Leonardo da Vinci A Copse of Trees 1508
RFK military operation
Memorials for those killed by the mRNA bioweapon are popping up everywhere. This one is in Nice in the south of France. pic.twitter.com/D2l9eJe0eG
— Mark Alan Pearce (@PearceAlan1962) March 13, 2023
Met. Pavel of the Orthodox Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra: "They threaten us that this monastery is state property. It's the property of the Church, was and still is…We don't intend to be evicted and won't be b/c there are laws now on the side of the people…This is not 1917." pic.twitter.com/2aTKcUwOZV
— the Lemniscat (@theLemniscat) March 17, 2023
Watters Hallie Schweizer
— Orbán Viktor (@PM_ViktorOrban) March 17, 2023
Xi arrives on the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.
Labeling this an official state visit means documents have been prepared that are ready to be signed. By all parties, including US and Ukraine.
US and EU can say that China should join the world community vs Russia, but it’s Xi who speaks for the majority.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to Russia from March 20-22 at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin press service said in a statement on Friday. According to the statement, the two leaders will discuss “pressing issues related to the future of relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China.” The parties are also expected to exchange views on ways to enhance Russian-Chinese cooperation on the international stage. In addition, the Kremlin press service specified that “a number of important bilateral documents will be signed” during the Chinese leader’s visit. Putin and Xi Jinping last met in person on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the Uzbek city of Samarkand in September 2022.
In late December, Putin held a video conference call with Xi Jinping, inviting him to make a state visit to Moscow in the spring of 2023. Earlier in March, Xi Jinping was re-elected as Chinese president for a third five-year term. Putin said in his congratulatory message that Moscow and Beijing would continue coordination on key issues. The Russian president also expressed confidence that together with the Chinese president, he would be able to boost cooperation between the two countries in various fields. Following the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October 2022, Xi Jinping was also re-elected as General Secretary of the party’s Central Committee for a third time. That said, this will be his first visit to Russia since the re-election.
My latest 2 minute topic: pic.twitter.com/vJ13V5klJe
— Scott Ritter (@RealScottRitter) March 17, 2023
“If China brokers peace here like it just did with Saudi and Iran, it’s a new world order, instantly.”
Washington and other Western capitals reacted warily on Friday to the announcement of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia next week, with the US “deeply concerned” Beijing could try to pose as a peacemaker by promoting an immediate ceasefire in the war in Ukraine. Both Beijing and the Kremlin confirmed on Friday that Xi will make a state visit to Russia from Monday to Wednesday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It will be Xi’s first foreign trip since he secured an unprecedented third term as China’s president last week. His face-to-face talks with Putin are widely expected to have broad implications for the war, now in its second year, and China’s already tense relationship with the US.
But its significance grew further on Friday after pressure grew on Putin: the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands, issued an arrest warrant for him over the war crime of illegally deporting Ukrainian children to Russia. Additionally, Turkey, after blocking Finland’s application to join Nato in the wake of Russia’s invasion, agreed to support it. Putin has maintained that Nato is a threat to Russia. Beijing’s foreign ministry described the trip as a “visit of friendship, cooperation and peace”. Washington, though, sees it as a potentially harmful reframing of the conflict. The Chinese might promote a ceasefire and “try to couch themselves as peacemakers and as … the only ones calling for the fighting to stop”, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said. “We have deep concerns about that, because of what it actually means in terms of benefiting Russia at the expense of Ukraine,” he said.
“That’s why we’re expressing these concerns even before the visit.” The US position is that any ceasefire that freezes positions on the ground would validate Russia’s seizing of Ukrainian territory and give it a chance to rebuild its forces for further attacks. “We don’t support calls for a ceasefire right now,” Kirby said. “We certainly don’t support calls for a ceasefire that would be called for by the PRC [People’s Republic of China] in a meeting in Moscow that would simply benefit Russia.” He criticised Beijing for not joining the rest of the international community in supporting Ukraine. “We would certainly hope that they would. But we’ll see what comes out of this meeting,” he said. Britain also said that any peace deal not predicated on Ukraine’s sovereignty and self determination was no peace deal at all.
