Apr 072024
 
 April 7, 2024  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  28 Responses »


James McNeill Whistler Miss Ethel Philip Reading 1894

 

Extremism On The Ballot (Keenan)
America Is Hurtling Toward a Full Blown Hot Civil War (BP)
Liberals Trying to Force Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Retire (ET)
Trump Accuses Biden of Unfairly Targeting 71-Year-Old Jan. 6 ‘Hostage’ (ET)
Fani Willis Accused Of Illegally Recording Lawyer, Till Monday To Recuse (ZH)
US, Allies Understand Ukraine Will Never Join NATO – Journalist (TASS)
Russia and Ukraine Must Talk – Austrian Chancellor (RT)
NATO 75 Years On… A War Machine Long Past Its Sell-By Date (SCF)
NATO’s ‘Losing War’ and an Empty Promise to Ukraine (Sp.)
New Rustled-Up Joint NATO Mission Shows West ‘Has No Real Plan in Ukraine’ (Sp.)
1992 Explicit NATO Pledge Not to Meddle in Russia’s Neighborhood (Sp.)
Pelosi Joins Call For Biden To Stop Arming Israel (ZH)
Scott Ritter: Israeli Attack on Consulate Could ‘Throw World Into Chaos’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Superman

 

 

What time it is
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776328737874743402

 

 

 

 

O’Reilly

 

 

GenZ

 

 

MEP, Christine Anderson

 

 

Post human

 

 

 

 

Trump 1987

 

 

 

 

“The 2024 election is between a dangerous madman and Donald Trump…”

Extremism On The Ballot (Keenan)

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful day with family and friends on the holiest day of America’s liturgical year, the Transgender Day of Visibility. I had never heard of this blessed Federal holiday until a few days ago, but my kids loved it. We had a visit from the Easter Drag Bunny and it/they filled the kids’ baskets with all kinds of treats. Puberty blockers, dilators, lipstick for the boys, packers for the girls. She/They is risen—and you will bow down and worship Her/Them! Of course, Joe Biden’s Easter sacrilege was only the latest travesty that proves what you and I already know, which is that the 2024 presidential election is a contest between common-sense centrism and dangerously radical extremism. One candidate is a classical liberal whose positions are squarely in the middle of the political spectrum. On nearly every issue, his views are anodyne, conventional, mainstream—positions that were the norm, nationwide, in every state, on both sides of the aisle, within recent memory (not including a few fringe strongholds in Berkeley and the West Village).

His opponent, however, is a dangerous radical extremist; a divisive, fanatical agent of chaos who holds frightening positions that threaten to destroy America. To preserve what’s left of Our Sacred Democracy, the extremist must be stopped. The radicals we are up against are so deranged that they are embracing and even leaning into the Replacement Theory they once vilified and dismissed as fake. You will recall that “replacement theory” was a taboo conspiracy only racists and bigots believed in until about 15 minutes ago. But the extremists running the country recently decided that akshally, “replacement” is the perfect strategy to finish off what’s left of what you and the country formerly known as “America.” Replacement means you don’t need to worry about convincing Congress to pass new laws or give speeches or waste time governing. To get your way, just replace everyone. But the extremists in charge are not going to stop after replacing you with “newcomers.” They’re replacing everything not nailed down.

Easter just got replaced with a demonic child abuse cult festival. Jews are getting erased, literally chased out of cities, harassed out of college, and replaced with ululating Hamas enthusiasts. Your grandchildren got replaced with fur babies. Formerly great universities have been replaced with plagiarizing paperclip factories. Your borders have been replaced with Welcome Centers. Your retirement has been replaced with twenty more years of work to pay for safe injection sites for your kids and free gender affirmation surgeries for the world. As Elon Musk likes to point out on X, Americans are just four percent of the Earth’s population. Soon, they’ll be just four percent of their own country. This is, in President Biden’s own words, going according to plan. “Just like we drew it up,” he tweeted ominously. An explosion in robberies and violent crime. Two dangerous new foreign wars. Forced conversion therapy on normal people to make them believe children can change their sex. Rampant hate crimes and open, gleeful discrimination against people who are not “of color.”

Who is the extremist again? The dangerous tyrant seeking re-election has the full support of our bloodthirsty elites, a warmongering foreign policy establishment, virulently antisemitic academia, and the entire mainstream media apparatus. Sometimes it’s hard to even fathom what we are facing, but then you remember that they had the nerve to arrest and sentence a young man to prison for… wait for it… sharing a funny Hillary Clinton meme. That actually happened in real life. The humble moderate whom these frightening cretins hope to defeat this fall faces expropriation of his property to satisfy hundreds of millions of dollars in absurd fines, plus hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees to fight regime lawfare on a Hiroshima scale. The threat of prison looms. His support comes not from wealthy celebrities, titans of industry, or the tech billionaires. It comes from the peasants. The rabble. A ragtag coalition of nobodies, the working class, the powerless middle class, and a few anonymous dissidents forced to post samizdat from undisclosed locations to avoid the eye of Sauron.

The radical extremist we face wants to empty our treasury so he can continue to launder hundreds of billions of our dollars through the most corrupt nation in Europe, which for decades was the world’s number one producer of child pornography, among other evils.

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“.. an evil, unrestrained, immoral freedom that is no freedom at all, a bringer of Death..”

America Is Hurtling Toward a Full Blown Hot Civil War (BP)

In an ideal and perfect world, all Americans would be following a righteously guided conscience and their better angels, and they could trust that their elected leaders were doing likewise; but, we live in a far from perfect world or society, and the fools of the country have abandoned Christian kindness, the Golden Rule and humanity for the evil of trans-humanism. Heartwarming words advocating for true freedom and liberty are far and few between in today’s society and political arenas, in a manner not too unlike the years between 1850 and 1860 that led to the Civil War; and tho’ some on both side of the political aisle still exude goodness in a way that makes each day seem a bit brighter, by and large, the Democratic Party has been completely infiltrated by Marxist-Maoist Communists, who are driving the nation towards the darkest tyranny and bloodiest days ever witnessed in America, as they attempt to stamp out the tenderness and beauty in each person’s soul and reduce us all to mere mindless cogs in their authoritarian machine.

Look around. Half or more of America’s citizenry have lost their minds and are six steps or more removed from reality, either due to the mind-numbing communist indoctrination they have absorbed from their “education” in the public school system, something genetic or a trauma from their life, some new maniacal drug that has them hooked and out of their minds, or a combination of all three. Some would suggest that we set about immediately reforming public education to promote and defend the ideas that originally built America, but we don’t have time to change hearts and minds to counter a movement that started over a hundred years ago and now sits on the cusp of being able to solidify its current stranglehold on America, if the tide swings its way in the 2024 Election or they are able to steal the election through current fraud facilitating mechanisms.

Although we can still move to properly educate the next generation in a newly reformed education system or through homeschool, now is the time to organize and assemble those within the country who already know and hold to the truth of American principles and all the freedom and liberty that follow — time to gather our like-minded American patriots and those Lions of Liberty who have had enough of witnessing this America we love so well so sorely abused, put upon and assaulted. It doesn’t help when we have self-serving, corrupt people in high office promising to save the gullible and ill-informed from their hell and the misery it brings, if only they will support more madness to be placed in U.S. code. Vote for more economy killing “climate change” change regulations and initiatives and “we’ll put more money on your EBT cards, courtesy of Uncle Sam and the American taxpayer”.

“Help us make sure the government has the final say over everybody’s children and can kill babies as they exit the birthing canal, and we’ll make certain you get privilege over all other Americans”, one can almost hear Traitor Joe whispering in some dimly lit concert hall. “You can be a champion among champions”, they say — “Let us help you change your gender”. And if anyone stands in your way in the pursuit of any evil, it is they who will be called evil and fallen upon by the full weight of the U.S. Federal Government. Oh yea. And as if that isn’t bad enough, Biden is now moving as fast as he can to forgive $144 billion more in student loans. He plans to announce this on Monday, April 8th 2024, and for anyone with eyes to see, this is simply corruption at its worst and Biden buying votes in the upcoming presidential election. What a slap in the face of Americans who couldn’t afford to go to college but now will be forced to bear the tax burden this move will bring.

I see the immorality growing every day, the people who revel in its evil, freaks from some futuristic sideshow that bodes ill and speaks to the destruction of humanity. and with each passing day, I find myself moving farther and farther away from those with whom I have little or nothing in common with, adrift from most of humanity too. Not in any manner that lends itself to any sadness over my situation, but rather as if to say “whew” in a realization of the relief that has come by way of my separation from those I despise most. It’s sort of like I’m standing on the river bank watching the “ship of fools” sailing over the river falls in denial of their own mortality, thinking their crazy ideas will save them and hold them invincible, or worse, knowing they are going to die and not caring who they drag to Hell along with them. They think we’re crazy for defending America’s righteous and true founding principles and virtues and the liberty associated with them, and we think them mad for denying God, reality and the best mankind has to offer in exchange for an evil, unrestrained, immoral freedom that is no freedom at all, a bringer of Death.

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They’re scared stiff Trump will win.

Liberals Trying to Force Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Retire (ET)

Liberals are mounting a pressure campaign to force liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to retire from the bench so President Joe Biden, who faces a tough reelection fight in November, can appoint a younger liberal successor before the election. Democrats fear that the 6–3 conservative majority on the nation’s highest court could become a 7–2 conservative majority if President Donald Trump wins the election in November and she dies during his second term of office. They point out that President Trump was able to replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died of pancreatic cancer complications on Sept. 18, 2020, at 87, with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett days before the 2020 election. Justice Ginsburg refused to step down despite her fragile health. Justice Barrett’s appointment, they say, helped supply the votes on the Court needed to overturn abortion rights precedent Roe v. Wade by a 5–4 vote in June 2022.

The ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization found there was no right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution and returned the regulation of abortion to the states, which Roe had taken away. Justice Sotomayor, 69, is reportedly in good health, but activists have seized on the fact that she has had Type I diabetes since she was 7 years old and that she has had some health scares. They note that she is the only Supreme Court justice to have traveled with a medic and remarked she was “tired” during a talk in January at UC Berkeley Law School. In January 2018, she was reportedly treated at her home for low blood sugar by paramedics but was able to report for work afterward. Left-wing activists seem emboldened because they successfully pressured liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, now 85, to retire in June 2022, which allowed President Biden to replace him with liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, now 53.

In an April 3 broadcast on NBC News, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), said Justice Sotomayor should consider stepping down soon. “Justices have to make their personal decisions about their health, and their level of energy, but also to keep in mind the larger national and public interest in making sure that the Court looks and thinks like America,” the senator said. “We should learn a lesson, you know? And it’s not like there’s any mystery here about what the lesson should be—that the old saying, ‘graveyards are full of indispensable people,’ ourselves in this body included.” Before that, left-wing commentator Mehdi Hasan published a column in The Guardian (UK) saying it pained him to argue that Justice Sotomayor should make way for a younger successor who can serve for decades on the Court because she is a good standard bearer for the progressive cause. He described Justice Sotomayor as “the greatest liberal to sit on the Supreme Court in my adult lifetime.” Mr. Hasan added that she is “the first Latina to hold the position of justice, [and] she has blazed a relentlessly progressive trail on the highest bench in the land.”

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Liz Cheney’s the one who belongs in jail.

Trump Accuses Biden of Unfairly Targeting 71-Year-Old Jan. 6 ‘Hostage’ (ET)

Former President Donald Trump has criticized President Joe Biden and the Justice Department for “unfairly” targeting a 71-year-old woman dubbed the “J6 Praying Grandma” who entered the U.S. Capitol for around 10 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021. Rebecca Lavrenz was convicted on April 4 on four federal misdemeanor charges, including entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly and disruptive conduct. She faces up to a year in prison and $200,000 in fines, with her sentencing scheduled for Aug. 12. President Trump took to social media on Friday to denounce the conviction. “Rebecca Lavrez, also known as the ‘J6 Praying Grandma,’ has been unfairly targeted by Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, and now faces up to 1 YEAR in prison for peacefully walking around the Capitol, and praying for our Failing Nation on January 6th!” he wrote in a post on Truth Social.

President Trump said that Ms. Lavrez, a 71-year-old grandmother and small business owner from Colorado, has now become “one of Joe Biden’s J6 HOSTAGES!!!” President Trump has made the alleged mistreatment of Jan. 6 defendants a cornerstone of his reelection campaign, vowing to use executive power to issue pardons and free Jan. 6 “hostages” soon after taking office, if elected. “Crooked Joe Biden spends more time prosecuting Patriots like Rebecca, AND ME, than Violent Criminals, Thugs, Murderers, and ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS who are destroying our Country. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST,” President Trump added in his post. President Biden has been sharply critical of President Trump’s statements about the Jan. 6 defendants, while Attorney General Merrick Garland has promised to press ahead with more Jan. 6 prosecutions—and to cast the Justice Department’s dragnet even more widely to include people who weren’t even present at the Capitol that day.

“As I said before, the Justice Department will hold all January 6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under the law—whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy,” Mr. Garland said in a speech on Jan. 5. More than 1,350 people have been charged with various crimes in relation to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, ranging from misdemeanor offenses such as trespassing to felonies such as seditious conspiracy and assaulting police officers. Of these, roughly 800 have been sentenced, with nearly two-thirds receiving some time in prison.

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Fani’s biggest talent is compromising herself.

Fani Willis Accused Of Illegally Recording Lawyer, Till Monday To Recuse (ZH)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been accused of illegally recording a lawyer in the Trump-Georgia case. During an interview with Townhall columnist and legal analyst Phil Holloway, an attorney for Trump co-defendant Harrison Floyd, Christopher Kachouroff, claimed that Willis recorded a phone call between herself and one of his colleagues in Maryland. “Fani did reach out to one of my colleagues in Maryland” said Kachouroff. “And was rude and abrupt with him on the phone … and she ended up recording him.” He further noted that Maryland is a “two party state,” meaning that both parties on a phone call have to consent to being recorded. “So, are you saying she illegally recorded a phone call?” asked Holloway. “Oh yeah, it’s a felony in Maryland,” Kachouroff replied. Maryland is one of 11 states which require two-party consent. Under the state’s Wiretap Act, recording a private conversation without consent from both parties is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Harrison Floyd, the defendant, has given Fani until noon on Monday to recuse herself from the case or he “may have no other choice than to pursue all lawful remedies.” As Redstate notes: In Floyd’s tweet, it refers to Willis providing a copy or a recording of a call to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution between herself and Carlos J.R. Salvado, an attorney in Maryland, who also represents Floyd on an unrelated matter. Atlanta News First and Newsweek have reached out to Willis’ office for comment on this new allegation but she doesn’t appear to have weighed in yet. It will be interesting to see what her response to this allegation is. Floyd, who served as a senior campaign staffer for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, was indicted by Willis on three felony counts stemming from his alleged efforts to help Trump overturn his loss in the state. The charges include conspiracy to solicit false statements, influencing witnesses, and racketeering. He has also been accused of assaulting an FBI agent in Maryland. He has pleaded not guilty.

Fani’s wiretapping accusation is the latest debacle involving Willis’ RICO case against Trump and his allies. On Wednesday, special prosecutor Nathan Wade’s estranged wife filed contempt of court proceedings against him. Wade and Willis’ romantic relationship was the focal point of the disqualification efforts against the district attorney’s office. However, Judge Scott McAfee ultimately allowed Willis to remain on the prosecution so long as Wade stepped down. Wade handed in his resignation hours after McAfee’s ruling. -Newsweek. Floyd, a former Black Voices for Trump leader, turned himself in without a lawyer or bond agreement on August 24 of last year, and was released August 30 on $100,000 bond. He is one of 19 defendants in the case.

https://twitter.com/hw_floyd/status/1776060884546113790

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“.. join a defensive alliance when the need for defense is over..”

US, Allies Understand Ukraine Will Never Join NATO – Journalist (TASS)

The US administration and authorities of NATO member-countries understand full well that Ukraine will never join the alliance, senior editor of The American Conservative Sumantra Maitra said in his article. “Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that Ukraine will one day join NATO. It is a meaningless, almost theological gesture—practically pagan hymn-chanting at this point. Blinken knows his promise to be untrue. European allies know it to be untrue. The majority of Americans either don’t care about Ukraine or are actively opposed to further engagement in Europe,” Maitra said. “It is, of course, deeply cynical to dangle the NATO carrot in front of Ukraine especially, when NATO did not let them join after the Bucharest summit [in 2008] and will not in future,” he noted.

“The argument goes that NATO members will welcome Ukraine only once they have solved their existing security issue, i.e. join a defensive alliance when the need for defense is over. To any sane person, that sounds absurd—that would mean the security issue will not be solved in this lifetime, and it will continue to be a frozen conflict,” Maitra said. “There will not be any NATO cavalry over the hills,” the journalist wrote. “The best we can do is seek a compromise making Ukraine and Georgia neutral buffers, similar to Austria during the Cold War. But for that, Washington needs bolder leadership to admit some hard truths and render some strategic coherence,” Maitra concluded.

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Slovakia, Hungary, Austria speak with reason. The countries closest to Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine Must Talk – Austrian Chancellor (RT)

The Ukraine conflict can only be resolved if Russia is present at the negotiating table, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has said. In an interview with the French daily Le Figaro on Friday, the chancellor reiterated that the West should continue to be in “full solidarity” with Kiev and support it in its fight against Russia. However, Nehammer said “it is also important to think about how the conflict could end.” The Austrian leader noted that when he went to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in April 2022, several weeks into the conflict, Moscow and Kiev were still engaged in direct talks. ”This is no longer the case today, because Russia shows no desire to negotiate. But without the Russian Federation there will be no peace,” he said, adding that the situation remains difficult. “But the resumption of a dialogue, when the day comes, is a necessity,” he stressed.

Moscow and Kiev held several rounds of talks early on in the conflict, which revolved around Ukrainian neutrality. While the negotiations initially made some headway, Kiev later walked away. Moscow has claimed that the peace process was derailed by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who advised Ukraine to keep fighting, which Johnson has denied. Russia also maintains that it is open to new talks with Kiev. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning all negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow after four former Ukrainian territories voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia in autumn 2022. Meanwhile, Nehammer has said he has some disagreements regarding support for Ukraine with French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently stated that he cannot rule out the possibility of putting NATO troops on the ground in the embattled country.

The chancellor noted that while he and Macron believe in the need to support Ukraine and that Moscow and Kiev should eventually engage in diplomacy, they are at odds over the way to achieve this. ”I am in favor of the precautionary principle. The French president is a supporter of the principle of deterrence,” Nehammer said, acknowledging that some elements of this approach are “convincing” given what he called Russia’s “aggressiveness.” “However, I also think that we must apply the precautionary principle to avoid an uncontrollable escalation,” he added. In a rare phone call earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned his French counterpart, Sebastien Lecornu, that Paris would only “create problems for itself” if it decides to send troops to Ukraine.

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“..the United States and its NATO partners embarked on an orgy of aggression and militarism over the next three decades..”

