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


Alberto Giacometti Tête Noire 1957

 

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

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones

 

 

Maher RFK

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Blocked Ukraine Peace Deal – Moscow (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Zero evidence.

Blinken Accuses China Of Election Interference (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The guy’s lawyers smell dollars. Lots.

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

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

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

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

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

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Just till the election.

US TikTok Ban Unconstitutional – RFK Jr (RT)

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

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

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

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Not for Biden.

US To Build New ‘Doomsday Plane’ (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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$4,000 a week.

Israel Uses Foreign Mercenaries In Gaza (Sahiounie)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What a job.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Last night was a movie

 

 

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

 

 

How clean does this feel?

 

 

Wabbit

 

 

White calf

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 162024
 


Charles Sprague Pearce The Arab jeweler c1882

 

“I Can’t Go To My Son’s Graduation”: NY Judge Threatens Trump With Arrest (ZH)
Trump Trial in Manhattan is an Indictment of the New York Legal System (Turley)
Jury Selection Begins In Trump Hush-money Trial (RT)
Johnson, Trump Announce Election Integrity Bill (ET)
US House Speaker To Put Ukraine Aid Bill To A Vote (RT)
How Iran’s ‘Strategic Patience’ Switched To Serious Deterrence (Pepe Escobar)
Iranian Strikes On Israel Represent ‘Spillover’ Of Gaza Conflict – China (RT)
Biden Tells Netanyahu US Won’t Support Attack on Iran (Antiwar)
US Mulling New Sanctions Against Iran Over Attack on Israel – Scalise (Sp.)
Netanyahu a Threat for Israel, Opposition Leader Says (TASS)
Ukraine ‘Owned’ by US, US ‘Owned’ by Israel – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
De-electrification And Unconditional Surrender Of The Kiev Regime (Helmer)
Germans Can Now Change Gender Every Year (RT)
The Palestine Congress (CJ Hopkins)
Two Senior Tesla Executives Leave Amid 14,000 Global Layoffs (ZH)
Airbus Beats Boeing For Deliveries In 2024 (ZH)
Trump Biopic To Compete At Cannes Film Festival (RT)

 

 

 

 

Habba
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779925234868470134

 

 

 

 

Look up Mary McCord
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779853383525933207

 

 

Jury
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779876987697295817

 

 

Pastor

Dalton

 

 

 

 

“..that I can’t go to my son’s graduation, or that I can’t go to the United States Supreme Court, that I’m not in Georgia or Florida or North Carolina campaigning like I should be..”

Engoron tried to take away his money. So Merchan takes his freedom instead. Count on this judge to lock him up at some point. He’ll find a reason.

“I Can’t Go To My Son’s Graduation”: NY Judge Threatens Trump With Arrest (ZH)

Update (1750ET): The first day of Donald Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial was fairly uneventful – aside from the judge, a complete dick, barring the former President from attending his son’s graduation and threatening arrest if he does. Speaking after a long day of jury selection and ground rules (with more than 50 jurors dismissed), Trump walked out of the courtroom and expressed his obvious displeasure. “As you know my son is graduating from High School, and looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation for a son who’s worked very, very hard,” Trump said, adding that he was “looking forward for years to having graduation with his mother and father there,” adding that the trial is a “scam” and a “political witch hunt.”

Judge Juan Merchan also won’t allow Trump to attend a Supreme Court hearing in DC regarding immunity. “We got a real problem with this Judge,” Trump continued, adding “that I can’t go to my son’s graduation, or that I can’t go to the United States Supreme Court, that I’m not in Georgia or Florida or North Carolina campaigning like I should be… it’s perfect for the radical left Democrats – that’s exactly what they want,” he continued, adding that it’s “election interference.”

Vivek

[..] The case stems from a $130,000 payment made by Trump’s former lawyer, convicted felon and admitted liar Michael Cohen, to adult film actress Stormy Daniels at the end of the 2016 election in an alleged scheme to buy her silence. Trump is required to be present for the trial, which will take place four days a week and could last up to two months. Judge Juan Merchan kicked off the day by refusing a request by Trump’s legal team to recuse himself from the case over an interview he gave to the press in which he mentioned the case, which Merchan said was within the law – while Merchan’s wife and daughter have worked for prominent Democrats and/or made anti-Trump statements.

Prosecutors sought to include evidence from the Access Hollywood ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ tape, as well as various sexual assault allegations from Trump accusers. Merchan allowed a transcript of the tape, and denied a request to present the other allegations in court. Next, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass asked Trump’s attorneys to explain how the former president shouldn’t be held in contempt for allegedly violating Merchan’s gag order – arguing that Trump’s efforts have continued to this day, and that witnesses in the case “have incurred the wrath of Trump supporters.” And now, jury selection begins… with Merchan telling the court that 500 prospective jurors are waiting.

Merchan

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Good write-up from Turley. But it’s an indictment of the entire US legal system, not just New York.. Bragg and Merchan keep Trump from campaigning in 49 other states as well.

Trump Trial in Manhattan is an Indictment of the New York Legal System (Turley)

After an absurd $450 million decision courtesy of Attorney General Letitia James, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will bring his equally controversial criminal prosecution over hush money paid to former porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Lawyers have been scouring the civil and criminal codes for any basis to sue or prosecute Trump before the upcoming 2024 election. This week will highlight the damage done to New York’s legal system because of this unhinged crusade. They’ve charged him with everything short of ripping a label off a mattress. Just a few weeks ago, another judge imposed a roughly half billion dollar penalty in a case without a single victim who lost a single cent on loans with Trump. (Indeed, bank officials testified they wanted more business with the Trump organization). Now Bragg is bringing a case that has taken years to develop and millions of dollars in litigation costs for all parties. That is all over a crime from before the 2016 election that is a misdemeanor under state law that had already expired under the statute of limitations.

Like his predecessor, Bragg previously scoffed at the case. However, two prosecutors, Carey R. Dunne and Mark F. Pomerantz, then resigned and started a public pressure campaign to get New Yorkers to demand prosecution. Pomerantz shocked many of us by publishing a book on the case against Trump — who was still under investigation and not charged, let alone convicted, of any crime. He did so despite objections from his former colleague that such a book was grossly improper. Nevertheless, it worked. Bragg brought a Rube Goldberg case that is so convoluted and counterintuitive that even liberal legal analysts criticized it. Trump paid Daniels to avoid any publicity over their brief alleged affair. As a celebrity, there was ample reason to want to keep the affair quiet, and that does not even include the fact that he is a married man. It also occurred before the 2016 election and there was clearly a benefit to quash the scandal as a candidate. That political motivation is at the heart of this long-delayed case.

It is a repeat of the case involving former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. In 2012, the Justice Department used the same theory to charge the former Democratic presidential candidate after a disclosure that he not only had an affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter but also hid the fact that he had a child by her. Edwards denied the affair, and money from donors was passed to Hunter to keep the matter quiet. The Justice Department spent a huge amount on the case to show that the third-party payments were a circumvention of campaign finance laws. However, Edwards was ultimately found not guilty on one count while the jury deadlocked on the other five. With Trump, the Justice Department declined a repeat of the Edwards debacle and did not bring any federal charge.

But Bragg then used the alleged federal crime to bootstrap a defunct misdemeanor charge into a felony in the current case. He is arguing that Trump intentionally lied when his former lawyer Michael Cohen listed the payments as retainer costs rather than a payment — to avoid reporting it as a campaign contribution to himself. Thus, if he had simply had Cohen report the payment as “hush money,” there would be no crime. Once again, the contrast to other controversies is telling. Before the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign denied that it had funded the infamous Steele dossier behind the debunked Russian collusion claims. The funding was hidden as legal expenses by then-Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias. (The FEC later sanctioned the campaign over its hiding of the funding.). When a reporter tried to report the story, he said Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”

Likewise, John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was called before congressional investigators and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress. Yet, there were no charges stemming from the hiding of the funding, though it was all part of the campaign budget. Making this assorted business even more repellent will be the appearance of Cohen himself on the stand. Cohen recently was denounced by a judge as a serial perjurer who is continuing to game the system. Cohen has a long record as a legal thug who has repeatedly lied when it served his interests. He has a knack for selling his curious skill set to powerful figures like Trump and now Bragg.

For those of us who have been critics of Cohen from when he was still working for Trump, it is mystifying that anyone would call him to the stand to attest to anything short of the time of day . . . and even then most of us would check our watches. Fortunately witnesses are no longer required to put their hand on the bible in swearing to testify truthfully in court. Otherwise, the court would need the New York Fire Department standing by in case the book burst into flames. So this is the case: A serial perjurer used to convert a dead state misdemeanor into a felony based on an alleged federal election crime that was rejected by the Justice Department. They could well succeed in a city where nine out of ten potential jurors despise Trump. Trying Trump in Manhattan is about as difficult as the New York Yankees going to bat using beach balls rather than baseballs. It is hard to miss.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1779874197918863646

Turley

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“The trial will keep Trump at the Manhattan courtroom every day of the proceedings for the next six weeks or more, effectively taking him off the campaign..”

