May 222022
 


El Greco La Pietà c1575

 

Revealed: Hillary Clinton’s Role In The Alfa Bank Scandal (Turley)
Hillary Clinton’s Trump/Russia Media Strategy Revealed (Techno Fog)
Biden Keeping Up Employment At The Gaffe Factory (Howie Carr)
Russia Rewrites the Art of Hybrid War (Escobar)
Is US Drawing Up Plans To Sink the Russian Black Sea Fleet? (Antiwar)
A Thread on “Azov” (RWA)
Gen. Milley Warns West Point Graduates Of ‘Increasing’ Risk Of Global War (Fox)
mRNA Vaccines Hurt Long-term Immunity To Covid (Berenson)
Once A Liberal Democracy, Canada Is Now An Authoritarian State (Arora)
American Farmer Warns Of Impending Food Shortages (ZH)
Labor Win Presents ‘Great Opportunity’ In Fight To Free Julian Assange (LE)

 

 

 

 

Ed Dowd

 

 

 

 

Malone

 

 

Still waiting to see why Mook did what he did. After all, he knows all about the revenge of the Clintons.

Revealed: Hillary Clinton’s Role In The Alfa Bank Scandal (Turley)

The trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann crossed a critical threshold Friday when a key witness uttered the name “Hillary Clinton” in conjunction with a plan to spread the false Alfa Bank Russian collusion claim before the 2016 presidential election. For Democrats and many in the media, Hillary Clinton has long held a Voldemort-like status as “She who must not be named” in scandals. Yet, there was her former campaign manager, Robby Mook, telling a jury that Clinton personally approved a plan to spread the claim of covert communications between the Trump organization and the Russian bank. It was one of the most successful disinformation campaigns in American politics, and Mook implicated Clinton as green-lighting the gas-lighting of the electorate.

The mere mention of Clinton’s name sent shockwaves through Washington. In past scandals, the Clintons have always evaded direct responsibility as aides were investigated or convicted, from the Whitewater land dealings to cattle futures. Even when long-sought documents in Whitewater were discovered outside of the family quarters and bearing Hillary Clinton’s fingerprints, Washington quickly moved on. Clinton was not supposed to be the object of the Sussmann trial, because Judge Christopher Cooper, an Obama appointee, issued a series of orders limiting the scope of the trial and its evidence. The orders were viewed as “spar[ing] the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee … potential embarrassment.”

Yet, even after winning such limiting orders, it was the defense that called Mook to the stand — out of order, in the midst of the prosecution’s case, because he was scheduled to leave on vacation — and he proceeded to confirm that Clinton herself approved of the tactic. It was Washington’s worst-kept but least-acknowledged secret. On July 28, 2016, then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s alleged plan to tie Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” Obama reportedly was told how Clinton allegedly approved “a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

Thus, Mook testified that Clinton did precisely what Brennan warned Obama was being planned. The date of Brennan’s warning is important: It was three days before the FBI’s collusion investigation began. It also was a couple of months before Sussmann contacted then-FBI general counsel Jim Baker while claiming he was not representing any client. (He was counsel to the Clinton campaign and, according to prosecutors, billed the meeting time to the campaign.) There is a strikingly familiar pattern in both the Steele dossier — which became the basis for the Russia collusion investigation — and the Alfa Bank tale. Campaign associates developed both claims while actively seeking to conceal their connections from the public and the government, including reportedly denying the funding of the Steele dossier and concealing that funding as legal costs.

Information laundering

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“We authorized a staff member of the campaign to provide it to the media.”

Hillary Clinton’s Trump/Russia Media Strategy Revealed (Techno Fog)

Robert Mook, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, also testified before the jury Friday. In his testimony, he stated that Hillary Clinton personally approved a plan to spread the lie that Trump was colluding with Russia via secret servers to the media. He also admitted to being briefed on the conspiracy.

Q: Okay. In connection with the general focus on Mr. Trump and Russia, did there come a time when you learned of potential links between the Trump organization, Mr. Trump’s business, and a Russian bank called Alfa-bank?
A: I did. Yes, I was briefed on that.
Q: Approximately when were you first briefed on that, if you remember?
A: I honestly can’t recall.
Q: Who participated in the briefing, if you remember?
A: Myself, Marc Elias, Jen Palmieri, Jake Sullivan, John Podesta. There might have been others, but those are the ones I definitely recall being there.

Mook also admitted that the Clinton campaign was focused on Trump’s relationship with Russia before Summer of 2016.
Q: In the Summer of 2016, was Mr. Trump’s relationship with Russia something that the campaign focused on?
A: Yes. I mean, it was frankly something we were focused on before that time. But absolutely.

Mook however did deny that the Clinton campaign directed Sussman to go to the FBI, despite admitting that Clinton approved the Trump-Russia allegations to be shared with the media.
Q: Were you aware that Mr. Sussman went to the FBI in September of 2016 to give them a heads-up about a New York Times story about Trump and Alfa-Bank?
A: No.
Q: Do you have any recollection of anyone talking to you about going to the FBI on behalf of the campaign on the Trump/Alfa-Bank issue?
A: No.
Q: Did you direct Mr. Sussman to go to the FBI on behalf of the campaign?
A: Absolutely not.
Q: Did you authorize Mr. Sussman to go to the FBI on behalf of the campaign?
A: No.
Q: Did anyone else from the campaign, to your knowledge, direct or authorize Mr. Sussman to go to the FBI on behalf of the campaign?
A: To my knowledge, no.

Mook also said the decision to push the debunked Russia conspiracy to the media was made by him, Sussman, John Podesta, and Palmeri, and that Hillary Clinton agreed with the decision.
Q: And once you learned about it [the Trump-Russia allegations], you started discussing with the campaign whether the campaign should affirmatively push it in the media, right?
A: Correct.
Q: And you had that discussion with Mr. Sullivan?
A: Correct.
Q: With Mr. Podesta?
A: Just to be clear. This is what – I recall those people, correct.
Q: Okay. You had a discussion with Mr. Sullivan?
A: Yes, I recall, yes.
Q: Whether to push it in the media right?
A: Correct.
Q: With Ms. Palmieri?
A: Correct.
Q: With Mr. Podesta?
A: Correct.
Q: But in any event, the decision to provide this to the media was authorized by the campaign, correct?
A: We authorized a staff member of the campaign to provide it to the media.

Regarding Hillary Clinton, Mook said:
Q: Mr. Mook, before the break you had testified that there was a conversation in which you told Ms. Clinton about the proposed plan to provide the Alfa-Bank allegations to the media; is that correct?
A: Correct.
Q: And what was her response?
A: All I remember is that she agreed with the decision.

