Oct 172022
 
 October 17, 2022  Posted by at 8:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  69 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1919

 

Gazprom Outlines Consequences For Price Cap On Russian Gas (RT)
Ukraine Finance Minister To Chair IMF, World Bank Governing Boards In 2023 (R.)
Russia Responds To UN Official’s Rape Claims (RT)
EU Blackmails Serbia – Interior Minister (RT)
Kremlin Speaks On NATO’s ‘De-facto’ Role In Ukraine (RT)
China Orders Evacuation Of All Citizens Still In Ukraine (ZH)
Energy Crisis Will Breed Extremism – Bavarian President (RT)
From Decolonisation to Desperation to Hopelessness to Farce (Batiushka)
Echoes Of A Brush With ‘Armageddon’ (Tony Cox)
The Gaslighting of the Masses (CJ Hopkins)
The Non-West Coalesces (Patrick Lawrence)
EU to Demand Holidaymakers’ Fingerprints and Facial Images at Borders (DS)
Why Ron DeSantis Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against Donald Trump (CTH)
Alarming Rise In Cancer Among Young People Across Globe (CNN)
One Serious Adverse Event Per Eight-Hundred Vaccinations (Arora)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween

 

 

 

 

Fauci

 

 


Iran hasn’t invaded a country in 300 years, yet we, the United States, being 246 years old, have been at war for 236 years.

 

 

Tedros

 

 

The universe contains more planets than seconds that have passed since the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

 

 

 

 

The consequences have been known for months: NO GAS. And also:

“..Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Novak said the US should set a price cap on its own liquified natural gas (LNG) going to Europe..”

I think if serious peace talks don’t start within a month, it’s too late to stop the cold, the hunger, and the resulting riots.

Gazprom Outlines Consequences For Price Cap On Russian Gas (RT)

Plans to set a price cap on Russian gas sales, which are currently being considered by Western leaders, would cause supplies to be halted, according to Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller. “We rely on the contracts that have been signed. A unilateral decision of the kind is, of course, a violation of essential terms of the agreements which would lead to a termination of supplies,” Miller said on Sunday in an interview with Russia 1 TV. Numerous sanctions have been introduced by the US, EU, and allies on Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine. EU customers have so far reduced their purchases of Russian energy, and the G7 and EU are currently trying to introduce a price cap on Russia’s oil and gas.

Miller’s comments echoed a similar warning from President Vladimir Putin, who said last month that Moscow would cut off energy supplies if price caps are imposed. Earlier this month, EU leaders reached an agreement to impose yet another package of sanctions on Russia, including banning maritime transportation for Russian oil to third-party countries unless the oil is sold below or at a certain price. The measures would take effect after December 5, 2022 for crude and February 5, 2023 for refined petroleum products.

Earlier this week, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that a price cap on Russian oil exports of around $60-per-barrel would likely reduce Moscow’s energy revenues while allowing profitable production, thus keeping Russian crude on the global market. Yellen stressed that the measure is still being discussed by the US and its Western allies. On Friday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Novak said the US should set a price cap on its own liquified natural gas (LNG) going to Europe, as American fuel is being delivered to Europe at prices four times higher than the price for domestic consumption.

Read more …

We’ve given them so much money, might as well hand over the keys to the safe too…

Ukraine Finance Minister To Chair IMF, World Bank Governing Boards In 2023 (R.)

The shareholders of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Friday selected Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko as the next rotating chair of the boards of governors of both institutions in 2023. The decision, which was announced during the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, means that Marchenko will also chair next year’s annual meeting of the institutions, which is scheduled to be held in Morocco. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the war’s massive impact on the global economy have dominated this year’s meetings, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urging international donors to provide $55 billion in additional funding next year to keep his country’s economy running and fund some initial reconstruction.

World Bank President David Malpass told shareholders of both institutions on Friday that the World Bank Group had mobilized $13 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine since the war began, including grants, guarantees, and linked parallel financing from the United States, Britain, Europe and Japan. “I remain horrified by Russia’s actions and call for Russian forces to leave Ukraine,” Malpass said in his most explicit remarks on the war to date. Marchenko said his selection was unanimously approved by all governing member countries of the two global lenders, and marked the first time that Ukraine would lead the institutions since it joined 30 years ago.

The move was unanimously approved since there was no objection during the business portion of the plenary, a source close to the discussions said. Russia is a member of the institutions and could have objected, but did not. “It is a great honor to represent Ukraine” in the international financial arena, Marchenko said in a statement released by his ministry, adding that Ukraine would be able to increase its cooperation with international financial organizations and the member countries of the World Bank and IMF.

Read more …

From the Putin (and Genghis Khan, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Saddam) Eats Babies book:

Russia Responds To UN Official’s Rape Claims (RT)

Claims made by the UN special representative on sexual violence, Pramila Patten, go “beyond the reach of reason,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Sunday. Earlier this week, Patten accused Russia of employing a “deliberate” rape “strategy”as part of its military campaign in Ukraine. “One cannot even comment on P. Patten’s … words in a serious way,”Zakharova said, adding that the UN official’s conclusions were based on data that is difficult to verify, according to Patten herself. “Once again, what we are seeing is a classic ‘highly likely’ [story], which has this time reached the level of twisted imagination,” Zakharova said.

According to her, the UN official made her conclusions based on fragmentary data provided by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine – a group created in spring 2022 on the basis of a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council. Russia has not recognized its mandate, Zakharova added. Patten’s claims resemble those made by the former Ukrainian human rights commissioner, Lyudmila Denisova, Zakharova said. Denisova was fired from her position in late May after a no-confidence vote over her failure to perform duties such as organizing humanitarian corridors and prisoner exchanges amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Later, Ukrainian media reported that most of Denisova’s allegations regarding “sexual atrocities”committed by Russian soldiers in the country had not been confirmed by Ukrainian prosecutors.

The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman’s reaction was sparked by an interview Patten gave to AFP this week, in which she claimed that sexual violence is a “deliberate tactic” and “military strategy”of Russia, aimed at dehumanizing its “victims.” She also claimed that Russian soldiers are “equipped with Viagra.” Zakharova pointed out that similar claims have been made by Western officials in the past. In 2011, the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, reportedly accused then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of supplying his troops with Viagra to supposedly encourage mass rape during a conflict that broke out following a NATO-backed coup attempt which ended with the brutal murder of Gaddafi. US military and intelligence officials subsequently told NBC that there was no evidence that the Libyan military was being supplied with Viagra or engaging in systematic rape in “rebel areas.” “The West is using the same patterns in its hybrid war,” Zakharova said on Sunday, commenting on Patten’s statements.

Read more …

“Judging by the insane blackmail they are exposing us to…they don’t want us. The sooner we accept that they don’t want us and that we don’t belong there, the better off we will be.”

EU Blackmails Serbia – Interior Minister (RT)

The EU’s offers to Serbia are unacceptable, and Serbs should “accept that they don’t want us,” Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin told the Novosti news site on Saturday. He added that Belgrade should instead turn its attention to “free countries that accept us without blackmail,” such as Russia and China. “The question is not whether we want to join the EU, but whether the EU wants Serbia,” Vulin told Novosti. “Judging by the insane blackmail they are exposing us to…they don’t want us. The sooner we accept that they don’t want us and that we don’t belong there, the better off we will be.” A traditional ally of Russia, Serbia has come under intense pressure from the West to back the sanctions regime against Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine.

The European Parliament has considered freezing accession talks with Belgrade over the latter’s refusal to back its eight rounds of economic penalties, US state media reported last month, while Germany and France have offered to “accelerate” Serbia’s path to EU membership if it recognizes the independence of the province of Kosovo, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated last week. For Vulin and Vucic, the answer to these offers is a clear “no.” “How much would our friends respect us if they saw us neglecting our interests in the face of enemy force?” Vulin asked. “Who would fight for us if we chose not to fight for ourselves? “Relations with Russia, China and other free countries that accept us without blackmail and conditions are the future of Serbia,” he continued.

“I believe that friendship with Russia is of the greatest importance and that without it we risk the physical disappearance of Serbia.” sAccording to a poll taken in March, some 61% of Serbs oppose any cooperation with the US-led NATO alliance, largely due to the bloc’s support for Kosovo’s independence and its 1999 bombing campaign that brought about the end of Yugoslavia. Furthermore, while Serbia applied for EU membership in 2009, accession looks to be off the table for now. The EU’s latest sanctions package targeting Russian oil exports looks set to cost Belgrade hundreds of millions of euros, Vulin said last week, describing it as the “first EU sanctions package against Serbia.” Hungary has responded to the sanctions by announcing a new pipeline to help Serbia tap into the supply of Russian crude oil.

Read more …

If you live in a NATO country, you are now in a war you can’t win.

Kremlin Speaks On NATO’s ‘De-facto’ Role In Ukraine (RT)

NATO has “de-facto become involved in the Ukraine conflict,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia 1 TV on Sunday, adding that this will not prevent Moscow from following through with its plans and achieving its military goals in Ukraine. The Kremlin spokesman acknowledged, however, that NATO’s interference makes it “significantly harder” for Russia to conduct its operation, though it does not change the goals. “This [NATO involvements] requires… our internal mobilization in the field of economy and other spheres,” he told Russia 1, adding that there is a major difference between “the Kiev regime and… the NATO potential.” However, Russia’s own “potential allows [it] to continue the operation under such circumstances,” Peskov said.


The Kremlin spokesman provided no further details about Moscow’s plans and strategy in the military campaign, which has lasted for more than seven months. Earlier this week, Moscow denied rumors that the operation in Ukraine is being redesignated as a counter-terrorism campaign. Peskov also said at the time that there have been no decisions regarding the introduction of martial law in Russian regions which have been targeted by Ukrainian strikes in recent weeks. Moscow also denied that it has considered travel restrictions for men eligible for military service amid the continuing partial mobilization. Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that over 200,000 reservists have been called up, most of which are still undergoing training, while adding that the draft will be completed in around two weeks.

Jimmy Dore

Read more …

Because it’s now NATO vs Russia.

China Orders Evacuation Of All Citizens Still In Ukraine (ZH)

China’s foreign ministry on Saturday issued an urgent call for any Chinese nationals still in Ukraine to exit immediately, kicking off speculation over what’s behind the unspecified appeal and scramble. The notification is being widely seen as the most forceful evacuation order yet, and suggests that Beijing might be aware of Russian plans for possibly imminent bigger, sweeping airstrikes against Ukrainian cities, such as the widespread escalatory strikes conducted last Monday into Tuesday. The first big evacuation of Chinese citizens took place starting last March, in which some 6,000 Chinese nationals left the country amid the Russian invasion.

But now, as state media Global Times writes, “Some Chinese nationals still in Ukraine have signed up for evacuation from the country, with most registering for organized evacuations, while others are preparing to leave Ukraine on their own, the Global Times learned on Sunday, after the Chinese Foreign Ministry urged Chinese citizens to leave Ukraine, citing the grave security situation.” The foreign ministry and embassy warned of the “grave security situation” and ordered an immediate departure, citing the need “to enhance safety precautions and evacuate.” The statement indicated that “the embassy will assist in organizing the evacuation of people in need.” Russian state sources also on Sunday began publicizing the new alert notification.

GT is reporting that an evacuation is now in progress: “As of press time on Sunday, 161 people had registered on the form the embassy sent out for organized evacuation, and another 27 people registered on the form for self-evacuation, according to a Global Times’ count of the registration on the embassy’s WeChat account.” It additionally comes at a moment of stepped-up cross-border attacks on the Russian city of Belgorod, which lies just north of the Ukrainian border opposite Kharkiv.

Read more …

The energy crisis is the result of NATO extremism.

Energy Crisis Will Breed Extremism – Bavarian President (RT)

Skyrocketing energy costs could lead to a rise in extremist sentiment across Germany, Bavarian President Markus Soder told Bild am Sonntag on Sunday. “The mix of crises, such as energy and coronavirus, can lead to overstrain and destabilization of democracy,” he said, urging “democratic parties” to “take a clear position, argue less, and encourage citizens.” Soder pointed to the increasing electoral success of the right-wing AfD party as proof that extremism is on the rise. He argued for a cap on gas prices and financial relief for citizens, as well as aid to small and medium-sized businesses to head off growing anti-government sentiment. Some 15,000 German stores are reportedly on the brink of closure due to spiraling energy costs, according to Der Spiegel.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner must also quit arguing over the future of nuclear power in the country, Soder continued. He insists the government should extend the operation of the remaining nuclear plants through at least 2024, as Lindner has proposed, and has called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to broker a peace between the two officials. Germany began shutting down its nuclear reactors in 2011 following the Fukushima disaster in Japan but has recently reconsidered the move in light of record gas prices exacerbated by the sanctions on Russian supplies. While former Chancellor Angela Merkel had promised to phase out all 17 of Germany’s nuclear reactors by the end of 2022, three remain in service. Lawmakers recently agreed to keep at least two of those on standby status, should the plan to make it through the winter by burning coal prove insufficient to meet demand.

In August, Stephan Kramer, president of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, predicted a “winter of fury” in which “violent” extremists would hijack “legitimate” protests against the energy crisis. He also expects higher unemployment and other economic issues, warning broadcaster ZDF that mounting economic pressures combined with the strsess of the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine could shake the nation when the temperature drops. While both Soder and Kramer have argued that “the trust of the population in state institutions and authorities” is crucial to maintaining order come winter, just 38% of the population believes Chancellor Scholz is fit for the top job, according to a poll conducted last month – and that was an improvement over public sentiment in August. Habeck and Lindner rate even lower, with approval ratings of 35% and 33.6%, respectively.

Read more …

“Then it will be the turn of the EU to be kicked out of Europe and ultimately the US will be kicked out of the Americas, especially out of the US.”

From Decolonisation to Desperation to Hopelessness to Farce (Batiushka)

The Western European Empires have gone. The bankrupt Spanish Empire went first, in the century before last, the Germans lost their colonies in 1919 (at the same time as the Austro-Hungarians lost their European colonies), then the Italians lost their fantasies in Africa during the Second World War, the Germans got kicked out of their colonies in Eastern Europe in 1945, but the Portuguese much later, only getting kicked out of Africa in the 1970s. By that time the Dutch, the British, the Belgians and the French had also been kicked out of their colonies. Only the NATO Danes still hold on to Greenland, which is a lot of ice and snow and all of 56,000 people, though both Eisenhower and Trump wanted to buy it. However, since the US has its base at Thule, it effectively controls the country anyhow.

Since 1947 the UK has been kicked out of almost everywhere, infamously from the Indian Subcontinent in 1947, from Palestine in 1948 and humiliatingly, by their Americans ‘allies’, from Suez in 1956. All that remains is, for the moment, a small group of tiny enclaves and islands like Bermuda, the Caymans, Gibraltar, St Helena, the Falklands etc, about 18,000 square kilometres and fewer than 300,000 people in all, plus a lot of ice in the ‘British Antarctic Territory’. As for France, after its humiliation in South-East Asia in 1954, it has gradually been kicked out of Africa (1946-2022) (Suez in 1956, Algeria in 1962 etc) and soon, even after its decades of assassinating independentist African politicians and military interventions, it will have nothing left there, though it still has a few islands in various oceans here and there.

As for the short-lived US Empire, over the last fifty years it has largely been kicked out of several Asian countries (Vietnam (1975), Iran (1979), Iraq (2011-2021) Afghanistan (2021), now out of Russia (2022), and soon out of China, India and Saudi Arabia. True, it still hangs on in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Israel, but not for much longer. Eurasia is to be US-free. As regards the Western withdrawal from Europe, the UK left Europe in 2020. It still hangs on to Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and above all to England, but it will not last. Now it is the turn of the US to be kicked out of Europe. It is happening in the Ukraine at this very moment, but this rejection will later spread to Western Europe. Then it will be the turn of the EU to be kicked out of Europe and ultimately the US will be kicked out of the Americas, especially out of the US.

Read more …

“At the time, the long-range missiles in Soviet territory took hours to fuel up and fire, meaning a delayed response to a US first strike.”

Echoes Of A Brush With ‘Armageddon’ (Tony Cox)

In 1962, the triggering event was the secret placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba, right on America’s doorstep. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev saw the move as a way to protect Cuba against a US invasion after the failed Bay of Pigs assault in April 1961, as well as a tit-for-tat response to the Pentagon’s deployment of Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Italy, which positioned Washington’s nuclear warheads to hit USSR territory in as few as 10 minutes. At the time, the long-range missiles in Soviet territory took hours to fuel up and fire, meaning a delayed response to a US first strike.

“Since the Americans have already surrounded the Soviet Union with a ring of their military installations, we should pay them back in their own coin and give them a taste of their own medicine so that they find out for themselves how it feels to live as a target of nuclear arms,” Khrushchev was quoted as saying by Aleksandr Alekseev, then Moscow’s ambassador to Cuba. US President John F. Kennedy didn’t see it that way when a U-2 spy plane spotted surface-to-surface missiles in Cuba on October 16. As Ukrainian-born author Serhii Plokhy wrote in his 2021 book, ‘Nuclear Folly,’ Kennedy was initially inclined to order an attack on the missile sites, which easily could have escalated into a Soviet response and, eventually, mushroom clouds on both sides.

The American president wasn’t yet aware that the Soviets had already shipped nuclear warheads to Cuba. Nor did he know that the USSR had 43,000 troops on the island, as well as tactical nukes that could be used to destroy a US attack force. But Kennedy knew that having Soviet ballistic missiles just across the Florida Straits – Havana is only about 1,100 miles from Washington and 230 miles from Miami – was intolerable and potentially gave the USSR the ability to win a nuclear war with the US. Russia has raised similar concerns about NATO’s eastward expansion. The Western military alliance was formed to ensure collective security against the USSR, but instead of reaping a peace dividend after the Soviet collapse in 1991, the bloc expanded to 30 states, nearly doubling in size. It also placed strategic weapons in Eastern Europe, which Moscow perceived as a threat.

As if those moves weren’t provocative enough, NATO has also pledged to eventually let Ukraine and Georgia join the US-led bloc, which would expand its reach into two former Soviet republics on Russia’s borders. Tensions escalated further when a US-backed coup overthrew Ukraine’s elected government in 2014, setting off a war between Kiev and separatists in the Donbass that left an estimated 14,000 people dead even before Russia began its military offensive last February. Some observers have blamed the US and NATO for provoking the conflict. “As the one who started the Ukraine crisis and the biggest factor fueling it, the US needs to deeply reflect on its erroneous actions of exerting extreme pressure and fanning the flame on the Ukraine issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in July.

Read more …

“They may end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity.”

The Gaslighting of the Masses (CJ Hopkins)

For students of official propaganda, mind control, emotional coercion, and other insidious manipulation techniques, the rollout of the New Normal has been a bonanza. Never before have we been able to observe the application and effects of these powerful technologies in real-time on such a massive scale. In a little over two and a half years, our collective “reality” has been radically revised. Our societies have been radically restructured. Millions (probably billions) of people have been systematically conditioned to believe a variety of patently ridiculous assertions, assertions based on absolutely nothing, repeatedly disproved by widely available evidence, but which have nevertheless attained the status of facts. An entire fictitious history has been written based on those baseless and ridiculous assertions. It will not be unwritten easily or quickly.

I am not going to waste your time debunking those assertions. They have been repeatedly, exhaustively debunked. You know what they are and you either believe them or you don’t. Either way, reviewing and debunking them again isn’t going to change a thing. Instead, I want to focus on one particularly effective mind-control technology, one that has done a lot of heavy lifting throughout the implementation of the New Normal and is doing a lot of heavy-lifting currently. I want to do that because many people mistakenly believe that mind-control is either (a) a “conspiracy theory” or (b) something that can only be achieved with drugs, microwaves, surgery, torture, or some other invasive physical means. Of course, there is a vast and well-documented history of the use of such invasive physical technologies (see, e.g., the history of the CIA’s infamous MKULTRA program), but in many instances mind-control can be achieved through much less elaborate techniques.

