Apr 302024
 
 April 30, 2024  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  59 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Road in Tahiti 1891

 

Musk and Sacks Slam Washington’s ‘Forever War’ Ukraine Plan (RT)
Russia’s Mideast Clout ‘Very Strong,’ US Looks ‘Ridiculous’ – Macgregor (Sp.)
Biden Looks To Prevent Future President From Ending Ukraine War (ZH)
Alvin Bragg and The Art of Not Taking Law Too Seriously (Turley)
The Interlocking of Strategic Paradigms (Alastair Crooke)
Supreme Court Rejects Elon Musk’s “Free Speech” Appeal In SEC Case (ZH)
Hunter Biden’s Lawyers Threaten Fox News (RT)
Tucker Carlson Interviews Conservative Russian Philosopher Aleksandr Dugin (RT)
Pep Talk on a Dark Day (Kunstler)
US Working To Prevent ICC Arrest Warrant for Netanyahu (Antiwar)
The Travesties of the Trump Trials (Victor Davis Hanson)
The Shieldmaiden Takes the Field Against The Destroyers of the West (PCR)

 

 

Eva
https://twitter.com/i/status/1784988182351684056

 

 

BDay
https://twitter.com/i/status/1784805906586194412

 

 

jerry
https://twitter.com/i/status/1784720323864150058

 

 

The storm
https://twitter.com/i/status/1784969043864125524

 

 

Mike Davis

 

 

Passover

 

 

 

 

“..Sacks described Ukraine’s failed 2023 summer counteroffensive against Russia as “one of the biggest debacles in the history of modern warfare.”

Musk and Sacks Slam Washington’s ‘Forever War’ Ukraine Plan (RT)

Two of America’s most influential tech entrepreneurs, Elon Musk and David Sacks, have expressed concern over a security agreement currently in the works between the US and Ukraine. Former PayPal chief David Sacks took to X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday to warn that the controversial $61 billion in aid to Kiev approved by Washington earlier this month “was just the beginning.” He was commenting on a statement made by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who said that his team and the administration of US President Joe Biden were “working on fixing specific levels of support… for the next ten years, including armed support, financial, political, and joint arms production.” “The next two US presidents won’t be able to switch it off,” Sacks, who’s also the founder of the corporate social network Yammer, wrote on X. In separate posts the entrepreneur went on to mention recent reports that NATO allies were working to “Trump-proof” weapons for Ukraine and claimed that the goal of the current US administration was “to turn Ukraine into a Forever War.”

“This is insane. The forever war,” Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote in response to Sacks’ posts. The US will vote for a new president in November. Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has spoken out against “handing out gifts of billions and billions of dollars” in aid to Kiev and said earlier this month that his team was considering “doing it in the form of a loan.” According to Politico, the US and other Western countries have been looking into a range of options that could help maintain the flow of arms to Kiev if Trump becomes president. Last month, Sacks described Ukraine’s failed 2023 summer counteroffensive against Russia as “one of the biggest debacles in the history of modern warfare.” In a post on X, the venture capitalist suggested that the Washington elite should be held accountable for talking up the ill-fated operation.

Musk has also long voiced criticism about Washington’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Last week, he challenged the Biden administration to define what a Ukrainian “victory” would look like after a senior US official claimed that with Washingon’s help Kiev can defeat Russia. US lawmakers approved $61 billion in additional aid for Ukraine earlier this month, after House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) overrode opposition in his own party to pass the bill with unanimous Democrat support. The Biden administration ran out of funding for Ukraine aid earlier this year after using up $113 billion in previously approved assistance packages. Republican lawmakers have argued that Biden is merely prolonging the bloodshed in Ukraine without offering a clear strategy for victory or a peace deal with Russia.

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“The Gaza crisis, pundits noted, threw into focus the erosion of Washington’s power in the region.”

Russia’s Mideast Clout ‘Very Strong,’ US Looks ‘Ridiculous’ – Macgregor (Sp.)

The US has been trying to maintain a facade of diplomacy amid the tectonic geopolitical shifts currently underway, while in fact blatantly continuing to push its own regional interests. This holds true for Washington’s stance with respect to the latest spiral of the Middle East crisis. Russia’s position in the Mideast is “strong,” while the Unites States looks “ridiculous,” is the frank assessment given by retired US Army Col. Douglas Macgregor in a new post on X. Casting a critical eye on the US strategy in the Middle East, the former Pentagon advisor wrote: “Strategically, Putin holds all the cards in the Middle East. He is widely respected in the region and has practiced restraint. If you look at this like a branding exercise, our branding is seriously damaged in the Middle East. We look ridiculous and Russia looks strong.”

The Middle East crisis continues to simmer, with Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip generating a massive humanitarian crisis and Palestinian civilian death toll. However, the Biden administration, which continues to provide Israel with security assistance, has been woefully inept in its crisis management efforts. Suffice it to recall how Joe Biden was snubbed by Middle East allies and the failed shuttle diplomacy of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Since then, Washington has refused to join calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, and directly fueled further violence in the Middle East by launching strikes against the Houthis in Yemen.

Numerous pundits have told Sputnik that there are obvious signs that the US can no longer dictate to Middle Eastern players what to do, and even Israel has been disinclined to follow Team Biden’s orders. Meanwhile, US-led efforts to isolate Russia with respect to the Middle East have failed spectacularly. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s highly successful Mideast tour in December 2023 to meet with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud sent a strong message to the world. The West’s botched bid to smear Russia was underscored by international observers, as they looked upon the pomp and ceremony with which the Russian leader was welcomed in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia – longstanding US allies. The Gaza crisis, pundits noted, threw into focus the erosion of Washington’s power in the region.

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Dangerous.

Biden Looks To Prevent Future President From Ending Ukraine War

Soon on the heels of President Biden last week signing into law a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine’s defense, President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday indicated that he’s working with Washington on a bilateral security agreement which would last ten years. “We are already working on a specific text,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address. “Our goal is to make this agreement the strongest of all.” “We are discussing the specific foundations of our security and cooperation. We are also working on fixing specific levels of support for this year and the next 10 years.” He indicated it will likely include agreements on long-term support centering on military hardware and joint arms production, as well as continuing reconstruction aid. “The agreement should be truly exemplary and reflect the strength of American leadership,” Zelensky added.

But ultimately a key purpose in locking such a long-term deal in would be to keep it immune from potential interference by a future Trump administration. Below is what The Wall Street Journal spelled out last year: “The goal is to make sure Ukraine will be strong enough in the future to deter Russia from attacking it again. More immediately, Ukraine’s Western allies hope to discourage the Kremlin from thinking it can wait out the Biden administration for a potentially more sympathetic successor in the White House. Western officials are looking for ways to lock in pledges of support and limit future governments’ abilities to backtrack, amid fears in European capitals that Donald Trump, if he recaptures the White House, would seek to scale back aid. Trump has a wide lead in early polling in the Republican presidential primary field, but soundly lost the 2020 election to President Biden and has been indicted in four criminal cases in state and federal courts.”

We and others have previously underscored that NATO and G7 countries are desperately trying to “Trump-proof” future aid to Ukraine and the effort to counter Russia. As for its first new weapons package in the wake of the $61 billion being authorized, the Biden administration has announced new arms packages totaling $7 billion. The US has vowed to rush the weapons to Kiev, given that by all indicators its forces are not doing well on the frontlines. “We are still waiting for the supplies promised to Ukraine – we expect exactly the volume and content of supplies that can change the situation on the battlefield in the interests of Ukraine,” Zelensky had said over the weekend. “And it is important that every agreement we have reached is implemented – everything that will yield practical results on the battlefield and boost the morale of everyone on the frontline. In a conversation with Mr. Jeffries, I emphasized the need for Patriot systems, they are needed as soon as possible.”

But all of this means the war will be prolonged, and this puts negotiations much further away on the horizon, despite what are now daily acknowledgements of Ukraine forces being beaten back. Currently the governments of Greece and Spain are being pressured by EU and NATO leadership to hand over what few Patriot systems they possess to Kiev. The rationale is that they don’t need them as urgently as Ukraine does.

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“..This circular reasoning is already incredibly creative, but the actual evidence used to propel this ball through the machine is even wackier..”:”

Alvin Bragg and The Art of Not Taking Law Too Seriously (Turley)

Rube Goldberg, the inventor of bizarre machines that performed simple tasks through dozens of mechanical steps, was once asked about the essence of creating such fantastic, illogical machines. He replied “An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously.” After the first week of testimony, the trial of Donald Trump is increasingly looking like a mad prosecution machine by lawyers who don’t take law too seriously. I have long been a critic of the Bragg indictment as legally incomprehensible. However, I must confess that after a week of testimony, some of us have developed a weird fascination with the utter madness of the scene unfolding in Manhattan. It was not until the second week of proceedings that Bragg even revealed part of his theory of criminality. For months, even liberal legal analysts have expressed dismay that Bragg’s indictment had not clearly stated what specific crime that Trump sought to conceal by allegedly misrepresenting payments to former adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

The premise of the prosecution always had that Rube Goldberg feel. It was so implausible as to be impossible. After all, the base charge is a simple misdemeanor under a New York law against falsifying business records. Trump paid Cohen hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and costs, including $130,000 for a nondisclosure agreement with Daniels. Bragg is vague as to what should have been noted on the ledgers for the payments. It is not even clear if Trump knew of this expense’s designation as a legal cost. However, it really did not matter, because the misdemeanor has been as dead as Dillinger for years. The dead misdemeanor was shocked back into life by claiming that it was committed to conceal another crime. Under New York’s penal law, section 175.10, it can be a felony if the “intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.”

For months, Bragg has suggested that the “other crime” was the violation of federal election laws, suggesting that the payment was really a campaign contribution Trump made to himself that was not properly recorded. The problem is that the Justice Department investigated that crime already and decided that it was not a viable criminal claim. It did not even seek a civil fine. Bragg’s predecessor and Bragg himself rejected the theory behind this prosecution. But then a pressure campaign led Bragg to green-light a prosecution roughly eight years after the 2016 campaign. In the trial, Bragg added a type of frying pan flip to his Rube Goldberg contraption by arguing that Trump may have been trying to hide his violation of another dead misdemeanor under yet another New York election law prohibiting “conspir[ing] to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means.”

In other words, Trump was conspiring to try to win his own election. This even though the notations were made after he had won the election, and even though Trump was running for a federal, not a state office. So again, what is the unlawful means? The machine then flips you back to the beginning — seeking “to influence the election.” There are still the federal election violations, but that theory was rejected after an investigation. And if it were a real crime, it would be brought by federal, not state prosecutors. There are also the misdemeanor falsifications of business records under section 175.05. So Bragg would use one dead misdemeanor to trigger a second dead misdemeanor to create a felony on the simple notations used to describe payments for a completely legal nondisclosure agreement.

This circular reasoning is already incredibly creative, but the actual evidence used to propel this ball through the machine is even wackier. Bragg decided to start with a witness to discuss an affair that is not part of the indictment. David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid, had supposedly been paid to kill a story of a Trump affair with a different woman, Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model. Pecker proceeded to make the prosecution case even more convoluted. On cross examination, Pecker admitted that Trump told him that he knew nothing about any reimbursement to Cohen for any hush money, that he had killed or raised such stories with Trump for decades before he ever announced for president and that he had also killed stories for other celebrities and politicians, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tiger Woods, Rahm Emanuel and Mark Wahlberg.

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“..the Middle East paradigm interlinks directly with the Ukraine paradigm..”

The Interlocking of Strategic Paradigms (Alastair Crooke)

Theodore Postol, Professor of Science, Technology and National Security Policy at MIT, has provided a forensic analysis of the videos and evidence emerging from Iran’s 13th April swarm drone and missile ‘demonstation’ attack into Israel: A ‘message’, rather than an ‘assault’. The leading Israeli daily, Yediot Ahoronot, has estimated the cost of attempting to down this Iranian flotilla at between $2-3 billion dollars. The implications of this single number are substantial. Professor Postol writes: “This indicates that the cost of defending against waves of attacks of this type is very likely to be unsustainable against an adequately armed and determined adversary”. “The videos show an extremely important fact: All of the targets, whether drones or not, are shot down by air-to-air missiles”, [fired from mostly U.S. aircraft. Some 154 aircraft reportedly were aloft at the time] likely firing AIM-9x Sidewinder air to air missiles. The cost of a single Sidewinder air-to-air missile is about $500,000”.

Furthermore: “The fact that a very large number of unengaged ballistic missiles could be seen glowing as they reenter the atmosphere to lower altitudes [an indication of hyper-speed], indicates that whatever the effects of [Israel’s] David’s Sling and the Arrow missile defenses, they were not especially effective. Thus, the evidence at this point shows that essentially all or most of the arriving long-range ballistic missiles were not intercepted by any of the Israeli air and missile-defense systems”. Postel adds, “I have analyzed the situation, and have concluded that commercially available optical and computational technology is more than capable of being adapted to a cruise missile guidance system to give it very high precision homing capability … it is my conclusion that the Iranians have already developed precision guided cruise missiles and drones”.

“The implications of this are clear. The cost of shooting down cruise missiles and drones will be very high and might well be unsustainable unless extremely inexpensive and effective anti-air systems can be implemented. At this time, no one has demonstrated a cost-effective defense system that can intercept ballistic missiles with any reliability”. Just to be clear, Postol is saying that neither the U.S. nor Israel has more than a partial defence to a potential attack of this nature – especially as Iran has dispersed and buried its ballistic missile silos across the entire terrain of Iran under the control of autonomous units which are capable of continuing a war, even were central command and communications to be completely lost.

This amounts to paradigm change – clearly for Israel, for one. The huge physical expenditure on air defence ordinance – 2-3 billion dollars worth – will not be repeated willy-nilly by the U.S. Netanyahu will not easily persuade the U.S. to engage with Israel in any joint venture against Iran, given these unsustainable air-defence costs. But also, as a second important implication, these Air Defence assets are not just expensive in dollar terms, they simply are not there: i.e. the store cupboard is near empty! And the U.S. lacks the manufacturing capacity to replace these not particularly effective, high cost platforms speedily. ‘Yes, Ukraine’ … the Middle East paradigm interlinks directly with the Ukraine paradigm where Russia has succeeded in destroying so much of the western supplied, air-defence capabilities in Ukraine, giving Russia near complete air dominance over the skies.

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“..to have a company lawyer approve his social media posts..”

Supreme Court Rejects Elon Musk’s “Free Speech” Appeal In SEC Case (ZH)

Another day, another chapter in the Elon Musk vs. SEC saga. The US Supreme Court declined to hear Elon Musk’s appeal regarding his ongoing “Twitter sitter” case, Bloomberg reported on Monday, keeping Musk’s agreement with the SEC to have a company lawyer approve his social media posts in place. Musk, without success, had argued that the 2018 agreement infringed upon his constitutional right to free speech. The decision marks the latest development in Musk’s lengthy, ongoing dispute with the SEC, which started after he tweeted in August 2018 that he had “funding secured” for a potential $80 billion take-private deal for Tesla. As a result, Tesla stock rocketed higher the day of. Following Musk’s tweet, the SEC filed a lawsuit alleging shareholder deception and, shortly after, Musk settled with the SEC, agreeing to step down as Tesla chairman and pay a $20 million fine.

In 2021, Musk reopened the dispute by conducting a Twitter poll regarding selling 10% of his stock. This prompted the SEC to issue subpoenas to Musk and Tesla. Musk then sought to annul his pre-screening agreement, but his arguments were dismissed by a federal appeals court last year. Musk’s lawyers had argued to the Supreme Court that the agreement was a “quintessential prior restraint that the law forbids.” They said in their appeal: “The pre-approval provision at issue continues to cast an unconstitutional chill over Mr. Musk’s speech whenever he considers making public communications.” In its brief, the SEC responded: “This court has consistently held that, in resolving litigation, parties may choose to waive even fundamental constitutional rights.”

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Time warp: “..the story appeared to be “Russian disinformation.”

Hunter Biden’s Lawyers Threaten Fox News (RT)

Lawyers representing Hunter Biden have accused Fox News of a “conspiracy to defame” the US president’s son, demanding that the media outlet take down nude images of their client and retract reports suggesting that the Biden family engaged in an overseas bribery operation. Attorneys claimed that Fox had unlawfully published “hacked” photos of Biden and knowingly reported “debunked” bribery allegations. “Fox knows that these private and confidential images were hacked, stolen, and/or manipulated digital materials,” the lawyers said in a letter to the cable news network. CNN obtained a copy of the letter, which indicated that President Joe Biden’s son “anticipates” suing Fox. The lawyers insisted that Fox issue corrections and on-air retractions, including statements by its top hosts admitting that “they have been sharing a debunked allegation from a source who has been federally indicted.”

Media reports about the Biden family’s alleged influence-peddling scheme stemmed from files on a laptop computer that Hunter Biden left behind at a Delaware computer repair shop. He forfeited ownership of the computer and its contents when he failed to pay his bill and pick up his laptop. When the New York Post reported on the alleged Biden family scandal in October 2020, just weeks before the presidential election, former US intelligence officials falsely claimed that the story appeared to be “Russian disinformation.” Social media outlets censored the bombshell laptop report. Several of the same major media outlets that dismissed the story as disinformation later verified key documents on the laptop – long after Joe Biden had been elected. Fox aired a six-part mock trial of Hunter Biden on its Fox Nation streaming platform in October 2022. The report included the bribery allegations, as well as photos showing the president’s son in the nude or engaged in sexual acts.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers demanded that the mock trial be removed from all streaming services. They argued that Fox also published articles based on statements from FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, who was indicted earlier this year for allegedly making false claims that the owner of Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid bribes to the Bidens. “Then, in a brazen show of no remorse, rather than walk back the story and correct the record, Fox double-downed on the debunked bribery allegation and used Smirnov’s indictment to claim this is an intimidation tactic aimed at silencing whistleblowers, to blame the FBI for its credulity, and to suggest an even deeper conspiracy,” Hunter Biden’s lawyers said in the letter. However, US House lawmakers continue to investigate alleged Biden family corruption, citing bank records and other evidence.

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“..a writer who writes about big ideas,” claiming that his books have been “banned by the Biden administration” in the US. “You cannot buy them on Amazon..”

Tucker Carlson Interviews Conservative Russian Philosopher Aleksandr Dugin (RT)

American journalist Tucker Carlson has released a 20-minute interview with high-profile Russian philosopher and political commentator Aleksandr Dugin. The conversation was published on Carlson’s YouTube channel on Monday. Western media have described Dugin as “Putin’s brain” due to his supposed influence on President Vladimir Putin and the Russian elite. A fervent critic of the West and a foreign policy hawk, Dugin passionately supports Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and has stated that an independent Ukrainian state “should not exist.” In 2022, his daughter Darya was killed in a car bombing, which the Russian authorities said had been orchestrated by Ukrainian agents. Several US media outlets subsequently cited unnamed US intelligence officials as saying that Washington believes that the Ukrainian authorities were indeed involved in the assassination.

Carlson introduced Dugin as “a writer who writes about big ideas,” claiming that his books have been “banned by the Biden administration” in the US. “You cannot buy them on Amazon,” he said. During the conversation with Carlson, Dugin argued that liberal ideology, which became de facto uncontested in the West since the fall of the Soviet Union, is leading to the demise of the concept of families. “Family is [being] destroyed in favor of this individualism,” he said, adding that the natural progression of liberalism will lead to “abandoned human identity.” “Next phase: new liberalism. Now it is not about the rule of a majority, but it is about the rule of minorities. It is not about individual freedom, but it is about woke-ism,” Dugin said. “It is not democracy. It is totalitarianism.”

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“When Barack Obama warned America to not underestimate Joe Biden’s ability to fuck things up, was that some kind of joke?”

Pep Talk on a Dark Day (Kunstler)

You realize, don’t you, that what’s going on in our country is the collapse not just of an empire, or an economy, but a comprehensive paradigm of human progress. The hallmark of post-war life in Western Civ was supposed to be a return to sanity after the mid-twentieth century fugue of mass psychotic violence. The wish for just and rational order was not entirely pretense. But that was then. Now that we are going medieval on ourselves, the not-so-ironic result will be our literally going medieval, sinking back into a pre-modern existence of darkness, superstition, and penury, grubbing for a mere subsistence in the shadow of scuffling hobgoblins, our achievements lost and forgotten.

What’s most appalling is that our governing apparatus is visibly willing that to happen. When Barack Obama warned America to not underestimate Joe Biden’s ability to fuck things up, was that some kind of joke? After all, it was Mr. Obama and his fellow blobsters — the cabal of Intel spooks, covert Marxist bureaucrats, lawfare ninjas, globalist megalomaniacs, post-liberal think tankers, weapons grifters, degenerate billionaires, and assorted mentally-ill camp followers — who inflicted Joe Biden on the body politic. And then ran him on the country like some demon algorithm designed to wreck the USA as fast as possible.

The source of anguish in all that is the struggle to understand why they would want that to happen. What debauched sense of history would drive anyone to such lunatic desperation? It’s a cliché now to say that the Democratic Party has turned its traditional moral scaffold upside down and inside out. It acts against the kitchen table interests of the working and middle classes. It’s against civil liberties. It demands mental obedience to patently insane policy. It’s avid for war, no matter how cruelly pointless. It’s deliberately stirring up racial hatred. It despises personal privacy. It feeds a rogue bureaucracy that has become a veritable Moloch, an all-devouring malevolent deity. And now, rather suddenly, it aligns itself with a faction that seeks to exterminate the Jews.

And how did the opposition to that epic divergence into bad faith turn so flabby? How did the Republican Party roll over and wheeze so feebly while the FBI ran amok swatting grandmothers in dawn raids, and the US attorney general made justice a whore, and a Republican Congress allowed the Frankenstein agency of Homeland Security to flood the country with its enemies and give them gobs of operational cash? If Mr. Trump was unappetizing to them as a leader, why were they unable to produce an alternative figure of standing and stature at least equally resolute? They look like traitors and cowards.

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“..Any criminal investigation against Netanyahu also implicates President Biden..”

US Working To Prevent ICC Arrest Warrant for Netanyahu (Antiwar)

The US and Israel are working together to prevent the International Criminal Court from issuing an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other high-level Israeli officials, Israeli media has reported. Haaretz reported that the Israeli government is working under the assumption that arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and IDF Chief-of-Staff Herzi Halevi could be issued as soon as this week. The report said that the US is already engaged in an effort to block the warrants. Walla reported that Netanyahu is “under unusual stress” over the potential warrants and is leading a “nonstop push over the telephone” to prevent them with a focus on contact with the Biden administration.

In a statement on Friday, Netanyahu said an arrest warrant wouldn’t stop Israel’s mass slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza. “Under my leadership, Israel will never accept any attempt by the International Criminal Court in the Hague to undermine its basic right to defend itself,” he said. “While decisions made by the court in the Hague will not affect Israel’s actions, they will set a dangerous precedent that threatens soldiers and public figures.” Neither the US nor Israel are parties to the ICC, and the US has a contentious history with the court. In 2002, then-President George W. Bush signed a bill into law that would authorize the use of force to free any US service members or government officials brought to the ICC, which is based in the Hauge.

The controversial law, known as the American Service-Members’ Protection Act, authorizes the US to use “all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any US or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the” ICC, and is nicknamed the Hague Invasion Act. The Trump administration sanctioned ICC officials for their investigation into alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan. The Biden administration reversed the sanctions but continued to put pressure on the court, which worked since the ICC announced it would “deprioritize” its investigation of US forces in Afghanistan.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the Biden administration changed its attitude toward the court and backed its arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was issued in 2023. But now that Israel is being targeted, the US will likely resort back to its pressure tactics. Any criminal investigation against Netanyahu also implicates President Biden since he has provided so much support for the Israeli campaign in Gaza. Israel is also facing pressure from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), another Hague-based court that rules it’s “plausible” Israel is carrying out genocide in Gaza, a ruling the US has rejected. The main difference between the two courts is that the ICC prosecutes individuals while the ICJ deals with disputes between countries.

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“..most of the indictments either had no prior precedent in criminal law or will likely never be used again, at least against anyone left-wing..”

The Travesties of the Trump Trials (Victor Davis Hanson)

Do not believe the White House/mainstream media-concocted narrative that the four criminal court cases—prosecuted by Alvin Bragg, Letitia James, Jack Smith, and Fani Willis—were not in part coordinated, synchronized, and timed to reach their courtroom psychodramatic finales right during the 2024 campaign season. These local, state, and federal Lilliputian agendas were designed to tie down, gag, confine, bankrupt, and destroy Trump psychologically and physically. They are the final lawfare denouement to years of extra-legal efforts to emasculate him. Indeed, the nation is by now worn out by these serial assaults on constitutional norms: the Hillary-funded Steele dossier subterfuge; the pre-election Russian laptop disinformation campaign; the two impeachments without special counsel reports; the impeachment Senate trial of a private citizen; the effort to remove Trump’s name from state ballots; the ongoing attempt to emasculate the Electoral College; or the radical opportune changes in state election laws to ensure massive mail-in balloting.

Recently, Andrew McCarthy has reviewed in depth this coordination between White House personnel and prosecutors, long known and long denied by the left. Biden, for example, had complained to aides about Attorney General Merrick Garland’s tardiness in getting special federal prosecutor Smith appointed—and thus apparently ensuring Trump was convicted before the election. Nathan Wade, Fani Willis’s now-fired paramour prosecutor, visited and consulted with the White House counsel’s office when he was acting supposedly as a purely local county prosecutor. The January 6th left-wing-dominated congressional committee consulted with the Biden administration in sending forth its criminal referrals about Trump’s purported role in the protests. And to handle his pseudo-indictment against Trump, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg hired Biden Justice Department official Vincent Colangeio.

Two, the prosecutors’ delayed criminal indictments and E. Jean Carroll’s civil suit were predicated only on Donald Trump running for reelection. After his 2020 defeat, the loss of the two Republican senate seats in Georgia, and the January 6 demonstrations/riot, Trump was written off by pundits as politically toxic. Then his historic comeback in the subsequent year terrified the left. The reboot prompted the subsequent indictments and suits years after the purported crimes. It was left unsaid that had Trump not been a conservative Republican and leading presidential candidate, he would have never been indicted. Three, most of the indictments either had no prior precedent in criminal law or will likely never be used again, at least against anyone left-wing. Moreover, many of the writs relied on manipulation of statutes of limitations.

Neither Bragg nor any other local prosecutor had previously transformed a supposedly local affidavit misdemeanor into a supposed federal campaign finance violation, a gambit so preposterous that it had been passed on by federal attorneys. Letitia James was the first New York Attorney General to indict a state resident for the supposed crime of overvaluing real estate to obtain a loan, which was paid back timely and in full, to the profit of lending institutions. No bank, after auditing Trump’s assets and viability to pay back loans, was unhappy to loan to him. But all were quite happy to profit from the hefty interest—and would likely be happy to loan to him again. James sought to make Trump a criminal without ever finding a crime, much less a victim. Nor, until the checkered and unethical career of Fani Willis, had any local prosecutor ever indicted an ex-president for a supposedly improper phone call questioning whether all the state’s votes had been fully counted.

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Paul Craig Roberts likes Eva’s long blond hair.

The Shieldmaiden Takes the Field Against The Destroyers of the West (PCR)

A young Dutch female lawyer has undertaken the task of encouraging white Europeans to take a stand against the replacement of countries consisting of ethnic nationalities, such as Germans, English, French, Italians, Dutch, Spanish, Hungarians, with towers of babel. In our world today, as in George Orwell’s novel 1984, words are turned upside down and have the opposite of their meaning. Diversity now means “sameness” with no country’s population corresponding to the ethnicity of its name. Destroying the diversity afforded by white ethnic nations is the goal of the EU tyrants and “President” Biden who recently stated, as Tucker Carlson reported, that getting rid of white America was a good thing.

The young woman taking on the Shieldmaiden’s role is Eva Vlaardingerbroek. She states the obvious fact that Europeans must take a stand against the huge demographic shift brought by mass migration orchestrated by their leaders or risk becoming a minority in their home countries. This is a fact, but the traitors orchestrating our erasure have made it racist to say so. The question before us is whether she will be prosecuted for a hate crime. Throughout the Western world it has become dicey for a white person to defend white people, white history, and white accomplishments. As law is already being used against people and organizations who are white, such as President Trump and VDare in New York and President Trump in Fulton County, Georgia, once whites are a minority, the hatred and demonization that has been created of whites will be used to obliterate them. In The Camp of the Saints the first law passed by the new regime prohibits marriage between white people. White skin is bred out of existence. Perhaps a few will be kept in cages in zoos as an example of white evil.

When asked by Remix News at CPAC Hungary 2024 how European ethnicities should deal with accusations of racism for resisting demographic replacement in their home countries, Eva Vlaardingerbroek answered that response is impossible because our enemies have defined defense of Western civilization as racism. “So you have to pick a side. Of course, you’re going to be attacked if you say, ‘Hey, this continent, Europe, has been predominantly White for the entirety of its history, and now suddenly within one generation, a few bureaucrats have decided against the will of the people that we should suddenly be a minority,’” she said. Actually, European whites are already a minority in their own countries–and not only in their main cities–because half of them are indoctrinated against themselves and are aligned with the immigrant-invaders against their own kind. This 12 minute speech by a clear-thinking young Dutch woman says it all:

The question before us is why did leaders of the Western nations decide to destroy ethnic diverse nationality in Europe and the West by turning all Western countries into towers of babel? This was the question raised by the last Briton, Enoch Powell, in 1968. In his speech he warned that the British nation was being replaced and said that the clash of hostile cultures within a country would result in rivers of blood. Of course, Powell had to be put down, and he was. But he has proven to be right. The rivers of blood are not the result of armed conflict between race-based armies. Rivers of blood are forming from small streams from the racial murder of white people, from gang rapes of white women, and the sharp rise in crime that is dissolving British society. The war against white people is being fought by legal means. The immigrant-invaders are obtaining legal power over the white ethnic citizens.

In California the Democrats are content with illegal immigrants being police officers. A bill has been introduced in Congress to fill our military ranks with them. Immigrant-invaders have many allies in the universities, school systems, lawyers, police, and legislators. Whites, not immigrant-invaders, have limits put on their speech and protest rights. Immigrant-invaders have achieved the protection that Jews have against “hate speech,” “hate thoughts,” “hate crimes.” But white gentiles have no such protections. Police everywhere delight in the expansion of their reach as it elevates their power. In the UK white police are quick to grab a fellow white and charge him with a “hate crime” against an immigrant-invader. In years past I reported from the Swedish media that Swedish women raped by immigrant-invaders fear to report the rape as they could be charged with racism. Swedish men fear to stop a rape as Swedish authorities might designate the rescue of the Swedish woman as a hate crime. These are worst than Powell’s rivers of blood, because the white population cannot fight back.

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Kookaburra

 

 

Impossible

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 282024
 
 April 28, 2024  Posted by at 8:53 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Alberto Giacometti Tête Noire 1957

 

The Supreme Court’s Immunity Decision Could Limit the Cases Against Trump (ET)
Justice Kavanaugh Warns of Vicious Cycle of Malicious Prosecutions (ET)
UK Blocked Ukraine Peace Deal – Moscow (RT)
Details Emerge Of Failed Russia-Ukraine Peace Treaty – Welt (RT)
Blinken Accuses China Of Election Interference (RT)
US Spies Believe Putin Didn’t Order Navalny’s Death – WSJ (RT)
Tesla Attorneys Target Shareholder Trying To Stop Move To Texas (ZH)
US TikTok Ban Unconstitutional – RFK Jr (RT)
US To Build New ‘Doomsday Plane’ (RT)
Israel Rejects Calls for Independent Investigation Into Mass Graves (Manley)
Israel Uses Foreign Mercenaries In Gaza (Sahiounie)
Worst In 70 Years: Biden Approval Rating Absolutely Dismal (ZH)
White House Uses “Walkers” To Conceal Biden’s Old-Man Shuffle (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones

 

 

Maher RFK

 

 

Joe heli
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783925342790468027

 

 

Larry Johnson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1784003860400353778

 

 

 

 

“We’re writing a rule for the ages,” Justice Neil Gorsuch told Mr. Dreeben. The opinion would presumably ripple through multiple levels of the justice system as well..”

The Supreme Court’s Immunity Decision Could Limit the Cases Against Trump (ET)

The Supreme Court indicated on April 25 that it would issue a narrow ruling refining the scope of presidential immunity while leaving the details of former President Donald Trump’s other legal battles up to lower courts. The most immediate effect of their decision on President Trump’s legal battles would be to delay his Washington case, where his immunity appeal originated. That trial was scheduled to start on March 4 but, more recently, observers have been questioning whether it will even start before the election. Sending the case back to D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan would presumably force her to continue pre-trial proceedings with an added layer: Determining how to square Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment with the Supreme Court’s new definition of immunity.

Based on their April 25 questions, the justices are expected to distinguish between official and unofficial acts while ruling that presidents enjoy some immunity for the official ones. But it’s unclear how specific they will be in their description and whether they’ll provide enough instructions for the lower court to avoid yet another appeal that could once again reach the Supreme Court. “The Supreme Court could remand the immunity case with very little, if any, instruction, let the district court come up with its opinion, and then let the appellate court deal with it again,” John Shu, a constitutional law expert who served in both Bush administrations, told The Epoch Times. He added, “I certainly hope that doesn’t happen, because we’d end up right where we are today.”

Even if the case does proceed to trial, it’s questionable how effective it will be without some of the indicted actions that President Trump’s attorney, D. John Sauer, said were private and therefore outside the scope of immunity. Michael Dreeben, who argued for Mr. Smith, said the Justice Department was willing to proceed with a weakened indictment. Perhaps previewing the court’s opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts worried that without official acts, the trial court may be proceeding with a “one-legged stool.” Mr. Sauer responded that he didn’t think the case “would be able to go forward.” Mark Miller, senior counsel at the Pacific Legal Foundation, told The Epoch Times that Justice Roberts could require a special interrogatory verdict form in which the jury is asked to distinguish between official and nonofficial conduct in weighing President Trump’s case.

It’s difficult to predict how the court’s decision would impact President Trump’s other ongoing criminal cases. Their future may hinge on the justices’ particular phrasing rather than merely distinguishing between official and non-official acts. The Georgia election case is the most likely to be impacted by the decision since the accusations are most similar to the Washington trial, which will likely loom large in the justices’ deliberations.But as the court indicated, their eventual opinion will have long-lasting impacts on other cases. “We’re writing a rule for the ages,” Justice Neil Gorsuch told Mr. Dreeben. The opinion would presumably ripple through multiple levels of the justice system as well. In an exchange with Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Mr. Dreeben acknowledged that immunity would apply to both state and federal prosecutions.

On the day of the oral argument, President Trump was facing state charges related to his purported attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election with a “hush money” payment to adult film actress Stephanie Clifford. In that case, he tried raising presidential immunity as a reason to exclude certain evidence since it came from his official communications channels as president. New York Judge Juan Merchan said the motion was filed too late but it nevertheless highlighted the complicated nature of President Trump’s cases as they relate to immunity. While the alleged payment to Ms. Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, was made before the election, the purported falsification of documents didn’t occur until after he took office.

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“This case has huge implications for the presidency, for the future of the presidency, for the future of the country..”

Justice Kavanaugh Warns of Vicious Cycle of Malicious Prosecutions (ET)

During Thursday’s deliberations at the U.S. Supreme Court on former President Donald Trump’s immunity claim, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh warned that a decision in the case has future implications for whether future presidents are shielded from vicious cycles of malicious prosecution that could effectively end the presidency as we know it. In the course of two-and-a-half hours of oral arguments on April 25, justices on the Supreme Court appeared skeptical of a ruling by a federal appeals court that rejected President Trump’s claim that he has absolute immunity from criminal charges based on his official acts as president. President Trump was indicted by special counsel Jack Smith in August 2023 on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Pleading not guilty, the former president has argued that he should receive absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for acts that fell within the scope of his official duties.

The exception to this immunity, he has argued, is if Congress impeaches and convicts him on charges. A federal appeals court rejected that argument, claiming that presidents must face prosecution for alleged criminal wrongdoing. The question that is now before the Supreme Court is: “Whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office?” During Thursday’s deliberations, the justices weighed the claim of absolute immunity that, if adopted, would stop Mr. Smith’s prosecution of the former president dead in its tracks. Several conservative justices suggested they favor imposing limits on the prosecution of former presidents, while highlighting the importance of the case for the future. Justice Kavanaugh said that when presidents are subject to prosecution, history shows that it’s not going to stop. “It’s going to cycle back and be used against the current president or the next president … and the next president and the next president after that.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said that the court is “writing a rule for the ages,” along with Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Kavanaugh all said that their concern was not so much the case against President Trump, but rather the effect of the ruling on future presidencies. “This case has huge implications for the presidency, for the future of the presidency, for the future of the country,” Justice Kavanaugh said. Former Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben, who argued for Mr. Smith, said that the framers of the U.S. Constitution never intended for presidents to be above the law. Mr. Dreeben also said that the crimes President Trump is charged with—including allegedly participating in a scheme to enlist dueling electors in battleground states won by President Joe Biden to cast alternate slates of electoral votes for him—weren’t a part of the president’s official duties.

Attorney D. John Sauer, who argued for President Trump, told the justices that without presidential immunity from criminal charges, the “presidency as we know it” will be changed, contending that the looming threat is that a decision to deny immunity would “destroy” presidential decisionmaking at a time in the nation’s history when it needs to be bold. Mr. Sauer argued that the impact of the case would have implications far beyond the question at hand, raising the hypothetical prospect of President Biden facing charges of encouraging illegal immigration with his border policies. Justice Kavanaugh expressed concern about the future implications of the case, warning of the prospect of a vicious cycle of malicious prosecutions that could hamper presidents for years to come.

Mr. Drebeen contended that the laws currently on the books have not shown they are prone to abuse, telling the high court that “we’ve lived from Watergate through the present, through the independent counsel era with all of its flaws, without these prosecutions having gone off on a runaway train.” Justice Kavanaugh argued that the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton presidencies were all “hampered” by investigations, while suggesting that holding a president accountable is less important than protecting the functioning of the presidency. He raised the question of the “risk” of a “creative prosecutor” using “vague” statutes against a commander-in-chief, telling Mr. Dreeben that this case has “huge implications” for the presidency, and that he was “very concerned about the future.”

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“Kiev effectively discarded the deal under “direct pressure by London,” Peskov stressed. “The rest is speculation. I suggest we learn from the source.”

UK Blocked Ukraine Peace Deal – Moscow (RT)

Ukraine abandoned a draft peace treaty with Russia in 2022 under British pressure, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. The deal, which could have ended the Ukraine conflict weeks after it started, was approved by negotiators in Istanbul, but Kiev later pulled out of the talks. The German newspaper Welt reported on Friday that Moscow had issued additional demands after a deal had already been outlined, such as making Russian the second official language in Ukraine, implying that this had ended any hopes of an agreement. Peskov denied those claims on Saturday, citing remarks made by Ukrainian MP David Arakhamia, who led Kiev’s delegation at the talks. In an interview to domestic media last November, Arakhamia said then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had intervened in the peace process and had urged the Ukrainians to “just fight” Russia.

Kiev effectively discarded the deal under “direct pressure by London,” Peskov stressed. “The rest is speculation. I suggest we learn from the source.” Asked whether the draft treaty could serve as a basis for further peace talks, Peskov said Kiev’s public position was to reject talks with Russia. The idea of reviving the failed agreement was floated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko when he met Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin earlier this month. Johnson has denied derailing the peace talks, but has also bragged on multiple occasions about his policy of nudging Kiev into continuing hostilities with Russia, which the British politician claims to be a fight for global democracy.

“There could be no more effective way of investing in Western security than investing in Ukraine, because those guys without a single pair of American boots on the ground are fighting for the West,” Johnson told students at Georgetown University during a visit to the US this month. The Ukrainians “are effectively fighting our own fight, fighting for our own interests,” he added. Russian officials have described the Ukraine conflict as a Western proxy war against Moscow, which the US and its allies allegedly intend to wage “to the last Ukrainian.” Their goal, according to Moscow, is to contain Russia and stall its development, rather than protect the interests of the Ukrainian people.

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“That was the best deal we could have had,” arguing that Kiev was in a stronger negotiating position in 2022 than it is now..”

Details Emerge Of Failed Russia-Ukraine Peace Treaty – Welt (RT)

Russia and Ukraine were close to reaching a peace deal in the spring of 2022, under which Kiev was ready to commit to neutrality, Welt reported on Friday, citing a draft treaty. Moscow’s insistence that Ukraine make Russian its second official language was reportedly among the stumbling blocks. Citing a 17-page document dated April 15, 2022, the German newspaper claimed that an agreement had largely been hammered out by Moscow and Kiev, and that any remaining differences would have been discussed at a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky. According to Welt, Ukraine would have committed to “permanent neutrality,” would have agreed not to allow foreign weapons and troops into the country, and would have pledged not to “receive, produce or acquire” nuclear weapons.

Kiev would also reportedly have guaranteed not to hold military drills with other countries. In return, Russia would have pledged not to attack Ukraine again, while agreeing that Kiev could receive security guarantees from the US, UK, France, and China. If Ukraine came under attack, its guarantors would support its right to self-defense within three days, with the relevant agreements being ratified by each participating state, making them legally binding. Welt also claimed that the treaty had excluded Russia’s Crimean Peninsula, as well as parts of Donbass, from any security guarantees granted to Ukraine. However, it is unclear which parts of Donbass were covered by the clause. The outlet noted that while Russia had wanted the exact borders to be determined at a Putin-Zelensky summit, Kiev had refused, insisting that they be based on the Ukrainian interpretation.

At the same time, Moscow had reportedly signaled it was ready to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory, but not from Crimea and Donbass. The details were said to have been slated for discussion by Putin and Zelensky. The two sides also reportedly had major disagreements over the size of the Ukrainian military, as Kiev wanted to maintain far more troops than Moscow was prepared to allow. Welt reported that while the belligerents were close to an agreement, Moscow subsequently demanded that Russian be made the second official language in Ukraine. It also purportedly wanted all mutual sanctions to be lifted and lawsuits dropped in international courts, while insisting that Kiev ban Nazism and “aggressive nationalism.” Those demands were rejected by Ukraine, the paper claims.

Commenting on the potential agreement, one Ukrainian negotiator told Welt: “That was the best deal we could have had,” arguing that Kiev was in a stronger negotiating position in 2022 than it is now. Russian officials earlier confirmed that Ukraine and Russia had been close to a peace deal, but claimed that progress had been derailed by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who allegedly advised Kiev to keep fighting. Johnson has denied the accusation.

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Zero evidence.

Blinken Accuses China Of Election Interference (RT)

There is evidence that China has attempted to manipulate US elections, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN on Friday, as he wrapped up his three-day visit to the Asian nation. Host Kylie Atwood asked the senior diplomat about a pledge not to interfere in American democratic processes which Chinese President Xi Jinping gave to his US counterpart Joe Biden during their meeting in San Francisco last November. Recent reports have suggested that Beijing has failed to honor this promise, she claimed. Blinken refused to discuss any specifics. In general, Washington would consider any election interference “unacceptable,” he stressed, and that is what he reiterated during talks with top Chinese officials this week. “We have seen, generally speaking, evidence of attempts to influence and arguably interfere. And we want to make sure that’s cut off as quickly as possible,” the secretary of state added.

Atwood’s conclusion from Blinken’s remarks was that China is “not heeding” US warnings. A threat assessment issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in February stated that Beijing “aims to sow doubts about US leadership, undermine democracy, and extend Beijing’s influence” through information operations and possible election meddling. “Even if Beijing sets limits on these activities, individuals not under its direct supervision may attempt election influence activities they perceive are in line with Beijing’s goals,” the document stated. Claims that Chinese accounts online are trying to influence politics in the US came recently from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a London-based think tank, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington DC-based lobbying organization.

Both reports focused on ‘Spamouflage’, a purported Chinese online influence operation. FDD claimed its research demonstrates “that social media takedowns are necessary, but not sufficient, to combat foreign malign influence operations.” Earlier this week, Biden signed into law a bill which gives the owner of TikTok nine months to divest or face a ban in the US market. Proponents claim that ByteDance, which owns the popular social media outlet, is beholden to the Chinese government. Polls indicate that TikTok is a major news source for younger American voters, while older citizens prefer more traditional outlets, such as cable television and newspapers. Its management intends to challenge the law on First Amendment grounds.

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“..doesn’t dispute Putin’s culpability for Navalny’s death, but rather finds he probably didn’t order it at that moment.”

US Spies Believe Putin Didn’t Order Navalny’s Death – WSJ (RT)

The CIA and other US intelligence agencies have determined that the Russian authorities weren’t involved in the death of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Navalny, who had been serving a lengthy prison sentence stemming from his violations of the terms of a previous fraud conviction and his “extremist activities,” died at a penal colony in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region in northern Russia on February 16. The Russian prison authorities insist that there was no foul play in the passing of the anti-corruption activist. They said that the 47-year-old suddenly fell ill after a walk and collapsed, and that efforts to resuscitate him were in vain. According to the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), which Navalny used to head, the death certificate provided to his mother stated he had died of natural causes.

However, some Western leaders and the FBK insisted that Russian authorities were behind the activist’s passing. “Make no mistake. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death,” US President Joe Biden said at the time, without providing any proof of his claim. Now, however, the US intelligence agencies have come to the conclusion that Putin “likely didn’t order Navalny to be killed,” the WSJ said in an article on Saturday. This assessment is based on a range of data such as classified intelligence and the analysis of public facts, including “the timing of his death and how it overshadowed Putin’s re-election,” the sources explained. Navalny died a month before the Russian presidential election, in which Putin won 87.28% of the ballot.

The finding is broadly accepted by several agencies, including the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the State Department’s intelligence unit, the article read. The sources clarified that the assessment by the US intelligence “doesn’t dispute Putin’s culpability for Navalny’s death, but rather finds he probably didn’t order it at that moment.” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that he saw the article in the Wall Street Journal, but stressed that he “would not call it a high-quality piece that deserves any attention.” The publication contained “some empty reflections” and was apparently planned as “a Saturday reading for a global audience,” he stressed.

