Sep 232022
 
 September 23, 2022  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  117 Responses »


Max Ernst The Angel of the home or the Triumph of Surrealism 1937

 

Nuclear War Is Possible – US Commander (RT)
Ex-US General Warns Russia Of ‘Devastating Strike’ (RT)
Serbian President Warns of “Great World Conflict” Within Two Months (SN)
Medvedev Responds To Military Threat From Ex-US General (RT)
Von der Leyen Is Completely Wrong About anti-Russia Sanctions (Timofeev)
EU To Impose New Sanctions On Moscow – Borrell (RT)
Brussels’ Sanctions Caused Crisis – Orban (RT)
Austria To Reject Russian Gas Ban – FM (RT)
Ukraine: 5-Year Prison Sentence For Anyone Voting In “Sham Referendums” (ZH)
Ukraine Perfect Testing Ground For New US Weapons – Kiev (RT)
Lavrov Puts Spotlight On ‘Impunity’ In Ukraine (RT)
Jamie Dimon: Stopping Oil And Gas Production ‘Road To Hell’ For US (NYP)
A Greek Watergate Threatens the West (Varoufakis)
‘He’s Done’: How Donald Trump’s Legal Woes Have Just Gotten A Lot Worse (G.)

 

 

Poster seen in Amsterdam

 

 

“There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks. It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”

 

 

 

 

Matt Walsh

 

 

CO2

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..the Kremlin would “without a doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people..”

Nuclear War Is Possible – US Commander (RT)

Navy Admiral Charles Richard, commander of US Strategic Command, declared on Wednesday that for the first time since the end of the Cold War, the US faces the possibility of nuclear war with a peer-level opponent. Speaking at an Air Force-organized conference in Maryland, Richard claimed that the US would have to prepare to escalate quickly against possible opponents, including to defend the United States itself. “All of us in this room are back in the business of contemplating…direct armed conflict with a nuclear-capable peer,” he said, according to a Pentagon summary of his comments. “We have not had to do that in over 30 years.”

“Russia and China can escalate to any level of violence that they choose in any domain with any instrument of power worldwide,” he continued. “We just haven’t faced competitors and opponents like that in a long time.” In the eyes of Moscow, the US is currently locked in a proxy conflict with Russia in Ukraine, and has steadily escalated its commitment of weapons, intelligence and financial assistance to Kiev since Russian troops entered Ukraine in February. Russia’s current nuclear doctrine allows for the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a first nuclear strike on its territory or infrastructure, or if the existence of the Russian state is threatened by either nuclear or conventional weapons. American doctrine allows for a nuclear first strike in “extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated this position on Wednesday, declaring that the Kremlin would “without a doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people,” should Russian territory be threatened. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also warned that the US was “teetering on the brink” of becoming a direct party in the Ukraine conflict, with Washington risking “a direct collision between nuclear powers.” Similar warnings have come from within the US too, most notably from former President Donald Trump, who declared on Wednesday that the conflict, which he said “should have never happened,” could “end up being World War III.”

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These people appear to think they live in the 1960’s.

Ex-US General Warns Russia Of ‘Devastating Strike’ (RT)

The US could destroy Russia’s Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet or its bases on the peninsula if Moscow resorts to using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the former commander of the US Army in Europe, Ben Hodges, has said. In an interview with the Daily Mail on Wednesday, Hodges described the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering the deployment of nukes as “very unlikely.” Putin will not do so because “he knows the US will have to respond if Russia uses a nuclear weapon,” he claimed. “The US response may not be nuclear… but could very well be a devastating strike that could, for example, destroy the Black Sea Fleet or destroy Russian bases in Crimea,” Hodges, who was in charge of the US forces in Europe between 2014 and 2018, said.


“So, I think President Putin and those around him will be reluctant to draw the US into the conflict directly.” The comments were made in response to Putin’s address earlier that day, in which he said Russia is fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine, citing the lavish assistance in lethal aid and intelligence provided to Kiev by the US, UK, EU and others. “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,”he warned. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the Biden administration took Putin’s words “seriously,”but insisted that it was “irresponsible rhetoric for a nuclear power to talk that way.”

Scott Ritter

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“..nuclear war between the United States and Russia would cause two-thirds of the planet to starve to death within two years..”

Serbian President Warns of “Great World Conflict” Within Two Months (SN)

The President of Serbia has warned that the planet is entering into a “great world conflict” that could take place within the next two months. Aleksandar Vucic made the alarming comments during the first day of the UN General Assembly session in New York. “You see a crisis in every part of the world,” Vucic told the Serbian state broadcaster RTS. “I think realistic predictions ought to be even darker,” he added. “Our position is even worse, since the UN has been weakened and the great powers have taken over and practically destroyed the UN order over the past several decades.” The Serbian leader cautioned that the war between Russia and Ukraine had moved on to a far deadlier phase.

“I assume that we’re leaving the phase of the special military operation and approaching a major armed conflict, and now the question becomes where is the line, and whether after a certain time – maybe a month or two, even – we will enter a great world conflict not seen since the Second World War,” he said. Vucic’s remarks were made on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an immediate “partial mobilization” of troops amounting to 300,000 soldiers. In a public address to the nation, Putin warned that he wasn’t bluffing and that he was prepared to use “all the means at our disposal” to protect Moscow’s territorial integrity. “Now they (the West) are talking about nuclear blackmail,” said Putin. “The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was shelled and also some high positions – representatives of NATO states – who are saying there might be possibility and permissibility to use nuclear weapons against Russia,” he added.

Putin ominously asserted that western powers should “be reminded that our country also has various weapons of destruction, and with regard to certain components they’re even more modern than NATO ones.” As we highlighted last month, a study conducted by Rutgers University found that nuclear war between the United States and Russia would cause two-thirds of the planet to starve to death within two years. 5 billion people would perish, primarily as a result of nuclear detonations causing huge infernos that inject soot into the atmosphere which blocks out the sun and devastates crops. One wonders how a generation that thinks words are “violence” and misgendering someone is stochastic terrorism will react to an intercontinental nuclear war. The mind truly boggles.

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“retired idiots with generals’ stripes” should not attempt to intimidate Moscow..”

Medvedev Responds To Military Threat From Ex-US General (RT)

Moscow may use nuclear weapons to defend its territory, including the Donbass republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, should they decide to join Russia, former president, Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday. He also warned that “retired idiots” in the Western military should not contemplate strikes on Moscow’s naval bases in the Black Sea. Writing on Telegram on Thursday, Medvedev stressed that the referendums, planned for between September 23 and 27, would definitely take place, and “the Donbass republics and other territories would be admitted to Russia.” The former president went on to say that the Russian military would “significantly reinforce” the defenses of all incorporated territories.

He added that to defend its territories, Russia may use “not only its mobilization capabilities, but also any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons.” Without naming names, Medvedev cautioned that “retired idiots with generals’ stripes” should not attempt to intimidate Moscow by claiming that NATO could attack Crimea, a peninsula that overwhelmingly voted to unite with Russia in 2014 following a coup in Kiev. “Hypersonic [missiles] are sure to hit targets in Europe and the US much faster,” he warned, adding that “the Western establishment and NATO citizens need to understand that Russia has chosen its own path” and there is “no way back.”

On Wednesday, Ben Hodges, the former commander of the US Army in Europe, said that Washington could destroy Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, that’s based in Crimea, or its bases on the peninsula if Moscow resorts to using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. He noted that it’s “very unlikely” that Russian President Vladimir Putin would order to deploy nukes. Last week, Medvedev accused Western “half-wits” from “stupid think tanks” of leading their countries down the road of nuclear Armageddon with their hybrid war against Moscow. He also warned that the “unrestrained pumping of the Kiev regime with the most dangerous types of weapons,” could prompt Russia to move its military campaign to the next level.

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Ivan Timofeev, Valdai Club Programme Director & one of Russia’s leading foreign policy experts.

Von der Leyen Is Completely Wrong About anti-Russia Sanctions (Timofeev)

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has, as could be expected, called for new sanctions against Russia in connection with the forthcomingreferendums in Donbass and two regions of Ukraine. These concern the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – which have been de-facto self-governing since 2014 – and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. In her opinion, the penalties already imposed on Russia are having an impact.”The sanctions have been very successful. If you look at the Russian economy, its industry is in tatters,” the politician asserted. Let’s allow ourselves to argue a little with Ms. von der Leyen. The key measure of the effectiveness of sanctions is whether they change the political course of the target country.

This criterion has been well researched in both academic and applied literature and few people have any doubts about its veracity. However, Russia has not changed its political course in Ukraine under the influence of the large-scale sanctions of the EU, US and other initiators. Moreover, its position is hardening, as evidenced by this week’s announcements of both a partial mobilization and the referendums. Thus, we can say that the measures are actually having a negative effect in terms of what they are supposed to be doing. Apparently, Ms. von der Leyen links effectiveness to the amount of pain inflicted. In other words, she believes that the greater it is, the better. There are problems here, too. The damage is indeed large. But we are not just sitting still and feeling sorry for ourselves. We are adapting very energetically.

Now, you can criticize Russia’s domestic financial policy and question import substitution as much as you like. And they will not, of course, make ‘everything as it was.’ But it is clear that the economy is shrinking much less than expected, that inflation has, at least so far, been brought under control, and that adaptations in sourcing, helped by domestic production, are mitigating the effects of the sanctions. The economy is simply becoming different. It is changing in terms of focus and quality. In a number of sectors it will “run slower” or limp along. But Russiawill continue to live. Of course, we have already heard the words “the Russian economy is in tatters,” from US President Barack Obama. That was in 2015. Seven years ago.

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10,000 sanctions. A silly game.

EU To Impose New Sanctions On Moscow – Borrell (RT)

The EU has agreed to slap new sanctions on Russia “as soon as possible” over plans to hold referendums in the Donbass republics and Russian-controlled regions in Ukraine on whether to unite with Russia, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said on Wednesday. Speaking after an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers, Josep Borrell said that the bloc had made a “political” decision to impose new sectoral and individual sanctions on Russia. “These restrictive measures would be brought forward as soon as possible against Russia in coordination with partners,” he said. While he did not clarify the details of the new sanctions, he hinted that they would hit the Russian economy, especially the technology sector, while the EU would also blacklist a number of individuals.


He also noted that the bloc would provide Ukraine with security assistance for “as long as it takes.” “Today it’s clear that we will continue to increase our military support and continue to provide arms to Ukraine,” he added. Borrell also commented on recent developments in the Ukraine conflict, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of “trying to destroy Ukraine” and organizing partial mobilization to support what he called “illegal referenda.” On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization which calls on 300,000 reservists to take part in the conflict with Ukraine. The move comes a day after the two Donbass republics and Russian-controlled Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions decided to hold referendums from September 23 to 27, on whether to unite with Russia.

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Waiting for the first threats to throw him out.

Brussels’ Sanctions Caused Crisis – Orban (RT)

The EU leadership caused a continent-wide crisis by imposing sanctions on Russian energy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. The Eurosceptic politician criticized Brussels on his Facebook page on Wednesday evening as he announced a meeting with members of the ruling coalition in the parliament. According to local media, during the closed-door gathering, he blamed EU bureaucrats for the hardships that member states, including Hungary, currently face. Orban told MPs from his Fidesz party and the allied Christian Democrats (KDNP) that if the EU’s sanctions on Russia were dropped, gas prices would go down by one-half, and as a result, inflation would also decline, Magyar Nemzet daily reported.

The Hungarian PM said the EU leadership promised in early summer that the sanctions would hurt Russia’s economy, not people in the EU, but the opposite has occurred, according to the report. Orban predicted that dropping the sanctions would allow the EU to avoid a recession. In November, there will be a meaningful opportunity for the EU to reconsider the restrictions on trading with Russia, Orban reportedly said, and the ruling Hungarian coalition should work hard to have them lifted by the end of the year. The prime minister also lashed out at the Hungarian opposition, accusing them of backing Brussels’ policies without giving a second thought to the damage they are causing to the country, Magyar Nemzet said.

He also outlined a number of measures, such as energy subsidies, which the Fidesz–KDNP government is taking to alleviate the effects of the skyrocketing prices, the newspaper reported. Orban, who was re-elected in a landslide victory in April, is an outspoken critic of the EU leadership. He has called the bloc the main loser in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, in which it sided with Kiev. The sanctions were imposed by Brussels in retaliation for Russia’s decision to send troops into Ukraine in late February.

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Hungary, Serbia, Austria. Next!

“in case of further steps, primarily in the energy sector, with regard to gas, there will be a clear ‘no’ from Austria.”

Austria To Reject Russian Gas Ban – FM (RT)

Vienna will say an emphatic ‘no’ to proposals of a ban on Russian natural gas imports, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said on Thursday, noting that the already adopted EU sanctions packages are comprehensive and may require clarification. “I have said in the past that we should discuss this [possible tightening of sanctions] in an appropriate way, namely behind closed doors, but yes – we have already adopted six large-scale sanctions packages, and now we can think about closing the loopholes,” the FM told ORF while answering a question on whether Vienna’s position has changed regarding the possible strengthening of sanctions against Russia. Schallenberg added that “in case of further steps, primarily in the energy sector, with regard to gas, there will be a clear ‘no’ from Austria.”


Austria, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy and sources around 80% of natural gas from Russia, has been opposing the EU’s plan to restrict imports from Moscow. The Federation of Austrian Industries earlier warned that the suspension of Russian gas supplies would be “a serious blow” to the welfare of the Austrian people as it threatens some 300,000 jobs. According to the president of the federation, Georg Knill, almost the entire food industry depends on the supply of the “blue fuel.” He stated in May that he saw danger not so much in the fact that Russia could “turn off the taps,”but in the decision of the European Union to stop importing Russian gas. In March, the EU rolled out a plan to reduce dependence on Russian gas by two thirds before the end of the year. The proposal is part of a wider plan to become independent from all Russian fossil fuels “well before 2030.”

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Voting Sep 23-27. Percentages predicted run from 80% to 95%, depending on the region. Russia will annex them.

Ukraine: 5-Year Prison Sentence For Anyone Voting In “Sham Referendums” (ZH)

Starting last month Ukrainian lawmakers began seeking to implement severe consequences for those participating in Russia-sponsored referendums in occupied territories of Ukraine. For example, a law is being pushed through parliament which criminalizes obtaining a Russian passport in temporarily occupied territories, Ukrainian sources reported last week, according to Yahoo News. Proposed possible punishments have included losing Ukrainian citizenship, or even lengthy jail sentences. But other officials have argued for a more compromising approach given the necessity of survival in occupied areas. But now the Ukrainian government has reiterated its willingness to impose steep penalties for even participating in any Kremlin-sponsored vote to join the Russian Federation.

Russian President Putin’s Wednesday morning address announcing partial mobilization also affirmed plans to move forward with referendums in the LPR, DPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. Ukraine has responded by warning its citizens that any official who promotes or organizes the voting faces a “prison term of five to ten years” – as well as possible asset seizure by the state, and being barred from employment in select positions for up to 15 years. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk announced this week that a five year prison term is currently being considered for anyone caught participating in “sham referenda” by government authorities:

“Some lawyers believe that those actions fall under Article 110 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, ‘Infringement on Ukraine’s territorial integrity,’ punishable with a prison term of up to five years,” she told the Strana portal on Tuesday. She further called on citizens currently in occupied to territories to “leave, if possible.” Vereshchuk was cited further as follows according to a Russian media translation of her words: “This [may] mean imprisonment for up to five years. So, once again I strongly advise residents of the temporarily occupied territories: do not take a [Russian] passport, do not go to referendums, do not cooperate with the occupiers and leave, if it’s possible,” the official stated.

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Come test them on my country!

Ukraine Perfect Testing Ground For New US Weapons – Kiev (RT)

US defense companies should send their new weapons to Ukraine so they can be tested in actual combat against Russian forces, Kiev’s deputy defense minister, Vladimir Gavrilov, has said. Gavrilov made the suggestion during a speech before hundreds of American defense industry representatives and military acquisitions personnel at the Future Force Capabilities Conference and Exhibition in Austin, Texas on Wednesday. “If you have some ideas, or some pilot projects to be tested before mass manufacturing, you can send it to us and we will explain how to do it. And in the end you will get the stamp, proved by the war in Ukraine. You will sell it easy,” he said, as cited by the Military Times.

According to the deputy defense minister, startup companies, including those involved in anti-drone and anti-jamming equipment, have already brought new technologies to the Ukrainian battlefield. “And they come back with a product that is competitive in the market now because it was tested in a combat zone,” Gavrilov said, without revealing the companies that have worked with Ukraine in this capacity. His comments were made on the day Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization, which he said is necessary because Russia has been fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu later stated that around 300,000 reservists are planned to be called up.

In view of this shift in Russia’s tactics, Kiev will require more counter-drone and electronic warfare technologies, armored vehicles, and long-range anti-tank and precision fire weapons, Gavrilov said. Ukraine is now almost entirely dependent on weapons supplied by the US, UK, EU, and other nations, according to Shoigu, as most of the Soviet-made hardware it had before the fighting began in late February has been destroyed by Russian forces.

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8 years, not 6 months.

“..he may be a son of a b*tch, but he is our son of a b*tch,”

Lavrov Puts Spotlight On ‘Impunity’ In Ukraine (RT)

The current crisis in Ukraine was brought about by the West systematically covering up the crimes of the Kiev government since the 2014 coup, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN Security Council on Thursday. Lavrov noted that “impunity” is a good term for what has been happening in Ukraine, not since February but since 2014, when US-backed nationalists and neo-Nazis seized power by force. No one has ever been held responsible for the murders on the Maidan, the burning of peaceful protesters in Odessa, or the assassinations of dissidents, he pointed out. Civilians of Donbass have been bombed mercilessly for years and dubbed terrorists and even subhuman, simply for refusing to accept the results of the coup and insisting on their basic human right to speak Russian, Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister presented a long list of human rights violations by Kiev that went ignored by various European and global human rights groups, from “burning books, just like in Nazi Germany” to using banned ‘petal’ land mines against civilians this summer. “Such outrages became possible and remain unpunished due to the fact that the US and its allies, with the connivance of international human rights institutions, have been systematically covering up the crimes of the Kiev regime for eight years, basing their policy towards [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky based on the well-known American principle: he may be a son of a b*tch, but he is our son of a b*tch,” said Lavrov.

This was a reference to an apocryphal quote attributed to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and thought to apply either to Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua or Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic – both US-backed dictators. Lavrov also accused the Ukrainian armed forces of using civilians as human shields and said that Russia and the Donbass republics are fighting against the “Western military machine” in Ukraine, with the US and its allies perilously close to being overt participants in the conflict. Moscow has shared evidence demonstrating that the West has sought to turn Ukraine into a forward outpost that could threaten Russia’s security, Lavrov told the UN. “I can assure you, we will not let that happen.”

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Tlaib literally has no idea what she’s talking about. You can’t “save the climate” by bankrupting your economy.

Jamie Dimon: Stopping Oil And Gas Production ‘Road To Hell’ For US (NYP)

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said slamming the brakes on new oil and gas production “would be the road to hell for America” after Rep. Rashida Tlaib asked him to divest in oil. Dimon’s comments came during a House hearing where the far-left Michigan Democrat asked him and other top bank execs if they would commit to no longer investing funds into oil and gas companies to slow down climate change. “Please answer with a simple yes or no, does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products,” Tlaib asked, with Dimon up first. “Absolutely not and that would be the road to hell for America,” Dimon shot back.


