Jan 172023
 


Hasui Kawase Mimhae Pavilion, Kyongju, Korea 1940

 

How The Davos Elite Took Back Control (Fazi)
Global Political Elite Skipping Davos (RT)
All Quiet (Panic) on the Western Front (Escobar)
Kiev Coaching EU On Path To Ruin – Exiled Ukrainian Politician (RT)
West Sees Ukraine As Spoils Of Cold War – Medvedchuk (RT)
Croatian President Weighs In On ‘Proxy War’ Against Russia (RT)
Biden Uses His Lawyers To Shield His Classified Docs From The FBI (Turley)
More Documents Marked As Classified Found At Biden’s Home – White House (CBS)
Adam Schiff Admits Biden May Have Endangered National Security (CB)
Did The Deep State Turn on Biden? (Roach)
Turns Out Hillary Clinton, Not Russian Bots, Lost the 2016 Election (Jacobin)
‘Twitter Files’ Expose Big Pharma Bullying (ZH)
China Records First Population Decline In 60 Years (RT)
The Black Album (Trish Wood)
There Is Nothing Green About Green Energy (Pettimore)
The Age of Exterminations: How to Kill a Few Billion People (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

The Woke Mind Virus

 

 

Dowd sudden death epidemic

 

 

Forget about the housing market. It’s done.

 

 

BBC stickers

 

 

Pregnant women are not getting vaxxed.

 

 

Carpe

 

 

 

 

 

 

The business elite.

How The Davos Elite Took Back Control (Fazi)

Founded in 1971 by Schwab himself, the WEF is “committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation”, also known as multistakeholder governance. The idea is that global decision-making should not be left to governments and nation-states — as in the post-war multilateralist framework enshrined in the United Nations — but should involve a whole range of non-government stakeholders: civil society bodies, academic experts, media personalities and, most important, multinational corporations. In its own words, the WEF’s project is “to redefine the international system as constituting a wider, multifaceted system of global cooperation in which intergovernmental legal frameworks and institutions are embedded as a core, but not the sole and sometimes not the most crucial, component”.

While this may sound fairly benign, it neatly encapsulates the basic philosophy of globalism: insulating policy from democracy by transferring the decision-making process from the national and international level, where citizens theoretically are able to exercise some degree of influence over policy, to the supranational level, by placing a self-selected group of unelected, unaccountable “stakeholders” — mainly corporations — in charge of global decisions concerning everything from energy and food production to the media and public health. The underlying undemocratic philosophy is the same one underpinning the philanthrocapitalist approach of people such Bill Gates, himself a long-time partner of the WEF: that non-governmental social and business organisations are best suited to solve the world’s problems than governments and multilateral institutions.

Even though the WEF has increasingly focused its agenda on fashionable topics such as environmental protection and social entrepreneurship, there is little doubt as to which interests Schwab’s brainchild is actually promoting and empowering: the WEF is itself mostly funded by around 1,000 member companies — typically global enterprises with multi-billion dollar turnovers, which include some of the world’s biggest corporations in oil (Saudi Aramco, Shell, Chevron, BP), food (Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé), technology (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple) and pharmaceuticals (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna). The composition of the WEF’s board is also very revealing, including Laurence D. Fink, CEO of Blackrock, David M. Rubenstein, co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, and Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. There’s no need to resort to conspiracy theories to posit that the WEF’s agenda is much more likely to be tailored to suit the interests of its funders and board members — the world’s ultra-wealthy and corporate elites — rather than to “improving the state of the world”, as the organisation claims.

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CEOs take over.

Global Political Elite Skipping Davos (RT)

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland has kicked off on Monday with a number of top-tier leaders absent. US President Joe Biden is skipping this year’s gathering, along with French President Emmanuel Macron, and new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also passing on the event, along with the entire Russian business elite, which has been forced off the guest list by Ukraine-related sanctions. Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Chinese businessmen will also miss the forum following the aftershocks of a recent spike in Covid-19 cases and troubles on the domestic stock market, which saw some $224 billion erased last year from the fortunes of China’s wealthiest people.


Of the Group of Seven (G7) leaders, only German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to attend Davos this year, along with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Despite the shrinking number of political leaders, this year’s attendance list is rich in top managers. Among 2,700 participants in the official WEF sessions, “we’re likely to surpass the old record from 2020 with 600 global CEOs – including 1,500 C-suite level overall,” according to WEF head of digital and marketing, George Schmitt. According to Bloomberg, a total of 116 billionaires are attending the WEF this year, a 40% rise from ten years ago. Representatives from the US will form the largest group with 33 delegates. Some 18 more billionaires are coming from Europe, and 13 from India, including industrialist Gautam Adani, the world’s fourth-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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“Analyst Peter Koenig has developed a convincing thesis that the WEF, the WHO and NATO may be running some sort of sophisticated death cult.”

All Quiet (Panic) on the Western Front (Escobar)

Cynics of all persuasions may be excused for lamenting Mr. Zircon – currently on oceanic patrol encompassing the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and of course “Mare Nostrum” Mediterranean – won’t be presenting his business card at Davos. Analyst Peter Koenig has developed a convincing thesis that the WEF, the WHO and NATO may be running some sort of sophisticated death cult. The Great Reset does mingle merrily with NATO’s agenda as agent provocateur, financer and weaponizer of the proxy Empire vs. Russia war in black hole Ukraine. NAKO – an acronym for North Atlantic Killing Organization – would be more appropriate in this case. As Koenig summarizes it, “NATO enters any territory where the ‘conventional’ media lie-machine, and social engineering are failing or not completing their people-ordaining goals fast enough.”

In parallel, very few people are aware that on June 13, 2019 in New York, a secret deal was clinched between the UN, the WEF, an array of oligarch-weaponized NGOs – with the WHO in the front line – and last but not least, the world’s top corporations, which are all owned by an interlinked maze with Vanguard and BlackRock at the center. The practical result of the deal is the UN Agenda 2030. Virtually every government in the NATOstan area and the “Western Hemisphere” (US establishment definition) has been hijacked by Agenda 2030 – which translates, essentially, as hoarding, privatizing and financializing all the earth’s assets, under the pretext of “protecting” them. Translation: the marketization and monetization of the entire natural world.

Davos superstar shills such as insufferable bore Niall Ferguson are just well rewarded vassals: western intellectuals of the Harvard, Yale and Princeton mould that would never dare bite the hand that feeds them. Ferguson just wrote a column on Bloomberg titled “All is Not Quiet on the Eastern Front” – basically to peddle the risk of WWIII, on behalf of his masters, blaming of course “China as the arsenal of autocracy”. Among serial high-handed inanities, this one stands out. Ferguson writes, “There are two obvious problems with US strategy (…) The first is that if algorithmic weapons systems are the equivalent of tactical nuclear weapons, Putin may eventually be driven to using the latter, as he clearly lacks the former.” Cluelessness here is a euphemism. Ferguson clearly has no idea “algorithmic weapons” mean; if he’s referring to electronic warfare, the US may have been able to maintain superiority for a while in Ukraine, but that’s over.

[..] Nobody with an IQ over room temperature will expect Davos next week to discuss any aspect of the NATO vs. Eurasia existential war seriously – not to mention propose diplomacy. So I’ll leave you with yet another typical tawdry story about how the Empire – who rules over Davos – deals in practice with its vassals. While in Sicily earlier this year I learned that an ultra high-value Pentagon asset had landed in Rome, in haste, as part of an unscheduled visit. A few days later the reason for the visit was printed in La Repubblica, one of the papers of the toxic Agnelli clan. That was a Mafia scam: a face-to-face “suggestion” for the Meloni government to imperatively provide Kiev, as soon as possible, with the costly anti-Samp-T missile system, developed by an European consortium, Eurosam, uniting MBDA Italy, MBDA France and Thales.

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Medvedchuk is the voice of reason in Ukraine politics. So of course he’s in exile.

Kiev Coaching EU On Path To Ruin – Exiled Ukrainian Politician (RT)

Kiev’s adopted policy of hatred and intransigence towards Russia is inevitably driving it into poverty, a former Ukrainian opposition-party leader, who was forced from his home nation, has concluded. Now Kiev is teaching Europe the same approach, leading to the same outcome and to possible nuclear war, he added. Viktor Medvedchuk’s political party had the biggest opposition faction in the current Ukrainian parliament. The government of President Vladimir Zelensky launched a crackdown on the group and on its leader personally. A proponent of reconciliation with Russia, he has written a keynote article published on Monday in Russian newspaper Izvestia, explaining the roots of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Both Zelensky and his predecessor Pyotr Poroshenko had been elected after the 2014 coup in Kiev on a platform of peace, and each made a U-turn after getting into office, Medvedchuk pointed out.

He argued that this shows a pattern of betrayal of the Ukrainian people by its leadership and by what he termed a “party of war.” Being enemies with Russia is against Ukraine’s economic interest, Medvedchuk asserted. Not only is Russia a major market and source of raw materials from which Ukraine can benefit, the country’s industrial sector was mostly in the east and people there, who for historic reasons have emotional ties to Russia, were antagonized by Kiev. Economic ruination is an inevitable consequence of the conflict, the politician wrote. “It is no longer Europe that teaches Ukraine politics, but Ukraine that teaches Europe how to achieve economic decline and poverty with the help of a policy of hatred and intransigence. And if Europe continues to support this policy, it will be dragged into a war, possibly a nuclear one,” he warned.

He accused Western nations of giving the incumbent Ukrainian government “triumph after triumph, while no military breakthrough is observed,” referring to the parades that generals in Ancient Rome were given after major victories. Meanwhile, the “party of peace” gets no voice either at home or in Western nations, Medvedchuk lamented. “Those who stood for peace were slandered, intimidated and repressed on incitement from the West. The Ukrainian party of peace simply did not fit into Western democracy.” “This eloquently suggests that most US and European politicians do not want any peace for Ukraine. But this does not mean at all that Ukrainians do not want peace, and Zelensky’s military triumph is more important to them than their lives and destroyed homes.” he reasoned. Only when pro-peace politicians are allowed to make their case freely can there be hope to resolve the situation, Medvedchuk believes.

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“Western nations must recognize that Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine. Otherwise, it will “grow further, spilling over to Europe and other countries..”

West Sees Ukraine As Spoils Of Cold War – Medvedchuk (RT)

The West’s insistence that it won the Cold War and was entitled to the spoils at the expense of Russian interests is at the root of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the country’s exiled opposition leader has said. Viktor Medvedchuk was forced to leave his home nation under the threat of prosecution for alleged treason. His Opposition Bloc – For Life party had the biggest faction in the Ukrainian parliament and advocated reconciliation with Russia. However, the government of President Vladimir Zelensky cracked down on it and ultimately forced many of its members into exile or silence. In an article published by Russian newspaper Izvestia on Monday, Medvedchuk analyzed the causes of the current crisis, arguing that the origin of the conflict lies in the way that the end of the Cold War is perceived by Washington and Moscow.

“The West definitely considers itself as a winner and Russia as a defeated party,” he said. Consequently, it considers ex-Soviet territories as “legitimate prey for the US and NATO” under the “woe to the conquered” principle. From Moscow’s standpoint, it simply relinquished confrontation when it decided against pursuing communism. Since the 1990s, it had sought friendly relations with Western nations, as well as economic and political integration into the EU, Medvedchuk wrote. The US plan, as evidenced by the expansion of NATO in Europe despite the objections of Moscow, was at odds with opening the door to its Cold War opponent. Ultimately, it derailed EU-Russian engagement, he argued. Conflicts like the Balkan wars are further evidence that the West had moved to gobble up the former Eastern Bloc, he continued, since they helped to “make it easier for the winner to take it over.”

The West targeted Ukraine for absorption and saw the country as part of its rightful prize, but a lot of resistance had to be overcome in order to split it from Russia, considering Kiev’s historical ties with Moscow, and the economic interest in maintaining good relations, Medvedchuk explained. Kiev antagonized the eastern part of the country, which was both economically stronger and more pro-Russian than the nationalist lands in the east, he suggested. And even then, both Zelensky and his predecessor, Pyotr Poroshenko, had been elected on a peace platform only to become “war party” politicians after taking office. The current conflict can be resolved only if pro-peace politicians are allowed to make their case, and Western nations must recognize that Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine. Otherwise, it will “grow further, spilling over to Europe and other countries,” and has the potential to escalate into a nuclear war, he warned.

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“They go from war to war. And what should I be? An American slave?”

The president and PM have very different views.

Croatian President Weighs In On ‘Proxy War’ Against Russia (RT)

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has claimed NATO, a military bloc of which Zagreb is a member, is waging a “proxy war” against Moscow in Ukraine. He also dismissed sanctions against Moscow as “nonsense,” adding that he does not want to be an “American slave.” Speaking to Croatian reporters in the city of Vukovar on Sunday, Milanovic said, among other things: “Washington and NATO are waging a proxy war against Russia through Ukraine,” as quoted by media outlet Istra24. He went on to argue that “The plan cannot be to remove Putin. The plan cannot be sanctions,” adding that such punitive measures are “nonsense and we will not achieve anything with them.” “They go from war to war. And what should I be? An American slave?” Croatia’s president asked rhetorically.

Milanovic voiced his frustration with the US-led military bloc’s policies in the same interview in which he tore into Croatia’s prime minister, Andrej Plenkovic, over his latest Ukraine-related remark. Speaking to news channel France 24 on Saturday, Plenkovic said the Balkan nation’s lawmakers, who in mid-December didn’t support the EU’s program to train Ukrainian military personnel in member states, have “failed to be on the right side of history.” Commenting on the remark, Milanovic, in turn, slammed the premier for bringing “disgrace” to his country “and to its democratic representatives in front of others.” The Croatian president argued that this kind of behavior reaches a low that is “the bottom of the bottom.”

As for the EU’s mission, the Croatian president warned that it effectively means that “for the first time in its history, the EU is participating in a war.” This, according to Milanovic, is “against the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.” In December 2022, Milanovic argued that having Ukrainian service members train on Croatian soil would “bring war” to the Balkan nation. He also insisted at the time that “Ukraine is not an ally,” criticizing Brussels’ decision last June to grant Kiev candidate status as “cynical.”

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“Using private counsel allows Biden to raise attorney-client privilege. [..] While that attorney-client privilege can be overcome under a “crime/fraud exception,” it adds a level of initial protection.”

Biden Uses His Lawyers To Shield His Classified Docs From The FBI (Turley)

The discovery of a fourth set of classified documents, at the Biden residence in Delaware, has further undermined the White House’s virtual mantra that the president “takes classified documents very seriously.” Putting aside the repeated movement of highly classified documents over six years, one curious element has emerged in this scandal: the use of private counsel. Not only did President Joe Biden enlist lawyers to clear out his private Washington office; he then used them — rather than security officers or the FBI — to search for additional classified documents. The initial use of lawyers is notable. While it seems a fairly pricey moving crew, Biden could argue a trove of documents might require a judgment on where they should be sent and whether they belong to Biden, the Penn Biden Center or the government.

But why was a legal team sent in six years after Biden took the documents on leaving as vice president? Were the lawyers specifically selected because they had clearances, an acknowledgment there might be classified material unlawfully housed in the office? After the fourth batch of documents was discovered this week (the third found in Delaware), Richard Sauber, referred to as the “special counsel to the president,” stressed that he has a clearance. Sauber admits the lawyers who found the first batch at the residence didn’t have clearances but says he found the later documents. It remains unclear which lawyers were involved in which discoveries, whether they had clearances and (if so) at what level. In fact, it seems to suggest Biden continued to use uncleared lawyers after his team found highly classified documents Nov. 2 in the Penn Biden office closet in Washington. That itself could be viewed as gross mishandling of classified information.

It’s strange Biden did not use security officers or the FBI to conduct further searches. The president has a host of people who regularly handle classified material. So why use the lawyers? The answer appears the same as in the case of Hillary Clinton’s emails: control. Using private counsel allows Biden to raise attorney-client privilege. Trump also used counsel, but eventually the FBI raided his home to search and remove not just classified material but documents found in boxes with that material. While that attorney-client privilege can be overcome under a “crime/fraud exception,” it adds a level of initial protection. It also allowed Biden to control the discovery and initial record of the discovery of classified information. The key to any investigation will be the chain of custody extending back to the documents’ removal in 2017 when Biden left office.

How these documents appeared in their discovered locations is known only to his lawyers. It’s a link in the chain of custody that Biden effectively controls. With Mar-a-Lago, the FBI was criticized for staging documents to be shown in the storage room. The photos were then leaked to an eager media. There will be no staged photos of documents alongside Time magazine covers for Biden. Nor were documents he housed with classified documents removed. Indeed, it’s not clear if the FBI will know what documents were stored in the same boxes. What was potentially lost is significant. Classified documents are generally supposed to be in folders with a thick, colored border and large printed classification warnings. Were some of those folders observable before they were moved? If so, anyone could tell a pile contained classified material, including the president and passersby.

Likewise, the initial discovery could show the context of surrounding material. The FBI at Mar-a-Lago carefully photographed that context and its search. Here, we’re relying on counsel to have kept such a record when most lawyers would be reluctant to do so given the risk to their client. The key is that unlike FBI agents, these lawyers are not acting on behalf of the public interest but for the president’s personal interests. If there are criminal charges, the key witnesses will be lawyers representing the president as an individual. They are more likely to minimize incriminating or embarrassing elements.

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Turley’s comment on this: “Biden counsel continues to make statements seemingly against their client’s interests. Sauber said that the lawyers who discovered the documents on Wednesday night did not have clearances…”

More Documents Marked As Classified Found At Biden’s Home – White House (CBS)

Lawyers for President Biden found more documents marked as classified at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, than previously known, the White House acknowledged in a statement Saturday. White House lawyer Richard Sauber said in a statement that a total of six pages of documents marked as classified were found during a search of Mr. Biden’s private library. The White House had said previously that only a single page was found there. The latest disclosure is in addition to the discovery of documents found in December in Mr. Biden’s garage and in November at his former offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, from his time as vice president. The apparent mishandling of classified documents and official records from the Obama administration are under investigation by a former U.S. attorney, Robert Hur, who was appointed as a special counsel on Thursday by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Sauber said in a statement Saturday that Mr. Biden’s personal lawyers, who did not have security clearances, stopped their search after finding the first page on Wednesday evening. Sauber found the remaining material Thursday, as he was facilitating their retrieval by the Department of Justice. “While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me, five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages,” Sauber said. “The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them.” The Justice Department declined to comment to CBS News on the newly discovered documents. Sauber has previously said that the White House was “confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake.”

Sauber’s statement did not explain why the White House waited two days to provide an updated accounting of the number of records with classified markings. The White House is already facing scrutiny for waiting more than two months to acknowledge the discovery of the initial group of documents at the Biden office. On Thursday, asked whether Mr. Biden could guarantee that additional classified documents would not turn up in a further search, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, “You should assume that it’s been completed, yes.” Sauber reiterated Saturday that the White House would cooperate with Hur’s investigation. Bob Bauer, the president’s personal lawyer, said his legal team has “attempted to balance the importance of public transparency where appropriate with the established norms and limitations necessary to protect the investigation’s integrity.”

Marco Polo

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Shifty turns.

Adam Schiff Admits Biden May Have Endangered National Security (CB)

In what is a stunning admission, California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff has admitted that President Joe Biden may have endangered national security by mishandling classified documents. He spoke to ABC “This Week” host Jonathan Karl on Sunday when the topic of the classified document scandal and Attorney General Merrick Garland appointing a special counsel was talked about. “Congressman Schiff, you were on this show just after Attorney General Garland appointed a special counsel in the case of the Trump documents. You said it was the right move. Do you feel the same way about this special counsel?” the host said. “I do think it’s the right move. The attorney general has to make sure that not only is justice evenly applied, but the appearances of justice are also satisfactory to the public.

And here, I don’t think he had any choice but to appoint a special counsel. And I think that special counsel will do the proper assessment,” the Congressman said. “I still would like to see Congress do its own assessment of — and receive an assessment from the intelligence community of whether there was an exposure to others of these documents, whether there was harm to national security, on the case of either set of documents with either president. But, yes, I think the special counsel was appropriately appointed,” he said. “Jonathan, if I could also, though, because my state is still trying to dig out from these terrible storms, I want to thank the president for making an emergency declaration and let Californians know that in the three most affected counties they can now apply for help in terms of rebuilding their homes and their businesses and that other counties need to report their damage as soon as possible so they can qualify for relief as well,” he said as the host brought the conversation back to the documents.

“You raise the possibility of those national security assessment. Is it possible that national security was jeopardized here as – as many, including you, raised that possibility with the Mar-a-Lago documents?” the host said. “I don’t think we can exclude the possibility without knowing more of the facts. We have asked for an assessment in the intelligence community of the Mar-a-Lago documents. I think we ought to get that same assessment of the documents found in the – in the think tank, as well as the home of President Biden. I’d like to know what these documents were. I’d like to know what the IC’s assessment is, whether there was any risk of exposure and what the harm would be and whether any mitigation needs to be done. I think that would be appropriate and consistent with what we requested in the case of Mar-a-Lago,” the Congressman said.

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Well, someone did.