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The guy’s lawyers smell dollars. Lots.

Tesla Attorneys Target Shareholder Trying To Stop Move To Texas (ZH)

Richard Tornetta, who was at the center of Tesla shareholders’ claim that Elon Musk was taking an excessive pay package, is now at the center of claims that Tesla should not be reincorporating to Texas to approve Musk’s voided pay plan. But Tesla is firing back at Tornetta. John Reed, one of Tesla’s attorneys, said in a Delaware Chancery Court filing this week that Tornetta “is raising false alarms”, according to Bloomberg. Musk has considered relocating Tesla’s headquarters from Delaware to Texas after a judge revoked his substantial pay package due to conflicts among directors and inadequate disclosure of plan details. In response, Tornetta is urging the judge to prevent Musk from addressing the pay dispute outside of Delaware. Despite this, no legal actions are currently threatened or pending in Texas, and Musk has not obstructed the issuance of a final judgment in the case, according to Reed’s letter to the judge.

McCormick’s decision on retaining the dispute in Delaware remains uncertain and could affect the case’s outcome. If Tesla relocates to Texas and adjusts Musk’s compensation there, it might trigger a new legal battle under Texas law. A hearing is scheduled for July 8 to address Tornetta’s lawyers’ request for attorney fees and finalize the case. They aim to secure a ruling on their injunction plea before Tesla’s June 13 annual meeting, where a critical proxy vote will occur, Bloomberg writes. Reed, in a letter, suggests that Tornetta’s legal moves could sway Tesla shareholders’ decisions on relocating to Texas and reinstating Musk’s record-breaking compensation package. He advises McCormick against publicly addressing Tornetta’s injunction request to prevent influencing shareholder votes unfairly.

Tornetta’s legal team fears that a Texas move could enable Musk and Tesla’s directors to obstruct the judge’s decision on Musk’s pay. They also seek an escrow account creation for 29 million Tesla shares, valued at around $5 billion, as payment. Recall, Tornetta’s lawyers asked for $6 billion worth of legal fees for their services. “The lawyers who did nothing but damage Tesla want $6 billion. Criminal,” Elon Musk fired back last month. The reasoning for the excessive fee rests on the fact that the victory to void Musk’s pay plan results in 266 million shares being returned to the company. On January 31, we wrote that the compensation case, which was launched by Tornetta, argued that Tesla’s board lacked independence in crafting Musk’s pay, a view the judge supported.

Delaware Chancery Court Chief Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick cited inadequate disclosures and board conflicts of interest in her ruling. Musk, whose wealth largely comes from Tesla, the top auto company globally, has seen stock options from this plan vest as performance goals were met, though he hasn’t exercised them yet. The judge wrote earlier this year: “In the final analysis, Musk launched a self-driving process, recalibrating the speed and direction along the way as he saw fit. The process arrived at an unfair price. And through this litigation, the plaintiff requests a recall.” “The most striking omission from the process is the absence of any evidence of adversarial negotiations between the Board and Musk concerning the size of the grant,” she said in her ruling.

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Just till the election.

US TikTok Ban Unconstitutional – RFK Jr (RT)

US independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. intends to file a lawsuit against the American government over its threat to ban the TikTok social media platform, which has 170 million users in the country. President Joe Biden this week signed into law a bill which gives TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, 270 days to divest from it. Should it fail to comply, TikTok will be banned from app stores serving American customers. Kennedy believes the threat to be unconstitutional and that the justification for it – namely that the Chinese government could be using TikoTok to collect American citizens’ personal data – is a “smokescreen.” “Intelligence agencies from lots of countries, especially ours, are harvesting your data from everywhere all the time,” he said on Friday in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).

US officials “don’t understand that TikTok is an entrepreneurial platform for thousands of American young people,” the politician added. “They want to screw them over just so they can pretend to be tough on China.” Kennedy’s campaign is touted as antithetical to both Biden and his presumed Republican challenger, Donald Trump. He has urged American voters to reject both leading national parties, which he claims are barely distinguishable and represent big business rather than common people. Meanwhile, TikTok also intends to challenge the potential ban on First Amendment grounds. “The facts and the constitution are on our side and we expect to prevail again,” the CEO of the multibillion-dollar platform, Shou Zi Chew, said in a video statement posted moments after Biden signed the bill on Wednesday.

He was referring to Trump’s attempt in 2020 to ban TikTok and fellow Chinese-owned app WeChat, which was overturned in US courts. The Republican candidate has also criticized the White House over the latest campaign against TikTok. On Monday, Trump claimed in a Truth Social post that Biden “is the one pushing it to close, and doing it to help his friends over at Facebook become richer and more dominant.” The deadline given to TikTok is set to expire shortly after the presidential election in November. Among other things, the platform is a primary source of news for many young American voters, according to multiple surveys. Officials from both parties have been pressuring social media platforms to introduce stricter content moderation policies to supposedly combat misinformation.

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Not for Biden.

US To Build New ‘Doomsday Plane’ (RT)

The US will develop a new ‘doomsday plane,’ intended to allow the president to continue leading the country in case of a nuclear war or other major disaster that destroys command and control centers on the ground, the Air Force has announced. A $13-billion contract for the Survivable Airborne Operations Center (SAOC) project has been awarded to Sierra Nevada Corp, a US Air Force spokesperson announced in a statement on Friday. Work on the new strategic command and control military aircraft will be conducted at the company’s facilities in Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, the statement read. The deadline for the project is 2036, it added. According to the spokesman, the SAOC will be based on a commercial derivative jet, which would be hardened and modified to meet the standards of the Pentagon.

“The development of this critical national security weapon system ensures the department’s nuclear command, control, and communications capability is operationally relevant and secure for decades to come,” the statement read. The SAOC is intended to become a replacement for the aging E-4B Nightwatch aircraft or the National Airborne Operations Center that the US Air Force is using at the moment. The E-4Bs, which are based on a Boeing 747 jet, have been around since the mid-1970s. The planes are expected to be retired in the early 2030s. According to Reuters, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the aircraft as parts for them become obsolete.

The US Air Force currently operates four ‘doomsday planes,’ with at least one of them being constantly on alert. The E-4Bs carry advanced communications gear, are capable of refueling in the air, and can withstand nuclear blasts and various electromagnetic effects. Russia also has four ‘doomsday planes,’ which are based on the Ilyushin Il-80 jet. The aircraft first took to the skies in 1985, but their communication equipment has been upgraded in recent years. A source told RIA-Novosti in 2022 that the planes can now exchange data with Russian nuclear submarines.

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“..he claimed that Israel had already looked into the report and found no evidence of wrongdoing..”

Israel Rejects Calls for Independent Investigation Into Mass Graves (Manley)

According to reports, some of the bodies found in the mass graves were handcuffed, shot in the head, or were buried without clothes. Leaders from the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have called for an independent investigation into the mass graves that were discovered in Palestine. Volker Türk, the UN Human Rights Chief, said on Tuesday that an independent investigation into the mass graves – not an Israeli one – is needed “given the prevailing climate of impunity.” “We feel the need to raise the alarm because clearly there have been multiple bodies discovered,” said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for Türk. When asked by reporters about the mass graves, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Nadav Shoshani disregarded the reports as “fake news.” He also asked, “investigate what?” When asked if Israel will investigate the mass grave reports, he claimed that Israel had already looked into the report and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

“We gave answers. We don’t bury people in mass graves. Not something we do,” said Shoshani, without providing details of the investigation. However, a US official who requested anonymity said the US is not “in a position” to validate Israel’s claims. “The Israelis have told us privately what they’ve said publicly, that they totally reject the allegations,” said the US official. “We aren’t in a position to validate that, and would like a thorough and transparent investigation into the reports.” Palestinian Civil Defense said over the weekend that it had found a mass grave containing 283 bodies on the grounds of the Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis. That discovery follows an incident two weeks ago when another mass grave was found at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Some of the bodies that were found in the mass grave over the weekend had been handcuffed, shot in the head or were found wearing detainee uniforms, according to Mahmoud Basal, a spokesperson for Palestinian Civil Defense. Further reports added that some of the bodies found had been stripped of their clothes, or they had been buried in hospital gowns with tubes or needles still in them. Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) refused to comment on the findings, but acknowledged exhuming bodies that they claim had already been buried prior to their search for Israeli hostages. According to one report, at least two of the three burial sites were created prior to the arrival of IDF troops, but the Palestinian Civil Defense said only 100 bodies were in the graves prior to the arrival of IDF troops, and a total of 392 bodies were recovered.

John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council said on Thursday that the reports about the mass graves is “deeply disturbing,” and added “we’d like to see this investigated.” US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan echoed those sentiments, telling reporters, “We want answers,” adding, “we want to see this thoroughly and transparently investigated.” Since the founding of Israel, it has been the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign aid and has received about $300 billion in total for economic and military support. The Biden administration’s new aid request for $14.3 billion has been the highest aid support approved by Congress thus far, since 1979 when $13.2 billion (adjusted for inflation) was given to Israel by the US.

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$4,000 a week.

Israel Uses Foreign Mercenaries In Gaza (Sahiounie)

The international community is not only silent about Israel’s genocide but also sends foreign mercenaries to fight alongside Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza. The IDF summoned hundreds of reserve soldiers to reinforce its ranks in preparation for its ground attack on the Gaza Strip. To bolster their Israeli ranks the IDF promoted an influx of people holding Israeli passports and living in foreign countries. However, the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, reported that Tel Aviv contacted international security contractors to provide fighters to perform military tasks during its ongoing war in Gaza. Pedro Diaz Flores Corrales, aged 27 years, is a former soldier in the Spanish army and had previously fought as a mercenary in both Ukraine and Iraq.

In addition to this, he is known for belonging to a fascist political group, the so-called Neo-Nazi movement, according to the Middle East website ‘Monitor’. The group is involved in illicit arms trafficking, as well as mercenary exploitation. Corrales justified his decision to fight alongside the IDF, and said that each participant in the fighting receives about 3,900 euros ($4,187) a weekly salary, and perks associated with the tasks they perform. El Mundo reported that it had seen pictures of Corrales surrounded by mercenaries of different nationalities, including French, Germans, and Albanians, and even American Marines or members of the Special Forces who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, or Kosovo. Last October, French media circulated news about a large number of French fighters joining the fight alongside the IDF.

A report by the Euro-Mediterranean Observatory revealed in the past the presence of hundreds of European mercenaries who volunteer for military service in the ranks of the IDF, as part of special forces, especially in the Gaza Strip. Organizations directly linked to right-wing Jewish and Christian groups within Europe are organizing projects and campaigns to invite Europeans to join the IDF, as well as to join campaigns to support illegal settler operations against Palestinians in the West Bank. Intending to use them in tunnels of Hamas, Israel offers Kurdish PKK terrorists $ 2,200 to join the frontlines in its genocidal war against Palestinians with thousands of terrorists and mercenaries already transported to Israel.

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“I think they’re just sending a message to politicians: ‘Get this under control..'”

Worst In 70 Years: Biden Approval Rating Absolutely Dismal (ZH)

President Joe Biden has the worst job approval rating since Eisenhower during his recently completed 13th quarter in office, according to a new poll by Gallup. While Biden clocks in at 38.7%, the previous low was set by George H.W. Bush at 41.8% in 1992. Donald Trump and Barack Obama averaged 46.8% and 45.9% respectively during the same point in their presidencies. Prior to Bush, Jimmy Carter is the only other president with a sub-50% average in his 13th quarter. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush averaged between 51% and 55% approval in their 13th quarters, while Dwight Eisenhower had the highest average for a president during his 13th month at 73.2%. What’s more, Biden’s most recent approval rating places him 277 out of 314 presidential quarters in Gallup history dating back to 1945, placing him in the bottom 12% of all presidential quarters.

Biden’s score is technically the lowest of his presidency, which has been dragging in the low 40% range since Q4 of his term. Put another way: By political affiliation, Gallup’s poll found that 2% of Republicans approve of Biden’s job in office, while independents have him at 33%. The vast majority of Democrats, 83%, think Biden’s doing an awesome job. Meanwhile an Axios ‘vibes survey’ / Harris poll found that most Americans want mass deportations, including 42% of Democrats. The poll also found that 30% of Democrats and 46% of Republicans say they’d end birthright citizenship guaranteed under the 14th Amendment.

As Axios notes further: Americans are open to former President Trump’s harshest immigration plans, spurred on by a record surge of illegal border crossings and a relentless messaging war waged by Republicans. President Biden is keenly aware the crisis threatens his re-election. He’s sought to flip the script by accusing Trump of sabotaging Congress’ most conservative bipartisan immigration bill in decades. But when it comes to blame, Biden so far has failed to shift the narrative: 32% of respondents say his administration is “most responsible” for the crisis, outranking any other political or structural factor. “I was surprised at the public support for large-scale deportations,” said Mark Penn, chairman of The Harris Poll and a former pollster for President Clinton, adding “I think they’re just sending a message to politicians: ‘Get this under control,'” suggesting that this is a clear warning to Biden that “efforts to shift responsibility for the issue to Trump are not going to work.”

Drilling down, when asked to identify their greatest concern surrounding illegal immigration, Americans most frequently cited: • Increased crime rates, drugs, and violence (21%). • The additional costs to taxpayers (18%). • Risk of terrorism and national security (17%). The survey also found that 64% of those polled believe immigrants receive more in welfare and benefits than they pay in taxes, and 54% believe that immigration is linked to spiking US crime rates, which Axios refutes. Bottom line: “The tradeoff here in the poll is, people would take expanded legal immigration if they saw there’s a crackdown on the border,” according to Penn.

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What a job.

White House Uses “Walkers” To Conceal Biden’s Old-Man Shuffle (ZH)

With the presidential election still more than six months away, President Biden’s handlers are under increasing pressure to divert Americans’ eyes from his obvious and accelerating mental and physical decline. Where his deteriorating mental abilities are concerned, we’ve already seen them using tactics like drastically minimizing his spontaneous interactions with reporters and excessively stage-managing his rare press conferences — down to furnishing him with answers to questions submitted in advance. Now comes news that Team Biden’s latest stage-management innovation is focused on obscuring his frailty: Uncomfortable with the way Biden looks as he unsteadily shuffles across the White House lawn, one or more staffers now walk at his side, helping to prevent close scrutiny of his gait.

Biden advisors have told Axios they’re uneasy about how he looks when walking and shuffling by himself, particularly across the White House lawn. The outlet analyzed video of Biden’s navigation to Marine One helicopters and pegged when the new hide-the-invalid routine started: In March, Biden’s five walks shuffles to Marine One were by himself or family members only. After April 16, nine of his 10 treacherous traverses of the lawn had him obscured by accompanying staffers or legislators In addition to acting as visual screeners, the aides might also be beneficial in grabbing him if he starts falling to the ground. Biden’s advisors and doctors have had him embrace other tools and techniques to minimize physical disasters like his falls on the Air Force One stairs…

…and this wipeout at last spring’s Air Force Academy graduation: The extra measures include wearing black sneakers instead of business shoes, and now walking up a shorter set of stairs to board Air Force One. The mental side of the ledger is constantly being filled with new debit entries. The latest came this week, when — not for the first time — Biden read his stage directions off the teleprompter. In a Wednesday speech to North America’s Building Trades Unions, he weakly delivered a line meant to draw applause, then read the word “PAUSE” off the prompter. As we detailed Friday, Biden’s latest approval rating is the worst for any president at this point in a term in 70 years. Just 38.7% of Americans approve of his performance, according to Gallup. A February poll found 76% of Americans have moderate or major concerns about Biden’s mental and physical fitness to advance to a second term.

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Mood
https://twitter.com/i/status/1784146158228582813

 

 

Last night was a movie

 

 

Baby giraffe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1784003433143427547

 

 

How clean does this feel?

 

 

Wabbit

 

 

White calf

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 262024
 
 April 26, 2024  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Herri met de Bles Landscape with Saint Christopher 1535 – 1545

 

America: Goodbye my Country (Paul Craig Roberts)
Sceptical Supreme Court Could Hand Trump Partial Victory In Immunity Case (ZH)
Court to Decide Trump Contempt Sanction (Turley)
Hillary Clinton and Marc Elias Are Afraid of 2024 Trump Win (Sp.)
Democrats Want Donald Trump ‘Killed,’ Alan Dershowitz Warns (ET)
Pollster: ‘Deep State’ Wanted Trump’s Imprint On Failed Ukraine Policy (Sp.)
Trump Allies Charged In Arizona Election Interference Case (Sp.)
Biden Rushes Aid to Ukraine As US Cost of Living Skyrockets (Miles)
Biden Team Doubts US Aid Will Help Ukraine Win – Politico (RT)
Scott Ritter: US Aid for Ukraine Won’t Hamper Russia’s Strategic Advantage (Sp.)
Russia To Seize $440 Million From JPMorgan (ZH)
Harvey Weinstein Conviction Overturned On Appeal (ZH)
Immanuel Kant Goes To War (Hayes)
Carbon Emissions CANNOT Cause ‘Global Warming’ (Slay)

 

 

 

 

Trump NY

 

 

Pecker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783587614928368048

 

 

Immunity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783600215817163214

 

 


Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

Tucker racism

 

 

Bannon Rickards

 

 

 

 

“Americans have sat on their butts and allowed the destruction of civility, the rule of law, the Constitution, and their nation.”

America: Goodbye my Country (Paul Craig Roberts)

I would add several more. For example, the independence of doctors requires private practice. Private practice is being destroyed systematically by medical insurance, malpractice insurance, Medicare, Big Pharma, and the US Congress which panders to Big Pharma for campaign contributions. Medical doctors are being forced into becoming employees for HMOs where they have to follow their employer’s protocols or be fired. This means that they must abandon the Hippocratric Oath and follow the profit-enhancing practices of their employer HMOs. Big Pharma provides software for diagnosis and treatment, and doctors have to prescribe according to what Medicare and insurance companies will pay a percentage of the billing amount. Even doctors in private practice find that what they can prescribe and what operations they can perform is limited to insurance and medicare decisions.

During the orchestrated “Covid pandemic,” the entire propaganda operation was geared toward maximizing Big Pharma’s profits from the Covid “vaccine” and to cancelling people’s control over their own health care by imposing “vaccine” mandates. This was the first exercise in the imposition of mass tyranny in the Western World. Individual countries had experienced tyranny, but never before the entire Western world simultaneously. In order to maximize Big Pharma’s profits and impose mass tyranny, it was necessary to prohibit two safe, effective, known preventatives and cures for Covid–hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin. Doctors who successfully used these cures and preventatives to protect their patients were subject to persecution by medical authorities and governing boards. Some were fired from their HMO jobs and university medical schools, some were stripped of their licenses, some were prosecuted. In order to mass inject people with an untested “vaccine” under an emergency use order the requirement was that there were no cures.

So, the fact that there were cures had to be suppressed. The utterly corrupt US medical establishment, the whore media and the Western governments suppressed the cures and ridiculed them as “horse medicine.” If the Western peoples were not so insouciant, so gullible, so trusting of “authorities,” so utterly stupid and incapable of thinking for themselves, there would have been no orchestrated “Covid pandemic” and no mass vaccination, which is against all medical protocols in the face of a pandemic. According to all available scientific evidence to date, the “Covid vaccine” has killed and destroyed the health of more people than the Covid virus. The corrupt “authorities” have done their best to cover this up, but as I have reported the coverup has failed. Still nothing is being done about it. Nothing can be done as long as Congress is dependent on campaign contributions from corporations. “Our” representatives are really representatives of those interest groups that fund election campaigns.

Congress reports to them, not to us. The idiot US Supreme Court actually ruled that corporations had a legitimate Constitutional right to purchase the US government. This ruling converted a government that represented the people into one that represented the political campaign contributors. Another addition I would make is the destruction of manners. Try to find today any sign of the manners I grew up with or the civilization that existed. Even when I was in my 20s, when a woman entered the room, the men stood up. Car and restaurant doors were opened for women. Women were helped into their seat at the table. Only when women were seated did men sit down. Men were trained to be gentleman, and ladies to be ladies. No gentleman ever used a four-letter word in a woman’s presence, and no woman ever spoke one. Listen to the barbaric youth today. Even the terms ladies and gentlemen have passed out or have been driven out of use.

[..] Today in the Disunited States we have a government in power that was not elected; instead it used control over the blue cities in swing states and the whore American media to steal the election. Massive amounts of evidence was provided by experts that the election was stolen, but this was strongly denied by the whore media, and experts were prosecuted for making the facts known. Today America is governed by an illegitimate tyrannical regime, and nothing has been done about it. The Republican Party is useless. Only Trump soldiers on with four orchestrated criminal indictments and a number of civil cases arrayed against him. The media, Democrats, and Rino Republicans are all against him. Only the people are for him, and the people are powerless. They don’t even have the vote as the Democrats made clear by stealing the last two elections. Those prosecuting Trump have no concern that they are destroying America’s reputation and reducing the power of all future presidents, making them even more subservient to the deep state.

America’s only representative–Donald Trump–is so overloaded with criminal and civil prosecutions that he has no time to campaign and even as a billionaire is overwhelmed with the legal costs of defending himself from obvious nonsensical charges.The legal profession, the law schools, the bar associations, the Congress, the courts, the media stand aside as if they are not also endangered and as if the weaponization of law isn’t a foundation of tyranny. What we are witnessing most certainly is the transformation of American law into a weapon for subjecting the American population and eliminating anyone who dares to protest or challenge the tyrannical ruling establishment. This is the reason that the United States of America is a totally dead and buried formerly free nation. Americans have sat on their butts and allowed the destruction of civility, the rule of law, the Constitution, and their nation.

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Interesting discussion. To be continued.

Sceptical Supreme Court Could Hand Trump Partial Victory In Immunity Case (ZH)

After two and a half hours, the Supreme Court has finished hearing arguments on whether a former president is immune from criminal prosecution. Reading the tea-leaves of the comments has left most believing that SCOTUS will fail to grant former President Trump the full immunity he is seeking (choosing instead to narrow the protections for former presidents), but are likely to issue a ruling that could further delay his trial on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election. That would be a partial win for the former President. As Axios reports, a definitive ruling against Trump – a clear rejection of his theory of immunity that would allow his Jan. 6 trial to promptly resume – seemed to be the least likely outcome. A majority of the justices seemed inclined to rule that former presidents must have at least some protection from criminal charges, but not necessarily the “absolute immunity” Trump is seeking.

The core distinction during oral arguments came down to a president’s official vs. unofficial actions. — and which of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results were official vs. unofficial. The most likely outcome might be for the high court to punt, perhaps kicking the case back to lower courts for more nuanced hearings. That would still be a victory for Trump, as Sam Dorman reports via The Epoch Times that the outcome of this appeal could delay lower court proceedings in President Trump’s Washington trial as well as his cases in Georgia and Florida. It’s unlikely that the Supreme Court, which is expected to release a decision in June, will write an opinion that delays his ongoing criminal “hush money” trial in New York. The bottom-line is that no clear, concise majority opinion emerged this morning. But there may be five justices willing to kick the can down the road – and that’s enough for Trump, at least for now.

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“Only Michael Cohen would portray himself in terms of a witness simply trying to share evidence of a crime..”

Court to Decide Trump Contempt Sanction (Turley)

I will confess that there are at times a level of contempt expressed in my columns. However, today will be the first time that a column becomes a legal matter for contempt. Among the ten postings by former president Donald Trump being raised by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in his contempt sanction is the use of a quotation from one of my columns. In a hearing on the gag order Tuesday morning, Judge Juan Merchan reserved any final decision. On April 15, Trump quoted my New York Post column from the day before titled “A serial perjurer will try to prove an old misdemeanor against Trump in an embarrassment for the New York legal system.” Trump posted the title while attaching a link. There is an interesting aspect to this controversy that captures the problem with Judge Merchan’s gag order.

In addition to continually appealing on television to oppose Trump’s election and to discuss his testimony in this case, Cohen has also lashed out against critics and coverage, including my own columns. I have been a critic of Cohen since the time when he was still working as counsel for Trump. Cohen has continued to attack some of us with vulgar postings while posting mocking pictures and attacks on Trump, including running commentary on the trial. In one posting, Cohen posted an insulting attack on myself and others who have raised questions about the Manhattan case while objecting that he is entitled to the protection of the gag order because he is a witness. Only Michael Cohen would portray himself in terms of a witness simply trying to share evidence of a crime.

Cohen has raised money on being the antagonist of Donald Trump. He has cultivated his professional wrestling style as a type of trash-talking, chair-throwing thug to liberal cable programs. Judge Merchan has allowed him to use the gag order to shield him from criticism as he heaps abuse on Trump both as a candidate and a defendant. That includes, like Trump, responding to these very columns, including my own, on the case. I have previously criticized these gag orders on constitutional grounds.

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“.. ‘public servants’ in the United States dole out trillions of unregulated dollars, but can be ‘purchased’ for mere millions of dollars..”

Hillary Clinton and Marc Elias Are Afraid of 2024 Trump Win (Sp.)

Hillary Clinton has once again evoked the specter of “Russian collusion” and warned the audience of Marc Elias’ “Democracy Docket” podcast that Donald Trump’s role model is no one but Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Clinton, the danger of a Trump victory to the US democracy is acute, given that Republicans would do whatever it takes to win the 2024 elections, starting with narrowing the electorate, purging votes, creating confusion at polling stations and even weaponizing artificial intelligence (AI). “Probably can’t even imagine what they’re going to do with artificial intelligence and other cyber-attacks on voters in terms of the messages that they will get, sometimes deliberately, to confuse them. You know, different polling places, different days to vote, different times of voting — I mean, whatever they can do to mess people up,” the former secretary of state claimed.

She went on to say that if Trump wins the presidential election in 2024 he would turn into a full-fledged “authoritarian” or “dictator”, who wants to kill his opposition, suppresses the freedom of speech, takes bribes in pay-to-play schemes, and doesn’t believe in the rule of law. Clinton’s outlandish claims expose her as nothing short of a projectionist, according to Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel, who has been examining the Clinton Foundation’s alleged fraud and pay-to-play scheming for several years. “Hillary Clinton and Marc Elias are both disgraces to the legal profession and mere servants of corrupt donors who plainly understand that ‘public servants’ in the United States dole out trillions of unregulated dollars, but can be ‘purchased’ for mere millions of dollars, often routed via leaky ‘charities,’ or off-market ‘business’ deals and media gigs,” Ortel told Sputnik.

“So far, the known record indicates that Elias, acting for the 2015/16 Clinton campaign and likely working directly with Hillary, rigged the Democratic primaries to favor Hillary and deny Bernie a running shot at winning the Democratic nomination,” the analyst continued. “Then, Elias (likely under direction from Hillary and her corrupt donors) contracted the manufacture of bold lies attempting to link Trump to Russia in the ‘Steele Dossier’ and hyped their deep connections in media and academia to inflate a massive web of deception that hampered the Trump presidency, instigated impeachments of Trump, interfered in the 2020 election, the 2022 election and now in the 2024 election. “If Trump and the GOP win the White House and Congress this year, that could spell serious legal troubles for both Hillary and Marc, the analyst presumed.

Clinton’s claim about Trump’s apparent desire to “kill” his opposition could trigger inconvenient parallels with a string of unexplained deaths around Team Clinton, according to Sputnik’s interlocutor. While Hillary is peddling the idea of the GOP’s forthcoming “election disinformation,” one should recall how she tried to evade scrutiny during the “emailgate” scandal concerning classified government information which ran through her unprotected server, the analyst pointed out. The former secretary of state permanently deleted 33,000 of those emails insisting they were “personal and private”. “Hillary Clinton is an adept liar and mistress of attempting to destroy incriminating evidence,” Ortel said. “In this, she has legions of co-conspirators who have woven fanciful tales of her decades of ‘public service’ without explaining how she managed to convince a major law firm— Williams & Connolly—-to defer collecting millions in legal fees through Bill Clinton’s presidency or how the Clinton family scored millions of dollars in off-market book and speech deals.”

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What is it with Dems and Secret Service protection? Nobody questioned it before..

Democrats Want Donald Trump ‘Killed,’ Alan Dershowitz Warns (ET)

Retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz suggested that Democrat officials want former President Donald Trump to get killed by taking away his Secret Service protection. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) introduced legislation last week that would remove Secret Service protection for people who are convicted of felony or state crimes. The lawmaker mentioned that a “former president” could be an individual whose protection would be terminated if he’s found guilty in four cases. But Mr. Dershowitz, a former constitutional law professor and criminal defense lawyer, asserted in an interview with Newsmax over the weekend that Mr. Thompson’s legislation is “ridiculous” and “means they want him killed because he’s obviously a target.”

“We live in an age where everybody is in danger. Look, Bobby Kennedy ought to be getting Secret Service protection, but certainly Donald Trump needs to get Secret Service protection. He’s not going to jail, but if he goes to jail obviously the law requires Secret Service protection,” Mr. Dershowitz said, referring to President Trump. It comes as President Trump faces a criminal trial in which prosecutors allege that he falsified business records during the 2016 campaign to cover up negative news stories. The trial is scheduled to last around six to eight weeks in total, while opening arguments started Monday. Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the case, “is going to bluff, fine and threat, but he’s not going to throw Donald Trump in jail,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “That would be a guaranteed victory … I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

A press release issued by Mr. Thompson’s office said that with President Trump’s cases, there is now an opportunity for Congress to reform the U.S. Secret Service’s protective mission “by automatically terminating Secret Service protection for those who have been sentenced to prison following conviction for a federal or state felony—clarifying that prison authorities would be responsible for the protection of all inmates regardless of previous Secret Service protection.”

“Unfortunately, current law doesn’t anticipate how Secret Service protection would impact the felony prison sentence of a protectee—even a former president. It is regrettable that it has come to this, but this previously unthought-of scenario could become our reality,” Mr. Thompson said, referring to the former president’s 91 state and federal charges. “Therefore, it is necessary for us to be prepared and update the law so the American people can be assured that protective status does not translate into special treatment—and that those who are sentenced to prison will indeed serve the time required of them,” he added in the news release.

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“..Speaker Johnson and many congressional Republicans snubbed their own voters on Ukraine funding for two reasons: ignorance and ideology..”

Pollster: ‘Deep State’ Wanted Trump’s Imprint On Failed Ukraine Policy (Sp.)

Most Americans hold a realistic view of the unfolding Ukraine conflict and want their government to prioritize domestic economic and national security interests, according to Patrick Basham, head of Democracy Institute, a politically independent research organization based in Washington and London. Basham likewise does not rule out that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has been played by the US “deep state” into supporting the unpopular Ukraine aid package. Sputnik: US Congress’ decision to back Joe Biden’s $61 billion aid package for Ukraine to fight its war against Russia has been met with disapproval from US voters on both sides of the political aisle, according to your new poll. Why did Mike Johnson and some of his fellow Republicans in the House decide to snub the GOP’s base on Ukraine?

Patrick Basham: Speaker Johnson and many congressional Republicans snubbed their own voters on Ukraine funding for two reasons: ignorance and ideology. These Republican politicians, along with the majority of American congressmen and senators, are abysmally ignorant about the state of the war in Ukraine. They do not realize that Ukraine has been defeated; many of them even believe Ukraine can still win the military contest with Russia. They are also adherents to a foreign policy ideology that is at odds with the perspective held by the overwhelming majority of conservative and Republican voters in America. The politicians are neoconservatives who divide the world into black and white, good and bad nations.

They believe that American and Western military and economic power can and should remove from power foreign governments that America dislikes – and, crucially, that the removal of these governments will be met with approval from those formerly ruled by them. Although these costly interventions consistently fail, they are advertised as projects to advance democracy, freedom, and prosperity. In striking contrast, most Republican voters (and most Americans) hold a more realistic view of American power. They want Washington to prioritize American interests (especially economic and national security) abroad. As such, they are deeply reluctant to put American soldiers in harm’s way for little, if any, apparent benefit to America, and they are also acutely sensitive to the horrendous economic cost of waging a prolonged overseas war.

Sputnik: Your survey has also indicated that Donald Trump’s support for Speaker Mike Johnson failed to sway the American opposition to funding the Ukrainian conflict. Nonetheless, Sen. Lindsey Graham claimed that Trump’s support helped ram the Ukraine package through Congress. What’s your take on Trump’s role in advocating the provision of Ukraine aid in the form of a loan and backing Johnson’s Ukraine bill? Patrick Basham: Trump’s support for Johnson helped to make the Ukraine bill more palatable to some Republican congressmen. Trump provided political cover for those Republican politicians afraid of attacks from “America First” critics within their own party. I presume that Trump’s principal goal was to shore up Johnson’s overall position within the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives so that during the election campaign Republicans would not experience yet another drawn-out, politically painful exercise to choose a new speaker.

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Raising Arizona.

Trump Allies Charged In Arizona Election Interference Case (Sp.)

Trump allies Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, and Jenna Ellis are among 18 people charged in an election interference case in the state of Arizona, court documents revealed. “Defendants’ attempts to declare Unindicted Co-conspirator 1 and Pence the winners of the 2020 Presidential Election contrary to voter intent and the law, involved numerous other charged and uncharged co-conspirators,” the filing said on Wednesday. Former President Donald Trump is listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the filing. The defendants are accused of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Arizona, the court documents stated.

In February, a US federal appeals court ruled that Trump is not immune from prosecution in his 2020 election interference case, which Trump appealed to the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court is scheduled to decide whether Trump is immune from being prosecuted as a former US president on Thursday. In August 2023, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump on 13 felony counts related to his alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges in Georgia over the 2020 presidential election. Trump faces a total of 91 charges in four criminal cases that Republicans say are an attempt by the Democratic establishment to prevent him from returning to the White House. The most serious charges carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison. If the punishment were to be determined by adding up the terms, he could be behind bars for more than 700 years.

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“..the cost now of living in America has risen by about $11,434, give or take, in comparison to when Biden took office.”

Biden Rushes Aid to Ukraine As US Cost of Living Skyrockets (Miles)

American households in 2024 are spending an extra $11,434 annually to maintain a similar standard of living to the one they enjoyed just three years ago. That’s according to a new study by Republican members of the US Senate Joint Economic Committee who examined consumer price data to arrive at an analysis of the impact of inflation from state to state. In some parts of the country the cost of living increase stood at a comparatively modest $8,500 per year, while in states like California and Colorado it approached $15,000. The Biden White House rejected the study as one-sided, pointing to attendant wage increases across the economy. Still, recent polling suggests most Americans don’t feel the increased income makes up for the rise in inflation, and economic issues remain at the forefront of voters’ concerns with November’s presidential election less than seven months away.

Geopolitical consultant and founder of Global Perspective Consulting David Oualaalou pointed to the troubling data during an appearance on Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Wednesday, questioning the US president’s focus on foreign policy amidst a grim economic outlook for millions of Americans. “The fact that [the US] keeps sending more money to Ukraine [and] it’s already a failed state, what is it for?” asked the author and global speaker. “We have been taking money out of average Americans that are paying taxes. I hope your listeners understand — and this is a sad reality — that the cost now of living in America has risen by about $11,434, give or take, in comparison to when Biden took office.” “And why? Because we are taking money out of Americans and giving it to the corrupted government in Ukraine.” he insisted. “I saw those images of the incompetent members of Congress waving the Ukrainian flag inside Congress. Well to me it became like, why don’t you go and represent Ukraine?

Shame on our politicians. But, again, until the structure of our system has changed, nothing is going to change fundamentally.” Former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously warned Americans about the emergent US military-industrial complex during his farewell address in 1961. What’s less well known is that an earlier draft of the speech referred to a “military-industrial-congressional complex.” Eisenhower reconsidered the term out of fear of offending Washington lawmakers, but the designation makes clear legislators’ key role in what the former leader considered a corrupt and dangerous phenomenon. Military contractors make up one of the largest political lobbies in Washington; recently, a study found lawmakers who voted to pass a recent National Defense Authorization Act received four to five times more in donations from the defense industry than those who did not. The promise of campaign cash creates a powerful incentive for congress members to vote to fund more war.

“We have nothing to show but conflicts,” said Oualaalou. “We do not sell anything to the rest of the world except conflict and weapons. And at some point when the world is shifting, like what we are witnessing right now, most countries are going to say, ‘sorry, we are not interested in buying what you have to sell.'” Recently the African country of Chad has threatened to order US troops stationed in the country to leave. The move comes after the neighboring country of Niger made a similar request. The United States has, so far, refused to comply, having invested significant amounts of money there as a hub for military and surveillance activity in the region.

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It’s not about winning. It’s about fighting.

Biden Team Doubts US Aid Will Help Ukraine Win – Politico (RT)

US officials are not convinced that another $61 billion in American assistance for Ukraine will be enough for it to prevail in the conflict against Russia, Politico has reported. President Joe Biden signed a $95 billion foreign aid package on Wednesday, which also included funding for Israel and Taiwan. The Senate voted on the legislation earlier this week, ending a standoff between the Democrats and the Republicans that had dragged on since the autumn. “Battlefield dynamics [in the Ukraine conflict] have shifted a lot in the last few months,” Politico reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed members of the Biden administration. This happened partially because the stalemate in Congress led to Ukrainian forces running low on weapons and ammunition, the sources suggested.

“The immediate goal is to stop Ukrainian losses and help Ukraine regain momentum and turn the tide on the battlefield. After that, the goal is to help Ukraine begin to regain its territory,” one of the officials said. “Will they have what they need to win? Ultimately, yes. But it’s not a guarantee that they will. Military operations are much more complicated than that.” A senior Democratic Senate aide also told Politico that the question now is whether more US aid can lead to a Ukrainian victory, or if it would just be enough to fend off Russian forces temporarily. “There’s lots of debate about what a winning endgame for Ukraine looks like at this point,” the source said. The outlet argued that there is a difference between Kiev “winning” by getting “most or all of its territory back” and “not losing,” which means that “Ukraine can hold its lines and advance some but fail to claw back what Russia seized.”

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s stance that Kiev should fight until it takes back all of its territory, including Crimea, “commits the US to a much longer conflict with no guarantee Zelensky will achieve his goals,” Politico stressed. Commenting on the $61 billion US military aid package on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted that “all these new batches of weapons… will not change the dynamics on the front line.” Earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that Moscow’s forces currently hold the initiative everywhere along the front line and are capturing more settlements. He estimated Kiev’s losses at half a million troops since the start of the conflict in February 2022.

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“Russia currently enjoys “military superiority, if not outright supremacy, along the entire line of contact..”

Scott Ritter: US Aid for Ukraine Won’t Hamper Russia’s Strategic Advantage (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden recently signed a long-delayed $95 billion package, including $61 billion in aid for Ukraine, into law. At least $13.8 billion of this sum will be used to deliver weaponry, such as long-range ATACMS missiles and F-16 fighter jets. This is “a lot of money” but it will not turn the tide of the conflict, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter said in an interview with Sputnik. “The $13.8 billion in military assistance that will be provided to Ukraine will be insufficient to basically halt the ongoing Russian advance,” and “to change the outcome on the battlefield,” he stated. The sum will not help the Kiev regime “turn the tide to send Russian forces back to, according to the Zelensky formula, the 1991 borders,” Ritter stressed, recalling that it isn’t just him making this assessment.

“This is the assessment of Ukraine’s Foreign Minister [Dmytro] Kuleba, who has said that at this late stage in the game, there’s no amount of military assistance that can stop the Russian advance. He’s correct,” the Marine Corps intelligence officer underscored. Ritter also cited “talk of magic weapons” for the Zelensky regime, which he said would be of little help. According to him, Russia currently enjoys “military superiority, if not outright supremacy, along the entire line of contact, not just on the front lines, but extending well into the rear areas of the Ukrainian defense areas.” He also explained that after the US weapons are delivered to Ukraine and brought up to the front line, the weaponry “will be subjected to increasing levels of interdiction.”

“Very little of this military assistance will actually make it to the Ukrainian soldiers at the front line, and when it does, this military equipment will be destroyed relatively quickly by the Russians who will be tracking this equipment throughout its entire journey from the West to the front lines,” Ritter pointed out. The former US Marine Corps intelligence officer suggested that Russia would manage to retain its “strategic advantage” on the battlefield “until victory, regardless of the amount of money that the United States, Europe or anybody else pours into Ukraine. Ritter’s remarks come after Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov underlined that the situation on the battlefield is “self-explanatory and unambiguous,” and that “all these new batches of weapons, […] will not change the dynamics at the front line.”

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The cost of sanctions.

Russia To Seize $440 Million From JPMorgan (ZH)

Seizing assets? Two can play at that game… Just days after Washington voted to authorize the REPO Act – paving the way for the Biden administration confiscate billions in Russian sovereign assets which sit in US banks – it appears Moscow has a plan of its own (let’s call it the REVERSE REPO Act) as a Russian court has ordered the seizure of $440 million from JPMorgan. The seizure order follows from Kremlin-run lender VTB launching legal action against the largest US bank to recoup money stuck under Washington’s sanctions regime. As The FT reports, the order, published in the Russian court register on Wednesday, targets funds in JPMorgan’s accounts and shares in its Russian subsidiaries, according to the ruling issued by the arbitration court in St Petersburg. The assets had been frozen by authorities in the wake of the western sanctions, and highlights some of the fallout western companies are feeling from the punitive measures against Moscow.

Specifically, The FT notes that the dispute centers on $439mn in funds that VTB held in a JPMorgan account in the US. When Washington imposed sanctions on the Kremlin-run bank, JPMorgan had to move the funds to a separate escrow account. Under the US sanctions regime, neither VTB nor JPMorgan can access the funds. In response, VTB last week filed a lawsuit against the New York-based group to get Russian authorities to freeze the equivalent amount in Russia, warning that JPMorgan was seeking to leave Russia and would refuse to pay any compensation. The following day, JPMorgan filed its own lawsuit against the Russian lender in a US court to prevent a seizure of its assets, arguing that it had no way to reclaim VTB’s stranded US funds to compensate its own potential losses from the Russian lawsuit.

Yesterday’s decision sided with VTB, ordering the seizure of funds in JPMorgan’s Russian accounts and “movable and immovable property,” including its stake of a Russian subsidiary. JPMorgan said it faced “certain and irreparable harm” from VTB’s efforts, exposed to a nearly half-billion-dollar loss, for merely abiding by U.S. sanctions. The order was the latest example of American banks getting caught between the demands of Western sanctions regimes and overseas interests. Last summer, a Russian court froze about $36mn worth of assets owned by Goldman following a lawsuit by state-owned bank Otkritie. A few months later the court ruled that the Wall Street investment bank had to pay the funds to Otkritie. The tit-for-tat continues.

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“..witnesses who said that Weinstein had assaulted them, but whose accusations weren’t part of the charges against him..”

Harvey Weinstein Conviction Overturned On Appeal (ZH)

A New York Court of Appeals has overturned Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 conviction on felony sex crime charges, for which he was sentenced to 23 years in prison. In a 4-3 decision, the court found that the trial judge in the disgraced mogul’s case had made a critical error, allowing prosecutors to call a series of women as witnesses who said that Weinstein had assaulted them, but whose accusations weren’t part of the charges against him, the NYT reports. In 2020, Lauren Young and two other women, Dawn Dunning and Tarale Wulff, testified about their encounters with Weinstein under a state law that allows testimony about “prior bad acts” to demonstrate a pattern of behavior. But the court in its decision on Thursday said that “under our system of justice, the accused has a right to be held to account only for the crime charged.”

Citing that decision and others it identified as errors, the appeals court determined that Mr. Weinstein, who as a movie producer had been one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, had not received a fair trial. The four judges in the majority wrote that Mr. Weinstein was not tried solely on the crimes he was charged with, but instead for much of his past behavior. -NYT The decision was determined by one vote on a majority female panel of judges, who in February held a searching public debate over the fairness of the original trial. Weinstein was convicted of raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann at a DoubleTree hotel in 2013 when she was 27-years-old, and forcing oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, then 28, at his apartment in 2006.

Now, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who’s currently prosecuting former President Donald Trump, will have to decide whether to seek a retrial of Weinstein – who remains in an upstate prison in Rome, NY at the moment. It’s unclear how the decision will affect his future. In 2022, he was convicted by a California court of raping a woman in a Beverly Hills hotel and sentenced to 16 years in prison. The jury found Weinstein guilty of rape, forcible oral copulation, and sexual penetration by foreign object involving a woman known as Jane Doe 1.

The 2022 jury acquitted Weinstein of a sexual battery charge made by a massage therapist who treated him at a hotel in 2010, and was unable to reach a decision on two allegations, including rape, involving Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California’s Democratic governor Gavin Newsom. She was known as Jane Doe 4 in the trial, and had testified to being raped by Weinstein in a hotel room in 2005. Weinstein was convicted of sexually abusing over 100 women – and was convicted of assaulting two of them in the New York case. “That is unfair to survivors,” said actress Ashley Judd, the first actress to come forward with allegations against Weinstein, the NYT’s Jodi Kantor reports. “We still live in our truth. And we know what happened.”

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“..Though he is as undeniably German as the Nord Stream pipeline, Putin (and anyone else anywhere) has a right to quote him morning, noon and night..”

Immanuel Kant Goes To War (Hayes)

First off, a hat tip to Russia Today (and to the VPN, which allows me access to it) for telling me that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has lashed out at Russian President Vladimir Putin for quoting iconic German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Because Putin cited the philosopher at an event marking the 300th anniversary of Kant’s birth, Scholz accused Putin of trying to “poach” the great thinker as well as misrepresenting his ideas.n bThe story, at first glance, is so ridiculously funny that I had to google to ensure I was not being taken in by that mercurial NATO chameleon dubbed “Russian disinformation.” Sure enough, as plenty of Western sources later verified the story, we can proceed. Die Zeit cites Scholz at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences ranting that “Putin doesn’t have the slightest right to quote Kant, yet Putin’s regime remains committed to poaching Kant and his work at almost any cost”.