Jury Selection Begins In Trump Hush-money Trial (RT)

Jury selection has begun for a trial at which former US President Donald Trump stands accused of falsifying records related to hush-money payments to a porn star during the 2016 election. Trump becomes the first former president to stand trial on criminal charges. Twelve jurors, along with six alternates, will be chosen from among hundreds of New Yorkers. The judge in the case has released the extensive questionnaire that potential jurors will have to fill out. “Nothing like this has ever happened before,” Trump told reporters outside the courtroom, calling the trial “political persecution” and “an assault on America.” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, charged Trump last year with 34 counts of “falsifying business records,” alleging that the Republican politician sought “to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.”

The case is based on claims by Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, that he paid $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, so she would keep quiet about an alleged affair with him. Trump has denied any relationship with Daniels. In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to charges of campaign-finance violations, tax and bank fraud, and spent two and a half years in a federal prison. He also lost his New York bar license. Judge Juan Merchan has granted Bragg’s request for a gag order, meaning that Trump can’t criticize the prosecutor or his staff. The trial will keep Trump at the Manhattan courtroom every day of the proceedings for the next six weeks or more, effectively taking him off the campaign. Trump was the 45th president of the US (2017-2021) and is currently the presumptive Republican nominee to challenge President Joe Biden in November.

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Trump gives Johnson some loving.

Johnson, Trump Announce Election Integrity Bill (ET)

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and former President Donald Trump are urging support for a bill aimed at preventing non-citizens from voting in federal elections. At a Friday, April 12, press conference at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence, the Republican leaders announced the bill as part of larger efforts to bolster election integrity. “What we’re going to do is introduce legislation to require that every single person who registers to vote in a federal election must prove that they are an American citizen first,” Mr. Johnson said. Though some jurisdictions allow noncitizens to participate in local elections, it is illegal for them to vote in all state and federal elections. However, the United States’ federal voter registration form does not require documentary proof of citizenship, and states’ efforts to impose such a requirement have been challenged by the Biden administration.

The new legislation, the speaker said, would establish new safeguards to ensure only citizens can vote. The provisions would require states to remove noncitizens from their voter rolls and would provide them with access to Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration databases to help them do so. “Congress has this responsibility. We cannot wait for widespread fraud to occur … especially when the threat of fraud is growing with every single illegal immigrant that crosses that border,” the speaker said. He added that he expected the bill to receive widespread Republican support while also forcing Democrats to go on record with where they stand. The push to secure elections from illegal votes comes amid the flood of illegal immigrants pouring across the southern border.

Illegal immigration, though a persistent problem for decades, has exploded to unprecedented levels under the Biden administration. The deluge has included individuals on the United States’ terror watch list and others with prior convictions for violent crimes. Republicans have repeatedly said that President Joe Biden has the power to end the crisis but simply chooses not to. President Trump repeated that claim Friday, asserting that the president could and should “close the border immediately.”

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Will the loving remain?

US House Speaker To Put Ukraine Aid Bill To A Vote (RT)

US House Speaker Mike Johnson has promised to finally advance the long-stalled Ukraine aid bill sought by President Joe Biden, multiple news outlets reported on Monday. The proposed legislation has been stuck in Congress for months due to the bitter in-fighting between Democrats and Republicans. According to reports, Johnson told Republican colleagues at a closed-door meeting that he intends to allow the House to vote on a standalone bill this week that would ensure additional military aid to Kiev. The House will also be expected to vote on separate bills providing more aid to Israel and Taiwan. “We know that the world is watching us to see how we react,” Johnson told reporters after a meeting with GOP legislators, as quoted by the New York Times. He added that the leaders of Russia, China and Iran are “watching to see if America will stand up for its allies and our interests around the globe – and we will.”

House Republicans have previously refused to back the omnibus foreign aid bill unveiled by Biden in October, which includes $61 billion worth of assistance to Ukraine. The legislation stalled for months because the GOP was trying to force the White House to crack down on the influx of illegal migrants across the border with Mexico. The Republicans were encouraged by Biden’s reelection rival, former president Donald Trump, who argued against unchecked aid to Ukraine. The delay in approving more weapons for Ukraine rattled President Vladimir Zelensky and other officials in Kiev, who are blaming mounting battlefield losses on the increasing shortages of foreign-supplied ammunition and air defenses. “If Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war,” Zelensky warned last week. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated that no amount of foreign help will change the course of the conflict, and accused the West of escalation.

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“This was a highly choreographed show. Multiple early warning signs gifted Tel Aviv with plenty of time to profit from US intel and evacuate fighter jets and personnel..”

How Iran’s ‘Strategic Patience’ Switched To Serious Deterrence (Pepe Escobar)

A little over 48 hours before Iran’s aerial message to Israel across the skies of West Asia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov confirmed, on the record, what so far had been, at best, hush-hush diplomatic talk: The Russian side keeps in contact with Iranian partners on the situation in the Middle East after the Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria. Ryabkov added, “We stay in constant touch [with Iran]. New in-depth discussions on the whole range of issues related to the Middle East are also expected in the near future in BRICS.” He then sketched The Big Picture: “Connivance with Israeli actions in the Middle East, which are at the core of Washington’s policy, is in many ways becoming the root cause of new tragedies.” Here, concisely, we had Russia’s top diplomatic coordinator with BRICS – in the year of the multipolar organization’s Russian presidency – indirectly messaging that Russia has Iran’s back.

Iran, it should be noted, just became a full-fledged BRICS+ member in January. Iran’s aerial message this weekend confirmed this in practice: their missile guidance systems used the Chinese Beidou satellite navigation system as well as the Russian GLONASS system. This is Russia–China intel leading from behind and a graphic example of BRICS+ on the move. Ryabkov’s “we stay in constant touch” plus the satellite navigation intel confirms the deeply interlocked cooperation between the Russia–China strategic partnership and their mutual strategic partner Iran. Based on vast experience in Ukraine, Moscow knew that the biblical psychopathic genocidal entity would keep escalating if Iran only continued to exercise “strategic patience.”

The morphing of “strategic patience” into a new strategic balance had to take some time – including high-level exchanges with the Russian side. After all, the risk remained that the Israeli attack against the Iranian consulate/ambassador’s residence in Damascus could well prove to be the 2024 remix of the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Tehran did manage to upend the massive Western psychological operations aimed at pushing it into a strategic misstep. Iran started with a misdirecting masterstroke. As US–Israeli fear porn went off the charts, fueled by dodgy western “intel,” the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) made a quick sideways move, seizing an Israeli-owned container ship near the Strait of Hormuz.

That was an eminently elegant manoeuvre – reminding the collective west of Tehran’s hold on the Strait of Hormuz, a fact immeasurably more dangerous to the whole western economic house of cards than any limited strike on their “aircraft carrier” in West Asia. That did happen anyway. And once again, with a degree of elegance. Unlike that ‘moral’ army specialized in killing women, children, and the elderly and bombing hospitals, mosques, schools, universities, and humanitarian convoys, the Iranian attack targeted key Israeli military sites such as the Nevatim and Ramon airbases in the Negev and an intel center in the occupied Golan Heights – the three centers used by Tel Aviv in its strike on Iran’s Damascus consulate. This was a highly choreographed show. Multiple early warning signs gifted Tel Aviv with plenty of time to profit from US intel and evacuate fighter jets and personnel, which was duly followed by a plethora of US military radars coordinating the defense strategy.

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“Ultimately, there is no alternative to the full implementation of the two-state solution, the only way to end the vicious circle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict once and for all..”

Iranian Strikes On Israel Represent ‘Spillover’ Of Gaza Conflict – China (RT)

Iran’s retaliatory strikes on Israel constitute an “adverse spillover” of the Gaza conflict, China’s ambassador to the United Nations has said, warning that it could spread further and make the entire Middle East even more unstable. Dai Bing made the remarks after Tehran launched a series of airstrikes on Israel over the weekend in retaliation for the bombing of an Iranian consular compound in Syria, which killed seven military personnel, including two generals. Israel has not commented on the incident since Iran accused it of conducting an extraterritorial assassination. Speaking at a UN Security Council emergency meeting on Sunday, Dai condemned Israel’s “vicious attack,” which he described as a “grave violation of the UN Charter and international law, and a breach of the sovereignty of both Syria and Iran.”

The war in Gaza “bears on the peace, stability and long-term security in the [Middle East] region,” he added, and called for an immediate end to the hostilities. Dai warned that if “the flames of the Gaza conflict are allowed to continue raging, the adverse spillover is set to spread still further” across the entire region. The Chinese envoy also called for “maximum calm and restraint” from Israel and Iran to prevent further escalations. “Ultimately, there is no alternative to the full implementation of the two-state solution, the only way to end the vicious circle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict once and for all,” Dai said.

China has called on the international community, particularly countries with influence, to play a “constructive role for the peace and stability of the region,” the ambassador added. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also warned at Sunday’s emergency meeting that the entire Middle East is on the brink of a full-scale war in the wake of Iran’s strike on Israel. Meanwhile, Russia’s ambassador to the global body, Vassily Nebenzia, told members of the UN Security Council that the retaliatory strike “did not happen in a vacuum.” He claimed that the West had helped give rise to Iran’s attack by failing to take action over the illegal bombing of Tehran’s consulate in Damascus that provoked the latest violence in the region.

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On Saturday, I said: “And you bet they gave advance notice”. Here is more: “..announcing it fired the drones hours before they reached Israeli territory, and Tehran said it gave other regional countries a 72-hour notice..”

