Nov 012022
 
 November 1, 2022  Posted by at 8:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  73 Responses »


Vilhelm Hammershoi Woman Seen from the Back 1888

 

Leaked Documents Outline DHS’s Plans to Police Disinformation (IC)
“The Bird is Free.” Will Elon Musk Become Grand Duke of Mars? (Ugo Bardi)
How Elon Musk Should Shape Twitter — Sans the Sink (Turley)
‘Inflation Came From Nowhere’ – Lagarde (RT)
Putin Clarifies Position On Grain Deal (RT)
Russia Tells UN It Will Inspect Black Sea Ships (RT)
Israeli Finance Minister Added To Kiev’s ‘Kill List’ (RT)
Much Of Kiev Without Power & Water After New Russian Airstrikes (ZH)
From The Surreal To The Real To The Meta-Real (Batiushka)
Drone Attack On Sevastopol (MoA)
Comeback Kid Lula In The Eye Of A Volcano (Escobar)
Why The US-Saudi Relationship Is Withering (RT)
They Rule Over Dysfunctional Ruin, but They Rule (Crooke)
US Economic Decline And Global Instability Part 3 (Phillyguy)
Russia’s New Regions On Collision Course With Ukraine 100 Years Ago (Nepogodin)

 

 

“The less men think, the more they talk.”
~ Montesquieu

 

 

 

 

Nord Stream 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethical Skeptic 7:1

 

 

The Swiss National Bank just reported an enormous $142.6 BILLION dollar loss in the first 9 months of 2022, which is by far the largest loss in the bank’s 115 year history.

 

 

 

 

This is scary but not surprising. And it’s not about disinformation, but about anything that questions “official” info. “..the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.”

It’s just partisan politics, flavored with a whiff of what both parties agree on, i.e. war. And it just so happens that the people who bring you this are the exact same lot that gave you Russia Russia, which was the biggest crop of disinformation ever.

Leaked Documents Outline DHS’s Plans to Police Disinformation (IC)

Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information. Though DHS shuttered its controversial Disinformation Governance Board, a strategic document reveals the underlying work is ongoing. DHS plans to target inaccurate information on “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.”

Facebook created a special portal for DHS and government partners to report disinformation directly. “Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, a former DHS official, texted Jen Easterly, a DHS director, in February. In a March meeting, Laura Dehmlow, an FBI official, warned that the threat of subversive information on social media could undermine support for the U.S. government. Dehmlow, according to notes of the discussion attended by senior executives from Twitter and JPMorgan Chase, stressed that “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable.” “We do not coordinate with other entities when making content moderation decisions, and we independently evaluate content in line with the Twitter Rules,” a spokesperson for Twitter wrote in a statement to The Intercept.

There is also a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use. At the time of writing, the “content request system” at facebook.com/xtakedowns/login is still live. [..] According to a draft copy of DHS’s Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, DHS’s capstone report outlining the department’s strategy and priorities in the coming years, the department plans to target “inaccurate information” on a wide range of topics, including “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.” [..] The inclusion of the 2021 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is particularly noteworthy, given that House Republicans, should they take the majority in the midterms, have vowed to investigate. “This makes Benghazi look like a much smaller issue,” said Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., a member of the Armed Services Committee, adding that finding answers “will be a top priority.”

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And in view of DHS et al trying to control information flow, Ugo Bardi’s point is salient: Elon Musk understands that better than all the rest put together.

“The Bird is Free.” Will Elon Musk Become Grand Duke of Mars? (Ugo Bardi)

Some people absolutely love censorship. But many (perhaps most) users of social media didn’t like to be watched from over their shoulders by those overzealous nannies who pretended to know better than them what is true and what is not. That generated criticism, and some attempts to rein in the censors. But, so far, we only saw censorship increasing its reach and becoming more pervasive.Except for the news of the day: the bird is free! Elon Musk bought Twitter and promises to eliminate censorship.

What’s happening? There are several possible interpretations, but at least something is clear: those who rule us are not a monolithic entity, as the Communist Party was in the Soviet Union. There are several would-be world rulers who are vying for power behind the scene. Musk may actually be smarter than most of them and able to understand that you gain nothing by silencing those who disagree with you. Suppose he wants to become the next US president, or maybe the Grand Duke of Mars, then he has to think like the Grand Duke of Tuscany did. He needs to know what people think because he can rule only if people agree that he is the ruler. Ruling by force and oppression is inefficient and, often, the ruler ends up hanged by the feet. So, Musk may well understand that he needs to leave some space for people to express themselves. The bird may not be completely free, but it has to be able to fly.

We seem to be in a transition moment (we always are). The Internet is under pressure by the attempt of controlling it by the powers that be, turning it into a tool for a totalitarian government (in China, the government may have succeeded at that). But, at the same time, some members of the elites are realizing that the Internet is a much better tool if used according to its characteristic of a two-way communication system. The Internet may allow us to generate a new governance system that might be more effective and just than the old totalitarian systems. It might be part of a “new Renaissance” that could take some aspects similar to the way Cosimo the 1st ruled in Tuscany during the 16th century. Maybe. But, as always, the future will surprise us.

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But still, Musk would have to deflect the entire kitchen sink that will be thrown at him.

How Elon Musk Should Shape Twitter — Sans the Sink (Turley)

News reports last week seemed to start out like a bar joke: The richest man in the world walks in carrying a sink . . . Of course, it was a joke — a colossal joke. The question is whom the joke is on. For Elon Musk, the punch line was appropriately delivered on Twitter, the company he’s taking over Friday at an inflated price. Calling himself “Chief Twit,” Musk posted the video with the caption “Entering Twitter HQ — let that sink in!” For the Musk-phobic, it was as funny as a drive-by shooting. CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem denounced Musk’s taunt as “fundamentally cruel.” After all, when Musk was first reported to be buying the company, employees were so traumatized that leadership had to offer emotional support just to “get through the week.”

The reason is less the fear of Musk bringing bathroom fixtures than free speech into San Francisco headquarters. Twitter has created one of the largest censorship systems in world history — a system widely condemned for a pattern of political bias and viewpoint intolerance. Outgoing CEO Parag Agrawal is unabashedly hostile to traditional views of free speech. Soon after he took over, he pledged to regulate content and said the company would “focus less on thinking about free speech” because “speech is easy on the Internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.” For employees who are true believers of this censorship scheme, the joke no doubt feels like it’s on them. The censorship skill set may not be quite as much in demand in a Musk-owned firm.

While Facebook, Google and other companies are still committed to corporate censorship, Musk has pledged to restore free speech principles to Twitter. But the joke may still be on Musk if he yields to Twitter’s corporate culture or the mainstream media’s unrelenting pressure. Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton have turned from private censorship to good old-fashioned state censorship. Clinton has called on foreign governments to step in and pass laws that would force Twitter to continue to censor opposing views. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently repeated this call for global censorship at the United Nations to the applause of diplomats and media alike. Musk may have to yield to such domestic laws, but he can use his platform to inform citizens of those countries they are being censored and controlled in what they are allowed to read.

The most important thing in America is for Musk to hit the ground running at Twitter. First, he needs to order the preservation of all records. There are well-supported examples of biased censorship, including the burying of The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story before the election. There are also allegations of back-channel communications from the government to manage a type of censorship-by-surrogate system to evade the First Amendment. Second, Musk should focus on the First Amendment as a model for Twitter’s content-management policy. It has become a mantra on the left that free-speech objections to social-media censorship are meritless because the First Amendment does not apply to private corporations.

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Lagarde should be fired for 1) making this statement, and 2) meaning it.

‘Inflation Came From Nowhere’ – Lagarde (RT)

The European Central Bank (ECB) has doubled its key interest rate to the highest level in more than a decade in an attempt to combat soaring inflation, ECB President Christine Lagarde has explained. In an interview with Irish national broadcaster RTE on Friday, Lagarde said: “We do it because we are fighting inflation” that had “pretty much come about from nowhere.” She pointed to a speedier-than-expected economic rebound from the pandemic as a cause alongside “the energy crisis caused by Mr. Putin who has decided in an unjustifiable way to invade another country.” The ECB chief added: “That’s what he [Putin] is trying to do, cause chaos and destroy as much of Europe as he can. This energy crisis is causing massive inflation which we have to defeat.”

She went on to say that “Anybody who is behaving in that way has to be driven by evil forces,” and that the “sick”Russian president is a “terrifying person.” Discussing her previous meetings with the Russian leader, Lagarde described him as an “unbelievably super-briefed person” with “flashing, freezing eyes.” After expressing her view, Lagarde however stressed that she’s “just a central banker,” and “shouldn’t be saying all these things.” On Thursday, the ECB announced another interest rate hike, taking Eurozone rates to the highest level since 2009. According to Lagarde, they are aimed at bringing inflation back to “reasonable levels so the cost of living isn’t as high as it is for people.” In September, inflation across the euro area hit 10%.

The EU has blamed Russia for the spiraling energy crisis across the continent. However, many economists point to the bloc’s fiscal policy responses as a major reason behind the crisis. Moscow has also criticized the “illogical and often absurd” moves by Western nations, saying that the sanctions imposed by the US, EU, and other countries on Russia have backfired and resulted in a sweeping energy crisis as well as record inflation across the West.

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This will cost Erdogan a lot of points. He negotiated the grain corridor, meant for Africa nations, but grabbed 34% for himself AND allowed Kiev to use the corridor to hide drones.

Putin Clarifies Position On Grain Deal (RT)

The grain deal between Moscow and Kiev has not met its stated goals, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. Most of the Ukrainian agricultural products exported under the agreement have not reached the poorer nations they were supposedly intended for and have instead ended up in Europe and Türkiye, he argued. Putin said Moscow was suspending its participation in the deal, but not fully withdrawing from it. The deal was promoted to “secure the interests of the poorer nations,” he said, adding that, according to Russian intelligence, the real structure of Ukraine’s grain exports is vastly different. “We agreed to that [grain deal] precisely in the interests of the poorer nations,”the Russian president said.

“On the whole, it looks like 34% of [the Ukrainian] grain gets to Türkiye, 35% or even more is taken by the EU nations and only between three and four … or five percent, according to our Agriculture Ministry … goes to the poorer nations,” Putin said. His words came as the Russian military closed the Black Sea grain corridor used to export Ukrainian grain under the agreement reached in Istanbul in July. The agreement – mediated by the UN and Türkiye – was initially hailed as critical for easing the global food crisis and helping the world’s poorest nations avoid starvation. Russia has since repeatedly pointed out that the grain, in fact, goes to other destinations. Moscow decided to halt its participation in the deal following a massive drone attack on its naval base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol last week.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the naval drones used in the attack navigated through the grain corridor’s security zone to reach their targets. One of them might have even been launched from a civilian vessel chartered to transport Ukrainian grain shipments, it added. Earlier on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was ready to compensate the missing Ukrainian grain export volumes from its own stocks. At the same time, he said that Moscow could not yet name the conditions that would make it resume its participation in the deal. In the wake of Moscow’s decision to suspend its participation in the deal, the UN has insisted that “food must flow”regardless of circumstances. Civilian vessels “can never be a military target or held hostage,” the UN coordinator for the Black Sea grain initiative, Amir Abdulla, said. Russia has previously said that it could not guarantee the security of the grain corridor if Kiev used it for military purposes.

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Inevitable. If Turkey doesn’t do it, Russia must.

Russia Tells UN It Will Inspect Black Sea Ships (RT)

Ukraine “grossly violated” the Istanbul agreement on grain exports via the Black Sea and forced Moscow to suspend it indefinitely, Russia’s envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council on Monday. The Russian Navy will inspect all cargo ships bound for Ukraine, even those unilaterally cleared by the Turkish-based coordination center, he added. “This subversive action of Kiev grossly violates the Istanbul agreements and, in fact, puts an end to their humanitarian dimension. It is now obvious to everyone that the Black Sea humanitarian corridor is being used by the Ukrainian side for military sabotage purposes,” Nebenzia said, referring to Saturday’s drone attack on Sevastopol. Russia “cannot guarantee the safety of civilian ships participating in the Black Sea initiative,” Nebenzia added, as “we do not know what other terrorist attacks Kiev is preparing with the support of its Western sponsors.”

On Sunday, after Moscow announced the suspension of the arrangement, the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul said it had greenlit 16 ships to navigate the corridor on Monday and “informed” Russia about the decision. According to maritime traffic data, at least two ships left the Black Sea port of Odessa in the morning, reporting Istanbul as their destination. “Decisions and measures taken without our participation are not binding on us,”Nebenzia told the UN. Moscow “cannot allow ships to pass without our inspection and will be forced to take independent measures” to inspect ships authorized by the JCC without Russian approval. Meanwhile, the UN coordinator for the Black Sea grain initiative, Amir Abdulla, insisted that “the food must flow.”

The UN and Türkiye mediated a deal in July under which Ukrainian grain could be exported via the Black Sea, while Western obstacles to the exportation of Russian grain and fertilizer would be removed. The US and its allies insist they had never sanctioned grain exports – but their sanctions on Russian ships and insurance made them impossible in practice. Moscow has criticized the West for not keeping its side of the deal and pointed out that the bulk of Ukrainian exports had gone to the EU and not the African nations most affected by food insecurity. Russia halted its compliance with the pact on Saturday, after Kiev launched a major drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet and civilian vessels involved in securing safe passage for agricultural cargo from Ukrainian ports. On Sunday, after studying the wreckage of the unmanned combat vehicles, the Russian Defense Ministry said that those behind the attack made active use of the UN-brokered grain corridor.

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Just making friends.

Israeli Finance Minister Added To Kiev’s ‘Kill List’ (RT)

Israeli finance minister, Avigdor Lieberman has been added to the database of the “enemies of Ukraine” on the controversial Mirotvorets website on Sunday. The authors of the site, which is believed to have links to the Ukrainian security services, described Lieberman as “Russia’s agent of influence,” who had been manipulating publicly significant information in favor of Moscow. They also blamed him for taking part in acts of “humanitarian aggression” against Ukraine. Among the actions that led to Lieberman being placed on the list, were his refusal to finance an Israeli field hospital in Ukraine in March and his neutral stance on who is to blame for the massacre in the Kiev suburb of Bucha in April. The website also shared a link to an article, claiming that he had ties with Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Ukrainian authorities have frequently expressed their disappointment with the level of support they’ve been getting from Israel during the conflict with Russia. The country has only provided Kiev with humanitarian aid and life-saving defense equipment, but not weapons and munitions. Israel also refrained from joining international sanctions on Moscow. Last week, Liberman said that Israeli assistance to Ukraine since the outbreak of the fighting between Russia and Ukraine in late February amounted to some $40 million. Liberman has been finance minister since 2021. He’s a veteran politician, who has occupied various high positions in the Israeli government over the years, including foreign minister, defense minister, and deputy PM. The 64-year-old is also the head of Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home), which holds seven seats in the country’s parliament, the Knesset.

Liberman was born in Chisinau, Moldova when the republic was part of the Soviet Union and immigrated to Israel in 1978. The Mirotvorets website, translated as ‘peacemaker’, was launched in 2014, positioning itself as an independent database run by anonymous moderators to help Ukrainian authorities and “special services” apprehend pro-Russian terrorists, separatists, and war criminals, among others. However, some have branded the database a ‘kill list,’ which is backed by the government, after several individuals, including writer Oles Buzina, politician Oleg Kalashnikov, and Russian journalist Darya Dugina were assassinated shortly after their profiles appeared on the website. The most recent high-profile additions to Mirotvorets included Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters. There were claims that the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, was put on the database in mid-October, but swiftly removed from it. The alleged addition happened after Musk offered a peace plan, which envisaged Kiev giving up territories to Moscow.

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Slow grind.

Much Of Kiev Without Power & Water After New Russian Airstrikes (ZH)

Much of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev is without electricity or water, after the latest round of major Russian airstrikes on Monday. The Russian military announced ‘successful’ strikes on multiple of the country’s vital infrastructure facilities. “The Russian Armed Forces continued to launch strikes with high-precision long-range air and sea-based weapons against Ukrainian military and energy facilities,” the Defense Ministry said. “The goals of the strikes were successful. All assigned objects were hit.” Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal confirmed direct hits on 18 sites – most of which were connected to the nation’s energy supply. These ramped up attacks have created a growing sense of panic with temperatures plunging and winter approaching.

“Missiles and drones hit 10 regions, where 18 sites were damaged, most of them energy-related,” Shmyhal stated on Telegram. “Hundreds of settlements in seven regions of Ukraine were cut off.” Facilities in Cherkasy and Kirovohrad also came under attack. Ukraine’s military said it intercepted projectiles over the Lviv region, which spared this western part of the country from damage. The Washington Post noted there are “power outages continuing in the Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions,” and others. The Post listed some of the below regions impacted by large-scale power outages and water supply disruptions:

• Kyiv region: Russian strikes damaged buildings, and rescuers are searching for victims, the regional police said. Attacks left 80 percent of the capital without water and are likely to cause sustained power outages, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
• Kharkiv: Two strikes hit critical infrastructure facilities in the eastern city, causing problems with the water supply and affecting the public transit network, the mayor said.
• Zaporizhzhia region: An infrastructure facility was struck by rockets, the local governor said, prompting warnings from officials in the southern region that energy supplies there could also be affected.
• Cherkasy region: Some of the region lost power after air attacks on infrastructure facilities, the military administrator said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned the attacks as more war crimes: “Another batch of Russian missiles hits Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. Instead of fighting on the battlefield, Russia fights civilians,” he tweeted. Additionally Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko announced on Telegram that these fresh strikes left 80% of residents in the capital without water and some 350,000 homes with no electricity. “Just in case, we ask you to stock up on water from the nearest pumps and points of sale,” he advised. The mayor’s office vowed that water supply to the effected parts of the city would be restored in three to four hours, with emergency utility crews working urgently on it.

Rescue teams in the capital are reportedly searching for possible casualties under the rubble of buildings destroyed or damaged from the new salvo of Russian strikes; however, at this point casualty numbers are unclear. The US ambassador said she and her staff had to take shelter in this latest attack on the capital: Already before Monday’s attacks, Ukrainian officials estimated that 40% of the nation’s electrical power systems had been severely damaged, and urged households to limit their usage, especially with non-essential large appliances. Ukrainians are further being warned to prepare for long-term power outages as a frigid winter is just around the corner.

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“The mirage is over. This Hell-begotten war must end.”

From The Surreal To The Real To The Meta-Real (Batiushka)

[..] the surreal continued when, on 23 October, with the Russian Defence Minister’s phone calls to his US, UK, French and Turkish counterparts about the Russian discovery of a Kiev/MI6 plot to use a ‘dirty’ bomb and blame it on Russia. Having outed the plot, Sergei Shoigu had alerted the US Establishment to the extremism of the now desperate Kiev elite (and their British MI6 operatives). The US put the Kiev crazies in their place, since, after all, the US are the string-pullers and puppets are not allowed to do anything without their express permission. The US duly stated that it has seen no evidence that Russia intends to use nuclear weaponry and President Putin stated that Russia has no plans to use nuclear weapons. The panic and hysteria of the Western media and of others was unfounded; though the mass media did not report the US admission. Panic and hysteria sell.

[..] Let us now come back to reality. The 87,5% of the world which either supports the Russian campaign to liberate the Ukraine, or else remains neutral towards it, shows the increasing isolation of the Nazi West. And it is now also crystal clear that ‘the West’ is in fact only the USA, just as NATO is only the USA, the Wicked Witch of the West. The rest is just camouflage, a mirage. In Italy, Germany, France, Moldova, the Czech Lands, Romania (the former Defence Minister), Bulgaria, Serbia, even in the UK, dissident voices are protesting. For God’s sake, negotiate with Russia! The Ukraine is their business, not ours, they’re all basically Russkies anyhow. We want gas and food! Who cares about the Nazi puppets in Kiev?

More and more all European governments, apart only from the Hungarian, are being seen as what they are – simply US puppet elites, who do not represent their peoples. EU or Non-EU Europe, there is no difference, apart from Hungary, which alone has, in every sense, a popular government. If Nobel Prizes were given non-politically, surely Victor Orban should have won one of them by now. Here the hypochondriac French are going crazy because China is sanctioning them by depriving them of paracetamol. Perhaps as many as 20% of Western Europeans have now realised that the whole Ukraine affair is a put-up job, arranged by the US, with its British poodle yapping at its feet. Same as Iraq, same as Afghanistan. Same old, same old.

The poodle is more papist than the Pope. Over the last two months it is notable that most Ukrainian flags have been taken down in Europe. It is rare to see one now. The working class were never interested, they always knew it was just another operation by the arms industry, but now even the conformist middle-class is taking down its Ukrainian flags. The mirage is over. This Hell-begotten war must end.

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UK was directly involved.

Drone Attack On Sevastopol (MoA)

This morning at 4:20 local time the Russian fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol was attacked by nine unmanned aerial vehicles and seven autonomous maritime drones. Earlier a maritime drone that had run aground in Crimea and had been found and pictured. During today’s attack a large U.S. drone had flown circles south of Crimea. It likely relayed data from and to the drones. The maritime drones are British and Russia alleges that British specialists had trained the Ukrainian navy in using them. It also says that British soldiers were involved in the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline. The Ukrainians published two videos shot by the maritime drones while attacking. One of the video shows extensive gun fire impacts near the drone from a Russian helicopter that is attacking it.

The Russians say that all the aerial drones and 4 of 7 maritime drones were defeated before they could caused damage. They also say that one mine seeking ship was damaged in the harbor. It is possible that the damage is greater than Russia admits. As a consequence of the attack Russia declared that the deal which allowed for grain exports from Odessa has been suspended. That deal had already been in danger as the ‘west’ had not fulfilled its part of the deal which would have allowed for the export for Russian fertilizer to third parties. I find it likely that Russia will take additional measures to punish the Ukrainian navy for the brazen attack. Additional attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure is another possibility.

Meanwhile all recent attempts by the Ukrainian army to penetrate the Russian held lines have failed. It is notable that these are now much smaller in size with just a battalion or in some cases just two companies in the lead. It is now definitely mud season in Ukraine during which it is impossible to cross most farmland even on feet. This will hinder the attacking forces on both sides until winter sets in.

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Lula has strong ties to China and has been a driving force behind BRICS.

“..the next BRICS summit in South Africa, which will consolidate BRICS+, as an array of nations are itching to join, from Argentina and Saudi Arabia to Iran and Turkey.”

Comeback Kid Lula In The Eye Of A Volcano (Escobar)

Lula is one of the founders of the BRICS in 2006, which evolved out of the Russia-China dialogue. He’s immensely respected by the leaders of the Russia-China strategic partnership, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin. He has promised to serve only one term, or up to the end of 2026. But that’s exactly the key stretch in the eye of the volcano, straddling the decade Putin described in his Valdai speech as the most dangerous and important since World War II. The drive towards a multipolar world, institutionally represented by a congregation of bodies from BRICS+ to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to the Eurasia Economic Union, will profit immensely to have Lula on board as arguably the natural leader of the Global South – with a track record to match.

Of course, his immediate foreign policy focus will be South America: he already announced that will be the destination of his first presidential visit, most probably Argentina, which is bound to join BRICS+. Then he will visit Washington. He has to. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Informed opinion across the Global South is very much aware that it’s under Obama-Biden that the whole, complex operation to topple Dilma and expel Lula from politics was orchestrated. Brazil will be a lame duck at the upcoming G20 in Bali in mid-November but in 2023 Lula will be back in business side-by-side with Putin and Xi. And that also applies to the next BRICS summit in South Africa, which will consolidate BRICS+, as an array of nations are itching to join, from Argentina and Saudi Arabia to Iran and Turkey.

And then there’s the Brazil-China nexus. Brasilia has been Beijing’s key trade partner in Latin America since 2009, absorbing roughly half of China’s investment in the region (and the most of any Latin American investment destination in 2021) and firmly placed as the fifth largest exporter of crude for the Chinese market, second for iron and first for soybeans. The precedents tell the story. Right from the start, in 2003, Lula bet on a strategic partnership with China. He considered his first trip to Beijing in 2004 as his top foreign policy priority. The goodwill in Beijing is unshakeable: Lula is considered an old friend by China – and that political capital will open virtually every red door.

In practice, that will mean Lula investing his considerable global clout in strengthening BRICS+ (he already stated BRICS will be at the center of his foreign policy) and the inner workings of South-South geopolitical and geo-economic cooperation. That may even include Lula formally signing up Brazil as a partner of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in a way that won’t antagonize the US. Lula, after all, is a master of this craft.

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Saudi Arabia cannot pick the US over OPEC+ and BRICS. It’s not in their interest.

Why The US-Saudi Relationship Is Withering (RT)

As the Gulf States are ultimately concerned with preserving their own value systems and independence, they have increasingly diversified their relationships in recent years with tilts towards Russia and China. Beijing, with its enormous demand for energy, has also become a lucrative alternative to the West. Similarly, stable ties with Moscow also allow for cooperation in the common interests of oil-exporting countries, which has also had the effect of reducing Western influence and dominance over those countries. On recognizing this, why would Saudi Arabia and the states of OPEC voluntarily undermine their own oil revenue merely to suit the geopolitical interests of the United States?

The world is in the middle of an energy price crisis exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine. Saudi Arabia sees that the US and some of its allies want to purposefully try to lower the price of oil in a bid to try and hurt Russia. However, that is not how the market works and, by extension, such a move is also an assault on Saudi and OPEC interests. While the kingdom is officially neutral in regards to Russia-Ukraine, it also recognizes that the success of an energy price cap would embolden the West to push harder against Russia, which also serves to undermine the kingdom’s geopolitical independence.

In other words, if the US succeeded in dividing OPEC by unilaterally demanding a price cap on oil products, it would defeat the very purpose of the organization itself to protect the respective economic interests of those countries. The United States has been a useful partner to Saudi Arabia, but it is not a friend. It is not part of a ‘bloc’ or ideological coalition, as let’s say the UK is, but merely has seen the West as the most useful and lucrative partner to fulfil its own political needs. As those needs change, Saudi Arabia’s preferences are also subject to change. Washington is therefore learning that the kingdom is not a client state to be called on when needed, and thus this very close and often contradictory partnership is starting to strain.

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Nero comes to mind.

They Rule Over Dysfunctional Ruin, but They Rule (Crooke)

Since 2008, we have lived in a western world shaped by the ‘permanent state’ or by our managerial technocrats – label to choice. This ‘creative class’ (as they like to see themselves) is particularly defined by its intermediary position in relation to the wealth-controlling oligarchic cabal as ultimate big money overlords on one hand, and the dullard ‘Middle Class’ below them – at whom they sneer and deride. This intermediary class didn’t set out to dominate politics (they say); It just happened. Initially, the aim was to foster progressive values. But instead, these professional technocrats, who both had accreted considerable wealth and were tightly congregated into cliques in America’s large metro areas, came to dominate left-wing parties around the world that formerly were vehicles for the working class.

Those who coveted membership in this new ‘aristocracy’ cultivated their image as one of cosmopolitan, fast-moving money, glamour, fashion, and popular culture – multiculturalism suited them to perfection. Painting themselves as the political conscience of the whole of society (if not the world), the reality was that their Zeitgeist reflected primarily the whims, prejudices and increasingly psychopathies of one segment of liberal society. Into this milieu arrived two defining events: In 2008, Ben Bernanke, Chair of the Federal Reserve, gathered together in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, a room-full of the wealthiest oligarchs, ‘locking them in’ until they found the solution to the unfolding systemic bank failure.

The oligarchs did not find a solution but were released from their lock-up anyway. They opted instead, to throw money at structural problems, compounded by egregious errors of judgement about risk. And to finance the resulting massive losses – which were over $10 trillion in the U.S. alone – the world’s central banks began printing money – since when they have never stopped! Thus begun the era in the West where deep problems are not solved, but simply have freshly-printed money thrown at them. This methodology was whole-heartedly adopted by the EU also, where it was called Merkelism (after the former German Chancellor). Underlying structural contradictions were simply left to accumulate; kicked down the road.

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“To provide some perspective, from 2020- Q2 2022, US government debt increased over $7 trillion.”

US Economic Decline And Global Instability Part 3 (Phillyguy)

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading power. Since that time, US global supremacy has rested on unrivaled military and economic power, control of world’s energy reserves (primarily in the Middle East), and maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This relationship began to transform in the mid-1970s, as US corporate profits began to stagnate/decline, the proximate cause being the 1973-1975 recession [3], a consequence of increased competition from rebuilt economies in Europe- primarily Germany (Marshall Plan) [4], Japan/South Korea (Korean war) and more recently China. The US ruling elite responded to this economic challenge by pursing neoliberal economic policies (reviewed in [1]).

This included: 1) multiple tax cuts for the wealthy, 2) financial deregulation- repeal of Glass–Steagall legislation (1933 Banking Act) by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) in 1999 and Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) of 2000, that exempted over-the-counter derivatives trades between financial firms from regulation. It should be noted that both of these bills were passed during the waning years of the Clinton Administration and may have been a quid pro quo to spare President Clinton an impeachment conviction over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky [5]. 3) attacks on labor and the poor and job outsourcing to Mexico, China and other low-wage platforms, facilitated by passage of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 [6].

The effect of these policies is vividly observed in the manufacturing sector. In 1960 the US produced 50% of global manufacturing output, accounting for 25% of GDP. Today, the US produces circa 17% of global manufacturing output, accounting for 11% of GDP [7]. 4) Spending vast amounts of taxpayer money (> $20 trillion) on post-911 militarization. The neoliberal economic policies outlined above precipitated the Global Financial Crisis 2007-2008 (GFC), the largest financial crash since the Great Depression [8] [9] [10]. None of the structural economic problems giving rise to the GFC (listed above) have been resolved; instead, the FED has used the US Treasury as a taxpayer-funded ‘piggy bank’ (the FED cannot print money) to pump over $40 trillion (this figure may be as high as $50 trillion) to support insolvent banks, inflate bond and equity markets and over-priced real estate, creating the ‘everything bubble’ [11].

Thus, since 2009, the US ‘economy’ has been sustained by continuous money printing to prop up financial markets and the Pentagon. Not surprisingly, this has been accompanied by an explosion of debt and rising inflation, further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russian energy, which has led to demands for even more money to support financial markets and the Pentagon. To provide some perspective, from 2020- Q2 2022, US government debt increased over $7 trillion [12].

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Must read history lesson.

Russia’s New Regions On Collision Course With Ukraine 100 Years Ago (Nepogodin)

When four formerly Ukrainian regions joined Russia nearly a month ago, the collective West tried to present the occurrence as treacherous, unprecedented, and lacking local support. However, the reunification was preceded by a century-long struggle by a large amount of the regions’ inhabitants for the right to be considered Russians. In February 2015, the deputies of the parliament of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) signed a memorandum declaring the continuity of their statehood from the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic, one of the numerous entities that emerged during the Russian Civil War. This quasi-state, which was created by the Bolsheviks in 1918 and aspired to become part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), included not only Donbass, but also the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions.


History may zigzag, but time puts everything in its place. Today, Russian Donbass is restoring lost ties with Russia and establishing new ones,” wrote Denis Pushilin, the head of the DPR, shortly before the start of Russia’s military offensive. In this article, RT explores the brief history of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic and explains why the residents of Donbass wanted to live as part of Russia even 100 years ago. Back in 1999, the famous Russian political geographer and theorist Vladimir Kagansky wrote a large article entitled ‘Ukraine: Geography and Fate of the Country’, in which he made a forecast: Ukraine will inevitably transform, and this transformation mainly depends on Russia. He concluded that its self-determination would inevitably be anti-Russian, citing the country’s “stretchable borders” as one of the main reasons. At a minimum, this would encompass just the right bank of the Dnieper, or even Galicia alone.

At a maximum, the borders would stretch to the southern Russian cities of Voronezh and Stavropol. “The USSR and the CIS are a semi-empire of republics around Russia, and Ukraine is the main link in this necklace, a geopolitical pendant. Ukraine divides the space of the former USSR into separate, geographically separated blocks, and connects three blocks (Belarus and the Baltic States – Moldova – the Caucasus). Ukraine is the only alternative to Russia as the center of the current CIS and the entire post-Soviet space. It is the only way to potentially bypass Russia – the main anti-Russian bastion, and Russia’s main partner in the arrangement of this space,” wrote Kagansky.

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Inflation As A Prelude To War

 

 

Rogan The Shining

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 282022
 
 October 28, 2022  Posted by at 8:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Salvador Dali Self portrait 1921

 

Musk Says He Bought Twitter For The Sake Of ‘Humanity’ (RT)
Twitter CEO, CFO, & Top Censor Escorted Out (ZH)
The West Has Nothing Left To Offer The World – Putin (RT)
Russia Is Not An Enemy Of The West – Putin (RT)
West Can’t Sit Out Crises It Caused – Putin (RT)
‘No One Can Sit Out The Coming Storm’ (RT)
Putin Says Russia Won’t Use Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine (Antiwar)
G7 Not Big Enough To Dictate Russian Oil Price – World Bank (RT)
Norway Opposes Russian Gas Price Cap (RT)
Saudi Arabia ‘Duped’ Washington On Secret Oil Deal – NYT (RT)
Kremlin Clarifies Reports On Putin’s ‘Message’ To Zelensky (RT)
Most Dangerous And Unpredictable Decade Since WWII Ahead – Putin (RT)
US Discredited Dollar By Weaponizing It – Putin (RT)
Ukraine Adds Billions To Its Military Budget (RT)
mRNA Vaccines Injure the Heart of ALL Vaccine Recipients (DS)
mRNA Vaccines: The CIA and National Defense (Malone)

 

 

Two main themes today.

1/ Elon Musk buys Twitter and fires executives.

2/ Putin’s speech at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow. Actually, he did the speech and then stayed for hours responding to questions. No teleprompter needed. RT divvied up the event in many articles, so a lot of RT today.

And at the end Robert Malone on CIA and mRNA.

 

 

 

 

Jamie Dimon

 

 

 

 

Putin Suleimani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Traditional media outlets have fueled and catered to the polarized extremes as they relentlessly pursue higher ratings and profits..”

Musk Says He Bought Twitter For The Sake Of ‘Humanity’ (RT)

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has tried to calm advertiser concerns about his acquisition of Twitter, telling them that he’s buying the social media platform to help save human civilization and that he won’t let it become a “free-for-all hellscape.” Speaking on the eve of closing his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, Musk posted a message to advertisers explaining his rationale for the deal. “I didn’t do it to make more money,” he said. “I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love. And I do so with humility, recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility.” The Tesla CEO, who ranks as the world’s richest person with a fortune estimated by Forbes at more than $221 billion, made his takeover bid for Twitter in April.

At the time, he pledged to end censorship of conservative voices on the platform, saying free speech was a “societal imperative for a functioning democracy.” Critics, including Twitter employees, raised concerns that Musk would make the platform unsafe by allowing “harmful” content. In May, more than two dozen left-wing activist groups urged advertisers to boycott Twitter if Musk completed his takeover, saying he would make the social media giant a “direct threat to public safety.” Although Musk has called himself a “free speech absolutist,” his note to advertisers suggested that the conversations on Twitter won’t be completely unregulated under his ownership. “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences,” he said.

“In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.” Musk said the social media industry currently faces a risk of splintering into far-right and far-left “echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.” Traditional media outlets have fueled and catered to the polarized extremes as they relentlessly pursue higher ratings and profits, he added. “The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,”the billionaire said.

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“..other workers have moved to the likes of Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snap, and TikTok..”

Twitter CEO, CFO, & Top Censor Escorted Out (ZH)

As the bell tolls for the end of the first chapter of Twitter’s life as a deep state narrative-enabling machine, the firings have begun with Musk becoming ‘Chief Twit’. Just minutes after the world’s richest man has reportedly closed the $44 billion deal, The NYTimes reports that, according to sources that declined to be identified, the Twitter executives who were fired include: • Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief executive, • Ned Segal, the chief financial officer, • Sean Edgett, the general counsel, and • Vijaya Gadde, the top legal and policy executive, (or censorship czar).

