Sep 282022
 
 September 28, 2022  Posted by at 3:00 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


M.C. Escher Fish and Boat 1948

 

 

For the past 24 hours, I’ve been reading, and jotting down quotes, like an idiot, about the Nordstream pipes’ sabotage. Just trying to figure out what the hell happened. I doubt we will ever know who “killed Kennedy”, but we can try. I find it remarkable how eager certain parties are to blame Russia for blowing up its own infrastructure, how equally eager to discard alternative options, and most of all perhaps how eager “EU functionaries” are to claim they want a full investigation. Really? Even if your own allies did it?

Thinking that Russia blew up its own pipeline, while they could just close the tap, much easier and cheaper, appears to be very far fetched. In any Whodunnit you want some logic. First, my notes, from the past day, much from Twitter, plus some other sources, more or less in random order:

Nord Stream 2 pipeline cost over 11 billion dollars and ten years to build. It’s going to take years to fix.

Note: it will take weeks, if not months, to just get started. Because all the gas will have to flow out first. The pipes were not active, but they were full of gas, over a very long distance. They were ready to go and supply Europe. Then when Germany suddenly reneged on the deal, where were they going to put the gas?

Laying (building) undersea pipelines is never an easy job, But the Baltic Sea adds a few extra problems, as per Lookout at the Saker :

Sitrep On Nord Stream 1 And 2 Gas Pipelines

The first step to building an offshore pipeline is to conduct extensive surveys of the seabed. In the case of NS2, this involved detailed seabed survey of areas potentially harmful to the building and operation of a pipeline. This was certainly the case for NS1 and NS2, especially in areas that were used to dump explosives and chemicals.


The Baltic Sea was the scene of maritime battles, laying of mines during WW2. Additionally, areas of it were used as a dumping ground for obsolete, damaged, or expired munitions & chemicals. This was widely carried out following the end of both world wars. “It is estimated that the Baltic Sea alone has around 50,000 tonnes of chemical munitions, 500,000 tonnes of conventional weapons, and 10,000 wrecks on its seabed.”

I loved this little bit:

German Economy Minister Habeck: “speculations about the reason for nord stream 1 leak are currently forbidden.”

That’s German politics on its last legs. Y’all, shut up!

Nordstream has never been uncontested. This is from November 2015, at pipeline-journal.net:

Explosive-Laden Drone Found Near Nord Stream Pipeline

Ruling out sabotage, the Swedish military has successfully cleared a remote operated vehicle (drone) rigged with explosives found near Line 2 of the Nord Stream Natural Gas offshore pipeline system. The vehicle was discovered during a routine survey operation as part of the annual integrity assessment of the Nord Stream pipeline. Since it was within the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) approximately 120 km away from the island of Gotland, the Swedes called on their armed forces to remove and ultimately disarm the object. “We don’t consider it to be dangerous to merchant vessels or the pipeline at this point,” Jesper Stolpe, Swedish Armed Forces spokesman, told Radio Sweden. According to Stolpe, the cable used to control the drone and to set off the explosive was cut off, so at the moment the vehicle is relatively harmless.

And more recently, there was activity in the area as well. Guess who…

Apparently US 6th Fleet undersea explosives specialists were “scoping out” the situation back in June.

An expeditionary detachment of US Navy ships led by the universal amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge days ago was in the Baltic Sea. It was 30 km from the site of the alleged sabotage on the Nord Stream-1 gas pipeline and 50 km from the threads of Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline

Tin Foil Hats: Russia and Germany were negotiating behind the scenes for gas, but a “3rd party caught on and put an end to it”.

The Nordstream 2 pipeline allows Russia to send gas to Western Europe without paying transit fees to Ukraine and Poland. Russia just completed it in the teeth of massive opposition from Ukraine, Poland and USA. Now they are trying to convince you it was Russia who blew it up.

The mother of all coincidences:

Baltic Pipe. This is the new Norway-Poland Baltic Pipeline that just coincidentally opened today.

A former Polish defense minister has credited the United States with blowing up two Russian natural gas pipelines to Europe, Nord Stream 1 & 2, the day before Poland opened a major new pipeline from Norway. A new 900km pipeline “Baltic Pipe” will be opened today, a branch connecting from the Norway-Germany ‘“Europipe”. This branch bypasses Germany.

That former Polish defense minister, Radek Sikorski, [now] Chairman of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the US, and married to WaPo’s Anne Applebaum, writes “Thank you, USA”

[..] looks like the pipeline attack wasn’t totally successful, as it failed to breach one of the NS2 lines – taking down only three of the four pipes. it will be interesting to see if there is any attempt to finish the job.

Javier Blas, Bloomberg: The size of the Nord Stream pipeline gas leak is huge. According to the Danish armed forces, it measures about 1 kilometer in diameter. The smaller circle in the center is approximately 200 meters wide

Each line of the pipeline consists of about 100,000 24-tonne concrete-weight coated steel pipes laid on the seabed. The pipelines have a constant internal diameter of 1.153m, according to Nord Stream. Sections lie at a depth of around 80-110m.

The approximate locations of the leaks are in the Bornholm Basin area (mean depth of 43m), closest to the island. The depth is shallow enough for specialised diving operations as well as the use of Remotely Operated Vehicles, (as was the case for the construction of both pipelines). The shallow area of the Bornholm Strait separating the Arkona Basin from the Bornholm Basin has a maximum depth of 45 metres.

The steel pipe itself has a wall of 4.1 centimeters (1.6 inches), and it’s coated with another 6-11 cm of steel-reinforced concrete. Each section of the pipe weighs 11 tonnes, which goes to 24-25 tonnes after the concrete is applied.

Assessment is that the second, bigger explosion corresponded to more than 100 kilos of dynamite.

 

This gives us at least some idea. That Russia would kill its own $11 billion 10-year hard-fought investment makes little sense. Not impossible, but very unlikely. The US, however…

 

We have Biden in February this year:

And Victoria Nuland just before that:

 

Tucker Carlson summarized it pretty well last night:

 

But now we still don’t know Whodunnit.

Gonzalo Lira says it’s “The Americans Declared War On Europe”:

 

 

I’m sure the Americans had a role in it. But that’s not the same as saying they were the direct perpetrators. There are still other candidates. Let’s rule out Russia, unless someone comes with a good explanation for why they would have acted against their own interest -or the semblance of it.

Germany is another party to this. But they are suffering already, and may indeed have held secret talks with Russia about gas deliveries. Now, they can forget about that for a long time to come. There are voices saying today that the pipelines are damaged beyond repair. I’m not sure that’s true, maybe they can replace one damaged pipe segment with a non-damaged one, but it would certainly take a lot of time and money.

So we strike off Russia and Germany, and keep the US in the back of our heads. That leaves two very obvious parties. First, the Ukraine, which loves not having to compete with Nordstream. But as far as we know, Kiev doesn’t have the equipment and/or capability to blow up a pipeline 100 meters under water. They could have asked the US, though, true enough.

That leaves one country that no-one is talking about, but is in the thick of it all: Poland.

The Poles stand to profit in two different ways from the explosions (and unlike Ukraine, they have the equipment to make it happen). First, there is a pipeline from Russia to Germany that runs through Poland, and for which they can now demand a user fee if any gas would flow. Second, they just opened the Norway-Poland branch of the Norway-Germany “Europipe” yesterday, which is labeled the Baltic Pipe.

Poland can make a killing off of the situation. There’s no way they could pull it off without the US knowing about it, but that can be arranged.

 

This all still leaves me with a few questions. As I knew it would. For the same reason I don’t know who killed Kennedy. First, why did the CIA warn of an attack on Nordstream weeks in advance?

And second, why are people like Von der Leyen, Borrell etc. clamoring so loudly for a thorough investigation when the Whodunnit logic says it may well point to one of their allies? Do they know something they’re not telling, do they think they can suppress whatever comes out? To be continued.

 

 

 

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Sep 222022
 


Pablo Picasso Head of a woman 1939

 

Russia Will Mobilize About 1.2% Of Her Mobilizational Potential (Saker)
Russia To Begin Partial Mobilization – Putin (RT)
Russia Announces Partial Mobilization (MoA)
Squelching the Noise about the Ukraine (9Bill)
Defensive West Smears Samarkand Summit (Lauria)
The Plot to Seize Russia & Make It a NATO Vassal – Martin Armstrong (G&E)
The Real US Agenda In Africa Is Hegemony (Escobar)
NATO’s “Green” Masochistic EUthanasia (Vilches)
10,000 anti-Russia Sanctions (Vilches)
Europe Implodes (Vilches)
Federal Reserve Chair Announces Another 75 Point Rate Hike (CTH)
The European Central Bank’s Zimbabwean Model (Hayes)
How the West Poisoned Its Money (Varoufakis)
Beyond the Peak (Greer)
House Democrats Take Ownership of Hunter (Turley)
EU Health Regulator Says Covid Pandemic Not Over (R.)

 

 

 

 

Miller

 

 

 

 

Detroit cringe (I can’t even listen to the end)

 

 

 

 

Biden. Trump.

 

 

 

 

“We are talking only about those soldiers who have an official status of “reserves” and all of them will have to undergo a special training before being sent to the Ukraine.”

Russia Will Mobilize About 1.2% Of Her Mobilizational Potential (Saker)

So, after lots of speculation, we now know that the Kremlin has decided to mobilize about 300’000 soldiers from a total mobilizational potential of 25’000’000 soldiers. That’s just a little over 1% of Russia’s mobilizational potential. We are talking only about those soldiers who have an official status of “reserves” and all of them will have to undergo a special training before being sent to the Ukraine. A few comments about this decision: It will take Russia a few months to gather and retrain (refresher courses) these forces and they will not be immediately available to protect the Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhie and Kherson regions during the upcoming referendum on to whether to join Russia or not. The 3rd volunteer army corps is already deployed in the south and could greatly assist in this.

Putin and Shoigu gave several reasons for this decision, including the very long line of contact, the direct involvement of NATO personnel who are now running the Ukronazi regime in Kiev and the threats by the West to dismantle Russia. Shoigu indicated that the UAF lost about 50% of its personnel (over 100’000 soldiers out of a total potential of about 200’000). He also added that most of the Ukrainian weapons systems, which were of Soviet origin, was mostly destroyed. Russian KIAs are just under 6000 soldiers. Shoigu also clearly spelled out that “we are not so much fighting against the Ukraine but against NATO plus the united (collective) West“. Shoigu also mentioned that all of the NATO satellite capabilities (70 military and 200+ civilian satellites) are used against Russia right now.

Finally, Shoigu added that NATO high precision weapons are deliberately used by NATO commanders to terrorize civilians. In other words, Russia is preparing for an escalation of this war in the coming months. She is basically augmenting her forces to a level which could deal with a major NATO escalation in the Ukraine (and elsewhere as not all mobilized forces would have to be combat units; deploying more C4ISR capabilities, logistics/supply forces or civil affairs and counter-terrorism units would also make sense). The other big news of the day is, of course, that Russia will back and accept the outcome of the referendums in the four regions mentioned above.

Read more …

“The Russian leader pledged to support the plebiscites in terms of security and said his government would respect whatever outcomes they produce..”

Russia To Begin Partial Mobilization – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization during an address to the nation on Wednesday morning. He said the Defense Ministry had recommended drawing military reservists into active service as the country faces a protracted conflict in Ukraine and Donbass. The measure is sensible and necessary under the circumstances, Putin said, considering that Russia is fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. He has already signed an order for the call-up to start immediately. The move will see the armed forces draw on military reservists only, and those who have completed national service, the president added. He promised that they would be provided with additional training, along with all the benefits due to people involved in active duty.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu revealed some details about the mobilization in a separate statement on Wednesday. He said the ministry wanted to call to arms some 300,000 reservists, or just over 1% of Russia’s full mobilization potential. Putin has accused Kiev of backing away from peace talks with Moscow, which he said it had done on the instructions of its Western backers. Instead, the Ukrainian government has doubled down on military action, he said. “After certain compromises [with Moscow] were reached, Kiev received a de facto direct order to derail all agreements. More weapons were pumped into Ukraine. The Kiev regime deployed more gangs of international mercenaries and nationalists, military units trained to NATO standards and under de facto command of Western advisers,” Putin said.

Russian forces sent to Ukraine in February have secured a large portion of territory claimed by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as parts of Ukraine, he said. The resulting front line stretches over 1,000km, the president pointed out. He warned the US and its allies against ramping up pressure on Moscow. Western nations are openly pursuing a military defeat of Russia, seeking to push the country into insignificance and to loot its natural wealth, he stated. “Parts of Western elites use every effort to preserve their dominance. That is why they try to block and suppress any sovereign centers of development, so that they can continue to brutally force their will on other nations and peoples, to impose their pseudo-values,” he explained. “Their goal is to weaken, disunite and ultimately destroy our nation.”

Some senior officials in NATO states have even suggested that using tactical nuclear weapons against Russian troops would be justified, according to Putin. The president stressed that Moscow would not hesitate to retaliate to such an attack with its own nuclear weapons. If the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will certainly use all the means that we have to defend Russia and our people. Putin also commented on the upcoming referendums in the two Donbass republics and two regions of Ukraine currently controlled to a large extent by Russian troops. The four entities are putting to a general vote a proposal to ask Moscow to accept them as new parts of the Russian Federation, with polling scheduled to start on Friday.

The Russian leader pledged to support the plebiscites in terms of security and said his government would respect whatever outcomes they produce. Russia’s goal is to protect civilians from the Ukrainian government, which had escalated the persecution of its opponents at home and had been using terrorist tactics against people living in Russia-controlled lands, Putin said.

Read more …

“..we can expect that the Russian forces will start to degrade Ukrainian infrastructure on a large scale.”

Russia Announces Partial Mobilization (MoA)

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said (video, Sputnik report) that 300,000 reservist will be mobilized. Conscripts and people currently studying will not be send to Ukraine. He also said that, so far, 5,937 Russian soldiers have died during the war in Ukraine. (This number does not include the militia of the DPR and LPR, or the Wagner group, who have done most of the frontline work and thus have had higher losses.) Shoigu puts Ukrainian losses at some 62,000 killed and some 50,000 wounded. (I regard this as a low estimate.) Russia’s total military reserve, people who have previously gone through military training, is 25 million. It also has the equipment to arm those forces.

There are rumors that the Ukraine is preparing for an all out offensive, mobilizing and preparing new units from Kiev and further west for one big push against the Russian and allied forces. It will take a few months to prepare for this. The Ukraine will need much more equipment and ammunition from the ‘west’, including ‘western’ tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, and has yet to train troops to be able to use it. It is likely intending to start the offensive only in spring. The call up Russia announced now may have the intent to draw Kiev into a premature launch of its general offensive. The mobilized Russian troops will take about three months to be ready for war. Russia could thus launch its own offensive during the winter season. In the meantime constant defensive work will continue to severely degrade the Ukrainian units which are currently on or near the frontlines.

With a force of an additional 300,000 troops, far beyond the 100,000 to 150,000 engaged now in the war, the Russia forces could change their tactics from the slow grind that is happening now into a larger scale maneuver war with heavy strikes into the operational depth of the Ukrainian army. Belarus, allied with the Russian Federation, is also in the process of getting ready for war. It could, as it had threatened before, cut of the supply lines from the ‘west’ into the Ukraine in the western part of that country. Should current Ukrainian attacks on civilians and infrastructure in Russia and the Donbas regions continue, we can expect that the Russian forces will start to degrade Ukrainian infrastructure on a large scale. The electricity and railway networks would be the primary targets. s

Read more …

“The celebrations that will follow these regions joining Russia are likely to be massive: Crimea 2014 times ten.”

Squelching the Noise about the Ukraine (9Bill)

Earlier this morning, Vladimir Putin gave the order to call up army reservists. According to him, the nature and the goals of the Special Military Operation in the Ukraine remain the same. The reservists will be given contracts (they will in essence become salaried employees). Only those with relevant military experience and training will be called up. Shoigu went into further specifics: just 300.000 reservists will be called up in the first phase (roughly 1% of Russia’s total reservists), which will coincide with the normal, regularly scheduled annual training of reserves. They will be equipped, trained and sent in with the task of shoring up and straightening up the battle front. To be sure, they will also be called upon to provide security and to suppress enemy activity on both sides of the border.

Given the current configuration of the battle front, which includes a toehold on the Kharkov region, all of Lugansk, most of Donetsk, most of Zaporozhye and most of Kherson, their mission could conceivably come to include driving the Ukrainian forces out of the remainder of Donetsk and Kherson regions and perhaps setting up and maintaining a buffer zone to make it impossible for Ukrainian artillery to reach within what will soon become territory of the Russian Federation.
To this end, referenda will be held starting this Friday in all of the above formerly Ukrainian regions except for Kharkov, which is excluded. According to most recent opinion polling, the idea of joining the Russian Federation is very popular in all of the above: 94% in favor in Donetsk, 93% in Lugansk, 87% in Zaporozhye and 80% in Kherson.

And why wouldn’t these people want to be part of a peaceful, stable and prosperous state where their native language is the official language rather than stay within a failed state that has been fighting a civil war against them going on nine years? The celebrations that will follow these regions joining Russia are likely to be massive: Crimea 2014 times ten. Finally, I’d like to add a note on the Russian withdrawal from most of the Kharkov region. The region itself is of no consequence to Russia while the city of Kharkov, with its remaining population of around two million and with Ukrainian heavy armor and artillery hiding among high-rise buildings and using civilians as human shields, would be either a hard target, a humanitarian disaster, or both, were the Russians to try to conquer it. Also, although Kharkov is overwhelmingly Russian-speaking, these are some of the most heavily brainwashed, Westernized, Nazified Russian-speakers on the face of the planet and, from a Russian perspective, just not worth the bother.

Read more …

Good to see people other than Pepe Escobar cover this angle, too.

Defensive West Smears Samarkand Summit (Lauria)

The Shanghai Cooperation Council (SCO)’s summit in the Uzbek capital of Samarkand last Thursday and Friday was a world historical event for the forces creating this separate world representing the majority of humanity. Major economic deals were concluded and Beijing and Moscow further strengthened their budding alliance. In what should be a worrying sign for Washington, many of its Middle East allies, which have also rejected U.S. pressure to sanction Russia, have applied to join the SCO. For years the West rejected overtures from Russia and China to collaborate in a multipolar world. But that would mean giving up its dominant position, maintained from overtly colonial days. Instead the U.S.-led West pushes for total domination. So rather than acknowledge that its attempt to destroy Russia’s economy and bring down its government has instead led to economic chaos in the West and a threat to its global position, Western leaders are doubling down.

By sanctioning Russian energy and other vital exports, and by shutting out its financial system, the West thought Russia would collapse. Instead Moscow has found markets in the world’s most populous nations so that its currency, its industry and its banking system have survived. The Western response to this growing challenge to its hegemony was reflected in the way Western media covered the Samarkand summit. On top of the dismissive tone of its reporting came distortion of facts that misled its Western audiences to the significance of what Samarkand means to the future. The Daily Telegraph began its report, headlined, “Isolated Putin left at Beijing’s mercy as his disastrous war backfires,” with an account about how Putin was humiliated because he was left waiting for the president of Kyrgyzstan. With the headline, “Putin and Xi plot a new world order to challenge America’s might,”

The Times of London took the same line, writing of “Russia’s dependence on China since its disastrous war in Ukraine.” CNN’s report sowed seeds of doubt about the SCO’s unity, writing about the summit from Hong Kong that the “Ukraine war risks exposing regional divisions.” The New York Times report filed from Washington and Beijing, sought to portray the “limits” of “cooperation” between Russia and China. None of these reports focused on an emerging world order that is leaving the U.S. on the outside looking in. Western media instead seized on a few words uttered to try to frame India and China as criticizing Russia’s war in Ukraine. They completely took out of context Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words that “today’s era is not of war.” CNN reported:

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have directly rebuffed Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, telling Russian President Vladimir Putin that now is not the time for war. In what was the latest in a series of setbacks for the Russian leader, Modi told him of the need to ‘move onto a path of peace’ and reminded him of the importance of ‘democracy, diplomacy and dialogue.’” After Putin told Modi during their public comments that Ukraine refuses to negotiate, Modi said, according to the English translation on India’s Foreign Ministry website, “I know that today’s era is not of war and we have spoken to you many times on the phone that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue are such things that touch the world. Today we will get a chance to discuss how we can move forward on the path of peace in the coming days.” It is clear that Modi was criticizing Ukraine for not negotiating, rather than criticizing Russia for the war.

Read more …

“The Great Reset is basically a debt default and the EU is a disaster that will fall apart.”

The Plot to Seize Russia & Make It a NATO Vassal – Martin Armstrong (G&E)

Martin Armstrong discusses his new book based on declassified documents where in the 1990s the West, NATO, and Russian oligarchy plotted to seize Moscow, loot Russia, and takeover its natural resources. Yeltsin turned to Putin who was not a communist and is not an oligarch. The Moscow apartment bombings or propaganda surrounding them being a false flag would likely have come from Boris Berezovsky. The Great Reset is basically a debt default and the EU is a disaster that will fall apart. At this point most of the attack on Russia is related to “climate change” and to shut down fossil fuels.

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I’m not as negative as Pepe about Guterres. Whatever his faults, I think he’s honestly trying to get the fertilizer to Africa.

The Real US Agenda In Africa Is Hegemony (Escobar)

In a rational environment, the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) would discuss alleviating the trials and tribulations of the Global South, especially Africa. That won’t be the case. Like a deer caught in the geopolitical headlights, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued platitudes about a gloomy “winter of global discontent,” even as the proverbial imperial doomsayers criticized the UN’s “crisis of faith” and blasted the “unprovoked war” started by Russia. Of course the slow-motion genocide of Donbass russophone residents for eight years would never be recognized as a provocation. Guterres spoke of Afghanistan, “where the economy is in ruins and human rights are being trampled” – but he did not dare to offer context.

In Libya, “divisions continue to jeopardize the country” – once again, no context. Not to mention Iraq, where “ongoing tensions threaten ongoing stability.” Africa has 54 nations as UN members. Any truly representative UNGA meeting should place Africa’s problems at the forefront. Once again, that’s not the case. So it is left to African leaders to offer that much-needed context outside of the UN building in New York. As the only African member of the G20, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently urged the US not to “punish” the whole continent by forcing nations to demonize or sanction Russia. Washington’s introduction of legislation dubbed the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act, he says, “will harm Africa and marginalize the continent.”

South Africa is a BRICS member – a concept that is anathema in the Beltway – and embraces a policy of non-alignment among world powers. An emerging 21st century version of the 1960s Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is strengthening across the Global South – and especially Africa – much to the revulsion of the US and its minions. Back at the UNGA, Guterres invoked the global fertilizer crisis – again, with no context. Russian diplomacy has repeatedly stressed that Moscow is ready to export 30 million tons of grain and over 20 million tons of fertilizer by the end of 2022. What is left unsaid in the west, is that only the importation of fertilizers to the EU is “allowed,” while transit to Africa is not.

Guterres said he was trying to persuade EU leaders to lift sanctions on Russian fertilizer exports, which directly affect cargo payments and shipping insurance. Russia’s Uralchem, for instance, even offered to supply fertilizers to Africa for free. Yet from the point of view of the US and its EU vassals, the only thing that matters is to counter Russia and China in Africa. Senegal’s President Macky Sall has remarked how this policy is leaving “a bitter taste.”

