Feb 042023
 


Henri Matisse Olive trees at Collioure 1906

 

Building A New World Order Is Now An Existential Issue For Russia (Trenin)
US-China War By 2025: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (Fomenko)
Pentagon Allows Ukraine To Fire Long-range Missiles At Will (RT)
Russia Responds To Latest US ‘Escalation’ (RT)
From Imperial Failures to Imperial Excuses (Batiushka)
UK MIlitary Could Run Out Of Ammo In Single Afternoon – Ex-commander (RT)
Serbia Names ‘Greatest’ Mistake By West (RT)
RAND Gets It, Sort Of (Helmholtz Smith)
The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t (Schryver)
Sanctions On Russian Oil Not Working – Analysts (RT)
Lose-Lose (Jim Kunstler)
Republicans to Force Nancy Pelosi to Testify About Jan 6 (TP)
Musk Wins Lawsuit Over ‘Funding Secured’ Tweet (ZH)
Thai Princess Coma Mystery – World Expert Says It’s A Covid Jab Injury (DTNZ)
Biden Announces U.S. Surrender To Chinese Balloon (BBee)

 

 

 

 

OH SH*T, HERE WE GO (MacGregor)

 

 

 

 

What Becomes of NATO After The Loss In Ukraine

 

 

 

 

Trump Ukraine

 

 

 

 

“..a defeat – if it is hypothetically possible – could provoke a destabilization of the country, accompanied by the disintegration of Russian statehood.”

Building A New World Order Is Now An Existential Issue For Russia (Trenin)

Let us begin by assessing the current situation. One effect of the conflict has already been a fundamental change in the external environment in which Russia finds itself. Its political relations with the collective West, and its allies, have become openly hostile and the armed conflict in Ukraine is a proxy war by the West against Russia. Economic relations with this part of the world have been permanently undermined and are shrinking like Mars bars. Cultural, scientific, sporting and humanitarian ties have been severely curtailed, the information war has reached maximum intensity, and the Iron Curtain in Europe has been rebuilt – this time by the West. However, Russia is not completely isolated. It maintains and develops partnerships in many areas with the world’s new centers of power, and other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

This part of the world community includes most of the world’s states, where the majority of the human population lives and where more than half of the global economy is concentrated. It can rightly be called a world majority with the clear understanding, of course, that this majority is not a bloc and that its members are not allies of Russia. They are guided primarily by national interests and are deeply integrated into the global economy and the Western-centric institutions that serve it, which significantly limits interaction with Moscow. The dramatic shift in the external cycle has led to profound changes within Russia. The old model of mainly exporting raw materials and importing technology no longer works. The political system, which was built on liberal American-French models and then adapted more or less successfully – in substance, not in form – to domestic traditions, is obviously in need of a profound overhaul.

The quasi-ideology of pragmatism and the cult of money, which dominated the country after the collapse of the USSR, proved to be flawed and harmful. In short, the end of the historical orientation towards integration with the Western world logically requires Russia to reorient itself. But what does this mean? To which “self”? Soviet, tsarist or otherwise? A prerequisite for Russia’s long-term strategy is victory in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The most important criterion for such a victory is a state that is guaranteed not to lead to a renewed war after some time. On the contrary, a defeat – if it is hypothetically possible – could provoke a destabilization of the country, accompanied by the disintegration of Russian statehood. The stakes for Russia in the current conflict are therefore existential and fundamentally higher than those of the US and its allies. This in itself is a factor working in Russia’s favor, but it certainly does not guarantee its success.

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“..It also sees the competition catching up, however, and is ready to use all means necessary, and to take massive risks, to prevent the rise of rival powers. ”

US-China War By 2025: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (Fomenko)

American Four-Star General Mike Minihan, head of the US Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) believes the US and China will go to war by 2025. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan reportedly wrote in a memo to his officers, obtained by media outlets. The message instructs AMC personnel to train and get their affairs in order so that they are “legally ready and prepared.” This prediction is the most direct and blunt yet from an American official on the prospect of a potential conflict between the US and China, besides President Joe Biden’s indications that the US would intervene on the side of Taiwan if China invaded.

Of course, Minihan is not a policymaker, and the memo is not an official statement of US military policy towards China. But the influence of the US military and by extension, the military-industrial complex, on US foreign policymaking and on the mood in Washington in general, should not be underestimated. The reality is, especially as seen in Ukraine, that the risk of a major-power conflict is arguably at the highest it has ever been since the end of World War II or the height of the Cold War. That is because the US sees itself as a rightful and permanent global hegemon. It also sees the competition catching up, however, and is ready to use all means necessary, and to take massive risks, to prevent the rise of rival powers. As such, the US and China risk falling into the so-called, “Thucydides Trap,” which is described as “an apparent tendency towards war when an emerging power threatens to displace an existing great power as a regional or international hegemon”.

The current distribution of power in the world is described as “emerging multipolarity”. Following three decades of American unipolarity, when the US ruled unchallenged, a number of emerging powers are changing the international order. Multipolarity differs from “bipolarity,” where two powers compete for hegemony, the best known example being the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. While bipolarity brings a form of stability, as the military capabilities of both powers are evenly matched and the stakes of a potential conflict are extremely high, history shows multipolarity typically brings instability as it creates an insecure, unpredictable, and competitive international environment. The world of 1914, where a theatre of competing European powers scrambled for international dominance, ultimately combusted into the First World War. As competing world powers expanded their imperialist ambitions, they sought to contain others by forming alliances and starting arms races.

Sounds familiar? It should. Today’s world has some disturbing parallels. The US – an insecure hegemon whose relative power is diminishing as other world powers emerge – is desperately seeking to degrade, undermine and contain its rivals by triggering arms races and expanding alliance systems. Already, the focus on expanding NATO has provoked the conflict in Ukraine, but worse still, the Biden administration is actively seeking to expand that model to East Asia against China, in the form of blocs such as the Quad and AUKUS.

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“..Moscow will “push back” the Ukrainian troops to a range at which they will not be a threat.”

Pentagon Allows Ukraine To Fire Long-range Missiles At Will (RT)

It is up to the government in Kiev to decide how to use the new rockets for the US-supplied HIMARS launchers, the Pentagon said on Friday, confirming that the latest batch of munitions the American taxpayers are funding will include Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB).The Boeing-manufactured munitions consist of a rocket motor mated with an airplane bomb, with an estimated range of up to 150 kilometers. While Friday’s announcement listed “additional ammunition” for the HIMARS and “precision-guided rockets,” Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder told reporters that this indeed included the GLSDB, confirming the information leaked to Reuters earlier this week. Ryder also confirmed that the US won’t stand in the way of Ukrainians using the missiles to strike deep inside Russia.

“When it comes to Ukrainian plans on operations, clearly that is their decision. They are in the lead for those,” he said on Friday. “So, I’m not going to talk about or speculate about potential future operations, but again, all along, we’ve been working with them to provide them with capabilities that will enable them to be effective on the battlefield.” The GLDSB are produced by Boeing in cooperation with Swedish Saab AB, and combine the GBU-39 small-diameter bomb with the M26 rocket motor. It was unclear how many of the munitions the Pentagon intended to send, or whether they would come from the US military stockpile or need to be freshly produced. Reuters claimed to have seen a Boeing document saying the first deliveries could be “as early as spring 2023.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg cited unnamed officials who said the timeline could be as long as nine months, depending on when the US Air Force issues the contract. Bloomberg also reported the GLSDB order would account for $200 million of the $1.75 billion in the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding, referring to contracts for weapons and ammunition not coming out of the Pentagon stockpile. Whenever the missiles actually arrive, Russia has already hinted at how it will respond. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin tasked the military with “eliminating any possibility” of Ukrainian artillery strikes on Russian territory. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Thursday that Moscow will “push back” the Ukrainian troops to a range at which they will not be a threat. “The longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved,” Lavrov said.

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“the longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved.”

Russia Responds To Latest US ‘Escalation’ (RT)

The decision to supply Ukraine with longer-range missiles marks a “deliberate escalation” by the United States, Russia’s ambassador to Washington has said, warning that Moscow would not tolerate strikes on Russian cities. In a statement on Friday evening, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov commented on the latest round of US military aid approved for Ukraine earlier in the day, which is set to include Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB) – munitions with an operational range of 93 miles (150 kilometers). “Washington sees no boundaries in seeking to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. The transfer of increasingly powerful weapons to the Kiev regime is a deliberate escalation of the conflict by the United States,” he said, adding “Any attempt to harm the Russian Federation is doomed to failure. The sooner the United States realizes this, the sooner the current conflict will end.”

Though the Pentagon did not mention the GLSDB by name in announcing the weapons transfer, Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder later confirmed that it would be included in the next round of aid, also noting that US officials would not stop Kiev from using the missiles to strike inside Russia. Fired from the US-supplied HIMARS missile launcher, the GLSDB is among the longest-range weapons authorized for Kiev to date, and could theoretically reach targets deep within Russian territory. Antonov went on to say the United States is “de facto inciting its proteges to attack Russian regions,” arguing that Moscow makes no distinction between newer territories which voted to join the Russian Federation last year and other Russian lands.

“For us there is no difference when we talk about a possible attack by Kiev criminals on the Zaporozhye or Bryansk regions, the Crimea or the Smolensk region,” he continued. Though the new weapons could take up to nine months to reach the Ukrainian battlefield, Russia has already suggested how it might react, with President Vladimir Putin ordering the military to eliminate “any possibility” of Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory earlier this week. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, said Russian forces would repel Ukrainian soldiers to a distance from which they would not pose a threat, declaring: “the longer range the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have, the further the troops will need to be moved.”

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“..Only through such a crushing defeat for Western hubris can further crazy adventures, including nuclear ones, be avoided.”

From Imperial Failures to Imperial Excuses (Batiushka)

Western support for the Ukraine, the most corrupt country in Europe, has done nothing for America’s authority. It had already been undermined by war crimes, water-boarding, economic decline, a drugs epidemic, mass shootings, a trashed health system for 40 million in poverty and military debacles from Vietnam to Afghanistan. The ‘regime changes’, assassinations, electoral frauds, black propaganda (also called PR), massacres, torture in global black sites, proxy wars and military interventions carried out by the United States since 1945 have resulted in over 20 million dead and planetary revulsion for U.S. imperialism. ‘Yanks go home’. Blood lies on the US. Did they really expect to get away with this?

The conflict in the Ukraine is effectively World War III, or if you prefer, World War I, Part III. A proxy hot war between Washington and Moscow. Yes, the military phase is local, having started between Russia and the Ukraine in 2014. But the repercussions for Russia are enormous. They mark the end of a 300-year period when Russia was enamoured with the West. Now Western deceit means that Russians have lost their illusions and naivety for ever. Now Russia will fight on until the Armed Forces of Ukraine and all those who took up arms and have been fighting Russians for almost nine years are no longer a threat to anyone. The Kiev Army will be routed and Russia will return to its roots of over 300 years ago.

However, the political and economic repercussions for the Western world, held on a tight leash by its feudal US owner, are even more enormous: the end of the rule of the dollar. True, there are those who predict a second military phase between Iran and the US colony of Israel. And a third could be between China and the US, the pretext being the Chinese Ukraine, Taiwan. But nothing is certain. After the coming Russian victory in the Ukraine, all could still be averted, for that victory will be sobering for the Western world. This indeed is the last hope, that defeat here will at last bring the Western world back to its senses and reality. Only through such a crushing defeat for Western hubris can further crazy adventures, including nuclear ones, be avoided.

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“..British armed forces “are smaller and less ready to fight than at any time in living memory.”

UK MIlitary Could Run Out Of Ammo In Single Afternoon – Ex-commander (RT)

The UK could deplete its ammunition stocks in mere hours should it be drawn into large-scale fighting, a former British general warned on Thursday. This and other issues make the UK military unfit to be regarded as a “top tier” NATO member, he said. Retired General Richard Barrons, who formerly headed the UK’s Joint Forces Command, sounded the alarm in an op-ed published by The Sun in which he said the fighting force has been “hollowed out by spending cuts.” Barrons claimed that the British armed forces “are smaller and less ready to fight than at any time in living memory.” He also warned that the UK Army is on course to slip below 76,000 troops. However, even these service members often do not receive inadequate training, Barrons noted.

British tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery pieces mostly date to the previous century, while “years of cuts to ammunition production mean that, for some types of key weapons, the army would run out in a busy afternoon,” the general said. Barrons added that the Royal Navy and Air Force are “in better shape” and boast some “outstanding modern equipment,” but cautioned that without experienced personnel, ammunition, and spare parts they might turn out to be just a “glittering shop window” without much to show for it on the actual battlefield. The former commander said the UK should focus on Europe, arguing that the “tilt to Asia can wait.” He urged London to invest in modern capabilities, including drones, missiles, and cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.

Britain should also double its reserves to 60,000 troops, he said. Regarding Russia, Barrons estimated that to be able to handle a “surprise attack,” the British Army will need to spend “£3 billion ($3.67 billion) this year, and every year for the next ten years.” British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace admitted in the House of Commons on Monday that the military has been “hollowed out and underfunded.” His comments followed a Sky News report alleging that a top US general had told Wallace that British forces are “barely tier two” in terms of fighting capabilities.

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“..the West’s “biggest” political mistake because it effectively manages to “unite the Russians like never before.”

Serbia Names ‘Greatest’ Mistake By West (RT)

The West’s recent announcement that it would be supplying Ukraine with main battle tanks marks a major miscalculation, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday. That’s as Moscow has threatened to burn any Western equipment that enters Ukraine and has vowed to retaliate “far beyond the scope of armored vehicles.” Vucic noted that the decision to supply Ukraine with tanks, especially with the “terrifying” German Leopard 2s, is the West’s “biggest” political mistake because it effectively manages to “unite the Russians like never before.” Last month, Germany and the US agreed to provide a number of heavy tanks to Kiev. Washington has promised between 30 and 50 of its M1 Abrams tanks, while Berlin pledged 14 Leopard 2A6s from the Bunderswehr’s own stocks.

An additional 51 of the same model and 88 of the older Leopard 1 model may also come from Rheinmetall as they get refurbished, Germany said. Berlin also gave the green light to countries that have expressed a desire to export their own Leopards to Ukraine. Those include Poland, Finland, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands. The UK and Canada have also said they would be sending their heavy equipment to Kiev. The decision has been heavily criticized by Russia, which has called it an “extremely dangerous” move that threatens to escalate the conflict in Ukraine. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin likened the new threat of “German Leopard tanks with crosses on their hulls” to the Soviet Union’s struggle against Hitler’s forces and warned that Moscow’s response would not be limited to weapons.

Other countries have also voiced their concerns about the West’s move. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the delivery of NATO tanks to Ukraine was a “high-risk endeavor” that would fail to help end the conflict and only “line the pockets of gun barons.” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also slammed Germany’s decision, noting that these Western countries are “drifting” towards becoming active participants in the conflict. Orban has insisted that instead of arming Kiev, the West should be pursuing “a ceasefire and peace talks” in Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly objected to Western weapon deliveries to Ukraine, arguing that non-stop arms shipments only serve to prolong the conflict and risk direct confrontation with NATO. The Kremlin has also insisted that no amount of military aid will prevent Moscow from reaching its objectives and warned that the tanks would “burn like the rest of Western weapons” supplied to Kiev.