Let’s just stop the reel there. Kant was born in 1724 in Koenigsberg (present-day Kaliningrad), which belonged to the Kingdom of Prussia before later becoming part of the Russian Empire. The philosopher, famous for his work on ethics, aesthetics and philosophical ontology, is rightly considered one of the pillars of German classical philosophy. Though he is as undeniably German as the Nord Stream pipeline, Putin (and anyone else anywhere) has a right to quote him morning, noon and night. Though Kant is as German as Tolstoy, who regarded himself as a philosopher and not a writer, is Russian, their brilliance belongs to the world. Scholz, in other words, is free to quote Tolstoy, once, of course, he first learns to read. As Putin delivered his talk in Kant’s famous birth place, it was, of course, entirely appropriate that Putin should quote the great philosopher and Scholz, if he was not an ignoramus, should have used that to his advantage, rather than coming across as the obvious baboon that he is.

Putin, as it happens, spent much of his working life in Germany and he speaks the language of Kant, Schiller and Goethe at least as fluently as Scholz which is, admittedly, a low bar. Not only that but Putin has been praising and quoting Kant for decades and has even gone so far as saying that the philosopher should be made an official symbol of Kaliningrad Region. Germany and Germans like Kant have had a profound and often benign effect on Russia since even before Vasili III, Grand Prince of Moscow, established Moscow’s German Quarter in the fifteenth century. Catherine the Great, who was actually born in Prussia, and the German speaking and Kant admiring Putin have carried on those links into more modern times. And, though Catherine the Great, sadly, is no longer with us, Putin is, and his remarks that Kant is “one of the greatest thinkers of both his time and ours,” is not only worthy of consideration but it is one more cultured German leaders than Scholz would have leveraged to their advantage.

Scholz, who fancies himself as something of a bar room philosopher, is having none of that. He believes Russia’s role in the Russian speaking areas of Ukraine contradicts Kant’s fundamental teachings on the interference of states in the affairs of other nations, and he defended Kiev’s decision not to engage in peace talks with Moscow, unless they are on NATO’s terms of unconditional Russian surrender. Scholz, with no sense of irony or self awareness regarding the aborted Minsk Accords, said Kant believed that forced treaties were not the way to reach ‘perpetual peace’ – a direct reference to Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch, one of Kant’s major and most influential works.

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“..past 400 ppm, “the CO2 concentration can no longer cause any increase in temperature.”

Carbon Emissions CANNOT Cause ‘Global Warming’ (Slay)

A bombshell new peer-reviewed study has provided conclusive scientific evidence proving that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Earth’s atmosphere cannot cause “global warming.” Dr. Jan Kubicki led a group of world-renowned Polish scientists to study the impact of increases in CO2 emissions on the Earth’s global temperatures. However, not only did they find that higher levels of CO2 made no difference, but they also proved that it simply isn’t possible for increases in carbon dioxide to cause temperatures to rise. Kubicki and his team recently published three papers which all conclude that Earth’s atmosphere is already “saturated” with carbon dioxide. This saturation means that, even at greatly increased levels of CO2, the “greenhouse gas” will not cause temperatures to rise. Kubicki et al. summarize their evidence by noting that as a result of saturation, “emitted CO2 does not directly cause an increase in global temperature.”

Current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are around 418 parts per million (ppm) but the scientists state that past 400 ppm, “the CO2 concentration can no longer cause any increase in temperature.” The saturation of CO2 in the atmosphere is the hypothesis that dares not speak its name in mainstream media, politics, and across much of climate science. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) “Net Zero” collectivism agenda is doomed without the constant fearmongering of a so-called “climate crisis.” One of the key propaganda messages behind this “green agenda” is that humans are responsible for the ever-warming climate by burning hydrocarbons and releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. The saturation hypothesis is complex, but in simple terms, it can be described by the example of loft insulation in a house.

After a certain point, doubling the lagging will have little effect since most of the heat trying to escape through the roof has already been trapped. Carbon dioxide traps heat only within narrow bands of the infrared spectrum. Levels of the gas have been up to 20 times higher in the past without any sign of runaway “global warming.” At current levels, the Polish scientists suggest that there is “currently multiple exceedances of the saturation mass for carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.” The latest study is published in the prestigious Elsevier’s Science Direct peer-reviewed journal. Many other scientists are attracted to the saturation hypothesis because it provides more plausible explanations to fit past changes in the climate.

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Trump pizza

 

 

Roadster

 

 

Saba

 

 

Lay Down Your Tomato Plants

 

 

Mwinzi

 

 

Donkeys
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783156462681739671

 

 

Cutting

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 102024
 
 April 10, 2024  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Fall of the Rebel Angels 1562

 

(Hunter) Biden-Linked Burisma Used For Terror Attacks In Russia – Moscow (RT)
Burisma ‘Vehicle To Launder Taxpayer Money’ – Lawyer (RT)
Musk Warns Of Terrorist Threat To US (RT)
No Russian Misinfo On X, But Western Influence Ops Present – Musk (RT)
Musk: Starlink Free for Brazil Schools If Government Cancels Contract (ET)
‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza (Patrick Lawrence)
Ukraine ‘Losing The War’ – Chuck Schumer (RT)
Ukrainian NATO Membership ‘Fundamentally Unacceptable’ – Moscow (RT)
‘High-Intensity War In Europe No Longer A Fantasy’ – Borrell (RT)
China Sending Message That ‘It Has Russia’s Back’ If West Escalates (Sp.)
‘Russiagate’ About Seizing Power as Much as Stopping Trump (Sp.)
Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim (ET)
Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit (ZH)
Neom: Saudi Arabia ‘Scales Back’ Goals Of Megacity Project (MEE)
Boeing Shares Tumble After NYT Reveals Whistle-Blower Report (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Chasing Trump

 

 

Colbert AOC

 

 

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777710201937732085

 

 

CIA contractor

 

 

Finkelstein
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777519791168696416

 

 

 

 

“The same company that hired Hunter Biden and paid Joe Biden to get the prosecutor fired who was investigating them.”

(Hunter) Biden-Linked Burisma Used For Terror Attacks In Russia – Moscow (RT)

Criminal probes into the financing of terrorist activities in Russia and abroad have been launched against several private companies, the country’s Investigative Committee announced on Tuesday. The list of suspects includes the Ukrainian industrial conglomerate Burisma Holdings, linked to a corruption scandal surrounding the Biden family that has been dragging on for years. The criminal investigation stems from a complaint filed by a group of Russian MPs and public figures in the aftermath of the deadly Crocus City Hall attack outside Moscow last month. The original complaint identified the US and its allies as allegedly organizing a string of attacks on Russian soil. So far, investigators have “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia,” committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.

Terrorist activities have also reached beyond the country, aimed at the “elimination of prominent political and public figures, as well as causing economic damage,” she added. The committee’s specialists have been working “in cooperation with other intelligence services and financial intelligence,” Petrenko noted. The scrutiny currently revolves around “checking sources of income and further movement of funds in the amount of several million US dollars,” and examining the potential involvement of “specific individuals from among government officials, people with civic and commercial organizations of Western countries,” the spokeswoman stated. Burisma is probably best known internationally for its controversial ties to the current first family in the US. In the spring of 2014, following the US-backed coup in Kiev, the Ukrainian energy firm hired Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer on its board of directors, offering $1 million a year in pay.

Biden’s father Joe was President Barack Obama’s vice president at the time, and oversaw Washington’s Ukraine policy. He once famously bragged about getting a corruption prosecutor fired – which just happened to occur after that prosecutor began investigating Burisma. Nikolay Zlochevsky’s company also offered protection payments to the government in Kiev, according to former Ukrainian MP Andrey Derkach. Zlochevsky paid some “800 million hryvnias [over $21 million] for terrorism financing” in “various jurisdictions,” Derkach claimed in January. “The leaders of Ukraine’s security services make no secret of the fact that they carry out terrorist acts and political assassinations for extra-budgetary cash,” he said at the time. “Once again: Biden’s partners in the corruption business in Ukraine finance terrorist acts, thus avoiding responsibility for corruption in Ukraine.” Derkach claimed it was common practice for the owners of large businesses in Ukraine to ‘donate’ to the war effort in exchange for immunity from prosecution. He pointed to a criminal case against Zlochevsky relating to a $6 million cash bribe that ended with the Burisma owner paying a $1,800 fine.

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It’s ideally situated for the purpose.

Burisma ‘Vehicle To Launder Taxpayer Money’ – Lawyer (RT)

The Russian Investigative Committee on Tuesday said it launched a criminal probe into the financing of terrorism, naming the Ukrainian industrial conglomerate Burisma among the suspects. RT spoke about the unfolding scandal to Arnaud Develay, an international human rights advocate and the author of a book covering ties between the Ukrainian company and the family of US President Joe Biden. “This is something that the Russian Investigative Committee is going to have to determine to be sure, but this is nothing new,” Develay stated, describing the Ukrainian company as a “vehicle to launder taxpayers’ money.” The investigators have already “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia” and beyond.

Should the allegation prove to be true, the West will try its best to swipe the whole affair under the rug, as well as to derail any attempts to bring it before international bodies, Develay believes. “They would try to fight tooth and nail to basically deny it,” he said, adding that an attempt to establish a UN-backed tribunal to handle the affair is bound to get vetoed by the “Big Three” – the US, the UK and France. “This is something that is going to have to be handled a different way,” he warned. Develay’s work, titled ‘Foreign Entanglements: Ukraine, Biden & the Fractured American Political Consensus’ is set for public release on Wednesday.

Webb Burisma

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“..the ability of illegal migrants to cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without showing any identification “has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.”

Musk Warns Of Terrorist Threat To US (RT)

Elon Musk has warned that a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 could take place in the US unless the crisis at the southern border and the uncontrolled influx of migrants is addressed. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the remarks in response to an X post by former Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who called for mass deportations and the sealing of the US-Mexico border. “Even if only 0.1% of illegal aliens who’ve crossed our border have hostile intentions, that’s tens of thousands of would-be attackers,” Ramaswamy pointed out, suggesting that unless special attention is paid to the issue, “we’re paving the way for another 9/11-scale tragedy.” Musk replied, saying it is “only a matter of time” before such a disaster unfolds.

Previously, the billionaire argued that the ability of illegal migrants to cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without showing any identification “has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.” His claim followed reports that Venezuela’s homicide rate had dropped to its lowest in 22 years – with some suggesting this was due to Venezuelan gangs moving to the US. Meanwhile, a Politico report published last month suggested that US President Joe Biden was considering offering permanent residency to millions of illegal immigrants. Musk responded to the news by accusing the US Democratic party of intentionally opening up the southern border in order to “import voters.”

There are currently thought to be around 10.5 million illegal immigrants living in the US, according to data compiled by Pew Research in 2021. However, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security, at least 6.3 million more have entered the US in the years since. In February, Musk claimed Biden’s plan to keep the Democrats in power was a “very simple” one, which involves getting “as many illegals in the country as possible,” then legalizing those people “to create a permanent majority.” The state of the US-Mexico border has become one of the key issues in US politics over the past year amid a historic influx of millions of immigrants. Republican lawmakers have been demanding tighter controls and more money to be set aside to deal with the border crisis, prompting them to use a multi-billion-dollar aid package for Ukraine as leverage.

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“A lot of people still run under the illusion that the legacy newspapers they read are actually true. There is so much nonsense in them..”

No Russian Misinfo On X, But Western Influence Ops Present – Musk (RT)

The owner of X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk, has rejected accusations that Russian misinformation was widespread on his platform. The entrepreneur, who describes himself as a champion of free speech, has been accused of making the social network vulnerable to Russian activities by changing its content moderation protocols after purchasing Twitter in 2022. His latest denial came on Tuesday, while he was discussing X on ‘In Good Company’, a podcast. Host Nicolai Tangen suggested that Russian activity via fake accounts was “huge” in Germany. “We don’t see a lot of Russian activity, to be frank, on the system. We see very little,” Musk responded. “We do see a lot of attempts to influence things, but they seem to be coming from the West, not from Russia.”

Tangen’s remark apparently referred to claims made by Berlin in January. The German government said that the use of specialized monitoring software had allowed it to identify an estimated 50,000 fake accounts engaged in a pro-Russian misinformation campaign on X. Local press claimed that the messaging was strikingly similar to that of the right-wing opposition party AfD. Germany is not alone in its wariness regarding Moscow’s influence; this week US Congressman Mike Turner, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, accused some fellow Republicans of repeating ‘Russian propaganda’ in the chamber.

“It is absolutely true we see, directly coming from Russia, attempts to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor,” the Ohio congressman told CNN’s Jake Tapper. Similar remarks came last week from House Foreign Affairs chair Michael McCaul, another Republican lawmaker. In his interview, Musk hailed X as arguably “the best source of truth on the Internet” that, he argued, by far surpasses traditional news outlets in terms of accuracy thanks to user-driven fact-checking tools. “A lot of people still run under the illusion that the legacy newspapers they read are actually true. There is so much nonsense in them,” he lamented.

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“We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump..”

Musk: Starlink Free for Brazil Schools If Government Cancels Contract (ET)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said he will provide Starlink services free of charge for schools in Brazil if the government chooses to follow through and cancel a contract for the service in the country. Many schools in Brazil have reported using the company to provide internet access to their citizens. Starlink terminals connect to the company’s satellites in low Earth orbit and provide high-speed communications. Brazil’s government has reportedly announced plans to suspend all contracts with Starlink. Prompting Mr. Musk to offer the service free of charge. “Starlink will provide free Internet for schools in Brazil if the government won’t honor their contract,” he said in an April 8 social media post. The moves come amid a growing stoush between social media company X, also owned by Mr. Musk, and the Brazilian government.

According to an April 6 post on the platform, the global affairs team announced they were being “forced by court decisions to block certain popular accounts in Brazil.” “We do not know the reasons these blocking orders have been issued. We do not know which posts are alleged to violate the law. We are prohibited from saying which court or judge issued the order, or on what grounds,” the post said. The global affairs team claimed the company had been threatened with fines if they didn’t comply with the order. They also said they were unable to provide a list of which accounts were impacted. “We believe that such orders are not in accordance with the Marco Civil da Internet or the Brazilian Federal Constitution, and we challenge the orders legally where possible,” the post from the global affairs team said.

“The people of Brazil, regardless of their political beliefs, are entitled to freedom of speech, due process, and transparency from their own authorities.” The announcement came after a report by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, titled “Twitter Files Brazil.” Mr. Shellenberger said that sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists were among those named by Brazil’s highest court for censorship. He has shared his findings on X. Mr. Musk announced soon after he had removed all content restrictions in Brazil in defiance of the order.

[..] Mr. Musk has made serious allegations of corruption against Justice de Moraes and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In a follow-up April 8 post, Mr. Musk claims that events have since escalated and all Twitter Brazil employees are in danger of arrest. Once safe, he will release the information proving his allegations. “We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump,” he said. “They have been told they will be arrested. Save the Brazilian X employees.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1777796067225989299

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“A second AI system, sadistically named “Where’s Daddy?”—and how sick is this?—was then used to track Hamas suspects to their homes..”

‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza (Patrick Lawrence)

ZURICH—“Technological change, while it helps humanity meet the challenges nature imposes upon us, leads to a paradigm shift: It leaves us less capable, not more, of using our intellectual capacities. It diminishes our minds in the long run. We strive to improve ourselves while risking a regression to the Stone Age if our ever more complex, ever more fragile technological infrastructure collapses.” That is Hans Köchler, an eminent Viennese scholar and president of the International Progress Organization, a globally active think tank, addressing an audience here last Thursday evening, April 4. The date is significant: The day before Köchler spoke, +972 Magazine and Local Call, independent publications in Israel–Palestine, reported that as the Israel Defense Forces press their savage invasion of the Gaza Strip, they deploy an artificial intelligence program called Lavender that so far has marked some 37,000 Palestinians as kill targets.

In the early weeks of the Israeli siege, according to the Israeli sources +972 cites, “the army gave sweeping approval for officers to adopt Lavender’s kill lists, with no requirement to thoroughly check why the machine made those choices or to examine the raw intelligence data on which they were based.” Chilling it was to hear Köchler speak a couple of news cycles after +972 published these revelations, which are based on confidential interviews with six Israeli intelligence officers who have been directly involved in the use of AI to target Palestinians for assassination. “To use technologies to solve all our problems reduces our ability to make decisions,” Köchler asserted. “We’re no longer able to think through problems. They remove us from real life.” Köchler titled his talk “The Trivialization of Public Space,” and his topic, broadly stated, was the impact of technologies such as digital communications and AI on our brains, our conduct, and altogether our humanity.

It was sobering, to put the point mildly, to recognize that Israel’s siege of Gaza, bottomlessly depraved in itself, is an in-our-faces display of the dehumanizing effects these technologies have on all who depend on them. Let us look on in horror, and let us see our future in it. We see in the IDF, to make this point another way, a rupture in morality, human intelligence, and responsibility when human oversight is mediated by the algorithms that run AI systems. There is a break between causality and result, action and consequence. And this is exactly what advanced technologies have in store for the rest of humanity. Artificial intelligence, as Köchler put it, is not intelligence: “It is ‘simulated intelligence’ because it has no consciousness of itself.” It isn’t capable, he meant to say, of moral decision-making or ethical accountability.

In the Lavender case, the data it produced were accepted and treated as if they had been generated by a human being without any actual human oversight or independent verification. A second AI system, sadistically named “Where’s Daddy?”—and how sick is this?—was then used to track Hamas suspects to their homes. The IDF intentionally targeted suspected militants while they were with their families, using unguided missiles or “dumb” bombs. This strategy had the advantage of enabling Israel to preserve its more expensive precision-guided weapons, or “smart” bombs. As one of +972’s sources told the magazine: “We were not interested in killing [Hamas] operatives only when they were in a military building or engaged in a military activity… . On the contrary, the IDF bombed them in homes without hesitation, as a first option. It’s much easier to bomb a family’s home. The system is built to look for them in these situations.”

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BUT: “.. if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.”

Ukraine ‘Losing The War’ – Chuck Schumer (RT)

Ukraine is failing on the battlefield because of a lack of American funding, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday. He demanded the House Republicans pass the $61 billion aid bill as soon as possible. Schumer, a New York Democrat, brought up Ukraine in a speech about the upcoming US legislative agenda. The Democrat-majority Senate passed the funding proposal in mid-February, but the Republican-majority House has not voted on it yet. “The situation in Ukraine is desperate,” Schumer said, claiming that the funding bill has been “collecting dust” for 55 days while “our friends in Ukraine fight and die on the battlefield with no support.” With each passing day, Ukraine is running out of more soldiers, ammunition and hope, he added. “Let’s be blunt: the biggest reason Ukraine is losing the war is because the hard-right in the Congress has paralyzed the US from acting. That’s it, that’s the reason,” Schumer said.

By passing the bill, House Speaker Mike Johnson would “do the right thing for Ukraine, for America, and for democracy,” the New York Democrat argued. Otherwise, he claimed, the Republicans would hand a “large victory” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schumer made much the same argument while visiting Ukraine in late February, claiming that if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.” Democrats have sought to split the GOP into “moderates” and “MAGA Republicans” – referring to former US President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ – to get support for their legislative agenda in both chambers of Congress. The tactic has paid off in the Senate, where 22 Republicans voted in favor of funding Ukraine, more than offsetting three Democrats who were opposed.

Republicans currently have a razor-thin majority in the 435-member House, with 218 seats to the Democrats’ 213. Johnson became speaker in late October, after a group of disgruntled GOP lawmakers voted to oust his predecessor Kevin McCarthy for striking a secret deal with the Democrats to pass Ukraine funding. The US has provided Ukraine with $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities. Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms shipments to Ukraine, saying these will only prolong the conflict, while making the West a direct participant in the hostilities.

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Everybody knows.

Ukrainian NATO Membership ‘Fundamentally Unacceptable’ – Moscow (RT)

Ukrainian accession to NATO would pose a threat to Russia’s national security and is fundamentally unacceptable, Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has said. The Russian envoy was responding to comments by US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, who claimed at a press briefing on Monday that Kiev could become a member of the military bloc once the conflict with Moscow has ended. “Ukraine’s accession to NATO is unacceptable to us under any circumstances,” Antonov stated on Tuesday. “This is a threat to Russia’s national security.” “Only politicians ignorant of the fundamental interests of the Russian Federation can expect that we could accept Kiev’s entry into a bloc which is hostile to us,” he added. Antonov further accused Washington of ignoring Moscow’s core interests and refusing to accept Russia’s “categorical opposition” to Kiev’s potential NATO membership.

Speaking at a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted that Ukraine will be allowed to join the bloc, claiming that the commitment of its members to Kiev remains “rock solid.” The purpose of NATO’s next summit in July will be to “help build a bridge to that membership and to create a clear pathway for Ukraine moving forward,” Blinken added. Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, viewing the US-led bloc’s policies as an existential threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned for nearly two decades that NATO’s eastward expansion undermines Russian national security, and that moving the bloc’s forces into Ukraine would cross a “red line.” According to Antonov, Moscow offered the West a diplomatic way to defuse tensions over NATO expansion and Ukraine in 2021, but the appeal was rejected by Washington.

Arestovich

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All this ‘pre-war’ talk is crazy irresponsible. Kick ’em by the curb.

‘High-Intensity War In Europe No Longer A Fantasy’ – Borrell (RT)

A full-scale military conflict in Europe has become more likely due to the standoff with Russia, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has claimed, while warning member states against relying on the US to defend them. Several other European officials have cited a heightened military threat in recent months, with UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps saying last week that the world is moving from a “post-war to a pre-war” state due to the alleged threat emanating from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk made a similar “pre-war” assessment in March. Speaking at a Forum Europa gathering in Brussels on Tuesday, Borrell claimed that the “possibility of a high-intensity conventional war in Europe is no longer a fantasy” and that the bloc must “do everything to avoid it”.

The EU’s top diplomat alleged that Russia poses a growing threat to the continent, citing the conflict with Ukraine, and accused Moscow of seeking to destabilize the union. According to Borrell, while a military conflict in Europe is not imminent and “not going to start tomorrow,” citizens should understand that the “US umbrella that has protected us during the Cold War and after, may not be open all the time.” “Maybe, depending on who is ruling Washington, we cannot rely on the Americans’ support and American capacity to protect us,” he said. Describing the EU as being surrounded by a “ring of fires” and instability, Borrell called on member states to become more self-sufficient with their security and to ramp up their defense spending.

He added that while NATO is as “irreplaceable” as ever, Europeans should start building their own “pillar” within the US-led bloc. The diplomat acknowledged that Brussels’ stance on the conflicts in Gaza and in Ukraine is not fully shared by many non-Western audiences. Borrel’s remarks follow suggestions from numerous Western civilian and military officials in recent months that Russia could attack NATO within a few years. Speaking in late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed such speculation as “nonsense.” He argued that talk of a potential Russian attack on Poland, the Czech Republic, or the Baltic countries is propaganda coming from governments that seek to scare their citizens “to extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden on their shoulders.”

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China’s been saying this for a while, but not many in the west seem to know it.

China Sending Message That ‘It Has Russia’s Back’ If West Escalates (Sp.)

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, sending a strong message to the West that the two countries will continue their strategic relationship. The meeting came a day after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to China and warned it against partnering with Russia. The meeting between Lavrov and Xi, particularly right after Yellen’s visit, is a “message” to the West that China “will have the back of Russia” if the conflict in Ukraine is escalated by the West, lawyer and journalist Dimitri Lascarus told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Wednesday. “The timing of announcements such as these tell you a lot,” Lascarus said, pointing to not only Yellen’s visit but the increasingly provocative attacks on Russia by Ukraine’s intelligence services such as the mass shooting outside of Moscow which Russia has blamed Ukraine and its backers in the US and UK for, among other provocations.

“Of course, we have this ongoing drama with little Napoleon in France [French President] Emmanuel Macron, talking about sending a few thousand French troops to their deaths in Odessa,” Lascarus recalled. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it has been interpreted by both the Russian and Chinese governments as an attempt to provoke Russia into a direct attack on a NATO country.” “I think [China is] sending a message that China will have the back of Russia if this escalates. And, no one should have any illusions about that,” Lascarus explained. “They see, I believe, that there is a series of escalations happening here and there are no adults in the room, and they need to send an unequivocal signal that China will have Russia’s back in the event that this escalates out of control,” he added.

While neither government has any “reservations about the necessity” of their alliance, Lascarus argued that the West is forcing them to strengthen their relationship because of its aggressive actions. “Every day, Western governments are acting in a way which makes this partnership even more compelling to the Russian and Chinese governments.” With public sentiment turning against the “Ukrainian disaster” in both Europe and the US, Lascarus noted that polls show that the vast majority of French citizens think the country is heading in the wrong direction. “[France] has been one of the primary architects of this disastrous neocon policy in Ukraine,” he explained. “So we’re seeing already, that the political days of these characters are all numbered.” “The real question we have to confront as citizens of the West is, do we have an actual, competent, ethical, and principled alternative to these people? I don’t know that we do. But one thing is for sure, the public has enough and they’re on the way out the door.”

Lavrov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777580903339876516

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“..to literally take over these social networks, [which] all these big tech people thought was going to be this lovely garden of earthly delights and turn it into a prison.”

‘Russiagate’ About Seizing Power as Much as Stopping Trump (Sp.)

On Sunday, US Rep. and chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Michael R. Turner (R-OH) claimed that it is “absolutely true” that members of the US Republican party are repeating “pro-Russia messages” on the House floor, without naming the members. The US establishment disproven conspiracy that former US President Donald Trump was controlled by the Kremlin is about seizing control of social media and the internet as much as it is designed to harm Trump’s political ambitions, Serbian-American journalist and columnist Nebojsa Malic told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Tuesday. Malic argues that the “completely fabricated” Russiagate conspiracy was “not just to sabotage the Trump presidency, but to literally take over these social networks, [which] all these big tech people thought was going to be this lovely garden of earthly delights and turn it into a prison.”

Last year, a panel of federal judges ruled that the US intelligence agencies’ contact with social media companies, urging them to take down specific posts and block or ban certain users, likely constituted government censorship. The administration of US President Joe Biden has appealed the case to the Supreme Court. “Russiagate was the pretext that started this entire ball rolling, and it wasn’t even based on anything real. And now they want to do it all over again,” Malic explained. “I was listening to [Senate Majority Leader, Senator] Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speak yesterday about how Ukraine is losing the war because [House Speaker, Rep.] Mike Johnson (R-LA) doesn’t want to give them money. No, Ukraine is losing the war because it has always been [losing] because it is fighting an industrial war it cannot win,” Malic continued. “The West can’t win because it doesn’t have the industrial capabilities because in the past 30 years, we shut down our industry and turned everything over to finance, but Chuck Schumer is too thick to understand that.”

The reality on the ground in Ukraine has turned many against US support for NATO’s proxy war in Russia, with more Americans (37%) saying the US spends too much on Ukraine than too little (27%) and only 13% responded that they were either “extremely confident” or “very confident” Ukraine will defeat Russia, compared to 49% who say they are “Not too confident” or “Not confident at all.” People are asking “How is this helping freedom and democracy, exactly?” Malic contended. “And [the establishment’s] response is ‘shut up, Russian Agent.’” “This is a breakdown. Because, again, the blob’s agenda is to use Russia’s phantom menace for a power grab at home on one hand, and to push for this geopolitical fantasy that Russia needs Ukraine to be a global empire,” Malic said, explaining that Russia doesn’t want a global empire.

“They voluntarily dissolved the Soviet Union in ‘91, believing all of these stories about freedom and democracy and capitalism and human rights, and they got taken advantage of. Demographically, the country was worse off in the ‘90s than during World War Two,” Malic explained. “When we talk about the golden age of the 1990s, post-Cold War, freedom, democracy, transition from socialism, this is a horror story to these people and nobody in America seems to understand this because they didn’t live through it.” However, Malic said that it is “theoretically possible” that the “blob” actually wants Trump to win the election to give them an excuse to get out of Ukraine. “Maybe they want to get out of this Ukrainian quagmire and blame somebody else for it. They might want Trump to get elected so they can say ‘Okay, well, it’s all his fault. Had we kept the Democrats in power, we would have totally won the war. But, oh, well, what can we do? We just have to move on to the next war,’ which will be China.”

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“..from 1789 to 2023, no former or sitting president has faced criminal charges for their official acts, and for good reason..”

Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim (ET)

Special counsel Jack Smith in his final filing before the hearing is urging the Supreme Court to reject former President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity claim and deny any motions to delay a trial on charges related to the 2020 federal election conspiracy case. Prosecutors from the DOJ allege President Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election result on Jan. 6, 2021, charging him with four counts of conspiracy and obstruction. Former President Trump has denied he did anything wrong by calling for transparency and audits of the vote counts in swing states, and maintains presidential immunity for his actions on that day, which prevents prosecution for any actions he took while still in the top job. In a fresh court brief on April 8, Mr. Smith pressed that President Trump’s argument for presidential immunity over official acts as president has no grounding in the Constitution, the nation’s history, or Americans’ understanding that presidents are not above the law.

“The President’s constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed does not entail a general right to violate them,” Mr. Smith said in the brief. “The Framers never endorsed criminal immunity for a former President, and all Presidents from the Founding to the modern era have known that after leaving office they faced potential criminal liability for official acts.” According to Mr. Smith, former President Richard Nixon’s official conduct revealed during the Watergate scandal is the closest historical precedent for this situation. Mr. Smith says President Nixon eventually accepted a pardon from his successor, former President Gerald Ford, and that “his acceptance of a pardon implied his and President Ford’s recognition that a former President was subject to prosecution.”

“Since Watergate, the Department of Justice has held the view that a former President may face criminal prosecution, and Independent and Special Counsels have operated from that same understanding,” he said. Mr. Smith claims that despite President Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, all former presidents knew and wholly understood they were open to facing criminal charges for conduct while in the White House. [..] “The effective functioning of the presidency does not require that a former president be immune from accountability for these alleged violations of federal criminal law,” he said. “To the contrary, a bedrock principle of our constitutional order is that no person is above the law, including the president.”

Former President Trump has continued to argue that official acts by presidents should have immunity from criminal prosecution. Last month, he asked the Supreme Court to hold that he and other former presidents enjoy absolute criminal immunity from prosecution for official acts during their time in office. According to him, from 1789 to 2023, no former or sitting president has faced criminal charges for their official acts, and for good reason. “The President cannot function, and the Presidency itself cannot retain its vital independence if the President faces criminal prosecution for official acts once he leaves office,” President Trump’s brief to the Court says. “The threat of future prosecution and imprisonment would become a political cudgel to influence the most sensitive and controversial Presidential decisions, taking away the strength, authority, and decisiveness of the Presidency.”

[..] the Court has historically upheld a level of presidential independence and ruled in the 1982 decision of Nixon v. Fitzgerald that a president enjoys absolute immunity from civil liability for acts that fall within the “outer perimeter” of his official duties. A secondary issue that may be addressed is the demarkation between personal and official acts during President Trump’s tenure, and a possible separation of actions he can be prosecuted for, and actions covered by presidential immunity. The outcome for the case could impact President Trump’s other legal battles, in which he also argues presidential immunity as a defense. A federal appeals court recently ruled that several civil cases against President Trump related to Jan. 6 could go forward, finding that the actions cited personal acts of a candidate rather than official acts of a president. The question whether this immunity applies to former presidents is also new territory.

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He gets blamed for adhering to the Supreme Court decision.

“I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit (ZH)

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham dared to criticize Donald Trump’s new stance advocating that abortion law should be left to individual states — and was promptly subjected to withering fire from the former president. On Monday morning, Trump posted a video in which he implicitly rejected the idea of creating a federal limit on abortions, saying that, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v Wade, abortion is now a state-by-state issue: “States will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land; in this case, the law of the state. Many states will be different…many will have a different number of weeks, or some will [be] more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people.”

The announcement disappointed proponents of a federal ban who had been encouraged by February media reports that Trump had told his advisors and others that he favored a 16-week federal limit on abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. Graham quickly posted a tweet-thread declaring his “respectful” disagreement with Trump’s new stance, saying that a states’ rights rationale against a federal limit “will age about as well as the Dred Scott decision,” which helped perpetuate slavery. Trump responded via Truth Social, writing that “Senator Lindsey Graham is doing a great disservice to the Republican Party, and to our Country.” He elaborated on the political realities: “[Democrats] love this Issue, and they want to keep it going for as long as Republicans will allow them to do so. Terminating Roe v. Wade was, according to all Legal Scholars, a Great Event, but sometimes with Great Events come difficulties. Many Good Republicans lost Elections because of this Issue, and people like Lindsey Graham, that are unrelenting, are handing Democrats their dream of the House, Senate, and perhaps even the Presidency…”

A few hours later, Trump was back for more, this time chiding both Graham and Marjorie Dannensfelser, who leads SBA Pro-Life America. Dannensfelser had issued a statement saying her organization was “deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position.” With that particular scolding message, Trump took a more philosophical tack, saying Graham and Dannensfelser “should study the 10th Amendment.” A cornerstone of federalism, that final component of the Bill of Rights states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” By deferring to the states on abortion, Trump is taking the truly “conservative” position on the issue, compared to those who advocate for national regulation. As James Madison summed up the federal system:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. [Federal powers] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce… The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people.” In a third Truth Social posting, Trump threw in another jab at Graham while also boasting about the power of a Trump endorsement: “I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

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Live 500 meter high in a flat in a 170km straight-line city. No thanks.

Neom: Saudi Arabia ‘Scales Back’ Goals Of Megacity Project (MEE)

Saudi Arabia has scaled back some of its ambitions for its desert megacity Neom, according to a report by Bloomberg. The $1.5 trillion megacity project, which organisers claim will be 33 times the size of New York City, is due to include a 170km straight-line city. When launching The Line in 2021, the Saudi government had announced that 1.5 million people would be living in the city by 2030. Officials now expect there to be fewer that 300,000 residents by that time, according to a source cited by Bloomberg on Friday. The source said that officials expected only 2.4km of the 170km city to be completed by 2030. As a result of the scaling back, one contractor dismissed some of the workers it employs on site, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.

Neom – part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy and move away from oil reliance – is being built in the northwestern Tabuk province. Middle East Eye reported last year that construction was under way on The Line, based on satellite imagery. The Line is due to have no cars or roads, and a high-speed rail service running across the length of the city, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced three years ago. Two parallel, mirrored buildings that are nearly 500 metres tall and 120km wide are also planned as part of the project, according to designs uncovered in 2022.

In addition to the horizontal city, Neom is also touted to include an eight-sided city that floats on water, a ski resort with a folded vertical village, and a Red Sea luxury island resort called Sindalah. The Sindalah project is due to open later this year. Sources told Bloomberg that work was continuing on other parts of the Neom project, and Saudi officials still backed the overall aims of The Line. The sources added that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is providing most of the funding for the project, has yet to confirm its 2024 budget for Neom. The scaling back of the megacity project comes as the Public Investment Fund cash reserves dropped to $15bn in September, its lowest levels since 2020.

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Fell just 2%? Barely a tumble.

Boeing Shares Tumble After NYT Reveals Whistle-Blower Report (ZH)

Shares of Boeing are moving lower in early afternoon trade following a report from The New York Times of an engineer at the airplane manufacturer turned whistle-blower, revealing that sections of the 787 Dreamliner fuselage are improperly fastened together, posing structural integrity risks. Sam Salehpour, who worked on the 787 Dreamliner fuselage for more than a decade, detailed to NYT in a series of interviews that were packaged into documents and sent to the Federal Aviation Administration that the widebody plane is produced in several large sections by different manufacturers, and not all pieces were the same shape when they were fitted together. He said this could create structural issues over time. On April 17, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat of Connecticut and the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigations subcommittee, will hold a hearing featuring Salehpour to address his concerns about the 787 Dreamliner.

“Repeated, shocking allegations about Boeing’s manufacturing failings point to an appalling absence of safety culture and practices — where profit is prioritized over everything else,” Blumenthal said in a statement. Recall, in 2014, an Al Jazeera undercover report found that workers at the 787 factory in South Carolina were not confident in the plane’s manufacturing quality, with at least one worker callin it “f**king sh*t.” “This is the culture that Boeing has allowed to exist,” Katz said, adding, “This is a culture that prioritizes production of planes and pushes them off the line even when there are serious concerns about the structural integrity of those planes and their production process.” Boeing responded to the NYT report and said it was “fully confident in the 787 Dreamliner,” adding, “These claims about the structural integrity of the 787 are inaccurate and do not represent the comprehensive work Boeing has done to ensure the quality and long-term safety of the aircraft.” Investors were spooked by the report, which is yet another issue for Boeing. Shares in New York tumbled 2% around noon.

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Heroes

 

 

Cloud seeding

 

 

Red Wolf

 

 

Humpback

 

 

Parkour
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777445115415482483

 

 

Swan

 

 

Dolly

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 202024
 
 March 20, 2024  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Edgar Degas Leaving the paddock1866
Stolen from Gardner Museum March 18 1990, the single largest art theft in the world. Never recovered

 

‘Losing a War is No Fun’ (Manley)
French Army ‘Ready For War’ – Top General (RT)
France Preparing to Deploy Military Contingent in Ukraine: Russian Intel (Sp.)
Ukraine’s Losses ‘In The Millions’ – Polish General (RT)
Lindsey Graham Tells Ukraine To Draft Younger Soldiers (RT)
US Military-Industrial Complex Jacks Up Prices Amid Ukraine Proxy War (Sp.)
iPhones Won’t Work In Case Of World War III – Russian MP (RT)
German Living Standards In ‘Unprecedented post-WW2 Slump’ (RT)
Medvedev Reacts To Germany’s Putin Snub (RT)
‘Catastrophic’ Hunger Has Gripped Gaza (RT)
Supreme Court Allows Texas To Start Arresting And Deporting Illegal Aliens (ZH)
Guilty!—But Not Really Guilty? (Victor Davis Hanson)
It’s Time for GOP To Unite Behind Trump (Marcus)
How the Democrats Plan To Steal the Election (Lew Rockwell)
Viagra May Prevent Alzheimer’s (RT)

 

 

B.S.

 

 

Lensman

 

 

O’Leary

 

 

Sachs

 

 

Navarro

 

 

AIPAC


https://twitter.com/i/status/1770019795762659476

 

 

Greenwald SCOTUS

 

 

 

 

“..the US will not suffer the consequences anywhere near to the degree the Europeans will.”

‘Losing a War is No Fun’ (Manley)

Russia’s economy has survived Western sanctions “far better” than predicted, recent reports show. Meanwhile, the European Union’s (EU) economy has been suffering drastically, causing working class voters to turn against aid for Ukraine. The Greanville Post published an article on Tuesday which claims the European Union has become the site of the 21st century’s “biggest political disaster”. The article writes that Paris, France—which once saw leftist planning agendas filled with “protests, gatherings and strikes”—now seems to be a city where there is little talk of the “economic, political and confidence collapse” of the biggest economic bloc in the world. Daniel Lazare, an independent investigative journalist and author, sat down with Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday and discussed the recent piece. “Well, I think Europe is losing the war,” said Lazare. “And losing a war is no fun. The situation in Ukraine is going very poorly. Russia clearly is winning, its economy is doing very well. The European economy, by contrast, is stalling.

And if Russia does make progress in the war, if the Ukraine government breaks in some way, then the results for Europe will be devastating.” “I mean, this is not a faraway war for [the EU]. It’s a faraway war for America. But it’s a war on the doorstep of the EU. And the prospect of a Ukrainian collapse would cause panic in Poland, but also in Berlin and Paris, and Macron has been making crazy noises about sending troops to Ukraine, which is completely nuts. But then again, the guy is desperate and doesn’t know quite how to respond. And, the same kind of desperation is evident in other capitals as well,” he added. Sputnik’s Garland Nixon noted that European governments have not done a “good job” of trying to convince their public that they have to suffer and sacrifice for the “democracy of the neo-Nazis”.

“The US is also quite confident that, as you said, the ruble will be turned to rubble, the Russian economy would be smashed, that they’d be, you know, they’d be closed out of the energy market and would be crying for mercy very soon,” said Lazare of the West’s attacks on Russia’s economy. “But that didn’t happen. Quite the reverse. Russia was able to find outlets for its oil and gas. It developed markets with China and other nations. The US has wound up shooting itself in the foot. And the amazing thing is that this keeps happening again and again.” Sputnik’s Wilmer Leon added that the reason French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz don’t want to address the collapse of their biggest economic bloc in the world is because it was done at the “behest of the United States”. “The US really engineered this war,” said Lazare. “I don’t want to let France and Britain off the hook because they were solidly behind US efforts, but this is an American-led effort which really installed a nationalist government in Kiev, which was itching for a fight with Russia, which got one and then, followed by a full scale military invasion in February 2022.”

“The US thought it would win that war easily,” he continued. “But now the war is going very poorly. And it turns out that the US really had a very poor idea of what it was getting into. Now, the problem is that the US will not suffer the consequences anywhere near to the degree the Europeans will.” “So, it’s a case that they followed the US, they tag along happily behind it, and now they’ve got to pay the price for their own behavior. It’s crazy, and I do agree that there’s going to be a reckoning.” The EU’s working class is growing increasingly opposed to conflict with Russia as their economy suffers from Western imposed sanctions which saw them lose access to cheap and reliable Russian energy. The economic growth forecast for Germany, for instance, was cut down to 0.2% in 2024 from a previous projection of 1.3%, according to a recent report. Robert Habeck, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor, has said the country is performing “dramatically bad.”

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Far toos much war talk coming out of France.

French Army ‘Ready For War’ – Top General (RT)

France is ready to face whatever developments unfold internationally and is prepared for the “toughest engagements” to protect itself, the chief of staff of the French Army, Gen. Pierre Schill, said in an interview published on Tuesday. In recent weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly refused to rule out Western troops being sent to Ukraine at some point to help Kiev in its fight against Moscow, which he described as an “adversary” of Paris. France’s forces are “ready,” Schill told Le Monde, stressing that “whatever the developments in the international situation, the French can be convinced: their soldiers will respond.” Schill said France has “international responsibilities” and is linked by defense agreements to “states exposed to major threats,” and must therefore have its forces trained and interoperable with allied armies.

He added that nuclear deterrence “is not a universal guarantee” because it does not guard against conflicts that would remain “below the threshold of vital interests.” Schill said that the Army must show itself a credible force through responsiveness in terms of force projection and the ability to carry out operations of increased scope. The general said that France currently has the capacity to commit a division of around 20,000 men within 30 days and has the means to command an army corps of up to 60,000 which includes allied divisions. In an interview with the TF1 and France 2 channels last week, President Macron said that France is “not waging war on Russia” by supporting Kiev, but labeled Russia an “adversary” and has stood by his remarks that a potential deployment of NATO troops to the country could not be “excluded.”

His statements drew a wave of denials from most of France’s fellow NATO members and officials – including Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – about having any intention to deploy their forces to Ukraine. At the same time, Spain’s El Pais reported on Monday that the US-led bloc has already been involved “in virtually every possible aspect” of the conflict and that active and former military personnel from NATO states have been operating in the country overseeing Kiev’s use of Western-supplied weapons. Moscow has repeatedly described the conflict as a US-led proxy war against Russia, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against escalation and said that a direct clash between NATO and Russia would be “one step shy of a full-scale World War III.”

French troops
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770143287040459213

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Macron’s bet: war with France means war with NATO.

France Preparing to Deploy Military Contingent in Ukraine: Russian Intel (Sp.)

France is preparing to deploy a contingent of troops in Ukraine, with the first echelon to include about 2,000 soldiers, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) chief Sergei Naryshkin has announced. “The country’s current leadership does not care about the death of ordinary Frenchmen and the concerns of the country’s generals. According to information received by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, a contingent of troops is already being prepared to be sent to Ukraine. At the initial stage, it will number about 2,000 people,” Naryshkin said in a statement Tuesday. According to the SVR head’s information, France’s generals are concerned about the difficulty of transferring such a large force to Ukraine and stationing it there unnoticed. Naryshkin warned that any French forces arriving in Ukraine “will become a legitimate priority target” for Russia’s military, with the same fate to await them as has already befallen those who fell during previous instances of French aggression against Moscow.

The SVR head also confirmed that those French nationals already in Ukraine (presumably fighting as mercenaries), have suffered losses not experienced by Paris since Algeria’s war of liberation against French control in the 1960s, hence concerns among the military leadership about the threat of discontent among mid-level officers in the French Army about the prospects of being deployed in Ukraine. President Macron has been the loudest voice among any NATO leaders in warning that he wouldn’t rule out sending troops to Ukraine “at some point.” “Maybe at some point – I don’t want it, I won’t take the initiative – we will have to have operations on the ground, whatever they may be, to counter the Russian forces,” Macron told Le Parisien last Friday. “France’s strength is that we can do it,” he added.

Macron riled up his NATO allies, particularly Germany, in early March by urging Europe not to be “cowards” in supporting the Kiev regime using all available means.If late February, he warned that he wouldn’t “rule out” sending French forces east. The president was roundly condemned by French opposition leaders for his remarks, with politicians both on the left and the right accusing him of playing with the lives of the French people and risking a new world war for the sake of his personal geopolitical ambitions. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova went further, accusing Macron of trying to recreate “French SS Division Charlemagne II to defend President Volodymyr Zelensky’s bunker.” The extent of the French mercenary presence in Ukraine was revealed in January, when a Russian missile strike killed and injured dozens of fighters in Kharkov.

NATO will not gain control over the Black Sea

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“..There are no resources in this country, there is no one to fight.”

Ukraine’s Losses ‘In The Millions’ – Polish General (RT)

Ukraine’s losses in the conflict with Russia should be counted “in the millions,” the former chief of the Polish General Staff, Rajmund Andrzejczak, has claimed. Kiev “is losing the war” and does not have the resources to sustain the fight against Moscow, he added. In an interview with the Polsat broadcaster on Monday, the retired general described Ukraine’s battlefield situation as “very dramatic” and insisted that “there are no miracles in war.”
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s decision to replace his top general, Valery Zaluzhny, with Aleksandr Syrsky has failed to make a significant difference as the same issues remain for Kiev’s new commander-in-chief, Andrzejczak added. According to the retired general, Ukraine is suffering deficits in equipment and manpower, with losses taking their toll on its capabilities. “They are missing over 10 million people. I estimate that the losses should be counted in the millions, not hundreds of thousands. There are no resources in this country, there is no one to fight.”