NATO 75 Years On… A War Machine Long Past Its Sell-By Date (SCF)

This week marks the 75th anniversary of NATO’s founding in April 1949. The organization has become a global danger to peace and security and should have been disbanded more than 30 years ago when the Cold War supposedly ended. That the alliance was not disbanded attests that its real purpose was always to serve as a weapon for U.S.-led Western imperialism. Barely four years after the end of World War Two – the greatest calamity in world history – and amid the ruins of a devastated Europe and Asia, Western imperialism was once again reinventing its nefarious internal forces. Nearly 30 million citizens of the Soviet Union had died at the hands of Nazi Germany. And yet despite the horror and evil of war, the Western powers were busy reconfiguring their military forces to confront again the Soviet Union. With the defeat of the Nazi war machine largely by the Soviet Red Army, the Western imperialists innovated a new instrument in the form of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The betrayal and treachery were not just to the Soviet people. All of humanity was once again subjected to the warmongering designs and necessities of a global elite under Western imperialism. NATO’s declared purpose was to defend Europe from Soviet aggression. The same pretense exists today in the claim that the alliance is defending Ukraine from Russian belligerence. The proof of NATO’s real function is demonstrated by the fact that the organization did not disband in 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. Over the ensuing 33 years, the military bloc has doubled its membership to 31 nations. Russia has replaced the Soviet Union as the Western-designated security threat to Europe. But such rationale turns reality on its head. NATO has always existed as a tool of aggression for Western imperialism. Where Nazi Germany failed to do the job of conquering the Soviet Union, NATO tacitly took over the task, and when the Soviet Union disappeared, the new enemy of convenience became the Russian Federation.

Twenty-five years ago, the U.S.-led NATO axis engaged in a pivotal step change when it unilaterally bombed former Yugoslavia in an audacious aggression based on duplicity and lies (as usual). That illegal military intervention was the opening of a new phase of Western imperialism that blatantly snubbed international law and the United Nations Charter. In the same year, 1999, the NATO alliance began its rapid expansion by acquiring new members across Eastern Europe up to Russia’s borders. Having smashed legal restraints against war, the United States and its NATO partners embarked on an orgy of aggression and militarism over the next three decades, invading and sabotaging countless countries and unleashing global problems of terrorism, displacement, poverty, and mass migration.

In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a seminal speech at the Munich Security Conference in which he warned of the looming chaos and conflict from unbridled Western militarism. The next year, in 2008, the NATO alliance declared that it would admit Ukraine and Georgia to its ranks. Neither of the former Soviet Republics has yet joined the bloc, but for Moscow, such a move has long been demarcated as an intolerable red line. The expansion of NATO all the way to Russia’s doorstep is not some ad hoc innocent development. It is a deliberate plan of aggression to strategically defeat Russia for the conquest of its natural wealth by Western imperialism.

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“Clearly the US does not like to lose wars or to be associated with losing wars. And clearly they don’t want to be associated with a losing war that Biden is responsible for..”

NATO’s ‘Losing War’ and an Empty Promise to Ukraine (Sp.)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated Thursday that Ukraine will eventually join NATO. It was the same message the US has been repeating since 2008, although the alliance has not revealed a concrete timeline for Ukraine’s accession. US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (often referred to as MTG) and US Senator JD Vance took to social media to decry Blinken’s comments as irresponsible and dangerous, saying inviting Ukraine to join NATO during a war is to “invite our nation to war.” KJ Noh, a scholar, educator and journalist and member of Veterans for Peace, joined Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Friday to discuss these developments. Sputnik’s Michelle Witte asked Noh what would happen if Republicans decided that opposing NATO expansion is a winning political message. “I think it would signal the end of NATO,” answered Noh. “I mean, it’s an interesting situation because this entire war was provoked on the idea that Ukraine would eventually join NATO. So they can’t, from this administration, can’t abandon the concept completely.”

“But let’s come back to MTG and JD Vance. You know, they are not the most informed people in the political classes, they’re clearly pandering to the base,” he claimed. “And as I said if you recall on this show, the US public tends to reflexively support most US wars initiated by their elites until they start losing and then they stop supporting them.” “I think it has to do with the fact that they don’t believe it’s a winning proposition to be associated with NATO, which is currently losing a war, and this is a NATO war. And, of course, it also has to do with the fact that [former President Donald] Trump himself has a very mercantile, business view of NATO. He sees them as free riders on the American military, and he wants the quid pro quo.” “Clearly there is popular opposition to the Ukraine war. Clearly the US does not like to lose wars or to be associated with losing wars. And clearly they don’t want to be associated with a losing war that Biden is responsible for,” Noh concluded.

Former President Donald Trump said recently he would “100%” keep the US in NATO should he return to the Oval Office, as long as European countries pay their “fair share” and “play fair.” The former president told British media the US pays for “90% of NATO,” adding that it is the “most unfair thing.” NATO estimates that for 2023 Poland was actually the top spender and allocated 3.9% of its GDP to the alliance, which was more than twice the amount it had spent in 2022. In contrast, the US spent 3.5% of its GDP – about the same amount it has been spending for the last decade. However, only 35% of NATO member states meet the alliance’s spending targets on defense, prompting criticism from Trump and aligned “America First” conservatives. Proposals to resurrect European countries’ weakened defense industries have been greeted with skepticism as the continent is rocked by protests over economic concerns.

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“..support for Ukraine is “limited to certain logistic, advisory and training functions,” and under the current North Atlantic Treaty, “it would not be possible to do more.”

New Rustled-Up Joint NATO Mission Shows West ‘Has No Real Plan in Ukraine’ (Sp.)

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski’s thoughts regarding a new joint NATO mission in Ukraine are “more a wish than reality,” strategic analyst Paolo Raffone told Sputnik. “To date, nobody in NATO is willing to engage with a stable allied military presence in Ukraine,” said the director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels. “Sikorski’s thoughts do not match with David Cameron’s statements at the NATO summit in Brussels. The UK foreign secretary acknowledged that the ‘war will be lost if the allies don’t step up,’ but when asked whether Western nations should send troops into Ukraine, Lord Cameron replied ‘no,’” Paolo Raffone said. The Polish foreign minister earlier told journalists after a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO council that members of the alliance had decided to establish a joint mission in Ukraine.

“This does not mean that we are entering a war, but it means that we will now be able to use NATO’s coordinating, training, and planning capabilities to support Ukraine in a more coordinated manner,” the minister clarified. Sikorski added that more Ukrainian troops will be undergoing training in Poland. As for the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, he said that there were no plans for deploying NATO troops on the territory of Ukraine. “We don’t have any plans of having any NATO combat troops inside Ukraine, there have been no requests for that, but the Ukrainians are asking for equipment, for ammunition, for weapons and we are providing that to Ukraine — that doesn’t make NATO allies party to the conflict,” Stoltenberg told a press conference. He did, however, add that NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) is working on a proposal to enhance the alliance’s coordinating security role in Ukraine.

According to officials, this would presuppose bringing the Ukraine Defense Contact Group – currently led by the US –under NATO’s control. It is this group that coordinates the delivery of weapons to Kiev. [..] Paolo Raffone underscored that the alliance’s support for Ukraine is “limited to certain logistic, advisory and training functions,” and under the current North Atlantic Treaty, “it would not be possible to do more.” “Diplomats in Brussels do not see any concrete space for a direct engagement of NATO troops in Ukraine. NATO posturing is to avoid the collapse of Ukraine under the constant Russian pressure with the strategic aim to create the conditions for a negotiated settlement, whatever it may be,” the analyst said.

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“We would like to establish [the] most friendly relations with all the former Soviet republics. This will suit our common interests and as such we will be able to provide more lasting stability..”

1992 Explicit NATO Pledge Not to Meddle in Russia’s Neighborhood (Sp.)

The US National Security Archive dropped a fresh trove of documents this week on previously classified conversations between senior Russian officials and their US and NATO counterparts in the period between 1992 and 1995, detailing what at the time seemed like rosy prospects for cooperation, and featuring a key pledge related to the internal affairs of the new post-Soviet republics. A transcript of a meeting between then-chairman of the Russian parliament Ruslan Khasbulatov and NATO secretary general Manfred Woerner dated February 25, 1992, exactly two months after Mikhail Gorbachev declared the USSR defunct and resigned from office, features an unmistakably blunt commitment by Woerner that the alliance will not meddle in the internal political affairs of Russia and other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

“We would like Russia and all other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States to join the Council for Cooperation [under NATO, ed.],” Woerner said during his conversation with Khasbulatov in Moscow. “From what I hear, -and you yourself talked about this – that some people still doubt our intentions. I would like to state here very clearly that we need stability, or some kind of stabilizing element for peace. We are not going to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs, as well as the internal affairs of other sovereign member states of the CIS. We would like to establish [the] most friendly relations with all the former Soviet republics. This will suit our common interests and as such we will be able to provide more lasting stability. We will all be better off as a result,” the NATO chief assured.

“We want to see close cooperation between states in a Europe composed of sovereign democratic states. How can this be achieved? We want to build a Europe that will inhabit a new security environment from [the Urals] to the Atlantic. It will be a unified Euro-Atlantic community built on three pillars. The first is the Helsinki process, the second – the European Community [predecessor to the European Union, ed.], which will create a basis for a solid political future for our community, and the third pillar is NATO,” Woerner added. A second document, dated March 8, 1994, and recording a conversation between senior Russian Duma leaders and Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry, offered clues of the extent of security concerns felt even by members of the liberal, highly pro-American Yeltsin government regarding US and NATO policy toward Russia.

By that time, the Clinton administration had firmly committed to the expansion of the Western alliance in Eastern Europe in spite of fervent (but impotent) opposition by Yeltsin. “As Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense, I am interested in a whole range of issues,” lawmaker Sergei Yushenkov was recorded as saying. “These include US military doctrine…NATO’s prospects in connection with the end of the Cold War, issues of our collaboration in peacekeeping actions, concrete approaches to the implementation of the Partnership for Peace program (which I consider a thin veil for NATO expansion), prospects for the ratification of START-2 and the implementation of START-1,” Yushenkov said.

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“..vehemently opposed to any Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, or any person who has an ounce of humanity” attending the event..”