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“morally repugnant Russian invasion”, “international community”, “illegitimate and illegal”, “aggression”, “humanitarian reasons”, “international norms.”

RAND Gets It, Sort Of (Helmholtz Smith)

A few years ago RAND put out a report Overextending and Unbalancing Russia. “This brief summarizes a report that comprehensively examines nonviolent, cost-imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue across economic, political, and military areas to stress—overextend and unbalance— Russia’s economy and armed forces and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad.” One of the things recommended was exploiting Russia’s “greatest point of external vulnerability” by “providing lethal aid to Ukraine.” (Only someone as paranoid as Putin, of course, could see any hostility in this). Well, they did it and it’s time for a new RAND report – Avoiding a Long War.

To save you the bother of reading this trivial effort, I will summarize – they start with the usual posturing – “morally repugnant Russian invasion”, “international community”, “illegitimate and illegal”, “aggression”, “humanitarian reasons”, “international norms.” Then on to how Russia is losing – “Russia’s conventional capabilities have been decimated in Ukraine”, “the weakened state of Russia’s conventional military”, “It will take years, perhaps even decades, for the Russian military and economy to recover from the damage already incurred.” But, as you wade on, you begin to suspect that the authors aren’t as triumphant after all – perhaps victory is not quite so close “given the slowing pace of Ukraine’s counteroffensives in December 2022, restoring the pre-February 2022 line of control—let alone the pre-2014 territorial status quo—will take months and perhaps years to achieve” or even so certain “Continued conflict also leaves open the possibility that Russia will reverse Ukrainian battlefield gains made in fall 2022.”

The authors spend some space explaining why a long war is not to America’s advantage. So, RAND, they followed your advice but things aren’t going very well. Time to try and get out of it. “Since avoiding a long war is the highest priority after minimizing escalation risks, the United States should take steps that make an end to the conflict over the medium term more likely.”

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“..the US armaments industry is effectively a modestly scaled high-end boutique..”

The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t (Schryver)

You see, for all its massive plunder of the public purse, the US armaments industry is effectively a modestly scaled high-end boutique. And there is simply no way this domestic US industry can expeditiously expand its production. It would literally take years – probably a full decade – for the US to expand its military production to a seriously potent industrial scale. For one, the labor pool for these industries is extremely finite and highly specialized. In the overwhelmingly financialized and service-oriented US economy, there is a shocking dearth of technical expertise of ALL kinds. It’s not simply a boomer cliché that “kids these days are innocent of almost any mechanical know-how”. If the US wants to staff new armaments factories any time soon, it will have to import the skilled labor from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

Beyond that, the permitting of new factories, with the attendant bureaucratic delays, public hearings, environmental impact studies, and various special interest road-blocking … well, everyone knows how these things work now in America. It took five years to build the Hoover Dam in the early 20th century. It would take FIFTY here in the early 21st century – if it could be built at all. Those clamoring for the US to intervene in the Ukraine war in order to “teach those filthy Russians a lesson they’ll never forget” simply have no conception of the catastrophe that would ensue were their dreams to be fulfilled. If the Pentagon consented to such an undertaking, it could probably amass no more than 250,000 combat-capable troops in the theater, and to do so would entail the evacuation of virtually every major US military base on the planet (and most of the minor ones).

It could probably assemble an additional quarter million troops from the active reserves and National Guard units in the United States. That said, it is empirically impossible that 500,000 combat troops could be satisfactorily equipped for high-intensity conflict such as would be the scenario in a war between the US and Russia in eastern Europe. And even if they could be assembled and equipped, it would be an insufficient force to face over a million Russian troops, close to a third of which are already “battle-hardened” from almost a year of high-intensity combat in Ukraine. In anticipation of the casualties attendant to great power warfare, it would become necessary for the United States to reinstitute conscription almost immediately. If a strong anti-war movement had not already been incited by its previous actions, conscription in America would almost certainly induce a widespread political upheaval, with large and aggressive public protests cropping up in all the major cities of the nation.

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“oil friendships are greasy”

Sanctions On Russian Oil Not Working – Analysts (RT)

Sanctions imposed by the West on Russian crude oil exports have so far “failed completely,” and new price caps could also prove ineffective, according to a CNBC report on Friday, citing analysts. The conclusions come as the European Union plans to ban imports of Russian refined petroleum products, including diesel and jet fuel, from February 5. The bloc had already prohibited imports of seaborne crude oil from Moscow in December. The EU, G7 countries, and Australia have also set a $60-per-barrel price cap, which blocks Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shippers of Russian oil unless the cargo is purchased at or below the set price. The price cap “was invented by bureaucrats with finance degrees. None of them really understand oil markets,” Paul Sankey, president and lead analyst at Sankey Research, told CNBC.

“It’s been a total bomb; it has failed completely,” he stressed. According to Sankey, Russian oil supplies have not been significantly interrupted and “they’ve sustained exports at high levels.” “I heard it from a great source that the Saudis have been asking around as to how come Russian oil is still flowing,” he said. “That brings the question of what will happen with the sanctions coming up on products, because it just doesn’t seem to work.” The founder of analytics firm Vanda Insights, Vandana Hari, also told the US broadcaster she was skeptical about the upcoming restrictions on Russian refined oil products, noting that “the crude price cap was pretty inconsequential.” “I think the refined product caps that they’re planning – about a $100 [per barrel] for diesel and clean products and perhaps around $45 for dirty fuels like fuel oil – are probably going to be immaterial as well,” the analyst explained.

According to Hari, Russian oil will find its way into the markets that are “still welcoming it” such as China and India. “China and India have benefited quite a big deal last year from heavily discounted Russian crude prices and the same’s going to happen to Russian refined products,” Hari predicted, adding that it could be more complicated for Moscow to find markets for such products. Paul Sankey also noted that “oil friendships are greasy” and there’s a lot of different ways to move Russian oil around the world, bypassing the price caps. Meanwhile, the EU has been struggling to agree on the price cap for Russian oil products, with some members reportedly claiming the proposed level is too generous for Moscow, and seeking a lower ceiling. The measures are expected to come into effect on February 5 after gaining the approval of all 27 EU member states.

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“..The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion..”

Lose-Lose (Jim Kunstler)

For those of you not paying attention the past thirty-odd years, Russia, incorporated as the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1991. The USSR was a bold experiment based on the peculiar and novel ill-effects of industrialism, especially gross economic inequality. Alas, the putative remedy for that, advanced by Karl Marx, was a despotic system of pretending that individual humans had no personal aspirations of their own. That business model could be reduced to the comic aphorism: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. It failed and the USSR gurgled down history’s drain. Russia reemerged from the dust, minus many of its Eurasian outlands. Remarkably little blood was shed in the process. Mr. Orlov’s book points to some very interesting set-ups that softened the landing. There was no private property in the USSR, so when it collapsed, nobody was evicted or foreclosed from where they lived.

Very few people had cars in the USSR, so the city centers were still intact and people could get around on buses, trams, and trains. The food system had been botched for decades by low-incentive collectivism, but the Russian people were used to planting gardens — even city dwellers, who had plots out-of-town — and it tided them over during the years of hardship before the country managed to reorganize. Compare that to America’s prospects. In an economic crisis, Americans will have their homes foreclosed out from under them, or will be subject to eviction from rentals. The USA has been tragically built-out on a suburban sprawl template that will be useless without cars and with little public transport. Cars, of course, are subject to repossession for non-payment of contracted loans. The American food system is based on manufactured microwavable cheese snacks, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizzas produced by giant companies.

These items can’t be grown in home gardens. Many Americans don’t know the first thing about growing their own food, or what to do with it after it’s harvested. There’s another difference between the fall of the USSR and the collapse underway in the USA. Underneath all the economic perversities of Soviet life, Russia still had a national identity and a coherent culture. The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which is actually just a hustle aimed at extracting what remains from the diminishing stock of productive activity and giving the plunder to a mob of “intersectional” complainers — e.g. the City of San Francisco’s preposterous new plan to award $5-million “reparation” payments to African-American denizens of the city, where slavery never existed.

As for culture, consider that the two biggest cultural producers in this land are the pornography and video game industries. The drug business might be a close third, but most of that action is off-the-books, so it’s hard to tell. So much for the so-called “arts.” Our political culture verges on totally degenerate, but that is too self-evident to belabor, and the generalized management failures of our polity are a big part of what’s bringing us down — most particularly the failure to hold anyone in power accountable for their blunders and turpitudes. This might change, at least a little bit, as the oppositional House of Representatives commences hearings on an array of disturbing matters. Meanwhile, be wary of claims in The New York Times and other propaganda organs that our Ukraine project is a coming up a big win, and that the racketeering operations of the Biden family are a right-wing conspiracy theory. These two pieces of the conundrum known as reality are blowing up in our country’s face. It will be hard not to notice.

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“… Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador.”

Republicans to Force Nancy Pelosi to Testify About Jan 6 (TP)

As the Biden Documents Scandal continues to build and the Chinese spy balloon over Montana dominates the headlines, some Republicans are still focused on holding Nancy Pelosi to account for the failures of security at the US Capitol on January 6th, failures to which they claim she is connected. One such Republican is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who said: “The reason there wasn’t a proper security presence on that day goes right to the speaker’s staff and the speaker’s office. As you go back and look at the communications, there’s this pattern that develops where the Sergeant of Arms is meeting with Pelosi’s staff. Many of those meetings, Republican staff wasn’t allowed to be there, but they had this pattern where everything had to run through her office, her staff, before the Sergeant of Arms could make a decision.”

Joining Rep. Jim Jordan was Rep. Troy Nehls, who said “And Nancy Pelosi. You do have questions you need to answer … Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador.” The statements from Jordan and Nehls follow a late-December of 2022 report released by Republicans that blamed Pelosi for the security failures at the Capitol on that day, faulting her for creating “political pressures” that led to lackluster security and inadequate preparations. The New York Post, reporting on that report, said: “Leadership and law enforcement failures within the U.S. Capitol left the complex vulnerable on January 6, 2021,” says the report, which is based on a trove of texts and email messages, and testimony from Capitol Police leaders and rank-and-file officers.

House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, who answered to Pelosi as one of three voting members of the Capitol Police Board, “succumbed to political pressures from the Office of Speaker Pelosi and House Democrat leadership,” was “compromised by politics and did not adequately prepare for violence at the Capitol.” Pelosi and her staff “coordinated closely” with Irving on security plans for the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6, but Republicans were deliberately left out of “important discussions related to security.” And, in an apparent attempt to hide from Republicans the fact that they were being excluded from discussions, Irving asked a senior Democratic staffer to “act surprised” when he sent “key information about plans for the Joint Session on Jan. 6, 2021, to him and his Republican counterpart.”

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“..Musk testified that the “funding secured” tweet was “absolutely truthful..”

Musk Wins Lawsuit Over ‘Funding Secured’ Tweet (ZH)

Having previously noted the absurdity of the trial, Elon Musk has defeated a shareholder lawsuit alleging that tweets claiming he had the “funding secured” to take Tesla private cost investors billions of dollars in losses. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the nine-person San Francisco-based jury said the investors who brought the class-action case failed to prove that Mr. Musk hurt them by tweeting about a possible deal. “The jury got it right,” Alex Spiro, a lawyer for Musk, said after the verdict. Musk testified that the “funding secured” tweet was “absolutely truthful,” touting what he described as an “unequivocal” commitment by Saudi Arabia even though he had nothing in writing. As Bloomberg reports, Musk gave jurors other reasons to believe him.

He said he felt compelled to reveal that he was considering taking Tesla private because earlier that day, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia was building a sizable stake in Tesla. He testified he was afraid his going-private plans might also be leaked, and that he wanted to put all Tesla investors on equal-footing by broadcasting his plans on Twitter. Musk also said that if required, he could’ve divested his ownership stake in his closely held rocket-ship company, SpaceX, to fund the transaction. This case is unusual for having gone to trial. From 1997 to 2001, less than 0.2% of federal securities class-action cases, excluding those involving mergers or acquisitions, were tried to a verdict, according to Cornerstone Research.

Musk, who had taken the stand as a witness in the case, was present in court during closing arguments. As The FT reports, the “funding secured” tweet has already proven costly for Musk. He and Tesla each paid $20mn to settle legal action from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk also had to resign as the carmaker’s chair, although he kept his position as chief executive. However, Musk has criticized the SEC in the years since, saying he felt pressured to settle and suggesting that doing so made him appear guilty. This case, he said in a deposition, was an opportunity to “clear the record.” And now he has!

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“.. Pfizer BioNTech is going to have to pay back those billions to Thailand, with which Thailand will recompensate those peoples that have lost their existence…”

Thai Princess Coma Mystery – World Expert Says It’s A Covid Jab Injury (DTNZ)

44 year old Princess Bajrakitiyabha of Thailand collapsed while out walking her dogs on 14 december last year. According to sources she had not felt well after receiving her 3rd booster. After her collapse she lost consciousness and remains in a coma. According to a report in The Independent, she is ‘on medical equipment supporting her heart, lungs and kidneys.’ Princess Bajrakitiyabha is the eldest child of current King Rama X. The law graduate is a senior diplomat in the Thai government. The Thai palace confirmed she had suffered a ‘heart issue’. But the explanation given by the authorities and a local university that it was caused by a bacterial infection has been called ‘ridiculous’ by medical expert Professor Sucharit Bhakdi.

Thai-born Bhakdi, a former professor of microbiology at the University of Mainz in Germany had a celebrated career in medical science as a world expert on the immune system and arterial disease, until mainstream narratives and ‘fact checkers’ labelled him a ‘conspiracy theorist’ for his strong opposition to the COVID ‘vaccines’. According to Bhakdi, who claims he and his contacts have been in direct contact with the Thai Royal Family over the matter, the princess’ collapse was an adverse reaction to the COVID jab. She was previously healthy with no known medical conditions. Speaking on the ‘neutralswiss‘ Rumble channel yesterday, Bhakdi said:

“This whole COVID-19 agenda is a fake… And I was able to lay out for them the proof that the COVID vaccinations were based on fraud… The EMA declared that safety pharmacological studies were never performed – never. And they were never deemed necessary. So now we have it. So, when I told the Thais this, you know guys, they jumped up. They jumped up in the room. And so they said to me ‘we will see to it that Thailand is the first country in the world that is going to declare this contract null… Which means that Pfizer BioNTech is going to have to pay back those billions to Thailand, with which Thailand will recompensate those peoples that have lost their existence…”

“‘One daughter of the present king Rama X collapsed and is in a coma… within 23 days after the third shot, 44 years old, never been seriously ill, collapsed and is now in a coma. The diagnosis that was given by the authorities and by the university is so ridiculous – she’s supposed to have a bacterial infection that will never do what she suffered from. And so we are determined, and the activists in Thailand who have been on this many many months now – great guys, also a professor from the University of Bangkok, he’s gotten in touch with the Royal Family, and we are sending information to the Royal Family to alert them to the fact that in all probability the princess is suffering as a victim of this jab, as so many people around the world have been suffering.’