One of the most basic and effective techniques that cults, totalitarian systems, and individuals with fascistic personalities use to disorient and control people’s minds is “gaslighting.” You’re probably familiar with the term. If not, here are a few definitions: “the manipulation of another person into doubting their perceptions, experiences, or understanding of events.” American Psychological Association “an insidious form of manipulation and psychological control. Victims of gaslighting are deliberately and systematically fed false information that leads them to question what they know to be true, often about themselves. They may end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity.” Psychology Today

“a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to sow self-doubt and confusion in their victim’s mind. Typically, gaslighters are seeking to gain power and control over the other person, by distorting reality and forcing them to question their own judgment and intuition.” Newport Institute. The main goal of gaslighting is to confuse, coerce, and emotionally manipulate your victim into abandoning their own perception of reality and accepting whatever new “reality” you impose on them. Ultimately, you want to completely destroy their ability to trust their own perception, emotions, reasoning, and memory of historical events, and render them utterly dependent on you to tell them what is real and what “really” happened, and so on, and how they should be feeling about it.

Read more …

“Every nation just named is currently subjected to U.S. sanctions.”

The Non-West Coalesces (Patrick Lawrence)

Something of epochal importance happened in Vienna, where the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, now known as OPEC–Plus with the inclusion of the Russian Federation, convened recently for its first in-person session since 2020. You would not know of this development if you rely solely on the reports carried in our corporate-owned media. The world just took a significant turn into the 21st century. Let us stay abreast of it, leaving those who refuse to see this to their own devices. [..] As reported everywhere, OPEC–Plus decided to reduce the oil production of member nations by two million barrels per day as of next month. This may amount to an actual cut of half that amount, as many OPEC–Plus members—Nigeria, for instance—have not been lifting to their quotas anyway. But oil prices are already increasing, and we will soon see this at our filling stations. As retail prices rise, it is likely to complicate the political fortunes of the Biden administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill just as the midterm elections approach. So, a pretty big deal.

But this is not the half of what transpired in Vienna two weeks ago. Saudi Arabia, long the driving wheel in OPEC, effectively declared its long history of subservience to Washington, by way of which oil production has been exchanged for security guarantees, to be on the way out. One of Washington’s bedrock allies in the Middle East, Israel being the other, just took a major step toward the coalescence of non–Western nations into a coherent bloc acting in its own interests. This is more than a pretty big deal. It brings us considerably closer to the new world order Russia and China, the two most influential non–Western nations, have been talking about for several years and notably since the Biden administration took power in January 2021.

Within months, Beijing and Moscow concluded that there is no making sense of a nation that, even as its power declines, has no intention of working with them as equals to mutual benefit. Since then, numerous other countries have had little trouble detecting which way the wind blows.The Ukraine crisis has sent a new bolt of electricity through this geopolitical trend. Nations representing more than 80 percent of the global population and a like percentage of global gross domestic product are perfectly capable of seeing the Biden administration’s pointed provocations and do not approve. Partnerships that stop just short of alliances—a term of statecraft entailing explicit obligations in the way of mutual defense—have multiplied so quickly since Joe Biden took office it is hard to keep track of them.

Russia’s “no limits” relationship with China is the premier case. Russia has recently consolidated its cooperative ties with Iran. So has China. Iran and Venezuela, China and Cuba, China and Nicaragua—the list goes on. As we speak, Moscow and Beijing are developing partnerships of various kinds in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. But these nations, it is easy to note, are by and large beyond Washington’s fence posts: The policy cliques, this is to say, have them down as enemies. Every nation just named is currently subjected to U.S. sanctions. Parenthetically, I do have to wonder what happens when most of the world other than the Anglosphere and Western Europe is condemned in this way, but that is another conversation.

Read more …

“This may be the biggest biometric data collection operation in European history. What could possibly go wrong?

EU to Demand Holidaymakers’ Fingerprints and Facial Images at Borders (DS)

As of May 2023, the EU is to start demanding holidaymakers’ biometric data at its borders, greatly increasing both the level of surveillance in the bloc and the length of delays at transport terminals. Silke Carlo sounds the warning in the Telegraph: “Brits hopping across the Channel will first have their fingerprints and photos taken. The new mass data-gathering scheme, which will go live in May, is part of the evolution of a so-called ‘Smart Border’. But there is nothing ‘smart’ about the plans. The data grab has been justified by the aim of improving detection of dangerous travellers, finding vulnerable people, and reducing fraud, but it comes at an eye-watering cost to liberty and logistics. The border plans have been rightly described by civil society groups as “disproportionate and unnecessary”, while the Port of Dover’s boss has warned of “significant and continued disruption for a very long time”.

All travellers aged over 12 will need to be biometrically logged, creating an EU datastore loaded with hundreds of millions of people’s unique personal data. The EU is demanding not only a U.S.-style set of four fingerprints, but facial images too. Holiday-makers’ personal information will be mixed in with eventually billions of pieces of data, spanning photographs, palm prints, DNA records and facial biometrics, to which controversial recognition algorithms can be applied. This may be the biggest biometric data collection operation in European history. What could possibly go wrong?

Too many of our European friends have an indifferent attitude to the emergence of a data-hungry superstate – over 1.7 billion EU Digital Covid Certificates were issued during the pandemic – but even those falling out of love with liberté must be concerned about the disastrous impact on tourism and transport. The Big Brother-style EU border checks are estimated to take seven times longer than checks today and the tailback at Dover could grow by 19 miles – roughly the distance of the Channel crossing itself.

Read more …

Just explaining this to a friend yesterday. DeSantis’ moment is 2028.

Why Ron DeSantis Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against Donald Trump (CTH)

Appearing for an interview with Dave Rubin, the founder of Locals and a major conscript of the branding and image shaping effort behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Megyn Kelly gives Mr. Rubin the bitter pill of truth. Within this excerpt, Mr. Rubin struggles through the five stages of grief following Kelly’s red pill delivery, eventually stabilizing his emotion by accepting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis can still deliver good political outcomes for the state. It’s a very interesting dynamic to watch for a few reasons. First, because Megyn Kelly has first-hand experience with the power of the MAGA attachment to the atypical America-First leader. Second, because Kelly’s truthful statements cut against the objective for why Rubin was recruited by DeSantis Inc.

Read more …

Get them vaxxed!

Alarming Rise In Cancer Among Young People Across Globe (CNN)

More young people around the globe under the age of 50 are being diagnosed each year with early-onset cancer, according to a new study. Dr. Suneel Kamath, a gastrointestinal medical oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said the variety of different cancers on the rise in young people really surprised him. “The number of people that are presenting with advanced and unfortunately often incurable cancers in their 20s and 30s definitely seems to be skyrocketing,” Kamath said. Early-onset cases are rising for 14 types of cancers, many of which affect the digestive system, according to a review of 44 countries’ cancer registries published in the journal Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology.


“The typical risk factors we think of that would cause these different tumor types are definitely different, specific to each one,” Kamath said. The review mentions that sensitive testing happening more in young people could account for part of the upswing, but many, including Kamath, say it mostly comes down to lifestyle: obesity, diets rich in processed foods, smoking and alcohol consumption are among the factors. Kamath said one of the most important things young people can do is advocate for themselves when something doesn’t feel right. “Pay attention to, you know, what’s going on with your body,” Kamath said. “Some people are going to get some resistance from their medical team, and it does mean they need to push a little harder to get to the bottom of what’s going on.”

Read more …

Should be 1 in 1 million at most.

One Serious Adverse Event Per Eight-Hundred Vaccinations (Arora)

A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Vaccine—known for publishing the highest-quality vaccinology research—contains bombshell findings about the safety of Covid vaccines. Crucially, the authors found one serious adverse event for ever 800 mRNA vaccinated participants, orders of magnitude higher than the 1 to 2 per million reported for other vaccines. The researchers conducted a secondary analysis of original data from Pfizer and Moderna’s phase 3 clinical trials, focusing on “adverse events of special interest (AESIs)” as listed by the Brighton Collaboration—a “global authority” on vaccine safety. As the authors write, this World Health Organization-approved priority list of adverse vaccine events hasn’t been used to examine side effects in COVID-19 vaccine trial data. The stunning finding was as follows: the risk of serious adverse events from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine exceeds the benefit of reduction of COVID-19 hospitalisation.


In the analysis, Moderna caused higher adverse events than Pfizer, but both were elevated compared to the placebo arm. “Higher risk of serious AESI was observed in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine group relative to placebo in both the Pfizer and Moderna adult phase III trials, with 10.1 (Pfizer) and 15.1 (Moderna) additional events for every 10,000 individuals vaccinated,” the authors wrote. The average risk difference across both vaccines was 12.5 serious AESIs per 10,000 individuals vaccinated. As the authors write, these results “raise concerns that mRNA vaccines are associated with more harm than initially estimated at the time of emergency authorization.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed oils

 

 

 

 

Odense geese

 

 

 

 

 

 

A handful of insects.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 092022
 


Paul Gauguin Portrait of Ingeborg Thaulow 1877

 

Crimean Bridge Explosion Just ‘The Beginning,’ Ukraine Says (RT)
Kiev Amasses Troops On Donbass Border – Official (RT)
US Comments On Zelensky’s ‘Preemptive Strike’ Appeal (RT)
Michael Hudson: A Roadmap To Escape The West’s Stranglehold (Escobar)
US Asked Hungary To Invade Serbia – President Vucic (RT)
Putin Wants ‘Grand Bargain’ – Türkiye (RT)
NATO Should Give Ukraine ‘Everything We Have’ – Lithuania (RT)
Fanaticism Of The Apocalypse (Shellenberger)
Elon Musk, Former Exec Lead Backlash Against PayPal (DW)
Cynical Defense Of Hunter Biden: I Was Addicted To Drugs (Turley)
Lapado: Covid mRNA Vaccine- 84% Increased Risk of Death For Men Ages 18-39 (PM)
England’s Heatwaves See Highest Ever Excess Deaths Among Elderly (R.)
My Trip to Space Filled Me With ‘Overwhelming Sadness’ (William Shatner)

 

 

#TwoWords:


Dementia

 

 

 

 

Maté

 

 

 

 

Rus Prop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both car – and train traffic has been resumed. But the provocations will continue. Until Russia reacts in a way that can be used as a excuse for a large scale attack.

Crimean Bridge Explosion Just ‘The Beginning,’ Ukraine Says (RT)

The blast that rocked the Crimean Bridge early on Saturday is just “the beginning,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide, Mikhail Podoliak, has said. The bridge was closed in the early hours of Saturday after a truck exploded, damaging the road and causing a huge fire. “Crimea, the bridge, the beginning,”Podoliak tweeted. “Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled.” Ukrainian officials have promised to attack the Crimean Bridge, which connects the Russian peninsula of Crimea to the country’s Krasnodar Region, on numerous occasions during the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.


In August, Podoliak said that Europe’s largest bridge “should be destroyed” because it’s “an illegal construction and the main gateway to supply the Russian army in Crimea.” Zelensky and other members of his team have also stated that Ukraine will use force to retake Crimea, which overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in a referendum in 2014. The blast occurred at around 6am local time, causing a partial collapse of the road on the section for vehicles. A blaze also broke out on the parallel rail section, where seven fuel tanks caught fire. Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said that a truck exploded as it was traveling along the 19-km-long structure. The fire has been extinguished, and the damage caused by the blast is being assessed. The Crimean authorities said a ferry service will be provided while the bridge is being repaired.

Read more …

40,000 troops on the Russian border..

Kiev Amasses Troops On Donbass Border – Official (RT)

Kiev has deployed some 40,000 troops to the border with the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), which recently became part of Russia, the LPR’s top representative in Moscow, Rodion Miroshnik, has said. “In the areas where attempts of a breakthrough are being made [by Kiev’s forces], large quantities of manpower and hardware have been concentrated on the Ukrainian side,” Miroshnik said during an appearance on the Soloviev Live program on YouTube on Friday. According to estimates by the LPR’s forces, “we’re talking about 40,000 men,” the official added.


Kiev’s troops have been gathering to the north and northwest of the LPR, as well as in the area around the town of Krasny Liman in the Donetsk People’s Republic, from where Russian forces withdrew a week ago amid a Ukrainian offensive, Miroshnik added. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin signed into law unification treaties with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, officially making them part of Russia. The four territories overwhelmingly supported the move during referendums in late September.

Read more …

“a monster, whose hands can destroy the planet.”

US Comments On Zelensky’s ‘Preemptive Strike’ Appeal (RT)

The US is not about to get directly involved in the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev, a State Department spokesman said on Friday, after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had urged the West to conduct “preventive strikes” against Russia. When asked about the Ukrainian leader’s latest appeal to the West, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said that the administration of US President Joe Biden has repeatedly stated that it has no intention of taking part in the fighting. “As long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we are not going to get directly engaged in this conflict either by putting American troops to fight in Ukraine or attacking Russian forces,” he reiterated, adding that Washington’s message on this matter has been “very clear.”

On Thursday, Zelensky, speaking at an online conference at the Australian Lowy Institute, called for “preventive strikes” against Russia so that Moscow knew what to expect should it resort to nuclear weapons. Later, Zelensky’s press secretary attempted to clarify these remarks, arguing that they should not be interpreted as a request for NATO to attack Russia. The Ukrainian leader himself also stepped in, telling BBC on Friday that he had meant “preventive kicks, not attacks.” The UK outlet also clarified that Zelensky was “referring to sanctions.”

The comments made by the Ukrainian president sparked a backlash from Moscow, which accused him of attempting to spark a world war, which would lead to “unforeseeable disastrous consequences.” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova went so far as to describe him as “a monster, whose hands can destroy the planet.” Russia has repeatedly stated that a nuclear war should never be fought, while Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in August made it clear that Moscow is not considering a nuclear strike on Ukraine, given that there are no targets warranting such drastic measures.

2016

Read more …

“US policy has created a global state of dependency in which literally There is no alternative but to break away.”

Michael Hudson: A Roadmap To Escape The West’s Stranglehold (Escobar)

Are we reaching the point when the key players of the Global South – over 100 nations – finally get their act together and decide to go for broke and stop the US from keeping the artificial neoliberal global economy in a state of perpetual coma? This means the only possible option, as you have outlined, is to set up a parallel global currency bypassing the US dollar – while the usual suspects float the notion of a Bretton Woods III at best. Is the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) financial casino omnipotent enough to smash any possible competition? Do you envisage any other practical mechanisms apart from what is being discussed by BRICS/ EAEU/ SCO?

Hudson: “A year or two ago it seemed that the task of designing a full-fledged alternative world currency, monetary, credit and trading system was so complex that the details hardly could be thought through. But US sanctions have proved to be the needed catalyst to make such discussions pragmatically urgent. The confiscation of Venezuela’s gold reserves in London and its US investments, the confiscation of $300 billion of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves held in the United States and Europe, and its threat to do the same to China and other countries resisting US foreign policy has made de-dollarization urgent. I have explained the logic in many points, from my Valdai Club article (with Radhika Desai) to my recent book on The Destiny of Civilization, the lecture series that I prepared for Hong Kong and the Global University for Sustainability.

Holding securities denominated in dollars, and even holding gold or investments in the United States and Europe, is no longer a safe option. It is clear that the world is breaking into two quite different types of economies, and that US diplomats and their European satellites are willing to tear up the existing economic order in hopes that creating a disruptive crisis will enable themselves to come out on top. It also is clear that subjugation to the IMF and its austerity plans are economic suicide, and that following World Bank and its neoliberal doctrine of international dependency is self-destructive. The result has been to create an unpayable overhead of debts denominated in US dollars. These debts cannot be paid without borrowing credit from the IMF and accepting terms of economic surrender to US privatizers and speculators.

The only alternative to imposing economic austerity on themselves is to withdraw from the dollar trap in which US-sponsored “free market” economics (markets free from government protection, and free from government ability to recover the environmental damage from US oil companies, mining companies and the associated industrial and food dependency) is to make a clean break. The break will be difficult, and US diplomacy will do everything it can to disrupt the creation of a more resilient economic order. But US policy has created a global state of dependency in which literally There is no alternative but to break away.”

Read more …

1999.

US Asked Hungary To Invade Serbia – President Vucic (RT)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic revealed on Saturday that American and British leaders, including President Bill Clinton, urged Hungary to invade Serbia by land in 1999. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who told Vucic of the request, refused. In a televised address, Vucic said that the US and UK wanted Hungarian forces to push south into Serbia in order to split the Yugoslav military between the front in Kosovo and a new front with Hungary. “Clinton and the British asked [Orban] to attack Serbia from the north so that they could extend our forces from Kosovo and Metohija to Vojvodina,” he explained. Orban, who at the time was one year into his first term in office, refused, and with the help of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, pushed back against the “pressure from the White House.”

Orban told Vucic of the request during a recent meeting and allowed him to speak about it publicly, the Serbian leader said. NATO launched a bombing campaign in 1999 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which by that time was made up of Serbia and Montenegro. In waging the air war, NATO sided with ethnic Albanian separatists, who were fighting with the Serbs for the independence of Kosovo, a province of Serbia. Hungary had joined NATO earlier that year, but did not participate in the campaign.

According to Vucic, Orban then traveled to the UK for talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair and former PM Margaret Thatcher. Greeting him at the door of Downing Street, Thatcher told Orban “it bothers me a lot that you refused to attack Serbia, that’s why more British soldiers will die,” Vucic said. Ultimately, no British troops died during the campaign. Hostilities ceased in June 1999 with the signing of the Kumanovo Agreement, after which NATO troops moved into Kosovo, where they remain to this day. The bombing campaign marked the first time that the US-led alliance used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council, and is still regarded by much of the world as illegitimate.

Read more …

Rebalance. I think I still prefer to use the word “Turkey” when we talk Erdogan.

Putin Wants ‘Grand Bargain’ – Türkiye (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to strike “a new grand bargain” with the West to erase the humiliations of the post-Cold War period, Turkish presidential adviser Ibrahim Kalin told CNN on Saturday. In an interview with the American broadcaster, he said that the Ukraine conflict will inevitably end in a negotiated settlement, with the only question being when, “and how much damage will have been done by then?” Such a settlement will be about more than the borders of Russia and Ukraine, he continued, arguing that what Putin really aims to do is renegotiate the balance of power between Moscow and the West, after a weakened Russia accepted several rounds of NATO expansion in the aftermath of the Cold War. “Our understanding is that Mr. Putin wants to have a new grand bargain, a new deal, with the West,” Kalin said.

The Turkish official referenced agreements signed by Moscow and NATO in the early 1990s – which included the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, which stated that the alliance would continue to expand, and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Russia agreed not to use force against its neighbors – as decisions Putin would like to re-do. “The Russian perception is that the Russia of that day, that signed that agreement – that is, the Russia of the Gorbachevs and the Yeltsins – is over,”Kalin claimed. “There is a new Russia, there is a new world, there is a new reality, and they want to have a new bargain.” Putin declared last week that “the ongoing collapse of Western hegemony is irreversible,” and that “things will never be the same.” A multipolar world, he said, will give non-Western nations “an opportunity to strengthen their sovereignty.”

According to Kalin, “This puts of course the entire global order, the liberal order, to a test.” He added: “So far the response has been war from both sides.” Western leaders have not indicated that they intend to negotiate an end to the Ukraine conflict in the near future. Washington’s official line is that it will continue to funnel tens of billions of dollars’ worth of arms to Kiev “for as long as it takes,” and will allow Ukraine to dictate its terms for ending the conflict. Amid the broader conflict between Russia and the West, Türkiye has positioned itself as a middleman, with Ankara hosting peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in March that ultimately broke down. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called for both sides to return to negotiations, declaring that “even the worst peace will be better than war.”

Read more …

Lithuania has nothing.