Pelosi Joins Call For Biden To Stop Arming Israel (ZH)

A divide among Democrats over whether to halt defense aid to Israel is growing more fierce, causing a crisis and headache for Biden strategists ahead of the presidential election, which has only intensified in the wake of last week’s Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attack on the World Central Kitchen convoy in Gaza, which left seven international workers dead, including an American. This intensifying fragmentation of Biden’s base has been on display this weekend also given former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – still very influential among Dems – has publicly come out against Biden’s policy to continue arming Israel. The issue is entering the heart of the Democratic establishment, threatening unity. Axios reports that she “signed onto a call by progressive members of Congress for the U.S. to stop transferring weapons to Israel over a strike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza.”

The letter she signed, and which was led by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), included the signatures of some 40 Democrats. “In light of the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustifiable to approve these weapons transfers,” the lawmakers stated in the letter addressed to President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “If this strike is found to have violated U.S. or international law, we urge you to continue withholding these transfers until those responsible are held accountable,” the lawmakers wrote. However, a follow-up statement from a Pelosi representative to Axios has this to say: “Speaker Pelosi knows President Biden’s support for Israel and empathy with the innocent civilians in Gaza, and she respects his judgment in how to proceed.” This trend of the Gaza war becoming a bright red dividing line among Democrats is also on display with recent stories like the following from Epoch Times– Pro-Israel Democrat Group Endorses ‘Squad’ Primary Opponents:

“A Democrat pro-Israel group has endorsed candidates challenging incumbents who are members of the far-left congressional group “The Squad.” Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) announced on April 3 its backing of Westchester County Executive George Latimer and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. DMFI did not state its reasons for backing the two other than through announcing a slate of endorsements.” So now the ‘fight’ is on and it’s becoming a real issue with campaign money lining up on either side. Still, those voters who put the Squad members in office in the first place are more than likely to come down on the anti-Israel side. Another indicator that the internal Democrat divide is accelerating is that the controversy has completely altered a long-standing White House tradition. Muslim leaders are boycotting an annual White House Ramadan gathering which marks the end of the Muslim season of fasting:

“The Biden administration is hosting a scaled-down Ramadan gathering for Muslim and Arab Americans after several community leaders declined the invite over the unrelenting and steadfast nature of US support for Israel’s war on Gaza. The event scheduled for Tuesday will be in stark contrast to previous Muslim celebrations and gatherings under the Biden administration, which have seen packed ballrooms of Muslims from all over the country joining the White House festivities. This year, the iftar will be confined to staffers only, and a separate gathering will take place for Muslim community members.” One such Muslim community leader and activist told Middle East Eye that Palestinian-Americans are “vehemently opposed to any Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, or any person who has an ounce of humanity” attending the event. All of this is of course a plus for Trump’s chances of retaking the White House going into November, also given the Israel-Gaza issue is much less of a divisive flashpoint issue for Republican voters.

Sachs

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“..wasn’t just a onetime ‘oops’. It was three deliberate attacks designed to kill everybody involved in the WCK convoy, to leave no survivors. And they left no survivors..”

Scott Ritter: Israeli Attack on Consulate Could ‘Throw World Into Chaos’ (Sp.)

Israel targeted the Iranian Embassy compound in Damascus, Syria on Monday, killing 16 people, including a top IRGC Quds Force commander. The same day, IDF drones struck three World Central Kitchen vehicles in Gaza, killing seven aid workers. Scott Ritter tells Sputnik how these events are connected. “In the span of a week, the world has witnessed two wanton violations of international law and the norms and standards of civilized nations by the state of Israel,” Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector and retired US Marine Corps intelligence officer, said, commenting on the twin April 1 attacks in Syria and Gaza. The Damascus attack ostensibly targeted high-ranking IRGC officers operating in Syria. “But the fact that Israel views these officers as legitimate targets doesn’t give them the permission to violate the protections that are afforded to these structures. Diplomatic immunity is a reality, and these buildings (consulates, embassies), are afforded inviolability, protection of international law, and Israel opted to violate this,” Ritter emphasized.

The consequences of the Embassy attack “have yet to be fully borne out…but based on Israel’s own reaction and anticipation could be quite severe. And this could throw not just the region but the world into chaos, turmoil and conflict, all because Israel decided that it could operate above the law,” the observer warned. As for the strikes against vehicles carrying World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity workers in Gaza, Ritter doesn’t buy Israeli assurances that they were accidental. “This wasn’t an accident. The Israelis claim it was a mistake, an accident. It wasn’t. These aid workers were driving on a route that had been identified to the Israeli military in advance and approved. They were riding in three clearly-marked vehicles. And the attack that took place wasn’t just a onetime ‘oops’. It was three deliberate attacks designed to kill everybody involved in the WCK convoy, to leave no survivors. And they left no survivors,” Ritter stressed. The consequences of the WCK were predictable, the observer said.

“Almost immediately, ships filled with humanitarian aid turned around and refused to offload their life-sustaining cargoes in Gaza out of fear of being attacked by Israel. Israel achieved its objective. It is terrorizing, intimidating international aid groups so that they don’t provide the assistance necessary for the sustainment of life in Gaza, because that’s what the Israeli policy in Gaza is all about,” Ritter said. Ritter expects Israeli “crimes” and “wanton” lawlessness to continue unless and until Tel Aviv is made to face consequences for its actions, and for so long as the government of Benjamin Netanyahu remains in power.

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Assange Al Jazeera 25 m.

 

 

Eclipse

 

 

Kitten

 

 

Horse

 

 

Cartoons

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 212024
 
 February 21, 2024  Posted by at 9:46 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Landscape with House and Ploughman 1889

 

Assange ‘Too Ill’ To Attend Last Chance UK Appeal Against US Extradition (RT)
President Trump’s Kafkaesque Civil Trial in New York State (Calabresi)
Pay to Play: Trump Faces a Staggering Cost for Appeal (Turley)
US ‘in Decline’ Today Due to ‘Ignorance, Arrogance’ – Pakistani Senator (Sp.)
What Happened To Alexei Navalny This Time Round (Helmer)
The US Is Planning for the Aftermath of Ukraine War (van den Ende)
How The Rosneft Refinery In Germany Is Being Expropriated (Helmer)
Germany Nationalizes Rosneft Deutschland, Poland Will Help (Andrei Gurkov)
As Ramadan Approaches, Israel Threatens War On Lebanon (Harb)
The Resistance Has a Plan for Israel (Alastair Crooke)
The Ever Expanding War (Paul Craig Roberts)
10 Million Illegals Have Entered The US Under Biden (ZH)
Germany Retreats Into The Middle Ages As Its Economy Declines (Henry Johnston)
Fixation on CO2 Ignores Real Driver of Temperature (ET)

 

 


MattOBranain: My rough sketch while trying to listen on a difficult audio feed. At front two Counsels for #Assange, to right behind them Gareth Perice, then from right John Shipton, @GabrielShipton, @Stella_Assange, behind them @ChrisLynnHedges. Also saw @CraigMurrayOrg and @suigenerisjen.

 

 

Trump Haley

 

 

Mike Benz
https://twitter.com/i/status/1759722356975530158

 

 

 

 

Thomas

 

 

Tucker Boris

 

 

Rogan Phil
https://twitter.com/i/status/1760025164677558690

 

 

 

 

“..the victim of his ‘crime’ (journalism) is a state rather than a person–the definition of a political offense, which the US-UK extradition treaty explicitly forbid..”

Assange ‘Too Ill’ To Attend Last Chance UK Appeal Against US Extradition (RT)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is “too ill” to attend his appeal against the UK’s decision to extradite him to the US, his lawyers have said. The US wants him on 17 charges of espionage tied to WikiLeaks’ publication of State Department and Pentagon files in 2010. Assange, 52, has been held largely in solitary confinement in the Belmarsh maximum security prison in England since 2019, when Ecuador revoked his asylum at American insistence. The Australian-born publisher had requested to appear in court personally, but was unable to do so due to poor health, according to his lawyers. “The world is watching,” Assange’s wife Stella said outside the court house. She accused the US of abusing the legal system to “hound, prosecute and intimidate” and argued that the US “plotted to murder” her husband – referring to revelations that the CIA sought to kill Assange in 2017, when he sheltered in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

“What’s at stake is the ability to publish the truth and expose crimes when they’re committed by states,” Stella Assange told the dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday. Protesters carried Australian flags and signs that said “Free Julian Assange” and “drop the charges.” The Australian parliament passed a motion, supported by the country’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, calling for Assange’s release from British captivity in the run up to the appeal. “The outrageous part of the UK’s years-long ‘trial’ to condemn Julian Assange to die in an American dungeon is that the victim of his ‘crime’ (journalism) is a state rather than a person–the definition of a political offense, which the US-UK extradition treaty explicitly forbid,” NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said on X (formerly Twitter).

Activists outside the court chanted “US, UK, hands off Assange” and “There is only one decision – no extradition,” among other slogans. This week’s hearing will decide whether Assange will be allowed to appeal the 2022 decision by the UK government to extradite him to the US. His attorneys have argued that the extradition would amount to punishment for political opinions and violate the European Convention on Human Rights.

If the appeal fails, Assange will apply to the European Court of Human Rights and seek a Rule 39 order to stop the extradition while it considers the case, Stella Assange has said. In 2010, WikiLeaks published the US military’s Iraq and Afghanistan “war diaries,” as well as a trove of State Department cables. One of the videos, later known as “collateral murder,” showed a US helicopter killing 11 people in Iraq, including two Reuters journalists. Suspecting the Swedish “sexual assault” case was a pretext for the US to arrest him – correctly, as it later emerged – Assange sought asylum in Ecuador, which has no extradition treaty with Washington. He spent the next seven years in the country’s embassy in London, blocked from leaving by the British authorities.

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Kafla indeed.