Read more …

I took three separate parts of Jorge Vilshes’ latest. Which is very long, I could have picked more pieces. Of course he helps himself by referencing one of my articles. 😉

NATO’s “Green” Masochistic EUthanasia (Vilches)

The German political class has torn up the social contract agreed with its constituents by swiftly ignoring the historical and most successful existential partnership established with Russia since decades ago. In parallel, Anglo-inspired unelected EU bureaucrats take turns to blindly attack Russia with suicidal Wagnerian style based on hollow virtue-signalling nonsense. Now, the German Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck (a former mediocre poetry translator…) finally and “bitterly” has admitted that Germany — and thus all of Europe — relies on ´cheap energy from Russia´ or else it´d trigger ”the collapse of energy providers” with a dire ´Lehman moment´.

This would crash the German and European economies with widespread bankruptcies unleashed by margin calls as later explained. Thus the “green” solution now found for this Made-In-Europe mess is a deeper and longer proxy Ukraine war, über-high price inflation, $ 500 billion in subsidies for starters with more coming, new ad hoc high taxes and un-applicable price caps in a supply-driven market … with scarcity all around and “no matter what voters may think or how hard their life may get” (sic). So, European businesses will fail per the terrible damage induced all along upstream supply lines including food and fuels. As brilliantly worded by Rachel Mardsen…“The West cut itself off from its sourcing in order to play geopolitics”… and then blame Russia and supposed “extremist enemies of the state”.

So, if recent declarations from German Foreign Minister Annalena (“Kobold”) Baerbock are of any guide, we shall soon witness street crowds blossoming in Europe. With circumvolutionary style, the EU Commission is now also trying to convince everyone that Europe will become “greener” in a hurry. Actually, with its lignite-fired re-commissioned power stations – the largest ever single source of pollution – Europe will turn “browner” fast, not “greener” thus setting the worst possible example to the rest of the world.It also contradicts its supposed ´moral high ground´ Green Plan. Still, EC spokesman Eric Mamer proudly stated that “The Ukraine invasion will help us speed up our move away from fossil fuels”.

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“And just like small children do, EU leaders still won´t admit it´s bed-time.”

10,000 anti-Russia Sanctions (Vilches)

The EU and the US imposed crippling sanctions on Russia which now finds it impossible – for instance – to comply with energy delivery to Europe. This in turn affects the European entire industry & trade including medicines, fuels, food, heating and everything in between. So the EU complains that Russia is using this energy non-delivery ´excuse´ as a weapon. Actually, sanctions restrict or prohibit trade of anything and everything with Russia from chips to flowers, and also disconnect Russian banks from SWIFT plus block money transfers, penalize all Russian cargo insurance, prohibit Western vessels at Russian ports and access of Russian ships to Europe. So a case in point for nat-gas non-delivery is the NS1 turbines mandatory maintenance/repairs. Contractually, Siemens is the only party allowed to touch them but sanctions do not allow their access per “Contract Violations”.

Europe keeps playing Russian roulette with itself insisting on the game plan of (1) provoking and supporting armed conflict with Russia (2) confiscating Russian assets (2) applying crippling sanctions on everything ´Russian´ (3) betting the farm on militarily winning the Ukraine war — how ??? (4) attempting a regime change in Russia (5) benefit from the spoils (6) simultaneously require Russians to provide whatever the EU may need, or else…??? (7) improvise highly dangerous experiments with well-proven European business models and European livelihoods at stake.

And just like small children do, EU leaders still won´t admit it´s bed-time. So now all that´s left for Main Street Europe is not winning anything other than freezing temperatures, far less food and fuels, ultra high price inflation of anything and everything, and plenty of hardship and discontent. But them all just keep re-arranging the chairs on the deck of an EU sinking Titanic while the orchestra enthusiastically keeps on playing one Strauss vals after another. True enough, Europe is trying its best to unnecessarily divorce Russia. But per Bloomberg – not exactly a pro-Russian mouthpiece — the EU sanctions and new taxes badly hurt Europe while Russia keeps ever improving its geopolitics and finances.

Read more …

“..as per the German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck´s own words, “just expect the worst“. Meaning areas with no energy, no fuels, no power at any price, period. Or as plain Germans would have it, just expect “kaputt”.

Europe Implodes (Vilches)

Very soon EU sanctions on Russia will start consuming the Europe we know with an ever more self-sufficient and growing Russia just watching the unfortunate scene. For instance, German SMB “Mittelstand” (99% of German GDP) will bankrupt or strain badly. The fact remains that no one has explained exactly what is to be finally gained with the EUthanizing sanctions and new taxes which are not really hurting Russia but are very seriously hurting Europeans and — indirectly — the rest of the world. “Russia rakes in more oil revenue than ever” says the Wall Street Journal by exporting almost as much crude as it did before the conflict in Ukraine… but at much higher prices.

“Now Russia has new buyers, new means of payment, new traders and new ways of financing exports”. By the way, current electricity prices in Germany are already almost ten times higher than a year ago — and keep rising – while the EU’s energy market is rattled by fears over whether highly unstable power plants will be able to provide enough electricity this winter. So it´s not just a matter of even higher prices as grid “wherewithal” is at stake with simply not enough energy available. Unmanageable price inflation is thus unstoppable. From fertilizer to aluminum production and every single commodity in between are all being seriously hindered by current ( self-inflicted ) truly soaring European energy costs.

It´s simple, and as per the German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck´s own words, “just expect the worst“. Meaning areas with no energy, no fuels, no power at any price, period. Or as plain Germans would have it, just expect “kaputt”. So this “new” German and European business model does not impress or fly well. And even on the basis of self-righteous exceptionalistic ideologies and newly-found virtuous ´moral´ arguments, current immolation of defenseless Europeans is a nonsensical price to be payed with this freezing green checkmate. Because there are no quick, ready-made, valid replacements of many / most Russian produce Europe depends upon, there is no real grass-roots political support either, and politicians cannot expect people to go along under the extreme hardship conditions soon to come.

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The central banks are not in control.

Federal Reserve Chair Announces Another 75 Point Rate Hike (CTH)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell announced another 75-point increase in federal interest rates today. This is the third consecutive 0.75 percentage point increase. Additionally, Fed policymakers have pledged to continue raising rates as high as 4.6% in 2023. While Powell walked through his reasoning to continue targeting inflation by lowering consumer demand, not once in any of his remarks did he mention energy policy driving up the cost of materials and goods. The Great Pretending continues.:

The Fed chair is trying to manage the economic policy transition by reducing economic activity to match intentionally diminished energy supplies. Lowering economic activity drops demand for energy. Unfortunately, as admitted by Powell on August 26, 2022, in Jackson Hole, this means a period of “some pain” for Americans as the central banks join together in an effort to lower consumption. What does “some pain” mean? It means lower incomes, higher prices, lowered standards of living and more scarce resources. During this transition to owning nothing and being happy about it, the pain is your wealth being stripped as the economy is intentionally diminished.


We will not be able to afford much; we won’t be able to afford the foods we want; we will not be able to purchase anything except the essentials, and those essentials will cost much more; we won’t be able to vacation, travel, or enjoy recreational activities; we won’t be able to afford any indulgences; but at the end of the process, we will learn to live more meager existences based on lowered expectations needed for sustaining the planet. Pay no attention to the elites who don’t have those concerns, comrade.

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“..Albion is really in squeaky bum time…”

The European Central Bank’s Zimbabwean Model (Hayes)

Though the function of European, German, Japanese and Zimbabwean central banks is to enable the credibility and efficiency of the financial side of their respective economies so that the real side of their economies may achieve the nation’s broader macro economic goals, NATO’s central banks have obviously and disastrously abandoned those tasks for reasons this article makes apparent. Because Zimbabwe, like Germany’s Weimar Republic before it, has reached annual inflation rates of 90 sextillion per cent a year, Europe should not be emulating the financial and economic basket case of Harare. Whatever about Zimbabwe, Germany has been famously down this road before and, in a total reversal of earlier post-war policies, seems determined to traverse it again. The European Central Bank, based in Frankfurt, is printing euros as quickly as their colleagues in Zimbabwe are printing Zimbabwean dollars, as the Confederates printed their Greybacks and as Weimar printed their famously worthless marks.

Although Weimar’s woes were many, two of the most pertinent were that the Kaiser borrowed immensely to fund his armies, whose victories were supposed to enable him to repay his nation’s debts, and that the Western allies bled defeated Germany’s resources dry, thus opening the way for Herr Hitler once Weimar fell. Europe’s central banks are following this very policy today. They are doling out billions to ease energy bills, to bribe farmers and, most notoriously, to feed the money laundering Ponzi scheme that is Zelensky’s Kiev junta. The money supply, at more than 15 trillion euros, is at record levels and real interest rates are in negative terrain, pauperizing pensioners but failing to kick start their fuel starved economies. Inflation,.Germany’s bane, is again on the march as too far much money is in search of far too few bags of fire wood; and English toilet paper has increased in price by 50% in the last few months, Albion is really in squeaky bum time.

As the European Central Bank’s leaders presently have no other card to play, they must think their printing presses are enough to prevail in Ukraine and to allow Europeans to both eat and heat themselves this winter. Not only is that wishful thinking on the part of ECB President Christine Lagarde, the ‘multi cultural’ Parisian, who previously fronted the IMF and who held senior Ministerial positions in the French government but it betrays her fundamental ignorance about monetary policy. The main aim of the euro was to have the stability of the German mark and the Dutch guilder and not to be as volatile as Lagarde’s French franc, which was devalued four times since 1945. Unlike Lagarde, the Central Bank of the Federal Republic of Germany, along with that of Japan, seemed to have understood monetary policy, which is best seen as being like the throttle of a motorbike which must, when necessary, allow more fuel to enter the economic engine but which also must not flood it by drowning it in Zimbabwean dollars, French francs, Confederate Greybacks or Lagardean euros.

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“Today, there is no optimal interest rate that will restore the balance between money demand and money supply ..”

How the West Poisoned Its Money (Varoufakis)

Negative prices make sense for bads, not goods. When a factory wants to remove toxic waste, it charges a negative price for it: its managers pay someone to get rid of it. But when central banks begin to treat money like car manufacturers treat spent sulfuric acid, or nuclear power stations their radioactive wastewater, one knows that something is rotten in the kingdom of financialized capitalism. Some commentators now hope that Western money is being purified in the flames of inflation and interest-rate hikes. But inflation is not driving the poison out of the West’s money system. After more than a decade of addiction to poisoned money, no obvious detoxification method presents itself. Inflation today is not the same beast the West faced in the 1970s and early 1980s.

This time around, it threatens labor, capital, and governments in ways that it could not 50 years ago. Back then, labor was organized enough to demand wage increases that averted a cost-of-living crisis, and neither states nor private corporations relied on free money to keep going. Today, there is no optimal interest rate that will restore the balance between money demand and money supply that does not trigger a massive wave of private and public bankruptcy. That is the long-term price of poisoned money. The US government faces the impossible dilemma of curbing domestic inflation and forcing Corporate America and many friendly governments into a solvency crisis that will threaten America’s own stability.

Things are far worse in the eurozone, where policymakers refused to do the obvious once Europe’s banks had failed after 2008: establish a proper federation’s foundation – a fiscal union. Instead, they let the European Central Bank do “whatever it takes” to save the euro. Only by poisoning its own money could the ECB keep the euro show on the road. Today, the ECB owns huge quantities of Italian, Spanish, French, even Greek debt that it can no longer justify holding as a means of achieving its inflation target, but which it cannot renounce without calling the euro’s existence into question.

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The archdruid finishes off nuclear power.

Beyond the Peak (Greer)

Coal had two world-changing effects. The first, the one everyone thinks of, is that it could be used to power steam engines, replacing wind, water, and muscle power first in dozens, then in hundreds, and finally in thousands of uses. The second, less widely known but just as dramatic, is that it could be used via the Bessemer process to produce steel in previously unimaginable amounts. Steel plus steam power drove the industrial revolution, sent railroads scything across continents and steamships driving through oceans, and transformed human life in a galaxy of ways.

Then, about the time coal reserves started to run short, petroleum (and its gaseous form, natural gas) came into general use. More chemically complex than coal, petroleum had even more net energy, and shifted the industrial revolution into overdrive. Airplanes, automobiles, plastics, industrial lubricants, the entire modern chemical industry—the list just keeps on going. Lewis Mumford, one of the twentieth century’s most insightful students of energy and civilization, argued that the distinction between coal-fired technologies and petroleum-fueled technologies was significant enough to define a change of eras: he called the coal period the Paleotechnic Era, and the petroleum period the Neotechnic Era.

The assumption all along was that petroleum would eventually run short and have to be replaced by something else, leading to a third technic era. By 1950 nearly everyone assumed that what would replace it was nuclear power. You have to read books from that time to get a sense of just how inevitable the coming nuclear era was thought to be. Even avant-garde ecological thinkers treated nuclear power as the next inevitable thing. Pick up any of the works of Paolo Soleri, Frank Lloyd Wright’s most innovative student, who imagined humanity settling in gigantic city-sized buildings called arcologies so that the natural world could be allowed to thrive elsewhere. Each of his arcologies was supposed to be powered by its own nuclear power plant.

That, in turn, was where the dream ran off the rails, because it turned out that nuclear power doesn’t pay for itself. It’s not economically viable, because its net energy is so low. Thus it wasn’t Chernobyl or Fukushima Daiichi that brought the nuclear dream to a grinding halt, it was a long series of financial disasters suffered by utilities that got suckered into the nuclear hoopla, above all the bankruptcy of the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS, unfondly remembered as “Whoops!” by the many thousands who lost money on it).

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“If Republicans take the House as expected in the midterms, the Democrats now effectively took ownership of Hunter — a political proprietary claim that few would relish.”

House Democrats Take Ownership of Hunter (Turley)

House Democrats on the Oversight Committee took a vote on Tuesday that could come back to haunt them. All of the 23 Democrats voted not to inquire into the influence peddling scheme of Hunter Biden and the Biden family. Rep. James Comer (R-KY) proposed a “resolution of inquiry” in light of growing evidence of not just a possible multimillion dollar influence peddling operation by Hunter and his uncle, but the knowledge of his father, President Joe Biden. At a minimum, it appears that President Biden’s repeated public denials of any knowledge of these dealings is false. Yet, the Democrats blocked any inquiry into the corruption. If Republicans take the House as expected in the midterms, the Democrats now effectively took ownership of Hunter — a political proprietary claim that few would relish.

The vote comes after 33 senators asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel in the matter, a call that I have repeatedly made in prior columns for over two years. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, called the resolution a “nakedly partisan effort” and accused Republicans of being “obsessed” with Hunter Biden. The vote, however, reveals a blind avoidance by Democrats of a corrupt scheme that brought in millions for the Biden family and may have benefitted the President himself. Even if no criminal acts are charged, the foreign dealings of Hunter and his uncle were clearly corrupt and leveraged access to Joe Biden to acquire windfall payments from governments and their surrogates. There is no good faith basis to refuse to investigate such a scheme designed to influence U.S. policy and policymakers.

Why wouldn’t the Congress want to know if there was a multimillion dollar influence peddling scheme reaching the very top of our government, including allegations of the involvement of foreign intelligence figures? The vote, however, does bring a modicum of clarity at long last. The House Democrats are now on record as actively blocking efforts to investigate this massive influence peddling scheme. The implications of that vote will likely become more clear if the House switches hands after the midterm elections. The Democratic members are not alone in such a reckoning. The mainstream media has been clearly moving to re-position itself in anticipation of possible criminal charges after years of blocking or downplaying the story.

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I honestly don’t understand how anyone can promote more vaccines after the New England Journal of Medicine reported Covid Vaccine Destroys Natural Immunity just last week.

EU Health Regulator Says Covid Pandemic Not Over (R.)

An official at the European Union’s drugs regulator said on Tuesday the Covid-19 pandemic was not over, contradicting US President Joe Biden, and that a planned vaccination campaign in the region during the cold season was key to fighting it. “We in Europe still consider the pandemic as ongoing and it’s important that member states prepare for rollout of the vaccines and especially the adaptive vaccines to prevent further spread of this disease in Europe,” the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Chief Medical Officer Steffen Thirstrup told a media briefing, referring to vaccines targeting specific strains of the virus. He was asked to comment on Biden’s remark in an interview broadcast on Sunday that “the pandemic is over”. “I cannot obviously answer why President Biden came to that conclusion,” Thirstrup said.


The World Health Organization has said the pandemic remains a global emergency but the end could be in sight if countries use the tools at their disposal. During the media briefing, EMA officials reaffirmed a call by the agency’s Executive Director Emer Cooke made last week in a Reuters Next Newsmaker interview that people in Europe should take whatever Covid-19 booster is available and recommended to them in the coming months. Apart from the original Covid vaccines, the EMA has in recent weeks endorsed a number of vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant of the virus for use as booster shots to ease the burden from a feared surge in infections during autumn and winter in Europe. The EMA’s head of vaccines strategy, Marco Cavaleri, said the agency was also looking into the use of the adapted shots as a primary course of vaccination and that there were discussions on the types of data that could support such an approval.

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Fox MV

 

 

Sociopath

 

 

 

 

Hasty

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 082022
 
 August 8, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Piet Mondriaan Self portrait 1918

 

Western Sanctions Are Great For Russia – Michael Hudson (RT)
Russia Eliminates Dozens Of Foreign Fighters In Ukraine (RT)
Russia Takes Out 45,000 Tons Of NATO Ammo – MoD (RT)
Only 30% Of Ukraine Military Aid Reaches Final Destination (JTN)
Finland Warns About ‘Imminent’ Downturn In Europe (RT)
UK Is Facing Dickens-style Poverty, Ex-PM warns (RT)
“We Regret Any Pain”: CUNY Apologizes, Deletes Article On Depp Lawyer (Turley)
A Glance Ahead (Kunstler)
Pink Floyd’s Waters Explains Why He Called Biden A War Criminal (RT)
Biden Administration Planning To Extend Covid Emergency Declaration (Pol.)
Brian Stelter: Hunter Biden Scandal ‘Not Just A Right-wing Media Story’ (Fox)
The Real Estate and Banking Crisis in China Is Spreading (MD.eu)
Paracetamol -Tylenol- Made This Pandemic Much Worse (Girardot)

 

 

 

 

Cobalt

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only real loser is Europe. And the heaviest losses are yet to emerge.

Western Sanctions Are Great For Russia – Michael Hudson (RT)

The economic war unleashed by the West against Russia has backfired and may bring the country much good, former Wall Street financier Michael Hudson has told the German news outlet Junge Welt. “The West’s sanctions are great for Russia. Any country threatened by US sanctions is forced to become self-sufficient,” Hudson said in an interview published on Saturday.He said that sanctions have effectively pushed Russia toward import-substitution, and the country is on track to becoming completely free of reliance on Western goods. “Instead of importing German cars, Russia is turning to China to develop its own automotive industry. Russia is now moving very quickly to replace its dependence on the West for manufactured goods with its own domestic production.

“The only things they can’t produce are Walt Disney movies and Italian handbags,” the economist said, adding that while Russia is unlikely to be able to mass produce some of the luxury items it used to import, its economy will become largely self-sufficient. Hudson also noted that sanctions, while aimed at reducing Russia’s profits from energy exports, instead “brought additional revenue to the Russian state budget.” “Russia is the big beneficiary of Germany’s energy embargo plans. The less gas Russia sells, the more money it makes,” he stated, referring to the skyrocketing energy prices that grow in correlation with the drop in Russia’s exports.

Sanctions targeting the Russian economy have also failed to destabilize the national currency, the ruble, and have sped up the de-dollarization process, the analyst said. “Even before the war in Ukraine there were efforts to de-dollarize [yet] no one expected the process to start so quickly… But […] Washington has frozen all accounts in dollars and euros, so Russia had to get out of the dollar system. And this is what helped the Russian ruble. The intention behind the Western sanctions was to collapse the ruble in order to make Russian imports more expensive…

Instead, the Russian government countered and decided: If we are not paid in euros and dollars for oil, gas, titanium and aluminum, the West will have to pay in rubles. And so the ruble has appreciated in value. It is fair to say that the West has shot itself in the foot.” Hudson noted, however, that “the biggest beneficiary” of Russia having been laden with sanctions is Washington. This is because Europe, which is heavily reliant on Russian energy, is faced with simultaneous energy and food crises, thus leaving it with little ability to pay attention to other matters. “Basically, Washington doesn’t care if Russia wins the war [in Ukraine], because the US has succeeded in eliminating its competition in Europe, especially Germany.”

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”most of the foreign fighters were eliminated “due to a low level of training and a lack of real combat experience.”

Russia Eliminates Dozens Of Foreign Fighters In Ukraine (RT)

Dozens of foreign fighters from Ukraine’s ‘International Legion’ have been killed by an airstrike in southeastern Ukraine, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday. Providing a daily update on the progress of the military operation, Konashenkov revealed that “a high-precision strike” was conducted by the Russian Air Force on a stronghold of the International Legion in the village of Vyvodovo in Dnepropetrovsk Region. As a result, “more than 80 foreign mercenaries and 11 units of special equipment were destroyed,” the military spokesman said. Kiev’s international military unit was created in late February at the request of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, and is officially known as the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.

While its members consider themselves “servicemen in the Ukrainian Armed Forces,”Konashenkov earlier stated that the best thing the foreign mercenaries could expect was a “long term in prison.” He also revealed that while hundreds of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine had been killed by Russian long-range precision weapons “shortly after their arrival,”most of the foreign fighters were eliminated “due to a low level of training and a lack of real combat experience.” In April, the Russian military estimated the number of foreign fighters at around 7,000, but a recent update suggests that less than 3,000 remain in Ukraine.

Apart from the International Legion members, over the past day, Russian forces have eliminated more than 400 nationalist fighters from the 46th airmobile brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces near the village of Belogorka in Kherson Region, according to Konashenkov. Over 70 fighters have been destroyed in three other Kherson Region villages, with about 150 personnel left injured, he added. Regarding its own casualties, Moscow has not updated the numbers since March, when it reported 1,351 military personnel killed and 3,825 wounded. Zelensky has conceded that his nation’s armed forces are sustaining heavy losses. In July, he said that Kiev was losing around 30 personnel in combat per day, which was significantly less than in May and June, when the death toll was around 100-200 troops per day.

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“Kiev [..] has decided to send to the frontline mobilized Ukrainian citizens from a training center, as well as wounded service members who did not have enough time to fully recover.”

There is a report circulating that says 191,000 Ukr troops have been killed.

Russia Takes Out 45,000 Tons Of NATO Ammo – MoD (RT)

The Russian military has taken out a depot in southern Ukraine that stored NATO-supplied ammunition, the Defense Ministry claimed on Sunday. “In the Voznesensk area of the Nikolaev region an arsenal that stored 45,000 tons of ammunition recently supplied to the Ukrainian Armed Forces by NATO countries has been destroyed,” the ministry stated, adding that Russian forces eliminated five other ammo depots. Meanwhile, the Russian army conducted strikes on the deployment point of units of Ukraine’s 72nd mechanized brigade at an agricultural facility in the Donetsk People’s Republic city of Artemovsk, wiping out up to 130 soldiers and eight transport and armored vehicles, the ministry’s statement read.

Moscow’s forces, the ministry continued, also used high-precision air-based missiles to attack a howitzer battery of Ukraine’s 95th Air Assault Brigade in the village of Dzerzhinsk in the DPR. According to the statement, the strike killed up to 70 service members, destroyed three 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled guns and four vehicles. The Russian Defense Ministry noted that faced with high losses, “the regime of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky is taking measures to make up for the shortage of military personnel” in Donbass. Kiev, the statement said, has decided to send to the frontline mobilized Ukrainian citizens from a training center, as well as wounded service members who did not have enough time to fully recover.