As a reminder, having been with Twitter since 2011, Gadde was the key executive in charge of ‘trust and safety, legal and public policy functions’ – described by Politico as the company’s “moral authority.” Gadde holds one of the most controversial positions at Twitter: Her teams decide how to moderate content. That’s made her a target of right-wing criticism, particularly when Twitter blocked the distribution of a New York Post article about President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in 2020. She faced a renewed wave of criticism after multiple reports confirmed she was behind the decision to ban Trump from Twitter. -Politico. In other words, Gadde is likely the exec who signed off on ZeroHedge’s February 2020 ban for speculating that Covid-19 may have emerged from a Wuhan Lab, and President Trump’s January 2021 ban in connection with the capitol riot. And we are not surprised at the others…


At least one of the executives who was fired was escorted out of Twitter’s office, NYTimes reports. Please do not feel too bad for these poor, dejected executives, as Insider reports, through “change in control” provisions in employment contracts for top leadership, they will receive a certain amount of severance and an automatic acceleration of their shares, so long as Musk fires them. The provisions are disclosed in regulatory filings. Agrawal is set to receive the largest payout of $38.7 million, due largely to the entirety of his shares vesting upon his firing. Segal is set to receive a $25.4 million payout for getting fired. Gadde will leave with $12.5 million. As we detailed earlier, over 1,100 employees have left Twitter since Musk announced his intention to buy the company back in January, with almost a third going to Google or Meta. The figures come from a new analysis of LinkedIn data, with the report noting that other workers have moved to the likes of Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snap, and TikTok. We suspect, as Elon warned, it’s sinking now for some…

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Yeah, let it sink in.

“Simplification and the erasure of any and all differences have become almost the essence of the modern West. What is behind this simplification? First of all, this is the disappearance of the creative potential of the West itself..”

The West Has Nothing Left To Offer The World – Putin (RT)

Liberal democracy has changed beyond recognition and has gone from promoting freedom of speech and expression, to demanding the ‘cancelation’ of anyone with a different point of view, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a speech at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow on Thursday. Speaking about the major changes in the world in recent years, Putin noted that the West has continued its policy of escalating tensions across the globe, and is trying to subjugate the world under its “rules-based order.” He added that it remains unclear who invented these rules, what they are based on, or what exactly they even are. The only thing that is clear, according to the president, is that the rules are meant to allow those who hold global power to live “without any rules at all,” and allow them to get away with doing whatever they want.


“The West in recent years and especially in recent months has taken a number of steps towards escalation. They always play for escalation; there is nothing new here. This includes the incitement of war in Ukraine, provocations regarding Taiwan, and the destabilization of the world food and energy markets,” he said. Humanity now basically has two paths it can pursue, Putin stated. It can either be fractured and keep accumulating problems that will eventually bury it, or try to find “not ideal, but working” solutions to common issues. The president went on to stress the importance of preserving cultural diversity in the world, stating that the West is trying to flatten everything out to be identical and is blocking the “free creative development” of other civilizations and imposing its own style of development. “Simplification and the erasure of any and all differences have become almost the essence of the modern West. What is behind this simplification? First of all, this is the disappearance of the creative potential of the West itself,” Putin said.

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“On one hand, the traditional, primarily Christian West “is close to us in some ways,” he said, noting that “we have in many respects common and ancient roots.”

Russia Is Not An Enemy Of The West – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared on Thursday that Russia is an “independent” civilization that does not consider itself an enemy of the West. Instead, he sees the “aggressive” and “neo-colonial” liberal elite in charge of the West as a foe. “In the current conditions of a tough conflict, I will say some things directly,” Putin told a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. “Russia, being an independent, original civilization, has never considered and does not consider itself an enemy of the West.” Hatred for American, British, French or German people “are the same form of racism as Russophobia and anti-Semitism,” he added. Putin went on to describe the West as two entities. On one hand, the traditional, primarily Christian West “is close to us in some ways,” he said, noting that “we have in many respects common and ancient roots.”

“But there is another West – aggressive, cosmopolitan, neo-colonial, acting as an instrument of neo-liberal ideas. It is precisely with the dictates of this West that Russia, of course, will never put up with,” he continued. While Putin undoubtedly sees the conflict in Ukraine as an existential struggle against the West – describing his forces as fighting the “entire Western military machine” and blaming the derailment of peace talks and sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines on the “Anglo-Saxons,” he has drawn a distinction between Western elites and Western society before. Speaking at a ceremony following the accession of four formerly Ukrainian regions into the Russian Federation last month, Putin declared that “the Western elites target all societies, including the citizens of Western countries themselves.”

While the West expands primarily to secure its “mercantile interest,” he stated at Thursday’s meeting, it also pushes its cultural exports on an unreceptive world. “If Western elites believe they can launch new trends like dozens of genders and gay parades, they have the right to do so,” he said. “But they don’t have the right to demand that others follow the same direction.” Putin also condemned the “pure Satanism” of Western liberal culture in his speech last month, noting that “many like-minded people in Europe and the United States” feel the same way. The Valdai Discussion Club is an annual international event in Russia conceived as a platform for floating ideas that the host nation considers important to discuss with other global players. The forum was created in 2004.

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“..new centers of power in the multipolar world and the West will have to start talking as equals about our common future.”

West Can’t Sit Out Crises It Caused – Putin (RT)

The West and its allies are playing a “dirty game,” the prize in which is global dominance, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. However, the US and its allies are not safe from the consequences of their own actions, he added. “Power over the world is what the West has put at stake in the game it plays. This game is certainly dangerous, bloody and I would call it dirty.” The Russian president’s comments came at a Valdai Discussion Club meeting outside Moscow on Thursday. He offered his view that Western nations deny others on the global scene the right to any kind of independence, be it political, economical or cultural. Last December, Russia’s proposals to address its concerns about national security were “tossed aside” by Washington, he noted.


“But in the modern world, sitting aside is hardly an option. He who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind, as the proverb says,” he said, pointing out that the ongoing global crisis affects everyone and all aspects of life. Humanity basically now has two paths it can pursue, Putin stated. It can either be fractured and keep accumulating problems that will eventually bury it, or try to find “may be not ideal, but working” solutions to common issues. Putin said he believes in common sense and is convinced that sooner or later “new centers of power in the multipolar world and the West will have to start talking as equals about our common future.”

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“Where Nazis burned books, the Western “guardians of liberalism and progress” now ban Dostoevsky and Tchaikovsky..”

‘No One Can Sit Out The Coming Storm’ (RT)

The world is entering a decade of tumult as the pursuit of a more just world order clashes with the arbitrary hegemony of the collective West, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, addressing the annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. Putin’s speech ranged from biodiversity to “cancel culture,” the nature of what the West has to offer and Russia’s response, followed by hours of answering audience questions. Here are six key points from his opening remarks.

The West stokes conflict to preserve hegemony From inciting conflict in Ukraine and provocations around Taiwan to destabilizing the world food and energy markets, the US and its allies have been escalating tensions around the globe in recent years and especially in recent months, Putin said. “Ruling the world is what the so-called West has staked in this game, which is certainly dangerous, bloody and – I would say – dirty. It denies the sovereignty of countries and peoples, their identity and uniqueness, and disregards any interests of other states,” the Russian president explained. In their so-called “rules-based world order,” only those making the “rules” have any agency, while everyone else must simply obey. However, the West has “no constructive ideas and positive development, they simply have nothing to offer the world except the preservation of their dominance.”

Rules for thee but not for me The West insists its culture and worldview should be universal, Putin said. While not saying it outright, they behave as if these values must be unconditionally accepted by everyone else. Yet when some other countries, notably China, began benefiting from globalization, the West “immediately changed or completely canceled” many of the rules it long insisted were set in stone and sacred, Putin said, with free trade, economic openness, fair competition and even property rights “suddenly forgotten at once, completely.” “As soon as something becomes profitable for themselves, they change the rules immediately, on the go, in the course of the game.”

“Cancel culture” and canceling culture Believing themselves infallible, the rulers of the West desire to destroy – or “cancel” – those they dislike. Where Nazis burned books, the Western “guardians of liberalism and progress” now ban Dostoevsky and Tchaikovsky, Putin said. Liberal democracy has transformed into something unrecognizable, declaring any alternative viewpoint as propaganda or a threat, he added. The so-called “cancel culture” destroys anything that is alive and creative, preventing any freedom of thought in culture, economics or politics alike. “History, of course, will put everything in its place,” Putin said, adding that the the self-conceit of those who seek to cancel them is off the charts, “but no one will even remember their names in a few years, while Dostoevsky and Tchaikovsky and Pushkin will endure.”

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Not sure why Antiwar brings up the nukes again.

Putin Says Russia Won’t Use Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine (Antiwar)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that Moscow has no plans to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine and warned the world is facing the most dangerous decade since World War II. “We see no need for that,” Putin said of the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine in a speech at the Valdai Club, a Moscow-based think tank. “There is no point in that, neither political, nor military.” Putin recently warned that Russia could use all the weapons at its disposal to defend its “territorial integrity,” and other Russian officials made clear that included nuclear weapons and applied to the territories Moscow recently annexed in Ukraine. But there’s been no sign that Putin has made a decision to use nuclear weapons, and he said Thursday that Russia’s recent talk of nuclear weapons was a reaction to remarks from Western officials.


Discussing current global tensions, Putin said that the world is facing “probably, the most dangerous, unpredictable and at the same time important decade since the end of World War II.” The Russian leader criticized the US and other Western powers’ for resorting to force to control other nations by using measures such as sanctions, trade wars, and backing coups. One example he used was the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad in 2020. “They killed Soleimani, an Iranian general. You can think whatever you want about Soleimani, but he was a foreign state official. They killed him in a third country and assumed responsibility. What is that supposed to mean, for crying out loud?” he said.

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But, but… The G7 think they rule the world…

G7 Not Big Enough To Dictate Russian Oil Price – World Bank (RT)

The proposed plan by the Group of Seven (G7) to impose a maximum price restriction on the purchases of Russian oil could work only if major emerging markets and developing countries join the scheme, the World Bank has said. In its oil market outlook, issued on Wednesday, the bank highlighted the associated risks. It wrote that the upside risks are dominated by supply issues, including the extent to which Russia’s exports are impacted by new trade measures. “The proposed G7 oil price cap could affect the flow of oil from Russia, but it is an untested mechanism and would need the participation of large emerging markets and developing economies to achieve its objectives,” the report said.


It added that while significant disruption to Russia’s exports may occur in the short term as trade routes are disrupted, “market participants may find ways to circumvent the sanctions, as has often occurred with other sanction episodes.” The Group of Seven leading economies – the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and Japan – agreed last month to enforce a price ceiling on Russian oil in a bid to curb the country’s revenue from energy exports. The price limit hasn’t yet been decided. According to the plan, banking, insurance and shipping firms will be banned from providing services to Russian companies that sell oil at a price above the set limit. December 5 also marks the deadline for the EU to ban all imports of Russian seaborne crude. Moscow has said it will not export oil to countries participating in the price cap.

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“This could exacerbate the problem Europe already faces, namely gas shortages…”

Putin: Russia is ready to supply gas and oil to Europe, “if they don’t want it, it‘s their choice.”

Norway Opposes Russian Gas Price Cap (RT)

Norway is against the EU proposal of setting an artificial price ceiling on Russian natural gas, according to the country’s Oil and Energy Ministry. “This could exacerbate the problem Europe already faces, namely gas shortages,” Stein Grimsrud, a ministry spokesman, told the Izvestia news outlet. Norway has become a key gas supplier for the EU after Russian flows dwindled due to sanctions and technical problems. The share of gas imported to the bloc from Russia has dropped from 41% to 9% since the beginning of the year, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson recently said. Norway used to be the EU’s second-largest gas supplier, covering around 20% of its needs. This summer Oslo approved permits for gas extraction at seven new offshore fields to increase gas production in 2022 by 8% compared with 2021.


The ministry also confirmed that it plans to supply about 122 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU this year. By comparison, prior to 2022, Russia used to supply about 130 billion cubic meters by pipeline and 20 billion cubic meters in the form of LNG to the bloc annually. Some analysts, however, note that Norway does not have the capacity to supply enough gas to the EU to cover the loss of Russian flows. “Norway is unable to solve the ongoing energy crisis because a serious expansion of its exports is impossible due to limited reserves. We also note that Norway has increased its profits due to rising gas prices and has no plans to participate in setting a ceiling on gas prices. Oslo offers its European partners to work on the basis of long-term contracts,” the Russian embassy in Norway told Izvestia.

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“There’s now a level of embarrassment as the Saudis merrily go on their way..”

Saudi Arabia ‘Duped’ Washington On Secret Oil Deal – NYT (RT)

President Joe Biden reportedly made his controversial July visit to Saudi Arabia, breaking a campaign promise to shun the kingdom, because his administration thought it had secured a secret deal for Riyadh to boost oil supplies. Instead, Riyadh did the opposite, leading OPEC in cutting output targets. The production increase was supposed to come from September through the end of this year, helping to ease inflation and justify Biden’s trip to Riyadh, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing interviews with unidentified US and Middle East government officials. Earlier this month, OPEC announced plans to cut production by two million barrels a day, creating more upward pressure on prices and potentially increasing the risk that the Biden-led Democratic Party will lose control of Congress in November’s US midterm elections.

Several US lawmakers responded by suggesting that Washington should punish Saudi Arabia by cutting off arms sales or removing its military support for the kingdom. Biden accused Riyadh of siding with Russia in the Ukraine conflict and warned of retribution, saying, “There will be consequences.” Members of Congress who had received classified briefings about the secret oil deal “have been left fuming that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman duped the administration,” the Times said. US officials told the newspaper that even days before the OPEC announcement, they had been assured by bin Salman that there would be no output cuts. When they later heard that Saudi Arabia had reversed its position on the issue, administration officials made a failed effort to “change minds in the royal court.”

Saudi officials said earlier this month that OPEC’s decision was based solely on economic considerations, not politics, and that Washington tried to delay the move for several weeks. Such a delay might have pushed the announcement past November 8, the date of the midterms. US inflation remains near a 40-year high and ranks as the top concern of American voters, according to polling. Biden said while campaigning for president in 2019 that he would treat Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” and would make them “pay the price” for the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Times said that even some of his strongest supporters have argued that Biden’s decision to meet with bin Salman anyway, after his administration thought it had a secret oil deal in May, was the latest example of “sacrificing principles for political expediency – and having little to show for it.”

“There’s now a level of embarrassment as the Saudis merrily go on their way,”said US Representative Gerald Connolly, a Virginia Democrat. Biden publicly denied in June that he would ask Saudi officials to boost oil supplies. “What happened over the last half-year is a story of handshake agreements, wishful thinking, missed signals and finger-pointing over broken promises,” the Times said.

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“Our colleague from the African state said he would have contacts [with Zelensky] and that he would relay Putin’s position to the Ukrainian side,” Peskov explained. “There was no specific message” involved.”

Kremlin Clarifies Reports On Putin’s ‘Message’ To Zelensky (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t ask the visiting head of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, to relay any special message to his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, the Kremlin has said. During Embalo’s visit to Moscow on Tuesday, Putin briefed him about how Russian-Ukrainian peace talks had collapsed after Kiev pulled out of them, spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday. Among other things, the Russian leader reiterated that Moscow was ready for negotiations, provided that Kiev changes its stance on the issue. “Our colleague from the African state said he would have contacts [with Zelensky] and that he would relay Putin’s position to the Ukrainian side,” Peskov explained. “There was no specific message” involved.

Embalo met with Zelensky in Kiev on Wednesday and mentioned his talks with Putin during a joint press conference. The host described the words of his guest as “a signal from the Russian side” but dismissed the notion as mere rhetoric aimed at “nations that have not yet cut political ties” with Moscow. “For a dialogue to happen one nation has to respect another nation, respect its territorial integrity, sovereignty and borders,” he added. The position outlined by Peskov was voiced publicly by numerous other Russian officials, including the president. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council last month banned any talks with Russia as long as Putin remains in power, a motion that Zelensky signed into law.

The Ukrainian president said that his country’s sole goal in the conflict was to defeat Russia on the battlefield and capture all territories that Kiev claims under its sovereignty. Peace talks can happen only after this objective is reached, he asserted. Zelensky is counting on the help of the US and its allies in supplying arms, intelligence and money to Ukraine for as long as it needs the support.

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“The crisis has taken on a truly global magnitude. It affects everyone, and we should not entertain any illusions otherwise.”

Most Dangerous And Unpredictable Decade Since WWII Ahead – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes the world stands at the precipice of a tumultuous decade that will bring the most danger and unpredictability in several generations as Western hegemony inevitably draws to a close. “We are standing on a historic frontier,” Putin said on Thursday at the Valdai Discussion Club’s annual meeting in Moscow. “Ahead is probably the most dangerous, unpredictable and, at the same time, important decade since the end of World War II.” Putin rebuked the West for playing a “dangerous, bloody and dirty” geopolitical game. He said the US and its NATO allies helped to incite the Russia-Ukraine conflict while at the same time stoking a crisis over China’s sovereignty in Taiwan to enforce its global dominance.

“I have always believed in the power of common sense, and I still do, so I am convinced that sooner or later, the new centers of the multipolar world and the West will have to embark on an equal dialogue about our shared future, and the sooner that happens, the better,” Putin said. The Russian leader noted that when Moscow laid out the security concerns that would need to be addressed to avert the Ukraine crisis last December, NATO cast the proposal aside. “It’s not going to be possible to sit this one out. Whoever sows the wind will reap the storm. The crisis has taken on a truly global magnitude. It affects everyone, and we should not entertain any illusions otherwise.”

Humanity essentially faces two options, Putin added. “Either we continue accumulating the burden of problems that is certain to crush all of us, or we can work together to find solutions – functional, if imperfect ones – solutions capable of rendering our world more stable and safer.” In any case, Putin said, “the historical period of the West’s undivided dominance over world affairs is coming to an end.” Citing a 1978 quote by Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, he said, “the West has a blindness of superiority.” “Almost half a century later, the blindness Solzhenitsyn spoke of, openly racist and neo-colonial in nature, has become simply ugly, especially after the emergence of the so-called unipolar world.”

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“Using the dollar as a weapon, the United States, and the West as a whole, discredited the institution of international financial reserves, first devaluing them due to inflation in the dollar and the Eurozone, and later completely pocketing our foreign exchange reserves.”

US Discredited Dollar By Weaponizing It – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that the long reign of the dollar as the world’s trading benchmark is under threat. He forecast that settlements in national currencies will gain momentum and gradually become dominant across the globe. “The transition to settlements in national currencies will actively gain momentum. It is inevitable … Such transactions, of course, will gradually become dominant. That’s the logic of sovereign economic and financial policy of a multipolar world,” the president said. Putin also noted that the West has compromised the whole idea of a reserve currency system.


“Using the dollar as a weapon, the United States, and the West as a whole, discredited the institution of international financial reserves, first devaluing them due to inflation in the dollar and the Eurozone, and later completely pocketing our foreign exchange reserves.” The seizure of the Russian assets has made all nations think about whether to keep reserves in dollars, the president said. According to him, the international financial system should be independent and depoliticized. “… Sovereign development must be ensured for all countries; the choice of any country must be respected. This is also important even in relation to the financial system … Of course, it must be based on the financial systems of the world’s leading countries,” Putin stressed.

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YOUR billions.

Ukraine Adds Billions To Its Military Budget (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has introduced several amendments to the country’s 2022 budget, which raises the maximum limit on state internal borrowing and national debt and offers a significant boost to the nation’s defense expenses. The new budget was published on the Ukrainian parliament’s (Rada) website on Thursday and states that a total of 386.9 billion Ukrainian hryvnas ($10.5 billion) would be allocated to the country’s national security and defense sectors. The bulk of the funds, some $9.9 billion, will go to the Ministry of Defense, while the rest will be split up between the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Security Service, Main Intelligence Directorate, Foreign Intelligence Service and others.

It’s noted that the government has already started work on implementing budgetary procedures to ensure the use of these additional funds for the country’s defense and national security sectors. The announcement comes after Ukrainian MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak announced earlier this month that Ukraine had already spent its entire yearly budget amid the ongoing military conflict with Russia, while presidential aide Alexander Rodnyansky stated that Ukraine now needs to be provided with between four and five billion dollars a month to keep its budget afloat. In an article published by German media group Funke on Tuesday, Rodnyansky stated that Kiev expects the EU to cover roughly half of that sum – some $2 billion per month.

He also insisted Ukraine needed to get additional aid such as “thermal clothing, emergency power and diesel generators” after Russia carried out a series of attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure. “We believe that Germany could take on about $500 million a month,”Rodnyansky told Funke, stressing that it would be especially necessary next year. “The state has to function, pensions have to be paid.” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal has put the total cost of repairing the country’s lost infrastructure and modernizing areas unaffected by the conflict at around $750 billion. The World Bank and the US have stated they believe the price to rebuild Ukraine was significantly lower, at around $350 billion, according to Funke.

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…and Cause Myocarditis in Up to 1 in 27..

mRNA Vaccines Injure the Heart of ALL Vaccine Recipients (DS)

New evidence has emerged that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are routinely injuring the heart of all vaccine recipients, raising further questions about their safety and their role in the recent elevated levels of heart-related deaths. The latest evidence comes in a study from Switzerland, which found elevated troponin levels – indicating heart injury – across all vaccinated people, with 2.8% showing levels associated with subclinical myocarditis. The official line on elevated heart injuries and deaths, where they are acknowledged, is that they are most likely caused by the virus as a post-Covid condition rather than the vaccines. However, expert group HART (Health Advisory and Recovery Team) has pointed to Australia as a “control group” on this question.


HART notes that even though Australia had not had significant Covid (only 30,000 reported infections and 910 deaths) prior to mid-2021, it still saw a trend in excess non-Covid deaths beginning in June 2021. HART notes that Australia “did not have prior Covid as a reason for seeing this rise in mortality and hospital pressure from spring 2021”. Instead, “the results from this control group indicate that the cause of this rise in deaths, particularly in young people, must be something in common with Australia, Europe and the USA”. In New Zealand, economist John Gibson found a temporal association between boosters and excess deaths, estimating “16 excess deaths per 100,000 booster doses”. He noted that the age distribution of the deaths corroborated the hypothesis: “The age groups most likely to use boosters show large rises in excess mortality after boosters are rolled out.”

[..] As to cause, Dr. Michael Palmer and Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi at Doctors for Covid Ethics have set out what they deem “irrefutable proof of causality” that mRNA vaccines are causing vascular and organ damage. From studies and autopsy evidence the medical experts show: • mRNA vaccines don’t stay at the injection site but instead travel throughout the body and accumulate in various organs; • mRNA-based Covid vaccines induce long-lasting expression of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in many organs; • Vaccine-induced expression of the spike protein induces autoimmune-like inflammation; • Vaccine-induced inflammation can cause grave organ damage, especially in vessels, sometimes with deadly outcome.


They explain that autopsy evidence shows that “the strong expression of spike protein in heart muscle after vaccination correlates with significant inflammation and tissue destruction”. They add that “vaccine-induced vascular damage will promote blood clotting, and clotting-related diseases such as heart attack, stroke, lung embolism are very common in the adverse events databases”.

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Subtitle: “This isn’t going to end well.”

mRNA Vaccines: The CIA and National Defense (Malone)

We have to have some technology to enable rapid response for special forces teams that are going to go in to wherever the bad guys are when we detect them and address that problem and take them out. Those special forces need to be protected. We need to have capabilities that can be deployed at the battalion level. We need to have capabilities that can be deployed at the population level. This RNA tech was one of the ones, together with monoclonal antibodies, that the government has long believed had huge potential to enable that type of rapid response. They actually like monoclonal antibodies better. The idea behind monoclonal antibodies that they really like is you can administer these products to a special forces group. They go in theater, do their business, come back out, go see their wife, monoclonal antibody is gone. It’s cleared. Yay.

The problem is that the technology just has not performed. The monoclonal antibody technology is too cludgy. It’s too cumbersome. What we’ve learned over the last three years is that viruses and pathogens can evolve to escape that fairly rapidly because they’re fairly specific. We’ve all seen the viral evolution in real time. We experienced it. That’s the unmet medical need and the justification underlying this. That there is an unmet need for some technology, that will now allow rapid response to both emerging pathogens and engineered pathogens such as bio-warfare or terrorism-based pathogens. I think we can all agree that we would like such a technology to exist. The truth is that DARPA, which is the operational development arm, basically the CIA, fell in love with the RNA technology over a decade ago.

They decided to capitalize it and force it into the market space. For instance, they’re the ones that have capitalized through In-Q-Tel, their investment arm, the new RNA manufacturing facilities up in Canada. This is a CIA program. There’s no ambiguity here. I’m not telling state secrets. The technology was basically pulled out of the trash can, because it had been suppressed by Merck after I developed it over 30 years ago. Then it was advanced very aggressively by DARPA. DARPA funded and basically built Moderna. They’re continuing to push all this. They’re pushing it through the government. What you’re seeing is the power of the intelligence community and the new bio-defense industrial complex that’s developed since the anthrax attacks and it really goes beyond that in being able to push their agenda through the government.

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Kermit

 

 

True story.

 

 

Brando

 

 


The Mir mine is an open pit diamond mine located in Mirny, Russia. The mine is 525 m deep (4th in the world) and has a diameter of 1,200 m.

 

 

Mushroom music

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 272022
 
 October 27, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Salvador Dali Crepuscular old man 1918

 

Stop Worrying & Love the Bomb (Chris Hedges)
Ukraine Is Test Range For Western Arms – Russia Defense Minister (RT)
Weapons Sent To Ukraine End Up On Black Market – Putin (RT)
US Vows To Protect Allies With Nukes (RT)
About The “Dirty Bomb” Thesis And The Role Of Hatred (Saker)
NATO Warns Russia And Iran (RT)
Moscow Urges UN Probe Into Ukrainian Biolabs (RT)
The EU Is Driving Polexit (RMX)
Google and Microsoft Hit By Slowing Economy (BBC)
Apple Slashes Production As Consumer Spending Drops (RT)
No, Inflation Is NOT Over (Denninger)
Saudi Arabia Slams US For Manipulating Oil Prices (RT)
US Diesel Shortage Worsens (RT)
A Disordered World – Part 1: Fracture (Satyajit Das)
Infantilization Of The Apocalypse (Shellenberger)
Biden Launches #VaxUpAmerica Tour (CHD)
People Who Caught Mild Covid Had Increased Risk Of Blood Clots (CNBC)

 

 

 

 

Sink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t shake the idea that Hedges is stuck in his cold war past. I don’t think there will be nuclear war. Threat, sure, but…

Stop Worrying & Love the Bomb (Chris Hedges)

I have covered enough wars to know that once you open that Pandora’s box, the many evils that pour out are beyond anyone’s control. War accelerates the whirlwind of industrial killing. The longer any war continues, the closer and closer each side comes to self-annihilation. Unless it is stopped, the proxy war between Russia and the U.S. in Ukraine all but guarantees direct confrontation with Russia and, with it, the very real possibility of nuclear war. U.S. President Joe Biden, who doesn’t always seem to be quite sure where he is or what he is supposed to be saying, is being propped up in the I-am-a-bigger-man-than-you contest with Russian President Vladimir Putin by a coterie of rabid warmongers who have orchestrated over 20 years of military fiascos. They are salivating at the prospect of taking on Russia, and then, if there is any habitation left on the globe, China.

Trapped in the polarizing mindset of the Cold War — where any effort to de-escalate conflicts through diplomacy is considered appeasement, a perfidious Munich moment — they smugly push the human species closer and closer toward obliteration. Unfortunately for us, one of these true believers is Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Putin is saying he is not bluffing. Well, he cannot afford bluffing, and it has to be clear that the people supporting Ukraine and the European Union and the Member States, and the United States and NATO are not bluffing neither,” E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned. “Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer, not a nuclear answer but such a powerful answer from the military side that the Russian Army will be annihilated.” Annihilated. Are these people insane?

You know we are in trouble when former Donald Trump is the voice of reason. “We must demand the immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in world war three” the former U.S. president said. “And there will be nothing left of our planet — all because stupid people didn’t have a clue … They don’t understand what they’re dealing with, the power of nuclear.” I dealt with many of these ideologues — David Petraeus, Elliot Abrams, Robert Kagan, Victoria Nuland — as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. Once you strip away their chest full of medals or fancy degrees, you find shallow men and women, craven careerists who obsequiously serve the war industry that ensures their promotions, pays the budgets of their think tanks and showers them with money as board members of military contractors.

They are the pimps of war. If you reported on them, as I did, you would not sleep well at night. They are vain enough and stupid enough to blow up the world long before we go extinct because of the climate crisis, which they have also dutifully accelerated. If, as Joe Biden says, Putin is “not joking” about using nuclear weapons and we risk nuclear “Armageddon,” why isn’t Biden on the phone to Putin? Why doesn’t he follow the example of John F. Kennedy, who repeatedly communicated with Nikita Khrushchev to negotiate an end to the Cuban missile crisis? Kennedy, who unlike Biden served in the military, knew the obtuseness of generals. He had the good sense to ignore Curtis LeMay, the Air Force chief of staff and head of the Strategic Air Command, as well as the model for General Jack D. Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove,” who urged Kennedy to bomb the Cuban missile bases, an act that would have probably ignited a nuclear war. Biden is not made of the same stuff.

[..] The West has been baiting Moscow for decades. I reported from Eastern Europe at the end of the Cold War. I watched these militarists set out to build what they called a unipolar world — a world where they alone ruled. First, they broke promises not to expand NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany. Then they broke promises not to “permanently station substantial combat forces” in the new NATO member countries in Eastern and Central Europe. Then they broke promises not to station missile systems along Russia’s border. Then they broke promises not to interfere in the internal affairs of border states such as Ukraine, orchestrating the 2014 coup that ousted the elected government of Victor Yanukovich, replacing it with an anti-Russian — fascist aligned — government, which, in turn, led to an eight-year-long civil war, as the Russian populated regions in the east sought independence from Kiev.

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“We have eight different 155mm artillery systems in the field … so it’s like a competition between systems” to see which one proves best..”

Ukraine Is Test Range For Western Arms – Russia Defense Minister (RT)

The conflict in Ukraine gives Western arms producers a chance to see which products fare best in a real fight against Russia, the country’s defense minister has said.“We have a combat testing field in Ukraine during this war,” Aleksey Reznikov explained. “We have eight different 155mm artillery systems in the field … so it’s like a competition between systems” to see which one proves best. The comments came in an interview with Politico published on Tuesday. The testing ground idea was previously expressed by Reznikov’s deputy, Vladimir Gavrilov, who claimed that some American defense contractors were fielding their prototypes in Ukraine.Kiev expects military aid from NATO members to continue flowing into the country for years and wants to benefit more from it, Reznikov said. For example, Ukraine could start joint ventures with Poland, the UK, or Germany to produce weapons.

“We have to develop a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) industry not only for aerial drones but also on land and in the sea because it’s the future” of warfare, he noted. He was also skeptical about restrictions under which Ukraine’s supporters are shipping arms to Kiev. As the conflict with Russia unfolded, the US and its allies have repeatedly reconsidered previous decisions not to send heavier weapons, the defense minister pointed out. “I’m really optimistic that Abrams tanks are possible in the future and I am sure that fighter jets like F-16s, F-15s, or Gripen from Sweden will also be possible,” he said. Washington was initially reluctant to provide lethal aid to Ukraine out of concern that Russia would consider it an escalation but gradually reconsidered and supplied increasingly sophisticated weapons, which Reznikov sees as a favorable trend.

Western officials cited logistical issues with training Ukrainian pilots and maintenance of the fighter jets among the reasons why Ukraine can’t get F-16s or F-15s. But according to media reports, Kiev may get them in the long run. Reznikov said European NATO allies were looking to the US in their aid decisions, so it was up to Washington to up the ante. “After the first Abrams [arrives] I’m sure we will have Leopards, Marders, and other types of heavy armored vehicles like tanks,” he told the news outlet. Among the weapons the US most recently designated for Ukraine are the NASAMS air defense systems. Washington is also reportedly considering sending some old HAWK surface-to-air missiles it has stockpiled to see if they are still effective.

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“..70% of weapons supplied to Ukraine never make it to the front lines as they have to pass through a network of “power lords, oligarchs and political players.”

Weapons Sent To Ukraine End Up On Black Market – Putin (RT)

Western weapons flowing into Ukraine have begun to make their way onto black markets, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with the heads of security and special services of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries on Wednesday. The Russian leader called on the participants of the meeting to bolster cooperation in anti-terrorism efforts and noted that there were “serious challenges” posed by the emerging black arms markets in Ukraine. Putin claimed that “cross-border criminal groups” were actively involved in smuggling weapons to other regions and that it wasn’t just small firearms. “There is a persistent risk of criminals getting hold of more powerful weapons, including portable air defense systems and precision weapons.”

The president’s statement comes after Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, warned last month that corrupt Ukrainian officials had established channels to deliver Western-supplied weapons onto the global black market. Meanwhile, the West’s top military officials have admitted that it is nearly impossible to effectively track where the billions of dollars worth of arms delivered to Ukraine actually end up. Pentagon Inspector General Sean O’Donnell told Bloomberg in August that there was almost no fidelity as the Ukrainians still used paper “hand receipts” to trace supplied weapons. CBS News also reported that some 70% of weapons supplied to Ukraine never make it to the front lines as they have to pass through a network of “power lords, oligarchs and political players.”

“There is really no information as to where they’re going at all,” Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis adviser with Amnesty international told the outlet, adding that it was “really worrying” that the countries supplying these weapons do not find it necessary to put in place robust oversight mechanisms. CBS was later pressured, however, to pull the documentary and amend the story after the channel was accused of spreading “Russian propaganda.” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podoliak has insisted there is “no proof” that weapons entering the country were unaccounted for. Ukraine has insisted that an uninterrupted flow of Western weapons is the key to the country’s survival on the battlefield. Russia, meanwhile, has warned on multiple occasions that pumping Kiev with weapons will only prolong the conflict.

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As Russia spoke just once about self protection.

US Vows To Protect Allies With Nukes (RT)

The US military will unleash its full arsenal, including nuclear weapons, to protect South Korea and Japan from attack, a top State Department official has said, also blasting Pyongyang for its “dangerous” and “destabilizing” weapons tests, while vowing “ironclad” cooperation with allies in Asia. Speaking ahead of multiple rounds of talks in Japan’s capital with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts on Tuesday, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Washington would deploy its “nuclear, conventional and missile defense” forces should the two allies ever come under attack, emphasizing the US’ ‘nuclear umbrella’ policy.

Sherman went on to condemn recent missile launches by North Korea – a major focus of this week’s meetings – slamming the DPRK’s record number of weapons tests this year as “deeply irresponsible, dangerous, and destabilizing.” During a separate meeting held with Sherman before the three-way sit-down alongside Japan, South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyundong said Pyongyang’s actions were “creating serious tension on the Korean Peninsula,” sounding the alarm over an update to North Korea’s nuclear weapons policies last month.In addition to a flurry of weapons tests and shows of force in retaliation to joint US-South Korean war games, the North recently announced that it had carried out a drill simulating the loading of tactical nuclear warheads into a silo hidden below a reservoir, part of a series of exercises launched in September to ensure the readiness of its nuclear forces.

North Korea maintains its nuclear arsenal is intended only for self-defense, and has criticized joint US-South Korean military drills time and again as rehearsals for an invasion. US officials have repeatedly predicted an imminent North Korean nuclear test in recent months, though the country has refrained from any live detonations since 2017. Nonetheless, the forecasts come amid a major spike in tensions between the two Koreas, as both sides continue to issue threats and carry out military demonstrations. On Wednesday, Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo pledged deeper military ties amid “provocations” by Pyongyang, and also “agreed that an unparalleled scale of response would be needed in case North Korea conducts a seventh nuclear test,” a South Korean official told reporters.

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“To the demented minds of the Neocons, total chaos would look better than total defeat, right?”

About The “Dirty Bomb” Thesis And The Role Of Hatred (Saker)

[Sidebar: right now, NATO simply does not have the forces needed to attack Russia with any hope of success. One single Airborne Brigade Combat Team won’t make *any* difference here. And even if the US decides to go to a full mobilization (which is really impossible, good luck with that!), it would have to bring those forces to Europe. And even if the US can bring in, say, 1’000’000 million men, it will be far easier for Russia to mobilize, say, 3’000’000 men in response. Then what? And did I mention that as soon as the US ships set sail, Russia will obliterate any ports and facilities expecting to receive the US forces. Try this: take the full Polish, 3B, Romanian and Ukronazi armed forces, then add the FULL 101st and 82nd and what do you get? A multinational (“combined”) force which was never designed to operate in such a convoluted way, especially against the better-than-peer united military under a single command! And I won’t even go into such thorny issues as assembly points, maneuver, logistics, air defenses, etc. As I have said, this is all optics, optics and more optics, nothing more]

While zombies like Brandon and his “genius” VP are clueless about any of that, there must be at least a few folks in the Pentagon or the letter soup agencies who understand the simple fact that the way things look now, the Hegemony has three options: • Be defeated • Declare victory and leave (same deal, just with a tiny fig leaf for modesty) • Commit suicide by attacking Russia directly. Not very good perspectives. So here is one more: how about creating total chaos and hope that something advantageous comes out of it? In other words, while setting off a dirty bomb will do nothing in purely military terms (it sure won’t stop the Russian military), it will create such a huge political reaction that the current situation will turn into total chaos, panic, rumors, lies, etc. To the demented minds of the Neocons, total chaos would look better than total defeat, right?