Did The Deep State Turn on Biden? (Roach)

In spite of his manifest unpopularity and refusal even to campaign, Biden was installed as president in 2020. Having rarely met an actual Biden supporter, Trump voters were skeptical and angry. The extended recounts, unceremonious dismissal of legal challenges, and videos of disappearing ballots, along with strident denunciations of “election deniers,” did not reassure anyone. Later revelations showed the coordinated way government officials, the media, NGOs, billionaires, and others conspired to “fortify” the 2020 election. Biden governed as he ran: mostly hidden from the public, beholden to donors and party elders, doing as little as possible. This seemed acceptable for a while, since it allowed the various constituent parts of the government to do what they wanted with little interference.

Everyone knows Biden’s never been that sharp and seems more decrepit than ever, that his vice president is even dumber than he is, and that he’s not really running anything. But this is all a feature, not a bug, for the cabal that brought him to office. For them, the more independence they have from oversight, the better. Lately, it seems there’s a disturbance in force. Biden and his allies have continued their vendetta against Trump, exposing his tax returns and raiding his home for possessing documents he supposedly owed the National Archives. This did not go over as well as Attorney General (and all-around hack) Merrick Garland anticipated, and it seems Garland and the January 6 Committee have each decided to scale back their demands. This is why the recent exposure of top secret documents in Biden’s old office, his garage, and a mysterious third location suggests something is afoot.

We went from a Monday disclosure to a special counsel being appointed on Thursday. Nothing like this happens this quickly unless it is by design. There are, of course, ways to deal with this situation that do not involve public exposure. Couldn’t Biden or his staff order some FBI agents or White House people to pick them up and take them to wherever they’re supposed to be stored? It’s in the news because somehow his lawyers found the documents and reported them before the story could go through White House channels. And, lawyers being lawyers, they followed the street-lawyer rule that if someone has to go to jail, make sure it’s your client and not you. Concerned about individual culpability for obstruction or mishandling documents, they made this hot potato someone else’s problem as fast as possible.

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The Jacobin is one of the Dems’ staunchest supporters. Until now.

Turns Out Hillary Clinton, Not Russian Bots, Lost the 2016 Election (Jacobin)

Amid the generalized media crack-up that surrounded the 2016 presidential election, the bogeyman of “Russian bots” quickly became a load-bearing concept. A Russia-based social media campaign, or so it was said, had saturated sites like Twitter with fake accounts and, in doing so, helped to swing the election for Donald Trump. Becoming axiomatic in liberal circles, this story soon took on a life of its own. It’s since played a prominent role in mainstream media narratives of the 2016 election, been the subject of highly publicized congressional hearings, and also loomed large in the wider global discourse about “fake news.” That the Russian government preferred Trump to Hillary Clinton and that Russia-connected actors engaged in digital skulduggery related to the election are not really in dispute.

Much of the mainstream discussion around Russian bots, however, has been premised on unexamined assumptions about the scale and effectiveness of these efforts. Powerful states including the United States, after all, regularly engage in the likes of online propaganda and sock-puppeting campaigns. Whether they have a more than negligible impact on real world events, electoral and otherwise, is another question. It’s notable, then, that a new analysis published by the Center for Social Media and Politics at New York University finds no evidence whatsoever that Russia-based Twitter disinformation had any meaningful impact on voter behavior in 2016. In place of the terrifying bot army menace that’s periodically been invoked, the researchers instead detail an enterprise with minimal reach or influence, and one overwhelmingly concentrated among partisan Republicans already inclined to vote for Trump.

They estimate that as many as thirty-two million US Twitter users may have been “exposed” to tweets from Russia-aligned accounts over the eight-month period preceding the 2016 election.” In numerical terms that may sound like a lot, but it actually isn’t when you factor in the sheer volume of posts and information encountered by social media users on a daily basis. As the report puts it: While, on average, respondents were exposed to roughly 4 posts from Russian foreign influence accounts per day in the last month of the election campaign, they were exposed to an average of 106 posts on average per day from national news media and 35 posts per day from US politicians. In other words, respondents were exposed to 25 times more posts from national news media and 9 times as many posts from politicians than those from Russian foreign influence accounts.

Sheer exposure, of course, doesn’t even necessarily amount to influence. Like advertising, politically motivated content can functionally be background noise if it fails to reach particular audiences or in turn doesn’t have an impact on those that it does. In both respects, the study is quite unequivocal: not only were Russian Twitter efforts dwarfed by posts from media and politicians, but actual exposure to them was highly concentrated within a subset of partisan conservatives: Results . . . show that the amount of exposure depends substantially on users’ self-identified partisanship: those who identify as “Strong Republicans” were exposed to roughly nine times as many posts from Russian foreign influence accounts than were those who identify as Democrats or Independents.

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Musk Says ZeroHedge Did “Nothing Warranting Suspension”

‘Twitter Files’ Expose Big Pharma Bullying (ZH)

Today’s Twitter Files drop contains several notable pieces of evidence. First, that lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry launched a ‘massive lobbying blitz to crush any effort to share patents/IP for new covid-related medicine,” according to The Intercept’s Lee Fang. As part of this effort, lobbying group BIO “wrote to the newly elected Biden admin, demanding the U.S. gov sanction any country attempting to violate patent rights and create generic low cost covid medicine or vaccines.” Of note, Pfizer and BioNTech raked in $37 billion in revenue in 2021 alone from the COVID-19 vaccine, while Moderna made $17.7 billion the same year (and has recently announced a plan to hike the price of the Covid-19 vaccine by approximately 400%). BioNTech, which developed the Pfizer vaccine, “reached out to Twitter to request that Twitter directly censor users tweeting at them to ask for generic low cost vaccines.”

According to Fang, “Twitter’s reps responded quickly to the pharma request,” while “A lobbyist in Europe asked the content moderation team to monitor the accounts of Pfizer, AstraZeneca & of activist hashtags like #peoplesvaccine.” Meanwhile, the “fake accounts” flagged by the pharmaceutical companies for action were real people – one of whom Fang spoke with on the phone. “For more than two years, a global movement has been speaking out against pharmaceutical greed and demanding that everyone, everywhere has the tools to combat pandemics,” said Maaza Seyoum, a campaigner for the People’s Vaccine Alliance. “Whatever nasty tricks companies and governments pull,” she continued, “we cannot and will not be silenced.” Second, ‘Pfizer & Moderna’s lobbying group, BIO, fully funded a special content moderation campaign designed by a contractor called Public Good Projects (PGP), which worked w/Twitter to set content moderation rules around covid “misinformation.”‘ according to Fang.

BIO funded the PGP campaign, “Stronger,” to the tune of $1.275 million. Its focus? Helping Twitter ‘create content moderation bots,’ selecting which public health accounts would be verified, and helping to crowdsource content takedowns. Of note, the Moderna/Pfizer-funded campaign included regular emails to Twitter officals with takedown and verification requests. “Here’s an example of those types of emails that went straight to Twitter’s lobbyists and content moderators. Many focused on @zerohedge, which was suspended.” Fang includes a screencap of an email with two excel spreadsheets containing said requests.

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One child policy fallout. Like trying to turn an oil tanker around. Population to almost halve by 2100.

China Records First Population Decline In 60 Years (RT)

The population declined in 2022 to 1.411 billion, down some 850,000 people from the previous year, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced during a Tuesday briefing on annual data. Analysts said the decline was the first since 1961 during the great famine triggered by former leader Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward. “The population will likely trend down from here in coming years. This is very important, with implications for potential growth and domestic demand,” said Zhiwei Zhang, president and chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management. The birth rate also fell to a record low of 6.77 births per 1,000, down from 7.52 a year earlier and the lowest level since the founding of Communist China in 1949. Some 9.56 million babies were born, compared with 10.62 million in 2021 – despite a push from the government to encourage more married couples to have children.


The new data came alongside the announcement of one of China’s worst annual economic performances in nearly half a century, with the economy expanding by just 3% for the year, far below the government’s target, underscoring the steep economic challenges the country faces as its labor force shrinks and its retired demographic grows. The demographic crisis, which is expected to have an increasing impact on Chinese growth in the years to come, has been a key concern for policymakers. Beijing scrapped its decades-long and highly controversial “one child” policy in 2015, after realizing the restrictive policy had contributed to a rapidly aging population and shrinking workforce that could severely distress the country’s economic and social stability. To arrest the falling birth rate, the Chinese government announced in 2015 that it would allow married couples to have two children. But after a brief uptick in 2016, the national birth rate has continued to fall.

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“At least the Manson Murders were covered by corporate media. We all shared a similar experience.”

The Black Album (Trish Wood)

Later I bought the book, Helter Skelter, written by the man who prosecuted Charlie. But as an adult and a true crime reporter it was a story I steered clear of, never once accepting a production role in any of the many retellings. Like Didion, I remained skittish about it. I couldn’t make sense of Sharon Tate’s astonishing beauty being annihilated and the peace and love ethos of rich Hollywood hippies reduced to feral human remains – for nothing. The True Detective-type photos from Cielo Drive are images that still haunt. So, why am I so gripped by the revelations that Big Tech, legacy media and for sure the government actually silenced the voices of experts honestly trying to stop the unfolding disaster of lockdowns? Why does this feel like a moment as significant as those era-ending murders in the pretty house on a quiet SoCal Drive?

A team of independent journos is uncovering irrefutable proof that our well being was not paramount in the minds of those who peddled a fake consensus to invoke lockdowns — in my view — the most ruinous public health mistake in modern history. Government, its public health officials, legacy media, and even the medical journals were more into narrative stitching than truth and actually saving lives. The stories of governmental and scientific fraud and perfidy are all over Substack and Twitter and Elon is being hailed as a hero — as he should be, despite what my friend CJ Hopkins said on the podcast last week. But corporate media are running their usual smear-games — abdicating their responsibility to their audience — in order to hide their own complicity in a policy scandal that dwarfs all others.

In the meantime, we are on our own, facing an ugly truth about the people who govern us and the agencies they exploit to stay in power. Everything we thought was true about this power dynamic is a lie. At least the Manson Murders were covered by corporate media. We all shared a similar experience.

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Trojan Horse.

Twitter thread.

There Is Nothing Green About Green Energy (Pettimore)

As a miner for 40 years I have worked in various mines around the world. Gold, platinum, copper, coal, lead, zinc, oil and salt. I’m going to tell you something, and here it is. We will destroy the earth in the name of “Green Energy” Follow along and I will explain. MiningWatch Canada is estimating that “[Three] billion tons of mined metals and minerals will be needed to power the energy transition” – a “massive” increase especially for six critical minerals: lithium, graphite, copper, cobalt, nickel and rare earth minerals Over the next 30 years 7.5 billion of us, we will consume more minerals than the last 70,000 years or the past 500 generations, which is more than all of the 108 billion humans who have ever walked the Earth.

Mining requires the extraction of solid ores, often after removing vast amounts of overlying rock. Then the ore must be processed, creating an enormous quantity of waste – about 100 billion tonnes a year, more than any other human-made waste stream. Purifying a single tonne of rare earths requires using at least 200 cubic meters of water, which then becomes polluted with acids and heavy metals. On top of that, imagine the destruction and energy required to obtain these essential metals:
18,740 pounds of purified rock to produce 2.2 pounds of vanadium
35,275 pounds of ore for 2.2 pounds of cerium
110,230 pounds of rock for 2.2 pounds of gallium
2,645,550 pounds of ore to get 2.2 pounds of lutecium

Also staggering amounts of ore are needed for other metals. By 2035, demand is expected to double for germanium; quadruple for tantalum; and quintuple for palladium. The scandium market could increase nine-fold, and the cobalt market by a factor of 24. (Marscheider-Wiedemann 2016 ‘raw materials for emerging technologies’. The potential demand for rare metals is exponential. We are already consuming over two billion tonnes of metals every year — the equivalent of more than 500 Eiffel Towers a day. There is nothing refined about mining. It involves crushing rock, and then using a concoction of chemical reagents such as sulphuric and nitric acid, a long and highly repetitive process using many different procedures to obtain a rare-earth concentrate close to 100% purity.

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“The problem is that we don’t have a discussion on population: we have a clash of absolutes.”

The Age of Exterminations: How to Kill a Few Billion People (Ugo Bardi)

With 8 billion people alive on Earth, it may be reasonable to believe that the planet is becoming a little crowded. Nevertheless, we should not neglect the opposite opinion: that we have resources and technologies sufficient to keep 8 billion people alive and reasonably happy, and perhaps even more. Neither position can be proven, nor disproven. The future will tell us who was right but, in the meantime, it is perfectly legitimate to propose that population growth should be slowed down by birth planning. The problem is that we don’t have a discussion on population: we have a clash of absolutes. The position that sees overpopulation as a problem has been thoroughly demonized over the past decades and, still today, you cannot even mention the subject without being immediately branded as a would-be exterminator.

It happened to Bill Gates, to the Club of Rome, and to many others who dared suggest that the world would be a better place if the human population were to stabilize at levels lower than the present one. The demonization trend is, of course, a knee-jerk reaction: the people who propose population planning would be simply horrified at being accused of supporting mass exterminations. But note also that demonization starts from a real problem. Exterminations DID happen in the recent past, and they were carried out largely on the basis of a wrong evaluation of the overpopulation problem. During the Nazi era in Germany, the idea that Europe was overpopulated was common and it was widely believed that the “Lebensraum, “living space” available was insufficient for the German people. The result was a series of exterminations correctly considered the most heinous crimes in human history.

How was that possible? The Germans of that time were the grandfathers of the Germans of today, who are horrified at thinking of what their grandparents did or at least did not oppose. But, for the Germans of those times, killing the Untermenschen, the inferior races, seemed to be the right thing to do, given the vision of the world that was proposed to them and that they had accepted. The Germans fell into a trap called “utilitarianism.” It is one of those principles that are so embedded in our way of thinking that we don’t even realize that it exists. But it does, and it causes enormous damage. In principle, utilitarianism wouldn’t seem to be such a bad idea. It is a rational calculation of the consequences of taking or not taking a certain action based on the principle of generating the maximum good for the maximum number of people. So defined, it looks both sensible and harmless. But that’s the theory. What we have is a good illustration of the age-old principle that “in theory, theory and practice are the same thing. In practice, they are not.”

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Relativity

 

 

Huxley

 

 

This should make a few doctors think.

 

 

Hairdresser

 

 

 

 

Cleaner shrimps

 

 

Blue whale

 

 


A hummingbird lays back and “relaxes” after drinking flower nectar. Source: Rahul Singh

 

 

Skippy

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 142023
 
 January 14, 2023  Posted by at 9:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  97 Responses »


John Waterhouse Diogenes 1882

 

Ukraine Is A ‘De Facto’ NATO Member – Kiev (RT)
Russia Speaks On Endgame For Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Internal Documents Show Prominent Democrats Knowingly Pushed Russiagate Lie (ET)
There’s More: Elon Musk Exposes Schiff For Mass Scale Collusion (TPN)
Where’s The Impeachment AND Indictment (Denninger)
House GOP Launches Investigation Into Biden Classified Documents (JTN)
Biden Visitor Logs Under Scrutiny After Classified Files Uncovered (RT)
Former Acting AG Derides Garland’s ‘Unforced Error’ On Document Probes (JTN)
House Republicans Consider Wiping Trump’s Impeachments Off the Books (WJ)
House GOP Begins Probe Into Afghanistan Withdrawal (JTN)
The Aristocracy Is Eating the Peasants (Rubino)
BBC Criticised For Letting Cardiologist ‘Hijack’ Interview (G.)
Covid Vaccines Are “Obviously Dangerous” – Senior Swedish Doctors (DS)
WHO Proposals Could Strip Nations of Their Sovereignty (CHD)

 

 

 

 

Tucker: Well, he’s dead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve seen zero pushback from NATO or its members. Can anyone just make this claim?

Ukraine Is A ‘De Facto’ NATO Member – Kiev (RT)

Ukraine is already a “de facto” member of NATO, Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov told the BBC in an interview published on Friday. The minister added that he was “sure” Kiev’s formal accession to the alliance was not far off. “Ukraine as a country, and the armed forces of Ukraine, became [a] member of NATO. De facto, not de jure. Because we have weaponry, and the understanding of how to use it,” Reznikov said. He told the outlet he was certain Kiev would soon receive more powerful equipment from the West, including western-made battle tanks and fighter jets. The US and its allies have been reluctant to send heavier armament to Ukraine, with some arguing such a move could risk escalation and drag them directly into the ongoing conflict. Reznikov brushed off such concerns, branding them a mere formality.

“This concern about the next level of escalation, for me, is some kind of protocol,” the minister said. He also denied that his comments could be seen as controversial amid the West’s attempt to avoid being viewed as a party to the fighting. “Why [would it be] controversial? It’s true. It’s a fact,” he said, commenting on Kiev’s relations with NATO and the West’s military support of Ukraine. “I’m sure that in the near future, we’ll become a member of NATO, de jure,” the minister added. Moscow regards Ukraine’s potential NATO accession as a threat to its national security and has named establishing a neutral status for the country as one of the goals of the military offensive launched in February last year.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that Ukraine had become a de facto NATO member as early as in June 2022. He also filed a NATO membership application in September of the same year and called for a fast-track accession process. The military bloc itself, however, has been less eager to consider such a prospect. In November, NATO reiterated its pledge to accept Ukraine at some point, but said the issue was not on the agenda for the time being. In spring 2022, French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said the process could take decades, while Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said too many NATO members were against the idea altogether.

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“..if this result can be achieved through negotiations, we stand ready for this scenario. If not – then our tasks will be achieved by military means.”

Russia Speaks On Endgame For Ukraine Conflict (RT)

The Ukraine conflict may be concluded either through diplomatic, or military means, but only after Moscow has achieved its goals, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said on Friday. Speaking at a briefing at the UN Security Council, the envoy commented on a possible path for ending the hostilities between the two sides. The opportunity to settle the conflict “will only present itself once Ukraine stops posing a threat to Russia and discriminating against Russian-speaking Ukrainians,” he said. Nebenzia noted that “if this result can be achieved through negotiations, we stand ready for this scenario. If not – then our tasks will be achieved by military means.” The diplomat reiterated that Russia is fighting not against the Ukrainian people, but rather against “the criminal nationalist regime which came to power in 2014” after a coup in Kiev.

The new Ukrainian leadership has been trying to purge the country of “everything that is related to Russia, and to glorify Nazi accomplices,” he said. Nebenzia stated that “everything could have ended differently for Ukraine,” if Kiev had enforced the now-defunct Minsk Agreements, which were signed in 2014 and 2015 in a bid to pave the way for peace by granting the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics special status within the Ukrainian state. However, neither Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky or his predecessors, nor France and Germany, which took part in negotiating the Minsk Agreements, ever intended to fulfill the plan, according to Nebenzia. This diplomatic process “only served as a smokescreen behind which they secretly armed Ukraine in order to set it against Russia,” he stated.

Last month, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the Minsk Agreements were “an attempt to give Ukraine time” so that its army could get stronger. Later, this revelation was confirmed by former French President Francois Hollande, who noted that the Minsk Agreements had helped Ukraine to achieve that goal. Merkel’s and Hollande’s confessions caused an uproar in Moscow, with Russian officials describing them as “formalization of betrayal.” In December, Ukraine floated the idea of a “Global Peace Summit,” building on Zelensky’s “peace formula,” which in particular demanded Russia withdraw its troops from all territories claimed by Kiev. Moscow dismissed the plan as ignoring the new status of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, and Crimea, as parts of Russia. Kiev wants to hold the summit at the UN headquarters in New York on February 24, with no indication that Moscow would be invited.

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What are the consequences for them?

Internal Documents Show Prominent Democrats Knowingly Pushed Russiagate Lie (ET)

The latest Twitter Files release shows how prominent Democrats knowingly pushed a false Russiagate-related narrative about “Russian bots” promoting a key House Intelligence Committee memo that detailed efforts to spy on the Trump campaign, despite the lawmakers being told by Twitter executives that it wasn’t true. The 14th instalment of the Twitter Files was released on Jan. 12 by journalist Matt Taibbi, who explained in a series of posts that, at a key moment in the Trump-Russia investigation, Democrats alleged that “Russian bots” were spreading an explosive report from then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). “At a crucial moment in a years-long furor,” Taibbi explained in one of the posts, “Democrats denounced a report about flaws in the Trump-Russia investigation, saying it was boosted by Russian ‘bots’ and ‘trolls.’”

“Twitter officials were aghast, finding no evidence of Russian influence,” Taibbi continued. In support of this take, Taibbi shared screenshots of correspondence from Twitter executives to several Congressional Democrats, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), confirming that they had “not identified any significant activity connected to Russia with respect to Tweets posting original content to this [#ReleaseTheMemo] hashtag.” The #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag spread like wildfire on Twitter, topping its trending list starting on Jan. 18, 2018 and reflecting the widespread call to publicly release a then-classified memo submitted by Nunes, who at the time was the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Widely referred to as the Nunes memo, it was later declassified under then-President Donald Trump’s order on Feb. 2, 2018. The memo showed how the FBI under the Obama administration used unverified opposition research—the infamous “Steele Dossier” funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee—to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page as part of an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The claims made in the Nunes memo were confirmed by Justice Department Inspector-General Michael Horowitz in his report, released on Dec. 9, 2019.