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Whenever a story this crazy comes along, we suspect something’s hiding behind it.

Biden Announces U.S. Surrender To Chinese Balloon (BBee)

In a surprise statement to the world from the White House Situation Room, President Biden has announced America’s unconditional surrender to the Chinese Spy Balloon. “Listen, folks, it’s over,” said Biden as a single tear ran down his face. “We’re outgunned here. There’s no hope that we can match the awesome power of this giant balloon.” Biden’s voice was drowned out by the dozens of weeping journalists gathered outside the room. “I urge you all to hug your loved ones and embrace your children, for the end is near. God help us all,” Biden finally said before signing off for the last time. At publishing time, Americans had been urged by the administration to start learning Mandarin.

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Sika deer

 

 

Water is life

 

 

Gallop croc

 

 

Dog doc

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 182023
 


Dorothea Lange Richmond, California 1942

 

NATO Keeps On Demilitarising Itself in Ukraine (Tweedie)
Kremlin Mum On Putin’s Alleged Order To Liberate Donbass Before March (TASS)
Game-Changing Russia (Batiushka)
CNN: Ukraine Has Become a ‘Weapons Lab’ for Western Arms (Antiwar)
The West’s New Anti-Russia Sanctions Are A Total Game Changer (Timofeev)
EU Sanctions Goal Is To Crush Russian Economy – Von Der Leyen (RT)
Ursula Von Der Leyen: Russia’s Crimes Won’t Go Unpunished (Az.)
EU Leaves Back Door Open For Sanctioned Russian Oil (RT)
New Meeting With CIA Director Burns ‘Possible’ – Russian Spy Chief (RT)
Crimea’s ‘Return’ To Ukraine Is Impossible – Russian Intelligence Chief (TASS)
Destroying Monsters (Helmholtz Smith)
Kissinger Offers ‘Updated’ Ukraine Plan (RT)
Key Revelations of the ‘Twitter Files’ (ET)
Elon Musk Throws Shade on the WEF (Street)
FBI Decided Not To Monitor Biden Document Search (ZH)
Not a Coup, but a Coverup (ET)
Biden in ‘Very Big’ Mess Over Document Scandal – David Gergen (ET)
The Renewable Energy Problem That No One Talks About (ET)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Biden

 

 

Tucker tax returns

 

 


“There seem to be ever increasing suggestions that restricting people’s travel will reduce atmospheric CO2. We had an experiment on that in 2020. No flights, no work or school travel. Here’s the result of that experiment. Show me lockdown on this graph.”

 

 

Japan high temps

 

 

Kerry

 

 

 

 

“..the ultimate end of the SMO is not just to de-militarise (and de-Nazify) the Ukraine, but all of NATO too.”

NATO Keeps On Demilitarising Itself in Ukraine (Tweedie)

It has been said often over the past year, most recently by Emmanuel Todd, that the conflict in Ukraine is “existential” for Russia. Certainly, the Great Bear cannot abide a NATO ballistic missile launchpad just 300 miles from Moscow in a country run my rabidly-Russophobic Nazis — not neo-Nazi skinhead cosplayers but the literal descendants of the real deal. But others have argued that the Special Military Operation (SMO) is also a make-or-break roll of the dice for NATO and the US which dominates it. How else can we explain the latest mania for arming the regime in Kiev just as its ‘Siegfried Line’ in the Donbass starts to crumble?

How else can one explain cry-bully US National Security Spokesman John Kirby’s response to news that Russian Wagner ‘private military company’ had liberated the town of Soledar, a keystone of the Ukrainian defences? He simultaneously tried to cast doubt on the facts while claiming the town’s capture was strategically insignificant. “We don’t know how it’s gonna go, so I’m not going to predict failure or success here,” Kirby said as Wagner were mopping up stranded Ukrainian conscripts. “But even if both Bakhmut and Soledar fall to the Russians, it’s not going to have a strategic impact on the war itself, and it certainly isn’t going to stop the Ukrainians or slow them down in terms of their efforts to regain their territory.”

To the contrary, reports indicate that several Ukrainian brigades being concentrated for a southward push on Melitopol, near the narrow isthmus to the Crimea, were redeployed to Donbass in a vain attempt to hold Soledar and Bakhmut, where they suffered huge casualties. Taking Bakhmut could allow the Russian forces to ‘roll up’ the Ukrainian line to the north and south and advance on Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the last two major cities Ukraine holds in Donetsk. Moscow has repeatedly said there can be no peace while the West keeps pumping arms into Ukraine. The most obvious interpretation of those statements is that NATO is only prolonging the suffering of the Ukrainian and Donbass peoples with its cornucopia of death. But another is, as blogger Andrei Martyanov said recently, that the ultimate end of the SMO is not just to de-militarise (and de-Nazify) the Ukraine, but all of NATO too.

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Plenty speculation about new offensives, either by Russia or Ukraine/NATO.

Kremlin Mum On Putin’s Alleged Order To Liberate Donbass Before March (TASS)

Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused on Tuesday to comment on the Ukrainian intelligence service’s recent speculations that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly ordered Chief of Russia’s General Staff and Commander of the Russian group of forces in Ukraine Valery Gerasimov to liberate the territory of Donbass before March 2023. Asked at a news conference to comment on the speculations, Peskov replied: “No, I cannot [comment on it] and have zero intention of doing it.” A number of web media outlets circulated reports earlier citing Andrey Yusov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian intelligence service, as saying that Putin issued an order to liberate Donbass by March and that the Russian Armed Forces would focus on assault operations across the entire territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).


On January 11, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu made new appointments in the military command of the special military operation in Ukraine. The decision to raise the level of military command in the special military operation is related “to the broader scope of missions tackled in its course and the need to organize closer coordination among military branches and services of the armed forces and also the increased quality of all types of logistics support and efficiency in command and control of the groups of troops (forces), the Russian Defense Ministry stated earlier. On February 21, 2022, President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics DPR and LPR respectively). Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions as of the beginning of 2014.

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Britain has 227 tanks. Russia has 15,000.

Game-Changing Russia (Batiushka)

While Western Europe is prepared to pay for the last Ukrainian to die for Western Europe – Germany, France, Finland, the UK and some other countries are prepared to get rid of some more of their old armoured vehicles and even tanks, palming them off on the Neo-Nazi Kiev regime. Thus, the UK is thinking of sending 14 of its 25-year old Challenger 2 tanks. How the UK will train Ukrainians to operate them, how it will supply enough ammunition for them to fire, how they will supply the mechanics and spare parts to repair them, how – and when – they will deliver them to Poland and then get them to the Kiev front, over 1,000 kilometres further away, nobody can tell us. Meanwhile, the British Army Chief of General Staff, Sir Patrick Sanders, is complaining. ‘Giving Kiev tanks means we won’t have enough for ourselves’. After all they do cost £8 million each and there are only 227 of them in the much-underfunded British Army anyway.

Nobody has told the British Army that after one Russian missile all 14 of these obsolescent ‘wonder-weapons’ will go up in smoke before they ever get to the front. £112 million gone. No wonder Ukrainian refugees are returning to Kiev to get proper medical treatment that the grossly underfunded and strikebound British Health System cannot provide them with. Nobody has told the British Army or any EU Army that Russia is fighting a war of attrition. Given Russian air superiority, far superior artillery, drones, missiles and its 15,000 tanks, the Kiev forces, their mercenaries and all their equipment are being wiped out. Worse still, none of the Western hack-journalists, presstitutes to the core, has yet explained why ‘the victorious Kiev forces’ need ever more Western armoured vehicles and tanks.

You read it here first: It is because all the other ‘game-changing’ armoured vehicles, tanks and equipment have already been destroyed. Now at least astronomers know what a black hole looks like. It looks like the Kiev regime. Yes, black holes really are game-changing because you can get sucked into one. In the face of NATO (= US) aggression, surely there is only one choice left for Russia – to liberate all 27 Ukrainian regions (and maybe even elsewhere too). I have to confess that I was never in favour of Russia taking the far-west Galicia. ‘They can go to Poland’. I was thinking of the old Russian curse: ‘Go to hell – and take Galicia with you’. But, actually, I am now thinking that Russia should take the lot, Crimea and the four partially liberated ones nearly done, 22 to go. The fact is that as long as a single piece of the Ukraine is under Nazi control, it will be a threat to the Russian Federation.

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Do his people know he’s saying this? That they’re now lab rats?

“We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here..”

BTW: a heli just crashed near Kiev. Cause as yet unkown. 16 dead, including Ukraine Interior Minister.

CNN: Ukraine Has Become a ‘Weapons Lab’ for Western Arms (Antiwar)

Ukraine has turned into a “lab” for Western arms as the war has given the US and its allies an opportunity to see how their weapons fare in a conflict with a major military power like Russia, CNN reported on Monday. A source familiar with Western intelligence on the war told CNN that Ukraine is “absolutely a weapons lab in every sense because none of this equipment has ever actually been used in a war between two industrially developed nations.” The source described it as “real-world battle testing.” Back in July, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov offered his country as a “testing ground” for Western arms makers. “We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here,” he said.

Reznikov got his wish as the US, and its allies have significantly stepped up military aid since then, and the war has escalated as Russia began large-scale strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure in October. Russia’s success in its use of cheap kamikaze drones in the infrastructure attacks has influenced plans for Western arms makers. The British arms maker BAE Systems has announced that it’s developing a new armored vehicle with added protection to defend it from kamikaze drone attacks from above. Multiple intelligence and military officials told CNN that making cheap single-use drones has become a priority of many defense contractors.

The CNN report said that for the US military, the war has become an “incredible source of data on the utility of its own systems.” For example, the US has seen that its HIMARS rocket launch system has been effective against Russian forces, while the M777 howitzer has become less effective and less accurate over time. The war in Ukraine has also created a demand for weapons that were beginning to become obsolete, such as the Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Raytheon stopped producing Stingers for years but now has been asked by the Pentagon to ramp up production as thousands have been shipped to Ukraine.

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“..the law says that the authorities, at their own discretion, may decide to transfer the proceeds from the confiscated property in favor of a foreign state affected by a grave breach of international peace and security..”

The West’s New Anti-Russia Sanctions Are A Total Game Changer (Timofeev)

Canada is the first country to legally implement the forfeiture mechanism. The 2022 revision of the Special Economic Measures Act gives Canadian authorities the power to seize property located in the country that is owned by a foreign state, any person or entity in that state, as well as a national of that foreign state who does not ordinarily reside in Canada. Such measures may be applied if “a grave breach of international peace and security has occurred that has resulted in or is likely to result in a serious international crisis.” The final decision is made by a judge after receiving a corresponding petition from a relevant representative of the executive authorities. Following that, the law says that the authorities, at their own discretion, may decide to transfer the proceeds from the confiscated property in favor of a foreign state affected by a grave breach of international peace and security, towards the restoration of international peace and security, and to compensate victims of a grave breach of international peace and security, gross human rights violations or acts of corruption.

The Canadian assets of tycoon Roman Abramovich’s company Granite Capital Holding Ltd. will be the first to fall prey to the new law. According to a statement by the Canadian authorities, it is valued at $26 million. Roman Abramovich is already on Canada’s blocked persons list, which means that his assets are frozen and any transactions with him are prohibited. The Russian businessman’s assets will now be seized and probably transferred towards the needs of Ukraine. The value is relatively small, but it may be used to set the mechanism in motion. The next steps may be a lot grander in scale. Other countries are likely to follow Canada’s example. The U.S. talked about implementing a similar law back in April 2022, but nothing has been done at the legislative level so far.

In the EU, the procedure hasn’t been legalized either, although Article 15 of Regulation 269/2014 obliges Member States to develop rules on the seizure of assets obtained as a result of sanction regime violations. The concept of “violations” is subject to broad interpretation. For example, Article 9 of the Regulation obliges blocked Russian individuals to provide an account of their assets to EU authorities within 6 weeks. A violation of this requirement may be seen as a circumvention of the sanction regulations. What conclusions can we draw? Presently, we may note several consequences of the Canadian authorities’ initiative.

First, it’s evident that forfeiture risks do exist, and they aren’t lying dormant. The current situation is a red flag for Russian individuals and companies that haven’t yet been sanctioned but own assets in Western countries. They need to understand that their property may be seized, not just frozen. This risk will surely be considered by foreign investors and property owners in those countries that risk becoming targets of Western sanctions in the future. This includes nationals of China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other states. Although it’s unlikely to cause a mass exodus of the citizens of these countries and their assets from Canada and other Western states, the warning signal will be heard.

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But instead they’re crushing the EU economy. Europe better get rid of Ursula and her ilk, fast.

EU Sanctions Goal Is To Crush Russian Economy – Von Der Leyen (RT)

EU sanctions are aimed at plunging the Russian economy into a recession for years to come and depriving the country of crucial technologies, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in an address to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday. The European bloc has imposed nine rounds of sanctions against Russia since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, targeting many sectors of the economy, including energy, high-tech, aviation, banking, mining, automotive and other industries. “We have put in place the strongest sanctions ever, which leave the Russian economy facing a decade of regression and its industry starved of any modern and critical technologies,” von der Leyen said.


The latest restrictions came into force in December and include new export controls and restrictions on dual-use goods and technology, along with products and technology that could be used in the defense and security sectors. The measures target key chemicals, nerve agents, night-vision and radio-navigation equipment, as well as electronics and IT components. Brussels is now working on the next batch of penalties, which will reportedly target Russia’s nuclear industry and diamond trade. Other penalties which the EU is rushing to symbolically implement by February 24 include cutting more Russian banks off from the SWIFT global messaging system and banning more of the country’s media outlets. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the country’s economy is performing “much better than what not only our opponents but even we ourselves predicted” and is on course for further stabilization.

Ursula private war
https://twitter.com/i/status/1615309858789531648

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Ha ha ha: “..severe sanctions on Russia that will plunge the Russian economy into recession for decades..”

Ursula Von Der Leyen: Russia’s Crimes Won’t Go Unpunished (Az.)

Russia’s crimes will not go unpunished, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Report informs. Von der Leyen noted that when the war in Ukraine began, everyone expected that Kyiv would be taken in a matter of days, but they were able to resist. “Many doubted whether Europe’s support would be so unwavering, but today Ukraine is a candidate for EU membership. And European countries are providing more and more weapons to Ukraine. We are also imposing severe sanctions on Russia that will plunge the Russian economy into recession for decades, and its industry will be deprived of modern and critical technologies,” she added.

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Not quite fully suicidal yet…

EU Leaves Back Door Open For Sanctioned Russian Oil (RT)

India may substantially boost its exports of diesel fuel to the EU, refined from Russian oil targeted by Western sanctions, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The scheme wouldn’t breach the EU’s regulations, but it highlights the inefficiency inherent in the sanctions policy, the report notes. The EU ban on almost all imports of Russian oil products kicks in on February 5, coinciding with the implementation of a price cap on sea-borne crude shipped from the sanctioned country. The latest Ukraine-related penalties ban Western businesses from providing services, like insurance, for Russian oil cargoes unless it’s purchased at or below $60 per barrel. The ceiling is expected to be revised depending on market conditions.