Yes, I know, nobody with half a brain will ever sincerely believe that the Russians did it. But if past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, I would submit that there will always be enough doubleplusgoodshitheaters in the Hegemony to believe literally *anything* no matter how self-evidently stupid and preposterous that *anything* is. We do, after all, live in a society were nobody teaches how to think anymore (schools just make kids dumber and dumber) and the vast majority of people still reply on legacy corporate propaganda machine to get what they think is “information”. Not to mention that on a psychological and spiritual level, we live not only in a post-Christian society, but even a post-Truth society in which true and false have simply lost any objective meaning other than “like it” or “I don’t like it”. We could even call this a “post-reality” society!

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NATO is an empty echo chamber.

NATO Warns Russia And Iran (RT)

Russia now falsely claims Ukraine is preparing to use a radiological “dirty bomb” on its own territory, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Report informs, citing NATO. NATO Allies reject this transparently false allegation: “Russia often accuses others of what they intend to do themselves. We have seen this pattern before. From Syria to Ukraine. Russia must not use false pretexts for further escalation.” According to Stoltenberg, the world is watching closely: “Russia’s brutal war and illegal war is at a pivotal moment. President Putin is responding to his failures on the battlefield with more aggression. Strikes on civilians, on civilian energy infrastructure. And drone and missile attacks on residential areas.” “In recent days, we have also seen Iran provide military support to the Russian war effort. This is unacceptable. No country should be helping the aggressor in an illegal war. So I welcome that Allies and the European Union are implementing strong sanctions on Tehran,” he said.

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“..Washington has “worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health,” by providing support to “46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades.”

I like how they fit in animal health.

Moscow Urges UN Probe Into Ukrainian Biolabs (RT)

Russia is calling on the UN Security Council to establish a commission to investigate alleged violations of the convention prohibiting the production or use of biological weapons by Ukraine and the United States.“We requested a meeting in two days in line with Article VI of the Biological Weapons Convention,” the Russian mission to the United Nations said on Tuesday. Moscow’s ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, circulated a draft resolution ahead of a meeting set for Thursday, along with “a variety of documents and evidence that shed light on the true nature of military biological activities of the US and Ukraine on the Ukrainian territory.”

Russia was forced to invoke Article VI of the convention to raise the issues with the Security Council after its repeated inquiries were largely ignored by Washington and Kiev, who “have not provided necessary explanations, nor have they taken immediate measures to remedy the situation,” Nebenzia explained. Moscow has alleged that the two countries conducted secretive, joint biological research on Ukrainian soil, claiming it had obtained incriminating evidence of those activities during the ongoing military operation. The Russian Defense Ministry has gradually released said materials to the public in batches since March.“The data analysis gives evidence of non-compliance by the American and Ukrainian sides with the provisions” of the BWC, Nebenzia said.

Last month, Russia convened a meeting of BCW member states in Geneva, which failed to provide any tangible result, with delegates from 35 out of 89 nations either dismissing the Russian claims or expressing support for the kind of research the US and Ukraine were conducting, according to the US State Department. Only seven nations expressed support for Russia: Belarus, China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Syria and Venezuela. In the wake of the meeting, Moscow proposed amendments to the BWC, floating three ideas to reinforce the landmark international agreement and make it more legally binding for its parties. Namely, Russia called for negotiations on a “legally binding protocol,” an “effective verification mechanism” and a “scientific advisory committee” within the group.

Russia also proposed making the control mechanisms more transparent, with additional “confidence-building measures,” suggesting BWC participants must be obliged to declare their “activities in the biological sphere outside the national territory.” The US and Ukraine have dismissed Russia’s bioweapons claims as disinformation and a conspiracy theory. Back in June, the Pentagon published the ‘Fact Sheet on WMD Threat Reduction Efforts with Ukraine, Russia and Other Former Soviet Union Countries’. The US military claimed that following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington has “worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health,” by providing support to “46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades.” These programs have allegedly focused on “improving public health and agricultural safety measures at the nexus of nonproliferation.”

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“A democratic mandate was overturned in the name of democracy..”

The EU Is Driving Polexit (RMX)

It now looks certain that the money from the EU Recovery Fund owed to Poland will not arrive in Warsaw before the 2023 parliamentary elections. This dramatic move is a purely political decision taken in Brussels and Berlin to “starve” the unruly Poles. Now, there are leaks in the media that the remaining EU funds owed to Poland will also be frozen. This is no surprise given that the EU establishment has abandoned any pretense of even-handedness. It is logical that Brussels brings out all available weapons against the hated conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government. The objective is to make Poles vote the right way and choose the right government. It is meddling in the internal and sovereign affairs of a member state, which has little to do with democracy. This is not in the spirit of EU treaties and founding principles.

Principles such as subsidiarity and the notion of a Europe of equal and sovereign member states — a voluntary union that pools rather than takes away sovereignty. Now, the EU seems to be about breaking rebellious provinces and making them accept central decision-making authority. This is not the first time this has happened. The same was done to the Syriza government in Greece in 2015. It was forced to adopt policies imposed by the troika of the European Commission, IMF, and European Central Bank. A democratic mandate was overturned in the name of democracy. It would all be funny if it was not so serious.European institutions have also done this to Italy, changing governments to ones that followed its strictures. Pressure was also applied to Ireland, Portugal, and Spain. Now, it is Poland’s and Hungary’s turn.

The EU establishment is determined to avoid any change to the way it does things. It has learned nothing from the financial crisis of 2008, the euro crisis, Brexit, or the total collapse of its energy policy as a result of the war in Ukraine. They do not welcome calls for reform that would make them share power. When that kind of challenge arises, they react sharply, calling opponents extremists and anti-Europeans who must be stopped. The EU elites are always right and never at fault for anything. We cannot rule out that they will succeed in breaking Poland in the same way as they broke Athens and Rome. But if they do, it will not be without consequences. Polexit could become a self-fulfilling prophecy as the people turn against the EU or as the EU establishment effectively pushes Poland out of the EU. The groundwork for this is being laid before our very eyes.

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The tech sector is taking major hits.

Google and Microsoft Hit By Slowing Economy (BBC)

Sales at the tech giants Alphabet and Microsoft have slowed sharply, adding to fears of a downturn in the economy. Alphabet, which owns Google and YouTube, said sales rose just 6% in the three months to September, to $69bn, as firms cut their advertising budgets. It marked the US firm’s weakest quarterly growth in nearly a decade outside of the start of the pandemic. Microsoft meanwhile said demand for its computers and other technology had weakened. Its sales rose by 11% to $50.1bn, marking its slowest revenue growth in five years. Consumers and businesses around the world are cutting back as prices rise and interest rates go up, fuelling fears of a global recession. A strong US dollar has also hurt American multinationals, making it more expensive to sell products abroad.


Profits at Alphabet dropped nearly 30% to $13.9bn in the quarter, as YouTube ad revenues declined for the first time since the firm started to report them publicly. Sales growth at the firm has slowed for five consecutive quarters. Boss Sundar Pichai said that Alphabet was “sharpening” its focus and “being responsive to the economic environment”. “When Google stumbles, it’s a bad omen for digital advertising at large,” said Evelyn Mitchell, principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, noting that Google’s core website has in the past been more resilient to ad spending downturns than social media sites like Facebook or Snap. “This disappointing quarter for Google signifies hard times ahead if market conditions continue to deteriorate.”

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And that tech sector is a very large part of the financial market.

Apple Slashes Production As Consumer Spending Drops (RT)

US tech giant Apple will cut back the assembly of the recently launched iPhone 14 Plus to counter softness in smartphone sales, market researcher TrendForce reported on Tuesday. The company will reportedly focus instead on high-end models. According to the report, the manufacturer will increase output of the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro, the share of which has increased to 60% of total output from the initially planned 50%. It could reportedly further rise to 65% in the future.The researcher indicated that Apple’s Pro and Pro Max premium tier devices have been strong sellers at a time when a global chip crisis is unfolding, helping the company push margins higher.


It also warned that rising US interest rates could crimp consumer spending, undermining demand for iPhones in the first quarter of 2023. This could reportedly lead to a 14% year-on-year drop in production to 52 million units.Data by research firm Canalys shows that Apple was the only vendor in the top five to register growth in shipments in the third quarter. The company has improved its share of the global smartphone market to 18% from 15% a year ago despite the shrinking market. Last month, Apple said it would manufacture the iPhone 14 in India, as it moves some of its production out of China to mitigate the risks arising from the growing tensions between Washington and Beijing.

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“..nobody is going to invest in a 20, 30 or 40 year lifetime plant when it can be ripped out from under them in two years..”

No, Inflation Is NOT Over (Denninger)

I’ve heard plenty of it. The rally Friday was predicated on yet another “rumor” that The Fed was going to “step down” its rate hikes. It’s bunk.Folks, what’s the inflation rate you’ve been quoted for food on an annualized basis for the last 12 months? 10, 12%? Really? What planet are you on? It’s not “sticker price”, its as sold price that matters. That is if the “shelf” price is $2.49 for an 8oz bar of cheese but the store has a “use five times” coupon for $1.69 the price is $1.69.If suddenly the coupons disappear what is the actual inflation in as-sold price? It’s not 11% — it’s close to fifty percent.If eggs are routinely $0.99/dz and now they’re $2.09 that’s more than a double.Look at the price of a can of pumpkin for a pie coming up in a few weeks. More than a double from last year; now over $5 where I am. Can you blunt this by “trading down” and similar? Sure. For a while.

You can also burn through your freezer, if you have one. But eventually this shows up in your grocery bill and if you think this has been 11% or somesuch over the last 12 months I want some of whatever you’re smoking. Until the Pavlovian response of the markets to any rumor The Fed will slow down breaks and Congress stops thinking it can blow $2.067 trillion on Medicare and Medicaid in a fiscal year while collecting just $339 billion in tax to pay for that inflation is not done. Further, until The Federal Government not only rescinds its declaration that carbon-based energy shall be extinguished and puts into law protections preventing them from threatening to ruin the entire field again which cannot be changed at the simple whim of the majority energy companies would be committing rank fraud to invest in further production, refining and transport — and they will not, as a result, do so.

They will instead do the only rational thing under that paradigm and run their existing plant to ruin which means that problem won’t get resolved either — nor will the high prices.If your thesis is that this will reverse “in three weeks” on a “Red Hurricane” in the mid-term elections you’re nuts Neither Republicans or Democrats have done a single thing over the last twenty years about the source of the budget issues — in fact they have, each and every year, made it worse. The war on energy cannot be rescinded with a simple majority because nobody is going to invest in a 20, 30 or 40 year lifetime plant when it can be ripped out from under them in two years as happened this time. Sorry folks but if you’re buying into that — you’re wrong.

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The love affair is over. No more petro dollar.

Saudi Arabia Slams US For Manipulating Oil Prices (RT)

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, has criticized nations for tapping their emergency oil stockpiles in order to manipulate prices, and warned of consequences if the reserves run dry. “It is my profound duty to make clear to the world that losing emergency stocks may be painful in the months to come,” the Saudi minister told the Future Initiative Investment conference in Riyadh on Tuesday. He noted that the US’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was not intended to relieve price pressures, but instead was meant to address emergency supply constraints. The comments come after US President Joe Biden announced the sale of another 14 million barrels from the SPR, following the release of 180 million barrels of oil since April.

Last week, the US authorities said they would release additional crude from the SPR to keep a lid on America’s gasoline prices and then replenish the reserves. The historic use of emergency stocks has worried investors around the world, as excessive volumes of oil could flood the market and put it under pressure. According to an oil analyst at Energy Aspects, Amrita Sen, the SPR is now “absolutely being used to keep prices lower even though that’s not what it’s meant to be used for.” The Biden administration has reportedly indicated that further tapping of the strategic reserves could be linked to the recent decision of OPEC+ to cut oil production.

OPEC+ announced that countries comprising the group will cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day starting in November. The cuts will be distributed based on quotas under the OPEC+ deal as of August 2022. The curtailing of output is aimed at stabilizing the global oil market ahead of a seasonal drop in demand, and amid fears of a global recession.

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All the trucks that deliver all the products.

US Diesel Shortage Worsens (RT)

US diesel shortages are spreading along the East Coast amid a ban on imports from Russia, raising fears of further surges in prices for the fuel as consumers brace for the winter heating season. Mansfield Energy, one of the nation’s major fuel distributors, instituted emergency measures on Tuesday and warned its customers that carriers were being forced to visit multiple terminals in some cases to find supplies, delaying deliveries. With shortages spreading from the Northeast to the Southeast, the company advised customers to give 72-hour notice for their orders to avoid having to pay above-market prices. “In many areas, actual fuel prices are currently 30-80 cents higher than the posted market average because supply is tight,” said Mansfield, which delivers over three billion gallons of oil products annually.

With the relatively low-cost suppliers running out of diesel, distributors are forced to draw from higher-cost sources, resulting in unusually wide spreads in pricing. Mansfield’s advisory came just six days after US National Economic Council director Brian Deese told Bloomberg News that diesel supplies were “unacceptably low” and that President Joe Biden’s administration had “all options” on the table to reduce prices. However, as Bloomberg and other media outlets have noted, it’s not clear how those options would provide long-term relief. Diesel supplies in New England, the US region most reliant on distillate fuels for heating, have reportedly dwindled to about one-third of normal levels for this time of year. Nationwide, the US has only 25 days’ worth of diesel supplies, the lowest level since 2008.

Deese told Bloomberg that the US could tap its Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, which holds one million barrels of diesel for emergency use. But, as the Washington Post noted, demand for the fuel is so high in the Northeast that those reserves would be depleted in fewer than six hours. The White House has also considered banning or restricting exports of refined fuels – a strategy that industry trade groups claimed would backfire “Banning or limiting the export of refined products would likely decrease inventory levels, reduce domestic refining capacity, put upward pressure on consumer fuel prices, and alienate US allies during a time of war,” the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers said earlier this month in a letter to US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

The shortages also put the US at risk of further spikes in prices if there’s a supply disruption, such as a refinery breakdown. Higher prices for the fuel would ripple through the US economy because 18-wheelers and other diesel-powered vehicles carry about 70% of the nation’s freight tonnage. Diesel prices are currently averaging nearly $5.32 per gallon nationwide, down 8.6% from the all-time high set in June, according to the AAA auto club. By comparison, the average gasoline price has dropped 25% from its record high to $3.76 per gallon. Diesel prices are up 47% from a year ago.

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“Whatever the length, dimensions and outcome, Ukraine has exposed already present major differences in the world.”

A Disordered World – Part 1: Fracture (Satyajit Das)

The avoidable Ukraine conflict, with its unnecessary destruction and human suffering, is best seen as a catalyst. Unwillingness to recognise core interests of parties, increasingly entrenched positions, and lack of interest in negotiations means a spiral into a wider confrontation is not impossible. With escalation difficult to calibrate, the evolution from a proxy into a real war between the US and Russia, which might draw in China, all nuclear-armed, remains possible.The West’s expressed desire for engineering regime change within Russia is dangerous. Any new regime may not be more amenable to Western pressure. History, most recently the Arab Spring and Colour Revolutions, shows that a dangerous political void is more likely than liberalisation.

Whatever the length, dimensions and outcome, Ukraine has exposed already present major differences in the world. In particular, the West’s response -trade restrictions, sanctions and asset seizures- will outlive the military actions and prove more damaging. The weaponization of trade and finance, modern gunboat diplomacy, has a long lineage. Sanctions and blockades were used in World War 1 and influenced Japan’s entry into World War 2. Western embargoes against communist bloc countries were common during the Cold War. Since 1979, the US has sought to isolate the Islamic Republic of Iran established by a popular revolution which overthrew the Shah, who had been installed by an American coup d’état. Measures against Russia commenced in 2014. The US has imposed progressively more stringent restrictions on China covering exports and sales of critical technologies since 2018.


In the short term, the measures have affected Covid19 disrupted supply chains, aggravating shortages and price inflation, especially in food, energy and raw materials. In the longer-term, the interaction with other stresses may prove significant. The effects of climate change driven extreme weather – droughts, floods, storms, wildfires- on food production and transportation links is accelerating. A triple dip La Niña alone threatens large scale disturbance with a potential global cost of $1 trillion (around 1 percent of global GDP). Resource scarcity – water, food, energy, raw materials- is simultaneously rising due to natural limits. The decisions by major producers to increasingly stockpile or limit foreign sales to ensure domestic supply and control local costs are adding to disruptions to food production.

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“Civil rights activists in the 1950s sat at lunch counters and demanded to be treated like full adults. Notably, it was racist counterprotesters who poured milkshakes over them. Today, it’s the protesters who are spilling milk and throwing food.”

Infantilization Of The Apocalypse (Shellenberger)

On Sunday, after climate activists in Germany threw mashed potatoes on a Monet painting, they screamed at the nearby museum-goers. “We won’t be able to feed our families in 2050” because of climate change, they alleged. But Volkswagen already agreed last year to end the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035, and the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts rising yields under even very high temperatures so long as farmers keep using fertilizer, irrigation, and tractors. That is, yields will continue under climate change so long as farmers don’t take the advice of climate activists. The activists who keep degrading precious works of art, and themselves, claim to be concerned about food and energy supplies, but in opposing oil, gas and fertilizer production they are actively reducing both. Over the last several months, I have described the demands of climate activists as fanatical and pointed to a large body of evidence suggesting that nihilism, narcissism, and feelings of personal inadequacy are the primary motives.


But nihilism, narcissism, and personal inadequacy alone do not explain why climate activists have chosen temper tantrum tactics. After all, the greatest protest movements of all time engaged in far more grown-up and dignified tactics. Think of the Salt March led by Gandhi, the Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Martin Luther King, and the anti-whaling protests of Greenpeace. Where protesters in the past asked to be treated like adults, climate protesters today demand to be treated like children. Civil rights activists in the 1950s sat at lunch counters and demanded to be treated like full adults. Notably, it was racist counterprotesters who poured milkshakes over them. Today, it’s the protesters who are spilling milk and throwing food. Why is that, exactly? Why have Left-wing activists regressed in their tactics? The people in the protests are themselves apparently dignified people.

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Pfizer’s sales department. What’s the uptake in kids so far? 2%? It’s over.

Biden Launches #VaxUpAmerica Tour (CHD)

Flanked by Dr. Anthony Fauci, other top U.S. public health officials and the CEOs of major pharmacy chains including CVS, Rite-Aid and Walgreens, President Biden today urged “all Americans” to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine and pleaded with Congress to continue funding the vaccines and COVID-19 treatments, such as Pfizer’s Paxlovid. “If you’re fully vaccinated, get one more COVID shot — once a year, that’s it,” Biden said, likening it to an annual flu shot. “If you get it you’re protected, and if you don’t, you’re putting yourself and other people at unnecessary risk,” he said. Biden, who last month declared the “pandemic is over,” also urged people to get their kids the flu shot and the COVID-19 shot, stating “you can get them at the same time.” Biden ended his speech by getting the COVID-19 booster shot live on camera.

Commenting on Biden’s speech, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., founder, chairman of the board and chief legal counsel for Children’s Health Defense, said: “It’s troubling President Biden is so captive of a false and discredited narrative that he continues to aggressively promote a high-risk, zero-liability, experimental medical intervention with a product that doesn’t work as advertised and is causing horrendous health problems in Americans. “It’s even more dismaying that he has used the prestige and moral authority of the presidency to recruit America’s corporations into a racketeering enterprise.” Biden’s speech coincided with today’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Wednesday will launch a #VaxUpAmerica Family Vaccine Tour that will feature pop-up vaccination events across the country.

As part of this tour, the White House said: “HHS will work with national and community-based organizations and others to reach families where they are with information on COVID-19 vaccines, and will host pop-up vaccination events and distribute toolkits at venues such as Head Start provider locations, nursing homes and community health centers around the country.” According to the White House, administration officials and others will “share information and encourage schools, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, employers and others to host their own vaccination events.”The #VaxUpAmerica Tour will be accompanied by a big advertising push. “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching new national and local TV, radio and print ads geared at reaching Black and Latino audiences in more than 30 markets in English and Spanish. New football and country music-themed radio ads geared at reaching rural communities will run in 15 local markets,” the White House said.

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More from Pfizer’s sales department.

People Who Caught Mild Covid Had Increased Risk Of Blood Clots (CNBC)

People who caught mild cases of Covid-19 during the first year of the pandemic had a higher risk of developing blood clots than those who were not infected, according to a large study published by British scientists this week. Patients with mild Covid, defined as those not hospitalized, were 2.7 times more likely to develop blood clots, according to the study published in the British Medical Journal’s Heart on Monday. They were also 10 times more likely to die than people who did not have Covid. Scientists affiliated with Queen Mary University of London followed 18,000 people who caught Covid during the first year of the pandemic and compared their health outcomes with nearly 34,000 people who didn’t contract the virus.

Participants were tracked until they developed cardiovascular disease, died or until the study ended in March 2021. Most of the study was conducted before the vaccines rolled out in the Britain in December 2020. While people with mild Covid had an increased risk of blood clots, patients hospitalized with the virus had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease in general. The risk of cardiovascular disease for mild and severe cases was highest in the first 30 days after infection but continued later. In addition, patients hospitalized with Covid were 28 times more likely to develop blood clots, 22 times more likely to suffer heart failure and 17 times more likely to have a stroke, according to the study. Overall, they were over 100 times more likely to die than people who didn’t have Covid.

The scientists said their findings highlight the importance of monitoring even people who had mild Covid for cardiovascular disease over the long term. “Our findings highlight the increased cardiovascular risk of individuals with past infection, which are likely to be greater in countries with limited access to vaccination and thus greater population exposure to COVID-19,” the authors of the study wrote.

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In the Dutch language, seal=zeehond (sea dog)

 

 

Male elephants are normally 6000 kg max. This one is estimated at 8000 kg.

 

 


Leanne Cooke photographed a deadly venomous Stephen’s Banded snake in Maitland, Australia

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 212022
 
 October 21, 2022  Posted by at 8:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Salvador Dali Llane Beach, Cadaques 1919

 

US May End Aid To Ukraine After Midterms – Axios (RT)
Berlusconi Trashes NATO Narrative On Ukraine (RT)
Putin’s Gift To Berlusconi May Have Breached EU Sanctions (RT)
Power Costs In Italy Going Through The Roof (RT)
Zelensky Denies Kiev’s Role In Crimean Bridge Blast (RT)
Britain’s Stark Choice Ahead – Transformation or Collapse (Nafeez Ahmed)
US Slams Turkey-Russia Deal to Form a Natural Gas Hub (GR)
Xi Gets Ready For The Final Countdown (Escobar)
‘Peaceful Modernization’: China’s Offering To The Global South (Escobar)
Saudi Arabia Is Interested In Joining The BRICS (Telesur)
Biden Admin Weighs Blocking Twitter Deal On “National Security” Grounds (ZH)
PayPal Faces House Inquiry On $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fine Controversy (JTN)
How An Illiquid Dollar Ruins The World (Piepenburg)
It’s Been 2 Years Since 51 Intel Agents Interfered With An Election (Devine)
One in Every 500 Small Children Who Get Pfizer Vaccine are Hospitalised (DS)

 

 

Every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things.
– G.K. Chesterton

 

 

 

 

Terhes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1583069992605876224

 

 

 

 

Gaddafi

 

 

 

 

Zakharova

 

 

 

 

Amazon books Tucker

 

 

 

 

Will the GOP turn its back on Raytheon? Maybe they reckon this cannot be taken any further, that too many impoverished Americans will turn their backs on them. November 8.

US May End Aid To Ukraine After Midterms – Axios (RT)

The extensive assistance provided by Washington to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia may be cut if the Republican Party takes control of Congress in the midterm elections on November 8, Axios has reported. Even the harshest critics of Vladimir Putin among the Republicans now acknowledge that there’s been a “noticeable shift away from what was once a broad bipartisan consensus” on providing aid to Kiev, the outlet reported on Wednesday. It cited House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who told Punchbowl News earlier this week: “I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it. ”Ukraine might be important, but it can’t be the only thing on the agenda of the US administration, he insisted.

Republican Congressman Don Bacon also said he’d “noticed” a decline in support for Ukraine. “You see it a little bit on social media, you see it with some of our members,” he said. Bacon’s colleague Kelly Armstrong told Axios that the mood swing was likely a result of the feedback that the lawmakers had been getting from their constituents. “When people are seeing a 13% increase in grocery prices; energy, utility bills doubling… if you’re a border community and you’re being overrun by migrants and fentanyl, Ukraine is the furthest thing from your mind,” he pointed out. The website also cited a senior House Republican, who claimed that “after the $40 billion [in aid package in May], there were a lot of Republicans saying: ‘This is the last time I’m going to support Ukraine funding.’”

In a comment to Axios, Congressman Jim Banks, who chairs the Republican Study Committee (RSC), pointed out that his party is going to focus on domestic issues after the midterms. “RSC believes you can’t lead abroad when you’re so weak at home. Our GOP agenda in the new majority needs to secure our own border and get America back on our feet by addressing energy cost and inflation,” he explained. Asked to comment on McCarthy’s remarks, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre insisted that the Biden administration would “continue to work with Congress, as we have these past several months, on these efforts and support Ukraine as long as it takes.”Jean-Pierre reminded that this was a“commitment” that Joe Biden made to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

White House aides told Politico on Wednesday that the Biden administration hadn’t warned Kiev about the possibility of US aid coming to an end in the event that Republicans take control of at least one chamber of Congress after the election. However, officials in Kiev are aware that this may happen, they said. The US has been Kiev’s biggest backer since the outbreak of its conflict with Russia in late February, providing Kiev with more than $16.8 billion in military aid, including sophisticated hardware such as HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, M777 howitzers, and combat drones. Moscow has been decrying those weapons deliveries, saying they only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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Major threat to Meloni’s new coalition. Just because he’s right.

“Giorgia Meloni, who has been tasked with forming a new Italian government, stated that people who do not share a pro-NATO stance would have no place in her coalition.”

Berlusconi Trashes NATO Narrative On Ukraine (RT)

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly claimed that Kiev triggered a conflict with Russia by reneging on a peace plan for eastern Ukraine, a tape provided to the media suggests. In an apparent response to the leak, Giorgia Meloni, who has been tasked with forming a new Italian government, stated that people who do not share a pro-NATO stance would have no place in her coalition. Speaking to members of his Forza Italia party on Tuesday, Berlusconi reportedly offered a viewpoint about the origin of the Ukraine crisis that clashed with the NATO-favored narrative of unprovoked Russian aggression against its neighbor.

Italy is an important member of the US-led alliance and anyone who disagrees with this position will be excluded from government, Meloni, the leader of the Brothers of Italy party, pledged on Wednesday evening, as quoted by the newspaper La Repubblica. In the audio clip, Berlusconi can be heard accusing Kiev of failing for years to uphold a peace deal with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. When Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky came to power in 2019, he “tripled down” on attacking the regions, the politician stated. Donetsk and Lugansk asked for Moscow’s protection, he continued. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in the hope that Zelensky would be overthrown and replaced with “good people of common sense” within a couple of weeks, Berlusconi claimed. The wording resembles what he told the Italian public broadcaster RAI after the September election. During this week’s meeting, Berlusconi allegedly suggested that the conflict in Ukraine could last for over “200 years,”after the country unexpectedly resisted Russia and received money and arms from Western nations to continue the fighting.

In another part of the recording, which was published by the LaPresse news agency, Berlusconi claimed to have received a crate of vodka and a “nice letter” from Putin for his birthday. He added that he responded by sending Lambrusco wine to the Russian leader. After the clip was released, the former prime minister’s party claimed he had been referring to historical contacts with Putin and not recent events. Berlusconi has a long record of friendly relations with Putin, which stretched beyond his tenure as prime minister. The three-time former leader of the Italian government’s participation in the right-wing coalition has resulted in claims that the country could make a foreign policy U-turn and oppose the US-led anti-Russian campaign under Meloni. She repeatedly pledged her support for the EU and NATO after winning the election.

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“I responded with 20 bottles of Lambrusco and a similarly sweet letter..”

Putin’s Gift To Berlusconi May Have Breached EU Sanctions (RT)

A case containing 20 bottles of vodka that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly sent to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as a birthday gift may have violated EU sanctions, Der Spiegel reported on Thursday, citing an official comment from the European Commission to the DPA news agency. According to the statement, a spokeswoman for the Commission told the news agency that the April 2022 ban on goods imports from Russia to the EU includes spirits, namely vodka, and does not provide an exemption for gifts. The spokeswoman went on to explain that breaches of the sanctions can be reported to the competent national authorities of member states, or directly to Brussels. The news that Putin had sent the gift to Berlusconi was reported by Italy’s LaPresse news agency earlier this week.

The outlet released an audio recording of the former prime minister’s discussion with members of his party, Forza Italia, at a closed meeting. “I have reconnected with President Putin… He sent me 20 bottles of vodka and a really sweet letter for my birthday. I responded with 20 bottles of Lambrusco and a similarly sweet letter,” Berlusconi was heard saying in the recording. However, Forza Italia representatives later said that the former PM was not referring to his most recent birthday on September 29, 2022, but instead was telling “an old story to lawmakers about an episode that occurred years ago,” which means that EU sanctions may not apply at all. The party representatives added that “Berlusconi denies the news of alleged renewed relations with Vladimir Putin.”

However, later reports emerged, suggesting that the remarks were indeed made this year. The potential scandal comes just weeks after the 86-year-old politician returned to the Italian parliament, nine years after being forced out for alleged tax fraud. Previously, Putin and Berlusconi enjoyed a friendly relationship and often complimented one another. However, Berlusconi has lately been critical of Putin over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, saying he was disappointed with the Russian leader, who he always considered “a man of democracy and peace.”

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How much longer will Italy support NATO and its Ukraine attack?

Power Costs In Italy Going Through The Roof (RT)

Electricity tariffs in Italy saw record growth last month, exceeding 136% on an annual basis, according to a National Union of Consumers report on Tuesday. The report said that in September, electricity prices came out on top in the ranking of the most expensive goods and services, which the union regularly compiles based on data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). In the category of non-food products, electricity prices were followed by costs for air travel across Europe, which have risen 128% over the past year. Then came intercontinental flights, for which the prices almost doubled (97.4%). Gas tariffs increased by just under 64% in September.As for food products, the ranking was led by vegetable oils (with the exception of olive oil), up by almost 60%.

The prices of butter and rice rose 38% and 26.7% respectively. Other foodstuffs that saw price increases of more than 20% include pasta, canned milk, flour, and basic vegetables. “Only for food and drink, every single Italian family will pay an average of €660 more per year,” the consumer union’s president, Massimiliano Dona, said. He added that families with two children will have to pay €900 ($885) more, and those with three children, €1,075 ($1,057) more.Inflation in Italy climbed to 8.9% in September on an annualized basis, ISTAT data shows. Meanwhile, the ‘consumer basket’ saw a rise of 10.9% over the year. Such a high increase in the price of basic foodstuffs and personal goods has not been recorded in Italy since 1983.

The head of Italian energy think tank Nomisma Energia said this week that Italy, along with the rest of Europe, is experiencing an energy shock of unprecedented magnitude, as electricity prices have almost doubled. According to him, Italians should be ready for rationing during the coldest winter months. He also urged households to make use of alternative methods of heating, such as burning firewood and pellets, though he added that prices for these are also up.

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Russia knows who did it.

Zelensky Denies Kiev’s Role In Crimean Bridge Blast (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has denied “ordering” the bombing of the Crimean Bridge linking the peninsula to mainland Russia. The president made the remarks during an interview with the Canadian broadcaster CTV, aired on Wednesday. Asked to comment on the “spectacular attack” on the bridge, as the broadcaster put it, Zelensky said Kiev was not involved. “We definitely did not order that, as far as I know,” he told the reporters. The bridge was hit by a massive explosion on October 8, which severely damaged its road traffic section and killed three civilians, as well as setting a passing freight train on fire. Several top Ukrainian officials openly celebrated the attack, while the country’s postal service issued a stamp commemorating the blast, just hours after it happened.


Moscow has directly blamed Kiev for the incident, branding the explosion a “terrorist attack.” Russian law enforcement claims to have established how the bomb, which was disguised as construction materials, made it to the bridge from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, via multiple transit countries. Russian investigators believe the plot was hatched by Ukrainian military intelligence. Moscow has identified 12 individuals as suspected accomplices in the plot and has arrested eight of them, the FSB said. The list of people in custody includes five Russians and three foreign nationals, who hold passports of Ukraine and Armenia. A spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence told the media that the FSB was a “fake structure,” and that the report was unworthy of comment.

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“..states begin to fail within 15 years of losing their main sources of energy and economic revenue..”

Britain’s Stark Choice Ahead – Transformation or Collapse (Nafeez Ahmed)

Five years ago, I warned in a study that Europe faces an increasing risk of state failure due to the escalation of interlinked environmental, energy and economic crises – and I found an intriguing pattern: states begin to fail within 15 years of losing their main sources of energy and economic revenue. Escalating crisis drives social polarisation, undermining national cohesion and resulting in outbreaks of civil unrest. Without a change of course, these outbreaks coalesce to undermine the functioning of key state institutions. At worst, they can lead to total government collapse and a state of permanent warfare. Gripped by multiple crises, Britain now appears to be following a familiar pattern of environmental, energy and economic-driven state failure.

Since the 1970s, the world has experienced a rising trend of civil unrest and societal breakdown – in correlation with three realities: rising inequality associated with the neoliberal age of globalisation; escalating economic overshoot of the Earth’s ecological systems; and intensifying decline in the quality of fossil fuel energy resources. Britain’s North Sea Oil production peaked in 1999. Fifteen years later, as its domestic oil production haemorrhaged, fringe right-wing nationalist forces had moved increasingly into the mainstream. They blamed Europe, immigrants, asylum seekers, Muslims and ethnic minorities for Britain’s intractable social and economic crises. Their success was arguably reflected in the 2016 vote to leave the European Union. During that period, the quality of the UK’s energy dropped by a third, if not more.

In 2000, a year after the UK’s North Sea Oil production peaked, Britain’s ‘energy return on investment’ (EROI) – a ratio capturing the amount of energy used to extract a single unit of energy – was around 9.6. By 2012, this had plummeted to 6.2. This is well below the minimum EROI benchmark of 11 considered necessary to sustain continued economic growth. As a study by the University of Leeds’ Sustainability Research Institute concluded, this means that “more and more energy is having to be used in the extraction of energy itself rather than by the UK’s economy or society”. What is happening to Britain now is symptomatic of a wider global phenomenon. Its dependence on oil, gas and coal is self-cannibalising. The scientific consensus shows that it is driving us towards climate catastrophe and, at worst, civilisational collapse.

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Only US LNG allowed.

US Slams Turkey-Russia Deal to Form a Natural Gas Hub (GR)

The U.S. expressed on Wednesday its opposition to the agreement announced by Turkey for the creation of a natural gas hub in cooperation with Russia. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that he had agreed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to form a natural gas hub in Turkey. Speaking to members of his AK Party in parliament, Erdogan said Putin had said Europe can obtain its gas supply from the hub in Turkey. “Türkiye will be a hub for natural gas as well. In our last meeting, we agreed with Putin on this issue. We will create a hub here with Turkish gas coming from Russia,” Erdogan said. The U.S. State Department fired back.

“We have worked closely with our allies and partners to impose severe and unprecedented costs on Russia, including through sanctions, export controls, visa restrictions. We have urged Turkey and all of our allies and partners that no one should have become a safe haven for illicit Russian assets or transactions, and we will continue to make that case,” Vedant Patel, State Department’s principal deputy spokesperson said. “And as it relates to the energy conversation, we have continued to urge our allies to take steps to diversify their energy sources, to reduce energy reliance on Russia. And in the case of Turkey, we are working with them closely to assist in their own efforts to enhance energy security in the long term,” he added.

Last month, on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in the Kazakh capital Astana, Erdogan held a closed-door meeting with Putin, who had proposed building a natural gas hub in Turkey. Putin has floated the idea of exporting more gas via the TurkStream gas pipeline running beneath the Black Sea to Turkey, touting the country as the best route for redirecting gas supplies to the European Union after the Nord Stream pipeline leaks. Erdogan previously said Russian and Turkish energy authorities would work together to designate the best location for the potential gas distribution center, adding that Turkey’s Thrace region, bordering Greece and Bulgaria, appeared to be the best spot.