On Tuesday, Zelensky said that the fighting in Donbass was “hell,” claiming that Kiev’s military remained heavily outgunned and even outnumbered by Russia. He appealed to the US and its allies for even more weapons, in particular the HIMARS rocket launchers. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against sending weapons to Kiev, saying it only prolongs the conflict, increases the number of casualties, and will result in long-term consequences.

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CBS apologizes?! Amnesty has also apologized for its report on Ukraine. You write something that makes sense, you must apologize. Topsy turvy.

Only 30% Of Ukraine Military Aid Reaches Final Destination (JTN)

An estimated 30% of all Ukrainian military aid reportedly reaches its final destination, despite the fact that the United States has committed billions in aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded at the end of February. U.S. and NATO officials bring weapons and supplies to the Polish border, where Ukrainian officials take control and U.S. oversight ends. “All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” said Jonas Ohman, founder and CEO of the Ukraine aid organization Blue-Yellow, which is based in Lithuania. Ohman told CBS News’ “Arming Ukraine” documentary that his organization needs to work around “power lords, oligarchs, and political players” in order to deliver the equipment through unofficial channels.

The CBS report finds that the problem is exacerbated by a “combination of Ukraine’s constantly shifting front lines with its largely volunteer and paramilitary forces,” plus “concerns about weapons falling into Ukraine’s black market, which has thrived on corruption since the collapse of the Soviet Union.” Retired U.S. Marine Col. Andy Millburn criticized the U.S.’s policy with regards to Ukraine. “If you provide supplies, or a logistics pipeline, there has got to be some organization to it, right? If the ability to which you’re willing to be involved in that stops at the Ukrainian border, the surprise isn’t that, oh, all this stuff isn’t getting to where it needs to go — the surprise is that people actually expected it to,” Millburn told the outlet.

“If United States’ policy is to support Ukraine in the defense of its country against the Russian Federation, you can’t go halfway with that. You can’t create artificial lines. I understand that means that U.S. troops are not fighting Russians. I understand even U.S. troops are not crossing the border. But why not at least put people in place to supervise the country? They can be civilians to ensure that the right things are happening,” he stated. In May, Congress approved $40 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine and its allies. Ukraine has also received billions in aid from global groups such as the World Bank.

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“..the trend may impact the concept of European unity..”

Finland Warns About ‘Imminent’ Downturn In Europe (RT)

An economic downturn is looming over the European Union amid the Ukraine conflict, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto warned in an interview with local media released on Sunday. “Even we in Finland are used to living with the idea that everything will get better next year. But now this is suddenly no longer the case,”Finland’s leader said to the newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, adding that the trend may impact the concept of European unity. “We are moving in a direction where self-sufficiency in a very broad sense becomes central,” Niinisto reiterated. “It means self-sufficiency in terms of security, despite the fact that we have the NATO process in motion, and self-sufficiency so that there is enough food.”

He also voiced concerns over a possible escalation of the Ukraine conflict. “This risk is ever-present, and it must be taken into account,” Niinisto said, without providing any details on what such an escalation might look like. According to the Finnish president, it “is impossible to imagine” what form a possible reset in relations between the West and Russia could take after Moscow attacked Ukraine in late February. Niinisto also believes that the Ukraine conflict will have far-reaching consequences. The Finnish leader’s warning comes after inflation in the Eurozone hit its highest level on record in July, reaching 8.9%, according to the European Union Statistics Office. The soaring inflation has largely been attributed to skyrocketing energy prices.

To mitigate the energy crisis, the European Council earlier this month approved a plan that would see EU countries reduce their gas consumption by 15% in light of possible disruptions of supplies from Russia. Poland and Hungary, however, reportedly refused to back this plan due to legal concerns. Earlier, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban commented on the initiative, saying that energy rationing suggests that Europe is moving toward a “wartime economy.” In his telling, unless peace is reached in Ukraine, “we will not be able to solve any problems, there will be no energy, and the entire European Union will be pushed into an economic situation of war.”

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“The typical annual household fuel bill is expected to rise to around £3,500 from October, three times higher than last year.”

UK Is Facing Dickens-style Poverty, Ex-PM warns (RT)

People in Britain are facing “a winter of dire poverty” amid skyrocketing energy costs, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Saturday, urging the government to approve an emergency budget. According to the Labour politician, the continued increase in fuel prices places “35 million people in 13m households – an unprecedented 49.6% of the population of the United Kingdom,” in risk of fuel poverty in October. Calling the situation a “financial timebomb,” he added that “there is nothing moral about indifferent leaders condemning millions of vulnerable and blameless children and pensioners to a winter of dire poverty.” This is why, Brown said, outgoing PM Boris Johnson, along with the Tory leadership candidates, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, “must this week agree an emergency budget.”


“If they do not, parliament should be recalled to force them to do so.” He added that if nothing is done, another fuel price rise in January will leave 54% of the population in fuel poverty. The former prime minister said the scenes he has witnessed in his home county of Fife in Scotland remind him of things he read about from the 1930s – undernourished children, “pensioners choosing whether to feed their electricity meters or themselves,” and nurses having “to queue up at their food bank.” Poverty is “hitting so hard” that charities are unable to ease the burden on people, Brown said, adding that “Britain is creating a left-out generation of young boys and girls,” whose childhoods “are starting to resemble shameful scenes from a Dickens novel.” [..] The typical annual household fuel bill is expected to rise to around £3,500 from October, three times higher than last year. The real household post-tax income “is projected to fall sharply in 2022 and 2023, while consumption growth turns negative,” the Bank of England said.

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More apologies. For another well written report.

“We Regret Any Pain”: CUNY Apologizes, Deletes Article On Depp Lawyer (Turley)

For many who watched the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial, some of the most outstanding moments involved his defense counsel Yarelyn Mena. It was an extraordinary opportunity for the 29-year old graduated from CUNY (2015) and she was praised for her tough examination of Heard. It was considered the turning point of one of the most famous trials in modern history. It is something that should be a matter of great pride for the CUNY community and, not surprisingly, the website did an article on their graduate. However, it has now been deleted with an apology after people objected that they were upset or traumatized by the recognition due to Heard’s allegations of abuse.

The now deleted article told the intriguing story of how a young associate out of CUNY became a global sensation as a key member of the defense team. Yarelyn explain “I am a third year associate and am fortunate to have worked a trial so early in my career. Most cases don’t go to trial.” It is an extraordinary story for a woman who came with her family from the Dominican Republic. She proceeded to graduate from CUNY and then received her law degree from Fordham University. That is a quintessential American story of achievement that any institution should relish and highlight. She noted in the interview that “(Law) was the first career that I knew of before I even really understood what it was.”

Apparently, CUNY graduates and students were outraged and unwilling to separate the act of representation from the rivaling abuse allegations in the case. It turned out that neither could the school. The school acknowledged the objections raised to “our newsletter featuring a recent CUNY graduate who worked on Johnny Depp’s legal team.” It then apologized: “We understand the strong negative emotions this article elicited and apologize for publishing the item. We have removed it from our CUNYverse blog. The article was not meant to convey support for Mr. Depp, implicitly or otherwise, or to call into question any allegations that were made by Amber Heard. Domestic violence is a serious issue in our society and we regret any pain this article may have caused.”

The “pain” caused by the article was an account of a graduate doing her job as an advocate. We have gotten to the point that people are incapable of recognizing that everyone is entitled to a rigorous legal defense and that the lawyers are fulfilling essential roles in protecting the rule of law. The only thing that matters is that the lawyer represented someone accused of abuse (even though the jury clearly found that Heard lied with malice in the trial). Even lawyers defending a client must now be cancelled to protect others from the pain of dealing with a trial on spousal abuse.

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“..the rest of the world will just kick back and witness the spectacle of our struggle as the lights of Western Civ flicker out..”

A Glance Ahead (Kunstler)

Meanwhile, the Party of Chaos is about to unleash its “Inflation Reduction Act,” which proposes to spend three quarters of a trillion dollars created from thin air into an economy already hyperventilating on three years of multi-trillion-dollar injections derived from no productive activity. At the same time, the act will raise taxes especially for low-end wage earners and small businesses, completing the regime’s destruction of the middle-class. The cherry-on-top is the provision to double the size of the Internal Revenue Service by hiring 87,000 new employees to harass ordinary American taxpayers. Is that what you voted for in 2020? I thought not.

None of that is going to work as intended. More likely, passage of the act will trigger destruction of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and a stampede out of dollar-denominated investments, which is to say, a very severe financial crisis. Credit will freeze, the distribution and sale of goods will cease, interest will stop being paid on virtually all outstanding debt, the bond market will implode, few will have anything identifiable as money, and there will be little in the way of everyday goods like food and gasoline to buy anyway. You realize, of course, that this is a description of economic collapse. If things roll that way, there will be absolutely no trust left in the US government.

It will be either ignored or opposed. And in places like my own New York, under the tyrannical and titanically incompetent accidental Governor Kathy Hochul, there will be no trust in state government either. Meaning, we’re on our own, community-by-community. This will be a very interesting experiment in the dynamics of emergence — the self-organizing properties of systems in chaos. I doubt that it will resolve in the direction of the globalists’ dreams of transhuman technocracy. Every macro trend now runs against centralization. But the process could conceivably invite an attempted Chinese takeover of the USA, if not militarily, then in a way similar to America’s asset-stripping operations in the collapsed Soviet Union of the 1990s, a looting spree — as seen many other times in history when empires founder. Or else, the rest of the world will just kick back and witness the spectacle of our struggle as the lights of Western Civ flicker out. (Europe will be right in it with us, by the way.) The other nations of the world are tired of us trying to push them around, with increasingly evil intentions. They will enjoy watching our tribulations. They will be convinced we deserve it.

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“23 million Russians died protecting you and me from the Nazi menace.”

Pink Floyd’s Waters Explains Why He Called Biden A War Criminal (RT)

US President Joe Biden is fueling the Ukraine conflict, which is a “huge crime,” Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters said in an interview released on Saturday. Waters sat down with CNN’s Michael Smerconish to discuss, in particular, the political views that the rock legend hasn’t shied away from displaying in his new concert tour ‘This Is Not A Drill’, which features a montage of alleged “war criminals,” including a picture of Joe Biden with the caption “WAR CRIMINAL. Just getting started.” “[Joe Biden] is fueling the fire in Ukraine for start. That’s a huge crime. Why won’t the United States of America encourage [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war, that’s killing [people]?” he asked.

Waters also pushed back against Smerconish’s argument that Ukraine was “invaded” by Russia, noting that the entire crisis should be analyzed in the historical context. “You need to look at the history… This war is basically about the action and reaction of NATO pushing right up to the Russian border, which they promised they wouldn’t do,” he added, recalling the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s talks with the West on the withdrawal of Moscow’s forces from Eastern Europe. Waters said that the conflict over Ukraine started as early as 2008, an apparent reference to the NATO summit in Bucharest at which the intentions of Ukraine and Georgia to eventually become full-fledged members of the alliance were supported.

The interview also saw Pink Floyd’s England-born frontman and Smerconish engage in a heated exchange over the American role in WWII. Waters insisted that the US cannot call itself ‘liberators’, adding that Washington entered the war only because of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941. The CNN journalist, however, said the US would have joined the conflict regardless. Staying on the subject of WWII, the musician argued that the Soviet Union “had already almost won the bloody war” by the time the US entered, adding that “23 million Russians died protecting you and me from the Nazi menace.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1555989512353890304

Read more …

Jim Rickards: “Biden plans to extent the COVID state of emergency. You know, so they can extend the mail-in ballot fraud and drop-box stuffing financed by Mark Zuckerberg. The order will be given just in time for another rigged election.”

Biden Administration Planning To Extend Covid Emergency Declaration (Pol.)

The Biden administration is expected to extend the Covid-19 public health emergency once again, ensuring that federal measures expanding access to health coverage, vaccines and treatments remain in place beyond the midterm elections, three people with knowledge of the matter told POLITICO. The planned renewal follows extensive deliberations among Biden officials over the future of the emergency declaration, including some who questioned whether it was time to let the designation lapse. Under the proposed extension, the Department of Health and Human Services would continue the declaration beyond the November elections and potentially into early 2023 — pushing the U.S. into its fourth calendar year under a Covid public health emergency.


“Covid is not over. The pandemic is not over,” one senior Biden official said. “It doesn’t make sense to lift this [declaration] given what we’re seeing on the ground in terms of cases.” An HHS spokesperson declined to comment, and the people with knowledge of the matter cautioned the situation could still change ahead of an Aug. 15 deadline for deciding whether to let the declaration continue. The Biden administration has increasingly pointed to the availability of Covid vaccines and treatments as evidence that Americans who are vaccinated and boosted can live with the virus in relative safety. But even with that new posture, many administration health officials remain wary of the message that ending the public health emergency declaration would send at a time when caseloads are topping 100,000 a day. “It will end whenever the emergency ends,” one senior administration official said, summing up the internal attitude toward the declaration.

Read more …

They want him not to run again.

Brian Stelter: Hunter Biden Scandal ‘Not Just A Right-wing Media Story’ (Fox)

During a segment on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday, host Brian Stelter discussed Hunter Biden being under federal investigation with his guest Michael LaRosa, the former press secretary for First Lady Jill Biden. The conversation was sparked when Stelter cited a New York Times column by Maureen Dowd urging the president not to run for re-election. He then brought up the Department of Justice looking into Hunter’s alleged tax violations and business dealings. “What about his son?” asked Stelter. “What about Hunter? Hunter under federal investigation, charges can be coming at any time, this is not just a right-wing media story. This is a real problem for the Bidens.”


“Could he decide not to run for re-election given his son?” Stelter asked. “Look, they make decisions as a family and they will make that decision when it’s time,” responded LaRosa. “Do you think they’ve talked about it yet?” Stelter asked. “No. The president’s doing his job, he’s doing his work. He’s not focused on that,” LaRosa responded. Stelter asked if “the press is getting ahead of the family on that.” “Way ahead, way ahead,” LaRosa responded, before reiterating that the president “intends to run” and urging the press to focus on his “substantive wins” in the past week.

Read more …

The percentage of money (“wealth”) locked in real estate is much higher in China than anywhere else. Everyone’s betting on the same horse.

The Real Estate and Banking Crisis in China Is Spreading (MD.eu)

In the West, and throughout most of the world, money is an economic good. Money in the West is governed by the philosophy of a return on investment which creates more wealth. Money is used as an intermediation between buyer and seller. In China, according to the geopolitician Peter Zeihan, money is considered by the CCP as a political good. According to Mr. Zeihan “Investment decisions not driven by the concept of returns tend to add up. Conservatively, corporate debt in China is about 150% of GDP. That doesn’t count federal government debt, or provincial government debt, or local government debt. Nor does it involve the bond market, or non-standard borrowing such as LendingTree-like person-to-person programs, or shadow financing designed to evade even China’s hyper-lax financial regulatory authorities.

It doesn’t even include US dollar-denominated debt that cropped up in those rare moments when Beijing took a few baby steps to address the debt issue and so firms sought funds from outside of China. With that sort of attitude towards capital, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that China’s stock markets are in essence gambling dens utterly disconnected from issues of supply and labor and markets and logistics and cashflow (and legality). Simply put, in China, debt levels simply are not perceived as an issue.” In China, money is a political good, and only has value if it can be used to achieve a political goal. That political good is maximum employment.

The concepts of rate of return or profit margins do not exist in China, and therein lies the danger; eventually the law of supply and demand will win out, and the Chinese economy will have to face a correction. The longer it takes to face this economic correction, the greater damage that the inevitable correction will cause to the Chinese economy.

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Fever has a function.

Paracetamol -Tylenol- Made This Pandemic Much Worse (Girardot)

In a not-so-distant future, I am quite convinced that the systematic use of Paracetamol during the COVID pandemic will be considered as one of the biggest failings in public health History, right behind the catastrophic COVID vaccines. Ancients used to consider fever as an indispensable ally in the fight against illness. “Fever is a mighty engine which Nature brings into the world for the conquest of her enemies.”said 17th century physician, Thomas Sydenham, also known as “The English Hippocrates”. Modern-day medicine focused on comfort – over therapeutic reason – has been systematically quashing fever for some time now, particularly during this pandemic.

I understand it can be scary to see one’s child feverish, but as long as it doesn’t become overwhelming (in time or level), fever should be embraced as nature’s defence at work. If evolutionary pecking order is a sign of therapeutic priority, and thus efficacy, fever is much more important than antibodies1. Too many view fever as a useless and painful by-product of the immune reaction, as if Evolution couldn’t have done away with such an incapacitating symptom. Let’s go back to basics here: “Fever-less people have been pruned from the evolutionary tree, only fever-prone people have survived.” Let that kick in… Another randomised controlled trial was held during millenia and fever – despite its painfulness and discomfort – held on and won. In other words, fever has to be an indispensable strategic tool in our fight against disease and suppressing it in a systematic fashion is as idiotic and foolish as suppressing the immune system.

What does fever do that is so important? By raising the temperature of the body and the acidity of the blood stream, fever likely acts as a systemic bomb impeding further infection and destroying all the circulating virions, putting an end to the exponential viral propagation early on. SARS-COV-2 sensitivity to temperature – as other corona viruses – is well documented. So while billions of immune cells go on a door-to-door guerilla, destroying one single infected cell at a time, liberating virions into the tissues and the blood stream, fever sends a systemic blast, similar to an immunity EMP bomb (for those of you who remember Ocean’s 12) that kills all circulating virions. As long as T-cells haven’t destroyed all infected cells, fever is required to stop the never-ending cycle of virus replication in the body.

[..] stopping fever is a recipe for disaster. Most healthy people who state they have had symptoms for 6-8 days (instead of 1 or 2) are people who have taken Paracetamol. Lowering temperature – and consequently acidity – is like tying your immune system’s hands behind its back. Circulating virions are let free for some more time to propagate and infect more healthy cells. Even if T-cells cut short virion production by systematically scuttling infected cells. Any virion left untouched by lowered fever will penetrate new cells and start replicating.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Ali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


West Texas storm chaser Laura Rowe captured the picture of a lifetime, fantastic shot of a mature supercell thunderstorm, illuminated at varying heights from the setting sun.

 

 

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Jul 152022
 
 July 15, 2022  Posted by at 6:21 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  11 Responses »


Edward Hopper Chair Car 1965

 

 

The situation in Ukraine is terribly, painfully simple. Russia has been winning since February 24, and Ukraine has zero chance of turning the odds around. But Zelensky is willing to sacrifice the lives of ever more of his citizens -this now includes people up to 60 years old, and women (men can’t even leave their cities)-. Zelensky’s western backers, meanwhile, keep on promising to send him lethal weapons (remember their words 5 months ago?) and talk about defeating Putin. Zero chance. But a high chance of meatballs.

The only way out of this kerfuffle is the negotiating table. But Zelensky doesn’t like his present position on that table, and NATO doesn’t either. Z wants more BIG guns, to “improve” that position. Zero chance. But a high chance of meatballs. Meanwhile, who’s going to rebuild the country when all the promising young people are gone?

As kind of an aside, I am very much in favor of more women in politics. Less testosterone can’t hurt, one would think. But all the girls we see on the international stage act like they have more testosterone than their male counterparts. I don’t know where they found EU head Ursula von der Leyen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in some secret experimental Fauci-sponsored multinational chain that the Wuhan lab is also part of.

And then there’s this specimen: “German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on July 14 that lifting sanctions will not guarantee the gas supply from Russia but will make Germany even more vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.” The lab leak theory is all mine in this case. And how about Justin Blackface’s right hand?

 

G20: Canada Claims Russian Delegation Are Personally Responsible For ‘War Crimes’ In Ukraine

Canada’s finance minister, Chrystia Freeland, has told Russian officials at a meeting of G20 finance ministers that she held them personally responsible for “war crimes” committed during Russia’s war in Ukraine, a western official said. Freeland directly addressed the Russian delegation taking part in the meeting of the Group of 20 major economies, telling them on Friday: “It is not only generals who commit war crimes, it is the economic technocrats who allow the war to happen and to continue,” the official said.


Freeland, whose maternal grandparents were born in Ukraine, told the opening G20 session that the war was the “single biggest threat to the global economy right now”, the official said. A day before the meeting, the US Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, set the tone, calling Russia’s war in Ukraine the “greatest challenge” to the global economy and saying members of Putin’s government “have no place” at the talks.

That’s a finance forum! Not some negotiating table! And if it’s “technocrats who allow the war to happen and to continue”, I could swear she means herself. What do you call a woman with a testosterone imbalance? Britain is having a very exciting (NOT!) competition for the next Tory PM, all of the candidates are running jokes, and one of the frontrunners is Liz Truss, who a few months ago was dismissed by Russian PM Lavrov in no uncertain terms.

Guess she didn’t like that. Then again, maybe all that testosterone spewing out her ears made her miss his comments entirely. Anyway, she’s back for the occasion. Jesus H. C., Lavrov’s spokeswoman is 10x as competent as Truss.

 

Moscow Responds To London’s Threats

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has blasted “Russophobic” remarks by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who promised to “continue to lead the free world” against Moscow and ensure Ukraine’s victory. Truss made the remarks during a campaign event for Tory leadership on Thursday. The aspiring PM candidate, who scored third in Thursday’s ballot, bragged about her ability to “deliver” and make “tough” decisions, listing her staunch support for Kiev as an example of her decision-making abilities.

I stood up to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin by targeting Russia with the toughest sanctions his regime has ever seen. And I would continue to lead the free world in opposing Putin and making sure that Ukraine prevails,” Truss stated. The remark was not taken lightly in Moscow, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blasting her words as “Russophobic”and “invariably steeped in painful aggression and nationalism.”

Amid the ongoing Tory leadership campaign, Truss “has begun spewing threats towards our country and its leadership and wants to achieve a ‘Ukrainian victory’ over Russia,” in an effort to “fulfill her compulsive ambitions,” according to Zakharova.

“[Truss’] ambition alone to ‘lead the free world’, in an effort to resist Russia, speaks volumes. She looks like a second-rate politician afflicted by megalomania. And she is doing all of this instead of addressing the issues at home, which are plenty,” she said in a statement. The proclaimed efforts to somehow “defeat” Russia are likely an attempt to “distract voters”from the real problems the UK has been experiencing, Zakharova said.

“Our response to belligerent outbursts by the British Foreign Secretary, who prefers riding tanks over engaging in serious diplomacy, and her determination to ‘defeat’ Russia, is straightforward – go ahead and try. Many have tried in the centuries-old history of our country. As everyone knows, intelligent people learn from other people’s mistakes. Liz Truss could learn from her own mistakes,” Zakharova concluded.

Yeah, “the toughest sanctions his regime has ever seen”… And that’s why Russia is getting richer faster than ever.

 

 

Mikhail Khodarenok provides an overview of what all that western military help would entail. When reading through it, there’s only one possible thought. Yeah, a high chance of meatballs, you’re right.

“Mikhail Khodarenok is a military commentator for RT.com. He is a retired colonel. He served as an officer at the main operational directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.”

But he’s wrong. There is no amount of help that could achieve a Ukraine victory. Only death would win. Once again: for Russia this is an existential issue. For US/NATO, it’s a chance to sell more meatballs weapons. And try to wear down Russia. But you don’t back down from an existential issue just because you’re tired.

