Wooden statue of priest and scribe Ka-aper Egypt, ca. 2465-2323 BC (originally plastered and painted )
Eva Vlaardingerbroek and Mark Steyn – worrisome… pic.twitter.com/ANl7I7a0Ow
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) August 3, 2022
DOOCY: "You guys gave a whole country to a bunch of people that are on the FBI Most Wanted list. What did you think was going to happen?"
KIRBY: "I take issue with the premise that we gave a whole country to terrorist groups."
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 2, 2022
50 years ago, Muhammad Ali talked about the importance of athletes standing tall and speaking the truth. pic.twitter.com/RXOz9cTRg5
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) August 2, 2022
Still want to blamePutin?
“Only one turbine is currently operational at the facility, [..] while five turbines are needed for the natural gas pipeline to pump at 100% capacity.”
• Siemens Explains Russian Gas Supply Shortfall (RT)
The compressor station at the starting point of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany is severely short of functioning equipment, according to turbine manufacturer Siemens Energy. Only one turbine is currently operational at the facility, Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch said on Wednesday, while five turbines are needed for the natural gas pipeline to pump at 100% capacity. Bruch’s comments come after the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited a Siemens Energy site in north-western Germany, where the firm is keeping a turbine that was due to be returned to Russia after repairs in Canada. “It is in our best interest, with support from the German government, to return this turbine to Russia,” Bruch said. In recent weeks the flow of gas to the EU via Nord Stream 1 was reduced to roughly one fifth of capacity, following a delay in the return of the first Siemens turbine and the shutdown of a second one, which is due for an overhaul.
“..several engines at the compressor station are currently idle due to emergency failures, since Siemens has not repaired them..”
• Gazprom Warns It Can’t Accept Key Turbine (RT)
Western sanctions make it impossible to properly return a turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, Russian energy giant Gazprom claimed on Wednesday. The missing equipment has been the key reason for supply cuts. Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch earlier said that the German company had fulfilled all conditions for sending the repaired turbine back to Russia. According to Bruch, the company is “extremely interested” in advancing the process and blamed missing documents from the Russian side for the delay. “The sanctions regimes of Canada, the EU, the UK and the inconsistency of the current situation with the current contractual obligations on the part of Siemens make the delivery of the 073 engine to the Portovaya [compressor station] impossible,” Gazprom said on Wednesday.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited the Siemens plant in Mülheim an der Ruhr on Tuesday and inspected the Nord Stream turbine located there. According to Scholz, the turbine is ready for operation and could be sent to Russia. In mid-June, Gazprom reduced gas supplies via Nord Stream to 40%, as the German-based Siemens had not returned the turbine in time after repairs in Canada, due to the sanctions. At Berlin’s urging, Canada agreed to send the equipment to Germany, and then on to Russia. On July 25, Gazprom confirmed that it had received documents for the turbine from Siemens. On July 27, Russian gas supplies to Europe via Nord Stream dropped to 20% of their maximum level, due to Gazprom decommissioning another gas turbine engine at the Portovaya compressor station.
Vitaly Markelov, deputy head of Gazprom, said that Siemens was not fulfilling its obligations to repair faulty engines for Nord Stream. According to Markelov, several engines at the compressor station are currently idle due to emergency failures, since Siemens has not repaired them. On July 29, Markelov said that the delivery of the turbine from Canada to Germany, instead of Russia, did not comply with the contract. In addition, he said that Gazprom has not received from Siemens a complete package of documents that allow the transportation and repair of engines for the gas pipeline.
These are not made by Siemens.
• German Artillery Donated To Ukraine Failing After Just Weeks Of Use (RMX)
Barely a month since their delivery, the first German armored self-propelled guns have already ceased service in Ukraine, according to a report by German newspaper Der Spiegel. The German Ministry of Defense was informed by Kyiv last week that an error message appeared on the cannons and that several of them needed to be repaired. According to the Bundeswehr, the reason behind the malfunction may be that the Ukrainians are firing the guns more intensively than the technology is capable of. This means that the stress on the loading systems may be too high. Another problem could be that the soldiers reportedly fire the units from too far away with the special ammunition; the smart grenades used by these cannons were meant for shorter-range, precision hits.