President Trump’s Kafkaesque Civil Trial in New York State (Calabresi)

Donald Trump has been ordered to pay a $355 million fine and has been barred from doing business in New York State for three years. Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump to pay essentially all of his cash reserves of $400 million, which fine if upheld would force Trump to sell some of his real estate holdings to raise cash to live on. Once interest is added on the total fine will rise to $450 million. This is all on top of an $83.3 million fine Trump must pay for allegedly defaming the writer E. Jean Carroll. The fines in total could deprive Trump of between 11% and 13% of his wealth. Trump’s adult sons Donald Jr. and Eric have also been fined, and they are barred from doing business in New York State for two years. Ivanka or Melania Trump could legally run the Trump businesses for the next two years, but Judge Engoron appointed retired U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones to continue in her role as an “independent monitor” of the Trump business empire but expanded her authority to review financial disclosures before they are submitted to third parties.

Judge Jones can hire an independent director of compliance, and she has the authority to compel Trump to sell some or even all of his businesses down the road. This is all punishment for Trump allegedly committing fraud by falsely inflating and deflating the value of his real estate assets to pay lower state taxes and to receive more favorable loans from banks. The New York State laws used to go after Trump have NEVER been used in this way, historically, and while Trump may owe some back state taxes, if Judge Engoron is right, not a single bank claimed that it had been defrauded by Trump in the loans it had made to him. This is truly a victimless crime. Bankers took the stand at Trump’s civil trial testifying that they would have gladly made loans to Donald Trump given his extraordinary success as a businessman. It must also be noted that the banks that made loans to Trump did not take his assessment of the net worth of his assets at face value but made their own independent assessments of the value of Trump’s assets.

This is apparently standard practice in the New York State real estate market where borrowers often overstate the value of their assets. The bottom line is that a never before used New York State penalty has been twisted into a tool for a grossly excessive fine and more seriously the completely inappropriate appointment of Judge Jones as an “independent monitor” who can micromanage the Trump business, which she is not competent to do, and to even order the dissolution of the Trump Business in New York State. This outcome was pursued by Letitia James, a politically ambition Democrat, who is the Attorney General of New York State, and who hopes to win a future Democratic primary for Governor of or Senator from New York State.

Ms. James and Judge Engeron have essentially turned a vaguely worded New York State law into a modern day Bill of Attainder targeted at Donald Trump both for political gain and because they despise his political views and desperately want to call his truthfulness into question as he runs for President of the United States in 2024. In doing this, the have violated Trump’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech and of the press; his Fifth Amendment right not to be deprived of liberty or property without due process of law; his Fifth Amendment right not to have property taken away from him except for a pubic use with just compensation being paid; his Eighth Amendment right not to be made to pay an excessive fine; his Article IV, Section 2 right as a citizen of Florida to do make and enforce contracts in New York on the same terms as are other New Yorkers; and his Fourteenth Amendment right to be free to pursue an occupation without unnecessary and burdensome regulation.

The civil fraud judgment against Donald Trump is a travesty and an unjust political act rivaled only in American politics by the killing of former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton by Vice President Aaron Burr. If the New York State appellate courts do not reverse this judgment, the U.S. Supreme Court MUST grant cert on this case and reverse Judge Engeron’s outrageous decisions. National, presidential politics will be permanently altered if a local State’s legal system can be used in this way against candidates for President of the United States. This case raises a national issue of profound importance and if the New York State appellate courts do not address it, the U.S. Supreme Court MUST!

O’Leary
https://twitter.com/i/status/1759969359282463085

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“..every day, Trump is being hit by roughly $90,000 in just interest increases.”

Pay to Play: Trump Faces a Staggering Cost for Appeal (Turley)

In the wake of the massive judgment against Donald Trump, many in New York are celebrating the prospect that the former president could be forced to sell off his property just to be able to appeal the $355 million judgment against him. While Trump has good grounds to object to this excessive fine, he still has to come up with close to a half billion dollars just to make his arguments to the New York Court of Appeals. In order to file an appeal, the courts require a deposit for the full amount of the damages or a bond covering the full amount. Even with escrow options, the call for cash or collateral can be enough to put some executives in a fetal position. It can be challenging enough for many companies drained from years of litigation. For Donald Trump, the demand for $355 million plus $100 milion in interest could force a fire sale on properties to pony up just the deposit.

Many of us have been critical of the ruling of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron who imposed the astronomical fine despite finding that Trump’s “victims” not only did not lose a single dollar but made handsome profits. Indeed, these banks testified that they wanted to continue to do business with Trump as a “whale” client, but Engoron is now barring them from doing so. Putting aside the merits of this judgment, the threshold deposit rule magnifies the unfairness of this New York law that does not require that anyone actually lose money to claim hundreds of millions from a company. One can argue that, if upheld, any insolvency is the fault of the company. However, this rule can force insolvency just to seek review of a judgment. For Trump, even this fine would only amount to roughly 14-17% of his wealth. The addition of the recent $83.3 million in damages imposed in a separate New York courtroom for defamation would bring the demand to over half a billion dollars in deposits with interest.

So, by making the fine so large, Engoron not only makes an appeal difficult, but could guarantee that Trump will lose tens of millions even if his judgment is dramatically reduced or tossed out. On top of this looming penalty, however, he already owes the writer E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million in damages from a separate defamation case that concluded in January. His legal fees are also mounting as he battles four criminal cases at the federal and state level. There is already speculation of whether Trump will have to leverage or sell his iconic properties at distressed prices. He has 30-days to ante up with the court and buyers could use that deadline to their advantage. The added amount is due to another New York provision imposing a massive 9 percent interest rate on judgments. That means that every day, Trump is being hit by roughly $90,000 in just interest increases.

Trump could secure a bond, but such a guaranty would come at its own premium price. However, a bonding company requires a defendant to put up 10% for the total and would lose that amount even if he prevailed. That is a roughly $45 million cost just to secure the right to an appeal. In this case, the cost could be higher given the judgment and the bar on Trump doing business for three years in New York. The expectation is that Trump can make the deposit or secure a bond to avoid what some gleefully called a “fire sale” on this properties. The deposit is now being celebrated as an added indignity and penalty. However, as New Yorkers cheer this moment, many business are likely wondering “but for the grace of God go I.” Undervaluing or overvaluing property is a common practice, particularly in real estate. That is why representations, like the one made by the Trump Corporation, come with a warning that estimates are their own and that the banks need to make their assessments.

Faced with high crime and high taxes, the spectacle in Manhattan is only likely to accelerate the exodus of businesses and high-earners from the city. That prospect has already alarmed Gov. Kathy Hochul who declared “business people have nothing to worry about, because they’re very different than Donald Trump and his behavior.” That sounds a lot like “you are fine so long as you are not Trump.” Yet, that is not reassuring to businesses who want a legal system that is based on something other than selective and arbitrary enforcement. Attorney General Letitia James campaigned on bagging Trump without even bothering to name the offense. She also sought to dissolve the National Rifle Association. The line between doing business and a public execution appears to be the dubious discretion of Letitia James. That is not the type of assurance that most businesses would accept in risking billions in investment. Despite the high taxes and falling services in New York, the city remained a draw for business as a commercial and legal center. The experience and objectivity of courts in dealing with business disputes was a selling point for companies.

That has been shattered by the James campaign and the Engoron ruling. Telling business to just “don’t be like Trump” is more menacing than consoling. Letitia James is now the face of New York corporate law — it is the “face that launched a thousand ships” . . . toward Florida. Businesses can get lower taxes, lower crime, better schools, and a better regulatory environment in virtually any other state. Fewer are likely to want to come for the shows, but stay for the disgorgement. Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary said Monday that he would “never” invest in New York after this absurd judgment. Creating an ad hoc business code for Trump undermines the city’s reputation as a premier jurisdiction for corporate and tax law. If the rate of exit increases, it will impact not just employees working for these companies (like the Trump companies) but the vast network of supporting businesses, including law firms. As New York politicians campaigning on “eat the rich” platforms, the confiscatory Trump judgment leaves many in the city wondering if they could be the next course.

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“The US I knew was a very strong and inclusive society, welcoming towards foreigners. They used to be multicultural and multireligious. Now I see a lot of paranoia and a lot of xenophobia in the US..”

US ‘in Decline’ Today Due to ‘Ignorance, Arrogance’ – Pakistani Senator (Sp.)

The reasons why the United States failed in Afghanistan and Iraq and is “in decline” today are its “ignorance and arrogance,” the chairman of the defense committee of the Senate of Pakistan, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, told Sputnik. “The US policy towards certain countries in Asia is sometimes based on the combination of ignorance and arrogance. Arrogance, because they are a big country, because they think of themselves as a superpower, they think they know it all. But they don’t. They don’t know the culture and the values of other countries. And also ignorance, because they don’t understand the people of these places. This is why they failed in Afghanistan, this is why they failed in Iraq,” Sayed said in an interview.

These are the same reasons why the US is “in decline” now and has been like that for some time, he added. The senator explained that he used to live in the US, received a masters degree from one of the most respected US universities in Washington — Georgetown, and worked in the US Congress as an intern. However, the country had changed a lot since then and the US he knew “was different.” “The US I knew was a very strong and inclusive society, welcoming towards foreigners. They used to be multicultural and multireligious. Now I see a lot of paranoia and a lot of xenophobia in the US. They call the Chinese threat, the Russian threat, the Islamic threat … That’s nonsense. They are returning to the 50s. So for me the modern US is a very strange, exclusive and divisive America,” the senator said.

In October 2001, a US-led coalition launched an invasion of Afghanistan. However, the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August 2021, triggering the collapse of the US-backed government and accelerating Washington’s troop pullout. On August 31 of the same year, US forces completed their withdrawal from the country, ending the 20-year-long military presence. In March 2003, the US-led coalition invaded Iraq without a UN Security Council resolution. Consequently, the total of excess deaths related to the war amounted to 654,965 as of October 2006, according to The Lancet journal’s survey. The US troops withdrew from Iraq in December 2011. Despite that, to date, the US and coalition forces remain a notable military presence in the country, with military bases.