Tlaib then slammed JPMorgan-Chase and circled back to criticism Dimon leveled against President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt during the hearing. She encouraged people to cancel their accounts with the major bank. “Sir, you know what, everybody that got relief from student loans — has a bank account with your bank — should probably take out their account and close their account,” an irritated Tlaib said. “The fact that you’re not even there to help relieve many of the folks that are in debt, extreme debt, because of student loan debt and you’re out there criticizing it,” Tlaib said before moving on to the next bank executive on the panel, Citi CEO Jane Fraser, who offered a more diplomatic response.

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Note: this case would be non-existant if the politician who was tapped was not also a European parliament member.

A Greek Watergate Threatens the West (Varoufakis)

The sequence of events leading to the exposure of Greece’s Watergate scandal began in July 2019, immediately after Mr Mitsotakis won the last general election on behalf of New Democracy, our conservative party. One of the very first decrees he issued, as incoming Prime Minister, was one that gave his office direct control over and responsibility for EYP. “Why on earth is the PM taking over the supervision of EYP?”, I remember a parliamentary colleague asking me that very day. It was, indeed, a curious move. Our trepidation only grew following two personnel choices. First, Mitsotakis appointed a nephew of his, Grigoris Dimitriadis, to oversee EYP on his behalf. Secondly, he chose as EYP’s new head Panagiotis Kontoleon, the CEO of the Greek franchise of the private security firm G4 — a man with no record of public service, and whose appointment Mitsotakis could only complete after amending the relevant law to remove the prerequisite that the EYP chief holds a postgraduate degree.

Given his concerted and very public efforts to take complete control of the state intelligence agency, something no other PM had ever done, it became impossible to shift blame to some other minister once the faeces hit the proverbial fan. Of the more than 17,000 wiretaps that EYP admits it has placed during the last year alone, two cases are at the heart of the current scandal. The first is that of Thanasis Koukakis, an investigative journalist who dared look into Greek shipowners’ loans that had been illegally written off by the Bank of Piraeus (one of the banks that Greek taxpayers have had to repeatedly bailout). It turns out that Koukakis was one of EYP’s “subjects of interest”, an outrage that would have probably gone unnoticed without the second, higher profile, case.

It was this case that broke the camel’s back: an investigation begun by the European Parliament’s IT department accidentally revealed that Nikos Androulakis, an MEP belonging to PASOK (the formerly dominant party in Greek politics), was being phone-tapped by EYP. It was explosive news because, at the time his phone was tapped, Androulakis was contesting the leadership of PASOK — a contest that he, eventually, won. The significance of that contest cannot be understated, since its outcome mattered a great deal to Mitsotakis and his governing New Democracy party. Since the middle of the pandemic, opinion polls have persistently suggested that the next election, which must take place by July 2023, will result in a hung parliament. While Mitsotakis’ New Democracy seemed likely to remain the largest party, it was not even close to an absolute majority. PASOK, in third place, was therefore positioned as kingmaker: whoever the party chose to side with would end up in government.

The stakes of PASOK’s leadership race suddenly seemed very high. Of the three main candidates, the one that would almost certainly choose to back New Democracy and Mitsotakis to form a government was Andreas Loverdos — an MP and former minister who had served gladly in New Democracy-PASOK coalition governments between 2011 and 2015. Every newspaper, radio and television station supporting Mitsotakis was rooting for Loverdos to beat Androulakis in the PASOK leadership primary. Is it any wonder that the revelation of EYP’s surveillance of Androulakis was big news? In a period during which the ruling party was rooting for Androulakis’s opponent, the nation’s spy agency — which ruling party’s leader and his nephew controlled and supervised to the full — was tapping Androulakis’ phone!

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Let’s turn to the Guardian for the real news.

Letitia James ran on “get Trump” and then spent her entire tenure as NY AG trying to “get Trump”, already the most investigated and prosecuted person in the history of the US. She will fail just like the others.

Meanwhile: why did James make this a civil, not a criminal case?

And: if Trump defrauded banks and pension funds, why did none of them ever file a case?

‘He’s Done’: How Donald Trump’s Legal Woes Have Just Gotten A Lot Worse (G.)

Donald Trump’s legal perils have become insurmountable and could snuff out the former US president’s hopes of an election-winning comeback, according to political analysts and legal experts. On Wednesday, Trump and three of his adult children were accused of lying to tax collectors, lenders and insurers in a “staggering” fraud scheme that routinely misstated the value of his properties to enrich themselves. The civil lawsuit, filed by New York’s attorney general, came as the FBI investigates Trump’s holding of sensitive government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and a special grand jury in Georgia considers whether he and others attempted to influence state election officials after his defeat there by Joe Biden.

The former US president has repeatedly hinted that he intends to run for the White House again in 2024. But the cascade of criminal, civil and congressional investigations could yet derail that bid. “He’s done,” said Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University, in Washington, who has accurately predicted every presidential election since 1984. “He’s got too many burdens, too much baggage to be able to run again even presuming he escapes jail, he escapes bankruptcy. I’m not sure he’s going to escape jail.” After a three-year investigation, Letitia James, the New York attorney general, alleged that Trump provided fraudulent statements of his net worth and false asset valuations to obtain and satisfy loans, get insurance benefits and pay lower taxes. Offspring Don Jr, Ivanka and Eric were also named as defendants.

At a press conference, James riffed on the title of Trump’s 1987 memoir and business how-to book, The Art of the Deal. “This investigation revealed that Donald Trump engaged in years of illegal conduct to inflate his net worth, to deceive banks and the people of the great state of New York. Claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to ‘the art of the deal’. It’s the art of the steal,” she said. Her office requested that the former president pay at least $250m in penalties and that his family be banned from running businesses in the state. James cannot bring criminal charges against Trump in this civil investigation but she said she was referring allegations of criminal fraud to federal prosecutors in Manhattan as well as the Internal Revenue Service.

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Phone vs life
https://twitter.com/i/status/1573015092828180480

 

 

 

 

Correa

 

 

Monarchs

 

 

 

 

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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.

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“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.

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“..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

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“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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

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“..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.

 

 

 

Sep 152022
 
 September 15, 2022  Posted by at 8:49 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  44 Responses »


Salvador Dali Neo-Cubist Academy (Composition with Three Figures) 1926

 

Moscow Outlines ‘Diabolical’ Plan By Washington (RT)
“Prologue To Third World War”: Kremlin Reacts To Security Guarantees For Ukraine (ZH)
US, Ukraine Are In Talks To Transfer Fighter Jets & Longer-Range Missiles (ZH)
The Kharkov Game-Changer (Escobar)
Why Russia Will Still Win, Despite Ukraine’s Gains (Scott Ritter)
Ukraine Has Put World On Brink Of ‘Nuclear Catastrophe’ – Moscow (RT)
Top Hungarian Official Predicts Easing Of Sanctions (RT)
EU May Punish Hungary (RT)
Summit With Putin, Xi Will Showcase Alternative To Western World: Kremlin (AFP)
Ukraine Had A Huge Influence On The Soviet Union (Negopodin)
End of Covid in Sight – WHO (RT)
Why Health Officials Won’t Let Scientists Examine mRNA Vaccine Vials (Mercola)
Denmark ENDS Covid Vaccinations For Almost Everyone Under 50 (Berenson)
Climate Emergency Not Supported by Data: 4 Leading Italian Scientists (DS)
UK Sports Body Tells People Not To Ride Bikes During Queen Funeral (RT)

 

 

Art Berman @aeberman12
The real energy transition is a reduction in energy use. This will never happen VOLUNTARILY. Another slide from my talk last night at Houston Geological Society.

 

 

 

 

Twitter whistleblower

 

 

 

 

The Fibonacci week. How long do the days feel?

 

 

 

 

“..the EU began as a group of nations that banded together for mutual economic benefit through the deregulation of trade. Now “they are being corralled together” so their lives will become “colder, poorer, and harder,” she said.”

Moscow Outlines ‘Diabolical’ Plan By Washington (RT)

Ukraine’s newly published proposal for Western security guarantees is an invitation for the economic self-immolation of the EU, according to Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Russian diplomat believes that the proposed international agreement which Kiev released on Tuesday is an economic trap for EU nations set by the US with Ukraine’s assistance. Most of the measures included in the document “are already being implemented” by Kiev’s backers, but Washington’s EU allies are expected to pledge to keep the Ukraine aid money flowing for the foreseeable future, Zakharova said in an interview on Wednesday. If signed, the ‘Kiev Security Compact’ would mean “harsh slavery” for the bloc which it would not recover from anytime soon, she claimed.

“A total commitment to supporting the Kiev regime would simply mean immolation [for the EU]. And this proposal is addressed to nations that are debating how they can live through the winter,” Zakharova said, in reference to the energy shortages that EU member states are struggling to confront. Developed EU nations face an economic and humanitarian disaster after taking directions from the US on how to respond to the crisis in Ukraine, according to the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman. The situation is ironic, she believes, as the EU began as a group of nations that banded together for mutual economic benefit through the deregulation of trade. Now “they are being corralled together” so their lives will become “colder, poorer, and harder,” she said.

This is Washington’s diabolical plan to destroy what was previously called the common European space. The Ukrainian security proposal was prepared by a group co-chaired by Andrey Yermak, the chief of staff of President Vladimir Zelensky, and former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The 10-page document outlines NATO-like security guarantees for Ukraine by the US and its allies that would benefit Kiev until it formally joins the Washington-led military bloc. It also calls for continued military and financial aid for Ukraine by the guarantors.

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“..a “multi-decade” plan of investment, military training, and intelligence sharing to bolster Ukraine’s defensive capabilities as the country pursues full NATO membership.”

“Prologue To Third World War”: Kremlin Reacts To Security Guarantees For Ukraine (ZH)

Ukraine wants a ‘NATO-esque’ bloc which can be called upon to immediately defend borders with Russia, which was proposed by a working group established by President Volodymyr Zelensky. Crucially it would include the United States and other NATO allies providing Ukraine with “security guarantees”. Kiev officials stressed in unveiling the plan Tuesday that it’s not meant as a replacement for NATO, but as a legally binding alliance to be in place while Ukraine eventually pursues full NATO membership, as Newsweek describes of the proposal: “The Kyiv Security Compact (KSC)—proposed by Andriy Yermak, the head of Zelensky’s office, and former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen—would also establish a “multi-decade” plan of investment, military training, and intelligence sharing to bolster Ukraine’s defensive capabilities as the country pursues full NATO membership.”

The Kremlin’s reaction has been swift and fierce, with Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev warning that it is “really a prologue to the Third World War” if it gets enacted. He described that nuclear holocaust would be the end result. According to a translation of Medvedev’s reaction in state media, which had been posted in a statement to Telegram, he blamed “dull idiots” from “stupid think tanks” for concocting such a “hysterical appeal”. Medvedev wrote: “And then the Western nations will not be able to sit in their clean homes, laughing at how they carefully weaken Russia by proxy. Everything will be on fire around them. Their people will harvest their grief in full. The land will be on fire and the concrete will melt.”

“Yet still the narrow-minded politicians and their stupid think tanks, thoughtfully twirling a glass of wine in their hands, talk about how they can deal with us without entering into a direct war. Dull idiots with a classical education.” He said that already the conflict in Ukraine is sliding into unknown, unpredictable territory of escalation due to the West’s “unrestrained pumping of the Kiev regime with the most dangerous types of weapons.” He added to the statements as follows according to a translation: “The Kyiv camarilla gave birth to a project of “security guarantees”, which are a prologue to the third world war. Of course, no one will give any “guarantees” to the Ukrainian Nazis. After all, this is almost the same as applying Article 5 of the North Atlantic Pact (Washington Treaty) to Ukraine. For NATO – the same shit, only a side view. Therefore, it’s scary.”

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Insanity squared.

US, Ukraine Are In Talks To Transfer Fighter Jets & Longer-Range Missiles (ZH)

The US and its allies are in talks over whether to send Ukraine more advanced weapons in the future, including fighter jets, US defense sources have said, according to the Financial Times. The Kharkiv counteroffensive has apparently emboldened Ukrainian officials to press Washington harder for more advanced and longer-range weapons, now that some degree of success in rolling back Russian forces can be demonstrated. The idea is that if Ukraine’s forces can prove they’ve taken back significant territory with what defense systems the US has provided so far, they can ultimately make the case that the whole of the east and south is within their reach – and even the potential to liberate Crimea while they’re at it – if longer range and more advanced arms are made available.

The Financial Times reports this week that active discussions between the US and Ukraine are underway concerning Kiev’s weapons wish list: “A senior US defense official said Washington and its allies were discussing Ukraine’s longer term needs, such as air defenses, and whether it might be appropriate to give Kyiv fighter aircraft in the “medium to longer term”. To date, the US and its allies have declined to do so. But interestingly and quite tellingly, the report immediately follows with the acknowledgement that Ukrainian leaders are perhaps naturally incentivize to exaggerate battlefield gains at this moment. Here’s more from the FT as the Pentagon offers a “cautiously optimistic” assessment of Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensives in the east and south:

“Ukrainian military officials have said in recent days they have taken more than 3,000 sq km of terrain in what has become Moscow’s biggest military setback since it was forced to scrap plans to conquer Kyiv. But late on Monday night President Volodymyr Zelenskyy practically doubled those claims as Ukraine’s forces continued to advance.” Something Ukraine has additionally long been asking for is longer-range missile systems. A Monday Wall Street Journal report detailed that Kiev is now requesting from the Pentagon the Army’s Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, a surface-to-surface missile system with the capability of reaching about 190 miles. This would be far and beyond the range of missiles transferred to Ukraine thus far in the conflict.

The Biden administration in the early months resisted sending longer range missiles, admitting its fears that doing so could draw the US and Russia into direct conflict – given longer range munitions means Ukrainian forces would have the capability of hitting inside Russian territory. This has already happened with Crimea, and even recently with bases inside Russia proper near the border. But now US defense officials are looking over a new strategy proposal and weapons request submitted by Valeriy Zaluzhny, the commander in chief of Ukraine’s force. WSJ details of the document: They argued that Russia has long-range cruise missiles that greatly outdistance the systems in the Ukrainian inventory. A turning point could come if the Ukrainians also had longer-range systems, they argued, specifically mentioning the ATACMS. “The only way to radically change the strategic situation is, without a doubt, for the Armed Forces of Ukraine to launch several consecutive, and ideally, simultaneous counterattacks during the 2023 campaign,” they wrote.

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“Sooner rather than later, gloves – velvet and otherwise – will be off. Exit SMO. Enter War.”

The Kharkov Game-Changer (Escobar)

Wars are not won by psyops. Ask Nazi Germany. Still, it’s been a howler to watch NATOstan media on Kharkov, gloating in unison about “the hammer blow that knocks out Putin”, “the Russians are in trouble”, and assorted inanities. Facts: Russian forces withdrew from the territory of Kharkov to the left bank of the Oskol river, where they are now entrenched. A Kharkov-Donetsk-Luhansk line seems to be stable. Krasny Liman is threatened, besieged by superior Ukrainian forces, but not lethally. No one – not even Maria Zakharova, the contemporary female equivalent of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods – knows what the Russian General Staff (RGS) plans, in this case and all others. If they say they do, they are lying.

As it stands, what may be inferred with a reasonable degree of certainty is that a line – Svyatogorsk-Krasny Liman-Yampol-Belogorovka – can hold out long enough with their current garrisons until fresh Russian forces are able to swoop in and force the Ukrainians back beyond the Seversky Donets line. All hell broke loose – virtually – on why Kharkov happened. The people’s republics and Russia never had enough men to defend a 1,000 km-long frontline. NATO’s entire intel capabilities noticed – and profited from it. There were no Russian Armed Forces in those settlements: only Rosgvardia, and these are not trained to fight military forces. Kiev attacked with an advantage of around 5 to 1. The allied forces retreated to avoid encirclement. There are no Russian troop losses because there were no Russian troops in the region.

Arguably this may have been a one-off. The NATO-run Kiev forces simply can’t do a replay anywhere in Donbass, or in Kherson, or in Mariupol. These are all protected by strong, regular Russian Army units. It’s practically a given that if the Ukrainians remain around Kharkov and Izyum they will be pulverized by massive Russian artillery. Military analyst Konstantin Sivkov maintains that, “most combat-ready formations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are now being grounded (…) we managed to lure them into the open and are now systematically destroying them.” The NATO-run Ukrainian forces, crammed with NATO mercenaries, had spent 6 months hoarding equipment and reserving trained assets exactly for this Kharkov moment – while dispatching disposables into a massive meat grinder.

It will be very hard to sustain an assembly line of substantial prime assets to pull off something similar again. The next days will show whether Kharkov and Izyum are connected to a much larger NATO push. The mood in NATO-controlled EU is approaching Desperation Row. There’s a strong possibility this counter-offensive signifies NATO entering the war for good, while displaying quite tenuous plausible deniability: their veil of – fake – secrecy cannot disguise the presence of “advisers” and mercenaries all across the spectrum.[..] This is an existential war. A do or die affair. The American geopolitical /geoeconomic goal, to put it bluntly, is to destroy Russian unity, impose regime change and plunder all those immense natural resources. Ukrainians are nothing but cannon fodder: in a sort of twisted History remake, the modern equivalents of the pyramid of skulls Timur cemented into 120 towers when he razed Baghdad in 1401.sIf may take a “hammer blow” for the RSG to wake up. Sooner rather than later, gloves – velvet and otherwise – will be off. Exit SMO. Enter War.

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“Winning a battle is one thing; winning a war another.”

Why Russia Will Still Win, Despite Ukraine’s Gains (Scott Ritter)

The Ukrainian battle plan has “Made in Brussels” stamped all over it. The force composition was determined by NATO, as was the timing of the attacks and the direction of the attacks. NATO intelligence carefully located seams in the Russian defenses and identified critical command and control, logistics, and reserve concentration nodes that were targeted by Ukrainian artillery, which operates on a fire control plan created by NATO. In short, the Ukrainian army that Russia faced in Kherson and around Kharkov was unlike any Ukrainian opponent it had previously faced. Russia was no longer fighting a Ukrainian army equipped by NATO, but rather a NATO army manned by Ukrainians.

Ukraine continues to receive billions of dollars of military assistance, and currently has tens of thousands of troops undergoing extensive training in NATO nations. There will be a fourth phase, and a fifth phase … as many phases as necessary before Ukraine either exhausts its will to fight and die, NATO exhausts its ability to continue supplying the Ukrainian military, or Russia exhausts its willingness to fight an inconclusive conflict in Ukraine.

[..] In the end, I still believe the end game remains the same — Russia will win. But the cost for extending this war has become much higher for all parties involved. The successful Ukrainian counteroffensive needs to be put into a proper perspective. The casualties Ukraine suffered, and is still suffering, to achieve this victory are unsustainable. Ukraine has exhausted its strategic reserves, and they will have to be reconstituted if Ukraine were to have any aspirations of continuing an advance along these lines. This will take months. Russia, meanwhile, has lost nothing more than some indefensible space. Russian casualties were minimal, and equipment losses readily replaced.