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But he still has his job.

There’s More: Elon Musk Exposes Schiff For Mass Scale Collusion (TPN)

On Friday, journalist Matt Taibbi dropped a Twitter Files supplemental to expose Democrat representative Adam Schiff once again for colluding with Twitter. Since former President Donald Trump took office, Schiff has spent every day accusing the former president of colluding with Russia, however it now appears that the only person colluding all this time was Schiff himself. In a previous Twitter Files drop, Schiff put pressure on Twitter to ban investigative journalist Paul Sperry. Twitter initially denied the request however later banned Sperry from the site.


Taibbi just followed up with a supplemental exposing Schiff of more wrongdoing. “Staff of House Democrat Adam Schiff wrote to Twitter quite often, asking that tweets be taken down. This important use of taxpayer resources involved an ask about a “Peter Douche” parody photo of Joe Biden. The DNC made the same request,” Taibbi tweeted. “The real issue was Donald Trump retweeted the Biden pic,” the journalist explained To its credit Twitter refused to remove it, with Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth saying it had obvious “humorous intent” and “any reasonable observer” – apparently, not a Schiff staffer – could see it was doctored.”

Taibbi continued: “Schiff staffer Jeff Lowenstein didn’t give up, claiming there was a “slippery slope concern here.”” “Twitter also refused requests for bans of content about Schiff and his staff, e.g. “complete suppress[ion of] any and all search results about Mr. Misko and other Committee staffers.” Twitter said this would not be “conceivable.”” Taibbi explained.

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“..enough to get any other person indicted and convicted..”

Where’s The Impeachment AND Indictment (Denninger)

Biden has now been “caught” with classified documents in two unsecured places (late update: It appears its three locations, but the third I do not have confirmation on as to what and where.) The documents were acquired and retained while and after he was Vice-President and thus had no more right to transport and possess them outside of a secure facility than any other person with a security clearance — that is, no right to do so whatsoever. One of the places is allegedly Biden’s house and not just anywhere in the house: In the garage. Further, the Penn Biden Center, the first (different) place said documents were found, is an unsecured facility that is frequently open to foreign persons and in fact its sponsor, the University of Pennsylvania, has received material donations from Chinese organizations linked to the Chinese government.

Hunter Biden also allegedly was involved in negotiating various business elements with the center including office space for himself and his staff, along with, it appears, Blinken who currently is Secretary of State! Folks, this is not trivial stuff. With regards to Penn we’re talking about something on order of $77 million from China in the form of donations and contracts, which of course leads to the obvious question as to what were they buying? I don’t care what the classified documents involve the fact that Biden removed them from their secure locations and they were not only in the Penn Center but others were in his garage where they were most-certainly not under any sort of “appropriate” security, never mind Biden have no lawful right to possess them in the first place beyond wherever he was using them while Vice-President in an official capacity, in a secure location, is enough to get any other person indicted and convicted.

Oh, and by the way, Hunter who never had a right of access to them and was in fact an agent of a foreign corporation, Burisma, has listed Biden’s address where the documents were as his residence so it must be presumed he had access to same. The President is not above the law. Never mind that it appears the Government knew this prior to the election and deliberately sat on the information. Indictment and impeachment now folks. This is actual impeachment-worthy conduct, never mind felony prosecution worthy conduct.

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Still puzzled about the garage. How do secret docs end up there?

House GOP Launches Investigation Into Biden Classified Documents (JTN)

House Republicans are seeking information on the appointment of special counsel Robert Hur to investigate President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents and hand over records of communications between the DOJ, FBI, and the White House. In a Friday letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., said the committee was “conducting oversight of the Justice Department’s actions with respect to former Vice President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, including the apparently unauthorized possession of classified material at a Washington, D.C. private office and in the garage of his Wilmington, Delaware residence.”

They further observed that Garland’s appointment of Hur had raised questions. Former President Donald Trump appointed Hur in 2018 to a legal posting in Maryland, wherein he established a record for taking on corrupt Democratic officials. Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh even found herself behind bars as a result of Hur’s efforts. He previously worked with former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and was an aide to now-FBI Director Christopher Wray. His association with the pair has raised some concerns among conservative circles. President Joe Biden, who vehemently condemned former President Donald Trump’s storage of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, appeared to have ink on his face this week following revelations that his aides had discovered classified documents in both his former office at the Penn Biden Center and his Delaware home.

The first discovery occurred in early November and the documents were handed over to the government at that time. Speculation has arisen that the government may have deliberately withheld the details of that incident until after the elections, which Jordan and Johnson addressed in their letter. “It is unclear when the Department first came to learn about the existence of these documents, and whether it actively concealed this information from the public on the eve of the 2022 elections,” they wrote. “It is also unclear what interactions, if any, the Department had with President Biden or his representatives about his mishandling of classified material.” The pair stopped short of making accusations, but noted that “[t]he Department’s actions here appear to depart from how it acted in similar circumstances.”

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“We need to know who all has had access to the president.”

Biden Visitor Logs Under Scrutiny After Classified Files Uncovered (RT)

Congressional Republicans are demanding to see visitor logs for US President Joe Biden’s homes, arguing that the discovery of classified files at one of his residences is a national security risk. Mr Biden acknowledged on Thursday that sensitive material was found in the garage of his house in Delaware. The White House deflected when asked if the visitor logs would be provided. The justice department has appointed an investigator to look into the files. News that sensitive documents dating from Mr Biden’s time as vice-president had been found in a private office at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, emerged earlier this week. That was followed by a disclosure that a second cache was discovered at Mr Biden’s home.

The first batch was found on 2 November, just before the US midterm elections, but only became public on Monday. Mr Biden kept an office at the think tank after he left the White House in 2017 until he launched his presidential campaign in 2019. On Thursday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed in a news conference that the second cache had been found on 20 December at Mr Biden’s private home in Wilmington, Delaware. He added that Mr Biden’s lawyers had called investigators on Thursday morning to notify them of an additional document, also found at the same residence. Citing the “extraordinary circumstances”, the attorney general appointed Robert Hur, a former senior justice department official during the Trump presidency, to lead an investigation in the Biden files.

Kevin McCarthy, the newly elected Republican Speaker of the House, questioned the timing of the first disclosure and accused Mr Biden of knowingly mishandling the sensitive papers. “He knowingly knew [sic] this happened going into [the] election, going into interviews. This is what makes America not trust their government,” Mr McCarthy said on Thursday. Other Republicans on Thursday demanded the president release a log of all the people who had visited Mr Biden’s Delaware home. James Comer, a Kentucky congressman and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News: “We need to know who all has had access to the president.” Colorado Republican Ken Buck wrote a letter to the White House calling on Mr Biden to “release all visitor logs”. Elise Stefanik, the number three House Republican and a New York congresswoman, said that the visitor logs were “a clear matter of national security”.

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“And so what he did though, is he forced his own hand, and in a really unskillful, you know, judge-like manner where he wasn’t thinking through the steps that would happen.”

Former Acting AG Derides Garland’s ‘Unforced Error’ On Document Probes (JTN)

Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker on Friday contended that Attorney General Merrick Garland’s handling of the Department of Justice investigations into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents had forced him to appoint a special counsel to handle an inquiry into President Joe Biden over the same issue. Garland, this week, appointed special counsel Robert Hur to probe the president’s handling of classified documents after previously appoint Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate Trump’s own alleged mishandling of sensitive materials. “I think this is a huge unforced error by Merrick Garland. He didn’t need to appoint a special counsel against Donald Trump,” Whitaker said on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show.

“And so what he did though, is he forced his own hand, and in a really unskillful, you know, judge-like manner where he wasn’t thinking through the steps that would happen.” “[A]nd what makes it even more quizzical to me, is that he knew when he appointed the special counsel, Jack Smith, against Donald Trump, that Joe Biden had similar problems with classified document mishandling,” he went on. “So that tells me that they never planned on this Biden mishandling to ever see the light of day. They were planning on everybody to play nice, that the mainstream media wouldn’t cover it, wouldn’t hear about it, that it would just kind of never be announced.” “And then it came out. And he has been scrambling ever since… he created his own mess, and now he’s gonna have to live with it,” Whitaker concluded.

He then addressed the concurrent special counsel investigations, suggesting that the pair needed to come to agreement on the standards to which they would hold both of their investigative targets. “I think it’s gonna be very interesting if the special counsels coordinate their legal analysis,” he said. “[I]n each case, you’re fundamentally looking at this, you know, gross negligence or recklessness standard, that they need to kind of agree what the facts and circumstances that would trigger that.” Whitaker served as an acting Attorney General under former President Donald Trump, temporarily filling the vacancy between former AGs Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr.

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The ultimate step?

House Republicans Consider Wiping Trump’s Impeachments Off the Books (WJ)

From the moment former President Donald Trump took his oath of office six years ago, Democrats had one goal in mind: impeachment. First, with a big assist from the Department of Justice, the FBI and the legacy media, they alleged he had colluded with the Kremlin to win the presidency. Their hopes were dashed when Robert Mueller’s 22-month witch hunt ended in failure in the spring of 2019. Next, they seized on a phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to investigate the Biden family’s business dealings in the country. Following a sham inquiry, Trump was impeached by the House. Finally, one week after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion, the House voted to impeach Trump a second time over his alleged role in what Democrats insist to this day was an “insurrection.”


As we know, both impeachment trials ended in Trump’s acquittal by the Senate. Now, according to The Washington Times, House Republicans are considering expunging Trump’s impeachments from the record. Asked if he would be willing to bring such legislation to the floor, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said, “We’d look at it. … When you find that the final information of the Russia document is all a lie, and we watch what he went through, I would understand why members would want to bring that forward.” The Times noted that 42 Republicans, including House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York, got behind a resolution to exonerate Trump, but the Democrat-controlled Congress refused to vote on it. Now that Republicans control the House, it’s a real possibility.

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“It is absurd and disgraceful that the Biden administration has repeatedly denied our longstanding oversight requests and continues to withhold information related to the withdrawal..”

House GOP Begins Probe Into Afghanistan Withdrawal (JTN)

House Republicans have begun their probe into the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, asking that Secretary of State Antony Blinken provide them with a bevy of information on the matter. “We owe this to the American people, especially our service members and veterans,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas said, according to The Hill. The Texas lawmaker has set a deadline of Jan. 26 for the administration to hand over intelligence reports and communications with both the Taliban and Islamic Republic.

While he previously requested such information while serving as the committee’s ranking member, he now has formally asked as the committee chairman. Republicans have vowed to issue subpoenas should the administration continue to withhold the information. “It is absurd and disgraceful that the Biden administration has repeatedly denied our longstanding oversight requests and continues to withhold information related to the withdrawal,” he said, per the outlet. “In the event of continued noncompliance, the Committee will use the authorities available to it to enforce these requests as necessary, including through a compulsory process.”

Roughly 20 years following the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power and to eliminate the Al-Qaeda insurgents operating in the country, U.S. forces withdrew, leaving behind an ill-prepared regime that was unable to combat the rising tide of Islamic militants seeking to overtake the country. In the Summer of 2021, the Taliban launched an offensive amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops that culminated in the capture of Kabul and a hasty airlift operation on the part of the western allies to evacuate their personnel and supportive Afghans. The fiasco preceded a marked drop in President Joe Biden’s approval rating, which has been under water ever since.

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“Return to the gold standard and avoid monetary collapse — but at the cost of giving up the ability to create money at will..”

The Aristocracy Is Eating the Peasants (Rubino)

Most people (especially most Americans) still seem to view the events of the past half-century as more or less random. Booms and busts erupting out of nowhere, impoverishing all but a handful of lucky elites. Political crises that end up dividing rather than uniting. Wars that cost fortunes and resolve nothing. Everything is bad, and nothing is related to anything else. But of course that’s not true. Each of the above events serves the same purpose: to enrich a modern aristocracy at the expense of everyone else. And the endgame is looking even worse. To see the scam play out, let’s go back to 1995. Two decades previously, in 1971, the US and by extension the world had ditched sound, gold-backed money in favor of “fiat” currencies that their governments, via their central banks, could create in infinite quantities out of thin air.


The result was spiking inflation and exchange rate chaos in the 1970s and soaring government deficits in the 1980s. By the 1990s it had become clear to the people running major governments and big corporations that unsound money would lead to unsustainable debt, which in turn would destabilize the financial world and bring about a hyperinflationary depression followed by a French Revolution-style reckoning for those responsible. That generation’s elites were thus left with two choices: Return to the gold standard and avoid monetary collapse — but at the cost of giving up the ability to create money at will. Or use their fictitious currencies to steal as much real wealth as possible from the peasants and let future elites deal with the eventual collapse. They, as the sociopaths we now know them to be, chose the second strategy.

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Panic.

BBC Criticised For Letting Cardiologist ‘Hijack’ Interview (G.)

The BBC has come under fire from scientists for interviewing a cardiologist who claimed certain Covid vaccines could be behind excess deaths from coronary artery disease. Experts have criticised Dr Aseem Malhotra’s appearance on the corporation’s news channel on Friday, accusing him of pushing “extreme fringe” views, which are “misguided”, “dangerous” and could mislead the public. Scientists have described the doctor as “hijacking” an interview on statins to air his views, causing BBC staff to be “alarmed and embarrassed” by their booking. Malhotra recently retweeted a video by the MP Andrew Bridgen, who had the Tory whip removed on Wednesday after comparing the use of Covid vaccines to the Holocaust. After criticising new guidance on statins, he cited British Heart Foundation (BHF) figures that suggested there had been more than 30,000 excess deaths linked to heart disease since Covid first arrived.

Malhotra, a cardiologist at ROC Private Clinic, claimed mRNA Covid vaccines play a role, saying his “own research” showed “Covid mRNA vaccines do carry a cardiovascular risk”. He added that he has called for the vaccine rollout to be suspended pending an inquiry because of the “uncertainty” behind excess deaths. The BHF has said that, while Covid infections probably contributed significantly during the first year of the pandemic, ambulance delays, inaccessible care and lengthy waiting lists are now the key factors. Malhotra has become a vocal figure for hesitancy about Covid vaccines, claiming they pose a greater threat than the virus itself – a view repeatedly debunked by factcheckers. On Friday, he reiterated his claim the jabs were a likely cause of his father’s death. Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, was also interviewed by the BBC on Friday.

“I did a rapid response interview on the BBC news channel this morning to say that vaccine side-effects very, very rare in comparison with the preventable risks of Covid-19. The staff seemed alarmed and embarrassed that they had given him [Malhotra] a platform,” he tweeted. Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, said: “I am genuinely astonished by the BBC allowing someone with a known extreme fringe view on mRNA vaccines and the extent to which they are associated with cardiovascular problems to either hijack an interview on a tenuously related topic to express these views, or indeed to appear at all following even a cursory background check.”

Malhotra

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And should be halted immediately.

Covid Vaccines Are “Obviously Dangerous” – Senior Swedish Doctors (DS)

[..] a public statement by a group of five senior Swedish doctors who, in collaboration with Dr. Johan Eddebo, a researcher in digitalisation and human rights, are raising the alert about the Covid vaccines, which they describe as “obviously dangerous”. They say there should be an “immediate halt” to the mass vaccination pending “thorough investigations” of the true incidence and severity of adverse effects.

[..] If, as has been argued, the vaccinations, and especially the boosters, alter the immune profile of recipients such that Covid infections get ‘tolerated’ by the immune system, it’s possible that vaccinated individuals will tend towards a situation of long-term, repeat infections that do not get cleared, and do not present with obvious symptoms, while still promoting systemic damage. The literature now indicates an extensive substitution in the vaccinated of virus-neutralising antibodies for non-inflammatory ones, a ‘class switch’ from antibodies that work towards clearing the virus from our system, to a category of antibodies whose purpose is to desensitise us to irritants and allergens.

The net effect is that the inflammatory response to Covid infection gets down-regulated (reduced). This means that full-blown infections will present with milder symptoms, and that they won’t get cleared as effectively (partly since fever and inflammation are essential to your body getting rid of a pathogen). That these developments alone aren’t cause for an immediate halt to the mass vaccinations, as well as thorough investigations, is astonishing. There is of course another, and more well-known, potential partial explanation of the surprising excess mortality. We have indications of clotting disorders connected to the Covid vaccines, evident in a new major Nordic study, while repeated studies evidence a clear correlation between heart disease and Covid vaccination (see Le Vu et al., Karlstad et al. and Patone et al.).

A newly published Thai study moreover indicated that almost a third of the vaccinated youth enrolled exhibited cardiovascular manifestations, and a yet unpublished Swiss study suggests that as many as 3% of everyone vaccinated manifest heart muscle damage. And as stated above, we also see signals pertaining to fertility disturbances connected to the Covid vaccines. An Israeli study shows impaired motility and sperm concentrations after both Pfizer and Moderna vaccination. The safety committee of the European Medicines Agency has also affirmed that the vaccines may cause menstrual disturbances, and Pfizer’s own studies indicate that the lipid nanoparticles of the mRNA-vaccines cluster in the reproductive organs.

The hypothesis that COVID-19 vaccinations influence fertility is supported by a significant and unprecedented decline in the Swedish birth rate during the first months of 2022. According to Swedish demographers, the decline is ”surprising”. There are similar data from many other Western countries, and to continue the mass vaccinations for low-risk groups such as children or pregnant women is utterly irresponsible – especially since the vaccinations do little or nothing to stop the spread as was initially promised, and is often still falsely maintained.

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World government.

WHO Proposals Could Strip Nations of Their Sovereignty (CHD)

Secretive negotiations took place this week in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss proposed amendments to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR), considered a binding instrument of international law. Similar negotiations took place last month for drafting a new WHO pandemic treaty. While the two are often conflated, the proposed IHR amendments and the proposed pandemic treaty represent two separate but related sets of proposals that would fundamentally alter the WHO’s ability to respond to “public health emergencies” throughout the world — and, critics warn, significantly strip nations of their sovereignty. According to author and researcher James Roguski, these two proposals would transform the WHO from an advisory organization to a global governing body whose policies would be legally binding.


They also would greatly expand the scope and reach of the IHR, institute a system of global health certificates and “passports” and allow the WHO to mandate medical examinations, quarantine and treatment. Roguski said the proposed documents would give the WHO power over the means of production during a declared pandemic, call for the development of IHR infrastructure at “points of entry” (such as national borders), redirect billions of dollars to the “Pharmaceutical Hospital Emergency Industrial Complex” and remove mention of “respect for dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of people.” Francis Boyle, J.D., Ph.D., professor of international law at the University of Illinois, said the proposed documents may also contravene international law.

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..an ant rolling a water droplet on a rough surface, an example of ideal nonwetting conditions

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 082023
 
 January 8, 2023  Posted by at 9:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  115 Responses »


Dorothea Lange On the road to Los Angeles, California 1937

 

What Have We Bargained for in Ukraine? (Dougherty)
Ukraine Running Out Of Time – Former US Officials (RT)
The WORST Political Upheaval EVER (Denninger)
The Right Played Hardball in Congress. The Left Should Take Notes. (Jacobin)
Twitter Fires More Censors (RT)
Zelensky Sanctions Over 100 Russian Public Figures (RT)
Adam Schiff and the Underbelly of American Censorship (Turley)
Trump Suggests Biden Provoked Putin Into Invading Ukraine (PM)
Donald Trump Slams Arrest Of Ashli Babbitt’s Mother (PM)
Kristi Noem Blasts Jan. 6 Committee After Social Security Numbers Leaked (CB)
Greece To Build Fence On Border With Türkiye (RT)
Every Fourth European Has Trouble Heating Their Home (RT)
Faced With A New Wave Of Covid, China Is Opening Its Borders (Zagorenko)
Switzerland Slated To Destroy Millions Of mRNA Vaccine Doses In 2023 (Eugyp)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Jan 6 – Excellent
https://twitter.com/i/status/1611972143482568704

 

 

 

 

Fauci
https://twitter.com/i/status/1611796697847308288

 

 

 

 

“They”

 

 

J6

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The dangers of the conflict are much greater than hawks would have us believe.”

What Have We Bargained for in Ukraine? (Dougherty)

‘Your money is not charity,” Volodymyr Zelensky told a joint session of the U.S. Congress a few weeks ago. “It is an investment in global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.” And many conservative hawks, hoping to hold back the rising tide of skepticism among Republicans, have echoed this line. After the speech, Representative Dan Crenshaw called the idea of ending aid to Ukraine “absurd” and said America had “made a pretty good investment here.” My friend and colleague Matthew Continetti writes that “securing America’s position and freedom’s future without direct intervention and for a rounding error in the federal budget is a strategic bargain. Ukraine needs more, not less, U.S. aid, and it needs it now.” In Commentary in November, Noah Rothman wrote that “Kyiv’s victories are our victories, too, insofar as they advance a core American national interest: preserving the stable European covenant that has blessed Western powers with the longest, most durable peace on the Continent in the modern age.”