Some final thoughts: while this trial is about Sussmann’s false statements to the FBI, it’s also more than that. This is Special Counsel John Durham telling the public the story of the Clinton opposition research machine, and how the campaign, through their lawyers and contractors (Fusion GPS), developed and spread lies to the media to influence the election. It’s the story of Clinton Campaign lawyers to using the FBI to further that strategy of deception. With that in mind, do not forget the Igor Danchenko case. Is it the case that Charles Dolan, a Hillary Clinton friend and supporter, was coincidentally feeding false information to Christopher Steele’s primary sub source? And on that thread, what are the odds that another Clinton ally – Alexander Downer – took his “info” to the FBI?

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“That’s how it works when leaders derive their powers from the consent of the government from from the consent of the governed.”

Biden Keeping Up Employment At The Gaffe Factory (Howie Carr)

It’s Weekend at Biden’s again, and Dementia Joe Biden has been pondering the dysfunction that plagues these fruited plains. Specifically, Brandon frets about mentally impaired people wandering America’s streets: “(People) who are just deranged, who are, who are susceptible, who are, who are just lost and and don’t know what to do, and they’re easily taken, they’re easily sucked in, and it’s gotta stop, we have to admit it, I don’t know why we don’t admit what the hell’s goin’ on. Anyway …” Got a mirror, Mr. President? As always, all dialogue guaranteed verbatim. Now Biden is in Asia visiting, among other places, South Korea and “President Moon Yoon” (his name is Yoon Seok-Youl). But before Brandon departed the assisted-living facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he warmly welcomed some visitors to the White House:

“I thank all of you for being here, and I want you to enjoy the rest of the recession.” Technically, Mr. President, the recession hasn’t even started yet. You said you’d have to be a “mind reader” to have seen the baby-formula shortage coming. But apparently you are able to foresee what economic calamities your policies are causing in the weeks ahead. FDR said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Now Brandon says, “I want you to enjoy the rest of the recession.” At the White House or on the road, Dementia Joe must sometimes introduce other people. It’s not getting any easier for him to remember who anybody is, or what they do. Just ask “President Harris.” Or the president of “Fine Finland,” whom he called “Nisto.” His name is “Niinisto.” He said Sen. Rick Scott of Florida represents Wisconsin. He called Raytheon “Ray Raython.”

[..] On the teleprompter, he misreads wages as rages, reflect as refect, eligibility as elibility. Wholly becomes holly, only comes out as swonly. The teleprompter says changes, he reads it as charges. Dementia Joe dares to ask questions no one else will: “How many police officers have multiple times and put a lion and had to do things that they’d have to think they’d have to do?” Good question, Brandon! Other than telling everyone to enjoy the recession, Dementia Joe had one other Freudian slip recently. He was discussing how well a system of checks and balances has served the American people, until … Democrats. “That’s how it works when leaders derive their powers from the consent of the government from from the consent of the governed.”

Herridge

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“Fully exposing the whole maze, from the start, was one of Putin’s stated objectives.”

Russia Rewrites the Art of Hybrid War (Escobar)

The ironclad fictional “narrative” imposed all across NATOstan is that Ukraine is “winning”. So why would weapons peddler retrofitted as Pentagon head Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin literally beg since late February to have his phone calls answered by Russian Defense Minister Shoigu, only to have his wish finally granted? It’s now confirmed by one of my top intel sources. The call was a direct consequence of panic. The United States Government (USG) by all means wants to scotch the detailed Russian investigation – and accumulation of evidence – on the US bioweapon labs in Ukraine, as I outlined in a previous column. This phone call happened exactly after an official Russian statement to the UN Security Council on May 13: we will use articles 5 and 6 of the Convention on the Prohibition of Bioweapons to investigate the Pentagon’s biological “experiments” in Ukraine.

That was reiterated by Under Secretary-General of the UN in charge of disarmament, Thomas Markram, even as all ambassadors of NATO member countries predictably denied the collected evidence as “Russian disinformation”. Shoigu cold see the call coming eons away. Reuters, merely quoting the proverbial “Pentagon official”, spun that the allegedly one-hour-long call led to nothing. Nonsense. Austin, according to the Americans, demanded a “ceasefire” – which must have originated a Siberian cat smirk on Shoigu’s face. Shoigu knows exactly which way the wind is blowing on the ground – for Ukrainian Armed Forces and UkroNazis alike. It’s not only the Azovstal debacle – and Kiev’s all-around army breakdown. After the fall of Popasnaya – the crucial, most fortified Ukrainian stronghold in Donbass – the Russians and Donetsk/Luhansk forces have breached defenses along four different vectors to north, northwest, west and south.

What’s left of the Ukrainian front is crumbling – fast, with a massive cauldron subdivided in a maze of mini-cauldrons: a military disaster the USG cannot possibly spin. Now, in parallel, we can also expect full exposure – on overdrive – of the Pentagon bioweapons racket. The only “offer you can’t refuse” left to the USG would be to present something tangible to the Russians to avoid a full investigation. That’s not gonna happen. Moscow is fully aware that going public with illegal work on banned biological weapons is an existential threat to the US Deep State. Especially when documents seized by the Russians show that Big Pharma – via Pfizer, Moderna, Merck and Gilead – was involved in several “experiments”. Fully exposing the whole maze, from the start, was one of Putin’s stated objectives.

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Whether it’s true or not, why would this guy expose it?

Is US Drawing Up Plans To Sink the Russian Black Sea Fleet? (Antiwar)

Shortly after Reuters published an exclusive story that the White House was looking to move advanced anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, an official in Kiev said that the US is making a plan to sink Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs adviser Anton Gerashchenko tweeted, “The US is preparing a plan to destroy the [Russian] Black Sea Fleet. The effective work of the Ukrainians on [Russian] warships convinced [the US] to prepare a plan to unblock the [Ukrainian] ports. Deliveries of powerful anti-ship weapons are being discussed.” Gerashchenko cited the Reuters report on Washington’s effort to ship Harpoon and Naval Strike Missiles to Ukraine. The missiles have a range of up to 300 km and cost $1.5 million each.

Three US officials and two Congressional sources told the outlet the White House was still working out the details for sending the advanced weapons to Ukraine. Logistical issues and the possibility the US would have to remove a launcher from one of its ships to send to Ukraine are current obstacles to completing the transfer. Responding to a question from Newsweek, the State Department did not deny it was working on a plan to take out the Russian fleet. “As the conflict is changing, so too is our military assistance to deliver the critical capabilities Ukraine needs for today’s fight as Russia’s forces engage in a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine,” a spokesperson said.