Russia has actually strengthened its military posture by creating strong defensive lines in the north capable of withstanding any Ukrainian attack, while increasing combat power available to complete the task of liberating the remainder of the Donetsk People’s Republic under Ukrainian control. Russia has far more strategic depth than Ukraine. Russia is beginning to strike critical infrastructure targets, such as power stations, that will not only cripple the Ukrainian economy, but also their ability to move large amounts of troops rapidly via train. Russia will learn from the lessons the Kharkov defeat taught them and continue its stated mission objectives.

The bottom line – the Kharkov offensive was as good as it will get for Ukraine, while Russia hasn’t come close to hitting rock bottom. Changes need to be made by Russia to fix the problems identified through the Kharkov defeat. Winning a battle is one thing; winning a war another. For Ukraine, the huge losses suffered by their own forces, combined with the limited damage inflicted on Russia means the Kharkov offensive is, at best, a Pyrrhic victory, one that does not change the fundamental reality that Russia is winning, and will win, the conflict in Ukraine.

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The IAEA can’t speak. Ukraine=NATO.

Ukraine Has Put World On Brink Of ‘Nuclear Catastrophe’ – Moscow (RT)

Ukraine’s attacks on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant are creating an unacceptable risk, the chairman of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, said on Tuesday. Moscow will act to prevent a disaster from happening, while the US does not seem to care about the potential damage to Ukraine and its European NATO allies, the speaker of the Russian parliament has said. “Kiev’s terrorist actions are putting the world on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. We cannot allow this to happen,” Volodin said, opening the legislature’s autumn session. While the US may be far away from the plant, “their NATO allies in Europe stand to suffer” in case of a radioactive release, Volodin noted, adding that the US government and EU parliaments are silent about the threat, but many other states around the world share Russia’s concern about the situation.

Russia has controlled Europe’s largest nuclear power plant since March. Attacks on the facility started in July, with the Russian Defense Ministry documenting more than 30 artillery and drone strikes, as well as two attempts by Ukrainian commandos to storm the plant, one during the visit of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission earlier this month. Kiev has accused Moscow of staging the shelling to make Ukraine look bad, even though its military eventually admitted to targeting the area.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, who personally led the mission to inspect the plant, said on Monday that both Russia and Ukraine are “interested” in a proposal for a local ceasefire and a security zone around the ZNPP. All of its six reactors are currently offline, due to the ongoing artillery threat. Moscow has rejected any notion of withdrawing its troops from the area, however, with the Kremlin saying that the only discussion at this time is “about forcing the Ukrainian side to stop the barbaric shelling” of the premises. In his remarks on Tuesday, Volodin said, “time has once again shown the correctness of the decision” by President Vladimir Putin to send troops into Ukraine in February.

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“The European Commission has reportedly backpedaled on the gas price cap and is currently working on a mechanism to tax the windfall profits of energy companies.”

Top Hungarian Official Predicts Easing Of Sanctions (RT)

The EU will review the sanctions on Russia and could lift some of them as soon as this autumn, Hungarian State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade Tamas Menczer predicts. The restrictions imposed on Russian trade to punish it for attacking Ukraine have failed to change Moscow’s behavior and actually rewarded it with increased revenues, after they triggered a spike in energy prices, the MP said during an appearance on M1 TV on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the European countries that imposed the sanctions are facing energy shortages. “Reality knocks on the door of every country,”Menczer said, explaining why he believes the sanctions will be lifted sooner rather than later. Member states are set to review their sanctions policies later in the autumn.


The Hungarian MP confirmed that his country, which criticized the EU’s drive to decouple the economy of the bloc from Russian energy, opposed the idea of introducing a price cap on gas bought from foreign nations. He called the proposal absurd and impractical, citing Moscow’s promises to cut supplies to customers that try to dictate the price. The European Commission has reportedly backpedaled on the gas price cap and is currently working on a mechanism to tax the windfall profits of energy companies. Brussels is also urging EU nations to impose various energy-saving measures to better prepare for peak consumption during the winter. Last week, Hungarian Parliament Speaker Laszlo Kover claimed that the EU is the “loser” in the Ukraine conflict due to the economic damage caused by the sanctions.

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“..as much as 70% of the funding due between 2021 and 2027 may be withheld from Hungary owing to non-compliance..”

EU May Punish Hungary (RT)

The European Commission will recommend withholding funds from the Hungarian government over allegations of corruption in the country, Bloomberg claimed on Wednesday, confirming earlier reports in the Hungarian press. The assessment is expected to be unveiled as soon as Sunday. The EU launched a probe against Hungary shortly after its prime minister, Viktor Orban, shored up his domestic position by winning the April general election in a landslide. The investigation was triggered under a recently adopted EU law that links payments of subsidies to member states to their compliance with the bloc’s rule-of-law norms.According to Bloomberg’s sources, the European Commission is almost ready to release its conclusions. The executive body is to recommend slashing the funding pending improvement in adherence to the norms, senior EU officials told the agency.

The final decision will be made within three months after the report is released, with a qualified majority of votes by the bloc’s members required to adopt it. Brussels may give Budapest a grace period of up to three months to follow its recommendations and to implement a number of measures that the Hungarian government promised to enact to alleviate the EU’s concerns, according to Bloomberg. According to EUobserver, a publication specializing in covering EU policies, as much as 70% of the funding due between 2021 and 2027 may be withheld from Hungary owing to non-compliance. The total sum would amount to over €40 billion, according to the Bloomberg report. The Orban government was blocked from accessing the EU money during the probe.

The anti-corruption measures that Budapest proposed in late August include creating a new authority to oversee the spending of EU funds and amending Hungarian laws on public procurements. The country’s justice minister, Judit Varga, met EU officials last week to discuss the package. The timeline for the release of the graft report was first revealed by the Hungarian newspaper Nepszava on Tuesday evening. Its sources said that 20% of EU subsidies were at risk of being suspended unless Budapest meets Brussels’ demands. The punishment, if implemented, would be the first case of its kind. The EU leadership has voiced concerns about the rule of law in several Eastern European countries, most notably Hungary and Poland.

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Half the world population.

Summit With Putin, Xi Will Showcase Alternative To Western World: Kremlin (AFP)

A regional summit this week where Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet China’s Xi Jinping and other Asian leaders will showcase an “alternative” to the Western world, the Kremlin said Tuesday. Putin and Xi will be joined by the leaders of India, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and several other countries for the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the Uzbek city of Samarkand on Thursday and Friday. The SCO — made up of China, Russia, India, Pakistan and four ex-Soviet Central Asian countries — was set up in 2001 as a political, economic and security organisation to rival Western institutions. The meeting will be part of Xi’s first trip abroad since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and comes with relations between Russia and the West shattered by the conflict in Ukraine. “The SCO offers a real alternative to Western-centric organisations,” Kremlin foreign policy advisor Yuri Ushakov told reporters in Moscow.


“All members of the SCO stand for a just world order,” he said, describing the summit as taking place “against the background of large-scale geopolitical changes”. The SCO, he said, “is the largest organisation in the world, it includes half the population of our planet”. Putin will hold talks with Xi, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday, Ushakov said, before attending the main session of the summit on Friday. On Friday he will also meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev. “The meeting with Xi is of particular importance, major international and regional topics will be discussed,” including the conflict in Ukraine and growing Russia-China economic ties, Ushakov said.

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History lesson.

Ukraine Had A Huge Influence On The Soviet Union (Negopodin)

Even now, many pages in the history of the Soviet Union remain a mystery. One of these concerns the ethnic composition of the country’s leadership. Such information was not published by the Party’s Central Committee until 1989, and biographies of members of the governing bodies during the entire Soviet period were not released until 1990, just before the dissolution of the USSR. All of these documents confirmed that many of its statesmen, politicians, diplomats, as well as military and intelligence officers, had been born in Ukraine. However, information about their ethnic origin was often omitted. Also, many of those who originated from Ukraine were registered as ‘Russian’ or simply as ‘Soviet’. This is why it is so difficult to assess the full scope of political influence Ukrainians had on the decision-making process in the Soviet Union.

It is true that Ukrainians contributed a great deal to building socialism. If we round them all up, we see that there had always been very large numbers of people from Ukraine in the top tiers of power. Two of them, Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev, ruled the country as general secretary of the Communist Party’s Central Committee. The country’s final ruler, Mikhail Gorbachev, was the descendant of Ukrainian peasants who had moved to Stavropol. [..] The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was managed by local elites, which is completely at odds with the modern myth of Ukraine having been an ‘oppressed nation’ in the Soviet Union. Moreover, so many Ukrainians held key positions in the Soviet government that any allegations made by the present-day Ukrainian authorities about the Ukrainian SSR struggling under the yoke of the Russian SFSR and being de facto Soviet Russia’s colony simply don’t have a leg to stand on.

On the contrary, by the 1950s, the Ukrainian SSR had become a full-fledged statelet that had its own constitution and flag and even parliament. In fact, its structure mirrored that of the government of the Soviet Union itself. Ukraine’s policy was determined by the Communist Party of Ukraine with the Politburo being its highest body of power; its legislative branch was represented by the Supreme Council (this later became the Verkhovna Rada); and executive power was wielded by the Council of Ministers.

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But vaccinate!

End of Covid in Sight – WHO (RT)

World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared on Wednesday that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic is close at hand. While the virus is still spreading at the same level as last year, despite mass vaccination, deaths have fallen significantly. “We are not there yet. But the end is in sight,”Tedros said at a press briefing. Claiming that vaccination and other public health measures have reduced the threat posed by the virus, the WHO chief called on governments to push for 100% vaccination of vulnerable people and healthcare workers, and 70% vaccination of the general public.

“A marathon runner does not stop when the finish line comes into view, she runs harder with all the energy that she has left,” he said. “Now is the worst time to stop running.” The impact of vaccines, masks, lockdowns, and other public health measures on the virus’ spread has been a controversial issue, with near-totally vaccinated countries like Singapore still experiencing waves of infection this summer that dwarfed similar spikes in 2021 and 2020. Some 3.1 million cases of Covid-19 were confirmed globally in the week ending September 5, compared to 3.9 million in the same week in 2021, and 1.9 million in the same week in 2020.

Deaths have fallen, however, with 11,000 linked to the virus in the week ending September 5, the lowest weekly total since March 16, 2020. Tedros announced that the WHO would release six policy briefs for governments later on Wednesday, outlining the steps the organization thinks are necessary to avoid “more variants, more deaths, more destruction and more uncertainty.” Among these steps are the aforementioned vaccination push, the maintenance of infection control measures in hospitals, increased testing and sequencing, and the administration of appropriate treatment to patients.

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“However, what it will do very effectively, if you got reasonably intact mRNA, is to cause you significant harm. You are playing a game of chance with your immune system and what is in the bottle.”

Why Health Officials Won’t Let Scientists Examine mRNA Vaccine Vials (Mercola)

A 14-minute video (below) that has been overlooked for nearly two years has now resurfaced, exposing stunning information about the COVID-19 jabs and why health officials don’t want individual vaccine vials examined by independent scientists. The reason, it turns out, is because the vials are all different — and the mRNA in the shots “is not intact.” Both of these pose potentially serious problems. In an Aug. 31 Substack article, Steve Kirsch explains: “Even if you are getting 100% intact mRNA which would be really rare, you’re still not getting anything that resembles the virus. So the efficacy as far as PROTECTING you will be next to nothing. “However, what it will do very effectively, if you got reasonably intact mRNA, is to cause you significant harm. You are playing a game of chance with your immune system and what is in the bottle.”

The video notes that members of the European Parliament were only allowed to read the contracts with the drug makers after they’d been heavily redacted. Why the heavy-handed secrecy, even toward legislators? The finding that the mRNA in the shots was of questionable quality was revealed in a British Medical Journal feature investigation article published in March 2021. As explained by the author, journalist Serena Tinari, cyber attackers retrieved more than 40 megabytes of Pfizer COVID-19 jab data from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in December 2020. The hacked data was subsequently sent to journalists and academics worldwide. It was also published on the dark web. Some of the documents show European regulators had significant concerns over the lack of intact mRNA in the commercial batches sampled.

Compared to the clinical batches, i.e., the shots used in the clinical trial, 55% to 78% of the commercial shots had “a significant difference in % RNA integrity/truncated species.” In one email, dated Nov. 23, 2020, a high-ranking EMA official noted that the commercial batches failed to meet expected specifications, and that the implications of this RNA integrity loss were unclear. In response to the findings, the EMA sent a list of questions and concerns to Pfizer. While we do not know if and how the EMA’s concerns were actually addressed and corrected, the EMA authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 jab Dec. 21, 2020.

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Next please.

Denmark ENDS Covid Vaccinations For Almost Everyone Under 50 (Berenson)

Denmark will bar almost everyone under 50 from receiving more mRNA Covid jabs, the Danish Health Authority said yesterday. Denmark had already ended Covid shots for nearly everyone under 18. The new rules go much further. Danes under 50 will only be allowed to receive the shots if they are “higher risk of becoming severely [emphasis added] from Covid-19.” The Danish Health Authority has not yet defined those groups, but they will likely include only a handful of people, such as those receiving cancer treatments that suppress their immune systems. Pregnant women are unlikely to be included.

Denmark did not explicitly say the risks of mRNA jabs now outweigh their benefits for healthy people under 50. But that view is implicit in the announcement, which does not merely discourage but actually bans shots for those people, even though Denmark expects “a large wave of [Covid] infection” in the next few months. In other words, the health authority is not stopping shots because Covid has ended. It now believes most people are better off getting the coronavirus than taking more mRNA. The Danish move is particularly significant because Denmark has an excellent national health care system and has aggressively collected data on Covid and vaccines.

Denmark was among the first countries to stop giving Covid shots to healthy children and teenagers. Now other European countries are beginning to follow, with Britain ending mRNA shots for almost all children 10 and under. In yesterday’s announcement of the new policies, Denmark explicitly dropped any effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus and said that it will focus only on protecting people at very high risk: “We expect that a large part of the population will become infected with covid-19 during the autumn, and we therefore want to vaccinate those having the highest risk so that they are protected from severe illness.”

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It’s time for science. Before the climate lockdowns come.

Suppose the climate alarms follow the same pattern the Covid ones do. Take it from there.

Climate Emergency Not Supported by Data: 4 Leading Italian Scientists (DS)

Four leading Italian scientists have undertaken a major review of historical climate trends and concluded that declaring a ‘climate emergency’ is not supported by the data. Reviewing data from a wide range of weather phenomena, they say a ‘climate crisis’ of the kind people are becoming alarmed about “is not evident yet”. The scientists suggest that rather than burdening our children with anxiety about climate change, we should encourage them to think about issues like energy, food and health, and the challenges in each area, with a more “objective and constructive spirit” and not waste limited resources on “costly and ineffective solutions”.

During the course of their work, the scientists found that rainfall intensity and frequency is stationary in many parts of the world. Tropical hurricanes and cyclones show little change over the long term, and the same is true of U.S. tornadoes. Other meteorological categories including natural disasters, floods, droughts and ecosystem productivity show no “clear positive trend of extreme events”. Regarding ecosystems, the scientists note a considerable “greening” of global plant biomass in recent decades caused by higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Satellite data show “greening” trends over most of the planet, increasing food yields and pushing back deserts.

The four scientists are all highly qualified and include physics adjunct professor Gianluca Alimonti, agrometeorologist Luigi Mariani and physics professors Franco Prodi and Renato Angelo Ricci. The last two are signatories to the rapidly growing ‘World Climate Declaration’. This petition states that there is no climate emergency and calls for climate science to be more scientific. It also calls for liberation from the “naïve belief in immature climate models”. In future, it says, “climate research must give significantly more emphasis to empirical science”.

‘Extreme’ weather events attributed by climate models – somehow – to anthropogenic global warming are now the main staple of the climate alarmist industry. As the Daily Sceptic reported on Monday, Sir David Attenborough used a U.K. Met Office model forecast in the first episode of Frozen Planet II to claim that summer Arctic sea ice could be gone within 12 years. But the likelihood of hardy swimming galas over the North Pole by 2035 seems somewhat remote, not least because Arctic sea ice has been growing in many summers since 2012. According to a recent report from the U.S.-based National Snow and Ice Data Center, at the end of August “sea ice extent is likely to remain higher than in recent years”.

EV-No

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The list of absurdities gets longer.

• 100 staff at Charles III residence sacked
• £200 million tax avoided by Charles on his inheritance
• 1,000 Cancer treatments cancelled for Monday
• Arrests for disapproving of unelected head of state
• Food banks closed on Monday

UK Sports Body Tells People Not To Ride Bikes During Queen Funeral (RT)

British Cycling has U-turned on its previous “strong recommendation” that people should refrain from using their bicycles during the Queen’s funeral next week. Though the UK government had stressed there was no obligation to cancel or postpone any events during a period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday, some sports such as football have widely postponed matches as a mark of respect to the monarch. Adopting a similar stance, British Cycling released guidance that said it “strongly recommends that anybody out riding their bike on the day of the state funeral does so outside of the timings of the funeral service and associated processions, which will be confirmed later this week.”

This caused consternation among cyclists, with one noting that the funeral on Monday, September 19, clashes with their work hours. “Is it OK with you if I don’t follow your absolutely ridiculous advice and bike to work? Or would you rather I, as a mark of respect, pollute the air with my car? Maybe I can honk the national anthem on my horn?” they asked.British Cycling has since deleted the section of its guidance that says people shouldn’t cycle at all during the funeral for the 96-year-old Queen, but fresh recommendations have insisted that amateur cyclists should not go on rides with their clubs on Monday. “As a mark of respect to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, British Cycling’s guidance is that no formal domestic activities should take place on the day of the State Funeral, Monday 19 September,” it stated.

“This includes cycle sport events, club rides, coaching sessions and community programs (such as Breeze rides).”With good weather expected which often prompts long rides with clubs, this has also drawn criticism and has seen the organization dubbed a “joke” with conduct “worthy of the Stasi,” in reference to the former German state security service in operation from 1950 to 1990. Some cyclists have threatened to cancel their membership, with one balking that British Cycling is “an embarrassment at a time when hatred towards cycling feels at an all-time high.”