Until recently, Russia was the biggest external supplier of diesel to EU countries, which have been ramping up purchases ahead of the cutoff. Due to the sanctions, the global market is projected to see a great rerouting of diesel flows as new importers of Russian crude are sending fuel back to the former buyers. Analysts expect a growing risk of higher prices in the short term. Among the new buyers of sanctioned Russian oil products will reportedly be traders in Africa, Latin America and possibly Asia. “The loss of Russian barrels is huge and replacing them will be a huge logistical challenge,” Keshav Lohiya, founder of consultant Oilytics, told Bloomberg. “But the market is pricing in less panic as markets and trade flows have proven resilient. This will be a new rerouting of diesel.”

India’s role in supplying EU member states is reportedly significant, as the South Asian nation has turned into one of the largest importers of discounted Russian crude since last year. At the beginning of 2022, Russia’s share of India’s oil imports amounted to just 0.2%. By the end of last year, it had grown to nearly one million barrels per day, reaching more than 20% of the country’s oil import basket. India, the world’s third-biggest importer of crude oil after China and the US, remained Russia’s top importer for three months in a row as of December. India, along with the US, has recently been boosting exports of diesel, the fuel pillar of the global economy, to the EU, as production levels there currently exceed domestic consumption.

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“The Americans themselves told us ten times that this channel of communication was absolutely confidential and should not be disclosed..”

New Meeting With CIA Director Burns ‘Possible’ – Russian Spy Chief (RT)

Sergey Naryshkin, who heads Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), said he is willing to have a face-to-face with his counterpart from the CIA, Director William Burns. The two previously held a meeting in Ankara in mid-November. The top Russian spy said on Tuesday that a new engagement with Burns was “possible” provided that the parties agree to it, the news agency TASS reported. Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization hosted the previous meeting on November 14 last year, which reportedly lasted for about two and a half hours. The senior officials discussed nuclear threats arising from the Ukraine conflict and ways to mitigate them, according to the American side. Then, Burns reportedly traveled to Kiev to meet Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lamented last month that the event in Türkiye became publicly known, blaming a leak in Washington. “The Americans themselves told us ten times that this channel of communication was absolutely confidential and should not be disclosed … so that it would not be tainted by some propagandistic spin,” he told journalists. “We agreed. But as soon as they landed in Ankara, [the news] got immediately leaked. I don’t know where from, whether it was the White House or the Department of State,” he added. In his interview with TASS on Tuesday, Naryshkin discussed the Ukraine crisis, and Russia’s cooperation with China and Iran.

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“..96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation..”

Crimea’s ‘Return’ To Ukraine Is Impossible – Russian Intelligence Chief (TASS)

Russian Foreign Intelligence chief Sergey Naryshkin said on Tuesday that the ‘return’ of Crimea to Ukraine is impossible. “This is impossible,” Naryshkin told TASS commenting on Kiev’s recently announced intentions to launch work on ‘returning back Crimea.’ The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russian, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities that seized power amid riots during the illegitimate coup of February 2014 in Ukraine. Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification treaties on March 18, 2014. The documents were ratified by Russia’s Federal Assembly, or bicameral parliament, on March 21. Despite the overwhelming results of the referendum, Ukraine still refuses to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

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“An America of war all the time everywhere, of tent cities and full jails, of open borders, disappeared manufacturing, opiates, misery, poverty, corruption.”

Destroying Monsters (Helmholtz Smith)

A lot of the people who comment on this blog seem to me to be patriotic Americans. And, it’s clear, if you read the comments, that many of them – probably the majority – want Russia to win the war. This is not because they like Putin or Russia particularly, and certainly not because they’re on the “Putin payroll”. Not at all. These people understand what is really at stake. These are people who know that the American war party (one of many names – deep state, borg, neocons, one percent, MICIMAC) is responsible for pushing Russia to the decision that it made last February. That it is the war party that expanded NATO despite the promises, that arms Ukraine, that encourages the fanatics driving that country, that blocks all routes to a peaceful settlement, that encourages Kiev to squander the lives of its people. But what really concerns these patriotic Americans is the damage the war party has done to their country.

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force… She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit… An America of war all the time everywhere, of tent cities and full jails, of open borders, disappeared manufacturing, opiates, misery, poverty, corruption. An America with endless money to spend abroad but none to spend at home. (The hundred billion dollars dumped into Ukraine would give a $200,000 house to every one of the estimated half million homeless in the USA!) An America failing, no longer the American they loved, served and believed in. The Twitter revelations show some of the activities of this enemy embedded in the American polity. It’s very late and many fear that it is too late. How to get this leech off America’s back? Voting can’t make much difference if both parties are manipulated. Is the voting system itself corrupted? Can the judicial system be trusted?

Special counsels who report when it’s too late to matter? The managed media? Some may still believe in these things but the people I’m talking about don’t any more. They can only see one way that the power of this internal enemy can be broken – complete and utter defeat. Defeat that cannot be ignored, cannot be explained away, defeat too big and too obvious for the obedient mass media to bury. And that is why these people want Russia to win. They don’t necessarily like Russia or Putin or dislike Ukraine – it has little to do with either. It’s because they see this as the opportunity for the humiliating defeat that will shatter the power of the internal enemy. The war party assumed that Russia was weak and sanctions would crash its economy and bring down Putin. When this didn’t happen, they doubled down on their failed bet arrogantly certain they were right because everybody they allowed to speak agreed with them. If (when) Russia scores a decisive and undeniable victory, the perpetrators of the disaster will be revealed as corrupt fools wasting your money on their worthless fantasy.

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Useless drivel, and he knows it. They all do.

Kissinger Offers ‘Updated’ Ukraine Plan (RT)

Ukraine’s neutrality is “no longer meaningful” given the circumstances, Henry Kissinger told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday. He endorsed Kiev’s eventual membership in the US-led military bloc, but continued to insist on dialogue with Russia – a stance that earned him a spot on the notorious Ukrainian “kill list.” Kissinger, now 99, was the US secretary of state (1973-1977) and national security advisor (1969-1975), playing a major role in the talks to end the Vietnam War, as well as the policy of pitting China against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. At last year’s Davos gathering, in May, he advocated an urgent end to hostilities in Ukraine, lest Russia is “driven into a permanent alliance with China.” For daring to suggest that Moscow could keep Crimea – which rejoined Russia in 2014 – he was placed on the “Peacemaker” list of Ukraine’s enemies, however.

On Tuesday, he prefaced his remarks with “admiration” for Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky and the “heroic conduct of the Ukrainian people,” before proposing essentially the same peace deal as last year. “Before this war, I was opposed to the membership of Ukraine in NATO, because I feared it would start exactly the process that we have seen,” Kissinger said. “Now that this process has reached this level, the idea of a neutral Ukraine under these conditions is no longer meaningful.” “I believe Ukrainian membership in NATO would be [an] appropriate outcome.” In Kissinger’s view, the way to prevent the conflict from escalating is to do exactly what Kiev, the US and its allies have been doing so far: demand a Russian withdrawal, while giving Ukraine military and financial aid and maintaining “sanctions and other pressures” on Moscow.

Russia should be given an “opening” to rejoin the West, “if it meets the required conditions to participate as a member in these European processes,” the elderly diplomat argued. It is important, he said, to avoid the perception that the conflict has become “against Russia itself,” which may cause Russians to re-evaluate both their historic “attraction to the culture of Europe and a fear of domination by Europe.” Kissinger also said that the US-led military alliance ought to be the guarantor of the final peace settlement “in whatever forms NATO can develop.”

While his proposal flattered the Western perception that Ukraine was winning on the battlefield with the help of NATO weapons, Kissinger chose to ignore the agency of both Kiev and Moscow. Zelensky has categorically rejected any sort of ceasefire unless Russia capitulates, while the Kremlin is on the record that any deal must concede that Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye are parts of Russia – with Crimea being off the table altogether. It was also unclear whether Moscow would accept any Western-mediated negotiations at all, after former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s admission – later echoed by French ex-president Francois Hollande – that the 2014 Minsk armistice was not arranged in good faith, but intended to “give Ukraine time” to prepare for war.

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Good overview by Petr Svab.

Key Revelations of the ‘Twitter Files’ (ET)

The journalists have only released a fraction of the documents they reviewed. They’ve also redacted the names of employees involved, aside from some high-level executives. The documents show that the FBI and other state, local, and federal agencies have been scrutinizing the political speech of Americans on a significant scale, and trying to get lawful speech suppressed or removed online. Many conservative and traditionally liberal commentators have deemed that a violation of the First Amendment. Twitter, a major hub of political speech, has been among the main targets of censorship. Many news stories have broken on Twitter in recent years, and a significant portion of the nation’s political debate takes place on the platform, as it allows an efficient way for direct and public interaction between users, from the most prominent to the least.


Twitter resisted some censorship requests, but there was little sign the company did so as a matter of principle. Rather, executives sometimes couldn’t find a policy they could use as a justification. Prior Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was under pressure from his lieutenants to expand the policies to allow more thorough censorship, the documents show. “The hypothesis underlying much of what we’ve implemented is that if exposure, e.g., misinformation directly causes harm, we should use remediations that reduce exposure, and limiting the spread/virality of content is a good way to do that (by just reducing prevalence overall),” said Yoel Roth, then Twitter’s head of trust and safety, which governs content policy, in a 2021 internal message published by Weiss. “We got Jack on board with implementing this for civic integrity in the near term, but we’re going to need to make a more robust case to get this into our repertoire of policy remediations—especially for other policy domains.”

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“The billionaire who became the most influential boss in the world explained that his decision was due to the fact that he found Davos boring. ”

Elon Musk Throws Shade on the WEF (Street)

The World Economic Forum in Davos is back to normal. The annual meeting of the world’s political and economic elites opened on January 16 in the ski resort of Davos in Switzerland. After nearly a year of war in Ukraine and in the face of the climate emergency, this year’s ambition is to find a way to “cooperate in a fragmented world” between war in Ukraine, climate change and globalization in existential crisis. “The world today is at a critical inflection point,” the World Economic Forum (WEF) said on its website. “The twin triggers of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine rattled an already brittle global system. Economic growth in the world’s largest economies is stalling, while navigating headwinds from rising food and energy prices.” This year, the meeting “is held in the most complex geopolitical and geo-economic context for decades”, underlined the president of the WEF, Borge Brende.

The Covid-19 pandemic, trade disputes between China and the United States, and the war in Ukraine have contributed in recent years to multiplying geopolitical fault lines and fueling more protectionist policies. One of the main causes of this fragmentation is a lack of cooperation, and it results in short-term and selfish policies, regretted the founder of the WEF, Klaus Schwab. To reflect and discuss all these issues, the WEF welcomes 52 heads of state and government and nearly 600 CEOs, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink. One major CEO will not be there, however. Musk had revealed in December to have received an invitation but to have declined it. “I was invited to WEF, but declined,” the billionaire said on Dec. 24. The billionaire who became the most influential boss in the world explained that his decision was due to the fact that he found Davos boring.

“My reason for declining the Davos invitation was not because I thought they were engaged in diabolical scheming, but because it sounded boring,” the serial entrepreneur explained on December 31. Musk’s refusal to take part in the Davos Forum comes at a time when this circle of political leaders, business executives, cultural trend-setters and international organization chiefs is facing increasingly violent criticism. These critics challenge the power and influence of this gathering of elites, and in particular of its founder. Musk seems to share these criticisms. This is what he has just suggested in a message posted on Twitter on January 15, the day before the opening of the Forum. If the Techno King, his title at Tesla, recognizes the need to have a space or a forum where there are exchanges and a dialogue between the private sector and the governments, he seems to think that the World Economic Forum is not the good frame or is just all perfect.

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“..the DOJ’s willingness to let Biden’s lawyers conduct unsupervised searches is obviously fraught with concern..”

You cannot have two different justice systems.

FBI Decided Not To Monitor Biden Document Search (ZH)

After President Biden’s lawyers found classified documents at an office he used at a DC think tank, His Justice Department considered, and then declined, a plan to have FBI agents monitor a search for classified documents at his residences, in order to ‘avoid complicating later stages of the investigation,’ and because Biden’s attorneys ‘had quickly turned over a first batch and were cooperating,’ the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Instead, the DOJ decided that it would be just fine for Biden’s lawyers to conduct the additional searches by themselves, and would agree to immediately notify the Justice Department if they found any other potentially classified records – after which law-enforcement authorities would take them.

The arrangement meant that FBI agents wouldn’t bear witness to things such as the volume, or contents, of whatever might turn up. This is, of course, the same FBI that participated in a plan (and fabricated evidence) in a plot to frame former President Trump as a Russian asset, and then ran cover for the Bidens during the 2020 US election – telling social media companies that Hunter Biden’s laptop, or anything like it, was likely Russian disinformation. In the week since news reports first surfaced about the documents, the incident has drawn parallels to the discovery of a much larger number of documents at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, which federal agents obtained a warrant to search in August after more than a year of negotiations between Mr. Trump’s lawyers, the National Archives and the Justice Department and after Mr. Trump’s lawyers said all documents had been returned. -WSJ

After the initial finding at the Penn-Biden Center in early November (and not disclosed until last week), classified materials were discovered on three separate occasions in Biden’s Wilmington house in December and January, in the garage and a room adjacent to it, White House lawyer Richard Sauber said last week. According to Sauber, the documents were “inadvertently placed” at the locations. Trump supporters have accused the DOJ of a double standard in the handling of the Biden situation vs. Trump’s. And of course, as President, Trump’s ability to declassify the documents obtained in the raid remains a constitutional grey area. Biden’s supporters have pointed to the president’s cooperation, however the DOJ’s willingness to let Biden’s lawyers conduct unsupervised searches is obviously fraught with concern. According to the White House, it’s no big deal.

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“..Robert Hur is a protégé of Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general under Trump who reportedly offered to wear a wire to spy on the previous president.”

Not a Coup, but a Coverup (ET)

The Nov. 14, 2022, article was evidence that the Biden circle was walking back its scorched-earth campaign against Trump on classified papers. Nearly three months later, it’s clear why—to reframe the context for when news of Biden’s own problems with classified documents went public. When the story broke last week in administration-friendly media outlets, Democratic lawmakers not only rallied around the president but also compared his response favorably to Trump’s. Unlike Trump’s team that argued with the institution tasked to keep U.S. records, Biden’s lawyers, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) intimated, “appear to have taken immediate and proper action to notify the National Archives.”

Dozens of media publications, from The New York Times to Vox, have published explainers showing why what Trump did is much worse than what Biden did. Trump had more documents, the argument runs; Biden’s lawyers were more forthright; and so forth. The fact is that no one on the Democratic side has broken with the president or even so much as hinted that he did something wrong. This isn’t what an internal coup looks like. The special counsel appointed to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents identifies as a Republican but he appears to be a Never Trump Republican. Robert Hur is a protégé of Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general under Trump who reportedly offered to wear a wire to spy on the previous president.