Carrying natural gas from Russia to Turkey and further into Europe, the TurkStream was formally launched in January 2020. The pipeline, which allows Moscow to bypass Ukraine as a transit route to Europe, carries Russian gas to Southern Europe through the Black Sea and Turkey.

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About Xi’s speech this week.

Xi Gets Ready For The Final Countdown (Escobar)

Xi also did not mention the US by name. Everyone in the leadership – especially the new Politburo – is aware of how Washington wants to “decouple” from China in every possible way and will continue to provocatively deploy every possible strand of hybrid war. Xi did not enter into details during his speech, but it’s clear the driving force going forward will be technological innovation linked to a global vision. That’s where BRI comes in, again – as the privileged field of application for these tech breakthroughs. Only this way we can understand how Zhu Guangyao, a former vice minister of finance, may be sure that per capita GDP in China in 2035 would at least double the numbers in 2019 and reach $20,000.

The challenge for Xi and the new Politburo right away is to fix China’s structural economic imbalance. And pumping up debt-financed “investment” all over again won’t work. So bets can be made that Xi’s third term – to be confirmed later this week – will have to concentrate on rigorous planning and monitoring of implementation, much more than during his previous bold, ambitious, abrasive but sometimes disconnected years. The Politburo will have to pay way more attention to technical considerations. Xi will have to delegate more serious policymaking autonomy to a bunch of competent technocrats. Otherwise, we will be back to that startling observation by then Premier Wen Jiabao in 2007: China’s economy is “unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and ultimately unsustainable”. That’s exactly where the Hegemon wants it to be.

As it stands, things are far from gloomy. The National Development and Reform Commission states that compared to the rest of the world, China’s consumer inflation is only “marginal”; the job market is steady; and international payments are stable. Xi’s work report and pledges may also be seen as turning the usual Anglo-American geopolitical suspects – Mackinder, Mahan, Spykman, Brzezinski – upside down. The China-Russia strategic partnership has no time to lose with global hegemonic games; what drives them is that sooner rather than later they will be ruling the Heartland – the world island – and beyond, with allies from the Rimland, and from Africa to Latin America, all participating in a new form of globalization. Certainly with Chinese characteristics; but most of all, pan-Eurasian characteristics. The final countdown is already on.

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The Ukraine conflict hinders China’s BRI. They want it to flow into Europe unimpeded.

‘Peaceful Modernization’: China’s Offering To The Global South (Escobar)

All over the extremely incandescent global chessboard, international relations are being completely reframed. China – and key Eurasian players at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BRICS+, and Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – are all proposing peaceful development. In contrast, the Hegemon imposes an avalanche of sanctions – not by accident the top three recipients are Eurasian powers Russia, Iran and China; lethal proxy wars (Ukraine); and every possible strand of hybrid war to prevent the end of its supremacy, which lasted barely seven and a half decades, a blip in historical terms.

The current dysfunction – physical, political, financial, cognitive – is reaching a climax. As Europe plunges into the abyss of largely self-inflicted devastation and darkness – a neo-medievalism in woke register – an internally ravaged Empire resorts to plundering even its wealthy “allies”. It’s as if we are all witnessing a Mackinder-on-crack scenario. Halford Mackinder, of course, was the British geographer who developed the ‘Heartland Theory’ of geopolitics, heavily influencing US foreign policy during the Cold War: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World.”

Russia spans 11 time zones and sits atop as much as one third of the world’s natural resources. A natural symbiosis between Europe and Russia is like a fact of life. But the EU oligarchy blew it. It’s no wonder the Chinese leadership views the process with horror, because one of BRI’s essential planks is to facilitate seamless trade between China and Europe. As Russia’s connectivity corridor has been blocked by sanctions, China will be privileging corridors via West Asia. Meanwhile, Russia is completing its pivot to the east. Russia’s enormous resources, combined with the manufacturing capability of China and East Asia as a whole, project a trade/connectivity sphere that goes even beyond BRI. That’s at the heart of the Russian concept of Greater Eurasia Partnership.

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Critical mass.

Saudi Arabia Is Interested In Joining The BRICS (Telesur)

At an interview on the South African Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramposa announced that Saudi Arabia is interested in joining BRICS, an economic cooperation organization made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. “Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed the kingdom’s desire to join the BRICS,” the South African president said, adding that other countries are also interested in joining this organization. “In 2023, the BRICS summit will be held under the South African presidency and this request will be studied. Several countries are in contact with the BRICS and we have assured them that the accession issue will be discussed and a decision will be made,” Ramposa explained.

Among the nations that have already applied to join this international forum is Argentina, whose President Alberto Fernandez asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to join the BRICS. Sabino Vaca, Argentina’s ambassador to China, stated that the BRICS constitute an excellent cooperation alternative for developing countries given that the current world order has shown that it only works for the benefit of a few nations. At their 14th summit in July, the BRICS countries discussed economic cooperation options related to the creation of a new development bank, the formation of a contingent reserve arrangement, an intercountry payment system, and a BRICS basket reserve currency. Seen from the perspective of the global financial system, the consequence of those actions would be the gradual weakening of the U.S. dollar as an international reserve currency.

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ZeroHedge: “Just as Musk wanted”, “And the thing is Musk will still end up owning it… just 80% cheaper under the next admin.”

Biden Admin Weighs Blocking Twitter Deal On “National Security” Grounds (ZH)

One month ago we joked that should the Delaware judge force Musk to buy Twitter, then none other than the US government would step in and prevent the South African from gaining control over the blue-checkmark echo chamber of record, the one social media network which congressional testimony after congressional testimony has argued it can manipulate the outcome of elections. Well, that prediction is about to come true, because according to Bloomberg, the Biden administration is discussing whether the US should subject some of Elon Musk’s ventures to national security reviews, including the deal for Twitter and SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network, citing people familiar with the matter.

In short, not only is the deep state government preparing to block Musk’s acquisition of TWTR on national security grounds (unlcear what that would achieve as the stock would crater to single digits, especially after today’s SNAP earnings, and so many of its employees have already quit), but it may “expropriate” Musk’s satellite pet project too, all for daring to ask a question about the US involvement in Ukraine, and what exactly the endgame there is. As Bloomberg adds, “US officials have grown uncomfortable over Musk’s recent threat to stop supplying the Starlink satellite service to Ukraine — he said it had cost him $80 million so far — and what they see as his increasingly Russia-friendly stance following a series of tweets that outlined peace proposals favorable to President Vladimir Putin. They are also concerned by his plans to buy Twitter with a group of foreign investors.”

The discussions are still at an early stage, the people familiar said on condition of anonymity. Officials in the US government and intelligence community are weighing what tools, if any, are available that would allow the federal government to review Musk’s ventures. One possible legal pathway is through the law governing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review Musk’s deals and operations for national security risks. The CFIUS was used extensively in the Trump admin to block and undo numerous Chinese deals, arguing they could pose a national threat to the US. Now, it’s none other than Musk who has emerged as the deep state’s biggest nemesis.

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“..the company still maintains a $2,500 “liquidation” policy against accounts accused of “discrimination” and “hatred” as well as “intolerance”..”

PayPal Faces House Inquiry On $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fine Controversy (JTN)

House Republicans are launching an inquiry into PayPal after the payment processing company sparked major controversy for a policy that would fine customers for “misinformation.” The controversy began when news broke earlier this month that PayPal would fine customers $2,500 for spreading misinformation. PayPal quickly retracted the policy, saying it was a mistake that “went out in error” but not before “cancelPayPal” was trending and Twitter users boasted of deleting their accounts. The company’s stocks tumbled as the news unfolded. Now, House Republicans want answers. They sent a letter to PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman asking how the policy originated, who approved it, whether the Biden administration was involved, and more.

“As a leading financial technology company, it is concerning that a user agreement that contemplates the restriction of free speech was uploaded and disseminated to PayPal users – even if in error,” the letter said. “We understand your company is currently investigating this matter. Upon the conclusion of your investigation, we request that you provide a briefing for the Committees as soon as practicable.” [..] The letter requests answers by the end of the month to a range of questions, including whether any entities were affected by the policy change, when the internal investigation will be over, and who was responsible for the policy in question.

Critics also point out that while PayPal rescinded its misinformation policy, the company still maintains a $2,500 “liquidation” policy against accounts accused of “discrimination” and “hatred” as well as “intolerance” as the company chooses to define it. “The ability to transact without fear of retribution and political censorship is the foundation on which a free economy is built,” Emmer said. “We cannot afford to sacrifice these freedoms, and we must keep a close eye on any actions that erode them. The now-rescinded penalties outlined in PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy were deeply concerning, and the American people deserve answers about how these decisions are made and whether their speech will be protected on this kind of platform.”

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Dumping Treasuries.

How An Illiquid Dollar Ruins The World (Piepenburg)

All of this scheming, leverage and swapping boils down to not enough available (i.e., liquid) USDs in a global financial system in which nearly everything—from debt, to oil to derivatives—still has to be paid in increasingly scarce and hence increasingly expensive Dollars. In addition to this twisted, illiquid and over-levered swamp, the USD rises even higher on Powell rate hikes, all of which combine to force the world’s other currencies to fall. Why? Because other countries and central banks have no choice but to swallow/import USD inflation, monetary policy and American political self-interest. Indeed, with financial allies like the U.S., who needs enemies?

Whenever the Fed, for example, prints more of the world reserve currency or raises its interest rate, the rest of the world, which is tied to that currency, is forced to react—i.e., debase, hike and suffer. We remind that nearly $14T in USD-denominated debt is owed by both emerging market and developed market economies. As the USD rises in strength on the back of Powell’s impossible Volcker-revival and tangled derivatives, other Dollar-desperate nations from Argentina to Japan find themselves with not enough Greenbacks to pay their debts or settle trades, wires and oil purchases, which thus forces them to print (i.e., debase) more of their local currencies to make USD-denominated payments.

But Japan takes the cake for debasing its own currency all on its own, as no nation has ever loved a money printer and currency-debaser more. This might explain why Japan is leading the charge in dumping its USTs into the FOREX markets, which only adds more pressure to rising yields and hence rising rates. Thanks Kuroda—just one more central banker with a mouse-clicker gone mad… Perhaps he’ll be next in line for a Nobel Prize? But Japan is not alone, as other nations dump the once sacred UST just to keep their currencies afloat…In short: The strong USD is crippling the word, and that world, as we’ve written numerous times, will be de-dollarizing at a steady and irreversible pace.No shocker there. At some point, Dollar-indebted nations crack and this twisted global game ends in a credit crisis for the history books.

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“..they still won’t apologize..”

It’s Been 2 Years Since 51 Intel Agents Interfered With An Election (Devine)

Exactly two years ago, on October 19, 2020, one of the dirtiest tricks in electoral history was played on the American people by 51 former intelligence officials, who used the false alarm of “Russian interference” to stop Donald Trump winning a second term as president. Using the institutional weight of their former esteemed roles, they signed a dishonest letter to mislead voters 15 days before the election, claiming that material from Hunter Biden’s laptop published by the New York Post “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” In their expert opinion, “the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue.” Russia was “trying to influence how Americans vote in this election … Moscow [will] pull out the stops to do anything possible to help Trump win and/or to weaken Biden should he win.

“A ‘laptop op’ fits the bill, as the publication of the emails are [sic] clearly designed to discredit Biden … It is high time that Russia stops interfering in our democracy.” It was all a lie. Their letter was the culprit “interfering with democracy” in broad daylight. Not one of the 51 had seen any material from the laptop or bothered asking for it, but their letter, instigated by, signed and delivered to Politico by Democratic operative and former John Brennan aide Nick Shapiro, killed the story stone dead. It got candidate Joe Biden off the hook for the corrupt influence-peddling scheme his family had been running through the eight years of his vice presidency. The shameful letter was used by Joe Biden three days later, on October 22, to deflect Trump’s attack in their last debate.

“There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan … Four, five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage … You know his character. You know my character. You know my reputation is for honor and telling the truth … The character of the country is on the ballot.” Biden dismissed as a Kremlin smear all the evidence that was on his son’s laptop of dirty money from China and Russia, of all his meetings with Hunter’s overseas business partners, and all the lies he had told about his involvement in Hunter’s business deals The letter, like the Steele dossier and Russia collusion hoax peddled by many of the signatories, has helped fuel a moral panic about Russia in recent years that now has heightened the risk of nuclear war.

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A three month study will not reveal the real damage done. That takes years. But already 1 in 500 is insanely high. And still the CDC is pushing it.

One in Every 500 Small Children Who Get Pfizer Vaccine are Hospitalised (DS)

One in every 500 children under five years who received the Pfizer mRNA Covid vaccine were hospitalised with a vaccine injury, and one in 200 had symptoms ongoing for weeks or months afterwards, a study has found. The study published in JAMA included 7,806 children aged five or younger who were followed up of for an average of 91.4 days following their first Pfizer vaccination. It was a retrospective cohort study done as an authenticated online survey (response rate 41.1%) in spring 2022 which included parents or caregivers who registered children for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in outpatient care facilities in Germany. It compared the adverse events to those of the same children with other vaccinations in order to control for over-reporting.

7 year old boy

It concluded that the symptoms reported after Pfizer vaccination were “comparable overall” to those for other vaccines. Let’s see. • Any symptoms: 62% higher • Musculoskeletal (muscles and bones) symptoms: 155% higher • Dermatologic (skin) symptoms: 118% higher • Otolaryngologic (ears, nose and throat) symptoms: 537% higher • Cardiovascular (heart etc.): 36% higher • Gastrointestinal (stomach etc.): 54% higher. It calls these “modestly elevated”. In 0.5% of the children (40 of 7,806) symptoms were “currently ongoing and thus of unknown significance”. This is in a study with a 2-4 month follow-up period. That means 0.5% of children had an adverse effect that lasted for weeks or months. In two cases (0.03%), symptoms were confirmed to have lasted longer than 90 days.


Ten children were hospitalised with reported serious adverse events (SAEs), compared to zero with the other vaccines. This reported as 0.1%, as it is out of 7,806. However, the study also states that no hospitalisations were reported for children administered the low dosage of 3 μg. Since it also tells us that 6,033 children received at least one dose of over 3 μg. (or unknown dosage), the rate in the relevant cohort is closer to 0.2%, or around one in 500. Four of the hospitalisations were for cardiovascular injury; one child was hospitalised after both doses for this reason. Four were pulmonary (lung) related. Symptoms of the hospitalised children lasted an average of 12.2 days and a maximum of 60 days. None reported a myocarditis diagnosis. Mercifully, no deaths were reported in this relatively small sample.

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Knots

 

 

 

 

Denzel

 

 

 

 

Blue wave+

 

 

City over the river

 

 

Pillars of Creation, known from Hubble, now captured by Webb telescope. Each pillar is about 3 light-years (over 27 trillion km) in width.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 142022
 
 October 14, 2022  Posted by at 8:02 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Salvador Dali Pianc 1919

 

Ukraine Has De Facto Joined NATO – Defense Minister (RT)
NATO, Russia to Hold Nuclear Exercises Despite Tensions (Gordon)
The Anti-Nuclear Movement in Review: Defeat from the Jaws of Victory (Hall)
‘It Can’t Get Any Worse’ – Lavrov On US-Russia Relations (RT)
The Thin Red Line: NATO Can’t Afford To Lose Kabul And Kiev (Escobar)
Lies, Lies, Lies (Batiushka)
SpaceX Sends Ukraine Starlink Bill To Pentagon (RT)
Zelensky Shakedown: $62 Billion Before Next Year (Dowling)
EU Concerned Over UN Vote On Ukraine – Borrell (RT)
Why Have a Constitution If You Just Ignore It? (Miele)
Joe Biden Just Interfered In Hunter’s Prosecution On National TV (NYP)
Saudi Arabia Publicly Rejects Biden Demand To Delay Oil Production Cutback (PM)
John Durham Unmistakably Puts FBI On Trial (JTN)
Biden’s ‘Schizophrenic’ National Security Strategy (RSC)
Will Musk “End Twitter As We Know it”? I Sincerely Hope So (Turley)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biden flyweight

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candace

 

 

 

 

 

 

No nukes, no nazis, no NATO.

Ukraine Has De Facto Joined NATO – Defense Minister (RT)

Ukraine is a de facto member of the NATO alliance, despite not having officially joined the US-led military bloc, Kiev’s Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov has claimed. He made the statement in a tweet following a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the bloc’s headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday. “We have come a long way and have de facto joined the alliance,” the minister wrote, while also thanking Stoltenberg for his support for Ukraine amid its ongoing conflict with Russia. “Ukraine is already making significant contributions to the security of the free world,” the minister added.

Reznikov also expressed confidence that victory over Moscow and “successful reforms” domestically would “open up new horizons” for his country, seemingly a reference to Ukraine officially joining the bloc at some point in the future. Russia views NATO’s eastward expansion as a major security threat. When Moscow launched its military offensive against Kiev in late February, one of its key demands was for Ukraine to officially declare itself a neutral country that would never join any Western military alliance. On September 30, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky filed an application to join NATO and called for an accelerated admission procedure for his country.

However, Kiev’s backers in the West have not appeared overly enthusiastic on the issues. Stoltenberg has pointed out that “any decision on membership has to be taken by consensus” by all 30 NATO members and that its top priority right now is to “support Ukraine”militarily and financially during the conflict. Washington voiced a similar stance, with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan saying earlier this month that the question of Ukraine joining NATO “should be taken up at a different time.”A statement in support of Kiev’s bid for swift accession has been backed by just nine member states – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

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“The events are normal..” [..] “But we don’t know, of course, what’s being exercised, whether that is also normal.”

NATO, Russia to Hold Nuclear Exercises Despite Tensions (Gordon)

Russia and NATO will go ahead with large-scale nuclear exercises in the coming weeks despite concern over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hints that the Ukraine war might prompt him to turn to his nuclear arsenal, U.S. and NATO officials said. The NATO exercise, called Steadfast Noon, involves American nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and fighter jets, which will not carry live munitions, White House National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby told reporters Oct. 13. The upcoming NATO exercise involving 14 countries has been long planned, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said delaying or canceling the exercise would send the wrong message about NATO’s resolve in the face of Russian aggression.

“It would send a very wrong signal if we suddenly now canceled a routine, long-time planned exercise because of the war in Ukraine. That would be absolutely the wrong signal to send,” Stoltenberg said. “NATO’s firm, predictable behavior, our military strength, is the best way to prevent escalation.” The U.S. twice put off routine tests of its Minuteman III missile this year, the first time to avoid inflaming tensions with Russia during the Ukraine crisis and the second time to avoid any miscalculation on China’s part as the Chinese military engaged in a show of force near Taiwan. A Minuteman III test launch eventually took place Aug. 16.U.S. officials predicted that Russia would soon go ahead with its own large-scale nuclear exercises.

The Russian drills would be the second since February 2022. Putin oversaw the February exercise that tested sea, land, and air-based ballistic and cruise missiles and other weapons. “We expect Russia to conduct its annual strategic nuclear exercise—they call it GROM—as early as this month,” Kirby added. The Western officials cautioned that the Russian exercise was expected and did not appear to be linked to Putin’s suggestions that Moscow might resort to nuclear weapons in the face of setbacks in Ukraine. In a national address Sept. 21, Putin warned that “Russia will use all the instruments at its disposal to counter a threat against its territorial integrity.” He added, “This is not a bluff.”

“We will monitor that as we always do,” Stoltenberg said of the upcoming Russian exercise. “And, of course, we will remain vigilant, not least in light of the veiled nuclear threats and the dangerous rhetoric we have seen from the Russian side.” Some nuclear policy experts expressed concern that Russian and NATO nuclear exercises might heighten apprehensions as each side seeks to determine what options might be tested. “The events are normal,” said Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists in an interview. “But we don’t know, of course, what’s being exercised, whether that is also normal.”

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“..if a nuclear strike is decided on, it will be directed against the centre, not the periphery…”

The Anti-Nuclear Movement in Review: Defeat from the Jaws of Victory (Hall)

What it seems the Russians are doing in the face of US “nuclear sabre-rattling” is taking a leaf out of Kennedy’s book. Faced with nuclear missiles (or what were claimed to be nuclear missiles) in Cuba, Kennedy was under pressure to invade Cuba to take them out. Khrushchev appears to have been influenced by notions of “nuclear deterrence”. He apparently thought that the US might invade Cuba but that the “nuclear deterrence” exerted by the Russian nuclear arsenal would dissuade the US from threatening the Soviet Union itself. In fact Kennedy defied all his advisors to tell Khrushchev that if he didn’t get his missiles (or “missiles”) out of Cuba, the US would launch a massive nuclear first strike against Soviet cities.


This made Khrushchev lose his nerve and he backed down. Subsequently he and Kennedy embarked on serious negotiations to move towards nuclear disarmament, or at least more effective arms control. Kennedy gained kudos from his brinkmanship, but also made enemies, and not only from peace loving, or “peace loving” ideological opponents. He also incurred the displeasure of leading lsraeli politicians, notably Ben Gurion, through his opposition to Israel having nuclear weapons. So for this and other reasons he was assassinated. What Putin appears to be doing now is similar: faced with the threat of a local conflagration he says that if a nuclear strike is decided on, it will be directed against the centre, not the periphery.

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“..Moscow is, however, still open to dialogue, but that no “sensible” offers have so far been forthcoming from Washington.”

‘It Can’t Get Any Worse’ – Lavrov On US-Russia Relations (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s latest remark indicating his unwillingness to negotiate with his Russian counterpart is unlikely to further worsen an already dire global security situation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. The diplomat noted that Moscow is, however, still open to dialogue, but that no “sensible” offers have so far been forthcoming from Washington. In an interview with Russia’s Rossiya 24 news channel aired on Thursday, Lavrov was asked whether he thought Biden’s reluctance to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin would further complicate tensions in the international arena.“It doesn’t complicate [it] at all, because the state of affairs as it stands today has already been driven, first of all by the US, to such a condition that it can’t get any worse, in my opinion,” the Russian minister replied.

The diplomat pointed out at the same time that Moscow is not shunning dialogue with Washington. According to Lavrov, Russia has “never rejected a single earnest, sensible offer to hold contacts.” However, “no one is putting forth sensible initiatives,” he added. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that president Biden “has no intention of meeting with President Putin.” The statement echoed a remark made by the US head of state to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday. “Look, I have no intention of meeting with him,” Biden said, when asked about his plans for the upcoming G20 summit in Bali.

The US president went on to add, however, that “if [Putin] came to me at the G20 and said ‘I want to talk about the release of Griner,’ I’d meet with him. I mean, it would depend. Brittney Griner is America’s Women’s National Basketball Association star and Olympic gold medalist who was detained at a Moscow airport in February and later sentenced to nine years in prison by a Russian court on drug-possession charges. Presidents Biden and Putin have not spoken to each other directly since before Russia launched its military campaign against Ukraine in late February. Lavrov had made it clear earlier that Moscow would consider such talks should it receive a proposal from Washington.

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“Russia will not allow the Empire to control Ukraine, whatever it takes.”

The Thin Red Line: NATO Can’t Afford To Lose Kabul And Kiev (Escobar)

As the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder is petrified by the startling Double Fail of a massive economic/military attack, Moscow is systematically preparing for the next military offensive. As it stands, it’s clear that the Anglo-American axis will not negotiate. It has not even tried for the past 8 years, and it’s not about to change course, even incited by an angelic chorus ranging from Elon Musk to Pope Francis. Instead of going Full Timur, accumulating a pyramid of Ukrainian skulls, Putin has summoned eons of Taoist patience to avoid military solutions. Terror on the Crimea Bridge may have been a game-changer. But the velvet gloves are not totally off: General Armageddon’s daily aerial routine may still be seen as a – relatively polite – warning.

Even in his latest landmark speech, which contained a savage indictment of the West, Putin made clear he’s always open for negotiations. Yet by now, Putin and the Security Council know why the Americans simply can’t negotiate. Ukraine may be just a pawn in their game, but it’s still one of Eurasia’s key geopolitical nodes: whoever controls it, enjoys extra strategic depth. The Russians are very much aware that the usual suspects are obsessed with blowing up the complex process of Eurasia integration – starting with China’s BRI. No wonder important instances of power in Beijing are “uneasy” with the war. Because that’s very bad for business between China and Europe via several trans-Eurasian corridors.

Putin and the Russian Security Council also know that NATO abandoned Afghanistan – an absolutely miserable failure – to place all their chips on Ukraine. So losing both Kabul and Kiev will be the ultimate mortal blow: that means abandoning the 21st Eurasian Century to the Russia-China-Iran strategic partnership. Sabotage – from the Nord Streams to Krymskiy Most – gives away the desperation game. NATO’s arsenals are virtually empty. What’s left is a war of terror: the Syrianization, actually ISIS-zation of the battlefield. Managed by braindead NATO, acted on the terrain by a cannon fodder horde sprinkled with mercenaries from at least 34 nations.

So Moscow may be forced to go all the way – as the Totally Unplugged Dmitry Medvedev revealed: now this is about eliminating a terrorist regime, totally dismantle its politico-security apparatus and then facilitate the emergence of a different entity. And if NATO still blocks it, direct clash will be inevitable. NATO’s thin red line is they can’t afford to lose both Kabul and Kiev. Yet it took two acts of terror – on Pipelineistan and on Crimea – to imprint a much starker, burning red line: Russia will not allow the Empire to control Ukraine, whatever it takes. That’s intrinsically linked to the future of the Greater Eurasia Partnership. Welcome to life at Doom’s doorstep.

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“His murder was bungled, on which Skripal and his daughter were then abducted and ‘disappeared’ (to New Zealand?)..”

Lies, Lies, Lies (Batiushka)

[..] in 1854 Commodore Perry forced Japan by military threat to ‘trade with’ the USA, in order to ‘take it out of its isolation’ and that led to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those who lived in those two cities then much regretted their lack of isolation. And as for the USA? It was itself still in a state of cultural isolation, having learned nothing from age-old Japanese culture, but instead imposing its own anti-culture on all and sundry. Or then there was that war criminal General Curtis LeMay who boasted of his potential to ‘bomb back into the Stone Age’ in order to bring freedom and democracy, when in fact his brain was in the Stone Age and he had no idea what freedom and democracy are.

Or there is the statement that Russia is corrupted by oligarchs, when in reality ‘Russian’ oligarchs (most of them are Jewish) are purely Western creations from the 1990s, following the model of the only system that the Western world has ever practised – Feudalism, with its economic serfdom (2). What are Musk, Bezos, Gates and Buffett, if they are not oligarchs/feudal magnates? This technique was clearly displayed in the 2006 Litvinenko and 2018 Skripal cases in the UK. In the first case, a Russian traitor and British spy was murdered by polonium. Now, if you wanted to murder someone (who presented no threat to you) without incriminating yourself, would you rather not just employ a hired killer who would leave no trace? It would be much cheaper.

Interestingly, polonium is a very rare radioactive substance, but is available to British secret services. In the Salisbury case of the Skripals, involving a retired British spy, who seemed to be wanting to repent for his treason (he had already served his sentence in a Russian prison), and who was poisoned with a substance available in only about three places worldwide, one of which is twelve kilometres away from where he lived in one of the most fearsome chemical weapons establishments in the world. His murder was bungled, on which Skripal and his daughter were then abducted and ‘disappeared’ (to New Zealand?), though an innocent woman did die of the poison. When questions were asked about some very strange aspects of the case, the British media were issued with a ‘DSMA-Notice’, censoring them and forbidding them to report any further on the matter.

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“$400 million over the next 12 months..”

SpaceX Sends Ukraine Starlink Bill To Pentagon (RT)

Elon Musk’s aerospace firm has asked the US military to take over funding for its Starlink satellite internet service in Ukraine, saying it is no longer able to foot the cost of operations, according to company documents obtained by CNN. In a letter sent to the Pentagon last month, SpaceX outlined its financial difficulties and asked the government to begin funding Starlink services for Ukraine, claiming it will cost more than $120 million for the rest of 2022, and some $400 million over the next 12 months. “We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time,” SpaceX’s director of government sales said in the letter.

SpaceX has donated around 20,000 Starlink satellite units to Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict in late February, providing internet connection and military coordination in chaotic battlegrounds that would otherwise be cut off from the web. Ukrainian officials have hailed the system as “an essential part of critical infrastructure.” Kiev has nonetheless urged the company to send thousands of additional Starlink terminals, with another letter obtained by CNN showing that a top Ukrainian general, Valery Zaluzhny, directly asked for 8,000 units back in July. An outside consultant for SpaceX later wrote that the firm “faces terribly difficult decisions here,” adding “I do not think they have the financial ability to provide any additional terminals or service as requested by General Zaluzhny.”

While Musk has stated that SpaceX will have spent more than $100 million providing Starlink services to Ukraine by the end of the year, the company’s letter to the Pentagon indicates that other parties have helped to bear some costs. The “vast majority” of the 20,000 units furnished to Ukraine have received “full or partial funding” from the American, British and Polish governments, as well as NGOs and private fundraisers, though SpaceX has covered most of the service costs of around $4,500 per terminal each month. More recently, SpaceX has come under fire for alleged Starlink outages across some regions of Ukraine, with the Financial Times relaying reports from Ukrainian soldiers of a “catastrophic”loss of communications last week. The cause of the outages remains unclear, though Ukrainian officials insist the problems were not the result of a technical glitch or cyberattacks, instead suggesting “SpaceX-imposed geographical restrictions.” Service has since resumed in the affected areas, however.

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“George Washington Zelensky hopes to do this with the World Bank and has a role for the IMF.”

Zelensky Shakedown: $62 Billion Before Next Year (Dowling)

The U.S. just approved another 13+ billion for Ukraine after they gave them $1.1 billion and hundreds of millions in weapons the two weeks before. Mr. Zelensky now wants $38 billion to cover their budget deficit, salaries of doctors and teachers, welfare, and pensions. In other words, we will pay their government workers. It sounds like a shakedown. He asked for $33 billion in August. Mind you, we don’t have a budget in the US. Ukrainian President Zelensky also wants $17 billion for critical infrastructure, $2 billion for electric energy infrastructure, and more than $5 billion for gas and coal purchases. Most of the money will come from the US.


He wants new business investments in Ukraine while at war with Russia. He wants a mechanism “to ensure military risks” taken by these businesses. George Washington Zelensky hopes to do this with the World Bank and has a role for the IMF. The Ukrainian president wants a permanent working group to dole out funds promptly. It sounds like this will set up automatic payments. Zelensky also wants to rebuild while the war is ongoing. This demand for funds comes as the US exceeds a $31 trillion debt and trillions in deficit in the year’s expenditures. These expenditures will go on without end as the US hits record-high inflation that shows no signs of stopping. Is there anyone we can shakedown for money? We’ll need a benefactor with the Zelensky burden.

Tucker Ze
https://twitter.com/i/status/1580717198703611904

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Borrell: you lost.

EU Concerned Over UN Vote On Ukraine – Borrell (RT)

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has expressed disappointment that more countries didn’t support the UN’s latest resolution on the non-recognition of referendums on joining Russia in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and in Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. Speaking at the European Diplomatic Academy on Thursday, Borrell said he was happy that “the system reacted very well” after 143 countries in the UN General Assembly voted to reject the referendums, with only five countries, including Russia, voting against the resolution. “There was a lot of work behind [this result], a lot of outreach to many people in order to be sure that we were above the 140 line,” the top diplomat said. However, Borrell went on to state that he was “worried because there were too many abstentions,” as 45 countries, including China, India, South Africa, Thailand and Cuba, chose to refrain from casting their vote for the resolution.

“When more or less 20% of the world community decided not to support or not to reject the Russian annexation – for me, it is too many,” said the diplomat, adding that “we are happy because the bottle is quite full, but it is a little bit empty.” Borrell insisted that more work must be done to convince more countries to condemn Russia and “make the world reject” Moscow’s military campaign against Ukraine. The diplomat’s comments come as Russia accused the US and its allies of using “diplomatic terror” to force more countries into supporting the UN resolution. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that Western nations were “twisting the arms of developing countries and threatening them with all sorts of punishments” in order to get them to condemn Russia.

“Only through such undisguised blackmail and threats did they manage to ensure the result. We all understand perfectly. And the statements of the Americans that they are not persuading anyone, and that everyone is voting by themselves, is a lie. And they also know it,” Lavrov said. Before launching its military operation in Ukraine in February, Russia recognized the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, arguing that Kiev had failed to represent and protect people living there. Residents of two other regions, Kherson and Zaporozhye, also voted by wide margins in public referendums to declare independence and join Russia. President Vladimir Putin signed unification treaties with the four new Russian regions on October 5.

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“..our elected officials have not just bounced up against the guardrails enshrined in the Constitution, they have flattened them and are driving the republic off a cliff.”

Why Have a Constitution If You Just Ignore It? (Miele)

In two recent columns, I wrote about the danger of public officials who are either unaware of the restrictions placed upon them by the Constitution they have sworn to uphold or, worse, just don’t give a damn. In the first, I chided President Biden for his sworn intent to pass a law that would “codify Roe v. Wade into law,” namely to pass a federal law that offers protection for abortion nationwide. In the second, I lambasted Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for proposing a bill that would ban abortion after 15 weeks gestation, the point when unborn children are believed to be able to feel pain. So that raises the obvious question: Why have a Constitution if you are just going to ignore it? Democrat Biden and Republican Graham together offer a bipartisan illustration of why our country is dangerously off track.

With the implicit permission of the Supreme Court, our elected officials have not just bounced up against the guardrails enshrined in the Constitution, they have flattened them and are driving the republic off a cliff. It doesn’t matter which side of the abortion issue you are on; we should all be able to agree that in a constitutional republic, lawmakers and presidents cannot just do whatever they want. And there is absolutely no doubt that the U.S. Constitution does not give Congress the power to regulate medical procedures, whether it be an abortion or an appendectomy. That’s just the starting point. Anyone who bothers to read the Constitution knows that Congress was designed to exert limited authority over Americans’ everyday lives. Read Article I, Section 8 if you don’t believe me. You won’t find anything about vaccines or masks, and the whole idea of presidents ordering citizens to do anything is laughable.

Article II, Section 2, which spells out most of the powers of the president, is remarkably brief, and the powers are few. Commander in chief? Check. Negotiator of treaties? Check. Nominator of ambassadors and judges? Check. But from where exactly does the president derive the power to forgive student loans? Or order landlords to stop collecting rent? Maybe this runaway tyrannical democracy could have been avoided if we still taught civics in our elementary and secondary schools. But at this point there is little to be done. We can’t force members of Congress to read the Constitution, let alone understand it. We can’t stop presidents from legislating with their phone and their pen, as President Obama famously called his ability to unilaterally shape America to his wishes through executive order. And we are decades past the point where we could expect courts to rein in the excesses of the other two branches.>

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“That was a clear push for mercy — from the ultimate boss of the Justice Department that’s weighing charges against Hunter.”

Joe Biden Just Interfered In Hunter’s Prosecution On National TV (NYP)

President Biden shouldn’t be talking about his son Hunter’s case, let alone defending him as he did Tuesday night to Jake Tapper. “I’m proud of my son,” who got “hooked on drugs” but has “established a new life,” the prez said: “He’s on the straight and narrow, and he has been for a couple years now.” That was a clear push for mercy — from the ultimate boss of the Justice Department that’s weighing charges against Hunter. As we’ve asked before, how is there no independent counsel in charge of this case, as department rules clearly dictate? It’s pretty clear that Justice has already delayed this investigation.


Then, too, the prez only discussed Hunter’s admitted lies on a federal gun form, not the far more serious tax-dodging charges (or the unregistered-lobbyist issues, let alone the whole “Big Guy” stinkbomb) — and Tapper didn’t push him. Casual viewers might well think mercy is indeed called for, and much of the media will back them up. But the real Hunter case is about selling influence with Joe Biden, quite likely to Joe’s financial benefit. This wasn’t a parent supporting his offspring, but a potential co-conspirator pushing to quash a case that implicates him.

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“Biden then threatened to withhold Congressionally authorized arms sales to Saudi Arabia..”

Saudi Arabia Publicly Rejects Biden Demand To Delay Oil Production Cutback (PM)

The Biden administration urged Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ members to delay announcing oil production cuts until after the November mid-term elections. Gas prices are foremost in the minds of American voters and are expected to play a major role in the control of Congress in the minds of voters. Saudi Arabia refused to go along with Biden’s wishes, saying that they would be reducing their oil production, as would their Russian allies. Biden then threatened to withhold Congressionally authorized arms sales to Saudi Arabia, making the stunning admission during a recent sit-down interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, in which he stated that Saudi Arabia would face “consequences for what they’ve done with Russia.”