NATO Should Give Ukraine ‘Everything We Have’ – Lithuania (RT)

NATO countries should arm Ukraine with all available weapons, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told Ukrainian media on Saturday. However, he expects the alliance’s other members to foot the bill. “Ukraine needs ‘everything we have,’” Landsbergis told Ukrinform, arguing that the Ukrainian military is already capable of working with the alliance’s arsenal now that its troops are receiving training in multiple European countries. While the US has supplied Ukraine with increasingly powerful weaponry, some of its NATO allies have balked at handing over certain arms systems. Germany, for example, refuses to send its most modern Leopard II main battle tanks for fear of causing further escalation. Even in Washington, Pentagon officials have argued that Ukrainian troops would need substantial training to operate Western tanks.

Landsbergis insisted that “these arguments no longer work,” after a series of successful offenses by Kiev’s forces, which are increasingly armed with NATO weapons. “If this is so, I see no reason why Ukraine should not be given everything we have?” the minister said. “I have already said this many times and now I will say it again.” Landsbergis has emerged as one of the most vocally anti-Russian ministers in the EU in the months since Moscow sent its forces into Ukraine. He has threatened Lithuanian entertainers with reprisals for performing in Russia, supported an EU-wide ban on all visas for Russians, and called on NATO to pursue the military defeat of Russia rather than seek a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine conflict.

However, his own military has little to give Ukraine. Landsbergis told Ukrinform that he would only provide “political arguments” for arming Kiev’s forces, as Lithuania does not have its own “significant stockpile of weapons.” While Ukraine has repeatedly called for more and heavier weapons from the West, EU stockpiles are running low, with Germany’s stocks already exhausted as of early September. Although US President Joe Biden has vowed to keep the arms pipeline open for “as long as it takes,” the US is reportedly cautious about delivering more advanced weapons systems. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that Russia is now facing “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has also warned that “the US, in fact, is teetering on the brink of turning into a party to the conflict” due to its lavish assistance to Kiev.

Read more …

Burn baby burn.

Fanaticism Of The Apocalypse (Shellenberger)

In Europe, they’re burning garbage to stay warm. “It’s so bad this season that you can smell trash burning every day, which is completely new,” said the 35-year-old mother of three from Jablonna, Poland, near Warsaw. “Rarely can you smell a regular fuel. It’s scary to think what happens when it really gets cold.” The Polish government suspended quality regulations on coal burning for those who can still afford it; 60% of households no longer can. Because of all the garbage burning, the government may soon hand out masks so its residents don’t inhale toxic fumes. Said one of Poland’s most powerful politicians last month, “one needs to burn almost everything, except for tires and similarly harmful things.” The government estimates that 40,000 people died annually from premature deaths from air pollution before the current crisis.

Forests are being hammered. In Estonia and Finland, forests that had been set aside to capture carbon dioxide to reduce climate change are now being so heavily logged that they are net emitters. Hungary lifted conservation regulations so old-growth forests could be logged; it then banned the export of wood pellets. “People buy wood pellets thinking they’re the sustainable choice, but in reality, they’re driving the destruction of Europe’s last wild forests,” said one conservationist. Wood pellets prices have doubled even in nuclear-heavy France which, under pressure from Germany, and in the grip of renewable energy mania, had been shutting down its nuclear plants so rapidly that it had stopped properly maintaining them. Romania has been forced to cap the price of firewood, which had skyrocketed. Burning wood releases more greenhouse gas emissions than burning coal, something most experts finally acknowledge.

And Europe is returning to coal as quickly as it can. This year it increased thermal coal imports more than any other region. Coal imports increased by 36% more during the first eight months of 2022 than of 2021. Europe’s coal imports are today 10% of the global total. Germany is importing coal from South Africa, which is ironic because, just one year ago, Germany gave South Africa $810 million in exchange for an agreement that South Africa not use coal. And at the United Nations climate change talks in Scotland less one year ago this month, the UN created a special CGI dinosaur to warn all nations, but particularly Africans, that they must not use fossil fuels, and instead do what Europe was doing and, supposedly, transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewables.

Read more …

Is the genius who came up with the idea still working there? Look, you can silence a social media account, but you cannot steal people’s money outright.

Elon Musk, Former Exec Lead Backlash Against PayPal (DW)

PayPal reversed its decision to fine users $2,500 for violating its terms of service after Elon Musk and a former executive led a furious backlash against the move on social media. In a tweet Saturday, former PayPal President David Marcus spoke out against a new policy, first reported by The Daily Wire, that would apparently allow the digital payment processor to charge users $2,500 for posting materials that “promote misinformation” or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing.” Elon Musk, a co-founder of PayPal, said he agreed with Marcus’ criticism, joining a number of others who have spoken out against the new policy. “It’s hard for me to openly criticize a company I used to love and gave so much to,” Marcus wrote on Twitter.

“But @PayPal’s new AUP goes against everything I believe in. A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity.” “Agreed,” Musk wrote in reply to Marcus. The criticism from Marcus and Musk, who was on the board of directors and briefly CEO of PayPal during its early days, were at the front of a fury of backlash to the proposed policy. “Get your money out of [PayPal] right now,” venture capitalist David Sacks tweeted. “Seriously, close your PayPal account immediately if they don’t reverse this today,” replied Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip. “Why would anyone use @PayPal ever again?” conservative commentator John Cardillo wrote. “They’ve flat out told you they’re going to steal your money if you disagree with the regime.”

“The ‘misinformation’ police are now extending their reach beyond your social media accounts and into your financial accounts,” author and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy wrote. “PayPal probably isn’t protected by Section 230, so it could face legal liability in states with political nondiscrimination statutes,” Ramaswamy added later. “It’s an easier case to make than against a social media platform.” “Orwellian. Paypal reserves the right to take your money if you post a message that Paypal decides is ‘misinformation,’” former FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said. “This is why it is so vital that state and federal legislatures pass laws that prohibit discrimination by tech companies and protect free speech.”

Read more …

“Most hopeless addicts are trying to hock property or score a few bucks for their next hit. Hunter was flying around the world, arranging meetings with his father and coordinating multiple global accounts.”

Cynical Defense Of Hunter Biden: I Was Addicted To Drugs (Turley)

For years, President Biden repeated the same mantra when asked about Hunter Biden’s influence peddling and alleged crimes: “My son did nothing wrong.” It was always implausible — as was his denial of any knowledge of these dealings despite emails and pictures to the contrary. So the president and the press have been shifting to a new defense. As the father recently insisted of his son, “He fought an addiction problem. He overcame it. He wrote about it.” The family and the media have been cultivating the angle for months as they anticipated possible criminal charges. Such charges would not only be an embarrassment for the president but also the media, which have been actively complicit in covering up the multimillion-dollar influence-peddling schemes of the Biden family, including Hunter and his uncle James.

With possible criminal conduct exposed, all that’s left is the addiction defense. Hunter Biden’s autobiographical book laid the foundations for this final line of defense. While the book did not do particularly well in sales with the public, the media offered fawning interviews about his account of addiction. The narrative was ramped up by many of the same media outlets that buried the scandal, including articles on how the family fought “to keep him alive.” Now The Post reports prosecutors are second-guessing charges in light of the addiction and how it might undermine any criminal case. While there’s no question the defense would likely use such an addiction, it’s usually more of a concern for sentencing than charging. Addiction can be cited as a mitigating factor to the court in determining the defendant’s level of culpability.

The most obvious problem for the addiction defense is that Hunter did not appear to have any chemical-based challenge in maintaining a global, multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme. The image of a crackhead holed up in high-end hotels with call girls is undermined by thousands of emails on international money transfers and complex deals stretching from Moscow to Kyiv to Beijing. The fact is you can be an addict or alcoholic and still be a criminal. Addiction did not appear to inhibit prosecutors in cases like the murder trial involving Lillo Brancato, the actor from “The Sopranos” series and the movie “A Bronx Tale.” Brancato was a drug addict when he participated in a burglary that ended in a shooting. He was convicted and given 10 years. Indeed, in some cases, prosecutors use addiction is as a motive for committing crimes, particularly in paying for or acquiring more crimes.

Not only is this possible prosecution not based on a drug offense, it would feature a high-functioning defendant who earned millions in influence peddling. Indeed, the now-sober Hunter has repeatedly acknowledged that while his family name may have led to some of his past positions, he is a lawyer with experience that was useful in work like serving on the board of Ukrainian energy conglomerate Burisma Holdings. It will be difficult for Hunter to switch from the privileged-but-capable defense to the hopeless-addict defense. Most hopeless addicts are trying to hock property or score a few bucks for their next hit. Hunter was flying around the world, arranging meetings with his father and coordinating multiple global accounts.

Read more …

Common sense.

Lapado: Covid mRNA Vaccine- 84% Increased Risk of Death For Men Ages 18-39 (PM)

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Friday release the state’s analysis of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, revealing an 84 percent “increased risk of cardiac-related death among men 18-39.” Florida “will not be silent on the truth,” he said. The guidance “recommends against the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for males ages 18-39 years old.” In a statement, Ladapo said that “Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health. Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed – these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians.”

The Florida Department of Health released the findings of a self-controlled case series which they used to evaluate the safety of the Covid vaccines, which “studied mortality risk following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.” It found that “there is an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination.” The findings also showed that “Males over the age of 60 had a 10% increased risk of cardiac-related death within 28 days of mRNA vaccination,” and that “Non-mRNA vaccines were not found to have these increased risks among any population. The guidance suggests that Floridians talk to their doctors and health care providers about the relative benefits and risks of vaaccination for Covid with use of mRNA vaccines, and that it should be weighed against the potential risks of Covid.

This analysis comes after the Florida Department of Health issued guidance in March that recommended against use of the Covid mRNA vaccines for “healthy children and adolescents 5 years old to 17 years old.” The state also recommends “against COVID-19 vaccination among infants and children under 5 years old, which has since been issued under Emergency Use Authorization.” When this guidance for children was issued, the Biden administration accused Ladapo of being a “politician.” Florida is not alone in their guidance. Sweden recommends against Covid mRNA vaccines for children ages 5-11. The Danish Health Authority recommends against Covid mRNA vaccines for children under 18. The UK has rolled back their offering of Covid jabs to children ages 5-11, per guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Read more …

Hoe much longer can we hide the true cause? Reuters cover its ass from its own headline: “..possibly due to complications arising from extreme heat..”

England’s Heatwaves See Highest Ever Excess Deaths Among Elderly (R.)

England saw the highest excess mortality figure from heatwaves this year since records began in 2004, health officials said on Friday, after a hot summer that saw temperatures rise to all-time highs. England recorded 2,803 excess deaths among those aged 65 and over during summer heatwaves this year, possibly due to complications arising from extreme heat, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said in a statement. The figures exclude deaths from COVID-19. “These estimates show clearly that high temperatures can lead to premature death for those who are vulnerable,” UKHSA Chief Scientific Officer Isabel Oliver said. “Prolonged periods of hot weather are a particular risk for elderly people, those with heart and lung conditions or people who are unable to keep themselves cool such as people with learning disabilities and Alzheimer’s disease.”


Britain recorded its highest ever temperature, of just above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in eastern England on July 19. The heatwave, which caused fires across large grass areas, destroyed property and pressured transport infrastructure, had been made at least 10 times more likely because of climate change, scientists said. read more Around 1,000 excess deaths were recorded among those over 65 between July 17-20, the UKHSA said, while the Aug. 8-17 period recorded an estimated 1,458 excess deaths. Statisticians use “excess deaths” — a term that became more commonplace during the coronavirus pandemic — to describe the number of fatalities in excess of normally observed mortality numbers for a particular time of year.

Read more …

Excerpt from William Shatner’s new book, “Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder,” the “Star Trek” actor reflects on his voyage into space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space shuttle on Oct. 13, 2021. Then 90 years old, Shatner became the oldest living person to travel into space..

My Trip to Space Filled Me With ‘Overwhelming Sadness’ (William Shatner)

With all the attending noise, fire, and fury, we lifted off. I could see Earth disappearing. As we ascended, I was at once aware of pressure. Gravitational forces pulling at me. The g’s. There was an instrument that told us how many g’s we were experiencing. At two g’s, I tried to raise my arm, and could barely do so. At three g’s, I felt my face being pushed down into my seat. I don’t know how much more of this I can take, I thought. Will I pass out? Will my face melt into a pile of mush? How many g’s can my ninety-year-old body handle? And then, suddenly, relief. No g’s. Zero. Weightlessness. We were floating. We got out of our harnesses and began to float around. The other folks went straight into somersaults and enjoying all the effects of weightlessness. I wanted no part in that.

I wanted, needed to get to the window as quickly as possible to see what was out there. I looked down and I could see the hole that our spaceship had punched in the thin, blue-tinged layer of oxygen around Earth. It was as if there was a wake trailing behind where we had just been, and just as soon as I’d noticed it, it disappeared. I continued my self-guided tour and turned my head to face the other direction, to stare into space. I love the mystery of the universe. I love all the questions that have come to us over thousands of years of exploration and hypotheses. Stars exploding years ago, their light traveling to us years later; black holes absorbing energy; satellites showing us entire galaxies in areas thought to be devoid of matter entirely… all of that has thrilled me for years… but when I looked in the opposite direction, into space, there was no mystery, no majestic awe to behold . . . all I saw was death.

I saw a cold, dark, black emptiness. It was unlike any blackness you can see or feel on Earth. It was deep, enveloping, all-encompassing. I turned back toward the light of home. I could see the curvature of Earth, the beige of the desert, the white of the clouds and the blue of the sky. It was life. Nurturing, sustaining, life. Mother Earth. Gaia. And I was leaving her. Everything I had thought was wrong. Everything I had expected to see was wrong. I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things—that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe. In the film “Contact,” when Jodie Foster’s character goes to space and looks out into the heavens, she lets out an astonished whisper, “They should’ve sent a poet.”

I had a different experience, because I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound. It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna . . . things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.

I learned later that I was not alone in this feeling. It is called the “Overview Effect” and is not uncommon among astronauts, including Yuri Gagarin, Michael Collins, Sally Ride, and many others. Essentially, when someone travels to space and views Earth from orbit, a sense of the planet’s fragility takes hold in an ineffable, instinctive manner. Author Frank White first coined the term in 1987: “There are no borders or boundaries on our planet except those that we create in our minds or through human behaviors. All the ideas and concepts that divide us when we are on the surface begin to fade from orbit and the moon. The result is a shift in worldview, and in identity.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Elephant rock, Iceland

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 082022
 
 October 8, 2022  Posted by at 8:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  67 Responses »


Marc Chagall The watering trough 1925

 

Putin and Zelensky To Attend G20 – Indonesia (RT)
Merkel: Lasting Peace In Europe Only Possible With Russia’s Input (RT)
Russia Abandons The Dream Of A Greater Europe (RT)
US Media’s Intellectual No-Fly-Zone on Nord Stream (FAIR)
Lavrov Explains Why Russia Sees Ukraine As A Threat (RT)
EU Again Urged To Open Wallet For Kiev (RT)
Belgium Fails To Support New Round Of Sanctions Against Russia (RT)
Orban Urges Changes To EU Sanctions Policy (RT)
Joe Biden Is Not A Real President (Scarry)
OPEC Humiliates President Biden On A Global Stage (QTR)
Luxembourg Raises Red Flag Over Energy Price Caps (RT)
Citi: Financial Crisis May Surprise EU (RT)
November Surprise? (Jim Kunstler)
Washington Post Lying About Kremlin ‘Turmoil’ – Moscow (RT)
When Anti-Government Speech Becomes Sedition (Whitehead)
CDC: Record Number Of Children Hospitalized With Weakened Immune Systems (ZH)

 

 

This morning: Explosions on the Kerch bridge (Crimean bridge), which connects Crimea with Russia.

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Ed Dowd

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We are deciding which hotels to put them up in – one for Mr. Putin and one for Mr. Zelensky..”

“..his press secretary, Sergey Nikiforov, in a comment to Ukrainian media, denied the information that Zelensky had decided to visit the G20 summit..”

Putin and Zelensky To Attend G20 – Indonesia (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, will both travel to Bali in November for the G20 summit, an Indonesian diplomat has told UAE’s The National newspaper. If true, the summit will be the first event attended by both leaders since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began. “Both have agreed [to attend],”Indonesia’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Husain Bagis, told The National on Friday. He conceded that “the situation isn’t easy because of the Ukraine-Russia war,” and said that his government is already planning how to manage the arrival of the two leaders. “We are deciding which hotels to put them up in – one for Mr. Putin and one for Mr. Zelensky,” he said.

The Kremlin confirmed in June that Putin would attend the summit, although spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that the format of Putin’s participation “is still not defined.” Kiev stated in August that Zelensky “believes that he should be on the territory of Ukraine,” but would “think about”making the trip if Putin were to attend in person. Today his press secretary, Sergey Nikiforov, in a comment to Ukrainian media, denied the information that Zelensky had decided to visit the G20 summit. US President Joe Biden and a number of other Western leaders urged Indonesian President Joko Widodo not to invite Putin to the summit in Bali.

However, Widodo resisted the pressure campaign and invited the Russian leader as planned. With Widodo having met both Zelensky and Putin earlier this summer in a bid to “invite the two leaders to open dialogue and stop the war,” Bagis told The National that Indonesia aims “to make the G20 a platform for peace, not conflict.” Biden also appears to have softened his exclusionary stance toward Putin, telling reporters on Thursday that it “remains to be seen” whether he would meet the Russian president on the sidelines of the summit. The State Department quickly stepped in to say that in the view of the entire government, “it cannot be business as usual when it comes to Russia.” Although Ukraine is not one of the world’s 20 largest economies, Zelensky was invited to Bali as a guest.

Read more …

Sustainable peace = Green peace?!

Wonder if Merkel is involved in secret talks with Russia.

Merkel: Lasting Peace In Europe Only Possible With Russia’s Input (RT)

Sustainable peace in Europe may only be achieved if Russia is part of it, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. Speaking during the 77th anniversary of the German newspaper ‘Suddeutsche Zeitung,’ Merkel explained that while the West has been adamant in its support for Ukraine as the nation remains locked in conflict with Russia, it should also keep its mind open about what might seem as “unthinkable” now – Moscow’s future role in Europe’s affairs. She stressed that “a future European security architecture within international law will meet the requirements” only if it involves Russia. “As long as we haven’t achieved that, the Cold War is not really over either,” she added.

Merkel described February 24 – the day Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine – as a “turning point,” adding that statements made by various parties to the conflict should be taken “seriously and not to be classified as a bluff from the start.” She was apparently referring to recent comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who signaled that Moscow would use “all means to defend Russia and our people” if its territorial integrity was threatened. He also warned the West that those who use nuclear blackmail against Russia “should know that the wind rose can turn around.”

Merkel earlier urged the Western world to take Putin and his words seriously, arguing that such an approach is “by no means a sign of weakness,” but rather “a sign of political wisdom.” She also noted that former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, who before his death, was widely regarded as her political mentor, would have kept an open mind about “how relations to and with Russia could one day be redeveloped” after hostilities in Ukraine end. Such a stance, however, did not sit well with Ukrainian officials. Last week, Andrey Melnik, Kiev’s outgoing ambassador to Berlin, called Merkel’s attitude towards Russia and its role in European security “almost perverse.”

Read more …

“A Greater Europe didn’t happen; a Greater Asia that includes Russia is de facto emerging.”

Russia Abandons The Dream Of A Greater Europe (RT)

Re-uniting the divided people of Russia and gathering the lands where they live is essentially the core element of the new Russian idea that Putin is offering to his compatriots. The immediate task of course is to integrate the new territories that have just joined Russia following the referendums. This requires a major effort in many areas and at various levels. It is anything but easy. Russian forces, which for months have been advancing on Ukrainian territory, suddenly find themselves in a situation where they have to abandon some areas which are now legally Russian land, populated by Russian citizens who just voted in the referendums and now face severe reprisals at the hands of the counter-attacking Ukrainians.

Next comes the need to rebuild the cities and villages ravaged in the war, repair damaged infrastructure, restart the economy, provide communal services, and re-organize public administration, health services, and education. Of paramount importance is socializing the millions of residents of the four regions who were automatically granted Russian citizenship, in the Russian national environment. Moscow has some experience of that from 2014 when Crimea and Sevastopol joined Russia, but doing this in a wartime situation is more challenging. A lot will depend, of course, on how the Russian forces cope on the frontline that passes very close to Donetsk and Kherson, and which still leaves the city of Zaporozhiye in Ukraine’s rear.