This view holds that for pennies on the dollar, the U.S. has been able to preserve a democracy threatened by an authoritarian regime, cripple a rival military, strengthen the NATO alliance, prevent Vladimir Putin from an inevitable invasion of NATO territory, and scare off Xi Jinping from ever messing with Taiwan. For these conservatives, the policy preferred by Joe Biden and the Democrats is one whose costs are greatly outweighed by its benefits. Except, none of this is quite true. Crippling a rival military is only worthwhile when you have a strategic reason for doing so, and we conspicuously lack one. The NATO alliance’s duties have been radically expanded with no radical expansion in the share of the alliance’s burdens shouldered by Europe.

Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist project is at odds with the democratic and liberal-internationalist values that are used to sell the conflict abroad. The conflict’s financial and moral costs to the U.S. have been growing for nearly a decade, and taking on Ukraine as a permanent dependent will grow them even more. The arc of the conflict is just as likely to encourage as to discourage Xi in his pursuit of Taiwan, given the ways in which our enmeshment in Europe will deplete our attention, resources, and will to be the world’s cop. And finally, no conflict in this blood-stained area of the globe is a mom-and-pop bingo game in which you can cash out your modest investments at any time; Vladimir Putin and Russia have a say in how this ends.

The advocates for continued aid to Ukraine must downplay the costs involved, because support for continued aid began to drop precipitously when the Biden administration began briefing the press on our strategy. It didn’t help the hawks’ cause when retired general David Petraeus went on Sunday morning television and claimed that if Russia used a so-called tactical nuke in Ukraine, the U.S. would enter the war as a full belligerent, annihilate Russia’s army, and launch decapitation strikes on the Kremlin. It instead made people ask themselves how Russia would respond to such drastic countermeasures, and to shudder at the possible answers.

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Gates and Rice. A veiled push for more and faster.

Ukraine Running Out Of Time – Former US Officials (RT)

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates have admitted that Ukraine’s economy and military are almost completely reliant on bailouts from the West, and barring a dramatic turnaround, its chances of victory are slipping away. Ukraine’s “economy is in a shambles,” the ex-diplomat and former Pentagon chief wrote in the Washington Post on Saturday. The country’s “military capability and economy are now dependent almost entirely on lifelines from the West,” they continued, arguing that should Ukraine fail to mount a successful offensive in the near future, President Zelensky will be pressured by the West to negotiate a ceasefire with Russian President Vladimir Putin – something the Ukrainian leader has repeatedly refused to consider.

With the frontline relatively static since autumn, Russian forces have ground down their Ukrainian opponents in fierce fighting near Bakhmut/Artyomovsk, with an American mercenary commander recently acknowledging that Ukraine is suffering “extraordinarily high casualties” in that sector, and Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Vadim Pristaiko, describing his side’s casualties as “huge” and “indigestible.” Kiev has publicly proclaimed that it plans a major offensive in the spring, but Rice and Gates wrote that Ukraine may have “weeks, not months” to stay in the fight. To that end, they advocated sending the country more and heavier weapons. Although the US has already allocated more than $110 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine since February, they said that Washington won’t send heavy tanks. Germany “and other allies” should fill this need instead, they argued.

The Biden administration announced on Friday that it would give Ukraine 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles – the most modern armor sent to Kiev so far – as part of a $3 billion weapons package. France also pledged a number of wheeled ‘light tanks’, and Germany promised 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles. Nevertheless, Kiev says it needs more. In an interview with The Economist last month, Ukrainian general Valery Zaluzhny said he would need 300 more tanks, up to 700 infantry fighting vehicles, and 500 howitzers to conduct offensive operations. This is more than the number of such vehicles in the entire British or German inventory. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly insisted that “pumping” Ukraine with weapons will ultimately have no effect on the outcome of the conflict and will only serve to prolong the hostilities and lead to more bloodshed.

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“..what’s going on now is in fact much less than we’ve come through before..”

The WORST Political Upheaval EVER (Denninger)

The polarization caused by the last three years didn’t come from a virus: It came from what so-called “leaders” did when the virus showed up and we, the people in this nation let them do every bit of it. The 2022 midterms were a clean demonstration of this and those actions were nasty in terms of their impact. Several states saw their margins of victory for either GOP or Democrat governors increase, not narrow, and yet the margin didn’t come from people shifting allegiance within the state; it came from migration either to or from said state. DeSantis and Lee both gained margin precisely because people left NY, Michigan, Illinois, California and other “Blue” states and moved to “Red” ones.

This had no value for DeSantis or Lee because once you win by one vote you have the same outcome as if you win by one million votes but that same shift meant that illogical repeat performances, such as Witmer, won as well because the GOP voters who left meant what remained was enough for her not to be fired. (While Pritzker also easily won that race was never really in doubt even if people didn’t leave Illinois, so I’m intentionally excluding it.) It didn’t help that the GOP ran candidates that were ridiculously outside of where mainstream public opinion is — for example, Michigan’s GOP ran a candidate opposed to abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. The GOP had to be out of its mind to do this, but do it they did and they lost.

At its core the problem, however, does not lie there: It lies in the destruction of norms that society has relied on. Don’t kid yourself no matter who screams about it: Without heterosexual reproduction and the resilience afforded by stable, two-parent homes as an “ordinary and normal” thing society eventually collapses because without a productive next generation you have nothing. Have we put any thought into this and how to at least move things back toward a more-stable outcome in that regard, and thus are we inevitably consigned to a hellscape and collapse? It’s easy to argue “No. Not one bit.” But I’ll take the other side of that wager simply because what’s going on now is in fact much less than we’ve come through before, and the pendulum will, with a high degree of probability, swing back the other way.

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The left, WITH the media, and WITH intel, played hardball since 2015. But that was never a problem.

The Right Played Hardball in Congress. The Left Should Take Notes. (Jacobin)

Kevin McCarthy has been at the head of the Republican’s House caucus since 2019. In any other ordinary year, the position of Speaker of the House would have been his almost automatically following the Republicans’ narrow victory in last year’s midterm election. But a small group on the party’s right wing turned a coronation into a multi-round fight. Twenty congressmembers were at the core of the right-wing rebellion; all but one are connected to the House Freedom Caucus, the ideological home of the party’s rightmost flank. These Republicans are notorious for their support of Donald Trump and the January 6 riots. They deserve every decent person’s scorn. But when it comes to tactics, one has to admit that they know how to play.

Desperate for their support, McCarthy had to give on issue after issue. McCarthy folded early on policy questions. He fought against the 2022 lame-duck spending bill, a core right-wing priority. He called for the resignation or impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a target of the Right’s ire. McCarthy also agreed to create a new subcommittee in the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the “weaponization” of the federal government by the Biden administration and the FBI and CIA. More significant in the long term, he also agreed to rules changes and committee assignments that will dramatically strengthen the Right’s hand.

McCarthy agreed to add three members from the Freedom Caucus to the House Rules Committee. That will allow the far right to help shape the issues to be considered by the House. McCarthy’s own PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, agreed not to intervene in open primaries against far-right candidates. McCarthy agreed to bring back the Holman Rule, which allows legislators to propose defunding specific federal programs, to fire specific federal officials, and to slash officials’ pay. Most significantly, he agreed to bring back the “motion to vacate the chair,” which will allow just one Republican to call for a snap vote to remove the speaker. This is a rule that the right wing previously used to remove John Boehner. Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a leading conspiracy theorist from the Republican fringe, extracted a much sought-after seat on the House Oversight Committee from McCarthy in return for her support.

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It would appear there’s still tons of them left.

Twitter Fires More Censors (RT)

The social network has fired at least a dozen employees responsible for handling the “misinformation policy, global appeals and state media” at its Dublin and Singapore offices, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the latest in a series of radical reforms conducted by the company’s new CEO Elon Musk. Twitter’s head of Trust and Safety, Ella Irwin, told the publication that in order to “consolidate teams,” the company only eliminated duplicate positions and cut jobs with not enough workload to justify their existence. The Friday’s cuts reportedly affected the head of site integrity for Twitter’s Asia-Pacific region, Nur Azhar Bin Ayob, and senior director of revenue policy, Analuisa Dominguez, while others asked not to be identified.

In a separate statement to Reuters, Irwin admitted some fresh cuts in her department, but said that the company still has “thousands of people” responsible for content moderation and has “not made cuts to the teams that do that work daily.” After finalizing his purchase of Twitter for $44 billion in October, Musk acknowledged that bankruptcy was a possibility for the social media giant if it does not start generating more cash. In an attempt to cut costs, he fired half of the company’s staff, including most of the top executives and ordered the remaining employees to stop working from home. All in all, an estimated two-thirds of the company’s employees and contractors globally were laid off, fired or quit.

As the site’s new owner, Musk also pushed to scale back content restrictions, vowing to make Twitter a refuge for free speech, while ushering in a range of policy changes which triggered backlash from the media establishment and its celebrity allies. He reactivated the accounts of dozens of its more controversial users and began sharing internal company communications hinting at a massive political conspiracy between the US administration, intelligence agencies and the Big Tech platforms to censor politically inconvenient stories, opinions and people. The billionaire appeared to acknowledge that not everyone supported his recent political diversions this week, polling his followers as to whether he should “stay out of politics” or “keep shooting his feet.” He later joked, that “if I dig my grave deep enough, maybe it comes out the other side of Earth.”

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Everybody just sanctions and censors.

Zelensky Sanctions Over 100 Russian Public Figures (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree on Saturday, imposing personal sanctions on some 119 Russian public figures. Kiev’s new blacklist includes prominent artists and journalists. Ukraine sanctioned Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov, pop singer Philipp Kirkorov, as well as stand-up comedian Evgeny Petrosyan and opera star Anna Netrebko. Kiev also targeted a number of Russian journalists, including RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan and head of the Rossiya Segodnya media group Dmitry Kiselyov. The restrictions imposed for a 10-year period include freeze of assets, travel and visa bans, stripping of Ukrainian state awards, and some other measures. Kiev has repeatedly sanctioned Russian officials and public figures amid the ongoing conflict, with hundreds of them blacklisted already.


Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” Shortly before the hostilities broke out, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Last September, Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia following referendums.

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“We don’t do this.”

Adam Schiff and the Underbelly of American Censorship (Turley)

“We don’t do this.” That response from Twitter to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is a singular indictment, coming at the height of Twitter’s censorship operations. Apparently, there were some things that even Twitter’s censors refused to do. One of those things was silencing critics of Schiff and his House committee. In the latest tranche of “Twitter Files,” journalist Matt Taibbi revealed that Twitter balked at Schiff’s demand that Twitter suspend an array of posters or label their content as “misinformation” and “reduce the visibility” of them. Among those who Schiff secretly tried to censor was New York Post columnist Paul Sperry. Sperry drew Schiff’s ire by writing about a conversation allegedly overheard by one of his sources.

Sperry’s article, which appeared in RealClearInvestigations, cited two sources as overhearing two White House staffers discussing how to remove newly-elected President Trump from office. The article raised the possibility of bias on the part of an alleged key player in launching the first Trump impeachment, CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella. The sources reportedly said that Ciaramella was in a conversation with Sean Misko, a holdover from the Obama administration who later joined Schiff’s staff. The conversation — in Sperry’s words — showed that “just days after [Trump] was sworn in they were already trying to get rid of him.” Rather than simply refute the allegation, Schiff wanted Sperry and other critics silenced.

His office reportedly laid out steps to cleanse Twitter of their criticism, including an instruction to “remove any and all content about Mr. Misko and other Committee staff from its service — to include quotes, retweets, and reactions to that content.” The date of Schiff’s non-public letter in November 2020 is notable: Earlier that year, I wrote a column for The Hill criticizing Schiff for pushing for censorship of misinformation in a letter that he sent to social media companies. His office promptly objected to the very suggestion that Schiff supported censorship. We now know Schiff was actively seeking to censor specific critics on social media. These likely were viewed as more than “requests” since Schiff was sending public letters threatening possible legislative action against these same companies. He wanted his critics silenced on social media. After all, criticizing his investigations or staff must, by definition, be misinformation — right?

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US was building up Ukraine under Trump presidency too.

Trump Suggests Biden Provoked Putin Into Invading Ukraine (PM)

Saturday night, speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, former President Donald Trump suggested that Joe Biden influenced Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine in February 2022. Speaking of Biden, Trump said in video posted by Jack Posobiec on Instagram, “We have a man who has no mind left and his mind in prime time wasn’t any good, but he has no mind left. And this is the guy negotiating for us. We have a man that convinced Putin to go into Ukraine.” “Because if you look at the psychology that he used, it’s the exact opposite,” Trump said in reference to Biden’s January 2022 comments referring to Putin’s expansion into Ukraine as a “minor incursion.”

Biden said during a press conference before Putin invaded Ukraine, “I think what you’re gonna see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not do, etc.” “Putin would have never ever gone in,” Trump said and remarked of Biden, “he knew the ramifications.” “Do you remember when Biden said, well they might take some small parts of Ukraine,” Trump said in reference to the “minor incursion” remarks. “That was what Putin wanted to hear. That there would be no problem if you take some parts of Ukraine,” Trump added.

Trump had been speaking of the war in Ukraine and the escalating conflict, including the danger of nuclear war. Trump referred to nuclear as the second “n-word” you should never say. The US has sent over $60 billion to Ukraine to aid in their ongoing war with their Russian invaders since February 2022. Congress is set to greenlight more money for Ukraine as President Volodymyr Zelensky asks the US for continued aid.

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A very dark side of America.

Donald Trump Slams Arrest Of Ashli Babbitt’s Mother (PM)

Speaking at an event at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday evening, Donald Trump slammed the Biden regime over the arrest of Ashli Babbitt’s mother. Ashli Babbitt was killed by a United States Capitol Police officer on Jan. 6. Witthoeft was arrested outside of the Capitol on Friday, the two-year anniversary of her daughter’s death. Trump brought up the arrest during a special CPAC event at Mar-a-Lago, pointing to the weaponization of law enforcement under the Biden regime. “We have a weaponized country right now with law enforcement. It’s a disgrace what’s happening to our country. Ashli Babbitt’s mother was arrested yesterday, because she was protesting the death of her daughter being shot by a lunatic who got a record of— not so good.

“And then they try and protect him and they do things— what they’ve done to that family. That they shot her, there was no reason, and then they arrested— because the mother was in a group— and they arrested yesterday the mother of Ashli Babbitt. So she loses her daughter and then on top of it, she gets arrested. “We’re not gonna let this go on. We’re not gonna let this go. on these people are horrible, horrible. And what they’ve done to protest us. I mean, these were protesters, they were protesting a dishonest election. “And whenever you mentioned that they don’t want to ever talk to you because they don’t want to have that out there. The one thing they don’t want to talk about is a dishonest election. Because they know and they’ve been caught.”

In footage circulated on social media by streamer Woke Societies, Micki Witthoeft was seen being handcuffed and taken into custody by multiple police officers while onlookers protested. “You murdered [Ashli] inside the Capitol, now you’re going to arrest her?” one onlooker said. “I did not murder her daughter,” one officer replied in front of the crowd of people. On Jan. 6, 2021, Babbitt, an unarmed Air Force veteran, was fatally shot by Lt. Michael Byrd. while attempting to make entry into the interior of the Capitol Building. According to The National Pulse’s Raheem Kassam, Witthoeft was arrested for “jaywalking.”

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That leak feels like warfare.

Kristi Noem Blasts Jan. 6 Committee After Social Security Numbers Leaked (CB)

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem blasted members of the now-disbanded House Jan. 6 Committee after her Social Security number, along those of her family members, were allegedly leaked to the public. In a tweet, the GOP governor appeared to suggest she would take legal action against members. “My lawyers have asked the @WhiteHouse, the @USNatArchives, and @BennieGThompson which of them is responsible for leaking the Social Security Numbers of me, my husband, my 3 kids, and my son-in-law,” she tweeted on Friday, in a post that included images of a letter her attorneys have sent to the aforementioned parties. “What specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect our identities?” — Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) January 6, 2023

The Washington Times reported the leak: “The recently sunsetted House Jan. 6 committee released Trump White House visitor logs from December 2020 containing nearly 2,000 unreacted Social Security numbers. At least three of the numbers, inadvertently leaked as part of the hoard of documents the committee posted online in recent weeks, belonged to members of Trump’s cabinet others. Several Republican governors and floods of other Trump allies have been caught up in the privacy breach. “House Jan. 6 Committee leaks thousands of Trump allies’ Social Security numbers: Report — The Washington Times (@WashTimes) January 7, 2023”

The document was taken down on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the leak, but the Government Publishing Office, which was responsible for posting the file online, does not appear to have notified the individuals whose private information was leaked. Attorneys for Noem demanded to know “how the breach of privacy occurred, who was responsible, what steps each of you has taken to remedy the breach, and what specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect Governor Noem and her family in light of the public dissemination of their private information and the heightened risk for identity theft and any other future privacy violations.” Ian Fury, a spokesman for the governor, said, “To my knowledge, we were not notified. The governor was not notified” of the leak, Slay News noted.

Former Trump Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, whose information was also leaked, told the Washington Post: “Whether it was a careless and sloppy handling of records or a deliberate disregard of decorum, either scenario is a perfunctory and callous display of government and a frightening reminder of the current state in Washington. … President Reagan was a savant indeed — the nine most frightening words to hear are ‘I am from the government and here to help.’”

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What good will it do?

Greece To Build Fence On Border With Türkiye (RT)

Greece is planning to build a new 140-km fence to cover its whole European border with neighboring Türkiye in an effort to contain the significant flows of illegal migrants, Minister of Citizen Protection Takis Theodorikakos has announced. Construction of the first 35-km span of the new fence is set to begin “immediately,” the official told the broadcaster SKAI on Saturday. “It is a final decision of the government to create a 140-kilometer fence on the Evros [River],” Theodorikakos stated. Greece and Türkiye share an approximately 200-km common border in Europe that runs primarily along the Evros River, yet there is a stretch of dry land between the two countries. Greece already has concrete and barbed wire barrier installed at over 40km of the border, namely along the span near the Turkish city of Edirne. The fence was originally erected in 2012 and was extended in 2021.


The Evros River on its own has not proven to be a sufficiently challenging obstacle for illegal migrants, Theodorikakos noted, with the eponymous province remaining a hotspot for irregular crossings. “In Evros, the Greek police, with their deployment, have prevented the illegal invasion of the country by 256,000 illegal immigrants,” the minister said without providing a time span for this “invasion.” Over the past year, the EU has seen the highest level of illegal migration since the 2015-2016 migrant crisis. According to the latest figures by Frontex, the bloc’s border agency, some 308,000 “irregular entries” were detected across the external borders of the EU during the first 11 months of 2022, constituting a sharp 68% increase from the same period in 2021. The Western Balkan and Central Mediterranean routes have seen the most illegal migrant traffic over the past year, according to Frontex.

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Just the poor parts.

Every Fourth European Has Trouble Heating Their Home (RT)

More than a quarter of Europeans are experiencing problems heating their homes and paying debts for housing and utilities, the Hungarian media reported on Friday citing a survey by the Szazadveg think tank. According to the survey, dubbed Europe Project, 26% of EU residents, or roughly 100 million people, are unable to properly heat their homes. Greeks appeared to be the worst affected, with 56% of the population facing difficulties with heating. In Portugal and France, 34% of residents described the same problems. Finland, Hungary, Austria and Denmark were the least affected, with less than 15% of residents admitting to difficulties. Every fourth respondent in the survey said they were unable to pay their heating bill at least once during the past year.


That figure was also the highest in Greece, with 51% of the population affected, followed by Cyprus with 37%, Ireland and Bulgaria, with 35% each. The respondents blamed inflation for their problems, as rising prices on everything from energy to food impact their ability to pay bills. According to the survey, heating bills have become far less affordable than in 2021. The authors noted that in 2021, based on data from Europe’s official statistics agency Eurostat, only 6.9% of European households (some 29.9 million people) were unable to adequately heat their homes, and 6.4% struggled with paying bills. The survey was conducted among 38,000 randomly selected European adults between October 13 and December 7, 2022. The research covered the EU, UK, Norway, Switzerland, Moldova, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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No other choice?!

Faced With A New Wave Of Covid, China Is Opening Its Borders (Zagorenko)

The situation is now much less dire. The authorities can focus on protecting the elderly and improving the nation’s immunity. A new push to get more people vaccinated has already been announced, although the corresponding official document does not go into specifics about how the authorities will go about it. Besides, people are much more aware of the virus and of the methods of protection. Pedestrians still go about their days in masks, still take care with hygiene and still avoid unnecessary close contacts. And more freedom does not mean that people will go out of their way to get infected. As one local Twitter user pointed out: “So in Beijing, now that everyone is free to go anywhere, ppl are exercising that right by staying at home.”

The hardest test of the new lighter rules begins on January 8, when China reopens its borders. People will be able to enter and leave the country freely and, soon after that, the Spring Festival trips will begin in earnest. Travel to and from will not be the same as before, at least at first. A number of countries, including the US, UK, France, and Spain, now have mandatory testing of everyone arriving from China to prevent the virus from spreading further. However, even if the number of daily cases rises for a short time, the world is much less vulnerable to Covid now.