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Paul&Fauci

 

 

 

 

Wesley Clark

 

 


Bridge of Hands, Vietnam

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 292022
 
 August 29, 2022  Posted by at 8:38 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  72 Responses »


Samuel Peploe Beach scene 1907

 

Wave Of European Ammonia Plant Closures To Exacerbate Food Crisis (ZH)
Russia Can Afford Complete Halt In Gas Supplies To Europe – Bloomberg (RT)
Hungary Says It ‘Won’t Even Negotiate’ Energy Sanctions On Russia (RT)
The Real World Consequences Of Europe’s Coming Energy Crisis (ZH)
You Have No Idea How Bad Europe’s Energy Crisis Is (FP)
Germany Vows To Support Ukraine ‘For Years’ (RT)
Britain’s Financial Support For Ukraine To Run Out By New Year – Times (RT)
50,000 Ukrainian Refugees Face Homelessness In UK (RT)
Putin Is Trapped And Desperate. Will His Friends In The West Rescue Him? (G.)
IAEA Assembles Team For Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)
Ukraine Relying On US-developed Blueprint To Fight Russia – CNN (RT)
EU To Suspend Visa Deal With Russia – FT (RT)
New York Times Calls For Merrick Garland To Indict Donald Trump (PM)
Mar-a-Lago Affidavit Reveals The Government Has No Case Against Trump (Brock)
The Truth About Lockdown (Lord Sumption)
Latest Covid Booster Shots To Be Released Without Human Testing (NYP)

 

 

 

 

Covid theater

 

 

 

 

Dark Brandon

 

 


Situation under control

 

 

Ages of companies:

Twitter: 16 years
Facebook: 18 years
Tesla: 19 years
Google: 24 years
Netflix: 25 years
Amazon: 28 years
Apple: 46 years
Microsoft: 47 years
Sony: 76 years
Samsung: 84 years
Boeing: 106 years
IBM: 111 years
Nintendo: 133 years
Nokia: 157 years

 

 

 

 

If you were doubting they are creating a “you have nothing” society that needs to be built back better, then ask yourself why Europe doesn’t support its fertilizer industry. The consequences are clear enough. And sure, there’s the nitrogen narrative. But closing down both farmers and ammonia plants will lead to a civil war of sorts. Your leaders think they can win that. I’m not so sure.

Wave Of European Ammonia Plant Closures To Exacerbate Food Crisis (ZH)

A wave of European ammonia-plant shutdowns due to soaring natural gas prices has resulted in a devastating fertilizer crunch, worsening by the week, with as much as 70% of production offline. “Ammonia prices, though volatile, rose 15% in 3Q and could climb higher as Europe’s record gas prices curtail output and send ammonia producers to the global market in search of replacement supplies to run upgrade facilities — with winter still around the corner,” Bloomberg Intelligence’s Alexis Maxwell wrote in a note. As of Friday, 70% of capacity is offline across the continent, according to Fertilizers Europe, representing top regional producers.

“The current crisis begs for a swift and decisive action from EU and national policymakers for both energy and fertilizer market,” Jacob Hansen, director general of Fertilizers Europe, said in a statement.” Producers from Norway’s Yara International ASA to CF Industries to Borealis AG recently reduced or halted production because European NatGas prices hit a record high of 343 euros per megawatt hour, making it uneconomical to operate. “We confirm we are reducing and stopping production of some fertilizer plants in the different EU sites and this for economic reasons,” a spokesperson for Borealis AG said.”

Europe’s benchmark NatGas price soared nearly a third this week as Russian supplies to Europe via Nord Stream 1 pipeline have been reduced to 20% over the summer and face a temporary halt on Aug. 31 for three days. The region’s fertilizer industry association warned the energy crisis is rippling across many industries and could heavily impact the food industry. “We are extremely concerned that as prices of natural gas keep increasing, more plants in Europe will be forced to close. “This will switch the EU from being a key exporter to an importer, putting more pressure on fertilizer prices and consequently affecting the next planting season,” said Maximo Torero, chief economist at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

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Stop the sanctions, negotiate for peace, and you can have all the oil you want. Blaming this on Russia is just a stupid story.

Russia Can Afford Complete Halt In Gas Supplies To Europe – Bloomberg (RT)

Russia can shut down its natural gas exports to Europe entirely for more than a year, without inflicting significant damage on the national economy, Bloomberg has reported, citing strategists at Capital Economics. In light of the current price situation, Russia’s “balance of payments is in such a strong position that, if oil prices and oil exports remain at current levels, Russia could keep gas exports to Europe at 20% of normal levels for at least three years,” analysts at the consultancy said in a note seen by the agency. A year-long supply cut-off by Russia could happen “without adverse consequences for its economy,” Liam Peach, one of the economists at Capital Economic said. sAccording to Peach, despite reduced volumes, Russia’s quarterly earnings generated by gas exports could amount to $20 billion.


“Whether or not Russia turns off the taps completely will be a political decision and the length of any cut-off would depend on the size of offsetting oil revenues,” Peach said. Several European leaders have repeatedly accused Moscow of using gas as a weapon of political pressure, with the Kremlin rejecting the allegation. The latest technical problems with Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a key gas route from Russia to Europe, prompted Gazprom to slash deliveries, sending prices skyrocketing. Another major test for the market is expected to arise next week, when the energy giant halts gas flows through Nord Stream 1 for three days due for maintenance work, starting on August 31.

Chomsky Unprovoked

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Waiting for the next country to “fall out of line”. Not much time left.

Hungary Says It ‘Won’t Even Negotiate’ Energy Sanctions On Russia (RT)

Budapest refuses to negotiate any further EU restrictions targeting Russian energy because there is no current alternative to supplies from Moscow, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Saturday. The EU has slapped several rounds of sanctions on Moscow in response to the conflict in Ukraine, and is pushing for a complete phasing-out of energy supplies from Russia. “We’re not even willing to negotiate any sanctions on energy, be it oil or gas,” Szijjarto said at an economic forum in Tihany, adding that “the courage of the Hungarian government” has helped Budapest to withstand pressure from Brussels.


“There is no security of energy supply to Europe without using Russian sources,” Szijjarto stated, arguing that Russian gas cannot be replaced in the foreseeable future. The foreign minister added that the “largely misguided sanctions response” to Russia’s military campaign is one of the factors driving up inflation and contributing to a global recession.Hungary, whose economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas from Russia, was exempted from an EU-wide ban on Russian crude in May. The bloc banned the import of oil by sea, but Hungary continues to receive the commodity via a pipeline. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said last month that Europe has “shot itself in the lungs”with its ill-considered sanctions against Russia.

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“..the European people are being positioned to face the consequences while being told there will be no consequences..”

The Real World Consequences Of Europe’s Coming Energy Crisis (ZH)

The IEA is an institution that is hostile to carbon based energy and industries and calls for the end of all carbon emissions by 2050. This is why none of their bullet points from March that have been attempted have worked; because they aren’t designed to work, only promote further carbon controls while harming global power generation in the process. There are currently no practical replacements for oil, coal and natural gas; none. Especially not in a reasonable time frame that would spare Europeans from a full blown disaster. The only way green technology would be able to provide enough energy for the world’s populations would be if the human population was greatly reduced. Europe’s energy crisis actually helps the IEA agenda, just as it helps the UN and WEF climate agendas. But what about all the people that will suffer in the meantime?

Expect to see extensive energy rationing this winter in the EU. Around 80% of all EU natural gas is imported and Russia’s natural gas exports make up around 40% of Europe’s heating and electricity. With Russia now reducing exports down to 20% of their original levels, there is zero chance that the EU will be able to maintain their normal energy usage. Supply-side shortages will mean a price explosion going into winter as demand increases. Prices have the potential to double (or more) by the beginning of 2023. European governments will likely prioritize heating for public homes over energy for industry; they will do this to prevent civil unrest, as some government officials are already warning about. There is a chance that EU industry will be hobbled as energy supplies are rerouted for public consumption. We have seen something similar to this in China this year as their drought conditions worsen.

Civil unrest will probably happen anyway. Climate restrictions, green energy rules on carbon emissions and other ludicrous measures are making it impossible for Europeans to adapt to crisis events. Prices will be high, and price caps won’t help with supply shortages. When people start to freeze, there will be anger and desperation. The only legitimate short term solution to prevent a historic energy calamity in the EU this winter would be to remove sanctions on Russia. But, NATO has made it clear that this will not happen. So, the European people are being positioned to face the consequences while being told there will be no consequences. And, when the pain starts to hit, they will be told that it’s all for the “greater good.”

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Actually, we do.

You Have No Idea How Bad Europe’s Energy Crisis Is (FP)

Normally, Europe can refill its gas storage during the summer and coast in the winter, when usage is higher. Now, with colder months looming and Russia’s tightening chokehold on natural gas flows, Europe has been locked in a race against time to fill its tanks, which leaders have stocked by paying eye-watering prices. So far, experts said, European nations have been largely on track with their plans—but that doesn’t mean that they will be out of the woods come winter. In the winter, Europe typically “uses a lot of what it has in storage while, at the same time, importing lots of gas from other sources,” Munton said. “It needs both. But as we think about this winter, there is a very real threat that there won’t be any Russian gas at all.” In normal times, Russian gas supplies about 40 percent of European imports.

Without Russia’s supply in the winter, Munton added, European nations will be forced to rely on imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) even more from suppliers such as the United States. The problem is that Asia—a larger LNG market—is also vying for the same supplies, which means prices are always going to be higher than old piped gas from the East. “That’s really the crisis that Europe and the world confronts,” he added. As Europe abandons Moscow’s energy supply, many leaders have rushed to secure alternative deals and supplies with other countries. Italy has secured more gas from Algeria while other nations have turned to Azerbaijan, Norway, and Qatar.

Germany has also expressed its hopes for a new LNG deal with Canada, which in turn has been considerably less optimistic. Others have invested considerably more into LNG infrastructure, with Germany racing to build five floating LNG terminals and the Netherlands, Finland, and Italy all preparing for more floating units to import gas. But in the immediate future, energy experts said there is only so much that countries can do to shore up their supplies. “There’s a limit to what you can do in the near term to bring additional supplies into Europe because there’s only so much LNG in the world,” said Jason Bordoff, founding director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and a former special assistant to former U.S. President Barack Obama.

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The 10-year war scenario. Question: will Putin tolerate that? I don’t see it.

Germany Vows To Support Ukraine ‘For Years’ (RT)

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia could “could go on for years”, but Berlin will keep supporting Kiev all the way, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said. “Unfortunately, we have to assume that Ukraine will still need new heavy weapons from its friends next summer,” Baerbock told the Bild tabloid on Sunday. “Ukraine is also defending our freedom, our peace,” the minister said, adding that Berlin will support Kiev “financially and militarily — and for as long as it is necessary, full stop!” Baerbock’s pledge comes despite her admission earlier this week that Germany’s military is facing an “absolute deficit” of hardware, due to arms shipments to Ukraine. Berlin has so far supplied artillery pieces, shoulder-fired rockets and anti-aircraft self-propelled guns to Ukraine.


Nevertheless, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has faced criticism throughout the six months of the conflict, for his apparent reluctance to send more sophisticated weaponry to Kiev. Baerbock said on Wednesday that Germany’s Iris-T anti-aircraft missile system will be sent to Ukraine in the coming weeks, and that more deliveries should be expected by the end of the year. In her interview with Bild, the diplomat pledged to “cushion the social imbalances resulting from high energy prices” in Germany, caused by a drop in deliveries of Russian gas to Europe, amid sanctions against Moscow. Baerbock also defended Ukraine’s claim to Crimea, which overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in a referendum in 2014. “Crimea also belongs to Ukraine. The world has never recognized the annexation of 2014, which was against international law,” the Green party politician claimed.

Lord Dannatt

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Oh-oh.

Britain’s Financial Support For Ukraine To Run Out By New Year – Times (RT)

The UK’s financial support for Ukraine’s military will run dry by the end of the year, a Defense Ministry source has told the Sunday Times. London has already given Kiev more than £2.3 billion ($2.7 billion) in military aid, but whoever leads the country next will have to deal with strained public finances and declining public enthusiasm for a protracted conflict. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Kiev last week, where he announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine worth £54 million ($63 million), on top of the £2.3 billion committed by the UK since Russia’s military operation began in February. Johnson promised to support Kiev’s military for “however long it takes,” and his likely successor, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, is known for her even more hawkish stance toward Russia.


“The reality, as one Ministry of Defence source acknowledged, is that the UK’s financial contribution to the war effort will have dried up by the end of the year,” the Sunday Times article noted. “This means that the new prime minister will very soon face the question of whether to commit billions of pounds of additional support at a time when the public finances are under intense strain.” Britain is currently grappling with soaring inflation – predicted to hit 18% in early 2023 – and record fuel prices. Driven by market forces, supply disruption due to the conflict in Ukraine, and Britain’s decision to cut off its energy imports from Russia, much of this price hike is being passed on to consumers, with energy regulator Ofgem raising the energy price cap on Friday by 80%. This move will see the average household pay more than £3,500 per year in energy bills.

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Victims of failed western policies.

50,000 Ukrainian Refugees Face Homelessness In UK (RT)

Some 50,000 Ukrainians could be homeless in the UK next year, as the government’s scheme to match refugees with British families breaks down, The Guardian reported on Sunday. With the cost of living spiraling, the opposition wants the government to boost payments to host families. Analysis by the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and children’s charity Barnardos found that, based on feedback from British hosts, between 15,000 and 21,000 Ukrainians could be homeless by the winter, rising to more than 50,000 by mid-2023, the newspaper reported. To date, 83,900 refugees have arrived in the UK since March under the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, under which British households are paid £350 ($411) per month to house refugees for six months.

However, as of earlier this month, 1,330 Ukrainian households in England – 385 single refugees and 945 families with children – have left the scheme and are now homeless. It is unclear why these matches did not work out, but campaigners told The Guardian that some hosts signed up enthusiastically without understanding “the implications and consequences of this sort of responsibility,”while others are finding that due to the rising cost of living in the UK, £350 per month is no longer sufficient to support new additions to the household. A further wave of homelessness is expected from September onwards, when most of the six-month sponsorship agreements expire.

Minister of State for Refugees Lord Harrington has lobbied the Treasury to double monthly payments for those who can host refugees for more than six months, but the government has given no indication that it will act on his recommendations, and Harrington has taken to pleading with British households to join the scheme. However, while some of the activists who spoke to The Guardian said the impending crisis could be averted with more financial support from the government, a majority of sponsors aren’t motivated by money. According to a recent government survey, only a quarter of those quitting the scheme after six months said they were doing so because they could no longer afford to take part, and just four in ten said that more money would encourage them to extend their participation. A majority (58%) said they only ever intended to provide short-term accommodation. sYet Ukrainian refugees arriving in Britain under the scheme have been given visas for three years.

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Simon Tisdall in the Guardian. Does he really see things this way?

Putin Is Trapped And Desperate. Will His Friends In The West Rescue Him? (G.)

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” So wrote American author Henry David Thoreau in 1854. It’s a fate that is rapidly overtaking Vladimir Putin as he struggles to escape the disastrous trap he set for himself in Ukraine. Russia’s president keeps understandably schtum about his “special military operation”. But indefinite stalemate is not what he expected. He didn’t expect car bombs in Moscow and humiliating attacks on fortress Crimea, either. Least of all did Putin anticipate 80,000 Russian soldiers dead or wounded. Dying with them is his Peter the Great pipe dream of a “greater Russia”. Extinct already is his reputation as anything other than a killer and a crook. An endless military quagmire is not a scenario Putin can afford as slow-burn western sanctions corrode his economy and his military’s manpower and materiel are steadily depleted.

So what are his options? He could declare a specious victory, claim the Nato “threat” is neutralised and propose a settlement recognising Russia’s annexation of occupied areas. But he surely knows Kyiv will never willingly accept such terms. He could gamble on a huge battlefield escalation, for example, using Belarus to open a second front north of Kyiv – the region he failed to overrun in February. But it’s uncertain his generals have the capability or the stomach. He certainly dare not retreat. So as pressure on him grows to produce a breakthrough, Putin may well decide his best option is to raise the cost of the war to Ukraine’s backers – and undermine Kyiv’s resistance that way. In fact, he has already begun. It’s telling that British, French and German leaders all proclaimed long-term support for Ukraine last week. They know Putin is betting they will buckle.

The context is rising anxiety over Europe’s energy and cost of living crises, largely caused by the invasion and Kremlin cuts to gas supplies. The winter fallout from this coldest of cold wars could prove paralysing. Yet Putin may just be getting started. He has many means by which to undermine western unity and staying power. Europe is littered with easily exploited potential flashpoints and geopolitical faultlines bequeathed from Soviet times. Likewise, Russia has surprising numbers of allies and sympathisers scattered across a politically fractured European landscape. So will Putin’s friends in the west help rescue the beast from the east? Belarus’s Alexander Lukashenko is already in Putin’s pocket. Moscow ensured the dictator survived after his theft of the 2020 presidential election provoked nationwide protests. Lukashenko will do as he’s told.

Inside the EU, Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister, is seen as Putin’s Trojan horse. Like many on Europe’s far right, Orbán admires his intolerant nationalist ideology and shares his racist, homophobic outlook. He has repeatedly obstructed EU sanctions. Last month he cut a unilateral gas deal with the Kremlin. Orbán plainly cannot be trusted.

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Imagine the pressure on these people.

IAEA Assembles Team For Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)

The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has cobbled together a team of independent experts to visit Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is now under Russia’s control, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The plant and the nearby city of Energodar have been repeatedly shelled by Kiev’s forces in recent weeks. According to the outlet, the members of the delegation include Rafael Mariano Grossi, the IAEA chief, and 13 other experts from “mostly neutral countries.” The report also reveals that neither the US nor Britain have any representatives on the team, given that Russia had dismissed those countries as “unfairly biased” over their support for the government in Kiev.

The NYT report says the IAEA mission includes experts from Poland and Lithuania, countries that support Ukraine, but also others from Serbia and China, which have much warmer relations with Russia. A number of delegation members also come from Albania, France, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, and North Macedonia. The goal of the mission, according to Grossi, is to see what exactly is happening at the plant, inspect its integrity, speak to both Russian and Ukrainian staff there, and establish a permanent presence on the ground. The move follows a phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron last week, during which the two leaders agreed on dispatching an international mission to the area “as soon as possible.”

The team will apparently travel on terms arranged by Ukraine and the United Nations, which means the experts will arrive at Zaporozhye via territory currently controlled by Kiev’s forces. Moscow had previously insisted that such a mission should arrive only via Russian-controlled territory. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of attacking the nuclear plant, while warning that the shelling could trigger a disaster that would eclipse the 1986 Chernobyl incident. At the same time, Kiev insists that it is Russian forces who are shelling the site while stationing military hardware there.

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When will Russia take out the offices of Ukraine intelligence?

Ukraine Relying On US-developed Blueprint To Fight Russia – CNN (RT)

During its conflict with Russia, Ukraine has been relying on a US-developed doctrine that involves both the military and civilians taking part in defensive activities, CNN reported on Saturday. The Resistance Operating Concept (ROC), which is said to provide a blueprint for smaller states to counter larger powers, was developed in 2013 in response to Russia’s conflict with Georgia in 2008. It was further enhanced after Crimea’s “nearly bloodless” reunification with Moscow in 2014, which “stunned Ukraine and the West,” CNN said. The ROC represents “an innovative and unconventional approach to warfare and total defense,” and guides the actions not only of the Ukrainian military, but also the civilian population.

“It’s all hands on deck in terms of the comprehensive defense for the government of Ukraine,” explained retired Lt. Gen. Mark Schwartz, who was in charge of Special Operations Command Europe during the development of the concept. “They’re using every resource and they’re also using some highly unconventional means by which to disrupt the Russian Federation military.” Schwartz said it was “just incredible to watch… despite the unbelievable loss of life and sacrifice, what the will to resist and the resolve to resist can do.” Explosions at Russia’s military facilities in Crimea – far from the front line in Donbass – earlier in August were signs that the ROC had been in play, claimed Kevin D. Stringer, a retired army colonel who led the development team for the concept.