Biden Tells Netanyahu US Won’t Support Attack on Iran (Antiwar)

President Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US wouldn’t join Israel in any offensive action against Iran, multiple media outlets have reported. US officials are touting Israel’s defense of Iran’s attack as a victory, and that’s the message Biden conveyed to Netanyahu, a sign the US doesn’t want the situation to escalate. Iran fired over 300 missiles and drones at Israel, which was a response to Israel’s bombing of Iran’s consulate in Damascus on April 1. “Israel really came out far ahead in this exchange. It took out the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp] leadership in the Levant, Iran tried to respond, and Israel clearly demonstrated its military superiority, defeating this attack, particularly in coordination with its partners,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters, according to The Times of Israel.

In a statement on the attack released by the White House, Biden said he would convene with other G7 leaders to “coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack.” Israeli officials claimed 99% of the Iranian missiles and drones were intercepted by Israeli air defense systems and with assistance from the US, Britain, and Jordan. Some missiles got through and damaged the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel. Only one person was injured in the attack, a seven-year-old Bedouin girl in the Negev, and nobody was killed. Iran gave Israel plenty of time to respond to the attack by announcing it fired the drones hours before they reached Israeli territory, and Tehran said it gave other regional countries a 72-hour notice. Iranian officials said the attack was “limited” and made clear they do not seek an escalation with Israel.

But Tehran is also warning it will launch an even bigger attack if Israel responds. “If the Zionist regime or its supporters demonstrate reckless behavior, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said in a statement on Sunday. While the US is signaling it seeks de-escalation and won’t support a potential Israeli attack on Iran, it’s unclear what Israel will do next. The Israeli war cabinet convened to discuss the situation on Sunday, and Israeli media reports said they agreed a response would come but didn’t decide on where or when. Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz vowed Israel would respond but signaled it wouldn’t be imminent. Gantz said the “event is not over” and that Israel should “build a regional coalition and exact a price from Iran, in a way and at a time that suits us.”

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Biden also told Netanyahu “that the United States is going to continue to help Israel defend itself,” signaling the US would intervene again to help Israel if it does choose to escalate the situation and comes under another attack. Israel’s bombing of the Iranian consulate in Syria killed 13 people, including seven members of the IRGC. Israel has a history of conducting covert attacks inside Iran and killing Iranians in Syria, but the bombing of the diplomatic facility marked a huge escalation.

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Toothless.

US Mulling New Sanctions Against Iran Over Attack on Israel – Scalise (Sp.)

Members of the US Congress plan to consider a number of draft laws on new sanctions against Iran after the latter’s attack on Israel, US House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said, adding that the first bill could be submitted to the House of Representatives as early as Monday night. “It’s a growing sentiment in the Congress that we need to increase sanctions. So we’re going to be bringing a number of bills to ratchet those up and raise the stakes against Iran for their actions,” Scalise told The Jerusalem Post newspaper on Sunday. The US Congress will also consider a number of bills that are related to the country’s alleged use of oil sales income to fund Palestinian movement Hamas, the lawmaker was cited as saying by the newspaper. The first bill could be submitted to the House on Monday evening, Scalise said.

On Saturday night, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched over 300 drones and missiles at Israel in its first-ever direct attack on Israeli territory, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said. The attack came in response to Israel’s airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1. Iranian state media reported that Iran had fired at least seven hypersonic missiles at Israel, with none of them intercepted. Meanwhile, CNN reported, citing US officials, that the US military had intercepted more than 79 drones and at least three hypersonic missiles during the attack. IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said Israel had intercepted 99% of the aerial targets fired by Iran, including all drones.

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“I was in Washington last week in a meeting with top administration officials. They are appalled by this government: The irresponsibility, the lack of professionalism, the failed management, the ingratitude..”

Netanyahu a Threat for Israel, Opposition Leader Says (TASS)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet pose a threat to their own country, Yair Lapid, leader of the Israeli opposition, said, calling to hold new elections. Speaking before reporters after his trip to Washington, the politician said that the US Administration is “appalled” by the behavior of the Israeli government, led by Netanyahu, according to The Jerusalem Post. “This government, this prime minister, has become an existential threat against Israel,” Lapid said. “They destroyed Israeli deterrence. Our enemies look at this government, smell weakness, and raise their heads.” According to Lapid, Israeli allies “smell this weakness,” too.

“I was in Washington last week in a meeting with top administration officials. They are appalled by this government: The irresponsibility, the lack of professionalism, the failed management, the ingratitude,” he claimed. He pointed out that Netanyahu previously called himself “Mr. Security,” promising to guarantee order in Israel. Instead, the current authorities have brought the country to the opposite: a “wasteland from Kiryat Shmona [a city on the Lebanese border – TASS] to Beeri [a settlement on the Gaza Strip border], violence by Jewish settlers [in the West Bank – TASS] that is out of hand, and a complete loss of Israeli deterrence.” “Our problem is Iran, but our problem is also here. […] It is time for an election now,” Lapid believes.

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“You don’t matter to us. You’re not Israel. You don’t own us. We’re not going to fight and die for you. I hope I made that clear..”

Ukraine ‘Owned’ by US, US ‘Owned’ by Israel – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

President Zelensky took to X on Sunday to plead with US lawmakers not to forget about Ukraine, saying “it is critical that the United States Congress make the necessary decisions to strengthen America’s allies in this critical time” by delivering on the aid package promised by President Biden six months ago. Zelensky’s comments were echoed by Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who told reporters on Monday that Ukraine also needs help from its Western partners, even if it’s not in the form of direct military help – like Israel got. “All we ask our partners is, even if you cannot act the way you act in Israel, give us what is needed, and we will do the rest ourselves,” Kuleba urged. “Let me make this very clear to the Ukrainian crowd. You see, the difference between Israel and Ukraine is that, whether you like it or not, Israel has bought and paid for the United States’ support,” while Ukraine hasn’t, Scott Ritter told Sputnik.

“Israel, through its political action committee, AIPAC, in the United States, has pretty much bought the United States Congress. They’ve bought the United States presidency. They control American media. And as a result, America comes to the defense of Israel because we’ve been paid to do so,” Ritter said. With Ukraine, it’s the other way around, the observer said. “America, on the other hand, has bought and paid for Ukraine.You’re not a friend. You’re not an ally. You’re a tool being used by the United States for its larger foreign policy and national security objectives vis-à-vis Russia. We provide you weapons only so far as it facilitates our objective of creating a problem for Russia. We don’t want you to win. We don’t care about you. We give you just enough to keep you going. And then we stand by and watch you bury your dead. Because we don’t care,” Ritter said, channeling the sentiments of the American establishment.

“You’ve done your ‘duty’. You created a problem for the Russians. But now you’ve become inconvenient. And we’re going to stand by and let the Russians finish the job without spending any more money or providing you with much more assistance. You don’t matter to us. You’re not Israel. You don’t own us. We’re not going to fight and die for you. I hope I made that clear,” Ritter summed up.

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“This is an ultimatum without alternatives for either Moscow or Kiev. In electric war, are there any alternatives?”

De-electrification And Unconditional Surrender Of The Kiev Regime (Helmer)

It was a relatively bright day, November 21, 1920, when Vladimir Lenin, having won the civil war and driven off the American, British, French, Canadian, and Australian invasion forces, announced: “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country, since industry cannot be developed without electrification.” Come November 2024 it will be a century and four years to count what Lenin meant, and how Russia is proving itself against everything which the military industries, special forces, weapons, intelligence so-called, operations, and plans of the old invasion coalition, plus Germany, can throw at it. So on November 21, 2024, it will be time to revise Lenin’s maxim to read: Russia is military power plus the de-electrification of the countries which attack it. This is electric war.

To make the war aim unambiguously clear, President Vladimir Putin ordered his ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Vasily Nebenzya, to read out a paper at his desk in the UN Security Council chamber on April 11: “very soon, the only topic for international meetings in Ukraine will be the unconditional surrender of the Kiev regime.” Note what the terms “unconditional surrender of the Kiev regime” mean: total military defeat of the Ukrainian, American, British, French, Polish, and other forces on the Ukrainian territory and in the air surrounding; surrender of the municipal administrations of the east-bank cities, including Kharkov, Dniepropetrovsk, and Odessa; disarmament and demilitarization of the territory between Kiev and the Polish border; exit of every member of the regime, starting with Vladimir Zelensky. This is an ultimatum without alternatives for either Moscow or Kiev. In electric war, are there any alternatives?

Nebenzya was making his announcement on the evening of Thursday, April 11, Kiev time. In the time it took for his text to be drafted, edited by the Foreign Ministry, authorized at the Kremlin, and Nebenzya given the go-ahead, it had been only a few hours after the lights of Kiev went out when the Tripolskaya power station was destroyed by a new Russian missile, the X-69.

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“..parents will be allowed to make a request to change the gender of a child as young as five, with the consent of the child present..”