Russia could have decided the issue within days, max a few weeks, if they thought like NATO. Thing is, Russia likes Ukraine; but not its politics and nazis and the flirt with NATO. But keep on pumping those weapons into the country and Russia will obliterate them with potentially ever stronger attacks.

 

Only With Massive Additional Military Help Will Kiev Be Able To Advance

In order to gain air supremacy, or at least fight on equal footing with the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Ukrainian Air Force would require at least 124 multifunctional fighters (i.e. three fighter regiments of 42 aircraft each), 36 combat planes (three squadrons of 12 aircraft) and six training fighters (dual control aircraft). It is quite possible that these units will be organized like those of the United States and other NATO countries – squadrons of 24 fighters, with three squadrons combined into a wing.

Among the possible contenders to become Ukraine’s main combat aircraft, the most likely candidate is America’s F-16C /D, which is currently being withdrawn from service in the US Air Force and replaced by the F-35. However, it is not that a concrete decision has yet to be made on this issue – these problems have not even been discussed.

[..] The American F-16s are not integrated in the automated command and control systems of Ukraine’s current fighter aircraft in any way, shape, or form. And, in order to solve this problem, the United States might well have to supply the Ukrainian Air Force with planes like the Hawkeye E-2C/D – a tactical early warning aircraft equipped with long-range radar.

Without such means, it will be simply impossible to effectively control planes during air battles and strikes against ground targets. Now what remains is to calculate when these three fighter aviation regiments will reach ‘initial operational readiness’, as they say in the US. According to the most optimistic forecasts, this won’t happen before the winter.

[..] We see approximately the same picture (but certainly less complicated) with the formation of armored divisions. To give the AFU offensive potential, they will need at least four to five tank brigades (each numbering 120-140 main battle tanks) equipped with M1 Abrams (in this case, there are possible options – the Leopard-2 or Leclerc). Again, Ukrainian tank crews will have to go through all the necessary stages in this case – retraining, obtaining new weapons and equipment, and live-fire exercises. So, it will not be possible to resolve these issues very quickly.

[..] With ground artillery and multiple rocket launchers, things will be easier. The AFU will be able to master them quickly enough. But even here, the processes of obtaining and mastering this hardware will not be simultaneous in any way. It will take many months to form 7-8 artillery brigades with 72 guns each (the APU requires no less) and bring them to the level of combat readiness. But, during this time, the political environment and strategic situation on the front may change significantly, and there is no reason at all to assume that this will be in Ukraine’s favor.

And then when everything fails, you get the predicted role of Hungary and Poland in the conflict. Who want to protect their respective populations inside Ukraine. Southwest: Hungary, northwest: Poland. Yeah, and southeast: Russia. But Hungary and Poland now want to do this under the NATO/US/EU umbrella?! Good luck with that.

 

Hungary Has ‘Military Plans’ For Ukraine – Minister

Budapest needs to protect ethnic Hungarians living in the western part of the bordering country, FM Peter Szijjarto has said Hungary has military plans on how to protect ethnic Hungarians living in western Ukraine, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has revealed. Budapest is ready to act in defense of 150,000 people it considers its own, he revealed in an interview on Friday.

“Our country has prepared emergency war scenarios,” the minister told Index news website. He said the Hungarian government wanted to avoid using them, which is why it sought a peaceful resolution of the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, however, rejected the idea of offering concessions to Russia to secure a ceasefire, and claims his country can defeat Russia with the help of Western backers.


The Hungarian foreign minister commented on the two countries’ objectives, saying his country has different interests than Ukraine. “And what is the Ukrainian interest? To involve as many countries as possible in this conflict, at least through arms shipments. Our interest on the other hand is to stay out of this conflict and minimize the risk of getting dragged into a war,”Szijjarto said.

Look, listen, hear. 5 European governments have fallen so far- if you include Micron having his balls cut off. And there will be many more. Sri Lanka, eat your heart out! Europe will have the Dutch farmers time 100 once people can’t afford to pay their bills anymore, and figure out it’s just because their “leaders” decided not to talk to Russia. Don’t underestimate that.

Solution? Negotiating table. Zelensky and NATO will come in with “everything back to pre-Feb 24”, but that ship sailed on exactly that date. The Donbass is Russian now, whether as official part of the country or independent territory. Zelensky and NATO must negotiate for peace. They have lost. Russia has not, and it won’t in the near future.

Neocons and Kiev can go for “wear Russia down”, but the only thing they can achieve is mayhem in Europe, economic, food, energy, fertilizer, cold, hunger etc. They’re well on their way. Chuckmate, as Elon Musk would phrase it. Russia will be fine. They saw this coming way before US/NATO/EU.

“We” lost. And you will lose your plush goverment seats if you take this into winter. Why not try another lockdown or vaccine mandate? You, know, so people are properly vaxxed when they peruse the empty shelves and can’t feed -or warm- their kids? Sounds like a winner!

 

 

Note: I never saw the movie “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”, just thought it was a “funny” concept with regards to this conflict.

 

 

 

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Jul 152022
 


Pablo Picasso Guernica [Study] III 1937

 

Old Way, New Way (Dmitry Orlov)
Russia Continues To Earn More By Exporting Less Oil (ZH)
Germany To Halt Russian Coal Imports Next Month (ZH)
Lithuania To Allow Rail Transit Of Russian Goods To Kaliningrad (ZH)
Three More Countries Set To Join BRICS (RT)
Two More Gone (CTH)
Macron’s Minority Government Defeated on Vaccine Passports (SN)
Don Lemon: Republicans Must Be Treated As Danger To Society By Media (Fox)
Donald Trump on 2024: ‘I’ve Already Made That Decision’ (NYMag)
“Disgruntled” Chinese Homebuyers Refuse To Pay Their Mortgages (ZH)
High Inflation Figure Masks Even Higher Cost Hikes Of Necessities (ET)
Long Lines Are Back At US Food Banks (AP)
Dutch State Broadcasters Attack Coverage Of The Dutch Uprising (TCS)
It’s About Globalism, Stupid (Maajid Nawaz)
US Public Health Agencies Aren’t ‘Following the Science,’ Officials Say (CS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health care

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Syria, which refused to get the message too, asked the Russians for help. The Russians helped Syria, and now nobody is afraid of the US any more. Meanwhile, the US became spoiled by all this free money, grew fat, lazy, degenerate and weak and amassed the hugest pile of “debt”…”

Old Way, New Way (Dmitry Orlov)

The hardest part of living through a time of wrenching change is that nobody particularly bothers to inform you that the times have changed and that nothing will be the same again. Certainly not the talking heads on TV, who are often the last to know. You have to figure it out for yourself if you can. But I am here to help. It all has to do with energy. Not with technology—that’s incidental; not with military superiority—that’s fleeting and largely imaginary; certainly not with any sort of political or cultural self-righteousness—that’s delusional. There is no substitute for energy. If you run low, you can’t switch to running your industrial economy on fiddlesticks. It just shuts down. What’s worse, energy sources are not even particularly substitutable for each other. If you run low on gas, you can’t just switch to coal or to dried dung, even if you are up to your neck in it.

Modern industry runs on oil, natural gas, and coal, in that order, and they can be substituted for each other in very limited ways. Furthermore, energy has to be very cheap. Oil has to be about the cheapest liquid you can buy—cheaper than milk; cheaper even than bottled water. If energy isn’t cheap enough, then all the energy-hungry industry that runs on it becomes unprofitable and shuts down. That’s the stage at which we are now in much of the world. So, what happened? Once upon a time the US produced most of the oil in the world. But then the prolific wells in West Texas ran out and Saudi Arabia took over as the biggest oil producer. But the US wasn’t about to take that sitting down and hatched an ingenuous plan: Saudi Arabia will sell its oil for printed US dollars, then take most of those dollars and give them back to the US by “investing” it in US “debt”.

Everybody else who needed oil had to figure out a way to earn US dollars to buy it, and any US dollars they had left over after buying oil also had to be used to buy up US debt just because: “Nice economy you have there! Now we wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to it, would we?” Indeed, a few people didn’t get the message (Saddam of Iraq, Qaddafi of Libya) and got their countries bombed. And a whole lot of other defenseless countries got bombed just to keep the others scared. But then Syria, which refused to get the message too, asked the Russians for help. The Russians helped Syria, and now nobody is afraid of the US any more. Meanwhile, the US became spoiled by all this free money, grew fat, lazy, degenerate and weak and amassed the hugest pile of “debt” (in quotes because there is no question of ever repaying it) in all of human history.

In the meantime Russia, being the largest energy-producing country in the world, decided that it has had enough. Under the old scheme, Russia exported its resources cheaply, spend 1/3 of the revenue on imports and allowed 2/3 to leak out of the country, quite a lot of it also used to buy US “debt”. It couldn’t do anything about this right away, and so it spent the last decade developing its military to a point where now the US/NATO are afraid to go near it and its economy to a point where it doesn’t need much of the imports, at least not for a few years. And then a silly thing happened: the US confiscated Russia’s holdings of US “debt,” making everyone in the world take notice and start dumping it—even the Japanese!—sending the entire financial scheme into a tailspin.

Meanwhile, Russia has started to switch from selling its energy exports for dollars and euros, which then leave the country, where they can be confiscated, to selling them for rubles, which stay inside the country. Do you want to buy some Russian energy? Well, figure out how to earn some rubles! And if your own anti-Russian sanctions prevent you from doing so—well, la-di-da, whose fault is that? Also, given that there is now a worldwide energy shortage, the Russians asked themselves: Why sell lots of oil and gas for a little money when you can sell less of them for more money?

Read more …

As Dmitry writes: “Do you want to buy some Russian energy? Well, figure out how to earn some rubles!”

Russia Continues To Earn More By Exporting Less Oil (ZH)

Russian export revenues in June rose by $700m to the $20 billion mark, despite that oil exports fell by 250k b/d m/m to 7.4m b/d, the lowest since August 2021, Bloomberg’s Sherry Su reports citing the IEA’s latest Oil Market Report. Compared to a post-war peak level in April, total Russian oil exports in June were down 530k b/d, Or 7%, but export revenues were up by $2.3 billion, or 13%. Crude oil exports were down by 250k b/d in June to just above 5m b/d, still slightly higher than the pre-war average level according to Su. Shipments to the EU fell below 3m b/d for the first time since November 2020, bringing the EU share of Russian oil exports to 40%, compared to 49% in January-February.


Crude oil loadings to EU destinations fell 190k b/d m/m to 1.8m b/d, partly because of lower offtake on the Druzhba pipeline due to maintenance at a Hungarian refinery in June. Meanwhile, product loadings to the European Union fell by 135k b/d to 1.13m b/d, the IEA said. The fall in crude oil volumes came mostly from lower loadings on the Black Sea, as Rosneft’s 240k b/d Tuapse refinery reportedly came back online in June after a three-month shutdown. Total product exports out of Russia were relatively unchanged in June. Diesel exports increased slightly m/m to 825k b/d, 300k b/d lower than the pre-war average. Diesel Loadings to EU countries ticked up to 650 kb/d, returning to January-February average levels.

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Assisted suicide.

Germany To Halt Russian Coal Imports Next Month (ZH)

Germany will stop importing Russian coal from August 1 and crude oil from December 31, the country’s deputy finance minister, Joerg Kukies said today, as quoted by Reuters. “We will be off Russian coal in a few weeks,” Kukies said at the Sydney Energy Forum, which is taking place this week. “Anyone who knows the history of the Druzhba pipeline, which was already a tool of the Soviet empire over eastern Europe, ridding yourself of that dependence is not a trivial matter, but it is one that we will achieve in a few months,” he added. Kukies admitted, however, that replacing Russian hydrocarbons, not only in Germany, will be no easy task, citing the fact that together, the United States and Qatar could only supply some 30 billion cu m of natural gas equivalent to Europe, which imports more than 150 billion cu m of Russian gas annually.

Despite the challenge, Germany is in a rush to build LNG import terminals so it can replace at least part of Russian gas imports with liquefied gas from abroad. The problem here is, however, tightening supplies, with Freeport LNG in the U.S. offline until at least September, and Shell’s Prelude in Australia shut down amid industrial action. Demand for gas in Germany and Europe as a whole remains strong as governments seek to fill up their gas storage caverns ahead of the next heating season. Germany, specifically, is also on edge after Gazprom stopped the flow of gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline this week for regularly scheduled maintenance. Fears are that it will not turn the taps back on once the maintenance is done.


The suspension of coal and oil purchases from Russia is a result of sanctions the EU placed on Moscow earlier this year, providing buyers of the commodities with a temporal cushion of six months for each, so they could stock up on coal and oil before the respective embargos kicked in.

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The European Commission has a tail between its legs.

Lithuania To Allow Rail Transit Of Russian Goods To Kaliningrad (ZH)

It seems that saner minds are prevailing after ratcheting rhetoric coming from Moscow threateningly elevated Lithuania’s effective blockade of all overland trade and goods to an ‘act of war’ by the West… as the European Union is now refusing to back the full extent of Lithuania’s sanctions enforcement measures. The European Commission issued its legal guidance on the standoff Wednesday, which had over the past month resulted in some one million Russian citizens in the exclave remaining cut off from products brought by rail and road. “The transit of sanctioned goods by road with Russian operators is not allowed under the EU measures. No such similar prohibition exists for rail transport,” the European Union executive said, specifying that Russian goods should continue to be allowed by train.

“The Commission underlines the importance of monitoring the two-way trade flows between Russia and Kaliningrad … to ensure that sanctioned goods cannot enter the EU customs territory,” it added, emphasizing further that the rail exception doesn’t apply to weapons or munitions. The ban on transit still exits for freight brought by road, however. The EU said further this should be done through “targeted, proportionate and effective controls and other appropriate measures.” There was the additional caveat to the ruling that EU trade sanctions would not apply as long as Russia’s transport volumes do not exceed averages of the last three years, according to the “the real demand for essential goods at the destination.” It remains that food and humanitarian goods were reportedly never subject to the sanctions, nor was travel of citizens back-and-forth.


Lithuania’s government soon after the EU legal advice was issued said that it would adhere to it, albeit perhaps grudgingly: “Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday the previous trade rules, which blocked many sanctioned cargos from transport between mainland Russia and Kaliningrad, were “more acceptable”. “Kaliningrad transit rules may create an unjustified impression that the transatlantic community is softening its position and sanctions policy towards Russia”, the statement said. On Monday Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko during a phone call agreed to a “possible joint response” to the blockade of transit to Kaliningrad by Lithuania. Without elaborating on details, but sounding ominous given threat of near future action, a Kremlin statement said of the call, “Emphasis was placed on the situation relating to the illegal restrictions imposed by Lithuania on the transit of goods to the Kaliningrad Region. In this context, some possible joint steps were discussed.”

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As western governments fail and fall, “the other side” unites.

Iran, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt add another 350 million people to the 3.2 billion already in BRICS.

Three More Countries Set To Join BRICS (RT)

Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt plan to join BRICS, and their potential membership bids could be discussed and answered at next year’s summit in South Africa, Purnima Anand, the president of the organization, told Russian media on Thursday. “All these countries have shown their interest in joining [BRICS] and are preparing to apply for membership. I believe this is a good step, because expansion is always looked upon favorably; it will definitely bolster BRICS’ global influence,” she told Russian newspaper Izvestia. The BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) account for over 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP. The bloc’s stated purposes include promoting peace, security, development, and cooperation globally, and contributing to the development of humanity.


Anand said the issue of expansion was raised during this year’s BRICS summit, which took place in late June in Beijing. The BRICS Forum president said she hopes the accession of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt will not take much time, given that they “are already engaged in the process,” though doubts that all three will join the alliance at the same time. “I hope that these countries will join the BRICS quite shortly, as all the representatives of core members are interested in expansion. So it will come very soon,” Anand added. The news of the three nations’ plans to join BRICS comes after Iran and Argentina officially applied for membership in late June, with Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh touting the bloc as a “very creative mechanism with broad aspects.”

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Italian president has refused Draghi’s resignation. Here’s why:

“President Sergio Mattarella cannot accept the prime minister’s resignation without himself departing. Mattarella only agreed to remain so long as the Draghi coalition would stand….”

Two More Gone (CTH)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned. Days later, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated. A few days passed and both the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, resigned and fled the country. Today, with their ruling governments in a state of turmoil, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have both tendered their resignations. The collapse of each of these national leaders is not necessarily connected; however, the global political system is reverberating with tremors directly connected to the post-pandemic economic turmoil. It would be naïve not to see these governing issues as consequences. The legitimacy of the governing class is slipping; perhaps it would be fair to say, some have ‘lost’ their legitimacy altogether.

Estonia is part of the EU and a member of NATO. Italy is a member of the G7, a part of the EU and a member of NATO. The parliamentary coalitions are fracturing. New alliances are being formed. One recent example that stunned everyone in the EU was the far-right and far-left in the French parliament joining forces to defeat the coalition government of Emmanuel Macron as he tried, and failed, to extend emergency COVID rules. The COVID rules in France are set to expire on July 31st. The first parliamentary goal for President Macron was to extend the COVID emergency and keep his powers. However, the legislative effort was rejected by 219 votes to 195, destroying the goals of Macron. Both populist groups joined forces to defeat the Macron coalition.


Yes, amid all of the economic damage created by western leaders and their Build Back Better efforts, the geopolitical world is having spasms as the rulers are being rejected by the ruled. In the parliamentary systems, the voices of the angry people are rising up. Those shouts are entering the halls of government through the direct representatives closest to the people. The ruling coalitions are no longer able to hold together as the people demand change. That is the connective tissue behind these resignations and departures. Western government leaders like Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson and Jacinda Ardern have the audacity to stand atop a two-year mountain of unilateral fiats, rules, regulations and mandates and then decry “autocracy” and threats to the “global order.” All of them have destroyed their own legitimacy by pretending to represent western democracy while carrying out two years of totalitarian power.

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Little man just got a little littler..

Macron’s Minority Government Defeated on Vaccine Passports (SN)

French President Emmanuel Macron suffered a humiliating setback in parliament after his vaccine passport scheme was defeated. Macron’s minority government wanted to extend the policy whereby anyone entering France has to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test. However, the right-wing populist National Rally (RN), the hard-left La France Insoumise (LFI) and the right-wing Republicains (LR) all united to vote against the policy. Macron’s government lost the vote by a margin of 219 votes to 195. “The bill’s defeat was met with wild cheering and a standing ovation from opposition lawmakers, in footage that was widely circulated on social media,” reports the Telegraph. The bill was one of the first put to parliament by the new minority government, highlighting how Macron will find it incredibly difficult to get new laws passed in the country.


Elisabeth Borne, the French Prime Minister, condemned the vote. “The situation is serious. By joining together to vote against the measures to protect the French against Covid, LFI, LR and RN prevent any border control against the virus. After the disbelief on this vote, I will fight so that the spirit of responsibility wins in the Senate,” she tweeted. As we previously highlighted, the French Minister of Health admitted that vaccine passports are a “disguised” form of mandatory vaccines, despite President Macron claiming vaccine mandates “will not be compulsory.” On the first day the new program was in place, police in Paris were visibly patrolling bars and cafes demanding customers show proof they’ve had the jab. It later emerged that many businesses were refusing to enforce the scheme.

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He’s calling it out over himself.

Don Lemon: Republicans Must Be Treated As Danger To Society By Media (Fox)

Appearing on CNN’s New Day Thursday morning, Don Lemon once again urged the media to hold Republicans to a different standard than Democrats in their media coverage. The primetime host tied the GOP to the threat of “growing extremism” on the right. He warned journalists to not give a “false equivalence” to both sides, and instead acknowledge Republicans were endangering America. “We sit around and we talk about these things and we want to give this false equivalence to Democrats and Republicans. That is not where we are right now. Republicans are doing something that is very dangerous to our society and we have to acknowledge that. We have to acknowledge that as Americans, we must acknowledge that as journalists because if we don’t, we are not doing our jobs,” Lemon declared.

A Pew survey of nearly 12,000 journalists found that a majority of journalists, 55%, reject the idea that both sides “always deserve equal coverage.” Lemon was referring to Republicans who continue to support former President Trump after the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol, as well as the recent Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. “They have to answer for those questions if they come here on CNN, they must answer for that. If they go on MSNBC, they must answer for that. If they go on ABC, they must answer for that. And they cannot expect to be coddled when they go on to a news organization or if they step in front of a crowd of supporters or voters or Americans.” He made a similar plea in June, saying, “we cannot pretend as journalists” that both sides are “equal.”


Lemon referred to an interview he did with a former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers saying Republicans had become associated with “extremists.” He rejected any Republican opposition to that belief. “You have the inmates running the asylum basically. You have the extremists because I know there are Republicans sitting out there going, ‘Don Lemon that’s not what we are.’ Maybe it’s not what you are but it’s what party has become and what you have allowed to happen,” he lectured.

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Excuse me?! “..the House Select Committee on January 6 (whose hearings are the runaway TV-ratings hit of the summer)..”

The runaway TV-ratings hit that nobody watches…

Donald Trump on 2024: ‘I’ve Already Made That Decision’ (NYMag)

Donald Trump was impeached twice, lost the 2020 election by 7,052,770 votes, is entangled in investigations by federal prosecutors (over the Capitol insurrection and over the mishandling of classified White House documents and over election interference) and the District of Columbia attorney general (over financial fraud at the Presidential Inaugural Committee) and the Manhattan district attorney (over financial fraud at the Trump Organization) and the New York State attorney general (over financial fraud at the Trump Organization) and the Westchester County district attorney (over financial fraud at the Trump Organization) and the Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney (over criminal election interference in Georgia) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (over rules violations in plans to take his social-media company public through a SPAC) and the House Select Committee on January 6 (whose hearings are the runaway TV-ratings hit of the summer), yet on Monday, July 11, he was in a fantastic mood.

It was a beautiful day in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the former president maintains a golf club and private estate to which he decamps when the Palm Beach humidity and the habits of snowbirds shut down Mar-a-Lago for the Mother’s Day–to–Labor Day summer season, and it had been a beautiful weekend, too, one he said affirmed the choice he had made about his own future, the future of the Republican Party, and — whether he wins this time or if he loses as sorely as before — the future of the American experiment. At a rally in Alaska on Saturday, he told me by phone, his fans were adoring. “More love,” in his words, “than I’ve ever had before.” His voice was humming with excitement. He was still in awe.

After all of this time, after so many rallies, so many crowds, so many winding speeches and chants of “Lock her up” and “USA” and “Build the wall” and the familiar sounds of “Tiny Dancer” and “Memory” (from Cats) and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “YMCA” and that goofy little dance and the delusion and the fervor so great that it built up to an attack on the Capitol and the democratic process at the center of the Republic itself, the novelty of this had not faded. As a technical matter, the Anchorage event was on behalf of Sarah Palin and Kelly Tshibaka, Trump-endorsed candidates for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, respectively, but like all such endeavors, it was for its star a means of discerning through a vibe check what traditional polls could not so reliably or completely tell him.

And what it told him this time, he said, is that his voters — a portion of the electorate that he insists amounts to a majority of the country, though it does not — want to, and will, bring him back to power. “Look,” Trump said, “I feel very confident that, if I decide to run, I’ll win.”

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The Chinese didn’t buy real estate as an investment, but as an insurance. Xi must beware.