“China has in recent years declared that it needs to be a participant in the creation of the world order. It has now made a significant move in that direction..”
China has taken a major step towards its goal of becoming a participant in the shaping of the world order, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has said. The veteran diplomat was commenting on the recent landmark deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which Beijing mediated. Riyadh and Tehran agreed to restore diplomatic relations after a seven-year pause during talks in Beijing a week ago. In comments cited by the Washington Post on Thursday, Kissinger said the development is “a substantial change in the strategic situation in the Middle East.” The Saudis, who have been among Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East for decades, “are now balancing their security by playing off the US against China,” he explained.
According to Kissinger, Riyadh’s actions are comparable to what he himself accomplished in the early 1970s when, as secretary of state in the Nixon administration, he helped achieve rapprochement with Beijing amid its tensions with Moscow. The Saudi-Iranian deal will also complicate matters for Israel, as “pressure on Iran will now have to take into account Chinese interests,” he said. Israel remains increasingly concerned about Tehran’s alleged nuclear weapon program, and has warned of potential pre-emptive strikes against Iranian targets. “China has in recent years declared that it needs to be a participant in the creation of the world order. It has now made a significant move in that direction” by persuading Saudi Arabia and Iran to negotiate, Kissinger said.
The author of the article, Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius, also acknowledged that “the US is no longer the indispensable power in the region – the only country strong or supple enough to broker peace deals.” “China has claimed a share of that convening power” by playing the role of mediator on this scale for the first time, he wrote. Another major regional player, the United Arab Emirates, is also “courting” Beijing, Ignatius said. Chinese President Xi Jinping stated earlier this week that Beijing should “actively participate in the reform and construction of the global governance system” and promote “global security initiatives.” In doing so, China will add “positive energy to world peace and development,” he added.
Russia was (is) moving Ukrainian children out of the line of fire. Where Ukraine let them remain. The west now talks of “re-education camps”..
“Who would have thought 15 years ago, that taking care of children, saving them and treating them, would become criminally punishable in the West.” – Maria Zakharova
The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, the court said in a statement on Friday. The statement said they could be responsible “for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.” ICC arrest warrants are usually secret in order to protect victims and witnesses and also to safeguard the investigation. However, the court stated that it authorized the public disclosure of the existence of the warrants, the names of the suspects and the crimes for which the warrants are issued, because “the conduct addressed in the present situation is allegedly ongoing, and that the public awareness of the warrants may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes.”
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier, when he commented on potential ICC cases against Russia, that Russia doesn’t recognize the court’s jurisdiction. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in comments on the information from the Hague, said decisions of the court have no consequence in Russia and any potential arrest warrants are null and void. The International Criminal Court was established by the Rome Statute in 1998. It’s not part of the UN and is accountable to the countries that have ratified the statute. The countries that aren’t parties to the statute include Russia (signed, didn’t ratify), the US (signed, then revoked signature) and China (didn’t sign). Putin signed an executive order in 2016 that stated Russia wouldn’t be a member of the ICC. According to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the court didn’t live up to expectations and failed to become a truly independent organization for international justice. The US expressed strong displeasure with the court in 2020, after ICC prosecutors indicated they would investigate crimes by US servicemen in Afghanistan.
“Biden’s policy of forcibly pushing NATO to Russia’s borders forged a strong commonality of security and trade interests between Moscow and Beijing that is attracting strategic partners in South Asia like India, and partners like Brazil in Latin America.”
The crisis of American national power has begun. America’s economy is tipping over, and Western financial markets are quietly panicking. Imperiled by rising interest rates, mortgage-backed securities and U.S. Treasuries are losing their value. The market’s proverbial “vibes”—feelings, emotions, beliefs, and psychological penchants—suggest a dark turn is underway inside the American economy. American national power is measured as much by American military capability as by economic potential and performance. The growing realization that American and European military-industrial capacity cannot keep up with Ukrainian demands for ammunition and equipment is an ominous signal to send during a proxy war that Washington insists its Ukrainian surrogate is winning.