However, the Department of Defense issued a sharp denial of the claims made by the Ukrainians official. “I can tell you definitively that that’s not true,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday afternoon. The Pentagon denial applied only to the Ukrainian official’s assertion the US was helping sink the Black Sea fleet, and did not refer to the proposed anti-ship weapons transfer. Gerashchenko said the attack would help to open up Ukraine’s ports. Russia currently controls the Black Sea and maintains a blockade. The UN has called for an easing of restrictions in the sea to allow food exports from Ukraine to help alleviate global food shortages.

Moscow has offered a diplomatic solution to the Black Sea standoff. On Thursday, the Kremlin proposed lifting the blockage in exchange for sanctions relief. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the problem goes beyond the blockade and includes Western sanctions restricting fertilizer exports. “You have to not only appeal to the Russian Federation but also look deeply at the whole complex of reasons that caused the current food crisis. [Sanctions] interfere with normal free trade, encompassing food products including wheat, fertilizers and others,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said.

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Thread by Russians With Attitude.

A Thread on “Azov” (RWA)

The roots of “Azov” can be found in the Neonazi soccer hooligan scene of Kharkov. Andrei Biletsky was the central figure of the nascent movement for the longest time. A Kharkov native, he joined numerous nationalist organizations, e.g. the Lvov-based “Tryzub”. He also actively supported the Kharkov cell of the “Social-National Party of Ukraine” (nowadays “Svoboda”). In 2006, Biletsky founded “Patriot of Ukraine”, a nationalist organization that engaged in street violence & even terrorism. Biletsky’s patron during this period was Arsen Avakov, Armenian-Ukrainian “entrepreneur” & politician. In 2005-2010, Avakov was the governor of Kharkov oblast. During this period, “Patriot of Ukraine” was unofficially deputized by Kharkov police. Biletsky’s gang helped the police patrol the streets for illegal immigrants, & also to combat illegal businesses.

Aside from their political activities, they serves as enforcers for Avakov’s “business ventures”. That’s how they reached a significant level of political protection. Avakov, of course, also became Minister of the Interior after the Euromaidan coup d’etat; their fruitful relationship continued. Russian Neonazi Sergei Korotkikh aka “Botsman” is a personal friend of Avakov’s son. Botsman also leads a separate Azov unit, the “Botsman Boys”. In 2011, Biletsky and several of his comrades were arrested for organized robbery; in early 2014, Avakov became Minister of the Interior & had them released from prison. Even before that, Biletsky’s “Patriot of Ukraine” had joined the Euromaidan protests & the “Right Sector”. Biletsky’s men took part in the civil strife that followed the Euromaidan coup d’etat.

Then known as “Little black men from Kharkov”, they published threatening video messages to the Russian population; they rode around the country & engaged in political violence. They came to Odessa & participated in the May 2nd massacre; they attacked Anti-Maidan protests in Kharkov or straight up had pro-Russian acvitists “disappeared” with the help of Ukrainian security services. This is a long introduction, but it’s important. Soon after, the civil strife turned into civil war. The Euromaidan government in Kiev realized that Ukraine doesn’t have an army. Its elite military units were getting humiliated by coal miner militias in Donbass. That’s when, under the patronage of Avakov, the “Volunteer Battalions” were created. Azov, Aidar, Donbas, Tornado, Dnipro — these & many other Ministry of the Interior formations are infamous for their horrifying reign of terror in Eastern Ukraine.

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To infinity and beyond with Milley Mouse.

Gen. Milley Warns West Point Graduates Of ‘Increasing’ Risk Of Global War (Fox)

Gen. Mark Milley told cadets graduating from U.S. Military Academy West Point Saturday to be prepared for increasing risk of global conflict and a host of new weapons technologies in their careers. “The world you are being commissioned into has the potential for a significant international conflict between great powers. And that potential is increasing, not decreasing,” Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the cadets at the 2022 commencement ceremony in West Point, New York. “And right now, at this very moment, a fundamental change is happening in the very character of war. We are facing right now two global powers, China and Russia, each with significant military capabilities, and both who fully intend to change the current rules based order,” Milley said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is teaching the world that “aggression left unanswered only emboldens the aggressor,” Milley said. “Let us never forget the massacre that we have just witnessed in Bucha nor the slaughter that occurred in Mariupol. And the best way to honor their sacrifice is to support their fight for freedom and to stand against tyranny,” Milley said. The urban character of the war in Ukraine is something Milley sees as a characteristic of future battlefields, which will be “highly complex and almost certainly decisive in urban areas against elusive, ambiguous enemies that combine terrorism and warfare alongside conventional capabilities — all embedded within large civilian populations.” Weapons technology will also change dramatically in future decades, Milley said, and the shift will be as radical as the change from musket to the rifle, the rifle to the machine gun or from sailing to steam ships.

And the technological edge is no longer automatically in America’s favor. “You’ll be fighting with robotic tanks and ships and airplanes,” Milley said. “We’ve witnessed a revolution in lethality and precision munitions. What was once the exclusive province of the United States military is now available to most nation states with the money will to acquire them.” Artificial intelligence is “resulting in that profound change, the most profound change ever in human history,” Milley said. “Whatever overmatch we the United States enjoyed militarily for the last 70 years is closing quickly. And the United States will be, in fact, we already are challenged in every domain of warfare in space and cyber, maritime air and, of course, land.”

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Want to get Covid? Take a vaccine. Might work for monkeypox too.

mRNA Vaccines Hurt Long-term Immunity To Covid (Berenson)

Unvaccinated people are much more likely to develop broad antibody immunity after Covid infections than people who have received mRNA shots, a new study shows. The gap remains large whether people had mild, moderate, or severe Covid infections, the study showed – undercutting a crucial argument that vaccine advocates have made to defend the shots. The research draws on data from Moderna’s 30,000-person clinical trial for its mRNA shots. It may help explain why so many Americans now suffer multiple Covid infections, sometimes within months. Researchers already knew that many vaccinated people do not gain antibodies to the entire coronavirus after they are infected with Covid.

Unvaccinated people nearly always gain antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein, which covers the virus’s core of RNA, as well as its spike protein, which allows the virus to attack our cells. Vaccinated people often lack those anti-nucleocapsid antibodies and only have spike protein antibodies. Vaccine advocates claim the lack of nucleocapsid antibodies may occur because the mRNA shots prime people to fight off the Covid infections more quickly and have lower viral loads. In this view, the narrow immune response is a feature, not a bug – vaccinated people are less seriously infected and so do not need to generate anti-nucleocapsid antibodies. This study essentially demolishes that theory.