China will still need to carefully weigh each step on its path towards the pre-pandemic normal. The rules might change once again and there might be setbacks or new local lockdowns. However, the process of making life easier and more predictable for a large part of the world has begun. The protests might have brought these changes about sooner than expected, or they might have simply happened at the right time. Whatever the case, China was bound to change its policy sooner or later. After all, no emergency can last forever.

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“..nervously awaiting the delivery of a further 2 million in the coming weeks, and surely lamenting that 11.6 million more are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2023..”

Switzerland Slated To Destroy Millions Of mRNA Vaccine Doses In 2023 (Eugyp)

Switzerland, home to less than 9 million people, is one of the biggest mRNA vaccine customers in the world relative to population. The’ve already received a staggering 33 million Covid vaccine doses, only a little over half of which were ever administered. The small country is now sitting on 13.5 million doses, nervously awaiting the delivery of a further 2 million in the coming weeks, and surely lamenting that 11.6 million more are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2023. The vast majority of these will sit for some months in freezers before the Swiss Confederation destroys them. The country already binned more than eleven million doses last year, the greater part of them after a deal to supply surplus snake oil to the third world via the failed Covax initiative fell through because nobody in Africa wants this stuff either.


Vaccine credulity may still be the mainstream, politically acceptable position, but revealed preferences show that enormous majorities everywhere are done with mass vaccination. Pharmaceutical executives can sing their doubtful hymns to the miraculous safety and efficacy of their jabs, but the quiet worldwide rejection of their garbage products is a stinging rebuke, suggesting that billions across the world harbour unexpressed scepticism towards the mRNA Covid vaccines. From here, it is only downhill for the vaccinators.

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Schaffer

 

 

 

 

Fungi

 

 

Great White

 

 

Walnut

 

 

 

 

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Jan 072023
 
 January 7, 2023  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Interieur au Pot de Fleurs 1953

 

Ukraine On ‘NATO Mission’ – Defense Minister (RT)
Ukrainian Political Scientist: Putin Needs Truce To Prepare New Offensive (Az.)
US To Send Ukraine Dozens Of Bradleys In $2.85b Aid Package (RT)
US To Arm Kiev With Sea Sparrows – Politico (RT)
WWIII HAS BEGUN: Medvedev Wants Hypersonic Missiles Near Washington (Celente)
McCarthy Elected House Speaker After Last-minute Call From Trump To Gaetz (PM)
Senators Make New Demand Regarding FBI, Hunter Biden, Obama White House (CB)
2 Yrs After Jan. 6: 1,000 Arrests; Zero ‘Insurrection’ Charges (Attkisson)
Jan. 6 Comm. Releases Social Security Numbers Of Trump Officials, Allies (Fox)
Adam Schiff’s Assault on the First Amendment (BB)
Ted Cruz Slams Joe Biden for Turning Pharmacies Into Abortion Centers (LN)
Biden Spokeswoman Blames Trump Ahead Of Border Visit (Fox)
Repentance (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

VSRF

 

 

 

 

‘Unavoidably Unsafe’
https://twitter.com/i/status/1610373150767824901

 

 

Disturbing trend

 

 

 

 

 

 

What? Has NATO denounced this? Since when can NATO not do its own business?

Ukraine On ‘NATO Mission’ – Defense Minister (RT)

Kiev is shedding blood to carry out the mission NATO set for itself and expects the “civilized West” to provide weapons and ammunition in return, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov has said in an interview for a domestic TV channel. Appearing on the 1+1 network’s TSN channel on Thursday evening, Reznikov pointed out that at the Madrid summit last summer, NATO declared Russia the greatest threat to the US-led bloc. “Today, Ukraine is addressing that threat. We’re carrying out NATO’s mission today, without shedding their blood. We shed our blood, so we expect them to provide weapons,” he said.

Reznikov also claimed that his NATO colleagues have told him, both in conversations and via text messages, that Ukraine is the “shield of civilization” and “defending the entire civilized world, the entire West.” Ukrainian officials, from President Vladimir Zelensky on down, routinely make public appeals for tanks, missiles, artillery and ammunition. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told the General Staff in December that Moscow was de facto fighting the collective West. By his estimates, the government in Kiev has received almost $100 billion worth of weapons, ammunition and other supplies in 2022 alone. Reznikov has led that effort, boasting to the US outlet Politico in October that he had figured out the Pentagon’s political process. His goal, he said, was to keep raising the bar until Ukraine received main battle tanks.

While that particular threshold has yet to be crossed, on Friday Washington announced the delivery of 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, the most modern armor sent to Kiev so far, as part of a $3 billion weapons package. Earlier this week, France pledged a number of wheeled ‘light tanks’ as well. These shipments are intended to replace Ukraine’s battlefield losses. Last month, Kiev’s top general Valery Zaluzhny told The Economist he would need 300 more tanks, up to 700 infantry fighting vehicles, and 500 howitzers to conduct offensive operations. This is more than the number of such vehicles in British or German inventory. Moscow insists that Western weapon deliveries only serve to prolong the conflict, and has repeatedly warned Ukraine’s backers that this could result in an all-out military confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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Yeah, Putin needs just 36 hours for that.

Ukrainian Political Scientist: Putin Needs Truce To Prepare New Offensive (Az.)

On January 5, Vladimir Putin instructed the Russian Defense Ministry to introduce a ceasefire along the entire line of contact from 12:00 on January 6 to 24:00 on January 7. Kyiv rejected this proposal, calling it a cover and declaring Russia’s intention to bring equipment, ammunition and military personnel closer to the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Ukrainian political scientist believes that Vladimir Putin needs this truce in order to prepare a new offensive in Ukraine by February-March. “Russia is now short of shells, and for them this truce was necessary,” Reichel said. According to him, Russia now has only one option for a mediator in the person of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, because Western leaders will not talk with Putin: “Negotiations with China made it clear that the country wants to distance itself from the conflict without providing special support either to Russia or to Ukraine.


India is not up to the war in Ukraine now, it already has so many internal and external problems with Pakistan and China. Therefore, Erdogan is now the only person with whom Moscow can talk and whom Kyiv can listen to. Using his mediating experience Turkiye has offered Russia the idea of a truce, thereby taking a step towards future negotiations, in which Putin is very interested,” he added. According to the expert, it was immediately obvious that Kyiv would not agree to a truce. “This truce is nothing but a political cover, Ukraine does not need it,” he said. Yuri Reichel explains this by the fact that any truce is beneficial for Russia, which is now trying to accumulate certain reserves in the Donbas, Zaporizhzhia in order to prevent a possible Ukrainian offensive, which, according to Western and Ukrainian experts, is being prepared in February-March.

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Do US taxpayers now pay twice for these obsolete machines?

US To Send Ukraine Dozens Of Bradleys In $2.85b Aid Package (RT)

The U.S. will send Ukraine nearly $3 billion in military aid, in a massive new package that will for the first time include several dozen Bradley fighting vehicles, U.S. officials said Thursday, in the Biden administration’s latest step to send increasingly lethal and powerful weapons to help Ukraine beat back Russian forces, according to AP. European allies also stepped up their weapons commitments. Germany announced it will provide armored personnel carriers and a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine, and France said it will soon hold talks to arrange for the delivery of armored combat vehicles.


All of the announcements, however, fall short of sending heavier battle tanks, which are more complex to use and have a longer-range gun. The Bradley, an armored carrier used to transport troops to combat, is not a tank but is known as a “tank-killer” because of the anti-tank missile it can fire. The latest U.S. aid — totaling about $2.85 billion and about 50 Bradleys — is the largest in a series of packages of military equipment that the Pentagon has pulled from its stockpiles to send to Ukraine. It is aimed at getting as much to the Ukrainian forces as possible during the winter months, before spring sets in and an expected increase in fighting begins.

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“..fitting US-made munitions onto Soviet-made launchers suggests heavy US involvement in such an upgrade..”

US To Arm Kiev With Sea Sparrows – Politico (RT)

The US may supply Ukraine with RIM-7 Sea Sparrow short-range anti-aircraft missiles, Politico reported on Thursday, citing unnamed officials. The missiles are expected to be fitted onto Soviet-made Buk launchers in an attempt to mitigate a shortage of munitions for the systems remaining in Kiev’s inventory. The missiles, developed in the early 1960s, are expected to be included in a new upcoming military aid package to prop up Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia. “The package will for the first time include radar-guided Sea Sparrow anti-air missiles, which can be launched from the sea or on land to intercept aircraft or cruise missiles. In a bit of battlefield innovation, the Ukrainian military has managed to tweak its existing Soviet-era Buk launchers to fire the Sea Sparrow,” the outlet wrote, citing “two people familiar with the matter.”

Politico did not explain how Kiev came up with this “battlefield innovation,” but given that Ukraine has never been in possession of RIM-7 missiles, fitting US-made munitions onto Soviet-made launchers suggests heavy US involvement in such an upgrade. The missiles in question had previously been successfully fitted onto the Kub anti-aircraft launchers, the predecessor of the Buk system, in a collaboration between Raytheon and the Polish defense manufacturer WZU Sa. The upgrade to Soviet-made launchers was first unveiled in the early 2010s.

The inclusion of unspecified “surface-to-air” missiles into the new massive $3 billion aid package for Ukraine was confirmed by White House officials during a news briefing on Friday. In recent months, Western backers of Kiev have intensified their efforts to bolster Kiev’s anti-aircraft defenses, struggling to deal with a ramped-up bombing campaign against critical Ukrainian infrastructure launched by Moscow in the aftermath of the Crimean Bridge blast. Recent deliveries to Ukraine have included US-made short-range NASAMS systems, German IRIS-T air defense systems, while at least one battery of the US Patriot system, the backbone of NATO’s anti-aircraft defense, is expected to be transferred to Kiev in the near future.

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Seems a bit overdone.

WWIII HAS BEGUN: Medvedev Wants Hypersonic Missiles Near Washington (Celente)

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s national security council, on Thursday called for Moscow’s hypersonic Zircon missiles to be placed about 100 miles off of the coast of the U.S. in retaliation for Washington’s support of Ukraine. He called for these missiles to be in close striking distance to Washington, D.C. and called them a New Year gift. Business Insider reported that the Kremlin announced Wednesday that it will sail the Admiral Gorshkov warship armed with the Zircons “on a long-range voyage that would pass through the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea.” The ship is one of Russia’s most advanced warships. In 2019, the ship docked at a Havana, Cuba, the port.


The AP reported at the time: All of the Russian naval missions to Cuba have been seen as a projection of military power close to U.S. shores, although neither Cuba nor Russian have described them as anything other than routine. His threat came after a U.S. embassy video emerged that supported Russians who oppose the war in Ukraine, Reuters reported. We reported in May that Moscow said it successfully fired its Zircon from a warship in the Barents Sea that traveled 625 miles and hit its target in the White Sea. The missile can reportedly travel nine times the speed of sound. In April, Russia also successfully test fired its new Sarmat superheavy Intercontinental Ballistic Missile that can reportedly deploy 10 or more nuclear warheads on each missile.

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Theater.

McCarthy Elected House Speaker After Last-minute Call From Trump To Gaetz (PM)

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy won a late night vote to become Speaker of the House on Friday night after Donald Trump called Matt Gaetz, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to The Post Millennial. Gaetz was leading the charge to oppose McCarthy along with Rep Lauren Boebert, and had opposed McCarthy in nearly every vote since Monday. This after McCarthy made major concessions to the 20 GOP holdouts who spent the week vocally opposing his leadership. Those concessions, however, were not as key as the head of the MAGA movement insisting its members stop rejecting the victory of a GOP-led House.


The final vote saw the hold-outs Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Andy Biggs, Crane, Good and Rosenthal not stand in the way of McCarthy’s leadership This after a vote earlier on Friday saw the flip of 14 in the GOP who had been consistently voting against his speakership. Florida’s freshman Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna posted some of the concessions made by McCarthy. She had offered her vote for McCarthy on Friday, making a note in the House of the successful negotiations between the Trump-backed speaker hopeful from California and the MAGA contingent.

Read more …

What investigations will we see?

Senators Make New Demand Regarding FBI, Hunter Biden, Obama White House (CB)

Two GOP senators who have been investigating alleged Biden family corruption for years have stepped up their efforts. After Facebook and Twitter suppressed, to an extent, explosive revelations about Hunter Biden’s laptop in October 2020, Republican Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin want more answers. Grassley and Johnson have sent a letter to Zuckerberg noting that in October 2020, “when the New York Post published articles based on evidence from Hunter Biden’s laptop, many news and social media organizations inappropriately rushed to censor and discredit the initial reporting and falsely labeled it as ‘disinformation.’” Mainstream media outlets have finally admitted that the information gleaned from the laptop was not Russian disinformation but was in fact real.

“You recently appeared to indicate that the reason why Facebook made the unwise decision to censor articles about Hunter Biden’s laptop was based on an alert from the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the senators wrote. Whistleblowers have also alleged to Senator Johnson that local FBI leadership instructed its employees not to look at the Hunter Biden laptop immediately after the FBI had obtained it,” the senators noted further, going on to say that Americans “deserve to know whether the FBI used Facebook as part of their alleged plan to discredit information about Hunter Biden.” “Congress and the American people require clarity with respect to the extent the FBI communicated with Facebook during the 2020 election about Hunter Biden-related information,” they added.

Expected incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan believes there’s been a seismic shift regarding the ongoing federal investigation of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden. The Ohio Republican suggested “something is up” with the probe because of a new interest in the story by many of the same media outlets that initially dismissed reports of corruption evidence stemming from materials and emails obtained from a laptop he reportedly abandoned at a computer repair store in Delaware in 2019. “It sure looks like Joe Biden was involved,” Jordan added. “So, my, how this story has changed. And now, we find out these text messages and emails that link the entire family, not just Hunter and Joe and — but also uncle, the — Joe’s brother, James Biden, is involved in this as well.”

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“..there was no evidence proving that Byrd did not fear that Babbitt could kill him..”

2 Yrs After Jan. 6: 1,000 Arrests; Zero ‘Insurrection’ Charges (Attkisson)

Two years after the January 6 pro-Trump rally and Capitol riots, the Dept. of Justice has charged nearly 1,000 people with crimes. However, nobody has been formally accused of “sedition,” “treason,” or “insurrection,” according to officials. Sedition is defined as: Conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch. Insurrection is defined as: A violent uprising against a government or authority. Treason is defined as: Betrayal of one’s own country by attempting to overthrow the government through waging war against the state or materially aiding its enemies. The closest related charge made is “seditious conspiracy,” which is planning or plotting with at least one other person to incite rebellion against the authority; not necessarily, personally, committing an act of sedition.

Several suspects pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy. At least one of them, a member of the “Oath Keepers” group, was not present at the US Capitol on January 6. To date, it is inaccurate and arguably libelous to refer to January 6 defendants as “insurrectionists.” Most of the defendants, approximately 860, are charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds. Typically, when Congress is conducting business on the House or Senate floor, the public has a right to enter the US Capitol and watch the proceedings. However, members of the public were blocked from attending on January 6, and there would not have been space for the many thousands to observe in the normal gallery seats. So far, the Dept. of Justice reports, about 192 people have been sentenced to jail or prison.

Officials say 52 people have pleaded guilty to federal charges of assaulting law enforcement officers. The only person shot at the US Capitol on January 6 was an unarmed protester named Ashli Babbitt. The US Capitol Police officer who killed her, Lt. Michael Byrd, was not charged with a crime. Officials kept his identity secret for weeks while they investigated the shooting. Prosecutors eventually found there was no evidence proving that Byrd did not fear that Babbitt could kill him. A shooting by an officer in fear of his life is typically considered to be justified. In an interview, Byrd claimed he’d “saved countless lives” by killing Babbitt, even though Babbitt was unarmed, and there was no evidence she attacked or intended to attack anyone.

July 6th
https://twitter.com/i/status/1611491464537862144

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“..inadvertently..”

Jan. 6 Comm. Releases Social Security Numbers Of Trump Officials, Allies (Fox)

When the House Jan. 6 committee released hundreds of documents from its investigation online at the end of the year, it inadvertently made public nearly 2,000 Social Security numbers belonging to high-profile individuals who visited the White House in December 2020, according to a report. The Washington Post reported Friday that the leaked Social Security information was included in a spreadsheet buried within the “massive cache” of records from the committee’s work. Social Security numbers belonging to at least three members of Trump’s cabinet, a few Republican governors, and several Trump associates were reportedly compromised. The data was part of the White House visitor logs published by the committee.


While many Social Security numbers in the logs were redacted, the Post reported that around 1,900 of them were not. The Government Publishing Office (GPO), which was responsible for publishing the file, does not appear to have notified any of the individuals whose private information was released, the report said. Those whose Social Security information was made public include South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and her family, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R), former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. Others include an unnamed federal district court judge and a federal appeals court judge, at least half a dozen people who testified before the Jan. 6 committee, and a lawyer who represented another witness before the committee, the Post reported.

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“..Sperry’s reporting was never refuted..”

Adam Schiff’s Assault on the First Amendment (BB)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) violated the First Amendment and, arguably, his oath to uphold the Constitution in 2020 when his office demanded that Twitter suspend the account of Paul Sperry, an investigative journalist. Sperry happens to be the journalist who reported in 2019 that the “whistleblower” who worked with Schiff to engineer the impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump was Eric Ciamarella, a CIA analyst who had worked at the White House. Though Democrats convinced the media and Silicon Valley to suppress the story, Sperry’s reporting was never refuted, and the article remains live at RealClearInvestigations today.

This week, investigative journalist Matt Taibbi revealed in the “Twitter Files” that Schiff’s office at the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee sent a list of requests to Twitter, including that it suspend Sperry. Schiff claimed, without evidence, that Sperry was spreading “QAnon conspiracy theories.” (Sperry denies he has ever done so, anywhere.) Twitter declined that request, but suspended Sperry in 2022 with no explanation. The attempt by any member of Congress to suppress the freedom of expression of a journalist is a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, which specifically restricts Congress from interfering in a free press. That violation is even more egregious when perpetrated by a congressional leader with unique access to secret information, and who implies that he has evidence no one else does and is acting to protect national security.

Schiff, who is now considering a run for U.S. Senate, is a frequent guest on mainstream media news programs, who have given him wide latitude for years to promote unfounded claims, such as the “Russia collusion” hoax. These journalists, who described Trump as a threat to press freedom merely for insulting the media, have a professional and ethical duty to demand that Schiff explain why he thought he could censor any journalist. It is also worth revisiting Schiff’s egregious record on civil rights in general. Last year, this author outlined five reasons that a new Republican-run Congress should subpoena Schiff — as he has subpoenaed so many others.

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“This decision was not made with the wellbeing and health of women in mind..”

Ted Cruz Slams Joe Biden for Turning Pharmacies Into Abortion Centers (LN)

Senator Ted Cruz, a longtime pro-life Texas senator, is not happy with Joe Biden’s recent ruling from his FDA that essentially turns pharmacies into abortion centers. As LifeNews reported, the FDA will allow pharmacies to sell the dangerous abortion drug that has killed millions of babies and injured thousands of women. Previously, mifepristone could only be dispensed by clinics, medical offices, and hospitals or under the supervision of a licensed physician. Following the decision, Walgreens and CVS announced they will sell the abortion drug that has killed millions of babies. Cruz slammed the decision, saying that not only will it expand abortions that kill babies, it will put women’s health at risk because the mifepristone abortion pill has killed at least dozens of women and injured countless thousands more.


“This decision was not made with the wellbeing and health of women in mind,” he said. “We should all be able to recognize that these pills can cause very serious side-effects, and should never be taken without medical supervision.” Cruz continued: “This is a reckless decision that puts the lives of women and girls in Texas and America in danger in order to push a pro-abortion agenda. This decision is not based on science, but on radical politics, and I am deeply disappointed by the callousness of the FDA.” The FDA has already lifted its in-person requirement for a doctor visit which is a medical necessity because taking the abortion pill in a variety of situations such as an ectopic pregnancy can be fatal for women. The decision will set up the ability of customers to purchase the abortion pill via teleconference — denying women the doctor’s visit they should be getting to avoid potential death or major complications.

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After two years of absence…

Biden Spokeswoman Blames Trump Ahead Of Border Visit (Fox)

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday blamed the previous administration for the immigration crisis facing the Biden administration, accusing Republicans of making the problem worse by opposing Democratic proposals for comprehensive immigration reform. Ahead of President Biden’s first visit to the southern border as president, Jean-Pierre told reporters that immigration reform is a “high priority” for the administration and that Biden is looking for Congress to act in the face of historic rates of illegal immigration overwhelming resources at the border.

“The president inherited a mess because of what the last administration did. We inherited a mess. And, you know, Republicans in Congress made it worse by blocking comprehensive immigration reform,” Jean-Pierre said at the daily White House press briefing. “And so what you’re seeing from this president is he’s acting. He’s acting to protect, to continue to protect the border, secure the border, and also deal with irregular migration.” Biden announced several changes to his immigration policies Thursday in a major speech from the White House. His speech came after more than 2.3 million migrant encounters were reported in FY 2022, breaking the historic 1.7 million record encountered in FY 2021.