“Disgruntled” Chinese Homebuyers Refuse To Pay Their Mortgages (ZH)

While US snowflakes are all too happy to talk the talk (which remains free, even despite Biden’s hyperinflation), Chinese residents are increasingly walking the walk. First, it was the violent outcry against mandatory covid vaccines that put an end to Beijing’s desire to forcibly innoculate all Beijing residents in just 48 hours – a feat not all of America’s armed militias have been able to achieve, and now it’s a grassroots push for what appears to be a debt jubillee as millions of homeowners suddenly stop paying their mortgages, a shocking move that has sent shockwaves across China’s capital markets and has sparked panic within China’s political leadership circles.

As Bloomberg reports overnight, a rapidly increasing number of “disgruntled Chinese homebuyers” are refusing to pay mortgages for unfinished construction projects, exacerbating the country’s real estate woes and stoking fears that the crisis will spread to the wider financial system as countless mortgages default. According to researcher China Real Estate Information, homebuyers have stopped mortgage payments on at least 100 projects in more than 50 cities as of Wednesday, up from 58 projects on Tuesday and only 28 on Monday, according to Jefferies Financial Group Inc. analysts including Shujin Chen. “The names on the list doubled every day in the past three days,” Chen wrote in a note published Thursday.


“The incident would dampen buyer sentiment, especially for presold products offered by private developers given the higher risk on delivery, and weigh on the gradual sales recovery.” What’s behind this grassroot movement to halt mortgage payments altogether? Negative equity: “Analysts believe that a drop in home values may be another driver for the refusal to meet mortgage payments. “Investors are concerned about the spread of mortgage payment snubs to buyers, simply due to lower property prices, and the impact on property sales,” Chen wrote. According to Citi analysts, average selling prices of properties in nearby projects in 2022 were on average 15% lower than purchase costs in the past three years. Meanwhile, it’s only getting worse as China’s home prices fell for a ninth month in May, with June figures set for release Friday.

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Here comes Sri Lanka.

High Inflation Figure Masks Even Higher Cost Hikes Of Necessities (ET)

The June inflation figure of 9.1 percent, up half a percentage point from May and the highest since 1981, doesn’t tell half the story of how expensive life has become for Americans. The overall figure hides the fact that not all prices have risen uniformly and that products that have become especially expensive also happen to be the ones people usually can’t do without, such as food, fuel, and energy, according to Consumer Price Index data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Among foodstuffs, margarine and egg prices hiked the most over the 12 months ending in June, up more than 34 and 33 percent, respectively. Trailing behind were butter (up more than 21 percent), flour (up more than 19 percent), and chicken (up more than 18 percent). Milk and coffee were up about 16 percent.

Regular gasoline hiked more than 60 percent, diesel about 76 percent, and fuel oil, which many Americans use to heat their homes, nearly doubled in price. Natural gas went up more than 38 percent and electricity nearly 14 percent. The White House, through President Joe Biden’s Twitter account, on July 13 called the inflation figures “not acceptable” but “outdated,” noting that the average gasoline price had declined about 40 cents per gallon (about 8 percent) over the past 30 days. The products with the most prominent price hikes tend to also suffer supply issues. Gasoline production is constrained by the policies of the Biden administration and the financial elites more generally as part of their efforts to curb carbon emissions.

Egg production has been constrained by the avian flu outbreak that cut the number of laying hens by about 8 percent in recent months. Grain production has been hit with sky-high fertilizer prices and herbicide shortages. Higher grain prices, in turn, show up not only in bakery goods and flour, but also in the cost of animal feed, which then hits meat and milk prices, too. Normally, consumers respond to higher prices by tightening their belts—consuming less—which in turn leads prices down. But because of the lavish federal spending packages during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand has been artificially boosted. Prices will have to go up relatively steeply for another year or two before the productivity of the economy catches up with all the newly printed money, some economists have predicted.

Some prices, it appears, have already peaked. Beef steaks, for instance, hiked by more than 30 percent between October 2019 and October 2021 but are down about 5 percent since then. Similarly, car and truck rental prices went up more than 70 percent from July 2020 to July 2021 but have since dropped by about 11 percent.

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Those lines will get much longer.

Long Lines Are Back At US Food Banks (AP)

Long lines are back at food banks around the U.S. as working Americans overwhelmed by inflation turn to handouts to help feed their families. With gas prices soaring along with grocery costs, many people are seeking charitable food for the first time, and more are arriving on foot. Inflation in the U.S. is at a 40-year high and gas prices have been surging since April 2020, with the average cost nationwide briefly hitting $5 a gallon in June. Rapidly rising rents and an end to federal COVID-19 relief have also taken a financial toll. The food banks, which had started to see some relief as people returned to work after pandemic shutdowns, are struggling to meet the latest need even as federal programs provide less food to distribute, grocery store donations wane and cash gifts don’t go nearly as far.

[..] The Phoenix food bank’s main distribution center doled out food packages to 4,271 families during the third week in June, a 78% increase over the 2,396 families served during the same week last year, said St. Mary’s spokesman Jerry Brown. More than 900 families line up at the distribution center every weekday for an emergency government food box stuffed with goods such as canned beans, peanut butter and rice, said Brown. St. Mary’s adds products purchased with cash donations, as well as food provided by local supermarkets like bread, carrots and pork chops for a combined package worth about $75.

Distribution by the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Northern California has ticked up since hitting a pandemic low at the beginning of this year, increasing from 890 households served on the third Friday in January to 1,410 households on the third Friday in June, said marketing director Michael Altfest. At the Houston Food Bank, the largest food bank in the U.S. where food distribution levels earlier in the pandemic briefly peaked at a staggering 1 million pounds a day, an average of 610,000 pounds is now being given out daily. That’s up from about 500,000 pounds a day before the pandemic, said spokeswoman Paula Murphy said.

Murphy said cash donations have not eased, but inflation ensures they don’t go as far. Food bank executives said the sudden surge in demand caught them off guard. “Last year, we had expected a decrease in demand for 2022 because the economy had been doing so well,” said Michael Flood, CEO for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. “This issue with inflation came on pretty suddenly.” “A lot of these are people who are working and did OK during the pandemic and maybe even saw their wages go up,” said Flood. “But they have also seen food prices go up beyond their budgets.”

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Well, Rutte says in the Davos video at the bottom that he wants to buy the press.. Sorry the other video is mostly in Dutch.

Dutch State Broadcasters Attack Coverage Of The Dutch Uprising (TCS)

In a video entitled “The Great Reset: the recurring fabrications,” Nieuwsuur, a program produced by government broadcasters, claims that Bexte travelled to the Netherlands to perpetuate supposed conspiracy theories, saying that the WEF has “absolutely nothing” to do with the “nitrogen crisis” — by which they mean the nitrogen policy to cut emissions by 50% and destroy farmers’ livelihoods. “These bloggers from far-right websites have travelled to the Netherlands especially to see that image confirmed,” the host says before playing a clip of Bexte talking about the WEF’s support for the career-destroying nitrogen policy being protested. “But the WEF has absolutely nothing to do with the nitrogen crisis,” he continues. “It was the highest judge who ordered the Netherlands to comply with the nitrogen standards of the European Union.”


Yes, but where did the “nitrogen standards” of the European Union come from? The nitrogen policy that was introduced is just one of many policies being brought forth by the EU to better align with the UN’s radical Sustainable Development Goals to cut all emissions, which is itself part of the UN’s Agenda 2030. According to the European Commission’s website, “Sustainable development is a core principle of the Treaty on European Union and a priority objective for the Union’s internal and external policies. The United Nations 2030 Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) intended to apply universally to all countries.” Moreover, in an EU briefing entitled “European policies on climate and energy towards 2020, 2030 and 2050,” the European Parliament states the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals will impact European policy, specifically regarding climate policy:

“Within the framework of the commitments laid down in the Paris Agreement, in November 2018, the European Commission published a new long-term strategy which confirms Europe’s commitment to lead on global climate action and to achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, through a socially fair transition in a cost-efficient manner… The strategy does not intend to launch new policies, nor does the European Commission intend to revise the 2030 targets. It is rather meant to set the direction of transition of EU climate and energy policy, and to frame what the EU considers as its long-term contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature objectives, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which will further affect a wider set of EU policies.”

Now, who has been a core contributor in shaping the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals? Why, the World Economic Forum, of course. In 2019, the WEF and UN signed a strategic partnership “to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” “The new Strategic Partnership Framework between the United Nations and the World Economic Forum has great potential to advance our efforts on key global challenges and opportunities, from climate change, health and education to gender equality, digital cooperation and financing for sustainable development,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the time.


So, yes. If the Netherlands is abiding by the EU’s climate policies, and the EU’s climate policies are based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the WEF signed a partnership with the UN to control what these goals are, I think it’s safe to say that the WEF absolutely has something to do with the nitrogen policy being protested right now.

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People observe and interpret. Be careful with that.

It’s About Globalism, Stupid (Maajid Nawaz)

1) Framing is Everything – i) It is No Longer About Brexit – Contrary to what you will read, the UK leadership race is no longer about Brexit. Brexit is done. It will not be undone. Even Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has told his party that Brexit will not be reversed. This is not to say that Brexit is no longer relevant. It is relevant. It is to say instead that Brexit is not the main impetus for the domestic palace coup that has just unfolded against outgoing PM Boris Johnson.

ii) It is No Longer About Covid – This leadership challenge is also no longer about Covid. The Covid control mechanisms of emergency legislation, supply-chain disruption and the weaponisation of Big Pharma have already served their purpose. As with Brexit, the UK is unlikely to go backwards on Covid policy. Any intervention now from the authorities about Covid will again only serve to keep opponents stuck fighting our last battle, just as the state launches its next psychological war against its own population. This is not to say that Covid policy is no longer relevant. It is relevant. Rather, it is to say again that Covid is not the main impetus for the domestic palace coup that has just unfolded against outgoing PM Boris Johnson.

iii) It is No Longer About War in Ukraine – The UK leadership contest is also not about the war in Ukraine. A keen observer will already notice corporatist media spin turning against deeper involvement, as well as the establishment-liberal US outlets turning sour on Biden. The Ukraine war has served its purpose. Billions have been laundered. Global food and gas shortages have been precipitated. This is not to say that Russia and Ukraine are no longer relevant. They are relevant. This is to say instead that war in Ukraine is not the main impetus for the domestic palace coup that has just unfolded against outgoing PM Boris Johnson. And so what exactly is going on in Britain? Arriving at an answer is only possible if the globalist playbook is understood first.

2) The Global Uprising: Centralisation vs Decentralisation: – Division has been sown after Brexit. Civil norms has been crushed after Covid. The ‘means of production’ have been disrupted after war in Ukraine. What comes next is the purpose they all served: the Great Reset. Combined, these cumulative crises of monumental fiscal suicide, unprecedented supply chain disruption and food and energy shortages are in danger of causing the collapse of the global financial system, sparking truly unprecedented global uprisings. In fact, we are already witnessing this.

[..] The collapse of the global financial system now appears inevitable. It actually collapsed in 2008. What has proceeded since then is merely the execution of a carefully planned, if not vicious, controlled demolition. The demolition is orchestrated by WEF establishment globalists so that their own controlled opposition may steer this global reset towards further centralised tyranny, as opposed to allowing it to enable decentralised democracy. Popular resistance will now be used as a pretext to clamp down and suspend liberty by rolling out militarised forces to subjugate the very conveniently rebelling citizens. [..] This is how the global financial establishment seeks to ride the current global revolution in order to retain their power. We are at the end of a natural generational cycle: a historic turning. We are witnessing the ‘reset’ part of Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset. They have told us what they plan to do. After the reset they will seek to ‘Build Back Better’ in order to create their New World Order.

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Marty Makary M.D., M.P.H. and Tracy Beth Høeg M.D., Ph.D.

“I can’t tell you how many people at the FDA have told me, ‘I don’t like any of this, but I just need to make it to my retirement.’”

US Public Health Agencies Aren’t ‘Following the Science,’ Officials Say (CS)

The calls and text messages are relentless. On the other end are doctors and scientists at the top levels of the NIH, FDA and CDC. They are variously frustrated, exasperated and alarmed about the direction of the agencies to which they have devoted their careers. “It’s like a horror movie I’m being forced to watch and I can’t close my eyes,” one senior FDA official lamented. “People are getting bad advice and we can’t say anything.” That particular FDA doctor was referring to two recent developments inside the agency. First, how, with no solid clinical data, the agency authorized Covid vaccines for infants and toddlers, including those who already had Covid. And second, the fact that just months before, the FDA bypassed their external experts to authorize booster shots for young children.

That doctor is hardly alone. At the NIH, doctors and scientists complain to us about low morale and lower staffing: The NIH’s Vaccine Research Center has had many of its senior scientists leave over the last year, including the director, deputy director and chief medical officer. “They have no leadership right now. Suddenly there’s an enormous number of jobs opening up at the highest level positions,” one NIH scientist told us. (The people who spoke to us would only agree to be quoted anonymously, citing fear of professional repercussions.) The CDC has experienced a similar exodus. “There’s been a large amount of turnover. Morale is low,” one high level official at the CDC told us. “Things have become so political, so what are we there for?” Another CDC scientist told us: “I used to be proud to tell people I work at the CDC. Now I’m embarrassed.”

Why are they embarrassed? In short, bad science. The longer answer: that the heads of their agencies are using weak or flawed data to make critically important public health decisions. That such decisions are being driven by what’s politically palatable to people in Washington or to the Biden administration. And that they have a myopic focus on one virus instead of overall health. Nowhere has this problem been clearer—or the stakes higher—than on official public health policy regarding children and Covid. First, they demanded that young children be masked in schools. On this score, the agencies were wrong. Compelling studies later found schools that masked children had no different rates of transmission. And for social and linguistic development, children need to see the faces of others.

Next came school closures. The agencies were wrong—and catastrophically so. Poor and minority children suffered learning loss with an 11-point drop in math scores alone and a 20% drop in math pass rates. There are dozens of statistics of this kind. Then they ignored natural immunity. Wrong again. The vast majority of children have already had Covid, but this has made no difference in the blanket mandates for childhood vaccines. And now, by mandating vaccines and boosters for young healthy people, with no strong supporting data, these agencies are only further eroding public trust. One CDC scientist told us about her shame and frustration about what happened to American children during the pandemic: “CDC failed to balance the risks of Covid with other risks that come from closing schools,” she said. “Learning loss, mental health exacerbations were obvious early on and those worsened as the guidance insisted on keeping schools virtual. CDC guidance worsened racial equity for generations to come. It failed this generation of children.” An official at the FDA put it this way: “I can’t tell you how many people at the FDA have told me, ‘I don’t like any of this, but I just need to make it to my retirement.’”

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Morales
https://twitter.com/i/status/1547604089705353218

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 302022
 


Winslow Homer Camping in the Adirondacks (Wood engraving) 1874

 

Biden Officials Privately Doubt Ukraine Can Win Back All Of Its Territory (CNN)
White House Is Quietly Modeling For $200 Oil “Shock” (ZH)
G7 and the Desperation Stage of Russian Sanctions (CP)
G7 Mulls Russian Oil Price Cap as Sanctions Fail To Curb Profits (Antiwar)
German Journalist Faces 3 Years Prison Over Reporting From Eastern Ukraine (MS)
BRICS Steering Development Into New Era (China Daily)
More Than 750,000 Dead, 30 Million Injured Because of Covid Vax (TNA)
Quadruple-Vaxxed Fauci Tests Positive for COVID-19 Again (Celente)
EU Chief Can’t Find Texts With Pfizer Chief On Covid-19 Vaccine Deal (JPost)
Why We Should Doubt Cassidy Hutchinson (Athey)
Secret Service Denies Claim Trump “Lunged” For Steering Wheel On Jan 6 (SN)

 

 

 

% of Americans that say country is on the wrong track

dem: 48%
ind: 78%
gop: 87%

-yougov

 

 

Simone Gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, they privately know it’s impossible.

Biden Officials Privately Doubt Ukraine Can Win Back All Of Its Territory (CNN)

White House officials are losing confidence that Ukraine will ever be able to take back all of the land it has lost to Russia over the past four months of war, US officials told CNN, even with the heavier and more sophisticated weaponry the US and its allies plan to send. Advisers to President Joe Biden have begun debating internally how and whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should shift his definition of a Ukrainian “victory” — adjusting for the possibility that his country has shrunk irreversibly. US officials emphasized to CNN that this more pessimistic assessment does not mean the US plans to pressure Ukraine into making any formal territorial concessions to Russia in order to end the war.

There is also hope that Ukrainian forces will be able to take back significant chunks of territory in a likely counteroffensive later this year. A congressional aide familiar with the deliberations told CNN that a smaller Ukrainian state is not inevitable. “Whether Ukraine can take back these territories is in large part, if not entirely, a function of how much support we give them,” the aide said. He noted that Ukraine has formally asked the US for a minimum of 48 multiple launch rocket systems, but to date has only been promised eight from the Pentagon. And not everyone in the administration is as worried — some believe Ukrainian forces could again defy expectations, as they did in the early days of the war when they repelled a Russian advance on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan has remained highly engaged with his Ukrainian counterparts and spent hours on the phone last week discussing Ukrainian efforts to recapture territory with Ukraine’s defense chief and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, officials familiar with the call told CNN. The growing pessimism comes as Biden is meeting with US allies in Europe, where he will try to convey strength and optimism about the trajectory of the war as he rallies leaders to stay committed to arming and supporting Ukraine amid the brutal fight.

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“You don’t have to be a very sophisticated person to know how lines of presidential approval and gas prices go historically in the United States..”

White House Is Quietly Modeling For $200 Oil “Shock” (ZH)

While the Biden administration is hoping and praying that someone – anyone – will watch the comical “Jan 6” kangaroo hearsay court taking place in Congress and meant to somehow block Trump from running for president in 2024 while also making hundreds of millions of Americans forget that the current administration could very well be the worst in US history, it is quietly preparing for the worst. As none other than pro-Biden propaganda spinmaster CNN reports, when it comes to what really matters (at least according to Gallup), namely the economy, and specifically galloping gasoline prices, the White House is in a historic shambles.

For an administration that ended last year forecasting a leveling off of 40-year high inflation and eager to tout a historically rapid recovery from the pandemic-driven economic crisis, there is a level of frustration that comes with an acutely perilous moment. Asked by CNN about progress on a seemingly intractable challenge, another senior White House official responded flatly: “Which one?” The suspects behind the historic implosion are well known: “soaring prices, teetering poll numbers and congressional majorities that appear to be on the brink have created no shortage of reasons for unease. Gas prices are hovering at or around $5 per gallon, plastered on signs and billboards across the country as a symbolic daily reminder of the reality — one in which White House officials are extremely aware — that the country’s view of the economy is growing darker and taking Biden’s political future with it.”

“You don’t have to be a very sophisticated person to know how lines of presidential approval and gas prices go historically in the United States,” a senior White House official told CNN. A CNN Poll of Polls average of ratings for Biden’s handling of the presidency finds that 39% of Americans approve of the job he’s doing. His numbers on the economy, gas prices and inflation specifically are even worse in recent polls. What CNN won’t tell you is that Biden is now polling well below Trump at this time in his tenure. The CNN article then goes into a lengthy analysis of what is behind the current gasoline crisis (those with lots of time to kill can read it here) and also tries to explains, without actually saying it, that the only thing that can fix the problem is more supply, but – as we first explained – this can’t and won’t happen because green fanatics and socialist environmentalists will never agree to boosting output.

Which brings us to the punchline: as CNN’s Phil Mattingly writes, “instead of managing an economy in the midst of a natural rotation away from recovery and into a stable period of growth, economic officials are analyzing and modeling worst-case scenarios like what the shock of gas prices hitting $200 per barrel may mean for the economy.” Well, in an article titled “Give us a plan or give us someone to blame”, this seems like both a plan, and someone to blame.

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“..there’s no reason why Russia would want to sell any oil whatsoever to Europe at the G7’s deeply discounted price cap level..”

G7 and the Desperation Stage of Russian Sanctions (CP)

Getting all of the G7 to agree to a price cap still requires getting the rest of Europe as well as Japan, So. Korea and others to agree to that price capt as well. But isn’t Europe supposed to stop buying all Russian oil imports by end of 2022 per previous sanctions they’ve agreed to? Who believes the Europeans can agree to a price cap on Russian oil and implement that cap in three months (July-September)–and then for just three months more (October-December)? Europe can’t do anything in three months, or even six. Maybe the US and EU aren’t all that confident they can implement a full ban on Russian oil exports by December? But even this isn’t the most absurd aspect of the ‘price cap’ proposal.

Assuming Biden could get all the G7 to convince all of Europe’s 27 nations on a super discounted price, there’s still the ‘small problem’ of what Russia’s response might be to all that. The G7’s faulty logic is the deep discounted price Europe is only willing to pay for the oil would be at a price much lower than even the 30% discount that Russia is now selling oil to India, China and elsewhere. The G7 presumably would offer to buy Russian oil only at a 50% discount off current world prices maybe? That would put pressure, as the G7 argument goes, on Russian oil sales to India etc. The Indians would then demand Russia oil prices at the G7 lower 50% discount price. Russia would realize further reduced revenues from oil lower prices to India, China, the rest of the world as well as to G7 and Europe.

This is a proposal so ridiculous it’s almost embarrassing. The problem with the G7 ‘price cap’ idea is there’s no reason why Russia would want to sell any oil whatsoever to Europe at the G7’s deeply discounted price cap level. First, why should it when Europe says it plans to phase out all Russian oil by December anyway? Second, Russia has shown it is not concerned with reducing natural gas export revenues to Europe. It’s already cut cubic gas exports to Europe by one-third as part of its own economic response to Europe’s agreement with US sanctions on Russia and it’s warned Europe of another third soon. Economic warfare cuts both ways. So what’s to stop Russia from just cutting off all oil exports to Europe—and well before December? Third, Russia would have to be pretty dumb to agree to sell oil to Europe at the latter’s ‘price cap’ level which would be well below Russia’s already 30% discount oil price sales to India? It knows the likely knock on effect that would follow. India as a long term oil customer is far more important to Russia than Europe which says it’s ending as a customer in just six months.

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Europe’s new dark ages.

G7 Mulls Russian Oil Price Cap as Sanctions Fail To Curb Profits (Antiwar)

Flailing in its effort to lower Russia’s oil profits, the US has put forward an idea for a price cap on Russian oil that is being considered by the G7. But the plan, first floated by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, doesn’t seem feasible as it requires cooperation from Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as China and India. The G7 hasn’t offered any detail on the plan, but the idea would be to limit Russia’s profits without taking its oil off the global market and raising prices. But there’s virtually no chance that Putin would agree to sell Russian oil at a price set by the US. If the West tried to enforce the cap, it’s likely Putin would just stop selling oil to Europe since the EU has agreed on a phased ban of the commodity for most of its members that will take effect by the end of the year.

Despite the Western sanctions, Russia is profiting more from oil now than it did before the war, thanks to an increase in prices and China and India significantly stepping up their purchases. China and India have already been buying Russian oil at a discount and are not likely to agree with any Western plans since they have ignored US pressure to curb their imports from Russia up to this point. In the unlikely event that Russia, China, and India agree to the price cap, it would likely raise global prices anyway. An artificially low price would mean more demand than what Russia could produce, which would lead to shortages of Russian crude.

Despite how unfeasible the plan is, the G7 sounds like it’s seriously considering it. Biden and the other G7 leaders said in a joint communiqué on Tuesday that they are considering a “range of approaches” on Russian oil, including banning its shipment “unless the oil is purchased at or below a price to be agreed in consultation with international partners.”

Gonzalo Russian Default Hurts The West—Not Russia

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“I also said that for several years Ukrainians have been killing civilians in the Donbass, and that this is genocide. “And it turns out to be a crime for Germany, so they took 1,600 euro from my bank account and didn’t even tell me about it..”