Russian economy-of-force operations in southern Ukraine appear to have successfully ground down attacking Ukrainian forces with the minimal expenditure of Russian lives and resources. While Russia’s implementation of attrition warfare worked brilliantly, Russia mobilized its reserves of men and equipment to field a force that is several magnitudes larger and significantly more lethal than it was a year ago.Russia’s massive arsenal of artillery systems including rockets, missiles, and drones linked to overhead surveillance platforms converted Ukrainian soldiers fighting to retain the northern edge of the Donbas into pop-up targets. How many Ukrainian soldiers have died is unknown, but one recent estimate wagers between 150,000-200,000 Ukrainians have been killed in action since the war began, while another estimates about 250,000.
Given the glaring weakness of NATO members’ ground, air, and air defense forces, an unwanted war with Russia could easily bring hundreds of thousands of Russian Troops to the Polish border, NATO’s Eastern Frontier. This is not an outcome Washington promised its European allies, but it’s now a real possibility. In contrast to the Soviet Union’s hamfisted and ideologically driven foreign policymaking and execution, contemporary Russia has skillfully cultivated support for its cause in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. The fact that the West’s economic sanctions damaged the U.S. and European economies while turning the Russian ruble into one of the international system’s strongest currencies has hardly enhanced Washington’s global standing.
Biden’s policy of forcibly pushing NATO to Russia’s borders forged a strong commonality of security and trade interests between Moscow and Beijing that is attracting strategic partners in South Asia like India, and partners like Brazil in Latin America. The global economic implications for the emerging Russo-Chinese axis and their planned industrial revolution for some 3.9 billion people in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are profound.
“..while Kuleba was “trying to clumsily intimidate the world community,” he was simultaneously publishing announcements on his ministry’s website searching for “anyone who could represent the Kiev regime at the ambassador level abroad.”
Ukraine will remember those who backed it in its conflict with Russia and will hold those who did not accountable, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba warned in a BBC interview on Friday. The choices every nation made during Russia’s military operation in Ukraine will be “taken into account in building future relations,” Kuleba said, adding that countries that have “misbehaved in the course of this war and mistreated Ukraine” would pay a price. “If anyone in the world thinks that the way this or that country behaved – or treated Ukraine at the darkest moment of its history – will not be taken into account in building future relations, these people just don’t know how diplomacy works,” he stated, noting that “war is a time when you have to make a choice. And every choice has been recorded.”
The minister also blasted the West for not giving Ukraine weapons fast enough, pointing out that every day weapons are not delivered is a day some Ukrainian soldiers die on the frontline. Russia responded to Kuleba’s statement by noting that everything he said had already long been understood by Ukrainian citizens, which is why they are fleeing even from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in a Telegram post that while Kuleba was “trying to clumsily intimidate the world community,” he was simultaneously publishing announcements on his ministry’s website, searching for “anyone who could represent the Kiev regime at the ambassador level abroad.”
“Even though there is a foreign currency salary, it seems there is no one to be found,” Zakharova said. Meanwhile, Russia has pointed out that more and more UN member states are beginning to question the true nature of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev as they grow more skeptical of the West’s calls for peace in Ukraine. “Very quickly it has become obvious that it’s not Russia and Ukraine that are fighting in Ukraine right now. It’s a NATO proxy war against Russia with the hands of the Ukrainians, until the last Ukrainian,” Dmitry Polyansky, the deputy head of Moscow’s mission to the UN, said last week.
Violent protests in France over Macron unilaterally pushing through pension reforms.