Rosenstein furthered the anti-Trump cause by withholding documents from the investigation led by former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) into alleged FBI crimes and abuses committed during the bureau’s Trump–Russia probe. He also allegedly threatened to subpoena Nunes’s staffers, including Kash Patel. A winter 2018 chain of emails between Department of Justice officials shows that Hur was part of the law enforcement team tasked to stonewall Nunes’s investigation. Former congressional investigators say that Hur’s appointment as special counsel is intended not to uncover potential crimes committed by the president but rather to give the appearance of a genuine investigation and thereby bury the issue once and for all. And thus, actions taken by the Biden administration and the responses of Democratic officials and the media show that what’s unfolding at present isn’t a coup, but a coverup.

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“There’s a temptation in every one of these kinds of crises to hunker down..”

Biden in ‘Very Big’ Mess Over Document Scandal – David Gergen (ET)

The brewing scandal of classified documents poses a very serious problem for President Joe Biden, warned David Gergen, a White House adviser-turned-political analyst. Speaking on CNN on Saturday, Gregen was asked by host Anderson Cooper how big a mess the Biden administration is in following the discoveries of classified documents at Biden’s private offices. He responded, “It’s a very, very big deal.” News broke earlier this week that classified material dating from Biden’s vice presidency had been found in the Washington office of the Penn Biden Center, a think tank affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, in the days leading up to the 2022 midterm elections. The White House later admitted that more pages of classified documents were discovered in the president’s Delaware home.

The “Biden people” are not dealing with this political crisis properly, according to Gergen, a former adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. “I do think that they may be making a big mistake,” he said. “I don’t think sitting there, hunkering down now, just acting like it’s not out there, is a good strategy. They’re going to get creamed doing that,” Gergen told Cooper, noting that the longer the White House remains reluctant to tell the truth, the more eager the American public will become to ask the question, “What are they hiding?” “As matters now stand, that long delay in putting it out there is going to encourage people to believe, ‘Well, what are they hiding?’” he said.

Instead of giving in to the temptation to hunker down, Biden should simply “get the facts out,” Gergen argued, pointing to the Iran-Contra affair that occurred during Reagan’s second term. When it was exposed that the CIA had secretly sold missiles and other military weapons to Iran in exchange for some Americans held hostage by Iran-backed terrorists and used the money to fund anti-communist Contra fighters in Nicaragua, the Reagan administration’s popularity took a dip, largely because of the White House’s unsuccessful damage control attempts. “There’s a temptation in every one of these kinds of crises to hunker down,” he said. “You are going all the way back to Iran-Contra and other kind of crises like that. You’ve just got to get the facts out.”

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Trojan Horse redux.

The Renewable Energy Problem That No One Talks About (ET)

Traditional generators use turbines—steam turbines, open-cycle turbines, and water turbines (hydroelectricity). This equipment is called “synchronous” because the frequency of the electricity they produce is directly linked to the speed that the shafts of the turbines rotate. Because these machines are large and heavy, it takes time and energy to speed them up or slow them down, which means that the frequency of the electricity cannot change too quickly. This is called “inertia.” As you may imagine, solar panels, having no moving parts, do not provide inertia. They match whatever frequency is already in the system; they do not help stabilise it.

Wind turbines, though they do have large spinning components, change speed all the time merely due to wind conditions. Hence they are not designed to synchronise with the AC network. So they do not provide inertia either. If a system does not have inertia, then instead of gently responding to a change in load, the frequency can flail about like a cyclist getting speed wobbles (any engine can have the same problem if it doesn’t have a sufficiently heavy flywheel). After the 2016 blackout, energy security gained its rightful place as the highest priority for a few glorious and brief weeks. A package of actions was taken by the South Australian government over the next couple of years, including the installation of a large-scale battery (following a promise by Elon Musk to construct it within 100 days or provide it for free), the building of a new diesel power station, and providing incentives for new natural gas exploration and production.

Additionally, two synchronous condensers were installed. Synchronous condensers are large, heavy rotating shafts, similar to what is contained in a turbine, but they don’t produce electricity—they just help to stabilise the frequency of the network. In the subsequent years, each of these responses was vindicated. The diesel generator has been used at several critical times. It was also found that the primary value of the large-scale battery was to stabilise the network. Though it stores comparatively little energy, the battery responds rapidly to faults originating anywhere in the east coast network, even in Queensland. It has since been programmed to provide “virtual inertia.”

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Ducklings

 

 

The perfect geometry of Hoya flowers. five-pointed double-star shapes that bloom from a sphere called an umbel

 

 


The Indian flower mantis

 

 

YOU’RE A WONDERFUL ONE

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 052023
 
 January 5, 2023  Posted by at 9:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Takeuchi Seiho Bear in snow 1940

 

US Climbs Escalation Ladder in Ukraine (Bhadrakumar)
U.S. Forces in Europe Prepare for War With Russia (Celente)
The Russia-Ukraine Conflict Is Existential For Both Sides (Lukyanov)
Effect Of EU Sanctions On Moscow Is ‘Less Than Zero’ – Verhofstadt (RT)
Russian Drones Far Cheaper Than Ukrainian Air Defenses – NYT (RT)
US Makes Europeans Suffer – De Gaulle’s Grandson (RT)
China Setting New World Energy Order – Zoltan Pozsar (RT)
US Spies Used False Russiagate Claims To Bring Twitter To Heel (Livshitz)
Schiff Asked Twitter to Censor Paul Sperry Over Impeachment Whistleblower (BB)
Capsule Summaries of all Twitter Files Threads (Taibbi)
Breathing Trouble (Bardi/Walach)
Swedes Adamant In Face Of Türkiye’s NATO Demands (RT)
A History of Dissent (Lauria)
Post-vaccine Treatment Protocol (FLCCC)

 

 

There is so much talk about McCarthy and the House Speaker contest, you’d almost think they’re trying to hide something behind it. I’ll leave that alone for now.

 

 

 

 

Bhakdi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1610685980671094784

 

 

 

 

VDB
https://twitter.com/i/status/1610443745014710278

 

 

 

 

Cause unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..although Russian intelligence would have a fair idea of the location of NATO officers conducting the Ukrainian operations, they have not been so far targeted.”

US Climbs Escalation Ladder in Ukraine (Bhadrakumar)

In all probability, the message conveyed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from his American counterpart Antony Blinken via Israel’s new foreign minister Eli Cohen concerned the Ukrainian missile attack on Makeyevka (Donetsk) on New Year Day at 12.02 am killing 89 Russian conscripts. Kiev claimed that up to 400 Russian soldiers might have been killed. Russian MOD has made a rare acknowledgment of scores of deaths — latest figure is 83. Moscow rarely releases figures for casualties in the war. The Russian statements stressed that US-made Himars missiles were used in the attack. The site was a “a temporary deployment facility” (a vocational school temporarily used as barracks for scores of recently mobilised troops sent by Moscow.

The incident sparked renewed public criticism over the state of Russia’s military and the decision to use civilian infrastructure to house soldiers. The First Deputy Head of the Main Military-Political Department of the Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Sergey Sevryukov told reporters: “It has already become obvious at present that the main cause of the occurrence was activation and large-scale use, contrary to the ban, of personal phones by personnel within the reach of enemy’s destruction means. This factor enabled the enemy to take the bearing and determine coordinates of servicemen location to deliver a missile strike. Required measures are being taken at present to exclude such tragic incidents in the future.” Apparently, blame game has begun — that the “main cause” of the tragedy was the unruly behaviour of soldiers who used mobile phones on the warfront. But there is going to be consequences.

Public pressure may increase demanding maximum use of force to end the war quickly. There is always the danger of escalation if certain unwritten, unspoken red lines in the conduct of the war are crossed. It is entirely conceivable that there could be Cold-War style “strategic deconfliction” parameters worked out between the general staff in Moscow and the Pentagon aimed at avoiding miscalculation or any set of actions (by either side) that could lead to unnecessary conflict. The US and Russian forces have been operating in Syria for years and a communications line, used daily, has helped the two sides avoid direct conflict.

Now, the New Year attack comes as the Biden administration is trying to provide billions in weaponry to Ukraine while also claiming that avoiding a direct clash with Russia has been a top US priority. At any rate, although Russian intelligence would have a fair idea of the location of NATO officers conducting the Ukrainian operations, they have not been so far targeted. That is why, the Russian MOD’s decision on Monday to highlight that US-supplied Himars missiles have killed scores of Russian soldiers on Sunday night would have caused some uneasiness in Washington. The big question is whether Moscow will also now go up the escalation ladder and directly target American military personnel deployed in Ukraine.

Of course, any killing of American military personnel in Ukraine will make very damaging headlines in the US news cycle for the Biden Administration. So far, there has not been a single instance of a body bag arriving from Ukraine. The Russian generals probably ensured that.

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The US will let other countries’ troops do the combat.

U.S. Forces in Europe Prepare for War With Russia (Celente)

U.S. troops stationed in Eastern Europe are preparing for all-out war and have been performing war simulations against Russian forces, according to a new report. The U.S.’s 101st Airborne Division deployed to Romania for the first time in 80 years. The “Screaming Eagles” as a light infantry force that is trained to take to any battlefield and fight within hours. The U.S. Army said in a statement in June that the division arrived at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase to “reinforce NATO’s eastern flank and engage in multinational exercises with partners across the European continent in order to reassure allies and deter further Russian aggression.” “Being here, so close to that fight (in Ukraine), is exactly where the 101st Airborne Division is destined to be,” said Maj. Gen. JP McGee, 101st commander, during the livestreamed ceremony, Stars & Stripes reported at the time.

U.S. infantry arrived at a military base in Estonia last month to train allied troops and secure Europe’s eastern flank amid the Ukraine War. The troops are stationed at the Taara base in Võru and will train alongside Estonia forces. The base is about 20 miles from the Russian border. The troops in Romania have been training Ukrainian forces on advanced weapons systems that are being shipped into Kyiv, The New York Times reported. “You get a chance to train and operate on the very ground that you might have to defend,” McGee told the paper. AntiWar.org noted: “The Times report stressed that the 101st Airborne deployment was about deterrence. If the US were preparing to enter the war directly, it would likely send significantly more troops. While in Romania, the soldiers are also participating in coastal defense drills, and Romanian troops are practicing firing HIMARS rocket launch systems into the Black Sea.”

The Pentagon has said it is sending U.S. troops into Ukraine, under the guise that they are going there not to fight, but instead just to track the billions of dollars of weapons the West sent into the country. NBC News, citing three senior U.S. officials, reported last month that there is discussion in the White House about sending additional troops into the country to help the U.S. track weapons. The report said there are already U.S. troops in the country, again, under the guise that all they are doing is monitoring weapons. The New York Times reported in June that Ukraine is filled with CIA officers and special forces from the West. The report said the CIA personnel have been working out of Kyiv. We reported in October that there are currently more U.S. special forces and CIA agents in Ukraine today than there were at the beginning of the war.

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“No mere recital from the actor, but earnest loss he must reveal..”

The Russia-Ukraine Conflict Is Existential For Both Sides (Lukyanov)

The year 2022 turned everything inside out. With the benefit of hindsight – having overcome the shock everyone experienced in February, when Russian troops entered Ukraine – it’s not that difficult to explain how it came about. And even how it could not have been otherwise. Also, after a full ten months, it is pretty clear why the campaign did not go as planned. The latter is probably even a positive thing. The façade crumbled, exposing the frame. It was not quite as imagined. Some structures thought to be load-bearing had surprisingly sagged. Others, suspected of being unreliable, stood up stronger than had been thought. There are fewer illusions, though the information machine works to maintain them. But this is basically by inertia. The need for a radical renewal of the architecture is obvious.

The Ukrainian landmine was laid when the Soviet Union collapsed. The grim realists knew from the outset that the separation of what had long been a single space – where it was almost impossible to draw a natural boundary – would not be possible. In Russia, as at the bottom of a peat bog, disagreement with the loss of territories of defining cultural and historical significance was smoldering. In Ukraine, radical nationalists lamented that independence came ‘cost-free’ and believed that nations are born in wars. The extremes have now converged. Russia took up the Ukrainian issue when it became central to the world order. Although it may have been the other way round – it became so important because Russia tried to solve it. The tipping point was probably former President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision on whether to tilt West (to the EU) or East (towards the EEU), back in 2013.

The two divergent positions are now firmly entwined. And our country faces fierce resistance, because of the desire of the neighboring state to defend its identity, and the readiness of Western grandees to sacrifice this very nation to put Moscow in its place. However, Russia voluntarily submitted itself to this stress test, and its future depends on the outcome. At this juncture, it is no longer possible to reverse course. Furthermore, the uncertainty of the objectives of the ‘special military operation’ reflects the overarching nature of the challenge. The goals won’t be fully understood until the end, because they won’t be apparent until that comes to pass. The peculiarity of the modern world is that there is no such thing as an outright victory. This is the main paradox here – war has returned as a form of state relations, but it does not involve a clear outcome in the classical sense.

This dramatically complicates the nature of competition and makes it inherently non-linear. And its result is thus ‘hybrid’, with the decisive factor the endurance and resilience of states under the volley of different blows that abound in the unpredictable international environment. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has become a clash for self-determination for Russia as much as for Ukraine. In the literal sense: as in who we are. While Ukraine’s self-determination is similar to examples from the history of nation-state building, in Russia the situation is far more complex. Many of the concepts from the past will not pass the test of this collision. Outright archaic positions are unsustainable in today’s global conditions, even if it seems that the world has turned backwards. But postmodern imitation will no longer work either. It’s too real and tragic. “No mere recital from the actor, but earnest loss he must reveal,” to quote the writer Boris Pasternak, in his poem ‘I Should Have Known that this Would Happen’.

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“We are rewarding Russia for its war against us!”

Russia has no war vs the EU. You’re just making that up.

Effect Of EU Sanctions On Moscow Is ‘Less Than Zero’ – Verhofstadt (RT)

The EU’s sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine conflict have been a complete failure, Belgian member of the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt said on Monday. He added that the EU was only “rewarding” Russia by increasing imports from the country. Writing on Twitter, Verhofstadt, who served as Belgian prime minister from 1999 to 2008 and has been an MEP since 2009, claimed that the effect of the EU’s nine packages of sanctions on Moscow “is less than 0.” The former PM said that in the bloc’s attempts to punish Russia, it has achieved the opposite result. “We are rewarding Russia for its war against us!” Verhofstadt also posted a chart titled ‘Still Filling Putin’s Coffers’, showing Russia-EU trade from February to August 2022. The graphic, which cites Eurostat data, shows that most EU member states, including Germany, France, Italy, and Poland, significantly increased imports from Russia. In total, only seven EU members were buying less from the country.


Following the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the EU imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow, targeting entire sectors of the economy. In December, the bloc, along with the G7 countries and Australia, introduced a price cap on Russian seaborne oil, setting it at $60 per barrel. In response, last week, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning the supply of oil and petroleum products from Russia to countries which apply these restrictions. The sanctions on Russia have exacerbated the bloc’s energy crisis, causing fuel prices and the cost of living to soar. This has prompted protests against the sanctions policy in several EU countries. In December, a demonstration organized by the right-wing Patriots party took place in Paris against the government’s stance on Russia and France’s membership in NATO. In his New Year’s address, Putin said that the West’s “full-blown sanctions war” against Moscow has largely failed to undermine the economy.