Kiev never officially confirmed its involvement in the incidents, but CNN said it saw a Ukrainian government report confirming that it was behind them. Russia said the blasts at its Saki airfield in western Crimea were the result of an accident, while an ammunition depot in the north of the peninsula had been targeted in an “act of sabotage.” “Since you can’t do it conventionally, you would use special operations forces, and those [forces] would need resistance support – intelligence, resources, logistics – in order to access these regions,” Stringer said, explaining the alleged actions by Kiev. Civilian resistance under the ROC includes nonviolent actions such as boycotting public events, labor strikes, and even using satire and jokes as means of resistance. Violent actions, like using Molotov cocktails, arson and putting chemicals in gas tanks to sabotage enemy vehicles, are also part of the concept.

Generally, the doctrine calls for a major PR campaign to control the narrative of the conflict, preventing the dissemination of the other side’s message, and keeping the population united. Video footage showing destroyed Russian hardware and edited to catchy tunes forms part of the strategy, along with clips of Ukrainian troops rescuing stray animals, and daily addresses by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky – “whether intentional or not,” CNN claimed. At least 15 countries have taken part in some form of training on the Pentagon’s resistance doctrine over the past decade, Nicole Kirschmann, a spokeswoman for Special Operations Command Europe, revealed. The program isn’t universal. It’s being tailored in accordance with each country’s population, resources and terrain. CNN’s report mentioned Estonia, Lithuania and Poland as nations that have expressed enthusiasm for the ROC.

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“The Kremlin also expressed hope at the time that “common sense” would eventually prevail.”

EU To Suspend Visa Deal With Russia – FT (RT)

EU foreign ministers plan to back a suspension of the 2007 EU-Russia visa facilitation deal at a two-day meeting in Prague, next week, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing three officials familiar with the matter. In response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, several member states have actively been lobbying for either a ban or heavy restrictions on the number of Russian citizens entering the bloc. “It is inappropriate for Russian tourists to stroll in our cities, on our marinas,” a senior EU official told the newspaper. “We have to send a signal to the Russian population that this war is not OK, it is not acceptable.” The suspension of the agreement would make the process of applying for all EU visas more complicated and expensive, as well as increasing waiting times.


“We are in an exceptional situation and it requires exceptional steps. We want to go beyond suspending the visa facilitation,” an EU official was quoted as saying. The official stated that additional restrictions could be adopted by the end of the year, according to the FT. Countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia have already stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said this week that Russian tourists pose a security threat to the country, and that a travel ban could incentivize some Russians to “pressure” the Kremlin. Others, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell, spoke out against a full ban on Russian travelers. They argued that the bloc should not punish ordinary Russians for the actions of their government. Moscow blasted the proposed measures as “flagrant nationalism” and xenophobia. The Kremlin also expressed hope at the time that “common sense” would eventually prevail.

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“..January 6 Committee, which hauled witnesses before the cameras to give hearsay testimony.”

New York Times Calls For Merrick Garland To Indict Donald Trump (PM)

The New York Times Editorial Board has called for the Biden administration’s Department of Justice to prosecute former President Donald Trump. The crimes of which he’s accused have not yet been fully elucidated, due to a heavily redacted affidavit, provided under duress by the DOJ to explain why a search warrant was approved for an FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. The Times asserts that the “nation has been transfixed” by the overly produced, prime time hearings of the essentially partisan, Democrat-run January 6 Committee, which hauled witnesses before the cameras to give hearsay testimony.

The DOJ’s seeking of a search warrant to raid Trump’s home was not connected to any charges that may be brought by that Committee. The DOJ is seeking criminal charges against the former president for how he handled documents, while the January 6 Committee is searching for evidence that Trump was involved in planning the riot at the Capitol that occurred on that day in 2021 The Times asserts that there is no question as whether or not Trump spurred on an angry mob to enter the Capitol, saying that “When all else failed,” in his political redress to seek potential election improprieties, “he roused an armed mob that stormed the Capitol and threatened lawmakers.”

The results of the January 6 Committee, they say, is that “Mr. Trump must have known he was at the center of a frantic, sprawling and knowingly fraudulent effort that led directly to the Capitol siege. For hours, Mr. Trump refused to call off the mob.” They further encourage Attorney General Merrick Garland to seek an indictment against Trump, saying “If Attorney General Merrick Garland and his staff conclude that there is sufficient evidence to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt on a serious charge in a court of law, then they must seek an indictment too.” What the Times asserts is that “If Mr. Garland decides to pursue prosecution, a message that the Justice Department must send early and often is that even if Mr. Trump genuinely believed, as he claimed, that the election had been marred by fraud, his schemes to interfere in the certification of the vote would still be crimes.

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Kevin R. Brock is a former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

Mar-a-Lago Affidavit Reveals The Government Has No Case Against Trump (Brock)

When two dozen or more FBI agents searched former President Trump’s residence three weeks ago, most Americans initially were left wondering what in the world must Trump have done. After all, a prodigious FBI search logically indicates an equally prodigious violation of some federal statute; therefore, it must be really serious. One former Department of Justice (DOJ) official told Politico that the evidence sought “was likely so pulverizing in its force” that it would “eviscerate” the possibility of the optics for such an invasive law enforcement action not being good. Well, it’s now pretty official: The optics aren’t good. Everyone in America, from plumber to president, is constitutionally protected from a government search that lacks adequate cause.

We now know why the DOJ wanted the affidavit — which is supposed to articulate the probable cause needed for a legitimate search — to be kept under seal. After the magistrate who authorized the search forced the DOJ to unseal a redacted version, two realities came into better focus. First, the affidavit confirmed that the FBI’s investigation was triggered in January 2022 at the request of the National Archives, which wanted certain documents, especially classified documents, that it considered to be presidential records to be turned over to it by Trump. Second, from what I have seen, I don’t believe the affidavit articulates how a federal law was or is being broken. For those who hold out hope that the affidavit’s redacted sections fill that gap, there is almost no chance that they do.

As to the first point, this matter is, as suspected, nothing more than a document dispute that was chugging along, appropriately, as a negotiation behind the scenes and apparently making some progress. I don’t see anything in the affidavit asserting a refusal by Trump to cooperate. Any clinging hope — in certain quarters — that the affidavit possessed “pulverizing” cause to believe Trump was engaged in a truly serious federal violation can — I think — be considered dashed. The pipe dream that Trump was engaged in espionage, actively providing secrets to an enemy I think is as fanciful as the Steele dossier’s Moscow hotel bed reverie. And, no, I don’t believe a smoking gun of espionage or something equally shocking will be in the redacted sections. If the FBI had that, it would have fronted that in the unredacted portions.

But that’s not all that’s needed — in this case in particular. A criminal violation of those statutes only exists if it can be established that the person being investigated was not authorized to possess, store, transfer or copy those documents. This is an easy element to establish against anyone in America. Except one person. The unredacted parts of the affidavit make no attempt to articulate cause that Trump was not authorized to have these documents in his home. The reason is that, as president, he had broad, legally intimidating authority, established by law and court determinations, to declassify any and all documents and to determine what is and is not a presidential record. Trump and his legal team have asserted that this authority was exercised while he was still president. Therefore, a violation of these fairly low-level and seldom-prosecuted document-oriented statutes cannot be proven.

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“..our children and grandchildren will be paying for it for decades to come..”

The Truth About Lockdown (Lord Sumption)

It was always obvious that you could not close down a country for months on end without serious consequences. The shocking thing that emerges from Sunak’s interview is that the government refused to take them into account. There was no assessment of the likely collateral costs of lockdown. There was no cost-benefit analysis. There was no planning. In government the issues were not even discussed. Sunak’s own attempts to raise them hit a brick wall. Ministers took refuge in evasive buck-passing, claiming to be “following the science”. Yet the critical question was never a scientific one. It was a political question, in which the likely hospital admissions and deaths from Covid were just one element.

The scientists said it was not their job to think about the social or economic implications of their advice. They were right about that. The problem was it turned out to be no one else’s job. We are still paying for this negligence, and our children and grandchildren will be paying for it for decades to come. In 2020, U.K. GDP fell by nearly a tenth, the biggest hit to the economy for at least a century. According to Treasury estimates, 460,000 people left the workforce never to return. The policy took a wrecking ball to the public finances. The IMF estimates that government spending rose by more than £400 billion, or about £6,000 for every man, woman and child. Most of this was unproductive spending. It went on paying people for not working and supporting businesses forced to cease operations.

At one point, in the spring of 2020, the government was spending about twice as much on compensating for the lockdown as it was on the NHS. Borrowing rose to £330 billion, a peacetime record. Then there are the non-financial costs. Other mortal conditions went undiagnosed and untreated. In October 2020, after four months of lockdown, the Office for National Statistics reported more than 25,000 excess deaths at home from conditions such as cancer, heart disease and dementia. A year after the last lockdown ended, the NHS still has a vast backlog. Excess deaths, 95% of them due to conditions other than Covid, are running at about 1,000 a week. There has been a huge impact on mental health, with children and the poor worst affected.

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Tell them to fuck off.

Latest Covid Booster Shots To Be Released Without Human Testing (NYP)

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve new COVID-19 booster shots this week — before the vaccines are tested on humans, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal. The new boosters are similar to the COVID vaccines currently available in the US with minor modifications that protect recipients from the latest version of the Omicron variant. Instead of waiting on data from testing in humans, the agency will use data from trials in mice — as well as the real world evidence of the safety of currently available COVID vaccines and test results from earlier iterations of boosters targeting older strains to evaluate the newest boosters, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said.

“Real world evidence from the current mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, which have been administered to millions of individuals, show us that the vaccines are safe,” Califf said on Twitter. “As we know from prior experience, strain changes can be made without affecting safety.” He added that modifying existing vaccines to include protection against different viral strains doesn’t require a change in ingredient and is a common practice the FDA does with flu vaccines. “FDA has extensive experience with reviewing strain changes in vaccines, as is done with the annual flu vaccine,” Califf said. Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have submitted new COVID vaccine boosters to the agency for approval and the FDA hopes to roll out a booster campaign this fall.

However, some health experts are wary of the decision to release the shots without completed human trials. In June, two experts penned an op-ed demanding that the FDA not rush through the roll-out of the newest shots. “I’m uncomfortable that we would move forward — that we would give millions or tens of millions of doses to people — based on mouse data,” one of the authors, Paul Offit, told the Journal. Offit, an FDA adviser and director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, believes the comparison between flu shots and COVID-19 shots is not well grounded due to the differences in mutations and protection levels.

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Walker Wheeler

 

 

McDonalds 1953

 

 

KFC 1970s

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 252022
 
 July 25, 2022  Posted by at 9:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Mathew Brady Abe Lincoln 1864

 

Five Months Into The Special Military Operation (Saker)
Moscow Reveals Target Of Strike On Odessa Port (RT)
Russia Not Asking For Sanctions Removal – Lavrov (RT)
On the Future of Europe: A Proposition from 1 January 2023 (Batiushka)
Hungary Warns Of Shift In World Order (RT)
Hungary Spreading ‘Russian Propaganda’ – Ukraine (RT)
Logistical Nightmares For The Ukrainian Army (Milacic)
Media Miss Major Moves on Russia-Ukraine (Ray McGovern)
Jan. 6 Committee Still Probing Links Between Trump And Extremist Groups (CBS)
How Mario Draghi Broke Italy (Fazi)

 

 

 

 

Tulsi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1551154675394744320

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carl Sagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The truth is that by the laws of warfare the Ukraine lost the war in less than a week.”

Five Months Into The Special Military Operation (Saker)

[..] if you look at the size of the Russian force which took the Antonov airport near Kiev (one airborne regiment) and the size of the force which moved by land towards that airport, you can easily convince yourself that this force was not intended to attack or invade Kiev. This force did exactly what it was intended to do, it forces the Ukronazis to move forces to protect Kiev and, thereby, it pinned them down just long enough to establish air superiority, attack and cut off the forces near and in the Donbass, destroy the Ukrainian C4I and almost the entire Ukrainian air force. This took just a few days and once that mission was completed, these forces withdrew as they had literally nothing to gain by staying in place. If anything it is the Ukrainian side which is running out of weapons, supplies and soldiers (more about that later). The Russians have all the firepower they need for many years ahead.

“Russia had to change her plans and tactics because of the heavy losses suffered by the Russian military early in the operation” Actually, there is a grain of truth here, but not the correct explanation. As I have mentioned several times, the special military operation is “special” because it is an operation which is not a regular combined arms operation. The Russians began the SMO with fewer soldiers than the opposing side, and they privileged maneuver and long range strikes over the taking and holding of towns and cities. Most crucially, the Russians very deliberately tried all they could to minimize Ukrainian casualties and to preserve the Ukrainian civilian infrastructure (unlike the “democratic” countries out there who first destroy power plants, bridges, water stations, etc. to inflict the maximum of “shock and awe” on the civilian population!). The Russians could have easily turned, say, Kiev into Baghdad or Belgrade under US/NATO bombs, but they deliberately chose to save as many lives and civilian infrastructure as possible, even at the cost of lives of Russian soldiers).

What apparently did take the Russians by surprise is the willingness of the Ukrainian forces in some towns to attack the Russian columns even though the local authorities seemed to have indicated to the Russians that, like in, say, Kherson, their city would not resist. Simply put, they chose the Mariupol model rather than the Kherson model. This choice was mainly dictated by the very powerful Nazi death squads who would at best arrest anybody negotiating with Russia and, at worst, simply shoot them on the spot. The Russians found plenty of bodies of executed Ukrainian soldiers. But this does not tell the full story either. The truth is that by the laws of warfare the Ukraine lost the war in less than a week.

What is my evidence for such an apparently outlandish and over-the-top statement? Simple: since the beginning of the SMO, the Ukrainians failed to execute a single operational level attack or counter-attack. At most they were able to execute small, tactical level attacks, the vast majority of which almost instantly failed, a few were defeated in a few days, and, crucially, not a single one gave the Ukrainian side the operational initiative. Not once.

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Are these sanctions gone or not?

“Russia and the United Nations signed a memorandum providing for the UN’s involvement in lifting international sanctions on the export of Russian grain and fertilizers..”

Moscow Reveals Target Of Strike On Odessa Port (RT)

The Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed striking targets in the major Ukrainian port of Odessa on Saturday, revealing that its missiles hit military infrastructure and arms stockpiles. “In the seaport of Odessa, on the territory of a shipyard, a docked Ukrainian warship and a warehouse of Harpoon anti-ship missiles, supplied by the US to the Kiev regime, have been destroyed by sea-based high-precision long-range missiles,” the ministry said on Sunday. The attack also crippled a repair facility where vessels of the Ukrainian navy have been fixed, it added. The strike on the target in Odessa, which is a major trade hub in the southwest of Ukraine, came a day after the signing of a UN-brokered deal to unblock grain exports from Ukrainian ports.

During the conflict that has been underway since February 24, Moscow has insisted that its troops only fire at Ukrainian forces and military infrastructure, not civilian facilities. According to Kiev officials, four cruise missiles were used in the attack on the port of Odessa, allegedly targeting grain silos located there. Two of the missiles were intercepted and two made it through, but failed to inflict significant damage, they said. Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky described the strike as “barbarism” and insisted “Russian Kalibr missiles destroyed the very possibility of statements” on the need for dialogue and any agreements with Moscow. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “unequivocally condemns” the attack on the port of Odessa, his spokesman said.

According to Guterres, “the full implementation [of the deal] by Russia, Ukraine and Turkey is imperative” because the products that are covered by it are “desperately needed to address the global food crisis and ease the suffering of millions of people in need around the globe,” he added. The Russia-Ukraine agreement, which had been agreed on Friday with the mediation of Turkey and the UN, sets out a framework for resuming Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea ports, which had been disrupted by the fighting. In addition, Russia and the United Nations signed a memorandum providing for the UN’s involvement in lifting international sanctions on the export of Russian grain and fertilizers to world markets.

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“As far as food is concerned, our Western colleagues… should remove the obstacles they themselves have created..”

Russia Not Asking For Sanctions Removal – Lavrov (RT)

Moscow is not asking for the lifting of sanctions, but urges Western states to fix the problems they have created on the global food market, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday. “We are not asking for the removal of sanctions – those are problems that deserve to be dealt with separately. We will simply develop our economy now by counting on reliable partners and not on those who have once again proved their total incapacity… As far as food is concerned, our Western colleagues… should remove the obstacles they themselves have created,” the diplomat said after talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, in Egypt.

He noted that Moscow would not have agreed to Friday’s deal unblocking Ukraine’s grain exports if the issue of freeing up Russian exports had not been resolved. Moscow is now counting on the UN to stick to its promise and assist in removing restrictions holding back Russian grain shipments. “Those illegitimate restrictions that were imposed… prevented operations with Russian grain, including insurance, including the admission of our ships to foreign ports and foreign ships’ entry into Russian ports,” Sergey Lavrov said. “After the signing of agreements in Istanbul at the initiative of the UN Secretary General, he volunteered to seek the removal of these illegitimate restrictions. Let’s count on him to succeed,” the foreign minister added. Lavrov recently accused the West of intentionally “keeping silent” about the impact of Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia’s exports.

At a news conference last month, he said: “There is a problem with the export of Russian grain. Although the West loudly reminds everyone that grain is not subject to sanctions, for some reason they are bashfully silent about the fact that ships carrying Russian grain are subject to sanctions. They are not accepted in European ports, they are not insured, and, overall, all logistics and financial matters, which are associated with the supply of grain to the world markets, are under sanctions of our Western colleagues.” Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the UN and Turkey signed a deal to unblock exports of grain, food, and fertilizers from Ukrainian ports on Friday. In addition to the agreement, Russia and the UN signed a memorandum implying UN involvement in lifting restrictions on the export of Russian grain and fertilizers to world markets.

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“..where does the US/NATO defeat in the Ukraine leave the European peninsula?..”

On the Future of Europe: A Proposition from 1 January 2023 (Batiushka)

As schoolchildren will tell you, the names of the continents begin and end with the same letter, A: Asia, Africa, America, Australia, Antarctica. There is one exception: Europe, which though still beginning and ending with the same letter, the letter is not A, but E. Why the difference? Is it perhaps because Europe is not really a Continent? After all, it is not a vast landmass surrounded by an ocean (if it were a small one, it would be called an island). Its borders are arbitrary, having frequently changed, were only relatively recently pushed to the Urals, and are still much disputed. In reality, surely Europe is the artificially isolated north-western peninsula of Asia? It is not a geographical Continent at all, it is an ideological construct. That is why the slogan of so many EU-fanatics, like the former French President Chirac, was: ‘Faisons l’Europe’ – ‘Let’s Create Europe’.

We ask the above question because in this winter of 2022-2023 the old EU and Non-EU Europe has had to face a new reality following the war that the US/NATO lost in the ‘Ukraine’, as it used to be called. Europe-wide, indeed worldwide, food riots with looting of supermarkets and ‘bill boycotts’ (the wave of civil disobedience with the refusal/inability to pay soaring fuel bills) made this clear. Obviously, a worldwide reconfiguration is coming. Already the new world is becoming multipolar, with several main centres within the old BRICS, Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and now more to come, perhaps Iran, Türkiye, Argentina, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Mexico, Lebanon and Indonesia. In general, all Asia, Africa and Latin America now at last have their own future.

