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.

Read more …

“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.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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“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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