Aug 132022
 
 August 13, 2022  Posted by at 9:04 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Edward Hopper The “Martha McKeen” of Wellfleet 1944

 

Trump Describes Process Of How He Declassified Documents (JTN)
Ratcliffe On Classified Documents: ‘Virtually Impossible To Prosecute’ (WE)
Trump Prosecution Unleashes More Than Our Political System Can Handle (Mises)
Gestapo the Steal (Jim Kunstler)
Marjorie Taylor Greene Files For Impeachment Of Merrick Garland (JTN)
FBI, RIP? (Victor Davis Hanson)
Berlin Names Candidate To Negotiate With Moscow (RT)
German ex-Chancellor Sues Parliament (RT)
Why Germany Won’t Get Tough On Beijing – Even If It Invades Taiwan (Pol.eu)
Germany At Risk Of Mass Unrest – Security Official (RT)
EU In For Another Winter Shock – Reuters (RT)
Most German Howitzers In Ukraine Out Of Order – Official (RT)
Wall Street Is Mostly to Blame for Rising Commodity Prices (Jacobin)
Biden’s Paxlovid Nightmare Exposes the Need to Make Doctors Great Again (Cap.)

 

 

 

 

Spanish Farmers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dutch farmer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1557990961329983488

 

 


@HunterDeRensis: “The thing I love about this 1972 George McGovern pin is that fifty years later no modern Democrat would dare replicate it.”

 

 

Interesting opinions DeSantis

 

 

 

 

“He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence were deemed to be declassified..”

Trump Describes Process Of How He Declassified Documents (JTN)

Donald Trump’s office told Just the News on Friday that the classified materials the FBI seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate were declassified under a “standing order” while he was president that allowed him to take sensitive materials to the White House residence at night to keep working. The official statement is likely to become the focus of the president’s legal defense as the FBI and Biden Justice Department investigate whether he stole records covered under the Presidential Records Act or mishandled classified materials under the Espionage Act, allegations included in a search warrant released by a federal court in Florida on Friday.

The president’s defense is rooted in the legal principal that the president and vice president are the ultimate declassifying authority of the U.S. government and through executive orders most recently issued in 2003 by George W. Bush and Barack Obama in 2009 that specifically exempt the president and vice president from having to follow the stringent declassification procedures every other federal agency and official must follow. Trump has maintained for weeks that any documents still containing classified markings in his possession after he left office were previously declassified. On Friday night, the statement issued to Just the News explained exactly how that declassification occurred in his mind.

The very fact that these documents were present at Mar-a-Lago means they couldn’t have been classified,” the former president’s office stated. “As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different. President Trump, in order to prepare for work the next day, often took documents including classified documents from the Oval Office to the residence. “He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence were deemed to be declassified,” the statement added. “The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States. The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat, with classification authority delegated BY THE PRESIDENT, needs to approve of declassification is absurd.”

Kash Patel: Documents were already declassified

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There will be 100 cases vs Trump. Just to make sure he’s occupied.

Ratcliffe On Classified Documents: ‘Virtually Impossible To Prosecute’ (WE)

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe argued that it is “virtually impossible” to prosecute his onetime boss, former President Donald Trump, for alleged mishandling of classified material. While chiding the FBI for “acting as the muscle” of the Democrats, the Trump-era spy chief hearkened back to Hillary Clinton’s email situation and surmised that Trump possessed the “ultimate declassification authority,” shielding him from liability. “I thought, surely this is not about classified documents and the president being in possession of those. It has to be more than that because the Department of Justice and the FBI have already set a standard that makes it virtually impossible to prosecute a case like that,” Ratcliffe told Fox Business’s Larry Kudlow, who is another former Trump administration official.

Although no president has ever been prosecuted for mishandling classified material, some experts dispute the notion that one could suddenly deem something declassified and argue that the president must instead follow a formal process. “I’ve seen thousands of declassified documents. They’re all marked ‘declassified’ with the date they were declassified,” Richard Immerman, assistant deputy director of national intelligence in the Obama administration, told NBC News. During a Monday raid, FBI agents carried out a search warrant of Trump’s lavish Mar-a-Lago resort and reportedly retrieved some 20 boxes of material while seeking documents with details about nuclear weapons.

A warrant released to the public Friday revealed that authorities were looking for material retained in violation of three federal laws, including the Espionage Act. “As people talk about Espionage Act and classified documents and all of that, the standard was set in 2016. Remember the Department of Justice and the FBI took the official position that Hillary Clinton, who was in possession of classified documents … that in possession of that — that wasn’t enough and that being grossly negligent … that’s not enough under the Espionage Act,” Ratcliffe continued. “The Department of Justice and FBI said six years ago, you gotta be able to prove intent. He’s already denied that he had the intent to do it,” he added.

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“..if they file criminal charges against Trump, they know they will be unleashing a mix of anger and political forces that they cannot control.”

Trump Prosecution Unleashes More Than Our Political System Can Handle (Mises)

With the recent FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Florida home, the Democrats and the Biden administration have raised the political stakes to a level from which this country as we have known it may never return. All one can say to those that are demanding a criminal prosecution of the former president is: Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it. Although the raid ostensibly was to see if Trump took classified documents from the White House when he left in a chaotic move in January 2021, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy believes the Biden administration was again attempting to find that proverbial “smoking gun” tying Trump to the January 6 Capitol riot. Whether or not Attorney General Merrick Garland is able to grab the brass ring and prosecute Trump after yet one more fishing expedition is another story, although I doubt that any president has seen as many resources used to investigate him as has Donald Trump, but the Department of Justice has not filed charges yet.

Understand that anyone reading this article has committed a federal crime at some point, perhaps more than once. I adopted four children from overseas, and while I was not involved in the details (done through legitimate and registered adoption agencies), I can be held criminally responsible if anyone paid bribes in the countries where the adoptions took place. Even if investigators could not prove someone paid bribes, they could still charge me with a crime on a mere pretext. And the charges would stick, and most likely a federal jury would vote to convict. Remember that Democrats wanted Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two children from Haiti investigated. While the demands were overtly political, it was clear that the Democrats believed in using criminal law to achieve political purposes in her case, but using the law that way hardly is limited to operatives of the Democratic Party.

Anyone who has Democrat friends on social media knows that they are obsessed with having Trump charged, convicted, and thrown in prison. Because I spent many years researching and writing about federal criminal law, I can say that if federal authorities wish to charge someone with a crime, nothing, not even the law itself, stands in their way. So, if the Biden administration really wants to charge Trump with something, the FBI will have no trouble cooking up something to order. Furthermore, if the DOJ were to charge Trump with something, he would be tried in Washington, DC, facing a jury made up entirely of DC Democrats that almost surely will have decided guilt even before the trial begins. While the feds already know this, they also know something else: if they file criminal charges against Trump, they know they will be unleashing a mix of anger and political forces that they cannot control.

RE-classified
https://twitter.com/i/status/1557837508741832704

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“..the intel-and-surveillance agencies are fighting for their lives — and the actual humans in charge must be keenly aware of their criminal liabilities.”

Gestapo the Steal (Jim Kunstler)

To America’s political Left, serving its masters in the runaway deep state, reality itself must be portrayed as “baseless,” as in nothing to see here, folks. Is it any wonder, then, that half the country has gone mental. The reality they don’t want you to see is that the intel-and-surveillance agencies of our Republic have taken on a rogue life of their own as a dominant “fourth branch of government,” and that some time ago they embarked on a crime spree against anyone threatening their operations. That would include especially target number one: Donald Trump. For a masterful explication of how this amazing clusterfuck developed, I commend you to The Conservative Treehouse website where the writer who styles himself as “Sundance” put together a four-part report on how the original sin of RussiaGate metastasized into the stage-four cancer of institutional necrosis that culminated in this week’s raid on Mar-a-Lago.

The gist is: it turns out that the president does not have sole authority, in practice, to declassify and release government documents. With the rise of the security state, many new procedures have been erected within that massive labyrinth to prevent it or slow-walk it. The most effective has been to make the president himself a target of, or a material witness in, drawn-out investigations. That was the exact purpose of the Mueller exercise. Any exculpatory documents released by Mr. Trump — for instance, the complete unredacted text exchanges of FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — could have been used to hang an obstruction of justice charge on the president.

Mr. Trump adroitly avoided that trap, and many other legal pitfalls the deep state laid for him, and might have won reelection but for the well-organized ballot fraud of 2020. But the epic blunders of “Joe Biden” are giving Mr. Trump, and the movement behind him, a pretty good shot at routing the incumbent regime. Doing so, first in the 2022 midterms and then in the 2024 presidential election, portends a now quite visible effort coming to dismantle that reckless, unelected “fourth branch” of government. So, the intel-and-surveillance agencies are fighting for their lives — and the actual humans in charge must be keenly aware of their criminal liabilities.