“The Ukrainians are losing this war,” Andrzejczak stated, pointing to media reports suggesting that Kiev is running out of anti-aircraft missiles to protect itself from Russian strikes. Echoing warnings from several Western leaders in recent weeks, Andrzejczak called for arms production to be boosted and argued that the West should prepare for a full-scale conflict with Russia within two or three years. Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that Moscow has no plans or interest in attacking NATO. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated last month that Ukraine had lost more than 444,000 troops since the start of the conflict in February 2022. The hostilities have also triggered an exodus of Ukrainian refugees, with almost 6.5 million recorded worldwide, according to UN data.

Officials in Kiev have repeatedly complained that Western arms shipments have been inadequate. Those calls have grown louder as US President Joe Biden’s request to provide an additional $60 billion in aid remains stalled in Congress, due to Republican demands to strengthen American border security. Kiev is also mulling a new mobilization bill that would lower the minimum draft age for men from 27 to 25, with reported plans to send 500,000 new troops to the frontline. Against this backdrop, the Russian military last month pushed Kiev out of the strategic Donbass city of Avdeevka, also liberating several nearby settlements. The former stronghold has been on the front line since 2014 and was frequently used by Kiev to shell residential blocks in the nearby city of Donetsk.

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“You’re in a fight for your life, so you should be serving — not at 25 or 27.” “We need more people in the line..”

Lindsey Graham Tells Ukraine To Draft Younger Soldiers (RT)

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has urged the Ukrainian parliament to pass a highly controversial mobilization bill that would lower the minimum conscription age from 27 to 25 to compensate for battlefield losses. At the same time, he advocated a scheme in which the US would provide Ukraine with loans instead of non-repayable aid. Kiev announced general mobilization in February 2022 shortly after the start of the conflict, with men between 27 and 60 eligible to be called up, although those over the age of 18 could also volunteer. In December, Ukrainian officials proposed a bill expanding the draft bracket, with reported plans to send as many as 500,000 fresh soldiers to the front line. On Monday, Graham traveled to Kiev to discuss continued US support for Ukraine with President Vladimir Zelensky. Speaking to reporters, he said that he hoped that those eligible to serve in the Ukrainian military would join the fight.

“I can’t believe [the conscription threshold] is at 27,” he added, as quoted by the Washington Post. “You’re in a fight for your life, so you should be serving — not at 25 or 27.” “We need more people in the line,” he said. Graham also stressed that Ukrainians need to serve regardless of whether the US sends arms to Kiev or not. “No matter what we do, you’re fighting for you.” The US has struggled to approve President Joe Biden’s aid request earmarking $60 billion for Ukraine due to Republican opposition demanding that the White House do more to enhance security on the southern border. Moreover, Graham appeared to endorse the approach of GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump who has advocated providing aid to Kiev in form of loans on “extraordinarily good terms.”

“I was very direct with President Zelensky. You can expect me to always be in your corner, but it’s not unfair for me to ask you and other allies: Pay us back down the road, if you can,” the senator said. Graham’s call for Kiev to extend the draft bracket comes as Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu last month estimated Ukrainian losses since the start of the conflict at more than 444,000 troops. Meanwhile, Zelensky has claimed that Kiev has suffered only 31,000 dead. Last year, President Vladimir Putin said that Western countries seemed determined “to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.” He also noted at the time that while the West could provide Kiev with new arms, Ukraine’s manpower is not limitless.

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“..who the main beneficiaries of the spending bonanza really are (hint: it’s not the Ukrainians)..”

US Military-Industrial Complex Jacks Up Prices Amid Ukraine Proxy War (Sp.)

Dedicated Ukraine proxy war supporter and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has laced into America’s biggest defense contractors, accusing them of price gouging. “Like a majority of Americans, I believe it is in the vital interest of the United States and the international community to fight off Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. But many defense contractors see the war primarily as a way to line their own pockets. The RTX Corporation, formally Raytheon, has increased prices for its Stinger missiles sevenfold since 1991. Today, it costs the United States $400,000 to replace each Stinger sent to Ukraine – an outrageous price increase that cannot even remotely be explained by inflation, increased costs, or advances in quality,” Sanders complained in an essay published in Foreign Affairs magazine on Monday.

“When contractors pad their profits, fewer weapons reach Ukrainians on the frontlines. Congress must rein in this kind of war profiteering by more closely examining contracts, taking back payments that turn out to be excessive, and creating a tax on windfall profits,” Sanders urged. The senator’s shock and outrage over the US military-industrial complex’s war profiteering is in itself a surprise. Serving as a congressman between 1991 and 2007 and as a senator from 2007 onward, Sanders has been part of Washington political establishment for over 30 years now. One might think that to be more than enough time to realize that obscene profitmaking is the name of the arms industry’s game.

The senator’s farfetched epiphany aside, his point stands. Since the 1990s, US weapons giants from Raytheon and Lockheed to BAE Systems to General Dynamics have jacked prices on everything from man-portable anti-tank and air defense missiles to artillery, tanks, drones and more. In other words, the Stinger certainly isn’t the only example of out of control costs at the Pentagon. The Kiel Institute for the World Economy estimates total Western military assistance to Ukraine to have hit $113+ billion in 2024. On first glance, that figure sounds impressive, representing nearly double Russia’s entire pre-conflict defense budget of $66 billion in 2021. Taking account of the seemingly out-of-control price increases of US weapons, however, a different picture emerges on the capabilities given to Kiev, and about who the main beneficiaries of the spending bonanza really are (hint: it’s not the Ukrainians).

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“..Apple will disable all iPhones in the Russian Federation, and Google will disable non-jailbroken Android phones..”

iPhones Won’t Work In Case Of World War III – Russian MP (RT)

Western smartphones could stop working in Russia if the Ukraine conflict turns into a global war, Anton Gorelkin, deputy head of the Russian State Duma’s Information Policy Committee, warned in an interview posted to the YouTube channel Telega Reality. According to the MP, if the conflict “moves to another stage,” everyone will “up the stakes,” including the tech companies. “I’m talking about something that some experts call World War III. In this scenario, I fully expect that Apple will disable all iPhones in the Russian Federation, and Google will disable non-jailbroken Android phones,” he stated. He warned that in such a case the Russian authorities and tech experts could retaliate with similar actions regarding Western tech companies, although he did not specify what these actions could be. Gorelkin also admitted that Russia currently has no alternatives to replace Western smartphones or the software they use. He predicted, however, that things may change in 5-10 years, as Russia’s IT sphere is rapidly developing, especially since the exit of a number of foreign companies from the country’s market.

Gorelkin is not the first person to suggest the possibility that Western gadgets will stop working in Russia. Various experts warned that such a scenario was technically possible for all devices that require software updates from companies abroad, or have options that allow owners to remotely find and block a phone that has gone missing. However, so far Western tech companies have stopped short at removing undesirable applications from their app stores and disabling the use of the payment services Apple Pay and Google Pay on phones belonging to Russian users. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently weighed in on the possibility of the Ukraine conflict turning into a global war. During a question-and-answer session at his campaign headquarters in Moscow on Sunday night, he commented on recent statements from members of the US-led military bloc on the possibility of NATO troops being deployed in Ukraine. Putin said that such a move would be seen as a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia, which “would be one step shy of a full-scale World War III.”

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“.. real wages measured against pre-crisis forecasts dropped by 4% from April 2022 to March 2023, while output declined by 4.1%..”

German Living Standards In ‘Unprecedented post-WW2 Slump’ (RT)

Germany’s 2022 living standards took the biggest downturn since World War II, a report released by the Forum for a New Economy on Monday has suggested. The decline is attributed to the energy shocks that sent prices for consumers soaring. Economists from the Berlin-based think-tank highlighted that the decline in Germany’s economic output recorded in 2022 is comparable to the financial crisis of 2008 and the short-lived decline during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The failure to protect the country’s industrial sector from energy price spikes is expected to turn the 2020s into “a lost decade for Germany,” the analysts have warned, calling the crisis “the worst economic downturn in the country since World War II.” For years, Germany’s prized industrial sector had been fueled by relatively inexpensive Russian gas. However, since the Ukraine conflict erupted in 2022, Berlin has opted to forgo energy from Russia in favor of costlier alternatives, including American liquefied natural gas.

According to the report, real wages measured against pre-crisis forecasts dropped by 4% from April 2022 to March 2023, while output declined by 4.1%. Germany’s economy shrank by 0.3% in 2023, according to the federal statistics agency Destatis. However, the country managed to avoid a technical recession after the second-quarter figures were revised to 0.1% growth. Two consecutive quarters of negative growth are widely considered to mark a technical recession. The Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, recently forecast growth of 0.4% in 2024. However, some financial institutions, such as the country’s two largest lenders, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, expect German GDP to decline again this year. Meanwhile, EU Commission’s most recent forecast for the Eurozone shows an expected increase in GDP of only 0.8% in 2024, down from the previous forecast of 1.2% growth made last November.

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“We cannot affect the outcome of the election… but just to spite them we need to make some stupid statement.”

Medvedev Reacts To Germany’s Putin Snub (RT)

Berlin’s decision not to refer to Russian President Vladimir Putin by his proper title in government documents is ridiculous and possibly a sign of a mental disorder, officials in Moscow have said. The diplomatic snub was announced on Monday in an effort to discredit last week’s presidential election in Russia. Germany and other Western nations claim the electoral process was neither free nor fair. A government spokesperson said the move was symbolic, noting that communications between Berlin and Russia were severely limited anyway. Reacting to the news, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said the stunt “comes from shameful weakness.”

He claimed that Germany was essentially saying “We cannot affect the outcome of the election… but just to spite them we need to make some stupid statement.”If Germany does not recognize Putin as the legitimate head of Russia, how does it intend to negotiate with Moscow and what value would any outcome of such talks have, asked Medvedev, who is the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the decision not to use Putin’s official title looked like the result of a self-induced “wild phobia,” an inability to name the source of one’s fear. ”This is something that differentiates a healthy person from someone who is not. They appear to be in a state of paranoia,” she remarked during an interview.

Western rhetoric following Putin’s re-election had contrasted with the reaction of most nations of the world, which had congratulated the president, Zakharova noted. The US and its allies should “take care of themselves and their problems” instead of picking on other sovereign states, she suggested. The Russian president has dismissed Western criticism of his election win, claiming that it was made in bad faith by governments seeking to contain Russia. ”What did you expect? For them to stand up in applause or something? They are fighting against us, including with arms,” Putin said following his victory.

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“In Gaza we are no longer on the brink of famine. We are in a state of famine..”

‘Catastrophic’ Hunger Has Gripped Gaza (RT)

Famine conditions now exist in the northern part of Gaza, a UN monitor group warned on Monday. Around 300,000 people remain trapped in the area, following months of Israeli bombardment that has left over 31,000 people dead. The UN-backed report also warns that more than 70% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million faces “catastrophic hunger.” The Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification (IPC) said that mass death is now imminent without an immediate ceasefire and deliveries of food aid to the areas affected by the fighting. More than a dozen children in Gaza, including newborn babies, have starved to death and many more are at risk from soaring malnutrition. UN aid agencies warned earlier in March that urgently-needed humanitarian aid is being blocked from entering the Palestinian enclave.

The IPC estimated that two out of every 10,000 people will die daily from starvation, malnutrition, and disease if not helped immediately. “The actions needed to prevent famine require an immediate political decision for a ceasefire together with a significant and immediate increase in humanitarian and commercial access to the entire population of Gaza,” the report said. Israel has been criticized by its Western partners since it began launching retaliatory strikes against Hamas militants following their attack on Israel on October 7. “In Gaza we are no longer on the brink of famine. We are in a state of famine,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at the opening of a conference on humanitarian aid for Gaza in Brussels on Monday.

He also accused Israel of “using starvation as a weapon of war.” Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded by saying, “Israel allows extensive humanitarian aid into Gaza,” and told Borrell “to stop attacking Israel and recognize our right to self-defense against Hamas’ crimes.” Efforts to reach a truce between Hamas and Israel are ongoing, with no breakthrough so far as the hostilities continue. Heavy fighting erupted on Monday in and around Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital complex. The Israeli Army said it was combatting Hamas militants there and advised civilians to evacuate.

Sachs Israel

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“..the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to protect the border..”

Supreme Court Allows Texas To Start Arresting And Deporting Illegal Aliens (ZH)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s attempts to keep the US border open – allowing Texas to enforce a new law giving local police the power to arrest migrants. With three liberal justices dissenting, the conservative-majority court rejected an emergency request by the Biden administration which claimed that states have no authority to legislate on immigration. The ruling means that Texas’ law can go into effect while litigation continues in lower courts. The law, SB4, allows police to arrest migrants who illegally cross into the United States from Mexico, and imposes criminal penalties. It also empowers judges to deport people to Mexico. “Texas is the nation’s first-line defense against transnational violence and has been forced to deal with the deadly consequences of the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to protect the border,” Texas argued in court papers.

The dispute is the latest clash between the Biden administration and Texas over immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border. A federal judge blocked the law after the Biden administration sued, but the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a brief order that it could go into effect March 10 if the Supreme Court declined to intervene. On March 4, Justice Samuel Alito issued a temporary freeze on the law to give the Supreme Court time to consider the federal government’s request. -NBC News. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said in court filings that Texas’ law is “flatly inconsistent” with Supreme Court precedent dating back 100 years. “Those decisions recognize that the authority to admit and remove noncitizens is a core responsibility of the national government, and that where Congress has enacted a law addressing those issues, state law is preempted,” she said, adding that the appeals court did not explain its reasoning for allowing the law to go into effect.

And what about the GDP? The new ruling may put a crimp in the Biden administration’s seeming plan to flood the country with low-wage labor in an effort to boost GDP, which Democrats now insist would benefit to the tune of $7 trillion thanks to illegal immigrants – who are allowed to work indefinitely whilst waiting for the US immigration system to process their asylum claims. Recall that 10 million illegals have entered the US under Biden, while virtually all of the job gains under Biden have gone to foreign-born workers, looks like their ‘great replacement’ theory scheme has just suffered a swift kick to the huevos. “This unprecedented surge in illegal immigration isn’t an accident. It is the result of deliberate policy choices by the Biden administration,” said Eric Ruark, Director of Research for Numbers USA, a nonprofit that advocates for immigration restrictions.

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“..Is there a pattern here of likely guilt that is contextualized into a not guilty assessment?..”

Guilty!—But Not Really Guilty? (Victor Davis Hanson)

In 2011, then Homeland Security Advisor to President Obama, John Brennan, swore before Congress that drone-targeted assassination missions near the Pakistani border had not led to “a single collateral death.” That was an obvious lie with grave consequences, given that Brennan was sworn under oath and was one of the top officials in the US national security community. Yet there were no subsequent repercussions. In fact, the opposite occurred. Brennan was subsequently rewarded with a 2013 appointment as CIA. But the next year, once again, Brennan lied to Congress, assuring the Senate Intelligence Committee that his CIA had not secretly accessed senate staffers’ computers. Again, there were no consequences for his repeated lies. Instead, Brennan, upon retirement, went on to be an MSNBC/NBC analyst who helped to promulgate the Russian collusion/laptop disinformation hoaxes.

In 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also lied under oath to Congress when he laughably stated that the National Security Agency did not spy on American citizens. Later, when called out by senators, Clapper fudged in a televised interview. “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying no.” Try that contortion with the IRS. Some members of Congress referred a criminal complaint of perjury against Brennan to then Attorney General Eric Holder. Nothing happened. Again, one of the chiefs of the American national security community was exempted after lying to members of Congress. Clapper went on to a lucrative position as a CNN national security analyst, and at one point he claimed that Trump was a Putin “asset.”

As far as Eric Holder, he had earlier defied a congressional subpoena and was held in contempt by the House. The Department of Justice, however, chose not to pursue the complaint. Later in the Trump administration, Trump adviser Peter Navarro would be sentenced to four months in jail for similarly resisting a congressional subpoena. Was it a crime or not to resist a congressional subpoena? The Justice Department’s Inspector General concluded that Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director and interim director, had lied repeatedly to a variety of officials, including FBI Director James Comey, various FBI agents, and officials of the Office of the Inspector General. On some of these occasions, McCabe was sworn under oath. Yet in 2020, the Department of Justice chose not to pursue the IG’s criminal referrals. McCabe went on to become an outspoken CNN News contributor. Note that Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, was indicted—and convicted—for similarly lying to the FBI in 2017.

In 2016, an FBI investigation found that Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, had violated the law by transmitting and receiving classified information over an unsecured private server. Subsequently, she destroyed thousands of emails and some devices, some of which were under subpoena. FBI Director James Comey found that “any reasonable person” should have known it was illegal to transmit classified information in such a sloppy fashion. Comey, however, found that “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Translated, that meant Hillary Clinton had likely broken the law, but it was unlikely that any prosecutor like Comey would indict the then-current Democratic nominee for president and former Secretary of State—at least in the fashion that state and federal prosecutors would later file over 90 indictments against Donald Trump.

In 2018, the now-former FBI Director James Comey on some 245 occasions claimed under oath to Congress that he did not know or could not remember essential facts in the FBI Crossfire Hurricane investigation of Donald Trump, which he had authorized. In addition, the Office of the Inspector General of the Justice Department found that Comey had broken the law by violating both DOJ and FBI policies, as well as the FBI’s employment agreement—especially by retaining in his personal safe copies of four bureau memos concerning a confidential conversation with President Trump. Elements in the memos from that meeting likely contained classified information. Yet Comey leaked it to a friend without a security clearance in order to make it public. Despite the damning IG report, the Department of Justice chose not to prosecute Comey. Is there a pattern here of likely guilt that is contextualized into a not guilty assessment—and not guilty due to the prosecutorial psychoanalysis of the jury—that a guilty verdict would be difficult to obtain?

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“For the first time in my 94 years on earth, I fear for the future of our democracy..”

“Joe Biden has fulfilled Barack Obama’s promise to “transform” America..”

It’s Time for GOP To Unite Behind Trump (Marcus)

For the first time in my 94 years on earth, I fear for the future of our democracy. I see the federal government using its enormous powers with contempt for the governed instead of with the consent of the governed as our founders envisioned. Fundamental change in America is occurring by executive order or the force of the government’s police powers instead of through the legislative process required by the Constitution. From this, I fear that free market capitalism may be replaced by big government socialism. I also fear the erosion of our rights and freedoms, including parental rights, freedom of speech and religion, and due process. In the past, I always had the confidence that a president who was a threat to democracy could be voted out of office in the next election. I am no longer that confident today. My lack of confidence is because the media today is not the watchdog over government that our Founders intended it to be. It is instead the lapdog of government, shielding the public from the entire truth about the policies and actions of the current administration.

One vivid example of this became a meme: the television reporters declaring while doing their standups that the riots in 2020 were “mainly peaceful” as fires raged in the background. I was not surprised earlier this month by the reprise of “Russia collusion.” Nor will I be surprised if the media soon characterizes a Trump rally as an “insurrection.” The media may be the biggest threat to our democracy since only well-informed voters guarantee the future of it. There is more on the line in this year’s presidential election than ever before. It is a mistake to assume that this election will be a rerun of 2020. The presumptive nominees and the world have changed since then. President Biden can no longer portray himself as “kindly Uncle Joe” or a moderate Democrat. His recent State of the Union Address, which was the most divisive of any I recall, reveals he is a very angry man and not someone Americans would want as their uncle. His policies and the undemocratic means by which he implemented them confirm he has been pulled to the far left by far-left extremists in the Democrat Party.

The Biden administration’s policies invited an invasion along our southern border by millions of unvetted people, compromised national security, allowed crime to spin out of control in our streets, forced middle-class Americans to raid their retirement funds to put food on their tables, and divided America more than at any time in our history since the Civil War. Joe Biden has fulfilled Barack Obama’s promise to “transform” America. This is not a welcome transformation, as confirmed by Biden’s dismal job approval ratings. When Donald Trump was in office, his Democrats and their media allies portrayed him as a pugnacious New Yorker who “did not act presidential” and somehow craved dictatorial powers. They’re still doing this, although they’ve upped the rhetoric. Over the weekend, Nancy Pelosi invoked Adolf Hitler while attacking the former president. His detractors are unwilling to look past Trump’s rough edges and see the results he achieved during his first of what I hope will be two terms.

His policies achieved the highest wage rate in 50 years while keeping inflation in check, the lowest unemployment rate for minorities, and energy independence for America, among other stunning results. Moreover, his policies and the projection of his and America’s strength kept the country out of any new foreign conflicts. It is essential to our national security that America’s enemies fear our president. This does not mean that President Trump did not have to do better. He did, and he has done so since leaving office. Having become close to him in the last seven years, I have seen a side of him that is not seen by the public. He is truly one of the most misunderstood men in America, and I and other friends of his have urged him to let the public see the real Donald Trump. His recent praise of Nikki Haley was unifying and shows the magnanimous side of him that his friends often see. Expect more of the real Donald Trump to emerge.

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“..You live in a country where the Attorney General is abetting, in fact calling for voter fraud, and that’s the only chance they have to get their guy re-elected.”

How the Democrats Plan To Steal the Election (Lew Rockwell)

This isn’t the first time the Left has stolen an election. It happened in the 2020 presidential election too. Ron Unz offers his usual cogent analysis: “There does seem to be considerable circumstantial evidence of widespread ballot fraud by Democratic Party forces, hardly surprising given the apocalyptic manner in which so many of their leaders had characterized the threat of a Trump reelection. After all, if they sincerely believed that a Trump victory would be catastrophic for America why would they not use every possible means, fair and foul alike, to save our country from that dire fate? In particular, several of the major swing-states contain large cities—Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Atlanta—that are both totally controlled by the Democratic Party and also notoriously corrupt, and various eye-witnesses have suggested that the huge anti-Trump margins they provided may have been heavily ‘padded’ to ensure the candidate’s defeat.”

In a program aired right after Biden’s pitiful State of the Union speech, the great Tucker Carlson pointed out that Biden’s “Justice” Department has already confessed that it plans to rig the election. It will do this by banning voter ID laws as “racist.” This permits an unlimited number of fake votes: “If Joe Biden is so good at politics, why is he losing to Donald Trump, who the rest of us were assured was a retarded racist who no normal person would vote for? But now Joe Biden is getting stomped by Donald Trump, but he’s also at the same time good at politics? Right. Again, they can’t win, but they’re not giving up. So what does that tell you? Well, they’re going to steal the election. We know they’re going to steal the election because they’re now saying so out loud. Here is the Attorney General of the United States, the chief law enforcement officer of this country in Selma, Alabama, just the other day. [Now Carlson quotes the Attorney General, Merrick Garland:] “The right to vote is still under attack, and that is why the Justice Department is fighting back. That is why one of the first things I did when I came into office was to double the size of the voting section of the Civil Rights Division.

That is why we are challenging efforts by states and jurisdictions to implement discriminatory, burdensome, and unnecessary restrictions on access to the ballot, including those related to mail-in voting, the use of drop boxes and voter ID requirements. That is why we are working to block the adoption of discriminatory redistricting plans that dilute the vote of Black voters and other voters of color. [Carlson then comments on Garland:] “Did you catch that? Of course, you’re a racist. That’s always the takeaway. But consider the details of what the Attorney General of the United States just said. Mail-in balloting, drop boxes, voter ID requirements. The chief law enforcement officer of the United States Government is telling you that it’s immoral, in fact racist, in fact illegal to ask people for their IDs when they vote to verify they are who they say they are. What is that? Well, no one ever talks about this, but the justification for it is that somehow people of color, Black people, don’t have state-issued IDs.

Somehow they’re living in a country where you can do virtually nothing without proving your identity with a government-issued ID without government-issued IDs. They can’t fly on planes, they can’t have checking accounts, they can’t have any interaction with the government, state, local, or federal. They can’t stay in hotels. They can’t have credit cards. Because someone without a state-issued ID can’t do any of those things. But what’s so interesting is these same people, very much including the Attorney General and the administration he serves, is working to eliminate cash, to make this a cashless society. Have you been to a stadium event recently? No cash accepted. You have to have a credit card. In order to get a credit card you need a state-issued ID, and somehow that’s not racist. But it is racist to ask people to prove their identity when they choose the next President of the United States. That doesn’t make any sense at all. That’s a lie. It’s an easily provable lie, and anyone telling that lie is advocating for mass voter fraud, which the Attorney General is. There’s no other way to read it. So you should know that. You live in a country where the Attorney General is abetting, in fact calling for voter fraud, and that’s the only chance they have to get their guy re-elected.”

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“..the drug activates genes in neurons that affect cell growth, improves brain function and reduces the risks of inflammation..”

Viagra May Prevent Alzheimer’s (RT)

Sildenafil, the generic name for Viagra, may not only treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension, but also ward off cognitive decline, according to research published by the Cleveland Clinic Genome Center earlier this month. The authors of the study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease on March 1, found that those who took sildenafil were 30% to 54% less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers used real-world patient data from the MarketScan Medicare Supplemental database (2012-2017) and the Clinformatics database (2007-2020) to arrive at the conclusion.

The research was focused on those taking sildenafil or four comparator drugs, including bumetanide, furosemide, spironolactone, and nifedipine. Comparators are existing marketed drug products, or new drugs in development, including placebo versions. Gender, age, race, and concurrent diseases of the patients were factored in. The study concluded that the use of sildenafil was associated with reduced likelihood of Alzheimer’s relative to the control drugs. The results also showed that the drug activates genes in neurons that affect cell growth, improves brain function and reduces the risks of inflammation.

“We used artificial intelligence to integrate data across multiple domains which all indicated sildenafil’s potential against this devastating neurological disease,” said Feixiong Cheng, director of the Cleveland Clinic Genome Center, who led the study. Similar conclusions about sildenafil were made by researchers from University College London earlier this year. The study, published in the journal Neurology last month, included nearly 270,000 men who were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction and had no cognitive problems at the beginning of the research work. Those taking the drugs were 18% less likely to develop the dementia-causing condition.

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CO2

 

 

Rik Mayall
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770026300385743303

 

 

 

 

Dogshower

 

 

Frens

 

 

Owl
https://twitter.com/i/status/1769916272089952458

 

 

Luna

 

 

SF 1950s

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 192024
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Christ In The Storm On The Sea Of Galilee 1633
Stolen from Gardner Museum March 18 1990, the single largest property theft in the world. Never recovered.

 

2024 Could Turn on Smell of Selective Prosecution (Turley)
Trump Lawyers Say Posting $464 Million Bond ‘Impossible’ in NY Fraud Case (ET)
Trump Tells Ramaswamy ‘No’ For VP, But Leaves Cabinet Door Open (ZH)
SCOTUS to Weigh Free Speech Case Regarding Social Media ‘Misinformation’ (Sp.)
Joe Biden’s Parting Gift to America Will be Christian Fascism (Chris Hedges)
Gags and Jibes (Kunstler)
Russia – A Democracy that Works (Paul Craig Roberts)
China To Boycott Ukraine Peace Talks Without Russia – Politico (RT)
Putin’s Firm Stance on Ukraine Highlights NATO’s Impotence (Sp.)
Western Coverage of Russian Elections Awash in Disinformation (Sp.)
EU Boss Calls For ‘War Economy’ (RT)
Macron ‘Trying to Go Backwards’ to Days of Imperial France? (Miles)
UK MP Calls For Death Penalty For Members of Covid Cabal (WT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodbath

 

 

MSNBC

 

 

 

 

Cortes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1769734602225029158

 

 

Echo chamber

 

 

 

 

Flynn
https://twitter.com/i/status/1769775385732902993

 

 

Elon Lemon

 

 

Tucker Shaman

 

 

 

 

“There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity.”

“..an unprecedented way of using a state law to effectively prosecute Trump for a federal offense that the Justice Department has already rejected..”

2024 Could Turn on Smell of Selective Prosecution (Turley)

For years, conservatives have objected that there is a two-tier system of justice in this country. I have long resisted such claims, but it has become increasingly difficult to deny the obvious selective prosecution in a variety of recent cases and opinions. I have long stated that the charges against Trump over documents at Mar-a-Lago are strong and based on established precedent. However, the recent decision of Special Counsel Robert Hur not to bring criminal charges against President Joe Biden has undermined even that case. Hur described four decades of Biden serially violating laws governing classified documents. The evidence included Biden telling a third party that he had classified material in his house and actually reading from a classified document to his non-cleared ghostwriter. There is evidence of an effort to destroy evidence and later an effort of the White House to change the report.

There is also Biden’s repeated denial of any knowledge or memory of the documents found in nine locations where he worked or lived. Hur ultimately had to justify the lack of charges based on a belief that he could not secure a conviction from a D.C. jury with an elderly defendant with diminished mental faculties. Although Special Counsel Jack Smith could still proceed on obstruction counts, his prosecution of Trump for the retention and mishandling of national security documents is absurdly in conflict with the treatment Biden is receiving. In New York, the legislature changed the statute of limitations to allow Trump to be sued while New York Attorney General Letitia James effectively ran on a pledge of selectively prosecuting him. She never specified any particular crime, just promising to bag Trump.

Ultimately, James used a law in an unprecedented way to secure an absurd penalty of roughly half a billion dollars, even though no one lost a dime because of the Trump loans. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has also come up with an unprecedented way of using a state law to effectively prosecute Trump for a federal offense that the Justice Department has already rejected. The same odor has been lingering in the Hunter Biden cases. The Justice Department had reached a ridiculous plea agreement with Hunter Biden that would have allowed for no jail time and a sweeping immunity agreement that would have protected him from all of his other alleged crimes. As the plea agreement fell apart in court, the prosecutor admitted that he had never seen a defendant given such a deal over his long career. This came after the Justice Department had allowed the statute of limitations to run out on major felonies and scuttled efforts to conduct searches and interviews. Even after that embarrassing hearing, the Justice Department was still trying to preserve the agreement.

[..] In California, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney issued an opinion that found such evidence of selective prosecution against conservative groups. In considering a far-right group, Carney noted that the Justice Department has had sharply different approaches based on the political views of the defendants. Antifa and other leftist groups often see charges dropped, whereas federal prosecutors seek draconian sentences against conservative defendants. “Such selective prosecution leaves the troubling impression that the government believes speech on the left more deserving of protection than speech on the right. The government remains free to prosecute those, like Defendants, who allegedly use violence to suppress First Amendment rights. But it cannot ignore others, equally culpable, because Defendants’ speech and beliefs are more offensive. The Constitution forbids such selective prosecution,” Carney noted.

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THE defining case. SCOTUS better hurry and get involved, or irreversible harm will occur. Like if Engoron and Letitia start selling Trump property.

Trump Lawyers Say Posting $464 Million Bond ‘Impossible’ in NY Fraud Case (ET)

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump urged a New York appeals court again on March 18 to remove or lower the $464 million bond President Trump must pay in less than a week as he tries to appeal a more than $350 million judgment from a civil fraud case. “Enforcing an impossible bond requirement as a condition of appeal would inflict manifest irreparable injury on Defendants, and ‘defeat or impair [this Court’s] appellate jurisdiction,’” they argued. The New York Attorney General’s office, which brought the civil fraud lawsuit, argued the appeals court had no authority to do so, while the defense pointed to other cases where it was found appropriate. The bond President Trump would have to put up would include backdated interest at 9 percent, adding another $100 million to the court ordered fine, which defense attorneys say has been improperly classified as disgorgement of ill-gotten gains. Defense attorneys submitted a hefty, nearly 5,000-page reply brief March 18, reopening arguments that had not been accepted during trial after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron had already entered a summary judgment finding President Trump liable for fraud.

They pointed out, as they had repeatedly, that the case named no victims, and therefore no one would be harmed in a delay of payment. “The case involves no actual victims and no award of restitution, and [the attorney general] is fully protected by Defendants’ real-estate holdings. This factor alone warrants a stay,” the defense argued. “The judgment seeks to destroy a successful business that employs many hardworking New Yorkers, has contributed approximately $300 million in taxes to public coffers just during the dates in question in this case, and has made historic contributions to the State and City of New York.” Attorneys also revealed that 30 companies have already turned down the defense’s bond applications, attaching an affidavit from one of the brokers. A $454 million bond would require President Trump to have $1 billion in cash reserves, and four brokers have separate brokers have tried to obtain one so far to no avail. A ruling is expected from the appeals court in three to six weeks.

The attorney general had accused President Trump and other Trump Organization executives of persistent and repeated fraud and artificially inflating President Trump’s net worth through annual statements of financial condition (SFC), which were an informal summary document of Trump Organization assets. After a 45-day bench trial, Justice Engoron had ruled for the plaintiffs on all claims, setting disgorgement at more than $350 million in line with the calculation an expert witness called by the state devised. The judge had also put a ban on President Trump holding a director position in any financial or legal entity in the state for three years or taking out loans from any financial institution chartered in the state, and more limited bans for his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. Crucially, he extended the third-party monitorship of Trump Organization, with future reviews based on the monitor’s report for additional penalties including the extension of monitorship and even business certificate cancellations.

Defense attorneys argued the judgment was full of “manifold errors,” including the disregard of the statute of limitations set by the appeals court on both claims and disgorgement, the “ridiculously” valuing Mar-a-Lago between $18 million and $27 million, and “a massive disgorgement award in the absence of any evidence that misrepresentations caused the supposedly ill-gotten proceeds.” “Supreme Court double- and triple-counted damages, and committed elementary errors in the process, such as conflating the proceeds of a sale with the profits from that sale,” the defense attorneys argued. “Such basic mistakes would have been prevented if this case had been allowed to be adjudicated in the Commercial Division, where it belonged.” The defense attorneys argued that the disgorgement award was “unconstitutional,” as it violates the excessive fines clause in both the U.S. and New York constitutions, calling it an “irrational, punitive sanction.”

“This case has no victims, no damages, and no actual financial losses,” the brief reads. Defendants argue that their business partners—including Deutsche Bank and the Zurich financial group—were “sophisticated” major financial institutions that testified they did their own analyses, were aware of the Trump Organization SFC disclaimers, and would not have changed the terms offered to Trump Organization “in light of the alleged ’misrepresentations’” in the SFCs as the attorney general presented at trial. The massive figure is not an objective one; the state needed to tease out the portion of profit earned by Trump Organization that would have been a result only of inflated numbers presented on the SFCs. The state presented an expert who created formulas to calculate the figure, and defense attorneys sought to show through their own expert testimonies that the profits were not “ill-gotten.” In court filings, the defense also argued that several of these calculations relied on transactions that were outside of the statute of limitations, and faulted the trial court for allowing this.

The attorney general had argued that the transactions were, under the continuing wrongs doctrine, distinct violations that each restarted the statute of limitations period, but the appeals court had previously found the doctrine did not apply to this case.“The proper application of this Court’s previous ruling forecloses over 75 percent of the judgment,” the defense argued. About $351 million of the disgorgement, after interest, falls outside the statute of limitations, the defense argued. This covers the loans for Trump National Doral Miami, Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in New York, and Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, all in 2012, as well as the Old Post Office building in Washington in 2013. Yet even with the statute of limitations properly applied, the defense argues there was no show of causation that the alleged misrepresentations on the SFCs resulted in these specific gains. The case was brought under Executive Law § 63(12) and the defense argued the statutes are “inapplicable to the facts of this case in the first place,” and was “wrongfully relied upon” by both the state attorneys and court. The defense attorneys blasted the attorney general for using cases that had no relation to the Executive Law § 63(12), including one involving attorney disbarment, to argue against a stay of penalties during appeal. The appeals court had already temporarily stayed some of the nonmonetary penalties ordered, which the defense argued should continue throughout the appeal.

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Shanahan?

Trump Tells Ramaswamy ‘No’ For VP, But Leaves Cabinet Door Open (ZH)

Donald Trump ‘personally told’ Vivek Ramaswamy that he’s been ruled out as a running mate, however the former president is eyeing a Cabinet job including the Homeland Security secretary, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. According to the report, “Some Trump allies see Ramaswamy as ideal for the job because they say he excels at public speaking and, as an Indian-American son of an immigrant, could neutralize criticism of sweeping immigration restrictions.” “Their conversation is just one of many Trump has had recently with allies about administration positions as he seized hold of the Republican nomination. Loyalty, ideological compatibility and perceived electoral power are the metrics by which Trump is evaluating possible picks, according to people familiar with the process who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Those who have impressed Trump and his team for possible Cabinet roles include another former GOP primary foe, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, as well as Representative Elise Stefanik and former US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.” -Bloomberg

Trump is apparently looking for a running mate who isn’t “motivated by the limelight,” but who will give the former president a significant edge. According to the report, none of the VP picks circulating have impressed Trump much, and his list of options has only grown longer, instead of shorter. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is rumored to be a top candidate to serve as Trump’s deep state handler chief of staff. That said, after Steve Bannon and Mike Flynn were promptly squeezed out by dark forces the first time around, Trump is looking for a series of top-level aides and Cabinet members who can enable his agenda. Oh boy! Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law whose bed Bibi Netanyahu slept in one time, “has recently increased his presence in the campaign,” and has been “calling and texting to offer suggestions.” Trump Jr., meanwhile, has also expressed interest in a key transition role – in part because he can act as a gatekeeper to block people who are opposed by the MAGA movement.

In response to an inquiry by Bloomberg, senior Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said it’s way too early to start speculating about Cabinet or senior roles. “Apparently somebody has decided to list out everyone who has ever met President Trump and is now speculating as to their potential participation in a second Trump administration. The truth is that unless you hear it directly from President Trump or his campaign, this is all b.s.,” he said. “Those who have participated in the discussions describe a quintessentially Trump experience, in which the former president peppers the conversation with political observations and media critiques as a steady stream of food is served, while he keeps an eye on cable news or chooses his favorite musical selections over dinner at his Mar-a-Lago club. The former president has repeatedly expressed admiration for Burgum, a billionaire who mounted a short-lived presidential bid. He has been discussed as a good fit to lead a transition – and possibly the Energy Department. Burgum, like Trump, is a supporter of fossil fuels.” -Bloomberg

If we’re still believing the hype, one person who’s been cast out of the Trump tent is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), following his failed primary challenge. Trump “regularly vents” about DeSantis in private conversations, however the pair did reportedly have a phone conversation shortly after DeSantis dropped out.

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“..the government is seemingly gaining, gathering, usurping new powers by leaning on these intermediaries in order to do things that it isn’t authorized to do itself.”

SCOTUS to Weigh Free Speech Case Regarding Social Media ‘Misinformation’ (Sp.)

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will decide whether or not the government disobeyed the constitutional right to free speech when they pressured social media platforms to take down content they labeled as misinformation. The case stems primarily from the Biden administration’s efforts to remove misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the US 2020 presidential election, according to a recent report.
SCOTUS is essentially tasked with deciding if the First Amendment has limits regarding what is written online and on social media platforms. “The key free speech issue is how far can the government go in verbally arm-twisting private speech intermediaries to remove speech before that constitutes a First Amendment violation or state action,” said Clay Calvert, a law professor at the University of Florida. SCOTUS will be looking at two cases regarding free speech rights. In Murthy v. Missouri, the social media case, a suit was brought by five social media users and the Republican attorney generals of Missouri and Louisiana.

“By silencing speakers and entire viewpoints across social-media platforms, defendants systematically injure plaintiffs’ ability to participate in free online discourse,” state officials from Louisiana and Missouri wrote. In their complaint, the plaintiffs claim that they were censored on social media regarding several topics including: a story about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 election; the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic; the efficiency of measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19; and the integrity of the US 2020 election. A federal district judge in Louisiana found that seven groups of Biden administration officials violated the First Amendment because they “coerced” or “significantly encouraged” changing social media platforms’ content-moderation decisions. The Biden administration argued that the social media users and states lack legal standing in their case, but said officials must be free “to inform, to persuade, and to criticize”, according to filings.

“The court imposed unprecedented limits on the ability of the president’s closest aides to speak about matters of public concern, on the FBI’s ability to address threats to the nation’s security, and on CDC’s ability to relay public-health information,” Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, who represents the government before SCOTUS, said. SCOTUS will also hear an appeal from the National Rifle Association (NRA) over comments made by Maria Vullo, a former New York State official, after she urged insurance companies and banks to abandon their relationship with gun-promoting groups after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The group says that Vullo, who served as the former New York State Department of Financial Services superintendent, violated the group’s First Amendment rights. Vullo reportedly sent out “guidance letters” to businesses and in a press statement called on banks and insurance companies operating in New York to consider the “reputational risks” in doing business with the NRA or other gun groups.

“In both cases, the government doesn’t actually have the power to regulate speech or to decide whether the NRA can access banking institutions or not,” said Will Duffield, a policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, adding that “the government is seemingly gaining, gathering, usurping new powers by leaning on these intermediaries in order to do things that it isn’t authorized to do itself.” David Greene, the civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said US officials will not lose their ability to combat misinformation or disinformation, but adds that they do have a responsibility to not appear as coercive or forceful. “There are two main issues, and that is what do courts look at to determine whether and at what point a government crosses the line from voicing its opinion about how a social media platform should treat a specific post to unconstitutionally coercing the censorship, the negative moderation of that post,” he said. “There’s no disagreement that there is a point at which it becomes unconstitutional, but what the parties disagree on is what is that line and what is the appropriate analysis for setting that line, what factors to consider?

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Excuse me, Chris?!

“..Our imperial presidency, if Donald Trump returns to power, will shift effortlessly into a dictatorship that emasculates the legislative and judicial branches..”

Joe Biden’s Parting Gift to America Will be Christian Fascism (Chris Hedges)

Joe Biden and the Democratic Party made a Trump presidency possible once and look set to make it possible again. If Trump returns to power, it will not be due to Russian interference, voter suppression or because the working class is filled with irredeemable bigots and racists. It will be because the Democrats are as indifferent to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza as they are to immigrants, the poor in our impoverished inner cities, those driven into bankruptcy by medical bills, credit card debt and usurious mortgages, those discarded, especially in rural America, by waves of mass layoffs and workers, trapped in the serfdom of the gig economy, with its job instability and suppressed wages. Biden and the Democrats, along with the Republican Party, gutted antitrust enforcement and deregulated banks and corporations, allowing them to cannibalize the nation.

They backed legislation in 1982 to green light the manipulation of stocks through massive buybacks and the “harvesting” of companies by private equity firms that resulted in mass layoffs. They pushed through onerous trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, the greatest betrayal of the working class since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, which crippled union organizing. They were full partners in the construction of the vast archipelagos of the U.S. prison system — the largest in the world — and the militarization of police to turn them into internal armies of occupation. They fund the endless wars. The Democrats dutifully serve their corporate masters, without whom most of them, including Biden, would not have a political career. This is why Biden and the Democrats will not turn on those who are destroying our economy and extinguishing our democracy. The slops in the trough would dry up. Advocating reforms jeopardize their fiefdoms of privilege and power.

They fancy themselves as “captains of the ship,” labor journalist Hamilton Nolan writes, but they are “actually the wood-eating shipworms who are consuming the thing from inside until it sinks.” Authoritarianism is nurtured in the fertile soil of a bankrupt liberalism. This was true in Weimar Germany. It was true in the former Yugoslavia. And it is true now. The Democrats had four years to institute New Deal reforms. They failed. Now we will pay. A second Trump term will not be like the first. It will be about vengeance. Vengeance against the institutions that targeted Trump – the press, the courts, the intelligence agencies, disloyal Republicans, artists, intellectuals, the federal bureaucracy and the Democratic Party. Our imperial presidency, if Donald Trump returns to power, will shift effortlessly into a dictatorship that emasculates the legislative and judicial branches. The plan to snuff out our anemic democracy is methodically laid out in the 887-page plan amassed by the Heritage Foundation called “Mandate for Leadership.”

The Heritage Foundation spent $22 million to draw up policy proposals, hiring lists and transition plans in Project 2025 to save Trump from the rudderless chaos that plagued his first term. Trump blames “snakes,” “traitors,” and the “Deep State” for undermining his first administration. Our industrious American fascists, clutching the Christian cross and waving the flag, will begin work on day one to purge federal agencies of “snakes” and “traitors,” promulgate “Biblical” values, cut taxes for the billionaire class, abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, stack the courts and federal agencies with ideologues and strip workers of the few rights and protections they have left. War and internal security, including the wholesale surveillance of the public, will remain the main business of the state. The other functions of the state, especially those that focus on social services, including Social Security and protection of the vulnerable, will wither away.

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“misinformation” — that is, truth about what our government is doing that cannot be allowed to enter the public arena..”

Gags and Jibes (Kunstler)

Have you noticed how quickly our Ukraine problem went away, vanished, phhhhttttt? At least from the top of US news media websites. The original idea, as cooked-up by departed State Department strategist Victoria Nuland, was to make Ukraine a problem for Russia, but instead we made it a problem for everybody else, especially ourselves in the USA, since it looked like an attempt to kick-start World War Three. Now she is gone, but the plans she laid apparently live on. Our Congress so far has resisted coughing up another $60-billion for the Ukraine project — most of it to be laundered through Raytheon (RTX), General Dynamics, and Lockheed Martin — so instead “Joe Biden” sent Ukraine’s President Zelensky a few reels of Laurel and Hardy movies. The result was last week’s prank: four groups of mixed Ukraine troops and mercenaries drawn from sundry NATO members snuck across the border into Russia’s Belgorod region to capture a nuclear weapon storage facility while Russia held its presidential election. I suppose it looked good on the war-gaming screen.

Alas, the raid was a fiasco. Russian intel was on it like white-on-rice. The raiders met ferocious resistance and retreated into a Russian mine-field — this was the frontier, you understand, between Kharkov (Ukr) and Belgorod (Rus) — where they were annihilated. The Russian election concluded Sunday without further incident. V.V. Putin, running against three other candidates from fractional parties, won with 87 percent of the vote. He’s apparently quite popular. Meanwhile, Saturday night, “Joe Biden” turned up at the annual Gridiron dinner thrown by the White House [News] Correspondents’ Association, where he told the ballroom of Intel Community quislings: “You make it possible for ordinary citizens to question authority without fear or intimidation.” The dinner, you see, is traditionally a venue for jokes and jibes. So, this must have been a gag, right?