Germans Can Now Change Gender Every Year (RT)

German citizens will be able to change their sex on legal documents without undergoing surgery or hormone therapy, under a new bill passed by the Bundestag last Friday. It stipulates that an oral request is sufficient, eliminating the need for expert assessment, which was previously mandatory. The law comes into effect in November. The legislation on ‘self-determination’ in gender was backed by 374 MPs, mostly from the ruling ‘traffic-light’ coalition, with another 251 lawmakers against and the remaining 11 abstaining. The current regulations date back to 1981, and state that individuals wishing to change their gender must first undergo two psychological evaluations. The final decision under that law rests with a district court. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling coalition argued that the existing procedures were degrading toward transgender individuals, as they had to share intimate details with officials.

Under the new law, parents will be allowed to make a request to change the gender of a child as young as five, with the consent of the child present. Minors over 14 will be able to change their first name and gender alone, as long as they have the consent of their parents or legal representatives. Individuals will be allowed to make a change once per year. Germans will also have the right to replace the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ in the family register with the neutral term ‘parent.’ Non-binary individuals can register as ‘diverse’ instead of having to choose between ‘male’ and ‘female.’ Under the recently passed legislation, anyone who attempts to expose an individual’s past gender identity can be fined up to €10,000 ($10,630). The law leaves it up to saunas, swimming pools, gyms, and other sports facilities to decide whether to allow biological males into women’s changing rooms and toilets.

When it comes to competitive sports, individual associations may decide if biological males identifying as women can compete against females. The bill faced heated debate in the Bundestag on Friday, with the government’s commissioner for LGBTQ+ issues, Sven Lehmann, hailing it as historic and ending “human rights abuse.” However, opposition parties were largely unconvinced, with a lawmaker from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Mareike Wulf, describing the legislation as “irresponsible” and “socially explosive.” Wulf also argued that criminals could use the new regulations to obscure their identity. Sahra Wagenknecht, a former leader of the Left Party who now leads her own party, warned that with males now allowed to proclaim themselves female, “women’s protection rights and women’s protection shelters [are] a thing of the past.” A representative of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party said the bill poses a threat to young people, denouncing it as “trans-hype.”

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“..and call for solidarity with the Palestinians, and so on, right here in the middle of Berlin, the epicenter of European democracy, as if they thought they had a right to do that..”

The Palestine Congress (CJ Hopkins)

Thank God for the German Hate Police! Or heil … or whatever the appropriate salutation is for these unsung heroes. They just saved us all from “hate” again! Yes, that’s right, once again, democracy-loving people here in New Normal Berlin and all across the New Normal world were right on the brink of being exposed to “hate,” and would have been exposed to “hate,” had the Hate Police not sprang into action. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about. OK, what happened was, some pro-Palestinian activists organized a “Palestine Congress,” and attempted to discuss the situation in Gaza, and call for solidarity with the Palestinians, and so on, right here in the middle of Berlin, the epicenter of European democracy, as if they thought they had a right to do that. The German authorities were clearly intent on disabusing them of that notion.

Early Friday morning, hundreds of black-clad Hate Police descended on the congress location. Reinforcements were called in from throughout the nation. Metal barricades were erected on the sidewalks. Hate Police stood guard at the entrance. The German media warned the public that a potential “Hate-Speech” attack was now imminent. Berliners were advised to shelter in place, switch off their phones and any other audio-receptive communication devices, and wad up little pieces of toilet paper and ram them deep into their ear canals to prevent any possible exposure to the “hate.” Sure enough, minutes into the congress, the anticipated “Hate-Speech” attack was launched! A Palestinian activist — Salman Abu Sitta — who had written an article that allegedly “expressed understanding of Hamas,” and thus had already been placed on the official German “No-Speak” list, started speaking to the congress on Zoom or whatever.

Or … it isn’t quite clear whether he actually started speaking. According to a Hate Police spokesperson, they raided the congress because “there [was] a risk of a speaker being put on the screen who in the past made anti-Semitic and violence-glorifying remarks.” Anyway, the Hate Police stormed the venue, pulled the plug, dispersed the crowd, and banned the rest of the “Palestine Congress,” which was scheduled to continue on Saturday and Sunday. Then they arrested a Jewish guy who was wearing a Palestinian-flag-kippah, presumably out of an abundance of caution. But the “Hate-Speech” attack wasn’t over yet. It was one of those multi-pronged “Hate-Speech” attacks, or at least it involved one other prong. Earlier that morning, or perhaps while the Hate Police were still neutralizing the threat at the venue, Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta, a prominent British surgeon, who had volunteered in Gaza and was due to speak at the congress, was intercepted by the Berlin Airport Hate Police, refused entry into Germany, and forced to return to the UK.

The Airport Hate Police informed the doctor that he was being denied entry in order to ensure “the safety of the people at the conference and public order,” Abu Sitta told the Associated Press. Kai Wegner, Berlin’s mayor, presumably feeling a bit nostalgic for the fanatical days of 2020 to 2023 when one could persecute “the Unvaccinated” with total impunity, took to X to celebrate the Hate Police’s thwarting of this “Hate event.” The pro-Palestinian activist community also took to X and expressed their displeasure. Yanis “Vaccinate Humanity” Varoufakis, who was one of the organizers and was scheduled to speak, was particularly incensed over the new German “fascism,” which apparently he has just now noticed, despite the fact that it has been goose-stepping around in a medical-looking mask for the last four years.

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Not as bad as it looks.

• They grew (too?) fast: “Tesla has around 140,000 employees, nearly double the 2020 level.”

• China’s BYD Co. delivered just 300,114 battery-electric vehicles in the first quarter, down 43% from the final three months of last year.

• Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have delayed, dialed back or altogether scrapped EV projects.

Two Senior Tesla Executives Leave Amid 14,000 Global Layoffs (ZH)

The Wall Street Journal reports Tesla plans to reduce 10% of its global workforce, approximately 14,000 employees, confirming an earlier report by the EV blog Electrek. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk sent a letter to employees detailing how the company needed to reduce costs and increase productivity. WSJ obtained a copy of the email. “As part of the effort, we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally,” Musk wrote in the letter, adding, “There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done. This will enable us to be lean, innovative, and hungry for the next growth phase cycle.” Separately, Bloomberg journalists on X reported that Tesla Senior Vice President Drew Baglino and Tesla Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development Rohan Patel are leaving the company. And… Bloomberg noted, “The departure of Baglino is likely to reinforce concerns among some investors about succession planning at Tesla, where Musk has been CEO since 2008.” We suspect Musk will be commenting on these reports sometime today.

* * *

Shares of Tesla Motors are muted in the early premarket trading hours in New York after a report from the EV blog Electrek cited an “internal company-wide email” detailing layoffs at the EV company amounting to more than 10% of its global workforce. Electrek alleges that Elon Musk sent an email to staff explaining a “duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas” as the main reason for the layoffs, which could affect as many as 14,000 employees. Here’s the full text of the email (courtesy of Electrek):

“Over the years, we have grown rapidly with multiple factories scaling around the globe. With this rapid growth there has been duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas. As we prepare the company for our next phase of growth, it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity. As part of this effort, we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally. There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done. This will enable us to be lean, innovative and hungry for the next growth phase cycle. I would like to thank everyone who is departing Tesla for their hard work over the years. I’m deeply grateful for your many contributions to our mission and we wish you well in your future opportunities. It is very difficult to say goodbye. For those remaining, I would like to thank you in advance for the difficult job that remains ahead. We are developing some of the most revolutionary technologies in auto, energy and artificial intelligence. As we prepare the company for the next phase of growth, your resolve will make a huge difference in getting us there. Thanks, Elon”

The latest data from Bloomberg shows that Tesla has around 140,000 employees, nearly double the 2020 level. Electrek noted, “We don’t know which specific teams will be most or least affected by Tesla’s layoffs.” The alleged layoffs come after the company recorded its first quarterly decline in four years and delivered 386,810 vehicles in the first quarter, far below the Bloomberg consensus of 449,000. Slowing EV demand has weighed on Tesla shares this year, down 31%, and one of the worst performers in the S&P 500 Index. As Bloomberg notes, the EV slowdown has hit other automakers: The EV slowdown Tesla has felt of late has been widespread. China’s BYD Co. delivered just 300,114 battery-electric vehicles in the first quarter, down 43% from the final three months of last year, when it briefly pulled ahead as the world’s top EV seller. Manufacturers including Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have delayed, dialed back or altogether scrapped EV projects as consumers balk at still-high prices and a dearth of charging stations.

On Tesla’s most recent earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Vaibhav Taneja said, “We just have to chase down every penny possible.” Tesla will report next Tuesday, April 23. Wall Street analysts expect the company to turn a profit of about 50 cents a share, down from around 85 cents a share in the first quarter of 2023. If Electrek’s report is correct, Elon appears to be tightening Tesla’s belt, suggesting broader troubles are ahead for the US economy.

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“Airbus and Boeing continue to have a long backlog of orders (8,598 at the end of 2023 for Airbus; 5,591 at the end of March for Boeing)..”

