for such an indictment against the Russian leader unlike the overwhelming evidence for genocide by Israel in Gaza with full support from the US and Europe.

There are very sound reasons why Biden has become known as “Genocide Joe” in the eyes of a large section of the American and European population. Further mocking his credentials as “leader of the free world”, Biden has overseen the arrests of thousands of American students who have bravely held protests on university campuses across the US against the genocide that their government and taxes are enabling. The moral bankruptcy of Biden and the rest of the ruling elite in the United States and Europe is proven beyond all doubt by the ongoing support for genocide in Gaza. Not one of these self-proclaimed champions of the “rules-based order” has stood up unequivocally on the side of justice. Confirming their moral decrepitude, Biden and virtually all of the Western establishment are moving to escalate the NATO proxy war in Ukraine by sponsoring a NeoNazi regime to hit Russia with long-range ballistic weapons.

The criminals have become insane in their warmongering and gambling with a potential nuclear conflagration. President Putin warned that such relentless escalation would have dire consequences. That’s not a bluff or idle warning. The savagery of Western imperialism has become a full-blown disease – again. World War One and Two were earlier pandemics of this disease. It is threatening the world once more in the obscene disguise of “democracy, freedom and rule of law”. But that threadbare disguise is as transparent as it is grotesque. The diabolical image of a distraught Palestinian father holding up the body of a decapitated baby is the horrific reality of Western imperialism. There is no restraint in what this psychopathic system is capable of permitting – the genocide of millions and ultimately global annihilation. If there is any hope, it may be that the abominable reality galvanizes the world to rise up against this criminal system and the war criminals that lord it in high office.

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All that’s left is semantics.

Biden Doesn’t Want To Be Responsible For WW3 – White House (RT)

President Joe Biden does not want the standoff with Russia over Ukraine to trigger a global war, White House National Security spokesman John Kirby has said. He made his statement days after the White House confirmed that Biden had granted Kiev permission to use US-supplied weapons systems for strikes deep inside Russia. Ukraine had requested to ease the restrictions on the use of foreign arms after Russian troops launched a new offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkov Region last month and have captured several villages along the border. “We’ve been concerned about escalation since the very beginning of this war. And those concerns remain valid,” Kirby told ABC News on Sunday. “The president has said he does not want to be responsible for starting World War III. We’re not looking for a conflict with Russia, another nuclear power.” Kirby said that Biden “had understood all of the ramifications” of allowing Kiev to use American weapons “for counter-fire purposes.” He reiterated that Ukrainians were only permitted to target bases, artillery positions and other military sites “that Russians were using to create some sort of buffer zones.”

The White House previously clarified that the ban on the use of the “ATACMS [missiles] or long-range strikes inside of Russia has not changed.” Russia, however, said that Kiev had already been using ATACMS and other long-range weapons to hit targets in Crimea, the Donbass, as well as the regions of Zaporozhye and Kherson. Kiev and its Western backers continue to view these recently incorporated Russian territories as Ukrainian land. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the goal of the operation in the Kharkov Region is aimed at stopping frequent Ukrainian cross-border mortar and missile attacks on Belgorod and other Russian cities. Moscow has no plans of seizing the city of Kharkov itself, he told reporters during his trip to China last month. Moscow has repeatedly warned that the deliveries of heavy weapons to Ukraine from the West would not deter the Russian forces. Russia stressed, however, that military aid to Kiev leads to dangerous escalation. In an interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson in February, Putin said it is unthinkable for anyone to drag the world into a new global war. “A global war would put the whole of humanity on the brink of survival,” he said.

Pepe

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The German army could last for, what was it, 3 hours?!

Germany Bickers Over How to Get ‘Fit for War’ as Ukraine Drains Coffers (Sp.)

Tension is brewing between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his increasingly pugnacious defense chief Boris Pistorius, Bloomberg reported. The dispute between the two is rooted in their different visions for how Germany should rebuild its armed forces and revitalize its defense. Pistorius’ “tub-thumping” war rhetoric is fraught with potential trouble for his fellow Social Democrat Scholz ahead of next year’s elections, the outlet noted. Public messaging from the two sees Scholz using plying the word “peace” more often. Campaign posters for June’s European elections featuring Scholz emblazoned with the word “Frieden” (“Peace”). Pistorius, on the other hand, is avidly beating the “war” drum. The Bundeswehr needs to get “ready for war,” Pistorius said in an interview last year for Welt am Sonntag.