Try to imagine The New York Times questioning authority. For instance, the authority of the DOJ, the FBI, the DHS, and the DC Federal District court. Instant hilarity, right? As it happens, though, today, Monday, March 18, 2024, attorneys for the State of Missouri (and other parties) in a lawsuit against “Joe Biden” (and other parties) will argue in the Supreme Court that those government agencies above, plus the US State Department, with assistance from the White House (and most of the White House press corps, too), were busy for years trying to prevent ordinary citizens from questioning authority. For instance, questioning the DOD’s Covid-19 prank, the CDC’s vaccination op, the DNC’s 2020 election fraud caper, the CIA’s Frankenstein experiments in Ukraine, the J6 “insurrection,” and sundry other trips laid on the ordinary citizens of the USA.

Specifically, Missouri v. Biden is about the government’s efforts to coerce social media into censoring any and all voices that question official dogma. The case is about birthing the new concept — new to America, anyway — known as “misinformation” — that is, truth about what our government is doing that cannot be allowed to enter the public arena, making it very difficult for ordinary citizens to question authority. The government will apparently argue that they were not coercing, they were just trying to persuade the social media execs to do this or that. Maybe one of the justices might ask how it came to be that a Chief Counsel of the FBI, James Baker, after a brief rest-stop at a DC think tank, happened to take the job as Chief Counsel at Twitter in 2020. That was a mighty strange switcheroo, don’t you think? And ordinary citizens were not generally informed of it until the fall of 2022, when Elon Musk bought Twitter and delved into its workings.

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“No, the election was not rigged. Americans are so accustomed to their elections being rigged that they think all other countries’ elections are rigged also..”

Russia – A Democracy that Works (Paul Craig Roberts)

With a 75% voter turnout, 87% of the turnout voted for Putin. No, the election was not rigged. Americans are so accustomed to their elections being rigged that they think all other countries’ elections are rigged also. The whore American media instantly began the required chant: “a fishy election.” Of course, American elections are never fishy, not even when under cover of darkness vote totals are suddenly reversed. The election turnout is high in Russia because Putin, like Ronald Reagan and unlike Biden, is a leader who focuses on unifying the country. From a Russian national perspective, there is little, if anything, about which to disagree with Putin. His recent address to the Russian people shows his concern as well as the active measures he is implementing to support families and soldiers. It is rare for a country to have a leader who is not trying to survive being in office or using the office for his personal benefit.

There is no hope for US/Russian relations. The budget and power of the US military/security complex, a powerful lobby encompassing the armaments industry, the Congress elected by campaign contributions, and the CIA and FBI, depends on having an enemy. Russia is the enemy of choice. Americans were trained by decades of Cold War that there is a “Russian threat.” Another reason is that US foreign policy in the Middle East is controlled by the Israel Lobby, second in power only to the US military/security complex and often united with it. Israel’s interests in the Middle East differ completely from Russia’s interests. Israel’s interest is the destruction of Iran, which would open a pathway for CIA “jihadis” to flow into the Russian Federation and the former Central Asian provinces of the Soviet Union. Instead of one Ukraine, there would be many. Putin has the concept of good and evil. He is learning that in the West he faces evil. The Russian Church sees it as well and supports him.

Some Russians are still influenced by the American propaganda from “Voice of America” and “Radio Free Europe” during the Cold War of the 20th century. But as the previous lack of political support for Alexei Navalny and the absence of support for Putin’s challengers demonstrate, the Russian people understand that they face a threat from Washington’s empire, the response to which requires national unity. Meanwhile in the US the Democrats and the corporations have the borders wide open in order to replace higher cost American employees and Republican voters. Unity in America and throughout the Western World has been destroyed by Identity Politics. In the Western World no government represents the ethnic base of the country. Governments only represent the elite ruling interests. President Trump tried to change that, and we have seen what happened to him.

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Meaningless without China.

China To Boycott Ukraine Peace Talks Without Russia – Politico (RT)

China will boycott the talks to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict unless Moscow will have a seat at the table, Politico magazine reported on Monday, citing officials familiar with the matter. According to Politico, the message was “amplified” during Chinese Eurasia envoy Li Hui’s European tour earlier this month. During his March 7 trip to Kiev, Li met with Andrey Yermak, chief of staff of President Vladimir Zelensky. Ukraine will likely be discussed during German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to China next month. Chinese President Xi Jinping will then travel to Paris in early May and meet his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Politico said. The South China Morning Post reported this month that Li told EU officials that a potential peace summit cannot turn into “a conference that produces a plan that is pushed down the Russians’ throat.”

Unlike many Western countries, China has refused to blame Russia for the ongoing conflict and stressed that the fighting can only be stopped through diplomatic means. In 2023, Beijing unveiled a 12-point roadmap to a peace settlement, urging both sides to de-escalate. Kiev has since rejected the Chinese proposal. Ukraine insists that a tangible peace can only be negotiated on Zelensky’s terms, which include the withdrawal of Russian forces from the “illegally occupied” territory of Ukraine. Moscow has rejected this demand as a non-starter, stressing that it will not surrender Crimea and four other former Ukrainian regions that joined Russia after holding referendums on the matter.

Meaningful negotiations between Moscow and Kiev effectively broke down in the spring of 2022, with both sides accusing each other of making unrealistic demands. Russian President Vladimir Putin subsequently said that Ukrainian negotiators had initially agreed to some of Russia’s terms, but then abruptly reneged on the deal. Kiev’s lead negotiator David Arakhamia revealed in November 2023 that his team’s main goal was to “buy time” for the Ukrainian military. Switzerland has proposed to host a major peace summit sometime this year. However, no specific date has been yet set, and no list of potential participants has been revealed.

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“..the whole name of the game is to keep it going without an obvious defeat until November, so that Biden has some reasonable prospect of not having to run having lost a war..”

Putin’s Firm Stance on Ukraine Highlights NATO’s Impotence (Sp.)

On Monday, Sputnik’s Critical Hour spoke to Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years and co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. McGovern explained Putin’s approach to a possible battle with NATO, as French President Emmanuel Macron has toyed with the idea of putting boots on the ground—a sentiment his Western counterparts have vehemently rejected. “This business about Macron and some of the European leaders saying, ‘oh, my God, we can’t let Putin win in Ukraine,’ it doesn’t really square with what’s reality here because there is no way to prevent Russia from winning in Ukraine except by use of nuclear weapons,” said McGovern. “What [Putin] has done is just reminded people in NATO that if they send troops into Ukraine, there’s going to be a fight with Russia, and a fight with Russia would be very dangerous because they have weapons that NATO doesn’t have—such as hypersonic missiles,” McGovern explained, adding that Russia’s weapons are “fast” and “precise” and can cause a lot of damage without any “nuclear fallout, figuratively or literally”.

“The Western press has taken to accusing Putin of threatening to use tactical nuclear weapons,” McGovern added. “[But] he has not raised the issue of tactical nuclear weapons. It’s the US that is raising this, which makes me suspicious. Does the US realize that there’s no way they can stop Russia in Ukraine short of using tactical nuclear weapons, which in my view happens to be the case?” “And so, they are considering that and preparing the propaganda play by blaming the Russians and specifically Putin,” the former CIA analyst added. Putin spoke to reporters and journalists following his election victory, and said that at “some point” Russia could set up a buffer zone in Kiev-controlled territories in order to protect the Russian population from Ukrainian strikes.

The president explained that if and when Russia considers it appropriate, they will establish a “security zone that would be quite difficult for the adversary to overcome with its weapons, primarily of foreign origin.” “This went back a whole year,” said McGovern of the buffer zones. “[Sergey] Lavrov, the [Russian] Foreign Minister said they will be satisfied with the Donbass and those other two oblasts but, as long as there continues to be longer range artillery and missile range that much farther to the west, they’re going to have to go. “So Putin made that very clear just the other day saying, ‘look, there needs to be a cordon sanitaire. There needs to be a kind of buffer zone, a zone where if you have weapons that you’re aiming at us, it’s got to be that much more towards the West that we will draw this line,’” the analyst clarified.

“As far as what the Ukrainians are trying to do, they’re trying to show in one burst of energy that they really have the initiative, or at least they can take an initiative and they got slaughtered just over the weekend. They’re all trying to show the US Congress that there’s still life in the Ukrainian military—all they need is another $60 billion from Mike Johnson, the speaker of the [US] House,” McGovern added. “In my view, the whole name of the game is to keep it going without an obvious defeat until November, so that Biden has some reasonable prospect of not having to run having lost a war,” he said.

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“Your criticisms don’t mean anything to anyone anymore. You are literally the emperor with no clothes.”

Western Coverage of Russian Elections Awash in Disinformation (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will return to the Kremlin this year with a renewed mandate, having won 87% of the vote in an election with over 77% turnout. The outcome suggests strong support for the leader among the Russian public, but Western media has repeatedly attempted to delegitimize the presidential contest with a combination of misleading characterizations, half-truths, and outright lies. International relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda returned to Sputnik’s Fault Lines program on Monday to break down mainstream media coverage of the election and explain why Putin enjoys such massive support in Russia.“Putin has won this election by stunning margins,” said host Jamarl Thomas, with early results showing a convincing win for the Russian president immediately after polls closed on Sunday. “On some level people expected Putin to win it, and the question was going to be how much enthusiasm was there going to be in this race? And, apparently, there’s been a lot of it.”

“All of the polls, of course – domestic polls, opposition polls, foreign polls, take your pick – whichever ones you don’t want to trust, they all show the same thing for the election,” noted Sleboda. “Glancing over the absurdity of the Western media, it’s quite obvious they are not going to recognize the results of this election at all, which will make even a slim hope of diplomatic settlement of the current conflict in Ukraine essentially impossible going forward because they will not even recognize the results of the Russian election. But this is nothing new,” Sleboda said. “Take a look at elections in Palestine and Lebanon when the elections didn’t go the way the West wanted,” recalled the analyst. “They just didn’t recognize the results.” The United States has a long history of casting doubt on foreign elections that produce results contrary to the country’s foreign policy aims. In the book Manufacturing Consent, authors Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman recall how the US discounted Nicaragua’s 1984 election, which revealed the Sandinista movement enjoyed the support of more than two-thirds of its citizens.

The United States criticized electoral conditions there even while supporting elections in neighboring Central American countries that returned US allies to power in conditions considered far more repressive, according to international observers. The US then backed violent Contra death squads in the country, fueling a bloody civil war until Nicaraguans were compelled to vote for US-backed forces to quell the conflict. “‘In your country, one of the two major candidates… there’s legal battles trying to keep him off of ballots across the country,’” noted Sleboda, referring to Russian presidential spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s response to Western criticism of the country’s election. “Not to mention the Electoral College and all of the corruption with campaign finance… Your criticisms don’t mean anything to anyone anymore. You are literally the emperor with no clothes.”

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“If we do not get the EU’s response right and do not give Ukraine enough support to stop Russia, we are next..”

EU Boss Calls For ‘War Economy’ (RT)

The EU must reimagine its military strategy and drastically ramp up its defense production in order to help Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia, European Council President Charles Michel said on Monday. He made his call as Kiev has been increasingly warning about ammunition shortages. “Russia is a serious military threat to our European continent and global security. If we do not get the EU’s response right and do not give Ukraine enough support to stop Russia, we are next,” Michel wrote in an op-ed published in the newspaper La Libre Belgique and news website Euractiv. The EU chief argued that “for decades, Europe has failed to invest sufficiently in our security and defense,” and now urgently needs a “a radical and irreversible shift in our thinking towards a strategic security mindset.”

We must therefore be defense-ready and shift to a ‘war economy’ mode. It’s time to take responsibility for our security. We can no longer count on others or be at the mercy of election cycles in the US or elsewhere. The bloc’s defense production has increased by 50% since the start of the conflict in February 2022, Michel said, adding that the bloc will “double ammunition production to over 2 million shells yearly, by the end of next year.” The EU has been struggling to procure enough weapons and ammunition for Kiev’s needs as Ukrainian and international politicians and experts, as well as soldiers of the battlefield, are blaming shortages for the losses of territory to Russia.

The shipments were further delayed when US President Joe Biden’s $61 billion aid package got stuck in Congress due to the political in-fighting between Democrats and Republicans. The bill remains stalled due to the opposition of some GOP legislators. The situation with the supply of Western air defense systems is particularly dire, according to the New York Times. The newspaper cited an official US assessment in early February that, without replenishment, Ukraine’s air defenses could operate only until March 2024. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has renewed his call for additional deliveries, warning in February that an “artificial deficit of weapons” would only help Russia.

Wagenknecht

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Le petit roi.

Macron ‘Trying to Go Backwards’ to Days of Imperial France? (Miles)

“Ever since its ignominious defeat in the Napoleonic wars, France is entrapped in the predicament of countries that get sandwiched between great powers,” began a provocative article recently published on the Indian Punchline blog. As other European countries have accepted the United States as the great power of the Western world, France has never fully given up its global aspirations, argues M.K. Bhadrakumar. And what better leader to carry the torch than one who once confided France needs a king and sometimes, according to his critics, appears to see himself as one? Columnist and political cartoonist Ted Rall joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program on Monday to discuss the case of Emmanuel Macron, his comments about the war in the Donbass, and whether the French president’s megalomania borders on the pathological. “One of the things I used to say during the early days of the war on terror was that the United States should follow the example of France,’ said Rall. “Which back in the 2000s seemed to have accepted its fate as a post-colonial, post-imperialistic power, albeit still an important country in Europe.”

“France, at the time, seemed like it had… accepted that colonialism was a bad idea and that they needed to redirect their resources away from militarism and more toward their own people,” he continued. “Maybe he didn’t read his history. Maybe he’s too young to remember that glorious period when France, finally in the 80s and 90s, was able to start establishing a major social safety net that created free college and socialized health care and everything else for its people. But he seems to have forgotten all that and he’s trying to go backwards.” As much of the Western world moved towards neoliberalism in the 80s with leaders like US President Ronald Regan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, France went in the opposite direction, elevating Socialist Francois Mitterrand to power. The French leader left a lasting legacy in the country, investing in infrastructure, social programs and grand construction projects. His focus on domestic concerns was largely shared in the 2000s by President Jacques Chirac, who rejected French support for the war in Iraq.

Macron has broken from tradition in a number of ways, implementing neoliberal economic policy and promoting a strident French militarism. Fortunately, according to Rall, his ambitions aren’t shared by most of the French public. “The good news is, I don’t think that the French people – whether we’re talking about the populist right, Marine Le Pen’s party, or you’re talking about the radical left represented by Jean-Luc Melenchon, or – not much of anyone else is in the mood to follow him down this path to destruction,” said the columnist. “And, for that matter, he doesn’t really even seem to have much cooperation from other European powers in terms of direct involvement to go and fight in Ukraine, to fight the Russians in Ukraine.”

Rall insisted most French people are more worried about domestic concerns such as the economy, unemployment, and demographic issues rather than the conflict in the Donbass. And the last time the French military was directly involved in a major proxy war was in the 1960s, he noted. Additionally, Rall claimed many French people are sympathetic to Russia’s position. “Russia is not a distant country to them,” he claimed. “There are lots and lots of French people who are descended, who are related to Russians. There was a huge white Russian migration after the Russian Revolution to France and very close ties between Russia and France that go back to the Tsarist era.” “I just think they get it and they don’t want to get involved in something that’s so brazenly provocative,” Rall concluded.

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“I’ve always opposed capital punishment on the principle that it’s wrong to take a life so it can’t be right for the state to take a life in revenge. Events have caused me to reconsider my position.”

UK MP Calls For Death Penalty For Members of Covid Cabal (WT)

British Member of Parliament Andrew Bridgen last week called for the death penalty for Bill Gates and the “Covid cabal” which he said committed “crimes against humanity” during the Covid pandemic. “Heads of governments around the world and others below them have engaged in what is tantamount to treason against the public,” declared Bridgen in response to a rebuttal from his colleague Penny Mordaunt, who is a long-term World Economic Forum (WEF) member. During a round of Business Questions in the UK House of Commons, Bridgen said: “I’ve always opposed capital punishment on the principle that it’s wrong to take a life so it can’t be right for the state to take a life in revenge. Events have caused me to reconsider my position.” Bridgen continued: “So can we have a debate on crimes against humanity and the appropriate punishment for those who perpetuate, collude and cover up for these atrocities, atrocities and crimes so severe that the ultimate punishment may be required?”

Business Questions are the oral questions to the Leader of the House that MPs are allowed to ask. As expected, UK liberals, including Mordaunt, and media dismissed Bridgen as a “conspiracy theorist.” “It is appropriate that the finale of this session, which has featured so heavily conspiracy theories, should fall to the honorable gentleman,” Mordaunt said of Bridgen. Bridgen said he has reached out to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Mark Rowley and plans to organize a meeting where experts and whistleblowers will present evidence to demonstrate criminal activities conducted by senior members of the UK government and civil service during the pandemic.

Bridgen also said that a senior cabinet minister shared details of a plan to use what he referred to as “turbo cancer” to depopulate the world. According to Bridgen, this revelation unfolded in the tea room at Westminster Houses of Parliament. The unnamed minister allegedly conveyed that Bridgen would be “dead of cancer soon” due to being misled into taking the vaccine during the pandemic. “You can speak out all you want,” the minister told Bridgen. “It doesn’t matter. You are vaccinated. You will be dead of cancer soon.” Bridgen, who has served as Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire since 2010, has become a prominent voice in the fight against globalist authoritarianism in the UK.

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Kirsch Amish

 

 

CO2

 

 

Zapruder

 

 

Tiger Long Jump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1769719673673617431

Lions meet an elephant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1769585797957607545

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 072024
 


Pablo Picasso Rooster 1938

 

A Moment of Supreme Clarity (Turley)
Russia Has Never Had Plans To Attack Anyone, Including NATO – Zakharova (TASS)
Ukraine Defeat to Unmask Dirty Secrets of Conflict-Loving Western Elites (Sp.)
Russia Honors Anti-Colonial Past as the West Backs Neo-Nazis (Miles)
Western ‘Expertise’ On Ukraine War Could Lead To Nuclear Disaster (Poletaev)
Is Ground Beneath Biden’s Russia Policy Shifting? (Bhadrakumar)
Nuland’s Input in Eroding Trust Between Russia, US ‘Immense’ – Zakharova (Sp.)
Germany and NATO Caught Red-Handed in War Planning (SCF)
The Russians in Ukraine (Patrick Lawrence)
Biden Considers Sending US Army’s Money To Ukraine – Bloomberg (RT)
Russia & China Plan Building Lunar Nuclear Power Plant on Moon (Sp.)
The United Kingdom: Zionism’s Covert Nerve Center (Cradle)
92% of Nikki Haley Voters Approve of Biden’s Performance (ZH)
The Spectacular Imposition of the Willis-Wade Testimony (Turley)
Trumpenstein and the Death of Politics (Jeffries)

 

 

 

 

Country left

 

 

Dana Carvey

 

 

 

 

CNN Trump Biden

 

 

Hillary

Vermont

 

 

 

 

EU QR

 

 

Zelensky’s wife and Navalny’s widow both REFUSED invitations to Biden’s State of the Union. Biden has not even reached out to the family of Laken Riley to attend.

 

 

Serious question? Why does an 11 term Congressman in a D+23 district need to raise $23.6 million from mostly unemployed Americans… and then spend over $17 million to win reelection in a race where all the other candidates combined raised less than $200,000?

 

 

Trump 34

 

 

 

 

“..this opinion could be one of the most significant in the court’s history, not because of what it did but what it would not allow to be done..”

A Moment of Supreme Clarity (Turley)

“Nothing in the Constitution requires that we endure such chaos.” Those words from the Supreme Court in its Trump v. Anderson ruling on Monday put an end to the effort of Democratic secretaries of state to engage in ballot cleansing by removing former President Donald Trump from the 2024 election.The court’s decision was one of the most important and impactful moments in its history.During the first Trump impeachment in 2019, I cautioned Democrats not to toss aside constitutional standards out of their hatred for the president. I quoted from the play “A Man For All Seasons,” when Sir Thomas More is told by his son-in-law that he would “cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?” More responded, “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?” As More described England, the United States also is “planted thick with laws, from coast to coast.” The nation’s highest court on Monday decided to leave them standing.

After months of activists and experts calling for the court to allow ballot cleansing by individual states, the justices refused. Figures like Harvard professor Laurence Tribe had insisted that the legal theory allowing Trump’s removal from ballots was “unassailable” and rejected opposing positions as “absurd.” Many news outlets posted the analysis of former federal court Judge J. Michael Luttig, who also called the theory “unassailable” and denounced the arguments against disqualification as “revealing, fatuous, and politically and constitutionally cynical.” He predicted that the court would simply affirm the Colorado Supreme Court. Democratic members of Congress further pushed the narrative that only judicial activists and MAGA justices would oppose disqualification. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., declared: “This is their opportunity to behave like real Supreme Court justices.” Well, the court rejected that “unassailable” theory in a unanimous decision. While Tribe’s view was repeated with little contradiction on many networks and newspapers for months, it failed to garner a single vote from either the left or the right of the court.

Things are not going well for those seeking to remake the nation. In 2020, Harvard professor Michael Klarman warned that all of the plans to change the country were ultimately dependent on packing the court. With the 2020 election, he stated that Democrats could change the election system to guarantee Republicans “will never win another election.” However, Klarman conceded that “the Supreme Court could strike down everything I just described,” so the court itself had to be changed. Now that the three progressive justices have joined their conservative colleagues in ruling for Trump, they apparently also will have to go. Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann declared that “the Supreme Court has betrayed democracy. Its members including Jackson, Kagan and Sotomayor have proved themselves inept at reading comprehension. And collectively the ‘court’ has shown itself to be corrupt and illegitimate. It must be dissolved.”

The problem for many on the left is that the unanimous decision shattered the narrative repeated for months that Colorado would be reversed because the conservative justices would robotically protect Trump (despite the fact that they have repeatedly ruled against Trump and his policies). Now, by Rep. Raskin’s measure, Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor are no longer acting as “real Supreme Court justices.” The fact is that the Supreme Court justices have proved, again, that they are precisely the “real Supreme Court justices” that the Founding Fathers envisioned. The court was created to be able to transcend our divisions and politics. On Monday, a court sharply divided along ideological grounds showed the nation that it could speak with one voice. In doing so, it spoke to the things that bind us to each other, including an article of faith in our Constitution that defines us all.

In the news media and in universities, there is a persistent message that the court and the Constitution are the problem. In a New York Times column, “The Constitution Is Broken and Should Not Be Reclaimed,” law professors Ryan Doerfler of Harvard and Samuel Moyn of Yale called for the Constitution to be “radically” altered to “reclaim America from constitutionalism.” Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks previously went on MSNBC to warn citizens not to become “slaves” to the Constitution and that the Constitution itself is now the problem for the country. Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet and San Francisco State University political scientist Aaron Belkin even called upon President Joe Biden to defy rulings of the Supreme Court that he considers “mistaken” in the name of “popular constitutionalism.”

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“All these actions against our country are of an aggressive, provocative nature. Certainly, we see how the escalation spiral is going up..”

Russia Has Never Had Plans To Attack Anyone, Including NATO – Zakharova (TASS)

Russia is not planning an attack on anyone, including NATO, nor has it ever harbored such designs, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on the sidelines of the World Youth Festival. “Russia does not have plans for an attack, for direct or indirect aggression, or for unleashing conflicts with anyone: NATO, Washington, Ukraine or whoever. Nor has it ever harbored such designs. In contrast to this, if you read the doctrinal documents of NATO, which includes Washington and London – [the whole Brussels-headquartered alliance] – in these documents the collective West points to Russia as a direct threat.”

Zakharova stressed that this was clear evidence of an aggressive attitude – the basis of their perception of Russia. “The NATO people should realize that any threat to our country’s security from them will not be left unretaliated,” she warned and drew attention to the fact that the next large-scale exercise Nordic Response, which began the other day in Norway, Sweden and Finland, would involve 20,000. “All these actions against our country are of an aggressive, provocative nature. Certainly, we see how the escalation spiral is going up,” Zakharova noted.

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“..numerous Western players, including multinational companies, stand to lose a great deal in the event that Ukraine is defeated..”

Ukraine Defeat to Unmask Dirty Secrets of Conflict-Loving Western Elites (Sp.)

[..] sensitive information about a network of US-funded biowarfare laboratories in Ukraine, uncovered by the Russian Ministry of Defense over the past two years, suggests that American politicians as well as military and intelligence operatives had been involved in potentially illegal activities and experiments in the Eastern European country which are strictly prohibited in the US. “On Ukraine, one wonders what dirty work Ukrainian officials and contractors may have performed inside and outside Ukraine that could not readily be performed inside the United States,” the Wall Street analyst remarked. “Because the Deep State over-classifies information and does not appear to be subject to meaningful oversight, we likely will not learn what specific factors brought the US and allied governments to prod so aggressively, painting the Russian Federation as an enemy, instead of welcoming Russia into a re-configured NATO as, apparently, Putin himself suggested [in an interview with Tucker Carlson].

It seems to me that too many at the very top of Western governments see much more personal advantage in milking public sector expenditures for themselves fighting endless real and imagined conflicts than they see in crafting lasting peace and other solutions,” Ortel pointed out. Furthermore, the Wall Street analyst pointed out that established US political dynasty families such as the Bidens and the Clintons pounced at the chance to profit off the situation in Ukraine. A specific example that Ortel discussed with Sputnik was the collaboration between Victor Pinchuk and his wife Olena with the Clinton Foundation to combat HIV/AIDS in Ukraine during the early 2000s. Ortel believes that the fight against AIDS served as a facade for money laundering activities.

“A laudable project conceptually, perhaps, this effort was never legitimately approved in the United States looking through the public record, but allowed the Clintons and their allies to unlock hundreds of millions in government grants and donations for which there has never been a legitimate accounting, just as Hillary Clinton needed a war chest to fund her Senate re-election campaign and her presidential ambitions,” the Wall Street analyst said. Most recently, the Clinton Foundation announced a similarly questionable charity initiative together with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife Olena, Ortel noted, referring to corruption allegations haunting the Zelenskys. In essence, Ortel believes that numerous Western players, including multinational companies, stand to lose a great deal in the event that Ukraine is defeated. Consequently, some Western leaders have even suggested the idea of deploying NATO military units to Ukraine.

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“As Russia honors its Soviet past, the West is now honoring its Nazi past.”

Russia Honors Anti-Colonial Past as the West Backs Neo-Nazis (Miles)

The modern political divide between Russia and the West often evokes memories of the Cold War and even World War II, according to author and human rights lawyer Dan Kovalik. The writer and activist appeared on Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program on Wednesday to discuss Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent remarks at the Forum of Supporters of the Struggle Against Modern Practices of Neocolonialism. “Over the last three decades, there’s been a model of globalization engineered by the US and its closest allies which has proved to be untenable,” said Lavrov in a speech delivered in Moscow. “Western countries have led humanity not to prosperity, but to one of the most acute international crises since the Second World War. The conflict space in the world is expanding and a deep split between the West and the countries of the global majority is emerging.”

“Russia has for a long time tried to play ball with the West,” claimed Kovalik, agreeing that the rhetoric emerging from Moscow and Beijing has become more strident in recent years. “But it finally dawned on them that the West didn’t want to be friends with them. So now you do hear people like Lavrov and [Security Council of Russia Deputy Chairman Dmitry] Medvedev, as you say, kind of taking the gloves off and saying it like it is.” The lawyer pointed to Israel’s military operation in Gaza as well as the conflict in the Donbass, which The New York Times recently admitted was fomented in part by the CIA’s decade-long presence in Ukraine. Both crises risk the eruption of a major world war, he claimed. Host Garland Nixon claimed Russia is embracing the anti-colonial or even “anti-imperialist” legacy of the Soviet Union in recent years, noting the USSR fostered strong ties with Africa and Latin America. The Soviet Union was an ally of South Africa’s anti-apartheid cause as well as popular movements in Latin American countries like Chile and Cuba.

Kovalik noted Russia released a white paper recently specifically mentioning the foreign policy legacy of the Soviet Union. “Russia’s proud of that past, it’s part of their legacy, and they continue to carry that forward,” he said. “And so you even see Putin, for example, hosting various Palestinian factions in Moscow, trying to get them together to agree to work as one. That is some old-timey, Soviet-like diplomacy there.” Meanwhile, US foreign alliances increasingly recall unflattering aspects of the West’s history, including the 20th-century emergence of fascism in Europe. Earlier this week, it was announced the Ukrainian city of Nikopol had renamed a street in honor of Pyotr Dyachenko, a Ukrainian SS officer who was decorated with the Iron Cross by Nazi leader Adolph Hitler. The incident follows the well-publicized recognition of Yaroslav Hunka by the Canadian Parliament last year, a Ukrainian World War II veteran who was revealed to have fought in a Nazi-aligned military unit.

Western countries have continuously backed Ukraine’s post-Maidan government, which even the NATO-aligned Atlantic Council has admitted is significantly influenced by neo-Nazi militants. The United States has also backed reactionary elements in Syria as it was recently announced the country has appointed a former Daesh* chief as a commander in the US-backed Syria Free Army. The US has spent billions of dollars supporting fundamentalist elements in Syria in an attempt to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. “We live in a time in which, again, Western governments are unabashedly honoring Nazis,” claimed Kovalik. “As Russia honors its Soviet past, the West is now honoring its Nazi past.”

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“..Some publications went as far as to declare that “every day that Ukraine holds out erodes Putin’s regime.”

Western ‘Expertise’ On Ukraine War Could Lead To Nuclear Disaster (Poletaev)

In order to assess the professionalism of any expert, their initial statements and forecasts must be compared with the actual course of events. In this sense, it’s interesting that none of the predictions made by mainstream Western experts regarding the Ukraine conflict have come true – either in military, political, economic, or social terms. However, over the past two years, a trend has developed in the Western media: experts invent “previously unconsidered” circumstances to justify their initial blunders, issue new forecasts, and then explain why their latest predictions haven’t come true either. In short, it looks like the Western press is busy creating a fantasy alternative universe. All of this would seem amusing, were it not for the fact that the world’s biggest military and economic alliance is basing its policy on this nonsense, that hundreds of thousands of people have paid for it with their lives, and that nuclear war appears to be looming on the horizon.

Many will remember US officials’ statements regarding Kiev from back in 2022: if Russia invades, the Ukrainian capital will fall within 72 hours. But few will remember the conditions that would supposedly make this possible: “Such an attack would leave 25,000 to 50,000 civilians dead.” No Western expert doubted that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be willing to make such sacrifices, and no one believed that Russia’s plan might be actually different – that instead of attacking public squares and cities, Moscow’s goal was to conduct a precise military operation and avoid bloodshed as much as possible. When Russian troops landed near Kiev and later withdrew, the West proclaimed it a major victory for the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU). Indeed, this “victory” played an important role in the decision to supply more military aid to Ukraine. “Sanctions from hell” and a “nuclear trade war” were just two of the phrases used to describe the economic measures taken by the US and its allies against Russia.

Western experts had no doubt that Moscow was on the brink of an economic meltdown and the biggest financial collapse in its history. They argued that Putin had destroyed everything he had achieved during his 15 years in charge, and that the long-term consequences would be even more dire. “The Russian economy has been thrown into near-Soviet conditions of almost total isolation from the world economy,” The Hill proclaimed. In fact, what happened was the exact opposite – the West has de facto lost the economic war against Russia, and hasn’t even been able to break its own trade ties with the country. As for the Global South, it has retained a friendly, neutral attitude towards Moscow and has benefitted substantially. This demonstrates the limits of the so-called “Pax Americana” and the greatly exaggerated power of the West’s economic weapons. Certainly, all this could have served as a signal for the US and its allies to sober up and change course – but that never happened.

To this day, Western experts talk about the need to expand sanctions on Moscow and plug any loopholes. These measures, however, will only lead to the further erosion of the dollar-based global financial system and the development of alternative international economic mechanisms. Many Western experts also predicted social unrest in Russia: “Inflation and unemployment will rise… living standards will decline precipitously. The combination of popular protest, elite machinations, state failure, declining legitimacy, a grinding war, and international isolation inevitably will have only one outcome: Putin’s ouster. Sooner rather than later, the thin thread binding him to the outside world will be cut and Putin will be truly isolated in his bunker,” one contributor to The Hill claimed. The press also predicted coups – in fact, in this respect, Russia was even compared to Mali and Burkina Faso. Some publications went as far as to declare that “every day that Ukraine holds out erodes Putin’s regime.”

These hopes reached their apogee in June 2023 against the background of Evgeny Prigozhin’s unsuccessful mutiny. “This is indeed the beginning of the collapse of the state,” the Western press predicted. The fact that the mutiny had failed didn’t curb the enthusiasm of foreign experts – they recalled that the GKChP coup in 1991 had also failed, but that the Soviet Union collapsed just four months later. In their opinion, it was too early for Putin to rejoice: “It was the beginning, to show that Putin does not control the country and that he’s not invincible, and that if you have enough strength you can try and fight him.”

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“..the inclusion of Hillary Clinton’s nominees in Biden’s foreign policy team in key positions also meant the injection of a heavy dose of Russophobia..”

Is Ground Beneath Biden’s Russia Policy Shifting? (Bhadrakumar)

The general impression of Nuland is of an inveterate ‘hawk’ and Russophobe fired up by neoconservative ideology and American exceptionalism who precipitated the Russian intervention in Ukraine and is largely responsible for fuelling the ongoing war. Of course, there is no denying that Nuland played a key role in the regime change in Kiev 10 years ago. But what lies buried in the debris and all but forgotten today is that Nuland also promoted the Minsk Agreements as the way out of the impasse in Donbass where explosive violence erupted in 2014 as ethnic Russian separatists with support from Russian hinterland rejected the contrived usurpation of power in Kiev by Ukrainian ultra-nationalist forces. No doubt, after the new government was established in Ukraine, Nuland became one of the main curators of the country’s politics, in particular, the processes that took place between Kiev and Moscow.

Nuland was very active regarding Minsk agreements and in early 2016 met several times with then Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov and discussed plans for the implementation of the political part of the agreements regarding the special status of Donbass within Ukraine. However, once Donald Trump came to power in January 2017, the momentum was lost, as the well-known cold warrior Kurt Volker was brought in as special envoy for Ukraine to replace Nuland who quit the government post. Two years later, Volker too resigned the envoy role after becoming ensnared in the Ukraine-related scandal that consumed Trump’s presidency eventually. At any rate, as the November 2019 presidential election (which Biden won) was approaching, Nuland went on record that it would be necessary to resume the work on the Minsk agreements. To quote her, “I think we should start serious negotiations on the implementation of the Minsk agreements… I hope that we will be invited to become a party to this process if and when the United States returns to considering Ukraine as an important pledge for the future of democracy. I hope that this will happen after our elections in (2019) November.”

Nuland also noted that she did not know any other way to get Russia to withdraw from Ukraine other than the Minsk document, which after all, President Putin himself signed. However, as it happened, Biden’s Russia policies took an entirely different trajectory. The only plausible explanation would be that as a strong believer in Trans-atlanticism throughout his career, Biden prioritised the reversal of Trump’s benign neglect of the NATO alliance system (which was also crucial for his containment strategy toward China) and it was tactically advantageous to cast Russia in an enemy image to give new ballast to the US’ transatlantic leadership, which had got weakened under Trump. Meanwhile, the inclusion of Hillary Clinton’s nominees in Biden’s foreign policy team in key positions also meant the injection of a heavy dose of Russophobia into the US policies. The rest is history.

Suffice to say, Nuland has had a big role in the life of Ukraine and we can only guess the massive dimensions of it. Indeed, she publicly celebrated the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which broke the umbilical cord tying Germany to a geopolitical alliance with Russia. Last month, after a sudden visit to Kiev, Nuland promised some nasty surprises waiting in store for the Kremlin in the Ukraine war. Was it the idea of combat deployment in Ukraine by NATO countries she was referring to? There are no easy answers. Well, belatedly at least, White House has intervened twice to assert that putting American troops on the ground in Ukraine is a no-go area. The point is, it is entirely conceivable that Nuland’s exit could be a reflection of the collapse of the whole architecture of the US’ Ukraine strategy, which she designed.

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“..she is “the face of everything that is happening now around Ukraine, in one way or another..”

Nuland’s Input in Eroding Trust Between Russia, US ‘Immense’ – Zakharova (Sp.)

US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland is a typical case of a talented and well-educated person, who knows Russia well, using their skills and abilities for wrong purposes and destroying their countries’ relations with Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Nuland was to step down from her post in the coming weeks. “[Nuland] should have better used her knowledge of Russia for creation, but she used it to destroy our bilateral relations. In general, I believe that her contribution to undermining the trust between our countries was immense,” Zakharova told a briefing. At the same time, Nuland is not the only and the main reason for the deterioration of Russian-US relations, but she is “the face of everything that is happening now around Ukraine, in one way or another,” the spokeswoman added.

In February, at a public meeting at the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nuland expressed her continued support for more massive US military aid to Ukraine and predicted that Ukrainian troops would make major battlefield gains against Russian forces in new offensives later this year. Being of Eastern European descent, Nuland worked at the US embassy in Moscow in the 1990s. In November 2013, as a series of protests, dubbed Euromaidan, broke out in Ukraine, she arrived in Kiev to publicly support what eventually escalated into a coup, leading to the ouster of then-President Viktor Yanukovich in February 2014. Career Diplomat and Under Secretary for Management John Bass will serve as Acting Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs until Nuland’s replacement is confirmed.

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“..This is self-incriminating evidence that the German high command is participating in a conspiracy to expand the war against Russia..”

Germany and NATO Caught Red-Handed in War Planning (SCF)

German military leaders may have bungled foolishly over their private discussions regarding operational plans against Russia. However, the security of their incompetent communication – while laughable – does not lessen the seriousness of what was being discussed. Lt. General Ingo Gerhartz and his aides were earnestly weighing up the technical and propaganda means by which to strike Russia with long-range ballistic missiles. In short, a NATO member was caught red-handed hatching an act of war against Russia. After Russian media published the audio of the conversation, the German reaction has been to dismiss it as a cerebral war-gaming exercise and as an attempt by Russian disinformation to undermine the government of Olaf Scholz. This obfuscation by Berlin will not wash. The incontrovertible fact is that the German commanders were deliberating on how to “optimize” the Ukrainian offensive capability to hit Russian targets with the long-range German Taurus cruise missile.

The weapon has supposedly not yet been supplied to the Ukrainian regime due to concerns among some German politicians that doing so would escalate the war with Russia. It is clear from the audio tape that the German military chiefs are frustrated by the politicians not ordering the supply of the Taurus. Gerhartz, the head of the German air force, tells his subordinates in no uncertain terms: “We are now fighting a war that uses much more modern technology than our good old Luftwaffe.” There you have it: the top German commander says unequivocally, “We are now fighting a war”. He also goes on to disclose that the American, British, and French militaries are deeply involved in the logistics and planning of attacks by the Ukrainian forces. We know from numerous other sources that the NATO militaries are involved on the ground in Ukraine fighting against Russian forces. American HIMARS and Patriot missile systems, and the British Storm Shadow and the French Scalp cruise missiles are operated with military expertise from these NATO members.

Still, what is highly damaging from the German military leak is the extent to which the commanders endeavor to conceal the involvement of Germany in a war with Russia. The tortuous conversation about how to avoid the imputation of the German military makes it clear that the German high command knows full well the gravity of what they are organizing. They are discussing the conduct of a covert war against Russia. This is tantamount to the crime of aggression and it runs the risk of starting a full-on war which would no doubt escalate into a nuclear conflagration. At one point in the discussion with his interlocutors, Lt Gen. Gerhartz talks about the need to conceal direct military involvement by Germany in supplying the Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

He says: “I understand what you are talking about. Politicians may be concerned about the direct, closed connection between Büchel [German air base] and Ukraine, which could become direct participation in the Ukrainian conflict. But in this case, we can say that the exchange of information will take place through MBDA [the German manufacturer of Taurus], and we will send one or two of our specialists to Schrobenhausen. Of course, this is a trick, but from a political point of view, it may look different. If information is exchanged through the manufacturer, then this is not associated with us.” This is self-incriminating evidence that the German high command is participating in a conspiracy to expand the war against Russia. The only reservation is not to be identified publicly in waging war acts. With utmost cynicism, the German military leaders are looking for a way to claim plausible denial after the crime.

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“The British cried foul and accused Scholz of ‘flagrant abuse of intelligence.’”

The Russians in Ukraine (Patrick Lawrence)

You may have read or heard about the freakout that ensued after Emmanuel Macron convened a summit of European leaders in Paris last week. At a press briefing afterward, the French president allowed that NATO may at some point send troops to Ukraine to join the fight against Russian military forces. Before I go further, let me suggest a couple of thoughts readers can tuck somewhere in the corners of their minds for later consideration. One, Russia’s intervention in Ukraine two years ago last month was unprovoked. Two, all the Kremlin’s talk about the threat of NATO hard by its southwestern border is nothing more than the distortion and paranoia of “Putin’s Russia,” as we must now refer to the Russian Federation. It went this way in Paris last week. At the presser following the summit Macron was asked whether Ukraine’s Western backers were considering deploying troops in Ukraine. The French president replied that while European leaders had not reached any kind of agreement, the idea was certainly on the table when they gathered at Elysée Palace.

And then this: “Nothing should be ruled out. We will do anything we can to prevent Russia from winning this war.” Instantly came the vigorous objections. The Brits, the Spanish, the Italians, the Poles, the Slovakians, the Hungarians: They all said in so many words, “No way.” Even Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s war-mongering sec-gen, objected to Macron’s assertion. No one was more vehement on this point than Olaf Scholz. “What was agreed among ourselves and with each other from the very beginning also applies to the future,” saith the German chancellor, “namely that there will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil sent there by European countries or NATO states.” O.K., but at the same summit those present joined to support sending long-range missiles to the Ukrainians, weapons fully capable of reaching cities, power grids, industrial plants and other targets deep inside Russia. So: No troops, plenty of offensive hardware. The Paris gathering precipitated a significant moment of truth, if we can call it such.

Scholz, who is on a knife’s edge politically in part for his government’s support for Ukraine, immediately asserted that Germany would not send its Taurus long-range missiles to Ukraine because German troops would have to go with them, as the Ukrainians could not operate them on their own. Look at the British, Scholz added indelicately. When they send their Storm Shadow missiles (and I must say I love the names the West’s arsenal minders come up with for these things) British personnel have to go with them. Yikes! Such indiscretion. As Stephen Bryen reported in his Weapons and Strategy newsletter, “The British cried foul and accused Scholz of ‘flagrant abuse of intelligence.’” Abuse of intelligence is a new one on me, but never mind. Bryen, who follows these matters closely as a former Defense Department official, continued: “Scholz confirmed what everyone already knows, that NATO officers and trained personnel are in Ukraine operating weapons such as the Patriot and NASAM air defense system, the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system, the British–French Storm Shadow cruise missile (SCALP–EG in France), and many other complex weapons provided to Ukraine.” There we have it — or there we have had it, if covertly, for a long time.

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Who is footing Ukraine’s bills in the meantime? The salaries, pensions etc?

Biden Considers Sending US Army’s Money To Ukraine – Bloomberg (RT)

The US government is considering tapping the US Army budget to provide Ukraine with much-needed military aid, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. One of the sources told the news agency that a final decision has yet to be made. The sum reportedly sought by the White House in the Pentagon reserves – around $200 million – is a small fraction of the $61 billion worth of Ukraine aid President Biden has been requesting from Congress. The president will once again urge legislators to approve new assistance for Kiev during his State of the Union address on Thursday, Bloomberg said.

The Senate backed the aid package last month, but it is now stalled in the House due to political in-fighting. House Republicans have so far refused to back Biden’s bill, hoping to pressure the president into enacting tougher measures to deal with the influx of illegal migrants crossing the border with Mexico. The hold-up in Congress is occurring at a crucial time for Ukraine, whose troops have been forced to retreat from several key positions in the Donbass in recent weeks. President Vladimir Zelensky and other officials in Kiev have cited the shortages in ammunition and other equipment as reasons behind the losses on the battlefield.

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“This is a very serious challenge… it should be done in an automated mode, without the presence of humans,” Borisov added, hoping that robots could be up to the task..”

Russia & China Plan Building Lunar Nuclear Power Plant on Moon (Sp.)

A number of countries have been jostling to return humans to the Moon, with Moscow and Beijing teaming up in 2022 to sign a memorandum of understanding on joint exploration of the celestial body. The sides also pledged to work together to build a base there by the 2030s. Russia and China are mulling jointly building a lunar nuclear power plant, Yuri Borisov, the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, said on Tuesday. “Today we are seriously considering a project … somewhere at the turn of 2033-2035 … to deliver and install a power unit on the lunar surface together with our Chinese colleagues,” Borisov said during a lecture at the World Youth Festival. Harnessing the power of “nuclear space energy” could allow lunar settlements to be built, as solar panels would not be able to provide enough electricity to power such bases, he pointed out.

“This is a very serious challenge… it should be done in an automated mode, without the presence of humans,” Borisov added, hoping that robots could be up to the task. According to the Russian Federal Space Agency head, the technology required for the construction of such a lunar nuclear power plant is almost ready. Furthermore, Borisov weighed in on Russia’s plans to build a nuclear-powered cargo spaceship called Zevs (Zeus). “We are working on a space tugboat… that would be able, thanks to a nuclear reactor and high-power turbines … to transport large cargoes from one orbit to another, collect space debris and engage in many other tasks,” Borisov said. He added that one tricky aspect of this is to find a solution for how to cool the nuclear reactor. Last year, Borisov had described how the nuclear space tug could be used to push inactive geostationary satellites into deep space, adding, “We must think about our future use of outer space, and ensure that it is environmentally clean for future generations.”

On Tuesday, the director general of Roscosmos reiterated that Russia is against the deployment of nuclear weapons in space. “Of course, space should be free of nuclear weapons,” Borisov said. Borisov’s remarks echo what President Vladimir Putin said a few days ago. Russia does not plan to deploy nuclear weapons in space, Putin said at a meeting with the country’s Security Council members on March 1. “We have already discussed false allegations that are currently being made by some Western officials about our supposed plans to deploy nuclear weapons in space,” the Russian president said. However, he added that it was essential for the Russian government to monitor the issue to be ready to address any such threats that may emerge from other sides in this domain.