German Journalist Faces 3 Years Prison Over Reporting From Eastern Ukraine (MS)

GERMAN journalist Alina Lipp has said she faces three years in prison in her home country for her reporting from Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region. The charges against her relate to coverage from her News from Russia Telegram channel where she shares information with its 175,000 subscribers in both German and Russian. In an interview with the Readonka World website, she explained that she is subject to criminal proceedings by the German federal government after receiving a letter from the prosecutor’s office. She is accused by the German authorities of supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine and faces three years in prison under article 140 of the constitution or a monetary fine.

“The letter says that, for example, I say in my Telegram channel that the population of Donbass supports the fact that Russia has launched a special operation. “I also said that for several years Ukrainians have been killing civilians in the Donbass, and that this is genocide. “And it turns out to be a crime for Germany, so they took 1,600 euro from my bank account and didn’t even tell me about it,” Ms Lipp said. German authorities also closed down her father’s bank account without warning, she claimed. Ms Lipp is a former Green Party politician who has been based in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region for six months.

She says she just films what she sees and doesn’t spread “fake information.” Despite the charges against her, she plans to continue reporting from Donetsk, which she said is being shelled daily by the Ukrainian armed forces. Reporting in Ukraine is tightly restricted and those who deviate from the Kiev line do so at serious risk to their safety. Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett, who has also been reporting from the Donbass region, says she has been placed on a government kill list.

Alina Lipp

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United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Argentina and Thailand.

BRICS Steering Development Into New Era (China Daily)

The first decade of BRICS saw the member states establish or deepen cooperation in various fields, achieve convergence, and strengthen relations. On the financial front, the BRICS countries established the New Development Bank, providing infrastructure financing for member states and other emerging market and developing economies. [..] The NDB aims to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the BRICS member states as well as other developing countries, and supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for global development, and thus give BRICS a bigger say in global governance.

The “BRICS Plus” mechanism was introduced at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Fujian province, in 2017. Although the global influence of the BRICS countries has increased significantly, given the trade war and the financial war launched by the United States, it may be a wise choice to turn BRICS into an open platform to forge cooperation across continents. That would be not only beneficial to the economic development of countries, but also help build a better world order, in which emerging market and developing economies can compete and coexist on an equal footing with their developed counterparts.

This year is ideal to talk BRICS’ expansion, because it’s been five years since China proposed to start the expansion process. Although explorations and procedures continue, unofficially the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Argentina and Thailand are among the countries that could join the grouping. All in all, BRICS’ importance to the global economy is noteworthy in terms of population (40 percent), GDP(25 percent nominal), land area (30 percent), world trade (18 percent), and foreign exchange reserves ($4 trillion). And BRICS enlargement will help the grouping more soundly steer global development toward a more fruitful and mutually beneficial new era.

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“..as many as five million Americans unable to work, 30 million injured, and more than 750,000 dead..”

More Than 750,000 Dead, 30 Million Injured Because of Covid Vax (TNA)

The United States federal bodies responsible for the nation’s healthcare policies keep turning a blind eye to the devastating number of deaths and injuries associated with experimental gene therapeutics against Covid, aka Covid vaccines. All severe reactions to the shots are proclaimed “rare.” Steve Kirsch, California tech entrepreneur and founder of the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation (VSRF), has estimated that the shots have left as many as five million Americans unable to work, 30 million injured, and more than 750,000 dead, as of June 24, 2022. According to the latest survey conducted by Pollfish on behalf of the VSRF, vaccines are associated with a very high number of adverse reactions, including lethal and life-altering ones. That means that the vaccinations should be halted immediately.

Writes Kirsch, Our latest poll is devastating for the official narrative: 1. a 6.6% rate of heart injury, 2. 2.7% are unable to work after being vaccinated (5M people), 3. 6.3% had to be hospitalized, 4. you’re more likely to die from COVID if you’ve taken the vaccine. 5. Almost as many (77.4% to be more exact) households lost someone from the vaccines as from COVID. He went on to remind that, according to the official data, more than one million Americans have died “from COVID,” even though it is unclear whether Covid was the primary cause of death, since Rochelle Walensky, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), admitted in January that 75 percent of Covid deaths occurred in people who had “at least four comorbidities.”

Kirsch continued: This survey indicates that over 750,000 people died from the vaccine…. Surprisingly, the ever-vigilant CDC hasn’t found anyone who has died from the mRNA vaccines. Not a single person. So that’s a gap of 750,000 people. That’s a big gap. Someone isn’t telling you the truth.” Presumably, Kirsch is being sarcastic, calling the CDC “ever-vigilant” in light of last week’s report revealing that the agency has not been analyzing its own database, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), specifically designed to detect safety signals for the vaccines. The other key takeaways from the poll include the following,

• Only 34 percent of Americans will be receiving more than two vaccine doses. That means that some 66 percent of the vaccinated are not listening to the government recommendation to stay “up-to-date” with the vaccination by taking additional doses, aka boosters. • Someone died from Covid in 2.63 percent of the households, as compared to 2.03 percent of the households reporting a vaccine-related death. “This is stunning because it shows that the vaccine has killed almost as many people as the COVID virus has,” concluded Kirsch, adding, “Computed another way, there are 123M households in the US. If 2% of those experienced just one vaccine death, then that is 2.4M deaths. Even if this is overestimated by a factor of 10X, this is devastating for the vaccine narrative.” • Of those over the age of 18 who received the vaccine, 2.7 percent have reported becoming unable to work. Extrapolated to the whole of the country, this translates to more than five million severely injured people.

At the same time, 16.7 percent of respondents believe they have been harmed by vaccines. On a national scale, this means that there are more than 30 million vaccine-injured people. • The survey shows a 6.6-percent rate of heart injuries post-vaccine, or 13.3 million injured Americans. “This is 1,000X higher than the CDC told us.… How could the CDC underestimate this severe adverse event by 3 orders of magnitude?!!?” wondered Kirsch. Then, 3.7 percent reported a person in their household with a heart condition due to the vaccine. Since there are 123 million households, this may represent as many as 4.5 million new heart conditions. • Potentially 18 million people — 9.2 percent of vaccine recipients — required medical attention for injuries. Additionally, 6.3 percent, potentially representing 12 million Americans, had to be hospitalized. • The vaccines are associated with the increased risk of Covid. Vaccinated people appeared to be 17 percent more likely to become infected, and were 72 percent more likely to die after getting the vaccine. “We were told the opposite by the government,” lamented Kirsch.

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“Paxlovid Rebound.”

Quadruple-Vaxxed Fauci Tests Positive for COVID-19 Again (Celente)

Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that he is back on Paxlovid, the antiviral medication, to treat COVID-19 after recovering from the virus only to test positive again days later in what is known as a “Paxlovid Rebound.” Fauci appeared virtually during an appearance at the Foreign Policy Global Health Forum and said the symptoms are “much worse.” He said he tested negative for three days before testing positive again. The Hill reported that a “rebound” infection does not mean an individual is “re-infected,” and can be part of the “natural history” of the virus. Fauci, 81, was a candidate for the Paxlovid treatment because of his age. Fauci said the day after he was diagnosed for a second time, he began to feel “really poorly,” and “much worse than in the first go around,” he added.


The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of the anti-viral under and Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment of “mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and children (12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds with a positive test for the virus that causes COVID-19, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, Pfizer said. Paxlovid could reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 by 89 percent, UC San Diego Health said. Treatment should be initiated within five days of symptom onset and taken twice daily for five consecutive days. The school recently studied to see if the virus developed any drug resistance after these rebound cases began to emerge, and found that was not the case. The virus was still sensitive to the drug and showed no relevant mutations that would reduce the drug’s effectiveness, the school said.

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“..short-lived, ephemeral documents..” Like those where you discuss multi-billion deals. Don’t use email, use WhatsApp. We can delete that.

EU Chief Can’t Find Texts With Pfizer Chief On Covid-19 Vaccine Deal (JPost)

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen is no longer in possession of text messages that she exchanged with Pfizer chief Albert Bourla to seal a COVID-19 vaccine deal, the Commission said in a letter published on Wednesday. In an interview in April 2021, von der Leyen revealed she had exchanged texts with Bourla for a month when they were negotiating a massive vaccine contract.But in response to a public access request by a journalist because of the importance of the deal, the Commission did not share the texts, triggering accusations of maladministration by the EU’s ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly.


“The Commission can confirm that the search undertaken by the President’s cabinet for relevant text messages corresponding to the request for access to documents has not yielded any results,” the EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova said in the letter to the ombudsman, an EU watchdog. In the letter, the Commission argues that text messages do not need to be registered and stored because they are treated as “short-lived, ephemeral documents.” The same exception to the general registration requirement applies to documents with no important information, the letter said. The deal, negotiated via text messages and calls, according to what von der Leyen herself said in her interview with the New York Times, was the biggest contract ever sealed for COVID-19 vaccines, with the EU committing to buy 900 million Pfizer-BioNTech PFE.N, 22UAy.DE shots, with an option to buy another 900 million.

Clueless Von der Leyen

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“..the “conservative” clapping seals who are always not-so-secretly rooting for Trump’s demise..”

Why We Should Doubt Cassidy Hutchinson (Athey)

The January 6 Committee geared up to deliver a potential bombshell on Tuesday with emergency testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to chief of staff Mark Meadows. But like most of the attempts to take down former president Donald Trump — from Russian collusion hoaxes to slimy porn lawyers — Hutchinson’s testimony quickly revealed itself as too good to be true. It quickly became clear that one of Hutchinson’s most shocking claims was either misremembered or an outright lie. She claimed that Tony Ornato, White House deputy chief of staff for operations, and Bobby Engel, who headed Trump’s security detail, told her that Trump had attempted to grab the steering wheel of a Secret Service vehicle to redirect it to the Capitol on January 6. When agents refused, Trump allegedly assaulted them.

Secret Service sources said that both the driver of the vehicle and Engel had heard this allegation for the first time during Hutchinson’s testimony and were prepared to testify under oath that it was not true. Fox News reported that a source close to Ornato said he was similarly shocked to hear Hutchinson’s account and would also confirm it was not true. A spokesperson for the Secret Service said that the January 6 Committee didn’t even bother to reach out to them to confirm the story before having Hutchinson testify publicly on Tuesday. If Hutchinson was able to get such a major allegation so totally wrong, how are we supposed to trust the rest of her testimony?

The answer, of course, is that we can’t. Hutchinson also testified that she wrote a note offering a potential statement for President Trump to release during the Capitol riot. Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann said that was also a lie… because he was the one who wrote the note — and had told the committee so during his own testimony. Nonetheless, the “conservative” clapping seals who are always not-so-secretly rooting for Trump’s demise insisted that Hutchinson’s allegations were disqualifying — if not proof of criminality. A high-resolution photo of Hutchinson being sworn in graced the cover of the Wall Street Journal this morning. Readers weren’t informed that the Secret Service was prepared to reject parts of her testimony until ten paragraphs into the story.

The Washington Examiner editorial board insisted that the testimony proved that Trump was “unfit for power” because he was “unstable” and “unmoored,” repeating uncritically the story of “the president trying to grab the wheel of the car to force it to be driven to the Capitol and then violently reaching for the neck of Secret Service agent Bobby Engel.”

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Wonderful detail:

“Cassidy Hutchinson was so horrified by what she saw on January 6, that she went on the record a week later to say she was going to be working for Trump at Mar-a-Lago after he left office.”

“Hutchinson appears to be pursuing a personal vendetta against Trump because he “personally turned her request down” when she tried to get a job at Mar-a-Lago.”

Secret Service Denies Claim Trump “Lunged” For Steering Wheel On Jan 6 (SN)

The January 6 Committee’s credibility has plummeted after claims by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson that President Trump “lunged” for the steering wheel of his vehicle and demanded to be taken to the site of the riots were contradicted by the lead Secret Service agent. Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato, the then-White House deputy chief of staff, told her that Trump said something like, “I’m the f-ing president, take me up to the Capitol now,” and had “reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel” before then using “his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel,” the the presidential driver. Despite the legacy media breathlessly reporting Hutchinson’s claims without much skepticism, the term ‘Amber Heard 2.0’ subsequently trended on Twitter as Hutchinson’s assertions were demolished.

Within hours, Peter Alexander of NBC News revealed that Engel was prepared to testify “under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.” Trump himself also asserted that the incident never happened. Hutchinson appears to be pursuing a personal vendetta against Trump because he “personally turned her request her down” when she tried to get a job at Mar-a-Lago. Hutchinson also apparently told another outright lie during her testimony when she claimed she had written a note of a statement for Trump to release on January 6.

The note was actually penned by Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann. “The handwritten note that Cassidy Hutchinson testified was written by her was in fact written by Eric Herschmann on January 6, 2021,” a spokesperson for Herschmann told ABC News Tuesday evening.It remains to be seen whether Hutchinson will face any consequences for apparently lying under oath, although the already dubious credibility of the January 6 Committee has taken a further massive blow. “The January 6 committee clowned itself,” summarized Tim Young.

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Malone Texas Senate
https://twitter.com/i/status/1542145437553102848

McCullough Texas Senate

 

 

 

 

Cheetah

 

 

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Jun 262022
 


Edward Hopper Excursion into Philosophy 1959

 

 

It was Jim O’Neill, Goldman’s chief economist at the time, who coined the term BRICS in 2001 for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Little did he know. He was talking about emerging economies. 13 years later, they no longer are. They are good for about 40% of the world population, and some 25% of global GDP. The world has not stood still since 2009, and it’s moving faster now.

Ironically, the BRICS countries never looked to be as prominent economically as they are today, they were happy to build up one step at a time. But then NATO decided to move east at a pace that Russia found intolerable, and now the BRICS have taken on a whole new meaning. 25% of global GDP may not seem that much, but the 5 countries hold a much bigger share of -essential- global resources and/or raw materials than that, and China moreover delivers an outsize part of finished products.

And we now know that they won’t be BRICS for much longer. Many countries choose to be affiliated, in one form or another, with the BRICS rather than the “west”. They see that Russia is winning in Ukraine, and they see the damage the sanctions do. It’s just practical considerations. Saudi Arabia and Argentina are interested in joining BRICS. So are Uruguay, Iran, Egypt, Thailand, and a number of post-Soviet States. They see where the real economic power resides.

It’s amusing to see that for this week’s G7 in Germany, the host country has “invited the leaders of India, Indonesia, Senegal, Argentina and South Africa to the summit..” They will not join the G7 instead of the BRICS. Why would they? The world is moving away from unipolar US/NATO power. And as Russia and China have repeatedly said, this move is irreversible. It’s all because of what happens in Ukraine. The west is losing militarily AND economically. Look at where the ruble is. We were “promised” it would dissolve, but it did the opposite.

The US became the no. 1 world power because it had the oil. Now, it has some left, but it has to use energy-intensive processes to produce it. Russia does not. Nor does Saudi Arabia, which therefore has no reason to stick to the petro-dollar system. They’re better off with the BRICS, which moreover plan to introduce a resource-based basket of currencies, which could benefit the Saudis greatly. The world is being rearranged rapidly, a process mightily accelerated by Russia’s special operation in Ukraine.

And NATO can’t even keep up militarily. From Scott Ritter today: “Ukraine is requesting 1,000 artillery pieces and 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, more than the entire active-duty inventory of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps combined. Ukraine is also requesting 500 main battle tanks — more than the combined inventories of Germany and the United Kingdom“. Another headline: “Czech Republic Has Exhausted Its Arms Reserves Supporting Ukraine, PM Reveals”.

Perhaps even more telling is that last week, Ukraine’s President Zelensky addressed the African Union in a virtual session, and only 4 out of 54 invited African Heads of State attended (plus some lower ranked folks). They don’t care about what they see as a European conflict, they don’t believe it’s all Putin’s fault (because: sanctions!), and they won’t commit to a potentially losing side. They have bigger fish to fry at home. Look for many to become a BRICS member.

 

Africa Is A Hostage Of Russia’s War On Ukraine, Zelensky Says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called Africa “a hostage” of Russia’s war during an address to the African Union (AU) on Monday. Russia’s invasion, and its blockade of Ukraine’s grain exports, have sparked grain and fertiliser shortages and put millions of people at risk of hunger. The chair of the AU commission said there was an “urgent need for dialogue” to restore global stability. Western countries have urged Russia to release Ukraine’s vast grain stores.


The blockade has sent food prices soaring. “Africa is actually a hostage… of those who unleashed war against our state”, Mr Zelensky said in his speech. He said his government was engaged in “complex negotiations” to unblock grain reserves trapped in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. “This war may seem very distant to you and your countries,” he told the AU. “But the food prices that are catastrophically rising have already brought [the war] to the homes of millions of African families.”

I think it’s priceless that the BRICS countries took O’Neill’s term and ran with it. In 2016 the BBC said: “Brics ‘grew more than I thought’, says Jim O’Neill”. And so last week we had the 14th BRICS Summit. They are now -arguably- more powerful than the G7, they indeed ‘grew more than I thought’. Unlike in our present -post-WWII- economic system, there is not ONE leader, it’s multipolar. The best of everyone, for everyone. That sounds very idealistic, obviously, and at some point China may try to control it all, like the US does today, but right now that is not the case.

 

Putin Suggests Way Out Of Global Economic Crisis

The West’s selfish attempts to blame the entire world for its own mistakes have led to the global economic crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on Thursday, appearing via video link at the 14th BRICS Summit. “Only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation is it possible to find a way out of this crisis situation that has gripped the global economy due to the thoughtless and selfish actions of certain states,” Putin explained.

The Russian leader stressed that today, as never before, the leadership of the BRICS countries is needed in order to develop a unifying policy for the shaping of a truly multipolar system of intergovernmental relations, and that it ought to be based on the universally recognized norms of international law and the key principles of the UN Charter. According to Putin, the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have a truly enormous political, economic, scientific, technological and human potential.

Their influence on the global arena is increasing with every year, he pointed out. “Russia is ready to continue developing close multifaceted interaction with all the [BRICS] partners and contribute to the enhancement of its role in international affairs,” Putin promised.

As I wrote earlier: “The west is not the future. That time is behind us. And many countries recognize this.”

 

China Promotes ‘Non-Western Multilateralism’ at BRICS Summit

China hosted the first day of the fourteenth annual BRICS Summit—a series of meetings involving the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—on Wednesday, amid a series of major shifts in the global world order and rising geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and East Asia. Chinese president Xi Jinping opened the summit on Wednesday, emphasizing the five nations’ “shared desire to meet challenges together through cooperation,” according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. The Chinese leader also urged the countries in attendance to “embrace solidarity and coordination and jointly maintain world peace and stability.”

The BRICS group comprises the five largest developing economies; together, its members constitute forty percent of the world’s population and one-fourth of global gross domestic product. The group includes the two most populous nations in the world, China and India, as well as Russia, the largest in terms of land. Chinese state media has praised the role of the five-nation grouping, claiming that ties between the BRICS countries had increased “multilateral cooperation with non-Western styles, forms, and principles [of government”—marking a positive contrast to the actions of the United States, which it accused of “pulling its Western allies to ‘rebel’ against globalization.”

Despite considerable internal differences within the bloc, including a decades-old rivalry between China and India, all of the BRICS countries have resisted full political alignment with the West. Of the five BRICS nations, only one, Brazil, voted in the United Nations General Assembly to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine in February; Russia voted against the measure, while the other three countries abstained. Even Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro refused to personally condemn Putin, whom the West has widely framed as the driving force behind the Russian invasion. In his remarks on Wednesday, Xi appeared to criticize the United States and NATO, describing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “wake-up call for all in the world.”

 

From Bradley Blankenship, American journalist, columnist and political commentator, published at RT.

BRICS Members Represent The Best Hope For A Fairer World Order

The 14th BRICS Summit in Beijing is just wrapping up amid a turbulent international geopolitical landscape, which highlights the importance of the organization in general. Given the combined challenges of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, global conflict, a looming economic crash and climate change – the current international system is failing and a new, multi-polar alternative must take its place. It’s worth noting the context of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) format. Started in 2009 amid a financial crisis, the main goal of that year’s first BRICS (or BRIC as it was then) summit in Yekaterinburg was to improve the global economic situation and reform financial institutions.

Although these countries are not joined by any particular ideology, each saw the need to democratize the global economic system that had been crashed pretty much single-handedly by the United States in an extraordinarily irresponsible – even illegal by US law, in some instances – manner. The head of China’s Central Bank bluntly called for abandoning the dollar as the global reserve currency in 2009 because of a lack of faith in US monetary leadership. That was 13 years ago, yet the necessity of a new reserve currency could not be more relevant these days. In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on June 22 just ahead of the latest BRICS summit that the group was indeed developing its own reserve currency based on a basket of their currencies. With this, Putin said the group is hoping to develop alternatives to the existing international payment scheme.

While this could be seen as provocative in the West, it is actually for the betterment of mankind and is not aimed strictly at one country or one coalition of countries. To note, India pushed back against any “anti-US” rhetoric in the group’s joint statement, being a country that is considered part of the Global South, e.g., a developing country, and also has strong relations with the West. Yet, at the same time, it’s clear that all BRICS states, including India, would benefit from a democratized global economic and financial system. That is why New Delhi has not joined Western-led sanctions against Russia over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, because doing so does not serve India’s economic interests – and it would also establish a bad precedent where countries could essentially be excluded from the international community over political disagreements.

Indeed, BRICS and its members have gone a long way to pursue zero-strings-attached development cooperation. China alone had already replaced the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as the world’s largest net creditor at the beginning of the last decade, expanding investments in tangible assets across the Global South (and beyond) through the Belt and Road Initiative. But in a direct challenge to these two previously mentioned US-led institutions, which have morphed into weapons of economic coercion, BRICS established the New Development Bank in 2014.

[..] At a minimum, BRICS has a serious role in balancing out the malignant influence of the US, NATO and the prevailing Western-led world system. Finance and economics are no small part of this, and BRICS’ drive to establish alternatives to the dollar-based Bretton Woods system, providing credit to the Global South without political conditions and establishing a new reserve currency, is an extraordinary push toward a multi-polar future.

The question is of course how the reigning order will react to losing its power. Will they drop nukes? If they do, it would every likely be suicidal. But some people are very particular about control, and about losing it. Thing is, it’s already lost, they just don’t realize it yet.

While you were watching the abortion debate, and Zelensky’s heroics, the entire world order has changed. How about that?

 

 

 

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Jun 262022
 


Caravaggio The Denial of St. Peter 1610

 

The Fantasy of Fanaticism (Scott Ritter)
US Commander: China’s ‘No-limits’ Support Of Russia Threatens Humanity (JTN)
G7 Face Battle For Unity As Cost Of Ukraine War Mounts (BBC)
Adding $37 Billion to Biden’s Military Budget (CD)
Russia On Brink Of Default As Debt Deadline Looms (BBC)
Germany Fears Russia Could Shut Nord Stream 1 Within Weeks (ZH)
Just 5% Call Abortion Top Concern (WE)
“It’s Infuriating”: DC Democrats In Chaos, Demand Biden Act On Abortion (ZH)
Democrats Lived Rent-free For 50 Years Off Roe v. Wade
The Dobbs Decision Unleashes Rage and Revisionism (Turley)
Biden Undermines Supreme Court In Ways Unlike Predecessors (JTN)
EU Renews Digital Covid Pass Despite 99% Negative Public Feedback (Kogon)
Birx Had A Tough Day In Congress (El Gato)
Ghislaine Maxwell On Suicide Watch, May Seek Sentencing Delay (R.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) “..the secretary general of the trans-Atlantic alliance responsible for pushing Ukraine into its current conflict with Russia is now proposing that Ukraine be willing to accept the permanent loss of sovereign territory because NATO miscalculated..”