Airbus Beats Boeing For Deliveries In 2024 (ZH)

Boeing’s deliveries of commercial aircraft have faltered in the first three months of the year, according to the company’s reports, published this week. The U.S. aircraft manufacturer delivered just 83 planes in Q3, down from 130 in the same three-month period of last year. In the meantime, its sole major competitor, Europe’s Airbus, saw an uptick in Q1, having delivered 142 of their planes, marking an increase from their Q1 2023 figure of 127. Boeing has been mired in a series of safety issues since the start of the year, following a mid-air panel blowout on an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 jet in January. This has led to a slowdown in production for the U.S. company, which is now limited to producing 38 of the 737 planes per month until it is clear that quality and safety procedures are being properly adhered to, as per the advisory of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Boeing has slowed production even below this limit, with the company’s Chief Financial Officer Brian West stating that once the company has it “right” it will ramp up production, expecting to see figures improve in the latter half of the year. Prior to 2019, Boeing had been in the lead for deliveries out of the two companies, but this changed following the two deadly 737 MAX 8 crashes of 2018 and 2019, and the ensuing temporary production halt of the model. While the same family, these were different planes than those involved in the more recent incidents and they were caused by different issues. As Statista’s Anna Fleck shows in the following chart, both companies saw dips in deliveries in 2020 with the Covid pandemic.

Boeing and Airbus are the world’s two major competitors when it comes to commercial plane manufacturing. While other manufacturers exist, they produce far lower numbers of aircraft than either of these two giants. In a report by CNN, writer Allison Morrow explains that since pilots are trained in either Boeing or Airbus operating systems, it is difficult for airlines to switch planes. With few companies having the capacity to produce large jets, both Airbus and Boeing continue to have a long backlog of orders (8,598 at the end of 2023 for Airbus; 5,591 at the end of March for Boeing).

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Wonder what Trump thinks of this.

Trump Biopic To Compete At Cannes Film Festival (RT)

A biopic about the formative years of former US President Donald Trump will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month. Directed by acclaimed Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, ‘The Apprentice’ tells the story of how young Trump got started in the real estate business in New York in the 1970s and 1980s and met his mentor Roy Cohn. The film is among the 18 entries competing for Palme d’Or, the festival’s main award. “The Apprentice is a dive into the underbelly of the American empire. It charts a young Donald Trump’s ascent to power through a Faustian deal with the influential right-wing lawyer and political fixer Roy Cohn,” according to the film’s official description.

Sebastian Stan – the star of Marvel superhero movies and the 2022 mini-series ‘Pam & Tommy’ – plays Trump, while Emmy-winning ‘Succession’ actor Jeremy Strong portrays Roy Cohn, a high-profile lawyer. “His playbook has a tentacular reach that is staggering – the most fascinating person I’ve ever tried to inhabit,” Strong told the New York Times. “So while I personally might have a lot of judgment about Roy Cohn, that is not the part of me that engages in creative work.” Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova plays Ivana Zelnickova, Trump’s first wife and the mother of his daughter Ivanka and sons Donald Jr. and Eric.

The film is set to depict Trump’s early business ventures and rise after he joined and subsequently took over his father’s real-estate empire. Under his leadership, the company branched out from residential housing to casinos and hotels, including the famous Trump Tower in Manhattan and other Trump-branded properties. Trump shocked the world by beating Hillary Clinton in 2016 and becoming the 45th president of the United States. He left office after losing the 2020 election to Joe Biden. He is currently the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the 2024 election.

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Kid judge

 

 


From Elon

 

 

Russell

 

 

UFO

 

 

Shop dog

 

 

Koala
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779619528743211352

 

 

Sun fish

 

 

Wooden post

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 012024
 
 February 1, 2024  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  75 Responses »


Wassily Kandinsky Clear connection 1925

 

Let Me Get This Story Straight (Teslaconomics)
A Cult Whose Demise Should Probably Be Regretted (Karganovic)
White House Staffer Reveals What Biden Aides ‘Can’t Say Publicly’ (RT)
Greg Abbott and the Invasion of the Border Snatchers (Jeffries)
Chinese Defense Chief Promises Support To Russia On ‘Ukrainian Issue’ (RT)
NATO’s Big Hitters Oppose Ukrainian Membership – FP (RT)
Breakthrough On All Fronts Ahead Of Schedule (Helmer)
ICJ Rejects Ukraine’s Terrorism-Related Complaints Against Russia (TASS)
Zaluzhny May Become More Dangerous for Zelensky if Fired (Sp.)
US Troops Told To Prepare For War In Gaza – Media (RT)
No US Threat Will Go Unanswered – Iran (RT)
Will the Hegemon Ever Accept a New Westphalian World Order? (Pepe Escobar)
Monitor’s Report: Factual Inaccuracies, Disingenuous – Trump Attorney (ET)
Trump Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize (RT)
Trillions Spent on ‘Climate Change’ Based on Faulty Temperature Data (ET)

 

 

January 23 2018

 

 

 

 

X thread. “..if Elon were to not hit these milestones, he would have been paid essentially nothing..”

Let Me Get This Story Straight (Teslaconomics)

So Elon’s 2018 compensation package was approved by ~80% of Tesla shareholders during a time the company’s valuation was ~$60B ($20 per share). The plan would require him to grow the market cap by $50B increments with the first milestone starting at a $100B valuation with the final milestone being $650B, in addition to aggressive revenue, pretax profit growth targets that many thought would be impossible, especially knowing the company was facing bankruptcy dead in the eyes during this time. If Elon were to hit all the milestones, he would then be granted this full $55B compensation package that gave him stock options to purchase Tesla stock at a heavily discounted price and the stock could not be sold for another 5 yrs after exercising the options to prevent an “exercise & run”.

He hit all the milestones and created real value for the company & its shareholders (today, the valuation of Tesla sits at ~600B, a 10X from the year the comp package was approved, and a world class financial war chest). Also, btw, if Elon were to not hit these milestones, he would have been paid essentially nothing. Then in 2019, a shareholder named Richard Tornetta (who held 9 shares of Tesla) filed a lawsuit claiming that the compensation package was excessive & unfair, claiming the board had not acted in the best interest of its shareholders. Then today, the Delaware judge named Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick voided this compensation package claiming it was excessive and the process for coming up with Elon’s comp plan wasn’t independent bc he controlled the BOD and the directors who approved the plan weren’t truly independent.

Further claiming that the shareholders who approved the comp plan weren’t made aware of this controlled relationship. Wow… you really can’t make this stuff up, this is literally what just happened. Personally, I’m not so concerned about Tesla bc I believe the board & shareholders will approve an even better & more aggressive compensation package for Elon (e.g. include the $55B 2018 comp that he deserves, give him 25% voting share, include milestones for Tesla to become the largest valued company in the world & more, etc.) which will ultimately keep Elon motivated to stay at Tesla and build the future of AI & robotics within the company. However, my main concern here is the fundamental foundation of capitalism that America is built upon.

The CEO of a company was incentivized with a compensation package & it was approved by its shareholders to create value and he did. He hit all the milestones that were laid out, it wasn’t a pump or dump, and he didn’t steal or deceive shareholders. He simply went all in, put his blood, sweat, and tears into building the best products to change the world for the better, which created tremendous value for the ones that believed, invested, and stuck through. And now a judge has retroactively removed the reward for the leader that got the company to where it is today. Why would any CEO/founder in America want to work hard, when the result of his or her hard work can easily be taken away unfairly like this? What happened today, is very wrong and if nothing is done to fix it, it will crush the entrepreneurial spirit & heartbeat that America was originally built upon.

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There appears to be a strong link between this and what’s happening to Elon. A way of thinking, a culture, that’s falling apart.

A Cult Whose Demise Should Probably Be Regretted (Karganovic)

It would be unforgivably simplistic to attribute the implosion of the Soviet Union mainly to unfavourable demographics. That was a complex operation in which a multitude of factors played a role. But the virtue of the diagnostic investigation conducted forty years ago by Emmanuel Todd was that he demonstrated how seemingly minor yet tell-tale signs could point to undercurrents and important processes that unjustifiably may have been overlooked. And indeed, it is in the West now that tell-tale indications of disarray are increasingly emerging, to the consternation of those who have eyes to see and historical perspective to make comparisons. These signs point to a variety of breakdowns, only some of which are purely mechanical. They appear mostly to be cultural in essence, and therein lies the danger. A few recent random examples will serve to make the point.

Exhibit A: Political corruption. Arizona Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake, who many suspect was cheated out of victory in the race for governor in 2022, is again the subject of political controversy in her state. A few weeks ago, she published the tape recording of a disgraceful bribe offer made to her by the state chairman of her own party. After requesting a confidential tête à tête conversation, that individual visited Lake in her home to inform her that wealthy and powerful “people back East” (in America that is a universally understood metaphor for deep state power centres) were prepared to satisfy Ms. Lake’s financial requirements if she would withdraw from the Senate race, presumably to make way for a controllable Establishment candidate. She only had to name her figure. To her credit, she flatly refused. Readers from “third world” countries will be nonplussed by these revelations. But the matter should be viewed in context. In America political corruption is not unknown, but the brazenness of this particular proposition made in Arizona is a quantum leap in relation to previously recorded outrages of that nature.

Exhibit B: Academic corruption. Harvard University President Claudine Gay was compelled to resign because of multiple plagiarisms discovered in her thin scholarly opus. Harvard was the flagship of the dozen leading Ivy League academic institutions in America. Its reputation for integrity is unimpeachable and sacrosanct. The appointment of the scarcely qualified Ms. Gay, apparently selected for her politically correct external characteristics rather than serious scholarship, was sufficiently problematic. But now her fall from grace, triggered by the embarrassing charge of plagiarism, gravely compromises not just Harvard but inescapably the American academe as a whole. And if that were not enough, also at Harvard another academic scandal is brewing. Credible allegations have been put forward, and are being investigated, that researchers at the Dana-Farber cancer institute affiliated with Harvard Medical School had manipulated images and research data.