Scientists from the National Institutes of Health and Moderna quietly posted the paper a month ago as a pre-print, but it has received little attention despite its import. The researchers examined the development of anti-nucleocapsid antibodies in people who had been part of Moderna’s clinical trial and were infected with Covid. As they expected, the scientists found that the vaccinated people were far less likely to develop the anti-nucleocapsid antibodies. Only 40 percent of people who received the shots had antibodies, compared to 93 percent of those who did not. But they then went a step further. Because the infected people had been in the trial, their viral loads had been precisely measured when they were found to have Covid.

So the researchers were able to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated people who had the same amounts of virus in their blood. Once again, they found that unvaccinated people were far more likely to develop anti-nucleocapsid antibodies than the jabbed. An unvaccinated person with a mild infection had a 71 percent chance of mounting an immune response that included those antibodies. A vaccinated person had about a 15 percent chance.

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Few countries have fared as poorly as Canada.

Once A Liberal Democracy, Canada Is Now An Authoritarian State (Arora)

Two decades ago, when I was 4 years old, my parents immigrated to Canada from India in search of greater freedoms, autonomy and economic opportunities. They’re core Canadian values — enshrined in our national anthem, which gloriously heralds “The True North strong and free.” However, the past two years have seen a near complete erosion of the foundational liberal values that have attracted millions of immigrants like myself to this country. Under the once-righteous guise of COVID safety and online protections, the Canadian government has taken its power to extreme levels once only imaginable — let alone permissible — in a dissent-stifling authoritarian state. The control has extended to nearly every element of Canadian society, but nowhere more so than in our everyday personal lives.

Take my own case contending with Canada’s COVID bureaucracy a few months back. I was returning to Canada from the US when multiple Air Canada employees refused to let me on the plane. Although I had a negative COVID test, the government was suddenly requiring even returning citizens to be vaccinated (unvaccinated foreigners were already barred from entering). Since the most documented adverse effect associated with COVID vaccination — heart inflammation — is concentrated in young men ages 15 – 25, I chose not to get vaccinated. I am 21 years old, have already recovered from COVID and have no co-morbidities. I’m at low risk from serious COVID illness, which is why I remain unvaccinated. But this can make air travel difficult — especially in Canada. Minutes before my boarding gate was closed, a sympathetic Air Canada staffer “begged” his manager to let me board the plane.

“I just gave you a massive favor. No one else would do this,” he said as I finally made my way down the jetway. In the Canada of Justin Trudeau’s making, you must now go to extreme measures simply to be allowed to return to your own nation. And for what? COVID is just the beginning of the Canadian madness. The internationally recognized trucker protests earlier this year were the most flagrant display of political control ever witnessed within the ranks of the Canadian government. After trying to dismiss the truckers as a “fringe minority” of “swastika wavers,” Trudeau manufactured a National Emergency in order to justify truly outrageous tactics. Not only did he suspend the insurance of the truckers’ vehicles, he regulated the cryptocurrency transfers and froze the bank accounts of folks simply donating to the trucker cause.

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“We only have a short window of opportunity to give farmers funding.”

American Farmer Warns Of Impending Food Shortages (ZH)

NewsNation’s Leland Vittert asked one American farmer: “How close are we to the next food crisis?” The answer: “We are in a crisis right now as far as the food chain goes with the farmer in this country,” John Boyd Jr., the President of the National Black Farmers Association, said. Boyd points out some farmers are unable to plant because of adverse weather conditions. He said farmers in the Northern Plains haven’t been able to get tractors in the fields because of soggy conditions, and the war in Ukraine has knocked out an entire region of food production. He warned, “We’re going to see a lot of empty shelves and a lot more high food prices.” In his forty-year career as a farmer, Boyd said he never imagined he would be “paying $5.63 for a gallon of diesel fuel, $900 a ton for fertilizer, and all-time high prices for soybean seeds.”


All of the prices he mentioned are at record highs, pressuring farmers’ margins. He said the American people need to wake up to the crisis in the farming industry, adding, “farming isn’t Republican or Democratic, it’s food, the land is neutral … this is the time the American people need to support the American farmer and put pressure on the Biden administration to put things in place to help farmers.” He mentioned that banks need to provide emergency funding to farmers to get their crops in the ground. Out-of-control inflation has left some farmers unable to plant because of soaring costs. Boyd said, “We only have a short window of opportunity to give farmers funding.” He stated the worst-case scenario is “a lot of shortages” of food that could materialize later this year.

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New PM Anthony Albanese looks as inept as his predecessor, but he might have one advantage.

Labor Win Presents ‘Great Opportunity’ In Fight To Free Julian Assange (LE)

The father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the election of a Labor government is a “great opportunity” for the movement to free the WikiLeaks founder from imprisonment. Speaking at a Sydney Q&A screening of documentary Ithaka, which documents his efforts to free Assange, John Shipton said a groundswell of parliamentarian support was growing for his son’s plight and he was buoyed up by the prospect of an incoming Labor government. “Of course things would change [if Labor were elected] … this is a great opportunity for us,” he said. “A fresh parliament has a lot of room to move … I speak to many of them. They don’t want this hanging around their neck like an albatross.”


Shipton said he had had several lunches with Anthony Albanese, and had been assured the opposition leader would do “whatever he can” to free his son and “enough’s enough”. The 76-year-old said when he began advocating for Assange in 2019, two parliamentarians supported him – independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Greens senator for Tasmania Peter Whish-Wilson. “Now there are 29 and peripherally, there are other supporters,” he said. “The deputy prime minister while in the US … said publicly … that Julian ought to be charged if he’s done anything in the UK … other than that, send him home. “There’s a core in the Labor party, there’s a core in the National party, the Greens are all supporting [Julian] … it’s a popular concern and parliamentarians recognise that.”

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Rebel Davos

 

 

 

 

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May 212022
 
 May 21, 2022  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The deposition 1632-33

 

Biden’s America Rots from the Head Down (J.B. Shurk)
The Swamp Must Be Drained (Conrad Black)
Elon Musk: There Will Be Blood (CTH)
Robby Mook Testifies Hillary Directed Campaign to Push Russiagate (CTH)
Theories Exist to Be Proven (Jim Kunstler)
Monkeypox Was a Table-Top Simulation Only Last Year (Senger)
Monkeypox Fears May Rescue Endangered Corporations (Whitney Webb)
Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, May 18, 2022 (Saker)
So How Serious Is Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Romance? (Chung)
Yes, The Ukraine War Could Have Been Prevented (Maple)
Russia Will Shut Off Gas To Finland From Saturday (CNBC)
Ruble Hits 7-Year High As Gas Buyers Bow To Putin’s Payment Mandate (ZH)

 

 

 

 

I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.
– Oscar Wilde

 

 

 

 

Vaccine injured

 

 

“..a mottled, tattered soul that would turn the stomachs of the devil’s most sulfurous henchmen..”