Earlier, in his annual State of the Nation address on February 29, Putin weighed in on the media craze stemming from unfounded claims of a Russian nuclear space weapon. The Russian head of state called the claims “unfounded” and “fake narratives” designed by the West. Having dismissed these baseless allegations, Putin mentioned that Russia is yet to receive any serious proposals from the US to initiate bilateral contacts on strategic stability. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also weighed in, saying that, “Firstly, there are no such projects – nuclear weapons in space. Secondly, the United States knows that this does not exist.”

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“..indications that London has long provided a highly influential guiding hand to Tel Aviv in its oppression and mass murder of Palestinians are unambiguous..”

The United Kingdom: Zionism’s Covert Nerve Center (Cradle)

On 9 February, British Defense Minister James Heappey informed parliament that Israeli military operatives are “currently … posted in the UK,” both within Tel Aviv’s diplomatic mission “and as participants in UK defense-led training courses.” This hitherto unacknowledged arrangement amply demonstrates how, despite recent calls from officials in London for Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to exercise restraint in its genocide of Gaza – if not institute a ceasefire – the UK remains international Zionism’s covert nerve center. Mere days earlier, Heappey likewise admitted that nine Israeli military aircraft landed in Britain since Operation Al Aqsa Flood on 7 October last year. Investigations by independent investigative website Declassified UK show that Royal Air Force aircraft have flown to and from Israel in the same period, along with 65 spy plane missions launched from the UK’s vast, little-known military and intelligence base in Cyprus.

The purpose of those flights and who and/or what they carried are a state secret. Freedom of Information requests have been denied, Britain’s Ministry of Defense has refused to comment, and local media is by and large silent. Nonetheless, in July 2023, British ministers admitted that the UK’s training of Israeli military personnel includes battlefield medical assistance, “organizational design and concepts,” and “defense education.” It is unknown if that “education” has in any way informed the slaughter of more than 30,000 Palestinians since 7 October. Yet, indications that London has long provided a highly influential guiding hand to Tel Aviv in its oppression and mass murder of Palestinians are unambiguous, even if hidden in plain sight. For example, in September 2019, the Israeli air force participated in a joint combat exercise with its British, German, and Italian counterparts.

The Israelis deployed F-15 warplanes for the purpose, which have been blitzing Gaza on a virtually daily basis since 7 October, indiscriminately flattening schools, hospitals, businesses, and homes and killing untold innocents. A year earlier, in October 2022, it was quietly admitted in parliament that London maintains several “permanent military personnel in Israel,” all posted in the British Embassy in Tel Aviv: “They carry out key activities in defense engagement and diplomacy. The Ministry of Defense supports the HMG Middle East Peace Process Programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel. The program aims to help protect the political and physical viability of a two-state solution. We would not disclose the location and numbers of military personnel for security reasons.”

Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have openly and repeatedly boasted of their personal role in blocking Palestinian statehood. We are thus left to ponder what these British operatives are truly concerned about – it certainly isn’t protecting “the political and physical viability of a two-state solution,” as that entire project was evidently never “viable,” by design. It could be those “permanent military personnel” who are present under the auspices of a highly confidential December 2020 military cooperation agreement inked by London and Tel Aviv.

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“Haley’s voters aren’t just Democrats. They’re the most rabid, left-wing, delusional, anti-Trump members of the Democrat party’s already left-wing and delusional base..”

92% of Nikki Haley Voters Approve of Biden’s Performance (ZH)

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley plans to end her campaign as early as Wednesday morning following her dismal results on Super Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with her plans. During last night’s not-so-super-Tuesday, she only secured only a victory in one state – Vermont – out of the 15 states that held GOP contests; to go along with her ‘victory’ in the swamp (DC). According to the NBC News delegate tracker, former President Trump led with 1057 delegates, significantly outpacing Haley’s total of 92. WSJ sources expanded more on what Haley is likely to discuss in Charleston this morning around 1000 ET: “Haley won’t announce an endorsement Wednesday, the people said. She will encourage Donald Trump, who is close to having the delegates needed to win the GOP nomination, to earn the support of Republican and independent voters who backed her.

She is expected to emphasize that she will continue to advocate for the conservative domestic and foreign policies she supports and caution against some of the dangers, such as isolationism and a lack of fiscal discipline, that she sees coming from Washington. Haley was the first major candidate to challenge Trump for the nomination and the last to stand down, showing determination even as she came under significant attack by the former president and his supporters.” MSNBC will be disappointed… Reacting to the results of Super Tuesday late last night, Haley said a large number of Republican voters continue to have “deep concerns” about the former president. “We’re honored to have received the support of millions of Americans across the country today, including in Vermont where Nikki became the first Republican woman to win two presidential primary contests,” Haley’s campaign said in a statement.

“Unity is not achieved by simply claiming ‘we’re united’. Today, in state after state, there remains a large block of Republican primary voters who are expressing deep concerns about Donald Trump,” she added. A wild note on exit polls from The Federalist’s Sean Davis: “The exit polls about Nikki Haley’s voters’ views on Biden and the economy are WILD. These results, which are from Virginia, show that 92 PERCENT of Haley’s voters approve of Joe Biden’s performance as president, and 87 PERCENT of Haley’s voters say they’re satisfied with how things are going in America right now.

Haley’s voters aren’t just Democrats. They’re the most rabid, left-wing, delusional, anti-Trump members of the Democrat party’s already left-wing and delusional base. With Haley’s departure from the race, Trump has all but guaranteed the Republican party’s nomination to a November showdown with President Joe Biden.

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“..His testimony was widely panned and he showed all of the spontaneity and comfort of a hostage video..”

The Spectacular Imposition of the Willis-Wade Testimony (Turley)

[..] Wade and Willis have also been contradicted in their testimony by various witnesses who said they lied about their intimate relationship starting after he was hired in 2022. That includes prior text messages in which Wade’s former partner and lawyer Terrence Bradley repeatedly told opposing counsel that he was “absolutely” sure that the relationship began much earlier. A former close friend of Willis also said they were lying. This is notable because Wade and Willis brought 19 individual counts of false statements, false filings, or perjury against the defendants in their case. There are now substantial allegations that they may have committed the very same criminal conduct. Now another prosecutor has come forward to say that Bradley also told her repeatedly and with complete clarity and certainty that Wade and Willis were involved long before his hiring. Those conversations allegedly occurred as late as January 2024 with Cindi Lee Yeager, a co-chief deputy district attorney for Cobb County.

What is even more alarming is Yeager’s account that she overheard Willis tell Bradley on the telephone that “they are coming after us. You don’t need to talk to them about anything about us.” If true, that call could raise questions of influencing potential witnesses. Willis can legitimately point out that the calls were allegedly in September 2023, before Bradley was called as a witness and the current proceedings had started. However, it would indicate that Willis was aware that Bradley would be asked questions about past payments and relationships with him and his partner Wade. If that seems loose, you should take a look at the case Willis brought against these defendants. Many of us have been critical of the overarching racketeering conspiracy alleged by Willis among the 18 defendants. The false statement charges often dismiss plausible alternative interpretations or the paucity of evidence of intent.

They are also prosecuting the attempt to influence witnesses. The question is whether Willis or Wade had other communications indirectly or directly with Bradley. His testimony was widely panned and he showed all of the spontaneity and comfort of a hostage video. Willis is a powerful political figure in Atlanta and Bradley did everything short of faking his death to avoid assisting in her disqualification. The odds are that Judge Scott McAfee is not inclined to hold additional hearings. He is ready to rule. It is hard to imagine these two prosecutors continuing with so many allegations hanging over the case. They have placed their personal interests before their office and their case. However, the standard for disqualification is murky. For Willis, the case has become a modern political tragedy a la movie classic “All the King’s Men,” about a reformer who became everything that he once denounced in the corruption of powerful figures.

Willis ran against a district attorney accused of using his office to pursue sexual affairs and continues to claim that she “restored integrity” to her office through ethical leadership. In her combative testimony, Willis attacked the media, opposing counsel and the public for questioning her actions. She declared, “You’re confused. You think I’m on trial. These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020. I’m not on trial, no matter how hard you put me on trial.” The question is whether the courts, prosecutors or bar officials will show the same vigor in pursuing these allegations against Wade and Willis that they have shown against their own defendants. If so, she could well find herself “on trial” as the allegations mount against her and her lead prosecutor.

Merchant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765409451064819722

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“Demonic Dick Cheney’s vile offspring Liz is now the sexiest thing since Michelle Obama..”

Trumpenstein and the Death of Politics (Jeffries)

Trump was the subject of more obscene and distasteful public comments and media ridicule than any other American in history. More than Huey Long. More than Richard Nixon. More than Jim Garrison. There was a play running for months in New York, that celebrated the mock assassination of Donald Trump. Upstanding America 2.0 celebrity Snoop Dogg also depicted the assassination of Trump in a video. Trump would repay the venerable Snoop by pardoning his friend, the president of Death Row Records, and not Julian Assange, as he left office. Trump was certainly a strange sort of “racist.” Kind of like all those “White Supremacists,” who remain in the shadows, overseeing the Great Replacement.

Celebrities showed absolute disdain for Trump in their intellectual offerings on Twitter. So did virtually every “journalist” in our state controlled media. Indeed, Trump’s one enduring legacy may be to have popularized the phrase “fake news,” and inadvertently exposed just how bad our “free press” really is. No matter how many Black rappers he rescued, or how few illegal immigrants he actually deported, the constant refrain was that Trump was a hopeless “racist.” In fact, he came to define the term. And, of course, everyone who supported him were “racists” too. Trump actually instituting the unconstitutional lockdown (proving that he could do something after all), and claiming credit for, and praising the dangerous “warp speed” vaccine didn’t matter. He was still a “racist.” And responsible for all the incorrigible anti-vaxxers.

Trump’s three nominees to the Supreme Court were attacked viciously by the usual suspects. And his loyalists, when confronted with the stark evidence of his inactivity as president, invariably point to them as his greatest accomplishment. Except that one of them, Amy Coney Barrett, votes against him every time. Brett Kavanaugh is hit or miss. Only Neil Gorsuch has been pretty decent. And yet, those with Trump Derangement syndrome (and it is a very real mental disorder) continue to portray them as right-wing extremists. White Supremacists. Perhaps “insurrectionists.” Like Trump, they are guilty of Thought Crimes they never committed. We’ll see how they rule on his politicized prosecutions and remaining electoral disputes. So far, their track record doesn’t give much hope to MAGA loyalists.

So let’s look at these Trump show trials. I don’t know what the Soviet legal process really was like, before they sent dissidents off to Siberia, but how much more corrupt could it have been? Trump was convicted, and forced to pay millions, to a certifiable lunatic, who paints her trees blue and named her cat vagina. For sexually assaulting her in a crowded department store dressing room, at some point in the 1990s. She couldn’t recall the exact year. Seriously. And she is on the record having joked about having sex with Donald Trump on social media. She is the poster child for uncredible witnesses. But a jury, and one of the endless biased judges assigned to Trump’s cases, ruled in her favor. As the “Woke” White women say, “I believe her!”

Trump just lost again (he always loses, this is part of the Trumpenstein Project), in a ridiculous case where he “defrauded” well…not sure who, exactly, but his “crime” was exaggerating the value of his assets. You know, something pretty much everyone has done. Those who loaned him the money said he paid them back properly. In other words, they were witnesses for him. But Judge Nosferatu (and there is really no more appropriate name for him) ruled against him anyway and ordered him to pay an Alex Jones-like $400 million. Since there was no party claiming to have been injured or defrauded, it’s unclear where that money is going. But the millions who hate him are overjoyed. Well, not exactly. They won’t be satisfied until he’s hung in Times Square. Do it on New Year’s Eve and have him swing along with the giant ball.

In Georgia, Trump is being prosecuted for trying to “overturn” an election. By “overturn,” the “Woke” authoritarians mean legally attempting to get the courts to act on what Trump and his team believe is clear electoral fraud. In the same state, the lovely Stacy Abrams continues to insist she was robbed in her race for governor. Somehow, this is not an attempt to “overturn” an election. I’m sure Rachel Maddow could explain the distinction. And the even more lovely Fani Willis is large and in charge here. If Trump really is a racist, he must be feeling like unreconstructed southerners felt in the late 1860s, on being “represented” in Congress by illiterate former slaves. If he ever were to utter a racial epithet, now would be the time.

TDS has claimed millions of victims. It’s nonfatal in physical terms, but it is absolutely lethal to the intellect. I’ve seen many a friend fall victim to it. It causes one to lose all sense of perspective. The victim begins to believe that the intelligence agencies, the military industrial complex, and the mainstream media are all fine and worthwhile institutions. They actually believe that Trumpenstein opposes these forces, which represent the Deep State he talked about. The Swamp he vowed to drain. And so George W. Bush is now a hero. He opposed Trump! Demonic Dick Cheney’s vile offspring Liz is now the sexiest thing since Michelle Obama. Forget about the dead intern in Joe Scarborough’s old congressional office. He hates Trump!

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Bertrand Russell

 

 

Arthur C. Clarke

 

 

Brinicle

 

 

Frozen

 

 

Adopted
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765420598379892826

 

 

Chase
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765129790149824834

 

 

Thirsty wolf

 

 

UP!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 052024
 


Pablo Picasso The Rooster 1918

 

Supreme Court Rules 9-0 That Trump Cannot Be Kicked Off Any State Ballot (PM)
House Dems Implode Over Supreme Court Decision (ZH)
‘Uncommitted’ Voters Unite Against Biden Ahead of Super Tuesday (RT)
The Five FUBARs (Jim Kunstler)
‘Ukraine is Russia’ – Medvedev (RT)
Draft-Eligible Ukraine Men Flee ‘Certain Death’ (Sp.)
The Good Germans Are Blowing Smoke (Helmer)
The Brainwashing of Germany in Preparation for War (Bittner)
German Defense Ministry Uses ‘1234’ As Password (RT)
Zelensky and the West Have A New Scam – And Taxpayers Will Foot The Bill (RT)
Losing to Russia Shatters Western Leaders’ Belief in Their Exceptionalism (Sp.)
Is Tehran Winning the Middle East? (Juan Cole)
The EU’s American Queen (Lily Lynch)
Musk’s X Could Face New EU Restrictions (RT)
Ballot Drop Boxes Installed Along Border Wall (BBee)

 

 

 

 

2024 ad

 

 

New Yorker profile of Biden: “The former Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, a co-chair of Biden’s campaign, urged him to embrace his age with swagger, like his fellow-octogenarians Mick Jagger and Harrison Ford.”

 

 

Free falling

 

 

 

 

Tucker Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1764850563940794481

 

 

Social media arrests
https://twitter.com/i/status/1764691399331754399

 

 

 

 

San Diego

 

 

2007

 

 

There’s a separate 5-4 decision hidden in this unanimous decision. Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh affirmatively rule that Congress has the sole power to enforce the “Insurrection” provision. Barrett objects for unelaborated reasons, Sotomayor, Kagan, Jackson dissent

 

 

“We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency,” the Court ruled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC: “Donald Trump says today’s Supreme Court decision that he cannot be banned from Colorado’s presidential ballot, is “both unifying and inspirational”. Speaking to Fox News, Trump said: “A great win for America. Very, very important!” He went on to highlight another legal case that is set to fall to the Supreme Court: that of presidential immunity. “Equally important for our country will be the decision that they will soon make on immunity for a president – without which, the presidency would be relegated to nothing more than a ceremonial position, which is far from what the founders intended.

“No president would be able to properly and effectively function without complete and total immunity.” The Supreme Court will hear arguments in April on whether Trump is immune from being prosecuted on charges of trying to overturn the 2020 election. Trump had claimed that he was immune from all criminal charges for acts that he said fell within his duties as president. A US Court of Appeals panel has already rejected Trump’s argument..”

Supreme Court Rules 9-0 That Trump Cannot Be Kicked Off Any State Ballot (PM)

In a stunning reversal on Monday morning, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously decided against the Supreme Court of Colorado in their decision to remove Donald Trump from the state’s ballot. They further said that this ruling applies to any state who wishes to make this move. Trump cannot be removed from the ballot in any state. Colorado had made the determination that Trump could not stand for office and justified their tactic through invoking the “insurrection” clause of the 14th Amendment, section 3. After their ruling, other states jumped on board, saying that Trump would not be permitted to stand for office in their states, either. The Court states that “if States were free to enforce Section 3 by barring candidates from running in the first place, Congress would be forced to exercise its disability removal power before voting begins if it wished for its decision to have any effect on the current election cycle. Perhaps a State may burden congressional authority in such a way when it exercises its ‘exclusive’ sovereign power over its own state offices.”

“But,” they continued, “it is implausible to suppose that the Constitution affirmatively delegated to the States the authority to impose such a burden on congressional power with respect to candidates for federal office.” The Court further stated that the petitioners on behalf of Colorado were unable to identify any “tradition of state enforcement of section 3 against federal officeholders or candidates in the years following ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.” The key aspect, however, is what they had to say about the implications of letting a ruling like that in Colorado stand. “Conflicting state outcomes concerning the same candidate could result not just from differing views of the merits, but from variations in state law governing the proceedings that are necessary to make Section 3 disqualification determinations. Some States might allow a Section 3 challenge to succeed based on a preponderance of the evidence, while others might require a heightened showing.”

“Certain evidence (like the congressional Report on which the lower courts relied here) might be admissible in some States but inadmissible hearsay in others. Disqualification might be possible only through criminal prosecution, as opposed to expedited civil proceedings, in particular States. “Indeed, in some States—unlike Colorado (or Maine, where the secretary of state recently issued an order excluding former President Trump from the primary ballot)—procedures for excluding an ineligible candidate from the ballot may not exist at all.” “The result could well be that a single candidate would be declared ineligible in some States, but not others, based on the same conduct (and perhaps even the same factual record).” “The ‘patchwork’ that would likely result from state enforcement would ‘sever the direct link that the Framers found so critical between the National Government and the people of the United States’ as a whole. U. S. Term Limits, 514 U. S., at 822.”

“But in a Presidential election ‘the impact of the votes cast in each State is affected by the votes cast’— or, in this case, the votes not allowed to be cast—’for the various candidates in other States.’ Anderson, 460 U. S., at 795. An evolving electoral map could dramatically change the behavior of voters, parties, and States across the country, in different ways and at different times. “The disruption would be all the more acute—and could nullify the votes of millions and change the election result—if Section 3 enforcement were attempted after the Nation has voted. Nothing in the Constitution requires that we endure such chaos—arriving at any time or different times, up to and perhaps beyond the Inauguration.” “For the reasons given, responsibility for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates rests with Congress and not the States,” the Court determined.

“The judgment of the Colorado13 Cite as: 601 U. S. ____ (2024) Per Curiam Supreme Court therefore cannot stand.” “All nine Members of the Court agree with that result,” they wrote. “The judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court is reversed.” The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case earlier in February, taking on the case on an emergency basis. In their hearing of the case, they appeared to lean toward the conclusion that state’s do not have the right to unilaterally remove candidates, thereby denying their citizens the right to cote for the candidate of their choice. Illinois, Maine and other states that have attempted this tactic will now find that they are powerless to carry it out.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1764683741601944022

https://twitter.com/i/status/1764686616805908867

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“President Biden… Fight your fight yourself. Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent… our country is much bigger than that..”

House Dems Implode Over Supreme Court Decision (ZH)

Update (1400ET): Not satisfied to let the Supreme Court-enforced Democratic process play out, House Democrats are now preparing legislation to try and keep Trump off the ballot. “Congress will have to try and act,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, in a comment to creepy deep state mouthpiece Axios (which swears the border is extra-secure!). Raskin, a former member of the Jan. 6 select committee, said he is already crafting the bill, telling Axios, “I’m working on it – today.” Raskin pointed to legislation he introduced with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in 2022 creating a pathway for the Justice Department to sue to keep candidates off the ballot under the 14th Amendment. “We are going to revise it in light of the Supreme Court’s decision,” Raskin said. -Axios

“I don’t have a lot of hope that Speaker [Mike] Johnson will allow us to bring enforcement legislation to the floor, but we have to try and do it,” said Raskin, who said he’ll ‘beseech’ Republicans to join the bill. Very Democratic, Jamie. Update (1320ET): Former President Trump has responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling keeping him on the ballot in Colorado (and therefore, everywhere else). According to Trump, the decision was “very well crafted,” and “will go a long way toward bringing our country together.” Trump also slammed Biden for ‘weaponizing’ prosecutors against him. “President Biden… Fight your fight yourself. Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent… our country is much bigger than that,” Trump said, speaking from Mar-a-Lago.

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“..Nikki Haley suffered an embarrassment when she became the first candidate to lose to ‘no-one’ in the Nevada GOP primary since the option was introduced in 1975..”

‘Uncommitted’ Voters Unite Against Biden Ahead of Super Tuesday (RT)

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist organization in the US, has urged primary voters to cast their ballots for ‘uncommitted’ rather than President Joe Biden to show their opposition to his stance on the Israel-Hamas war. The announcement comes just two days before the primary elections on March 5 – known as Super Tuesday – when millions of Americans are expected to vote. In a series of X (formerly Twitter) posts on Sunday, the DSA, which has more than 92,000 members and chapters in all US states, demanded that the White House end the bloodshed in Gaza by revoking military assistance to Israel, saying Biden will be to blame if former President Donald Trump is reelected this year.

“Today, DSA endorses ‘Uncommitted’ in the remaining Democratic presidential primaries. Until this administration ends its support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza and delivers a permanent, lasting ceasefire, Joe Biden will bear the responsibility for another Trump presidency,” the organization said, adding that “defeat is certain” if Biden continues on the current course. “This week’s brutal ‘Flour Massacre’ has proven once again that Israel is a brutal, inhumane apartheid state which carries a legacy of 75 years of genocide and occupation. Over 30,000 Palestinians have already died; how many will be ENOUGH for Joe Biden to stop this war?” the DSA said in a follow-up post, referring to the tragedy on February 29 when at least 112 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 were injured while waiting for much-needed food aid in Gaza City.

The campaign calling on Democrats to vote ‘uncommitted’ was organized by local chapters of the DSA and the Colorado Palestine Coalitions last week and is gaining popularity amid protests against the Gaza war. The DSA noted that over 100,000 people voted ‘uncommitted’ in the Michigan primary last week. The movement was also endorsed by a major labor union, UFCW 3000, which represents more than 50,000 grocery workers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Biden is not the only one feeling the heat from voters who are choosing ‘none of the above’. Last week, Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley suffered an embarrassment when she became the first candidate to lose to ‘no-one’ in the Nevada GOP primary since the option was introduced in 1975.

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“..DA’s and AG’s who make election promises to “go after” individuals without such niceties as probable cause..”

The Five FUBARs (Jim Kunstler)

You saw last year how the blob elite greeted the transfer of illegal immigrants to their happy little island of Martha’s Vineyard. (They were not amused by Governor DeSantis’s prank, and off-loaded the mutts post-haste.) But that same smug demographic doesn’t care if hundreds of thousands are distributed to the big cities, which are now fiscally destabilized by them to an extreme, probably to bankruptcy. Of course, that is not the main thing to worry about with what altogether amounts to millions of border-jumpers flooding our land. The main reason to worry is what the blob that invited them here intends for them to do, which, you may suspect, is to unleash mayhem in the streets, malls, stadiums, and upon our infrastructure just in time to derail the election — perhaps even to make war on us right in our homeland.

The US government is paying for this whole operation, you understand, funneling our tax money to international cut-out orgs who set up the transfer camps in Panama, and buy the plane tickets for the mutts to cross the ocean, and coordinate with the Mexican cartels to shuttle this horde of mystery people among us to work their juju for the Democratic Party. The pissed-off-ness of the public has passed the red line on this. A third FUBAR is the lawfare campaign of the Democratic Party and its regime in power against the citizens of this land. This folder includes overt and obvious political prosecutions by DA’s and AG’s who make election promises to “go after” individuals without such niceties as probable cause. It includes the gigantic new scaffold of inter-agency censorship and propaganda. It includes the psychopathic struggle sessions mandated by “diversity and inclusion” policy. It includes election-rigging directed by the likes of Marc Elias and Norm Eisen, getting states to fiddle laws on voter ID and mail-in ballots.

It includes the political protection of rogue groups ranging from looter flash-mobs to Antifa anarchists who bust up things and people and burn buildings down. It includes state officials who peremptorily kick candidates off the ballot. It includes a nakedly biased judiciary, and especially the use of the DC federal district court to punish people extralegally, unjustly, extravagantly, and cruelly. In short, lawfare is the complete perversion of law, and we-the -people are entreated by reprobate officials such as Merrick Garland and Letitia James to accept it. A fourth item on this list is the US economy which has been overwhelmed by maladministration of an overgrown monster bureaucracy, and the gross (perhaps fatal) mismanagement of the government’s money. The people of this land are not being allowed to do business, to find a livelihood, to transact fairly. “Joe Biden’s” shadow string-pullers are messing as badly with the oil and gas producers as they have messed with Ukraine. And they are doing it in pursuit of a laughable mirage: their “green new deal.”

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”The best fate they can expect [from the West] is to become slaves to the ailing European freak show..”

‘Ukraine is Russia’ – Medvedev (RT)

Ukraine lies within the sphere of Russian strategic interests and has no future in any other capacity, Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, has stated. Russian people consider Ukraine to be part of the larger Russian civilization, the senior official said in a speech at a youth conference in Sochi on Monday. Moscow considers it to be the country’s “soft underbelly,” from which no threat to Russia should be allowed to be projected. ”The territories on both banks of the Dnieper River are an inalienable part of Russian strategic historic borders,” he said, using his preferred term for what is usually known as ‘sphere of influence’ in geopolitics. “All attempts to change them by force, to cut its living body, are doomed.”

He noted the title of a book by Leonid Kuchma, the second president of Ukraine following its independence from the USSR, which declared: ‘Ukraine is not Russia’. “This concept must vanish forever. Ukraine is without a doubt Russia,” Medvedev said. He blasted the current government in Kiev as the “main threat” to its own people, considering its anti-Russian policies. Ukrainians have “fallen into a stupid trap” set for it by the US and its allies, who have successfully turned the nation into a weapon against Russia, he said. ”The best fate they can expect [from the West] is to become slaves to the ailing European freak show,” Medvedev said, referring to the leaders of the EU and UK, who he described as incompetent and subservient to Washington.

”[The Ukrainians] will play the role of a deaf-mute servant who is raped every day in a European kitchen by a lord from overseas,” the former president added. Russia is not interested in territorial conquest, Medvedev said. Whatever natural riches Ukraine has, Russia also has in abundance, he claimed. ”The great treasure that we will not surrender to anyone for anything is the people,” he said. The Ukrainians have become “confused” by Western propaganda, but at their core they have the same values and way of life as the Russians, and need to be rescued, Medvedev said.

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“These individuals may be restricted from traveling abroad, have their driver’s license suspended, or their bank accounts seized if they fail to do so..”

“..two categories of citizens are currently not involved in the mobilization, namely “those who are behind bars and those who are not.”

Draft-Eligible Ukraine Men Flee ‘Certain Death’ (Sp.)

Ukraine’s lack of any clear mobilization strategy aimed at plugging the gaping holes in the ranks of its armed forces is fueling “deep divisions in Ukraine’s parliament and more broadly in Ukrainian society,” The Washington Post reported. Despite mounting losses, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been downplaying to wheedle more money from the West, there is still “no political consensus” on how to remedy the severe shortage of troops on the battlefront. There is a yawning split between Zelensky and his top military commanders on a plan to conscript the thousands of soldiers they need as Russia continues to advance after liberating the stronghold of Avdeyevka. As a result, Ukraine’s military has been “relying on a hodgepodge of recruiting efforts and sown panic among fighting-age men,” the publication stated. It referenced the package of aid to Kiev still stalled in the US Congress, adding that many of Ukraine’s men “have gone into hiding, worried that they will be drafted into an ill-equipped army and sent to certain death.”

Infighting over how many more troops Ukraine needs “factored” into Zelensky’s sacking of his top general in February, the outlet noted. The previous Ukrainian commander-in-chief, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, was dismissed, with Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky taking over, amid an overall reshuffle of the military command by Zelensky. Zaluzhny’s ouster came after months of intrigue between himself and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who slammed the commander for revealing that Kiev’s summer 2023 counteroffensive had ended in failure. But, apparently, new Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky has so far failed to bring new clarity regarding Ukraine’s mobilization efforts. Syrsky has been tasked with auditing the armed forces to scrape up more combat-eligible troops, added the publication. This comes after President Zelensky’s office recently announced that only some 300,000 have fought at the frontline of the one million people who have been mobilized.

With Ukraine’s rapidly dwindling troop strength described as a “strategic crisis,” Oleksiy Bezhevets, an adviser to the Defense Ministry on recruitment, was cited as saying that civilians of fighting age must recognize the fact that “there’s no time for you left to sit home.” Volodymyr Zelensky said in December 2023 that the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces had stressed the need to recruit an additional 450,000-500,000 men for the army. Accordingly, the government submitted a draft law on mobilization to parliament on January 30. However, the result has been a drawn-out and heated debate. The bill, which would broaden the scope of the draft, lowering the eligibility age from 27 to 25 years, caused outrage in the country and was sent back for revision.

It also obligates people liable for military service to report to military commissariats to clarify their information within 60 days, Ukrainian media reported. These individuals may be restricted from traveling abroad, have their driver’s license suspended, or their bank accounts seized if they fail to do so. Amid the debate over such draconian measures in January, panicky account holders withdrew over $700 million in a single month, the WaPo added. In February, Ukrainian Justice Minister Denys Maliuska proposed giving prisoners weapons and shovels when they are mobilized for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He underscored that in Ukraine, two categories of citizens are currently not involved in the mobilization, namely “those who are behind bars and those who are not.” Maliuska previously said that at least 50,000 men of military age with criminal records are hiding from Ukrainian draft boards and are not registered with the military.

The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that amid the disruption of mobilization plans and in order to conceal massive losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Kiev regime has intensified the recruitment of mercenaries. Fighters from the United States, Canada, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East have joined the ranks of the Ukrainian military. Furthermore, NATO soldiers under the guise of mercenaries are involved in combat operations in Ukraine, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, told Russian media.

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“What remains is for the Kremlin and General Staff to decide to teach the Germans the only lesson by the only method they understand..”

The Good Germans Are Blowing Smoke (Helmer)

The political comprehension of the Germans — to adapt Mao Zedong’s axiom that political power comes out of the barrel of a gun — only comes out of the barrel of a Russian gun. The good Germans define themselves publicly by wishing this weren’t true because they realise there’s nothing they can do to stop the rest of their countrymen from throwing themselves at Russian guns until there are no more of them, the good Germans among them. One of these wishfully good Germans is called Florian Roetzer, who founded the widely read internet publication Telepolis in 1996, and retired to write elsewhere in 2021. Roetzer has just published his analysis of the transcript of last month’s teleconference at which the chief of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, discussed with three subordinates a plan of attack on Russian civil and military targets with the German Taurus KEPD 350E cruise missile; conceal this German operation behind British, French, and Ukrainian forces and German commercial companies; accelerate the missile deliveries; and present the plan for approval by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Gerhartz is not only waging personal war against Russia, as he explained on the telephone two weeks ago, on February 19. Last November he declared personal war in alliance with the Israel Air Force in implementing the genocide of Gaza. In Roetzer’s new analysis, published on March 2 in Overton magazine, the problem is not (in Roetzer’s mind) that Gerhartz and the Bundeswehr are losing their war on the Ukrainian battlefield, or that they are aiming to provoke Russian counterattack against German targets outside that battlefield. “The fact that Russia was able to eavesdrop on the conversations of the German officers…is a major problem for the Bundeswehr, also in relation to its partners, who may no longer trust it.” “The bigger [sic] problem, however, has been Putin’s for quite some time, after one red line after another has been crossed by the NATO countries, without Russia really reacting to it, apart from warnings…But so far, Putin has accepted any military support for Ukraine.

“But if it is now becoming more and more public knowledge that NATO countries are directly supporting Ukraine with target data and in general in attacks with Western missiles and cruise missiles through the participation of soldiers in civilian and intelligence officers, and thus become parties to war, then Putin, who propagates that Russia is defending itself in Ukraine, has the problem of showing weakness and only bluffing, if no action is taken against it.” “It is obvious” – according to Roetzer – “that Russia cannot compete against a NATO weakened by the Ukraine war and therefore avoids a direct conflict. But if the attacks on Russia continue to increase and Western weapons are openly used, Putin will lose support in Russia if there is no military response…With the publication of the wiretapped conversation of the German officers, the Russian leadership may have harmed itself – if only because the Bundeswehr must now try to close the security gap. It is possible that [state media director Margarita] Simonyan has gone too far here. The question is whether the publication was coordinated with the Kremlin.”

That Germany is at war with Russia has been understood in Moscow for a long time. That there are good Germans like Roetzer who would like it to be otherwise for moral, legal, German national, or personal reasons is also well-known. Some of these good Germans have even served as German generals. What the Navalny Novichok episode of the autumn of 2020 revealed, followed by the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines in September 2022; and now last month’s teleconference conducted by Gerhartz – what all three episodes reveal is not how the Germans are understood in Moscow, but rather how the good Germans react when confronted with the war they are powerless to deter or stop their countrymen from waging. The impotence of the German opposition to this war is also well understood in Moscow. What remains is for the Kremlin and General Staff to decide to teach the Germans the only lesson by the only method they understand. That is the lesson the Germans have been failing to learn for seventy-nine years next month — since April 30, 1945, when Adolf Hitler shot himself before he could be captured by the Red Army waiting outside his bunker in Berlin.

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“And then she added : “But Putin…”.

The Brainwashing of Germany in Preparation for War (Bittner)

Recently my friend G., with whom I still correspond occasionally, wrote to me saying that he had read my book “State of Emergency” and got the impression that I had fallen into a “filter bubble”. He comes from a wealthy family, his father was a senior teacher, his mother a doctor, and at a young age he was a professor of mathematics at a southern German university and also a guest lecturer in Japan, South Korea and the USA. He cannot understand the fact that I am of the opinion that it is not Russia but the USA and its allies that are to blame for most of the conflicts in the world, especially the war in Ukraine and the economic decline in Germany and Western Europe. G. would like to give me friendly advice to reconsider my political views and to please obtain information from the public media and “reputable” newspapers such as Frankfurter Allgemeine, Welt or Süddeutsche and not from so-called alternative media. If I see “evil” in the USA rather than in Putin, all he can say about himself is that he would rather live “under the evil of the Americans” than that of the Russians.

And if the NATO protective umbrella, under which the Europeans have set themselves up so well, were to become leaky, things would not look rosy for Western Europe compared to a country like Russia full of nuclear weapons. It is sad that so much money has to be spent on “defensive armament”, but it is good that Putin is getting older and older and that the end of his tyranny is imminent at some point in the near future for the good of humanity. Like other acquaintances and friends, G. is firmly convinced that he knows everything and is right. All we agree on is that wars are terrible and must be avoided. But at this point the dissent begins again, because G. considers “humanitarian interventions”, such as those carried out by the USA again and again, to be legitimate and even necessary to defend freedom and democracy. I can describe the views represented by G. as exemplary. German society is thoroughly rabble-roused, and it is divided between those who have retained an eye for the facts and the others, the far greater majority, who have succumbed to years of influence.

My hairdresser, with whom I discussed, is of the opinion that Germany needs the atomic bomb to protect itself from “the Russian” who will soon attack Poland and the Baltic countries. When I countered that Vladimir Putin had called for cooperation and a common economic zone from Vladivostok to Lisbon in a memorable speech to the German Bundestag in 2001, he replied: “This Putin is lying as soon as he opens his mouth.” The resulting dispute ended He asked me the completely serious question: “Why do you think you can judge the political situation better than me?” He told me that he reads the newspaper in the morning and watches the Tagesschau in the evening. He also speaks to customers every day who all have different opinions than me. Every now and then I gave lectures and discussed things publicly. Most of the time, listeners and discussants came who shared my views or at least kept an open mind. After one such event, a middle-aged woman who identified herself as a judge said to me: “Everything you said was logical and well-documented, although from an unusual perspective, but you largely convinced me.” And then she added : “But Putin…”.

Indoctrination has not stopped at the doors of universities either. There are still some contacts with colleagues there from the time when I was a visiting professor in Poland, but they have become fragile. My friend Tomasz, who unfortunately also succumbed to US-controlled propaganda against Russia and for Ukraine, wrote to me: “I cannot understand the people who prefer to look the other way after the Russian attack on Ukraine. Stop this policy that is killing thousands of innocent people. “Putin with his megalomania has destroyed a long and stable peace in Europe.” He really believes that and he continued: “For me, Putin resembles Hitler to a T.” It is not Ukraine, which wants to go its own sovereign way, that is to blame for the war, but Putin, for whom Ukraine is just an appetizer. He built gas pipelines behind the EU’s back and against Poland’s interests. This shows his true colors, leading and oppressing other countries like dogs on a leash.

At least I was able to have a somewhat civilized conversation with my German friend and with Tomasz, if only by holding back. The space for debate has become increasingly narrow, and the authorities are no longer relying on the previous psychological warfare. Rather, the pressure on those who think differently, their patronization and harassment, is increasing dramatically. Anyone who doesn’t step up and stand out must expect the destruction of their existence and worse.

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“..the Russians could have simply logged on to the unsecured WebEx call without the officers noticing..”

German Defense Ministry Uses ‘1234’ As Password (RT)

The German Defense Ministry has protected a press statement on leaked military communications behind the password “1234.” German media has mocked the ministry for the “extremely embarrassing” security detail. The statement, made by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on Sunday, was posted in audio format on the ministry’s website on Monday. Under a link to a cloud storage service hosting the file, the ministry informed visitors that they could access the recording by entering the password “1234.” While the file is not classified and the password was likely chosen as a placeholder, its use was roundly mocked by German tabloid Bild. “After the wiretapping attack on the Bundeswehr [German military] by Russian spies, this is extremely embarrassing,” the paper wrote on Monday.

On Friday, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan published a transcript and audio recording of a conversation between four officers of the German Air Force, including its top general, Ingo Gerhartz, saying that she had obtained the file from Russian security officials. Over a WebEx video call, the officers discussed the potential use of German-made Taurus missiles against the Crimean Bridge, wondering how they could maintain plausible deniability of involvement in such an attack. The conversation also revealed that – according to the officers – Britain has already sent its own military specialists to Ukraine to operate Storm Shadow cruise missiles given to the Ukrainian armed forces.

It is unclear how Simonyan’s contacts obtained the audio. However, the deputy chairman of the German parliament’s oversight committee, Roderich Kiesewetter, said on Sunday that the Russians could have simply logged on to the unsecured WebEx call without the officers noticing. Berlin confirmed the recording’s authenticity on Saturday. In his statement on Sunday, Pistorius did not address the apparent security lapses that led to the leak. Instead, he accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating the incident as part of an “information war” against the West.

For months, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been under pressure from Kiev and members of his own cabinet to approve shipments of Taurus missiles to Ukraine. However, he has thus far refused, and the Wall Street Journal noted on Saturday that the leaked conversation could make their eventual delivery less likely. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that the leak proves that “plans to launch strikes on Russian territory are being substantively and specifically discussed within the Bundeswehr.” A day earlier, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that “Germany is preparing for a war with Russia.”

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“..turning Ukraine into a giant factory showroom for Western weapons..”

Zelensky and the West Have A New Scam – And Taxpayers Will Foot The Bill (RT)

What do you do to boost GDP when your country is neck-deep in military conflict and your allies’ main interest is using you to wash taxpayer cash into their own military industrial complexes? Make that your whole national identity! And demand that the West help you transition. “Our country will become one of the world’s key producers of weapons and defense systems. And this is no longer just an ambition or a prospect, it is a potential that is already being realized,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2023. That plea has echoed all over the Western press. You’d think that it may have thought to “realize” that “potential” before it went live with the big “Ukrainian counteroffensive” show. But hey, making lemonade from lemons, there’s definitely a business opportunity in losing on the battlefield that wouldn’t exist if Ukraine had proven to be adequately stocked up and victorious. Any ambulance-chasing weapons salesman would be attracted by that.

And on top of that, Russia’s whole stated objective from the very outset has been “de-militarization.” Right now, Ukraine is to Western weapons producers what the Cheesecake Factory is to a fat kid. Those slightly less cynical might be tempted to view all this as the path to victory for Ukraine, but a recent incident strongly suggests otherwise. In a leaked audio recording obtained by Russian intelligence and authenticated by the German government, senior Luftwaffe officers, including the Air Force’s chief, are overheard talking about how even the delivery of the German Taurus missiles to Kiev wouldn’t change the course of the conflict in Ukraine’s favor. If even the gold standard German cruise missile that doubles the strike distance of its Western rivals isn’t considered a game changer in the overall conflict with Russia at this point, then odds don’t sound too good for much else.

And who’s going to pay for Ukraine’s identity change, anyway? Western Europe and the US will pay for the transition, of course. Just as they’re also paying to keep all of Ukrainian society afloat, funding salaries and pensions. It’s not like investors are flocking to Ukraine right now. Much of the weapons-making infrastructure from the Cold War has been decimated, and in a country that ranks near the top of the global corruption index, it probably won’t come as a surprise that the industry itself is rife with “mismanagement.” While it’s clear who’s going to pay, what’s less obvious is who will actually benefit from turning Ukraine into a giant factory showroom for Western weapons. Some Western arms manufacturers have rushed into Ukraine to set up shop, such as Germany’s Rheinmetall, which started operating an armored vehicle plant in the country last year. Guess it’s just good business to be cranking out tanks right on the battlefield where they can be blown up coming off the assembly line. May as well just set fire to that Western taxpayer cash funding this charade the moment that it pops out of the ATM.

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“..from [the perspective of] the people who run the United States, the blob, the deep state… this war was absolutely essential.”

Losing to Russia Shatters Western Leaders’ Belief in Their Exceptionalism (Sp.)

There is “sincere panic” among Western leaders who are forced to “face the inevitable fact” that they are losing to Russia, Mark Sleboda, a foreign relations and security analyst told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Monday. “It is shattering both their preconceptions of this conflict and also shattering their belief in their own exceptionalism and seniority,” he told co-hosts Melik Abdul and Jamarl Thomas. The comments came after discussing the leaked German plans to coordinate a strike on the Crimean bridge or an ammo depot in Krasnodar, which Sleboda said was “planning an act of war on the Russian Federation” noting that Russia would have “every right” to respond. “They were plotting an act of war and [the] Ukrainians in all of this, they weren’t doing the planning, they wouldn’t be doing the implementation, the programing of the missiles on the ground. They were talking about having it be done by German officials and the number [of] people with American accents and civilian clothes,” he said, adding “Their biggest concern, other than which was the more feasible target… was their plausible deniability.”

Sleboda noted that it is an open question if German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has been publicly against sending Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, was lying or if “he [was] unaware of what his own military was doing.” Recently, Scholz -seemingly on accident- revealed that British and American personnel are on the ground in Ukraine to help coordinate the long-range missiles provided by those countries to the Kiev regime. “That’s exposing that America and the UK have military people on the ground in the guise of volunteers or mercenaries or humanitarian workers… which means they are at war with Russia. It’s simply undeclared,” Sleboda argued. Noting that the plans violated the “rules” of the conflict by planning a strike inside of Russia’s mainland. “Russia had two options,” Sleboda explained. “They could escalate back or [which they tried] instead expose this, hoping that it will at least dampen down.”

“The West has two options in response, they can either back down or they can escalate in response,” he added. However, the West has a lot at stake in Russia because they bet Western hegemony on the conflict. “We’ve heard from every Western leader… a Russian victory in Ukraine would be a defeat of NATO. They did this to themselves, they invested this much political and geopolitical capital. They’ve said… that US global leadership… is at stake in the outcome of this conflict.” “The world might not have originally reached the same conclusion, but now they forced them to because they… said it so authoritatively.” Host Jamarl Thomas lamented how the West didn’t need to provoke Russia into the conflict, but Sleboda disagreed, saying that it was inevitable from the perspective of the “deep state.”

“They are fighting for US hegemony over the world – that’s why. From their point of view, this was also an inevitability, from [the perspective of] the people who run the United States, the blob, the deep state… this war was absolutely essential.” Sleboda noted that the US did manage to gain one advantage in the war, it made Europe more subservient to them. “They tied Europe more directly to them. Europe is now spending their money on two to four times more expensive [Liquefied Natural Gas] LNG than they were on Russian energy, which means that Europe’s economy, yes, is facing de-industrialization. But, on the plus side, a lot of those European businesses are going to the US. So they achieved very real geopolitical results out of this conflict.”

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“..their leaderships do agree that the days of marginalizing the Palestinians are over..”

Is Tehran Winning the Middle East? (Juan Cole)

Despite their fiery rhetoric, their undeniable backing of fundamentalist militias in the region, and their depiction by inside-the-Beltway war hawks as the root of all evil in the Middle East, Iran’s leaders have long acted more like a status quo power than a force for genuine change. They have shored up the rule of the autocratic al-Assad family in Syria, while helping the Iraqi government that emerged after President George W. Bush’s invasion of that country fight off the terrorist threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In truth, not Iran but the U.S. and Israel are the countries that have most strikingly tried to use their power to reshape the region in a Napoleonic manner. The disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, and Israel’s wars on Egypt (1956, 1967), Lebanon (1982-2000, 2006), and Gaza (2008, 2012, 2014, 2024), along with its steady encouragement of large-scale squatting on the Palestinian West Bank, were clearly intended to alter the geopolitics of the region permanently through the use of military force on a massive scale.