So far in FY 2023, which began in October, the first two months have outpaced the same period last year — with 233,740 encounters in November, compared to 174,845 in 2021 and 73,994 in 2020. To address this crisis, Biden will expand a humanitarian parole program for Venezuelan nationals to include Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans, allowing some 30,000 individuals per month from those countries to be paroled into the U.S. for a two-year period if they meet certain conditions. Those who attempt to cross the border illegally will be ineligible for the program.

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“..Something will emergently replace this monster we call “health care.”

Repentance (Kunstler)

And what are they going to do now? Pretend that none of this is happening? Continue to demonize, discredit, and punish the few doctors who won’t pretend? My PC doc doubles as Chief Health Officer of his group practice. He’s fired doctors and others on the staff who refused to take the shots his company mandated. He’s dishonored his Hippocratic oath. He’s in mid-life with, one would assume ordinarily, many working years ahead of him. The information about vaccine deaths and disabilities is going to get worse, and his own behavior around the crisis is going to look worse, probably even to himself. There are hundreds of thousands of doctors like him. As of now, early 2023, there is no general movement among them to explain or apologize for their actions. What will happen?

I’ll tell you what will happen: medicine as we’ve known it is going to collapse, along with most other activities in our society. Apart from ethical offenses against the public in the single instance of the Covid-19 emergency, doctors and their administrative cohorts have stealthily surrendered to a racketeering business model that had already badly damaged the practice of medicine before Covid-19 came on the scene. Remember: as a general principle, organisms and systems often assume their greatest size just before the go extinct or fail. That’s exactly what you’re seeing in the conglomeratization of hospitals in the USA. If the idea was to remove redundancies for the sake of “efficiency,” then they did exactly what destroys ecosystems. Anyway, the net effect of all that hospital consolidation was just to make access to health care much more difficult for the average citizen, and the only benefit was to make multi-millionaires of the executives who run the hospitals.

Then Covid-19 came along and they decimated their own workforce with vaccine mandates. Now, many hospitals can barely function, and many have had to shut down specific services. Quite a few hospitals are going bankrupt, which only feeds the predatory consolidation still ongoing. When the financial, banking, and insurance disorders ahead start to bite later this year, hospitals will be shutting down. In the meantime, a lot of people will lose their lives to the disastrous side-effects of the vaccines. It is already the case, that the vaccine-injured who seek help from the medical system are lied-to, mis-treated, or ignored. Some of these are the doctors themselves and other health professionals who collide with reality the hard way. Something will emergently replace this monster we call “health care.”

Maybe it will still think of itself medicine, but it will operate at a much smaller scale, minus a lot of the expensive and rather miraculous high-tech developed in our time, but also minus a lot of hazardous high-tech interventions, especially pharmaceuticals, that were used as revenue streams despite the adverse blowbacks they induced. Will the doctors recover the trust of the public? It’s going to be a slog for them. They’ll have a long way to go just to recover their own honor and self-respect. Some sort of organized act of apology and repentance will have to happen first.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

It takes time

 

 

 

 

Speed
https://twitter.com/i/status/1611121105640505350

 

 

Ant hill

 

 

 

 

Glass octopus

 

 

Tiger mom

 

 

 

 

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


Takeuchi Seiho Bear in snow 1940

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Cause unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

US Climbs Escalation Ladder in Ukraine (Bhadrakumar)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tucker Russia

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He should disappear.

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

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

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

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

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Library.

Capsule Summaries of all Twitter Files Threads (Taibbi)

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

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Masks.

Breathing Trouble (Bardi/Walach)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Good to remember.

A History of Dissent (Lauria)

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

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

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

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Protocol to get rid of vaxx.

Post-vaccine Treatment Protocol (FLCCC)

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

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Trump 1991

 

 

 

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

 

 

Tiger spoons

 

 

Sunfish

 

 

Octopus

 

 

Samoyed

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 192022
 
 December 19, 2022  Posted by at 9:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Portrait de femme (Dora Maar) 1943

 

One Year Ago, Russia Gave The West A Last Chance (Lukyanov)
A Lexicon for Disaster (Scott Ritter)
EU Sued Over Anti-Russia Sanctions (RT)
Lawyer Claims Eva Kaili Followed EU Parliament Chief’s Orders In Qatar (Eur.)
Will the Fallout from “Qatargate” Splatter the European Commission? (NC)
Biden’s Latest JFK Document Dump Is A JOKE (OffG)
Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Linked to Blood Clotting: FDA (ET)
FDA Uncovers Yet Another Dangerous Side Effect of the Covid-19 ‘Vaccines’ (KB)
TWITTER FILES Supplemental (Taibbi)
Musk Asks Twitter If He Should Step Down (ZH)
Twitter Censorship Contributed to Destructive Pandemic Policies (ET)
Democratic Members Warn Facebook Not to “Backslide” on Censorship (Turley)
Democrats Like Adam Schiff Are Scrambling To Save Censorship (Devine)
Former FBI Agent Calls Assertion Oath Keepers are Anti-Government ‘Absurd’ (ET)
US Doublespeak Will Not Stop Gold’s Imminent Surge (Von Greyerz)

 

 

 

 

BRICS

 

 

 

 

Child vaccine

 

 

Red Balloon

 

 

 

 

 

 

“NATO and the Americans categorically refused to discuss the main political issue: a formal rejection of NATO expansion.”

One Year Ago, Russia Gave The West A Last Chance (Lukyanov)

It’s been a year since a Russian document outlining proposals (or demands, if you prefer) for long-term guarantees on European security was delivered to NATO and the US. This was the starting point of the major politico-military crisis that defines the global situation today. Was the Russian ultimatum (and that is how it was formulated) designed to be rejected, or did it envisage a path to negotiations? President Vladimir Putin probably reasoned along the following lines: after so many years of ignoring our wishes and convictions, let’s give it one last chance. Let’s put forward the maximum set of demands, everything that has been said before, but outline them in one place and in a concentrated form, and see what happens.

If they realize that this time that it’s extremely serious, and with that in mind, decide on a real discussion, we are ready. However, if they start to waste time again, then that’s it. Let’s cut to the chase. If the response from the West was not satisfactory, the military operation in Ukraine would be the next step. There was apparently no chance of avoiding it by then. After all, the logic behind the need for the offensive was outlined in Putin’s big article in the summer of 2021. That is, the security demands were made when the internal readiness for action was already in place. The scale of the consequences leads many to return to the question: Was what happened inevitable? The argument that “we had no choice,” often heard at the highest level in Moscow, is problematic because it effectively means that Russia’s previous policies were wrong. A policy which leads to no alternative solution, i.e. forcing one to act in a certain way and no other way, cannot be considered successful.

So an analysis of the long period since the early 2000s will at some point be an important lesson for the future. Was there an urgent need to make demands and initiate the military operation at that point in time? Based on what we know now (which is probably not everything), there was room for maneuver and an opportunity to prepare better. Strategically, a conflict over Ukraine was probably inevitable, but the specific circumstances and timetable could have been different. Is anyone in the West kicking themselves right now? An ultimatum can only be accepted by great powers, and even more so by superpowers, as a result of a military defeat. So there was, I think, no chance of the demands being accepted. I have to say that the consultations that took place in January 2022 showed that the US was ready for some concessions on specific issues of military security.

To a greater extent than they had indicated before the demands were made. However, this amounted to very little relative to the overall picture. Most importantly, NATO and the Americans categorically refused to discuss the main political issue: a formal rejection of NATO expansion. For them, this is unacceptable because the military bloc’s enlargement is the basis of the entire international security philosophy as it has been understood in the West since the end of the Cold War. But even beyond this, in the West there is a complete absence (or perhaps a disappearance) of reflection on the history behind current events.

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Arms treaties and diplomacy have been abandoned. They’re bad for business.

A Lexicon for Disaster (Scott Ritter)

With no common language, there can be no common vision, no common purpose. Russia continues to seek arms control agreements which serve to restrict the arsenals of the involved parties to prevent dangerous escalatory actions while imposing a modicum of predictable stability on relations. The U.S. seeks only unilateral advantage. Until this is changed, there can be no meaningful arms control interaction between the U.S. and Russia. Not only will the New START treaty expire in February 2026, but it is also unlikely the major verification component of the treaty — on site inspections — will be revived between now and then. Moreover, it is impossible to see how a new arms control agreement to replace the expired New START treaty could be negotiated, ratified, and implemented in the short time remaining to do so.


There is no trust between Russia and the U.S. when it comes to arms control. With no treaties, there is no verification of reality. Both the U.S. and Russian arsenals will become untethered from treaty-based constraint, leading to a new arms race for which there can be only one finishing line — total nuclear war. There is a long list of things that must happen if meaningful arms control is ever to resume its place in the diplomatic arsenals of either the U.S. or Russia. Before either side can resume talking to one another, however, they must first re-learn the common language of disarmament. Because the current semantics of arms control is little more than a lexicon for disaster.

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62 lawsuits. So far.

EU Sued Over Anti-Russia Sanctions (RT)

Dozens of Russians and Belarusians have filed lawsuits at the EU Court of Justice, to challenge their inclusion on the sanctions list, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported on Saturday. The Luxembourg-based court has reportedly received claims from one company and 61 individuals from Russia and Belarus, placed on the EU blacklist over their alleged support for Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. The business figures are seeking to challenge what they view as a violation of their rights, and the freeze of their assets by EU authorities. According to the media report, the plaintiffs in Luxembourg include Russian billionaire and former owner of the English football club Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, ESN Group owner Grigory Berezkin, and Gennady Timchenko, who owns Volga Group, a Russia-based company with interests in energy, transportation and construction.


Alfa Group co-founder Mikhail Fridman and Alisher Usmanov, the owner Russia’s largest iron ore producer, are also among those suing. The EU has adopted nine rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since February 24, when Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine. Aside from business people, the penalties include measures against Russian journalists and companies. On Friday, the EU blacklisted 141 Russian individuals and 49 legal entities, including ministers, governors, judges, parliament members, singers and presenters, as well as five political parties. The latest measures also deprived four more Russian media outlets of their broadcasting licenses in the EU, introduced a number of export bans, and extended restrictions on three more banks. Export restrictions were extended to 168 additional Russian entities closely linked to the Russian military-industrial complex, bringing the total number of sanctioned companies to 410.

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Could be an interesting court case. Note Borrell’s involvement.

Lawyer Claims Eva Kaili Followed EU Parliament Chief’s Orders In Qatar (Eur.)

Qatar had no need to bribe socialist MEP Eva Kaili as the latter was implementing a wider EU plan and was getting orders from EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola, Kaili’s lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos alleged on Tuesday. Metsola’s office told EURACTIV that the president gave instructions on how to represent the institution’s position and “nothing else”. Last Friday, Greek MEP Eva Kaili, her partner Francesco Giorgi, and ex-MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, president of the NGO Fight Against Impunity, were arrested by the Belgian police on suspicion of corruption. On a political level, with an overwhelming majority, the EU House sacked her yesterday from the vice presidency.

In an almost unanimous vote, EU lawmakers removed Eva Kaili as vice president of the European Parliament on Tuesday (13 December), following the so-called Qatargate, one of the biggest corruption scandals in the EU’s history. On Thursday, Belgian courts will decide whether she will remain in jail until the adjudication of the case. In an interview with Greek MEGA TV channel, Dimitrakopoulos said Kaili has nothing to do with bribery from Qatar. “What the public opinion needs to know is that Qatar did not need to bribe Ms Kaili because she went to Qatar as a representative of the European Parliament, the speeches, the interviews she gave were after the agreement and order of the President Roberta Metsola,” Dimitrakopoulos said.

He added that documents prove this and explained that Kaili did not take any initiative or have an agenda. “Ms Metsola sent her to Qatar, what she was going to say had Ms Metsola’s approval […] Ms Metsola had also sent EU official Mr Roberto Bendini with her to watch all of Ms Kaili’s meetings”, he explained. “I am telling you the words of Ms Kaili, she was carrying out a plan that had started in 2019, High Representative Josep Borrell and Ylva Johansson [Commissioner for Home Affairs] had decided at the Commission level, to cooperate with Qatar, Kuwait and Oman,” the lawyer added.

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“..he resisted those calls and in 2020 was bumped up to the European Commission, as so often happens with scandal-tarnished domestic politicians in the EU…”

Will the Fallout from “Qatargate” Splatter the European Commission? (NC)

For the moment, it is far from clear just how far this burgeoning scandal will reach. One thing that is clear is that the reputational damage will be large and lasting. The European Union’s ability to lecture the misbehaving governments of Member States and third-party countries on how to govern will be further diminished. As Hungary’s Victor Orban said in a video uploaded to his Facebook page, “It is time that we drain the swamp here in Brussels.” And he is right. EU institutions need to get their house in order once and for all, and fast. And that is unlikely to happen. The EU ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said this week that Von der Leyen’s proposed plan for a new ethics body is likely to end up as “something with no teeth, something that will possibly sit there passively, wait for complaints to come in.”

What the body really needs, O’Reilly said, is investigatory and sanctions powers. But that might actually threaten to derail the gravy train Brussels has become. And the problem is not just illegal cash payments stuffed away in paper bags and briefcases; it is the vast lobbying apparatus that has built up in Brussels, which is now the second largest lobbying capital in the world after Washington. As in Washington, lobbying reaches into just about every aspect of governance. In its 2015 report, CEO reported that lobbyists representing businesses and trade associations made up 75% of all high-level Commission lobby meetings and more than 80% in certain areas such as financial regulation or the internal market. The inevitable result, as in Washington, is that policies are made almost exclusively in the service of vested corporate interests.

Sometimes corporate lobbies even draft the EU’s legislation. This is the business model of modern governance. Lastly, if Borrell is indeed caught up in this burgeoning scandal and, by some miracle, loses his job, it would be no great loss to the EU’s 450 million citizens. He is the least diplomatic of diplomats. Just about every time he speaks, whether on the wonders of European colonialism or the vast untamed jungle that lies beyond Europe’s borders, damage is inflicted on the EU’s relations with some other part of the world. Since long before the Ukraine conflict he has played a leading role in escalating tensions with Russia, the EU’s biggest neighbor and energy supplier. He is also no stranger to scandal, having been convicted, in 2018, of insider trading in Spain. That resulted in him being placed on the Spanish market regulator’s blacklist. The ensuing scandal triggered calls for his resignation as Spain’s then-Foreign Minister. But he resisted those calls and in 2020 was bumped up to the European Commission, as so often happens with scandal-tarnished domestic politicians in the EU.

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“..two days later and on a complete whim, he decided to sneak back into the police station carrying a gun and shoot a man he had never met for no reason at all..”

Biden’s Latest JFK Document Dump Is A JOKE (OffG)

Waiting for a government – any government – to release their “secret” files is a waste of your time, and reading anything they eventually publish is doubly so. If you didn’t learn that from the nothing-burger that was the 28 pages on 9/11, or the pathetic exercise in revisionism that made up the Afghanistan Papers…you should definitely have learned it today. Yes, Joe Biden’s administration has just released their promised “secret” JFK papers. Turns out that Oswald acted alone. I know, I was shocked too. Further, the release dials back on the (very slight) anti-Russia messaging of last year’s release. In December 2021, the previous batch of “secret” files revealed Oswald met with a KGB agent in the days running up to the assassination.

The latest batch reassures us that Oswald never worked for the KGB, and that the Russians thought he was “too crazy” to recruit. One gets the impression that has as much to do with managing propaganda positioning over the war in Ukraine as anything else. Either way, its a ridiculously transparent attempt to reinforce the “lone wolf” lie. “He was too crazy and unstable even for the Russians!” Laughable. Further, one particular “secret” memo claims… the Central Intelligence Agency has no indication that Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald ever knew each other, were associated, or might have been connected in any manner”. Yes, before Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald they were apparently “not connected in any manner”. He had never met Oswald before the assassination, and barely had any idea who he was when he shot him on November 24th.

This means the current “official story” is that Ruby randomly chose to attend the press conference where Oswald spoke on the evening of November 22nd, despite not being a member of the press. During this press conference, Ruby correctly pointed out Oswald had joined the “fair play for Cuba committee” (presumably an inspired guess, seeing as they did not know one another). Then, two days later and on a complete whim, he decided to sneak back into the police station carrying a gun and shoot a man he had never met for no reason at all, in the parking lot of a police station, while surrounded by police officers. That’s what these “secret files” tell us…the same ridiculous story as the very unsecret Warren Commission.

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While we have been talking about bloodclots fior at least two years, the FDA only just discovered them. But: “..still under investigation and require more robust study.”

This costs lives.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Linked to Blood Clotting: FDA (ET)

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been linked to blood clotting in older individuals, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA researchers, crunching data from a database of elderly persons in the United States, found that pulmonary embolism—blood clotting in the lungs—met the initial threshold for a statistical signal and continued meeting the criteria after a more in-depth evaluation. Three other outcomes of interest—a lack of oxygen to the heart, a blood platelet disorder called immune thrombocytopenia, and another type of clotting called intravascular coagulation—initially raised red flags, researchers said. More in-depth evaluations, such as comparisons with populations who received influenza vaccines, showed those three as no longer meeting the statistical threshold for a signal.


Researchers looked at data covering 17.4 million elderly Americans who received a total of 34.6 million vaccine doses between Dec. 10, 2020, and Jan. 16, 2022. The study was published by the journal Vaccine on Dec. 1. The FDA said it was not taking any action on the results because they do not prove the vaccines cause any of the four outcomes, and because the findings “are still under investigation and require more robust study.” Dr. Peter McCullough, chief medical adviser for the Truth for Health Foundation, told The Epoch Times via email that the new paper “corroborates the concerns of doctors that the large uptick in blood clots, progression of atherosclerotic heart disease, and blood disorders is independently associated with COVID-19 vaccination.”

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“The FDA said it was not taking any action based on the study because the findings do not prove the vaccines cause any of the four outcomes.”

FDA Uncovers Yet Another Dangerous Side Effect of the Covid-19 ‘Vaccines’ (KB)

A recent study drawing on over thirty million datapoints from the the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data system shows a heightened risk of pulmonary embolism, as well as the known elevated risk for myocarditis. “We evaluated 14 outcomes of interest following COVID-19 vaccination using the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data covering 30,712,101 elderly persons,” the international study in the journal Elsevier stated. “The CMS data from December 11, 2020 through Jan 15, 2022 included 17,411,342 COVID-19 vaccinees who received a total of 34,639,937 doses. We conducted weekly sequential testing and generated rate ratios (RR) of observed outcome rates compared to historical (or expected) rates prior to COVID-19 vaccination.”

The findings supply yet more evidence that the Covid mRNA shots should not be recommended without the standard risks of serious side effects. “Four outcomes met the threshold for a statistical signal following BNT162b2 vaccination including pulmonary embolism (PE; RR = 1.54), acute myocardial infarction (AMI; RR = 1.42), disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC; RR = 1.91), and immune thrombocytopenia (ITP; RR = 1.44),” the study found. The term RR [Risk Ratio] is an expression of the relative risk of the pharmaceutical product versus a placebo. An RR of 1.5 represents a 50% heightened risk for the given side effect.

The study couches the findings in the typical manner: Claiming that the benefits of the ‘vaccines’ outweigh the ‘risks.’ However, that would only be clearly the case if a patient did not have natural antibodies and was at increased due to risk factors such as age, obesity, or immunocompromisation. Seroprevalence data show that nearly every American in the United States has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The FDA said it was not taking any action based on the study because the findings do not prove the vaccines cause any of the four outcomes. The FDA claimed the findings “are still under investigation and require more robust study.”

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Musk has shaken the tree pretty hard. It’s now up to the rest of us.

TWITTER FILES Supplemental (Taibbi)

On Friday, I posted a series of exchanges between Twitter and the FBI. One that required a bit too much explaining was left out. But it’s an important document, because it clearly demonstrates that Twitter will not only take requests from the government, it will even act quickly to align its analyses with its “partners.” 2. In July of 2020, San Francisco FBI agent Elvis Chan tells Twitter executive Yoel Roth to expect written questions from the Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), the inter-agency group that deals with cyber threats. 3.The questionnaire authors seem displeased with Twitter for implying, in a July 20th “DHS/ODNI/FBI/Industry briefing,” that “you indicated you had not observed much recent activity from official propaganda actors on your platform.”

4 .One would think that would be good news. The agencies seemed to feel otherwise. 5.Chan underscored this: “There was quite a bit of discussion within the USIC to get clarifications from your company,” he wrote, referring to the United States Intelligence Community. 6.The task force demanded to know how Twitter came to its unpopular conclusion. Oddly, it included a bibliography of public sources – including a Wall Street Journal article – attesting to the prevalence of foreign threats, as if to show Twitter they got it wrong. 7.Roth, receiving the questions, circulated them with other company executives, and complained that he was “frankly perplexed by the requests here, which seem more like something we’d get from a congressional committee than the Bureau.” 8.He added he was not “comfortable with the Bureau (and by extension the IC) demanding written answers.”

The idea of the FBI acting as conduit for the Intelligence Community is interesting, given that many agencies are barred from domestic operations. 9. He then sent another note internally, saying the premise of the questions was “flawed,” because “we’ve been clear that official state propaganda is definitely a thing on Twitter.” Note the italics for emphasis.10. Roth suggested they “get on the phone with Elvis ASAP and try to straighten this out,” to disabuse the agencies of any notion that state propaganda is not a “thing” on Twitter. 11. This exchange is odd among other things because some of the “bibliography” materials cited by the FITF are sourced to intelligence officials, who in turn cited the public sources. 12. The FBI responded to Friday’s report by saying it “regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert, or criminal activities.”