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“Inside Russia, it has been obvious for a long time that in or out of prison, Navalny alive was politically insignificant; now even less. The new western propaganda is as ineffectual for Russians as Navalny was himself.”

What Happened To Alexei Navalny This Time Round (Helmer)

Since a pack of lies about Alexei Navalny won last year’s Oscar for the best documentary film of the year when he was alive, there’s no doubt he can win another Oscar when he’s dead. But alive or dead, the prize-winning propaganda of Navalny’s story bears no resemblance to the truth. This is what happens in wartime, especially when the side which is losing the war on the battlefield – that’s the US, NATO and the Ukraine – claims to be winning the war of words against Russia. The Navalny story is now in two parts: Part 1, the Novichok in his airport cup of tea, in his hotel water bottle, and then in his underpants which causes Navalny’s collapse, but fails to be detected by Russian doctors in Omsk, by German doctors in Berlin and Munich, and then by Swedish and French state laboratories. Part 2, Navalny’s sudden death after he had taken a walk in the IK-3 penal colony in the village of Kharp, in the Russian Arctic region of Yamalo-Nenets.

The first part took 62 reports in this archive to expose the faking; the most telling evidence of this came from Navalny himself in the documented tests of his blood, urine and hair. According to these data, Navalny’s collapse was the outcome of an overdose of lithium, benzodiazepines, and other drugs. Part 2 of the Navalny story began last Friday, February 16, with the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) announcement, followed by an official telegramme to his mother in Moscow, that he had died just after two in the afternoon, Yamalo-Nenets time; that was just after noon Moscow time. Two hours later the Russian media began carrying the official announcement. The wording of the last line of the announcement is significant. “The causes of death are being established”, the FSIN statement said. Causes — plural.

In the UK coroner’s court practice, what this means is that there is likely to have been a sequence of causation, medically speaking, with the first or proximate cause of death identified as heart, brain, or lung injury or failure; and the second, intervening or contributory cause of death such as biochemical factors, including prescription drugs in lethal combination; mRNA anti-Covid vaccination triggering fatal blood clots; or homicidal poisons. For example, in the case of the alleged Russian Novichok death of Dawn Sturgess in England in 2018, the evidence is of British government tampering with the post-mortem reports to add Novichok when it wasn’t identified at first. In Navalny’s case, poisoning on the order of President Vladimir Putin has already been announced as the cause of Navalny’s death without evidence at all. The delay time required for the complicated processes of forensic pathology and toxicology to establish the evidence has been reported in the Anglo-American media to signify cover-up and body snatching. Meduza, an oppositionist publication in Riga, reports that “a doctor who advised Navalny’s associates” has said that blood clotting was “an unlikely cause of death” – this is medically false.

In speculation of poisoning as cause of death, there is at least as much likelihood that Navalny, his team, and their CIA and MI6 handlers devised a repeat of the August 2020 Tomsk operation; decided when Navalny met with his lawyer at the prison on February 14; but implemented two days later without the resuscitation Navalny himself was expecting. The Anglo-American propaganda warfare army is already pronouncing the contributory Cause 2– Putin did it — as the cause of Navalny’s death. If the Russians announce the proximate Cause 1 as cardiac arrest or brain aneurism, without a Cause 2, they won’t be believed. In the short term, Cause 2 cannot be established with credibility in Russia since it took the British government ten years, 2006-2016, to fabricate their story of Russian polonium poisoning in the Alexander Litvinenko case. In the Russian Novichok cases in England, it has so far taken six years of court, police and pathologist proceedings, 2018-2024, without outcome, and another two years will follow.

The problem for readers to interpret what has happened is that the Anglo-American propaganda warfare machine is better at what it does than the Russian side. But then when it comes to war with guns, not words, the Russian side is far superior, as can be seen in the Ukraine right now. Accordingly, the Kremlin has decided to concentrate on the main fight. Inside Russia, it has been obvious for a long time that in or out of prison, Navalny alive was politically insignificant; now even less. The new western propaganda is as ineffectual for Russians as Navalny was himself.

Nap Navalny
https://twitter.com/i/status/1760094451521970418

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“Nowhere outside the U.S. can you find as many American politicians in one place as at the Munich Security Conference this year.”

The US Is Planning for the Aftermath of Ukraine War (van den Ende)

According to the Rand Corporation, there are two scenarios for the United States: “after” the less favorable war or “after” the more favorable war. The prominent think tank for U.S. policymaking recently published a long report on the so-called aftermath of the war in Ukraine. Washington and its NATO allies have to admit that the U.S. is losing another proxy war together with its satellite states of Europe. Previously they lost in Afghanistan (after more than 20 years, a second Vietnam), also recently in Syria and Iraq, and now in Ukraine. Even so-called “Russia experts” in Europe admit that Ukraine is losing. “I do not rule out that Ukraine will lose the war this year. Europe has misjudged the Russian army,” says Belgian “Russia expert” Joris van Blade to De Standaard. Russia has the initiative again and the Russian people are not going to stop the war, he thinks. “We have missed historic opportunities to make Europe safer.”

According to the Rand study, two scenarios are possible: a so-called “hardline” or a “softline” postwar. Of course, the U.S. prefers a softline postwar outcome, where they still have room for manipulation and possible coup d’état and Balkanization (partition) of Russia just like they did in former Yugoslavia. According to Rand, the U.S. military presence in Europe has increased to around 100,000 personnel since the start of Russia’s Special Military Operation in February 2022. The United States deployed attack aviation from Germany to Lithuania; Patriot air defense systems from Germany to Slovakia and Poland; and F-15 tactical fighters from the United Kingdom to Poland. In addition, European countries are sending F-16s to Romania, as the Netherlands recently indicated. These F-16s are capable of attacking Russian cities. Washington characterized these deployments as part of a wartime surge to deter Russia from expanding its aggression beyond Ukraine to attack U.S. allies in Europe.

Leaders in Europe are almost hysterical. One after another, they proclaim that Russia is going to invade Europe, starting with Moldova, the Baltic States, and Poland. The Netherlands, Germany, and France are warning their people to expect an attack from Russia, as is Sweden, which recently joined NATO. The population is being frightened by the unhinged rhetoric of their politicians. Conscription must be reactivated and Germany even has a concept ready to recruit migrants (about 1.5 million serviceable men) and entice them to get a passport. European leaders are also concerned about the upcoming elections in the U.S. after Republican contender Donald Trump made comments suggesting he would quit NATO and let Europe fend for itself. They are worried that the U.S. might abandon them. During a recent NATO conference in Brussels, a lot of war rhetoric was spoken. “We live in an era where we have to expect the unexpected,” said Dutch NATO Admiral Rob Bauer. Meanwhile, the Danish and German defense ministers have warned of a potential war with Russia within five years.

The U.S. and European leaders assume the “hardline” scenario is likely in the next few years. They proclaim through their mouthpieces in the corporate-controlled news media that Russia is becoming much more “risk-acceptant”. Therefore, it is calculated that a hardline approach may increase NATO’s ability to deter purported Russian aggression. It’s that time of year again for the hawkish Munich Security Conference, in Bavaria, Germany. This is the forum where President Putin provoked alarm when he gave his famous speech in 2007, making it clear that the unipolar world was over and a multipolar world would emerge in the foreseeable future. Putin’s prognosis caused much chagrin for Western leaders. This year’s theme at Munich is animated by Trump’s supposed undermining of NATO.

The appeal for support from the U.S. has become more urgent among some European politicians. Ukraine lacks weapons and ammunition, they openly say. Russia is sometimes five times superior on the battlefield. In addition, a U.S. support package worth around $60 billion was approved by the Senate last week but the Republican-dominated House of Representatives could reject it – and so far it looks like it will. Europe, in turn, would not be able to fill this gap and, therefore, Ukraine will lose the proxy war for the U.S. and the West. In addition to the presence of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, the European leaders and lobbyists will also use the opportunity in Munich to lobby Republican Senators and Representatives to support Ukraine (with money). Nowhere outside the U.S. can you find as many American politicians in one place as at the Munich Security Conference this year.

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2 articles, one topic. Germany steals a Russian company.

How The Rosneft Refinery In Germany Is Being Expropriated (Helmer)

This is how the war in the Ukraine doesn’t end, not for the Germans and the Poles. So long as they can, they plan to steal or destroy Russian assets west of what used to be Kievan Ukraine; and mobilize the US military bases in both countries to reinforce and defend their larcenies. The German political party which promises to continue this war for the employment of German workers and the enrichment of German executives and shareholders will win the next election, replacing the Social Democratic Party and the Greens as the party of war. The post-Ukraine strategy of the Stavka starts here — To Berlin! On Friday last, the Russian language edition of the German state medium Deutsche Welle (DW) published a report of German and Polish government plans for the expropriation of PCK, the Rosneft crude oil refinery at Schwedt in northern Germany, and the Rosneft network of operating assets in Germany, Poland, and Austria.

The German assets of Rosneft, the Russian state oil production company under worldwide sanctions, had been placed under what the German government called “fiduciary management” by an “independent” state regulator in September 2022. This was announced at the time as a temporary arrangement to comply with the sanctions, renewable every six months, but leaving undisturbed the Russian ownership of the assets. This scheme was renewed at six monthly intervals, as Rosneft has reported. There was nothing independent about the BNA or what it has been doing every six months. BNA stands for the Federal Network Agency — Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen. It claims to be “an independent higher federal authority with its main office in Bonn operating within the scope of business of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV). We have been responsible for Germany’s essential electricity, gas, telecommunications and postal infrastructures for over 20 years.”