Despite all attempts to disable him in office, Mr. Trump, as president, got to see an awful lot of classified material, including all the evidence of Hillary Clinton’s Russia Collusion hoax, abetted by the FBI, the DOJ, CIA, and DOD, plus all the lawless shenanigans that took place in the FISA court. A lot of it was assembled when, late in the game, Mr. Trump was finally able to appoint Directors of National Intelligence he could trust — Ric Grenell and then John Ratcliffe — who wrested many documents out of the foot-dragging agencies. Further maneuvers by artful Attorney General William Barr — the appointment of John Durham as Special Counsel and his drawn-out investigations — kept Mr. Trump from releasing any declassified RussiaGate material ever since. The catch was: he still had bales of that evidence in his possession among the personal papers he took with him from the White House.

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Someone has to.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Files For Impeachment Of Merrick Garland (JTN)

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Friday announced that she had filed articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland following the FBI’s Monday raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Greene posted the articles on Twitter, saying that Garland’s “personal approval to seek a search warrant for the raid on the home of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, constitutes a blatant attempt to persecute a political opponent.” FBI agents from the Washington Field Office on Monday raided Trump’s Florida estate in search of classified documents the former president may have removed from the White House. After Republicans near-unanimously denounced the FBI’s actions as political persecution, Garland issued a statement confirming that he had personally approved the raid.


Greene claims that the attorney general’s unsealing of “the search warrant for the home of former President Donald J. Trump constitutes an attempt to intimidate, harass, and potentially disqualify a political challenger to President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.” Trump, however, announced early Friday morning that he would support the release of the warrant to the public. “Release the documents now!” he posted on his social media platform, Truth Social. Former President Barack Obama nominated Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, though then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked his confirmation, instead waiting until Trump took office to confirm his nominee, now-Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.

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“On 245 occasions, Comey claimed under oath before the House Intelligence Committee that he had no memory or knowledge of key questions concerning his tenure.”

FBI, RIP? (Victor Davis Hanson)

Wray took over from disgraced interim FBI Director Andrew McCabe. The latter admitted lying repeatedly to federal investigators and signed off on a fraudulent FBI FISA application. He faced zero legal consequences. McCabe, remember, was also the point man in the softball Hillary Clinton email investigation — while his wife was a political candidate and recipient of thousands of dollars from a political action committee with close ties to the Clinton family. McCabe took over from disgraced FBI Director James Comey. On 245 occasions, Comey claimed under oath before the House Intelligence Committee that he had no memory or knowledge of key questions concerning his tenure. With impunity, he leaked confidential FBI memos to the media.

Comey took over from Director Robert Mueller. Implausibly, Mueller swore under oath that he had no knowledge, either of the Steele dossier or of Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned Christopher Steele to compile the dossier. But those were the very twin catalysts that had prompted his entire special investigation into the Russian collusion hoax. FBI legal counsel Kevin Clinesmith was convicted of a felony for altering an FBI warrant request to spy on an innocent Carter Page. The FBI, by Comey’s own public boasts, bragged how it caught National Security Advisor-designate General Michael Flynn in its Crossfire Hurricane Russian collusion hoax. As special counsel, Mueller then fired two of his top investigators — Lisa Page and Peter Strzok — for improper personal and professional behavior. He then staggered their releases to mask their collaborative wrongdoing. Mueller’s team deleted critical cell phone evidence under subpoena that might well have revealed systemic FBI-related bias.


The FBI interferes with and warps national elections. It hires complete frauds as informants who are far worse than its targets. It humiliates or exempts government and elected officials based on their politics. It violates the civil liberties of individual American citizens. The FBI’s highest officials now routinely mislead Congress. They have erased or altered court and subpoenaed evidence. They illegally leak confidential material to the media. And they have lied under oath to federal investigators. The agency has become dangerous to Americans and an existential threat to their democracy and rule of law. The FBI should be dispersing its investigatory responsibilities to other government investigative agencies that have not yet lost the public’s trust.

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That’s what I said recently: Schroeder is the ideal guy to make peace. “..last month the former chancellor made it clear that he would still use every opportunity to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the “diplomatic solution,” in his opinion, is the only way to end the Ukrainian conflict…”

Berlin Names Candidate To Negotiate With Moscow (RT)

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroder could be a possible intermediary in the current dispute with Russia over reduced gas deliveries, incumbent chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday. It would be “commendable” if Schroder were to talk to Moscow about the turbine that is currently in Germany, Scholz said, speaking at his first summer press conference since entering office last year. According to Scholz, the return of the equipment vital for the functioning of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would prompt Russia to restart gas supplies via this route as soon as possible. The turbine has been embroiled in a major dispute between Russia and Germany, after having undergone maintenance in Canada. The equipment was meant to be shipped to the compressor station at the pipeline in Russia back in May, so that the gas flow to the EU could be maintained at full capacity.


However, its return was first delayed by Canada due to the country’s sanctions on Moscow. Now it is stuck in Germany because it lacks proper documentation, according to Russia’s Gazprom. The Russian state-run energy giant has been insisting that Western sanctions are hindering the return of the turbine from Germany and threaten future equipment repair at the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The firm said that the paperwork for the turbine’s return is not in order as it was issued by Siemens Energy and not the firm that is contracted by Gazprom. Schroder, who was Germany’s chancellor between 1998 and 2005, has been repeatedly criticized for his business ties to Russian state-owned energy companies. In May, the former chancellor was forced to leave the supervisory board of the Russian energy giant Rosneft and turn down a nomination for a supervisory-board position at Gazprom. In late July, Schroder met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has also urged the German government to reconsider its position on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Stop
https://twitter.com/i/status/1558229618389303298

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He was German Chancellor for years, like Merkel, and now they want to deny him an office in Berlin. It’s not just the US that’s gone berserk.

He lives in both worlds. Invaluable. “Amid pressure over his ties with Russia, Schroeder stepped down from his position on the board of Russian oil giant Rosneft and declined a nomination for a position on Gazprom’s board.”

German ex-Chancellor Sues Parliament (RT)

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has launched a legal bid to get back funding for his office and staff. The privileges were withdrawn in May by the Bundestag’s budget committee, his lawyers told broadcaster NDR on Friday. Since the launch of Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine, Schroeder has been fiercely criticized for his work with Russia. His perceived close relationship to Moscow, however, was not mentioned by the budget committee when it passed the motion to strip him of some privileges. Officially, the new rule, which can be applied to other former chancellors, states that funding will be based “on the ongoing obligations from the office” rather than on the status of the recipient. Schroeder’s lawyers filed a lawsuit on Thursday with the Berlin Administrative Court arguing that “the decision to deprive former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of his staffing is contrary to the rule of law.”

In an interview with NDR, one of the legal team stressed that Schroeder was not even given a chance to present his arguments to the committee or to talk to its chairman Helge Braun. This represents “a clear violation of human dignity,” the lawyer said. In a statement, sent to the DPA news agency, the legal team further explained that the Bundestag committee had claimed that Schroeder no longer takes care of the so-called “after-effects of official duties.” “However, it is not specified what ‘after-effects of official duties’ actually are, how their perception or non-perception is to be determined and what procedure is to be followed,” the statement read. Such decisions are reminiscent of an “absolutist princely state” and should not take place in a democratic country, the lawyers emphasized.

Last year, Schroeder’s office and travel expenses amounted to more than €400,000 ($412,000). The 78-year-old continues to receive a pension of €8,300 as well as personal security protection. Earlier this week, Schroeder, who was chancellor from 1998 to 2005, scored an important victory: The Hanover arbitration commission of the Social Democratic party ruled that his work with Russian state-owned companies had not violated its charter, and he avoided expulsion from the party. However, Lower Saxony’s SPD leader Stephan Weil told media that while the commission’s decision should be respected, it does not change the party’s stance. “For us it is clear: Gerhard Schroder is politically isolated with his positions in the SPD,” Weil claimed. [..] last month the former chancellor made it clear that he would still use every opportunity to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the “diplomatic solution,” in his opinion, is the only way to end the Ukrainian conflict.

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“..China has overtaken the U.S. to become Germany’s biggest trading partner..”

Why Germany Won’t Get Tough On Beijing – Even If It Invades Taiwan (Pol.eu)

Germany’s Wagnerian foreign policy spectacle is moving east. Spoiler alert: It’s even worse than the original. For months, Berlin has frustrated (read enraged) many allies with its one step forward, two steps back approach to confronting Russia over Ukraine. Yet that tortured episode is looking like little more than an overture to what’s brewing in Asia, as tensions over Taiwan force Berlin to weigh how it would respond if Beijing tries to seize the island nation, which China considers a breakaway region. If that happens, the U.S. and other Western allies would push for tough sanctions against China. Germany is unlikely to be among them, a course that could protect its export-driven economy, but damage both its own and Europe’s international credibility.

Asked Thursday whether Germany could afford to support sanctions in the event of a Chinese invasion, Chancellor Olaf Scholz dodged the question, while reprimanding German industry for ignoring the maxim “to not put all your eggs in one basket.” “The question of our country’s dependence in crucial areas concerning supply chains, raw materials and other things is a necessary element of our national security strategy, which we’re working on at the moment,” he added, without mentioning China by name. Others have been more direct. German industry’s reliance on exports has “created a dependency that leaves us helpless,” Norbert Röttgen, a prominent center-right MP, told German television earlier this week. Could Germany back sanctions against China?