The Bundeswehr explained that misuse of the weapons could have contributed to a more accelerated wear and tear. Despite the problems, however, they agreed to supply Ukraine with additional weapons packages. At the same time, the arming of Ukraine by the West raises several problems. The unlimited flow of weapons can see arms easily end up on the black market or lost. Several European countries have already warned that weapons have on occasion been redirected to other nations. The authorities in Sweden, for example, revealed that anti-tank weapons have already appeared in the circles of criminal gangs in Sweden. Meanwhile, security policy expert Robert C. Castel drew attention to the fact that Western weapon systems — the Javelin anti-tank missile and the Stinger anti-aircraft missile — can be used against civilian and industrial targets as well as military ones. According to him, it is only a matter of time before these weapons deliveries have unintended consequences. These weapons could still be lurking somewhere in Europe for many decades, as the modern equivalent of mines and air bombs left over from the World Wars, he added.
“..the Ukrainian side is well-aware of our terms. One way or another, they will be fulfilled..”
• Russia Ready For Peace On Own Terms – Kremlin (RT)
Ukraine can end the ongoing conflict at any time by conceding to Russia’s conditions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. “Russia is ready [for a peace deal], the Ukrainian side is well-aware of our terms. One way or another, they will be fulfilled,” the official told journalists. Peskov went on to explain that back in late March the two countries were close to settling their differences in a way that was acceptable to Russia, but the draft agreement prepared during a meeting in Istanbul was torpedoed by the Ukrainian side.
Kiev broke off talks with Moscow after accusing Russia of committing war crimes, an allegation that Russia said was based on fabricated evidence. The Ukrainian leadership has since insisted that negotiations can only be resumed after Russia is defeated on the battlefield with the help of Western weapons. Dmitry Peskov also commented on the recent visit to Moscow by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who, the Kremlin spokesman confirmed, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Despite media speculation that the former German leader could serve as a mediator in the Ukraine conflict, the 78-year-old “expressed no desire” to do so, Peskov said.
Schroeder is still on Gazprom’s board. He is the chairman of the board of Nord Stream AG and of Rosneft. Ideal mediator for peace.
• German Ex-Chancellor Offers Solution To EU Energy Crisis (RT)
Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has offered “the simplest solution” to Europe’s current energy crisis – to switch on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Nord Stream 2 “is ready,” the former chancellor told German magazine Stern in an interview published on Wednesday. “The simplest solution would be to put the Nord Stream 2 pipeline into operation. If things get really tight, there is this pipeline, and with both Nord Stream pipelines there would be no supply problem for German industry and German households.” he said. Otherwise, “you have to bear the consequences. And they will be huge in Germany, too,” Schroeder warned.
The Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, beside the currently operational Nord Stream 1 route. Its construction was completed last September but the pipeline was denied certification by Germany prior to the crisis in Ukraine. The German government has repeatedly said that launching Nord stream 2 now is out of the question. In recent weeks, Russian energy supplier Gazprom reduced the gas flow via Nord Stream 1 to 20% capacity citing technical problems with Siemens turbines at a compressor station. According to Schroeder, the reduction is Siemens’ fault as the company failed to return a turbine from repairs in Canada on time. Ottawa eventually returned the part to Germany, that was held due to sanctions on Russia, after bowing to pressure from Berlin.
“I can’t tell you whether [we are directly tasking] British and American satellites, but we have very good satellite imagery..”
• US Is ‘Directly Involved’ in Ukraine War – Russia (Antiwar)
The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday said Washington was “directly involved” in the war in Ukraine after a Ukrainian official detailed Kyiv’s cooperation with the US before launching strikes with US-provided HIMARS rockets. Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, told The Telegraph that Ukrainian officials consulted with US officials before launching HIMARS strikes and that the US has veto power over the attacks. Skibitsky insisted that the US wasn’t providing “direct targeting information,” but suggested Ukraine was using satellite imagery provided by the US and Britain. “I can’t tell you whether [we are directly tasking] British and American satellites, but we have very good satellite imagery,” Skibitsky said.
Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said that this cooperation “proves that contrary to the assurances by the White House and the Pentagon, Washington is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine.” The comments from the Russian Defense Ministry highlight the danger of the US’s deep involvement in the war, which risks provoking a response from Moscow. Russian officials have cited US military aid as a reason to push further into Ukrainian territory. After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the US expanded intelligence sharing with Ukraine’s forces, and US officials have bragged to the media that this cooperation helped kill Russian generals and sink a Russian warship. Although the claims were not verified, the comments themselves were major provocations toward Moscow.
Amnesty has also accused Ukraine of using “human shields”.
• Russia Accuses Ukraine Of Mistreating POWs (RT)
Moscow has scrupulously observed the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners, while the government of Ukraine has tortured, starved and deprived of medical care the Russian soldiers in its captivity, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Wednesday. The West’s unwillingness to hold Kiev accountable has resulted in violations and outright crimes, Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin told reporters. Russia has taken “painstaking” steps to observe the Geneva Convention on the treatment of POWs, among them holding more than 40 weekly meetings with representatives of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and establishing a medical commission on seriously ill and injured prisoners. So far, 18 such prisoners were sent back to Ukraine, General Fomin said.
There have also been 27 exchanges of POWs and the bodies of dead servicemen, while the ICRC has received more than 1,500 letters home from the Ukrainian prisoners. Detained Ukrainian soldiers can also make phone calls to their families, Fomin said, all in accordance with Article 71 of the convention.Fomin’s press conference came after the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine said it was appalled by a video allegedly showing a Russian soldier castrating a bound and gagged Ukrainian captive. In a statement on Friday, the commission reminded everyone that “torture and summary executions of prisoners of war” are war crimes. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office has launched an investigation into the video, to establish where and when it might have taken place.
The Russian general did not address the video directly. He did, however, say that while Russia has treated its prisoners in full accordance with international law, Ukraine has not. According to a survey of exchanged service members, both Russian and those of the Donbass republics, 81% of the prisoners were subjected to beatings and other physical violence, while 55% were forced to film propaganda videos. Some 46% received no medical care, 79% were given no opportunity to contact relatives, and 19% were given poor or insufficient meals. One detention center, run by the Ukrainian security service SBU in Kiev, gave captives only 50 grams of porridge, a piece of bread and a glass of water a day, while keeping them blindfolded.
Fomin also brought up videos circulating onlineshowing “torture and abuse,” as well as extrajudicial executions and “monstrous acts of violence” against Russian and Donbass POWs. “Ukrainian Nazis” have also attempted to extort the families of captives for ransom, he said. Russia has regularly informed the international humanitarian structures of Ukraine’s behavior, with requests to influence the Kiev government, but to little or no effect, Fomin said. In addition to the mistreatment of prisoners, according to the Russian military, Ukrainian forces have been using civilians as human shields, as well as using Western-supplied weapons and banned ordnance – such as cluster munitions and landmines – to target civilians in the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. The international community has turned a blind eye to these atrocities, Fomin said, allowing them to continue.
The country is made of water.
• National Crisis Team To Distribute Scarce Dutch Water (NOS)
As of today, the national Water Shortage Management Team (MTW) determines how scarce water is distributed in the Netherlands. Due to the ongoing drought, there is now a “de facto water shortage”, says Minister Harbers of Infrastructure and Water Management. At the moment no additional measures are needed to prevent problems, but if the drought continues, they will soon. What exactly those measures entail is still unclear. The situation is now so serious that decisions have to be made that go beyond the regions, water boards and stakeholders. It is the task of the MTW to coordinate this. Rijkswaterstaat, the water boards, drinking water companies, provinces and the ministries involved are represented in the team. In this way, decisions can be taken about measures more quickly and more tailor-made, says Harbers.