Even if the Ukrainian counter-offensive runs out of steam and the Russians resume their advance, none of these tasks can be accomplished quickly. This part of the new Russian national idea will keep the nation busy for a long time. Putin’s concept, however, doesn’t stop there. It is not so much about restoring the Soviet Union: in Putin’s words, such a restoration is not Moscow’s objective. The Baltics, the South Caucasus and Central Asia are probably not envisaged as part of the new construct. However, as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hinted on the State Duma floor, in future other Ukrainian regions might be given the chance to follow Kherson and Zaporozhiye. To Putin, Greater Russia is a distinct civilization which opposes not only America’s hegemonic policies, but also the West’s projection of its values as universal.

This is an about-face not only from Gorbachev’s musings about a common European home, but also from Putin’s own travails in trying to forge a Greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, and his efforts to find a way for Russia to join NATO. A Greater Europe didn’t happen; a Greater Asia that includes Russia is de facto emerging. As to a Greater Russia, this requires more than a leader’s imagination. The Soviet Union, as the living generations remember it, was very much the product of the Great Patriotic War. The hybrid war with the West, of which Ukraine is only a small part, will doubtless reshape Russia. The question is, will it also transform it to fit the vision of a powerful economy and a vibrant society, faithful to its declared values – the substance, rather than the form of a Greater Russia.

Read more …

“A 2019 Pentagon-funded study from the RAND Corporation on how best to exploit “Russia’s economic, political and military vulnerabilities and anxieties” included a recommendation to “Reduce [Russian] Natural Gas Exports and Hinder Pipeline Expansions.”

US Media’s Intellectual No-Fly-Zone on Nord Stream (FAIR)

Any serious coverage of the Nord Stream attack should acknowledge that opposition to the pipeline has been a centerpiece of the US grand strategy in Europe. The long-term goal has been to keep Russia isolated and disjointed from Europe, and to keep the countries of Europe tied to US markets. Ever since German and Russian energy companies signed a deal to begin development on Nord Stream 2, the entire machinery of Washington has been working overtime to scuttle it. A 2019 Pentagon-funded study from the RAND Corporation on how best to exploit “Russia’s economic, political and military vulnerabilities and anxieties” included a recommendation to “Reduce [Russian] Natural Gas Exports and Hinder Pipeline Expansions.”

The study noted that a “first step would involve stopping Nord Stream 2,” and that natural gas “from the United States and Australia could provide a substitute.” This RAND study also prophetically recommended “providing more US military equipment and advice” to Ukraine in order to “lead Russia to increase its direct involvement in the conflict and the price it pays for it,” even though it acknowledged that “Russia might respond by mounting a new offensive and seizing more Ukrainian territory.” The Obama administration opposed the pipeline. As part of the major sanctions package against Russia in 2017, the Trump administration began sanctioning any company doing work on the pipeline. The move generated outrage in Germany, where many saw it as an attempt to meddle with European markets. In 2019, the US implemented more sanctions on the project.

Upon coming into office, President Joe Biden made opposition to the pipeline one of his administration’s top priorities. During his confirmation hearings in 2021, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told Congress he was “determined to do whatever I can to prevent” Nord Stream 2 from being completed. Months later, the State Department reiterated that “any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline.” In July 2021, the sanctions were relaxed only after contentious negotiations with the German government. The New York Times (7/21/21) reported that the administration and Germany still had “profound disagreements” about the project.

Read more …

“We all remember how [Zelensky] declared in January Ukraine’s intention to acquire nuclear weapons. Apparently, this idea has long been stuck in his mind..”

Lavrov Explains Why Russia Sees Ukraine As A Threat (RT)

A call by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky for NATO members to deploy nuclear weapons against Russia is a reminder of why Moscow launched military action against his country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “Yesterday, Zelensky called on his Western masters to deliver a preemptive nuclear strike on Russia,” Moscow’s top diplomat stated during a media conference on Wednesday. In doing so, the Ukrainian leader “showed to the entire world the latest proof of the threats that come from the Kiev regime.” Lavrov said Russia’s special military operation had been launched to neutralize those threats. He dismissed as “laughable” an attempt to downplay Zelensky’s words made by his press secretary, Sergey Nikoforov. “We all remember how [Zelensky] declared in January Ukraine’s intention to acquire nuclear weapons. Apparently, this idea has long been stuck in his mind,” the Russian minister said.


On Thursday, Zelensky told the Australian Lowy Institute that NATO must carry out preemptive strikes against Russia so that it “knows what to expect” if it uses its nuclear arsenal. He claimed that such action would “eliminate the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons,” before recalling how he urged other nations to preemptively punish Russia before it launched its military action against his country. “I once again appeal to the international community, as it was before February 24: Preemptive strikes so that [the Russians] know what will happen to them if they use it, and not the other way around,” he said. His spokesman then claimed that people interpreting Zelensky’s words as a call for a preemptive nuclear strike were wrong, and that Ukraine would never use such rhetoric.

Read more …

Cold and hunger and billions for Azov. A winning model.

EU Again Urged To Open Wallet For Kiev (RT)

Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, will urge member states to set aside more funds to cover enhanced military assistance for Ukraine. The top diplomat shared his plan with reporters at an informal EU summit in Prague on Friday. “I will ask the leaders to support the proposal for a new tranche for European Peace Facility to continue providing military support to Ukraine, also to the training mission,” Borrell said, as quoted by Reuters. Earlier this week Borrell expressed hope that at the next Foreign Affairs Council gathering on October 17, the EU will be able to “formally launch” its training mission for Ukrainian armed forces. Writing in his blog, the diplomat also claimed that the EU would “reinforce” its strategy of supporting Ukraine – “militarily, financially and politically.”

The European Peace Facility (EPF) that Borell referred to, is a mechanism created last year to enhance the EU’s ability to act as a global security provider. The EPF reimburses governments for military equipment supplied to Kiev, “including items designed to deliver lethal force for defensive purposes.” The latest round of funding for Ukraine under the EPF, worth €500 million, was agreed by the European Council in July. With this package, the total EU contribution for the country within this framework amounts to €2.5 billion. The EPF has a ceiling of about €6 billion and is supposed to support not only Ukraine but also other countries. As EU nations face an energy and cost-of-living crisis, exacerbated by anti-Russia sanctions and a reduction in Russian energy supplies, Borrell earlier urged people in the bloc to combat “the temptation to abandon Ukraine.”

Responding earlier this week to the EU’s plan of creating a training mission for Kiev’s armed forces, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that such a move would only “fix the EU in the status of a participant in the conflict.” In April, she accused the bloc of turning into “NATO’s economic relations department.” This followed Borrell’s tweet that “This war (in Ukraine) must be won on the battlefield.” Moscow has consistently warned Western countries against providing military support to Kiev. It argues that such assistance would only prolong the conflict and will lead to unnecessary casualties. Ukraine, in turn, has repeatedly claimed that the EU is too slow in its weapons supplies and that it doesn’t always provide what Kiev had requested.

Read more …

I found this strange. Macron wanted a new club, the European Political Community (EPC), which is EU plus some others?! Why? Betcha it’s so Ukraine can be part of some club too.

Belgium Fails To Support New Round Of Sanctions Against Russia (RT)

The Belgian government decided against endorsing a new round of EU anti-Russia trade restrictions, the local press reported on Thursday, citing remarks made by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Speaking on the sidelines of the European Political Community (EPC) summit in Prague, Czech Republic, the head of the Belgian government explained that “as the economic cost of sanctions becomes higher, it becomes difficult to show solidarity” with Ukraine. “The sanctions have worked very well so far,” the prime minister said, “but the further we go, the more we talk about sanctions that hurt our own economy more than Russia’s.” His country therefore declined to support the eighth package of sanctions when EU member states voted on it this week.

Belgium didn’t vote against it either, because “we do not want to break European solidarity,” De Croo was quoted as saying. A vote against the proposal any EU member state would have blocked the package from being approved. Belgium was reportedly the only nation to abstain. Earlier this week, Belgian MP Andre Flahaut, who represents the province of Walloon Brabant, expressed concerns about the impact of the upcoming sanctions on his constituents. Two factories owned by the Russian metals giant NLMK, which are located in the Belgian province, may have to shut down, the lawmaker warned. The EU ultimately allowed a transition period of two years to switch from semi-finished steel products originating in Russia to alternative supplies.

There were also concerns in Belgium that the EU would try to restrict trade in Russian diamonds, potentially impacting the jewelry businesses of Antwerp. Some news outlets reported that the country blocked the proposed inclusion of such sanctions in the package. When asked about Russian gemstones, Prime Minister De Croo said his government would not have opposed a ban, if it were necessary, but the European Commission decided against it because imports from Russia had fallen significantly without any formal restrictions. The EPC is a new political club proposed earlier this year by French President Emmanuel Macron. The forum is supposed to bring together EU member states and nations that aspire to become part of the economic bloc, plus its traditional allies like the UK and Norway. The meeting of EPC leaders in Prague is the first of its kind.

Read more …

Orban could soon walk out. They refuse to give him his money anyway. Why stay?

Orban Urges Changes To EU Sanctions Policy (RT)

Sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine have failed, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday, urging Brussels to change its policy. “The sanctions didn’t fulfill the hopes that were pinned on them, the war hasn’t ended,” Orban wrote on Facebook. “Europe is slowly bleeding and Russia is making money in the meantime,” he pointed out. The Hungarian leader said that it was obvious to him that “the failed policy of Brussels must be changed.” The statement was made on the same day that the EU announced an eighth round of sanctions on Russia. The new curbs include an oil price cap, trade restrictions amounting to 7 billion euros and individual sanctions against 30 people and seven entities. The move comes after the official inclusion of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions into Russia [..]


Orban has frequently criticized the EU’s sanctions on Russia, calling them counterproductive. Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy, has maintained a relatively neutral stance during the conflict in Ukraine, condemning the use of force by Moscow, but refusing to supply weapons to Kiev. Brussels expected that the unprecedented restrictions would cripple Russia’s economy and prevent it from funding its military operation. But Moscow was able to redirect its oil and gas to Asian markets, while also profiting from growing energy prices. The policy has also largely backfired for the EU, causing a spike in inflation, and putting Europe into an energy crisis. The situation deteriorated even further in late September when the Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged.

Read more …

“Biden Threatening Nuclear Armageddon After Six Years of Media Freakout Over Trump Tweets”

Joe Biden Is Not A Real President (Scarry)

Did anyone else burst into a bout of uncontrollable, psychotic laughter upon reading the report that President Biden just told a room full of Democrat donors that the risk of nuclear “armageddon” has arrived? I can’t be the only one. Here are some headlines from the not-too-distant past that immediately came to mind: • We must Trump-proof the nuclear codes before 20243 NBC News, March 12, 2022 • Gen. Milley feared Trump might launch nuclear attack, made secret calls to China, new book says USA Today, Sept. 14, 2021 • Trump is leading us into nuclear war, says Daniel Ellsberg (and he should know, he used to plan them) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Feb. 1, 2018 • Donald Trump s Nuclear-War Threat The New Yorker, Aug. 9, 2017 • Clinton Says Trump Could Lead US Into Nuclear War Roll Call, June 2, 2016.

So, wait a second. You mean we just spent the last six years with all of Washington and the national media swearing to voters that Trump had us on the brink of nuclear annihilation, only for it to be Biden, their choice for president, to get us right up on the cliff’s edge? If that doesn’t have you pulling tufts of hair out of your scalp until it bleeds, check your pulse. This can’t be real. Biden has to be fake. This must be a computer simulation. For four years under Trump, gas was cheap, the stock market was booming, and a trip to the grocery store didn’t require customers to take out a second mortgage.

Now under Biden, OPEC is gratuitously choking the energy supply, basic necessities are scarce, and a major war has American taxpayers spending more than $67 billion (and counting) to a country that’s 5,000 miles away. Oh, and now we have to worry about a nuclear confrontation with a global superpower! sIf it were a movie script, not a single producer would find it believable. The writer would never work again. But this is real? We elected a president, in earnest, who is this incompetent and terrible? It’s nuclear war he’s warning of! This is the absolute worst-case scenario. The severity can’t be overstated. There aren’t enough mean Trump tweets in the world to excuse the state of things under this “president.” I refuse to believe it. Biden isn’t a real president.

Read more …

“..they 1) are not our friends, 2) do not care what we want, 3) do not take us seriously and 4) are not here to help us and/or Biden get re-elected by lowering prices..”

OPEC Humiliates President Biden On A Global Stage (QTR)

[..] yesterday OPEC humiliated President Biden on a global stage by cutting oil production after he specifically lobbied them not to. There’s no “nice” way of putting it – they straight-up snubbed the U.S. and have now, in my opinion, made it officially clear that they 1) are not our friends, 2) do not care what we want, 3) do not take us seriously and 4) are not here to help us and/or Biden get re-elected by lowering prices. To use Biden’s parlance, “Let me tell you something, Jack – we’re not in bed with the Saudis anymore. They are more allied with China and Russia than they have ever been, at arguably the most crucial moment in recent history for our global economy.”

As I pointed out last night on my podcast, there was nothing quite like the “fist bump heard round the world” a couple months ago when President Biden – who spends his time here domestically fighting for “equality” and human rights – decided to embrace the Saudis, and their track record of disapproving of gay rights, murdering journalists and multiple other human rights violations – instead of simply ramping up domestic oil production here in the U.S. Biden probably went into the meeting he had with MBS months ago thinking we had some type of leverage, like we have had decades ago. The sad reality is that we simply don’t anymore: the Saudis have the oil, they have gold, and now they have allies just as big and powerful as the U.S. when combined. And those allies provide financial and military support at a crucial juncture for geopolitics.

Meanwhile, our President remains tone deaf and while his supporters remain immune to what can only be described as blatantly obvious double standards. With the left hand, Biden was vilifying Exxon and Chevron here in the U.S., basically encouraging them to not bring more supply online, whilst blaming “gas station owners” and other people who don’t set the price of refined fuels. With the right hand, he was fist bumping a man who publicly disapproves of gay rights and ordered the murder of a critical journalist, in order to try and get him to unleash more oil on the global stage. And instead of him taking us seriously, he did the exact opposite of what Biden wanted yesterday – cut oil production, raising prices – and humiliated Biden on the global stage.

Read more …

“Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin has described the eighth package of anti-Russia penalties as the “first EU sanctions package” against Serbia.”

Luxembourg Raises Red Flag Over Energy Price Caps (RT)

The European Union may be left with no energy supplies after introducing gas price caps, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said as he arrived at the bloc’s summit in Prague on Friday. “Implementing a price cap is not the only thing,” Bettel said. “Because, after, maybe we can’t get energy. So then, maybe we have a price cap but no energy.” EU leaders are expected to discuss how to deal with gas prices to curb soaring energy bills during their informal summit in the Czech capital. The talks will include a proposal on a gas price cap. “We have to know we’re not the only customers in the world,” he added. “So, we have to be very careful about decisions that we take that sound good on paper but where consequences can be problematic.”


The issue has been hotly contested for weeks, with Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands in opposition to any form of cap due to concerns regarding security of supply. On Thursday, Brussels announced the eighth package of restrictions on Russia, which includes a price cap and “further restrictions” on the maritime transportation of Russian crude oil and petroleum products to third countries. The latest batch of penalties has been blasted by several EU nations, including Hungary and Serbia. Earlier, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that anti-Russia sanctions had failed, adding that the bloc was “slowly bleeding” due to the drastic steps. Meanwhile, Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin has described the eighth package of anti-Russia penalties as the “first EU sanctions package” against Serbia.

Read more …

“The euro area is at risk of a financial meltdown on the same scale as the crisis it suffered a decade ago..”

They should be so lucky.

Citi: Financial Crisis May Surprise EU (RT)

The euro area is at risk of a financial meltdown on the same scale as the crisis it suffered a decade ago, Citi analysts have told CNBC. They cited Germany’s massive energy relief plan as the major threat to the bloc’s stability, the media outlet reports on Friday. According to the report, Wall Street bank analysts have raised concerns about the violent bond market moves and the European governments’ plans to borrow vast sums of money. They said that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s relief package, worth €200 billion ($195 billion) and aimed at tackling soaring energy prices, “may soften the coming recession but also poses risks.” Those risks relate to the question of how the package will be financed and what that could do to inflation, to Germany’s sovereign bond yields, to the ECB’s benchmark rate, and to the borrowing plans of other euro nations that may do the same.

“The risk is that others may follow that example,” Christian Schulz, deputy chief European economist at Citi, told CNBC, citing the UK’s recent bond market meltdown after unfunded tax cuts by the government. Schulz explained that Germany could “afford” any debt financing thanks to its low debt-to-GDP ratio and lower external funding needs, but the package could open the door for less fiscally prudent countries to want to borrow large amounts and issue new debt. That could potentially lead to trouble like that seen in Britain.

Citi analysts forecast that German debt financing could force tighter ECB policy, which could then also send yields surging in the euro area. “The risk is that this same dynamic [as seen in Britain] evolves on the continent as well now,”Schulz warned. Meanwhile, data by Saxo Bank show that an ECB stress indicator for the Eurozone’s financial system – which looks at tensions in bond, equity and money markets – has risen from below 0.1 at the start of the year to almost 0.5 so far. During the Eurozone debt crisis in 2009-2010, the index exceeded 0.6.


German producer prices. Past 2 years: up 60%. Past 40 years before that: up 60%.

Read more …

“His staff must be marinated in evidence of the RussiaGate misdeeds — reams of which have been independently documented in the public record..”

November Surprise? (Jim Kunstler)

Adults understand that politics is a crooked business, but through the whole of US history until now filters existed in the public arena that allowed for enough sorting out of truth from untruth to enable the formation of a reality-based consensus — which, in turn, allowed daily life to operate coherently. The Party of Chaos has thrown the kill-switch on that crucial function by corrupting the news business and subverting the new social media. The result is a public culture of pervasive and immersive lying, and a stupendous institutional failure of the courts to correct any of that behavior. Case-in-point: the John Durham Special Counsel Investigation on the origin of the RussiaGate fraud. It now apparently terminates in the prosecution of the tiniest minnow (Igor Danchenko) in that vast inland sea of corruption.

Some of the figures who carried out the perfidious seditions of RussiaGate are still employed in the Department of Justice and the FBI, and to this day are active in the continued cover-up of the crimes committed to overthrow President Trump, notably: Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and others. Mr. Durham is supposedly among the highest officers of the federal courts charged with enforcing a very particular region of criminality.

His staff must be marinated in evidence of the RussiaGate misdeeds — reams of which have been independently documented in the public record, ranging from (just for example) the nefarious activities of figures like Nellie Ohr, wife of DOJ higher-up Bruce Ohr, working as go-between with Christopher Steele and the FBI, to the spectacular failures of Judge James Boasberg and his FISA court, not to mention the well-known machinations of Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, Dana Boente, James Baker, Andrew Weissmann, Jeannie Rhee, Aaron Zebley, Brandon Van Grack, Robert Mueller, and other top officials who worked sedulously against the public interest. All these remain apparently off-the-hook for their sketchy activities.

Read more …

“Peskov told the Post that disagreement between Putin and his aides is “part of the usual working process.”

Washington Post Lying About Kremlin ‘Turmoil’ – Moscow (RT)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that a Washington Post report alleging “turmoil” and confrontation in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle is “absolutely not true.” The report in question was attributed to anonymous US spies. “A member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle has voiced disagreement directly to the Russian president” over the conflict in Ukraine, the report stated, alleging that “the criticism marks the clearest indication yet of turmoil within Russia’s leadership.” No source was given for this report, which was attributed to “information obtained by US intelligence.” Peskov told the Post that disagreement between Putin and his aides is “part of the usual working process.”