“At the moment, not really,” said Röttgen, a former minister and longtime chairman of the German parliament’s foreign policy committee. While the debate is in many respects a redux of Germany’s manic handwringing over whether and how to confront Russia over Ukraine, this time even more is at stake. Germany’s big concern over antagonizing Moscow was losing access to cheap energy. With Beijing, it’s about losing the foundation of its economic prosperity. In recent years, China has overtaken the U.S. to become Germany’s biggest trading partner, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the country’s €2.6 trillion in foreign trade last year. What’s more, China, which has propelled the German economy for decades, remains a key growth driver. That’s why reducing German industry’s reliance on the country is easier said than done.

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“gas shortages, energy problems, supply difficulties, possible recession, unemployment, but also the growing poverty right up to the middle class.”

Germany At Risk Of Mass Unrest – Security Official (RT)

Germany could be facing mass unrest this autumn and protests over the energy crisis could be hijacked by extremists, a regional head of the country’s domestic security agency has said. Stephan Kramer, who heads the BfV in the state of Thuringia, said Germany must be prepared for the possibility that “legitimate” protests over energy and economic crises could be “infiltrated by extremists.” He told ZDF broadcaster on Wednesday that demonstrations could be expected over “gas shortages, energy problems, supply difficulties, possible recession, unemployment, but also the growing poverty right up to the middle class.”

“Extremists” who could hijack the protests include the so-called “lateral thinkers” who rallied against coronavirus restrictions during the pandemic, and right-wing activists who have already been stirring the mood on social media in recent months, Kramer said. If such scenarios materialize, “we’re likely to be confronted with mass protests and riots,” the official warned. Due to Covid-19 and the economic fallout from EU sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, “we’re dealing with a highly emotionalized, aggressive, future-pessimistic mood in society, whose trust in the state, its institutions and political actors is fraught with massive doubts,” he explained.

“This highly emotional and explosive mood could easily escalate,” the security chief said, adding that if this happens the clashes seen by Germany during the pandemic will “probably feel more like a children’s birthday party” by comparison. According to the official, effective crisis management and cooperation between political forces on all sides of the spectrum would be required to avoid what he called a “hot autumn.” But the most important factor in avoiding unrest and maintaining social peace should be restoring the confidence of Germans in the authorities, he added. Kramer also advised the people to “think carefully about which protests and demonstrations you join, or better stay away from them altogether, so as not to support the enemies of democracy.”

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“..60% of the region’s seaborne diesel imports originated from Russia last month…”

EU In For Another Winter Shock – Reuters (RT)

The European Union is heading into winter with seasonally low levels of diesel in storage tanks, Reuters reported on Friday, warning of major implications for the continent’s industries and drivers amid looming sanctions on Russian crude oil and refined product supplies. The latest data from Wood Mackenzie shows the region’s stockpiles of road diesel, heating oil and other diesel-type fuel are set to dwindle this November to the lowest levels on record in data that goes back to the start of 2011. According to a Reuters report, current prices trade at a premium to prices for future deliveries, which makes it uneconomical for traders to put diesel into storage and book a profit. “No one in their right mind would put diesel into tanks at those levels,” an unnamed European trader told the outlet.

The situation is deteriorating as the market is already tight due to refinery outages in Austria, which along with Germany and Switzerland is looking to build heating oil stocks ahead of winter. Meanwhile, surging natural gas prices, which are encouraging a switch to oil products for power generation could also tighten the market further, FGE Energy warns. The International Energy Agency on Thursday raised its forecast for oil demand growth for this year by 380,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 2.1 million bpd citing the gas-to-oil switch. Reuters pointed out, citing data from energy analytics firm Vortexa, that Europe continues to rely heavily on Russia to satisfy its diesel demand. Statistics show that 60% of the region’s seaborne diesel imports originated from Russia last month.

And with no evidence that companies are stockpiling ahead of sanctions, “traders expect Europe to be in for a winter shock,” the media outlet wrote. It quoted another European trader as saying “Who knows what is going to happen [at the] back end of this year, early next – looks like it will be carnage for a bit.” The European Union plans to stop buying all seaborne Russian crude oil from early December and will ban all refined products from the country two months later.

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Black Hole.

Most German Howitzers In Ukraine Out Of Order – Official (RT)

Most German PzH 2000 howitzers that have been supplied to Ukraine by the West have already broken down and are in need of repair, according to German Bundestag member Marcus Faber, who recently visited Ukraine. In a Wednesday interview with the German news outlet NTV, the politician claimed he was surprised to learn from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense that only five of the 15 German-made PzH 2000 howitzers supplied to Ukraine by Berlin and Amsterdam were still operational. He added that the cause of the failures was not Russian fire, but the fact that the guns were “massively used” by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. While Kiev has yet to officially confirm Faber’s statements, it was reported last month by Der Spiegel that Ukraine had informed Germany that a number of PzH 2000 howitzers were malfunctioning after extensive use.

According to the outlet, the German Ministry of Defense believed the issues may have resulted from high intensity firing, which may have impacted the artillery round loading mechanism. Der Spiegel said 100 shots a day was considered a “high level of shooting intensity” for the howitzer. Faber also stated that Kiev had requested more spare parts for the weapons and was “optimistic” that it could bring the howitzers back into working order. He noted that while Germany had already supplied Ukraine with spare parts packages, not all of them were “the right ones.” He pointed out that spare parts were not always enough and that larger repairs required special workshops, meaning the Ukrainians could only carry out minor repairs themselves.

According to Faber, Kiev has already requested help in building their own repair facilities in order to avoid having to send the howitzers out of the country for maintenance. Germany has so far supplied Kiev with ten PzH 2000 howitzers while another five were provided by the Netherlands, who have promised another three. Meanwhile, German arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann struck a deal with the Ukrainian government in late July that would see the firm produce and supply Kiev with some 100 PzH 2000 howitzers, according to a Der Spiegel report. A company spokesperson was quoted as stating that the arms deal was worth $1.72 billion – almost triple the cost of all military aid Berlin has sent to Kiev’s forces since Russia launched its military operation in late February.

However, Faber has pointed out that these 100 howitzers will not be delivered to Ukraine before the end of next year and has called on Berlin to send Kiev weapons out of its own reserves, which could then be replenished by Ukrainian order. Germany has previously supplied Ukrainian forces with thousands of portable anti-tank and anti-air missiles, tens of thousands of anti-tank mines, as well as millions of rounds of ammunition. However, Kiev and even the former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany have still criticized Berlin for what they called reluctance to send military aid to Ukraine and the slow pace of deliveries. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against sending weapons to Kiev, saying it only prolongs the conflict and increases the number of casualties.

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“..their Black Sea exports make up just 0.9 percent of global wheat production..”

Wall Street Is Mostly to Blame for Rising Commodity Prices (Jacobin)

On July 5, the markets admitted they made a mistake. Despite betting for months that the war in Ukraine would produce a global shortage of wheat, speculators now believe that the hostilities will have had no meaningful impact on supply. That’s why the news that Russia will allow Ukraine’s Black Sea wheat exports to resume has barely registered. By the time that the belligerents came to this agreement on July 21, prices had already been “corrected” sharply downward to prewar levels. Then on August 4, oil prices also sank below their prewar price, marking a second admission by the market. Right now, just as much oil flows into the veins of the global economy as it did before the war began. The Kremlin’s war did not create a Malthusian nightmare of too little food and fuel for too many people.

But financial speculators in Wall Street and the City of London bet that it would, causing global prices to boom — and now bust. This speculation led to months of eye-watering prices based not on economic fundamentals but perception. Soaring food and fuel prices pushed 71 million of the world’s most vulnerable people into extreme poverty. The high prices triggered protests in Argentina, Chile, Cyprus, Greece, Guinea, Ghana, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Lebanon, Palestine, Peru, Sudan, and Tunisia. In Sri Lanka, the prices sparked protests, toppled the prime minister, created a debt crisis, and last week deposed the president. Commodity driven inflation also hit the United States, hammered Joe Biden’s approval ratings, and despite now falling gas prices may have already condemned the Democrats to humiliating defeats in the coming midterms.

Why did the markets get it so wrong? As the Nobel laureate Robert Shiller has shown, behind every price move there is a narrative. In the weeks following the war’s outbreak, headlines issued dire warnings of crippling sanctions, embargoed oil, stranded wheat rotting in silos, blocked Russian ports, and Black Sea blockades. All of these stories were, in a literal sense, true. But the question is whether these “facts” justified the skyrocketing prices that followed. The verdict, based on the most recent market correction, is a firm no. This is not just a function of hindsight. For one, even oil embargos with broad international support fail to stop barrels crossing borders, let alone the lopsided and loophole-ridden effort from the United States and Europe to limit Russian exports.