On July 13, we scaled up to level 1 (impending water shortage) and now to level 2 (actual water shortage). The drought is caused by the high evaporation rate in the Netherlands and the low supply of water from abroad via the rivers. Minister Harbers assures that, despite the drought, sufficient drinking water is and will remain available. But according to him it is important that the Dutch are conscious of their tap water. “Everyone can contribute. That is why I ask all Dutch people to think carefully about whether they should wash their car or fill their inflatable pool completely.” Several water boards have already taken measures in recent weeks. For example, in some areas there is a ban on spraying for agriculture and industry and locks may be used less frequently by shipping. The water level in the IJsselmeer is also kept as high as possible and pumps and pumping stations have been used in some places to better distribute the water.
Mike Davis on Twitter: “The Biden Justice Department is now subpoenaing the prior Counsel to the President. His communications are clearly protected by Executive Privilege. Attorney General Merrick Garland is causing tremendous damage to the Presidency. Biden will regret this.”
• DOJ Subpoenas Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone (Hill)
Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone has been subpoenaed by the Justice Department in an investigation increasingly involving former President Trump’s closest advisers, according to reports from multiple news outlets. The subpoena comes as the Justice Department has been bringing other White House officials before a grand jury in its probe into Jan. 6. Cipollone would be able to offer considerable insight into actions at the White House both leading up to and on Jan. 6. His testimony before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack indicates he had numerous concerns about the former president’s plans for the day and how he responded to the riot.
The Justice Department has already brought two former advisers to then-Vice President Mike Pence before a grand jury. It has also executed search warrants on Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department assistant attorney general who Trump weighed installing as attorney general so he could forward investigations into the president’s baseless claims of election fraud, along with John Eastman. Eastman, a former law professor, crafted memos for the campaign advising they submit alternate electoral certificates and that Pence buck his ceremonial duty to certify the election results. [..] Jan. 6 committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters last month that DOJ had asked for transcripts with the panel’s investigators tied to Trump’s plans to transmit fake elector certificates to Congress.
But the interest in Cipollone suggests the probe could be more wide ranging, especially following reporting by The New York Times indicating that federal prosecutors are beginning to more seriously discuss directly investigating Trump’s actions. Earlier testimony before the House Jan. 6 committee indicated Cipollone pushed back against a plan to issue an executive order allowing the seizing of voting machines. According to testimony from White House aide Cassidy Hutchison, he also expressed legal concerns over Trump’s plans to march to the Capitol, warning they could be charged with “every crime imaginable.” And in a portion of his taped deposition played in the committee’s final hearing of the summer, Cipollone was also shown saying he pushed Trump to call off the mob if his supporters storming the Capitol.
“when an employee separates from DOD or Army he or she turns in the government issued phone, and the phone is wiped”
“U.S. Secret Service text messages sent on the day the breach had also been deleted.”
• DOD ‘Wiped’ Phones of Senior Trump Officials, Jan. 6 Communications (ET)
Some senior Trump administration officials had their phones “wiped” by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Army after the former president left office, meaning messages that were sent around the time of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach are no longer accessible, court filings show. The DOD acknowledged that the phones belonging to former Pentagon officials had been wiped as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by American Oversight, a non-profit watchdog organization. American Oversight had sought the communications that those officials had with Trump, former Vice President Pence, Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, or anyone communicating on their behalf on Jan. 6.
The watchdog group submitted the FOIA requests pertaining to the records on Jan. 12, 2021, six days after the breach of the Capitol building. Specifically, FOIA requests sought communications from former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, former chief of staff Kash Patel, and former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, Paul Ney, the Defense Department’s general counsel; and James E. McPherson, the Army’s general counsel. However, in a court filing roughly a year after the request, the Army stated that “when an employee separates from DOD or Army he or she turns in the government issued phone, and the phone is wiped” and that “for those custodians no longer with the agency, the text messages were not preserved and therefore could not be searched.”
The court filing noted, however, that “it is possible that particular text messages could have been saved into other records systems such as email.” The DOD’s admission in the filings creates further transparency issues regarding the Jan. 6 select committee’s investigation into the events of that day in 2021 and how the government responded. It also comes shortly after it was revealed that U.S. Secret Service text messages sent on the day the breach had also been deleted.
“..if a plea has already closed the case, the legal blowback could be confined..”