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“..using a missile against a UAV costs up to seven times more than the drone itself..”

Russian Drones Far Cheaper Than Ukrainian Air Defenses – NYT (RT)

The fact that the smaller kamikaze drones used by Russia are much cheaper than the Ukrainian air defense missiles used against them is creating problems for Kiev and its Western backers, the New York Times has acknowledged. In an article on Tuesday, the paper didn’t question Kiev’s claims that most of the UAVs launched by Russia are being shot down, but pointed out that even in this case Ukrainian air defense stocks were being exhausted. “How long can Ukraine sustain its effort when many of its defensive measures cost far more than the drones do?” the NYT wondered. In addition to trying to destroy the incoming drones with anti-aircraft guns and small-arms fire, Kiev’s forces have “also relied heavily on missiles fired from warplanes and the ground,” which are very expensive, it wrote.

The paper cited the head of the Ukrainian consultancy Molfar, Artem Starosiek, who claimed that using a missile against a UAV costs up to seven times more than the drone itself. The drones that Russia uses are priced at around $20,000 per unit, while a surface-to-air missile from Ukraine’s arsenal ranges from $140,000 for a Soviet-era S-300 to $500,000 for a US-supplied NASAM system, he said. The article claims that the drones used by Russia in Ukraine are Shahed-136s, supplied by Iran. This claim has been denied by both Moscow and Tehran on many occasions. The Russian Defense Ministry insists that its Geran-2 drones are domestically made, just like all the other hardware used in the military operation against Kiev. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has only confirmed sending a small batch of drones to Russia before the outbreak of the conflict with Ukraine, stressing that no new deliveries have been made since then.

Starosiek nevertheless defended Kiev’s strategy, arguing that it still “costs far less to shoot down a drone than to repair a damaged or destroyed power station.” However, the NYT warned that the price difference between drones and air defenses was “an imbalance that could over time favor Russia, costing Ukraine and its allies dearly, some analysts say.” According to estimations by Molfar, Russia has targeted Ukrainian military infrastructure and energy systems with some 600 UAVs since September, when they began to be used more widely. Russia drastically ramped up its strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure in early October in response to repeated Ukrainian sabotage on Russian soil, including the bombing of the Crimean Bridge, which Moscow blamed on Kiev. Although the attack was widely cheered by top Ukrainian officials, Kiev has denied any involvement.

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“I revolt and protest this intellectual dishonesty in the Ukraine crisis because the triggers of the war are the Americans and NATO..”

US Makes Europeans Suffer – De Gaulle’s Grandson (RT)

The US is making Europeans suffer by fueling the Ukraine conflict and waging a pre-planned economic war against Russia, Pierre de Gaulle, the grandson of former French President Charles de Gaulle, has said. After leading the French resistance against the Nazi occupation during World War II, Charles de Gaulle founded the modern French political system and served as president from 1959 to 1969. His grandson, a strategy and corporate finance consultant, said he believes that the Ukraine conflict was incited by the West. “I revolt and protest this intellectual dishonesty in the Ukraine crisis because the triggers of the war are the Americans and NATO,” Pierre de Gaulle told the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association last week. “The United States, unfortunately, continues the military escalation, making not only the Ukrainian population suffer, but the European population as well.”

The scale and the number of sanctions show that all of this was organized a long time in advance. It is an economic war, from which the Americans are the beneficiaries. The Americans sell their gas to Europeans for a price four to seven times higher than they do in their own country. The Western sanctions imposed on Russian fossil fuel exports have exacerbated the financial and energy crisis in Europe, making “everyone suffer in their daily lives,” de Gaulle said. He also accused former German Chancellor Angela Merkel of “knowingly contributing” to the conflict by “authorizing the Ukrainian nationalist expansion,” which came after the 2014 pro-Western coup in Kiev. The government that came to power that year sought to “annihilate Russian culture… and the ability to speak Russian” in the largely Russophone Donbass, he said.

The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) broke away from Ukraine following the 2014 coup. The 2014-15 Minsk accords, brokered by Germany, France, and Russia, were designed to provide a peaceful reintegration of the rebellious territories into Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk peace accords as reasons for launching the military operation in Ukraine in late February. The DPR and LPR, along with two other former Ukrainian territories, joined Russia after voting overwhelmingly in favor of the move in September. Merkel, as well as former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, stated last year that Kiev had used the accords to buy time in order to rebuild its military and economy. Ukraine has adopted several laws since 2014 that restrict the use of the Russian language in the public sphere, including education and the media.

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“..Xi Jinping’s meeting with the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in December marked “the birth of the petroyuan..”

China Setting New World Energy Order – Zoltan Pozsar (RT)

The global energy order is being reshaped as deepening energy ties between China and the Middle East signifies the rise of the petroyuan, which could challenge the petrodollar, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing Credit Suisse analyst Zoltan Pozsar. According to Pozsar, China has been boosting purchases of crude and liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and some African nations using its national currency. However, President Xi Jinping’s meeting with the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in December marked “the birth of the petroyuan,” he said in a note to clients. At the summit, the Chinese leader confirmed that Beijing is ready to make energy purchases in yuan instead of the US dollar with GCC countries.

“China wants to rewrite the rules of the global energy market,” Pozsar said, adding that the move to de-dollarize the oil and gas trade is backed members of the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). According to the Credit Suisse analyst, the steps towards ditching the greenback in the energy trade have intensified in the wake of the sweeping sanctions imposed by Western nations on Russia, one of the world’s major energy producers and exporters, in response to the military operation in Ukraine. Pozsar added that dollar foreign exchange reserves were militarized in the sanctions war, making the use of the currency unsafe for major exporters and importers of oil, gas, and other commodities.

Cooperation between China and the GCC may potentially involve joint exploration and production in places such as the South China Sea, as well as investment in refineries, chemicals, and plastics. Pozsar said that implementing all of these projects in the yuan would mark a massive shift in the global energy trade. He added that even if it does not replace the dollar as a reserve currency, trading in the petroyuan will nevertheless come with significant economic and financial implications for policymakers and investors.

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“Twitter was flooded with demands from so many officials, departments and agencies, they were confused and overworked. If action wasn’t taken promptly, followup emails quickly appeared, asking if action had yet been taken, and if not, why..”

US Spies Used False Russiagate Claims To Bring Twitter To Heel (Livshitz)

In a pair of blockbuster #TwitterFiles threads, this week, journalist Matt Taibbi has blown open, even wider, the media giant’s concerning collusion with the US national security state. The former Rolling Stone writer exposed how political pressure from the US Democratic Party very effectively forced the company to endorse the lie that its platform was extensively weaponized by Russia, with hugely significant consequences. The first, boldly titled ‘How Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In’, documents how in August 2017, despite dubious allegations that Russian bots and trolls were responsible for the election of Donald Trump in the mainstream media reaching fever pitch, Twitter’s hierarchy knew its platform wasn’t riddled with malign Kremlin-directed actors. [..]

After years of bending over backwards to placate the Democratic establishment, Twitter attempted to push back. Over a series of internal emails, various executives spelled out deep concerns about allowing the Center any influence over the platform, and initially rejected an FBI request for the organization to be included in the moderation club’s regular ‘industry call’. It was felt the Center’s involvement would pose “major risks … especially as the election heats up.” Eventually, the FBI offered a compromise – the CIA, NSA, and Global Engagement Center would be able to simply listen to the industry calls, but wouldn’t be active participants. Twitter relented, a decision its higher-ups seem to have quickly come to regret. Before long, the social network was being bombarded with requests to censor content and ban users from every US government body under the sun.

This extended to US government officials asking for users to be banned because they didn’t personally like an individual in question. Notorious House Intelligence Committee chief Adam Schiff, a Democrat, once asked Twitter to ban journalist Paul Sperry, due to his critical reporting on the Committee’s work. After initially refusing, Sperry was later suspended. Almost every other request was granted immediately, even those from the Global Engagement Center. This included demands to ban independent media outlets falsely claimed to be “GRU-controlled” and linked “to the Russian government.” In one email, a former CIA staffer remarked that Twitter would soon be unable to deny a single request. “Our window on that is closing,” they said.

In the weeks before the 2020 Presidential election, Twitter was flooded with demands from so many officials, departments and agencies, they were confused and overworked. If action wasn’t taken promptly, followup emails quickly appeared, asking if action had yet been taken, and if not, why, and when it would be. In one request, an FBI official even apologized “in advance for your workload.” Once, a no doubt exhausted senior attorney at the social network complained internally, “my inbox is really f***ed up at this point.” Previous #TwitterFiles threads exposed how the FBI paid the social network $3 million to process its requests. Based on the most recent disclosures, it’s clear the company and its staff were significantly underpaid for their efforts. Future releases promise yet further bombshell revelations, but the long-hidden truths divulged so far should prompt every Twitter user to reflect how the site for many years in secret operated as an effective wing of the US intelligence – and may well still do so.

Tucker Russia

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He should disappear.

Schiff Asked Twitter to Censor Paul Sperry Over Impeachment Whistleblower (BB)

House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) pressured Twitter to censor the account of Paul Sperry, an investigative journalist who first published the name of the so-called impeachment “whistleblower.” In September 2019, Schiff announced that his committee had reached an agreement with the “whistleblower,” who allegedly filed a complaint about President Donald Trump’s July 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to testify in his inquiry, which became the impeachment investigation. But Schiff never produced the whistleblower and later claimed, falsely, that the whistleblower had a “right” to anonymity. Schiff also lied about his contact with the “whistleblower,” first claiming that his committee had never spoken to the whistleblower, then admitting — after a New York Times report to the contrary — that they had done so.

Later, Sperry published an article at RealClearInvestigations identifying the “whistleblower” as a CIA analyst named Eric Ciaramella, who had worked at the Trump White House before returning to the CIA. Sperry also published other articles identifying links between Schiff’s committee and aides who had worked at the Trump White House and who had been “holdovers” from the Obama administration. The media and the tech industry suppressed the name of the whistleblower, and Schiff refused to allow Republicans to ask questions about the whistleblower during the impeachment investigation. Even Chief Justice John Roberts played along, censoring a question from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) during the Senate impeachment trial about the whistleblower.

On Tuesday, in the latest installment of the “Twitter files,” investigative journalist Matt Taibbi produced email evidence showing that Schiff’s office had asked Twitter, in writing, to censor Sperry after the November 2020 election, claiming (without evidence) that Sperry had spread “QAnon conspiracies” on the platform. Sperry told the New York Post Tuesday that Schiff’s claims were false and that he had never promoted QAnon: In an email Tuesday, Sperry told The Post, “I have never promoted any ‘QAnon conspiracies.’ Ever. Not on Twitter. Not anywhere.” “Schiff was just angry I outed his impeachment whistleblower and tried to get me banned,” he said. “I challenge Schiff to produce evidence to back up his defamatory remarks to Twitter.” Sperry also said, “This is a scurrilous smear, but par for the course for the unscrupulous Chairman Schiff.”

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Library.

Capsule Summaries of all Twitter Files Threads (Taibbi)

It’s January 4th, 2023, which means Twitter Files stories have been coming out for over a month. Because these are weedsy tales, and may be hard to follow if you haven’t from the beginning, I’ve written up capsule summaries of each of the threads by all of the Twitter Files reporters, and added links to the threads and accounts of each. At the end, in response to some readers (especially foreign ones) who’ve found some of the alphabet-soup government agency names confusing, I’ve included a brief glossary of terms to help as well.

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Masks.

Breathing Trouble (Bardi/Walach)

Just like smoking a single cigarette never killed anyone, wearing a face mask for a few hours or a few days does not cause irreversible damage either. But the immediate short-term physiological effects are detectable: A recent study led by Pritam Sukul, senior medical scientist at the University Medicine Rostock in Germany, found masks to cause hypercarbia (high concentration of CO2 in the blood), arterial oxygen decline, blood pressure fluctuations, and concomitant physiological and metabolic effects. On a time scale of weeks or months, these effects appear to be reversible. But how can we know what can happen to people who wear masks for several hours a day for several years? Will we have to wait for decades before concluding that masks are bad for people s health, as was the case with cigarettes?

Not necessarily, for we are able to assess face masks in terms of the air quality breathed by the wearers. One important parameter for air quality is CO2 concentration. Over the years, a lot of data has been accumulated in this field from miners, astronauts, submariners, and other people exposed to high concentrations of CO2 . Measurable negative effects on mental alertness already occur at CO2 concentrations over 600 parts per million (ppm), which is only slightly higher than the average concentration in open air (a little more than 400 ppm). Values higher than 1,000-2,000 ppm are not recommended for living spaces, especially for children and pregnant women. 5,000 ppm is the commonly accepted limit in working environments or in submarines and spaceships. Concentrations in the range of 10,000-20,000 ppm are not immediately life-threatening but can only be withstood for short periods.

Even higher concentrations may lead to loss of consciousness and death. So what kind of CO2 concentration are people exposed to when they wear a face mask? Measuring the concentration of CO2 inside the small volume of a face mask while it is being used poses practical problems, and there are no standardised methods and procedures to evaluate this. Nevertheless, during the past few years, several papers dealing with this subject were published. Some of these papers were criticised, but often baselessly. For instance, some fact checkers claimed that the same amount of CO2 could be found without face masks in exhaled breath. This is true, but trivial. The studies mentioned above measured the amount of CO2 in the inhaled air under face masks; the fact checkers measured the air exhaled. Other fact checkers provided a priori statements by experts, including a sports reporter.

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“..79% of respondents think their country should “stand up for Swedish laws” in the face of Türkiye’s demands..”

Swedes Adamant In Face Of Türkiye’s NATO Demands (RT)

An overwhelming majority of Swedes believe their country should not betray its legal principles to meet Türkiye’s conditions for ratifying Stockholm’s NATO bid, according to a new Ipsos poll commissioned by Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter and released on Monday. The survey found that 79% of respondents think their country should “stand up for Swedish laws” in the face of Türkiye’s demands. This red line, they said, should not be crossed even “if that delays joining NATO.” Only 10% said that “Sweden should try to join NATO as soon as possible,” even if it entails legal compromises, while 11% said they were not sure.

The poll shows only minor discrepancies in opinion between various social groups. Men are said to be more open to compromises with Ankara than women, although they also tend to insist on protecting the country’s legal principles. As for differences along political lines, those who vote for right-wing parties are more inclined to agree to a give-and-take approach. Despite the delays in joining NATO, the poll revealed that as many as 60% of Swedes still want to become part of the US-led military bloc, with only 19% opposing Stockholm’s membership bid. The survey, which was conducted between December 6 and 18, is based on 1,248 interviews with Swedish voters.

In June, NATO agreed to accept Sweden and Finland to the bloc, but their membership bid has yet to be ratified by all members of the alliance, with Hungary and Türkiye’s approval still pending. Ankara has been reluctant to finalize the accession process, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pushing Sweden and Finland to do more to combat Kurdish “terrorism,” including extraditing people that Türkiye accuses of having terrorist links. In early December, Sweden reportedly made some progress in this regard, handing over a man to Türkiye who had been convicted in his home country of being a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Two weeks later, however, Sweden’s Supreme Court blocked the extradition of Bulent Kenes, a former editor-in-chief of Zaman Daily who Ankara accused of being involved in an attempt to topple Erdogan in 2016.