Warnings of a coming global food crisis assumed that Russia and Ukraine’s wheat exports — 25 percent of the global total — would be stranded forever. But physical commodity traders are remarkably resilient at overcoming barriers — be they war zones, tariffs, the Drug Enforcement Administration, or pirates. Russians and Ukrainians alike stood to profit greatly from getting siloed grain to global markets since prices at the start of the year were already elevated. It’s no surprise that they did indeed find ways to do so: by reviving river routes, using Romanian ports, and smuggling stolen grain. Even if none of their combined grain left, their Black Sea exports make up just 0.9 percent of global wheat production, and grain stockpiles were already rising across the world in March as farmers had expanded production in 2021.

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“..today, while giving a speech on the White House South Lawn, he couldn’t stop coughing for minutes at a time..”

Biden’s Paxlovid Nightmare Exposes the Need to Make Doctors Great Again (Cap.)

President Biden, said by his doctor to be a “healthy, vigorous” seventy-nine-year-old man, finally left White House quarantine yesterday for Delaware, declared free of the covid-19 virus and re-joining his wife after a nightmarish 19-day covid ordeal. But today, while giving a speech on the White House South Lawn, he couldn’t stop coughing for minutes at a time, though his doctors declared him this morning free of the virus. Don’t say I didn’t warn you: You are about to enter Clown World. Coughing, fatigue, a sore throat, runny nose, and body aches dogged the president after his July 21 positive covid test. He was given Paxlovid, the absurdly flawed but highly profitable Pfizer drug approved by his administration for treatment of mild covid cases.


Biden was reported cleared of the virus, then suffered a rebound infection July 30 known, along with many perilous drug interactions, to be associated with Paxlovid. Dr. Robert Malone and other scientists speculated that in fact the virus never left the president’s body but kept dangerously mutating, “truly the worst case scenario for a single mechanism of action drug used as a therapy against COVID-19.” Dangerous for us all. Meanwhile, one of my good friends, an eighty-four-year-old man with heart disease and diabetes, came down with covid last week. He took a .4 mg/kg dose of ivermectin according to the world-renowned FLCCC.net covid treatment protocol, and was completely free of symptoms in two hours. His wife took the recommended prevention dose of .2 mg/kg and never got sick. To protect others, my friend stayed home for a few symptom-free days (still enjoying the company of his wife, unlike Joe), then happily walked four miles in the heat with friends yesterday. Yes, Clown World means in all likelihood you and your friends are better covid doctors than the president’s doctor.

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Perfecto
https://twitter.com/i/status/1558229770059632642

 

 

 

 

London 1924

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 042022
 


Wooden statue of priest and scribe Ka-aper Egypt, ca. 2465-2323 BC (originally plastered and painted )

 

Siemens Explains Russian Gas Supply Shortfall (RT)
Gazprom Warns It Can’t Accept Key Turbine (RT)
German Artillery Donated To Ukraine Failing After Just Weeks Of Use (RMX)
Russia Ready For Peace On Own Terms – Kremlin (RT)
German Ex-Chancellor Offers Solution To EU Energy Crisis (RT)
US Is ‘Directly Involved’ in Ukraine War – Russia (Antiwar)
Russia Accuses Ukraine Of Mistreating POWs (RT)
National Crisis Team To Distribute Scarce Dutch Water (NOS)
DOJ Subpoenas Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone (Hill)
DOD ‘Wiped’ Phones of Senior Trump Officials, Jan. 6 Communications (ET)
Elites Prepare To Drop Hunter Biden in a “Controlled Demolition” (Turley)
German Mask Mandates for Those Who Refuse A 4th Dose in the Fall (Eugyp)

 

 

 

 

Eva

 

 

 

 

Doocy

 

 

 

 

Ali

 

 

 

 

Still want to blamePutin?

“Only one turbine is currently operational at the facility, [..] while five turbines are needed for the natural gas pipeline to pump at 100% capacity.”

Siemens Explains Russian Gas Supply Shortfall (RT)

The compressor station at the starting point of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany is severely short of functioning equipment, according to turbine manufacturer Siemens Energy. Only one turbine is currently operational at the facility, Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch said on Wednesday, while five turbines are needed for the natural gas pipeline to pump at 100% capacity. Bruch’s comments come after the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited a Siemens Energy site in north-western Germany, where the firm is keeping a turbine that was due to be returned to Russia after repairs in Canada. “It is in our best interest, with support from the German government, to return this turbine to Russia,” Bruch said. In recent weeks the flow of gas to the EU via Nord Stream 1 was reduced to roughly one fifth of capacity, following a delay in the return of the first Siemens turbine and the shutdown of a second one, which is due for an overhaul.

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“..several engines at the compressor station are currently idle due to emergency failures, since Siemens has not repaired them..”

Gazprom Warns It Can’t Accept Key Turbine (RT)

Western sanctions make it impossible to properly return a turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, Russian energy giant Gazprom claimed on Wednesday. The missing equipment has been the key reason for supply cuts. Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch earlier said that the German company had fulfilled all conditions for sending the repaired turbine back to Russia. According to Bruch, the company is “extremely interested” in advancing the process and blamed missing documents from the Russian side for the delay. “The sanctions regimes of Canada, the EU, the UK and the inconsistency of the current situation with the current contractual obligations on the part of Siemens make the delivery of the 073 engine to the Portovaya [compressor station] impossible,” Gazprom said on Wednesday.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited the Siemens plant in Mülheim an der Ruhr on Tuesday and inspected the Nord Stream turbine located there. According to Scholz, the turbine is ready for operation and could be sent to Russia. In mid-June, Gazprom reduced gas supplies via Nord Stream to 40%, as the German-based Siemens had not returned the turbine in time after repairs in Canada, due to the sanctions. At Berlin’s urging, Canada agreed to send the equipment to Germany, and then on to Russia. On July 25, Gazprom confirmed that it had received documents for the turbine from Siemens. On July 27, Russian gas supplies to Europe via Nord Stream dropped to 20% of their maximum level, due to Gazprom decommissioning another gas turbine engine at the Portovaya compressor station.

Vitaly Markelov, deputy head of Gazprom, said that Siemens was not fulfilling its obligations to repair faulty engines for Nord Stream. According to Markelov, several engines at the compressor station are currently idle due to emergency failures, since Siemens has not repaired them. On July 29, Markelov said that the delivery of the turbine from Canada to Germany, instead of Russia, did not comply with the contract. In addition, he said that Gazprom has not received from Siemens a complete package of documents that allow the transportation and repair of engines for the gas pipeline.

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These are not made by Siemens.

German Artillery Donated To Ukraine Failing After Just Weeks Of Use (RMX)

Barely a month since their delivery, the first German armored self-propelled guns have already ceased service in Ukraine, according to a report by German newspaper Der Spiegel. The German Ministry of Defense was informed by Kyiv last week that an error message appeared on the cannons and that several of them needed to be repaired. According to the Bundeswehr, the reason behind the malfunction may be that the Ukrainians are firing the guns more intensively than the technology is capable of. This means that the stress on the loading systems may be too high. Another problem could be that the soldiers reportedly fire the units from too far away with the special ammunition; the smart grenades used by these cannons were meant for shorter-range, precision hits.


The Bundeswehr explained that misuse of the weapons could have contributed to a more accelerated wear and tear. Despite the problems, however, they agreed to supply Ukraine with additional weapons packages. At the same time, the arming of Ukraine by the West raises several problems. The unlimited flow of weapons can see arms easily end up on the black market or lost. Several European countries have already warned that weapons have on occasion been redirected to other nations. The authorities in Sweden, for example, revealed that anti-tank weapons have already appeared in the circles of criminal gangs in Sweden. Meanwhile, security policy expert Robert C. Castel drew attention to the fact that Western weapon systems — the Javelin anti-tank missile and the Stinger anti-aircraft missile — can be used against civilian and industrial targets as well as military ones. According to him, it is only a matter of time before these weapons deliveries have unintended consequences. These weapons could still be lurking somewhere in Europe for many decades, as the modern equivalent of mines and air bombs left over from the World Wars, he added.

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“..the Ukrainian side is well-aware of our terms. One way or another, they will be fulfilled..”

Russia Ready For Peace On Own Terms – Kremlin (RT)

Ukraine can end the ongoing conflict at any time by conceding to Russia’s conditions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. “Russia is ready [for a peace deal], the Ukrainian side is well-aware of our terms. One way or another, they will be fulfilled,” the official told journalists. Peskov went on to explain that back in late March the two countries were close to settling their differences in a way that was acceptable to Russia, but the draft agreement prepared during a meeting in Istanbul was torpedoed by the Ukrainian side.


Kiev broke off talks with Moscow after accusing Russia of committing war crimes, an allegation that Russia said was based on fabricated evidence. The Ukrainian leadership has since insisted that negotiations can only be resumed after Russia is defeated on the battlefield with the help of Western weapons. Dmitry Peskov also commented on the recent visit to Moscow by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who, the Kremlin spokesman confirmed, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Despite media speculation that the former German leader could serve as a mediator in the Ukraine conflict, the 78-year-old “expressed no desire” to do so, Peskov said.

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Schroeder is still on Gazprom’s board. He is the chairman of the board of Nord Stream AG and of Rosneft. Ideal mediator for peace.