“There are working arguments: about the economy, about the conduct of the military operation. There are arguments about the education system. This is part of the normal working process, and it is not a sign of any split,” he said, adding that the information supposedly obtained by American intelligence is “absolutely not true.” American officials have previously boasted about waging an “info war”against Russia by leaking false intelligence reports to the media, NBC News reported in April. Intelligence officials, for example, admitted to fabricating a warning that Russia was preparing to use chemical weapons in Ukraine in March, leaking the story to the Washington Post despite it being based on “low confidence” intelligence.

A report claiming that Putin was “being misled by his own advisers” was also reportedly made up or exaggerated by US spies. “There’s no way you can prove or disprove that stuff,” a retired intelligence operative told NBC. The Post’s latest report was also received with doubt by the US’ European allies. According to the newspaper, “senior security officials in Europe said they were not aware that anyone had dared to challenge Putin directly over the course of events in Ukraine,” and said that they hadn’t seen the supposed US intelligence report that the article was based on.

Read more …

Terrorists.

When Anti-Government Speech Becomes Sedition (Whitehead)

Anti-government speech has become a four-letter word. In more and more cases, the government is declaring war on what should be protected political speech whenever it challenges the government’s power, reveals the government’s corruption, exposes the government’s lies, and encourages the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices. Indeed, there is a long and growing list of the kinds of speech that the government considers dangerous enough to red flag and subject to censorship, surveillance, investigation and prosecution: hate speech, conspiratorial speech, treasonous speech, threatening speech, inflammatory speech, radical speech, anti-government speech, extremist speech, etc.

Things are about to get even dicier for those who believe in fully exercising their right to political expression. Indeed, the government’s seditious conspiracy charges against Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, and several of his associates for their alleged involvement in the January 6 Capitol riots puts the entire concept of anti-government political expression on trial. [..] In recent years, the government has used the phrase “domestic terrorist” interchangeably with “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” to describe anyone who might fall somewhere on a very broad spectrum of viewpoints that could be considered “dangerous.” The ramifications are so far-reaching as to render almost every American with an opinion about the government or who knows someone with an opinion about the government an extremist in word, deed, thought or by association.

You see, the government doesn’t care if you or someone you know has a legitimate grievance. It doesn’t care if your criticisms are well-founded. And it certainly doesn’t care if you have a First Amendment right to speak truth to power. What the government cares about is whether what you’re thinking or speaking or sharing or consuming as information has the potential to challenge its stranglehold on power. Why else would the FBI, CIA, NSA and other government agencies be investing in corporate surveillance technologies that can mine constitutionally protected speech on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? Why else would the Biden Administration be likening those who share “false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information” to terrorists?

Read more …

3 weeks after the New England Journal of medicine said the vaccines destroy your immune system, the stupid circus just goes on.

CDC: Record Number Of Children Hospitalized With Weakened Immune Systems (ZH)

Official data suggests that more children and young adults than ever have been hospitalized with colds and respiratory issues, according to the Daily Mail, which notes that “experts have repeatedly warned lockdowns and measures used to contain Covid like face masks also suppressed the spread of germs which are crucial for building a strong immune system in children.” According to a retrospective report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), levels of common cold viruses hit their highest level among non-adults in August 2021 – when levels had been much lower in previous years during the same month. According to the data which sampled nearly 700 children, nearly 55% tested positive for RSV in August 2021. Of that, 450 were moved to emergency departments where nearly 35% had RSV – which is comparable to the winter months when over 30% of patients regularly have the virus, according to the report.


“The CDC samples random pediatric hospitals across the US and makes national estimates to gauge how prevalent viruses are. There were nearly 700 children in hospital sick with a respiratory virus across the seven wards studied in August last year, of which just over half had tested positive for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – which is normally benign. This was the highest levels ever recorded in summer, and came off the back of a year and a half of brutal pandemic restrictions forcing many to stay indoors. The record all-time high is in December, when 60 per cent of children on wards with respiratory illnesses were infected with RSV.” -Daily Mail

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Dance

 

 

 

 

Watters

 

 

Anthony Bourdain RIP

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 282022
 


Henri Matisse The terrace, St. Tropez 1904

 

All The Way To Odessa (Escobar)
Blame West For Global Inflation — Former Czech President (RT)
China Calls On Putin To End Russian Roulette At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant (iN)
US Comments On American Fighter Death In Ukraine (RT)
Amnesty Issues Warning About Donbass Tribunal (RT)
Sanctions War Isn’t Going As Well As Planned – The Economist (RT)
Serbia Comments On Russia Gas Supplies (RT)
Pentagon Signs Deal To Make Air Defense Systems For Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine Site Threatens 1000s, Incl. Americans, With Extrajudicial Killings (A.)
What Did Not Happen With The Release Of The Mar-a-Lago Affidavit? (Turley)
Judge Announces ‘Preliminary Intent To Appoint A Special Master’ (Fox)
Don’t Charge Trump With Espionage (John Kiriakou)
Let Djokovic Play (Vinay Prasad)
62% of Democratic Students Oppose Sharing Dorm Rooms With Republicans (Turley)
Assange Files Appeal To Stop US Extradition (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zelensky

 

 

Biden showering with his daughter is creepy as hell, but for me it’s more: what if Ivanka had written this about her dad? He would have been crucified.

 

 

Tucker Rumble

 

 

 

 

“..the NATO-Bandera alliance..”

All The Way To Odessa (Escobar)

Europe is now a runaway TGV – minus the requisite Hollywood production values. Assuming it does not veer off track – a dicey proposition – it may eventually arrive at a railway station called Agenda 2030, The Great Narrative, or some other NATO/Davos denomination du jour. As it stands, what’s remarkable is how the “marginal” Russian economy hardly broke a sweat to “end the abundance” of the wealthiest region on the planet. Moscow does not even entertain the notion of negotiating with Brussels because there’s nothing to negotiate – considering puny Eurocrats will only be hurled away from their zombified state when the dire socio-economic consequences of “the end of abundance” will finally translate into peasants with pitchforks roaming the continent.

It may be eons away, but inevitably the average Italian, German or Frenchman will connect the dots and realize it is their own “leaders” – national nullities and mostly unelected Eurocrats – who are paving their road to poverty. You will be poor. And you will like it. Because we are all supporting freedom for Ukrainian neo-nazis. That brings the concept of “multicultural Europe” to a whole new level. The runaway train, of course, may veer off track and plunge into an Alpine abyss. In this case something might be saved from the wreckage – and “reconstruction” might be on the cards. But reconstruct what? Europe could always reconstruct a new Reich (collapsed with a bang in 1945); a soft Reich (erected at the end of WWII); or break with its past failures, sing “I’m Free” – and connect with Eurasia. Don’t bet on it.

The SMO may be about to radically change – something that will drive the already clueless denizens of US Think Tankland and their Euro vassals even more berserk. President Putin and Defense Minister Shoigu have been giving serious hints the only way for the pain dial is up – considering the mounting evidence of terrorism inside Russian territory; the vile assassination of Darya Dugina; non-stop shelling of civilians in border regions; attacks on Crimea; the use of chemical weapons; and the shelling of Zaporizhzhya power plant raising the risk of a nuclear catastrophe. This past Tuesday, one day before the SMO completing six months, Crimea’s permanent representative to the Kremlin, Georgy Muradov, all but spelled it out.

He stressed the necessity to “reintegrate all the Taurian lands” – Crimea, the Northern Black Sea and the Azov Sea – into a single entity as soon as “in the next few months”. He defined this process as “objective and demanded by the population of these regions.” Muradov added, “given not only the strikes on Crimea, but also the continuous shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the dam of the Kakhovka reservoir, peaceful facilities on the territory of Russia, the DNR and LNR, there are all preconditions to qualify the actions of the Banderite regime as terrorist.” The conclusion is inevitable: “the political issue of changing the format of the special military operation” enters the agenda. After all, Washington and Brussels “have already prepared new anti-Crimean provocations of the NATO-Bandera alliance”.

So when we examine what the “restoration of the Taurian lands” implies, we see not only the contours of Novorossiya but most of all that there won’t be any security for Crimea – and thus Russia – in the Black Sea without Odessa becoming Russian again. And that, on top of it, will solve the Transnistria dilemma. Add to it Kharkov – the capital and top industrial center of Greater Donbass. And of course Dnipropetrovsk. They are all SMO objectives, the whole combo to be later protected by buffer zones in Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts. Only then the “tasks” – as Shoigu calls them – of the SMO would be declared fulfilled. The timeline could be eight to ten months – after a lull under General Winter.

Read more …

“The ‘green delirium..’”

Blame West For Global Inflation — Former Czech President (RT)

Former Czech President Vaclav Klaus has rejected the notion that the Ukrainian conflict has been the sole reason for the economic problems now experienced around the globe. “The issues that led to spiking inflation and to a huge increase in energy prices that we have now originated long before February 24” when Russia sent its troops into Ukraine, Klaus told outlet Seznam Sravy on Friday. “This is self-inflicted, this is self-inflicted by the West. The Russian invasion just added to that,”he insisted. Russia is a major supplier of gas, oil and coal, but it’s “just one of the players” on the international market, the 81-year-old economist, who was the Czech Republic’s president between 2003 and 2013, pointed out.


So, the reduction of supply of Russian hydrocarbons to the EU and soaring energy prices – which came as a result of sweeping sanctions imposed on Moscow by the bloc – just can’t be the number one cause for high inflation rates and soaring energy prices, Klaus insisted. “I don’t understand why the number one cause isn’t being mentioned. The ‘green delirium,’ the supposed fight against climate change and the EU’s Green Deal – that’s the fundamental cause for the rise in prices,” he said, referring to the Western attempts in recent years to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The ex-president has urged the sides involved to find a solution to the conflict in Ukraine, which has already been going on for half a year, warning that the situation will only “get worse and worse” if it’s not done soon. “It won’t be enough for the representatives of Ukraine and Russia to get together. It’s necessary for the West, especially the US, to start negotiating with Russia. Every person with at least some intelligence understands this,” he also remarked.

Read more …

How news is fabricated. Michael Day at iNews.uk comes with this headline, but nowhere in his quotes is it repeated. Instead, China simply called on both sides to be careful. And of course the article talks about Russian shelling, which we know is nonsensical. Russia’s held the plant since March, and there was never an issue until Ukraine started firing at it. But yeah “Russian Roulette” sounds cute, and so does “China Calls On Putin To End..” [it].

China Calls On Putin To End Russian Roulette At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant (iN)

China has issued a thinly veiled attack on Russia’s brinkmanship over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, as fears of disaster escalate following a near-miss at the site. A senior Chinese official told the UN on Friday that just one incident might cause a serious nuclear accident “with irreversible consequences for the ecosystem and public health of Ukraine and its neighbouring countries”. Geng Shuang, China’s deputy permanent representative at the UN, pointedly called on all parties involved “to exercise maximum restraint strictly abide by international law and minimise the risk of accidents”, adding: ”We must not allow the tragedies of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents to be repeated.”

In addition to an international public health emergency, a serious accident and radiation release at the plant would be another blow to the world economy, already severely impoacted by Covid-19 and the energy crisis. China’s warning is signficiant as it is perhaps the only world power with real influence over the Putin regime. Beijing issued its statement just hours after an incident at Zaporizhzhia – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – when electricity was cut off for hours, according to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr Zelensky said Russian shelling on Thursday sparked fires in the ash pits of a nearby coal power station, wihch disconnected the Zaporozhzhia plant from the power grid. A Russian official claimed Ukraine was to blame.

Back-up diesel generators ensured that the power supply to the plant, vital for cooling and safety systems there, continued, Mr Zelensky said. He urged international bodies to act faster to force Russian troops to vacate the site, located in the south of country. Oleh Savitskyi, an energy policy expert with the Ukrainian Climate Network who has worked in the country’s ministry of energy and environment protection, told the Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists (BOAS) that relying on back-up diesel generators was not enough “Russians are using Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as their military base, they could have been stealing that diesel fuel or using it for their vehicles. Nobody knows how much fuel is available,” he said.

Read more …

Why do you have to hear this through RT, and not a US source, who should be all over it? Easy:

“..the fighter was killed not by Russian or allied forces, but by his fellow soldiers while “fleeing from the position.”

US Comments On American Fighter Death In Ukraine (RT)

Another American has died in fighting in Ukraine, the US State Department revealed on Friday, confirming previous claims made by Russian officials. “We can confirm the death of a US citizen in Ukraine,” a US State Department spokesperson told Newsweek on Friday. “Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment at this time.” On Friday, Oleg Kozhemyako, who serves as the governor of Russia’s Far Eastern Primorsky Region, said that the ‘Tiger’ military unit from his area had eliminated an American while repelling an attack from a group consisting of mercenaries from several countries.

“An American mercenary was destroyed in Ukraine,” he said on his Telegram, attaching photos of both a US passport and Ukrainian military service card, apparently issued in the name of Joshua Alan Jones. The ID documents say he was born in Tennessee and joined the Ukrainian Army on July 14 with the A3449 military unit. According to Andrey Rudenko, a Russian military reporter, the fighter was killed not by Russian or allied forces, but by his fellow soldiers while “fleeing from the position.” The State Department spokesperson offered a reminder that “US citizens should not travel to Ukraine, due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of US citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials.”

“US citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options,” the representative reiterated. Russia’s Ministry of Defense has repeatedly claimed it had destroyed foreign mercenaries in Ukraine, including by conducting high-precision missile strikes. Moreover, earlier this month, authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic said that three Western nationals accused of fighting as mercenaries for Ukraine could be sentenced to death while another two are facing up to eight years behind bars for the same reason. Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense warned that mercenaries aren’t viewed as combatants under international law and “the best thing that awaits them if they are captured alive is a trial and maximum prison terms.” s

Read more …

Amnesty still feels queasy. More interesting is Duma Speaker Volodin:

“He and his inner circle ordered to bomb, shoot and kill peaceful citizens: the elderly, women, children. That is why Zelensky is doing everything to prevent the tribunal.

Amnesty Issues Warning About Donbass Tribunal (RT)

Amnesty International is against putting Ukrainian POWs on trial for alleged war crimes, insisting that Russia and Donbass are in no position to do so. Describing the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as “Russian-backed armed groups,”the organization called the upcoming tribunals “illegal and abusive.” The organization also blasted the decision to set up the trials in the city of Mariupol, captured by Russian and Donbass forces during the ongoing conflict, saying it was “a further act of cruelty against a city.” “Any attempts by Russian authorities to try Ukrainian prisoners of war in so-called ‘international tribunals’ set up by armed groups under Russia’s effective control in Mariupol are illegal and unacceptable,” Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Marie Struthers, said in a statement on Friday.

The remarks echoed those recently made by top Ukrainian officials, including Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who threatened to cut any potential negotiations with Russia should Ukrainian POWs, primarily fighters of the notorious neo-Nazi Azov regiment, be placed on a “show trial.” “If this despicable show trial takes place … This will be the line beyond which any negotiations are impossible. Russia will cut itself off from any negotiations,” Zelensky said in a video address on Monday. Zelensky’s call, however, has been promptly snubbed by top Russian and Donbass officials, with the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, stating such threats will have “no effect” on the tribunal plans.

“The data on 80 counts of crimes committed by the Azov has been collected, 23 people have been arrested and are in custody,” Pushilin stated. Russian Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin issued a darker warning in response to Zelensky’s threats, suggesting the public hearings will expose Kiev’s crimes, which is why the Ukrainian president rightfully fears them. “He and the Kiev regime have reasons to be afraid,” Volodin said. “He and his inner circle ordered to bomb, shoot and kill peaceful citizens: the elderly, women, children. That is why Zelensky is doing everything to prevent the tribunal.”

Read more …

“The biggest flaw [of sanctions] is that full or partial embargoes are not being enforced by over 100 countries with 40% of world GDP..”

Sanctions War Isn’t Going As Well As Planned – The Economist (RT)

The harsh sanctions imposed on Russia by the West over the conflict in Ukraine have so far been unable to deliver the desired result, The Economist magazine has acknowledged, adding that the strategy has “flaws.” “Worryingly, so far the sanctions war is not going as well as expected,” the British publication said in its article on Thursday, insisting that the effectiveness of economic restrictions on Moscow “is key to the outcome of the Ukraine war.” “Russia’s GDP will shrink by 6% in 2022, reckons the IMF, much less than the 15% drop many expected in March… Energy sales will generate a current-account surplus of $265 billion this year, the world’s second-largest after China. After a crunch, Russia’s financial system has stabilized and the country is finding new suppliers for some imports, including China,” it pointed out.

At the same time, the energy crisis, which has been provoked by the sanctions war, “may trigger a recession” in Europe, where gas prices spiked by another 20% this week, according to the British magazine. This all means that the expected “knockout blow [from restricting Russia] has not materialized,” The Economist said. “The unipolar moment of the 1990s, when America’s supremacy was uncontested, is long gone, and the West’s appetite to use military force has waned since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” it acknowledged. Economic restrictions “seemed” to be the new tool that would allow the US, EU and its allies to project their power globally, but the conflict in Ukraine has revealed that “the sanctions weapon has flaws,” it said.

One of those flaws is “the time lag,” the magazine continued. For example, “blocking [Russia’s] access to tech the West monopolizes takes years to bite,” it added. The Economist suggested that isolation from Western markets could only “cause havoc in Russia… on a three- to five-year horizon.” “The biggest flaw [of sanctions] is that full or partial embargoes are not being enforced by over 100 countries with 40% of world GDP,” the outlet insisted. “A globalized economy is good at adapting to shocks and opportunities, particularly as most countries have no desire to enforce Western policy.” With economic curbs failing to cripple the Russian economy, one should “discard any illusions that sanctions offer the West a cheap and asymmetric way to confront China” if it decides to use force against Taiwan, The Economist warned.

Read more …

Hungary, Serbia, Turkey, who’s next?

Serbia Comments On Russia Gas Supplies (RT)

Serbs would not have to save energy and reduce their consumption this winter thanks to Belgrade’s policies and gas imports from Russia, President Aleksandar Vucic told his fellow citizens in an address on Saturday. “There are no plans for electricity restrictions next winter,” he said, adding, however, that the situation in the energy field remains “extremely difficult.” At the same time, the Serbian cabinet is expected to provide “large discounts” to those who did save electricity this year in comparison to the previous one, he said. Such measures have become possible particularly due to gas imports from Russia, the Serbian leader believes. Serbia purchases 2 million cubic meters of gas – or between 63% and 64% of all gas it needs – from Russia and its total cost amounts to €800 million ($797 million), Vucic said, calling such a price “fantastic.”


If Belgrade had to buy gas at the current European market prices, it would go bankrupt, he said, arguing that the remaining 1.2 million cubic meters of gas – or around 36% of its total consumption – would cost Serbia €4.8 billion ($4.7 billion) now. “And our entire budget is around €13 billion,” the president said. Vucic also praised a deal Belgrade struck with Budapest that would see Hungary storing between 300 and 500 cubic meters of gas purchased by Serbia in its gas storages. The Serbian president’ comments come as the European gas prices continue to soar. September futures on the TTF hub in the Netherlands rose to nearly $3,500 per thousand cubic meters on Friday, according to data on the London ICE exchange.

Read more …

Raytheon pay day. But this stuff won’t be ready for another two years. They are actively trying to create a 10-year war. Why would Russia wait that long, though?

Pentagon Signs Deal To Make Air Defense Systems For Ukraine (RT)

The Pentagon has signed a $182-million deal with US arms manufacturer Raytheon to produce NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems) for the Ukrainian military. The work on short-and medium-range air defense weaponry will be conducted at Raytheon’s facilities in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, with an estimated completion date of August 23, 2024, the US Department of Defense said in a statement on Friday. Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden announced yet another military aid package for Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia. At $2.98 billion it is the largest to date, and will include six NASAMS systems.


The military assistance will be funded as part of the so-called Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), meaning the hardware will be specifically produced for Kiev, and not taken from US stocks. In an article earlier this month, Air Force Magazine described the NASAMS as a vital piece of technology that could help the Ukrainian forces to shoot down Russian cruise missiles, which have so far been hitting targets in the country “nearly unimpeded.” Moscow has long been critical of weapons supplies to Kiev by Washington and its allies, saying that they only prolong the conflict and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia.