“Within the scope of” is a German fig leaf for “under control”. “Our task,” BNA says, is “to ensure fair and non-discriminatory competition for all market participants. Our success and our expertise in regulation led to the energy and rail sectors also being placed under our responsibility.” This was not what the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz intended when it commenced its takeover of Rosneft and assigned BNA the role of camp guard. BNA described what it was doing to “safeguard security of supply in Germany…on the basis of the Energy Security of Supply Act (section 17 EnSiG) until 15 March 2023. This basis enables the fiduciary to take action to keep the business running in accordance with its importance for the functioning of society in the energy sector. The fiduciary management may be extended under certain conditions… The decision to introduce fiduciary management was prompted by…by the sanctions imposed on Russia…The fiduciary management means that the original owner no longer has authority to issue instructions.”

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“The German government is running out of time: on March 10, when the next decision on the transfer of Rosneft Deutschland under the so-called trust management of the state expires..”

Germany Nationalizes Rosneft Deutschland, Poland Will Help (Andrei Gurkov)

Expropriation of Rosneft’s German assets is becoming increasingly likely. Warsaw is ready to provide oil to the Schwedt refinery and replace supplies from Kazakhstan. But what about compensation? The nationalization of Rosneft’s German assets is becoming more and more likely, and new signals from Poland reinforce this impression. The German government is running out of time: on March 10, when the next decision on the transfer of Rosneft Deutschland under the so-called trust management of the state expires. Berlin, apparently, no longer wants to extend this regime introduced in September 2022 for six months, because they seek a stable, not temporary, solution to the fate of the oil refinery in Schwedt — PCK Raffinerie Schwedt. This is exactly the case, although Rosneft has other assets in Germany.

But in this refinery, the state-owned Russian concern actually owns 54%, and maintaining Moscow’s control over a strategically important enterprise seems to the German authorities to be too much of a risk, especially against the background of the growing threat from Russia. After all, PCK Raffinerie Schwedt provides petroleum products to a significant part of East Germany and, above all, to the capital of the country, Berlin, with its approximately four million inhabitants. The intention of the German government to put an end to the legally suspended state of the plant has clearly strengthened after the recent elections in Poland. They brought to power a pro-European coalition, which German politicians trust much more than the previous Polish government. Relations between the two countries are currently warming rapidly, as evidenced by the talks between the new Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on February 12.

Therefore, the visit of Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economy of Germany Robert Habeck to Warsaw the next day, February 13, played an important, and perhaps decisive role in determining the next concrete steps with regard to Rosneft Deutschland. “Poland has helped a lot in the past to provide oil to the east of Germany,” the German minister recalled after the talks and made it clear that in the event of the expropriation of Rosneft, the supply of the plant in Schwedt would improve, since the Polish side is ready to significantly increase the pumping of oil through its territory towards Germany from the port of Gdansk. According to the Reuters news agency, citing an informed source, Warsaw assured Berlin even before Habeck’s arrival that it would be able, if necessary, to completely replace the volumes of Kazakh oil currently flowing to Schwedt.

Some explanations are needed here. Until 2023, this refinery, built six decades ago in the GDR on the border with Poland, operated exclusively on oil coming from the USSR and then from Russia via the Druzhba oil pipeline. In response to the full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine, the European Union imposed an embargo on Russian oil transported by tankers, but not on supplies via the Druzhba pipeline system, since several Eastern European EU members are still heavily dependent on them. However, the German government decided for its part to completely abandon Russian oil. Since last year, the Schwedt plant has been supplied with oil purchased on the world market in three ways. From the German Baltic port of Rostock via a longstanding and not very powerful pipeline that was originally laid down as a backup — through the Polish port of Gdansk, from where oil is pumped through Poland using the westernmost segment of the Druzhba, and from Kazakhstan in transit through the Russian territory on the same Druzhba.

Germany strongly emphasizes its desire to increase oil purchases in Kazakhstan, cooperation with which is becoming more intensive. However, there are fears that in the event of the nationalization of Rosneft’s German assets, Moscow will block the Druzhba oil pipeline as a retaliatory measure and thereby [stop] the supply of Kazakh oil. [..] It is noteworthy that articles in the German media about Robert Habeck’s negotiations in Warsaw, and in general about the future of Rosneft Deutschland, in effect do not consider the option of Rosneft selling this company and its assets. This is despite the letter with such a proposal, as the economic newspaper Handelsblatt wrote in early February, from the head of the Russian concern Igor Sechin to the German government. But Berlin, the publication concluded, “has placed its bet on expropriation.”

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“..the regional backlash threatens to undermine US diplomacy, unravel Arab normalization deals with Israel, and jeopardize US business interests throughout West Asia..”

As Ramadan Approaches, Israel Threatens War On Lebanon (Harb)

Tel Aviv’s mounting threats to destroy Beirut as it has done to Gaza, coupled with growing Israeli public support for aggressive military action against Lebanon, have spiked tensions on the northern battlefront in recent days. Furthermore, the precarious game at play in Washington – which has done absolutely nothing to impede Israeli occupation forces from launching an assault on Rafah and uprooting more than a million Palestinians from their last refuge on the Egyptian border – is driving the war to a volatile, dangerous brink. Adding fuel to this already incendiary mix are two critical factors. First, Israel’s targeted strikes on Lebanese civilians, exemplified by the recent attacks in Nabatiyeh and Al-Sowanah, have provoked a stern response from Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, who vowed retribution, declaring that “the price of civilian blood will be blood.”

Second is the approaching month of Ramadan, a sacred period observed by hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide, which adds a transnational dimension to these developments. Fasting Muslims from Indonesia to Morocco will grow increasingly frustrated with Washington’s inaction in preventing genocide and the displacement of over two million Palestinians in Gaza, many of whom are on the brink of starvation. Despite US assurances that it is pressuring Israel to mitigate casualties, the relentless onslaught has resulted in an appalling daily death toll of around 300, with nearly 29,000 lives lost, and over 60 percent of homes and infrastructure decimated. When Nasrallah declared that “for every drop of blood shed in Gaza and the entire region, the primary responsibility falls on [US President Joe] Biden, [US Secretary of State Antony] Blinken, and [US Secretary of Defense Lloyd] Austin,” his words resonated deeply – not only within the Islamic world but with millions globally – calling for an end to the war by halting the influx of American weapons to the Israeli military.

The US State Department has received multiple warnings from diplomats in the region of the growing resentment toward Washington for its complicity in Israel’s genocidal campaign. Despite its tone-deaf attempts to adjust its stance and emphasize a need to protect Palestinian civilians, the regional backlash threatens to undermine US diplomacy, unravel Arab normalization deals with Israel, and jeopardize US business interests throughout West Asia. Speaking to The Cradle, sources close to the Axis of Resistance in Lebanon said the next fortnight carries the potential for a catastrophic escalation, particularly if Israel intensifies its military aggression during Ramadan and advances its plans to displace Palestinians from Rafah.

Additionally, the discontent among Israeli settlers displaced by Lebanese resistance operations along the northern border poses further risks, with officials in Tel Aviv contemplating drastic measures to ensure calm, including potential military action – a preview of which southern Lebanese civilians have recently witnessed. The discontent among northern settlers grows as they grapple with the new security dynamics in the aftermath of the Hamas-led Al-Aqsa Flood operation on 7 October. Extending over 100 kilometers from Naqoura to the Shebaa Farms and penetrating 5 to 10 kilometers deep, this border strip has seen the displacement of thousands of settler families.

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“..They want us to pay a price without Israel committing to a thing..”

The Resistance Has a Plan for Israel (Alastair Crooke)

In a speech on Tuesday, Hizbullah leader Seyed Nasrallah said that the Party will continue the border offensive until at least the Gaza massacre stops. The war in Gaza however, is far from over. And Nasrallah warned that even were a ceasefire to be reached in Gaza, “should the enemy perform any action, we will return to operating according to the rules and formulas that existed before. The purpose of the resistance is to deter the enemy, and we will react accordingly”. Israel’s Defence Secretary Gallant has underlined that contrary to international consensus expectations, he too expects the war in Lebanon to continue. Gallant said the military has stepped up its attacks against Hizbullah by one level out of ten: “The Air Force planes flying currently in the skies of Lebanon have heavier bombs for more distant targets. Hizbullah went up half a step, whilst we, a full one … We can attack not only at 20 kilometres [from the border], but also at 50 kilometres, and in Beirut and anywhere else”.

It is not clear what ‘red line’ Hizbullah would have to cross for Israel to significantly escalate its response to much higher levels; Israeli leaders have suggested that an attack on a strategic site; or an attack leading to major civilian casualties; or a substantive barrage on Haifa might constitute the breaking point. Nonetheless, with three military divisions rather than the usual one now deployed in the north of Israel, the IDF has more forces poised for action on the northern border than it has preparing for an incursion into Rafah – at this point. It is clear, as Chief of Staff Halevy has specified, that Israel is “preparing for war” against Hizbullah (more than preparing for Rafah). Is the threat to Rafah a bluff to put pressure on Hamas to concede on the deal and hostages? One way or another, both Israel’s political and military chiefs are adamant: The IDF will incurse into Rafah – ‘at some point’. The qualitatively different Hizbullah’s strike on Safed on Israel’s northern regional command HQ on Wednesday – which that resulted in 2 dead and 7 further casualties – is being treating in Israel as the gravest attack since the start of the war, with Ben Gvir calling it a “declaration of war”. Subsequent Israeli attacks killed 11 people, including six children, in a barrage of strikes on villages across southern Lebanon, in retribution for the Safed blitz – with the fierce exchange of fire still continuing.