German Ex-Chancellor Offers Solution To EU Energy Crisis (RT)

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has offered “the simplest solution” to Europe’s current energy crisis – to switch on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Nord Stream 2 “is ready,” the former chancellor told German magazine Stern in an interview published on Wednesday. “The simplest solution would be to put the Nord Stream 2 pipeline into operation. If things get really tight, there is this pipeline, and with both Nord Stream pipelines there would be no supply problem for German industry and German households.” he said. Otherwise, “you have to bear the consequences. And they will be huge in Germany, too,” Schroeder warned.


The Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, beside the currently operational Nord Stream 1 route. Its construction was completed last September but the pipeline was denied certification by Germany prior to the crisis in Ukraine. The German government has repeatedly said that launching Nord stream 2 now is out of the question. In recent weeks, Russian energy supplier Gazprom reduced the gas flow via Nord Stream 1 to 20% capacity citing technical problems with Siemens turbines at a compressor station. According to Schroeder, the reduction is Siemens’ fault as the company failed to return a turbine from repairs in Canada on time. Ottawa eventually returned the part to Germany, that was held due to sanctions on Russia, after bowing to pressure from Berlin.

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“I can’t tell you whether [we are directly tasking] British and American satellites, but we have very good satellite imagery..”

US Is ‘Directly Involved’ in Ukraine War – Russia (Antiwar)

The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday said Washington was “directly involved” in the war in Ukraine after a Ukrainian official detailed Kyiv’s cooperation with the US before launching strikes with US-provided HIMARS rockets. Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, told The Telegraph that Ukrainian officials consulted with US officials before launching HIMARS strikes and that the US has veto power over the attacks. Skibitsky insisted that the US wasn’t providing “direct targeting information,” but suggested Ukraine was using satellite imagery provided by the US and Britain. “I can’t tell you whether [we are directly tasking] British and American satellites, but we have very good satellite imagery,” Skibitsky said.


Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said that this cooperation “proves that contrary to the assurances by the White House and the Pentagon, Washington is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine.” The comments from the Russian Defense Ministry highlight the danger of the US’s deep involvement in the war, which risks provoking a response from Moscow. Russian officials have cited US military aid as a reason to push further into Ukrainian territory. After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the US expanded intelligence sharing with Ukraine’s forces, and US officials have bragged to the media that this cooperation helped kill Russian generals and sink a Russian warship. Although the claims were not verified, the comments themselves were major provocations toward Moscow.

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Amnesty has also accused Ukraine of using “human shields”.

Russia Accuses Ukraine Of Mistreating POWs (RT)

Moscow has scrupulously observed the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners, while the government of Ukraine has tortured, starved and deprived of medical care the Russian soldiers in its captivity, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Wednesday. The West’s unwillingness to hold Kiev accountable has resulted in violations and outright crimes, Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin told reporters. Russia has taken “painstaking” steps to observe the Geneva Convention on the treatment of POWs, among them holding more than 40 weekly meetings with representatives of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and establishing a medical commission on seriously ill and injured prisoners. So far, 18 such prisoners were sent back to Ukraine, General Fomin said.

There have also been 27 exchanges of POWs and the bodies of dead servicemen, while the ICRC has received more than 1,500 letters home from the Ukrainian prisoners. Detained Ukrainian soldiers can also make phone calls to their families, Fomin said, all in accordance with Article 71 of the convention.Fomin’s press conference came after the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine said it was appalled by a video allegedly showing a Russian soldier castrating a bound and gagged Ukrainian captive. In a statement on Friday, the commission reminded everyone that “torture and summary executions of prisoners of war” are war crimes. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office has launched an investigation into the video, to establish where and when it might have taken place.

The Russian general did not address the video directly. He did, however, say that while Russia has treated its prisoners in full accordance with international law, Ukraine has not. According to a survey of exchanged service members, both Russian and those of the Donbass republics, 81% of the prisoners were subjected to beatings and other physical violence, while 55% were forced to film propaganda videos. Some 46% received no medical care, 79% were given no opportunity to contact relatives, and 19% were given poor or insufficient meals. One detention center, run by the Ukrainian security service SBU in Kiev, gave captives only 50 grams of porridge, a piece of bread and a glass of water a day, while keeping them blindfolded.

Fomin also brought up videos circulating onlineshowing “torture and abuse,” as well as extrajudicial executions and “monstrous acts of violence” against Russian and Donbass POWs. “Ukrainian Nazis” have also attempted to extort the families of captives for ransom, he said. Russia has regularly informed the international humanitarian structures of Ukraine’s behavior, with requests to influence the Kiev government, but to little or no effect, Fomin said. In addition to the mistreatment of prisoners, according to the Russian military, Ukrainian forces have been using civilians as human shields, as well as using Western-supplied weapons and banned ordnance – such as cluster munitions and landmines – to target civilians in the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. The international community has turned a blind eye to these atrocities, Fomin said, allowing them to continue.

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The country is made of water.

National Crisis Team To Distribute Scarce Dutch Water (NOS)

As of today, the national Water Shortage Management Team (MTW) determines how scarce water is distributed in the Netherlands. Due to the ongoing drought, there is now a “de facto water shortage”, says Minister Harbers of Infrastructure and Water Management. At the moment no additional measures are needed to prevent problems, but if the drought continues, they will soon. What exactly those measures entail is still unclear. The situation is now so serious that decisions have to be made that go beyond the regions, water boards and stakeholders. It is the task of the MTW to coordinate this. Rijkswaterstaat, the water boards, drinking water companies, provinces and the ministries involved are represented in the team. In this way, decisions can be taken about measures more quickly and more tailor-made, says Harbers.


On July 13, we scaled up to level 1 (impending water shortage) and now to level 2 (actual water shortage). The drought is caused by the high evaporation rate in the Netherlands and the low supply of water from abroad via the rivers. Minister Harbers assures that, despite the drought, sufficient drinking water is and will remain available. But according to him it is important that the Dutch are conscious of their tap water. “Everyone can contribute. That is why I ask all Dutch people to think carefully about whether they should wash their car or fill their inflatable pool completely.” Several water boards have already taken measures in recent weeks. For example, in some areas there is a ban on spraying for agriculture and industry and locks may be used less frequently by shipping. The water level in the IJsselmeer is also kept as high as possible and pumps and pumping stations have been used in some places to better distribute the water.

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Mike Davis on Twitter: “The Biden Justice Department is now subpoenaing the prior Counsel to the President. His communications are clearly protected by Executive Privilege. Attorney General Merrick Garland is causing tremendous damage to the Presidency. Biden will regret this.”

DOJ Subpoenas Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone (Hill)

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone has been subpoenaed by the Justice Department in an investigation increasingly involving former President Trump’s closest advisers, according to reports from multiple news outlets. The subpoena comes as the Justice Department has been bringing other White House officials before a grand jury in its probe into Jan. 6. Cipollone would be able to offer considerable insight into actions at the White House both leading up to and on Jan. 6. His testimony before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack indicates he had numerous concerns about the former president’s plans for the day and how he responded to the riot.

The Justice Department has already brought two former advisers to then-Vice President Mike Pence before a grand jury. It has also executed search warrants on Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department assistant attorney general who Trump weighed installing as attorney general so he could forward investigations into the president’s baseless claims of election fraud, along with John Eastman. Eastman, a former law professor, crafted memos for the campaign advising they submit alternate electoral certificates and that Pence buck his ceremonial duty to certify the election results. [..] Jan. 6 committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters last month that DOJ had asked for transcripts with the panel’s investigators tied to Trump’s plans to transmit fake elector certificates to Congress.

But the interest in Cipollone suggests the probe could be more wide ranging, especially following reporting by The New York Times indicating that federal prosecutors are beginning to more seriously discuss directly investigating Trump’s actions. Earlier testimony before the House Jan. 6 committee indicated Cipollone pushed back against a plan to issue an executive order allowing the seizing of voting machines. According to testimony from White House aide Cassidy Hutchison, he also expressed legal concerns over Trump’s plans to march to the Capitol, warning they could be charged with “every crime imaginable.” And in a portion of his taped deposition played in the committee’s final hearing of the summer, Cipollone was also shown saying he pushed Trump to call off the mob if his supporters storming the Capitol.

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“when an employee separates from DOD or Army he or she turns in the government issued phone, and the phone is wiped”

“U.S. Secret Service text messages sent on the day the breach had also been deleted.”

DOD ‘Wiped’ Phones of Senior Trump Officials, Jan. 6 Communications (ET)

Some senior Trump administration officials had their phones “wiped” by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Army after the former president left office, meaning messages that were sent around the time of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach are no longer accessible, court filings show. The DOD acknowledged that the phones belonging to former Pentagon officials had been wiped as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by American Oversight, a non-profit watchdog organization. American Oversight had sought the communications that those officials had with Trump, former Vice President Pence, Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, or anyone communicating on their behalf on Jan. 6.