Only recently, Ayatollah Khamenei bitterly asked, “Why don’t the leaders of Islamic countries publicly cut off their relationship with the murderous Zionist regime and stop helping this regime?” Pointing to the staggering death toll in Israel’s present campaign against Gaza, he was focusing on the Arab countries — Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates — that, as part of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s “Abraham Accords,” had officially recognized Israel and established relations with it. (Egypt and Jordan had, of course, recognized Israel long before that.) Given the anti-Israel sentiment in the region, had it, in fact, been rife with democracies, Iran’s position might have been widely implemented. Still, it was a distinct sign of terminal tone deafness on the part of Biden administration officials that they hoped to use the Gaza crisis to extend the Abraham Accords to Saudi Arabia, while sidelining the Palestinians and creating a joint Israeli-Arab front against Iran.

The region had already been moving in a somewhat different direction. Last March, after all, Iran and Saudi Arabia had begun forging a new relationship by restoring the diplomatic relations that had been suspended in 2016 and working to expand trade between their countries. And that relationship has only continued to improve as the nightmare in Israel and Gaza developed. In fact, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi first visited the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in November and, since the Gaza conflict began, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has met twice with his Saudi counterpart. Frustrated by a markedly polarizing American policy in the region, de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei resorted to the good offices of Beijing to sidestep Washington and strengthen their relations further.

Although Iran is far more hostile to Israel than Saudi Arabia, their leaderships do agree that the days of marginalizing the Palestinians are over. In a remarkably unambiguous statement issued in early February, the Saudis offered the following: “The Kingdom has communicated its firm position to the U.S. administration that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops and all the Israeli occupation forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip.” Significantly, the Saudis even refused to join a U.S.-led naval task force created to halt attacks on Red Sea shipping by the Houthis of Yemen (no friends of theirs) in support of the Palestinians. Its leaders are clearly all too aware that the carnage still being wreaked on Gaza has infuriated most Saudis.

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“..a “sweeping” European defence industry strategy, which will shift the EU’s defence industry to a war-footing..”

The EU’s American Queen (Lily Lynch)

Von der Leyen’s tenure has been marked by an acceleration of what Perry Anderson has termed “European coups” — the gradual agglomeration of power in Brussels. Even the manner in which she became Commissioner in 2019 represented a break with a procedure designed to lend the EU executive greater democratic legitimacy. In 2003, a Franco-German agreement established the foundations of what would become the Spitzenkandidaten (“lead candidate”) process, whereby the political family with the most votes in the European Parliamentary elections would secure the office of Commissioner for its pre-chosen candidate. But in 2019, Von der Leyen was not the Spitzenkandidat of her European People’s Party (EPP) — instead, she was handpicked by EU leaders Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. The EPP’s Spitzenkandidat, Manfred Weber was thwarted by Macron, who viewed him as unqualified. Von der Leyen, on the other hand, was a long-time Merkel loyalist and, as Macron noted, spoke French exceptionally well.

The then-German Defence Minister was also amenable to closer military cooperation with France and had spoken of the need to create “an army of Europeans” — another point in her favour for Macron. In other words, Von der Leyen’s very rise constituted a quiet coup. Beyond the pretty verbiage about defending democracy, it amounted to what Anderson has described as “the quiet settling of affairs between elites in camera, above the heads of an inert populace below”. Perhaps as a result, Von der Leyen has started to rewrite her origin story, claiming that she “ran in 2019” — referencing a campaign that never happened. For the Queen of Europe, both reality and democracy are malleable. Yet Von der Leyen’s weightiest revisionism concerns the EU’s foreign policy. In 2019, she identified the creation of a “geopolitical commission” as one of her main priorities as Commissioner. The EU, she asserted, needed to become a major “geopolitical” actor “to shape a better world order”.

Chaos and crisis demanded that it “learn to speak the language of power”. Then came the twin threats of Russia and another Trump administration, both of which lent these aims a greater urgency. The result is that Von der Leyen’s EU is gradually being retooled for war. Two years ago, EU officials broke the taboo on financing lethal weapons when they decided to fund the provision of lethal military aid to Ukraine. As article 41.2 of the Treaty of the European Union explicitly prohibits “expenditure arising from operations having military or defence implications”, this move required some creativity to circumvent. Towards this end, the EU mobilised the European Peace Facility (EPF), a misnomer for a tool engineered to finance military engagements abroad. To get around the proscription on the financing of war, the EPF has been designed as a €5 billion “off-budget” instrument. Nor does the drumbeat of war stop there. On Tuesday, the Commission is set to unveil a “sweeping” European defence industry strategy, which will shift the EU’s defence industry to a war-footing, while “upending the way it finances and sells arms”.

Von der Leyen has said it will aim to “turbocharge our defence industrial capacity over the next five years”, with a focus on joint procurement. This approach draws on the Commission’s precedent-setting joint procurement of Covid vaccines, an effort now being touted as a model for success but still mired in major controversy: Von der Leyen’s private text message exchange with Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla — hammering out the details of the April 2021 deal for 1.1 billion doses of the vaccine — has been shrouded in secrecy, with both journalists and the European Court of Auditors stonewalled in their attempts to gain access to the conversation. Suffice it to say such a precedent does not bode well for transparency in the massive new defence procurement process.

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“Companies that fail to abide by the EU’s rules may face fines of up to 10% of their total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% in the event of repeated infringements..”

Musk’s X Could Face New EU Restrictions (RT)

Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) could be forced to follow a set of strict guidelines in the EU after the European Commission (EC) announced that the platform may be classified as a ‘gatekeeper’ under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The EC explained that companies can be subject to additional regulations if they operate what is described as a “core platform service,” including search engines, app stores, and messenger services. They must have over 45 million monthly active end users, more than 10,000 yearly business users, or over €75 billion ($81 billion) in market capitalization.

According to an announcement published on the EC’s website on March 1, X, as well as travel website Booking.com and TikTok owner ByteDance, have submitted notifications that their services potentially meet the DMA thresholds. The commission now has 45 days to decide whether to designate the three companies as gatekeepers. If so, they will have six months to comply with DMA requirements. Companies that have already received the gatekeeper designation include the likes of Apple, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet. Companies that fall under the rules are required to let third parties inter-operate with their services, to allow business users to access the data they generate on the platform, and to let them conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper’s ecosystem.

At the same time, the targeted companies must also refrain from favoring their own services over competitors or blocking users from removing pre-installed software or apps. They must also seek explicit consent from users to track their activity outside the gatekeeper’s core platform service for the purpose of targeted advertising. Companies that fail to abide by the EU’s rules may face fines of up to 10% of their total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% in the event of repeated infringements. Businesses may also be slapped with periodic penalty payments of up to 5% of their average daily turnover.

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“Some around town think it has something to do with Presiden Biden’s visit to the border..”

Ballot Drop Boxes Installed Along Border Wall (BBee)

Texas residents woke up Thursday morning to find general election ballot boxes had been placed along the southern border wall that divides parts of the U.S. from Mexico. “I’m not sure where these ballot drop boxes came from,” Brownsville resident Tom Walker told reporters. “Some around town think it has something to do with Presiden Biden’s visit to the border. I saw some of his folks down handing out mail-in ballots to these illegal guys who keep coming into town. Makes a person wonder what’s up.” Biden’s team denied placing the boxes strategically along the border wall right where the main surge of illegal immigrants are crossing into the country.

“This isn’t some crazy ploy to rig the election in favor of President Biden by handing out ballots to the millions of illegal aliens that have been streaming into the country over the past three years,” Biden spokesperson Alexander Sheperd told the press. “On a completely unrelated note, does anyone know how to say ‘President Biden will give you a prepaid $10 thousand Visa cash card if you vote for him’ in Spanish?” As of publishing time, Biden aids were seen rounding up as many filled-out ballots as they could in an effort they said would “restore fair and free elections and prevent that fascist Trump from taking office ever again.”

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Gaza 1970

 

 

Circle of life

 

 

Hedgehog

 

 

Floki

 

 

Survive

 

 

Coyote

 

 

Kiwi

 

 

Putin

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 042024
 
 March 4, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Camille Corot The Burning of Sodom (formerly “The Destruction of Sodom”) 1843 and 1857

 

Trump ‘Dangerous’ For Women – Jill Biden (RT)
Supreme Court Ruling on Trump Ballot Case Could Come on March 4 (ET)
D.C. Circuit Ruling for J6 Rioter Could Impact Hundreds of Cases (Turley)
The Braindead American Foreign Policy Establishment (Paul Craig Roberts)
Musk Questions Why NATO Still Exists (RT)
Ukrainian Opposition Complains To EU About ‘Repression’ (RT)
NATO Arms Designed to ‘Keep Kiev on Life Support’, Not Help Them ‘Win’ (Sp.)
The Truth About Russian ‘Meat Assaults’ Against Ukrainian Forces (Bridge)
The Later The Negotiations, The Worse The Result For Ukraine – Hungary (RT)
Germany Preparing For War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)
Why Emmanuel Macron Suggested Openly Sending NATO Troops Into Ukraine (RT)
Polish Farmers’ Blockade Is ‘Beyond Morality’ – Zelensky (RT)
More Proof That COVID Killed Medical Ethics (Stansbury)
Scientists Expose Major Problems With Climate Change Data (ET)

 

 


The US can’t send aid by road to Gaza because Israel is dropping the 21,000 precision bombs there that the US also sent.

 

 

Mess with Joe

 

 

Surge

 

 

 

 

Tucker Haley

 

 

Biden Lies

 

 

 

 

Too big to rig

 

 

 

 

Time for Melania to step up?!

Trump ‘Dangerous’ For Women – Jill Biden (RT)

Donald Trump poses a threat for women due to his views on abortion, and should be prevented from returning to the White House, US First Lady Jill Biden has said. Her husband, US President Joe Biden, “spent his entire career lifting up women” in stark contrast to his main rival in this year’s election, she insisted at the launch of her ‘Women for Biden’ campaign effort in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday. Trump “spent a lifetime tearing us down and devaluing our existence. He mocks women’s bodies, disrespects our accomplishments, and brags about assault,” the first lady claimed. The latter point appears to be a reference to a recording that made headlines ahead of the presidential election in 2016. It featured a private conversation in which Trump bragged about the benefits of being a “star” when it comes to relations with females. “They let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the p*ssy,” he is heard saying on the tape.

”Now, he’s bragging about killing Roe v. Wade,” Biden said. Roe v. Wade was a 1973 decision by the US Supreme Court, which generally protected the right to abortion in America. After Trump appointed three conservative justices to the court during his term, it overturned its previous ruling in 2022, and several states immediately banned the procedure. ”Just last night, he took credit again for enabling states like Georgia to pass cruel abortion bans that are taking away the right of women to make their own health care decisions. How far will he go? When will he stop. You know the answer. He won’t,” she stated. ”Donald Trump is dangerous to women and to our families. We simply can’t let him win,” the first lady urged the crowd.

During an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Trump said that he had not yet made up his mind on the number of weeks after which abortion should be banned. “More and more I’m hearing about 15 weeks, and I haven’t decided yet,” he said, adding that “we got it back to the states where it belongs. A lot of states are taking very strong stances.” Jill Biden is slated to address female voters in key swing states – Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin – as part of her ‘Women for Biden’ initiative. The Biden campaign will also be releasing ads targeting women up until the election on November 5. Trump appears to be on course to become the Republican Party’s candidate for president after winning all five of the GOP’s primary contests to date. However, his last remaining rival, Nikki Haley, refuses to drop out of the race, despite suffering a crushing defeat in her home state of South Carolina last month.

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They can’t let individual states keep someone off the -national- ballot. It would mean anarchy.

Supreme Court Ruling on Trump Ballot Case Could Come on March 4 (ET)

The U.S. Supreme Court could issue a ruling as early as March 4 regarding a case that seeks to bar former President Donald Trump from appearing on primary and general election ballots for the 2024 presidential election. The Supreme Court, in an unusual Sunday update to its schedule, didn’t specify what ruling it would issue. However, the justices on Feb. 8 heard arguments in the former president’s appeal of a ruling in Colorado and are due to issue their own decision. The March 3 announcement said the opinion would be posted online at 10 a.m. Washington time. “The court will not take the bench,” it only said on its website. Late last year, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that President Trump is disqualified from appearing on ballots in Colorado, citing an interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment provision that stipulates that candidates who engaged in an “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States should be prevented from holding office.

Maine’s Democratic secretary of state made a similar decision days later, and a judge in Illinois recently issued a similar ruling to prevent his appearance on ballots. The amendment was drafted more than 150 years ago, after the Civil War, and the court was the first to invoke it. However, that ruling and the two others are on hold pending the Supreme Court decision. The former president appealed the Colorado court ruling to the Supreme Court, which took up the matter quickly. Oral arguments in the case were heard last month. Notably, the Supreme Court has until now never ruled on the provision, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. The court indicated this weekend that at least one case would be decided on March 4, although it didn’t indicate which one. Except for when the end of the term nears in late June, the court almost always issues decisions on days when the justices are scheduled to take the bench. But the next scheduled court day is March 15.

And apart from during the coronavirus pandemic, when the court was closed, the justices almost always read summaries of their opinions in the courtroom. If the resolution of the case comes on March 4, a day before Super Tuesday primary contests in 16 states, it would remove uncertainty about whether votes for President Trump, the leading Republican candidate for president, will ultimately count. Colorado and Maine are two of the states that will hold its GOP primary during the March 5 Super Tuesday contest. Lawyers for the former president asked the nine justices to reverse the Colorado court decision because only Congress can make a determination as who can become president. The court’s decision is also “the first time in the history of the United States that the judiciary has prevented voters from casting ballots for the leading major-party presidential candidate,” his lawyers said, concluding that it “is not and cannot be correct.”

After the ruling, President Trump wrote on social media that he is “not an insurrectionist,” adding that President Joe Biden is one. He also noted that he told supporters to protest “peacefully and patriotically” during a rally on Jan. 6, 2021, before protesters and rioters entered the U.S. Capitol during the certification of electoral votes for the 2020 election, which forms the basis of the “insurrection” accusations against him. Justices for the Colorado Supreme Court had argued that they believed President Trump engaged in an insurrection because of his activity before and on Jan. 6, 2021, during the breach of the U.S. Capitol building. The former president, however, was never charged or convicted of insurrection. He was charged by a federal special counsel in connection with the 2020 election, but not for insurrection, rebellion, or related charges.

“President Trump asks us to hold that Section Three disqualifies every oath-breaking insurrectionist except the most powerful one and that it bars oath-breakers from virtually every office, both state and federal, except the highest one in the land,” the majority for the Colorado Supreme Court wrote in its 4–3 ruling. “Both results are inconsistent with the plain language and history of Section Three.” During oral arguments in front of the justices in early February, at least six of the justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, appeared to be at least skeptical of some of the claims made by the lawyer representing several Colorado voters who brought the lawsuit against the Republican front-runner.

“It’ll come down to just a handful of states that are going to decide the presidential election,” Chief Justice Roberts said, referring to the potential effect of the Colorado court’s ruling. “That’s a pretty daunting consequence.” Justice Clarence Thomas asked the lawyer, Jason Murray, why there weren’t many examples of individual states’ disqualifying candidates under the 14th Amendment after the Civil War. “There were a plethora of confederates still around, there were any number of people who would continue to either run for state offices or national offices, so it would seem—that would suggest there would at least be a few examples of national candidates being disqualified,” Justice Thomas, a Bush appointee, said.

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“..Justice official Michael Sherwin proudly declared that “our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe..”

D.C. Circuit Ruling for J6 Rioter Could Impact Hundreds of Cases (Turley)

In its affidavit supporting criminal charges, the Justice Department showed Air Force lieutenant colonel Larry Rendall Brock on the Senate floor on January 6, 2021 in a helmet and combat gear. That outfit only magnified the anger of many of us over the riot and the interruption of our constitutional process of certification. However, while there was little question of the validity of the charges against him, U.S. District Judge John Bates in March 2023 imposed a two year sentence based on a common enhancing factor cited by the government in many of these cases for the “substantial interference with the administration of justice.” A panel on the D.C. Circuit has now ruled against the use of that enhancer in a decision that could compel the resentencing of dozens of defendants from the January 6th riot.

The Justice Department has long been accused of excessive charging and abusive detention conditions for January 6th defendants. The heavy-handed treatment was apparently by design. In a controversial television interview, Justice official Michael Sherwin proudly declared that “our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe … it worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C. because they’re, like, ‘If we go there, we’re gonna get charged.’ … We wanted to take out those individuals that essentially were thumbing their noses at the public for what they did.” District court judges just went along with the use of the enhancement, even though it was based on a highly attenuated claim. As the D.C. Circuit found, “Congress’s certification of electoral college votes does not fit the ‘administration of justice’ mold.” It then noted:

“Considered in context, Congress’s counting and certification of electoral votes is but the last step in a lengthy electoral certification process involving state legislatures and officials as well as Congress. Taken as a whole, the multi-step process of certifying electoral college votes—as important to our democratic system of government as it is—bears little resemblance to the traditional understanding of the administration of justice as the judicial or quasi-judicial investigation or determination of individual rights.” The argument of the Biden Administration always seemed curious to me given the claims of former President Donald Trump that Vice President Michael Pence had the authority to reject state certifications. I disagreed with that view. However, arguing that this is a type of judicial proceeding would seem to enhance the Trump argument.

Yet, that is what the Justice Department did in many of these cases to enhance sentencing. Ultimately, Judge Bates’ sentencing was not as high as what the Justice Department wanted. Judge Bates detailed the considerable evidence against Brock in his preparation for violence. He wrote before the riot “Do not kill LEO [law enforcement officers] unless necessary… Gas would assist in this if we can get it.” It was also short of the maximum under the guidelines of 30 months. The sentence may have been reduced by as much as nine months without the enhancer. There could also be substantial reductions for a couple of hundred of other defendants who were sentenced with the enhancer. It is not clear if the government will appeal the ruling. We are also waiting for the oral argument in Fischer v. United States, which will consider the use of the felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding against defendants tied to the January 6th riot. Trump is also being prosecuted in part for that crime.

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“It is time to openly raise the banner of the defense of normal human values from the post-and even anti-human ones coming from the West.”

The Braindead American Foreign Policy Establishment (Paul Craig Roberts)

A source recently sent to me an article by a well-placed Russian foreign affairs expert with a note attached: “He thinks like you do.” Not entirely, but we share some of the same concerns. n“What Is To Be Done?,” by Sergei A. Karaganov, honorary chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Moscow reflects my own views expressed on many occasions, such as that in the face of the Western world’s hostility, Russia should avoid continuing conflict by turning to the East to China and India and to the expansion of BRICS. Like myself Karaganov hopes to avoid the death of mankind in nuclear war. He writes off the pro-Western Atlanticist Integrationist Russian liberals who clinged too long to their fantasy of being an accepted part of the West. Likely, it was this delusional collection of Russian liberals who are responsible for the failures in judgment that Karaganov brings home to the Kremlin, the very same failures that I have pointed out. The last thing Russia needs is interdependence with the West.

Karaganov points out that Russia has Asian roots dating from the days of Mongol overlords that are as strong as Western roots and that it is China that is rising, not Europe and the US which he regards as essentially washed up politically, economically, morally, and spiritually. Karaganov writes: “Europe -once a beacon of modernization for us and many other nations- is rapidly moving towards geopolitical nothingness and, hopefully I am wrong, towards moral and political decay. Its still-wealthy market is worth exploiting, but our main effort in relation to the old subcontinent should be morally and politically fencing ourselves off from it. Having first lost its soul -Christianity- it is now losing the fruit of the Enlightenment -rationalism. Besides, on orders from outside [Washington], the Eurobureaucracy is itself isolating Russia from Europe. We are grateful.

A break with Europe is an ordeal for many Russians. But we must go through it as quickly as possible. Naturally, fencing-off should not become a principle or be total. But any talk of recreating a European security system is a dangerous chimera. Systems of cooperation and security should be built within the framework of the continent of the future -Greater Eurasia-a by inviting European countries that are interested and are of interest to us. The West, he writes, is the modern equivalent to Sodom and Gomorrah. “It would have been better to finish our Western, European odyssey a century earlier. There now remains little of use to be borrowed from the West, though plenty of rubbish seeps in from it. But, as we belatedly complete the journey, we will retain the great European culture that is now rejected by post-European fashion.” As the West has rejected itself, it is an evil and Russia should fence itself off from it. He answered my recent question by saying that the culture the West created and is now alienated from will be saved by Russia.

There are other points where we have the same judgment, such as the defeatist way Putin conducted the conflict with Ukraine and his acceptance of provocations that escalated Western participation in the conflict. The way Putin tries to make the West feel non-threatened even as the West threatens Russia feeds conflict. To continually express your willingness to negotiate with Washington which intends to destroy Russia and Putin personally is an extraordinary failure of judgment. The lack of realism smacks you in the face. Karaganov writes that Russia should revise its approach to foreign policy from being defensive to offensive, and should cease its attempts to please and negotiate with the West. The Kremlin’s attempts “are not only immoral but also counterproductive” as they are unrealistic and produce more provocations. Karaganov sees the West as I do, that it is sinking into moral debauchery and anti-humanism. He writes, “It is time to openly raise the banner of the defense of normal human values from the post-and even anti-human ones coming from the West.”

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Join the chorus.

Musk Questions Why NATO Still Exists (RT)

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk appears to agree with American investor David Sacks, who has argued that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO lost its reason to exist, but decided to embark on an expansion spree to fill the void. Writing on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday, Sacks said that the US-led bloc “faced an existential crisis” in the 1990s because it no longer had rivals comparable to the Soviet Union. However, “rather than disband, it came up with a new mission: to expand,” the entrepreneur remarked. “And in a self-referential loop, NATO expansion would create the hostility needed to justify itself,” he added.

Meanwhile, Musk appeared to agree with Sacks, writing on X: “True. I always wondered why NATO continued to exist even though its nemesis and reason to exist, The Warsaw Pact, had dissolved.” Since the 1990s, the bloc has been joined by a number of Eastern European countries that used to be part of the Soviet-aligned Warsaw pact, as well as the Baltic states and several Balkan countries. After the start of the Ukraine conflict, Finland also became part of the alliance, with Sweden poised to follow suit. Russia has repeatedly protested against NATO expansion, seeing it as a national security threat. Moscow has voiced particular concern about the possibility of Ukraine entering the bloc, with Russian President Vladimir Putin naming Kiev’s desire to do so as one of the key reasons of the current conflict.

Ukraine formally applied for NATO membership in the autumn of 2022 after four of its former regions overwhelmingly voted to become part of Russia. However, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Kiev cannot join until the current hostilities are resolved. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has also described the alliance as a “tool of confrontation” and deterrence aimed at Russia. While numerous Western officials have claimed that Moscow could attack NATO within a few years, President Putin has said that he has no interest whatsoever in doing so.

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What does the EU have to do with this? Ukraine is not a member.

Ukrainian Opposition Complains To EU About ‘Repression’ (RT)

Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s party has appealed to the EU leadership, calling for the “restoration of freedom of speech” and political plurality in the country, while condemning Kiev’s “authoritarianism.” The Ukrainian authorities recently prevented the former president, who heads the European Solidarity party (which has 27 MPs in the 450-seat parliament), from leaving Ukraine to attend the Munich Security Conference due to alleged threats to his life – which he called an “offense against democracy.” Earlier this week, Oliver Varhelyi, the EU commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy, shared Poroshenko’s letter, in which the former president pleaded with Brussels to pressure Kiev to stop its “discriminatory” practices.

“According to the government’s logic, it is not the actions of officials who violate the rights and freedoms of Ukrainians that harm European integration, but those who, for example, apply for protection of rights, for example to the ECHR or other international institutions,” the party said in a statement published on the official website on Friday, while decrying Kiev’s “emotional and inadequate” reaction to the letter. The opposition party lamented the government’s “absolutism,” claiming the authorities act with “impunity” and are “used to a monologue and applause” rather than dialogue, while reacting nervously to criticism. According to the statement, the Ukrainian government remains “deaf” to society, which results in “multiple mistakes,” making it impossible for the opposition to stay silent as “authoritarianism” spreads inside Ukraine.

“Why does a democratic country need an opposition that is silent?” the party said, demanding “open dialogue of the authorities with society and the opposition,” lifting the restrictions on international travel for Poroshenko, as well as “the restoration of freedom of speech, the restoration of Ukrainian TV channels,” and “the return of journalists to the parliament’s meeting hall and the broadcasting of meetings on the Rada channel.” The party also insisted that the security forces should refrain from putting pressure “on the mass media, businesses, public activists, and the opposition,” and called for the restoration of parliamentary control over the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Poroshenko lost the 2019 election in a landslide to the current president of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, who campaigned on a promise of making peace in Donbass, only to reverse course and seek NATO support in its confrontation with Russia.

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‘..feeding the dog so that it does not die of hunger..’

NATO Arms Designed to ‘Keep Kiev on Life Support’, Not Help Them ‘Win’ (Sp.)

Ukraine’s president has complained to his Western sponsors about the holdup in arms deliveries. Veteran Soviet and Russian officer and military journalist Viktor Litovkin tells Sputnik how Kiev allowed itself to become trapped in a highly unenviable strategic position. President Zelensky slammed his NATO patrons on Saturday, accusing them of playing “internal political games” instead of ramping up much-needed military support for Kiev. “This is impossible to understand. It is impossible to agree to this. And it will be impossible to forget; the world will remember this,” Zelensky said, emphasizing that Kiev’s ‘partners’ have “enough air defense systems” and that “Kiev hasn’t asked for anything more than needed” for its defense.

Zelensky made the comments against the background of the ongoing deadlock in Washington regarding $61 billion in fresh US military support for Ukraine, which the MAGA Republican-dominated House of Representatives has vowed to hold up until more is done to address the crisis at the US’s southern border, and unless the aid is provided in the form of a loan. The spending deadlock aside, Western officials have reason to be wary of further military assistance to Ukraine, having already spent so much taxpayer money, and damaged their reputations, preparing Kiev for a much-vaunted counteroffensive last summer only to see it fail spectacularly. Kiev has received over $265 billion in foreign military and economic Ukraine to date, with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy tracking some €115 billion+ ($125 billion US)-worth in arms assistance alone – which is over one and a half times Russia’s entire defense budget in 2023.

“Nothing will help Ukraine…But keeping it on life support is possible, including through the supply of Western weapons, ammunition and so on,” retired Soviet and Russian Army colonel Viktor Litovkin told Sputnik, commenting on Zelensky’s remarks. Comparing Ukrainian authorities to a terminally ill patient, Litovkin emphasized that the Western alliance and its clients don’t have the capabilities to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. “Last year’s counteroffensive failed for one simple reason: because, first and foremost, it was based on NATO tactics, NATO operational doctrine, and according to NATO regulations. NATO has never fought with an army of equal strength and power, and is not in a condition to overcome powerful, deeply layered defenses and large-scale minefields,” Litovkin explained, referring to the Russian multilayered defensive positions set up in Zaporozhye, Kherson and the Donbass in late 2022 and early 2023.

“No matter how much and whom Zelensky criticizes, it was clear from the outset that it was pointless for Ukraine to fight Russia, because Russia has a powerful defense industry, a powerful military, while Ukraine plundered its defense industry and destroyed itself,” Litovkin added, pointing out that the vast defense industrial base that Kiev was left with after the collapse of the USSR has been whittled away to the bone over the past three decades. Regarding Zelensky’s complaint that NATO is not providing the “required amount of weapons,” Litovkin said that’s the case “for a simple reason: because it is not Ukraine that’s at war with Russia, but NATO and the United States. Their task is not to ‘defeat’ Russia, but to ruin Russia, to weaken Russia. Therefore, Ukraine is given weapons on the principle of ‘feeding the dog so that it does not die of hunger’ but can bark loudly and bite painfully. Nothing more is required from Kiev. The fact that Ukrainian soldiers and officers are dying – the West doesn’t care about them, they’re not theirs.”

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“..Such a spectacle simply does not exist except in the imagination of the mainstream media..”

The Truth About Russian ‘Meat Assaults’ Against Ukrainian Forces (Bridge)

On January 24, The New York Post (“Moscow’s ‘meat wave’ tactic litters Ukraine battlefield with frozen corpses of Russian troops”) reported that “Russia is using a ‘meat wave’ strategy that sends scores of poorly trained soldiers to die on the front lines against Ukraine to clear a path for the Kremlin’s more valuable elite units — then abandons their frozen corpses on the battlefield.” The image that the Post article wishes to convey is that the Russian military is some sort of technologically inferior fighting force that must relay on brute force if it hopes to make any battlefield gains. The ultimate goal here is to portray the Russians as cold-blooded barbarians; an effort to dehumanize the Russians as, to quote one twitter user, “zombies, like meat without fear and self-preservation instincts” that leaves its dead and wounded on the battlefield unattended.

Earlier, Business Insider (“Russia is bringing back its bloody ‘human wave’ tactics, throwing poorly trained troops into a massive new assault in eastern Ukraine, White House says”) quoted John Kirby, the spokesperson for the National Security Council, as saying that “the Russian military appears to be using human wave tactics, where they throw masses of poorly trained soldiers right into the battlefield without proper equipment, and… without proper training and preparation.” Is Kirby projecting here? After all, it has been the Ukrainians who have been sweeping military age males off the street in broad daylight, sending them off to fight on the front lines with very little combat training. Not to be outdone, on January 24, CNN (“Russia’s relentless ‘meat assaults’ are wearing down outmanned and outgunned Ukrainian forces”) quoted a Ukrainian sniper with the callsign ‘Bess’ who said “Nobody evacuates [the Russian corpses], nobody takes them away,” he said. “It feels like people don’t have a specific task, they just go and die.”

Is there any truth to these allegations? Are the Russians really carrying out zombie-style frontal assaults that are “unprotected, exposed and concentrated” in a desperate effort to overrun Ukrainian positions? How do the facts stand up to this latest batch of mainstream media hype? Aside from the lack of any video evidence, consider basic military tactics. Only in the case of superior numerical troop strength – for example, as during the Battle of Normandy (June 6 – August 30, 1944) in World War II when the Allied forces launched a successful attack on German positions in northern France with over 2 million troops – would one side commit itself to carrying out massive frontal assaults on enemy positions. In a recent interview with Germany’s ARD broadcaster, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said the Ukrainian army currently has a force level numbering about 880,000 troops.

“We have 880,000 troops; that’s an army of almost a million,” he said, when asked about the army’s force strength. Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia had deployed more than 600,000 military personnel in Ukraine. “The front line is over 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) long. There are 617,000 people in the conflict zone,” the Russian leader said during his first end-of-year press conference since sending his army into Ukraine in February 2022. Meanwhile, even the Western mainstream media admits that Russia enjoys a 10-to-1 advantage in the number of artillery supplies, aircraft, drones and armored assault vehicles. With such an overwhelming advantage, why would the Russians need to resort to the desperate tactic of exposing its infantry to “human wave” attacks? If anything, it would be the numerically superior Ukrainian forces – now being systematically crushed by the Russians across the entire field of contact – who would be expected to throw themselves against their enemy in open fields.

The fact is, however, there has never been any video evidence of huge waves of Russian forces – nor Ukrainian, for that matter – running across open fields in some kind of mad dash to storm enemy defenses. Such a spectacle simply does not exist except in the imagination of the mainstream media, which would also have its readers believe that Russian troops in Artyomovsk (known in Ukraine as Bakhmut) were forced to fight with shovels against their opponent, while also being forced to cannibalize components from foreign appliances to facilitate its defense production. In the words of an old sage: “hogwash.”

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“..time is on the side of the Russians, and the longer the war goes on, the more people will die, and the balance of power will not change in Ukraine’s favor.”

The Later The Negotiations, The Worse The Result For Ukraine – Hungary (RT)

Ukraine will not be able to strengthen its negotiating position on the battlefield as some Western leaders think it will, and the longer peace talks are postponed, the worse the outcome will be for Kiev, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said. Speaking to Radio Kossuth on Sunday, Szijjarto said that he has been “hearing for months” about how the Ukrainian military is gaining ground at the front “from which they can start negotiations from a better position.” “In recent weeks, it has become clear that this scenario has failed, that time is on Russia’s side,” he continued, warning that “the later a ceasefire is called and negotiations begin, the worse it will be for Ukraine.” From the outset of the conflict, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington would continue to arm Kiev in order to “strengthen its hand to achieve a diplomatic solution on just terms at a negotiating table.” EU diplomats have made similar promises, generally followed by assurances that Ukraine alone would decide when to enter into talks with Russia.

Hungary has taken a different path, with Szijjarto and Prime Minister Viktor Orban calling since 2022 for a ceasefire and negotiations. “Almost nobody” believes that Ukraine will win, Orban told members of his Fidesz party last month. Several weeks before Ukraine lost the key Donbass stronghold of Avdeevka, the Hungarian leader stated that “time is on the side of the Russians, and the longer the war goes on, the more people will die, and the balance of power will not change in Ukraine’s favor.” According to the latest figures from the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukraine has lost more than 400,000 service members – killed, wounded or missing – since the conflict began in February 2022. The Ukrainian military is also dealing with a dwindling pool of potential conscripts and shortages of Western weapons and ammunition.

Western media outlets and politicians have warned that these twin problems may soon lead to a collapse all along the front. “We have also made it clear that the longer this war lasts, the closer we get to the terrifying danger called the Third World War,” Szijjarto told Radio Kossuth. The Hungarian diplomat condemned a recent remark by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said last Monday that he “cannot exclude” the deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine. While multiple NATO leaders and the alliance’s secretary general swiftly announced that no such deployment would take place, the idea found favor among some of the Baltic states, who have consistently called for more Western intervention.

“We in NATO made a decision about two years ago… [stating] that NATO is not a belligerent, and everything must be done to avoid a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia,” the bloc’s head Jens Stoltenberg explained. “The Western politicians who talk about the need to send ground troops are certainly violating this joint NATO decision,” he continued. “Our position is clear and unambiguous: we will not send weapons or soldiers.” Moscow has pointed out that it remains open to peace talks, but has received no “serious” proposals from Kiev or the West. Any potential deal, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month, will have to take the “new reality” that Ukraine no longer owns Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye into account.

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“..a hypothetical provocation scenario, in which the German military might convince Scholz that Russian forces had launched a missile “at Berlin,” which had been intercepted..”

Germany Preparing For War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)

A recently leaked recording of senior German officers discussing a potential attack on the Crimean Bridge leaves no doubt that Berlin is preparing for a military conflict with Moscow, the former Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, warned on his Telegram channel on Sunday. Medvedev, who is currently deputy head of the Russian Security Council, was commenting on audio that surfaced earlier this week. The story was broken on Friday by RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, who said she had received the recording from Russian security officials. The 38-minute-long recording, reportedly from February 19, contained a conversation between four officers of the German Air Force, including its commander, Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz. They were discussing operational and targeting details of Taurus long-range missiles which Berlin was considering supplying to Kiev.

The officers particularly explored the option of the missiles being used against the Crimean Bridge and spoke about maintaining plausible deniability in the event of such an attack. The leak sparked a major scandal in Germany, with many senior MPs calling for the nation’s counterintelligence efforts to be enhanced. The German Defense Ministry confirmed the authenticity of the recording but neither the military nor Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government have commented on the plans discussed by the senior officers. On Sunday, Medvedev assumed that Berlin would now try to claim it had known nothing of the military discussions taking place. He also stated that the German authorities could call the leaked conversation a purely hypothetical one and say that the military was “obsessed with playing mock battles.”

“Any attempts to present the Bundeswehr officers’ conversation as just a ‘game’ with missiles and tanks would be a malicious lie,” the former president warned. “Germany is preparing for a war with Russia.” Medvedev also said that the position of Scholz’s cabinet might eventually be irrelevant when it comes to the standoff between Moscow and Berlin. “History knows many examples when the military were capable of taking decisions for their civilian superiors about starting a war or just instigating [conflict],” he added. He particularly pointed to a hypothetical provocation scenario, in which the German military might convince Scholz that Russian forces had launched a missile “at Berlin,” which had been intercepted.

Various German officials have recently raised the issue of a potential war with Russia. Earlier on Sunday, the nation’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach, said that Germany should improve its healthcare system for it to be able to swiftly respond to “major disasters” like a military conflict. Last month, German general Carsten Breuer called for a “change in mentality” in society, insisting the nation needed to prepare for a potential war with Russia in five years. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said last November that the country must become “war-capable,” and stated again in January that Berlin and all its NATO allies should arm themselves more actively to be able to “wage a war that is forced upon us.”

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“..it is precisely this that increases risks, as it fits into the popular meme of “dementia and courage,” especially when a mild panic is added..”

Why Emmanuel Macron Suggested Openly Sending NATO Troops Into Ukraine (RT)

Talk of strategic autonomy in the Old World remained empty for decades because it was treated as an accessory, necessary only for the sake of solidarity. Otherwise, Western Europe was content with a situation in which it did not have to worry about such matters. Partly because of American guarantees but mainly because of the absence of any threat. The year 2022 brought troubles of a threefold nature. First, the terrifying specter of what they see as Russian revanchism. Second, the fact it was Western Europe that bore the economic cost of combating Moscow. Third, no matter what is proclaimed at summits, the reality that domestic priorities are pulling the US away from Europe. The Old World has been bickering with America over defense spending for years, and responding with cosmetic measures.

Again, because it did not believe in the threat. When that began to change, the question of spending and capabilities did not arise for the US, but rather for the European part of the trans-Atlantic alliance. The Americans do not really care how the Ukrainian battle ends, and they can afford to deal with other matters –domestic ones– in parallel. The latter are obviously more important, and the financing of Ukraine is becoming their hostage. In Western Europe, the fear of war with Russia has already been so promoted by the top brass that it is beginning to determine everything else. When the Western community is mobilized to confront “autocracies” (Russia is joined by China in this narrative), it is foolish to raise the question of European strategic autonomy. But such a capacity is becoming a necessary condition for Western Europe’s relevance. Hence the attempt to redirect consciousness from the priority of social comfort to the imperative of security.

The conditions for success are not very favorable. The population is used to tranquility. The collective lack of quality in their elites also reduces confidence in their ability to manage the strategic approach. But firstly, it is precisely this that increases risks, as it fits into the popular meme of “dementia and courage,” especially when a mild panic is added. Secondly, one should not draw conclusions from clumsy approaches, such as Macron’s statements or the musings of EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell. Behind the cartoonish façade are discreet changes in the approaches of countries (or individual segments of societies) that retain the ability to think in terms of effective confrontation. And which recognize that the US agenda is changing, probably irreversibly. Here, the British build-up is a clear example. Gunpowder is sometimes preserved in powder chambers that have long since been turned into souvenirs. If it is not there, so much the better, but it is more useful to overestimate the enemy than vice versa.

Macgregor

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“We are constantly looking for a solution that will protect the Polish market from being flooded with clearly cheaper [Ukrainian] agricultural products..”

Polish Farmers’ Blockade Is ‘Beyond Morality’ – Zelensky (RT)

The protests at the border by Polish farmers against Ukrainian agricultural imports have crossed all boundaries, President Vladimir Zelensky has said, accusing Warsaw of using the situation for domestic political games while Kiev remains under immense pressure from Russia. Polish farmers started blockading the Ukrainian border back in autumn in protest of EU regulations that allowed their Ukrainian competitors to sell agricultural products in the bloc without paying tariffs, which they say amounts to an unfair advantage. The protests left thousands of Ukrainian trucks stuck in border queues. In a video address on Telegram on Sunday, the Ukrainian leader urged his Polish counterparts to “finally find a solution” to the crisis, which he said “has gone beyond both economics and morality long ago.”

“It is simply impossible to explain how the hardships of a bleeding country can be used in domestic political struggles,” he added, promising, however, that Kiev would eventually manage to pull through. The protests intensified in late February when farmers blocked all six border crossings with Ukraine. Officials in Kiev have also claimed that “unidentified persons” were destroying Ukrainian grain on the railroad, suggesting that it could be “sabotage” and urging the Polish authorities to intervene. Polish Agriculture Minister Czeslaw Siekierski apologized for instances of grain being dumped but attempted to justify the protesters’ actions by saying they were “in a very difficult economic situation.” Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said last week that Warsaw was in talks with Kiev about temporarily shutting the border. Kiev, however, denied this claim.

Tusk pointed out that while Poland, which has been one of Kiev’s most steadfast backers, wants to help Ukraine, it “can’t allow this help to bring very negative effects to our citizens.” “We are constantly looking for a solution that will protect the Polish market from being flooded with clearly cheaper [Ukrainian] agricultural products,” he said. The Ukrainian-Polish dispute comes as a wave of protests by farmers has swept through numerous EU states. Farmers in such countries as Germany, Greece, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands have rallied against agricultural reforms and new environmental policies which they say increase their costs and decrease profit margins.

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Make that moral ethics.

More Proof That COVID Killed Medical Ethics (Stansbury)

A February 12, 2024 Slay News.com article reported that thousands of elderly COVID patients in the United Kingdom (U.K.) were secretly euthanized in April 2020 by injection with the drug Midazolam. This disturbing claim came from an investigation directed by Wilson Sy, director, Investment Analytics Research Australia, and made public by Craig Kelly, the national director of the (conservative) United Australia Party. The alleged euthanasia claim seems unlikely because in the U.K., it is regarded as either manslaughter or murder by the National Health Service (NHS) and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. And unlike in Trudeau’s Canada, even voluntary assisted suicide is illegal and punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment. In addition, the drug Midazolam is not for euthanasia. It’s a widely used anti-anxiety medication. However, Drugs.com cautions that it is risky for patients with a cough, wheezing, or trouble breathing.

Having had a career in analytics, I was skeptical. I reviewed the ResearchGate investigation documentation fully expecting to find fake news. Instead, I found that the report was exceptionally well researched and documented, and the claim appears valid. “Shortages of hospital beds were already felt before the pandemic. Therefore, there was apprehension that UK hospitals could not cope with the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases. It is clear that the highest priority of UK public health policy, early in the pandemic, was to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed, like those sensationally reported in northern Italy around that time. The NHS created new guidelines in March 2020 to facilitate discharges from hospitals, stating “Unless required to be in hospital, patients must not remain in an NHS bed.” “In a move which was later judged irrational, many elderly were discharged from hospital and died in care homes across England. As a result about 28,000 care home residents died in April 2020 across England, which represented about one third or 33.5 percent of all deaths in England. Many of the UK elderly with comorbidities or terminal illnesses have died with euthanasia in care homes, and not from COVID-19 due to few cases of infections early in 2020.” … “New guidelines were rapidly developed in early 2020 by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for managing COVID-19 symptoms, including those at the end-of-life. The rapidly developed new guidelines effectively opened the door to implement a policy of euthanasia in UK during the pandemic.”

[..] This simple forensic analysis helped confirm an even greater medical mass murder: United Kingdom, population 67 million: The COVID death trend data for JAN 2020 and FEB 2021 confirms it was disproportionally high. The real blame goes to its government provided “free” healthcare because hospitals were overwhelmed even before the pandemic. Their treatment protocols, like those of most wealthy countries also placed all bets on the vax, lockdowns, etc. and this decision likely contributed to other variations as well. And anyone criticizing the government treatment protocols was censored. Final: 3,472 deaths per million people thru 2/18/2024.

Sweden, population 10 million: Sweden was included because it alone rejected severe lockdown measures and as a result it had achieved herd immunity by around FEB 2021. That lasted until Sweden inexplicably mandated the vax and boosters. It is now known that repeated jabs confuse the immune system so when a new variant attacks, it fails to recognize it as the real threat and instead attacks the ghosts of older variants. Sweden alone continued to experience spikes in deaths well beyond MAR 2022. Was it a coincidence that each major surge in boosters administered was followed by a similar surge in deaths a couple of months later? Final: 2,576 deaths per million people thru 2/18/2024.

United States, population 333 million: The US is known to have exaggerated its death rate by including deaths with COVID. Nevertheless, America’s initial two death spikes rose and fell like both Sweden and the UK and all three increased somewhat when the Delta variant arrived around the middle of 2021. By then the first round of vax had been widely distributed and mandated. The U.S. death trend remained slightly elevated until the end of March 2022. Coincidentally, its downturn in deaths resumed as people became more aware of the vaccine’s deadly side effects and several red states had cancelled their vax mandates. Like in the UK, any dissent was silenced. Final: 3,472 deaths per million people thru 2/18/2024.

India, population 1.4 billion: This huge country posted a consistently low COVID death rate and set an ideal benchmark. India alone encouraged the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) starting immediately when COVID arrived. India’s death rate spiked only once when the Delta variant showed up and HCQ proved less effective. However, their medical establishment reacted quickly to replace it with Ivermectin, and daily deaths once again returned to near zero for the duration. India had access to the vaccines, but it was not a priority. The data confirms that India’s inexpensive treatment protocol saved millions of lives. Final: 376 deaths per million people thru 2/18/2024.

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“..climate activism has become the new religion of the 21st century—heretics are not welcome and not allowed to ask questions..”

Very much like Covid.

Scientists Expose Major Problems With Climate Change Data (ET)

Temperature records used by climate scientists and governments to build models that then forecast dangerous manmade global warming repercussions have serious problems and even corruption in the data, multiple scientists who have published recent studies on the issue told The Epoch Times. The Biden administration leans on its latest National Climate Assessment report as evidence that global warming is accelerating because of human activities. The document states that human emissions of “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide are dangerously warming the Earth. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) holds the same view, and its leaders are pushing major global policy changes in response. But scientific experts from around the world in a variety of fields are pushing back. In peer-reviewed studies, they cite a wide range of flaws with the global temperature data used to reach the dire conclusions; they say it’s time to reexamine the whole narrative.

Problems with temperature data include a lack of geographically and historically representative data, contamination of the records by heat from urban areas, and corruption of the data introduced by a process known as “homogenization.” The flaws are so significant that they make the temperature data—and the models based on it—essentially useless or worse, three independent scientists with the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences (CERES) explained. The experts said that when data corruption is considered, the alleged “climate crisis” supposedly caused by human activities disappears. Instead, natural climate variability offers a much better explanation for what is being observed, they said. Some experts told The Epoch Times that deliberate fraud appeared to be at work, while others suggested more innocent explanations. But regardless of why the problems exist, the implications of the findings are hard to overstate.