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Good to remember.

A History of Dissent (Lauria)

The United States was founded by dissenters. The Declaration of Independence is one of history’s most significant dissenting documents, inspiring people seeking freedom around the world, from the French revolutionists to Ho Chi Minh, who based Vietnam’s declaration of independence from France on the American declaration. But over the centuries a corrupt centralization of American power seeking to maintain and expand its authority has at times sought to crush the very principle of dissent which was written into the United States Constitution. Freedom to dissent was first threatened by the second president. Just eight years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, press freedom had become a threat to John Adams, whose Federalist Party pushed through Congress the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts.

They criminalized criticism of the federal government. There were 25 prosecutions and 10 convictions, under the Sedition Act. The acts expired and some repealed by 1802. The Union then shut down newspapers during the U.S. Civil War. Woodrow Wilson came within one vote in the Senate of creating official government censorship in the 1917 Espionage Act. The 1918 Alien and Sedition Act that followed jailed hundreds of people for speech until it was repealed in 1921. Since the 1950s, McCarthyism has become the byword for one of the worst periods of repression of dissent in U.S. history. The closest we’ve come to Wilson’s troubling dream is the Biden administration’s Disinformation Governance Board under the Department of Homeland Security, which after heavy criticism was disbanded.

The roots of repression are in the earliest English settlers in North America, described in The Scarlet Letter and applied to McCarthyism in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Though its industrial and scientific achievements are most lauded, America’s tradition of dissent is probably the greatest thing in U.S. history and it is once again under threat.

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Protocol to get rid of vaxx.

Post-vaccine Treatment Protocol (FLCCC)

Major public health authorities do not recognize post-COVID-vaccine injuries and no official definition exists. However, a temporal correlation between receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and the beginning or worsening of a patient’s clinical manifestations is sufficient to diagnose a COVID-19 vaccine-induced injury, when symptoms are otherwise unexplained by concurrent causes. Since there are no published reports detailing how to manage vaccine-injured patients, our treatment approach is based on the postulated pathogenetic mechanism, clinical observation, and patient anecdotes. Treatment must be individualized according to each patient’s presenting symptoms and disease syndromes. Chances are, not all patients will respond equally to the same intervention; a particular intervention may be life-saving for one patient and completely ineffective for another. Early treatment is essential; the response to treatment will most likely be attenuated when treatment is delayed.

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Trump 1991

 

 

 

Musk electric planes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1610745168743006209

 

 

Tiger spoons

 

 

Sunfish

 

 

Octopus

 

 

Samoyed

 

 

 

 

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Nov 222022
 
 November 22, 2022  Posted by at 9:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Salvador Dali Nymphs in a romantic garden 1921

 

Zelenskyy Urges West To Support Ukraine’s Accession To NATO, EU (Az.)
NATO Assembly Calls On Members To Declare Russia ‘Terrorist Regime’ (RT)
Peace Talks Would Require More Weapons For Ukraine – NATO chief (RT)
Ukraine Quietly Abolished Corruption Rule (RT)
Duma Speaker Calls for ‘Nazi’ Zelensky to Face War Crime Charges (Celente)
Associated Press Fires Journalist Who Claimed Russian Missiles Hit Poland (CTH)
EU Hoarding Russian Diesel Before Ban – Reuters (RT)
UK Bypassing Its Own Sanctions On Russian Oil – Sunday Times (RT)
EU Struggles To Seize Russian Assets – Politico (RT)
Ukrainian Attacks Risk ‘Nuclear Disaster’ – Rosatom (RT)
UN Responds To Russian Nuclear Request (RT)
The Solemn Stillness Before Winter (Jim Kunstler)
The Perils Facing Trump, Garland, and Smith in DC Legal Arms Race (Turley)
New Trump Special Prosecutor Overturned By Supreme Court (JTN)
The Non-Existent European Identity (Remix)

 

 


Daily Active Users

 

 

CBS coincidence

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balenciaga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why doesn’t someone shut him down when he utters such nonsense? Vladimir Zel simply declared there’s no corruption, but the EU can’t afford to accept that kind of BS. Bringing in the most corrupt country in -at least- the western hemisphere would end the EU. And they all know Russia will never accept NATO on its doorstep. We’re just wasting time -and lives.

Zelenskyy Urges West To Support Ukraine’s Accession To NATO, EU (Az.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the Western countries in a plenary meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to support Ukraine’s applications for membership in the European Union and NATO, Report informs, citing Ukrinform. “All of you can see Ukraine’s significant contribution to the protection of our community. Everyone sees how important it is that we really united in defense after February 24. So, due to this, you also see that Ukraine should become a full member of the European Union and NATO. And I urge you to support our applications for membership in the EU and the Alliance,” Zelenskyy said in his speech at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly via video link.

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Why does NATO have a Parliamentary Assembly?

NATO Assembly Calls On Members To Declare Russia ‘Terrorist Regime’ (RT)

NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly has adopted a largely symbolic resolution calling on member nations to label Russia a “terrorist” state, claiming Moscow represents a “direct threat” to “Euro-Atlantic security” while demanding more military support to Kiev and an end to restrictions on the “forward deployment of NATO forces.” The non-binding declaration was passed by the NATO PA on Monday, with the body warning that “the Euro-Atlantic area is no longer at peace and that the global security environment has deteriorated rapidly” amid continued fighting in Eastern Europe, going on to denounce Russia’s military operation “in the strongest terms.”

The resolution made a series of requests to NATO members, asking them to “state clearly that the Russian state under the current regime is a terrorist one,” and to “increase military, intelligence, financial, training and humanitarian support to Ukraine,” including by “accelerating” arms shipments. The NATO bloc must “sustain this support for as long as it takes for Ukraine to prevail,” the resolution added, also asking that any existing restrictions on the “forward deployment” of Western forces along Russian borders be declared “null and void.” Washington alone has authorized nearly $20 billion in ‘lethal aid’ to Kiev since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, with much of that approved after Russia’s military operation kicked off in February.

NATO allies have acknowledged concerns that the arms flooding Ukraine’s chaotic battlefield have not been properly tracked, with the new resolution stressing the need to ensure the “traceability of the weapons delivered.” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky addressed lawmakers from NATO states in a video message before the latest resolution was passed, praising the alliance for its military aid and for helping his country to “defend [itself] in this war.” In addition to declaring Moscow a “terrorist” state and other symbolic measures, the Parliamentary Assembly said NATO countries should work to create an “international tribunal” to prosecute Russian officials for alleged war crimes and compel “full reparation of damage loss or injury” linked to the conflict.

The Parliamentary Assembly’s resolutions are not enforceable among NATO members and are intended to merely advise the alliance on pressing issues. The body has taken an increasingly harsh stance toward Moscow in recent months, with its newly elected president, French Senator Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, insisting on Monday that Russian leaders “must be judged as terrorists in front of international tribunals.” While Monday’s resolution was largely focused on Russia and the conflict in Ukraine, it took more than one detour to single out Beijing, urging the alliance to develop a “common allied response to the increasing assertiveness of China.” The document called for “constructive dialogue,” yet also went on to denounce Beijing’s alleged “systemic challenge to Euro-Atlantic security” and “attempts to subvert the rules-based international order.”

The NATO PA declaration came after a similar resolution was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) last month. Russia left the European NGO in March, calling it a “convenient platform for NATO’s information and political campaigns.” While Kiev has repeatedly urged the collective West to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terror,” only a handful of countries – including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic – have heeded the call, and their actions have been limited to symbolic gestures. Those with the power to enforce anti-terror sanctions against other states, namely the US, have so far refused to take that step.

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“We need to realize that this war most likely will end at some stage at the negotiating table…” But that’s not what NATO wants. Or Raytheon.

Peace Talks Would Require More Weapons For Ukraine – NATO chief (RT)

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia will likely end in negotiations, which is why Kiev needs to be supplied with more weapons, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has claimed. “We all want this war to end,”Stoltenberg said in his speech at the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid on Monday, adding that it matters to the US-led military bloc how exactly the conflict concludes. “We need to realize that this war most likely will end at some stage at the negotiating table. But we must also know that the outcome of those negotiations totally depends on strength on the battlefield,” the NATO chief argued. “So, if we want an outcome, which is acceptable for Ukraine… the best way of achieving that is to provide military support for Ukraine,” he said.

NATO members “must be prepared to support Ukraine for the long haul,”Stoltenberg said, urging lawmakers to keep advocating for more aid for Kiev in their own countries. Stoltenberg acknowledged that this assistance “comes at a price” for NATO members. “In our countries, many face cost of living crisis. Energy and food bills are rising. These are tough times for many,” he pointed out. However, the NATO chief argued that Western countries will have to pay “a much harsher price” if Russia is allowed to achieve victory in Ukraine, as it would signal to other “authoritarian regimes” that they can achieve their goals by force, which would “make the world more dangerous.”

Stoltenberg also warned that “it would be a great mistake to underestimate Russia” because Moscow “retains significant military capabilities and a high number of troops.” High-ranking Russian officials have repeatedly said that Moscow is ready to negotiate a settlement with Ukraine, while accusing Kiev of being unwilling to talk, and deliberately putting forward unrealistic conditions for dialogue. Russia has described the conflict in Ukraine as a “proxy war” being waged against it by the US and NATO. Moscow has consistently criticized weapons deliveries to Ukraine by Western countries, saying they only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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“Ukraine had previously mandated lifetime financial monitoring of “politically exposed persons,” including government officials and lawmakers – until Zelensky signed an amendment last week limiting it to just three years.”

Ukraine Quietly Abolished Corruption Rule (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky harmed Ukraine’s hopes of joining the EU by signing an amendment that reduced financial oversight of politicians, anti-corruption activists in Kiev said on Monday. The measure “practically kills” efforts to combat money-laundering, claimed the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC). Ukraine had previously mandated lifetime financial monitoring of “politically exposed persons,” including government officials and lawmakers – until Zelensky signed an amendment last week limiting it to just three years. Officially, the law is supposed to “protect Ukraine’s financial system from Russia and Belarus,” but the AntAC says it will harm the country’s interests instead.

“With this law, politicians destroyed the system of financial monitoring of their loved ones, which means they actually blocked negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU,” AntAC head Vitaly Shabunin said on social media. The amended law “practically kills the system of preventing money-laundering by Ukrainian politicians,” he added. AntAC’s executive director Daria Kaleniuk pointed out that the law also breaks Kiev’s promise to the European Union, one of the seven commitments made by Zelensky to Brussels in June. “In order for us to be able to convince our European partners that we are serious about joining the EU and are implementing all the necessary reforms for this, we need to correct this,” she told Hromadske.

After signing the law on Thursday, Zelensky told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum – via video link – that he’d basically ended corruption in Ukraine. “No one will be able to forgive corruption in the future Ukraine,” he said, adding that all the corrupt officials had fled the country while those that remain will not be tempted to “interfere in business operations” because all government services had gone electronic. The old law provided for lifelong financial monitoring of the president, prime minister, ministers and their deputies, members of parliament, management of the national bank, senior security officials, key judges and prosecutors, as well as military commanders.

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The video is very clear, but of course they deny it. The claim is that the unarmed Russians fired first, and only then were executed. But executing unarmed soldiers is still as illegal as it comes.

Duma Speaker Calls for ‘Nazi’ Zelensky to Face War Crime Charges (Celente)

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house, called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to face war crime charges over a video that claimed to show Ukrainian forces opening fire and killing a dozen Russian POWs. “Everyone has seen evidence of Ukrainian Nazis shooting our soldiers lying down, without weapons. This is how the Nazis behave,” Volodin said in a statement posted to Telegram, The Jerusalem Post reported. “The Kyiv regime deserves the most severe punishment for its atrocities.” Video purportedly shows Ukrainian troops executing a dozen captured Russian troops has faced some media scrutiny in the U.S., which would have been unheard of at the start of the war.


The New York Times reported that the video was first circulated by news outlets in Ukriane in an effort to “laud the military prowess” of the country’s military. The paper said the videos sparked a “fierce response” in Russia and Moscow has called for an investigation. The paper said the killings occurred in Makiivka, in the Luhansk region. “Countries cooperating with the Kyiv regime must understand that they support the Nazi state, sadists whose hands are up to the elbows in blood,” Volodin said. Russian President Putin’s critics say the Kremlin is loose with the Nazi designation and uses it to win support from the public against adversaries. In fact, in his 9 May Victory Day speech, Putin said that the purpose of the military action was to purge Ukraine of its “Nazi” nationalist leadership.

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Official retraction? Apologies?

Associated Press Fires Journalist Who Claimed Russian Missiles Hit Poland (CTH)

The Associated Press received a lot of international scorn for reporting incorrectly that Russia fired missiles into Poland. As soon as the AP attributed the missile attack to Russia almost immediately other media outlets began promoting calls for a NATO led war against Russia. Additionally, the G20 summit was taking place and various international leaders began discussing an article-5 convention against Russia. However, the single source of the AP report was wrong, a senior U.S. intelligence official, if there actually was a source. It was the Ukraine military who fired the missile into Poland, not Russia. The Daily Beast notes today that the Associated Press has fired James LaPorta, the journalist who made the claim of Russian origin.


(Via Daily Beast) – The Associated Press scared much of the world last Tuesday when it alerted readers that “a senior U.S. intelligence official” said “Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.” That report, which was widely cited across the internet and on cable news, was taken offline the following day and replaced with an editor’s note admitting the single source was wrong and that “subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.” On Monday, the AP fired James LaPorta, the investigative reporter responsible for that story, Confider has learned. The piece, which was originally co-bylined with John Leicester (who is still working at the AP), attributed the information to a single “senior U.S. intelligence official,” despite the AP’s rule that it “routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous.”

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“The EU will have to secure around 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day of diesel to replace the Russian volumes..”

EU Hoarding Russian Diesel Before Ban – Reuters (RT)

European traders are boosting purchases of Russian diesel ahead of the EU embargo on the country’s oil products, which comes into force in February, Reuters reported on Monday, citing cargo tracker Vortexa. According to the report, Russian diesel shipments headed to the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage region surged to 215,000 barrels per day from November 1 to November 12. It is a 126% increase from October, according to Pamela Munger, Vortexa senior market analyst. Moreover, according to Refinitiv data, so far in November Russian diesel made up 44% of the bloc’s imports of the fuel, against 39% last month. This means that Russia remains the region’s largest diesel supplier, despite the fact that overall imports of Russian fuels to the EU dropped significantly over the past months due to Ukraine-related sanctions.


The EU embargo on Russian oil comes into force next month, while the ban on petroleum products will take effect on February 5. Analysts warn it will be difficult for the region to find alternative sources for diesel once this happens, as they are scarce and more costly, while Europe’s domestic diesel production falls short of the region’s consumption. “The EU will have to secure around 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day of diesel to replace the Russian volumes; replacements will come from the US as well as east of Suez, primarily the Middle East and India,” Eugene Lindell, market analyst at energy consultancy FGE, told Reuters.