The watchdog group submitted the FOIA requests pertaining to the records on Jan. 12, 2021, six days after the breach of the Capitol building. Specifically, FOIA requests sought communications from former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, former chief of staff Kash Patel, and former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, Paul Ney, the Defense Department’s general counsel; and James E. McPherson, the Army’s general counsel. However, in a court filing roughly a year after the request, the Army stated that “when an employee separates from DOD or Army he or she turns in the government issued phone, and the phone is wiped” and that “for those custodians no longer with the agency, the text messages were not preserved and therefore could not be searched.”

The court filing noted, however, that “it is possible that particular text messages could have been saved into other records systems such as email.” The DOD’s admission in the filings creates further transparency issues regarding the Jan. 6 select committee’s investigation into the events of that day in 2021 and how the government responded. It also comes shortly after it was revealed that U.S. Secret Service text messages sent on the day the breach had also been deleted.

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“..if a plea has already closed the case, the legal blowback could be confined..”

Elites Prepare To Drop Hunter Biden in a “Controlled Demolition” (Turley)

I previously wrote a column on the one year anniversary of the Hunter Biden laptop story that marveled at the success of the Biden family in making the scandal vanish before that 2020 election. It was analogized to Houdini making his 10,000-pound elephant Jennie disappear in his act. With the help of the media, the Biden trick occurred live before an audience of millions. The problem is the public can now see the elephant. That is why the media is now recalibrating. That was most evident in the recent statement of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that “I know The New York Times felt it didn’t pursue it originally as much as it wanted to; then it followed up, as I recall.” Friedman does not explain what overrode that journalistic interest in the story or why the “follow up” came a year after the election of Joe Biden.

It appears that President Biden is no longer seen as a political asset with most Democrats refusing to publicly support him in his promised reelection bid. Biden now could endanger Democratic control of Congress. The question is how to drop Hunter (and even his father) without causing damage to the media, the Democrats, or others in Washington. It requires a controlled demolition. The most important thing is to control the blast. By refusing to appoint a special counsel, Merrick Garland has effectively blocked the risk of a report on the extensive influence peddling, including the repeated references to President Biden. the “Big Guy” is discussed in emails as the potential recipient of a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm as well as other benefits. Emails also refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes. Recently, there was additional support showing that “the Big Guy” was indeed Joe Biden.

The problem is that embarrassing evidence is mounting by the day. That includes the recent disclosure new open influence peddling by Hunter, referencing access to his father. [..] In other words, the case can then be collapsed by triggering a smaller explosion. Rather than pursue wider conspiracies connected to the influence peddling, Hunter could be indicted on a few tax or lobbying counts. That would allow for a plea bargain that would allow the media to focus narrowly on those counts and not the broader influence peddling by the Biden family. Of course, controlled demolition can at times take an unexpected turn. The greatest danger is that either house of Congress could flip to GOP control. That would open up the entire matter to congressional investigation. Yet, if a plea has already closed the case, the legal blowback could be confined. The key to political controlled demolitions “to ‘implode’ the building, that is, make it collapse down into its footprint.” The footprint is now Hunter Biden, confining the implosion to him while leaving the media and establishment untouched.

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If these clowns don’t make energy and food available and affordable, they won’t make people wear masks.

German Mask Mandates for Those Who Refuse A 4th Dose in the Fall (Eugyp)

Our clown health minister Karl Lauterbach and our useless liberal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann have finally agreed on draft legislation to replace our current Infection Protection Act, which expires in September. As predicted, the compromise is masking and not much else. Specifically, the federal states will receive the option to impose indoor mask mandates, with exceptions for those who can present negative tests, or who have recovered from infection or received vaccination within the past three months. As Julian Reichelt notes, masks will thus become a compulsory (if temporary) label for everyone who refuses dose number four.

My greatest regret about the law, is that it frees the tested and the recovered from mask requirements. I’d prefer that only the vaccinated present bare faces in public, so that they can be subjected to the proper contempt. I was going to write more about my outrage at this ongoing farce, but I find myself too depressed to do so. Instead, I’ll just draw your attention to a small item of vaccinator comedy (h/t Marcus Klöckner), in the form of this otherwise standard job ad for a postdoctoral historian in Austrian history at Kalgenfurt University in Carinthia. At the end is this little nugget:

“The University is aware of its social responsibility in the era of COVID-19. This is demonstrated by the high proportion of fully immunised persons among students and employees. For this reason, continual willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is expected for those entering employment with the University.”A great many academic institutions (and adjacent professions) will now subject themselves to an indefinite festival of annual vaccination with novel mRNA cocktails against a pervasive respiratory virus that is no more dangerous than the flu. This won’t stop SARS-2 and it won’t make university instruction safer; it’ll just kill a few people, make a lot of others sick for no reason, and alienate reasonable employees who don’t like massive bureaucratic organisations rooting around in their personal medical decisions. Great plan. Good luck with that.

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Dutch farmers

 

 

 

 

Gervais

 

 


Red-eared Firetail

 

 

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Jul 122022
 
 July 12, 2022  Posted by at 9:34 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Portrait of woman in wheelchair 1936

 

Defiant Schroeder Will Keep Talking To Putin (RT)
Why Biden Is Putting Us In Danger (Shellenberger)
July Shutdown Of Nord Stream Pipeline Has The EU Worried (ZH)
U.S. China Policy Is Heading Towards Disaster (NI)
z Macron Ordered To Resign, Faces Urgent Probe After ‘Betraying France’ (Exp.)
Uber Paid Academics Six-figure Sums For Research To Feed To The Media (G.)
The ECB Must Follow Its Mandate (Lacalle)
Officials Pressured EU Regulators to Rush Authorization of Pfizer Vax (CHD)
Doctor Files $5M Defamation Lawsuit Against News MedPage Today (AFN)
It’s Not Working (Jim Kunstler)

 

 


Giant constrictor snake squeezing Copenhagen citybus as part of a campaign for the city zoo

 

 

SARs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wise man.

Defiant Schroeder Will Keep Talking To Putin (RT)

A diplomatic solution to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is the only thing that can effectively alleviate the suffering of civilians, the former German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, has told Germany’s FAZ newspaper, adding that he would continue to use every opportunity to talk to the Russian president Vladimir Putin. The former chancellor, who was earlier forced to leave his position at the board of the Russian oil giant Rosneft amid pressure from the European Parliament lawmakers, is now facing potential expulsion from his Social Democratic Party (SPD) at home. His perceived close relations with Moscow are cited as one of the reasons why the party considers his behavior “damaging” to its image, according to FAZ.

Schroeder himself, however, believes that the idea of isolating Russia politically is flawed. “I will not give up on… opportunities to talk to President [Vladimir] Putin,” Schroeder told FAZ in an interview published on Sunday. Russia is “interested in a negotiated solution,”the former chancellor asserted as he blamed Kiev for the stalled talks with Moscow. Schroeder, who sought to act as a mediator between Kiev and Moscow in early March, said that Ukrainians did not want any commitments “written down.” Such a position made any “serious” talks impossible at that stage of the negotiations, he added. The former chancellor also demonstrated little understanding for the West’s focus on supplying Ukraine with arms. “I don’t believe in a military solution.

The war can only be ended through diplomatic negotiations,” he told FAZ, adding that lives of the military on both sides can be spared and the suffering of the civilian population in Ukraine alleviated only through a diplomatic solution. When asked if he thinks that the western weapons deliveries contribute to a stronger negotiating position for Ukraine, Schroeder reiterated that all the nations, including “those not directly involved in this conflict,” should “work together to find a diplomatic solution”instead. He also criticized Lithuania over restricting the movement of goods to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, again saying that “all sides” bear responsibility for ensuring that “this conflict does not escalate further.”

The interview comes ahead of an SPD committee meeting next week that will discuss the former chancellor’s potential expulsion from the party. The politician’s lawyer told FAZ, however, that there is no sufficient legal basis for such a move. In June, Schroeder said he would still remain a Social Democrat, even if kicked out of the SPD.

Read more …

“U.S. oil refineries are operating at 94% capacity..”

Why Biden Is Putting Us In Danger (Shellenberger)

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the Biden Administration’s policy of sending American oil to China and other nations. “When it comes to the oil, it is something that oil companies decide… The Department of Energy can’t dictate what oil companies do with the oil they purchase or where they ship it to sell.” But the United States Department of Energy (DOE) does decide to whom it will sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). “A total of 16 companies responded to this notice, submitting 126 bids for evaluation,” noted DOE. A dozen won contracts. One was Unipec America, the trading arm of Sinopec, the China Petrochemical Corporation, which is wholly owned by the Chinese government.

There is no evidence that DOE went out of its way to sell American oil to Unipec, and little reason to believe that the U.S. could have refined that oil into gasoline, diesel, and other products had it remained in the U.S. After all, U.S. oil refineries are operating at 94% capacity. The DOE sold the oil to the highest bidders. And it was a coordinated release with international partners, including China, which also released oil from it strategic reserves. Indeed, Bloomberg and others oil market analysts predicted back in November that some U.S. SPR oil would go to China and India. But the reason our refineries are at maximum capacity is because Biden revoked a permit for a massive refinery expansion in the U.S. Virgin Islands in March and halted its operations entirely in May.