The ‘Safed Strike’ deep into the Galilee very likely was intended to signal that Hizbullah is not about to capitulate to western demands that it provide Israel with a ceasefire that is intended to facilitate evacuated Israelis to return to their homes in the north. As Nasrallah confirmed in a scathing attack on those external (Western) mediators who serve only as Israel’s lawyers, and neglect to address the massacres in Gaza: “It is easier to move the Litani River forward to the borders, than to push back Hezbollah fighters from the borders, to behind the Litani River … They want us to pay a price without Israel committing to a thing”. In these circumstances, Nasrallah clarified that residents of northern Israel will not return to their homes – warning that even more Israelis risk being displaced: “‘Israel’ must prepare shelters, basements, hotels and schools to house two million settlers who will be evacuated from northern Palestine, [were Israel to expand the war zone].”

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“..The inaction of Putin, China, and Iran has steeled the American neoconservatives in their agenda of American hegemony..”

The Ever Expanding War (Paul Craig Roberts)

As I previously wrote, the Israeli/American intention is to expand the war against Hamas to Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. The expansion has begun. The latest news is that Israel has struck deep into Lebanon: “War Expands With Massive Israeli Airstrikes 60km Deep Into Lebanon.” The Arabs, likely restrained by Putin, have once again sat on their butts while Israel picks them off one by one. Only the Houthis but not a single Arab or Muslim country came to Hamas’ help. Consequently, the Arabs sat sucking their thumbs while Gaza and Hamas were destroyed. The arabs accepted Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people. Evil prevails when it is left unopposed. If Hezbollah, Syria, the Iraqi militias, and Iran had joined Hamas’ attack, Israel today would not exist. Having missed their chance, they will now be knocked off one at a time by Israel and Washington.

Already before Israel is finished with Palestine, Israel has attacked with missiles and jet fighters deep into Lebanon. It appears that the Israeli-Washington strategy is to attack Lebanese cities to set off civil war between the Lebanese army and the Hezbollah militia so that Israel can take advantage of civil war in Lebanon to drive Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon and take possession of the water resources that Israel covets. When Hezbollah is finished, Washington and Israel will wipe out the Iraqi militias and attack Syria, a section of which containing the oil fields Washington already occupies. The Russians left the liberation of Syria unfinished. Syria has the Russian air defense system but apparently is not permitted to use it against Washington and Israel. Once Iraqi militias and Syria are out of the picture, Iran, sitting there on its huge number of missiles, doing nothing, will be next.

When Iran falls, the CIA’s Jihadists will be released into the Russian Federation, Central Asia, and China’a troublesome province. The inaction of Putin, China, and Iran has steeled the American neoconservatives in their agenda of American hegemony. As Putin, XI, and Iran seem determined to sit out conflicts that not only affect them but are directed against them, Washington will continue to run over red lines until a war is forced. Putin has been deceived, betrayed, demonized, and given the West’s cold shoulder for two decades, and he still wants to negotiate with those who have thrashed him? Negotiation with a government that has proven it doesn’t keep the agreements is a form of reality denial. As the evidence indicates, the Western world is in moral and social collapse, so its destruction will be no loss. The question is whether the values the Christian West once stood for will find expression elsewhere.

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Pretty crazy..

10 Million Illegals Have Entered The US Under Biden (ZH)

A record 7.3 million illegal aliens have crossed the southwest border under President Biden’s watch, a number which according to Fox News.is greater than the population of 36 individual states. That figure is sourced from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which has already reported 961,537 Southwest land border encounters in the current fiscal year, which runs from October through September, and if the current pace of illegal immigration does not slow down, fiscal year 2024 will break last year’s record of 2,475,669 southwest border encounters — a number that by itself exceeds the population of New Mexico. The total number of southwest land border encounters since Biden assumed office in 2021 is 7,298,486, CBP data shows.

That number is larger than the population of 36 U.S. states including: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In fact, the only states that are not in danger of being “replaced” are the blue ones. Compared to the largest U.S. states, the 7.3 million number is about 18.7% of California’s population of 39 million, 23.9% of the state of Texas and its 31 million residents, 32.3% of the population of Florida and 37.3% of New York. It’s more than half the size of Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio. As Fox News graphically describes, were the number of illegal immigrants who entered the United States under President Biden gathered together to found a city, it would be the second-largest city in America after New York.

Shockingly, that total does not include an estimated additional 1.6 million illegals who entered the US at other locations, nor 1.8 million known “gotaways” who evaded law enforcement, which would make the total bigger than the population of New York. Taken together, over 10 million migrants have crossed into the U.S. illegally during the Biden administration, a record Biden’s critics assert could only be achieved by intentionally refusing to enforce the law. “This unprecedented surge in illegal immigration isn’t an accident. It is the result of deliberate policy choices by the Biden administration,” said Eric Ruark, Director of Research for Numbers USA, a nonprofit that advocates for immigration restrictions.

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“..renewables can’t power modern civilization is because they were never meant to. One interesting question is why anybody ever thought they could.”

Germany Retreats Into The Middle Ages As Its Economy Declines (Henry Johnston)

Bloomberg recently foretold the end of Germany’s days as an industrial power in an article that begins with a depiction of the closing of a factory in Dusseldorf. Stone-faced workers preside with funereal solemnity over the final act – the fashioning of a steel pipe at a rolling mill – at the century-old plant. The “flickering of flares and torches” and “somber tones of a lone horn player” lend the scene a decidedly medieval atmosphere. Intentional or not in their inclusion of such evocative detail, the Bloomberg writers offer potent imagery for Germany – not only because the country is regressing economically but because its elites are increasingly guided by an atavistic force: the abandonment of reason. As hard economic realities lay bare the futility of its utopian energy plan and the consequences of numerous terrible decisions mount, Germany is experiencing what Swedish essayist Malcom Kyeyune calls “narrative collapse.”

The peculiar offspring of this, Kyeyune argues, is a turn toward ritual, superstition, and taboo. It is a malaise afflicting the entire West, but Germany is suffering a particularly acute case. Kyeyune defines this as an occurrence “when social and political circumstances change too rapidly for people to keep up, the result tends to be collective manias, social panics, and pseudo-religious revivalist millenarianism.” The abandonment of reason can be conceived of in various ways. Quite a lot of ink has already been spilled about the irrationality behind Germany’s fantastically improbable climate policy. Indeed, the quasi-religious verve with which this program has been rolled out speaks to something of a loosening of the country’s moorings. But as we will see shortly, the problem goes far beyond an attachment to unattainable policy goals. Prominent German business executive Wolfgang Reitzle argued that for the government to deliver on its climate and energy policy, capacities for wind and solar power would have to be more than quadrupled, while storage and back-up capacities would have to be massively increased.

Such a plan is “neither technically feasible nor affordable for a country like Germany,” Reitzle argues. What it is then, he concludes, “is simply insanity.” Michael Shellenberger, in a piece for Forbes magazine in 2019, points out that the initial impetus for seeking to transition to renewables emerged from the idea that human civilization should be scaled back to sustainable levels. He cites German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s 1954 landmark essay ‘The Question Concerning of Technology’ and subsequent work by the likes of Barry Commoner and Murray Bookchin as espousing what emerged in the 1960s as a much more austere vision for the future of civilization. Shellenberger concludes that the reason why “renewables can’t power modern civilization is because they were never meant to. One interesting question is why anybody ever thought they could.”

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“..temperature doesn’t follow CO2—instead, CO2 follows temperature, which, itself, is due to solar activity.”

Fixation on CO2 Ignores Real Driver of Temperature (ET)

Each year from 2023 to 2030, climate change sustainable development goals will cost every person in economies such as the United States $2,026, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development estimates. In lower-income economies, the per-person annual cost ranges from $332 to $1,864. In total, the global price tag comes to about $5.5 trillion per year. Separately, a report from the left-aligned nonprofit Climate Policy Initiative found that in 2021 and 2022, the world’s taxpayers spent $1.3 trillion each year on climate-related projects. It also found that the “annual climate finance needed” from 2031 to 2050 is more than $10 trillion each year. “Anyone who willfully denies the impact of climate change is condemning the American people to a very dangerous future,” President Joe Biden said on Nov. 14, 2023, while announcing $6 billion in new investments through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). “The impacts we’re seeing are only going to get worse, more frequent, more ferocious, and more costly.”

At its signing in August 2022, President Biden said the IRA “invests $369 billion to take the most aggressive action ever—ever, ever, ever—in confronting the climate crisis and strengthening our economic—our energy security.” A report from Goldman Sachs put the dollar amount much higher, stating, “Critical funding for this next energy revolution is expected to come from the IRA, which will provide an estimated $1.2 trillion of incentives by 2032.” The trillions of dollars being poured into new initiatives stem from the goals set by the United Nations’ Paris Agreement’s legally binding international treaty to “substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions” in the hope of maintaining a temperature of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

But any decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions won’t have an effect for hundreds to thousands of years—even under the most restrictive circumstances, according to some experts. “If emissions of CO2 stopped altogether, it would take many thousands of years for atmospheric CO2 to return to ‘pre-industrial’ levels,” the Royal Society states in a report on its website. The organization describes itself as a “fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists.” “Surface temperatures would stay elevated for at least a thousand years, implying a long-term commitment to a warmer planet due to past and current emissions,” the report states. “The current CO2-induced warming of Earth is therefore essentially irreversible on human timescales.”

A frequently asked questions page on NASA’s website holds the same position. “If we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, the rise in global temperatures would begin to flatten within a few years. Temperatures would then plateau but remain well-elevated for many, many centuries,” NASA states. And, other scientists say, that’s because CO2 isn’t the culprit in the first place. “CO2 does not cause global warming. Global warming causes more CO2,” said Edwin Berry, a theoretical physicist and certified consulting meteorologist. He called Royal Society’s position on CO2 “pure junk science.” Ian Clark, emeritus professor for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Ottawa, agreed that if all greenhouse gas emissions ceased today, the Earth would continue warming—but not because of CO2. He said that contrary to popular opinion, temperature doesn’t follow CO2—instead, CO2 follows temperature, which, itself, is due to solar activity.

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Dinosaur Size
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