“It will take time for the defense industry to ramp up its capacities. We now have around five to eight years to catch up – both regarding the armed forces, industry and society,” he stated. Not that the two men are not on the same page when it comes to supporting the Kiev regime. Germany is one of the biggest cheerleaders of NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine, sending over 10 billion euros in military and economic support to Kiev. But its own Bundeswehr is both aging and shrinking. Modernizing the armed forces and covering maintenance costs for military equipment have become a challenge. This is where the war rhetoric comes in. Pistorius has been arguing the alleged “Russia threat” to urge the chancellor to dramatically hike up military spending. His language has been peppered with militaristic language that has not been heard from a German politician in the decades after World War II.

Scholz announced a “Zeitenwende” or “historic turning point” in 2022 when the Ukraine crisis escalated. He pledged to revive Germany’s military, but ambitious plans have since been mired in spending squabbles and the need to pump weapons and cash to the Kiev regime. Accordingly, the chancellor’s 100-billion-euro ($109 billion) defense fund “has already been fully allocated and will have been spent by 2027,” the publication noted. The 100-billion-euro fund was announced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to improve the country’s defense capabilities shortly after the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The fund was approved by the German parliament in June of that year. In January 2023, Pistorius told the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that the fund would not be enough for Germany to modernize its troops and called for an increase of 10 billion euros per year in the German defense budget. The defense minister has so far been unable to secure the extra funding.

Recently, several public disagreements have shone light on the growing distance between the two men. Scholz again rejected Pistorius’ request for greater defense spending, with Robert Habeck, vice chancellor from the Greens, and Finance Minister Christian Lindner all opting for belt-tightening. It should be noted that Germany has a so-called “debt brake” that restricts the federal deficit to 0.35 percent of GDP. Pistorius argued that “expenditure for defense and civil protection should not be included” in those rules. His statement was made during a trip to the US. “Unfortunately, Mr. Pistorius is only singling out the option of creating security through debt. The citizens would thus be saddled with more and more permanent interest burdens. The better way is to reallocate money in our large state budget and get the economy moving,” Christian Linder shot back.

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China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and counting.

Saudi Arabia Won’t Attend ‘Ukraine Conference’ as Russia is Not Invited (Sp.)

Saudi Arabia will not attend the Swiss-hosted peace conference on Ukraine in June because Russia will not be represented, German news agency DPA reported on Sunday, citing Saudi diplomatic sources. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Saudi Arabia, scheduled for past Saturday, may now take place after the “peace conference” in Switzerland, the report read. Riyadh has not yet officially announced its decision not to attend the conference. Switzerland will host the summit on Ukraine not far off from the city of Lucerne from June 15-16. In April, the spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Bern, Vladimir Khokhlov, told Sputnik that Russia was not invitied to the summit, adding that Moscow had no plans to participate in the event even if invited.

China and Brazil have also refused to take part in the conference. Even Washington, despite being its main proponent, cannot say who will represent the US. President Joe Biden is due to attend a Hollywood fundraising gala for his re-election campaign instead. Since the start of the special military operation in 2022, Moscow has said many times that it was ready to negotiate with Ukraine. Russian and Ukrainian delegations held several rounds of peace talks in the early days of the conflict, but the negotiation failed, with Kiev legislating a ban on further peace talks. Western countries have been calling on Russia to engage in negotiations with Ukraine, but at the same time the West keeps ignoring Kiev’s continuous refusal of dialogue.

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“..different groups involved in the bankruptcy that will be exposed soon have literally made a move to shut this place down and end my show..”

Alex Jones Repels Ambush Seizure Of Infowars, Sleeps In Studio (ZH)

One day after Donald Trump was convicted of 34 felonies in his ‘hush money’ trial, a court-appointed officer overseeing the Infowars bankruptcy apparently went rogue on Friday and tried to seize and shut down Alex Jones’ studio without a court order, despite having a reported “path with the [bankruptcy] judge to continue on for years.” On Saturday, Jones held a four hour X space, in which supporters including Gen. Mike Flynn, Steve Bannon and Roger Stone commented on the situation. All three suggested that Jones stand his ground and peacefully resist. According to commentator and attorney, ‘Viva Frei’ (David Freiheit), the court-appointed Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) in the Infowars bankruptcy, Patrick Magill, “showed up to lock the place down,” adding “and apparently in the absence of a court order.”