And where the U.S. released 50 million barrels of oil in 2021 and 180 million barrels of oil in 2022 so far, China has only released 7.4 million barrels of oil, which is just a half day’s consumption. Is that because China is oil-poor? No. It has equal-sized petroleum reserves to the U.S. In fact, despite promises in November and again in January to release oil from its reserves, China has instead been increasing its reserves. And there is no evidence that any non-Chinese firms, much less American firms, bought any of its released reserve oil, which undercuts the Biden Administration’s claim that the SPR release was being reciprocated. But the real drama is about to start. Today, Russia cut off all natural gas flowing through the main pipeline to Europe as part of routine maintenance.

Russia is contractually committed to turning the gas back on 10 days later, but many analysts, heads of state, and government officials believe Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t turn the gas back on in 10 days. Why? So he can increase prices, increase Russia’s energy revenues, and pressure Europe to stop supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia. France’s economy minister yesterday called a complete cut-off “the most likely” scenario. The consequences of a full Russian gas embargo would be devastating. German industries are already “in danger of permanently collapsing,” warned the head of Germany’s trade unions. Britain has warned that, in order to protect its own citizens, it may cut off natural gas supplies to Europe. If Putin cuts off the gas, Europe would be forced to ration energy, and bail-out both electric utilities and energy-intensive companies.

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A mess of its own making.

July Shutdown Of Nord Stream Pipeline Has The EU Worried (ZH)

It’s a dynamic which some in the alternative media have been warning about for months – While the establishment claimed that Russia would be crushed under the weight of NATO sanctions, others have suggested that Russia could hurt the west more (specifically Europe) by implementing sanctions of their own. While mainstream governments and journalists argued about how fast NATO should implement restrictions on Russian oil and gas, none of them seemed to consider the possibility that Putin would cut off energy exports himself. This is the problem with instituting foreign policy and engaging in geopolitics using a “cancel culture” mentality; it leads to childish thinking and a lack of foresight. You can’t “cancel” a nation if you are dependent on them for 40% of your energy needs.

Anyone with moderate industry knowledge in oil and gas could have seen this coming. Europe is now on “high alert” as the Nordtream 1 pipeline to Germany has lost 60% of its natural gas transfers as Russia pressures Canada for the return of a massive turbine being held in Canada for repairs. Canada has lifted sanctions in response and allowed the shipment of the turbine back to Russia, showing that the Kremlin does indeed have economic leverage over NATO countries. Even more concerning is that the pipeline will be undergoing an extended shutdown due to “maintenance” until July 21st. Some officials in Europe believe this shutdown may be a precursor (a beta test) to a total block of Russian gas to the EU, and they are probably right.

Speaking at the economic forum Les Rencontres Économiques, French Minister Bruno Le Maire said: ‘Let’s get ready for a total shutdown of the Russian gas supply…This is the most likely event.’ He added ‘We should not take Vladimir Putin’s threats lightly.’ It’s important to remember that Europe is not only dependent on oil and gas imports for heating, it is also dependent on them for electricity and many other needs. The middle of summer does not seem like the worst time to face heating shortages, but the overall effect of energy loss would drag the EU economy down into panic. Will the gas supply return after July 21? Probably, but this shutdown indicates that the Kremlin may be sending a message that they could end Europe’s economic stability anytime they want. The closer we get to winter, the more pressure will be applied, no doubt.


Visible pipeline flows.

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“Breaking China Apart”

U.S. China Policy Is Heading Towards Disaster (NI)

The unity, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of China are translated into the sanctity of its borders which includes “red lines” like Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea (out of fourteen neighbors, China has signed boundary agreements with twelve, barring India and Bhutan). Then, China’s “peaceful rise” is viewed as a natural evolution, even a sense of an historical entitlement, that China has finally “arrived” on the international stage. This was first publicly alluded to by President Xi, during his speech on October 18, 2017, at the 19th CCP Congress. Referring to “the world witnessing once in a century changes,” Xi remarked that China has become “a great power in the world,” playing “an important role in the history of humankind … it is time for us to take center stage in the world.”

Among “core interests” is the primacy of the CCP as China’s center of gravity pivotal to the country’s unity, stability, and prosperity, because, for Xi and his close associates, there is the conviction that anything like Gorbachev’s glasnost would be a recipe for disaster and could even lead to the breakup of China. As the inheritors of the “Middle Kingdom” which built a Great Wall to defend China from foreign intruders, the CCP leadership is well aware that existing fault lines can be susceptible to manipulation to China’s detriment. I was struck by the fact that, unlike Americans, who tend to have short memories and shifting relationships with foreign countries, Chinese take the long view, with a keen sense of history.

A few years ago, during a meeting with a top Chinese “thinking” policy maker, while discussing U.S. “designs against China,” he politely passed on an old op-ed of the New York Times written by Leslie Gelb on November 13, 1991, around the time when the Soviet Union was disintegrating. Interestingly titled, “Breaking China Apart,” Gelb’s piece matter-of-factly discussed the United States resorting to the “ultimate sanction — a threat to the territorial integrity of the Middle Kingdom — if Beijing leaders continue to defy new standards of world behavior…” Alarmingly, Gelb continued in the New York Times, if “Chinese actions go far beyond the pale. Americans and others may take extraordinary measures, including kindling separatism, to stop them. Beijing’s leaders will be making a terrible mistake to think otherwise.” It is thus no accident that China often views unrest in Xinjiang, Tibet, or Hong Kong or talk of Taiwan as some sort of a U.S.-supported state policy of “kindling separatism.”

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“It is not a president who governs France but a lobby!”

Macron Ordered To Resign, Faces Urgent Probe After ‘Betraying France’ (Exp.)

The French President backed the development of Uber in France singing a deal when he was economy minister between 2014 to 2016. The findings, leaked after an investigation based on 124,000 confidential internal Uber documents, prompted calls for Mr Macron to resign. Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot said: “Macron must resign! He betrays France, its companies, the State, justice, the people! Out!” He added: “If after the #UberFiles the oppositions don’t vote ‘no confidence’ today, I don’t know what they need! “Be responsible and vote it! Put the Macronie down!” Echoing his comments, National Rally MEP Jordan Bardella said: “It was common knowledge, the #UberFiles demonstrate it once again.

“Despite the permanent ‘at the same time’, Emmanuel Macron’s career has a consistency, a common thread: to serve private interests, often foreign, before national interests.” Left MEP Manon Aubry also blasted the French leader. She said: “Revelations on a secret deal between Macron and Uber. “We also better understand the role played by France in blocking any European regulation of platforms! “It is not a president who governs France but a lobby!” Debout La France leader Nicolas Dupont-Aignan echoed: “Emmanuel Macron, loyal supporter of Uber. “Minister of the Economy, he was already betraying France by defending the interests of an American company!”

According to the investigation, the French leader signed a deal with Uber to “make France work for Uber so that Uber can work in and for France”. Mr Macron also promised “a drastic simplification of the legal requirements” to obtain a ride-sharing licence. Uber also secretly lobbied ministers to influence London’s transport policy, it has been reported. Leaked documents show lobbyists for the ride-sharing app company met then-chancellor George Osborne and other ministers, according to the BBC. The “undeclared” meetings took place after Boris Johnson, as Mayor of London, had promised to launch a review that could have limited Uber’s expansion in the capital. The meeting with Mr Osborne took place at a private dinner in the US state of California, where Uber is based.

An internal Uber email stated that this was better than a meeting in London because “this is a much more private affair with no hanger-on officials or staffers”, the BBC reported. Other meetings were held between Uber lobbyists and current or former ministers including Priti Patel, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove, according to the corporation. Mr Johnson ultimately abandoned his review, and Uber was able to increase its number of drivers in London.

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It’s the Monsanto model.

Uber Paid Academics Six-figure Sums For Research To Feed To The Media (G.)

Uber paid high-profile academics in Europe and the US hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce reports that could be used as part of the company’s lobbying campaign. The Uber files, a cache of thousands of confidential documents leaked to the Guardian, reveal lucrative deals with several leading academics who were paid to publish research on the benefits of its economic model. The reports were commissioned as Uber wrestled with regulators in key cities around the world. University economists were targeted in France and Germany where enforcement by the authorities was increasingly fierce in 2014-15. One report by a French academic, who asked for a €100,000 consultancy fee, was cited in a 2016 Financial Times report as evidence that Uber was a “route out of the French banlieues”, delighting Uber executives.

Using techniques common in party political campaigns, Uber targeted academics and thinktanks to help it construct a positive narrative, namely that it created well-paid jobs that drivers liked, delivered cheap transport to consumers and boosted productivity. Documents show how its lobbyists planned to use academic research as part of a production line of political ammunition that could be fed to politicians and the media. The aim was to use the research to increase pressure for changing the rules Uber was evading. While Uber’s involvement in reports was mentioned, leaked files expose how it wanted to use academics’ work and their reputations to further its aims, and how much it was prepared to pay them. In France, the €100,000 consultancy arrangement was negotiated with a rising star of university economics, Prof Augustin Landier of the Toulouse School of Economics.