2) “Russia just destroyed the equivalent of NATO’s main active-duty combat power and hasn’t blinked..”

The Fantasy of Fanaticism (Scott Ritter)

Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior aid to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, recently estimated that Ukraine was losing between 100 and 200 soldiers a day on the frontlines with Russia, and another 500 or so wounded. These are unsustainable losses, brought on by the ongoing disparity in combat capability between Russia and Ukraine symbolized, but not limited to, artillery. In recognition of this reality, NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg announced that Ukraine will more than likely have to make territorial concessions to Russia as part of any potential peace agreement, asking, “what price are you willing to pay for peace? How much territory, how much independence, how much sovereignty…are you willing to sacrifice for peace?”

Stoltenberg, speaking in Finland, noted that similar territorial concessions made by Finland to the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War was “one of the reasons Finland was able to come out of the Second World War as an independent sovereign nation.” To recap — the secretary general of the trans-Atlantic alliance responsible for pushing Ukraine into its current conflict with Russia is now proposing that Ukraine be willing to accept the permanent loss of sovereign territory because NATO miscalculated and Russia —instead of being humiliated on the field of battle and crushed economically — is winning on both fronts. Decisively. That the secretary general of NATO would make such an announcement is telling for several reasons.

First, Ukraine is requesting 1,000 artillery pieces and 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, more than the entire active-duty inventory of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps combined. Ukraine is also requesting 500 main battle tanks — more than the combined inventories of Germany and the United Kingdom. In short, to keep Ukraine competitive on the battlefield, NATO is being asked to strip its own defenses down to literally zero. More telling, however, is what the numbers say about NATO’s combat strength versus Russia. If NATO is being asked to empty its armory to keep Ukraine in the game, one must consider the losses suffered by Ukraine up to that point and that Russia appears able to sustain its current level of combat activity indefinitely. That’s right — Russia just destroyed the equivalent of NATO’s main active-duty combat power and hasn’t blinked.

One can only imagine the calculations underway in Brussels as NATO military strategists ponder the fact that their alliance is incapable of defeating Russia in a large-scale European conventional land war. But there is another conclusion that these numbers reveal — that no matter what the U.S. and NATO do in terms of serving as Ukraine’s arsenal, Russia is going to win the war. The question now is how much time the West can buy Ukraine, and at what cost, in a futile effort to discover Russia’s pain threshold in order to bring the conflict to an end in a manner that reflects anything but the current path toward unconditional surrender.

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“..Jake Sullivan, said that a weak U.S. response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “would send a message to other would-be aggressors, including China, that they could do the same thing.”

For some reason he doesn’t appear to include the US in that group of “would-be aggressors”.

US Commander: China’s ‘No-limits’ Support Of Russia Threatens Humanity (JTN)

China’s assertion of a “no-limits” partnership with Russia has alarmed the Pentagon and risks endangering all of humanity should the two nations continue to grow closer, according to the commander of U.S. military forces in the Pacific. “From where I sit, the most concerning aspect of [Russia’s war in Ukraine] is that the People’s Republic of China has declared a no-limits policy in support of Russia and what that means to both the Indo-Pacific and the globe,” Adm. John Aquilino, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said on Friday. “If those two nations were to truly demonstrate and deliver a no-limits policy, I think what that means is we’re currently in an extremely dangerous time and place in the history of humanity, if that were to come true,” said Aquilino, speaking at an event hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think-tank.

In February, Chinese leader Xi Jinping met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing, where they heralded their relationship in a sweeping joint statement. “Friendship between the two states has no limits,” the two leaders said. “There are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.” The meeting came three weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine. China has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion and has echoed Russian talking points about the war. Aquilino praised the Ukrainian people for defending their country and touted the efforts of the U.S. military and U.S. allies to help Ukraine defend itself.

“Globally what we see is that the world is certainly unwilling to accept a single person’s actions — illegitimate, unprovoked — to change the world order, the status quo, the international rules-based order through an unprovoked, illicit invasion,” he said. The commander’s comments came after President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that a weak U.S. response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “would send a message to other would-be aggressors, including China, that they could do the same thing.”

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“..Germany has invited the leaders of India, Indonesia, Senegal, Argentina and South Africa to the summit..”

That’s two BRICS members, and three potential ones.

G7 Face Battle For Unity As Cost Of Ukraine War Mounts (BBC)

The Russian war against Ukraine will inevitably dominate the summit of G7 nations in Bavaria. And the leaders of the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan face a difficult challenge. They are aiming to put on a show of unity and resolve over the war. In recent months, the Western alliance has shown signs of strain and fatigue. Some voices – particularly in France, Germany and Italy – have asked if it might not be better for the war to end, even if it came at the cost of Ukraine having to cede territory. A recent cross-Europe opinion poll suggested some voters put solving the cost-of-living crisis ahead of punishing Russia. Others argue about the need to salvage some kind of relationship with Russia in the future.

Countries like the UK, Poland and the three Baltic States have been resisting these arguments, saying that any peace deal with Moscow that is not on Ukraine’s terms would lead to further Russian aggression in the future. President Zelensky is likely to reinforce this argument when he addresses the summit virtually on Monday. So the G7 leaders are expected to try to use the summit to clear these muddy waters, promising more weapons to Ukraine and more sanctions against Russia. The idea will be to send a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the West has the strategic patience to maintain its support for Ukraine, even if it faces domestic political pressure at home from voters concerned about rising prices. The problem for G7 leaders is they also face growing pressure to show they are tackling the global economic crisis. The soaring price of fuel and food is causing hunger and unrest across the world.

And some countries are pointing the finger at the West. Many countries in the global south do not share Western concerns about Russian aggression. They see the conflict as a European war and seem unmoved by Western arguments that Vladimir Putin is acting as a colonial aggressor. And they blame Western sanctions – as much as Russia’s invasion – for the rising costs of gas and oil, and the massive shortage of wheat and fertiliser. To try to resist this narrative, G7 countries are expected to use the summit to show they are acting to help countries round the world – with development aid, debt restructuring, climate finance, help finding alternative sources of energy and, of course, fresh efforts to get grain out of Ukraine’s ports. That is why Germany has invited the leaders of India, Indonesia, Senegal, Argentina and South Africa to the summit, to hear their perspective and show the rest of the world the G7 is listening.

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“If you’re supporting this amendment, you’re basically paving the way to a trillion-dollar defense [bill]..”

Adding $37 Billion to Biden’s Military Budget (CD)

Progressives expressed outrage after a House panel voted Wednesday to tack an additional $37 billion on top of President Joe Biden’s already gargantuan military spending request. The Biden administration’s March request for $813 billion in military spending for Fiscal Year 2023 already marked a $31 billion increase over the current, historically large sum of $782 billion. During its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the House Armed Services Committee approved by a 42-17 margin Rep. Jared Golden’s (D-Maine) amendment to boost the topline budget by $37 billion. “Today members of the House Armed Services Committee put the demands of the military-industrial complex over the needs of the American people yet again,” Public Citizen president Robert Weissman said in a statement.

“Granting $37 billion to a war machine that can’t even pass an audit while saying that we ‘can’t afford’ what American families and communities need is quintessential hypocrisy,” said Weissman. “Congress can still correct this misstep — rerouting that funding into investments like economic stability, climate justice, and affordable healthcare for all Americans instead.” The House panel’s increase comes less than a week after the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to add $45 billion to Biden’s $813 billion request, pushing the upper chamber’s total proposed budget for national military spending in the coming fiscal year to a whopping $857.6 billion — including $817 billion for the Pentagon, $30 billion for the Department of Energy and an additional $10.6 billion that falls outside NDAA jurisdiction.

During a speech Wednesday in which she explained why she voted against Golden’s “unconscionable” amendment, Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Cailf.) stressed that “there are simply not military solutions to every problem.” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) also voted against Golden’s amendment and explained his opposition in remarks delivered from the House floor. “If you’re supporting this amendment, you’re basically paving the way to a trillion-dollar defense [bill],” said Khanna. “Is that what we want in this country?” “I just want to be clear,” he added. “There is no country in the world that is putting over half its discretionary budget into defense and I would rather for us to be the preeminent economy of the 21st century by investing in the health of our people, in the education of our people, in the industries of the future.”

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“This whole situation looks like a farce.”

Russia On Brink Of Default As Debt Deadline Looms (BBC)

Russia is on the brink of its first debt default since 1998 as the Sunday deadline to make a $100m interest payment seems certain to be missed. Russia has the money and is willing to pay, but sanctions make it impossible to get the payments to international creditors. The Kremlin has been determined to avoid a first default since 1998, and a major blow to the nation’s prestige. The Russian finance minister branded the situation “a farce”. Russia has seemed on an inevitable path to default since sanctions were first imposed by the US and EU following the invasion of Ukraine.These restricted the country’s access to the international banking networks which would process payments from Russia to investors around the world.

The Russian government has said it wants to make all of its payments on time, and so far it has succeeded.About $40bn of Russia’s debts are denominated in dollars or euros, with around half held outside the country. A default would be the first since 1998, at the chaotic end of Boris Yeltsin’s regime. The $100m interest payment was due on 27 May. Russia says the money was sent to Euroclear, a bank which would then distribute the payment to investors. But that payment has been stuck there, according to Bloomberg News, and creditors have not received it. “They have not got it,” says Jay Auslander, a US lawyer who has worked on many government debt cases. “And the overwhelming probability is they’re not going to get it.”If this money has not arrived within 30 days of the due date, that is, Sunday evening, that will widely be considered a default.

Euroclear wouldn’t say if the payment had been blocked, but said it adheres to all sanctions. Default seemed inevitable when the US Treasury decided not to renew the special exemption in sanctions rules allowing investors to receive interest payments from Russia, which expired on 25 May. The Kremlin now appears to have accepted this inevitability too, decreeing on 23 June stating that all future debt payments would be made in roubles through a Russian bank, the National Settlements Depository, even when contracts state they should be in dollars or other international currencies. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov admitted foreign investors would “not be able to receive” the payments according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

This was for two reasons, he said. “The first is that foreign infrastructure – correspondent banks, settlement and clearing systems, depositories – ares prohibited from conducting any operations related to Russia. The second is that foreign investors are expressly prohibited from receiving payments from us.” Because Russia wants to pay and has plenty of money to do it, he denied that this amounts to a genuine default, which usually occur when governments refuse to pay, or their economies are so weak that they cannot find the money. “Everyone in the know understands that this is not a default at all,” RIA Novosti quoted him. “This whole situation looks like a farce.”

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Come -cold- winter, Europeans will not blame all this on Putin. They will demand their politicians make peace with Russia.

Germany Fears Russia Could Shut Nord Stream 1 Within Weeks (ZH)

The European Union has this week accused Russia of planning “rogue moves” regarding lowering natural gas flows to Europe, or in other words continuing to ‘weaponize’ its energy, to which the Kremlin has consistently responded with variations of ‘our gas, our rules’. This after Moscow has reduced Nord Stream 1 gas flows by 40% last week while citing technical issues, leading to a four- to sixfold rise in market prices, based on German energy officials. However, Berlin isn’t buying that needed maintenance on the key pipeline is all that’s happening here, instead seeing in it an underhanded Russian ploy to ramp up the pressure on Europe, giving way to fears that the saga could end in Russia halting its pipeline altogether.

“Gas is now a scarce commodity in Germany,” economy minister Robert Habeck said at a Thursday press conference while warning that his country is now approaching crisis supply levels which could see authorities turn to gas rationing. Habeck confirmed that the last days have seen a “significant deterioration of the gas supply situation” – following Gazprom’s Nord Stream 1 also having to now undergo what the Russian energy company has scheduled as “annual maintenance” for a period of ten days, from July 11 to July 21. Habeck was asked in an interview this week with German broadcaster ZDF about the negative scenario possibility of Russia artificially extending the repair and maintenance period: “I’d be lying if I said I’m ruling it out. In fact, Putin has gradually reduced the amount of gas more and more,” he responded.

According to the German language publication, the economy minister bluntly spelled out that Putin is trying to use energy to drive a wedge among European allies: Putin’s plan is to put pressure on the market to make prices in Europe more expensive. According to Habeck, it is mainly a matter of stirring up social unrest and breaking down unity. He wants to make sure that Putin “does not win,” the economy minister told ZDF heute Journal. Measures are also being taken to ensure the unity of society.

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“Only 5% said abortion was top issue. That might change a little, but not with people who can’t afford food or gas or rent or medical bills..”

Just 5% Call Abortion Top Concern (WE)

Abortion, the No. 1 concern in today’s media and politics, ranks nearly dead last among areas voters care about as they struggle with paying daily bills, soaring inflation, and interest rate hikes, according to a just-released survey. While the Supreme Court’s decision overruling the 1973 Roe v. Wade right to abortion has dominated today’s network and cable coverage, the latest McLaughlin & Associates poll said just 5% of voters call it a top concern. Just below abortion, at 1%, is reviewing the 2020 election, over which the media are also obsessing. By comparison, 54% cited the economy. “Only 5% said abortion was top issue. That might change a little, but not with people who can’t afford food or gas or rent or medical bills,” said pollster John McLaughlin, referencing the court’s decision today.

He also told Secrets, “This was no surprise. The decision was leaked a while ago. Most states will not change their laws. Biden’s handlers are desperate to change the subject from the imploding economy.” President Joe Biden said today that he plans to dig into ways to continue the rights under Roe, but John and Jim McLaughlin said their data show it’s a desperation play to recover his base. In their latest survey, just 23% of Democratic primary voters said Biden was their first pick to run in 2024. “People are focused right now on inflation, gas, cost of living, public safety, and the disintegration of America,” Jim McLaughlin said. “You know you’re struggling when 77% of Biden’s primary voters are looking for somebody else.”

And while the media were suggesting that the question of abortion will help drive a bigger Democratic turnout in fall elections, the McLaughlins said it also stands to help Republicans. In an April survey, they found that 93% agree with this statement: “Every human being represents a life that is precious and has value.” John McLaughlin said, “If the Republicans stand on principle and defend human life, Americans are on their side.”

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“Behind the carnival tent curtain..”

“It’s Infuriating”: DC Democrats In Chaos, Demand Biden Act On Abortion (ZH)

Democrats are seething with rage over Friday’s 6-3 majority decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, sending the question of abortion rights back to the state-level. “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” read the opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito. Pro-abortion protesters sprung to action, deploying posters which read “Bans off my Body” and other slogans. Hours after the news broke, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called the decision “illegitimate,” and encouraged people to get “into the streets” to protest.


Her call for what we’re sure will be ‘mostly peaceful’ protests prompted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to accuse the Democrat of ‘launching an insurrection,’ adding “Any violence and rioting is a direct result of Democrat marching orders.” “I will explain this to you slowly: exercising our right to protest is not obstruction of Congress nor an attempt to overturn democracy,” AOC replied, to which Greene asked AOC why she won’t support pardons for Julian Assange or Edward Snowden, why she is “a shill for the MIC (military industrial complex) funding war in Ukraine,” or “are you too busy organizing baby killing riots?” Behind the carnival tent curtain, DC insiders are furious and are demanding that the Biden administration DO SOMETHING! “It’s infuriating. What the hell have we been doing?” one Democratic strategist told The Hill. “Why are we not talking about this every single day? Why hasn’t Biden made this the issue for Democrats? If we don’t step up, we’ve got ourselves to blame.”

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“..American liberals have lived rent free for 50 years on the Blackmun decision. They didn’t have to frame arguments. They didn’t have to persuade 50 legislatures…”

Democrats Lived Rent-free For 50 Years Off Roe v. Wade

Maybe it’s time everyone slowed down and looked at Roe for what it was. It was legal malpractice of the highest order that disenfranchised hundreds of millions of Americans by rationalizing that the Constitution had settled the question of abortion. An issue that rightly belonged in state legislatures where citizens could argue for and against was commandeered by the Blackmun court and settled. This is not merely a conservative view. Since Roe became law in 1973, a powerful consensus has been building among legal authorities left and right that Roe was constructed not on the breakwater of constitutional logic but on the seafoam of judicial activism. Here’s just a brief sampling from the left. And understand, I could easily add 20 more examples just like these:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court Justice): “The political process was moving in the early 1970 …not swiftly enough for advocates for quick, complete change, but majoritarian institutions were listening and acting. (Roe’s) heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.” Edward Lazarus (attorney, clerk to Roe-author Justice Harry Blackmun): “As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible. I say this as someone utterly committed to the right to choose, as someone who believes such a right has grounding elsewhere in the Constitution instead of where Roe placed it, and as someone who loved Roe’s author like a grandfather. …(Roe) has little connection to the constitutional right it purportedly interpreted.”

Jeffrey Rosen (Legal Affairs Editor, The New Republic): “In short, 30 years later, it seems increasingly clear that this pro-choice magazine was correct in 1973 when it criticized Roe on constitutional grounds. Its overturning would be the best thing that could happen to the federal judiciary, the pro-choice movement and the moderate majority of the American people.” Michael Kinsley (Opinion editor, Los Angeles Times; co-host of Crossfire): “Although I am pro-choice, I was taught in law school, and still believe, that Roe v. Wade is a muddle of bad reasoning and an authentic example of judicial overreaching. I also believe it was a political disaster for liberals. Roe is what first politicized religious conservatives while cutting off a political process that was legalizing abortion state by state anyway. Three decades later, that awakened giant controls the government.”

John Hart Ely (law professor; Yale, Harvard, Stanford; clerked for Chief Justice Earl Warren): “(Roe) is, nevertheless, a very bad decision. Not because it will perceptibly weaken the Court — it won’t; and not because it conflicts with either my idea of progress or what the evidence suggests is society’s — it doesn’t. It is bad because it is bad constitutional law, or rather because it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”

On Friday, President Joe Biden ignored this consensus and railed against today’s justices who agree with it. “Make no mistake,” said Biden. “This decision is the culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law. It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court.” To the contrary, I’ve presented above just a fraction of the counterevidence that shows Biden is wrong. Just to restate, as early as the 1970s when Michael Kinsley was chasing paper at Harvard Law, it was common knowledge in Cambridge that Roe was “a muddle of bad reasoning” and judicial overreach. American liberals have lived rent free for 50 years on the Blackmun decision. They didn’t have to frame arguments. They didn’t have to persuade 50 legislatures. The Blackmun court handed them the ball, the game and the whistle when it was only just beginning.


CA bar exam

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[n]othing in [the Court’s] opinion should be under- stood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

The Dobbs Decision Unleashes Rage and Revisionism (Turley)

In the aftermath of the historic ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, politicians and pundits have denounced the Supreme Court justices and the Court itself for holding opposing views on the interpretation of the Court. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the justices “right-wing politicians” and many journalists called the Court “activists.” Most concerning were legal analysts who fueled misleading accounts of the opinion or the record of this Court. Notably, it is precisely what the Court anticipated in condemning those who would make arguments “designed to stoke unfounded fear.” Vice President Kamala Harris and others repeated the claims that same-sex marriage, contraceptives, and other rights are now in danger. The Court, however, expressly and repeatedly stated that this decision could not be used to undermine those rights: “Abortion is fundamentally different, as both Roe and Casey acknowledged, because it destroys what those decisions called ‘fetal life’ and what the law now before us describes as an ‘unborn human being.’”

The Court noted: “Perhaps this is designed to stoke unfounded fear that our decision will imperil those other rights, but the dissent’s analogy is objectionable for a more important reason: what it reveals about the dissent’s views on the protection of what Roe called “potential life.” The exercise of the rights at issue in Griswold, Eisenstadt, Lawrence, and Obergefell does not destroy a “potential life,” but an abortion has that effect. So if the rights at issue in those cases are fundamentally the same as the right recognized in Roe and Casey, the implication is clear: The Constitution does not permit the States to regard the destruction of a “potential life” as a matter of any significance.”

Indeed, I cannot recall an opinion when the Court was more adamant in prospectively blocking the use of a holding in future cases. Only one justice, Clarence Thomas, suggested that the Court should reexamine the rationale for such rights but also emphasized that the majority of the Court was clearly holding that the opinion could not be used in that way. Thomas wrote: “The Court’s abortion cases are unique, see ante, at 31–32, 66, 71–72, and no party has asked us to decide “whether our entire Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence must be preserved or revised,” McDonald, 561 U. S., at 813 (opinion of THOMAS, J.). Thus, I agree that “[n]othing in [the Court’s] opinion should be under- stood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

Nevertheless, on CNN, legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers echoed the common claim that this decision could now be used to unravel an array of other rights and “criminalizing every single aspect” of women’s reproductive healthcare. However, Rodgers went even further. She suggested that states could ban menstrual cycle tracking: “Are they going to be able to search your apps—you know there’s apps that track your menstrual cycle. You know how far are these states going to try and go?”

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“Biden trampled his own promise to embrace government and the rule of law.”

Biden Undermines Supreme Court In Ways Unlike Predecessors (JTN)

Two months into his presidency, as he did often on the campaign trial, President Joe Biden asked America to embrace the legitimacy of government. “Put trust and faith in our government to fulfill its most important function, which is protecting the American people,” the 46th president implored his country in a March 2021 speech on the anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdowns. On Friday, after being stung by abortion and gun rights rulings by the Supreme Court that he disagreed with, the president changed his tune and launched a verbal assault on America’s judicial branch of government and its iconic marbled court of nine justices. The president took a blowtorch to the Supreme Court in language clearly designed to undermine its legitimacy.

He accused the justices of waging a “deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law” and decried their “extreme and dangerous path”, as he insisted the nation’s highest court had made the “United States an outlier among developed nations” by reversing the half-century-old Roe v. Wade decision. A day earlier, he slammed the court’s verdict that the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms extended to carrying in public, calling that decision “unconstitutional.” In so doing, Biden trampled his own promise to embrace government and the rule of law. He also veered from the civility most presidents and senior political leaders have shown the court, even when it ruled against their wishes.

Barack Obama, for instance, didn’t like the famed Heller gun ruling in 2008 that overturned DC’s restrictive handgun laws, but issued a statement that suggested good people could find common ground in it. “I will uphold the Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners, hunters, and sportsmen,” Obama said. “I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws.” George W. Bush showed the same deference when the justices rejected his arguments that Guantanamo Bay terrorist prisoners didn’t deserve full rights in the courts. “We’ll abide by the court’s decision,” Bush said. “That doesn’t mean I have to agree with it.”

Likewise, Al Gore upheld the legitimacy of the legal system after losing the 2000 election in an epic Supreme Court ruling: ““I accept the finality of the outcome … And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession,” the then-vice president said. Biden’s angry strike at the court’s legitimacy drew a rebuke from many corridors, including from a famed liberal law professor who voted for him. “I am concerned about that,” Harvard University law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told “Just the News, Not Noise” television program Friday night when asked about Biden’s reaction.

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“And so on and so forth through 385,191 responses.”

EU Renews Digital Covid Pass Despite 99% Negative Public Feedback (Kogon)

Acting on a proposal of the European Commission, the European Parliament, as expected, voted yesterday to renew the EU Digital Covid Certificate for another year. The vote was 453 for, 119 against and 19 abstentions. The certificate regulation had been scheduled to expire on June 30. Earlier this month, a delegation from the parliament had already reached a “political agreement” with the Commission on renewing the certificate, thus making yesterday’s vote virtually a foregone conclusion. The certificate regulation was originally adopted in June of last year, ostensibly to facilitate “safe travel” between EU member states. But the EU digital certificate quickly evolved into the model and sometimes infrastructure for the domestic “health” or Covid passes that would serve to restrict access to many other areas of social life over the following year.