Biden’s America Rots from the Head Down (J.B. Shurk)

Perhaps no head of state before Joe Biden has so completely personified the maritime proverb that the fish rots from the head down. In both deed and physical decay, he is that putrefying rancidness wafting from where offal is tossed near the dock whose ability to trigger the gag reflexes of unsuspecting travelers seems the perfect metaphor for this nauseating moment in American history. Not only is Joe’s walking corpse a fitting symbol for a country that has never looked more debilitated, but the reality (ignored by the State’s slavishly devoted press corps) that his cognitive acuity is plummeting so fast that terminal velocity was reached long ago drives the point home that the head of our head of state is rotting, too.

When Biden’s handlers sent him to Buffalo, New York, to exploit a mass murder by blaming conservatives, liberty-lovers, Trump Republicans, Fox News, and just about anybody to the right of Karl Marx for a crime whose perpetrator didn’t even merit the faux-president’s direct condemnation, angry, spiteful Joe Biden showed just what a miserable, acidic, revolting excuse for a human being he’s always been. A real president would have mourned the dead, comforted the survivors, consoled the grieving, and united Americans through the common bonds of their humanity. But Joe Biden is no real president, so he both dishonored the solemnity of the occasion and betrayed his sacred duty to elevate the nation’s welfare over the interests of his party’s political power. With an outstretched, bony finger good for nothing now but casting blame, he tarnished the tragedy with petty partisanship, rebuffed the nation’s need for grace, befouled what should have been dignified, and withered further the civic sinews barely binding Americans together as one nation. Biden’s moment in Buffalo was disgraceful.


I know Republicans such as Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham love to tell stories about how charming and friendly the Great Mental Void from Delaware has always been, but you can’t spew such filthy, spiteful rhetoric as Biden did in Buffalo without having a dark and rotten soul. This is who Joe Biden has been all his wretched life. When he wasn’t stealing other people’s words for his own use or orchestrating Justice Thomas’s “high-tech lynching,” he was running around the country telling black Americans that Republicans wanted to “put y’all back in chains,” scaring elderly Americans that Obamacare opponents wanted to destroy their Medicare, or straight-up lying about the authenticity of his son’s “laptop from hell.” You don’t have to watch that old lecherous canker fondle children or impose on women’s personal space to know that Joe Biden has a mottled, tattered soul that would turn the stomachs of the devil’s most sulfurous henchmen.

Eagle is wandering

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Elon.

The Swamp Must Be Drained (Conrad Black)

The Democrats are increasingly desperate as the return of Donald Trump becomes more likely each week. They are muddling the sequence of events that got us to the present impasse: Trump ran against the corrupt back-scratching, log-rolling society of the OBushintons—the Clinton pay-to-play schemes, the Biden sales of influence and access, the semi-disguised socialist racism elitism of the Obamas, and the flabby sameness and ineffectuality of the Bush–McCain–Romney–McConnell–Ryan Republicans. Trump sensed the people were dissatisfied with the bipartisan Swamp, and he ran as strenuously against the Bushes and McCain and Romney in 2016 as he did against the Clintons and Obamas.

The anti-Trumpers of both parties, in the most legally questionable presidential election in U.S. history, eased Trump out in 2020 with the aid of 4.8 million harvested ballots, 95 percent of the national political media, and 70 percent of the campaign money, to bring in (unintentionally, one assumes, although there was plenty of warning) the most incompetent regime in the country’s history. In 2020, the Washington establishment demonstrated the accuracy of Trump’s claims of how corrupt and unscrupulous it was, and Biden has demonstrated that it’s even more incompetent at government than Trump alleged. The Swamp must be drained, and distasteful though he might be in some ways, probably no one less formidable in his egocentricity and demagogic talents than Trump could drain the Swamp.

The Republicans between Reagan and Trump were all inducted into it themselves, and the Republican “Never-Trumpers” are as fierce in their animosity toward the former president as toward the Democrats, and as the Democrats are toward Trump. Only Trump can finish the job. This is why the latest anti-Trump wheeze is to send Biden and Trump out to pasture together, as if it were an even trade: The Democrats get rid of their two biggest problems, and the Republicans return to being doormats, awarded the White House and the speaker’s chair at times as long as they don’t interrupt the majestic slide into the Democratic socialist paradise (with a permanent free tax-lunch for their rich friends in Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood). Biden is irrelevant and Trump has the stamina of a 40-year-old; the call for joint retirement is bunk on all counts.

[..] The Democrats hid their innocuous candidate in 2020 in his basement on grounds of COVID-19, while using the same justification for drastic changes in key states of voting and vote-counting rules, changes that were often effected illegally, and the judiciary abdicated and refused to judge any of the serious complaints on their merits. It was the most dangerously illegal assault on the integrity of the election process and on the constitutional balance of powers in the country’s history. The problem is not that both 2020 candidates are now too elderly. The problem is that 2020 and the run-up to it demonstrated that the Swamp is as venal and self-interested and corrupt as Trump said in 2016, and they are back.

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“..swinging the social control pendulum away from the government..”

Elon Musk: There Will Be Blood (CTH)

In a series of tweets today, Elon Musk, the Tesla/SpaceX CEO, world’s richest man and tech billionaire who recently announced he is voting republican, announced his intent to set up what he calls a “hardcore litigation department” filled with “hardcore streetfighters” because “there will be blood”:

This announcement is bookended by Elon Musk’s deal to purchase the Twitter social media platform, a resistant internal company ideological adversary, and a warning from the political left with Business Insider publishing an alleged sexual misconduct story. Indeed, it does appear that Elon Musk is preparing for a war that will likely include the Fourth Branch of Government as an adversary. Additionally, Elon Musk is drawing attention to the corruption in the 2016 election by spotlighting the trial of Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann. Mr. Musk notes in his remarks that discovering the Trump-Russia collusion story was a hoax put together by the Clinton campaign, media and allies in government, “makes you wonder what else is fake.”

For CTH readers, and those who followed the series of events since 2016, the trial of Sussmann is not revealing anything we didn’t already know. However, for people who did not follow the deeply corrupt construct, the Sussmann trial is creating a new awakening. Musk notes he found out about it a month ago “and was blown away”. We must remember the vast majority of people in the U.S. have no idea the scale of corruption that took place within the Trump-Russia and Spygate operations. This trial is becoming a vending machine for red pill distribution. Also, perhaps keep in mind where you were a few years ago. Imagine, as an example, all of these newly awakened people finally discovering and accepting the FBI are the bad guys.