Landier agreed to produce a report that he described in emails to Uber’s policy and communications team as “actionable for direct PR to prove Uber’s positive economic role”. Landier proposed collaborating with David Thesmar, another high-profile professor from France’s top business school, École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris (HEC). In discussions in February 2015, Uber executives noted that although the price was high, it was worth it, especially if they worked on the report’s messages “to ensure it’s not presented in a potentially negative light”.

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“The balance of the ECB is 69.5% of the GDP of the eurozone, when that of the Federal Reserve is 37% of the GDP of the US and the Bank of England’s is 39% of the UK GDP.”

The ECB Must Follow Its Mandate (Lacalle)

The European Central Bank should be hugely concerned about two pieces of news. The euro is on the verge of parity with the US dollar and has accumulated a drop of 17% since 2021, more than 35% since 2008. On the other hand, inflation in the eurozone reached 8.6% in June, 5% excluding the energy and food components. Inflation in more than six eurozone countries, including Spain, is already in double digits with core CPI at multi-decade highs. Meanwhile, in Switzerland, June inflation was 3.4% with core at 1.9%. Switzerland relies on imports for gas, commodities, and supply chains as much as its neighbors, but it has not engaged in massive printing of its currency.

The euro is the greatest monetary success of the last 150 years, and it cannot be jeopardized by risking the independence of the European Central Bank. It is an elevated risk and those of us who want it to remain a reserve currency and a success are concerned. The balance of the ECB is 69.5% of the GDP of the eurozone, when that of the Federal Reserve is 37% of the GDP of the US and the Bank of England’s is 39% of the UK GDP. However, the euro is not the world’s reserve currency. The US Federal Reserve is the only central bank that pays attention to the global demand for US dollars and despite this, it has also made the enormous mistake of expanding money supply well above demand and, thereby, triggering inflation.

Let us not forget that prices do not go up all at once for the same amount of currency issued. One or two prices may rise for exogenous reasons, but not all rise unless the purchasing power of the currency is destroyed by printing without control. As Frank Shostak reminds, inflation is money supply growth, not prices denominated in money. A weak euro and rising inflation are extremely worrying factors because in June 2021 the increase in broad money supply (M3) in the eurozone was 8.3% annualized, with M1 (currency in circulation and overnight deposits) increasing by 11.8%. In other words, the increase in money supply (M3) was still 16% higher than during the so-called “Draghi bazooka”. In May 2022 it is still growing above 5.6% with GDP rebounding a mere 2.6% (consensus estimates).

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“The political fall-out seems to be too high, even if the ‘technical level’ … could defend such a delay..”

Officials Pressured EU Regulators to Rush Authorization of Pfizer Vax (CHD)

A Nov. 16, 2020, email from Marco Cavaleri, then head of the EMA’s biological health threats and vaccines strategy, stated that “[Alex] Azar and US GOV [sic]” had “pushed hard” to “rush into EUA [Emergency Use Authorization].” Azar at the time was secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the FDA. In a Nov. 19, 2020, email, Noel Wathion, then deputy executive director of the EMA, referenced a “TC” — shorthand for teleconference — “with the commissioner,” referring to European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen. During the call, which Wathion described as “rather tense, at times even a bit unpleasant,” von der Leyen warned the EMA what might happen “if the expectations are not being met” to quickly issue a CMA [Conditional Marketing Authorization] for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, “irrespective if such expectations are realistic or not.”

In the same email, Wathion wrote: “The political fall-out seems to be too high, even if the ‘technical level’ … could defend such a delay in order to make the outcome of the scientific review as robust as possible. … “Although we know that whatever we do (speeding up the process to align as much as possible with the ‘approval’ timing by FDA/MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency] versus taking the time needed to have robust assurance in particular as regards CMC [Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls guidelines] and safety) EMA will have a very big challenge addressing questions and criticism from various parties … in case of a delay of several weeks.” The “various parties” Wathion referenced included the European Commission, the European Parliament, the media and the general public.

Wathion went on to argue that “CMC, responsibility and accountability are certainly elements to be considered in my view.” In a later email, dated Nov. 22, 2020, Wathion further revealed the pressure the agency was facing to issue a CMA for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, writing: “The likelihood that FDA (and also MHRA) will issue an EUA before a CMA is granted is extremely high. So we have to prepare for this.” However, Wathion expressed concerns in the same email that such preparation might come at the expense of a proper scientific assessment of the Pfizer vaccine. “We are speeding up as much as possible but we also need to make sure that our scientific assessment is as robust as possible,” Wathion wrote.

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Nuremberg 2.0. A code, not a trial.

Doctor Files $5M Defamation Lawsuit Against News MedPage Today (AFN)

America’s Frontline Doctors member Dr. Bret Barker, DNP, FNP, RN is suing MedPage Today and its Director of Enterprise & Investigative Reporting Kristina Fiore for defamation after Fiore wrote an article Dr. Barker says is riddled with disinformation. Dr. Barker is author of Sold Out Souls:Sars2-COVID-19, Simple Truths Ignored and CEO of Nuremberg 2.0, an organization dedicated to medical accountability and holding responsible medical professionals who harm the public in the name of COVID-19. In May, Fiore penned an article titled, “Should Doctors Worry About ‘Nuremberg 2.0?’ — It’s a ‘completely misleading application of the concepts of the Nuremberg trials.’”

Fiore first led readers to believe that Nuremberg 2.0 is about the Nuremberg trials and not the Nuremberg Code, which was developed in response to the medical experimentation perpetrated by the Nazis as revealed in the Nuremberg trials. The Code contains 10 tenets dedicated to human safety and dignity, the first of which is that “the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.” In fact, Fiore writes about an individual who made a public comment at the California State Assembly against bill AB-2098, which would allow medical professionals to be punished for challenging the COVID-19 narrative. As Fiore wrote: “’I oppose this bill,’ he started, ‘and anybody who supports this bill will be held accountable under Nuremberg codes. Be warned.’”

But despite the outright reference to the Nuremberg Codes, Fiore said the word, which is “thrown around by the right wing,” refers to the Nuremberg trials. “These days, it’s mostly referred to as ‘Nuremberg 2.0,’ to invoke a second coming of the trials,” she wrote. Fiore then shared how one science professor in Canada said “he’s received many threats referencing Nuremberg 2.0” She proceeded to re-invoke the California State Assembly incident and name Dr. Bret Barker, making it seem as though Dr. Barker was the individual who made the public comment, when the doctor was not even there. She wrote that “the speaker at the California State Assembly hearing didn’t identify himself” and then went on to name Dr. Bret Barker as the CEO.

Third, Fiore led readers to believe that Nuremberg 2.0 is a medical terrorist organization “which essentially calls for doctors (and others) to be killed for providing COVID shots and other supposed pandemic crimes.” She also suggested that Nuremberg 2.0 members want to “execute” those who promote the COVID-19 vaccine, like in the Nuremberg trials. The week after Fiore wrote her piece, Dr. Barker filed a lawsuit against both MedPage Today and Fiore herself, seeking compensatory damages of $5 million for “long-term permanent damage to my personal life and reputation,” and punitive damages of $1 million. The complaint also mentions that Fiore did not reach out to Dr. Barker for a statement before publishing the story online and in emails to the publication’s 150,000 subscriber base. The story reached Dr. Barkers colleagues “and those who may have influence on my licensure and ability to work.”

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Green ain’t cheap.

It’s Not Working (Jim Kunstler)

Many people, I’m sure, assume that the more solar units feeding the grid, the better. Strangely, not so. Electric companies work much better when the production and flow of current is absolutely predictable and under their control — like, when they decide to fire up the natgas on generator number three or tune down the hydro turbines. It’s much harder to run the system with little dribs and drabs of electricity trickling in from hither and yon. But alt-energy is good PR for the government, so they do whatever they can to promote or even compel its use. I got a whopping folio of tax breaks and subsidies from the state and federal government when I decided to put solar electric on my house in 2013, though it finally still cost a lot: $35-K.

I had intimations of living through a chaotic period of history, and the decision was consistent with my general theory of history, which is that things happen because they seem like a good idea at the time. Getting a home solar electric rig seemed like a good idea. So, last week, after considerable hassle with my solar company setting up an appointment for a techie to visit and evaluate the problem here, the guy came up (at $150-an-hour) and informed me that my charge controller was shot. The charge controller processes all those chaotic watts coming from the solar panels on the roof into an orderly parade of electrons. He also told me that my back-up batteries — for running critical loads like the well-pump during grid outages — were at the end of their design life. Subtext: you have to get new batteries.

There are four big ones in a cabinet under the blown charge controller and the inverter (for turning direct current into alternating current that is the standard for running things). The techie had some bad news, though. New building codes forbid his company from replacing the kind of batteries I have, which are standard “sealed cell” lead-acid batteries. Some bullshit about off-gassing flammable fumes. Now the government requires lithium batteries, which would cost me sixteen-thousand dollars ($16-K) more to replace than new lead-acid batteries.

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Hunter Gatherer

 

 

 

 

AliKid

 

 

Gervais

 

 

 

 

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