French party leader Florian Philippot believes it has long been obvious that the United States was behind last year’s sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, which were built to deliver Russian natural gas to Western Europe. “Even before the war in Ukraine, the US for years fought against Nord Stream, it was a permanent part of their policy,” he told RIA Novosti in an interview published on Friday. “In early February 2022, [US President Joe] Biden said the Americans could make it so that the pipeline was no more. That’s what happened. And it was in the interest of the Americans,” according to Philippot, who heads the right-wing ‘The Patriots’ party in France. Last month, veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported that Biden personally ordered the bombing of the pipelines, and that Norway assisted in the sabotage.
He cited an unnamed source and supported his case using some of the same arguments as Philippot. Biden remarked that “there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2” during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in early February 2022. Hersh also claimed that Biden allowed US special services to classify the operation in a way that justified not informing the US Congress about it beforehand. Nord Stream 2 is the name of the second, newer pipeline, which was meant to greatly expand the capacity of the original Nord Stream, but was never operational. Both were disabled by sabotage. Philippot said he considered US culpability “obvious” even before Hersh’s revelations, but was not sure about Norway’s role.
He reasoned that Oslo had a motive since it “competes with Russia in gas trade, and many European nations replaced the Russian gas with Norwegian.” Both the US and Norway have denied any responsibility. Philippot also urged France to leave NATO, saying the military alliance “needs to be disbanded because it has no reason to exist.” “We have to stop this agenda of world war against Russia and China, it is absolutely insane,” he told the Russian news outlet, blaming the US for increasing global tensions. He also called French President Emmanuel Macron a deceitful leader. His government “prioritizes the US, and not its own people,” Philippot stated. He cited Macron’s decision to send billions of dollars worth of weapons and ammunition to Kiev, even as he is pushing through an unpopular pension reform, claiming a lack of money to fund social programs.
“..the US is now “weighing the costs and benefits” of further drone operations..”
That took just one drone…
The US is weighing the benefits and risks of drone flights over the Black Sea after losing an unmanned aircraft there while being chased by Russian interceptors, CNN reported on Thursday, citing sources. On Tuesday, Washington claimed that two Russian Su-27 fighters dumped fuel on a MQ-9 Reaper drone conducting a reconnaissance flight in the area, with one jet later colliding with the US aircraft. Moscow’s Ministry of Defense, however, dismissed the accusation, insisting that its interceptors had neither come into contact with the Reaper nor fired a weapon, saying that the drone crashed due to “sharp maneuvers.” Several officials have told CNN that the US is now “weighing the costs and benefits” of further drone operations.
At the same time, Washington has not entirely halted flights while the review is underway, the report says, and another Reaper was sent to monitor Russian forces searching for the debris. Pentagon officials say they are “taking a close look” at US drone routes and at ways to reduce the risk of clashing with Moscow’s military in the area. They are also said to be analyzing the potential intelligence benefits of such missions compared with the danger of escalation. One senior official told CNN the US was concerned that curbing drone activities could adversely affect intelligence gathering related to the Ukraine conflict. However, the US could still rely on other assets such as satellites, the report states.
Despite the ongoing review, Washington is considering flying another drone over the Black Sea in the near future, US officials said, without providing further detail. The US has significantly ramped up intelligence operations close to Russian borders, seeking to provide Ukraine with valuable data. Moscow has repeatedly insisted that such activities make the US a direct party to the conflict. On Friday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of the Security Council, blasted the US for sending its drone into the restricted flight Moscow has imposed due to the Ukraine conflict. “To put it simply, the Americans went way out of line, and there is no need to stand on ceremony with them,” he said, while recognizing the value of contacts between the Russian and US militaries.
Scott Ritter rips into Marco Rubio & Lindsey Graham on responding to Russia's attack on U.S. drone@RealScottRitter#DroneAttack #drones #Russia #RussianUkrainianWar
see full vid: https://t.co/lUZ5ykn7j8 pic.twitter.com/vGMSFD9Yfo
— Judge Napolitano (@Judgenap) March 17, 2023
They can leave, but not fully armed.