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”..the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.”

Musk Asks Twitter If He Should Step Down (ZH)

Elon Musk, perhaps finally fed up with micromanaging twitter or just really drunk after partying with Qatari royals (and Jared) after today’s terrific World Cup Final… … has asked Twitter users and his 122 million followers whether he should step down as head of the social media site and pledged that he would abide by the result of the 12 hour unscientific poll. Four hours into the vote, with some 9 million votes cast, 56.7% of those polled said Musk should, in fact, stand down. It wasn’t clear what percentage of bots of mailed in ballots had been cast. Musk prefaced the vote by tweeting that “Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again.”

Subsequently, in response to tweeted comments that Musk should “hire someone as Twitter CEO… that way when things go wrong you can blame that person, but you still ultimate control as the owner”, the billionaire responded that “The question is not finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.” Musk also clarified to prospective replacements that any new CEO “must like pain a lot. One catch: you have to invest your life savings in Twitter and it has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May. Still want the job?” Musk then stated that the whole exercise is a Catch 22 as “No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.” Which then begs the question how Musk will abide by a poll that seeks his replacement if there is “no successor” in mind.

He then doubled down by paraphrasing Jack Handey and, of course, Gladiator:

Whether Musk was drunk or not when he sent out the tweet (early am Qatari time), the outcome as some cynics have noted, is unlikely to have any material impact on what happens at twitter. Musk’s pledge to hold votes on policy changes came after Twitter on Sunday announced it will remove accounts “created solely” to promote other social media platforms. Accounts promoting rivals and containing links to sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Mastodon will be taken down, the company said. A few hours later the tweet revealing that policy change was deleted.

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“When decisions were being made in 2020 and imposed upon the public, that’s when censorship counted the most..”

Twitter Censorship Contributed to Destructive Pandemic Policies (ET)

The recently revealed censorship that has plagued Twitter in recent years is “criminal,” according to former White House COVID adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, as it allowed “lies to be imposed on the public” during a pandemic that wrought untold damage worldwide. “When correct science policy is blocked, people die, and people died from the censorship,” Atlas, a special coronavirus adviser during the Trump administration and contributor to The Epoch Times, said in an interview. Atlas was speaking days after Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, released troves of internal files showing how the previous Twitter team built a blacklist to limit disfavored tweets’ visibility without the knowledge of those using the platform.

Among those flagged was Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford, whose tweet criticizing pandemic lockdowns shortly after joining the platform last August got him on the “trends blacklist” preventing the amplification of his tweets. But such revelations, Atlas said, are “only the tip of the iceberg.” “There’s a far larger story here that we need to hear,” he said, which he considers “far more nefarious and more systemic than isolated tweets being pulled down.” “This seems to be criminal behavior, and I think it needs to be investigated in the courts,” he said. Atlas wants to direct attention back to 2020, when health officials followed in the Chinese Communist Party’s footsteps to implement blanket COVID-19 lockdowns. In November of that year, while Atlas was still on the White House’s coronavirus task force, Twitter took down his post that argued mask-wearing was not effective in curbing the spread of the virus—a decision celebrated by some proponents of the measures, including fellow task force member Dr. Deborah Birx.

“One would think that the American public should hear what the adviser to the president is saying during the pandemic of 2020. Yet Twitter decided to simply block that discussion from the public,” he said. [..] Despite most states having a mask mandate until early this year, a number of studies found children and teenagers to be at a far lower risk of getting or dying from COVID-19, even with the emergence of new variants. But the “censorship of 2020,” be it deleting individual tweets, suspending accounts, or blocking the amplification of posts, had done its damage. “When decisions were being made in 2020 and imposed upon the public, that’s when censorship counted the most,” Atlas said.

“It created this illusion that there was a consensus among science and public health policy experts that lockdowns should be imposed; it created and perpetrated lies that if you were opposed to lockdowns, you were choosing the economy over lives, and that if you were opposed to lockdowns, you were somehow calling for letting the infection spread without any mitigation whatsoever,” he said. “They absolutely contributed to policies that killed massive numbers of people and destroyed children and low-income people, who are the most vulnerable. That’s why it’s criminal.”

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They will lose their powers when the new Congress is installed.

Democratic Members Warn Facebook Not to “Backslide” on Censorship (Turley)

With the restoration of free speech protections on Twitter, panic has grown on the left that its control over social media could come to an end. Now, some of the greatest advocates of censorship in Congress are specifically warning Facebook not to follow Twitter in restoring free speech to its platform. In a chilling letter from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Facebook was given a not-so-subtle threat that reducing its infamous censorship system will invite congressional action. The letter to Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, is written on congressional stationery “as part of our ongoing oversight efforts.”

With House Republicans pledging to investigate social media censorship when they take control in January, these four Democratic members are trying to force Facebook to “recommit” to censoring opposing views and to make election censorship policies permanent. Otherwise, they suggest, they may be forced to exercise oversight into any move by Facebook to “alter or rollback certain misinformation policies.” In addition to demanding that Facebook preserve its bans on figures like former president Donald Trump, they want Facebook to expand its censorship overall because “unlike other major social media platforms, Meta’s policies do not prohibit posts that make unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud.”

Clegg is given Schiff’s telephone number to discuss Facebook’s compliance — an ironic contact point for a letter on censoring “disinformation.” After all, Schiff was one of the members of Congress who, before the 2020 presidential election, pushed the false claim that the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation, and he has been criticized for pushing false narratives on Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election. (Schiff has previously pressured social media companies to expand the censorship of opposing views).

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“Dangerous and unfounded election denial content” must be kept off the platform…”

Democrats Like Adam Schiff Are Scrambling To Save Censorship (Devine)

Adam Schiff popped up on CNN’s “State of The Union” show Sunday morning to issue barely veiled threats to Elon Musk for trying to restore free speech on Twitter. Ostensibly, the lame duck chairman of the House Intelligence Committee joined Jake Tapper to crow about expected charges against Donald Trump Monday from his January 6 star chamber. But Schiff moved on to complain about the “big problem right now with social media companies and their failure to moderate content and the explosion of hate on Twitter, the banning of journalists on Twitter.” Then he suggested ominously that Twitter and social media companies may not continue to enjoy “immunity from responsibility and liability.” In other words, keep policing free speech as an arm of the federal government or watch your business go up in smoke.


Schiff is a calculated propagandist, who lies under oath as easily as breathing, and knowingly peddles misinformation to Congress and to media outlets like CNN and MSNBC, whose gullible hosts keep bringing him back on their shows to mislead their audiences. In the dying days of his powerful reign as overseer of the nation’s intelligence agencies, abusing his access to the nation’s secrets, Schiff’s final assignment is to preserve the censorship regime his side of politics entrenched across Big Tech. On Tuesday he, and three other Dems he roped in, wrote a menacing letter “as part of our ongoing oversight efforts” to Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta (Facebook’s new name), warning that, if the company went down Twitter’s path of free speech, the consequences would be dire. “Dangerous and unfounded election denial content” must be kept off the platform.

This is not 2 or 3 years ago, this is now

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“That is a far cry from overthrowing the U.S. government by force of violence.”

“‘Absurd’ To Call Oath Keepers Insurrectionists Or A National Security Threat, Former FBI Agent Testifies”

Former FBI Agent Calls Assertion Oath Keepers are Anti-Government ‘Absurd’ (ET)

The Oath Keepers did not try to overthrow the U.S. government on Jan. 6 and are not a threat to national security because the group is anti-tyranny, not anti-government, a former FBI agent and Department of Defense analyst testified Dec. 15-16 in Alaska Superior Court. John Guandolo, who handled counter-terrorism and criminal investigations during nearly 13 years as an FBI special agent, said he found “absurd” the idea that Oath Keepers tried to overthrow the federal government. Guandolo was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in a personal capacity. Some of the Oath Keepers might have broken federal laws on Jan. 6 for allegedly trying to delay the counting of Electoral College votes, Guandolo said, “but to conflate that to being the same as the entire organization wants to overthrow the U.S. government by violence … that’s absurd,” Guandolo said.

“And I think it’s an unprofessional assessment.” Guandolo’s testimony came on the third and fourth days of a state trial to determine if Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) should be removed from office under the Alaska Constitution because he is a life member of the Oath Keepers. Eastman won reelection on Nov. 8 by a 24-point margin. Alaska Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna issued a temporary restraining order preventing the state of Alaska from certifying the House 27th District election results until the trial ends. Former GOP candidate Randall Kowalke—who left the Republican Party in 2019—sued Eastman personally in July, claiming a loyalty clause in the Alaska Constitution should bar him from office because the Oath Keepers allegedly advocate for the overthrow of the federal government.

Earlier in the bench trial before McKenna, two analysts from centers on domestic extremism testified that the Oath Keepers went into the Capitol on Jan. 6 and tried to overthrow the government. Testifying from his office in Dallas, Guandolo told the judge there is no evidence to support that accusation. He ripped the testimony of analysts Jonathan Lewis and Matthew Kriner as “grossly incomplete” and “wholly unprofessional.” Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes III and Oath Keepers Florida leader Kelly Meggs were found guilty of seditious conspiracy on Nov. 29 for actions on Jan. 6, in a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Washington. Four other defendants were acquitted of seditious conspiracy, but convicted of other offenses.

“The phrase that I saw most often [in indictments] was that so-and-so intended to affect the government by stopping or delaying the congressional proceeding, which was to certify the election,” Guandolo said when questioned by defense attorney Joseph Miller. “That is a far cry from overthrowing the U.S. government by force of violence.”

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“$300 trillion of global debt and $2 quadrillion of quasi debt in the form of derivatives can only end in currencies going to zero..”

US Doublespeak Will Not Stop Gold’s Imminent Surge (Von Greyerz)

The clouds look extremely dark for 2023 and beyond. As I have pointed out above, there is no attempt to reach a peace settlement in Ukraine. Weapons and money are pouring in to keep the war going. And the sanctions forced upon Europe by the US are having a devastating effect for the citizens of most European countries. Energy costs are up 2-3X or more for many consumers and food inflation in Germany for example jumped 21% year on year in November. In the UK, many ordinary people cannot afford to keep their heating on or to eat properly. And this is before the cold winter sets in. The situation in Ukraine seems to deteriorate and with Russia and the US involved, as well as China in the periphery, it could easily escalate.

But as I have spelt out numerous times, $300 trillion of global debt and $2 quadrillion of quasi debt in the form of derivatives can only end in currencies going to zero and sovereign borrowers defaulting. A global sovereign default should be seen as an indisputable fact and it is only a question of how long it takes. These events are normally a process. As Hemingway said, you go bankrupt “Gradually and then suddenly”. The beginning can be a slow process and then at some point the shock comes so fast that no one will have time to react. So no-one must believe that there will be time to get out once the early “gradual” phase starts. Just to be clear, the gradual phase is here already although the world is in denial. The buy the dip mentality is still prevailing as evidenced by the partial recovery in stock markets.

Few realise that this is it and the next devastating fall in stocks is going to fool practically all investors. The majority will not get out but hope for a correction so they can exit at a higher level. And once the correction comes, they will be bullish again. Once everyone is back into the market it will fall again. Most of the investors will be fooled most of the time until their portfolio is virtually worthless. The Western world hasn’t experienced a real bear market since 1929-32. That time it took 25 years for the Dow to recover to the 1929 high. The generosity of Central banks has made stock investments a one way game since the early 1980s. But now the game is up and few will realise it until they have lost everything. So the “suddenly” will be like an earthquake seemingly coming out of nowhere. It can come in 2023 or it might take a few years.

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Oppenheimer

 

 

Boys keep swinging

 

 

 

 

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


Mathew Brady Abe Lincoln 1864

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carl Sagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Five Months Into The Special Military Operation (Saker)

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

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

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

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

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Are these sanctions gone or not?

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

Moscow Reveals Target Of Strike On Odessa Port (RT)

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

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

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

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

Russia Not Asking For Sanctions Removal – Lavrov (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hungary Warns Of Shift In World Order (RT)

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


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

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

Hungary Spreading ‘Russian Propaganda’ – Ukraine (RT)

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

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

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

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Nothing fits anymore.

Logistical Nightmares For The Ukrainian Army (Milacic)

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

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

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

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

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The US midterms are the main consideration.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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One man wrecking crew.

How Mario Draghi Broke Italy (Fazi)

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

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

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

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

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Princess and Emmanuel

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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Jun 182022
 


Paul Ranson Apple tree with red fruit 1902

 

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

 

 

 

 

Never sick

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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


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

Putin Spief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Back in April.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Awkward Biden Moments Draw Online Scrutiny (JTN)

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

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

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

Biden oil

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

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

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

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

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


It’s the little people!

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

Pro-Ukrainian, but Anti-Nazi (Batiushka)

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

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

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

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

How Low Can You Go? (Jim Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

Last Tango in Washington? (Brenner)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

US Drone Sale To Ukraine Hits Snag (R.)

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


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

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Adam Schiff did it.

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

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

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


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

Tucker Colbert

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

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

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

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

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

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You won’t know what hit you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Stella Moris

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Jun 162022
 


Caravaggio The calling of St. Matthew 1599-1600

 

Severe COVID-19 ‘Rare’ In Unvaccinated People (MD)
FDA Advisors Unanimously Endorse COVID Shots for Infants and Young Kids (CHD)
The World Is Looking At You (Batiushka)
First American Mercenary Contractors Captured in Ukraine (CTH)
The ‘New G8’ Meets China’s ‘Three Rings’ (Escobar)
Schiff: Evidence That Trump “Engaged in Likely Multiple Criminal Acts (Turley)
ECB Holds Emergency Meeting To Discuss Market Turmoil (ZH)
PPI: Smoking -AGAIN- (Denninger)
Today’s The Day…. (Denninger)
“Red Flag” Laws Put a Target on the Back of Every American (Whitehead)
Erdogan Issues Fresh Threats Against Greece (K.)
A Whistleblower’s Agony (Kiriakou)
Patel Responsible For Assange’s ‘Slow-Motion Execution’ If Extradited (DIss.)

 

 

 

 

Consumer feelings

 

 

 

 

Blink

 

 

 

 

DeSantis Musk

 

 

 

 

We’ve known for a while that the vaccines don’t protect against infection or transmission. The last thing they had left was protection against severe disease. That is now gone too. It’s over.

Severe COVID-19 ‘Rare’ In Unvaccinated People (MD)

A survey has found that people who did not get the vaccine had a lower rate of suffering severe COVID-19 amid the pandemic. The survey uploaded to the preprint server ResearchGate presented data from more than 18,500 respondents from the “Control Group” project with more than 300,000 overall participants. An analysis revealed that compared to those who got jabbed, unvaccinated people reported fewer hospitalizations. The international survey also found that the unvaccinated people from more than 175 countries were more likely to self-care to prevent and manage COVID-19 infection. They used natural products like vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, quercetin, and drugs, such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

Many participants experienced discrimination for refusing the administration of “genetic vaccines” and struggled with mental health burdens due to the stigma in the mostly “vaccinated” society. Since the participants were self-selected and self-reported, the survey findings had to be interpreted with care compared to statistics or studies based on randomly selected populations, according to the Alliance for Natural Health International. The participants admitted to avoiding vaccines due to their preference for natural medicine interventions and skepticism of pharmaceutical interventions. They also voiced distrust of government information and fear of the possible adverse effects of the vaccines in the long run.

The survey was conducted from September 2021 through February 2022. During the period, participants experienced mild to moderate COVID-19 infection and were infrequently hospitalized. A number of female participants suffered menstrual and bleeding abnormalities, prompting the researchers who analyzed the data to surmise that the issues might have been caused by spike protein exposure and shedding, as per The Epoch Times.


Well, no

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Read the article above and then explain this.

FDA Advisors Unanimously Endorse COVID Shots for Infants and Young Kids (CHD)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) vaccine advisory panel today unanimously voted 21-0 to recommend Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for infants and young children, stating the totality of the evidence available shows the benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks of use. Pfizer’s three-dose vaccine would cover children 6 months to 5 years old, while Moderna’s two-dose vaccine covers children 6 months to 6 years old. States have already ordered millions of doses made available prior to FDA authorization by the Biden administration. Depending on whether the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) accept the recommendations of their advisory panels, White House officials have said the administration of vaccines for these age groups could start as early as June 21.


The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) ignored pleas from experts, the vaccine injured and a congressman representing 17 other lawmakers to halt authorization until questions about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for the nation’s youngest children could be properly addressed. Many of the committee members, including pediatrician Dr. Ofer Levy, said the decision to authorize the shots was about providing a choice to parents who wanted access to COVID-19 vaccines, despite concerns by public commenters the panel was not adhering to the requirements for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and that authorization would eventually lead to mandates — as it did with adult vaccines.

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“..the eyes of the freedom-loving world are turned to the Russian Federation..”

The World Is Looking At You (Batiushka)

As a result of this first War atheist Bolsheviks seized power in the former Russian Empire. Although well over 600,000 Russian troops had died in the two and half years up until February 1917, as they, unlike the Allies on the Western Front, had faced the vast majority of the forces of Germany, Austro-Hungary and Turkey, far worse was to come. Foreign-sponsored foreigners, like the brain-fevered Blank-Lenin and the evil genius Bronstein-Trotsky, killed millions in a civil war, including the Imperial Family, and through deliberate starvation. Many more would later die in concentration camps. And unlike in the First War when the enemy never even entered Russia, in the Second War the enemy reached the very gates of Moscow, Leningrad and the banks of the Volga, slaughtering 27 million, mainly civilians.

But then there was the American flu (called for propaganda reasons ‘Spanish flu’). Beginning in Kansas, it was brought to Europe in 1917 by American troops, who had entered the First War, as arranged, as soon as the treacherous ‘Allies’ (not Germany) had succeeded in overthrowing Imperial Russia. The Americans had come to conquer Europe. After the Great European Suicide of the First War, this flu may have killed another 50 million, though some say far more. But above all, exactly as the French Marshal Foch foretold at Versailles, the ‘Peace’ of 1919 led directly to the Second Great War that broke out twenty years later. And that murdered tens of millions and in 1945 made Western Europe into a conquered and occupied province of the USA, which then set about creating a USE (United States of Europe) in its own image.

And so came the Cold War, with its MAD (mutually assured destruction) phobia, bunker-building, wasteful spending on arms, and the new generation’s social revolution of the 1960s. In turn came the next generation of 1989, 75 years after 1914 and 50 years after 1939, and the occupation of Eastern Europe by the same US colonists, sending out their proconsul-ambassadors to the client states of the ‘New Europe’. In 1991, 50 years after Operation Barbarossa of Nazi Imperialism ravaged the USSR but was defeated, the latter fell to Nato Imperialism. And in turn, 100 years after the Great European Suicide began, the Evil Empire began its occupation of the Ukraine in 2014, turning it into a dependent vassal. The whole pattern of the hundred years, 1914-2014, had the same source.

Until 2022 there had never been any hope of justice and restitution for any of this. Then on 24 February began the Special Operation to liberate the Ukraine and denazify the world. This is the last throw of the dice and the eyes of the freedom-loving world are turned to the Russian Federation. Even with all its troubles, imperfections and treacheries, we have no other hope. The world is looking at you.

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“The traditional end result for captured mercenaries is execution; however, Russian President Vladimir Putin may not want to hang these two State Dept. conscripts.”

First American Mercenary Contractors Captured in Ukraine (CTH)

A contracted mercenary has no legal recognition or protection as a prisoner of war. Two American mercenary soldiers have been captured by Russian forces and now present a rather unique issue for the Biden administration. The traditional end result for captured mercenaries is execution; however, Russian President Vladimir Putin may not want to hang these two State Dept. conscripts. (Via Telegraph) – “Two former US servicemen have been captured during fighting with Russian forces in Ukraine, The Telegraph has been told. The pair were taken prisoner during a fierce battle outside the north-east city of Kharkiv last week, according to comrades who were fighting alongside them.


Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, had been serving as volunteers with a regular Ukrainian army unit. They are believed to be the first US servicemen to end up as Russian prisoners of war. They join a growing number of Western military volunteers captured by Russian forces, including at least two Britons. Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner have already been told they face the death penalty as “mercenaries”. The capture of the two Americans will be diplomatically sensitive as the Kremlin may seek to use it as proof that America is becoming directly involved in the war. Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is likely to demand significant concessions to release them.”

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“The new G8, instead, “does not impose anything on anyone, but tries to find common solutions.”

The ‘New G8’ Meets China’s ‘Three Rings’ (Escobar)

The speaker of the Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, may have created the defining acronym for the emerging multipolar world: “the new G8”. As Volodin noted, “the United States has created conditions with its own hands so that countries wishing to build an equal dialogue and mutually beneficial relations will actually form a ‘new G8’ together with Russia.” This non Russia-sanctioning G8, he added, is 24.4% ahead of the old one, which is in fact the G7, in terms of GDP in purchasing power parity (PPP), as G7 economies are on the verge of collapsing and the U.S. registers record inflation.