“This is going to be Infowars’ last show, because I learned yesterday that they were going to padlock the door and kick us out last night,” Jones said during the Saturday space. “They are trying to shut us down,” Jones told us when reached for comment. A CRO is typically appointed during times of significant financial stress, and is tasked with overseeing the restructuring companies in bankruptcy. On Saturday, Jones suggested that his legal team had come to terms with the judge in the bankruptcy proceedings regarding a long-term timeline for transition, and was instead surprised with an ambush by Magill to seize his studio. “They want us shut down because in bankruptcy and what was happening we have a path with the judge to continue on for years, and the judge has signaled that. So, different groups involved in the bankruptcy that will be exposed soon have literally made a move to shut this place down and end my show,” Jones said.

In March, tensions came to a boil between Jones’ legal team and Magill, after a company managed and partially owned by Jones’ father, PQPR Holdings Limited, LLC asked the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas to replace Magill with a new CRO – days after accusing Magill of acting unprofessionally and in a dysfunctional manner. PQPR has been accused of receiving millions in payments from Jones’ Free Speech Systems while families of Sandy Hook Elementary School students attempt to collect $1.5 billion worth of legal judgements against Jones and Infowars. In a court filing, PQPR slammed Magill’s decision to replace the company’s lead bankruptcy attorney with someone new, after the CRO accused attorney Ray Battaglia of hindering progress on the bankrupcy. Jones says Magill is trying to “obviously and maliciously” entrap him, per Frei, in order to “facilitate the shutting down of Infowars.”

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“They killed 346 people over money and nothing else.”

Boeing Enters ‘New Territory’ With Federal Probe, Possible Criminal Charges (ET)

When a door panel ripped off an Alaskan Airlines flight after takeoff on Jan. 5, Boeing’s fortunes changed overnight. Had the company gone just two more days without an incident, it would have satisfied a settlement to avoid criminal prosecution by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Instead, the accident triggered investigations by federal agencies and congressional hearings. The incident also renewed public scrutiny of Boeing and the 737 MAX 8 crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed everyone on board and led to criminal charges for the company. Boeing has since seen a significant financial fallout, reporting a $355 million loss and a near-50 percent drop in deliveries in the first quarter alone. The company also faces plummeting stock values and canceled orders from multiple airlines since the Jan. 5 incident.

The DOJ ended months of speculation on May 14 with a court filing alleging that Boeing violated its 2021 deferred prosecution agreement. The company failed to “design, implement, and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of the U.S. fraud laws.” The DOJ will meet with the crash victims’ families on May 31 before announcing its intentions with Boeing’s case by July 7. According to career pilots, aviation safety experts, and attorneys who spoke with The Epoch Times, how Boeing violated the agreement and the possible consequences are complicated. To stay competitive, Boeing needed to design a new plane that could fly to destinations such as Hawaii with less fuel. The company’s competitor, Airbus, was edging out the market with new, more fuel-efficient jets. Instead of designing a brand new plane, which would have required extensive pilot training from the airlines that buy them, raising the jet’s price, Boeing opted to release an upgraded version of its 737 jet, the 737 MAX.

It has larger, more powerful engines that are installed farther forward on the plane’s wings, which causes the nose to push up higher during takeoff. Boeing compensated with a new flight control software called Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which automatically lowers the nose to avoid midair stalling. Federal regulators said Boeing didn’t tell the airlines or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the extent of the software, how it controls the plane in the background, and how to disable it. Planes also use angle of attack vanes, or indicators, to tell the computer whether the jet is ascending or descending at the right pitch angle. Before the 737 MAX, these indicators were wired to two sensors in case one malfunctioned during flight—because of damage from a bird strike, for instance. On the original 737 MAXs, the angle of attack indicators were wired to a single sensor, causing the flight control software to assume that the plane was in critical danger if either indicator malfunctioned.

During the 2018 and 2019 fatal flights, the MCAS system kept pitching the nose downward with faulty angle-of-attack data, likely from a damaged angle of attack vane. Because Boeing didn’t properly disclose the software nuances and how to disable it to the airlines, the pilots took more than 10 seconds to respond. Federal guidelines expect pilots to respond to such as situation in four seconds to avoid a catastrophe. Boeing also didn’t overhaul the flight control software until after the 2019 Ethiopian Airlines crash, which was five months after the 2018 Lion Air crash. The FAA responded by grounding all 737 MAX jets for nearly two years to ensure compliance with regulations. “The MCAS accidents were pure, 100 percent money accidents,” said Shawn Pruchnicki, aviation safety expert and assistant professor at Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies. “They killed 346 people over money and nothing else.”

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