Russian forces are steadily advancing in Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine) having thwarted the attempted withdrawal of several Ukrainian army units, acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin said on Friday. “We saw that several Ukrainian army units tried to get out of there, but they were thwarted by our forces,” he said in an interview with Russia’s Channel One. “The situation is steadily developing toward the liberation of this settlement.” Artyomovsk is located in the Kiev-controlled part of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Fierce fighting for control of the city is underway. According to the latest data, Russian forces have blocked or taken control of all paved roads to the city while the nascent spring mud season is complicating logistics efforts to supply the Ukrainian army with fresh ammunition and personnel.
“.. the jets were retired last year, and several reports suggested that they were mostly not in operational condition…”
Plans by Poland and Slovakia to send Soviet warplanes to Ukraine look like attempts to dispose of antiquated equipment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during his Friday press briefing. “This is another example of how a number of NATO member states, including Poland, are raising their direct involvement in the conflict,” he announced, reacting to the recent announcements that Warsaw and Bratislava would send Soviet-designed MiG-29 warplanes to Kiev. Peskov added that it would not affect the outcome of Russia’s military operation but instead “may lead to additional suffering for Ukraine itself and its people.” “It seems like these countries [Poland and Slovakia] are just disposing of old equipment they no longer need,” Peskov said. The MiG-29 was designed in the 1970s and entered service in the 1980s.
Warsaw’s plan to transfer four of the MiG-29 fighters to Kiev “in the next few days” was announced by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki earlier this week. This makes Poland the first NATO country to pledge warplanes to Ukraine. The country has 28 MiG-29s, but it is unclear how many of them are in working condition, as the country has sought to update its air force with US- and South Korean-made fighters. Slovakia, also a NATO member, similarly announced on Friday that it would send 13 of its MiGs to Kiev. However, the jets were retired last year, and several reports suggested that they were mostly not in operational condition.
Ukraine has been requesting warplanes, specifically American-made F-16s for its military, but US President Joe Biden said in January that they were not planning to send any over. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz similarly stated the same month that Berlin was not even discussing transferring its own F-16s. French President Emmanuel Macron has sounded more vague, saying in January that he would not rule out sending fighter jets to Ukraine. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced in February that London would be training Ukrainian pilots, adding that there was still no decision on actually sending Western-made fighter jets to Kiev. Moscow has warned on numerous occasions that arming Ukraine was akin to playing with fire and that Western countries had practically already become a party to the conflict.
9 years ago.
Russian President Vladimir Putin took the opportunity on Friday to congratulate all citizens of Russia with the upcoming anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia, calling it a historic event. “I want to congratulate the citizens of Crimea, Sevastopol and all citizens of our country with the Day of Crimea’s Reunification with Russia,” Putin said, opening a session on the socio-economic development of Crimea and Sevastopol. March 16, 2023 marks nine years since the Crimean referendum, where the majority of citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol voted in favor of reunification with Russia.
After Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a coup in February 2014, mass protests erupted in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. On March 11, 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council and Sevastopol City Council adopted a declaration of independence. On March 15, 2014, the Crimean authorities held a referendum on reuniting with Russia. Most voters supported the idea (96.77% in Crimea and 95.6% in the city of Sevastopol), with turnout reaching 80%. On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Ukraine, the United States and the European Union refused to recognize Crimea’s independence and its decision to reunite with Russia.
“..The idea that cross-border funding of NGOs is not only acceptable, but normal and necessary, has become a product and a feature of the era of liberal globalization..”
Georgia hit the headlines early this month over the government’s attempt to pass a law on “foreign agents.” The draft bill (there were actually two of them) was eventually withdrawn and the issue taken off the agenda for the time being. The case is unusual because the Georgian leadership – far from being pro-Russian and anti-Western – has suddenly been relegated to this niche by the international media. Of course, everything is black-and-white these days, but the general topic is interesting in a wider context. The concept of a “foreign agent,” which was introduced in the US on the eve of World War II to counter enemy propaganda, has found new life in the 21st century. Until recently, it was mainly used in polemics between Russia and the West.