Biden asked Saudi Arabia to delay their decision to cut oil production, and to drill more oil in the lead up to the November midterm elections, essentially to boost the Democratic Party by cutting gas prices. The administration has claimed that the ask to Saudi Arabia to delay their cutback on oil production was not at all a political move, however, Saudi Arabia said that it was. They stated further that they are not taking a stance on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and that their decision to cut production was an economic, not a political one. Holding Congressionally authorized foreign funding hostage over a political conflict, or to coerce a nation into behaving according to the wishes of the White House, is exactly what Biden accused former President Trump of doing three years ago, which led directly to Trump’s impeachment.

Tapper seemed oblivious to this conflict, but Human Events Daily Senior Editor Jack Posobiec pointed it out on Twitter, saying “Here is Biden in 2019 calling for Trump to be impeached for the exact same thing Biden is doing right now with Saudi Arabia,” and quoting then-candidate Biden. “Have we caught Joe Biden admitting to coercing a foreign country in furtherance of his own political interest? Yes, we have because he admitted it on live TV,” Posobiec said on Human Events Daily. Biden, he said, “explicitly states that he is going to coerce Saudi Arabia by holding up congressionally approved military aid.” “He’s saying ‘I’ll pull military aid,'” Posobiec said, pulling up Biden’s 2019 tweet.


[..] “Back then it was Trump and Ukraine. Now it’s Biden in the Saudis. So the question is simple: this was only the third impeachment in the history of the United States of America, and it was predicated on this theory of a quid pro quo between the two presidents.” “They know what they’re doing,” Posobiec said. “They all know what they’re doing. It’s not hypocrisy, it’s hierarchy.” “President Biden can sit there and admit that he’s coercing the Saudis, the same way that he admitted before, but he was coercing the Ukrainians with a $1 billion loan to get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired. This guy is the father of the quid pro quo when it comes to modern American government.”

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Very few people left that believe in Durham.

John Durham Unmistakably Puts FBI On Trial (JTN)

Igor Danchenko is the named defendant at this week’s trial, charged with lying as an informant in the now discredited Russia collusion investigation. But with probing questions and searing redirects, Special Counsel John Durham has turned the Russian researcher’s trial in the U.S. District courtroom in Alexandria, Va., into an expose of stunning FBI failures and omissions in its now-infamous pursuit of Donald Trump for crimes that turned out to be nonexistent. While the Hillary Clinton-spawned Russian collusion narrative has been the subject of a half dozen exhaustive investigations in the House, Senate and Justice Department, Durham has managed to use his third and widely assumed last trial to drop bombshell after bombshell that other inquiries failed to uncover. Even the most versed in the case have been stunned.

The effort began during pretrial motions. Danchenko, the primary source for the now-debunked Steele dossier, was someone who had both lied to FBI agents and had troubling ties to Russian intelligence. But Durham revealed he was inexplicably hired by the bureau, despite that record, to be a paid confidential human source for three years. Durham followed that with a stunner on day 1 of the trial, getting FBI senior analyst Brian Auten to reveal that the FBI had been unable to confirm a single fact in the Steele dossier by mid-October 2016 but nonetheless grabbed some of its most sensational claims about Trump and stuck them into a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant marked “verified” that authorized spying on the Trump campaign and former adviser Carter Page.

“On October 21, 2016, did you have any information to corroborate that information?” Durham asked, referring to the Carter Page FISA application submitted on that date. “No,” Auten replied. The bureau was so desperate to find corroboration to justify Steele’s allegations that it offered up to $1 million to former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele, a paid researcher for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, if he could corroborate his dossier. Steele did not, Auten told the jury.That revelation even shocked former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who conducted the first exhaustive probe that debunked the dossier and exposed FBI wrongdoing. Nunes told Just the News on Thursday he was never told about the $1 million payment despite subpoenaing the FBI.

“I hate to say this, but like a new shoe drops every day,” Nunes told the John Solomon Reports podcast in referring to Durham’s work. “And it’s like every day we find out something new. And I mean, look, I don’t know how you describe this $1 million payment or potential payment to Steele as anything other than what it is. It was a bounty program to get Donald Trump.”

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“The Biden White House even sought a “stable, predictable” relationship with Russia.”

Biden’s ‘Schizophrenic’ National Security Strategy (RSC)

The Biden administration has finally released its long-awaited National Security Strategy, the first such document since 2017. It’s strikingly schizophrenic, alternating — sometimes on an almost sentence-by-sentence basis — between ambitious promises to lead global cooperation in addressing transnational challenges, and depicting a world of near-intractable rivalries. The overall impression is of a foreign policy establishment that seems to understand the need for international cooperation, but also seems helplessly carried along by currents that could divide the world in a way that makes such cooperation impossible. This reflects the journey of the Biden administration itself.

President Biden came into office promising to refocus foreign policy domestically on the needs of the American middle class, to lead global cooperation against the climate crisis, and with apparent plans to lower conflict in global flash points. He planned to rejoin the nuclear deal with Iran as a way to ramp down tensions there, and intended to maintain cooperation with China in key selected areas even as the administration maintained much of the Trump administration’s shift toward a hard-edged “strategic competition” with China. The Biden White House even sought a “stable, predictable” relationship with Russia. Its first major foreign policy decision was to disentangle the United States from its two-decade military occupation of Afghanistan.

Two years later, the world instead seems to be teetering on the brink of a new cold war with all the dangers and costs that it implies. Cooperation between China and the United States is in a deep freeze because of a seemingly endless series of tit-for-tat provocations, especially over Taiwan, and the president’s own party is pressuring him to be even more aggressive. Meanwhile, negotiations to restore the Iran nuclear deal are bogged down and during this summer’s trip to the Middle East, Biden seemed to threaten war. In Ukraine, after helping to decisively thwart Putin’s initial bid to conquer the country, Washington seems satisfied to settle in for a long and vicious conflict with no effort to seek a diplomatic way out.

While our core allies in Europe and Japan stand with the United States against both Russia and China, many critical nations in the Global South, including some of the world’s largest democracies in India and Brazil, have failed to join the United States in unequivocally denouncing the Russian invasion. Furthermore, the Biden administration’s rhetoric has shifted from a “foreign policy for the middle class” to calls for a potentially apocalyptic confrontation between “democracies and autocracies.”

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Let’s see him do it.

Will Musk “End Twitter As We Know it”? I Sincerely Hope So (Turley)

The news that Elon Musk wants to go forward with the purchase of Twitter has led to a virtual panic among media, political and academic figures worried that free speech could shortly break out on the social media platform. Former Politico magazine editor Garrett Graff summed up the collective vapors succinctly: “Be afraid, be actually afraid.”I sincerely hope so. While Musk had in recent months wavered on his purchase, he said last week that he wants to move forward with a $44 billion offer to buy the social media platform. On Thursday, the judge presiding over Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk for backing out of the original deal gave the world’s richest person until Oct. 28 to reach an agreement on the purchase. The free speech community hopes that Musk is still committed to his stated commitment to return free speech protections to the social media giant.

In the past 10 years, a censorship culture has not only become deeply embedded at Twitter but also on other social media platforms. The need for censored and limited speech has become an article of faith for many on the left. I have long admitted to being an “internet originalist,” someone who viewed the internet as the greatest development for free speech since the invention of the printing press. However, the rapid erosion of free speech values – from our Congress to our campuses – has been alarming. Led by President Joe Biden, Democratic leaders and media figures have demanded corporate censorship and even state censorship to curtail opposing views on issues ranging from climate change to election integrity to public health to gender identity. The Washington Post’s Max Boot, for example, declared, “For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.”

Now these same figures are fearful of the supposed menace that Musk poses – the prospect that a major social media platform could actually restore free speech protections.It would reverse the anti-free speech policies of Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who has pledged to regulate content as “reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.”Agrawal said the company would “focus less on thinking about free speech” because “speech is easy on the internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.”Agrawal’s policy of “who can be heard” offers a reverse model for how to develop a new culture at Twitter. Indeed, his emphasis on the limits of the First Amendment is precisely where Musk should start.

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Christine Anderson

 

 

 

 

Real earnings

 

 

 

 

Naturally grounded

The above clip is from “The Earthing Movie”

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 132022
 
 October 13, 2022  Posted by at 8:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  60 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Sunken lane 1884

 

Putin ‘Totally Miscalculated’ Russia’s Ability To Occupy Ukraine – Biden (G.)
Some of Us Don’t Think the Russian Invasion Was “Aggression” (Mike Whitney)
NATO Planned A Pre-emptive Strike On Russia (Milacic)
Europe: Lack Of Russian Oil Could Spark ‘Worst Energy Crisis In Decades’ (ZH)
Energy Crisis In Europe Will Last For Years – Hungary (RT)
Orbán: With Merkel, We Wouldn’t Have A War (EURActiv)
Putin Says Russia Ready To Send Natural Gas To Europe Via Nord Stream 2 (OP)
Leak Found In Key Russian Oil Pipeline To Germany – Polish Operator (RT)
Russia Names Chief Suspect In Crimea Bridge Attack (RT)
Putin Ponders EU’s Energy Future (RT)
American Gas ‘Inferior’ To Russia’s – Putin (RT)
1962: Cool Heads Prevented A Soviet-US Naval Encounter Sparking A Nuclear War (RT)
Saudi Arabia Unveils Biden Oil Demand (RT)
NATO Eyes 10-Year Plan For Ukraine – Politico (RT)
$1m Offer To Steele Shows FBI Misled Congress On Russia Probe: Kash Patel (JTN)
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Turns Negative Within Months (ET)
Europe’s Pension Funds Are Gambling With Food Prices (EUO)
‘They Are Stealing Russia’ (Adam Curtis)

 

 

 

 

Kolakusic

 

 

 

 

Stop the Spread

Tulsi Joe Rogan

 

 

Tell me again: how did we get here?

 

 

 

 

Don’t know where Biden’s handlers get this stuff, but it’s nonsense. Or do they just want to make Putin look as stupid as Biden? Russia knew exactly what was going on nextdoor. On the same page as this article, the Guardian has a link to:

“Would Lukashenko really throw Belarus into a war Russia is losing?”

Says it all. Sad thing is, their readers believe this crap.

Putin ‘Totally Miscalculated’ Russia’s Ability To Occupy Ukraine – Biden (G.)

Joe Biden has said he believes Vladimir Putin is a “rational actor” who badly misjudged his prospects of occupying Ukraine, but does not believe he would resort to using a tactical nuclear weapon. The US president told CNN on Tuesday that he believed his Russian counterpart had underestimated the ferocity of Ukrainian defiance in the face of invasion. “I think … he thought he was going to be welcomed with open arms, that this was the home of Mother Russia in Kyiv, and that where he was going to be welcomed, and I think he just totally miscalculated,” Biden said. “I think he is a rational actor who has miscalculated significantly.” When asked by interviewer Jake Tapper how realistic he believed it would be for Putin to use a tactical nuclear weapon, Biden responded: “Well, I don’t think he will.”


Biden’s comments came as Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, accused Russia of launching a “second wave of terrorist attacks” in the wake of the blast that engulfed Crimea’s Kerch bridge. Zelenskiy said in a video address that 20 of 28 missiles launched by Russia on Tuesday were shot down, as well as “most” of the 15 combat drones deployed. In smaller gains in announced by Ukraine’s Operational Command early on Wednesday, the army destroyed Russian equipment and an ammunition depot along Ukraine’s southern line. At least 23 Russian soldiers were killed, it said. Earlier, Zelesnkiy asked G7 leaders for more air defence systems and a monitoring mission on the Belarusian border, as Russia continued to attack key infrastructure in Ukraine with fresh missile strikes.

Biden 2016

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“They’re openly arming, training, funding, and directing Ukrainian troops to prosecute a war aimed at killing Russian soldiers and removing Putin from power.”

Some of Us Don’t Think the Russian Invasion Was “Aggression” (Mike Whitney)

Imagine if the Mexican army started bombarding American ex-pats living in Mexico with heavy artillery-rounds killing thousands and leaving thousands more wounded. What do you think Joe Biden would do? Would he brush it off like a big nothingburger and move on or would he threaten the Mexican government with a military invasion that would obliterate the Mexican Army, level their biggest cities, and send the government running for cover? Which of these two options do you think Biden would choose? There’s no doubt what Biden would do nor is there any question what the 45 presidents who preceded him would do. No US leader would ever stand by and do nothing while thousands of Americans were savagely slaughtered by a foreign government. That just wouldn’t happen. They’d all respond quickly and forcefully.

But if that’s true, then why isn’t the same standard applied to Russia? Isn’t the situation in Ukraine nearly identical? It is nearly identical, only the situation in Ukraine is worse, much worse. And if we stretch our analogy a bit, you’ll see why: Let’s say, the US Intelligence agencies discovered that the Mexican government was not acting alone, but was being directed to kill and maim American ex-pats on orders from the Chinese Communist government in Beijing. Can you imagine that? And the reason the Chinese government wants to kill Americans in Mexico is because they want to lure the US into a long and costly war that will “weaken” the US and pave way for its ultimate splintering into many pieces that China can control and exploit. Does any of this sound familiar? (Check out the Rand Strategy for weakening Russia here)

So, let’s say, the Chinese are actually the driving force behind the war in Mexico. Let’s say, they toppled the Mexican government years earlier and installed their own puppet regime to do their bidding. Then they armed and trained vast numbers of troops to fight the Americans. They supplied these warriors with cutting-edge weapons and technology, logistical support, satellite and communications assistance, tanks, armored vehicles, anti-ship missiles, and state-of-the-art artillery units all of which were provided with one goal in mind; to crush America in a proxy war that was concocted, controlled and micro-managed from the Chinese Capital of Beijing. Is such a scenario possible?

It is possible, in fact, this very same scenario is playing out right now in the Ukraine, only the perpetrator of the hostilities is the United States not China, and the target of this malign strategy is Russia not the US. Surprisingly, the Biden administration isn’t even trying to hide what they’re up-to anymore. They’re openly arming, training, funding, and directing Ukrainian troops to prosecute a war aimed at killing Russian soldiers and removing Putin from power. That’s the objective and everyone knows it.

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“..the Third World War was prevented only thanks to the Russian special operation in Ukraine.”

NATO Planned A Pre-emptive Strike On Russia (Milacic)

One of the largest French maritime exercises in the Mediterranean, POLARIS 21 (Préparation Opérationnelle en Lutte Aéromaritime, Résilience, Innovation et Supériorité), took place from November 18 to December 3, 2021 in the area west of the island of Corsica, between France and Spain. The exercise also included a segment on the Atlantic coast of mainland France. POLARIS 21 was set up entirely in the context of operational preparation on several fronts and had a high combat intensity, which was fully in line with the strategic vision of the Chief of the Armed Forces and the Mercator Acceleration 21 plan of the Chief of Staff of the Admiral of the French navy Pierre Vandier. In addition to naval warfare, the exercise also included the participation of many combat aircraft and surface-to-air defense.

[..] journalists came into possession of data related to the exercise POLARIS 2021. The data speak clearly about the advance preparation of the NATO to enter into an armed conflict with the Russian Federation in the event of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. According to the legend of the maneuvers, it was determined that in response to the alleged Russian intervention, the forces of the NATO coalition would form and send an aircraft carrier strike group led by the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to the combat area in order to “stop the invasion and preserve the sovereignty of Ukraine.” The context and scenario of the “exercise“ (the consonance of the names of countries, settlements, the names of political figures, the specifics of maneuvers, etc.) became for the Russian Federation a signal of the real preparation of NATO to the start of hostilities against Russia, as it happened similarly to the operation of the United Defender alliance grouping of forces before the intervention in Libya (the exercises Baltops-2010 and Frisian Flag-2010), when, after the maneuvers at the sea ranges, a full-scale operation followed to overthrow of the legitimate government of Muammar Gaddafi.


POLARIS 2021 was also a demonstration of NATO support to Kyiv in the event of an armed conflict with Russia and was supposed to push Kyiv to start hostilities with the Russian Federation, after which the intervention of the NATO was supposed. In principle, NATO was looking for an excuse to attack Russia, with the factor of surprise, so that Russia would not be ready for an adequate response. In this situation, the preventive start of the Special Military Operation of the RF Armed Forces in Ukraine became the only possible response to the inevitable aggression of the Kyiv regime and the NATO. There is no doubt that thanks to the Russian special operation in Ukraine and the fact that Russia launched a preventive strike, it was NATO that was surprised but also scared by the Russian determination to defend its interests. It is precisely this fact that is responsible for why there was not and will not be conflict between Russia and NATO, that is, the Third World War was prevented only thanks to the Russian special operation in Ukraine.

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“A European ban on most crude imports from Russia will come into effect in December..”

Europe: Lack Of Russian Oil Could Spark ‘Worst Energy Crisis In Decades’ (ZH)

A European ban on most crude imports from Russia will come into effect in December. For EU leaders, the next task at hand has been finding new sources of crude oil ahead of what could be a very dark and cold winter. The move by EU countries to endlessly sanction Russia for President Vladimir Putin’s war with Ukraine by halting crude oil imports later this year is an attempt to “make the Kremlin pay” for the invasion, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently said. Though it’s only backfired as the Kremlin’s war chest has swelled by tens of billions of dollars as energy prices hyperinflate and new buyers are found in Asia. EU leaders have stepped up efforts to transition from Russian energy to other energy-rich countries, though they might find it challenging to increase energy imports due to limited spare capacity worldwide.

Monica Malik, the chief economist at the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, told the audience at an energy security panel hosted by the Institute of International Finance in Washington, DC, on Monday that the Gulf states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, won’t be able to increase production to replace Russian oil in Europe. After all, the world is moving into a much tighter oil market for the remainder of the year after OPEC+ cuts. This could unintentionally spur a supercycle in pricing as brent crude inches closer to $100 a barrel. So where will Europe source crude this winter if spare capacity worldwide is limited? Head of European Oil for Morgan Stanley Martijn Rats wrote in a recent note:

“The oil market is where it is because this question is so hard to answer. If we knew, we could all breathe a little easier.” Without spare capacity — EU leaders will find it challenging to source crude around the world because production cannot be quickly ramped up. Helima Croft, managing director at RBC Capital Markets LLC, warned, “I think we are facing the worst energy crisis in decades.”= Croft fears a populist backlash in Europe as sanctions against Russia has sparked a cost-of-living crisis. This could force some EU governments to focus on affordability. She said the probability of the US making deals with Venezuela or Iran to offset the energy crunch is unlikely. One top EU diplomat admitted: “Our prosperity has been based on cheap energy coming from Russia.”

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“..the sanctions “didn’t fulfill the hopes that were pinned on them,” while Europe is “slowly bleeding.”

Energy Crisis In Europe Will Last For Years – Hungary (RT)

The ongoing energy crisis in Europe is set to be a long one and will extend to 2023 and 2024, and possibly beyond, warned Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, following a meeting of EU energy ministers on Wednesday. “We are now seeing the first global energy crisis in history, and it is long-term,” proclaimed Szijjarto, explaining that the crisis is being fueled by underlying “structural geopolitical reasons tied to security,” which require “long-term solutions.” The diplomat noted that “international institutions which still retain a small amount of common sense” also warn that this is a long-term crisis and a problem which will exist “not just this winter, but the next one and the one after that as well.”

Szijjarto also mentioned that Hungary’s own energy supply has been secured, after the country reached an agreement with Russia and has been receiving gas through the TurkStream pipeline without interruption. “That is why the Hungarian government pays special attention to ensuring the physical and legal functioning of the Turkish Stream, as this is a fundamental interest of our national security,” he said, noting that Hungarian gas storage facilities are filled at 48.2% of annual consumption, while the average fill level for Europe is currently at 26.9%.

Hungary receives around 80% of its gas from Russia’s gas giant Gazprom. While Russia has cut off gas supplies to a number of countries, Hungary signed a deal with Moscow in late August for additional deliveries on top of already-agreed volumes. Hungarian President Viktor Orban had previously accused the EU leadership of sparking the ongoing energy crisis by introducing “counterproductive” sanctions on Russian energy over Moscow’s ongoing military campaign in Ukraine. Budapest has repeatedly called for “the failed policy of Brussels” to be changed, noting that the sanctions “didn’t fulfill the hopes that were pinned on them,” while Europe is “slowly bleeding.”

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Probably true.

Orbán: With Merkel, We Wouldn’t Have A War (EURActiv)

Russia’s war on Ukraine would not have happened if former German Chancellor Angela Merkel was still in office, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said during a visit to Berlin, where he met with both Merkel and current Chancellor Olaf Scholz.When Merkel announced that she would retire from politics, Orbán published a letter on his website saying the then-German Chancellor “understood us” and “we understood her”. Germany is Hungary’s main trading partner, accounting for approximately 27% of trade volume, while some 3,000 German companies are currently present in Hungary.

Merkel’s reaction to the 2014 crisis triggered by Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea was “a master stroke,” Orbán told a public event in Berlin on Tuesday (11 October), explaining that a war could have broken out at the time but was avoided due to the German chancellor’s actions.“Thank you, Angela!” he added. Asked whether this means the current war would have been prevented if the conservative ex-chancellor was still in office, Orbán said: “for certain.” Merkel, meanwhile, has been criticised since the onset of the Ukraine war for failing to reduce energy dependency from Russia and maintaining close economic ties with Moscow during her 16-year rule.

Nord Stream 2 pipeline, for many, Europe’s Achilles’ Heel, was a thorny issue during Merkel’s mandate. The pipeline, which aimed to carry 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Germany, was backed by Merkel but is now frozen due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Back then, eastern European countries opposed the project, but Hungary did not voice any significant opposition.

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It will take a rebellion against US and NATO. But all these countries are members of NATO.

Putin Says Russia Ready To Send Natural Gas To Europe Via Nord Stream 2 (OP)

Russia is ready to supply gas to Europe on the one undamaged line on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if the EU wants to start the route, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at an energy forum in Russia on Wednesday. Russia is ready to deliver additional volumes of natural gas to Europe this winter, but the ball is in the EU’s court to decide, Putin said, as carried by the Russian news agency Interfax. Putin also said that repairing the Nord Stream 1 and 2 lines that were found to have been sabotaged would only make sense if they will be used later, Interfax quoted the Russian president as saying. Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation after Germany axed the certification process following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia, for its part, shut down Nord Stream 1 indefinitely in early September, claiming an inability to repair gas turbines because of the Western sanctions. Before the Nord Stream 1 and 2 leaks were detected at the end of September, Putin said that Russia had nothing to do with Europe’s energy crisis and that if Europe wanted more gas, it just had to “push the button” on Nord Stream 2 and “everything will get going,” that is, lift the sanctions on Nord Stream 2. A few days later, Stephan Weil, Minister-President of the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony, said that Germany could never rely on Russia for energy supply again, and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project would never go ahead.

Another few days later, the suspected sabotage on Nord Stream 1 and 2 lines in Swedish and Danish territorial waters in the Baltic Sea put Europe on heightened alert over the security of its energy infrastructure. Norway posted soldiers from its Home Guard to protect energy infrastructure as Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer, and its Scandinavian neighbors are increasing security following the suspected sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines.

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This pipeline is from the 1960s. More than 50 years older than Nordstream. Not the same quality.

Leak Found In Key Russian Oil Pipeline To Germany – Polish Operator (RT)

Polish operator PERN has said it’s discovered a leak on the Druzhba pipeline, which supplies Russian oil to Germany. The rupture was detected late on Tuesday by automated systems on one of the two strings of the pipeline, some 70 kilometers from the town of Plock in central Poland, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. The damaged half was switched off immediately, and the other string continues to operate as normal, the company said. “At this point, the causes of the incident are not known,” PERN said, adding that its staff and firefighters were deployed to the site to assess the situation and secure the area.


The Druzhba pipeline is one of the largest oil transport networks in the world, spanning some 4,000km and bringing oil from Russia to Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany. The leak on the Druzhba pipeline follows explosions that were detected in late September on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, connecting Russia to the EU via Germany. The incident is widely considered to be the result of sabotage.

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“The list of people in custody includes five Russians..”

Russia Names Chief Suspect In Crimea Bridge Attack (RT)

Russia’s domestic security service, the FSB, has announced arrests over the attack on the Crimean Bridge. It has also revealed details of the alleged Ukrainian terrorist plot, including its mastermind.The agency accused the Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry of being behind the explosion, which damaged the strategic structure last Saturday. It claimed that Commander, Kirill Budanov, was personally responsible for the operation. Russia has identified 12 individuals as suspected accomplices in the plot and has arrested eight of them, the FSB said. The list of people in custody includes five Russians and three foreigners, who have citizenship of Ukraine and Armenia.


The FSB claimed that the deadly cargo came from the Ukrainian city of Odessa. The explosives were disguised as rolls with plastic construction film, which were shipped on pallets and weighed 22,770 kg, the statement said.Investigators said the shipment left Odessa in August and went through Ruse, Bulgaria, to Poti in Georgia. It was then moved to Armenia, a country which has a free trade agreement and a relaxed customs regime with Russia. It was then imported into Russia via Georgia on October 4, according to the timeline. The transportation paperwork identified a non-existent firm in Crimea as the final recipient, according to the Russian agency. But the set of documents was only the latest of several used to disguise the movement of the cargo, it added.

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Germany will have to stand up for itself.

Putin Ponders EU’s Energy Future (RT)

Russia could move the transit volumes lost through the damage to the Nord Stream pipelines to the Black Sea region, by establishing a ‘gas hub’ in Türkiye for EU supplies, President Vladimir Putin has said. He pointed out it was possible to repair the damaged pipelines but that Russia and the EU should decide their fate.“We could … thus make the main routes for the supply of our fuel, our natural gas to Europe through Türkiye, creating the largest gas hub for Europe in Türkiye,” Putin said, during an address on Wednesday to the Moscow Energy Week conference. “That is, of course, if our partners are interested in this. And economic feasibility also matters, of course.”

According to the president, Russian gas could still be supplied to the EU via one remaining part of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that remains intact, but the ball was now in the EU’s court on whether it wanted this to happen. Russia could open the gas taps on that line if the bloc wanted it to, Putin stressed. The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines abruptly lost pressure last month, following a series of powerful underwater explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm. The incident caused massive gas leaks, with large volumes entering the sea. The ruptures are widely considered to be the result of sabotage by an unknown party. The routes were designed to carry Russian natural gas directly to Germany, bypassing transit states, including Ukraine and Poland.

Moscow has called the incident a terrorist attack and said the US, a long-time critic of Germany’s reliance on Russian energy, stood to benefit most from the disabling of the routes, both politically and economically. Washington has denied any involvement. However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken hailed the incident as a “tremendous opportunity” for Europe “to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy.” Neither pipeline was operational at the time of the breach. Berlin refused to certify the newer Nord Stream 2 after its completion last year, and Russia halted supplies via the older Nord Stream 1 in late August, citing sanctions-related maintenance problems.

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Inferior not in quality, but in competitiveness.

“..the US “sells its liquefied natural gas at four times the price that it sets for its own industrialists..”

American Gas ‘Inferior’ To Russia’s – Putin (RT)

The US has ample opportunity to supply its shale gas to the EU now that Russia’s Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been made inoperable, but this gas is “inferior” to Russian natural gas supplies, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. “It is quite clear who the beneficiaries [of the Nord Stream incident] are… the US, of course, which can now supply energy resources at high prices… It is now possible for them to force large liquefied natural gas volumes on European countries, which are clearly inferior in competitiveness to Russian pipeline gas,” the President said at the Russian Energy Week forum. He explained that the prices on US-produced LNG are much higher than those on Russian pipeline gas, “everyone was well aware of this before, and now is even more so,” and added that there are additional risks regarding US deliveries.

“The risks lie in the fact that all this supply is very unstable and can ‘float away’ to other regions,” Putin said, adding that US tankers carrying LNG to Europe may divert from Europe if sellers will be offered a higher price elsewhere. Putin’s words echo the statements made by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire earlier this week. Speaking at the National Assembly, he said that it is unacceptable that the US “sells its liquefied natural gas at four times the price that it sets for its own industrialists” and called for a “more balanced economic relationship on the energy issue” to be established between Brussels and Washington.

Russia used to cover over 40% of the EU’s gas needs prior to the start of the military operation in Ukraine and ensuing sanctions. Supplies dropped dramatically this year, especially after one of the major routes for gas deliveries was severed due to the under-investigation explosions that damaged Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines last month. The US, meanwhile, ramped up its supply of LNG to Europe over the past months, up to a point where it now accounts for nearly half of the bloc’s LNG imports, nearly twice the share recorded in 2021.

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Do such heads still exist in the west?

1962: Cool Heads Prevented A Soviet-US Naval Encounter Sparking A Nuclear War (RT)

On October 1, 1962, four Soviet submarines, each equipped with nuclear-armed torpedoes, departed Kola Bay in the Barents Sea en route to Cuba. The mini-fleet was intended to secretly bolster a vast Soviet military presence on and around the island and protect the construction of defensive missile sites requested by Havana in the wake of the CIA’s disastrous Bay of Pigs operation, in which Washington-backed rebel forces attempted to storm Havana and overthrow the popular Communist government of Fidel Castro. According to the private account of Vasily Arkhipov, the vice-admiral of submarine B-59, now published for the first time in commemoration of the event by the US National Security Archive, the weather during the transit was “generally conducive to keeping secrecy” over the long journey – “stormy weather, low clouds, low visibility, snow squalls, rain.”

Along the way, they detected “an elevated level of activity of anti-submarine aircraft radiolocation stations working in a short-interval regime,” but the covert convoy went unnoticed until October 18, when Soviet intelligence “intercepted a message from a French radio station informing some correspondents that Soviet submarines [had] entered the Atlantic and were now traveling to the American shores.” “How they discovered the submarine is hard to say…However, one can say with high confidence that the submarine was not discovered with aircraft radar,” Arkhipov claims. “[Soviet] commanders…were ordered to be on full alert and to continue to navigate in secret,” as a result, Arkipov recalled.


On October 24, the Soviet submarines arrived at their “designated areas” near Cuba, the very same day that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told Washington’s high representative in Moscow that if US ships began searching Soviet merchant ships on the high seas, it would be considered piracy and he would give orders to Soviet submarines to destroy the harassing American vessels. It was a hugely tense situation and one that set the scene for what happened three days later, when a B-59 surfaced in order to recharge its batteries. According to the private account of Arkhipov, upon emerging it discovered: “An aircraft carrier, nine destroyers, four Neptune airplanes and three Trekkers, encircled by three concentric circles of coast guard forces…overflights by planes just 20-30 meters above the submarine’s conning tower, use of powerful searchlights, fire from automatic cannons (over 300 shells), dropping depth charges, cutting in front of the 5 submarine by destroyers at a dangerously [small] distance, targeting guns at the submarine, yelling from loudspeakers to stop engines, etc.”

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Output cut only after the midterms.

Saudi Arabia Unveils Biden Oil Demand (RT)

Saudi Arabia has said that OPEC’s decision to cut oil production was based solely on economic considerations, not politics, and that the organization resisted pressure from the United States to put off the move for several weeks.The Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday pushing back on allegations that the oil cut was intended to benefit Russia, insisting it is not “taking sides in international conflicts” or making “politically motivated” decisions.“These outcomes are based purely on economic considerations that take into account maintaining balance of supply and demand in the oil markets, as well as aim to limit volatility that does not serve the interests of consumers and producers, as has been always the case within OPEC +,” the ministry said, adding that the cut was approved “unanimously by all member states” of the organization.

While Washington suggested “postponing the OPEC+ decision for a month,” the Foreign Ministry said US officials were informed such a delay “would have had negative economic consequences.” The Wall Street Journal was first to report on the request from the United States, noting that Riyadh considered the idea a “political gambit by the [Joe] Biden administration to avoid bad news ahead of the US midterm elections.”However, a National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson, Adrienne Watson, denied that characterization, telling the outlet that US officials “questioned a Saudi analysis that the price of oil was about to plunge and urged them to wait and see how the market reacted.”

“It’s categorically false to connect this to US elections,” Watson said. “It’s about the impact of this shortsighted decision to the global economy.” President Biden responded harshly to the production cut, suggesting the move would help Moscow reap higher prices for its energy exports as Western nations seek to choke off the Russian economy in retaliation for the war in Ukraine. Biden also vowed “consequences” for Saudi Arabia, and though he did not elaborate what that could mean, top NSC spokesman John Kirby later told reporters that the White House would review the US-Saudi relationship to ensure “it is serving our national security interests.”


Saudi Arabia confirms Biden attempted to coerce them to postpone oil cuts until after the midterms

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Treating Ukraine as de facto NATO member. Not wise.

NATO Eyes 10-Year Plan For Ukraine – Politico (RT)

The NATO alliance will soon launch a scheme to rebuild Ukraine’s defense industry over the next decade, hoping to phase out Soviet-era weapons in favor of Western gear as Washington and its allies pledge new rounds of military aid to Kiev. Officials from NATO and Ukraine are set to meet next week to discuss a “long-term commitment” to revitalize Kiev’s military-industrial complex following months of fighting with Russia, Politico reported on Wednesday, citing a senior NATO official. “We will be looking at defense planning requirements to get Ukraine fully interoperable with NATO,” the unnamed official said. “It’s about shifting away from Soviet equipment … to NATO-compatible Western equipment.” Though the NATO staffer offered few details about the rebuilding effort, they said it would focus on Ukraine’s longer-term needs and likely involve several international partners.

The initiative will be separate from another NATO project discussed by acquisition officials earlier this month, which also seeks to bolster Ukraine’s defense sector while replenishing Western stockpiles after heavy arms shipments to Kiev. Earlier on Wednesday, the so-called ‘Ukraine Defense Contact Group’ met to discuss continued military support, with Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov stating that air defense systems are his country’s “top priority.” US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said Washington and its allies would aim to provide such weapons, calling on members of the contact group to “chip in and help [Ukraine] rebuild and sustain an integrated air and missile defense system, specifically old systems.”

Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, meanwhile, vowed to send additional anti-aircraft missiles during Wednesday’s meeting, saying the “only result [Russia] is achieving with [continued attacks on Ukraine] is that we are going to deliver even more.” Those pledges came soon after Germany delivered the first of four IRIS-T air defense systems to Ukraine, while France, the United States and Britain have each announced new weapons transfers of their own, including French truck-mounted howitzers, US-made NASAMS air defense systems and AMRAAM air-to-air missiles from the UK.

Maersheimer Cohen

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‘Nobody is going to catch us. We are going to break a constitutional republic’s 250-year tradition because we don’t like the guy in the White House, and we’re going to manufacture a crime on it.'”

$1m Offer To Steele Shows FBI Misled Congress On Russia Probe: Kash Patel (JTN)

Following the bombshell revelation from the trial of Igor Danchenko that the FBI offered Christopher Steele $1 million to corroborate his dossier, former House Intelligence Committee investigator Kash Patel said this proves the bureau knew it hadn’t been able to verify the Trump-Russia collusion narrative and misled Congress. Danchenko, the primary source for the Steele dossier, is charged with five counts of lying to the FBI. As the prosecution opened its case against Danchenko Tuesday, Special Counsel John Durham questioned his first witness, FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten. Auten testified that in early October 2016, the FBI offered Steele “up to $1 million” to provide corroborating evidence for his dossier, but the former British spy didn’t provide any such information to the bureau.

As a result, Steele wasn’t given the money because he was unable to “prove the allegations.” An application the FBI submitted to a FISA court on Oct. 21, 2016 for a warrant to initiate electronic surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page included uncorroborated information from the dossier. Auten testified that before the FBI received the dossier, it didn’t have enough evidence to obtain a FISA warrant. Auten also said the FBI contacted other intelligence agencies regarding the specific allegations in the dossier, but none were able to corroborate them. Durham asked Auten, “On October 21, 2016 did you have any information to corroborate that information?” “No,” Auten replied. Patel was asked about the purported reward offer on the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show Tuesday.

The House Intelligence panel chaired by then-Rep. Devin Nunes sent 17 congressional subpoenas “for information specifically related to payments and confidential human sources,” he said, “were denied this information, and we learn it four years after our investigation.” “That means somebody obstructed a congressional investigation with congressional subpoenas,” said Patel, a former national security prosecutor. This exposes “the depths that [the FBI] would go to to falsely corroborate the Steele dossier, which … shows they didn’t have it verified, which we’ve said the whole time,” Patel added. “And more importantly,” he continued, “they were willing to spend a million taxpayer dollars on shoveling political hot garbage through the federal court system just to surveil a political target that would have been totally baseless — it was baseless then.”