It likely took many CTH readers multiple years and dozens of examples before that acceptance was grounded. These are bitter pill acceptances, that eventually do lead to major changes in the social fabric and cohesion of a nation; but it’s a painful journey. Final thoughts… Do not dismiss the importance of what Elon Musk is doing. In addition to introducing millions of Americans to something they are newly experiencing, this shift in cultural opinion is akin to Musk playing the role of John Galt and swinging the social control pendulum away from the government.

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He sold her out. She will have to be questioned, under oath.

Wonder what he’s so afraid of.

Robby Mook Testifies Hillary Directed Campaign to Push Russiagate (CTH)

Former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook was called as a prosecution witness in the trial against Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann today. During his appearance Mook was questioned about the fraudulent Alfa-Bank story that lies at the center of the prosecution against Sussmann. Robby Mook testified he had no idea who Sussmann was or what he was doing. However, Mook also stated he learned of the Alfa-Bank research during a meeting in 2016 and took it to Hillary Clinton, who then told him to share it with media.

MSM – “Hillary Clinton personally approved leaking to the media information alleging a connection between Donald Trump and a Russian bank in 2016, which the campaign itself had not fully confirmed, according to testimony Friday by Clinton’s campaign manager. Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign chief, said in federal court that as the campaign against Trump heated up in the late summer and early fall of 2016, Marc Elias, who was then a lawyer with the Perkins Coie law firm and served as the campaign’s top legal adviser, told Mook that “people with expertise” in cyber activity had briefed the campaign on data alleging links between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Russian financial institution with ties to the Kremlin.

Mook’s testimony for the first time puts Clinton in the middle of a leak to the news media that ultimately blew up in the campaign’s face. The FBI quickly determined that the purported connection between the Russian bank and the Trump Organization was implausible and Michael Sussmann, Elias’s then law partner who brought the claims to the FBI, has since been indicted by Justice Department special counsel John Durham on charges he lied to the bureau’s general counsel to hide his connection to the Clinton campaign.”

Aside from the fact this revelation might be the biggest duh in modern political history, if my memory is correct Donald Trump has an outstanding lawsuit against Clinton and the campaign. This testimony could be useful.

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“..schlubby lawyer..”

Theories Exist to Be Proven (Jim Kunstler)

Time, they say, is nature’s way of making sure that everything doesn’t happen at once. Then why does everything seem to be happening at once? These must be unnaturally strange times. Here comes Ukraine… there goes Ukraine… our money is worthless… no water for Las Vegas… buh-bye Roe v Wade…financial markets wobbling… vaccine injuries everywhere… diesel prices killing truckers… food shortages… UFOs… World War Three… white supremacists… no baby formula… whoa… duck-and-cover, here comes monkeypox! So it goes with criticality in hyper-complex systems, the passing of thresholds into breakdown, all at the same time, failures mutually ramifying other failures seemingly unconnected, and weird things popping up in the dust and rubble like monsters in a bad dream.

I know it’s disconcerting to see the world fly apart. Forgive me then, while you fret about the future of your loved ones and your retirement account, if I focus in on just one thing for the moment: the doings of federal attorney John Durham, the special counsel looking into matters pertaining to RussiaGate, the first step in America’s attempted suicide. Mr. Durham is currently prosecuting a small fish, a sardine among the Lawfare sharks and killer whales of K Street, Michael Sussmann, for telling one measly lie to the FBI. Mr. Durham has been at this task for two years plus. That’s a long time to spend on a simple crime based on a few easy-to-get bits of evidence: a cell phone text, some emails, the testimony of one principal witness — and a pretext that no one ever took seriously in the first place: the punk-ass Alfa Bank conduit-to-Russia story.

So, in 2016, schlubby lawyer Michael Sussmann from Perkins Coie, the DC law firm representing the Hillary Clinton Campaign, asks for a meeting with his old DOJ colleague, Jim Baker, now General Counsel (top lawyer) for the FBI. He has some sensitive information that the Bureau might find interesting. He says he does not represent any particular client in the matter, he’s just stepping forward as a patriotic citizen. He emphasizes this point more than once, including a text, recorded in the digital cloud (uh-oh), the night before the meeting. He comes in out of the swampy Potomac heat to Mr. Baker’s air-conditioned lair at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue and spins a tale about a Russian-owned outfit called Alfa-Bank with computer servers located in the vicinity of Trump Tower in New York City, which, he alleges, are being used by candidate Donald Trump to communicate with bad guys in Russia.

The story goes nowhere fast. The FBI discounts it. Turns out that Mr. Sussmann billed the hours spent on this folderol to Hillary for America, which, prima facie, indicates he was working for her campaign at the time. Six years later, he’s indicted. Anyway, perhaps unbeknownst to Mr. Sussman, the FBI, in July 2016, had already ramped up an investigation into the Trump campaign with the sexy name “Crossfire Hurricane” — a lyric bit from the ancient Rolling Stones’ hit “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” — so anointed by FBI sexy super-agent Peter Strozk, who was at the time jumpin’ in-and-out of bed with colleague Lisa Page, legal counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

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“Take these guys to Vegas!”

Monkeypox Was a Table-Top Simulation Only Last Year (Senger)

Elite media outlets around the world are on red alert over the world’s first-ever global outbreak of Monkeypox in mid-May 2022—just one year after an international biosecurity conference in Munich held a simulation of a “global pandemic involving an unusual strain of Monkeypox” beginning in mid-May 2022. Monkeypox was first identified in 1958, but there’s never been a global Monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa until now—in the exact week of the exact month predicted by the biosecurity folks in their pandemic simulation. Take these guys to Vegas! Ed Yong, who’s penned dozens of hysterical articles on Covid for The Atlantic including such gems as COVID-19 Long-Haulers Are Fighting for Their Future, Even Health-Care Workers With Long COVID Are Being Dismissed, How Did This Many Deaths Become Normal? and The Final Pandemic Betrayal, is hot on the scene of the new Monkeypox outbreak.

Eric Feigl-Ding is also all over this. Epidemiologists Jennifer Nuzzo and Bill Hanage are on the scene—but still no word from them as to whether they see anything strange about the first-ever global Monkeypox outbreak occurring in mid-May 2022, a year after they acted as advisers on an international biosecurity simulation of a global Monkeypox outbreak occurring in mid-May 2022. The US Government is hot on the scene with an order of 13 million Monkeypox vaccine doses from Bavarian Nordic. The WHO is on the scene. The global Monkeypox outbreak—occurring on the exact timeline predicted by a biosecurity simulation of a global Monkeypox outbreak a year prior—bears a striking resemblance to the outbreak of COVID-19 just months after Event 201, a simulation of a coronavirus pandemic almost exactly like COVID-19.