One of the papers under review was authored by Dana-Farber CEO Laurie Glimcher. Molecular biologist Sholto David suggested Adobe Photoshop was used to copy and paste images in some of the papers. If correct, it is quite an adolescent way of cobbling together an academic research study. “We are committed to a culture of accountability and integrity. Therefore, every inquiry is examined fully to ensure the soundness of the scientific literature,” and so on and so forth without missing a single platitude, responded Dana-Farber’s research integrity officer Barrett Rollins in a statement issued after the embarrassing allegations were made public. But big words cannot hide the damage that had been inflicted nor suppress questions about the implications. Merely alleging such academically unbecoming trickery would have been unimaginable a very short time ago.

Exhibit C: Mechanical breakdown. Aviation does not seem to be fairing much better either. Boeing is an iconic American corporation. It is to industrial manufacturing roughly what Harvard is to higher education. That is a very important fact to remember when assessing the implications of several unprecedented Delta and Alaska Airlines incidents which occurred recently, involving Boeing commercial airplanes on which inadequately secured exit doors had been blown off in-flight. To make matters worse and disturbingly indicative of the quality of workmanship in the new normal, when these incidents occurred the airplanes (minus the critical plug bolts) were in mint condition, having come off the Boeing assembly lines just weeks before. Providentially, no one was sucked out into the surrounding stratosphere, but there is no guarantee that next time the passengers and crew will be as lucky.

The implications of these failures, that are only on the surface mechanical, may be colossal. They go to the core of Amiel’s observation about the cult of excellence that once upon a time reigned in the West. The question is: what has happened to it, what explains its disappearance?

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“She’s not popular, but you can’t remove the first black lady to be vice president from the g*****n presidential ticket..”

White House Staffer Reveals What Biden Aides ‘Can’t Say Publicly’ (RT)

A White House aide has admitted that his colleagues are worried about US President Joe Biden’s deteriorating cognitive skills and the unpopularity of his vice president, Kamala Harris, but they can’t publicly voice those concerns as the president seeks reelection later this year. Speaking in a hidden-camera interview posted online by undercover journalist James O’Keefe on Wednesday, White House cybersecurity analyst Charlie Kraiger acknowledged that the 81-year-old Biden is “slowing down.” He also said that there had been discussions about removing Harris from the 2024 ticket, given her struggles as vice president, but the Democratic Party’s nominees are set in stone.

“I think they need to get rid of him or get rid of her, but I don’t think they’re gonna do that,” Kraiger told O’Keefe, who disguised himself for the conversation by dyeing his hair and wearing fake glasses. Asked if White House staffers could speak publicly and truthfully regarding the fitness of Biden and Harris to seek another term, he added, “No, no, they’ve got to toe the line.” Kraiger admitted that staffers are “really concerned” about Biden’s mental state, which O’Keefe called “dementia,” but they have to keep those worries private. “They know it; of course, they do. But it’s the optics and, like, the scandal, I think they feel wouldn’t be worth it. I’m just telling you what I’ve heard. Does it make sense? No, but that’s what I’ve heard.”

Kraiger works in the White House Executive Office as a cybersecurity analyst and foreign affairs desk officer, according to a now-locked LinkedIn account. He told O’Keefe that he manages security of the computer networks at the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The staffer said White House officials probably understand the severity of Biden’s mental decline, “but no one in modern history has ever said, like, we’re not gonna renominate the president for a second term. That just hasn’t happened.” White House aides are similarly fatalistic about the first female US vice president, who was born of a black father and an Indian mother. “She’s not popular, but you can’t remove the first black lady to be vice president from the g*****n presidential ticket,” he said.

“Like, what kind of message are you going to send to, like, African-American voters?” He added that Harris was unable to retain black staffers, who “quit on her en masse,” but administration officials “sadly” decided to keep her as Biden’s running mate after an internal debate. Kraiger described himself as “fairly high up” in the Biden administration and, ironically, he claimed to be “good at keeping secrets.” O’Keefe outed himself at the end of the interview, asking Kraiger how a White House security official wound up meeting with a famous hidden-camera journalist. “We’re running a good cybersecurity operation,” the staffer insisted. O’Keefe replied, “Obviously not, because you’re meeting with me. Did you not do your research? What is this clown show you guys are running over at the White House?”

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“The Founding Fathers (sorry, there were no Founding Mothers, and certainly no Founding Transgenders)..”

Greg Abbott and the Invasion of the Border Snatchers (Jeffries)

We’ve come a long way from the Boston Tea Party. What would happen to “extremists” throwing tea into a harbor today? Independence Hall. Lexington and Concord. The Articles of Confederation. Patrick Henry declaring, “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to my dying day your right to say it.” The Founding Fathers (sorry, there were no Founding Mothers, and certainly no Founding Transgenders) would all be marginalized if they were living and breathing in the Orwellian mess that is America 2.0. They’d be relegated to writing on Substack. Maybe some of them would be subscribers of mine. No mainstream media outlet would give them even a momentary platform. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Keep your “insurrectionist” thoughts to yourself. That little line should be confined to Ben Franklin’s womanizing. Yes, Ben actually used “would you like to join me in the pursuit of happiness?” as an eighteenth century pickup line. When he wasn’t consorting with prostitutes dressed as nuns in his demonic Hellfire Club.

Aside from Franklin, and certainly the bankers’ stooge Alexander Hamilton, the Founders were a legendary lot. The “greatest generation” if such a thing ever existed. As recently as 1963, Thomas Jefferson was thought so highly of that President Kennedy would tell a state dinner comprised of some of the leading cultural figures of the time, “The is the greatest assemblage of talent ever gathered together in the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” That kind of comment would get any Democrat, and probably any American, “cancelled” today. Sally Hemings was the real talent behind Jefferson. She wrote the Declaration of Independence. Designed Monticello. Ask any court historian. He was a racist rapist.

One of the few responsibilities ceded to the central government under the Constitution is defending the border. Article 4, section 4, states clearly that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion…” Our southern border has been under an invasion of illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, undocumented migrants, whatever you want to call them, for over forty years now. More significantly, the federal government has gone beyond enabling this invasion. They have assisted it. Made it possible. Probably financed much of it. Greg Abbott has been governor of Texas since 2015. He epitomizes the Stupid Party’s tradition of issuing lukewarm rhetoric about “border security,” but ultimately doing nothing to stop the invasion. For unclear reasons, he has now stepped up the rhetoric decisively. After the Supreme Court- Trump’s supposed court, with his lovely nominee Amy Coney Barrett voting with the Left as usual- made one of its trademark disastrous decisions, Abbott threw down the gauntlet.

The Court ruled that Texas can not try to stop the Feds from cutting down the barbed wire fencing they’ve put up in places, in a laughable attempt to stop the flow of immigrants. Think about that; the highest court in the land- the Supreme Court- has ruled that a state cannot defend its borders. True, the Feds are constitutionally delegated with that power, but they quite blatantly have neglected to do this for several decades now. Under the Biden administration, the numbers coming across the border with literally no resistance from U.S. authorities, have reached such a critical mass that it has finally caught the attention of even the sleeping Republicucks. When you have one of the three branches in government- the Executive- aiding and abetting a foreign invasion, another- the Legislative- encouraging it as well, and now the Judicial branch giving the invasion a legal imprimatur, then you understand the situation.

Abbott’s fiery statements brought to mind visions of Sons of Liberty dancing in our heads. He has sounded remarkably like the Confederates did back in 1860, when he charged that the federal government has broken their “compact” with the states. This was the central premise behind the decision of the southern states to secede. Our fast food culture insists it was all about slavery. The dastardly, tobacco spitting whiter than White secessionists wanted their slaves, and that was that. Abraham Lincoln, the secular saint of our crumbling civilization, responded by declaring, “The Union of these States is perpetual.” That contradicted, of course, the guiding principle of our War for Independence, which was that all people have a right to consent to those who govern them. In 1860, the Confederate states no longer consented.

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“Russia and China are not “creating military blocs,” and their military cooperation is not “directed against third countries.”

Chinese Defense Chief Promises Support To Russia On ‘Ukrainian Issue’ (RT)

Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun has told his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, that strategic cooperation between Moscow and Beijing is a pillar of maintaining peace around the globe, in his first public appearance since his appointment at the end of last year. As two great powers, Russia and China should deepen their cooperation and decisively respond to global challenges, the defense chiefs said during a video call on Wednesday. “We have supported you on the Ukrainian issue despite the fact that the US and the EU continue to put pressure on the Chinese side,” Dong stated, promising that Beijing “will not change or abandon our established policy course over this,” even under the threat of more sanctions.

At the same time, China feels “strong support from the Russian side on the Taiwan issue as well as on other topics of our key interests,” Dong added. “As the two most important and key forces in the world, we should decisively respond to global challenges.” Beijing’s newly-appointed defense chief claimed that “the US is always targeting Russia and China, seeking to retain its hegemony around the globe,” but added that “history and the reality prove that hegemony is doomed to failure.” Shoigu agreed that unlike Western states, Russia and China are not “creating military blocs,” and their military cooperation is not “directed against third countries.” The defense chief noted that “Russian-Chinese relations in the military sphere are developing steadily in all areas,” and said he was looking forward to “close, productive cooperation” with his Chinese counterpart.