Referring to a group of senior FBI leaders during the James Comey era as “government gangsters,” Patel said “this bombshell” shows that they “were so arrogant, that they said, ‘Nobody is going to catch us. We are going to break a constitutional republic’s 250-year tradition because we don’t like the guy in the White House, and we’re going to manufacture a crime on it.'” Retired FBI supervisory special agent Bassem Youssef, one of the bureau’s most famous whistleblowers, said Tuesday’s revelation at the trial was unlike anything he ever saw in his three-decade FBI career.”Never in my entire career have I heard of such an offer to pay a source to corroborate their own information,” Youssef told Just the News. “The FBI queries other sources in order to validate the original source of information. It is unheard of that the FBI would offer to pay Steele $1 million to corroborate his own information.

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Just say no.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Turns Negative Within Months (ET)

The effectiveness of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine against infection turns negative over time, according to a new study that was funded by the vaccine maker. The effectiveness of three doses—a primary series and a booster—against infection remained above 50 percent after 150 days against BA.1, a subvariant of the Omicron virus variant, researchers estimated. However, against more recent strains, including the currently dominant BA.5, the effectiveness turned negative. Against BA.2, BA.4, and BA.5, the effectiveness went negative after 150 days; against BA.1.12.1, the effectiveness turned negative after 91 days. Negative effectiveness means that a vaccinated person is more likely to contract COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, than an unvaccinated person.

Researchers with Moderna and Kaiser Permanente, which carried out the study, also found that people who received three Moderna doses were more likely to become infected when compared to people who received just two doses. Researchers said that they attempted to reduce potential bias by taking actions such as adjusting for comorbidities, but that some confounding may remain. They said that some of the negative effectiveness estimates “could be due to differential risk behaviors among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals when protection from antibodies becomes minimal.” Hung Fu Tseng, a researcher with Kaiser Permanente Southern California and the study’s corresponding author, declined to provide evidence for the statement or otherwise comment on the negative effectiveness estimates.

A slew of other studies and analyses have found that the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines turns negative over time, including a study that estimated the protection for children aged 5 to 11 turned negative after 18 or 20 weeks, and an analysis of data from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testing program that estimated the shielding turned negative around six months. Swedish researchers in September concluded that effectiveness turned negative within several months.

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“..these funds are funded by workers and yet they are “engaging in actions which destroy the living standards of those workers..”

Europe’s Pension Funds Are Gambling With Food Prices (EUO)

Some of Europe’s largest pension funds are investing billions of euros in volatile commodity markets, risking the hard-earned income of millions of workers while fuelling a global hunger crisis caused in part by such investments, a new investigation has found. The findings also raise questions over whether the European Union’s continued drive to deregulate its financial markets will worsen the situation in the future. The rules governing the bloc’s capital markets are currently under review. Soaring prices of key commodities such as food and energy have triggered a cost of living crisis around the world, including in Europe. The United Nations said the increases may have also pushed an estimated 71 million people in developing nations into poverty.

Lighthouse Reports, a European non-profit newsroom, analysed the accounts of more than 70 major pension funds in Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Finland and Denmark. While some funds explicitly forbid speculating in commodities, especially in food, 15 are currently investing in them, with the three biggest buyers the Netherlands, UK and Denmark held a total of €37.6bn between them at the end of 2021. According to Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the findings show that pension funds are amongst the financial institutions that have aggravated the problem of investor speculation driving food prices. This is “particularly egregious” because these funds are funded by workers and yet they are “engaging in actions which destroy the living standards of those workers”, she said.

Most funds do not disaggregate between hard commodities, such as gold and oil, and soft commodities, such as agriculture and livestock, but experts say the ultimate impact — rising commodity prices — is likely to be the same. “Whether it is in food or energy, both are equivalently terrible from the point of view of workers and developing countries because a fuel price increase translates into prices of all other prices going up,” says Ghosh. In addition, commodity markets are risky to invest in, said Ann Pettifor, one of the few economists who predicted the 2007-2008 global financial crisis. “I don’t want my pension fund to go near something as volatile as a commodity market, basically, especially the ones in energy and in food,” she said.

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When Adam Curtis makes a film (series), you watch. When Adam Curtis writes, you read.

“..on how hyper-capitalism wrecked a nation – and why Liz Truss must take heed..”

In the 1990’s, Russia male life expectancy fell by 15-20 years. That’s what Putin inhereted.

‘They Are Stealing Russia’ (Adam Curtis)

The central mystery of our time is why, at a moment when the whole political and social system is out of control and in total chaos, no one seems able to imagine any alternative. The economic system is not delivering the good life it once promised, but is instead creating chaos and hardship for millions. Meanwhile, those in charge of the system are profiting massively from that chaos, feeding off the uncertainty. And the political class are in thrall to an economic theory that has become absurd and corrupted. I’ve just made TraumaZone, a series of films about another time when that was happening. It was in Russia in the 1990s after communism collapsed. Those in charge began an experiment to create an extreme form of capitalism. I made it because I don’t think we in the west understand what the Russians went through: a cataclysm that tore apart the foundations of society.

The films are made using a unique source of material: thousands of hours of raw footage recorded by BBC crews in Russia during that time, much of it never seen before. What makes it so extraordinary is that it records the experiences of Russians at every level of society as their world fell apart: from inside the Kremlin to the frozen mining cities of the Arctic circle, from life in the tiny villages of the vast steppes to the strange wars fought in the mountains and forests of the Caucasus. As I watched the footage I decided that I shouldn’t use my voice or paste music over it. The material was so strong that I didn’t want to intrude pointlessly, but rather let viewers simply experience what was happening, because it is was out of this – the anger, violence, desperation and overwhelming corruption – that Vladimir Putin emerged.

But as I made the films, the growing chaos here in Britain made me see parallels. There are of course vast differences between our society and the Russia of 30 years ago, but the more you find out about the extreme economic experiment there, and what is happening here now with the present government, the more you see that they both share very similar roots that have nothing to do with either capitalism or communism. The clue lies in the man who imposed the “shock therapy” experiment on Russia. Called Yegor Gaidar, he was at the heart of the communist establishment. His grandfather was the most famous writer of children’s books in the Soviet Union, and Gaidar had married the daughter of one of the Strugatsky brothers, science-fiction writers who wrote the novel the film Stalker was based on.

This economist who would become acting prime minister set out to create a perfect capitalist system in Russia. He had to do it fast, he said, to stop communism from ever returning. Overnight, he removed all controls over prices, while the government gave up on any attempt to manage the system. The aim, said Gaidar, was to create a new zone of perfect freedom in which, despite initial pain, the system would find its own natural equilibrium. But if you look closer, you will see that his plan had little to do with freedom. It was in fact an odd, machine-like vision of the world driven by pseudoscientific ideas.

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PressTV

 

 

US soldier

 

 

Hologram

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jul 172022
 
 July 17, 2022  Posted by at 8:58 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Guernica 1937

 

Germany Is Facing The Biggest Crisis The Country Has Ever Had (Cody)
Berlin’s Quit Decades Of Courting Both Moscow And Washington (Davydov)
The War Of Economic Corridors Is In Full Swing (Escobar)
Republicans Wince As Their Ukrainian-born Colleague Thrashes Zelensky (Pol.)
In Search of Enemies (Femi Akomolafe)
Italy May Soon Be Unable To Arm Ukraine – Foreign Minister (RT)
To Hell or Not to Hell? (Batiushka)
‘Experts’ Broke The World. But They’re Rapidly Losing Power… (Black)
Gazprom Requests Documents On Nord Stream Turbine Return (RT)
Saudi Arabia Outlines What It Will Do For Oil Output (RT)
Biden Visits Saudi Arabia, Returns with an Empty Tin Cup (CTH)
China Issues Phosphate Quotas To Rein In Fertiliser Exports (R.)
Dr. Birx Praises Herself While Revealing Ignorance, Treachery, and Deceit (BI)
Judge Questions FBI’s Aggressive Arrest Of Peter Navarro (ZH)
Ankara Not Likely To Accept F-16 Strings (K.)

 

 

 

 

Emmanuel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1548256134020022273

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it will export that crisis.

Germany Is Facing The Biggest Crisis The Country Has Ever Had (Cody)

Germany is facing an unprecedented crisis due to a potential Russian gas cut that will erase the prosperity Germans have grown accustomed to, warned Rainer Dulger, head of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations. “We are facing the biggest crisis the country has ever had. We have to be honest and say: First of all, we will lose the prosperity that we have had for years,” Dulger told the Süddeutsche Zeitung regarding the consequences of a gas shortage to everyone. While many are urging more government intervention to help prop up the German economy, Dulger argues that in general, the fewer the interventions, the better. He says that when it comes to the economy, private businesses always do better than the government.

However, he does believe certain measures need to be implemented to provide support for people in increasingly stressed economic situations. “More net earnings from the gross amount must now arrive into every citizen’s account,” he claimed, emphasizing the importance of not reducing the net income of the citizens and ensuring the fair redistribution of profits generated during the crisis. Dulger is not the only one warning of a crisis in Germany. Economy Minister Robert Habeck warns of a “catastrophic winter” ahead over Russian gas cut fears. According to him, Germany will face a “crucial test that we haven’t faced for a long time.” Other experts are predicting mass bankruptcies, inflation, and energy rationing that will send “shockwaves” through the German economy.

The Bavarian Business Association (VBW) warned that as many as 5.6 million jobs across Germany could be lost in the case of a gas supply stoppage from Russia. According to the association’s calculations, a German boycott of Russian gas could also reduce the country’s economic output by 12.7 percent, with immediate abandonment of the raw material hitting the glass, iron, and steel industries particularly hard; losses in these sectors would be almost 50 percent. Dulger sees the significant cause of the current situation as the lack of ability to be self-sufficient. For too long, Germany had disregarded something that former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt warned about in the 1970s. When deliveries of gas to Russia began at the time, Schmidt said: “We can do it, but we must not depend on Russian gas for more than 30 percent.”

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Post-WWII took a lot of diplomacy. That is now gone.

Berlin’s Quit Decades Of Courting Both Moscow And Washington (Davydov)

Germany’s new leadership has gone “all in” on its alliance with the US, overturning a strategy that had underpinned its success What was known as the “memory culture” was an essential element of the foreign policy strategy of post-war Germany. Wise leaders were able to gradually restore the importance of the country on the international stage and achieve strategic goals. A prime example was Chancellor Willy Brandt’s ‘Ostpolitik,’ based on ideas of repentance and overcoming post-war enmity. The historical reconciliation between Bonn and the USSR became the basis for the future unification of Germany – solving the main task of the country’s political elites after the end of World War II.

However, less gifted politicians find historical memory a handicap and a hardship. For neighbours, the ambitions of German leadership in Europe bring back painful memories. Indeed, historical documents such as the Treaty of German Unification, limit the military capabilities of the state – which is a direct obstacle to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s dream for the creation of “the strongest army in Europe.” Today, the image of a peace-loving nation that has re-educated itself after the tragedy of two world wars does not fit well with active arms deliveries to Ukraine. “This war must end,” Scholz recently warned, while in Kiev. Meanwhile, his government’s website is regularly updated with information on weapons already delivered and planned to be delivered to the Ukrainians. This is what you might call a paradox.

Let’s look at some of the rhetoric coming out of Berlin. On June 21, on the eve of Russia’s Day of Remembrance and Sorrow, Economy Minister Robert Habeck called the reduction of Russian gas supplies “an attack on Germany.”Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has claimed that “Russia deliberately uses hunger as a weapon.” By the way, behind the unfounded lies are real historical data – more than four million Soviet citizens were starved to death during the Nazi occupation. At the G7 summit last month, Scholz called on participants to prepare a new “Marshall Plan”for Ukraine, twisting the meaning of the programme that helped Western Europe recover from the horrors of fascism. It feels like a policy of remembrance is being replaced by a policy of deliberate amnesia.

[..] Scholz’s approach is the opposite of what Willy Brandt and his followers worked on. Berlin has finally narrowed the once dynamic and multifaceted eastern policy solely in support of Kiev. In international relations, however, simplification rarely reduces contradictions. This sort of primitivization does not add credibility to the German leadership, but it does raise doubts about its competence. The granting of EU candidate status to Ukraine, actively supported by Berlin, could also turn out to be an embarrassment. And it is not just about the five other official members of the waiting list and several potential contenders, who have been waiting or are still waiting years for this decision, all the while trying to fulfil the EU’s strict requirements. In Germany’s foreign policy approach, showmanship and symbolism are gradually replacing order and consistency.

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“..all five Caspian Sea littoral states agreed that no NATO warships or bases will be allowed on site…”

The War Of Economic Corridors Is In Full Swing (Escobar)

The War of Economic Corridors is now proceeding full speed ahead, with the game-changing first cargo flow of goods from Russia to India via the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) already in effect. Very few, both in the east and west, are aware of how this actually has long been in the making: the Russia-Iran-India agreement for implementing a shorter and cheaper Eurasian trade route via the Caspian Sea (compared to the Suez Canal), was first signed in 2000, in the pre-9/11 era. The INSTC in full operational mode signals a powerful hallmark of Eurasian integration – alongside the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and last but not least, what I described as “Pipelineistan” two decades ago.

Let’s have a first look on how these vectors are interacting. The genesis of the current acceleration lies in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital, for the 6th Caspian Summit. This event not only brought the evolving Russia-Iran strategic partnership to a deeper level, but crucially, all five Caspian Sea littoral states agreed that no NATO warships or bases will be allowed on site. That essentially configures the Caspian as a virtual Russian lake, and in a minor sense, Iranian – without compromising the interests of the three “stans,” Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. For all practical purposes, Moscow has tightened its grip on Central Asia a notch.

As the Caspian Sea is connected to the Black Sea by canals off the Volga built by the former USSR, Moscow can always count on a reserve navy of small vessels – invariably equipped with powerful missiles – that may be transferred to the Black Sea in no time if necessary. Stronger trade and financial links with Iran now proceed in tandem with binding the three “stans” to the Russian matrix. Gas-rich republic Turkmenistan for its part has been historically idiosyncratic – apart from committing most of its exports to China. Under an arguably more pragmatic young new leader, President Serdar Berdimuhamedow, Ashgabat may eventually opt to become a member of the SCO and/or the EAEU. Caspian littoral state Azerbaijan on the other hand presents a complex case: an oil and gas producer eyed by the European Union (EU) to become an alternative energy supplier to Russia – although this is not happening anytime soon.

Iran’s foreign policy under President Ebrahim Raisi is clearly on a Eurasian and Global South trajectory. Tehran will be formally incorporated into the SCO as a full member in the upcoming summit in Samarkand in September, while its formal application to join the BRICS has been filed. Purnima Anand, head of the BRICS International Forum, has stated that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are also very much keen on joining BRICS. Should that happen, by 2024 we could be on our way to a powerful West Asia, North Africa hub firmly installed inside one of the key institutions of the multipolar world. As Putin heads to Tehran next week for trilateral Russia, Iran, Turkey talks, ostensibly about Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is bound to bring up the subject of BRICS.

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Ukraine corruption is on the list of things we can’t talk about.

Republicans Wince As Their Ukrainian-born Colleague Thrashes Zelensky (Pol.)

House Republicans gave Ukraine-born Rep. Victoria Spartz a coveted platform to speak out against Russia’s war. They’re coming to regret that. Spartz (R-Ind.), who has traveled to Ukraine a half-dozen times since the war began and spoken passionately about the conflict, shocked lawmakers in both parties recently with her intense criticisms of the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and his confidants. She drew a rare rebuke last weekend from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, which accused her of “trying to earn extra political capital on baseless speculation.” Inside the House GOP Conference, there’s a widespread fear that her posture is damaging U.S.-Ukraine relations at the worst possible time — and that she’s being played by forces that aim to weaken the Western alliance.

GOP national-security hawks also worry that the MAGA wing of their party, where there’s already resistance to supporting Ukraine, will point to Spartz’s comments as justification.They’re concerned that Spartz’s public break from Zelenskyy — and her corruption accusations about his closest aides — could portend future cracks in U.S. support for Ukraine, especially as the midterm elections approach. “Her naiveness is hurting our own people,” said a GOP lawmaker who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, granted anonymity to speak candidly about a colleague. “It is not helpful to what we’re trying to do and I’m not sure her facts are accurate … We have vetted these guys.” The Republican warned that Spartz’s comments could “hurt” the war effort.

Asked for comment on Spartz’s remarks, one senior House Republican who was granted anonymity for the same reason offered a blunt reply: “What the fuck.” A third House Republican granted anonymity to speak candidly about Spartz said she has a reputation for elbowing her way into briefings and meetings for committees she doesn’t belong to, like the Foreign Affairs panel, where multiple members have tried to address her comments behind closed doors. The Biden administration is even getting involved — another sign of growing worries that Spartz’s comments may damage cohesion among the Western coalition in defense of Kyiv. A Foreign Affairs Committee aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. intelligence community is planning to brief Spartz about her claims in a classified setting Friday morning.

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“It’s the wrong game for a great nation. And the players we’ve got are losers.”

In Search of Enemies (Femi Akomolafe)

We are in July and while the Russians are not letting up on the grinding of the Ukrainian forces, the West has already lost interest in its latest misadventure. Many Western countries have already announced that they have no more weapons to spare, and the EU’s powerhouse, Germany, has been reduced to dusting off ancient mothballed tanks to send off to battle against an already defeated Russians! That’s when German officials are not too busy trying to placate an irascible and ungrateful Ukrainian officials with an obscene and gratuitous sense of entitlement. Or maybe the Ukrainians should feel perfectly entitled since they were foolish enough to sell off their country for whatever pieces of silver they got!

The question here is: Why are Westerners so dumb that they cannot ask where their leaders who can’t find the money to repair their shattered economies, suddenly find the money to provide weapons to Nazis in Ukraine? Another question: After the war is settled – in Russia’s favor (my bet), do Westerners expect the Russians to forgive them for providing support to Nazis 2.0? For a people without enough resources to cater for themselves, and one that proclaims its rationality all the time, it is beyond belief that Westerners keep on searching for enemies! Besotted with their self-generated image of superiority, Westerners appear to live in a bubble, unaware of what goes on outside their self-created cocoon.

The Russians made it plain what they felt about the West’s insane push to their borders. From President V Putin to FM Lavrov to the inimitable Spokeswoman for the Russian FM, Maria Zakharova, the Russians told whoever would listen that there were bound to be severe repercussions if their core security concerns were ignored. Ignored them, the West did. Last year, the Russians emphasized the urgency of their concerns by dispatching drafts of Treaties to both Washington and Brussels. The West rather haughtily brushed them aside. The Russians openly warned about taking “technical and military” means if the West persists in its folly. The West arrogantly ignored the warnings.

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Arming Ukraine is not biggest problem here: “If the government falls on Wednesday, we won’t have the power to sign any new energy contracts and this is serious because we are headed into winter..”

Italy May Soon Be Unable To Arm Ukraine – Foreign Minister (RT)

Political turmoil in Italy could soon see Rome unable to continue supporting Ukraine with weapons deliveries, the country’s foreign minister has warned. According to Luigi Di Maio, this would be the case should the incumbent government not survive a no-confidence vote next week. In a phone interview with US media outlet Politico on Friday, Di Maio said that those in Italy who want the collapse of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government are playing into the hands of the Kremlin. “The Russians are right now celebrating having made another Western government fall,” the minister argued. Di Maio went on to express doubt as to whether Italy will be able to keep supplying arms to Ukraine under these circumstances, adding that “it is one of the many serious problems.”

The official explained that, should the government collapse, it would still remain in power for some time in a caretaker capacity. However, in this case, its powers would be reduced, meaning, among other things, that the government wouldn’t be able to continue weapons deliveries to Ukraine. “If the government falls on Wednesday, we won’t have the power to sign any new energy contracts and this is serious because we are headed into winter,” the minister added. According to Di Maio, Italy could also end up without a 2023 budget as the document is normally passed by parliament between July and December. Should there be elections in September or October, however, it could take months before a new coalition government is formed, meaning that the budget would be postponed, the minister explained.

He added that it took 100 days to form a government the last time. On Thursday, the Five Star Movement, which is part of Prime Minister Draghi’s coalition government, boycotted a no-confidence vote, with the premier offering to resign in response. However, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella refused to accept his resignation, with Draghi’s government facing another no-confidence vote on Wednesday. Di Maio, who had been one of the Five Star Movement’s leaders but left the party last month over a row concerning arms deliveries to Ukraine, laid into his former allies, accusing them of “helping Putin’s propaganda and autocracy over democracy.”

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“..the world that started on 12 October 1492 died on 24 February 2022..”

To Hell or Not to Hell? (Batiushka)

In recent months, here and there in various Western European countries, I have seen two or three flags being flown together, the EU One Ring ‘to rule them all’, sometimes the local national flag, and beneath it the Ukrainian one. This represents Western supremacism, the Nazi ideology which proclaims the long-desired Westernisation of the Ukraine. It says that any who do not accept ‘Western values’ are to be destroyed or, as they say now, ’cancelled’ – with Western fake news, Western arms and Western death. Who are today’s aristocratic warlords, today’s Franks, Lombards, Goths, Vandals and Vikings? They are Stoltenberg, Biden, Johnson, von der Leyen, Blinken, Nuland, Kagan, Scholz, Macron and all the other knowing and unknowing neocons who fly these flags together.

The barbarians were there sacking civilisation in August 476 and in August 1914, they were there sacking civilisation in late 1492 and in early 2022. However, the world that started on 12 October 1492 died on 24 February 2022 and a new era has begun. On 14 July 2022 the Serbian President Vucic said: ‘Now the whole Western world is at war with Russia through Ukrainian intermediaries and today’s armed conflict can almost be called a world war’. ‘I know what awaits us. As soon as Vladimir Putin has finished his work in Seversk, Bakhmut and Soledar and then reaches the second line in Slaviansk-Kramatorsk-Avdeevka, he will make an offer. And if they (the West) don’t accept – and they don’t intend to – we shall take the road to hell’.

So what happens if the Western world chooses not to go to hell? What happens after the barbarians, after the final demise of the myths of ‘The West and the Rest’ and ‘The West is Best’? At the moment, the alternative is an alphabet soup of BRI, BRICS, EAEU, SCO etc. BRICS itself is becoming old-fashioned, as it may well soon be joined by Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and maybe Argentina and then, who knows? Does that make BRICSITESAA? An alternative name like ‘The Anti-West’ is purely reactive, negative and refers to the 530 years before 24 February 2022. It is especially inappropriate since the EU is clearly collapsing and it is obvious that, at the very least, countries like Serbia, Hungary (whom the EU elite wishes to expel from the EU) and Germany, if it is to survive, will be joining the to-be-renamed BRICS.

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“..there are a lot of solutions and technologies on the horizon that could make this all go away relatively quickly… just as soon as they get out of the way.”

‘Experts’ Broke The World. But They’re Rapidly Losing Power… (Black)

It’s rare to find someone, anyone, who has yet to witness, hear about, or directly experience the devastating consequences of the supposed leadership that ‘experts’ have unleashed on us over the past few years. They have engineered and mishandled crisis after crisis after crisis… The world over, from California to Sri Lanka, people everywhere are suffering from their incompetence. Western Europe is on the verge of a major energy crisis; the 4th-largest economy in the world (Germany) is dimming its street lights lights and thinking about firing up its coal power plants (previously considered UNTHINKABLE!) because they’re running out of energy. Even in Texas, which could be considered the world’s 10th-largest economy by GDP, the independent energy grid is so fragile that power companies are remotely turning down people’s home thermostats to save on energy supply.


We have also just seen a leaked hour+ video showing the ‘authorities’ in Uvalde, Texas– fully armed law enforcement professionals– ignoring the literal screams of dying children only a few dozen feet away. Instead they texted on their phones and sanitized their hands. You know, because of Covid. I guess that was the priority. All of this is an utter indictment of how pitifully our experts and authorities have betrayed us. In short, the people in charge broke the world. But the good news is that their reign of ineptitude is rapidly coming to an end.. That much is obvious. And even better, there are a lot of solutions and technologies on the horizon that could make this all go away relatively quickly… just as soon as they get out of the way.

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It’s still not moving.

Gazprom Requests Documents On Nord Stream Turbine Return (RT)

Russian state energy major Gazprom has officially asked German industrial giant Siemens to provide documents allowing the return of a crucial gas turbine, which had been stuck at the firm’s Canada factory due to sanctions. “On July 15, Gazprom officially requested Siemens to provide documents that, in spite of the current sanctions regimes of Canada and the European Union, would allow the export of a gas turbine engine for the Portovaya compressor station, a critically important facility for the [Nord Stream] gas pipeline, to Russia, and the fulfillment by the Siemens group of companies of its obligations regarding the repair and maintenance of gas turbine engines,” the statement by Gazprom read, as cited by Interfax news agency.

Gazprom warned that failure to return the turbine would jeopardise the functioning of the Nord Stream pipeline, linking Russia to Germany, and the supply of natural gas to European consumers. The Nord Stream pipeline, one of the main routes for Russian gas exports to Europe, is currently out of action due to a scheduled 10-day maintenance period. However, prior to the shutdown it had been operating at just 40% of capacity for several weeks, due to a turbine from the pipeline’s Portovaya compressor station being stuck at the Siemens facility in Montreal, where it had undergone repairs.

Canada initially refused to return the device, due to sanctions arising from the Ukraine conflict. However, after negotiations with Berlin, Ottawa earlier this week decided to allow the turbine to be shipped back. It will first travel to Germany, and from there to Russia, allowing Canada to avoid violating its own sanctions by using an indirect delivery route. The documents requested by Gazprom are necessary to facilitate the final trip of the turbine from Germany to Russia.

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Very little.

Saudi Arabia Outlines What It Will Do For Oil Output (RT)

Saudi Arabia is ready to increase oil production to its maximum of 13 million barrels per day but does not have the capacity to pump out more, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said during his address at the US-Arab summit in Jeddah on Saturday. “The kingdom has announced an increase in its production capacity level to 13 million barrels per day, after which the kingdom will not have any additional capacity to increase production,” he was quoted as saying by UAE’s newspaper The National. The crown prince also said that the global community should join forces to support the global economy, but noted that unrealistic policies regarding energy sources would only worsen the situation.

“Adopting unrealistic policies to reduce emissions by excluding main sources of energy will lead in coming years to unprecedented inflation and an increase in energy prices and rising unemployment, and a worsening of serious social and security problems,” he stated. Mohammed bin Salman’s words come a day after his talks with Joe Biden, who was in Saudi Arabia on his first visit as US president, and urged the kingdom to increase oil production in order to reduce global reliance on supplies from Russia. Commenting on his trip to the kingdom, Biden said Saudi Arabia’s “energy resources are vital for mitigating the impact on global supplies of Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

Saudi Arabia, one of the globe’s largest oil exporters and the leading producer within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), currently pumps out more than 12 million barrels of oil per day. The kingdom previously said it plans to reach production capacity of 13 million barrels per day by 2027. The Crown Prince did not reveal whether the timeframe for the boost in capacity has changed

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“Is it any surprise that Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador want’s nothing to do with the other two knuckleheaded leaders of North America..?”

Biden Visits Saudi Arabia, Returns with an Empty Tin Cup (CTH)

Joe Biden is heading back from an embarrassing trip to Saudi Arabia and the middle east. Putting aside the fact that physically and mentally Biden looked weak, foolish, and generally incoherent, in an odd way he was appropriately representative of the current of U.S. influence on the global stage. Before getting to detail, first it is important to emphasize a point that doesn’t get attention domestically. Democrats are exceptionally weak on all aspects of foreign policy, specifically because their modern ideology is based on hypocrisy of a stunning magnitude. Domestically, the U.S. media protect democrats by spinning everything into the best light possible. However, on the world stage the non-western leaders like Putin, Xi and MbS use that hypocrisy like geopolitical ammunition.

Examples… Domestically the U.S. media do not bring up the Joe Biden Afghanistan mess, the rise -and current legitimacy- of the terrorist Taliban; or the brutal mess Barack and Hillary created in Libya; or the unauthorized intervention into Syria that created ISIS; or the complete fubar that was an illegitimate invasion of Iraq; or Hillary’s insufferable “reset” in Russia; or their inability to deal with China’s proxy province of North Korea, because they pretend it’s not; or the current circus célebrè in Ukraine. Each region, and there are many more, a typical example of how modern democrats are fundamentally weak on foreign policy. It is not just Joe Biden either; just about every leftist head of state within the alliance of “western democracies” are also pathetically impotent when it comes to influence on a global stage.

The U.K’s Boris Johnson, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern and France’s Emmanuel Macron are collectively as pathetic as Biden when it comes to leadership and influence. Once they step out of their ‘liberal democracy‘ bubble, and head into a nation that doesn’t have state run media like CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, Politico and/or The New York Times, those leaders look like the pathetic fools they are. Biden and the rest of the leftist heads of state decry “autocracy,” and wax philosophically about “western democratic values”, while standing atop two years of their authoritarian pandemic rules, regulations, mandates and unilateral fiats. Consider their chase for their beloved climate change energy policy and contrast it against their political pearl-clutching over the energy inflation they created.

Is it any surprise that Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador want’s nothing to do with the other two knuckleheaded leaders of North America who are selling windmills while regulating traditional oil, coal and natural gas out of existence? At a certain point, a good neighbor has to look at the duct-taped landscaping and say this is ridiculous. I digress.

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“..a 45% drop from China’s shipments of 5.5 million tonnes in the same period a year ago.”

China Issues Phosphate Quotas To Rein In Fertiliser Exports (R.)

China is rolling out a quota system to limit exports of phosphates, a key fertiliser ingredient, in the second half of this year, analysts said, citing information from the country’s major phosphate producers. The quotas, set well below year-ago export levels, would expand China’s intervention in the market to keep a lid on domestic prices and protect food security while global fertiliser prices are hovering near record highs. Last October, China also moved to curb exports by introducing a new requirement for inspection certificates to ship fertiliser and related materials, contributing to tight global supply. Fertiliser prices have been buoyed by sanctions on major producers Belarus and Russia, while surging grain prices are boosting demand for phosphate and other crop nutrients from farmers around the world.


China is the world’s biggest phosphates exporter, shipping 10 million tonnes last year, or about 30% of total world trade. Its top buyers were India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, according to Chinese customs data. China appears to have issued export quotas for just over 3 million tonnes of phosphates to producers for the second half of this year, said Gavin Ju, China fertiliser analyst at CRU Group, citing information from about a dozen producers who have been informed by local governments since late June. That would mark a 45% drop from China’s shipments of 5.5 million tonnes in the same period a year ago. [..] Other major producers of phosphates, such as widely used diammonium phosphate (DAP), include Morocco, the United States, Russia and Saudia Arabia. The surge in prices over the last year has raised concerns for Beijing, which needs to guarantee food security for its 1.4 billion people even as all farm input costs surge.

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” So it was all a sleight-of-hand: she was staying home; it’s just that she has several homes! This is how the power elite comply, one supposes..”

Dr. Birx Praises Herself While Revealing Ignorance, Treachery, and Deceit (BI)

The December 2020 resignation of Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator under Trump, revealed predictable hypocrisy. Like so many other government officials around the world, she was caught violating her own stay-at-home order. Therefore she finally left her post following nine months of causing unfathomable amounts of damage to life, liberty, property, and the very idea of hope for the future. Even if Anthony Fauci had been the front man for the media, it was Birx who was the main influence in the White House behind the nationwide lockdowns that did not stop or control the pathogen but have caused immense suffering and continue to roil and wreck the world. So it was significant that she would not and could not comply with her own dictates, even as her fellow citizens were being hunted down for the same infractions against “public health.”

In the days before Thanksgiving 2020, she had warned Americans to “assume you’re infected” and to restrict gatherings to “your immediate household.” Then she packed her bags and headed to Fenwick Island in Delaware where she met with four generations for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, as if she were free to make normal choices and live a normal life while everyone else had to shelter in place. The Associated Press was first out with the report on December 20, 2020. “Birx acknowledged in a statement that she went to her Delaware property. She declined to be interviewed. She insisted the purpose of the roughly 50-hour visit was to deal with the winterization of the property before a potential sale — something she says she previously hadn’t had time to do because of her busy schedule.

“I did not go to Delaware for the purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving,” Birx said in her statement, adding that her family shared a meal together while in Delaware. Birx said that everyone on her Delaware trip belongs to her “immediate household,” even as she acknowledged they live in two different homes. She initially called the Potomac home a “3 generation household (formerly 4 generations).” White House officials later said it continues to be a four-generation household, a distinction that would include Birx as part of the home.” So it was all a sleight-of-hand: she was staying home; it’s just that she has several homes! This is how the power elite comply, one supposes. The BBC then quoted her defense, which echo the pain experienced by hundreds of millions:

“My daughter hasn’t left that house in 10 months, my parents have been isolated for 10 months. They’ve become deeply depressed as I’m sure many elderly have as they’ve not been able to see their sons, their granddaughters. My parents have not been able to see their surviving son for over a year. These are all very difficult things.” Indeed. However, she was the major voice for the better part of 2020 for requiring exactly that. No one should blame her for wanting to get together with family; that she worked so hard for so long to prevent others from doing so is what is at issue.

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“..Navarro rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors in the case, proposing to drop one of the two charges and not seek more than the minimum 30-day jail time.”

Judge Questions FBI’s Aggressive Arrest Of Peter Navarro (ZH)

A federal judge has questioned why the FBI made a public spectacle out of arresting former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro at Reagan National Airport last month, rather than simply summoning him for a court appearance. Navarro was handcuffed, denied food and water, and denied a request to phone his lawyer, as he was on his way to a speaking engagement in Nashville, Tennessee. He faces two misdemeanor contempt of Congress charges for doing exactly what Obama AG Eric Holder did (with zero consequences) – ignore a Congressional subpoena, according to Politico. Of course, Holder was held in contempt for concealing documents related to the “fast & furious” scandal, which was tied to the death of an estimated 150 Mexican civilians – while Navarro is refusing to answer House Democrats’ questions surrounding the 2020 election and the January 6th riot.

“It is curious…at a minimum why the government treated Mr. Navarro’s arrest in the way it did,” US District Court Judge Amit Mehta said during a Friday hearing on Navarro’s case. “It is a federal crime, but it is not a violent crime.” Mehta, a former federal defender, said it was puzzling that prosecutors didn’t just tell Navarro he was going to be charged and allow him to walk into an FBI office, as some white-collar defendants are permitted to do. “It is a surprise to me that self-surrender was not offered,” the judge said. However, he proposed no particular response and did not demand any explanation from prosecutors”. -Politico. The FBI has accused Navarro of making “numerous false statements” about his arrest, and said that his first request to use the phone that day was for a lawyer – rather, a TV producer about a scheduled interview.

One of his lawyers, John Rowley, suggested that the FBI’s treatment suggested “animus” toward Navarro, considering that two other Trump White House aides who similarly ignored subpoenas – Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino – were not charged (much less arrested at an airport). “Rowley also suggested Navarro had been placed in leg irons by the FBI when he was arrested, but his client clarified after the hearing that the shackles were used by deputy U.S. Marshals when he arrived at the courthouse for his initial appearance last month. The FBI agents “are responsible for those leg irons,” Navarro told reporters. It also emerged at the hearing Friday that Navarro rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors in the case, proposing to drop one of the two charges and not seek more than the minimum 30-day jail time.” -Politico

“This is the first time in our nation’s 250-year history that a senior adviser to a president has been criminally charged for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena,” said Rowley. “The Justice Department…has longstanding policies about not prosecuting someone criminally for this kind of situation, so I wonder, what changed?….and we intend to find out,” said defense attorney John Irving.

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“..the discussion has even opened up about a possible expulsion of Turkey from the Alliance.”

Ankara Not Likely To Accept F-16 Strings (K.)

The approval this week of a relevant amendment by the US Congress which is seen as a first step to stop the sale of new F-16 aircraft to Turkey and the upgrading of its existing ones has caused optimism in Greece that its positions are being heeded. But there are also several opposing forces at play, which are making the situation complicated. According to Dr Triantafyllos Karatrantos, an analyst at the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) think tank, a clearly positive development would be that any agreement to sell or upgrade aircraft to Turkey is accompanied by a strict framework stipulating good neighborly relations and avoiding provocations, disputes or engagement with third countries.

However, he expressed reservations as to whether Ankara would agree to such a restrictive framework at the current juncture. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he said, is in pre-election mode and with the issue of nationalism high on the agenda would not accept such an agreement. He added that it is no coincidence that Ankara, in an attempt to exert pressure on the US administration, is signaling that, just as it did not hesitate to go ahead with the Russian S-400 deal, it will not hesitate to seek another solution for the purchase of fighter jets if the prospect of buying the F-16s does not come to fruition. Meanwhile, in light of Turkey’s stance on Sweden and Finland’s NATO accession process, the discussion has even opened up about a possible expulsion of Turkey from the Alliance.