Event 201 was hosted in October 2019—just two months before the coronavirus was first revealed in Wuhan—by the Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum, Bloomberg, and Johns Hopkins. As with the Event 201, the participants at the Monkeypox simulation have thus far been stone silent as to their having participated in a pandemic simulation the facts of which happened to come true in real life just months later. One person who was present at both Event 201 and the Monkeypox simulation is George Fu Gao, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control. At event 201, Gao specifically raised the point of countering “misinformation” during a “hypothetical” coronavirus pandemic.

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“That billionaire, “corporate raider” Ron Perelman, has deep and controversial ties to the Clinton family and the Democratic party as well as troubling ties to Jeffery Epstein.”

Monkeypox Fears May Rescue Endangered Corporations (Whitney Webb)

In recent days, concern over a global outbreak of monkeypox, a mild disease related to smallpox and chickenpox, has been hyped in the media and health ministries around the world, even prompting an emergency meeting at the World Health Organization (WHO). For some, fears have centered around monkeypox being the potential “next pandemic” after Covid-19. For others, the fear is that monkeypox will be used as the latest excuse to further advance draconian biosecurity policies and global power grabs. Regardless of how the monkeypox situation plays out, two companies are already cashing in. As concern over monkeypox has risen, so too have the shares of Emergent Biosolutions and SIGA Technologies.

Both companies essentially have monopolies in the US market, and other markets as well, on smallpox vaccines and treatments. Their main smallpox-focused products are, conveniently, also used to protect against or treat monkeypox as well. As a result, the shares of Emergent Biosolutions climbed 12% on Thursday, while those of SIGA soared 17.1%. For these companies, the monkeypox fears are a godsend, specifically for SIGA, which produces a smallpox treatment, known by its brand name TPOXX. It is SIGA’s only product. While some outlets have noted that the rise in the valuation of SIGA Technologies has coincided with recent concerns about monkeypox, essentially no attention has been given to the fact that the company is apparently the only piece of a powerful billionaire’s empire that isn’t currently crumbling.

That billionaire, “corporate raider” Ron Perelman, has deep and controversial ties to the Clinton family and the Democratic party as well as troubling ties to Jeffery Epstein. Aside from his controlling stake in SIGA, Perelman has recently made headlines for rapidly liquidating many of his assets in a desperate bid for cash. Similarly, Emergent Biosolutions has also been in hot water. The company, which has troubling ties to the 2001 Anthrax attacks, came under fire just under two weeks ago for engaging in a “cover up” over quality control issues relating to their production of Covid-19 vaccines. A Congressional investigation found that quality control concerns at an Emergent-run facility led to more than 400 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines being discarded. The Emergent factory in question had been shut down by the FDA in April 2021. They were allowed to reopen last August before the government terminated the contract.

Maajid

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“It was Russia that urged the UN to look into this situation and persuade the Kiev regime to let people walk out.”

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, May 18, 2022 (Saker)

The special military operation continues in Ukraine. As Russian leaders have said more than once, it is going according to plan, and new territories are being freed from the Nazis every day. The Ukrainian military personnel and militants in Azov nationalist units that entrenched themselves in the underground bunkers of the Azovstal Plant, began to surrender in Mariupol this week. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, 959 Ukrainian nationalists, including 51 with severe wounds, have laid down their arms over two days. They receive medical aid at the Novoazovsk hospital in the DPR, and the rest were sent to a pretrial detention centre in Yelenovka in the suburbs of Donetsk. Indicatively, on May 17, this centre was shelled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine with multiple launch rocket systems (MLRSs).

The Kiev regime has always treated its citizens like this, and this case was no exception. Russian leaders had repeatedly stated that resistance was senseless and announced the opening of humanitarian corridors for militants and Ukrainian military personnel to leave the Azovstal Plant after laying down their arms. They were urged to stop the hostilities. In the meantime, the Kiev regime was doing all it could to prevent civilians, military personnel and militants from leaving the plant. Why? They were brainwashing the public. It was Russia that urged the UN to look into this situation and persuade the Kiev regime to let people walk out. Later, Russia organised humanitarian corridors in cooperation with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. I would like to emphasise that the initiative on announcing and opening these corridors was ours.

The wounded troops are provided with professional medical help. This fact is being turned upside down and misrepresented in the Ukrainian and international media. Remember the footage showing how the militants and the Armed Forces of Ukraine treat POWs in Ukraine? Everyone saw it. It horrified many, others pretended not to have seen it. Russian POWs were shot to death by militants from the nationalist units that became part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russia has adopted a different approach. You see footage showing professional help being provided to the wounded [Ukrainian troops]. It is not being provided “for show.” It is provided to real individuals regardless of their background. Humanitarian law is not just something we abide by; it is of fundamental importance for us. No one should have any doubt about this.

According to Ukrainian POWs, the military leadership of Ukraine forbids the troops to retreat or surrender. Their key goal is to destroy as much civilian infrastructure as possible in order to leave behind uninhabitable ruins and make it hard to restore peaceful life. This is not our messaging, but the testimony received from the Ukrainian side over the past weeks.

There Is No “Open Corridor” Through West and Central Ukraine

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“Not irrelevant in all of this is the fact that Freeland’s grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper during WWII in Galicia and that she is indeed aware of this and apparently unapologetic.”

So How Serious Is Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Romance? (Chung)

I suggest we do a little exercise together. Let us dare to discern the “facts” for ourselves. Only then, will we cease being mere cheerleaders for a team; only then, can we qualify ourselves to ask in all honest sincerity, “whose side are we truly on?” Are Nazis Now the New “Good Guys”? There is a bit of mixed messaging that has been going on, especially in the last few weeks. Are there significant numbers of Nazis in Ukraine and are these “bad” or “good” Nazis in the context that they are fighting the Russian “invaders”? In one breath we hear the counter, how can there be Nazis in Ukraine when there is a Jewish President calling the shots? In another breath we hear Facebook is now allowing users to praise the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion while they are fighting Russians.

In yet another breath we hear, well its complicated, Ukrainian Nationalism should be considered at the forefront of any debate, even if it overlaps with Nazi ideology. On Feb. 27, 2022, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland held a scarf bearing the slogan “Slava Ukraini,” meaning “Glory to Ukraine,” with the “Blood and Soil” colors of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) (who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and massacred thousands of Jews and Poles). She then proceeded to post this picture onto her Twitter account (replacing it hours later with a picture of her without the “Blood and Soil” scarf) and accused her detractors of “reeking of Russian disinformation”. This controversial picture of Freeland was reported by Canada’s National Post.