The latter accused Moscow of using the status to remove dissenters from the public space. Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s argument that the public has a right to know about foreign money being spent domestically is dismissed as a mere justification for restricting freedoms. The argument goes that “civil society” has the right to be funded “independently.” Herein lies a fundamental contradiction that we are now likely to see everywhere more and more. The idea that cross-border funding of NGOs is not only acceptable, but normal and necessary, has become a product and a feature of the era of liberal globalization. This view of civil society has been logically derived from the conceptual approach itself. If the aim is to remove trade, economic and, ideally, political barriers and to create a single global regulatory space, then non-governmental structures must either have no national affiliation at all or be connected with international organizations as much as possible.
This contradicts the classical notion of civil society, the essence of which is precisely its bottom-up origin, i.e., that it should emerge domestically. However, the West believes the top-down approach is a good thing – when it suits it, of course. Five years ago, US doctrine enshrined the return of great power rivalry as the core content of international politics. It drew a line under the previous period, which was more open. If this is the essence of world politics, then all the instruments are in play, and all the old themes, such as “money has no nationality” and “let information circulate without barriers,” can no longer be understood outside this context. Over the past couple of decades, there has indeed been a high degree of openness on the part of states to both socio-political and information activities. This is partly due to the significant increase in the number of embassy staff after the Cold War – where the scope of work, including with civil society, has expanded.
The impressive scale of mutual expulsions of diplomats after 2018 is linked to the collapse of relations, but also has an objective basis. Embassies are returning to more classical, i.e., narrower tasks, and there is no reason to have so many staff present. The same phenomenon applies to restrictions on media activity, which was relatively freely tolerated after the end of the Cold War. However, the atmosphere in this area has changed as the dominance of Western sources in the information space has been challenged by other players. In Western Europe and the US, measures against Russian and, to some extent, Chinese news channels have been explained by the fact that they are state-funded, while many of those from the West are private, in addition to their own state media.
“To create organizations under benign covers, which actually seek to destabilize the situation in the country, to undermine stability in civil society..”
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev noted that using nonprofit organizations in hybrid wars is the favorite method of certain states that are hostile to Russia. The politician called “not to be shy” and to decisively thwart the operation of such structures. “We know that the favorite method of our enemies – all types – is to use nonprofits in hybrid wars. To create organizations under benign covers, which actually seek to destabilize the situation in the country, to undermine stability in civil society. We have seen many examples of this. These methods have been honed to perfection,” Medvedev said, speaking at a Ministry of Justice board meeting Friday. Medvedev noted that the Ministry has already created special measures for nonprofits, including publication of reports online.
“It is necessary to continue fine-tuning the law in this area, to prevent unfair competition, to introduce principles of openness and transparency, and streamline corporate management of nonprofit organizations,” he listed.Achieving balance and security in this area is of key importance, the official explained. “Thus, on the one hand, it is necessary to create comfortable conditions for normal, good-faith nonprofits, whose operation truly benefits the state and society. And, on the other hand – to brutally thwart the operation of structures, whose operation runs counter to Russia’s interests,” he noted. In this regard, one “should not be shy and should use all the necessary legal instruments,” Medvedev believes.
“As Orwellian proof-of-concept, the Virality Project was a smash success..”
A government-linked academic group pushed Twitter to censor factually correct stories about Covid-19 if they risked “fueling hesitancy” about vaccines, according to the latest batch of internal documents released by the platform’s new owner, Elon Musk. Published by journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday, the documents show that from February 2021 onwards, senior Twitter management – including former trust and safety chief Yoel Roth – signed up to a Stanford University initiative that would alert them to the latest “vaccine-related disinformation narratives” spreading on the platform.