Not only are the old, thoroughly corrupted international organisations like the UN, WTO, WEF or IMF rightly disappearing into the sewers of history along with their discredited puppet-master, the US elite, but so too are pro-US regional groupings, like its European political and economic arm the EU and its European military arm, NATO. And here precisely, we ask where does the US/NATO defeat in the Ukraine leave the European peninsula, both the EU part of it and the rest of it, outside the EU? After World War I Europe had to be reconfigured, and again after World War II. Now, after whatever you call the 2022 Western rout in the Ukraine (World War III, or World War I, Part III), what is its destiny?

Surely the greatest revelation of the US proxy war in the Ukraine is Europe’s dependence on Russia. Without Russia, it simply cannot survive – though Russia can survive without it. The fact is that for the last few centuries, the largest European country has been Russia for surface area and, over the last century and a half, for population. The most common European language in Europe is Russian, the second German, the third French, the fourth English, the fifth Italian. As regards natural resources, whether agricultural or mineral, and as regards military power, the most important country, once again, is Russia.

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The topic is so taboo that only the black sheep can mention it.

Hungary Warns Of Shift In World Order (RT)

The Russia-Ukraine conflict could end the West’s dominance and shift the balance of power in the world, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. Russia launched a military campaign against the neighboring country in late February. Orban argued that the decision to impose sanctions on Moscow and supply Kiev with heavy weapons de facto turned the EU and NATO member states into participants in the conflict, but ultimately yielded no results. “Instead, today we are sitting inside a car with flat tires on all four wheels,” Orban said in a speech in the Romanian city of Baile Tusnad on Saturday. “The world is not only not with us, but it is demonstratively not with us,” the PM added, arguing that, instead of thinking about gaining the upper hand on the battlefield in Ukraine, the West should now focus on achieving peace through negotiations.


Orban also warned that the conflict could easily put an end to Western supremacy and “create a multipolar world order.” “We must try to persuade the West to develop a new strategy,” the PM said. He later added that the conflict “will end when the Americans and the Russians come to an agreement.” Hungary has refused to send weapons to Ukraine, while Orban said this month that the EU “shot itself in the lungs” with its ill-considered sanctions. Hungarian officials also criticized the proposal by Brussels to ration gas in an attempt to phase out deliveries from Moscow. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto traveled to Moscow on Thursday to negotiate the purchase of additional gas volumes in order to ensure that the country has enough reserves for the winter. “It is currently simply impossible to buy this much extra natural gas in Europe without Russian sources,” Szijjarto told reporters.

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Huh? “..Orban’s remarks about the ineffectiveness of anti-Russia sanctions are “a classic example of Russian propaganda..”

Hungary Spreading ‘Russian Propaganda’ – Ukraine (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s remarks about the ineffectiveness of anti-Russia sanctions are “a classic example of Russian propaganda,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko claimed on Sunday. Orban said on Saturday that the decision to impose sanctions on Moscow and supply Kiev with heavy weapons had turned the EU and NATO member states into de facto participants in the conflict, while failing to deliver results. Responding in a Facebook post, Nikolenko said the idea that “sanctions did not shake Russia” represent “a classic example of Russian propaganda.” The Foreign Ministry spokesman claimed that sanctions are effective, as they have “significantly reduced” the capabilities of the Russian military, while Western arms supplies have helped to save the lives of Ukrainians.

He claimed that if sanctions and weapons were ineffective, the Kremlin would not have used “crazy resources” to stop them. Moscow has been warning the West against supplying Kiev with weapons, saying it will not prevent Russia from achieving its military goals, but will lead to extra casualties. Russian officials have also pointed to the boomerang effect of Western sanctions. In a speech in the Romanian city of Baile Tusnad on Saturday, Orban said the conflict could put an end to Western supremacy and “create a multipolar world order.” The Hungarian leader argued that the West needs to develop “a new strategy.” Nikolenko countered that “Europe is in an economic crisis not because of sanctions, but because of Russia’s hybrid war.” Moscow, meanwhile, categorically denies accusations of using energy supplies as a political weapon.

The Ukrainian official said Russian President Vladimir Putin “will not stop until he destroys the European order based on democratic values,” meaning that “joint decisive action” is needed. “Together, we will surely defeat Russia, even despite the head of the Hungarian government’ fears that the Russian army has an ‘asymmetrical advantage,’” Nikolenko said, referring to Orban’s claim that Ukraine cannot win the war due to the disparity of forces. Nikolenko has lambasted Western politicians in the past. Earlier this month, Nikolenko accusedUS Congresswoman Victoria Spartz of attempting to bring “Russian propaganda” into American politics. Spartz called for a mechanism to track military aid provided to Kiev, and expressed doubts over the reliability of President Vladimir Zelensky’s chief of staff. Nikolenko advised Spartz “to stop trying to earn extra political capital on baseless speculation around the topic of war” and “stop undermining the existing mechanisms of providing US military assistance to Ukraine.”

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Nothing fits anymore.

Logistical Nightmares For The Ukrainian Army (Milacic)

In early July, right after Lisichansk was won by the Russian forces, the Russian military and its allies from DNR and LNR, put on display there a large number of captured Ukrainian military equipment. Rows of tanks, rocket launchers and armored vehicles stretched for hundreds of meters. All this was seized by the Russians in just one sector of the front alone. Let’s be honest, most of the Western military assistance to Ukraine is quickly destroyed or falls into the hands of the Russian military, without having any significant impact on the course of the war, and successful exceptions like the US-supplied M142 HIMARS only confirm the rule. Why is this happening?

The whole thing might be pretty simple: while receiving Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Javelin anti-tank systems and French Ceasar self-propelled guns, the Ukrainian army must quickly switch to a single NATO standard, strengthen its combat capability in the wish to stop Russian army. On closer examination, however, it turns out that everything is way more complicated. The unified NATO standard is mainly associated with the calibers of ammunition, and not with the unification of equipment. It is impossible to switch from the German “Leopard” to the French “Leclerc” without a long and serious preparation. A good MRLS operator, used to the Soviet-designed Grad, will not be able to handle America’s famous HIMARS. Each weapon system handed over to Kyiv also requires special retraining of Ukrainian military specialists. And this is just the tip of the iceberg though.

The delivery of one or two self-propelled guns with perfectly trained crews may look good in propaganda videos, but it turns into a logistical nightmare for the Ukrainian military suppliers. Full-fledged confrontation with the enemy requires units trained and equipped with unified weapons, not a battery recruited from different European and Soviet models using five different types of shells. All of them need different parts and accessories. Moreover, gun and tank crews will most likely be unable to replace each other. They are trained to fight with different models of high-tech weapons systems.

This is actually why the Eastern European countries are delivering to Ukraine what is left of their old Warsaw Pact-era stockpiles, not the latest European models. After all, mass-scale training of specialists takes months and calls for multiple instructors. The Kyiv authorities are having problems even with specialists trained in the use of Soviet-era technology. For example, on July 20, numerous telegram channels posted a video with an elderly Ukrainian tank captain, a reservist, who, after being taken prisoner by the Russians, said that all the junior officers of his brigade were over 45 years old, most of whom had received military training in Soviet universities (in the USSR, reserve officers were trained in civilian universities).

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The US midterms are the main consideration.

Media Miss Major Moves on Russia-Ukraine (Ray McGovern)

Corporate media are ignoring the stark implications of Russia’s stated intention to take control of more Ukrainian territory than just Donetsk and Luhansk. I discussed this on The Critical Hour yesterday and supplement those thoughts in the paragraphs below. On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced Moscow’s broadened aims, explaining, “Now the geography is different. It’s far from being only the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, it’s also Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts and a number of other territories.” (I had just written on this.) In his interview, Lavrov pointed specifically to HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, made by Lockheed-Martin) as the kind of “weapon that will pose a direct threat to our territory and the territories of those republics who have declared their independence (Donetsk and Luhansk).”

The HIMARS being provided to Ukraine have a range of 50 miles, putting them also at easy reach of Crimea – which Kyiv (and the U.S.) insist is legally still part of Ukraine. It all depends on “geography. Just a few hours after the Lavrov interview was reported came the announcement by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that the US will give Ukraine four more HIMARS, bringing the total to 16. Austin bragged that HIMARS have already “made a difference on the battlefield.” But which battlefield? Lavrov and Russian President Putin can have no illusions that the wider, strategic “battlefield” includes Russia. Indeed, this is the same benighted Lloyd Austin who let that cat out of the bag three months ago: “One of the US’s goals in Ukraine is to see a weakened Russia. … The US is ready to move heaven and earth to help Ukraine win the war against Russia.”

It seems a sure thing that Biden’s advisers anticipate being engaged in a proxy war in Ukraine at least until this November when the US mid-term elections take place. Until then the Democrats surely will not want to appear to be slackers in confronting Russia on this critical issue (which, truth be told, they themselves did so much to create). The reality, of course, is that US policy makers go blithely along, enriching the MICIMATT (and enhancing campaign coffers) by giving advanced weaponry to Ukraine – and replacing them as needed. It’s very good for the multifaceted profiteering business. What is really troublesome is that there appears to be little understanding of the high stakes involved; little appreciation of what it means that Russia considers US/NATO behavior in Ukraine an existential threat – one that Russia is determined to remove, and can.

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@ScottAdamsSays: We’re all the way down to “He probably knows someone bad.”

This is going down like everything Schiff is involved in. “We have evidence that…”

Jan. 6 Committee Still Probing Links Between Trump And Extremist Groups (CBS)

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, said Sunday the panel is still examining possible links between former President Donald Trump and far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, members of which have been charged for their roles in the attack. “That remains an ongoing part of our investigation,” Schiff said in an interview on “Face the Nation.” “We have certainly shown some links between the president, the key advisors like Roger Stone and Mike Flynn, and elements of these white nationalist groups, but that component of our investigation continues.” More than a dozen members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, including their respective leaders Stewart Rhodes and Enrique Tarrio, have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged roles in the Jan. 6 assault.

Federal prosecutors claim the members conspired to storm the Capitol to oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by delaying by force the required tallying of state electoral votes. The select committee has examined the role of far-right extremist groups on Jan. 6 and last Thursday held its eighth public hearing mapping out what investigators described as a multi-pronged campaign from Trump to thwart the transfer of presidential power. The hearing focused on the 187-minute span on Jan. 6 from when the former president ended his speech at a rally on the Ellipse to when he issued a tweet telling the mob of his supporters to leave the Capitol, during which committee members said Trump did nothing to quell the violence that unfolded.

“I think we really need to think about what we’ve demonstrated already, about the president’s knowledge that the election wasn’t stolen, and his response and his intent, and to me that is most graphically demonstrated, when he told top Justice Department officials basically to just say the election was stolen or just say it was corrupt and that he would take care of the rest,” he said. “Those kind of pieces of testimony, they’re directly on the president’s knowledge and intent.” The California Democrat said he believes Trump engaged in the “most supreme dereliction of duty ever” with his inaction to stop the violence at the Capitol, and the former president’s multiple attempts to reverse the outcome of the election “invoke various criminal laws, and his conduct ought to be the subject of investigation.”

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One man wrecking crew.

How Mario Draghi Broke Italy (Fazi)

Mario Draghi’s defenestration has left the Italian — and indeed international — establishment reeling in horror. This is not surprising. When he was nominated as Italy’s prime minister at the beginning of last year, Europe’s political and economic elites welcomed his arrival as a miracle. Virtually every party in the Italian parliament — including the two formerly “populist” parties that won the elections in 2018, the Five Star Movement and the League — offered their support. The tone of the discussion was captured well by the powerful governor of the Campania region, Vincenzo De Luca (PD), who compared Draghi to “Christ” himself. Everyone agreed: a Draghi government would be a blessing, a final opportunity to redeem its sins and “make Italy great again”. Draghi, they said, simply by virtue of his “charisma”, “competence”, “intelligence” and “international clout”, would keep bond markets at bay, enact much-needed reforms, and relaunch Italy’s stagnant economy.

Alas, reality hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations: Draghi leaves behind a country in tatters. The latest European Commission macroeconomic forecast predicted that Italy will experience the slowest economic growth in the bloc next year, at just 0.9%, owing to a decline in consumer spending due to rising prices and lower business investment — a result of rising borrowing and energy costs, as well as disruptions in the supply of Russian gas. Italy is also experiencing one of the fastest-growing inflation rates in Europe — which is currently at 8.6%, the highest level in more than three decades. Interest rates on Italian government bonds have also been steadily climbing ever since Draghi came to power, rising four-fold under his watch; today they stand at the highest level in almost a decade.

And this “polycrisis” has taken its toll on Italian society: 5.6 million Italians — almost 10% of the population, including 1.4 million minors — currently live in absolute poverty, the highest level on record. Many of these are in work, and that number is bound to increase as real wages in Italy continue to fall at the highest pace in the bloc. Meanwhile, almost 100,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are at risk of insolvency — a 2% increase compared to last year. So much for “Super Mario”, then. Of course, one could argue that other countries are experiencing similar problems, but it would be a mistake to let Draghi off the hook. He has been one of the staunchest supporters of the measures that led to this situation, having been a driving force in pushing for tough EU sanctions against Moscow — sanctions that are crippling Europe’s economies, while leaving Russia largely unscathed.

Draghi even boasted about the bold measures adopted by Italy to wean the country off Russian gas — the result being that Italy is now the country that pays the highest wholesale electricity prices in the entire EU. The absurdity of these policies becomes apparent when we consider his attempt to reduce Italy’s dependence on Russian gas by reviving several coal-fired power plants — coal that Italy largely imports from Russia.

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Princess and Emmanuel

 

 

 

 

Surf dogs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1550852001763717121

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 182022
 


Paul Ranson Apple tree with red fruit 1902

 

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

 

 

 

 

Never sick

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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


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

Putin Spief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Back in April.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Awkward Biden Moments Draw Online Scrutiny (JTN)

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

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

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

Biden oil

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

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

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

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

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


It’s the little people!

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

Pro-Ukrainian, but Anti-Nazi (Batiushka)

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

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

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

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

How Low Can You Go? (Jim Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

Last Tango in Washington? (Brenner)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

US Drone Sale To Ukraine Hits Snag (R.)

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


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

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Adam Schiff did it.

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

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

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


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

Tucker Colbert

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

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

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

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

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

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You won’t know what hit you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Stella Moris

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Giovanni Bellini The transfiguration c1490

 

Dear Friends, Sorry to Announce a Genocide (Naomi Wolf)
Is Monkeypox a Smokescreen for Global Health Power Grab? (CHD)
CDC Director Issues Alert on Pfizer’s COVID-19 Pill (ET)
The War in Ukraine May Be Impossible to Stop. Blame the US (NYT)
The Secret Ukrainian Military Programs (Thierry Meyssan)
America, Meet Your New Dictator-in-Chief (Whitehead)
Biden Aims to Fight Russia to the Last Ukrainian, Moscow Says (Celente)
Russia And The West Compete To Secure Safe Passage For Ukraine’s Grain (G.)
Milley: Using Military to Open Ukrainian Ports Would Be ‘High Risk’ (Antiwar)
Janet Yellen Pretends She Got It Wrong on Inflation, She Did Not (CTH)
John Durham Lost Because He Treated The FBI As A Dupe (McCarthy)

 

 

 

 

Tucker What is a Woman

 

 

Twitty

 

 

 

 

“reactogenicity”

Dear Friends, Sorry to Announce a Genocide (Naomi Wolf)

I’ve been silent for some weeks. Forgive me. The truth is: I’ve been rendered almost speechless — or the literary equivalent of that — because recently I’ve had the unenviable task of trying to announce to the world that indeed, a genocide — or what I’ve called, clumsily but urgently, a “baby die-off” — is underway. The WarRoom/DailyClout Pfizer Documents Research Volunteers, a group of 3000 highly credentialled doctors, RNs, biostatisticians, medical fraud investigators, lab clinicians and research scientists, have been turning out report after report, as you may know, to tell the world what is in the 55,000 internal Pfizer documents which the FDA had asked a court to keep under wraps for 75 years. By court order, these documents were forcibly disclosed. And our experts are serving humanity by reading through these documents and explaining them in lay terms. You can find all of the Volunteers’ reports on DailyClout.io.

The lies revealed are stunning. The WarRoom/DailyClout Volunteers have confirmed: that Pfizer (and thus the FDA) knew by December 2020 that the MRNA vaccines did not work — that they “waned in efficacy” and presented “vaccine failure.” One side effect of getting vaccinated, as they knew by one month after the mass 2020 rollout, was “COVID.” Pfizer knew in May of 2021 that 35 minors’ hearts had been damaged a week after MRNA injection — but the FDA rolled out the EUA for teens a month later anyway, and parents did not get a press release from the US government about heart harms til August of 2021, after thousands of teens were vaccinated.

Pfizer (and thus the FDA; many of the documents say “FDA: CONFIDENTIAL” at the lower boundary) knew that, contrary to what the highly paid spokesmodels and bought-off physicians were assuring people, the MRNA, spike protein and lipid nanoparticles did not stay in the injection site in the deltoid, but rather went, within 48 hours, into the bloodstream, from there to lodge in the liver, spleen, adrenals, lymph nodes, and, if you are a woman, in the ovaries. Pfizer (and thus the FDA) knew that the Moderna vaccine had 100 mcg of MRNA, lipid nanoparticles and spike protein, which was more than three times the 30 mcg of the adult Pfizer dose; the company’s internal documents show a higher rate of adverse events with the 100 mcg dose, so they stopped experimenting with that amount internally due to its “reactogenicity” — Pfizer’s words — but no one told all of the millions of Americans who all got the first and second 100 mcg Moderna dose, and the boosters.

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A 1971 photo.

Is Monkeypox a Smokescreen for Global Health Power Grab? (CHD)

On May 24, BBC News reported the following on the monkeypox outbreak: “More than 100 cases of the virus — which causes a rash and a fever — have been confirmed in Europe, the Americas and Australia… The virus has now been detected in 16 countries outside Africa… a top EU health official has warned that some groups of people may be more at risk than others… Dr. Ammon suggested that countries should review the availability of the smallpox vaccine which is also effective against monkeypox.” Has the BBC reverted to its past reputation as a balanced reporter of news? That would seem unlikely in the present circumstances. Especially when the BBC is partially funded by the Gates Foundation and it opts to use a Getty Images photo of an unconfirmed monkeypox case that may actually be smallpox.

The BBC News piece contained a powerful image of the arm and leg of a pox-covered child. Driven by concerns that this looks very much like smallpox (check out the UK Health Security Agency images [shown also in Fig 5B] which are closely associated with the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and you’ll get a more representative view of the clinical features of human monkeypox), I was keen to dig deeper. The Getty Images caption tells us: “BONDUA, LIBERIA – UNDATED: In this 1971 Center For Disease Control handout photo, monkeypox-like lesions are shown on the arm and leg of a female child in Bondua, Liberia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said June 7 the viral disease monkeypox, thought to be spread by prairie dogs, has been detected in the Americas for the first time with about 20 cases reported in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. (Photo Courtesy of the CDC/Getty Images).”