This position was put forward in a letter to the Financial Times by Mark Wallace, former US ambassador to the United Nations, and Madeleine Joelson, executive director of the NGO Turkish Democracy Project. Karatrantos points out that there is practically no mechanism for expelling a member from NATO, only a voluntary withdrawal procedure.

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China population set to be cut in half…. Nigeria, DR Congo to quadruple

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 032022
 
 June 3, 2022  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  36 Responses »


Carl Bloch The transfiguration c1865

 

The East Grows Stronger While The West Gets Weaker (ZH)
Zelensky Says Russia Controls A Fifth Of Ukrainian Territory (BBC)
Quo Vadis, Mr Johnson? (Batiushka)
US Engaged In “Offensive” Cyber Ops Against Russia In Ukraine: NSA Director (ZH)
Biden To Visit Saudi Arabia In Push To Lower Oil Prices And Punish Russia (G.)
Biden’s Inner Trudeau (Turley)
Arms Sent To Ukraine Will End Up In Criminal Hands, Says Interpol Chief (G.)
Voting Software Vulnerable In Some States (AP)
Bill Barr Applauds Durham For Showing Truth On Clinton Campaign, FBI (JTN)
The Decline and Fall of Davos Man (PS)

 

 

 

 

Inflation

 

 

Kat Lindley

 

 

Interesting graph. Qué pasa?

 

 

It’s like they do it on purpose.

The East Grows Stronger While The West Gets Weaker (ZH)

The latest agreement among member nations on export bans targeting Russia is largely oil focused, not natural gas focused, with the union demanding an immediate 70% decrease in Russian oil transferred BY SHIP. Oil transferred by pipeline will continue to flow into the EU for now. The ban is intended to expand to 90% of all shipborne Russian oil by the end of this year. Natural gas imports from Russia will also continue. While some European nations are more dependent on Russian energy than others, overall 40% of the EU’s needs are supplied by the country’s industry. It is not surprising that they are seeking an incremental approach to sanctions, they simply would not be able to survive another winter if they were to go cold turkey and block Russian imports completely. Of course, this does not mean that Russia has to operate on Europe’s timetable.

Russia is already reducing exports of natural gas to multiple EU countries, with Denmark, Netherlands and Germany being the latest to see losses. The EU’s ban was oil and ship focused because they cannot find an alternative source for natural gas that would resolve shortages if they banned everything. Germany in particular would be destroyed by the loss of natural gas supplies from Russia with its 42% dependency. The solutions offered by governments and in the mainstream media neglect certain realities. Namely, they claim that output can be increased or diverted to Europe to fill the gap. Joe Biden has suggested that the US is a “net exporter” of oil (this advantage has swiftly declined since he entered the White House according to the IEA) and that the US could help alleviate European demand. The IEA and OPEC members like Saudi Arabia have offered to increase market availability and output of oil if Russian exports are hit with sanctions.

The problem is that increased production is a fantasy stifled by the realities of labor shortages, increased drilling costs due to inflation and shortages in raw materials caused by supply chain disruptions. There is little chance that production capacity will ever be able to match EU demands, according to experts in the drilling industry. [..] Russia has shown considerable resilience to sanctions on oil as both China and India have increased purchases in tandem with Europe’s bans. The wider implication of this being that Europe and the West will be facing reduced global oil supplies and paying a premium while countries like China and India will be enjoying increased supplies and lower prices from Russia. The East grows stronger while the West gets weaker

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“Zelensky admits Russia now holds one-fifth of Ukraine, the largest country entirely within Europe. What he didn’t acknowledge is that Russia controls Ukraine’s industrial heartland, 90% of its energy resources (including all of offshore oil), and its critical ports and shipping.”

“BREAKING: Tribunal over Ukrainian warcrimes will be held in Mariupol. It will be called the Mariupol Tribunal. In addition to the Ukrainian Nazis who committed war crimes in Mariupol, foreign mercenaries and NATO instructors will also be tried there.”

Zelensky Says Russia Controls A Fifth Of Ukrainian Territory (BBC)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says that Russian forces have seized 20% of his country’s territory, as Moscow’s invasion nears its 100th day. Addressing lawmakers in Luxembourg, he added that the front line extended for more than 1,000km (621 miles). “All combat-ready Russian military formations are involved in this aggression,” he told MPs via videolink. Russian forces have been intensifying attacks on the city of Severodonetsk in the eastern Donbas region. UK defence officials say Russia has seized most of the city and are making “steady local gains, enabled by a heavy concentration of artillery”.


Severodonetsk is the easternmost city under Ukrainian control and regional governor Serhiy Haidai said Russia was trying to break through defences in the city “from all directions”. However he said Ukrainian troops were carrying out counter-attacks, “pushing back the enemy on some streets and taking several prisoners”. Intense street-to-street fighting in the city had hampered evacuations, he said, describing such efforts as “extremely dangerous”. In a video address late on Thursday evening, Mr Zelensky said the situation in Donbas had not changed significantly that day but that Ukrainians had experienced “some success” in battles in Severodonetsk.

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“..Johnson regurgitates the old Victorian anti-Russian myths of ‘The Great Game’..”

Quo Vadis, Mr Johnson? (Batiushka)

Alexander Johnson, or to give him his full name, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, was born to wealthy British parents in New York in June 1964, fifty years after the Sarajevo assassination in June 1914. Since 2019 Johnson has been the Prime Minister of the UK. Giving the impression of an elitist and snobbish aristocrat and distantly related to Queen Elizabeth II, he used to work as a right-wing journalist but is above all a renowned political opportunist. A man of the people he is not. Like so many other politicians, does he actually believe in anything, apart from in himself? Johnson is a biographer of his idol, the half-American Winston Churchill, whom he appears to imitate in his stoop and gait. His fawning book The Churchill Factor, clearly indicates who his model is.

He has five or six or seven children (he himself does not seem to be too sure how many he has fathered by various mothers) and enjoys drunken parties in Downing Street during and outside lockdowns. A highly divisive and controversial figure inside the UK, loved by a few and hated by most, the following quip is made about him: What is the difference between Zelensky and Johnson? Zelensky is a buffoon who became a politician, whereas Johnson is a politician who became a buffoon. More serious commentators ask the question: Is Johnson a natural buffoon, or does he just pretend to be a buffoon? Or, perhaps most likely of all, is he a natural buffoon who pretends to be an even greater buffoon? Of course, most people will admit that as regards Zelensky, he never became a politician, but remained a buffoon. But that is another story.

Despite his middle name of Boris (1), Johnson is a Russophobe to the core, as prejudiced as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (given his title because he defended the indefensible Boer War) or any other old Imperialist. Like other blinkered representatives of the Norman-British Establishment, Johnson regurgitates the old Victorian anti-Russian myths of ‘The Great Game’ as well as the new ones. These latter include the 2006 poisoning of the British spy and traitor, Alexander Litvinenko (clearly not an act of the Russian secret services, who would have acted so as not to be identified), and the 2018 Skripal poisonings in the British Establishment military centre in Salisbury (and the subsequent censorship of the case and the father’s and daughter’s abductions carried out by MI5). These poisonings were due to a nasty substance to be found, perhaps uniquely on earth, at the highly secretive and evil Porton Down chemical weapons plant, just six miles from Salisbury. That MI5 and its SIS assassination arm (100 murders per year on average) with its many South African hirelings, could have been responsible would never be admitted by Johnson’s tiny mind.

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“..infrastructurally devastating cyberattacks..”

US Engaged In “Offensive” Cyber Ops Against Russia In Ukraine: NSA Director (ZH)

The US military has issued a stunning but perhaps not entirely unexpected admission that it has been conducting offensive cyber operations in support of Ukraine. It marks the first ever such acknowledgement, and suggests – as many observers have long suspected – a deeper Pentagon and US intelligence role in Ukraine against the Russian military than previously thought. National Security Agency (NSA) and US Cyber Command Director Gen. Paul Nakasone told the UK’s Sky News on Wednesday, “We’ve conducted a series of operations across the full spectrum: offensive, defensive, [and] information operations.” This includes “offensive hacking operations” he said.

Without offering specific details, he continued, “My job is to provide a series of options to the secretary of Defense and the president, and so that’s what I do.” Importantly, Gen. Nakasone gave the interview from allied Baltic country Estonia, from which other supporting operations including weapons transfers for Ukraine have come. He spoke of major attempts of the Russians to launch infrastructurally devastating cyberattacks on Ukraine, saying, “And we’ve seen this with regards to the attack on their satellite systems, wiper attacks that have been ongoing, disruptive attacks against their government processes.” “This is kind of the piece that I think sometimes is missed by the public. It isn’t like they haven’t been very busy, they have been incredibly busy.

“And I think, you know, their resilience is perhaps the story that is most intriguing to all of us,” he said, describing the Ukrainian response. As for support the US has given Ukraine in the lead-up to the Russian invasion, the NSA director referenced the following: Nakasone previously said his agency deployed a “hunt forward” team in December to help Ukraine shore up its cyber defenses and networks against active threats. But his latest remarks appear to be the first time that a U.S. official said publicly that the U.S. has been involved in offensive cyber operations in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Pick your enemies wisely.

Biden To Visit Saudi Arabia In Push To Lower Oil Prices And Punish Russia (G.)

Joe Biden will reportedly visit Riyadh later this month and meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, abandoning a campaign pledge to make Saudi Arabia “a pariah” for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The Riyadh trip, first reported by the Washington Post and New York Times, suggests Biden has prioritized his need to bring oil prices down and thereby punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, over his stand on human rights. The visit will be added on to an already planned trip to Israel, Germany and Spain. The White House said it had no new travel plans to announce, but made clear there was no barrier to Biden meeting the crown prince.

“If he determines that it’s in the interests of the United States to engage with a foreign leader and that such an engagement can deliver results, then he’ll do so,” a senior White House official said. “In the case of Saudi Arabia, which has been a strategic partner of the United States for nearly 80 years, there’s no question that important interests are interwoven with Saudi Arabia. And the President views the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as an important partner on a host of initiatives that we are working on both in the region and around the world.” The end of the crown prince’s US isolation has looked likely since the Ukraine invasion began on 24 February. Seeking to cut off Russian revenue, Washington has sought an expansion of the global oil supply to bring down prices, which also represented a threat to already poor Democratic prospects in this year’s congressional elections.

The White House reportedly sought to set up a phone call between Biden and Mohammed in March, but was snubbed by the crown prince. However, the president’s top Middle East adviser, Brett McGurk, and his special envoy for energy issues, Amos Hochstein, have persevered in paving the way for a meeting with a string of quiet trips to Riyadh.

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“..politicians are once again ignoring what is constitutionally possible..”

Biden’s Inner Trudeau (Turley)

In our increasingly hateful and divisive politics, there are times when our nation seems incapable of coming together for a common purpose. Tragedies — moments of shared national grieving and mutual support — once were the exception. Yet one of the most chilling aspects of the aftermath of the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, was how the moment of unity was quickly lost to political posturing. Politicians have long admitted that a crisis is an opportunity not to be missed — the greater the tragedy, the greater the opportunity. After the mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, New York’s Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) called for censorship to “silence the voices of hatred and racism.” After the Uvalde massacre, some Democrats renewed calls for everything from court packing to ending the Senate filibuster.

The most immediate response, however, was a call for gun bans. Vice President Kamala Harris got out front of the White House by demanding a ban on AR-15s, the most popular weapon in America. Then President Joe Biden created a stir by suggesting he might seek to ban 9mm weapons. Such calls are not limited to the United States. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government is introducing legislation to “implement a national freeze on handgun ownership.” He said Canadians would no longer be able “to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” adding that “there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives.”

The difference between the push in the two countries is the existence of the Second Amendment in the United States — a constitutionally mandated “reason” why Americans are allowed to have guns; they don’t have to prove it to the government. While the White House subsequently tried to walk back his comments, Biden saying there’s “no rational basis” to own 9mms and AR-15s sounds like he’s channeling his inner Canadian.There is now a strong majority for gun control reforms. However, politicians are once again ignoring what is constitutionally possible by focusing on what is politically popular with their voting base.

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A strange difference between guns for Ukraine and guns in America.

Arms Sent To Ukraine Will End Up In Criminal Hands, Says Interpol Chief (G.)

Weapons sent to Ukraine after Russia’s invasion in February will end up in the global hidden economy and in the hands of criminals, the head of Interpol has said. Jürgen Stock says once the conflict ends, a wave of guns and heavy arms will flood the international market and he urged Interpol’s member states, especially those supplying weapons, to cooperate on arms tracing. “Once the guns fall silent [in Ukraine], the illegal weapons will come. We know this from many other theatres of conflict. The criminals are even now, as we speak, focusing on them,” Stock said.

“Criminal groups try to exploit these chaotic situations and the availability of weapons, even those used by the military and including heavy weapons. These will be available on the criminal market and will create a challenge. “No country or region can deal with it in isolation because these groups operate at a global level.” He added: “We can expect an influx of weapons in Europe and beyond. We should be alarmed and we have to expect these weapons to be trafficked not only to neighbouring countries but to other continents.” He said Interpol urged members to use its database to help “track and trace” the weapons.

“We are in contact with member countries to encourage them to use these tools. Criminals are interested in all kinds of weapons … basically any weapons that can be carried might be used for criminal purposes.” Ukraine’s western allies have sent shipments of high-end military weapons to Ukraine since the Russian invasion more than three months ago. On Tuesday, the American president, Joe Biden, announced the US would supply Kyiv with advanced missile systems and munitions. After the US pulled out of Afghanistan in 2021, following 20 years of war, huge amounts of often highly sophisticated military equipment was left behind and fell into the hands of the Taliban.

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Who wrote that headline? It’s Dominion, in 16 states!

Voting Software Vulnerable In Some States (AP)

Electronic voting machines from a leading vendor used in at least 16 states have software vulnerabilities that leave them susceptible to hacking if unaddressed, the nation’s leading cybersecurity agency says in an advisory sent to state election officials. The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, or CISA, said there is no evidence the flaws in the Dominion Voting Systems’ equipment have been exploited to alter election results. The advisory is based on testing by a prominent computer scientist and expert witness in a long-running lawsuit that is unrelated to false allegations of a stolen election pushed by former President Donald Trump after his 2020 election loss. The advisory, obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its expected Friday release, details nine vulnerabilities and suggests protective measures to prevent or detect their exploitation.


Amid a swirl of misinformation and disinformation about elections, CISA seems to be trying to walk a line between not alarming the public and stressing the need for election officials to take action. CISA Executive Director Brandon Wales said in a statement that “states’ standard election security procedures would detect exploitation of these vulnerabilities and in many cases would prevent attempts entirely.” Yet the advisory seems to suggest states aren’t doing enough. It urges prompt mitigation measures, including both continued and enhanced “defensive measures to reduce the risk of exploitation of these vulnerabilities.” Those measures need to be applied ahead of every election, the advisory says, and it’s clear that’s not happening in all of the states that use the machines.

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That’s all?

Bill Barr Applauds Durham For Showing Truth On Clinton Campaign, FBI (JTN)

Former Attorney General Bill Barr defended special counsel John Durham after the acquittal of ex-Clinton Campaign attorney Michael Sussmann, saying the prosecutor was able to shed light on the Hillary Clinton campaign’s “dirty trick” with the disproven Trump-Russia scandal and the related problems at the FBI. “No, I’m very proud of John Durham, and I do take responsibility for his appointment, and I think he and his team did an exceptionally able job, both digging out very important facts and presenting a compelling case to the jury,” Barr told Fox News host Jesse Waters on Wednesday. After Sussmann was acquitted of lying to the FBI, the jury forewoman told reporters that the case was a waste of time. “I don’t think it should have been prosecuted,” she said, according to The Washington Times.


“There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI.” Durham told Waters that while Durham “did not succeed in getting a conviction from the D.C. jury, I think he accomplished something far more important, which is he brought out the truth in two important areas. “First, I think he crystalized the central role played by the Hillary campaign in launching, as a dirty trick, the whole Russiagate Collusion narrative and fanning the flames of it,” Barr explained. “And second, I think he exposed really dreadful behavior by the supervisors in the FBI… who knowingly used this information to start an investigation of [former President Donald] Trump and then duped their own agents by lying to them and refusing to tell them what the real source of that information was,” Barr said, adding, “And that was appalling.”

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“..not a single aspect of globalization has been spared from the fallout of new geopolitical conflicts..”

The Decline and Fall of Davos Man (PS)

“Davos Man” has had a grim 14 years. The late Harvard University political scientist Samuel P. Huntington popularized the term in 2004 to describe a new overclass of evangelists for globalization. Davos Man, he claimed, wanted to see national borders disappear and the logic of politics superseded by that of the market. But since the 2008 global financial crisis, politics has increasingly trumped economics, a trend that reached its apotheosis in 2016 with Donald Trump’s election in the United States and the Brexit referendum. Both events represented a backlash against Davos Man’s vision of a frictionless world governed (not run) as efficiently as possible by “multi-stakeholder processes.”

Moreover, at this year’s annual gathering in Davos, attendees had to confront an even bigger challenge than national politics: the return of geopolitics. The World Economic Forum’s theme was “History at a Turning Point,” in recognition of the fact that we have reached the end of the “end of history.” Although the WEF’s ethos is to promote cooperation in the pursuit of “one world,” the new agenda is necessarily focused on conflict and division. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression on Ukraine obviously loomed large at this year’s meeting. To open the event, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – appearing virtually in his now familiar military fatigues – spoke of a world split along the fault lines of fundamental values. And Russia House, the facility where Russian delegations hosted parties and networking events in years past, was transformed by Ukrainian activists and donors into the Russian War Crimes House, with an exhibition calling attention to Russian atrocities in Ukraine.

After browsing this year’s program, it soon became clear that not a single aspect of globalization has been spared from the fallout of new geopolitical conflicts – between Russia and the West, China and the West, China and its neighbors, and so forth. Instead of panels discussing free-trade agreements, there were multiple sessions on economic warfare. Political and business leaders grappled with the fact that we now live in a world where central-bank reserves can be confiscated, commercial banks can be summarily disconnected from the SWIFT international payments system, and private assets can potentially be seized to pay for a country’s reconstruction.

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Fertilization

 

 

Crazy dog

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mar 302022
 


Pablo Picasso The artist and his model 1926

 

Ukraine SitRep – Part II Of Russia’s Military Operation Unfolds (MoA)
Col Douglas Macgregor’s Updated Opinion on Ukraine-Russia Conflict (CTH)
Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression (Ritter)
US Top Commander In Europe Forced To Rebut Latest Biden Remarks
You Will Pay In Rubles! No? (Denninger)
Why Saudi Arabia Won’t Abandon Dollars for Yuan (Lacalle)
America Is Dismantling The Pillars Of Its Own Empire – Saudi Editor (JPost)
Ontario Cop Charged For Posting Video Praising Truckers (TC)
Miranda Devine: ‘Dam Is About To Burst’ On Hunter Biden Scandal (Fox)
CIA Officer Who Signed Hunter Laptop Letter Claims Credit for Trump Loss (ET)
Obama, Hunter Biden Ties To Ukraine Biolabs Get Fresh Scrutiny (JTN)
Biden Got 255,000 ‘Excess’ Votes In Fraud-tainted Swing States In 2020 (WT)
Democrats Push Garland To Come Down On Uncooperative Trump Allies (Axios)

 

 

 

 

Turley
https://twitter.com/i/status/1509017039301660674

 

 

• “One U.S. official said they do not believe the reports of the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich was poisoned during peace talks in Ukraine. ”

• “This Bellingcat/WSJ poisoning story has got to be one of the biggest disinformation fails of the entire Ukraine war. Within a few hours it was denied by the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and by the fact that Abramovich himself was fine attending the peace talks in Turkey.”

 

• “Two anonymous US officials trying to subvert ceasefire negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. One tells CNN they are worried EU countries will “press Ukraine to accept a peace deal to end the fighting.”

 

 

Ukraine no longer has an army. What few units are left are encircled and fully isolated from each other.

Ukraine SitRep – Part II Of Russia’s Military Operation Unfolds (MoA)

Overview: The Russian military operation in Ukraine began with a rather small force of some 150.000+ men against a much larger (including reservist and territorial forces) Ukrainian force of some 400.000. The Russian force used maneuver warfare to fix the larger Ukrainian forces into place. It attacked on a large front and threatened major population concentrations, i.e. cities. The Russian operations started with the destruction of the Ukrainian command and control network. Over the last four weeks the Ukrainian navy, its airforce, its radars and air defenses and a huge number of its armored vehicles were destroyed. Throughout the last week fuel depots all over the Ukraine were attacked and destroyed over night. Ukraine’s large ammunition depots are gone.

Military production and repair facilities have likewise been destroyed. The Ukraine is no longer able to move large numbers of troops between the various fronts. Its army has lost its mobility. While this was ongoing threats to Kiev, Odessa and other large Ukrainian cities have held significant numbers of Ukrainian troops in place and prevented reinforcements to move to the east. There units from the Donetsk and Luhansk republics attacked the 60,000 strong main force of the Ukrainian army to keep it in place. This allowed Russian forces from Crimea and from the Russian border in the north to move into positions that will now enable them to envelope the east.

Details: 1/ The move east and west of Kiev was, as I have said for a while, a feint to fix mobile Ukrainian units around their capital city. The feint is no longer needed as the Ukrainian army has now lost its mobility. The Russian troops around Kiev and Chernigov will be mostly withdrawn probably up to Chernobyl where a part of them may take defensive positions while most of the units deployed around Kiev will be moved back to Belarus and Russia for new operations in eastern Ukraine.
2/ Fighting around Kharkiv is ongoing. Ukrainian counterattacks on that front have failed and the next phase of the war will see increased activities there.
3/ The move on the west side of the Dnjepr river towards the important industrial area of Kryvyi Rih and on to Dnipro has been relatively slow. The move on the eastern side of the Dnjepr towards Dnipro has been at the same speed. Note that the western and eastern parts of those fronts are at the same level. They are well coordinated. The next phase will probably see more movement on the eastern side of the river.
4/ There are still a few pockets of Azov fighters in Mariupol with the main units encircled in the vast Azovstal steelworks. They have little food and ammunition and the Chechen unites of the Russian army and national guard are working to dig them out. The Russian forces that encircled and stormed Mariupol are now freed up and will be moved to attack further north.
5/ Ukrainian forces at Mykolaiv have attempted counterattacks in the direction of Kherson. These have failed.

Prospects: The Russian command has decided to now concentrate on enveloping and destroying Ukraine’s main forces at the Donetsk front. These are the most heavy equipped and most experienced units of the Ukrainian army. Since last fall some 60,000 men had been assembled there for a full fledged war on Donetsk, an attack that the Russian operation successfully preempted. It will probably take a few days for the Russian forces to regroup and resupply for that next phase of the war. I expect it to start around the end of this week. The U.S. and Polish military are helping to smuggle small arms stuff through the western Ukrainian boarder. These are anti-tank missiles, old short range anti-air missiles as well as machine guns, mortars and ammunition.

This is equipment for a guerilla war against an occupation force. But except for the east and maybe some parts in the south the Russian forces do not plan to occupy anything. Those regions are steppe, very flat with little woods, where one can see an approaching enemy from miles away. It will be extremely difficult for a guerilla force to survive there. That is likely the reason why the Russian forces have done little to interrupt the arms smuggling into western Ukraine. (Those smuggled weapons will for years haunt the ‘western’ Europeans as they are certain to proliferate to right-wing extremist groups all over the continent.)

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Voice of reason.

Col Douglas Macgregor’s Updated Opinion on Ukraine-Russia Conflict (CTH)

Col Douglas Macgregor appears for an interview with Dave Smith on his “Part Of The Problem” podcast. Col Macgregor gives his status update on the Ukraine and Russian military along with some excellent background information on the U.S. cultural issues which are driving the U.S. position. Additionally, Macgregor overlays the economic battle both domestically and geopolitically with the currency war and talks about economic repercussions for the U.S., NATO countries, Ukraine and Russia. As noted by Macgregor when the Biden administration turned favorably toward Iran the Saudis immediately realized it was in their best interest to withdraw strategic support for the U.S. It’s a good interview that goes into much more depth than the average media appearance, and permits discussion of multiple facets of the conflict in/around Ukraine. The video is prompted to begin at 17:34 when the Ukraine discussion begins.

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Ukraine history started on Feb 24. That is convenient for the West.

Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression (Ritter)

Concerns that any attempt to carve a doctrine of pre-emption out of the four corners of international law defined by Article 51 of the U.N. Charter would result in the creation of new rules of international engagement, and that that would result in the breakdown of international order were realized on Feb. 24. That is when Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing Article 51 as his authority, ordered what he called a “special military operation” against Ukraine for the ostensible purpose of eliminating neo-Nazi affiliated military formations accused of carrying out acts of genocide against the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass, and for dismantling a Ukrainian military Russia believed served as a de facto proxy of the NATO military alliance.

Putin laid out a detailed case for pre-emption, detailing the threat that NATO’s eastward expansion posed to Russia, as well as Ukraine’s ongoing military operations against the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass. “[T]he showdown between Russia and these forces,” Putin said, “cannot be avoided. It is only a matter of time. They are getting ready and waiting for the right moment. Moreover, they went as far as aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not let this happen.” NATO and Ukraine, Putin declared, “did not leave us [Russia] any other option for defending Russia and our people, other than the one we are forced to use today. In these circumstances, we have to take bold and immediate action. The people’s republics of Donbass have asked Russia for help. In this context, in accordance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, with permission of Russia’s Federation Council, and in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22, I made a decision to carry out a special military operation.”

Putin’s case for invading Ukraine has, not surprisingly, been widely rejected in the West. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Amnesty International declared, “is a manifest violation of the United Nations Charter and an act of aggression that is a crime under international law. Russia is in clear breach of its international obligations. Its actions are blatantly against the rules and principles on which the United Nations was founded.”

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“When initially asked Monday about this “training the Ukrainian troops” remark, Biden offered the dubious explanation that he was actually referencing he himself “being with and talking with the Ukrainian troops who are in Poland.”

US Top Commander In Europe Forced To Rebut Latest Biden Remarks (ZH)

In yet another awkward contradiction out of this US administration concerning Ukraine, which at this point seems to come almost daily, the head of US European Command was forced to issue a contrary explanation after Biden on Monday said multiple times that US forces are “helping train” Ukrainian troops in Poland. This triggered a rebuttal of the US Commander-in-Chief from Gen. Tod Wolters, who also serves as NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe. On Tuesday Gen. Wolters denied that the US is currently training Ukraine forces in Poland. “I do not believe that we are in the process of currently training military forces from Ukraine in Poland,” the top general told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. He said further according to The Hill when pressed on Biden’s series of statements, which the White House had later sought to downplay as gaffes and merely lacking in nuance:

“There are liaisons that are there that are being given advice,” Wolters told Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), without elaborating further. “And that’s different than [what] I think you’re referring to with respect training.” But again, as we detailed earlier, Biden had actually asserted that American forces were training Ukrainians in Poland multiple times, strongly suggesting this was anything but “confusion” or a mere gaffe on the president’s part… National security adviser Jake Sullivan previously stated that the US currently has 10,500 troops in Poland, some of which the president visited over the weekend. Across Europe, Washington has bolstered its presence to the tune of 100,000 total troops. The U.S. has 10,500 troops in Poland as part of the 100,000 total that it has stationed across Europe, told reporters.

When initially asked Monday about this “training the Ukrainian troops” remark, Biden offered the dubious explanation that he was actually referencing he himself “being with and talking with the Ukrainian troops who are in Poland.” But it remains that not only his own advisers have had to offer repeat corrections, but now even the US head of European Command in Senate testimony. This goes beyond an awkward situation, but even into the realm of dangerous, given many of these walked-back remarks serve as a huge provocation to Russia (especially Saturday’s regime change statement fiasco from Warsaw).

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Cut off date is tomorrow.

“Since the imposing parties of said sanctions include the recipients of the gas this is legally and functionally the same as agreeing to pay $50,000 for a car and then getting in it and driving away after putting a stop payment order on the check.”

You Will Pay In Rubles! No? (Denninger)

“BERLIN — The Group of Seven major economies have agreed to reject Moscow’s demand to pay for Russian natural gas exports in rubles, the German energy minister said Monday. Robert Habeck told reporters that “all G-7 ministers agreed completely that this (would be) a one-sided and clear breach of the existing contracts.” He said officials from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada met Friday to coordinate their position and that European Union representatives also were present.” So what? It was also a breach of “contract” to seize property and money of both Russia and private citizens who happen to be Russian, the latter in particular being done without evidence presented that a crime has been committed for which such a forfeit is reasonably tied to the alleged crime.

I get it that nation states often thing of contracts and private property rights as “quaint”, say much less a basic right to life. After all war, by its nature, vitiates all such claimed pleasantries. The very nature of war means that once you take sides expecting anyone on the other side to do anything for you is rather foolish. This is the price that is exacted when you extend the concept of “trade blunting the will to use bullets” into not just voluntary associations but essential goods and services where you have no reasonable substitutes available. Of course the G7 nations can refuse to pay for their gas in Rubles and argue that such a demand is a unilateral breach of the agreements made with Russia.

However, the sanctions are a unilateral and prior breach of the same agreements by the G7, since the G7 agreed to pay for said gas, and with the sanctions in place the payment cannot be made. Since the imposing parties of said sanctions include the recipients of the gas this is legally and functionally the same as agreeing to pay $50,000 for a car and then getting in it and driving away after putting a stop payment order on the check. In the common vernacular that’s fraud. Nobody is going to let you get away with that if they can help it and, if you manage to get away with it once the second time you won’t get the car until you prove you can deliver to the other party good funds for both the new and the previous vehicle you stole by conversion.

Thus while Germany and other nations can refuse to pay in Rubles it is equally true that by breaching the covenant implied in all commercial transactions to deliver good funds in exchange for the good or service, which the G7 has done, the contract has been vitiated by the G7 and, in point of fact, Russia has delivered natural gas without being paid for the last month. There’s no reason for them to continue to do that and thus it is entirely reasonable for them to shut the pipelines down until the sanctions are lifted and every single Dollar or Euro due for the previously-delivered volume is safely in Russia and available for use. Just because Putin is a bastard doesn’t mean that, on this matter, he is not correct.

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Repeat.

Why Saudi Arabia Won’t Abandon Dollars for Yuan (Lacalle)

There are numerous articles mentioning that Saudi Arabia may use the yuan, China’s domestic currency, for its oil exports. How much does Saudi Arabia export to China? According to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, the kingdom’s main exports are to China ($45.8B), India ($25.1B), Japan ($24.5B), South Korea ($19.5B), and the United States ($12.2B). Exports of crude oil reached $145 billion in total. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter at $145 billion, and China the largest buyer at $204 billion, with 2019 figures. Saudi Arabia’s public accounts are exemplary. From a 4.8 percent deficit, the kingdom expects a surplus in 2022, and its ratio of public debt to GDP (gross domestic product) is 30.8 percent, one of the lowest in the world.

Does Saudi Arabia need to use the yuan at all? No. Its foreign currency reserves including gold stood at $472.8 billion in 2020 despite the pandemic-led slump in exports and oil demand. Is it under any pressure to change currency? Even less so. Its reserves comfortably cover its external debt, giving it an enviable level of stability compared to other OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) nations that have large trade and fiscal deficits. What would Saudi Arabia gain from using the yuan? Not higher exports to China. China needs its oil imports more than Saudi Arabia needs China’s domestic currency. There is no real evidence that exports to China would fall if Saudi Arabia continued to use the US dollar.

Yuan utilization in global transactions is very limited. Considering figures compiled by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, Bloomberg noted that “activity in the renminbi, as the currency is also called, rose to its second-highest level ever in 2021.” However, that means a stubbornly modest 2.7 percent of the market versus the 41 percent of the dollar, which has held the top slot for decades. The euro is used in 36.6 percent of global transactions, the British pound in 5.9 percent—more than double the use of the yuan despite the United Kingdom’s being a much smaller economy—and the Japanese yen is used as much as the yuan at 2.6 percent.

More importantly, despite the large increase in importance of the Chinese economy globally, the yuan’s importance as a currency has barely improved from its high in 2015, when it reached the fourth spot. Why is the yuan only used in 2.7 percent of global transactions despite being 14 percent of the world’s GDP, and what happened in 2015? The yuan is the only currency issued by a global economic leader that has capital controls and fixed pricing. As such, any holder of the Chinese currency faces the constant threat of an abrupt devaluation and the inability to use the currency freely in payments. And that is exactly what happened in 2015. The Chinese central bank announced an aggressive devaluation.

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Iran. Saudi and Israel vs US.

America Is Dismantling The Pillars Of Its Own Empire – Saudi Editor (JPost)

The Saudi-US relationship is in the throes of a crisis. As a Saudi who went to college in the US, loves America and wants to see it strong, I am increasingly disturbed by the unreality of the American discussion about the subject, which often fails to acknowledge just how deep and serious the rift has grown. A more realistic discussion should focus on one word: “Divorce.” When President Barack Obama negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran, we Saudis understood him to be seeking the breakup of a 70-year marriage. How could we not? After all, the flaws in the deal are well known. It paves a path for Iran to a nuclear bomb. It fills the war chest of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has spread militias across the Arab world armed with precision-guided munitions to maim and kill people who formerly looked to America to help guarantee their safety.

This past weekend, Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined a conference in the Negev, hosted by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and attended by a number of Arab foreign ministers. Blinken used this occasion to paper over the rift that the nuclear deal has created by presenting an image of regional solidarity, but the region is not deceived. Sold disingenuously to the American public as an arms control agreement, the deal is an assault on the regional order that the United States established in the aftermath of World War II. Explicitly hostile to Saudi Arabia, to say nothing of America’s other greatest ally in the region, Israel, the deal replaces the former American-led regional security structure with a concert system in which Iran, backed by Russia and China, becomes America’s new subcontractor while America’s former allies—the Gulf States and Israel— are demoted to second-tier status.

Most importantly, to its authors, the deal takes the United States out of the business of containing Iran, which in response has further ramped up its attacks on regional peace and stability. Last Friday, as Blinken prepared for his trip to David Ben Gurion’s old kibbutz of Sde Boker, the Iranian-backed Houthi militia launched a rocket attack against Aramco in Jeddah. This attack was only the latest in a long series of brazen attacks that Iran has conducted, either directly from its own soil or indirectly through proxies. During the Obama and Biden administrations, Iran’s aggressions have been met with American calls for “de-escalation” and frequent blaming of the Kingdom for a conflict we did not seek with terrorists on our borders backed by Iran — a foreign power which the Biden administration is promising to enrich with hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Russia will also get a cut, which will no doubt go towards funding its war in Ukraine.

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If the Jan 6 committee can claim insurrection, so can Justin.

Ontario Cop Charged For Posting Video Praising Truckers (TC)

A Durham police officer who posted a video of herself speaking in support of the Freedom Convoy as it headed towards Ottawa is now facing charges under Ontario’s Police Services Act. Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) had originally announced they were investigating Constable Erin Howard in January after she posted the 1-minute video to a now-deactivated Twitter account. DRPS spokesperson Chris Bovie confirmed to True North on Tuesday that Howard is now charged under the Police Services Act with two counts each of discreditable conduct, insubordination and breach of confidence. Howard appeared in full uniform in the video on Jan. 24, the same day the Freedom Convoy’s western fleet headed through Alberta. In it, she called the truckers “true heroes” and said she would be in Ottawa to speak when they arrived.


“I’m just – I really wanted to give a shout-out to all the truckers. I think what you guys are doing is incredible. You’re fighting for rights and freedoms. And right now, it feels like we’re a little bit at war, and those rights and freedoms are at stake. So, you guys are honestly true heroes. What you’re doing is just incredible. I will be in Ottawa when you guys roll in. I’m going to be speaking on behalf of Police on Guard. And we are thrilled – thrilled and honoured – to be able to be there. I can’t wait to meet you guys. Hope to talk to a lot of you in person. Anyway, just wanted to give you guys a shout-out and some support, and keep rolling, and we’ll see you in Ottawa.”

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Let’s hope for transparency.

Miranda Devine: ‘Dam Is About To Burst’ On Hunter Biden Scandal (Fox)

Fox News contributor Miranda Devine reacted on “Outnumbered” Tuesday to the federal tax probe into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings gaining momentum as some media outlets begin to acknowledge the “bombshell” controversy surrounding his infamous laptop. MIRANDA DEVINE: That’s just another extraordinary mistruth from President Biden there. He did that throughout the campaign. He pretended that he knew nothing about his son Hunter’s overseas business dealings. There’s plenty of evidence on the laptop and Tony Bobulinski’s material and the material that Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson collected for their Senate investigation and are currently presenting to Congress — and I think they’re going to be doing that on a regular basis, to show links between Hunter Biden and Communist China.