Titled ‘The Virality Project,’ the initiative was led by a former CIA employee and comprised academics from several universities, as well as researchers from organizations funded by the Pentagon, the National Science Foundation, and the US State Department. The Virality Project also stated on its website that it “built strong ties” with the Office of the Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Homeland Security, among other agencies and departments. In its briefings to Twitter, the Virality Project recommended that “true content which might promote vaccine hesitancy” – such as stories of side effects and certain vaccines being banned abroad – be censored. Posts raising concern about vaccine mandates were viewed as “anti-vax” misinformation, while “just asking questions” was deemed “a tactic commonly used by spreaders of misinformation,” and posting about the “surveillance state” was deemed a bannable “conspiracy” theory.
It is unclear how often Twitter acceded to the Virality Project’s demands, though Taibbi said that within a month, the platform’s staff began using the project’s recommendations when evaluating content to censor. At the time, Twitter’s rules on Covid-19 “misinformation” required a specific post to be “demonstrably false,” while permitting “strong commentary,” opinion writing, and satire. The Virality Project, however, urged Twitter management to ban “repeat offenders” before they even made new posts. Sharing the leaked emails of White House coronavirus czar Anthony Fauci could “exacerbate distrust in Dr. Fauci and in US public health institutions,” the Virality Project warned in a June 2021 briefing, while a follow-up report highlighted the spread of “worrisome jokes” about harassing the door-to-door vaccine promoters deployed by the administration of US President Joe Biden.
“As Orwellian proof-of-concept, the Virality Project was a smash success,” Taibbi wrote on Friday. “Government, academia, and an oligopoly of would-be corporate competitors organized quickly behind a secret, unified effort to control political messaging.” Since purchasing Twitter in October and installing himself as the platform’s new CEO, Musk has been releasing regular batches of internal documents and communications in a bid to shed light on its previously opaque censorship policies. A tranche of files released in December revealed that Twitter censored “legitimate content” on Covid-19 at the direct request of the White House.
Dr. Houman Hemmati on the Latest #TwitterFiles Exposing Censorship of Valid Vaccine Concerns
“They deliberately in their internal emails were talking about how these things are true but we can’t afford for Dr. Fauci’s reputation and trust to be tarnished”@houmanhemmati pic.twitter.com/MjDYZE2Hsd
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) March 18, 2023
“Money dies when it loses its direct connection to the generation of wealth from the real things of this earth..”
As if all the operations around finance in this land were not already unsound and degenerate enough, the alleged president just cancelled moral hazard altogether. It’s now official: from here forward there will be no consequences for banking fraud, poor decision-making, fiduciary recklessness, self-dealing, or any of the other risks attendant to the handling other people’s money. Bailing out the Silicon Valley Bank and Barney Frank’s deluxe Signature Bank means that the government will now have to bail out every bank every time something goes wrong. The trouble, of course, is that the government doesn’t have the means to bail out every bank. Its only resort is to ask the Federal Reserve to summon new money from a magic ether where the illusion of wealth is conjured to paper-over ever greater fissures in the splintering matrix of racketeering that America has become.
That will quickly translate into US dollars losing value, that is, accelerating inflation, which is how nature punishes you when your government lies and pretends that it has a bad situation well-in-hand. Be advised: the situation is not in-hand and is going to get a whole lot worse as new and subsidiary shocks thunder through the weeks and months ahead, until the whole wicked business blows. Likewise, the reactions of our government will only get more tragi-comically pathetic. The harder this gang of feckless, wannabe control freaks pretends to control events, the faster events spin out of control. Money dies when it loses its direct connection to the generation of wealth from the real things of this earth: fuels, crops, metals, materials, labor, and the value-added products made from them.
Since that divorce has already happened, the need arises for something else that can function as money (a store of wealth, an index of value, and a medium of exchange). The government will pretend that a Central Bank Digital Currency is that something else. Since banking is now nationalized by the Federal Reserve backstopping everything and everybody, then theoretically all the wealth of the nation is under its command. That would be another illusion. This CBDC would not be “money” representing wealth because America’s wealth is going, going, gone, pissed away, falling apart, de-laminating, oxidizing, rusting in the rain, going up in a vapor. Think of all those mortgaged cars on the road racking up the mileage until they’re worthless and all those mortgaged suburban houses built out of particle-board and vinyl smeared all over the landscape, decomposing into their constituent chemicals — over time, a dead loss. And that’s what’s left of our American Dream: coldcocked by entropy and, by extension, the laws of the universe.