According to Freeland’s press secretary, this was just another case of a “classic KGB disinformation smear… accusing Ukrainians and Ukrainian-Canadians of being far right extremists or fascists or Nazis,” which is a confusing statement on multiple levels. It is not clear how this is a case of “Russian disinformation,” since the picture is indeed authentic, Freeland does not deny this. And she is indeed holding a “Blood and Soil” emblem, which originated with the Nazis, clear for everyone to see. Lastly, it is confusing as to why the Canadian government seems to be unaware that the KGB no longer exists. Are they also under the impression that the Soviet Union still exists? Not irrelevant in all of this is the fact that Freeland’s grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper during WWII in Galicia and that she is indeed aware of this and apparently unapologetic.

Whenever she is questioned about this, she does not deny anything, but simply blames such a focus of inquiry on Russian disinformation with the intent to “destabilize Western democracies.” That is, it is not a question of what is one’s historical or ideological background, but a question of “whose side are you on?” Interestingly, it was the Canadian newspaper “The Globe and Mail” who reported this story, titled “Freeland knew her grandfather was editor of Nazi newspaper,” thus, not a Russian publication last time I checked. And upon whom did they base such information? None other than Freeland’s own uncle, John-Paul Himka, who is now professor emeritus at the University of Alberta.

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More from Canada.

Yes, The Ukraine War Could Have Been Prevented (Maple)

Foreign policy experts are pushing back against the Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine’s recent claim that nothing could have prevented Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. In an interview with CBC News’ Rosemary Barton last Sunday, Larisa Galadza, who returned to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv this month after the Canadian embassy was evacuated ahead of the invasion in February, said: “I don’t think there was anyone who could stop Putin doing what Putin did, given the frame of mind that we all expect him to be in. He wasn’t believing history. He wasn’t logical. He wasn’t rational. He isn’t rational, so I don’t know how one prevents that.” Barton did not press Galadza on those claims, and instead asked about how the ambassador felt when the Canadian flag was raised again over the embassy in Kyiv last week.

Ivan Katchanovski, a political science professor with expertise on Ukraine and Russia at the University of Ottawa, told The Maple that Galadza’s claims are not supported by evidence or scholarship. “[The war] could have been avoided and prevented,” Katchanovski explained. Specifically, an agreement in which Ukraine promised to remain a neutral country and the fulfilment of the Minsk accords could have stopped Putin’s invasion, he said. The Minsk accords were two agreements, the first signed in 2014 and the second in 2015, that were established in an effort to end fighting in the Donbas region between Ukrainian forces and Russian separatists. The agreements granted self-governing rights to areas of the Donbas region that were held by the separatists, among other pledges.

The 2014 agreement broke down and failed to stop the fighting. The updated agreement in 2015 was never properly implemented, and ceasefire violations from both sides continued. According to data from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which monitors the conflict, there were more than 93,000 ceasefire violations on both sides and 16 civilian deaths caused by the fighting in the Donbas region in 2021. Heavy concentrations of explosions caused by shells fired by multi-launch rocket systems, artillery, mortars and tanks landed in areas held by separatists, where ethnic Russians constitute the largest minority group. According to the UN Human Rights Commissioner, 81 per cent of the 381 civilian casualties caused by the fighting from 2018 to 2021 were in separatist-held areas.

Western countries have been criticized for not pressuring Ukraine to uphold its side of the Minsk agreement. Katchanovski suggested that before Putin’s invasion, a successful peace agreement could have allowed for Ukraine to eventually join the European Union (EU) in exchange for neutrality. EU integration was a key demand of the Western-backed 2014 uprising that overthrew Kyiv’s pro-Russia government. The violent uprising and its fallout prompted Russia’s annexation of Crimea the same year. However, seeking a peace deal with Russia, “was not a policy of the United States, which has a very strong influence on Ukrainian politics and on [Ukrainian President Volodymr] Zelenskyy in particular,” Katchanovski explained. He said Ukraine is a “U.S. client state.”

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Rubles.

Russia Will Shut Off Gas To Finland From Saturday (CNBC)

Russia may have just made its first retaliatory move against Finland after lawmakers in Helsinki officially applied to join the NATO military alliance. Gasum, Finland’s state-owned gas wholesaler, said in a statement Friday morning that imports from Russia will be halted on Saturday. “On the afternoon of Friday May 20, Gazprom Export informed Gasum that natural gas supplies to Finland under Gasum’s supply contract will be cut on Saturday May 21, 2022 at 07.00,” it said in a statement. Gasum’s CEO, Mika Wiljanen, added that the company had been preparing for such a situation “and provided that there will be no disruptions in the gas transmission network, we will be able to supply all our customers with gas in the coming months.”


“Gasum will supply natural gas to its customers from other sources through the Balticconnector pipeline. Gasum’s gas filling stations in the gas network area will continue in normal operation,” he said. It comes after Russia’s state-run gas giant Gazprom in April told Poland and Bulgaria that it would halt flows after both countries refused Moscow’s demand to pay for gas supplies in rubles. Gasum gave no reason for the move, but Finland has also reportedly refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles. It also comes just two days after Finland formally applied to join NATO. Russia had warned of retaliation if the traditionally neutral nation became a member of the Western military alliance. After Finland’s application, alongside fellow Nordic nation Sweden, Moscow wasted no time in making its feelings known, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying Monday that the expansion of NATO “is a problem.”

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More rubles.

Ruble Hits 7-Year High As Gas Buyers Bow To Putin’s Payment Mandate (ZH)

On Friday the ruble surged to the highest level in seven years against the euro, thanks in large part to the Putin-ordered mandatory conversion of foreign currency by export-focused companies, also as China and India (and much of Europe) are still buying Russia’s energy and agricultural products… despite the loud the threats coming from Washington, which have lately included a potential move to block Russian sovereign debt payments. At this point the Russian currency is about 20% stronger than pre-invasion, as the war grinds on into its fourth month. Jumping as much as 9% against the Euro, the ruble last hit this level in June 2015… Aiding the surge, there’s further been weak demand for dollars and euros given restrictions on cross-border transactions, and as an increasingly isolated Russia sees slowed imports.


While it’s unclear which companies or countries are consenting to the Putin-ordered ruble payment mechanism, it’s clear the Russian leader’s gambit is working, as Bloomberg reviews: Under the new mechanism, importers of Russian pipeline gas must open two accounts at Gazprombank to handle payments for the fuel. Around half of Gazprom’s more than 50 foreign clients have already opened such accounts, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said earlier this week. Finland has become the latest alongside Poland and Bulgaria last month being cut off from Russian gas supplies (Finland confirmed its taps will be cut Saturday, though much less reliant on gas among its diverse resources). Novak further confirmed that a number of “major clients” have either already paid using the mechanism are are willing to pay on time to avoid cutoff.

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Kolakusic

 

 

 

 

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