We’ve been unable to find a place called Bondua in Liberia. There is however a Bondua in Sierra Leone. Is that what the CDC means? Isn’t it a bit like saying the case was reported from London in France — leaving everyone confused about place and country? Not quite, actually, as there is a London in France, just no Bondua in Liberia. You might think I’m splitting hairs. But such details are actually critically important when they’re being communicated to a worldwide audience that’s waiting with bated breath to understand the implications of yet another infectious disease outbreak. Sierra Leone did in fact boast the highest incidence of smallpox in the world between 1967 and 1968 and we’ve unearthed some genuine red flags as to the origin of this CDC/Getty Images photo.

By 1971, it appears smallpox had disappeared from Sierra Leone. And, as an add-on, contrary to what the vaccine PR machine likes to suggest, the historical record does not provide evidence that it was mass vaccination as part of the WHO’s Smallpox Eradication Program that caused infections to decline then disappear from Sierra Leone.

McCullough monkeypox

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Someone shut her up.

CDC Director Issues Alert on Pfizer’s COVID-19 Pill (ET)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky warned that Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill Paxlovid can lead to a rebound in symptoms. “If you take Paxlovid, you might get symptoms again,” Walensky told CBS News on Tuesday. “We haven’t yet seen anybody who has returned with symptoms needing to go to the hospital. So, generally, a milder course.” Another researcher who is not affiliated with the CDC said that he has observed such a scenario. “People who experience rebound are at risk of transmitting to other people, even though they’re outside what people accept as the usual window for being able to transmit,” Dr. Michael Charness of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Boston told CNN on Tuesday.


After a patient recovers from COVID-19, the aforementioned rebound has occurred between two and eight days later, according to the CDC. The agency, however, told CBS that the benefits of taking Paxlovid outweigh the risks of COVID-19, namely among those who are at a high risk of developing severe symptoms from the virus. About a week ago, the agency issued an alert to health care providers about the rebound, saying that patients who took Paxlovid either test positive for the virus after having tested negative or will experience COVID-19 symptoms. “A brief return of symptoms may be part of the natural history of SARS-CoV-2 infection in some persons, independent of treatment with Paxlovid and regardless of vaccination status,” the federal health agency said at the time.

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The New York Times is gradually shifting the narrative.

The War in Ukraine May Be Impossible to Stop. Blame the US (NYT)

In the Paris daily Le Figaro this month, Henri Guaino, a top adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy when he was president of France, warned that Europe’s countries, under the shortsighted leadership of the United States, were “sleepwalking” into war with Russia. Mr. Guaino was borrowing a metaphor that the historian Christopher Clark used to describe the origins of World War I. Naturally, Mr. Guaino understands that Russia is most directly to blame for the present conflict in Ukraine. It was Russia that massed its troops on the frontier last fall and winter and — having demanded from NATO a number of Ukraine-related security guarantees that NATO rejected — began the shelling and killing on Feb. 24.

But the United States has helped turn this tragic, local and ambiguous conflict into a potential world conflagration. By misunderstanding the war’s logic, Mr. Guaino argues, the West, led by the Biden administration, is giving the conflict a momentum that may be impossible to stop. He is right. In 2014 the United States backed an uprising — in its final stages a violent uprising — against the legitimately elected Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych, which was pro-Russian. (The corruption of Mr. Yanukovych’s government has been much adduced by the rebellion’s defenders, but corruption is a perennial Ukrainian problem, even today.) Russia, in turn, annexed Crimea, a historically Russian-speaking part of Ukraine that since the 18th century had been home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

One can argue about Russian claims to Crimea, but Russians take them seriously. Hundreds of thousands of Russian and Soviet fighters died defending the Crimean city of Sevastopol from European forces during two sieges — one during the Crimean War and one during World War II. In recent years, Russian control of Crimea has seemed to provide a stable regional arrangement: Russia’s European neighbors, at least, have let sleeping dogs lie. But the United States never accepted the arrangement. On Nov. 10, 2021, the United States and Ukraine signed a “charter on strategic partnership” that called for Ukraine to join NATO, condemned “ongoing Russian aggression” and affirmed an “unwavering commitment” to the reintegration of Crimea into Ukraine.

That charter “convinced Russia that it must attack or be attacked,” Mr. Guaino wrote. “It is the ineluctable process of 1914 in all its terrifying purity.” This is a faithful account of the war that President Vladimir Putin has claimed to be fighting. “There were constant supplies of the most modern military equipment,” Mr. Putin said at Russia’s annual Victory Parade on May 9, referring to the foreign arming of Ukraine. “The danger was growing every day.”

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Meyssan has a entire library of articles on the topic here.

The Secret Ukrainian Military Programs (Thierry Meyssan)

Throughout this series of articles, which began a month and a half before the war in Ukraine, I have been developing the idea that the Straussians, the small group of Leo Strauss followers in the US administration, were planning a confrontation against Russia and China. However, in the tenth episode of this series, I related how the Azov regiment became the paramilitary pillar of the Ukrainian Banderists by referring to the visit of Senator John McCain to it in 2016 [1]. However, the latter is not a Straussian, but was advised by Robert Kagan during his presidential election campaign in 2008, a central thinker among the Straussians [2], even though he has always cautiously denied his membership in this sect.

A video, filmed during John McCain’s visit to Ukraine in 2016, has resurfaced. It shows the senator accompanied by his colleague and friend, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The two Americans are traveling on a Senate mission. But McCain is also the president of the IRI (International Republican Institute), the Republican branch of the NED (National Endowment for Democracy). It is known that the IRI has conducted about 100 seminars for the leaders of Ukrainian political parties classified as right-wing, including for the Banderists. The senators are addressing officers of the Azov regiment, the main Banderist paramilitary formation. This should come as no surprise. John McCain has always maintained that the United States should rely on the enemies of its enemies, whoever they may be. Thus, he has publicly claimed responsibility for his contacts with Daesh against the Syrian Arab Republic.

In this video, Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain assure that the United States will give all the weapons necessary for them to succeed in defeating Russia. This video, I repeat, was recorded six years before the Russian army entered Ukraine. The two senators are investing their interlocutors with a mission. They do not see them as mercenaries who are paid, but as proxies who will fight for the unipolar world to the death. Shortly afterwards, President Poroshenko, who had attended the meeting in battle dress, changed the badge of his secret service, the SBU. It is now an owl holding a sword directed against Russia with the motto “The wise will rule over the stars”. It is clear that the Ukrainian state apparatus was preparing for war against Russia on behalf of the United States.

Three years later, on September 5, 2019, the Rand Corporation organized a meeting in the US House of Representatives to explain its plan: to weaken Russia by forcing it to deploy in Kazakhstan, then in Ukraine and as far as Transnistria. I have explained at length in two previous articles that at the end of the Second World War the United States and the United Kingdom took over many Nazi leaders and Ukrainian Banderists to turn them against the USSR. They mothered these fanatics as soon as the USSR disappeared and used them against Russia. It remained to explore how they armed them.

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“..in the event of a national emergency, the COG directives give unchecked executive, legislative and judicial power to the president..”

America, Meet Your New Dictator-in-Chief (Whitehead)

America, meet your new dictator-in-chief. As the New York Times reports, “Newly disclosed documents have shed a crack of light on secret executive branch plans for apocalyptic scenarios—like the aftermath of a nuclear attack—when the president may activate wartime powers for national security emergencies.” The problem, of course, is that we have become a nation in a permanent state of emergency. Power-hungry and lawless, the government has weaponized one national crisis after another in order to expand its powers and justify all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security.

The seeds of this present madness were sown almost two decades ago when George W. Bush stealthily issued two presidential directives that granted the president the power to unilaterally declare a national emergency, which is loosely defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.” Comprising the country’s Continuity of Government (COG) plan, these directives (National Security Presidential Directive 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20) provide a skeletal outline of the actions the president will take in the event of a “national emergency.”

Just what sort of actions the president will take once he declares a national emergency can barely be discerned from the barebones directives. However, one thing is clear: in the event of a national emergency, the COG directives give unchecked executive, legislative and judicial power to the president. The country would then be subjected to martial law by default, and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would be suspended. Essentially, the president would become a dictator for life. It has happened already. As we have witnessed in recent years, that national emergency can take any form, can be manipulated for any purpose and can be used to justify any end goal—all on the say so of the president.

The emergency powers that we know about which presidents might claim during such states of emergency are vast, ranging from imposing martial law and suspending habeas corpus to shutting down all forms of communications, including implementing an internet kill switch, and restricting travel.

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“There is a risk that such equipment will be placed near Russia’s borders and Ukrainians will be able to strike at Russian cities. Such a situation is unacceptable and intolerable for us..”

Biden Aims to Fight Russia to the Last Ukrainian, Moscow Says (Celente)

Russia blasted the White House of provoking more war after President Joe Biden said that the U.S. will send advanced rocket systems to Ukraine that Moscow has called a “red line.” The Kremlin said the U.S. is adding “fuel to the fire.” “We know that the United States has been purposefully and meticulously adding fuel to the fire,” Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said, ABC News reported. “The United States pursues the course towards fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian.” Joe Biden wrote an op-ed published in The New York Times late Tuesday that confirmed his decision to provide Ukrainian fighters with advanced rocket systems that can be reportedly outfitted with missiles capable of traveling about 200 miles. Kyiv stands to receive the American High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, a source told the paper, in a separate article.

A senior administration official said Biden opted not to provide Ukraine with the rockets capable of traveling 200 miles. The system, as it stands now, is capable of striking targets up to 48 miles from the launch site. “Himars units carry one preloaded pod of six 227mm guided missiles (the M270 carries two pods), or one large pod loaded with an Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) tactical missile,” The Guardian reported. Ukrainian fighters could now, technically, line up near the border and fire into Russia. (The paper said the Biden administration was assured that these weapons will not be used to strike Russia and “the administration was comfortable with the assurances.’ But assurances go out the window when you’re surrounded.)

[..] Anatoly Antonov, a top Russian diplomat, on Saturday commented on reports that the Biden administration was considering sending these weapon systems. “There is a risk that such equipment will be placed near Russia’s borders and Ukrainians will be able to strike at Russian cities. Such a situation is unacceptable and intolerable for us,” he told a Russian news outlet, Newsweek reported. He continued, “We are calling for an end to the senseless and extremely risky pumping of weapons into the country. It is important to refrain from threats against us and claims of a military victory for Ukraine.”


Map of Areas that the MQ-1C Gray Eagle Drone can reach when launched from Major Ukrainian Airports

USA is planning to sell Ukraine 4 MQ-1C Gray Eagle Drones which have a range of 400 Km and can fly for over 30+ hours, and can carry up to 8 Hellfire Missiles

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Just lift the sanctions. Solved.

Russia And The West Compete To Secure Safe Passage For Ukraine’s Grain (G.)

In a game of diplomatic cat and mouse, Russia and the west are coming up with similar if sometimes competing ideas for how Ukraine’s badly needed grain can be given safe passage through the Black Sea and on to the world markets. They are also competing to win the battle for world opinion if the plans collapse. Both sides are busy diplomatically across Africa and the Middle East trying to portray their adversary as the culprit for spiralling food and fertiliser prices. Russia and Ukraine export more than a quarter of the world’s wheat, while Russia is the world’s top fertiliser exporter. The World Bank’s Fertiliser Price Index rose nearly 10% in the first quarter of 2022, to an all-time high in nominal terms.

Ukraine’s backlog of 20m tonnes of grain needs to be exported quickly to avoid a further explosion of food prices, and also to preserve the next Ukrainian harvest that currently cannot be sent to already full storage facilities. That is not possible due to the Russian naval blockade of the Black Sea port of Odesa, and Ukrainian floating mines planted to block the port from Russian attack. Russia, in return for lifting the blockade, wants any sanctions on its shipping and fertiliser products lifted. At issue is whether there is a deal to be done. In what is beginning to look like the main plan, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has agreed to meet the Turkish president Erdogan but not until 8 June, over proposals for Turkey to de-mine Odesa and then escort grain ships through to the Bosphorous along a naval corridor.

Erdogan spoke with Vladimir Putin about the proposal on Monday, and according to the Turkish read-out, Putin was willing to cooperate, on conditions. Turkey, through the 1936 Montreux convention, is arbiter of sea traffic in and out of the Black Sea, and justifies its refusal as a Nato member to impose sanctions on Russia by pointing to this unique role. The Turkish foreign minister, Cavusoglu, said on Tuesday that food security was the most important question: “We are focusing on this. We are planning to establish a centre in Istanbul to observe the corridor.”

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Also known as: They couldn’t do it if they tried.

Milley: Using Military to Open Ukrainian Ports Would Be ‘High Risk’ (Antiwar)

Amid growing calls for naval intervention to open up Ukrainian ports for grain exports, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said such an operation would amount to a “high risk military operation.” The West is blaming Russian ships for blocking grain exports from leaving Ukrainian ports, but there are other factors, including mines laid by Ukraine. Russia said last week that it cleared mines around Mariupol and that the Azov Sea port is now open to civil vessels. This week, Retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former supreme allied commander of NATO, suggested that naval vessels under the auspice of the UN or NATO could escort convoys of grain ships out of Ukraine.


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba suggested on Tuesday that Ukraine was pushing for a UN convoy to open its ports. “Ukraine is working on an international UN-led operation with navies of partners ensuring a safe trade route with no security risks,” he wrote on Twitter. Milley said such a plan would be high risk due to the presence of Russian ships and mines in the waters. “You can take the grain out by truck or train, or you can take it out by sea. Right now, the sea lanes are blocked by mines and the Russian navy. In order to open up those sea lanes would require a very significant military effort,” Milley said. “It would be a high-risk military operation that would require significant levels of effort.”

Macgregor

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She follows the game plan.

Janet Yellen Pretends She Got It Wrong on Inflation, She Did Not (CTH)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has more financial and analytical resources at her fingertips than thousand hedge funds combined. When Secretary Yellen claims today that she “got it wrong” about inflation, what she is doing is continuing the game of pretending; she’s positioning the administration as incompetent, not deliberate. The illusion of incompetence plays into the scheme of hiding the fact the administration is working through a purposeful strategy. In the game of pretending; and under the current circumstances; it is better to be seen as incompetent than recognized as working with malicious intent. This is the illusion behind Joe Biden’s usefulness.


This is also the organized pretending game within DC that too few people will accept or admit. The Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve Chairman are not making mistakes, they are working on a specific agenda and economic plan. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was not late to raise interest rates, he waited on purpose. He waited for the political reason of waiting until the triggered 2021 inflation spike cycled through the full calendar year. These are not monetary policy leaders making monetary policy mistakes. These are monetary policy political ideologues, carrying out a political agenda within the U.S. economy. This is part of what National Economic Council Chairman Brian Deese would call the “economic transition.”

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“If you don’t get the bureau’s role right, you’re apt to get the most consequential things wrong..”

John Durham Lost Because He Treated The FBI As A Dupe (McCarthy)

What was the role of the FBI? In the Russiagate probe, in which special counsel John Durham has been tasked with getting to the bottom of the Trump-Russia “collusion” farce, that is the key question. If you don’t get the bureau’s role right, you’re apt to get the most consequential things wrong. Durham has banked his investigation on the premise that the FBI was a victim — an innocent dupe manipulated by the wily Clinton campaign. On Tuesday, this misplaced faith led to the acquittal of Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann. The irony abounds. A Washington, DC, jury found Sussmann not guilty of making a false statement to the bureau even though Durham’s team convincingly proved the falsity of the statement he made — namely, that in purveying derogatory information about Donald Trump, Sussmann was not representing any client, when in fact he was representing the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Moreover, although the acquittal will encourage Democrats and their legacy media allies in seeking to discredit Durham’s probe, the law enforcement shenanigans uncovered by the trial illustrate that the probe is essential. Nevertheless, the probe will come to naught, and accountability will remain a pipe dream, unless Durham gets the FBI’s role right. As I contended in “Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency,” the outrage of the Trump-Russia “collusion” farce is that the law enforcement and intelligence apparatus of the United States government was put in the service of partisan politics — first to attempt to get Hillary Clinton elected president and, when that failed, to hamstring the Trump administration’s capacity to govern.

That is, what makes Russiagate a uniquely dangerous chapter in modern American history is the willful interference by powerful federal agencies in electoral politics. The real collusion was between the Clinton campaign and the Obama-era executive branch — particularly (but by no means exclusively) the FBI. Durham proceeded on a different theory. The culprits, by his lights, are the Clinton campaign and its operatives. We are to see the FBI not as colluding with the Clinton campaign, but as victimized by the Clinton campaign. The false-statement case against Sussmann is one of three indictments Durham has brought in more than three years of conducting his probe. In each one, the defendant is accused of duping the FBI, not collaborating with the FBI, in an effort to portray Trump as a Kremlin asset.

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Mar 242022
 


Vincent van Gogh Weaver 1884

 

Biden Says US Must Lead ‘New World Order,’ Lead it Where Exactly? (Celente)
Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs to Stave Off War With Russia (Lauria)
Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back (NW)
Sanctioning Russia Could Topple The West (Fazi)
WIll Poland Invade The Western Ukraine? (Saker)
Lavrov: Peacekeeping Effort Could Result In Direct Clash With NATO (JTN)
Ukraine Says Russia Is Holding Aid Workers Captive In Mariupol (JTN)
How Russia Got Stronger As Bidens And Clintons Got Richer (JTN)
The Death Of The Supreme Court Confirmation Process (Turley)
Anger Towards the Unvaccinated was Intentional Psychological Manipulation (NE)
“Dictatorship Of The Worst Kind” – Trudeau Lambasted In EU Parliament (TNC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GPS
https://twitter.com/i/status/1506882331537248256

 

 


Nigeria: 206M people, only 4.4% fully vaxxed, zero deaths and 87 daily cases

 

 

The official government li(n)e

 

 

“Lead it?” Where? Down the crapper!”

Biden Says US Must Lead ‘New World Order,’ Lead it Where Exactly? (Celente)

What’s the big headline making the news last week? “BIDEN: AMERICA WILL LEAD NEW WORLD ORDER.” In his speech, President Joe Biden declared, “Now is the time where things are shifting. There’s going to be a new world order out there and we’ve got to lead it.” “Lead it?” Where? Down the crapper! America’s roads are rotted, bridges collapse, archaic subways and rail systems crumble, the middle class evaporates as 61 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, people can’t afford to buy homes or afford to pay rent, etc., etc. Q. And who is the “we’ve” that “got to lead it”? A. The Republican and Democratic crime syndicate… people like Joe Biden who’s been sucking off the public tit for 50 years and championed the sending of our jobs overseas and making the billionaires richer and the Bigs bigger.

Yet, as the nation descends, there is always more money to enrich the military/industrial/intelligence complex with over $1 trillion per year dumped into their coffers. Name the war that the D.C. Gang started since the end of WWII and assess the cost benefit analysis. Here are a few: • Korean War: Lost • Vietnam War: Lost • Afghanistan War: Lost • Iraq War: Lost • Syrian War: Ongoing Bloody Disaster • Libyan War: Ongoing Bloody Disaster • Yemen War: Worst Humanitarian Disaster on Earth. Therefore, with a stellar track record of monumental failures, why would anyone with a brain bigger than a pea believe or follow warped-brain politician’s war dictates… politicians who shoot off their fat mouths to start wars, but never shoot a rifle to fight the wars they start?