• Elites Prepare To Drop Hunter Biden in a “Controlled Demolition” (Turley)
I previously wrote a column on the one year anniversary of the Hunter Biden laptop story that marveled at the success of the Biden family in making the scandal vanish before that 2020 election. It was analogized to Houdini making his 10,000-pound elephant Jennie disappear in his act. With the help of the media, the Biden trick occurred live before an audience of millions. The problem is the public can now see the elephant. That is why the media is now recalibrating. That was most evident in the recent statement of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that “I know The New York Times felt it didn’t pursue it originally as much as it wanted to; then it followed up, as I recall.” Friedman does not explain what overrode that journalistic interest in the story or why the “follow up” came a year after the election of Joe Biden.
It appears that President Biden is no longer seen as a political asset with most Democrats refusing to publicly support him in his promised reelection bid. Biden now could endanger Democratic control of Congress. The question is how to drop Hunter (and even his father) without causing damage to the media, the Democrats, or others in Washington. It requires a controlled demolition. The most important thing is to control the blast. By refusing to appoint a special counsel, Merrick Garland has effectively blocked the risk of a report on the extensive influence peddling, including the repeated references to President Biden. the “Big Guy” is discussed in emails as the potential recipient of a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm as well as other benefits. Emails also refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes. Recently, there was additional support showing that “the Big Guy” was indeed Joe Biden.
The problem is that embarrassing evidence is mounting by the day. That includes the recent disclosure new open influence peddling by Hunter, referencing access to his father. [..] In other words, the case can then be collapsed by triggering a smaller explosion. Rather than pursue wider conspiracies connected to the influence peddling, Hunter could be indicted on a few tax or lobbying counts. That would allow for a plea bargain that would allow the media to focus narrowly on those counts and not the broader influence peddling by the Biden family. Of course, controlled demolition can at times take an unexpected turn. The greatest danger is that either house of Congress could flip to GOP control. That would open up the entire matter to congressional investigation. Yet, if a plea has already closed the case, the legal blowback could be confined. The key to political controlled demolitions “to ‘implode’ the building, that is, make it collapse down into its footprint.” The footprint is now Hunter Biden, confining the implosion to him while leaving the media and establishment untouched.
If these clowns don’t make energy and food available and affordable, they won’t make people wear masks.
• German Mask Mandates for Those Who Refuse A 4th Dose in the Fall (Eugyp)
Our clown health minister Karl Lauterbach and our useless liberal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann have finally agreed on draft legislation to replace our current Infection Protection Act, which expires in September. As predicted, the compromise is masking and not much else. Specifically, the federal states will receive the option to impose indoor mask mandates, with exceptions for those who can present negative tests, or who have recovered from infection or received vaccination within the past three months. As Julian Reichelt notes, masks will thus become a compulsory (if temporary) label for everyone who refuses dose number four.
My greatest regret about the law, is that it frees the tested and the recovered from mask requirements. I’d prefer that only the vaccinated present bare faces in public, so that they can be subjected to the proper contempt. I was going to write more about my outrage at this ongoing farce, but I find myself too depressed to do so. Instead, I’ll just draw your attention to a small item of vaccinator comedy (h/t Marcus Klöckner), in the form of this otherwise standard job ad for a postdoctoral historian in Austrian history at Kalgenfurt University in Carinthia. At the end is this little nugget:
“The University is aware of its social responsibility in the era of COVID-19. This is demonstrated by the high proportion of fully immunised persons among students and employees. For this reason, continual willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is expected for those entering employment with the University.”A great many academic institutions (and adjacent professions) will now subject themselves to an indefinite festival of annual vaccination with novel mRNA cocktails against a pervasive respiratory virus that is no more dangerous than the flu. This won’t stop SARS-2 and it won’t make university instruction safer; it’ll just kill a few people, make a lot of others sick for no reason, and alienate reasonable employees who don’t like massive bureaucratic organisations rooting around in their personal medical decisions. Great plan. Good luck with that.
Dutch farmers are not joking. Respect. pic.twitter.com/aBX4CXph6c
— RadioGenova (@RadioGenova) August 3, 2022
still the single greatest moment to have happened on live television pic.twitter.com/TaWVpg5Gc7
— Daniel (@Clark1995Clark) August 3, 2022
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