— Financelot (@FinanceLancelot) March 17, 2023
Credit Suisse was back tanking yesterday.
UBS Group AG and Credit Suisse Group AG are opposed to a forced combination, even as scenario planning for a government-orchestrated tie-up continues, according to people with knowledge of the matter, Report informs referring to Bloomberg. UBS would prefer to focus on its own wealth-centric standalone strategy and is reluctant to take on risks related to Credit Suisse, the people said, asking not to be identified as the deliberations are private. Its smaller rival is seeking time to see through its turnaround after winning a liquidity backstop from the central bank, they said.
Credit Suisse arrested a collapse in investor confidence on March 16 after winning a 50 billion franc ($54 billion) credit line from the Swiss National Bank. That came after the Swiss lender had appealed to authorities for a public show of support following an unprecedented slump in the shares. With investors jittery after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, comments by Credit Suisse’s largest shareholder that it wasn’t willing to invest more in the bank were enough to provoke a deep selloff.
They’re really scared of him. He’s polling well compared to DeSantis. And New York is as Dem as they come. But really? Stormy Daniels is all you got?
Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are reportedly discussing security preparations in the event former President Donald Trump is indicted on felony falsification charges sometime in the coming days, according to multiple media outlets citing anonymous officials. The agencies are carrying out “preliminary security assessments” in and around a Manhattan courthouse to prepare for a possible indictment linked to an alleged “hush money” scheme involving a woman who claimed to have been intimate with the ex-president, five senior officials told NBC on Friday. While the officials stressed that the discussions are “precautionary” given that no charges have been filed, they said preparations are being made for an indictment that could come as early as next week.
Four law enforcement officials reached by the Associated Press confirmed the interagency conversations, which they said involve “security, planning and the practicalities of a potential court appearance” by Trump. The agencies discussing security preparations reportedly include the New York Police Department, New York State Court Officers, the US Secret Service, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Manhattan DA’s Office. According to a “source in the courts” cited by Fox News, the Secret Service will determine whether Trump is handcuffed in the event he is charged. The former leader is under a grand jury investigation launched by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office over the alleged felony falsification of business records, and is accused of arranging a payment of $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels through his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Daniels claims she was paid during the 2016 presidential campaign to keep quiet about alleged sexual encounters with Trump in the past, though he denies such liaisons ever took place. Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, told NBC News that if the ex-president is charged, he will “follow the normal procedures,” but has insisted on his client’s innocence. “The payments were made to a lawyer, not to Stormy Daniels. The payments were made to Donald Trump’s lawyer, which would be considered legal fees,” he said during a separate interview with MSNBC earlier this week, adding that Cohen “was his lawyer at the time and advised him that this was the proper way to do this to protect himself and his family from embarrassment. It’s as simple as that. That is not a crime.”
Cohen pleaded guilty to a federal charge related to the payment in 2018, and has since cooperated with the investigation into Trump after a public falling out with his former boss. He has provided hours of testimony before the grand jury probing Trump on the alleged felony charge, appearing for a second time on Wednesday.
Joe Biden and his deep state puppeteers will stop at nothing to prevent Trump from running in 2024. Trump knows too much and would likely deliver on his promises to “obliterate the deep state” after everything they have done to him, his family and America. pic.twitter.com/cSb3GDd7QS
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) March 17, 2023
It is important to know how to make some knots and ties pic.twitter.com/ML1PvvgiRq
— Hidden Tips (@tipsNmotivation) March 17, 2023
Coral polyps seen in a timelapse footage give you the impression of being in a real life fractal
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) March 17, 2023
Humpback whales create ‘bubble nets’ to snare their prey, sometimes with Fibonacci spiral patterns as showed in this clip by Richard Sidey. Researchers think the spiral patterns have advantages over circular ones
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) March 17, 2023
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