There’s also evidence that Joe Biden financially benefited from Hunter Biden’s grift and his brother, Jim Biden’s grift, with these countries which are crucial to America’s national security interest. The lack of curiosity from most of the media is repellent and really corrupt. But I think the dam is about to burst. We have Hunter Biden looking at indictments coming out of that a grand jury in Delaware. You see The New York Times and The Washington Post are now sniffing around. They’ve admitted the laptop is real, and they have realized this is a bombshell story.

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“I take special pride in personally swinging the election away from Trump..”

CIA Officer Who Signed Hunter Laptop Letter Claims Credit for Trump Loss (ET)

One of the former CIA officers who signed a letter claiming stories about a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden were disinformation says he helped swing the 2020 election from former President Donald Trump. “I take special pride in personally swinging the election away from Trump,” John Sipher, who served for decades as a senior operations officer at the CIA, wrote in a recent post on Twitter. “I lost the election for Trump? Well then I fell [sic] pretty good about my influence,” he also wrote. Sipher and 50 other former U.S. intelligence officials signed the letter on Oct. 19, 2020, alleging that the effort to distribute its contents “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” despite not knowing whether the laptop was legitimate.

The letter was the core of a story from Politico that claimed the New York Post story on the laptop was “Russian disinformation.” The Post was the first to report on emails on the laptop, which was dropped off at a computer repair store and never picked up by then-candidate Joe Biden’s son, according to the store’s owner. While the FBI picked up the computer and a hard drive from the owner, the bureau’s apparent inaction in probing the matter prompted him to pass on a copy of the hard drive to a lawyer representing former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who in turn passed it on to the Post.

The Oct. 14, 2020, story about the emails came as some voters were still deciding whether to vote for Biden or Trump. The story was widely questioned by legacy news outlets, suppressed by social media platforms, and claimed to be part of a Russian effort, despite top officials like Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe saying there was no evidence that was the case. Sipher is one of the few former officials who signed the letter to respond to fresh questions about its contents, after more legacy outlets, including Politico, said they’ve confirmed it is legitimate. Sipher got into arguments with former acting DNI Richard Grenell and others on Twitter, where he later said his claims of helping Trump lose were sarcasm.

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The pot and the kettle. Difference is, the US does it in third countries.

Obama, Hunter Biden Ties To Ukraine Biolabs Get Fresh Scrutiny (JTN)

In August 2005, the U.S. entered into a little known agreement with Ukraine that included America aid to upgrade security at Ukrainian facilities in which microbes were kept. Now, almost 17 years later, questions about the deal – and the United States’ broader support for biodefense laboratories in Ukraine – have surfaced amid concerns about chemical or biological weapons being used in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian government has been claiming for weeks that the U.S. government is funding bioweapon labs in Ukraine, justifying its invasion as an effort to stop a joint American-Ukrainian plan to wage biological warfare against Russia. Chinese officials and state media have echoed the claims, which Andrew Weber, senior fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks, calls “utter nonsense.”

“It’s KGB-style misinformation that’s been going on for about 15 years,” he said Monday. One concern among analysts and U.S. officials is that Russia could be laying the groundwork for using chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine and giving itself plausible deniability by blaming Ukrainian labs. Experts and U.S. officials agree with Weber that Moscow’s accusations are unfounded, roundly dismissing them as propaganda. “Russia is inventing false pretexts in an attempt to justify its own horrific actions in Ukraine,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said earlier this month. Others have pointed out that no evidence exists to show Ukraine is working to produce weapons of mass destruction. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testified earlier this month that “we do not assess that Ukraine is pursuing either biological weapons or nuclear weapons.”

United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu similarly said the international group is “not aware” of any biological weapons program in Ukraine. The U.S. and Ukraine are members of the Biological Weapons Convention, which prohibits such weapons. And the U.S. government has said both countries are in full compliance. Russia, however, is not in compliance and “maintains an offensive biological weapons program,” according to the State Department. Weber told Just the News the Russian government has three top-secret military laboratories conducting work on biological weapons that have never been visited or observed by outside inspectors.

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But you can’t talk about it.

Biden Got 255,000 ‘Excess’ Votes In Fraud-tainted Swing States In 2020 (WT)

President Biden received hundreds of thousands of “excess” votes in Democratic-controlled areas in the 2020 election, according to an academic study on voter fraud that suggests the push to relax voting standards created new opportunities for electoral mischief. John R. Lott Jr., the man behind the research, teased out those numbers by comparing Democratic-dominant areas to Republican-dominant places over the past two presidential elections, particularly in places where claims of election fraud were reported in 2020. Looking at six swing states, the data he crunched found that voter turnout in Republican areas increased from 2016 to 2020 while voter turnout among Democrats dropped — except in places where voter fraud was claimed.

That accounted for 255,000 “excess” votes for Mr. Biden above what would be expected, Mr. Lott said. His paper has been accepted for publication in Public Choice, a peer-reviewed journal specializing in the intersection of economics and political science. “More heavily Democratic counties actually had a slightly lower turnout in 2020, except for counties where vote fraud was alleged. In those counties, you had a huge increase in turnout,” Mr. Lott told The Washington Times in an interview explaining his findings. “In some of those swing states, you had counties where vote fraud was alleged. In some of those swing states, you had counties where vote fraud wasn’t alleged. And yet you only had huge increases in turnout where vote fraud was alleged,” he said.

Taking another tack, Mr. Lott looked at specific voting precincts that touched each other but where one was inside a Republican-dominant county and the other inside a Democratic-leaning county where there were fraud accusations. He found that in-person voting for the neighboring precincts was about the same, but absentee or mailed balloting tilted toward Democrats in the Democratic precincts. Mr. Lott said there is no clear reason why absentee turnout alone should increase in just the Democratic jurisdiction, which suggests shenanigans were afoot. “You’re comparing two tiny areas that are very homogenous, very similar to each other, across the street from each other, and the thing that differs from these two, for the absentee ballots, is where the ballots were counted,” the researcher said.

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“I told you I would not tell the Justice Department what position to take or not take, and I’m not going to instruct the Congress, either..”

Democrats Push Garland To Come Down On Uncooperative Trump Allies (Axios)

Democratic lawmakers are openly pressuring Attorney General Merrick Garland to bring the weight of U.S. law enforcement against members of former President Trump’s inner circle they’ve deemed uncooperative with the House’s investigation of the Jan. 6 attack. The House select committee is seeking to compel or punish Trump loyalists who don’t comply with the investigation, while Republicans are preparing to win back control of Congress in November — and end the probe. The pressure campaign is putting President Biden on a collision course with his own party. Distinguishing himself from Trump, who Democrats lambasted for pressuring Justice Department officials during his White House years, Biden has pledged to ensure Garland operates independently of politics. “I told you I would not tell the Justice Department what position to take or not take, and I’m not going to instruct the Congress, either,” he told reporters on Monday.

During a meeting Monday night at which the select committee recommended House contempt votes against former Trump aides Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro, Reps. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) all called on Garland to act. Luria said the Justice Department “must act swiftly,” adding: “Attorney General Garland, do your job so that we can do ours.” On Tuesday Schiff told reporters it’s important for the Justice Department to act quickly and decisively to enforce the committee’s prerogatives because “we’re trying to prevent another Jan. 6. … We feel a sense of urgency and we hope the department does also.” Schiff said the cases against Navarro and Scavino are “pretty clear cut,” so “it shouldn’t be that difficult for the department to act.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the select committee, was asked Tuesday about committee members’ frustrations with the Justice Department’s pace. He replied: “I’m in agreement with my members.”

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Mar 092022
 


Salvador Dali The ghost of Vermeer of Delft which can be used as a table 1934

 

Ukraine Crisis Is Unleashing ‘Hell On Earth’ For Food Prices (BBC)
What Is Going On In Negotiations Between Russia And Ukraine? (JPost)
Sanctions On Russia Will Strengthen Putin’s Grip (Ehrlich)
The Casualties of Empire (Lawrence)
Ukraine and the Global American Empire (Eugyp)
China, Big Tech, Big Pharma and Elites – The Four Horsemen (Angelova)
Saudi, Emirati Leaders Decline Calls With Biden During Ukraine Crisis (WSJ)
Biden’s US Oil Embargo (WSJ)
Spike Protein Fibrosis Syndrome (Chesnut)
Now Let’s Do the US Oligarchs (Eskow)
Iran Plots To Assassinate Bolton, Biden Admin Resists Public Indictments (DW)
Where’s The Outrage Over Trudeau’s Trip To Britain? (Stannus)
The Longtime ‘Zelig’ of American Scandals Who ‘Crossfired’ Trump (RCI)
How the Senate is Poised to Codify Censorship of Social Media (Turley)

 

 

 

 

UFC

 

 

 

 

Oliver Stone, Nuland, Robert Parry, Yanukovich

 

 

The Monastiraki kitchen is keeping a close eye on what happens with food prices, of course. When you make 5-600 meals per week, you have to. Predictions of quadrupling prices make us nervous. We would like to store more food, while it’s still affordable, but the space we have for that must first be renovated. That will cost so much, however, that I said we cannot afford to take the money away from buying food. It’s too risky right now. I’ll write an article on it soon, as we know more details.

Ukraine Crisis Is Unleashing ‘Hell On Earth’ For Food Prices (BBC)

The head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, has warned the conflict in Ukraine could send global food prices soaring, with a catastrophic impact on the world’s poorest. Ukraine and Russia are both major exporters of basic foodstuffs, and the war has already hit crop production, driving up prices Mr Beasley said it was putting more people at risk of starvation worldwide. “Just when you think hell on earth can’t get any worse, it does,” he said. Russia and Ukraine, once dubbed “the breadbasket of Europe”, export about a quarter of the world’s wheat and half of its sunflower products, like seeds and oil. Ukraine also sells a lot of corn globally. Analysts have warned that war could impact the production of grains and even double global wheat prices.


Mr Beasley told BBC World Service’s Business Daily programme that the number of people facing potential starvation worldwide had already risen from 80 million to 276 million in four years prior to Russia’s invasion, due to what he calls a “perfect storm” of conflict, climate change and coronavirus. He said certain countries could be particularly affected by the current crisis, due to the high proportion of grains they currently import from the Black Sea region. “The country of Lebanon, 50%, give or take, of their grains, come from Ukraine. Yemen, Syria, Tunisia – and I could go on and on – depend on the country of Ukraine as a breadbasket,” he said. “So you’re going from being a breadbasket to now, literally, having to hand out bread to them. It’s just an incredible reverse of reality.”

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“Kyiv has not shared with the West what has been going on in the negotiations since they do not want to damper the worldwide sense of emergency.”

What Is Going On In Negotiations Between Russia And Ukraine? (JPost)

Three days after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, the details are beginning to emerge. According to people who were privy to details about the meeting, the current situation is that Russia has offered a “final” version of its offer to end the crisis, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky needs to accept or decline. The proposal was deemed “difficult” but not “impossible,” the sources said. It is worse than what Zelensky would have gotten before the invasion but “the gaps between the sides are not great.” Putin ordered his forces to halt – and the command for a ceasefire to be enacted was given – in order to wait for Zelensky’s decision, the sources said. If Ukraine’s president rejects the proposal, French President Emmanuel Macron’s assumption that “the worst is before us” is prone to happen.

In that scenario, Putin will order his army to put the pedal to the metal and change the face of Ukraine. Zelensky is torn, the sources said. On the one hand, he is enjoying immense popularity and has become the perfect Che Guevara. On the other hand, he knows full well what the Argentinian revolutionary and guerrilla leader’s end was. Zelensky can fortify Ukraine’s independence but will have to pay a heavy price, the sources said. Assumptions are that he will be forced to give up the contested Donbas region, officially recognize the pro-Russian dissidents in Ukraine, pledge that Ukraine will not join NATO, shrink his army and declare neutrality. If he declines the proposal, the outcome may be terrible: thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of Ukrainians will die and there is a high probability that his country will completely lose its independence.


According to the sources knowledgeable about the content of the talks, Bennett’s trip to Moscow was not meant to mediate between the sides and no arbitration proposal was officially offered. Rather, the trip was meant to get a sense of what Putin’s position was, what his state of mind was and what his redlines were, and report them to the West. The real negotiations, according to the sources, are happening directly between Russia and Ukraine and are much more serious than what the West has been saying. Kyiv has not shared with the West what has been going on in the negotiations since they do not want to damper the worldwide sense of emergency. In reality, however, the Ukrainians know full well what Putin’s demands are and they know they will have to make a dramatic decision in the coming days.

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Thread.

“Some Russians I know who had favorable opinions of the West now feel like they are *personally* under attack. They resent being the targets of economic warfare.”

Sanctions On Russia Will Strengthen Putin’s Grip (Ehrlich)

The West thinks sanctions are hurting Putin. They have it backwards: His power inside Russia is surging. A thread on what analysts are getting so wrong. Objectively, Putin’s poll numbers have improved since the lead-up to and onset of the war. This was predictable; a “rally ’round the flag” effect is common for wartime president. In less than 2 weeks, his approval rating spiked 10 points from 61% to 71%. Image Many in the West are predicting that this effect will be short lived. Analysts think that Russians will sour on Putin if the economic situation in the country continues to worsen. But there’s a gaping hole in their theory: Russians don’t think the war was Putin’s fault. This is difficult for people in the West to understand.

Here, we see the invasion of Ukraine as a war of choice. In Russia, the average citizen sees the conflict as a war of necessity one forced onto Russia by NATO and Ukraine. This was confirmed before the war in research by the Levada Center, a non-governmental polling firm widely trusted in the West. More than 66% of Russians blamed the conflict on America, NATO, or Ukraine. Only 4% said the conflict was Russia’s fault. Because Russians do not believe Putin was responsible for the war, they naturally do not blame him for sanctions. Citizens of the United States did not blame FDR for economic hardships like rationing during WW2. Russians have a similar perspective on wartime hardships today. If anything, the perceived cruelty of the current sanctions is making the West *more* of a villain in Russia.


Some Russians I know who had favorable opinions of the West now feel like they are *personally* under attack. They resent being the targets of economic warfare. One of the most egregious examples is the attempt to block international calls into Russia. Today, many Russians overseas are having trouble reaching their families at home. This makes them angry but not at Putin. It makes them hate the West. [..] Putin’s base sees the Western pullout from Russia as an opportunity to purge the country of foreign influence. They *like* the idea of Western companies selling their stakes in state industries. They *like* replacing Western brands with Russian and Chinese substitutes. I’m not arguing that these replacements will be smooth. They won’t stop Russia’s economy from heading for a deep recession. But nationalist sentiments inside Russia right now are so strong, that’s a price Russians are willing to pay.

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“..instigate a long-running conflict that bogs down Russian forces and leaves Ukrainians to wage an insurgency that cannot possibly succeed.”

The Casualties of Empire (Lawrence)

The news reports come in daily from Moscow, Kiev and the Western capitals: how many dead since Russia began its intervention in Ukraine on Feb. 24, how many injured, how many hungry or cold, how many displaced. We do not know the true count of casualties and the extent of the suffering and ought not pretend we do: This is the reality of war, each side having its version of unfolding events. My inclination is to add the deaths in Ukraine these past two weeks to the 14,000 dead and the 1.5 million displaced since 2014, when the regime in Kiev began shelling its own citizens in the eastern provinces – this because the people of Donetsk and Lugansk rejected the U.S. cultivated coup that deposed their elected president. This simple math gives us a better idea of how many Ukrainians are worthy of our mourning.

As we mourn, it is time to consider the wider consequences of this conflict, for Ukrainians are not alone among its victims. Who else has suffered? What else has been damaged? This war is of a kind humanity has never before known. What are its costs? Among paying-attention people it is increasingly plain that Washington’s intent in provoking Moscow’s intervention is, and probably has been from the first, to instigate a long-running conflict that bogs down Russian forces and leaves Ukrainians to wage an insurgency that cannot possibly succeed. Is there another way to explain the many billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and matériel the U.S. and its European allies now pour into Ukraine? If the Ukrainians cannot win — a universally acknowledged reality — what is the purpose here?


Whether this strategy goes as Washington wants, or if Russian forces get their work done and withdraw to avoid a classic quagmire, remains to be seen. But as Dave DeCamp noted in Antiwar.com last Friday, there is no sign whatsoever that the Biden administration plans any further diplomatic contacts with the Kremlin. The implication here should be evident. The U.S. strategy effectively requires the destruction of Ukraine in the service of America’s imperial ambitions. If this thought seems extreme, brief reference to the fates of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria will provide all the compelling context one may need.

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Politics vs System.

Ukraine and the Global American Empire (Eugyp)

The same western globalists who hate Russia, also count us as their enemies, and my sincere advice is to take them seriously in this. They have a kind of myopia for internal political dissidents; we are the unaligned domestic element, Russia is the unaligned international element, and so when Donald Trump is elected to the presidency, this must be, for them, the result of Russian interference. I keep calling these people American or western globalists, but that’s only one way to understand them. I don’t have anything against Americans; I lived there for many years and have a great many American friends. It is only an historical accident, probably, that America finds itself at the centre of this globalist excrescence, this post-political, post-national order.

Rolf Peter Sieferle, one of my favourite thinkers, wrote about the fundamental conflict, between the globalists on one hand, and the unaligned people like me and unaligned countries like Russia, in more abstract terms. For him, the clash is between “politics” and “system”: “Politics belongs to an older stratum of existence, ordered in terms of the state and of history, crystallised in statesmen, leaders and ideologues. It has programmes, values and goals. What is required are virtues and commitments directed towards a super-ordinate whole. The last resort of politics is war – the willingness of the individual to sacrifice himself for a higher cause, for his community.”

“System characterises newly emerging orders of higher complexity, which successively displace politics. Systems organise themselves without focus, without values, goals or programmes. Their only maxim is freedom and emancipation for individuals. Virtue and sacrifice are anachronisms. Wars are nothing but catastrophic conflicts that must be prevented through skilful management. Order is created by objective, autonomous constraints, not by a normative orientation. The structures of systems are as inescapable for individuals as a magnetic field is for iron filings. They do not “know” anything about it, but they conform to their predefined paths. The most important processes are not controlled and can hardly be grasped theoretically.”

System has largely prevailed in advanced “western” countries. Yet the rest of the world in many ways still thinks politically. This strikes the West as anachronistic fundamentalism. … [..] The global American empire doesn’t invade; that is not what systems do. It assimilates. It is basically a borg that imposes economic and political constraints on an ever expanding expanse of the globe, which progressively fatten, distract and deracinate populations, with a view towards blending them into the same shallow multinational consumerist soup. Their plan was to make Ukraine part of the borg, and in this way further encroach upon Russia. Russia responded in political fashion, by taking up arms. Because the western borg never knows when to stop, Ukraine will now be destroyed and probably partitioned, as a means of keeping it forever outside the western globalist fold.


Preliminary plans for Operation Barbarossa, with the southern arm of the German attack proceeding through the open plains of Ukraine.

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“Riots began far too late and were easily curbed.”

China, Big Tech, Big Pharma and Elites – The Four Horsemen (Angelova)

A portion of the human population has always desired to rule over the rest. It doesn’t matter if these folks are naturally born psyhopaths or if they were created. What matters is that they are now more powerful than ever. It’s because they didn’t have the right tools or plan until recently. Because of the tech tycoons, evil has complete influence over ordinary people’s life. People are being brainwashed every second by the media, the internet, and social media. Every second of our life is monitored by smart watches and smartphones, which transmit personal data to whoever pays the most. We have been examined so that we can be easily managed and gave up our liberty without even realizing it. While it is not fully implemented in most nations, it is already in use in China and has a name social credit system.

It is based on a set of regulations established by the government that, if not followed, result in punishment. It used to be simple set of rules, but it now encompasses everything you say, everything you publish on the internet, everything you do, your fascial expression, your daily activities, and every element of your existence! You are okay if you follow the government’s rules, no matter how absurd they are. Breaking any of these rules means no money, no food, and no freedom – you are a prisoner. The right to free expression is prohibited. It’s similar to the well-known novel “1984”, but with more sophisticated tools. “Always eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or bed- no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters in your skull.”

About a year before COVID-19, Pfizer established close relations with the Chinese communist party. Is it a coincidence that the COVID mania that imprisoned the Earth’s people began in China? Is it a coincidence that the rest of the world adopted Chinese policies despite a lack of evidence that such measures were required? Is it a coincidence that China is a major supporter of World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus? Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum who taught the majority of globe leaders, reminded us that COVID-19 provided us with a tiny window of opportunity to reset the world, and WOW how effectively it was applied on the ostensibly free Western world. They were forced to live like cattle, with no human rights or health care, but were also subjected to experimental gene therapy. Riots began far too late and were easily curbed.

Of course, the fake virus fear isn’t enough, therefore a war is necessary to raise expenses. The more fearful humanity gets, the easier it is to dominate. People who are terrified cannot think. Fear of viruses, Russians, wars, shortages, cold, warm, storms, and climate change is the backbone of media and government propaganda, with celebrity culture filling in the gaps. It will finally destroy humanity since it goes against what makes us human: trusting and loving other humans. Of course, it is possible to turn the wave. We are surrounded by evil forces, yet we still have an option to remain free humans as long as we retain our ability to think, love, and feel.

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“The energy alliance with Russia, one of the world’s top oil producers, has enhanced OPEC’s power while also bringing the Saudis and Emiratis closer to Moscow..”

Saudi, Emirati Leaders Decline Calls With Biden During Ukraine Crisis (WSJ)

[…] Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the U.A.E.’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan both declined U.S. requests to speak to Mr. Biden in recent weeks, the officials said, as Saudi and Emirati officials have become more vocal in recent weeks in their criticism of American policy in the Gulf. “There was some expectation of a phone call, but it didn’t happen,” said a U.S. official of the planned discussion between the Saudi Prince Mohammed and Mr. Biden. “It was part of turning on the spigot [of Saudi oil].” […] One U.S. official said the Biden administration has worked diligently to strengthen Saudi and Emirati missile defenses, and that America would be doing more in the coming months to help the two Gulf nations protect themselves. It may not be all the two countries want, the official said, but the U.S. is trying to address their security concerns.


But the Saudis and Emiratis have declined to pump more oil, saying they are sticking to a production plan approved between their group, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and a group of other producers led by Russia. The energy alliance with Russia, one of the world’s top oil producers, has enhanced OPEC’s power while also bringing the Saudis and Emiratis closer to Moscow. Both Prince Mohammed and Sheikh Mohammed took phone calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, after declining to speak with Mr. Biden.

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“Companies can’t explore and drill, or build pipelines, without capital. Biden financial regulators allied with progressive investors are working to cut it off. ”

Biden’s US Oil Embargo (WSJ)

President Biden made the right decision Tuesday in banning Russian oil and natural gas imports. Yet at the same time he declared full-steam ahead on his green energy “transition” that includes an assault on U.S. fossil fuels. The contradiction is maddening. Banning Russian energy imports is fine as far as it goes, which isn’t very. The U.S. imports only 3% of its petroleum supply and less than 1% of coal from Russia. About 70% of Russian oil currently can’t find buyers because of sanctions risk. That’s the main reason crude prices have shot up to $130 per barrel. Once uncertainty about the scope of sanctions clears up, Russia will probably find global buyers for its energy at a discount. Imposing so-called secondary U.S. sanctions on institutions that finance Russia’s energy trade would be more effective.

But the White House won’t do that because it fears it could drive gasoline prices even higher. If that’s the worry, then here’s a better idea: Stand at the White House and declare that his Administration will support the development of U.S. oil and gas. Rescind all regulations designed to curb production, development and consumption. Announce a moratorium on new ones. Expedite permits, and encourage investment. Our guess is the price of Brent crude would fall $20 a barrel in anticipation of higher production. Yet Mr. Biden is doing precisely the opposite. On Tuesday he even blamed U.S. companies—not his policies—for not producing more. There are 9,000 available unused drilling permits, he claimed, and only 10% of onshore oil production takes place on federal land. Talk about a misdirection play.

First, companies have to obtain additional permits for rights of way to access leases and build pipelines to transport fuel. This has become harder under the Biden Administration. Second, companies must build up a sufficient inventory of permits before they can contract rigs because of the regulatory difficulties of operating on federal land. It takes 140 days or so for the feds to approve a drilling permit versus two for the state of Texas. The Administration has halted onshore lease sales. Producers are developing leases more slowly since they don’t know when more will be available. Offshore leases were snapped up at a November auction because companies expect it might be the last one. Interior’s five-year leasing program for the Gulf of Mexico expires in June.

Yet the Administration hasn’t promulgated a new plan. Nor did it appeal a liberal judge’s order in January revoking the November leases. But the Administration has appealed another judge’s order requiring that it hold lease sales. Then there’s the not-small problem of financing. Companies can’t explore and drill, or build pipelines, without capital. Biden financial regulators allied with progressive investors are working to cut it off. The Labor Department has proposed a rule that would require 401(k) managers to consider the climate impact of their investment holdings.

Novak: The Russian Federation knows where to redirect our oil from the European market (activate subtitles!)

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@Parsifaler is posting a lot on vaccines and cancer. This is just one thread.

Spike Protein Fibrosis Syndrome (Chesnut)

Spike protein fibrosis syndrome: the spike protein induces a firbrotic cascade exactly parallel to radiation fibrosis syndrome. The spike protein induces the same accumulation of excess fibrin that radiation does! First: In the microcirculation, SARS-CoV-2 and the S protein directly enhance platelet activation and fibrin aggregation, predisposing 30–50% of COVID-19 patients to develop thrombotic events.

Various pathophysiological mechanisms have been postulated for RFS including induction of free radical (FR)-mediated DNA damage and subsequent apoptosis as a predisposing event.[6] Pohlers et al. described three histopathological phases of RFS such as (1) prefibrotic phase comprising ENDOTHELIAL CELLS, (2) fibrotic phase of active fibrosis containing myofibroblasts, and (3) fibroatrophic phase characterized by subsequent loss of parenchymal cells. Radiation-induced (SPIKE PROTEIN) accumulation of excess fibrin in the extravascular, intravascular, and perivascular compartments has been described for RFS.

Ionizing radiation (SPIKE PROTEIN) may directly result in RFS by causing VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL INJURY and indirectly by activating the inflammatory, epithelial regeneration, and tissue remodeling pathways and the coagulation cascade. Another important event is the activation of Janus kinase (JAK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) proteins along with nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B-cell (NF-KB) pathways by radiation resulting in the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. NOW! Now we can unite CANCER, NEURODEGENERATION AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE that has heretofore appeared as RANDOM. But, it is nothing of the sort!


This Spike Protein Fibrosis Syndrome not only explains the cancer we are seeing, but also its AGGRESSIVENESS. Tumors are characterized by extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, remodeling, and cross-linking that drive fibrosis to stiffen the stroma and promote malignancy. The stiffened stroma enhances tumor cell growth, survival and migration and drives a mesenchymal transition. A stiff ECM also induces angiogenesis, hypoxia and compromises anti-tumor immunity.

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“Our sanctions have taken countless lives around the world, a form of bloodshed we pretend isn’t warfare.”

Now Let’s Do the US Oligarchs (Eskow)

“Tonight I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime: no more. “The U.S. Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of Russian oligarchs. “We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.” With these words in his State of the Union address last week, President Joe Biden unintentionally laid out a blueprint for responding to the American oligarchs, super-predators who dwarf their Russian counterpoints in wealth and political power. America’s oligarchs, like their Russian counterparts, have bilked billions — no, make that trillions — from their own regime. Some of their bilking comes directly from its violence, in the form of “defense” contracts to entities like Halliburton, Lockheed Martin and the Carlyle Group.

About that “violent regime” business: It’s possible to condemn the violence perpetrated by Russia’s government while at the same time recognizing and condemning that of the U.S. The direct attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan, among other countries, have been matched by the proxy violence the U.S. has funded in nations like Palestine, Syria [ed.: and yes, Ukraine]. Our sanctions have taken countless lives around the world, a form of bloodshed we pretend isn’t warfare. A 2014 Princeton political science study showed that government actions nearly always conform to the wishes of wealthy and powerful U.S. elites. “Our central finding was this: Economic elites and interest groups can shape U.S. government policy — but Americans who are less well off have essentially no influence over what their government does,” wrote co-authors Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page.


America’s oligarchical influence extends from healthcare and fossil fuels to the industry of war itself. American companies account for more than half of all arms sales worldwide. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that “in the past two decades, (the arms industry’s) extensive network of lobbyists and donors have directed $285 million in campaign contributions and $2.5 billion in lobbying spending to influence defense policy.” Arms manufacturers (more commonly known by the Orwellian appellation, “defense industry”) shrewdly concentrate on hiring ex-government officials to advance their agenda and pump up their “ill-begotten gains.” This ensures that their interests are represented by people who know the officials they’re lobbying. Even more importantly, it puts those officials on notice that there is a lucrative future in store for them if they play along. Arms oligarchs have hired more than 200 lobbyists who, in the report’s words, “have worked in the same government that regulates and decides funding for the industry.”

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Biden wants Iran oil more than he wants Bolton. He’ll even throw in a nuclear deal.

Iran Plots To Assassinate Bolton, Biden Admin Resists Public Indictments (DW)

At least two Iranians in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), an elite Iranian military group that is also a designated terrorist organization, have allegedly been plotting to assassinate former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, according to a new report. Democrat President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice “possesses indictable evidence against the Iranians but … Biden administration officials are resisting publicly indicting the men for fear that it could derail their drive for a nuclear deal with Iran, currently nearing completion in negotiations in Vienna, Austria,” the Washington Examiner reported. “It is possible but unlikely that there are sealed indictments against the men, but the DOJ source said the seriousness of the conspiracy and the evidence warranted public indictment without delay.

“Sealed indictments would be unusual and probably unnecessary in this case, as they are usually used to prevent the target evading justice.” The report said that the Iranian military was involved in “significant … reconnaissance activity” in the alleged plot, which involved an effort to recruit an assassin on U.S. soil. The report said that similar threats have been made against former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other Trump officials who worked on Iran. The report said that threats against Bolton and Pompeo “are continuing, specific, and highly credible.” The report added:


“The intelligence community became aware of the plot at an early stage, and it prompted high-level concern and a full-time Secret Service protective detail being assigned to Bolton earlier this year or late in 2021. Significant FBI assets were also deployed to disrupt the plot and assist in protecting Bolton… As the Washington Examiner reported in December 2020, Congress quietly extended Pompeo’s Diplomatic Security Service protective detail beyond his government tenure in response to these Iranian threats. That protective detail continues and has a high level of enhanced capability. Biden’s DOJ claimed in a statement to the Examiner that “it would be categorically false to claim that these kinds of policy considerations would drive such a charging decision.”

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“The next day, Russia attacked Ukraine and both national and international attention turned elsewhere – doubtless to the Liberal government’s great relief.”

Where’s The Outrage Over Trudeau’s Trip To Britain? (Stannus)

As Justin Trudeau waltzed through the UK, visiting Boris Johnson and the Queen, did anyone spare a thought for Canadians struggling under Trudeau’s authoritarian Covid power moves? In 2016, the British parliament debated whether Donald Trump, then running for the US presidency, ought to be banned from the UK for inflammatory ‘hate speech’. When Trudeau announced his visit to the UK, did the House of Commons ask itself whether he should be made welcome? Trudeau is no stranger to inflammatory language – having called the unvaccinated in Canada ‘extremists’, ‘misogynists’ and ‘racists’. But it’s far worse than that. He has undermined the principles on which Canadian democratic government is founded by criminalising peaceful protest. He invoked emergency powers to inflict extreme punishment on those who objected to his Covid policies while denying them proper due process. Does no one in the UK government find that troubling?

Trudeau used the Emergencies Act to allow banks to unilaterally freeze accounts and assets, not only of participants in the peaceful Ottawa freedom convoy but also of anyone who supported the protest financially – all without a court order and legal immunity. And insurance policies of participants were subject to cancellation. Nothing says ‘free country’ like being able to freeze the assets of your political opponents without notice, judicial oversight, or possibility of legal recourse, on suspicion of having donated $25 to a trucker who parked in front of Canada’s parliament because he didn’t want the government to take away his job. Perhaps this seems unfair. Trudeau may have invoked the never-before-used Emergencies Act to resolve a parking problem. An error in judgement, but in the end he rescinded it. Quite true. But not before he suspended Canadians’ rights to due process and to peaceful assembly.


Or delayed the Act’s debate in the Canadian House of Commons until after the protestors were forcibly removed by police. Or cynically strong-armed its approval through the House of Commons via a confidence vote – cleverly changing the subject of the vote to whether or not MPs wanted to call an election. And remember too that he hinted that the Act would be needed for months to come. Can the country ever be considered truly safe when – at any time – a truck driver apparently going about his business might approach the heart of Canada’s capital city and run up the Canadian flag, thereby magically metamorphosising into a terrorist? Trudeau lifted the Emergencies Act on 23 February when it became apparent that the Canadian Senate was likely to vote against it. The next day, Russia attacked Ukraine and both national and international attention turned elsewhere – doubtless to the Liberal government’s great relief.

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Central to Russiagate. Good long portrait.

The Longtime ‘Zelig’ of American Scandals Who ‘Crossfired’ Trump (RCI)

In the late summer of 2016 Stefan A. Halper met with at least three of Donald Trump’s associates in England and the United States, bragging about his friendship with Russian spies who “can be very helpful to us at this time.” As they listened to his tales of foreign intrigue and promises of illegal foreign help, what George Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Sam Clovis did not know was that Halper was not who he said he was. He was, indeed, a spy, but his handler was not the Kremlin – it was the FBI. Armed with leading questions and on at least two occasions a hidden tape recorder, Halper had been tasked by the bureau with finding dirt on the Trump campaign.


Halper’s undercover operation, which was documented in a report by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, would prove largely a bust. Transcripts between Halper and Trump campaign officials would show that none of them took the bait, or appeared to otherwise be soliciting Russia’s help in the 2016 presidential campaign. Even now, it might seem odd that the FBI made Halper, then a septuagenarian Cambridge University professor, a linchpin of its top-secret counterintelligence probe codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane.” But a closer look at Halper’s life and work makes that decision seem inevitable. Stefan Halper is the Zelig of modern American political scandal – a chameleon-like, unusually ubiquitous figure who keeps appearing when mischief is afoot.

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“Nudge Act”. “Nudging Users to Drive Good Experiences on Social Media”.

Get out of our lives!

How the Senate is Poised to Codify Censorship of Social Media (Turley)

Beware of politicians bearing reforms. Since the Trojans first wheeled a wooden horse into their fortified city, many are leery about “gifts” that may be heavily laden with dangers. That is true with the Trojan horse legislation just offered by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). In the name of “reforming” the internet and bringing tech monopolies to heel, Klobuchar has penned a “Nudge Act” that would expand corporate censorship and speech controls. Even the name is designed to be non-threatening. After all, who could oppose an act titled “Nudging Users to Drive Good Experiences on Social Media”? It is enough to garner the support of Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.). The act, however, is less of a nudge and more of a shove toward approved content and choices.

For years, President Joe Biden and Democratic members of Congress have pushed for greater and greater censorship on the internet and on social media. Liberals have found a winning strategy in using corporate censorship to circumvent constitutional limits on governmental speech controls. Senators like Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) warned social media companies that they would not tolerate any “backsliding or retrenching” by “failing to take action against dangerous disinformation,” and demanded “robust content modification” to block disfavored views on subjects ranging from climate control to elections to the pandemic. The Nudge Act is arguably the most insidious of these efforts.

Under the Act, Congress would enlist the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) to recommend sweeping design changes to Big Tech platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to “reduce the harms of algorithmic amplification and social media addiction.” The Act is a masterpiece of doublespeak. It refers to developing “content-agnostic interventions” that could ultimately be enforced by a commission and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). That sounds great; after all, many of us have called for years for a return to content neutrality on social media where sites function more as communication platforms, similar to telephone companies. However, that is clearly not the intent of the bill’s sponsors, who see it as a weapon against “misinformation.” That was made clear by Klobuchar herself: “For too long, tech companies have said ‘Trust us, we’ve got this.’

But we know that social media platforms have repeatedly put profits over people, with algorithms pushing dangerous content that hooks users and spreads misinformation.” How is combatting “misinformation” content-neutral? The answer will be imposed by a new commission and lead to a site’s failure to take “appropriate” measures being declared “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” That would create a glacial chilling effect on these companies, which will err on the side of censorship.

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Tulsi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1501158656020127744

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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