The EU has opted to extend the covid certificate despite the overwhelmingly negative results of a public consultation on the subject that was launched by the European Commission under the heading of “Have Your Say” and that was open to the public from February 3 to April 8. The consultation elicited over 385,000 responses – almost all of which appear to be opposed to renewal! In a letter to the European Ombudsman that the French member of the parliament Virginie Joron posted on her Twitter feed, Joron writes: “I read hundreds of responses at random with my team. I did not find any in favor of extending the QR code [i.e. the digital certificate]. Based on this large survey, it seems obvious that virtually all the responses were negative.”

The overwhelmingly negative tendency of the responses was indeed evident from the outset. The first full page of responses, all of them dating from February 4, is available here. They are, of course, in a variety of European Union languages: French, German, Italian, and also one in English. To provide readers an idea of the tenor, here is a translation of just the first line or two of the first several responses (starting from the bottom of the page): “I am completely opposed to the establishment of this certificate given what is currently happening with the EU’s disastrous handling of Covid…” “I want this cst [probably a reference to Belgium’s “Covid Safe Ticket”] or vaccine passport simply to be eliminated… ” “There are claims made in the draft document that are not scientifically supported. For example, it is claimed that the Covid certificate represents effective protection against the spread of the virus – what data can support this claim?…

“Hello, I am shocked and disgusted by the freedom-killing decisions taken in the EU … as regards this “European certificate” … ” “The covid certificate or green pass SHOULD BE ABOLISHED immediately as discriminatory and unconstitutional and not supported by any scientific data, because it is exclusively based on PUNITIVE measures for citizens… ” “I am opposed to the extension of the green pass, which serves no purpose other than creating discrimination… ” “I never want to be subjected to a discriminatory certificate again…” “And, finally, the English-language entry: “The digital Covid certificate should end immediately. There is so much data that supports the fact that digital passports have zero positive impact on transmission rates and in fact in the most vaccinated and highly regulated countries, there [sic.] covid rates are insane…” And so on and so forth through 385,191 responses.

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“Digging further into this is going to get really good. It’s clear these people are neither smart nor informed. They hipshot and hoped. And all the carnage and calamity it drove is going to land on them.”

Birx Had A Tough Day In Congress (El Gato)

Leaders do not, mostly, lead. They follow the public mood. And as that mood is shifting, it’s becoming ok to ask the pointy questions and start getting to the bottom of things. Debbie had a tough outing here and gets pinned on a simple and vital issue: When public health officials and agencies stridently told america that the covid vaccines would be a “dead end for the virus” and stop infection and spread, upon what did they base that claim and how did they get it so wrong? Once Jordan gets a hold of her, this is like a tuna filled piñata in a tiger cage. jj: Was the government lying when they said this? db: i don’t know. i was not part of the taskforce discussions Strong start. Non-denial denial, offers up others for the trip under the bus. Both evasive and self-protective. Politics 101.

She then speaks of her family still using “layered protection” because she knew that vaccine immunity would wane like natural immunity. This is both inaccurate and deeply dishonest. If she and her compatriots “knew” that, they certainly were not saying it in public. And boy oh boy do we have the receipts on that one… Jj: when the government told us the vaccinated could not transmit it (covid), was that a lie or a guess? db: “i think it was hope” See, now that seems like a pretty poor pretext for pushing vaccination as social duty, mandating jabs, and endless campaigns of vilification, othering and claims to be on the “side of science.” “we did it cuz hope.” Digging further into this is going to get really good. It’s clear these people are neither smart nor informed. They hipshot and hoped. And all the carnage and calamity it drove is going to land on them.

It’s clear they lack basic justification for their towering, condescending certitude. This fallback to “and that’s why i think scientists and public health leaders always have to be at the table being very clear what we know and don’t know” is awe inspiring in its manipulative mendacity. Sure, the statement is true, but could anyone produce a standard that less describes what was actually done? They expressed as iron bar certainty that which they now admit was “a hope.” They attacked viciously anyone who dared call their narrative into question. I seriously cannot believe she just said that. That she did not actually burst into flame getting that out is near certain proof that she’s wearing asbestos underpants.

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“If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is prohibited from reviewing legal materials prior to sentencing, becomes sleep-deprived, and is denied sufficient time to meet with and confer with counsel, we will be formally moving on Monday for an adjournmen..”

You know who else is on suicide watch?

Ghislaine Maxwell On Suicide Watch, May Seek Sentencing Delay (R.)

Ghislaine Maxwell has been put on suicide watch at a Brooklyn jail, and may seek to delay her Tuesday sentencing for aiding Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls, her lawyer said on Saturday night. In a letter to the judge overseeing Maxwell’s case, Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, said her client is “unable to properly prepare, for sentencing,” after officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center on Friday declared the suicide watch and abruptly moved Maxwell to solitary confinement. Sternheim said Maxwell was given a “suicide smock,” and her clothing, toothpaste, soap and legal papers were taken away. The lawyer also said Maxwell “is not suicidal,” a conclusion she said a psychologist who evaluated the 60-year-old British socialite on Saturday morning also reached.


“If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is prohibited from reviewing legal materials prior to sentencing, becomes sleep-deprived, and is denied sufficient time to meet with and confer with counsel, we will be formally moving on Monday for an adjournment,” Sternheim wrote. Maxwell was convicted on Dec. 29 on five criminal counts, including sex trafficking, for recruiting and grooming four girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Prosecutors have said Maxwell should spend at least 30 years in prison, citing her “utter lack of remorse.” Maxwell wants a term shorter than 20 years.

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Chicken Dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1540598804742668288

 

 

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Jun 052022
 


James Ensor The intrigue 1890

 

Russia Is Winning The Economic War – And No Closer To Withdrawing Troops (G.)
US Officials Admit They Lied About Ukraine Success and Russian Failures (GP)
NATO Chief: Ukraine Shouldn’t Drop Goal to Drive Russia Out of Crimea (Antiwar)
Bilderberg does China (Escobar)
Subpoena Wars (Turley)
COVID Vaccines Linked To 25% Increase In Cardiac Arrest (INN)
Judge Rules In Favor Of St. Paul Unions Over Covid Vaccination Mandate (TC)
Italy and Germany End Travel Restrictions (CS)
Turkey Accuses Greece Of Harboring Terrorist Organizations (AMNA)
Laptop From Hell May Produce Data With Disaster For Joe Biden (Times)

 

 

 

 

I’m going in there

 

 

 

 

From The Guardian, no less.

Russia Is Winning The Economic War – And No Closer To Withdrawing Troops (G.)

It is now three months since the west launched its economic war against Russia, and it is not going according to plan. On the contrary, things are going very badly indeed. Sanctions were imposed on Vladimir Putin not because they were considered the best option, but because they were better than the other two available courses of action: doing nothing or getting involved militarily. The first set of economic measures were introduced immediately after the invasion, when it was assumed Ukraine would capitulate within days. That didn’t happen, with the result that sanctions – while still incomplete – have gradually been intensified.

There is, though, no immediate sign of Russia pulling out of Ukraine and that’s hardly surprising, because the sanctions have had the perverse effect of driving up the cost of Russia’s oil and gas exports, massively boosting its trade balance and financing its war effort. In the first four months of 2022, Putin could boast a current account surplus of $96bn (£76bn) – more than treble the figure for the same period of 2021. When the EU announced its partial ban on Russian oil exports earlier this week, the cost of crude oil on the global markets rose, providing the Kremlin with another financial windfall. Russia is finding no difficulty finding alternative markets for its energy, with exports of oil and gas to China in April up more than 50% year on year.

That’s not to say the sanctions are pain-free for Russia. The International Monetary Fund estimates the economy will shrink by 8.5% this year as imports from the west collapse. Russia has stockpiles of goods essential to keep its economy going, but over time they will be used up. But Europe is only gradually weaning itself off its dependency on Russian energy, and so an immediate financial crisis for Putin has been averted. The rouble – courtesy of capital controls and a healthy trade surplus – is strong. The Kremlin has time to find alternative sources of spare parts and components from countries willing to circumvent western sanctions.

When the global movers and shakers met in Davos last week, the public message was condemnation of Russian aggression and renewed commitment to stand solidly behind Ukraine. But privately, there was concern about the economic costs of a prolonged war.

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“Russia is the only superpower with a self-sufficient economy..”

US Officials Admit They Lied About Ukraine Success and Russian Failures (GP)

If you think the West has learned its lesson and opted to focus on truth, think again. Germany’s Economy Minister, Robert Habeck, was peddling these whoppers to his own government this week: Western sanctions in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine are still taking a heavy toll on the Russian war machine. . . .The Russian economy is collapsing,” . . . adding that Germany had played its part here by reducing exports to Russia in March by 60%, with an even sharper fall expected in April. The obvious question for any reporter with the brain power of a cretin would be, “what is the evidence that Russia’s economy is collapsing?” The truth is that all sectors are firing on all cylinders.

Just because Germany has decided to commit economic hari kari by declining to purchase cheap Russian oil, does not mean that Russia is bleeding out financially. The Economist reported two weeks ago that Russia is running a record trade surplus. Yes, Russia is importing fewer Mercedes and BMWs via the open market. First, Russia is not dependent on having western luxury items filling western owned stores. Second, the Russian mafia is more than willing to fill the gap and obtain such goods via the black market. Seems like the West never learns. Habeck also forgets the first rule of crisis management–when you are in a hole, stop digging. He made this even more outlandish claim:

“Moscow had lost access to parts crucial to its ability to fight the war, . . . such as “security updates for airplanes, with the result that the planes will soon be grounded”. He apparently did not get the briefing, widely available in the public domain, that Russia builds it own planes, rockets, space ships and tanks. Putin did not outsource critical industry to China or Mexico. Reality will remind the United States and its crazy European allies that Russia is the only superpower with a self-sufficient economy. The economy of Russia is not dependent on having a Russian version of Rodeo Drive filled with overpriced baubles.

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“..many US officials privately doubt Ukraine could expel Russia from the region..”

NATO Chief: Ukraine Shouldn’t Drop Goal to Drive Russia Out of Crimea (Antiwar)

In an interview with The Washington Post, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine shouldn’t avoid declaring ambitious war aims of driving Russia out of the eastern Donbas region and the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia has controlled since 2014. “They have the right to say that they are fighting for the whole of Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said. The Post report said that many US officials privately doubt Ukraine could expel Russia from the region and that such goals would “doom Kyiv to an endless war.” Stoltenberg has warned that NATO should be prepared to provide Ukraine with long-term support for its fight against Russia. “We need to be prepared that this may actually drag on for a long time,” he said.

Ukrainian President Voldymr Zelensky recently rejected a suggestion from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who said Ukraine should cede territory to Russia to achieve peace. Earlier in the war, Russia made clear that its demands for a ceasefire include Ukraine dropping its claim to Crimea and recognizing the independence of the breakaway Donbas republics. As the war grinds on, Russia is making slow, but steady gains in the eastern Donbas region. Russian forces have also controlled most of the Kherson oblast, which is north of Crimea, for months now, and there are signs that Moscow is considering annexing the region. Retaking territories now controlled by Russia would take a massive offensive by Ukraine, but Ukrainian forces are taking heavy losses. Zelensky said this week that between 60 and 100 Ukrainian soldiers are being killed every day.

While the US and its allies have shipped billions in weapons to Ukraine since Russia invaded, Ukrainian officials say it isn’t enough to mount a counterattack. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Friday that Kyiv “needs more” to mount a “sufficient counterattack and kick them outside of our country to liberate all occupied territory.”


Future Ukraine

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“They are all paying close attention to the Russia gas-for-rubles experiment…”

Bilderberg does China (Escobar)

A serious debate is raging across virtually all sectors of Chinese society on the American weaponization of the world financial casino. The conclusions are inevitable: get rid of US Treasuries, fast, by any means necessary; more imports of commodities and strategic materials (thus the importance of the Russia-China strategic partnership); and firmly secure overseas assets, especially those foreign currency reserves. Meanwhile Bilderberg’s “diverse group”, on the other side of the pond, is discussing, among other things, what will really happen in case they force the IMF racket to blow up (a key plan to implement The Great Reset, or “Great Narrative”).

They are starting to literally freak out with the slowly but surely emergence of an alternative, resource-based monetary/financial system: exactly what the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) is currently discussing and designing, with Chinese input. Imagine a counter-Bilderberg system where a basket of Global South actors, resource-rich but economically poor, are able to issue their own currencies backed by commodities, and finally get rid of their status of IMF hostages. They are all paying close attention to the Russia gas-for-rubles experiment. And in China’s particular case, what will always matter is loads of productive capital underpinning a massive, extremely deep industrial and civil infrastructure.

No wonder Davos and Bilderberg messenger boys, when they look at The Grand Chessboard, are filled with dread: their era of perpetual free lunch is over. What would delight cynics, skeptics, neoplatonists and Taoists galore is that it was Davos-Bilderberg Men (and Women) who actually boxed themselves into zugzwang. All dressed up – with nowhere to go. Even JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon – who didn’t even bother to go to Bilderberg – is scared, saying an economic “hurricane” is coming. And overturning the chessboard is no remedy: at best that may invite a ceremonious tuxedo visit by Mr. Sarmat and Mr. Zircon carrying some hypersonic bubbly.

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“..the greatest costs will be borne by the public, if our legal proceedings become as performative and shallow as our politics.”

Subpoena Wars (Turley)

The problem is not that the committee will move forward with hearings or a report. Despite its partisan composition and agenda, there is always a value to greater transparency about what occurred on that tragic day. The problem is the effort to ratchet up interest through conflict. The committee has taken the rare step of subpoenaing GOP colleagues, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and threatening to hold them in contempt like Navarro and other former Trump officials. Despite years of bitter political divisions, the two parties have long avoided using subpoenas against each other. It was viewed as a step toward mutually assured destruction if House members unleashed inherent investigatory powers on each other.

House Democratic leaders, however, shattered that long tradition of restraint despite the fact that they may gain little from the effort. What they will lose is a long-standing detente on the use of subpoenas against colleagues — and they are creating a new precedent for such internal subpoenas just months before they could find themselves in the minority. Today’s hunters then could become the hunted, if Republicans claim the same license after November’s elections. The House already is a dysfunctional body that allows for little compromise or dialogue between parties. The targeting of fellow members now will remove one of the few remaining restraints on unbridled partisan rage. Judge Faruqui encouraged Navarro to consider the basis of his self-defense when Navarro seemed intent on self-immolation.

In addition to announcing that he would represent himself, Navarro made an extended statement on the steps of the courthouse in his defense. He then incongruously said he could not discuss “legal matters” before plunging again into his legal defense points. Navarro is known as someone who tends toward the path of greatest resistance. In a city known for highly managed criminal defendants with legions of lawyers and PR advisers, Navarro was a captivating figure as he held forth outside the courthouse. Yet for all that he has in terms of personal guts, he lacks legal authority. The problem is that even as he claimed executive privilege to avoid answering any of the House committee’s questions, he was publishing a book and giving interviews on the very subject matter of the subpoenas.

It was an ill-considered course that may make him an icon on the right but could also make him a convicted defendant. As he repeatedly pitched his book outside the court, it seemed clear that his priority was not acquittal. Navarro at one point asked, “Who are these people?” I have found myself asking the same question about all of the players in this subpoena war. Institutions and individuals alike seem to be in a crazed fit with little concern for how their actions may play out beyond the next election. But the greatest costs will be borne by the public, if our legal proceedings become as performative and shallow as our politics.

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Rare side effects.

COVID Vaccines Linked To 25% Increase In Cardiac Arrest (INN)

A new study by Israeli researchers and published in Nature has revealed an increase of over 25 percent in cardiovascular-related emergency calls in the young-adult population, following the rollout of COVID vaccines, among both males and females. No similar increase was found due to COVID infection alone. Israel health authorities and the U.S. Centers of Disease Control (CDC) have acknowledged a link between COVID vaccines and specific cardiovascular complications. The risk of myocarditis after receiving a second vaccine dose is now estimated to be between 1 in 3000 to 1 in 6000 in men aged 16 to 24. Recent articles in scientific journals, however, have sought to suggest that cardiovascular complications following COVID infection are more common than those following vaccination.

This assertion is contradicted by the findings from a recent study conducted by Israeli researchers, using data from Israel National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) related to “cardiac arrest and acute coronary syndrome EMS calls in the 16–39-year-old population” between 2019 and 2021. This enabled them to compare baseline (pre-COVID epidemic) to COVID epidemic without vaccines, to COVID epidemic following widespread vaccine takeup. An increase of over 25% was detected in both call types during January–May 2021, compared with the years 2019–2020. That is to say, “increased rates of vaccination … are associated with increased number of CA [cardiac arrest] and ACS [acute coronary syndrome].” By contrast, the trial “did not detect a statistically significant association between the COVID-19 infection rates and the CA and ACS weekly call counts.”

While the dangers of myocarditis for young males have gained widespread attention, this study found a larger increase in CA and ACS events among females that was linked to COVID vaccination. Myocarditis is known to be a “major cause of sudden, unexpected deaths in adults less than 40 years of age and is assessed to be responsible for 12–20% of these deaths,” the study’s authors note. They add that their findings have been mirrored by researchers in Germany and Scotland. They caution that given these findings, “It is essential to raise awareness among patients and clinicians with respect to related symptoms (e.g., chest discomfort and shortness of breath) following vaccination or COVID-19 infection to ensure that potential harm is minimized.”

Athlete deaths
https://twitter.com/i/status/1533320290499018753

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This seems the only valid way to look at it:

“It is difficult for this Court to imagine what could be more intrusive and more destructive to the employer-employee relationship than requiring employees to forfeit their bodily autonomy in the name of maintaining their livelihood”

Judge Rules In Favor Of St. Paul Unions Over Covid Vaccination Mandate (TC)

A judge ruled Thursday that the city of St. Paul’s COVID vaccination policy for police, firefighters and legions of other unionized city workers should have been part of the bargaining process, and he barred the city from enforcing it until it is approved as part of a negotiated agreement. The employee unions filed lawsuits last year over the coronavirus vaccine mandate for employees, calling it an unfair labor practice — and the judge agreed. The firefighters’ lawsuit noted that the city didn’t negotiate with the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 21 before making “a unilateral change to the terms and conditions” of employment for Local 21 members.

In his ruling, Ramsey County Judge Leonardo Castro noted that the city didn’t engage in bad faith by implementing the vaccination policy, but nevertheless enacted an unfair labor policy. “The City was faced with the height of a pandemic and based its actions upon what it believed to be in the best interest of the health and safety of its employees and the public,” Castro wrote in the ruling. “There was no malice, conspiracy or employee targeting involved.” The city did engage in discussions of the policy with union representatives, Castro wrote, though not in formal bargaining. For an issue such as injecting your own body with a foreign substance versus losing your job, he reasoned, that’s not enough.

“It is difficult for this Court to imagine what could be more intrusive and more destructive to the employer-employee relationship than requiring employees to forfeit their bodily autonomy in the name of maintaining their livelihood,” he wrote.

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What will they all do in September?

Italy and Germany End Travel Restrictions (CS)

Following the lead of other nations across Europe and the world, both Italy and Germany announced they were ending all COVID-related travel restrictions and requirements for travellers looking to enter their countries. “As of June 1, 2022, a Green Pass or equivalent certificate is no longer needed to enter Italy. All Covid-19 related entry restrictions have been lifted.” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced on its website. Before the announcement, those wishing to enter Italy had to provide proof of vaccination, proof that they had recovered from COVID-19, or provide a negative COVID-19 test. These requirements are now gone. The decision comes roughly one month after Italy scrapped its vaccine passport within the country.

Similarly, while not as absolute as Italy’s decision, Germany has decided to end nearly all travel restrictions until the end of August. According to an update on the German Federal Foreign Office’s website, “As of June 1, the requirements to register before entry, provide a negative test result and to quarantine only applies to travellers who have stayed in an area of variant of concern. Extension of the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations until August 31, 2022.” Italy and Germany now join the growing list of sensible countries that have ended the vaccine passport and travel restrictions in the wake of the incredibly mild Omicron variant.

This list of countries includes the following: the UK, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Austria, Romania, and many others. Canada, of course, remains one of the most thoroughly backwards countries on the planet and has extended its federal vaccine mandate until the end of June. This includes the federal travel ban on unvaccinated Canadians, who, being unable to board a plane, train, ferry, or cross over into the US, remain de facto prisoners in their own country.

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Erdogan’s standard threat.

Turkey Accuses Greece Of Harboring Terrorist Organizations (AMNA)

Turkey’s recent accusations that Greece is supposedly harboring terrorist organizations are “false and unfounded,” and are therefore “rejected in their entirety,” said Greek diplomatic sources on Saturday. Greece, sources clarified, “fully implements European Union decisions in the fight against terrorism.” Anadolu news agency had earlier reported that the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Greek ambassador to Ankara to protest that allegedly Athens provides terrorist organizations with opportunities to engage in various activities. According to Anadolu, Greek Ambassador to Ankara Christodoulos Lazaris was called in because Greek authorities allowed a protest gathering be held by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) near the Turkish embassy in Athens, an organization that has been classified as a terrorist one by the EU and by Turkish authorities, it was added.

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The Times of London publishes Russian disinformation.

Laptop From Hell May Produce Data With Disaster For Joe Biden (Times)

Mac Isaac is an albino with restricted sight who was vague in interviews in 2020 about whether he got a good look at his customer. In his book, American Injustice, he says he made repeated attempts to return the laptop and then hand it over to the authorities. He said he was angered that, after he gave all the material to the FBI, it did not feature in the first impeachment of President Trump over his pressure on President Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Mac Isaac says that spurred him to hand a copy of the data to Robert Costello, a lawyer for Rudy Giuliani, who in turn was acting as Trump’s lawyer. Mac Isaac says that the customer who came in with three liquid-damaged laptops appeared “intoxicated” with speech that was “a little slurred”.

Speaking to a Fox News podcast, he added: “When I actually left the shop probably about 45 minutes after he left the shop, I noticed his vehicle was still there. I just assumed that he was sleeping one off.” One of the laptops was a write-off and one just needed an external keyboard. “The third computer, there was a glimmer of life, but it required me to check it in so I could take it apart, disconnect some components to get the machine up and running,” Mac Isaac said. “I explained that process with him, I printed up an authorisation allowing me to take custody of the machine. And I had him sign that document, review the document with him.” It contained his usual proviso that, if unclaimed after 90 days, the computer was considered abandoned and became Mac Isaac’s property.

He says that the manual nature of dragging files and then comparing some to see if the data was intact led him to see what was on the computer. “That’s when I realised that the person . . . that’s storing in a lot of this homemade porn is actually the guy that dropped off the laptop,” he said. Mac Isaac denies he breached Hunter Biden’s privacy. “He wanted me to recover his data. When a customer requires a data recovery it’s usually for two things, movies and pictures. It’s for the things that you can’t replace,” he said. He says he opened a long video to check for digital corruption and found issues of another sort. “That just happened to be a homemade video of Hunter [doing] amazingly multiple illegal acts at the same time . . . smoking crack, while engaged in sex trade — I don’t know — I’m pretty sure, I’m not a lawman.”

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


Ivan Aivazovsky Constantinople in Moonlight 1846

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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