Read more …

“In total, nearly 200,000 people have been declared ‘criminals’ over the five years.”

German politicians, a French actor, Victor Orban, Henry Kissinger, and of course as per last week, Roger Waters.

Ukraine Site Threatens 1000s, Incl. Americans, With Extrajudicial Killings (A.)

Mirotvorets, which compiles lists of ‘enemies of Ukraine’, has been operating with impunity for eight years. For the last eight years, a group of publicly unknown activists in Ukraine have been compiling lists of ‘enemies of the people’ with impunity. Hundreds of thousands have been declared criminals without trial. Among them are not only Russian citizens, but also Ukrainian opposition figures and bloggers, European politicians, and US citizens. At the very least, being added to this list is a stigma that makes life difficult in Ukraine, but it can also serve as justification for imprisonment or, in some cases, even being killed. This is exactly what happened last weekend to Daria Dugina, daughter of world-famous Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, who’s name also can be found on that list.

RT explains what is behind the Mirotvorets, or ‘Peacemaker’, website, whose creators seek to bring ‘peace’ to their country with the help of extrajudicial killings, and why the Ukrainian authorities have done nothing about this despite condemnation from the international community. What is Mirotvorets? The main page of the Ukrainian Mirotvorets website proclaims that the outlet represents a ‘Center for Research of Signs of Crimes against the National Security of Ukraine, Peace, Humanity, and the International Law’. It claims to have been created by a group of academics, journalists, and other specialists. However, their names are known to no one, and the outfit itself has never even been officially registered in Ukraine. Nevertheless, this organization has been in operation for nine years, since August 2014.

[..] As long as Mirotvorets was limiting itself to publishing information on Ukrainian citizens living in Crimea and Donbass, Ukrainian opposition politicians and journalists, and Russian residents and officials, the odious organization went unnoticed in the ‘civilized world’. But a scandal erupted in 2016, when Mirotvorets published information on employees of a host of media outlets, including the BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera, AFP, Le Monde, the Guardian, Le Figaro, France 24, El Mundo, CBS News, CNN, Sky News, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Cheska Televize, Radio France, Channel 9 Australia, the Associated Press, Japan TV, the Daily Mail, Die Welt, the Washington Post and New York Times, as well as representatives of Human Rights Watch and many other organizations, for “cooperating with a terrorist organization” (i.e., the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics).

[..] so far, calls for the closure of Mirotvorets have, in fact, been limited to a chorus of journalists, human rights defenders, and parliamentarians, who lack the power to make legally binding decisions with respect to Ukraine. This issue is not included among the list of requirements put forth by the Council of Europe or the European Commission that Kiev must fulfil in order to implement the EU Association Agreement.

Read more …

“..the largest Rorschach test in history..”

What Did Not Happen With The Release Of The Mar-a-Lago Affidavit? (Turley)

With Friday’s release of the redacted affidavit from the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, the largest Rorschach test in history seemed to play out on cable television. Instead of ink blots, pundits and politicians stared at pages of solid black lines and offered strikingly different “ah-ha” observations. For former Mueller top aide Andrew Weissmann, the affidavit meant one thing — that “the former president is going to be prosecuted.” (Of course, Weissmann once expressed certainty that Donald Trump would pardon himself by his last day in office.) There already are a plethora of news and opinion columns focusing on five things we learned from the redacted affidavit. Equally telling, I think, is what did not happen with the affidavit’s release.

[..] There is every reason to believe that what followed contained some facts that could be released on the FBI’s communications with the Trump team or the breakdown of such communications. After all, the Trump team already knows about that. Yet the government is saying that everything which occurred in that critical month cannot be disclosed in even the smallest detail. The court could have pushed for additional disclosures but chose to call it a day, based on government representations that more would cause harm. Yet this is the same department that maintained all of the pages released this week could not be released without causing harm.

There is still more that can be done by the court. One option is the special master requested, belatedly, by Trump’s team. I previously argued that Attorney General Merrick Garland should have proposed such an appointment to assure the public that this was not a pretextual search using sensitive documents as an excuse for a massive seizure. The scope of the warrant was ridiculously broad, allowing the seizure of virtually every document in the storage room and every document generated during Trump’s presidency. A special master could have sorted through this mass of material and separated privileged or immaterial documents. That would add to the legitimacy of an otherwise unlimited search.

That also did not happen. However, a special master could still serve the same interests of transparency and legitimacy. By dividing these documents into classified material, unclassified but defense-related information, and unclassified material we would have a better understanding of the scope and seriousness of any alleged crimes. That is why the most curious thing about the redacted affidavit is what did not happen. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Silver Blaze,” a police inspector asks Sherlock Holmes if anything about a crime scene bothered him. The brilliant detective responds, “To the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.” When the confused inspector objects that “the dog did nothing in the night-time,” Holmes replies: “That was the curious incident.”

Read more …

“A hearing is set for Sept. 1 at 1:00 p.m.”

Judge Announces ‘Preliminary Intent To Appoint A Special Master’ (Fox)

A federal judge on Saturday announced her “preliminary intent to appoint a special master” to review records seized by the FBI during its unprecedented raid of his Mar-a-Lago home earlier this month, at the request of former President Trump and his legal team, citing the “exceptional circumstances.” Trump and his legal team filed a motion Monday evening seeking an independent review of the records seized by the FBI during its raid of Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, saying the decision to search his private residence just months before the 2022 midterm elections “involved political calculations aimed at diminishing the leading voice in the Republican Party, President Trump.”

U.S. District Judge from the Southern District of Florida Judge Aileen M. Cannon on Saturday afternoon said that the decision was made upon the review of Trump’s submissions and “the exceptional circumstances presented.” “Pursuant to Rule 53(b) (1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Court’s inherent authority, and without prejudice to the parties’ objections, the Court hereby provides notice of its preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case,” Cannon wrote in a filing Saturday. A hearing is set for Sept. 1 at 1:00 p.m. in West Palm Beach, Fla. Cannon also ordered the Justice Department to file a response by Aug. 30 and provide, “under seal,” a “more detailed Receipt for Property specifying all property seized pursuant to the search warrant executed on August 8, 2022.”

The current property receipt shows that FBI agents took approximately 20 boxes of items from the premises, including one set of documents marked as “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” which refers to top secret/sensitive compartmented information. Records covered by that government classification level could potentially include human intelligence and information that, if disclosed, could jeopardize relations between the U.S. and other nations, as well as the lives of intelligence operatives abroad. However, the classification also encompasses national security information related to the daily operations of the president of the United States. The property receipt also showed that FBI agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents and three sets of confidential documents, but the document does not reveal any details about any of those records.

Maher Reiner

Read more …

Word du jour: Overreach.

Don’t Charge Trump With Espionage (John Kiriakou)

To understand the damage that this deeply flawed law has done, and will continue to do, we have to look at its origins. The Espionage Act was written in 1917, at the height of World War I. The U.S. was panicked at the thought of German spies working undercover to steal its secrets and to disrupt its ability to produce war materiel and support its allies. Congress drew up a law in which one provision, Section 794, made it a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death to provide “national defense information” to a foreign power. But another provision, Section 793, made it a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison to “provide national defense information to any person not entitled to receive it.”

The problems with the law were myriad. First, nobody ever bothered to define what “national defense information” was. The law doesn’t even mention the term “classified information” because the classification system wouldn’t be invented for another 40 years. Second, there was no “affirmative defense” written into the law. A defendant was forbidden from saying in court, “Yes, I gave national defense information to a reporter because I was revealing a crime” or “I did it in the national interest.” And to make matters worse, the Sedition Act, which was passed a year later, amended the Espionage Act to criminalize many forms of speech, including “any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the Army or Navy.”

Even a Hollywood studio was prosecuted under the Espionage Act. In United States v. Motion Picture Film, a federal court upheld the Justice Department’s seizure of the film, called Spirit of ’76, because a scene showed British soldiers being cruel to colonists. The Justice Department had argued that such a depiction, even if true, could undermine public support for the British in the world war. The film’s producer, Robert Goldstein, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $5,000. He served three years. These are only a few of the dozens of “espionage” prosecutions from the period. The law’s Section 793 was largely ignored from the mid-1920s to the early 1970s, when the Nixon administration charged Daniel Ellsberg with multiple counts of espionage for releasing the Pentagon Papers to the media. The case fell apart when Nixon ordered his “plumbers” to break into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office, steal his files and send them to newspapers. Section 793 then went dormant again until Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.

Read more …

It’s theater. And it’s too late.

Let Djokovic Play (Vinay Prasad)

The credibility and legitimacy of public health demands two things. The rules have to make sense; they can’t be nakedly contradictory. And the rules have to benefit people. You can’t demand jumping through hoops merely for optics. The treatment of the tennis star Novak Djokovic, who is officially blocked from competing in this year’s U.S. Open, set to begin on Monday, violates both. Keeping him from playing because he has not received a Covid-19 vaccine undermines the credibility of the White House, which set the policy, and public health more broadly. I’m saying this both as a Democrat and a doctor gravely concerned about eroded trust in our institutions.

Djokovic is one of the best tennis players of all time. He is currently vying for most majors of any champion (21 to date), competing with Rafael Nadal (22) and Roger Federer (20). But there will forever be an asterisk next to those comparisons because Djokovic is banned from entering the U.S. to compete in this year’s U.S. Open because of a byzantine rule that non-U.S. citizens cannot enter the country without proof of vaccination. This rule makes no sense from a medical or public health standpoint. Consider the facts. Djokovic is 35 years old, and he is in terrific health. He has had and recovered from Covid-19 twice. This—and the fact that current variants are less lethal than prior strains—means that Djokovic’s odds of doing well were he to get sick with Covid-19 again are remarkably good, and lower than his risk of seasonal influenza.

If Djokovic gets a vaccine at this moment it would be against the ancestral, Wuhan strain of the coronavirus and there is no good evidence this would further improve his odds. Now consider Djokovic’s risk to others. At least 140 million Americans have had and recovered from Covid-19 as of January (this number is higher today), and both vaccinated and unvaccinated can spread the disease. Data shows, when infected, that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals shed virus at similar rates and for similar durations. Forcing Djokovic to get vaccinated won’t protect others. Sars-cov-2 will circulate in the United States for a thousand years whether we let Djokovic in, or keep him out forever.

Then, there are the absurd contradictions in our current rules. Unvaccinated American citizens can move freely in and out of the country without testing. Unvaccinated people can pack the stadium to watch this year’s U.S. Open, where face masks are optional. There is no vaccine or testing requirement to attend. Worst of all, Novak Djokovic competed in last year’s U.S. Open, where he made the finals before the travel rule barring his entry was in place. Joe Biden, who made the rule that blocks Djokovic, has received four Covid-19 vaccine doses. He has had Covid-19 twice, and taken at least 2 courses of Paxlovid. His wife, first lady Jill Biden, has also had four vaccine doses, also had Covid-19 twice. Yet, for some reason, their concern is the Novak Djokovics of the world.

Read more …

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Is there any comparable time in history?

62% of Democratic Students Oppose Sharing Dorm Rooms With Republicans (Turley)

It is a sign of our times. It used to be that the key criterion for college roommates was whether you are a “partier v. non-partier.” Now, it is just your party. A new NBC and Generation Lab study of the class of 2025 showed that roughly half of college students refuse to live with someone who voted for a member of a different political party. That percentage is notably much higher with Democrats rather than Republicans. According to the poll, 46% responded that they would “probably not” or “definitely not” be willing to share a room with someone from another political party.


Of those, 62% of young Democrats refused to share a room with a member of the Republican party while only 28% of young Republicans took that position. That attitude extended to marriage where 52% ruled out a spouse from an opposing party. So much for opposites attracting. Notably, 62% would not work for a company that does not share their political values. It seems Twitter is going to be busy this hiring season. sThe poll reflects not just our age of rage but the increasing siloed news consumption of citizens. People now largely remain in echo chambers for news from the left or the right. It appears that such self imposed isolation now extends socially and professionally for the rising generation, particularly for Democratic students.

Read more …

“Overwhelming evidence has emerged proving that the US prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse..”

Assange Files Appeal To Stop US Extradition (RT)

Julian Assange’s legal team filed an appeal on Friday to stop the WikiLeaks co-founder’s extradition to the US, where he faces espionage charges that carry a prison sentence of up to 175 years. According to WikiLeaks, Assange’s lawyers filed “perfected grounds of appeal” before the UK High Court of Justice against the US government and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who approved the extradition of the Australian-born editor in mid-June. The appeal argues that “Julian Assange is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions,” while the US government “misrepresented the core facts” of the case to the UK judiciary. It adds that the request to extradite the WikiLeaks co-founder violates the relevant treaty between the US and the UK, as well as international law.


The document also reportedly contains some new evidence that has been compiled since the UK court ruled on Assange’s extradition in early 2021. The editor’s wife, Stella Assange, said: “Overwhelming evidence has emerged proving that the US prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse,” adding that the high court will now decide whether her husband is given the opportunity to make his case against the US before open court at the appeal. In early June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Assange’s lawyers had filed two appeals to fight his extradition to the US, just a day before the deadline for the legal action was set to expire. The exact details of the appeal, however, were unclear.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick prayer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1563382574139207682

 

 

German power baseload price

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 022022
 
 August 2, 2022  Posted by at 9:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Edward Hopper The long leg 1935

 

Germany Counts Cost Of Russian Gas Cut-off (RT)
Europe Has Lost The Energy War (Fazi)
Ukraine Limiting Russian Gas Flow To EU – Gazprom (RT)
Brandon Shifts The Narrative On Banderastan (Saker)
Anti-Russia Sanctions Don’t Reflect Global Reality – Putin (RT)
West Will Run Out Of Money To Support Ukraine – Macgregor (RT)
Hundreds Of ‘Petal’ Mines Reportedly Found In Donetsk (MSO)
Spain Comments On Kosovo’s Independence (RT)
Russia ‘Absolutely’ Supports Serbia – Kremlin (RT)
Supposed Killing Of Al Zawahiri Is Suspect, Weird And Fishy (CTH)
The Day Anthony Fauci Wrecked American Freedom (Tucker)
Atonement (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Graham McCain 2016
https://twitter.com/i/status/1554088190637740033

 

 

Ukraine produces 3.1% of global wheat. Let’s all panic!

 

 

 

 

“German inflation may well exceed 10% by the end of the year..”

Germany Counts Cost Of Russian Gas Cut-off (RT)

German inflation may well exceed 10% by the end of the year if gas supplies from Russia are cut off, Deutsche Bank head Christian Sewing said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, published on Saturday. “If Russian gas continues to flow [into Germany], we should reach an inflation rate of around 8% by the end of this year. But inflation would be higher if the gas stopped flowing. Then 10% or more is possible,” Sewing said. The CEO pointed out that losing gas supplies from Russia “would have a significant impact on economic growth in Germany” and the country “will definitely slip into recession.” He noted that “with the right interest rate hikes and the right policies, there is still a chance to bring [inflation] down to 5-6% next year, and then get close to the actual target of 2% again in 2024.”

However, such measures “will take time, so we should not give people false impressions,” he added. Commenting on the recent move by the European Central Bank (ECB) to hike interest rates, he said the ECB “is moving in the right direction.” “Currency devaluation is poison for people. I am grateful that the ECB is well aware of the problem and has now given a clear signal to raise the rate by 0.5 percentage points. We have been saying for a long time: higher inflation is not a temporary phenomenon, and it needs to be dealt with seriously,” Sewing stressed. He warned, however, that the worst may still be ahead for the German economy.

“The biggest burden for many people is yet to come. If monthly expenses exceed income, people will consume less and the mood of the country will deteriorate as well. It’s all the more important that the right steps are taken early on,” the banker stated. Inflation in Germany soared this month, jumping to 8.5% year-on-year in July after dropping to 8.2% in June as a result of government relief measures. This comes as elevated food prices and surging energy costs continued to plague the country. In a poll published by the newspaper Bild earlier this month, half of respondents said they feel their economic conditions are deteriorating, seeing rising prices as a heavy burden and fearing being unable to heat their homes this winter.

Read more …

It doesn’t feel like they ever tried to win.

Europe Has Lost The Energy War (Fazi)

After a decade of financial austerity, is Europe now on the brink of a new age of energy austerity? The city of Hanover has recently introduced strict energy-saving rules that include cutting off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms, banning mobile air conditioners, fan heaters or radiators, switching off public fountains, and stopping illuminating major buildings such as the town hall at night. Meanwhile, several countries across Europe are considering dimming or switching off public lights, and even adopting “energy curfews”, with early closures for businesses and public offices. And more drastic measures are under consideration — including gas rationing for energy-intensive industries such as steel and agriculture.

These measures are part of an EU-wide Gas Demand Reduction Plan, ominously titled Save Gas for a Safe Winter, to reduce gas use in Europe by 15% until next spring. Among the proposals is a provision that officials in Brussels impose fines for non-compliance if they decide the crisis is escalating dangerously. All of this comes amid growing fears that dwindling Russian gas supplies may plunge Europe into an energy crisis this winter. Overall, Russian gas exports to the EU are at about a third of last year’s levels, falling steadily since the invasion of Ukraine. While several European countries have been reducing their Russian gas imports, Russia itself has been reducing gas flows to Europe through Nord Stream 1, the continent’s biggest pipeline, citing mainly technical issues.

Just the other day, citing equipment repair, Russia announced yet another reduction in the amount of natural gas flowing through Nord Stream 1, which is now operating at only 20% capacity.This has caused natural gas spot prices to surge to levels not seen since early March; they are now almost 10 times higher than they were two years ago. In most countries, electricity prices have risen accordingly. Soaring energy prices are already fuelling record inflation — currently close to 9% and rising in the EU — squeezing people’s spending power, plunging thousands into poverty, and placing a huge burden on industry. This is especially true for Germany, which is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas imports. Indeed, the country’s industrial production has been contracting for over three months. Astonishingly, 16% of industrial German companies have reduced production or partially stopped their activities due to rising energy prices. This helps explain why last month Germany became the first country to escalate its warning over gas supplies to the “alert level”.

Read more …

Humor: Nord Stream 2 turbines come from Iran, not Germany.

Ukraine Limiting Russian Gas Flow To EU – Gazprom (RT)

Russia’s EU-bound natural gas supplies, pumped via Ukraine, are limited to one remaining entry point, while Kiev refuses to reopen a second transit station, energy giant Gazprom said on Monday. “Gazprom is supplying Russian gas for transit through Ukraine in the volume confirmed by the Ukrainian side through the Sudzha gas metering station – 41.7 million cubic meters as of August 1. The application to reopen the Sohranovka gas metering system has been rejected,” Gazprom’s representative told reporters. Ukraine shut down transit through the Sokhranovka station, which handles about a third of the Russian gas flowing through Ukraine to Europe, in early May, citing “interference by the occupying forces.”

Kiev argued that is gas transit operator GTSOU could not control the Novopskov border compressor station in Lugansk Region due to Russia’s military operation, and considered the situation a force majeure. However, Gazprom at the time said it did not see any grounds for halting gas flows. Kiev asked the Russian firm to transfer all gas transit to the Sudzha pumping station in the Kursk Region, which Gazprom ruled out as technically impossible. Meanwhile, Russia has also been forced to reduce its gas flow to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, due to turbine malfunctions. Gazprom has blamed the issue on the German company Siemens, which produced and maintains the equipment, accusing it of failing to fulfil its commitments.

The drop in Russian supplies has led to a surge in gas prices in Europe. In July, futures contracts for deliveries in August and September traded on the Dutch TTF exchange in the range of $1530-2385 per thousand cubic meters. In comparison, at the same time last year the spot price was less than $500.

Read more …

“And now “Biden” “generously” will allow Putin to stay in power. Yes, “Biden”, not the fact that the Russian population fully support Putin, and the SMO.”