With no climate crisis, the justification for trillions of dollars in government spending and costly changes in public policy to restrict carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions collapses, the scientists explained in a series of interviews about their research. “For the last 35 years, the words of the IPCC have been taken to be gospel,” according to astrophysicist and CERES founder Willie Soon. Until recently, he was a researcher working with the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian. “And indeed, climate activism has become the new religion of the 21st century—heretics are not welcome and not allowed to ask questions,” Mr. Soon told The Epoch Times. “But good science demands that scientists are encouraged to question the IPCC’s dogma. The supposed purity of the global temperature record is one of the most sacred dogmas of the IPCC.” The latest U.S. government National Climate Assessment report states: “Human activities are changing the climate. “The evidence for warming across multiple aspects of the Earth system is incontrovertible, and the science is unequivocal that increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases are driving many observed trends and changes.”

In particular, according to the report, this is because of human activities such as burning fossil fuels for transportation, energy, and agriculture. Looking at timescales highlights major problems with this narrative, Mr. Soon said. “When people ask about global warming or climate change, it is essential to ask, ‘Since when?’ The data shows that it has warmed since the 1970s, but that this followed a period of cooling from the 1940s,” he said. While it is “definitely warmer” now than in the 19th century, Mr. Soon said that temperature proxy data show the 19th century “was exceptionally cold.” “It was the end of a period that’s known as the Little Ice Age,” he said.

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Garland

 

 

 

 

VDH

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coil

 

 

Lara Logan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1762536419275293121

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 012024
 
 March 1, 2024  Posted by at 9:38 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) German artist, philosopher, composer, mystic Cosmic Tree

 

West Flirting With Nuclear War – Putin (RT)
What Comes Next As The Ukrainian Army Collapses (Helmer)
How Realistic Is Putin? (Paul Craig Roberts)
West Destroying Its Own Financial System – Putin (RT)
The CIA in Ukraine – The NY Times Gets a Guided Tour (Patrick Lawrence)
CIA in Ukraine (John Kiriakou)
The Internationalization of the Neo-Liberal Shock (Dionísio)
Maddow and Others Denounce SCOTUS for Review of Presidential Immunity (Turley)
Yellen Voices Support For Permanent Inflation (Denninger)
‘State-minus’: Biden’s Palestine Solution (Cradle)
Federal Judge Blocks New Texas Law to Arrest Illegal Immigrants (ET)
Obama’s CIA Asked Foreign Intel Agencies To Spy on Trump Campaign (Chernin)
Hunter Finally Admits Joe Biden Is “The Big Guy” (ZH)
Julian Assange and Gaza Civilians (Amar)
Biden Arrives At Border To Address His Voters (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Not sure what Biden does, but I don’t think it’s called ‘walking’. Closest thing is Elon Musk’s new humanoid robot.

 

 

 

 

WH doc

 

 

 

 


“The judge who just threw Trump off the ballot in Illinois typically “presides over minor traffic violations”

 

 

Loan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1763341500627480884

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..now the consequences for potential invaders would be far more tragic.”

West Flirting With Nuclear War – Putin (RT)

Western officials indulging in escalatory rhetoric should realize that they are effectively invoking the specter of an all-out nuclear war, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned in a speech to legislators in Moscow on Thursday. He also once again accused the West of instigating the Ukraine conflict. Putin addressed the topic in the opening minutes of his annual state-of-the-nation speech, a key event in which the president declares his plans and priorities in a televised address to both houses of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the national legislature. President Putin insisted that recent claims by Western officials that Moscow is planning to attack NATO are “nonsense.” At the same time, those same nations are “selecting targets to conduct strikes on our territory,” the Russian head of state claimed, adding that there is now talk of “deploying NATO military contingents to Ukraine.”

Putin reminded would-be aggressors that all previous attempts to conquer Russia have ended in failure, warning that “now the consequences for potential invaders would be far more tragic.” He pointed out that Russia has a massive nuclear arsenal, which is in a state of “complete readiness for guaranteed deployment.” “Everything that they are thinking up now, that they are scaring the world with, it all really poses the threat of a conflict involving nuclear weapons, and therefore, the destruction of civilization. Don’t they understand this?” The Russian president suggested that Western politicians making those escalatory remarks “have already forgotten what war is.” Unlike Russians, who have faced “difficult trials” in recent decades, Westerners apparently “think that these are just some cartoons,” President Putin opined.

The Russian president’s remarks came after his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, toyed with the idea of a potential ground deployment of Western militaries to Ukraine while talking to reporters on Monday, saying “in terms of dynamics, we cannot exclude anything.” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hastened to emphasize that “there are no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in turn, declared that there will be “no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil, who are sent there by European or NATO countries” in the future. The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland also chimed in with similar assurances. Commenting on Macron’s remark, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that such a development would mean that “we have to talk not about the probability, but rather the inevitability” of an all-out military confrontation between NATO and Russia.

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“I would like to remind you that just a month ago, the French Foreign Minister denied Paris’s involvement in recruiting mercenaries for the Kiev regime, and called direct evidence ‘crude Russian propaganda.’”

What Comes Next As The Ukrainian Army Collapses (Helmer)

The collapse of the Ukrainian army following the battle of Avdeyevka, and its disorganized retreat, have accelerated Russian military thinking of how far westward the NATO allies will decide that the Ukrainian statelet can be defended against the expected Russian advance – and how fast new NATO defences can be created without the protection of ground-to-air missile batteries like Patriot, long-range artillery like the M777, and mobile armour like the Abrams, Bradley, and Caesar: all of them have already been defeated in the east. In short, there is no longer a NATO-command line of fortification east of the Polish border which deters the Russian General Staff. Also, no bunker for the Zelensky government and its NATO advisors to feel secure. Cutting and pasting from the Russian military bloggers and the Moscow analytical media, as a handful of US podcasters and substackers are doing as often as their subscribers require, is the Comfy-Armchair method for getting at the truth.

Reading the Russian sources directly, with the understanding that they are reporting what their military and intelligence sources are saying off the record, is still armchair generalship, but less comfy, more credible. Offence is now the order of the day up and down the contact line. The daily bulletin from the Ministry of Defense in Moscow calls this “improving the tactical situation” and “taking more advantageous positions”. In the past three days, Monday through Wednesday, the Defense Ministry also reported the daily casualty rate of the Ukrainian forces at 1,175, 1,065, and 695, respectively; three M777 howitzer hits; and the first Abrams tank to be destroyed. Because this source is blocked in several of the NATO states, the Russian military bloggers, which reproduce the bulletins along with videoclips and maps, may be more accessible; also more swiftly than the US-based podcasters and substackers can keep up.

Moscow sources confirm the obvious: the operational objective is to apply more and more pressure at more and more points along the line, in as many sectors or salients (“directions” is the Russian term) as possible simultaneously. At the same time, air attack, plus missiles and drones, are striking all rear Ukrainian and NATO airfield, road, and rail nodes, ammunition storages, vehicle parks, drone manufactories, fuel dumps, and other supply infrastructure, so as make reinforcement and redeployment more difficult and perilous. What cannot be seen are the Russian concentrations of forces aimed in the north, centre and south of the battlefield. Instead, there is what one source calls “an educated guess is that when the main blow comes, it will be North, Chernigov, Sumy, Kharkov, Poltava, or Centre, Dniepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, or both simultaneously.” For timing, the source adds, “after the Russian election.”

That is now less than three weeks away, on March 17. President Vladimir Putin will then reform his new government within four to six weeks for announcement by early May. Ministerial appointments sensitive to the General Staff’s planning are the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is expected to remain in place; and the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who may retire. Following the call of French President Emmanuel Macron for the “possibility” of French ground force deployment to the Ukraine battlefield, and the subsequent clarification by French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu, the Russian assessment has been derisory. “As for Emmanuel Macron’s statements about the possibility of sending NATO troops to Ukraine,” replied Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova, “I would like to remind you that just a month ago, the French Foreign Minister denied Paris’s involvement in recruiting mercenaries for the Kiev regime, and called direct evidence ‘crude Russian propaganda.’

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“The West is unreasonable. Putin still thinks he can reason with the West. This is a mistake that is fatal for mankind.”

How Realistic Is Putin? (Paul Craig Roberts)

As readers know, I am concerned that Putin’s tolerance of a too-long-continuing-Ukraine-conflict is encouraging the conflict to spin-out-of-control. I have written about this risk neglected by the Kremlin many times. On February 27 I was interviewed by Finian Cunningham about this risk. If the interview is posted online, I will link to it hopefully before it is taken down by the narrative controllers. There is no doubt that I have been proven correct that the provocations, accepted by the Kremlin with only words in opposition, have increased in severity over the past two years. First the West would send to the Ukrainians helmets and sleeping bags. Then small arms ammunition. Then artillery. Tanks were mentioned, but Washington and NATO said, “never tanks.” Then tanks were sent. Then, after first being denied, drones and intermediate-range missiles. Then targeting information. Then mercenaries.

Then after being denied, now long-range missiles and US F-16s capable of penetrating deep into Russia herself far from the battlefront are under consideration. And now the latest, the French President’s proposal to send NATO troops. “We will never send troops,” declares NATO’s Stoltenberg. But all the denials previously were breached and meant nothing. So the question before us is: Has Putin reduced the threat of the conflict spinning out of control by fighting it on a low key basis limited to Donbass and the Russian areas, or has his low-key behavior convinced Washington’s neoconservatives that Putin is a paper tiger who will accept any provocation and any insult. If the latter, the provocations will increase in severity until the conflict spins out of control. Clearly from helmets to NATO troops is an immense escalation. Putin understands that the West intends Russia’s destruction, so why does he prolong conflicts that provide opportunities for the West to expand conflict?

The Kremlin and the Western media whores see the fundamental issue as Ukraine becoming a member of NATO. The neoconservatives who control US foreign policy seem to think that Putin will stand aside from this just as he did from being called by the President of the United States “the new Hitler” and “a son-of-a-bitch.” No American official of any rank ever spoke in public of Soviet leaders in such terms. On his way to Reykjavik, Iceland, for his meeting with Gorbachev, Reagan told his entourage that one word of rudeness to the Soviet officials and you were fired on the spot. Reagan’s goal was to end the Cold War, and he did. It was the neoconservatives and the US military/security complex that restarted it. As the deceased Steven Cohen and I emphasized, the threat of nuclear war today is much higher than during the Cold War.

In those years, leaders on both sides worked to reduce tensions and to achieve mutual security that would reduce the danger of nuclear confrontation. I was part of the effort and perhaps I am one of a small handful of people still alive who know and lived the experience. Once the Soviet Union collapsed when the Politburo placed Russian President Gorbachev under house arrest, the neoconservatives saw their chance at world hegemony and began their assault on Russia. All of the security-enhancing agreements worked out over the years of the Cold War were cancelled by Washington. NATO’ Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is Washington’s puppet. But he is not sufficiently stupid to knowingly start a war with Russia. Who can possibly imagine Europe, which is incapable of protecting its own borders from being over-run by unarmed immigrant-invaders, possibly fighting Russia. The war, if Putin could bring himself to fight it, would be over in a few minutes.

[..] It is Putin’s refusal to impose restraint on a weak and collapsing West that is leading to nuclear Armageddon. I am not writing because I want a Russian victory. I am writing because I do not want nuclear Armageddon. The West is unreasonable. Putin still thinks he can reason with the West. This is a mistake that is fatal for mankind.

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“They’re sawing off a branch they’ve been sitting on for decades..”

West Destroying Its Own Financial System – Putin (RT)

The West is discrediting its own currencies and banking system, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday, adding that the established monopolies and stereotypes in the global economy are crumbling. “The West itself is discrediting its own currencies and banking system. They’re sawing off a branch they’ve been sitting on for decades,” Putin said. Meanwhile, Russia together with so-called ‘friendly’ nations will focus on creating new financial infrastructure that will be free from politics as it seeks to unite efforts in the face of global challenges, he said. The president was referring to the global trend of moving toward using national currencies in trade rather than the US dollar that has gained significant momentum after Russia was cut off from the Western financial system and had its foreign reserves frozen in 2022.

A number of both Russian and foreign officials have repeatedly warned that the US currency has long been used as a weapon, noting that such actions have prompted countries around the world to reduce their dependence on the greenback. Putin emphasized that Moscow is working with its allies on the basis of equality and respect of mutual interests. Because of this, he said, more and more countries are seeking to join groups such as BRICS, the Eurasian Economic Union, and Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Together with its partners Russia will continue building “safe” transport corridors based on new technology and create a new global financial network “free from political interference” at a time when the world economy, trade and finance are undergoing rapid changes, the president noted.

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“..They cannot afford to lose a war they cannot win..”

The CIA in Ukraine – The NY Times Gets a Guided Tour (Patrick Lawrence)

If you have paid attention to what various polls and officials in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West have been doing and saying about Ukraine lately, you know the look and sound of desperation. You would be desperate, too, if you were making a case for a war Ukrainians are on the brink of losing and will never, brink or back-from-the-brink, have any chance of winning. Atop this, you want people who know better, including 70 percent of Americans according to a recent poll, to keep investing extravagant sums in this ruinous folly. And here is what seems to me the true source of angst among these desperados: Having painted this war as a cosmic confrontation between the world’s democrats and the world’s authoritarians, the people who started it and want to prolong it have painted themselves into a corner. They cannot lose it. They cannot afford to lose a war they cannot win: This is what you see and hear from all those good-money-after-bad people still trying to persuade you that a bad war is a good war and that it is right that more lives and money should be pointlessly lost to it.

Everyone must act for the cause in these dire times. You have Chuck Schumer in Kyiv last week trying to show House Republicans that they should truly, really authorize the Biden regime to spend an additional $61 billion on its proxy war with Russia. “Everyone we saw, from Zelensky on down made this very point clear,” the Democratic senator from New York asserted in an interview with The New York Times. “If Ukraine gets the aid, they will win the war and beat Russia.” Even at this late hour people still have the nerve to say such things. You have European leaders gathering in Paris Monday to reassure one another of their unity behind the Kyiv regime—and where Emmanuel Macron refused to rule out sending NATO ground troops to the Ukrainian front. “Russia cannot and must not win this war,” the French president declared to his guests at the Elysée Palace. Except that it can and, barring an act of God, it will.

Then you have Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s war-mongering sec-gen, telling Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty last week that it will be fine if Kyiv uses F–16s to attack Russian cities once they are operational this summer. The U.S.–made fighter jets, the munitions, the money—all of it is essential “to ensure Russia doesn’t make further gains.” Stephen Bryen, formerly a deputy undersecretary at the Defense Department, offered an excellent response to this over the weekend in his Weapons and Strategy newsletter: “Fire Jens Stoltenberg before it is too late.” Good thought, but Stoltenberg, Washington’s longtime water-carrier in Brussels, is merely doing his job as assigned: Keep up the illusions as to Kyiv’s potency and along with it the Russophobia, the more primitive the better. You do not get fired for irresponsible rhetoric that risks something that might look a lot like World War III.

What would a propaganda blitz of this breadth and stupidity be without an entry from The New York Times? Given the extent to which The Times has abandoned all professional principle in the service of the power it is supposed to report upon, you just knew it would have to get in on this one. The Times has published very numerous pieces in recent weeks on the necessity of keeping the war going and the urgency of a House vote authorizing that $61 billion Biden’s national security people want to send Ukraine. But never mind all those daily stories. Last Sunday it came out with its big banana. “The Spy War: How the C.I.A. Secretly Helps Ukraine Fight Putin” sprawls—lengthy text, numerous photographs. The latter show the usual wreckage—cars, apartment buildings, farmhouses, a snowy dirt road lined with landmines.

But the story that goes with it is other than usual. Somewhere in Washington, someone appears to have decided it was time to let the Central Intelligence Agency’s presence and programs in Ukraine be known. And someone in Langley, the CIA’s headquarters, seems to have decided this will be O.K., a useful thing to do. When I say the agency’s presence and programs, I mean some: We get a very partial picture of the CIA’s doings in Ukraine, as the lies of omission—not to mention the lies of commission—are numerous in this piece. But what The Times published last weekend, all 5,500 words of it, tells us more than had been previously made public.

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“If Republicans in Congress end military funding to Kiev, the CIA may have to scale back.”

CIA in Ukraine (John Kiriakou)

The New York Times on February 25 published an explosive story of what purports to be the history of the CIA in Ukraine from the Maidan coup of 2014 to the present. The story, “The Spy War: How the CIA Secretly Helps Ukraine Fight Putin,” is one of initial bilateral distrust, but a mutual fear and hatred of Russia, that progresses to a relationship so intimate that Ukraine is now one of the CIA’s closest intelligence partners in the world. At the same time, the Times’ publication of the piece, which reporters claimed relied on more than 200 interviews in Ukraine, the US, and “several European countries,” raises multiple questions: Why did the CIA not object to the article’s publication, especially with it being in one of the Agency’s preferred outlets? When the CIA approaches a newspaper to complain about the classified information it contains, the piece is almost always killed or severely edited. Newspaper publishers are patriots, after all. Right?

Was the article published because the CIA wanted the news out there? Perhaps more important was the point of the article to influence the Congressional budget deliberations on aid to Ukraine? After all, was the article really just meant to brag about how great the CIA is? Or was it to warn Congressional appropriators, “Look how much we’ve accomplished to confront the Russian bear. You wouldn’t really let it all go to waste, would you?” The Times’ article has all the hallmarks of a deep, inside look at a sensitive—possibly classified—subject. It goes into depth on one of the intelligence community’s Holy of Holies, an intelligence liaison relationship, something that no intelligence officer is ever supposed to discuss. But in the end, it really isn’t so sensitive. It doesn’t tell us anything that every American hasn’t already assumed. Maybe we hadn’t had it spelled out in print before, but we all believed that the CIA was helping Ukraine fight the Russians. We had already seen reporting that the CIA had “boots on the ground” in Ukraine and that the U.S. government was training Ukrainian special forces and Ukrainian pilots, so there’s nothing new there.

The article goes a little further in detail, although, again, without providing anything that might endanger sources and methods. For example, it tells us that: • There is a CIA listening post in the forest along the Russian border, one of 12 “secret” bases the US maintains there. One or more of these posts helped to prove Russia’s involvement in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. That’s great. But the revelation exposes no secrets and tells us nothing new. • Ukrainian intelligence officials helped the Americans “go after” the Russian operatives “who meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.” I have a news flash for the New York Times: The Mueller report found that there was no meaningful Russian meddling in the 2016 election. And what does “go after” mean? • Beginning in 2016, the CIA trained an “elite Ukrainian commando force known as Unit 2245, which captured Russian drones and communications gear so that CIA technicians could reverse-engineer them and crack Moscow’s encryption systems.” This is exactly what the CIA is supposed to do. Honestly, if the CIA hadn’t been doing this, I would have suggested a class action lawsuit for the American people to get their tax money back. Besides, the CIA has been doing things like this for decades. The CIA was able to obtain important components of Soviet tactical weapons from ostensibly pro-Soviet Romania in the 1970s.

• Ukraine has turned into an intelligence-gathering hub that has intercepted more Russian communications than the CIA station in Kiev could initially handle. Again, I would expect nothing less. After all, that’s where the war is. So of course, communications will be intercepted there. As to the CIA station being overwhelmed, the Times never tells us if that is because the station was a one-man operation at the time or whether it had thousands of employees and was still overwhelmed. It’s all about scale. • And lest you think that the CIA and the U.S. government were on the offensive in Ukraine, the article makes clear that, “Mr. Putin and his advisers misread a critical dynamic. The CIA didn’t push its way into Ukraine. U.S. officials were often reluctant to fully engage, fearing that Ukrainian officials could not be trusted, and worrying about provoking the Kremlin.” It’s at this point in the article that the Times reveals what I believe to be the buried lead: “Now these intelligence networks are more important than ever, as Russia is on the offensive and Ukraine is more dependent on sabotage and long-range missile strikes that require spies far behind enemy lines. And they are increasingly at risk: “If Republicans in Congress end military funding to Kiev, the CIA may have to scale back.”

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Dionísio starts off talking about Astrid Klein, not Naomi. Normally such mistakes would make me switch off. But I like the topic of The Shock Doctrine on a wider scale.

The Internationalization of the Neo-Liberal Shock (Dionísio)

Looking at the present day, under the light of the formulation revealed by Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” is an enlightening challenge and absolutely reveals the historical importance of the analysis that is carried out, even if, in my opinion, it suffers from a certain “historical punctuality” considering the moments of application of a process that has come to be known as “neo-liberal economic shock theory”. Klein’s analysis, based on known historical facts, recounts secret CIA experiments in psychology and psychiatry, the application of the techniques in Pinochet’s Chile and many other countries (including post-Soviet Russia), and the neo-liberal doctrine of Milton Friedman’s “Chicago Boys”, tells us of a process whereby the population is put into a permanent state of shock in order to leave it unresponsive (as in lobotomy treatments), so that, under the cover of the generated amorphism, extremely unpopular measures are applied which, above all, are diametrically opposed to the interests of the majority.

The very process of discrediting politics and politicians also serves as a pretext for the same type of action. Take Trump, Bolsonaro, Milei, Meloni, Duda or Zelensky. The kind of demagogic shock (using corruption, mass migration, etc.) gives birth to a pretext that works under the same assumptions. However, and bearing in mind the unquestionable topicality of the approach, analyzing the world today according to this theory reveals a truth that, in my opinion, negates the idea of a certain “historical punctuality” of the neo-liberal economic shock. In my opinion, Naomi Klein’s approach, at that time, showed us a world in which the US was unleashing — and is unleashing — processes of transformation aimed at subverting the national and popular sovereignty, democracy and freedom of the peoples, in order to place their nations at the service of the process of neo-liberal and imperialist accumulation.

The successive clashes are taking place in circumscribed national spaces and in a chronology whose origins go back to Pinochet’s Chile, but which lacks a certain continuity, as if we were dealing with a gang that was jumping from country to country, without ever reaching the whole. Now, while Klein’s approach proposes a certain national circumscription, the historical events of the last 23 years point us towards a globalization or internationalization of the shock doctrine, towards its historical continuity and towards a totalizing dimension, encompassing all dimensions of our lives from the outset and not just on arrival. Given what we know today, I can’t help but think that the chronologically linked examples of the application of the shock doctrine are nothing more than experiments, constantly being perfected, aimed at an epilogue, an epilogue that we are experiencing today. The globalization and internationalization of the neo-liberal shock, along with its phenomenological diversification.

It no longer only affects the economic or social component, but also health, the state, security, defense, information and propaganda. This is the clear materialization of another doctrine, the doctrine of “full spectrum dominance”. With the turn of the 21st century, everything changed! On September 11, 2001, the world was shocked by a terrorist attack of spectacular proportions, which culminated in the collapse of three towers in New York. As if Hollywood had been asked to prepare a terrorist attack. The American — and Western — population was in a state of shock, stunned, and we soon began to see direct attacks on the way of life that so many considered to be eternal — remember Fukuyama — and historically perfected. In the US, we saw the publication of the Patriot Act and the start of the War on Terror. State surveillance became part of American life and, a little later, European life, particularly after renewed waves of terrorist shocks in Spain, England and France.

The proven link between the perpetrators of terrorist acts — Al-Qaeda — and their creators, very few took, or wanted to take, notice of. Today, we go into a supermarket, visit a museum, make a phone call or take a photograph and we have the guarantee that, somewhere in space, that information will be processed, aggregated, integrated, analyzed and stored. Terrorism has become part of our lives and, under that pretext, mass surveillance. Bin Laden became the devil himself, the demon who terrorized the dreams of our little children, who would be protected by the omnipresent Pentagon and other “deep state” agencies. It was this “deep state” that took the opportunity to generalize and normalize torture, concentration camps like Guantánamo and the secret, or not so secret, prisons where all those who oppose the imperial designs are still held today. It was time to internationalize the terror that the Middle East had felt almost since the founding of the Anglo-Saxon spearhead in the region, the Zionist state of Israel and its infamous Mossad.

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The Supreme Court will have to issue an opinion, whether it likes to or not.

Maddow and Others Denounce SCOTUS for Review of Presidential Immunity (Turley)

Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted review of the presidential immunity question, but set an expedited schedule for the review of the question with oral argument scheduled for April. Former president Donald Trump wrote on Truth Social that “Legal Scholars are extremely thankful for the Supreme Court’s Decision today to take up Presidential Immunity.” As I mentioned last night in the coverage, legal scholars are hardly doing a conga line in celebration. Indeed, this morning had the usual voices attacking the Court as “craven” and partisan for granting review in the case. Despite the Court (including three Trump appointees) repeatedly ruling against Trump and conservative causes in past cases, the same voices declared that the Court was a cabal of politically compromised lickspittles.

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow was outraged on the air and denounced “the cravenness of the court.” She noted that the Court took a whole two weeks to consider the question, ignoring the usual schedule of months of such deliberation. She added: “Obviously, pushing all of the cases that they can push to a point where Trump will be standing for election before any of us have heard the verdicts in any of those cases. Got it. It is the timing…This is BS, and you are doing this as a tactic to help for political friend, partisan patron. For you to say that this is something the court needs to decide because it is unclear in the law is fragrant bullpucky and they know it and don’t care that we know it. That is disturbing about the future legitimacy of the court.” Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner dismissed the review as a political effort to do Trump “an enormous favor.” Kirschner also said that it was “clear” the court “sold American democracy down the river” to help Trump.

Mary Trump, the niece of the former president, declared that “the Supreme Court of the United States just reminded us with this corrupt decision that the insurrection did not fail–it never ended.” In other words, the Supreme Court itself is now part of the “insurrection.” It is that easy. Once you start to remove people from the ballot by declaring a riot an insurrection, even courts become insurrectionists by allowing for a review of lower court rulings. For years, liberal law professors and pundits have filled the media with dire predictions that the Supreme Court was about to carry out a long-planned “coup” and “power grab” — one even wrote that the court could be on the brink of establishing “one-party rule” in the United States. These commentators often ignore the countervailing cases where conservative justices voted against conservative causes and immediately return to these sensational claims whenever the Court is seen as a hinderance of their agenda, even in the simple act of granting review of a long-debated constitutional question.

[..] There are a variety of reasons why the Court could have put this on the calendar for further argument. While I still believe that Trump will not be able to secure a majority on his sweeping immunity theory, some justices may be concerned over D.C. Circuit opinion and the lack of clarity on when a president is protected for actions taken in office. It is possible to uphold the lower court in its outcome but change the rationale or analysis. The Court has not been particularly eager to reenter this area of constitutional law, but it may now be prepared to lay down new precedent and bring greater clarity for future presidents.

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“..The inflation of the last few years is directly traceable to the end of this practice, and it was our sanctions that caused it…”

Yellen Voices Support For Permanent Inflation (Denninger)

No, seriously, that’s exactly what she’s now promoting (although I doubt she realizes it): WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday offered her strongest public support yet for the idea of liquidating roughly $300 billion in frozen Russian Central Bank assets and using them for Ukraine’s long-term reconstruction. “It is necessary and urgent for our coalition to find a way to unlock the value of these immobilized assets to support Ukraine’s continued resistance and long-term reconstruction,” Yellen said in remarks in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors are meeting this week.” In other words, steal the funds. Yellen goes on to say she believes there is a strong international law case for stealing the funds. Well perhaps there is and perhaps not; I will not pass judgment on whether one can find justification in international law for such an action.

I can and will, however, pass judgment on the immediate and permanent outcome of such an action, because that is both obvious and inevitable. It will force trade settlement into all bilateral currency forms immediately and permanently. Now this might not sound so bad and were our government not running a ~7% fiscal deficit right now it might not be. But we are running a 7% fiscal deficit, and kneecapping having trade settlement performed in dollars — or Euros — or Pounds — or whatever else by taking this action will permanently and immediately force all fiscal deficits (not just in the US) to reflect back into that nation’s economy in the form of inflation. We have, in the United States, benefited to an enormous degree from this temporary sequestration over the last 20 years. That was unwound to a large degree when the first round of sanctions was laid and now effectively all trade with either side of the Russian / Ukraine conflict is no longer using dollars as a funding currency.

Why does this matter? Because if that trade goes from $1 trillion a year to $2 trillion a year during the period of time when it increases there is $1 trillion in deficit spending that is effectively “impounded” while the goods are in transit. It is the increase in such trade that drives this, not the volume (since once the transaction settles those funds wind up back into the flow of commerce in the US.) But as international commerce has expanded and the dollar and, to a lesser extent the Euro, were used as the currencies while in-transit our nations have enjoyed a sizeable “sink” for deficit spending without having it immediately rebound back into consumer and producer prices. The inflation of the last few years is directly traceable to the end of this practice, and it was our sanctions that caused it. The Covid deficit spending was certainly a factor but much of that was absorbed and would have stayed absorbed as trade rebounded post pandemic but for our sanctions activity when the war in Ukraine broke out.

Now Yellen claims that the “frozen” assets were not just sequestered — she wants to take them. Most of these funds are in the EU, not the US — but the problem with the action is that producers and customers have no way to influence or prevent such an action by their government in the future and thus this is an external risk that can only be controlled by not exposing yourself to it; thus you demand payment in your local currency. Removing this leg of the stool leaves only one way to get inflation under control: Deficit spending must be cut to no more than the increase in productivity in the economy. When the “PIGS” problems showed up in Europe the EU’s response to this was to mandate no more than a 3% fiscal deficit — which reasonably aligns with productivity.

Meeting this today in the United States would require a cut in federal spending of more than $1 trillion dollars this fiscal year alone, and an escalating amount as existing treasury debt is rolled over at higher rates. Within the next two to three years the total cut required would be more than two trillion or approximately the entire Medicare and Medicaid spend this fiscal year. If that’s not done? We will get runaway — exponentially so — inflationary pressure and be forced to do it anyway at even greater levels of economic pain. If you are betting on lower rates at any time in the next decade, given this position of our government, you’re going to be sorely disappointed both in the outcome and in asset prices.

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“..the Biden administration refuses to clarify what it means by a ‘Palestinian state.’”

‘State-minus’: Biden’s Palestine Solution (Cradle)

Is it sadly ironic that the issue of Palestinian statehood – unresolved for over 75 years – has resurfaced only after Israel’s wholesale carpet-bombing of the Gaza Strip, killing over 30,000 civilians, injuring tens of thousands more, and destroying significant swathes of the territory’s infrastructure. University of California (UCLA) historian James Gelvin states the case plainly: “There would have been no serious discussion of a two-state solution without [the events of] 7 October. As a matter of fact, putting the Palestine issue back on the front burner of international and West Asian politics was one of the reasons Hamas launched its operation.” As Gelvin explains it to The Cradle, Hamas has already scored several victories since its Al-Aqsa Flood operation: “The Palestine issue is back on the international agenda, it is negotiating the release of its captives as an equal partner to Israel,” and has demonstrated that it is “more effective in realizing Palestinian goals than its rival, Fatah.”

While the unprecedented, brutal Israeli military response has indeed illustrated the urgency for establishing a Palestinian safe haven, it is impossible to ignore that western state backers of the 1993 Oslo Accords – which laid out the essential framework for the establishment of a Palestinian state – have then so assiduously ignored and neglected that responsibility. Even greater hypocrisy emerges from the fact that these western powers, led by Washington, have now decided to force the discussion of Palestinian statehood in the midst of Gaza’s carnage, with an Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is infamously opposed to it. So, why is this debate possible now? Why was it ignored before 7 October – or even prior to Netanyahu’s return to the prime ministership?

After enormous public and international pressure, US President Joe Biden has, at least rhetorically, reopened the issue of Palestinian statehood. According to the New York Times, the Biden White House’s new doctrine would “involve some form of US recognition of a demilitarized Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in return for strong Palestinian guarantees that their institutions could never threaten Israel.” In addition, the US president’s plan also envisages Saudi–Israeli normalization and a tough military stance against Iran and its regional allies. However, many analysts have already raised questions about the viability of a plan that does not reflect current ground realities.

While Netanyahu rejects the very notion of a Palestinian state, the ‘Biden doctrine’ and its offering of some limited-sovereignty version of a demilitarized Palestinian state is nothing less than humiliating for Palestinians. Dr Muhannad Ayyash, Professor of Sociology at Mount Royal University, observes that there is no fundamental change of approach by the US on this issue. In short, the Biden administration refuses to clarify what it means by a ‘Palestinian state.’ Its initiative appears mainly to advance a form of a two-state solution that would be palatable to Israel. Ayyash points out that the key issues related to Palestinian statehood are left unanswered, including the issue of sovereignty, Jewish settlements, the status of East Jerusalem, a necessary West Bank/East Jerusalem with the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian right to return, and so forth.

Aid

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“I haven’t seen, and the state of Texas can’t point me to any type of military invasion in Texas,” Judge Ezra said.”

Federal Judge Blocks New Texas Law to Arrest Illegal Immigrants (ET)

A federal judge on Feb. 29 temporarily blocked a Texas law that would allow state police to arrest people who are suspected of illegally crossing the U.S.–Mexico border. Senate Bill 4, which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in December 2023, was slated to go into effect on March 5. However, U.S. District Judge David Ezra ruled that it violated the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause that grants the federal government sole authority over immigration matters. The judge also rejected Texas’s arguments that it was being invaded under the Constitution’s Article IV. In his order, Judge Ezra, a Reagan appointee, said the law would run afoul of federal immigration laws and claimed Texas would then be able to “permanently supersede federal directives,” which would “amount to nullification of federal law and authority.”

According to the judge, that’s a “notion that is antithetical to the Constitution and has been unequivocally rejected by federal courts since the Civil War.” As a result, he argued, the federal government would “suffer grave irreparable harm” because other states would be inspired to pass similar measures. “SB 4 threatens the fundamental notion that the United States must regulate immigration with one voice,” he wrote. At a Feb. 15 hearing, Judge Ezra expressed skepticism as the state pleaded its case for what is known as Senate Bill 4. He also said he was somewhat sympathetic to the concerns expressed by Mr. Abbott and other state officials about the unprecedented influx of illegal aliens. Judge Ezra then expressed his concern that the United States could become a confederation of states enforcing their own immigration laws. “That is the same thing the Civil War said you can’t do,” he told the attorneys.

A lawyer for the state of Texas argued in court that because of the deluge of illegal immigrants, enabled by drug cartels and smugglers, it’s tantamount to an invasion and that the state has the right to defend itself under the Constitution. However, the judge said that while he was “sympathetic” to the state’s concerns, he was skeptical of the lawyer’s argument. “I haven’t seen, and the state of Texas can’t point me to any type of military invasion in Texas,” Judge Ezra said. “I don’t see evidence that Texas is at war.” Hours later, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton confirmed that he filed an appeal against the judge’s ruling, describing it as an “incorrect decision.” “Texas has a clear right to defend itself from the drug smugglers, human traffickers, cartels, and legions of illegal aliens crossing into our State as a consequence of the Biden Administration’s deliberate policy choices,” he said.

“I will do everything possible to defend Texas’s right to defend herself against the catastrophic illegal invasion encouraged by the federal government.” Mr. Abbott, a Republican, has backed the law, saying that it would complement his efforts to provide better border security, noting that his state has dealt with a surge of illegal crossings in recent years. Other measures that Mr. Abbott has implemented are a barrier in the Rio Grande, razor wire barriers at certain border crossings, and prohibiting federal agents who have been tasked by the Biden administration with undoing the measures from accessing border areas in Texas. Other state Republicans who back the law have said it wouldn’t target immigrants already living in the United States because of a two-year statute of limitations on the illegal entry charge and would be enforced only along the state’s border with Mexico.

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“We must not allow the politicization of intelligence to go unchecked, nor can we tolerate the involvement of foreign powers in our democratic processes.”

Obama’s CIA Asked Foreign Intel Agencies To Spy on Trump Campaign (Chernin)

The revelation that the U.S. intelligence community, under the Obama administration, sought the assistance of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance to surveil Donald Trump’s associates before the 2016 election is a chilling reminder of the lengths to which the Deep State will go to protect its interests and challenge its adversaries. (The Five Eyes countries are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.) This bombshell, reported by a team of independent journalists, exposes a dark chapter in American political history, where foreign intelligence services were reportedly mobilized against a presidential candidate. The alleged operation against Trump and his associates, which predates the official start of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, is a stark example of political weaponization of intelligence.

The involvement of foreign allies in surveilling American citizens under the pretext of national security raises serious questions about the integrity of our democratic processes and the autonomy of our nation’s intelligence operations. The narrative that has been pushed for years, that the investigation into Trump’s campaign began with an Australian tip about a boastful Trump aide, now appears to be a cover for a more extensive and coordinated effort to undermine Trump. If reports are accurate, British intelligence began targeting Trump on behalf of American intelligence agencies as early as 2015, long before the official narrative claims.

The implications of this are profound. It suggests an unprecedented level of collusion between U.S. intelligence agencies and their foreign counterparts to influence the outcome of an American presidential election. The use of foreign intelligence to circumvent American laws and surveillance limitations represents a grave threat to our nation’s sovereignty and the principles of democracy. The fact that this operation was reportedly initiated at the behest of high-ranking officials within the Obama administration, including CIA Director John Brennan, only adds to the severity of the situation. Brennan’s alleged identification of Trump associates for surveillance by the Five Eyes alliance, and the directive to “bump” or make contact with them, illustrates a deliberate strategy to entangle the Trump campaign in a web of suspicion and intrigue.

Moreover, the reported involvement of foreign intelligence in crafting the Russia collusion narrative not only delegitimizes the subsequent investigation but also highlights the willingness of certain elements within the U.S. government to exploit international partnerships for domestic political gain. This revelation demands a thorough and transparent examination to ensure that such abuses of power are brought to light and severely punished to discourage them from being repeated. As more details emerge, it is imperative that the American public demand accountability from those who orchestrated and executed this operation. The sanctity of our electoral process and the trust in our intelligence agencies are at stake. We must not allow the politicization of intelligence to go unchecked, nor can we tolerate the involvement of foreign powers in our democratic processes.

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“Hunter’s stated purpose for joining Burisma’s board is a new claim that indicates bizarre reasoning never before revealed..”

Hunter Finally Admits Joe Biden Is “The Big Guy” (ZH)

Hunter Biden on Wednesday testified to Congress that his father, Joe, was indeed “the big guy” referenced in an email pertaining to a business deal with a Chinese state-linked energy company that made the Biden family and friends millions of dollars. He denied, however, that Joe Biden ever received a 10% stake as was indicated in the text message. “At one point, we asked Hunter about the 10% for the ‘big guy,’” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told Breitbart News following the first son’s six-hour, closed-door deposition. “We showed him the email … And he said, ‘Oh, that was after my father left office.’” she told the outlet. Hunter then tried to downplay the 10% idea: “What’s wrong with having a pie-in-the-sky idea? When he [Joe Biden] left office in 2017, it thought he was done. I had no idea was gonna run for president. What’s wrong with just some pie?’ … thinking that he [Joe Biden] could be in the business.” -Breitbart

Greene said that Hunter insisted that “there was no percentage for my father in the business,” and that the 20 speakerphone calls Joe Biden joined was considered normal. “He was saying it’s totally normal for your parents to call you,” said Greene. “He just totally kept on saying, ‘Oh, this is normal. This is normal.'” “Greene also confirmed Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-KY) statement that Hunter testified he joined the board of Burisma Holdings to counter Russian aggression. “He said he was picked to serve on Burisma ‘s board to defend democracy and Burisma was stopping Russian aggression,” Greene said. Hunter’s stated purpose for joining Burisma’s board is a new claim that indicates bizarre reasoning never before revealed. In 2015, Burisma was under suspicion of money laundering and public corruption. Prosecutor Victor Shokin investigated the case before his termination due to pressure from then-Vice President Joe Biden, who threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid from Ukraine if the Ukrainian government did not fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma. Joe Biden later bragged about the firing during a 2018 appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations.” -Breitbart

According to Greene, Republicans need to “get ready” for Democrats to fabricate another Russian disinformation hoax related to Hunter and the 2024 election – and that it would likely fit the media’s existing narrative against both Trump and protecting the Biden family. “I have a prediction that they’re gonna move it on to members of Congress like me and others, Jim Jordan, Jamie Comer, any of us that got hot and heavy on this Ukraine Burisma stuff, that they’re somehow going to say that Republicans are Russian sympathizers. They’re gonna call me that anyway, because I won’t fund the Ukraine war. They’re probably going to accuse us of being Russian sympathizers and falling for Russian disinformation and its election meddling. And then Democratic members of Congress here already saying they will not certify Trump’s election if he wins.” -MTG “It was there’s a really weird theme in there with the whole Russian thing,” said Greene.

In November, the House Oversight Committee revealed that President Biden received $40,000 in Chinese funds which were “laundered” through his brother, James Biden, in a “complicated financial transaction” marked as a ‘loan,’ which took place just weeks after Hunter Biden threatened the Chinese with his father’s wrath in a July 30, 2017 text message to a CEFC China Energy employee. “The alleged 2017 transfer from first brother James Biden to the future president involves the same business deal in which Joe Biden was called the “big guy” and penciled in for a 10% cut — and would be the first proven instance of the commander-in-chief getting a piece of his family’s foreign income…. The money ended up in Joe Biden’s bank account on Sept. 3, 2017, via a check labeled “loan repayment” from his younger brother, who partnered with Hunter in the venture”. -NY Post

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“..a plethora of political pathologies, including merciless cruelty, politicized “justice,” mass media disinformation, and, last but not least, that old specialty of the “garden” West, peak hypocrisy.”

Julian Assange and Gaza Civilians (Amar)

Recently, two of the defining injustices of the contemporary West have been the object of legal proceedings. And while one involves mass murder and the other the torture but not murder of a single victim (at least not yet), there are good reasons to juxtapose the two systematically. The suffering involved is different, but the forces that cause it are intricately linked and, as we will see, reveal much about the nature of the West as a political order. In The Hague, the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) – also known as the World Court – has held extensive hearings (involving 52 states and three international organizations) on Israel’s post-1967 occupation – or de facto annexation – of Palestinian territories. These hearings are connected to, but are not the same as, the genocide case against Israel also currently proceeding at the ICJ.

All of this is happening against the backdrop of Israel’s relentless genocide of the Palestinians by bombing, shooting (reportedly including small children, in the head), blockade, and starvation. As of now, the constantly growing – and conservative – victim count stands at about 30,000 killed, 70,000 injured, 7,000 missing, and at least 2 million displaced, often more than once, always under horrific conditions. In London, the Royal Courts of Justice have been the stage for Julian Assange’s fight for an appeal against Washington’s demand to extradite him to the US. Assange, an activist and publisher of investigative journalism, has already been in confinement – of one kind or the other – for more than a decade. Since 2019, he has been held in the Belmarsh high security prison. In fact, what has already happened to him is the modern equivalent of being locked away in the Bastille by royal “lettre de cachet” in absolutist, pre-revolutionary, Ancien régime France.

Multiple observers, including a UN special rapporteur, have argued compellingly that Assange’s treatment has amounted to torture. The essence of his political persecution – in reality, there is no good-faith legal case – is simple: Through his WikiLeaks platform, Assange published leaked materials that exposed the brutality, criminality, and lies of the US’ and UK’s (and, more generally, the West’s) post-9/11 wars. While leaking state secrets is not legal – although it can be morally obligatory and even heroic, as in the case of Chelsea Manning, who was a major WikiLeaks source – publishing the results of such leaks is legal. Indeed, that principle is an acknowledged pillar of media freedom and independence. Without it, media cannot fulfil any kind of watchdog function. Yet Washington is obstinately and absurdly trying to treat Assange as a spy. If it succeeds, “global media freedom” (for what it’s worth…) is toast. This is what makes Assange objectively the single most important political prisoner in the world.

If extradited to the US, whose highest officials have at times plotted his assassination, the WikiLeaks founder will definitely not get a fair trial and will die in prison. In that case, his fate will irreversibly turn into what Washington and London have been working on for over a decade, namely making an example of him by delivering the most devastating blow imaginable against free speech and a truly open society. That Gaza and Assange have something in common has occurred to more than one observer. Both stand for a plethora of political pathologies, including merciless cruelty, politicized “justice,” mass media disinformation, and, last but not least, that old specialty of the “garden” West, peak hypocrisy. There also is the grotesquely arrogant American sense of global entitlement: The Palestinians’ rights or, indeed, humanity count for nothing if Israel, Washington’s closest and most lawless ally, wants their land and their lives. Assange, of course, is an Australian citizen.

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“He is going to destroy this country unless he’s stopped by people buying my new Trump sneakers. Look at these beautiful gold sneakers..”

Biden Arrives At Border To Address His Voters (BBee)

Amid record-breaking illegal immigration at the southern border, President Biden arrived in Brownsville Texas to address his voters, who had crossed into the United States the previous night. “Welcome, voters, make yourselves at home!” said Biden to a group of military-aged male Chinese nationals and a crowd of convicted felons from a maximum security Venezuelan prison. “My nurse Jill always says you people are unique breakfast tacos and I couldn’t have said it better. We’re excited for you to live here. You have plenty of great states to choose from, like Ohio, Pennsylvania, or any other crucial battleground states. I was… I… I…” “… well, anyway.” The confused migrant crowd was then directed to a welcome station to receive their smartphones, visa gift cards, and mail-in ballots.

Trump, who also visited the border today, was quick to condemn Biden’s speech and his handling of the border. “Biden is possibly the worst president of any country in the history of the world, or maybe even the entire universe, and maybe all the other universes as well, possibly,” said Trump to reporters. “He is going to destroy this country unless he’s stopped by people buying my new Trump sneakers. Look at these beautiful gold sneakers. They’re the greatest sneakers ever made. So, so beautiful.” Following the Biden border visit, the White House confirmed that there is no crisis at the border. “Everything is fine and there are no illegal immigrants,” said gay black Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre. “There is no crisis and Biden is doing a great job and he’s very smart and sharp and mentally with it and you are a racist.” At publishing time, illegal immigrant support for Biden increased another 33 points.

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Cat reaction

 

 

 

 

Porcupine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1763289492897628313

 

 

Salmon

 

 

Illusions

 

 

Coke ad

 

 

Set the table

 

 

Nemo

 

 

Elephant

 

 

 

 

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