[..] As we reported last week, with significant percentages of the world’s corn, wheat, barley and fertilizers unable to be shipped out of Russia and Ukraine—and/or sanctioned—food and fertilizer prices have sharply spiked since the Ukraine War began: Wheat is up almost 22 percent, barley 32 percent and fertilizers jumped by 40 percent. The two nations accounted for 75 percent of the world’s sunflower seed oil, 32 percent of the barley, 30 percent wheat and 17 percent of corn exports. And over the past year, barley prices rocketed up 82 percent, wheat prices spiked 69 percent and corn prices jumped 36 percent.

“Ukraine has only compounded a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe,” said David M. Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program. “There is no precedent even close to this since World War II.” Beyond WWII, as we reported, the COVID War destroyed the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people. The imbecilic, non-scientific draconian lockdown mandates pushed hunger up 18 percent… from 720 million to 811 million people according to the UN. And now with the Ukraine War raging, the United Nations said its implications on the global food market would push up an additional 13.1 million people into hunger. “We’ll be taking food from the hungry to give to the starving,” Beasley said.

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“This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians..”

Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs to Stave Off War With Russia (Lauria)

Western corporate media, depending almost exclusively on Ukrainian sources, report that Russia is losing the war, with its military offensive “stalled,” and in frustration has deliberately targeted civilians and flattened cities. Biden has bought into this part of the story, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.” He has also said that Russia is planning a “false flag” chemical attack to pin on Ukraine. But on Tuesday, the Pentagon took the bold step of leaking two stories to reporters that contradict those tales. “Russia’s conduct in the brutal war tells a different story than the widely accepted view that Vladimir Putin is intent on demolishing Ukraine and inflicting maximum civilian damage—and it reveals the Russian leader’s strategic balancing act,” reported Newsweek in an article entitled, “Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back. Here’s Why.”

The piece quotes an unnamed analyst at the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) saying, “The heart of Kyiv has barely been touched. And almost all of the long-range strikes have been aimed at military targets.” A retired U.S. Air Force officer now working as an analyst for a Pentagon contractor, added: “We need to understand Russia’s actual conduct. If we merely convince ourselves that Russia is bombing indiscriminately, or [that] it is failing to inflict more harm because its personnel are not up to the task or because it is technically inept, then we are not seeing the real conflict.” The article says: “As of the past weekend, in 24 days of conflict, Russia has flown some 1,400 strike sorties and delivered almost 1,000 missiles (by contrast, the United States flew more sorties and delivered more weapons in the first day of the 2003 Iraq war). …

“A proportion of those strikes have damaged and destroyed civilian structures and killed and injured innocent civilians, but the level of death and destruction is low compared to Russia’s capacity. ‘I know it’s hard … to swallow that the carnage and destruction could be much worse than it is,’ says the DIA analyst. ‘But that’s what the facts show. This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians, that perhaps he is mindful that he needs to limit damage in order to leave an out for negotiations.’” These Pentagon sources confirm what Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defense have been saying all along: that instead of being “stalled,” Russia is executing a methodical war plan to encircle cities, opening humanitarian corridors for civilians, leaving civilian infrastructure like water, electricity, telephony and internet intact, and trying to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible.

Until these Pentagon leaks it was difficult to confirm that Russia was entirely telling the truth and that corporate media were publishing fables cooked up by Ukraine’s publicity machine.

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If Russia hasn’t done what Americans would do, it must mean they are failing…

Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back (NW)

Over the course of almost four weeks, missiles fired at Kyiv have been scarce. Ukrainian media have reported just more than a dozen incidents involving Russian cruise and ballistic missiles intercepted over the city and its closest suburbs since February 24. And all of them, U.S. experts say, have been clearly headed for legitimate military targets. “The fact that the mobile S-300 SAM systems are still operating is a powerful indictment of Russia’s ability to conduct dynamic or time-sensitive targeting,” the Atlantic Council asserted this week in a military brief. The DIA analyst disagrees: “For whatever reason, clearly the Russians have been reluctant to strike inside the urban megalopolis of Kyiv.


“Yes they might not be up to the U.S. task [in dynamic targeting] or in establishing air superiority … But this is the Russian air force, subordinate to the ground forces. And this war is different: it’s being fought on the ground, where everything strategic that Russia might destroy in front of its forces—bridges, communications, airfields, etc.—also becomes unusable to them as they move forward.” From the very beginning of air strikes, both U.S. analysts agree, some of the limited air and missile attacks have also had some internal logic. Take, for instance, the airfield at Hostomel, northwest of Kyiv. It wasn’t directly attacked because Russia initially used it to land paratroopers, with the hope of advancing to the capital city. Instead the airfield and the surrounding countryside became the scene a major battle, as Ukrainian forces mounted a fierce defense. In the south, Kherson airport also wasn’t attacked. The reason has become clear: Russia is now using that very airfield to stage its own forces.

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“..the main source of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves — oil and gas exports — has been excluded from the sanctions..”

Sanctioning Russia Could Topple The West (Fazi)

So what should we expect from the sanctions? Western pundits and commentators have little doubt: the sanctions will hamstring the Russian economy, sow discontent among the Russian people and elites alike, and possibly even cause the downfall of the Putin regime. At the very least, we’re told, they will hinder Russia’s war efforts. But history suggests otherwise: see Iraq, or more recently Iran. Far more likely is that this turns out to be the latest Western strategic miscalculation in a long list of strategic blunders, of which the United States’ inglorious withdrawal from Afghanistan is just the most recent example. After all, Russia has been preparing for this moment for quite some time.

Following the first wave of Western sanctions, in 2014, and partly in retaliation against them, Putin embarked on what analysts have dubbed a “Fortress Russia” strategy, building up the country’s international reserves and diversifying them away from US dollars and British pounds, reducing its foreign exposure, boosting its economic cooperation with China, and pursuing import substitution strategies in several industries, including food, medicine and technology, in an effort to insulate Russia as much as possible from external shocks. True, Putin made the mistake of leaving around half of those reserves parked in foreign central banks, resulting in these now being confiscated. But nonetheless Russia still has access to more than $300 billion in gold and foreign-exchange reserves — more than most countries in the world and more than enough to cushion any short-term fall in exports, or prop up the rouble (for a while).

Moreover, the Russian central bank reacted to the sanctions by stopping capital flows out of Russia and nationalising the foreign exchange earnings of major exporters, requiring Russian firms to convert 80% of their dollar and euro earnings into roubles. It also raised interest rates to 20% in an effort to attract foreign capital. These measures are aimed at bolstering the rouble’s value and providing a flow of foreign exchange into the country. They appear to be working: while the rouble is around 40% of its value since the start of the conflict, the Russian currency’s free-fall seems to have come to a halt for now, even registering an uptick over the past two weeks. For the time being, Russia’s financial account — the difference between the money flowing in and out of the country — is far from disastrous.

Let’s not forget that the main source of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves — oil and gas exports — has been excluded from the sanctions, for obvious reasons: for most European countries, Russia accounts for a huge part of their oil and gas imports (and other staple commodities), and there’s simply no way of replacing those energy sources from one day to the next. In short, Russia runs no risk, in the short term, of running out of reserves and not being able to pay for its imports. But even assuming that the West decided to put a stop to all its imports from Russia overnight, there’s no reason to believe that this would bring the Russian military machine to a halt. The notion that “we are financing Russia’s war by purchasing gas and oil”, as the Finnish prime minister recently stated, is fundamentally misplaced.

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A translation at the Saker. Not clear from what.

“..if the Baltic statehood develops in the same direction in which it has been developing for the last thirty years, then sooner or later the denazification operation is inevitable.”

Will Poland Invade The Western Ukraine? (Saker)

the pro-American European lobby is in a state of unstable equilibrium; it wants to intervene in this conflict, but is afraid. The Americans do not yet give sufficient guarantees. Biden is now going to Poland to talk about exactly this, and we’ll see what he tells them. Well, I think not now, not now, but in general, given what trends have prevailed in the Baltics. Sooner or later the denazification operation will have to be carried out, because, as the history of Ukraine shows, living next to the Nazi state, even if it is small, means everything equally uncomfortable. Just because we are two different systems, we are on different sides of good and evil, and we will always be in confrontation with each other, and confrontation with the state that is on our borders will always be used by our enemies, regardless of who is this enemy at the moment.

Therefore, naturally, if the Balts do not take it reasonably, then sooner or later they, just like Ukraine, will ask for the denazification operation. Ukraine asked for a long time, in fact, persuaded for 30 years. Therefore, Ukraine began to prepare for a war with Russia from the first day of its Independence. It was, by the way, her idea-fix. Well, it was getting ready, getting ready, now 30 years have passed – she got ready. Finally, she asked for the war. By and large, the Balts behave in the same way. They now think that they are covered by NATO and the EU, but as the practice of recent years has shown, this is a very unreliable umbrella.

It is unlikely that anyone will be especially tense and risk a major war for the Baltic states. Moreover, there is always a casus bellum. It’s just that now, of course, Russia is too busy to go to the Baltic states. If only they won’t interfere with Russia on their own along with the Poles. They once tried to attack Belarus. They can repeat. If they themselves do not get involved in this matter, then the problem, the Baltics, is a problem of the distant future. During this time, they can change their minds, correct themselves, establish normal contacts, and choose other politicians. But if the Baltic statehood develops in the same direction in which it has been developing for the last thirty years, then sooner or later the denazification operation is inevitable.

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“Sending NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine would lead to a direct clash between the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the alliance.”

Lavrov: Peacekeeping Effort Could Result In Direct Clash With NATO (JTN)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned this week that if NATO sends peacekeepers into Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, that action will lead to a direct military confrontation between Russian and allied forces. According to the Russian state news agency TASS, Lavrov said Wednesday morning, “Sending NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine would lead to a direct clash between the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the alliance.” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations eliminated the possibility of the U.S. becoming part of a peacekeeping operation inside Ukraine, reiterating that the Biden administration will not send American troops into the country under conflict.


“We don’t want to escalate this into a war with the United States,” said Thomas-Greenfield. “But we will support our NATO allies,” adding that President Biden “has made clear that if there is an attack on any of our NATO allies, under Article 5, that we will support those countries and defend those countries.” The war has been going on for about a month as Russia’s far larger army continues to fight for control of Ukraine’s major cities. In the past days, the battle for Ukraine’s strategic port city of Mariupol has grown increasingly fiery. Thus far, the resistance effort from Ukraine has been unexpectedly fierce, though western experts warn that the Ukrainian’s longtime outlook against Russian forces may spell trouble.

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Just The News, a right wing unit, has trouble positioning itself. They must be both anti-Biden AND anti-Putin.

Ukraine Says Russia Is Holding Aid Workers Captive In Mariupol (JTN)

Speaking Tuesday night in a video address to his nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian forces of seizing a humanitarian convoy in Mariupol.Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the Russians are holding captive 11 bus drivers and four rescue workers as well as their vehicles. Zelenskyy said the efforts to establish stable humanitarian corridors in Mariupol, which has been under heavy attack, are being “foiled by the Russian occupiers, by shelling, or deliberate terror.” A senior U.S. defense official told the Associated Press that Russian ships in the Sea of Azov are adding to the shelling of Mariupol, a strategic port city.


On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian military operation is unfolding “strictly in accordance with the plans and purposes that were established beforehand.” He added that Putin’s aims are to “get rid of the military potential of Ukraine” and to “ensure that Ukraine changes from an anti-Russian center to a neutral country.”

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Uranium One. Nuff said.

How Russia Got Stronger As Bidens And Clintons Got Richer (JTN)

By 2010, the Obama-Biden-Clinton Russian reset was in full swing. The administration put forth a mutual nuclear disarmament treaty known as “New START,” which, while noble in its declared intentions, risked weakening a compliant partner such as the United States while strengthening a Russia not constrained by the rules. Another deal that Obama, Biden, and Clinton gave the Russians was called the “123 Agreement,” which allowed state-owned Russian entities like nuclear behemoth Rosatom to sell nuclear materials directly to U.S. utility companies. This deal continues to pay huge dividends to the Obama Foundation’s top donor, Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. And President Biden has allowed that deal to survive even during the Ukraine war, exempting nuclear fuel sales to U.S. utilities from his recent sanctions targeting Russian energy imports.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-driven 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, and other so-called denuclearization efforts with Libya and North Korea, effectively sent hundreds of thousands of tons of uranium to Russia for enrichment — a huge cash and energy windfall for Putin. On top of these nuclear handouts, the Obama-Biden-Clinton team gave Russia one of the biggest prizes of all: Uranium One. Before the Russian takeover, Uranium One was a Canadian company that mined Uranium around the world. It had assets on at least three continents — Eurasia, Africa, and North America. Its assets in Wyoming, Utah, and other states constituted approximately 20% of U.S. uranium capacity and meant that the Obama-Biden Committee of Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) would have to sign off on the deal. They could have said no, but the deal was approved.

Investors in the deal had funneled $145 million into Secretary Clinton’s family foundation. Its approval helped to give Russia a near-monopoly on global uranium production. After investigative reporter and author Peter Schweizer broke the Uranium One story in 2015, a State Department under secretary, Jose Fernandez, took the blame. Fernandez later landed a “very rewarding” position at the Clinton-connected Center for American Progress. Fernandez has now come back through the revolving door and is a top official in the Biden State Department.

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“First, I put on my socks, then my pants, then my shirt, then my jacket … and then I am fully dressed.”

The Death Of The Supreme Court Confirmation Process (Turley)

“This is not a normal day for America. We have never had this moment before.” Those 15 words from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) captured the historic confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court. In other respects, however, the hearing was an all-too-familiar moment, particularly in its lack of substantive legal discussion. The Jackson hearing continued the rapid reduction of the range of questions for nominees, leaving these hearings as little more than performance art for senators and an endurance test for nominees. The hearing was impressive in the ability of senators to move effortlessly between diametrically opposing positions. For those with memories extending back to 2020, there were turns that were enough to snap your neck.

In Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing, members like Sen. Chris Coons (D-R.I.) declared: “What’s at issue is her judicial philosophy.” Yesterday, during Jackson’s hearing (around the 6:30 mark), Coons declared: “I don’t believe that ‘a judicial philosophy’ is always all that meaningful.” It was clear from the outset that Jackson would not discuss her judicial philosophy on interpreting the Constitution or statutes — the very issue Democratic senators cited in voting against Barrett in 2020. When asked about her judicial philosophy, Jackson responded with a discussion of her “judicial methodology.” Indeed, on the second day of questioning, Jackson told Sen. Grassley that “I do have a philosophy. My philosophy is my methodology.” It is akin to asking someone about their preferred clothing style and having them respond, “First, I put on my socks, then my pants, then my shirt, then my jacket … and then I am fully dressed.”

Given that evasion, it was not surprising that Coons felt compelled to say judicial philosophy was really not that important and the key all along was methodology. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) agreed. After labeling Barrett an unacceptable “originalist,” she now dismisses originalism and judicial philosophy questions for Jackson (around the 8:48 mark) because “I do not find labels particularly useful.” In reality, it did not seem like any substantive answers were “particularly useful.” I have complained about that lack of substance in prior hearings where nominees discussed favorite movies and baseball but not long-held principles of constitutional interpretation. The Ginsburg Rule — enabling nominees to refuse to answer questions about their positions on particular rights — has reduced confirmation hearings to the nutritional value of a Slurpee.

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“They were unsure whether saying “get vaccinated to protect others” would increase willingness to vaccinate.”

Anger Towards the Unvaccinated was Intentional Psychological Manipulation (NE)

As the first wave of the pandemic died down in 2020, the narrative was already being pushed that vaccines were the only way out. However, even before it was clear that the vaccines would predominantly be mRNA based, many were rightly hesitant to receive a novel vaccine that had been produced at warp speed. With The Science™ so convinced that their solution was the only solution, something had to be done to increase uptake. Even though there were many opposing opinions (that were ignored), it was thought that without high rates of vaccine uptake, the pandemic would likely be prolonged. Something had to be done about vaccine hesitancy, so along came Yale University with a study which began in July 2020.

The study, which was not published online until October 2021 (once everyone was vaccinated) was to test “how persuasive messaging affects COVID-19 vaccine uptake intentions”. Recent studies had shown that explaining vaccine herd immunity increased willingness to receive a vaccine and reduced the time people would wait to get vaccinated. However, other work found that prosocial appeals did not increase vaccination intentions and prosocial concerns were absent in densely populated areas. They were unsure whether saying “get vaccinated to protect others” would increase willingness to vaccinate. The authors of the study suggested that something else would be needed to get people to encourage others close to them to get vaccinated and to hold negative judgments of those who don’t get vaccinated.

“Viewing vaccination through the lens of a collective action problem suggests that in addition to increasing individuals’ intentions to receive a vaccine, effective public health messages would also increase people’s willingness to encourage those close to them to vaccinate and to hold negative judgments of those who do not vaccinate. By encouraging those close to them to vaccinate, people are both promoting compliance with social norms and increasing their own level of protection against the disease. Also, by judging those who do not vaccinate more negatively, they apply social pressure to others to promote cooperative behavior. This would be consistent with theories of cooperation, like indirect reciprocity or partner choice, that rely on free riders being punished or ostracized for their past actions to encourage prosocial outcomes. Thus, effective messaging could have outsized effects on promoting vaccination if it both causes people to vaccinate themselves and to encourage those around them to do so.”

Promotion of fear

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Kolakusic is fast becomig everyone’s favorite European.

“Dictatorship Of The Worst Kind” – Trudeau Lambasted In EU Parliament (TNC)

Croatian Member of European (MEP) Parliament and former judge Mislav Kolakusic called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau out to his face in Brussels on Tuesday, savaging Trudeau over “civil rights violations” against Freedom Convoy protesters. Speaking before the European Parliament, Kolakusic accused the prime minister of engaging in a “dictatorship of the worst kind” by using the Emergencies Act to crush peaceful demonstrations. Kolakusic’s speech followed Trudeau’s own address to the parliament, where the prime minister had sounded off on purported threats to democracy posed by freedom protesters. Kolakusic responded to Trudeau’s claims through a Croatian translator.

“To defend our rights and the rights of our children, which we have acquired over the centuries, many of us – including myself – are willing to risk our own freedom and our own lives,” he said. “Unfortunately, today there are those among us who trample on these fundamental values.” Kolakusic then turned to face Trudeau. “Canada, once a symbol of the modern world, has become a symbol of civil rights violations under your quasi-liberal boot in recent months,” he said. Kolakusic went on to blast Trudeau for the militarized crackdown on Ottawa protesters where one woman using a walker had been trampled by a police-mounted riot horse. He also referred to how Trudeau had used the Emergencies Act to freeze the bank accounts of convoy protesters and donors.

“We watched how you trample women with horses, how you block the bank accounts of single parents so that they can’t even pay their children’s education and medicine, that they can’t pay utilities, mortgages for their homes. To you, these may be liberal methods, for many citizens of the world, it is a dictatorship of the worst kind. Rest assured that the citizens of the world, united, can stop any regime that wants to destroy,” said Kolakusic.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1506702485225938949

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When you zoom in, you realise that these black horses are actually the shadows of Zebras

Photo by Beverly Joubert – taken above the shallow waters of the Makgadikgadi Pan, a salt pan in Botswana – NatGeo 2018 Wildlife Photo of the Year

 

 

Black Rock

 

 

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