China’s position on the Ukraine crisis has put it at odds with the US, with some American officials accusing Beijing of actively supporting Moscow rather than maintaining neutrality. Beijing has blamed NATO’s expansion in Europe for the crisis in Ukraine and has denounced the use of unilateral sanctions by the US and its allies as a tool of geopolitical pressure. Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as part of a Western proxy war against Russia, which is being waged in an attempt to preserve US hegemony on the world stage. Chinese officials have said that Washington is stuck in a “Cold War mentality.”

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US and Germany.

NATO’s Big Hitters Oppose Ukrainian Membership – FP (RT)

The US and Germany are resisting calls by NATO allies to invite Ukraine into the bloc at a major summit later this year, fearing that the move could trigger a full-scale clash with Russia, Foreign Policy magazine reported on Tuesday. Citing a dozen current and former officials, the American magazine wrote that both Kiev and some of its most ardent backers, including Poland and the Baltic states, are pushing for Ukraine to be accepted into the US-led bloc at a key summit in Washington, DC in July. Proponents of fast-tracking Ukraine’s NATO bid argue that only full-fledged membership for Kiev could force Russia to end the conflict, while claiming that the move would be cheaper in the long run than arms shipments in perpetuity.

However, according to the article, the US and Germany, the two top supporters of Ukraine in terms of military aid, disagree. Officials in these countries reportedly believe that while Kiev should eventually join NATO, now is not the right time, adding that the West should instead focus on supplying Ukraine with weapons. FP added that admitting Ukraine into the bloc while it is locked in a conflict with Russia could trigger a full-scale clash between NATO and Moscow, stemming from Article 5 of the alliance’s treaty which stipulates that an attack on one member of the bloc is an attack on all members.

According to FP, the stand-off is exacerbated by the stance of several EU members, including Hungary and Slovakia, who have opposed sending arms to Ukraine. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has warned that Kiev’s membership in the bloc could draw NATO into the conflict. His Slovak counterpart, Robert Fico, has said the move could spark World War III. The US has reportedly urged EU members not to raise the issue at the summit, arguing that it could expose behind-the-scenes divisions. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against providing military aid to Ukraine, saying it will only prolong the conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also said that Kiev’s push to join NATO, which was enshrined in its constitution as a strategic objective in 2019, was one of the key reasons for the current conflict.

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“I imagine we’ll start seeing Russian tanks with fuel tanks fitted for extended range appearing and Russian airborne troops making air assaults in the Ukrainian rear within weeks.”

Breakthrough On All Fronts Ahead Of Schedule (Helmer)

When the General Staff have been discussing with President Vladimir Putin the timing of the Russian offensive to force the Kiev regime into capitulation, it has been agreed, understood, and repeated that the strategic reserves of the Ukrainian forces should be destroyed first, together with the supply lines for the weapons and ammunition crossing the border from the US and the NATO allies. This process, they also agreed, should take as long as required with least casualties on the Russian side, as determined by military intelligence. Also agreed and pre-conditional, there should be no repeat of the political intelligence failures of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) which precipitated the failed special forces operation known as the Battle of Antonov (Hostomel) Airport from February 24 to April 2, 2022.

Taking account of the mistakes made then by the SVR director, Sergei Naryshkin, and the subsequent mistakes of military officers around Yevgeny Prigozhin, the General Staff has also accepted that their tactical operations must run least risk of Russian casualties through March 17, the final day of the presidential election. Reinforcing these preconditions for the timing of the Russian offensive, General Winter and General Patience, have joined the Stavka meetings. This week military sources believe there has been a turning point – on the Ukrainian battlefield, and on the Russian clock. The daily Defense Ministry briefing and bulletin from Moscow reported last Thursday, before the Friday weekly summary, that the Ukrainian KIA (killed in action) for the previous twenty-four hours totaled 795, with the ratio of offensive tactics to defence, 3 to 3. On Monday, the KIA total was 680, the ratio 4 to 3. On Tuesday, KIA came to 885, the ratio 5 to 1. The casualty rate is unusually high; the shift to offence is recognizably new, if not announced.

The “Stavka Project”, a military briefing which is broadcast by Vladimir Soloviev, confirms the positional breakthroughs this week on several of the fronts or “directions”, as the Defense Ministry calls them, along the Donbass line; click to watch (in Russian). In Boris Rozhin’s summary of the Defense Ministry briefing materials, published before dawn on Wednesday morning, the leading Russian military blogger (Colonel Cassad) identifies “small advances”, “slight movements”, some positional “successes”, other positional “counter-fighting”, and “no significant progress yet”. The adverb is military talk for timing. According to a military source outside Russia, “the Russian breakthrough is beginning to happen now. It’s being coordinated with strikes and raids along the northern border. The commitment of the ‘crack’ Ukrainian brigades at the expense of other sectors shows how desperate [General Valery] Zaluzhny is to plug the holes.

He knows that the target is the isolation of Kharkov, the establishment of a demilitarized ‘buffer zone’, as well as the development of a situation whereby all Ukrainian forces east of the Dnieper are threatened with being cut off… and he’s quickly running out of ammunition, not to mention cannon fodder.” “By the end of the winter,” the source has added overnight, “the Ukrainians will barely be able to move along the roads they use to feed the front due to the Russian drone, missile, conventional air, and artillery strikes. Once they can no longer plug the gaps with mechanized units acting as fire-fighting brigades, it’s just a matter of time before the big breakthroughs and encirclements begin. At the current burn rate of Ukrainian forces, I imagine we’ll start seeing Russian tanks with fuel tanks fitted for extended range appearing and Russian airborne troops making air assaults in the Ukrainian rear within weeks.”

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“Ukraine sought to prove that the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic are terrorist organizations..”

ICJ Rejects Ukraine’s Terrorism-Related Complaints Against Russia (TASS)

The UN International Court of Justice has found most of Ukraine’s complaints against Russia in a lawsuit over potential violations of the convention that fights the financing of terrorism to be groundless, court President Joan Donoghue said as she read out the verdict. She said Russia failed to conduct investigations into people who could allegedly finance terrorism in Ukraine. The court rejected Ukraine’s accusations that Russia violated the other clauses of the convention, which were listed in the Ukrainian lawsuit. On 16 January 2017, Ukraine filed a lawsuit with the court accusing Russia of violating the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. As part of the case, where it concerns the convention on stopping the financing of terrorism, Ukraine sought to prove that the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic are terrorist organizations, and Russia gave them funding and weapons.

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“London is more interested in the continuation of the conflict and in waging a “terrorist war.” But Washington is much more keen to freeze the conflict, given the forthcoming presidential elections..”

Zaluzhny May Become More Dangerous for Zelensky if Fired (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is still seeking to replace Zaluzhny despite dismissing the rumors of the general’s sacking earlier, the Financial Times reported. The newspaper’s sources claimed that Zaluzhny was offered a position as a defense adviser, but that he turned it down. Possible candidates for Zaluzhny’s replacement are said to be Oleksandr Syrsky, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, and Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the country’s military intelligence directorate. But the Economist and the Times report that both have refused to fill Zaluzhny’s shoes. The British press drew attention to former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s opposition to Zelensky’s apparent move: “Firing Zaluzhny, if true, would hit at the heart of national unity,” wrote Poroshenko.

“The fact is that there was an attempt to replace Zaluzhny; it was an impromptu attempt that failed, because Zelensky hoped to remove a political competitor, not so much a military one,” Alexander Dudchak, leading researcher at the Institute of CIS Countries, and expert on the ‘Another Ukraine’ movement, told Sputnik. “And the fact that he offered [Zaluzhny] the position of adviser [speaks volumes]. By assuming that role he would have moved away from military affairs while not becoming a political competitor,” Dudchak said. “But in Ukraine, two different Western groups are trying to solve their problems: one from Washington, the other from London, with slightly different visions of the future of Ukraine, how to use it and what to do with it now, and in general — there are forces through which they accomplish their tasks.”

It is these forces who are playing the Zaluzhny card right now, the researcher argued. According to Dudchak, the so-called pro-US faction includes Zaluzhny, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and some figures in the President’s Office. The other grouping is pro-British and includes the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense (GUR), its chief Budanov and Syrsky.”So far the replacement has been cancelled. This does not mean that Budanov changed his mind or that Syrsky did not want to [assume the position]. Who’s asking them? Syrsky has no opinion of his own. He even changed the language he speaks. Because listening to him speaking Ukrainian is weird. And will he show some kind of opinion? No way,” Dudchak explained.

“So for now, the operation to replace Zaluzhny has simply been postponed. This does not mean that he will not be removed. Therefore, these figures which look suitable for replacing Zaluzhny have remained in a standby mode for now.” The decision to replace Zaluzhny could stem from the West’s changing goals in Ukraine. The researcher outlined two scenarios, apparently sought by Washington and London: London is more interested in the continuation of the conflict and in waging a “terrorist war.” But Washington is much more keen to freeze the conflict, given the forthcoming presidential elections in November 2024.