Brandon Shifts The Narrative On Banderastan (Saker)

President “Biden” (i.e. the “collective” Biden, not the actual Bradon) penned an interesting article for the NYT entitled “President Biden: What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine“. The entire things is behind a paywall, and it is not really worth reposting it here. But I do want to comment on a few of “Biden’s” theses. First, I will ignore the obnoxious habit of calling the USA “America”, when just Canada and Brazil alone are almost as big as the USA. Furthermore, the USA is only 9,833,520 km2 (3,796,742 sq mi) while the total area of the Americas is 42,549,000 km2 (16,428,000 sq mi). Finally, there are 35 countries in the Americas but, fine, okay, if saying “‘Murica” evokes imagines of Captain America and waving (Chinese made) flags – then fine. Let’s look at a few key sentences:

“America’s goal is straightforward: We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression (…) We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia. As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow“. Now that is a HUGE change. In Russian, there is this expression of “changing shoes while in mid jump” which refers to situation when a person suddenly make a full and instantaneous 180 after pompously insisting on a goal which is now dropped. The initial plan was simple: to smash the Russian economy, have Putin overthrown in an insurrection of some kind, break apart Russia and then turn towards China and crush it.

And, considering the absolutely extreme demonization of Putin, he was clearly designated as the object of total hate by “all of progressive and freedom loving mankind”. And now “Biden” “generously” will allow Putin to stay in power. Yes, “Biden”, not the fact that the Russian population fully support Putin, and the SMO. How stupid does “Biden” think that we all are? Anyway, let’s continue, “We will also continue reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank with forces and capabilities from the United States and other allies. And just recently, I welcomed Finland’s and Sweden’s applications to join NATO, a move that will strengthen overall U.S. and trans-Atlantic security by adding two democratic and highly capable military partners“This entire paragraph can be summarized in all sorts of colorful ways, I will just call in counter-factual and delusional nonsense. Where do I even begin here?

Read more …

“..unfair competition, a bid by the West to hinder Russian businesses and reconfigure world markets in their favor…”

Anti-Russia Sanctions Don’t Reflect Global Reality – Putin (RT)

The West’s decision to sanction Russia over the Ukraine conflict was made for the sake of opportunistic political interests which do not reflect global realities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. Addressing a virtual meeting on Russia’s metals industry, the president noted that the sector continues to face challenges in light of the Western sanctions. He highlighted the problem of limited access to international markets and the ban on buying foreign equipment for the production of fittings, rolled metals and steel sheets in Russia. “As I have already said, these decisions were made by Western countries for the sake of political interests, moreover, current, opportunistic ones and not reflecting the realities either in world politics, nor in the world economy,” he claimed.

Vladimir Putin argued that the Western sanctions failed to take into account “obvious consequences”, such as the rising cost of building materials on the international market, and the spurring of global inflation.“The decline in well-being and the quality of life of ordinary citizens, first and foremost in Europe, is of no interest to politicians, not to mention such things as adherence to the principles of the World Trade Organization. These things have been simply tossed into the trash,” the Russian leader added. Putin described attempts to limit Russia’s metals industry as a blatant manifestation of unfair competition, a bid by the West to hinder Russian businesses and reconfigure world markets in their favor.

Western countries including the US and EU members have imposed sweeping sanctions on nearly all aspects of the Russian economy since the launch of Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine in late February. The measures include limitations on Russian oil and gas, goods and financial services.Last month, Putin branded the sanctions illegitimate, saying they ignore the fundamental principles of respecting another nation’s sovereignty and non-interference in its internal affairs. He insisted that such actions not only damage relations between states and peoples, but undermine the global legal system. Putin also reiterated Moscow’s stance that it will always be a reliable and responsible partner for those who are committed to mutually beneficial, predictable business cooperation. He pledged, however, that Russia will not work to its own detriment with “those who are clearly unfriendly towards us.”

Read more …

Will the support last till Christmas? Or will they be too occupied with China by then?

West Will Run Out Of Money To Support Ukraine – Macgregor (RT)

The West will eventually lose interest in the Ukraine conflict and run out of resources to support Kiev in its war against Russia, a top former US military official said. “There is no strategy. What we have is impulse,”retired Colonel Douglas MacGregor told Judge Andrew Napolitano on his YouTube channel on Friday. In a wide-ranging interview, MacGregor said much of the military aid earmarked for Ukraine never reaches the country itself. “Most of the money goes to the Department of Defense to compensate the armed forces for the movement of equipment and resources over to Europe. That money in turn is then transferred to the defense industries, the contractors who support and provide the replacement equipment,” he said, adding that the “whole circular operation enriches everyone who is important to Capitol Hill in terms of re-election.”


MacGregor called the situation a “shell game”that enriches the military-industrial complex, the same people who help politicians get re-elected in Washington. “My own view is that this war in Ukraine will not end with a bang but with a whimper, that eventually we will just sort of quietly run out of resources,” he said, adding that domestic problems in the West will overshadow the conflict. “We’ll have so many problems at home here in the United States that we’ll no longer bother with [Ukraine],” he said. In a combination of aid packages, the US is sending roughly $54 billion to Ukraine in both economic and military aid, with approximately $12 billion of that in weapons. At the same time, the US economy shrank 0.9 percent in the second quarter of this year, which is the second consecutive quarter of economic contraction, which technically meets one definition of a recession. Coupled with the highest inflation since 1981, the US economy faces a period of “stagflation” – defined as low growth with high inflation.

Read more …

Why?

Hundreds Of ‘Petal’ Mines Reportedly Found In Donetsk (MSO)

Ukrainian forces were accused of shelling residential areas of the eastern city of Donetsk on Saturday night with hundreds of so-called petal mines littering the streets in the aftermath. The tiny bombs, which are shaped like small flowers, were found in the centre of Donetsk, areas close to the city’s university, recreational areas and others.Journalist Eva Bartlett, based in Ukraine, heard the shelling start on Saturday night. “This morning I saw these mines in a heavily populated western Donetsk district,” she said. “They tear off limbs but don’t necessarily kill. Nasty war crimes to add to the list of Ukraine’s manifold war crimes.” Local authorities issued a warning to residents asking them to “watch your step carefully, walk only on asphalt” and to call emergency services if they spot one of the deadly mines.


Civilians were advised to only walk on open routes and to avoid shortcuts after the latest attack as the mines are difficult to spot in grass or other areas. The Lepestok cluster mines are banned under international humanitarian law and their use is deemed a war crime under the Geneva Convention. They were widely used in Afghanistan where children often mistook them for toys, and were seriously injured or killed after handling them. On Saturday, Donetsk authorities said that a large number of the petal mines were found by a school in the city’s Kirov district. The overnight shelling occured shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered troops and civilians to urgently evacuate from Donetsk. Transport networks were suspended across the city today as clear-up operations were under way.

Read more …

“Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 was illegal and can’t be recognized by Spain..”

Spain Comments On Kosovo’s Independence (RT)

Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 was illegal and can’t be recognized by Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Monday during a visit to Albania’s capital, Tirana. As Sanchez met with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama amid his tour of the Balkans, he stated that the “unilateral declaration of independence, in the view of the Spanish government and with respect to the Albanian government, was a violation of international law”and therefore “unacceptable” to Madrid. The Spanish PM also told Rama that Madrid fully supports Albania’s bid for European Union membership, citing the applicant’s “commitment and the reforms it has made.”

His comments come after tensions flared up over the weekend on the border between Serbia and its breakaway province, officially called the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija in the Serbian constitution, which received recognition by several Western powers in 2008. The government in Kosovo planned to ban the use of Serbian-issued license plates and ID papers starting from August 1, and was to use its police force to enforce the measure. Belgrade officials called it an attack on Kosovo’s Serbian population as President Aleksandar Vucic accused Pristina of violating the rights of local Serbs.

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti in turn has accused local Serbs of opening fire on police, and claimed his government is facing “Serbian national-chauvinism” and “misinformation” from Belgrade. On Sunday, Serbs in the north of the breakaway province set up roadblocks and rang alarm bells as heavily armed Kosovo special police took control of two administrative crossings with Serbia. The situation received a temporary resolution after Washington called on Kosovo officials to postpone the implementation of the controversial law until September 1. Pristina agreed, on condition that Serbia remove barricades from the de facto border. Vucic has said that he hopes for tensions to ease and promised that Belgrade would do everything within its power to preserve the peace through compromise.

Read more …

“..one-sided, spontaneous decisions aimed at squeezing [the Serbs] out of Kosovo..”

Russia ‘Absolutely’ Supports Serbia – Kremlin (RT)

Moscow fully backs its ally Belgrade in the dispute with Kosovo over the decision by the breakaway province to ban Serbian license plates and identification papers, the Kremlin press-secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. “Of course, we absolutely support Serbia,”Peskov replied, after being addressed on the issue by journalists on Monday. The decision by the Kosovo authorities to outlaw Serbian license plates and IDs was“absolutely unreasonable,” he stated. On Sunday, Serbs in the north of the breakaway province set up roadblocks and rang alarm bells as heavily armed special police took control over two administrative crossings with Serbia, preparing to implement the order by Pristina.

As tensions mounted, Kosovo’s prime minister Albin Kurti announced late in the day that the ban had been postponed at the request of the US ambassador to the province. However, Kurti stressed that the measure, which according to Pristina was needed to impose “law and order,”has only been delayed, not canceled. “Thank God, the escalation was avoided tonight, but this situation has only been postponed for one month, so it’s paramount for all sides to show prudence,” the Kremlin press-secretary pointed out. Russia’s ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko also warned on Monday that “it was difficult to see the conditions for finding sustainable solutions to those issues that caused the current spike in tension.”

The lack of agreement on license plates and IDs, and many other similar matters, are “being used by Pristina to make one-sided, spontaneous decisions aimed at squeezing [the Serbs] out of Kosovo,” he added. According to Peskov, Moscow believes that that the Western countries, which recognized the mainly Albanian-populated Kososvo in 2008,“should now use their influence to warn the authorities in Kosovo against making any ill-conceived steps,” he said. Serbia considers Kosovo a part of its territory, and is backed in doing so by Russia, China and the UN in general, who haven’t recognized the territory as an interdependent entity.

Read more …

“Since when does al-Qaeda wait 48+ hours to denounce hostile action in their territory?”

How many times has he been killed now?

Supposed Killing Of Al Zawahiri Is Suspect, Weird And Fishy (CTH)

Everything about the supposed killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri is suspect, weird and fishy. First, Al Zawahiri has been reported as killed or dead at least a half dozen times in the last 10 years; including by natural causes. Second, Ayman Zawahiri was very old. Western citations put his age at 71 (born 1951), however, that is suspect (sounds like his younger brother’s age). Third, the location of his reported killing in Kabul is odd. Zawahiri was known to avoid large populations, and even with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan the tribal conflicts with factions of the Taliban would have been an issue.

Fourth, somehow the Taliban waited until after the U.S. intelligence community leaked the strike to the media before they issued a statement condemning the drone attack. Since when does al-Qaeda wait 48+ hours to denounce hostile action in their territory? Coordinating and timed joint press releases between the White House and ‘Taliban‘ to western media outlets is seriously sketchy. Fifth, absolutely no official outline from the Pentagon or White House on this “successful counterterrorism strike“? Despite a primetime presidential address, the White House has no announcement, no official statement, nothing, on their website. Additionally, Biden leads off saying the attack was on Saturday, the Taliban waited 48-hours to denounce a U.S. drone strike?

Think about it. Doesn’t add up. More sketchy. Sixth, and seemingly just an oddball addendum, Fox News breaks the story using Jennifer Griffin as lead reporter. As I noted several days ago, Griffin had been missing from Fox News since she went bonzo in March attacking Tucker Carlson over his cynicism of the official State Dept and Pentagon narrative in Ukraine. May, June, July, nothing from pentagon deep state promoter Jenn Griffin at all. Then, suddenly, on the same day Griffin resurfaces, after months of nothing, there’s a major terrorism strike in Afghanistan, killing Zawahiri and she’s leading the coverage?…. With Brett Baier cheerleading? C’mon man. Sketchy, all of it.

Read more …

Trump was trumped.

The Day Anthony Fauci Wrecked American Freedom (Tucker)

Fears of a virus from China had been rising for two months in the spring of 2020. The White House under Donald Trump had already weathered two impeachment crises and was turning its attention toward reelection in November, which seemed assured. The virus was an enormously complicating factor. Trump surrounded himself with a small team of people among whom included supposed infectious disease experts such as Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health and Deborah Birx of the Centers for Disease Control. On the recommendation of his vice president and son-in-law, Trump trusted them.

Trump had already closed travel from China but now his scientific advisers were urging him to do more: stop travel from Europe, UK, and Australia. That was March 12. He made the announcement in a prime-time address. In that brief speech, he misread the teleprompter and said that the travel ban would include goods. He meant to say that it would not. The stock market tanked and the White House had to issue a clarification the next day. Already there was chaos in the air. Over the weekend, Trump spent most of his time in huddles with close advisors. The main influence over that period became Deborah Birx, whose job it was to convince Trump of the need for a two-week lockdown of the entire American economy.

Trump agreed to do the deed. He would appear with Fauci and Birx at a press conference on Monday, and preside over the call for a lockdown. “If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now,” Trump said, “we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration together.” Later Birx admitted that she knew that two weeks “was a start, but I knew it would be just that. I didn’t have the numbers in front of me yet to make the case for extending it longer, but I had two weeks to get them.”

Read more …

“..first they will have a lot of money that’s worthless and then they will have no money, like everybody else..”

Atonement (Jim Kunstler)

News flash to Boston: Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine is all over except the shouting. Plus, nobody in the USA cares about it anymore, and if they do, probably for the wrong reasons. The right reason to care is that the “Joe Biden” regime’s insane campaign to destroy Russia has only brought Western Europe to the brink of collapse and ruin, thereby threatening the continuation of Western Civilization altogether.

You don’t hear much chatter about this emanating from, say, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government because, apparently, they’re all-in on the demolition of Western Civ. It is the ultimate act of atonement, and atonement for the sins of culture and politics is the currency for personal status in Woke Elitedom. America’s elites are secretly disgusted with themselves, especially about the wealth they have been able to grift out of all the racketeering that has replaced honest work in our country — and nowhere is the racketeering more grotesque, or more pretentiously caparisoned, than in the Ivy League universities. Status drives Wokery because Woke Elitedom has more money than it knows what to do with, so just having a lot of money means less than it used to — just ask Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Don’t worry. Soon they will have a lot less money. Or rather, first they will have a lot of money that’s worthless and then they will have no money, like everybody else. The demoralizing inflation underway leads to the destruction of credit and when enough credit is destroyed, there will be no money, since our money is based on credit. When that happens, see what your self-proclaimed moral purity will buy you.

The credit-driven money system is a metaphor representing the expectation that we will always have more of everything. That was surely the consensus in 1913 when the Federal Reserve was born. 1913 was the last year of the Belle Époque, the beautiful era preceding the First World War. It was also the coming-of-age of economies based on oil. In that moment, Western Civ stood in amazement at its achievements and in thrall to its glittering future. The slaughter in the trenches of WWI shattered that confidence, nowhere more deeply than in Germany, which afterwards lurched from the degeneracy of the Weimar Republic to the depravity of Hitler’s Third Reich, and from there back to ruin in the Second World War.

Today’s Woke Elitedom of Europe, led by Germany, is deliberately driving the EU nations into a ditch without bothering to go to war. They certainly don’t have the military mojo to prosecute a war with Russia — which is what they would be doing if NATO intervened actively in Ukraine (ain’t gonna happen). Instead, they have torn-up reams of trade agreements and imploded a richly-constructed supply network of basic operating resources like oil, natgas, minerals, and grains in an absurd act of atonement, in obeisance to the experts at the World Economic Forum and the fiends behind “Joe Biden.” And lately, they are bent on destroying their food supply with cockamamie campaigns against their farmers, in line with WEF hallucinations about climate change.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rutte

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 012022
 
 August 1, 2022  Posted by at 8:26 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  59 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Massacre in Korea 1951

 

World Re-entering The Coal Age – IEA (RT)
NATO Force On Alert Amid Kosovo Tensions (RT)
Russia Warns Kosovo Against Conflict (RT)
Hungary’s Orban Expects Gas Deal With Russia This Summer (R.)
JPMorgan Says Russia Has Had Little Problem Rerouting Its Oil Exports (BI)
The New Economic World Map (Salamah)
A Community of Common Destiny? (Voiret)
Going to Samarkand (Escobar)
The Myth of the HIMARS ‘Game Changer’ (Scott Ritter)
Severing Ties With Russia Is ‘Absurd And Dangerous’ – German Official (RT)
Ottawa’s Fertilizer Reduction Target Is ‘Pulled Out Of The Air’ (TNC)
Pfizer Posts Record Profits On Taxpayer-funded, Liability-free Products (Sch.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A stable future
https://twitter.com/i/status/1544708488613531649

 

 

 

 

Trump vs Great Reset

 

 

 

 

You’d almost think the whole Russia conflict was set up by the nuclear lobby.

World Re-entering The Coal Age – IEA (RT)

Global coal demand could reach 8 billion tons in 2022, matching a historic high set in 2013, and further growing in 2023, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a coal market update report published on Thursday. “Based on current economic and market trends, global coal consumption is forecast to rise by 0.7% in 2022 to 8 billion tons, assuming the Chinese economy recovers as expected in the second half of the year… This global total would match the annual record set in 2013, and coal demand is likely to increase further next year to a new all-time high,” the report states. According to the agency, demand is being driven up by rising natural gas prices, forcing many countries to increasingly switch from gas to coal and reopen previously closed coal-fired power plants.

The report states that China, which is “responsible for more than half of global coal consumption,” will be the main driver for the growth in demand in the second half of 2022, despite seeing demand drop by 3% in the first half of the year. Demand for coal in India is also expected to rise due to the country’s economic growth and more widespread use of electricity. The EU is also forecast to contribute to demand, as it is increasingly turning to coal in electricity production to replace gas or save it for the winter due to the decline in Russian gas imports. The IEA adds that the coal markets will remain volatile in 2023, especially after the EU coal embargo comes into effect, and prices may continue to grow well into next year.

“As soaring natural gas prices have made coal more competitive in many markets, international coal prices have risen in turn, hitting three all-time peaks between October 2021 and May 2022. Sanctions and bans on Russian coal have disrupted markets, and issues in other major exporters have contributed to supply shortages. With other coal producers facing constraints in replacing Russian output, prices on coal futures markets indicate that tight market conditions are expected to continue well into next year and beyond,” the IEA states.

Read more …

NATO appears to be looking for a new theater to fight Russia in. Back to the Balkans, they haven’t done enough damage there. Look who was in Kosovo a few days ago. Coincidence not.

NATO Force On Alert Amid Kosovo Tensions (RT)

The NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) peacekeepers were spotted late on Saturday in the city of Kosovska Mitrovica, located in the north of Serbia’s breakaway region of Kosovo. The force, apparently Italian carabinieri units, were spotted guarding a bridge across the Ibar river, footage from the scene circulated by local media shows. The bridge splits the city into the northern Serb-populated part, and the southern one, inhabited predominantly by ethnic Albanians.KFOR, the NATO-led peacekeeping mission, said in a statement on Sunday evening that it was “prepared to intervene if stability is jeopardized.” The KFOR has been reportedly placed on high alert, with a large military convoy of some 30-40 vehicles spotted heading towards the frontier between the breakaway region and the rest of Serbia. Kosovo special police has been spotted actively moving its equipment and personnel as well.