The power of the acronym was confirmed by one of the researchers on Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sergei Fedorov: three BRICS members (Brazil, China and India) alongside Russia, plus Indonesia, Iran, Turkey and Mexico, all non adherents to the all-out Western economic war against Russia, will soon dominate global markets. Fedorov stressed the power of the new G8 in population as well as economically: “If the West, which restricted all international organizations, follows its own policies, and pressures everyone, then why are these organizations necessary? Russia does not follow these rules.” The new G8, instead, “does not impose anything on anyone, but tries to find common solutions.”

The coming of the new G8 points to the inevitable advent of BRICS +, one of the key themes to be discussed in the upcoming BRICS summit in China. Argentina is very much interested in becoming part of the extended BRICS and those (informal) members of the new G8 – Indonesia, Iran, Turkey, Mexico – are all likely candidates. The intersection of the new G8 and BRICS + will lead Beijing to turbo-charge what has already been conceptualized as the Three Rings strategy by Cheng Yawen, from the Institute of International Relations and Public Affairs at the Shanghai International Studies University.

Cheng argues that since the beginning of the 2018 U.S.-China trade war the Empire of Lies and its vassals have aimed to “decouple”; thus the Middle Kingdom should strategically downgrade its relations with the West and promote a new international system based on South-South cooperation. Looks like if it walks and talks like the new G8, that’s because it’s the real deal.

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Schiff himself “Engaged in Likely Multiple Criminal Acts”.

Schiff: Evidence That Trump “Engaged in Likely Multiple Criminal Acts (Turley)

Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) went on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight” to tout the work of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6th riot. In that interview, Schiff declared that the Committee has enough evidence showing former President Donald Trump “engaged in likely multiple criminal acts.” While vague on the specific crimes, Schiff emphasized that the Justice Department did not have to wait any further to launch a criminal investigation based on what has already been disclosed. While the Committee has disclosed new evidence in the form of videotapes and testimony, it has not presented new material evidence of criminal acts in my view. That could still come but the first two hearings largely focused on a “conspiracy” to challenge the election certification and allegations that Trump knew the there was no compelling evidence of widespread election fraud.

If there is evidence of criminal conduct by former president Trump or others, most of us would support the calls for prosecution. It is also possible that the Justice Department is investigating such crimes or has undisclosed evidence. The hearings, however, have not established such a foundation. That can still come but these crimes have elements that have not been addressed in hearings that have lacked any opposing views or adversarial elements. The decision of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to abandon the long tradition of bipartisan members on such selection committee has robbed the investigation of credibility and legitimacy for many Americans.

Indeed, Schiff’s reference to evidence held by the Committee is likely to bring up memories of his highly controversial public statements that the House Intelligence Committee, which he chairs, had direct evidence of Russian collusion despite the countervailing findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He never produced the evidence and later it was revealed that Justice officials and FBI agents had told his Committee that they did not find such evidence. Now, Schiff is maintaining that:

“I certainly believe there’s enough evidence for them to open an investigation of several people, and so did Judge David Carter of California believes the former president and others were engaged in likely multiple criminal acts. So if the Justice Department concurs with Judge Carter, let alone my own view or others, they should be pursuing that. So, yes, I think there is sufficient evidence to open an investigation. It would be of you up to the Justice Department ultimately to decide does that evidence rise to proof beyond a reasonable doubt such that they’re comfortable indicting someone. But there’s certainly, in my view, enough evidence to open up investigations.”

The reference to the Carter opinion has become a mainstay on cable news. I was critical of Judge Carter’s opinion when it was released. Much of the Jan. 6th hearings seem to be structured along the same lines as the Carter decision which was, in my view, strikingly conclusory and unsupported in critical parts of the analysis. Judge Carter simply declares that Trump knew that the election was not stolen and thus “the illegality of the plan was obvious.” Putting aside the court’s assumption of what Trump secretly concluded on the election, a sizable number of Americans still do not view Biden as legitimately elected. The court is not simply saying that they are wrong in that view but, because they are wrong, legislative challenges amounted to criminal obstruction of Congress.

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First Japan, then Europe, then the US. Russia and China will remain standing.

ECB Holds Emergency Meeting To Discuss Market Turmoil (ZH)

Last week, shortly after the ECB’s latest meeting disappointed markets and concluded without a discussion of Europe’s growing bond market fragmentation which has since sent Italian bond yields soaring above 4%, we joked that “at this rate the ECB would make an emergency rate cut” just hours after announcing an end to QT and guiding to a July rate hike. Once again, our jokes was not too far from the truth because on Wednesday morning, just hours before the Fed’s first 75bps rate hike sine 1994, and with Italian bonds in freefall, European Central Bank unexpectedly announced it would hold an emergency , ad hoc meeting of its rate-setters starting 11am CET in which it would “discuss current market conditions.”

The meeting, which comes less than a week after the rate-setting governing council’s last vote, raised investor expectations that the central bank is preparing to announce a policy instrument to stave-off another debt crisis in the region, which can only come in the form of more QE… which is ironic at a time when the ECB just announced it was phasing out all QE! Italian government bonds rallied in price following news of the planned meeting, reversing some of the recent sell-off that analysts said brought the country’s borrowing costs towards the “danger zone”. Gilles Moec, chief economist at Axa, an insurer, said the “stakes are high” for the ECB “now that everyone is dusting off their debt sustainability spreadsheets for Italy, they probably need to go up an extra notch”.

[..] ECB executive board member Isabel Schnabel indicated in a speech on Tuesday evening that the central bank was getting closer to the point where it would intervene in bond markets, saying “some borrowers have seen significantly larger changes in financing conditions than others since the start of the year”. She added: “Such changes in financing conditions may constitute an impairment in the transmission of monetary policy that requires close monitoring.” Schnabel, the ECB executive who oversees its market operations and one of the most influential voices on its board, said the central bank’s commitment to the euro had no limits. “And our track record of stepping in when needed backs up this commitment,” she added. But wait, this means… more QE at a time when the ECB just vowed… less QE!!??

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”Choose one and only one: Feel good or be able to afford food and basically everything else.”

PPI: Smoking -AGAIN- (Denninger)

Oh my look what we have here! “The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.8 percent in May, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This rise followed advances of 0.4 percent in April and 1.6 percent in March. (See table A.) On an unadjusted basis, final demand prices moved up 10.8 percent for the 12 months ended in May.” So…. two points, more or less, higher than CPI. PPI leads, I remind you, so the consumer inflation level has not peaked. Let’s look inside. “Final demand goods: The index for final demand goods moved up 1.4 percent in May, the fifth consecutive rise. Over 70 percent of the increase in May can be traced to a 5.0-percent advance in prices for final demand energy. The index for final demand goods less foods and energy moved up 0.7 percent, while prices for final demand foods were unchanged.”

Oh really? Only 5% eh? Well, don’t look at June, because gasoline, for example, has risen by more than 10% in the last two weeks which is all in June. Oops. “Product detail: Nearly 30 percent of the May increase in the index for final demand services can be attributed to prices for truck transportation of freight, which rose 2.9 percent.” No kidding? You mean $6+ diesel fuel turns directly into higher shipping prices? I just got back from a cross-country trip and saw lots of dead dinosaurs coming out of the stack of 18 wheelers and every one of them had better keep moving or you’re not eating, never mind being able to buy and consume anything else. The current Administration’s war on fossil fuels might make you feel good but it is also directly responsible for this insanity. Choose one and only one: Feel good or be able to afford food and basically everything else.

The really nasty is that the 12 month trend is unbroken and, as I noted, it all started right after Biden was inaugurated. He said he was going to do this during the campaign and he has. It takes time for the PPI to reflect down into the final shelf price and it has. But the 12 month final demand number, less food, energy and trade from 12 months prior stands at 6% which it has run at or above since August of last year. Shut it off now and it will be next summer before that has all worked its way through and there’s nothing you can do about the time requirement.

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“At the core what The Fed does is not the question. It’s what Congress does.”

Today’s The Day…. (Denninger)

….. we “celebrate” The Fed decision on rates. Well, yeah, ok. The 13 week bill says the FFR should be 1.5% now. As has almost-always been the case historically (go look at FRED if you don’t believe me) the market leads and The Fed is not actually in charge of rates. Of course this runs counter to the “all-powerful Fed” which suits everyone on all sides. The politicians and conspiracy nuts get to blame someone else for an agency that follows what the market demands because if it doesn’t it is proved impotent and takes a huge loss on top of it. Unfortunately 50 bips will do nothing to cool inflation; to do that short-term rates must be higher than the inflation rate so that the real cost of borrowing is positive. That would mean putting about 700bips on the FFR right here and now – which we know won’t happen.

Then again this has been the problem for the last 30ish years. The slope of the interest rate curve has gone from the upper left to the lower right and thus serial refinancing at the corporate and government level, say much less at the personal level, has looked “free.” That’s the sneaky part of inflation which I explained back when I wrote Leverage with a nice graph. When you run a deliberate inflationary policy over decades the first years look like a free lunch because the apparent “wealth” initially goes up faster than the debt service (which is on a smaller base) and thus produces a “belly” (an area of expansion of the space between the two lines of available spending power and debt service.) This is a chimera and to intentionally run such a policy as a business or government is fraud because all exponential expansions eventually go vertical, and the debt service will eventually cross available funds at which point you’re screwed since you cannot spend 110% of what you have — ever — no matter what you do.

It’s happening now. At the core what The Fed does is not the question. It’s what Congress does. The Fed is constrained to use only Federal Government backed securities for its monetary operations and policy. Yes, it has shaved that repeatedly, most-egregiously with Fannie and Freddie paper during the housing crash which at the time was wildly illegal yet not one person in Congress called them on it nor did anyone from the Executive (e.g. DOJ) stop it despite its blatant illegality. Then Congress went even further and, for all intents and purposes, explicitly backstopped said paper on a retroactive basis which is also illegal, but heh, nobody cared because it was “too big to fail.”

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Total control is the goal.

“Red Flag” Laws Put a Target on the Back of Every American (Whitehead)

What we do not need is yet another pretext by which government officials can violate the Fourth Amendment at will under the guise of public health and safety. Indeed, at a time when red flag gun laws (which authorize government officials to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others) are gaining traction as a legislative means by which to allow police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats, it wouldn’t take much for police to be given the green light to enter a home without a warrant in order to seize lawfully-possessed firearms based on concerns that the guns might pose a danger. Frankly, a person wouldn’t even need to own a gun to be subjected to such a home invasion.

SWAT teams have crashed through doors on lesser pretexts based on false information, mistaken identities and wrong addresses. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws allowing the police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats. If Congress succeeds in passing the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order, which would nationalize red flag laws, that number will grow. As The Washington Post reports, these red flag gun laws…”allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition [with a court] asking that a person’s home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn’t require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest.”

In the wake of yet another round of mass shootings, these gun confiscation laws—extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws—may appease the fears of those who believe that fewer guns in the hands of the general populace will make our society safer. Of course, it doesn’t always work that way. Anything—knives, vehicles, planes, pressure cookers—can become a weapon when wielded with deadly intentions. With these red flag gun laws, the stated intention is to disarm individuals who are potential threats… to “stop dangerous people before they act.”

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I think he has elections coming up.

Erdogan Issues Fresh Threats Against Greece (K.)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has issued fresh threats against Greece, this time accusing the country of supporting an international campaign directed against his country. “We have sent a clear message to everyone concerned about developments in the Aegean,” Erdogan told MPs of his AK Party in the wake of the EFES-2022 military exercise near the Aegean port city of Izmir. “We have seen through the game being played at the expense of our country. They are allowing Greece to behave like a spoiled child as they have done in the past,” he said. “The problem is that Greece is not aware of this game, or it has voluntarily adopted a supporting role,” he said, adding that the country would pay a hefty price for “making the same mistake.”

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Joshua Schulte. Treated like an animal.

A Whistleblower’s Agony (Kiriakou)

A C.I.A. whistleblower languishes awaiting trial in a federal prison under inhumane conditions and almost nobody is paying attention. Joshua Schulte is a former C.I.A. hacker, one of those computer geniuses whose job it is to work his way into the computer systems of our country’s enemies in support of some of the most highly-classified operations the C.I.A. carries out. The government believes that Schulte was a malcontent who released to WikiLeaks in 2017 the equivalent of 2 billion pages of top secret C.I.A. data with code names like Brutal Kangaroo, AngerQuake and McNugget. These programs, collectively known as Vault 7, were custom-made techniques used to compromise Wifi networks, hack into Skype, defeat anti-virus software and even hack into smart TVs and the guidance systems in cars.

They were the C.I.A.’s modern-day crown jewels. One senior C.I.A. officer likened the revelations to “a modern-day Pearl Harbor.” The C.I.A. accused Schulte of stealing the data in 2016 and of sending it to WikiLeaks in 2017. He was eventually charged with 13 felonies, mostly related to the Espionage Act. He was later charged with a number of additional felonies related to child pornography, accusations that he has adamantly denied. Schulte went to trial in New York in early 2020 with the Justice Department accusing him of “the single biggest leak of classified national defense information in the history of the C.I.A.”

After four weeks of testimony and six days of jury deliberation, he was found guilty of contempt of court and making a false statement, both minor charges for which federal sentencing guidelines call for imprisonment of zero-to-six months. The jury deadlocked on all other counts, and the judge declared a mistrial. Schulte remains in prison awaiting retrial. He has been incarcerated since October 2018.

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“This dramatic deterioration of Mr Assange’s health has not yet been considered in his extradition proceedings.”

Patel Responsible For Assange’s ‘Slow-Motion Execution’ If Extradited (DIss.)

A coalition of over 300 doctors warned UK Home Secretary Priti Patel that she may be responsible for the “slow-motion execution” of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if her office approves the United States government’s extradition request. Patel has until June 19, which is ten years after Assange entered Ecuador’s embassy in London and sought political asylum, to decide whether to approve the extradition. Assange faces 18 charges brought against him by the US Justice Department, 17 of which are under the Espionage Act. All the charges relate to documents WikiLeaks released in 2010 and 2011, which were provided by US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Doctors for Assange” is an international coalition of medical doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists who have spoken up for Assange because of the toll the US government’s prosecution has taken on his health. Many of the doctors are from the UK and Australia, which is Assange’s home country. The doctors sent a letter to Patel on June 10, 2022, ahead of the Home Office’s extradition decision. “Should [Assange] come to harm in the US,” the group contends Patel “will be left holding the responsibility for that negligent outcome.” They add, “The extradition of a person with such compromised health, moreover, is medically and ethically unacceptable.” As the doctors recall, Assange’s health has deteriorated in UK custody at Belmarsh prison, where he’s been detained since April 11, 2019.

“In October 2021, Mr. Assange suffered a ‘mini-stroke.’” “This dangerous deterioration of Mr Assange’s health underscores the medical concern that the chronic stress caused by his harsh prison conditions, as well as his justified fear of the conditions that he would face in the case of extradition, leaves Mr. Assange vulnerable to cardiovascular events,” the doctors add. “This dramatic deterioration of Mr Assange’s health has not yet been considered in his extradition proceedings.” The doctors argue the basis for accepting US “assurances” was based upon “outdated medical information,” which should render the assurances “obsolete.” “Under conditions in which the UK legal system has failed to take Mr Assange’s current health status into account, no valid decision to approve his extradition may be made, by you, or anyone else.”

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Tucker Dore

 

 

 

 

Rooster

 

 

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Jun 152022
 


Ivan Aivazovsky Constantinople in Moonlight 1846

 

 

We associate the term “mass psychosis” with the reaction(s) to Covid, but I would argue it’s been around a lot longer, and broader. At least since 2015, and the media coverage (if you can even call it that) of Donald Trump, his campaign and his presidency. I have no special sympathy for Trump (though some people doubt that), but that episode, and the “coverage” of it, did wake me up -even more- to how the media -and US “intelligence”, and Trump’s various opponents- influenced the way they wanted people to think.

And perhaps the best way to illustrate this is the “heroes” they have been promoting ever since. It’s not just Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden during the “Trump days”, this model is still used to date. They make people like, and thereby trust, certain characters, and we’re off to the races. One thing that sticks out is how in the cases of Trump-Russia, Covid, and Ukraine-Russia, there are these personae that were getting adorned with celebratory candles and stuff like that.

The first person we saw that with was Robert Mueller. He did a 2-year “investigation”, which resulted in absolutely nothing -other than some vague allegations he had no proof of either-, and which he should have halted at least a year before he did, something nobody ever called him on. At his “closing” testimony he even claimed he had never heard of Fusion GPS, one of the key components in his own “investigation”, so we wondered if he ever had any control of this probe, or if it were perhaps Andrew Weizmann and the other 40-odd lawyers, paid god knows how many millions, and had god knows what other resources.

Robert Mueller turned out to be an utter disgrace to the whole nation, and he was never called on it. Nor was anyone else involved in the Steele Dossier, or any of the other false papers in the Trump persecution. This is a pattern. And you cannot and will not have a healthy country if these things do not happen, if the invented out of whole cloth falsehoods can be swept under the carpet. The complicity of US intelligence, moreover, means that nobody will ever know. They won’t investigate themselves. Or the Democratic party that ran the whole thing. Here is Mueller on July 24, 2019. Watch and weep.

 

 

Another main character in the Trump era was Adam Schiff, who repeated numerous times that he had “ample evidence” of collusion between Russia and Trump. But who, like Mueller, never showed one single shred of evidence for it. And now Schiff is back in the January 6 committee. Look, the guy lied in Congress and the Senate, so many times he would put Pinokkio to shame, but he’s still a Congressman, and he gets to do it all over again. You cannot have a functioning society, or political system, if people get away with lying incessantly, and there’s no penalty for that.

But still, here we go again. Legal expert Jonathan Turley noticed the exact same thing:

Schiff: House Select Committee Has Evidence That Trump “Engaged in Likely Multiple Criminal Acts”

Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) went on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight” to tout the work of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6th riot. In that interview, Schiff declared that the Committee has enough evidence showing former President Donald Trump “engaged in likely multiple criminal acts.” While vague on the specific crimes, Schiff emphasized that the Justice Department did not have to wait any further to launch a criminal investigation based on what has already been disclosed.


While the Committee has disclosed new evidence in the form of videotapes and testimony, it has not presented new material evidence of criminal acts in my view. That could still come but the first two hearings largely focused on a “conspiracy” to challenge the election certification and allegations that Trump knew the there was no compelling evidence of widespread election fraud.

 

 

And from the Trump investigation disgrace for America, we moved on seamlessly to Covid. Another bizarre freak show, and another media-appointed hero for whom candles were dedicated and burned: Anthony Fauci. We’re two years and change after Fauci caught the limelight, and we now know nothing, absolutely nothing, he said was true. Face masks don’t work, they instead risk making people sicker, if anything; lockdowns: same thing, and the vaccine injuries have only just started. Saw the first study today that says unvaccinated people have less risk of severe Covid, which is the 180º opposite of the last alleged positive effect the jabs were supposed to bring. Game over.

What an insane story. But Fauci, and the FDA, and all these “experts”, are preparing to jab babies. Which puts them at great risk, who have no risk from Covid . Because it puts their immune systems in danger. For life. For Pfizer and Moderna profits. How many people were killed by lockdowns? How many by vaccines? We will never know. Your grandchildren are not going to believe you allowed it to happen. But yeah, go burn a candle for Tony. And for all his brethren in all other countries. They will try again this fall. Based on no other “proof” than that provided by Pfizer. Clown world. Latest EU vaccine deaths number is 44,348. That Eudra Vigilance number, like the US VAERS system, catches maybe 1 in 10 adverse effects. If that. But we saved so many lives! No, you did not. You were killing people, under coercion, all along. For money.

 

 

Today, then, we have the Russian Special Military Operation, totally unprovoked, unless you ask Pope Francis I. And again, the media present you with a hero for whom, again, celebratory candles are consecrated. And y’all fall for it again: Vlod Zelensky. Who’s doing the most elaborate PR campaign we’ve ever seen, dozens of media appearances per day, while hundreds of his people are dying daily in a “war” effort that has zero chance of succeeding.

Sending him more weapons will only mean killing more of his people, but that doesn’t appear to be his main concern, does it? How strange! Zelensky is the alleged -but not actual- leader of one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and certainly the no. 1 in the “west”. But he provides the western arms industries with a theater in which they can test their new weapons, while at the same time raking in huge profits for old and new systems. And as the only casualties are Ukrainians and Russians, but no Americans or Germans, Raytheon and Boeing couldn’t have asked for a better set-up.

And do remember that Zelensky has also claimed that the Russians want to eradicate the entire Ukrainian population, obliterate their whole culture, kill as many Ukrainians as they can, and that Russians kill Ukrainians just for fun. Among many other things. While the reality is that Russia has sacrificed the lives of many of its soldiers in order to prevent many more Ukrainian deaths. Russia could have taken Ukraine much faster than they have without that. That is, the consideration that they are brotherly people. But that reality does not fit the west’s picture.

We are a utterly sick culture, and we don’t have much time left to wake up from that and repair it. Our real heroes have been silenced, banned, imprisoned or murdered. We will not be able to live like this much longer.

 

 

 

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