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“The UK has purchased at least 39 shipments of Russian oil since February, although the cargoes were registered as imports from other countries..”

UK Bypassing Its Own Sanctions On Russian Oil – Sunday Times (RT)

The UK has purchased at least 39 shipments of Russian oil since February, although the cargoes were registered as imports from other countries, the Sunday Times has reported, citing tanker traffic data and trade statistics. Russian-origin oil shipments, worth about £200 ($236) million, were reportedly delivered to UK ports after ship-to-ship transfers, a practice widely used when large tankers that are unable to dock due to their size transfer their cargo to smaller vessels. According to the Sunday Times’ findings, this practice gives the shipping companies a way to register their cargo without providing the actual origin of the shipments, stating instead the country of dispatch as the source of the cargo. In this way a shipment of Russian-made goods can be registered as originating in Germany if it is brought to a UK port by a German firm.

The news outlet was able to track dozens of shipments of Russian oil that have arrived at UK ports since March, logged as originating in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, France and other countries. At least 13 of those reportedly arrived in June and July. However, official figures on oil imports from the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the country did not receive any oil from Russia in those months. According to maritime experts, ship-to-ship transfers have become more popular since Western nations began targeting Russian oil exports this year, as part of sanctions over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. “Ship-to-ship transfers have become a really useful method to obfuscate the destination and the origin of the cargo.

The Iranians started it, the Venezuelans perfected it, the Russians picked it up and ran with it,” Michelle Wiese Bockmann, energy and shipping analyst at the shipping journal Lloyd’s List, told the news outlet. According to Refinitiv, which monitors ship-to-ship transfers, there have been some 267 such transfers around the world involving Russian oil since March. A UK embargo on maritime Russian oil imports is scheduled to come into force on December 5. However, according to maritime experts, given the registration loophole and ship-to-ship transfer practices, it will be difficult for the UK to actually stop Russian oil from arriving in the country, even after that date.

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“Legal experts have expressed doubt it is possible to unilaterally confiscate another country’s assets under existing international law.”

EU Struggles To Seize Russian Assets – Politico (RT)

The European Commission is investigating how it might go about confiscating hundreds of billions of dollars in Russian state and private assets, according to a document seen by Politico on Monday. The initiative’s goal is reportedly “identifying ways to strengthen the tracing, identification, freezing and management of assets as preliminary steps for potential confiscation.” The bloc has its eyes on almost $300 billion in Russian central bank assets currently frozen, plus the assets of Russians on the sanctions list. The European Council last month reminded the Commission that it had been tasked with presenting “options in line with EU and international law” for using those frozen Russian funds “to support Ukraine’s reconstruction.” Legal experts have expressed doubt it is possible to unilaterally confiscate another country’s assets under existing international law.

With an eye toward changing that law, Brussels has proposed making sanctions evasion a crime in the EU, a decision which would require unanimous assent by member countries. However, even if that agreement was forthcoming, the bloc would have to litigate each individual seizure, proving a clear link between the owner of the assets in question and Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Foreign investments are protected against confiscation without compensation under international law. In the document seen by Politico, the EC acknowledged that central bank assets were “generally considered to be covered by immunity.” While the seizing of the assets of state-owned enterprises would avoid violating such immunity “in principle,” the Commission noted that it would “need to demonstrate a sufficient connection to the Russian state” for every case.

Less invasive would be an “exit tax” targeting the assets of sanctioned individuals attempting to transfer their property out of the EU. However, University of Amsterdam professor Stephan Schill told Politico that those individuals could claim that, as a targeted group, their human right to non-discrimination had been violated, or invoke the human right to property. Under the current rules-based international order, the EC is unable to legally expropriate Russian property, according to Schill: “The EU and member states are trying to introduce new criminal law.” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged as much in May, pointing out that confiscating Russian central bank assets was “not something that is legally permissible in the United States” or many other countries. Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic states have nevertheless continued to push the EC to find a way to seize the frozen funds.

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Nobody’s talking about Russia doing the shelling anymore….

Ukrainian Attacks Risk ‘Nuclear Disaster’ – Rosatom (RT)

Renewed Ukrainian artillery attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) have created a risk of a nuclear disaster, Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachev told reporters on Monday. Moscow has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to name and shame the attacker so Kiev would stop bombing the facility. “We were in talks with the IAEA all night,” Likhachev told reporters during the Atomexpo-2022 in Sochi. After a “relatively calm” period since September, at least 30 projectiles struck the facility over the weekend, damaging the backup generators and the spent fuel storage facility, he added. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been under control of Russian troops since February 28.

While the reactor blocks are strong enough to withstand shelling, damaging the spent fuel containers risks a release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, with unpredictable consequences. The Ukrainian military has repeatedly targeted the facility with Western-supplied artillery, while claiming Russia was staging “false flag” incidents to make Kiev look bad. The Ukrainian general staff eventually admitted to striking the area around the ZNPP, however. The weekend attacks amounted to the first major incident since the IAEA established a permanent observation mission at the ZNPP in early September. On Sunday, IAEA Director-General Mariano Grossi called for an immediate end to the shelling, saying that the world “got lucky” that a “serious nuclear incident” did not happen this time. However, he once again did not name the culprit.

On Monday, both the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry called on the IAEA to do its duty to the fullest and identify those responsible for the shelling. IAEA specialists completed their inspection of the facility on Monday afternoon and sent their report to headquarters, Likhachev’s top aid Renat Karchaa told Russia’s Channel 1 TV. “They were accompanied by a highly qualified ballistics specialist we provided, and once again it was convincingly shown that the origin of these artillery strikes was Marganets,” a city in the Ukrainian-held Dnepropetrovsk region, Karchaa said. Karchaa also told reporters that Rosatom was “taking steps” to fortify the spent fuel storage facility and other parts of the ZNPP, though he did not offer any details.

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…but the IAEA still claims they can’t figure out who’s doing the shelling, i.e. it could still be the Russians.

UN Responds To Russian Nuclear Request (RT)

The UN doesn’t have the capability to identify those behind the attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP), a spokesman for the secretary-general said on Monday. Russia has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to do its job properly and acknowledge that the shelling came from the Ukrainian side. Around 30 projectiles struck the ZNPP over the weekend, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The nuclear energy corporation Rosatom said the damage caused to the facility’s spent fuel storage came close to triggering a disaster. Moscow said it was clear the fire came from the Ukrainian-held town of Marganets, but the IAEA has avoided naming any names. “We have no way to determine” who carried out the attacks, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters on Monday.

“We would like these attacks to stop,” Haq added, noting that the Secretariat “shares the concerns” of IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and “joins him in calling on all parties to cease fire” around the ZNPP. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been under Russian control since February. Damage to the spent fuel containers risks a release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, with unpredictable consequences, Rosatom has warned. Both Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday that the IAEA should fully do its duty and name names. “As an authoritative and independent international body, [the IAEA] must finally move away from abstract condemnations and demands to stop the shelling of the ZNPP without addressing the culprit, and clearly and unambiguously point at those carrying out the attacks,” Zakharova said.

“This requires determination and responsibility. We really hope that they will be shown.” Zakharova also accused Western governments of giving a “blank check” to the government in Kiev for “continuing their reckless attempts to cause irreparable damage” to the ZNPP. This weekend’s attacks were the first major incident at the ZNPP since early September, when the IAEA stationed permanent observers at the site. According to Rosatom official Renat Karchaa, the IAEA inspectors surveyed the damage on Monday, accompanied by a Russian ballistics expert, and were able to see that the attack had come from the Ukrainian side. That report was transmitted to the IAEA headquarters.

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“By early 2023 the evidence of excess all-causes deaths and disabilities resulting from Pfizer and Moderna shots will be overwhelming..”

The Solemn Stillness Before Winter (Jim Kunstler)

Now Mr. Garland has activated one particular federal attorney, Jack Smith, with a long record as a partisan attack dog, as special counsel to finally get the job done against Mr. Trump, the proverbial indictment-worthy ham sandwich awaiting a DC District grand jury. Any cockamamie charge will do as long as it’s a felony. Mr. Garland’s strategy is two-fold: 1) to negate Mr. Trump’s remaining political career; and 2) set up a situation that will permit all DOJ attorneys and FBI officers to demur from questioning before Republican majority congressional committees about everything-under-the-sun on the grounds that the questions are germane to “ongoing investigations” that can’t be compromised. That’s the game.

By the time that game kicks-off, early January 2023, the country is liable to be punch-drunk and stumbling from a financial market crash that signals the start of an economic depression more consequential than the calamity of the 1930s. Meanwhile, Russia’s cleanup of the US-instigated mess in Ukraine will be nearly complete, to the ignominy of “Joe Biden,” at the same time that the putative president’s crimes of bribery and treason — should he still be among the living — get aired in Congress without any help required from Mr. Garland’s Justice Department — the evidence from Hunter’s laptop having already been well-perused and catalogued by an army of outside independent investigators. FTX will be in that mix somewhere.

This will all occur against the background of the now-unraveled Covid-19 story. By early 2023 the evidence of excess all-causes deaths and disabilities resulting from Pfizer and Moderna shots will be overwhelming and the nation will know it got played by a scheme between the corrupt public health authorities, the pharma companies, and the corporate medical establishment, including its discredited journals. Nobody in America will ever trust a doctor again. We’ll also probably know a good deal more about the dark and dirty deeds around the 2022 midterm election as the FTX scandal spools out and the probably hundreds of millions of FTX investor’s dollars that were express-delivered into Democratic Party coffers for ballot harvesting operations are revealed, along with the exact methods used to accomplish the mega-fraud.

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“There will be ample support for both sides to fulfill their respective narratives — and no shortage of legal weapons — in this political war of attrition.”

The Perils Facing Trump, Garland, and Smith in DC Legal Arms Race (Turley)

Smith faces the unenviable task of investigating a presidential candidate less than two years before the election. Given the advanced stage of prior investigations, he could bring charges before Sept. 5, 2024 (or roughly 60 days before the election under Justice Department guidelines for election year filings). It is unlikely, however, that a charge against Trump could be tried in that time. However, Smith’s first test will be to avoid the initial mistakes of a predecessor, Mueller. Like Smith, Mueller was considered a natural choice as special counsel, given his extensive experience as a career prosecutor. However, Mueller’s investigation was undermined by his selection of a team — starting with his top aide, Andrew Weissmann, a controversial prosecutor who was accused of political bias.

The investigation was further undermined by FBI personnel, including Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was later removed from the team and fired by the Justice Department; Strzok has since filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. Smith can avoid tripping a similar explosive wire by selecting a team that is defined by its prior professional expertise, not its prior political views or associations. He also needs to be wary of creative avenues to indict Trump. Smith was part of the prosecution team that convicted former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) on federal corruption charges in 2014. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned that conviction as having stretched the law beyond its breaking point. If Smith is going to be the first prosecutor to indict a former president, he needs to do so with unimpeachable evidence of an unchallengeable crime.

Only one thing is certain in any of this: It will not end well. With both sides loading up staff and subpoenas, the start of the 2024 campaign season has all of the makings of an utter bloodletting. There will be ample support for both sides to fulfill their respective narratives — and no shortage of legal weapons — in this political war of attrition.

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Talk about a swamp…

New Trump Special Prosecutor Overturned By Supreme Court (JTN)

The special counsel named by the Biden administration to investigate Donald Trump oversaw a Justice Department unit rebuked by the Supreme Court for its prosecution of a prominent Republican and was linked by Congress to the IRS scandal that targeted conservative groups. Jack Smith, a war crimes prosecutor in The Hague and former chief of the DOJ public integrity section, was named Friday by Attorney General Merrick Garland to take over two investigations of Trump related to Jan. 6 and classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. In 2014, the House Oversight Committee concluded that during Smith’s earlier stint at DOJ he set up a critical meeting between his department and IRS official Lois Lerner that set in motion the targeting of conservative nonprofits that became one of the signature scandals of the Obama administration.

The Oversight Committee obtained testimony from a DOJ official named Richard Pilger in 2014 that showed Smith set up a meeting with Lerner to discuss more aggressive enforcement of regulations prohibiting tax-exempt groups from engaging in politics in the aftermath of the landmark Citizens United free speech Supreme Court case. “According to Mr. Pilger, the Justice Department convened a meeting with former IRS official Lois Lerner in October 2010 to discuss how the IRS could assist in the criminal enforcement of campaign-finance laws against politically active nonprofits,” the committee wrote in a 2014 letter to DOJ. “This meeting was arranged at the direction of Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith.”

The letter concluded: “It is apparent that the Department’s leadership, including Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith, was closely involved in engaging with the IRS in wake of Citizens United and political pressure from prominent Democrats to address perceived problems with the decision.” The letter, which sought a transcribed interview with Smith, was signed by then Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who is now in line to become House Judiciary Committee chairman when the GOP takes over the House in January. The Treasury Department Inspector General ultimately concluded that the ensuing IRS pursuit of conservative nonprofits was inappropriate. “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention,” the report concluded.

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It can only hold in times of plenty and peace.

“What did Ursula von der Leyen say about Italy? If Italy elects the wrong parties during parliamentary elections, the EU “has tools” to coerce them, as in the case of Poland and Hungary.”

The Non-Existent European Identity (Remix)

A top-down approach to forcibly create a common identity has never worked, and it never will. Despite the spasmodic efforts of the leftist media dictatorship, its dominance has up until now failed to force the public opinion of European countries into believing the old continent is united. Few in the West dare to contradict this, while the opinions of the East are ignored. This pretentious outlook — detached from the reality of the world — is presented to Europeans on a daily basis, but it instead serves as clear proof that those who are pushing the cause the most aggessively do not themselves believe in the thesis they claim is their own. What did Ursula von der Leyen say about Italy? If Italy elects the wrong parties during parliamentary elections, the EU “has tools” to coerce them, as in the case of Poland and Hungary.

This is what European unity looks like per the left-liberal authoritarian concept. We have heard many and varied answers to the question of why, but very few have tackled the question regarding the lack of European identity. Brussels, the left-liberal media, and the NGO networks that dictate EU policy are not the only ones who have tried and failed to forge a common European identity. Notably, Tito tried to forge a unified southern Slavic nation-state out of the diverse Yugoslavia, and his one-party dictatorship did its best to stifle dissent. The party leader, born a Croatian-Slovenian, even divorced his Serbian wife when she warned him that greater autonomy for the member republics — which Tito believed would quell the nationalist fervor that was smoldering everywhere — would tear Yugoslavia apart. The Serbian woman was right because Tito’s measures had inflamed rather than quelled nationalist sentiment.

The powerful leader forgot one thing. There was no real substance behind the party and state propaganda, which constantly talked about a united Yugoslavia. Indeed, Yugoslav identity had not emerged in the seven decades of the South Slav state. How did the philosopher John Lukacs put it? The most powerful builder of identity for people is belonging to a nation, and ignoring such basic truths in politics has fatal consequences. At the last census of Yugoslavia, only 20,000 people identified themselves as Yugoslavs. For a country of 23 million people, this is an extremely low number and would have a negligible social impact.

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Arizona voting

 

 

 

 

Peacock

 

 

Family Walk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1594652358658736131

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Correa

 

 

Monarchs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1573185623036420096

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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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