KFOR said it would “take whatever measures are necessary to keep a safe and secure environment in Kosovo at all times, in line with its UN mandate.” Ethnic Serbs have reportedly set up barricades on several roads in Kosovska Mitrovica and its vicinity. At least one Serb has been reportedly beaten up by Kosovo police units as he tried to get through the barricades. The injured man reportedly ended up hospitalized. The tensions come as the ethnic Albanian government of the breakaway region moved forward with its controversial plan to ban Serb license plates and identification documents. Kosovo prime minister Albin Kurti claimed the move was about equal justice and law in all the territories his government claims.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic accused Kosovo authorities of seeking to “impose on the people in northern Kosovo-Metohija things they have no right to impose,” warning that Belgrade will not stand by idly. “The atmosphere has been heated up, and the Serbs will not suffer any more atrocities,” Vucic said. Earlier, Serbian president alleged the controversial registration plan was a part of an effort to force the remaining ethnic Serbs out of Kosovo. Caroline Ziadeh, head of the UN mission in the province UNMIK, urged both sides “to address issues in good faith through the EU-facilitated dialogue, to strengthen stability and security for all.”

Read more …

Kosovo’s plans appear to have been put on hold for now.

Russia Warns Kosovo Against Conflict (RT)

The government in Pristina and its backers in Brussels and Washington should stop their provocations and respect the rights of ethnic Serbs in Kosovo, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday. Serbian troops were put on high alert and local residents in the north of the breakaway province erected barricades, as ethnic Albanian police prepared for a crackdown. Air raid sirens and church bells went off across northern Kosovo on Sunday, after prime minister Albin Kurti announced a police operation to ban Serb license plates and identification documents. Kurti claimed this was about equal justice and law in all the territories his government claims.

Pristina’s decision is unreasonable and discriminatory, and their forced replacement of personal documents is “another step towards the expulsion of the Serb population from Kosovo, as well as the Kosovo Serb institutions that ensure the protection of the rights of Serbian residents from the arbitrary whims of radicals in Pristina,” Zakharova said. Kurti is “deliberately escalating” in order to launch an armed crackdown, not just against the Serbs in Kosovo but against Belgrade, which the West wants to “neutralize” using the ethnic Albanians as proxies, added Zakharova. Russia calls on “Pristina and the US and EU behind it to stop provocations and respect the rights of Serbs in Kosovo,” the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

Earlier in the day, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said his country had “never been in a more complex and difficult situation” and that the Pristina authorities are trying to exploit the current situation in the world to initiate a conflict while painting itself as a victim. No Serbian troops have crossed the administrative line into Kosovo yet, the Defense Ministry in Belgrade said, describing such rumors circulating on social media as “disinformation” on behalf of Pristina. Local Serb residents erected barricades at three checkpoints along the administrative line, where police answering to Kurti were deployed to stop all vehicles with Serbian plates or documents. There were unconfirmed reports of gunfire and injuries among the civilians.

Kosovo was occupied by NATO in 1999, after a 78-day air war against Yugoslavia. The ethnic Albanian government in Pristina declared independence in 2008, with US backing, but has not been recognized by Serbia, Russia, China or the UN.

Read more …

Can Brussels “allow” this?

Hungary’s Orban Expects Gas Deal With Russia This Summer (R.)

Hungary expects to sign a deal with Russia on additional gas shipments of 700 million cubic metres by the end of summer, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday. The two countries have been in talks for further supplies on top of an existing long-term supply pact. read more “Hungary will have enough gas,” Orban said. “We are negotiating with the Russians to buy an additional 700 million cubic metres of gas, this deal can be signed during the summer, and then we will be safe,” he added. According to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe, Hungary’s gas storages are about 50% full now, covering 29% of its annual consumption.


European Union member Hungary has maintained what it calls pragmatic relations with Moscow since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, creating tensions with some EU allies keen to take a tougher line. Hungary, which is about 85% dependent on Russian gas, firmly opposes the idea of EU sanctions on Russian gas imports. Under a 15-year deal with Russia’s Gazprom signed last year, Hungary receives 3.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year via Bulgaria and Serbia, and a further 1 bcm via a pipeline from Austria.

Read more …

“Russia’s exports adjusted towards other buyers without a serious disruption to its production.”

JPMorgan Says Russia Has Had Little Problem Rerouting Its Oil Exports (BI)

Russia has been able to reroute its oil exports away from Europe without serious disruptions, JPMorgan has said, adding that the expected drop in output “never happened.” Better-than-expected Russian production, along with the release of oil from global strategic reserves, helps explain the recent drop in crude prices, the bank’s head of commodities research Natasha Kaneva said in a note to clients. Russia’s oil exports to Europe — its biggest market — have fallen relatively sharply in 2022, as companies have “self-sanctioned” in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. However, Russia has been able to shift its exports towards Asia, with India and China in particular stepping up their purchases.

More recently, a jump in domestic demand has caused Russian oil production to rise back to prewar levels. “The market consensus was too pessimistic about Russia’s capability to re-route volumes to other buyers,” Kaneva and her colleagues said in the note Wednesday. “Russia’s exports adjusted towards other buyers without a serious disruption to its production.” “At its peak, the oil market was pricing in the worst-case scenario — a 3 million barrel a day loss of Russian production combined with record-high summer demand — while, in reality, it never happened.” JPMorgan expects Russia production to produce 9.95 million barrels a day of oil in the third quarter, above the 9.76 million barrels a day produced in the same quarter a year earlier.

It thinks production will slip to 9.5 million barrels a day in 2023, staying relatively strong despite the European Union’s ban on most oil imports from the country. Oil prices have fallen in recent weeks, with global supply stronger than expected and demand likely to weaken in the coming months as the world economy slows. WTI crude, the US benchmark price, was down around 10% over the last month to trade at $98 a barrel Friday.

Read more …

“…most of the ‘exploitable’ world has been dominated and what remains is Russia and China, plus a few stubborn or poor nations here and there.”

The New Economic World Map (Salamah)

Throughout history, all empires and belligerent nations expanded for economic gain. More land to farm and exploit, wealth and resources to loot, and more people to subjugate and tax or enslave. This goes back to ancient Mesopotamia, passing through the Persian, Greek, Roman empires, and all the way to European colonialism in the past 500 years. Today, it remains the same although it has been disguised to appear docile and friendly, but, make no mistake, it is colonialism – economic neo-colonialism! The shills, however, will present it as development aid, economic assistance, modernization, democracy, human rights, modern values, and may even, masquerade it as improving the ‘Happiness Index’ of the colonized nations.

As such, most of the ‘exploitable’ world has been dominated and what remains is Russia and China, plus a few stubborn or poor nations here and there. Russia is simply too vast and rich not to be lustily desired and has been a target for centuries via direct belligerence or, more softly, via geopolitical ploys. To publicly temper this lust, pseudo-intellectual doctrines have been utilized to justify it; among which is the century-old Mackinder Theory of the ‘Heartland of the World’, which states that whoever controls Russia and its environs, controls the world. As for China, its unexpected spectacular rapid growth to the pinnacle of economic success now necessitates clipping its wings to bring it back into the obedient fold. None of the dominated nations were, or are, happy with their predicaments. Despite that, they are unable to shake off the yoke of neo-colonialism.

They are too weak, deep in unpayable sovereign and non-sovereign debt, threatened by sanctions that cut off their livelihood, and if all fails, there are the heavy-handed tools of regime change with their accompanying bloody civil wars and/or direct invasion and bombardment by their masters. During the previous cold war, when there were only two superpowers, proverbially at each other’s throats, most of the smaller and weaker countries tried to walk a very dangerous tightrope. They tried to maintain semi-neutrality and keep an equal distance from both superpowers. But that was extremely difficult, the hegemons’ carrot and stick’ tactics were too hard to resist when dangled, or very painful when the whip was unleashed. Instead, some discovered that they could join forces, not to fight their oppressors, but just to resist being pulled into their eddies.

Read more …

“The only solution to solve these problems and solve the dryness nuisance of the Mediterranean Basin would be the re-greening of the Sahara desert.”

A Community of Common Destiny? (Voiret)

In the Summer months, the north-east trade wind is getting weaker in the Atlantic Ocean, and humid air volumes are brought over the Sahel zone towards North from the West African monsoon zone. This takes place in July and early August, when around 100 to 200 mm precipitations makes savanna grass grow in the Sahel. In our days, however, it seems that going further north, these huge volumes of humid air rise higher than before in the atmosphere of the desert. In this way, the rain-containing air masses reach altitudes like thirty thousand feet above sea level – higher than in earlier years, because the heat emitted by the Sahara seems to be growing: As the humid air masses reach the first sand dunes of the desert, the huge heat reflection by the dunes send them higher and higher.

Every pilot flying north from Bamako or Niamey can confirm that: as soon as he reaches the desert, his plane is lifted higher by the air masses even if he, the pilot, does’nt pull his controls! After the humid clouds rise so high in the air over the desert, it is obvious that no rain comes downs on North Africa and on the Mediterranean basin in the summer months – hence the dryness and the forest fires. The rain comes down when the clouds get cooler after reaching more northern latitudes, after having passed the Alpes. Thus for example the “tropical” rain that came down on the Ahr-valley in Germany in the summer 2021. The only solution to solve these problems and solve the dryness nuisance of the Mediterranean Basin would be the re-greening of the Sahara desert.

Now, around 5000 years ago, the Sahara desert was indeed green! The scientific study of the Sahara desert has shown that this part of the world has been alternatively infertile, or green with vegetation: in the course of Earth history, the Sahara desert has seen 230 periods of vegetation growth alternating with dry climate phases! In the middle of the Holocene climate phase, around 6000 years ago, the Sahara actually had cattle breeding and cultivation. Rock engravings existing in the Hoggar and the Tibesti regions of the Sahara show that. These pictures also show gazelle herds and vegetation. The current dry climate phase began 3500 to 4000 years before Christ. But from those times, huge water reserves still exist underground, the so called “aquifers”. Some aquifers are salty, but most of them are sweet water.

Read more …

“UN Secretary General A. Guterres has committed to removing these barriers to addressing the global food crisis. Let’s see.”

Going to Samarkand (Escobar)

The meeting of the SCO Ministerial Council in Tashkent this past Friday involved some very serious business. That was the key preparatory reunion previous to the SCO summit in mid-September in fabled Samarkand, where the SCO will release a much-awaited “Declaration of Samarkand”. [..] it was in the Q@A session that Lavrov for all practical purposes detailed all the major trends in the current, incandescent state of international relations. These are the key takeaways.

How comfortable are you with the US dollar?

Africa: “We agreed that we will submit to the leaders for consideration proposals on specific actions to switch to settlements in national currencies. I think that everyone will now think about it. Africa already has a similar experience: common currencies in some sub-regional structures, which, nevertheless, by and large, are pegged to Western ones. From 2023, a continental free trade zone will start functioning on the African continent. A logical step would be to reinforce it with currency agreements.”

Belarus – and many others – eager to join the SCO: “There is a broad consensus on the Belarusian candidacy (…) I felt it today. There are a number of contenders for the status of observer, dialogue partner. Some Arab countries show such interest, as do Armenia, Azerbaijan and a number of Asian states.”

Grain diplomacy: “In regard to the issue of Russian grain, it was the American sanctions that did not allow the full implementation of the signed contracts due to the restrictions imposed: Russian ships are prohibited from entering a number of ports, there is a ban on foreign ships entering Russian ports to pick up export cargo, and insurance rates have gone up (…) Financial chains are also interrupted by illegitimate US and EU sanctions. In particular, Rosselkhozbank, through which all the main settlements for food exports pass, was one of the first to be included in the sanctions list. UN Secretary General A. Guterres has committed to removing these barriers to addressing the global food crisis. Let’s see.”

Taiwan: “We do not discuss this with our Chinese colleague. Russia’s position on having only one China remains unchanged. The United States periodically confirms the same line in words, but in practice their ‘deeds’ do not always coincide with words. We have no problem upholding the principle of Chinese sovereignty.”

Should the SCO abandon the US dollar? “Each SCO country must decide for itself how comfortable it feels to rely on the dollar, taking into account the absolute unreliability of this currency for possible abuses. The Americans have used this more than once in relation to a number of states.”

Why the SCO matters: “There are no leaders and followers in the SCO. There are no situations in the organization like in NATO, when the US and its closest allies impose one line or another on all other members of the alliance. In the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the situation that we are currently seeing in the EU does not arise: sovereign countries are literally being ‘knocked out’, demanding that they either stop buying gas or reduce its consumption in violation of national plans and interests.”

Read more …

“At the end of the day, HIMARS – and other so-called “advanced Western weapons” – is but a tool wielded by the same actor who has been systematically defeated by the Russian military.”

The Myth of the HIMARS ‘Game Changer’ (Scott Ritter)

According to the Institute of War, a US-based think tank, “Ukrainian forces are increasingly targeting Russian military infrastructure with indirect fire and US-provided HIMARS systems deep in occupied territory.” It concludes that “the increased ability of Ukrainian forces to target critical Russian military facilities with Western-provided HIMARS demonstrates how Western military aid provides Ukraine with new and necessary military capabilities.” The Kyiv Independent, a Western state-funded propaganda outlet, reported that “by July 7, Russia had lost most of its key ammunition depots, and many of its smaller depots in occupied Donbas. Notably, many key targets as much as 50-80 kilometers into Russian-controlled territory have been successfully destroyed.”

Max Boot, a Moscow-born military analyst who writes for the Washington Post, was so impressed with the performance of HIMARS that he wrote an op-ed in which he confidently announced “To shorten the War, send 60 HIMARS to Ukraine.” I mean, if eight HIMARS have brought the vaunted Russan war machine to its knees, imagine what could happen if Ukraine had 60? Wait, there is an answer to that question. In a recent interview with the Sunday Times, Reznikov revealed that Zelensky “had ordered Ukraine’s military to retake occupied coastal areas which are vital to the country’s economy.” Ukraine, it seems, is winning the war against Russia. Except, of course, it is not. Not even close. The notion that the HIMARS is a “super weapon” capable of turning the battlefield narrative in eastern Ukraine on its head is, simply put, pure nonsense.

Russia has, over the course of the past three months, perfected the art of war when it comes to defeating the Ukrainian military. John Boyd, the famous American fighter-pilot-turned-military theorist, coined a concept, known as the “OODA-Loop” (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) which represented the phases involved in military operations. The side that could master the OODA-Loop more efficiently than its opponent would “get inside their decision-making cycle,” forcing the enemy to operate in a purely reactive mode, enabling the superior party to achieve victory. Russia has got “inside the decision-making cycle” of every one of itsopponents during the military operation in Ukraine, dominating the conflict economically, politically, and militarily. HIMARS does not change this reality.

The Russian military, like any successful military organization, is highly adaptive – it must be, to survive on the modern battlefield. The conflict in Ukraine is unlike any experienced in modern times, requiring Russian military leaders to adapt operational theory as defined by doctrine to the demanding realities of the eastern Ukrainian front. The fact that approximately 200,000 Russian forces can impose their will on over 700,000 Ukrainian defenders while achieving casualty ratios that are decisively in their favor speaks to the reality of their OODA-Loop dominance. At the end of the day, HIMARS – and other so-called “advanced Western weapons” – is but a tool wielded by the same actor who has been systematically defeated by the Russian military. This will not change, whether Ukraine employs four, eight, 12… or even 60 HIMARS systems.

Read more …

“If we realize that we cannot for now give up on Russian gas, then it is bitter but it is the reality, and we must act accordingly..”

Forced cold showers for everyone will not be accepted.

Severing Ties With Russia Is ‘Absurd And Dangerous’ – German Official (RT)

Isolating Russia and ending economic cooperation with Moscow is dangerous for Germany, Prime Minister of Saxony Michael Kretschmer told Die Zeit newspaper this week, reiterating his call for a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine.“I think the idea of isolating Russia permanently or never again cooperating economically is absurd and dangerous… A Russia that is oriented towards China and has no ties to Europe is much more dangerous for us,” Kretschmer told the news outlet. The official said he was concerned with the impact of the sanctions on Russia on the German economy and energy security. He called for “pragmatism” in relations with Moscow and for the EU to facilitate peace talks and a “freeze” of the conflict in Ukraine, adding that a ceasefire would not only end the deaths, but “create an opportunity for the supply of raw materials,” most notably fossil fuels and grains.

Roughly half of German households rely on gas for electricity and heating, and around a third of the energy for German industry comes from gas. Prior to the conflict in Ukraine, up to one half of that gas was supplied by Russia. However, deliveries have dropped in recent weeks due to either technical or political reasons. According to Kretschmer, despite ambitious energy transition plans and political agendas, Germany will need gas supplies from Russia for the next five years at least. “If we realize that we cannot for now give up on Russian gas, then it is bitter but it is the reality, and we must act accordingly,” Kretschmer said, adding that apart from ordinary residents who will not be able to heat their homes in the winter, German industry is at risk if Russian gas supplies are lost.

“Our entire economic system is in danger of collapsing. If we are not careful, Germany could become de-industrialised,” he stated. Last month, Kretschmer said that Germany needs to ensure reliable fuel supplies before slapping Russia with sanctions.

Read more …

I’d call it goal-seeked instead.

Ottawa’s Fertilizer Reduction Target Is ‘Pulled Out Of The Air’ (TNC)

Alberta Agriculture Minister Nate Horner says Ottawa’s edict to reduce fertilizer use by 30% seems like a target “pulled out of the air.” The Trudeau government is looking to impose a requirement to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizers by 30% as part of its overall effort to reduce emissions by 40 to 45% by 2030. The mandate will result in less food production at a time when the world needs increased capacity that Canada could supply, or higher production costs which will ultimately be passed to the consumer, Horner said. “It’s just another issue where we feel that the feds either don’t understand or they don’t completely care about the consequences,” he told True North.

As Ottawa undergoes consultation about its target, Horner said provincial agriculture ministers hoped the reduction was up for discussion. But, he said he was disappointed to learn from his federal counterpart Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau that the 30% target would not be reconsidered. The consultation process will only consider how Ottawa can achieve its objectives, Horner said. “They’re going to consult on the process, but they weren’t going to change their goal.” He said Ottawa doesn’t have a good “baseline” understanding of the work already being done to reduce emissions in the prairies. And “unless you’re going to look at emissions per unit of production, (Ottawa) is not being really upfront about the two different challenges that we face,” he said.

The first challenge is the demand to increase production “in a big way,” and the second is that farming is becoming less financially viable, especially with the ever-increasing carbon tax. All seven United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership candidates have also opposed the edict and promised to fight back, should they be elected Premier in October. In the Netherlands, farmers have been in the streets for weeks protesting strict emission targets. [..] Now, the head of one of Canada’s premier agricultural groups is warning that strict domestic emissions targets could spur a similar reaction from the industry. “But, you know, all I can say is, if you push farmers back right up against the wall where their livelihood is at stake and it’s a direct result of government overreach and non science based policies, then, who knows what could happen?”

Dutch farmer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1553539740271464449

Read more …

“Notably, none of Pfizer’s profits come from free market activity.”

Pfizer Posts Record Profits On Taxpayer-funded, Liability-free Products (Sch.)

It’s the most expensive “free” shot of all time. Pfizer’s Q2 earnings numbers parallel that of a top 5 global energy company. Of course, the slight difference here is that energy companies actually provide essential services for human flourishing, while Pfizer provides, well, government-backed snake oil. This quarter, the drug company posted a total revenue of $27.7 billion, up 46.5% from $18.9 billion the same period of last year. Net income is up 78% to $9.9 billion this quarter, from $5.5 billion in Q2 of 2021. While many Americans are struggling to put food on the table, Pfizer’s taxpayer-supplied profits almost doubled year over year. Notably, none of Pfizer’s profits come from free market activity.


More than half of all Pfizer sales, and all of its profits, come from its expired mRNA gene therapy injections and Paxlovid. The outfit has fully transformed into a COVID-19 company. Without COVID Mania, the rest of Pfizer’s product line would see the pharma giant without any income this year. Business is booming for the taxpayer-funded, liability-free drug company. Just last month, the Biden Administration signed a deal with Pfizer that hiked the price of more than 50% extra per dose for Pfizer’s next batch of mRNA shots. It’s a truly stunning outcome for a company that once claimed to have produced the cure for the coronavirus, but has in reality supplied an ineffective gene therapy with a massive side effect profile.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking about this. What about anteaters etc.? Many reptiles eat insects, and they’re not birds.

 

 

 

 


Huxley in the 1930s

 

 

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