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“..on standby to forward deploy to support troops in the case of on ground US involvement in the Israel Hamas war..”

US Troops Told To Prepare For War In Gaza – Media (RT)

US Air Force personnel in Iraq have been ordered to remain on standby in case of “on ground US involvement in the Israel Hamas war,” The Intercept reported on Tuesday, citing a Pentagon memo. Circulated earlier this month, the memo instructs an unknown number of troops to be placed “on standby to forward deploy to support troops in the case of on ground US involvement in the Israel Hamas war,” the news site reported. The standby order applies to troops stationed in Iraq since last year, according to a separate Pentagon document seen by The Intercept. The White House has stated on several occasions since October that its support for the Jewish state would not involve American soldiers fighting alongside their Israeli counterparts.

The US responded to Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel by immediately dispatching two aircraft carriers to the region and preparing 2,000 additional troops for deployment to the Middle East, but White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on October 10 that “there is no intention to put US boots on the ground” in Israel or Gaza. However, US special forces have been active in Israel since October, with senior official Christopher Maier telling reporters at the time that American commandos were “actively helping the Israelis to do a number of things.” The Pentagon has also admitted to flying spy drones over Gaza “in support of hostage recovery efforts.” Since the conflict began, US troops in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan have come under fire more than 150 times, with Iran-aligned Shi’ite militias subjecting their bases to regular drone and rocket barrages.

One such attack on an outpost in Jordan on Sunday killed three US soldiers and injured several dozen others. American ships and warplanes have also launched several strikes against Houthi militants in Yemen, in a bid to break the Houthi blockade on “Israel-linked” merchant shipping passing through the Red Sea. The Houthis have responded by targeting US commercial and military vessels in the area. On Wednesday, the militants announced that they had fired multiple missiles at the destroyer USS Gravely. US Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, said that the Graveley shot down one incoming missile, and suffered no damage or casualties.

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“These groups decide and act based on their own principles and priorities as well as the interests of their country and people..”

No US Threat Will Go Unanswered – Iran (RT)

Iran will not let any threat from the US go “unanswered,” the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Wednesday. The statement came after US President Joe Biden said he had drawn up a response to an attack on American troops in Jordan. Biden told reporters on Tuesday that he had decided how to respond to the drone attack, which left three US soldiers dead and dozens more injured on Sunday. The White House blamed the assault on Iranian-aligned militants operating in Iraq and Syria, while Biden said he holds Iran responsible for the deaths, “in the sense that they’re supplying the weapons to the people who did it.” The US president did not reveal what kind of response he had planned.

“We hear threats coming from American officials, [and] we tell them that they have already tested us and we now know one another, no threat will be left unanswered,” Major General Hossein Salami said at an event in Tehran, according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency. “We are not looking for a war, but are not afraid of war either,” the IRGC commander added. Iran’s envoy to the UN, Amir Saeid Iravani, issued a similar warning on Tuesday night. “The Islamic Republic will decisively respond to any attack on the county, its interests and nationals under any pretexts,” Iravani said, according to Iran’s state news agency, IRNA.

Tehran has denied orchestrating the fatal attack on US troops. While Iran arms and trains numerous Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that these fighters “do not take orders from the Islamic Republic of Iran.” “These groups decide and act based on their own principles and priorities as well as the interests of their country and people,” a ministry spokesman said. Militant groups have launched more than 150 attacks on US bases in the Middle East in recent months, but Sunday’s incident marked the first time American troops in the region were confirmed killed by enemy fire since the Israel-Hamas war began in October.

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“..the permanent NATO obsession in preventing a solid rapprochement between Germany and Russia, by any means necessary..”

Will the Hegemon Ever Accept a New Westphalian World Order? (Pepe Escobar)

A new book by scholar Glenn Diesen, The Ukraine War & The Eurasian World Order, out in mid-February, asks the make-or-break question of the young 21st century: will the Hegemon accept a new geopolitical reality, or will it go Captain Ahab on Moby Dick and drag us all to the depths of a – nuclear – abyss?

[..] Diesen offers a concise, easily accessible mini-history of how we got here. He starts to make the case harking back to the Silk Roads: “The Silk Road was an early model of globalization, although it did not result in a common world order as the civilizations of the world were primarily connected to nomadic intermediaries.” The demise of the Heartland-based Silk Road, actually roads, was caused by the rise of the thalassocratic European powers reconnecting the world in a different way. Yet the hegemony of the collective West could only be fully achieved by applying Divide and Rule across Eurasia. We did not in fact had “five centuries of western dominance”, according to Diesen: it was more like three, or even two (see, for instance, the work of Andre Gunder Frank). In a historical Long View that barely registers.

What is indeed The Big Picture now is that “the unique world order” produced by controlling “the vast Eurasian continent from the maritime periphery is coming to an end”. Diesen hits the nail on the head when it comes to the Russia-China strategic partnership – on which the overwhelmingly majority of European intellectuals is clueless (a crucial exception is French historian, demographer and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd, whose latest book I analyzed here.) With a lovely on the road formulation, Diesen shows how “Russia can be considered the successor of the Mongolian nomads as the last custodian of the Eurasian land corridor”, while China revives the Ancient Silk Roads “with economic connectivity”. In consequence, “a powerful Eurasian gravitational pull is thus reorganizing the supercontinent and the wider world.”

Poviding context, Diesen needs to engage in an obligatory detour to the basics of the Great Game between the Russian and British empires. What stands out is how Moscow already was pivoting to Asia all the way to the late 19th century, when Russian Finance Minister Sergei Witte started to develop a groundbreaking road map for a Eurasia political economy, “borrowing from Alexander Hamilton and Friedrich List.” Witte “wanted to end Russia’s role as an exporter of natural resources to Europe as it resembled ‘the relations of colonial countries with their metropolises’”. And that implies going back to Dostoyevsky, who argued that “Russians are as much Asiatics as European. The mistake of our policy for the past two centuries has been to make the people of Europe believe that we are true Europeans (…) It will be better for us to seek alliances with the Asiatics.” Dostoyevsky meets Putin-Xi. Diesen also needs to go through the obligatory references to Mackinder’s “heartland” obsession – which is the basis of all Anglo-American geopolitics for the past hundred and twenty years.

Mackinder was spooked by railway development – especially the Trans-Siberian by the Russians – as it enabled Moscow to “emulate the nomadic skills of the Scythians, Huns and Mongols” that were essential to control most of Eurasia. Mackinder was particularly focused on railways acting “chiefly as feeders to ocean-going commerce”. Ergo, being a thalassocratic power was not enough: “The heartland is the region to which under modern conditions, sea power can be refused access.” And that’s what leads to the Rosetta Stone of Anglo-American geopolitics: to “prevent the emergence of a hegemon or a group of states capable of dominating Europe and Eurasia that could threaten the dominant maritime power.” That explains everything from WWI and WWII to the permanent NATO obsession in preventing a solid rapprochement between Germany and Russia, by any means necessary.

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“..fees paid by the Trump Organization. Ms. Jones has been paid $2.6 million in her 14-month period as an independent monitor..”

Monitor’s Report: Factual Inaccuracies, Disingenuous – Trump Attorney (ET)

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump on Monday responded to a recent report issued by a court-appointed independent monitor regarding Trump Organization finances, disputing former judge Barbara Jones’s characterization of the financial statements as incomplete and inconsistent. Ms. Jones recommended that third party monitoring of Trump Organization continue, and concluded that “misstatements and errors may continue to occur,” which defense attorneys said was an effort to continue the monitor’s “exorbitant” fees paid by the Trump Organization. Ms. Jones has been paid $2.6 million in her 14-month period as an independent monitor on the case. Ms. Jones’s team has received Trump Organization financial disclosures to third parties, including lenders and insurers; agreements and documents related to transactions; documents related to Trump Organization entities and dissolutions; bank statements; and documents provided to tax authorities.

Attorney Clifford Robert claimed that the Jan. 26 report, submitted at the request of the court, was also meant to “fill the gaping hole in the Attorney General’s case” and was issued “in bad faith.” “The January 26 Report also contains numerous factual inaccuracies (casting serious doubt on the Monitor’s competency), fails to reference governing standards of any kind, and is otherwise misleading and disingenuous,” the letter reads. The report pointed out errors on seven disclosure items, three inconsistencies, and five clerical errors, which the defense argues are immaterial amid the thousands of pages of financial data related to the 400 entities Ms. Jones is monitoring.

“The Monitor was appointed to report any financial reporting misconduct, suspicious activity or any suspected or actual fraudulent activity,“ the letter reads. ”The Monitor was not appointed to identify math errors or otherwise sensationalize minor and inconsequential accounting discrepancies scattered throughout the financial reports of the over 400 companies comprising the Defendants’ global enterprise.” Mr. Robert pointed out that the biggest discrepancy Ms. Jones identified was a difference of $1 million in an “internal trial balance presentation,” and had no actual impact. Mentions of delays in implementing transactions had provided “no evidence of any inappropriate or untoward conduct,” he added, claiming this representation as an effort to “malign such disclosures.”

Mr. Robert noted that the words “misconduct,” “suspicious activity,” “suspected fraud,” or “actual fraud” do not appear in Ms. Jones’s report at all, and argued the errors she cites have been blown out of proportion. “Moreover, as the Reports and the January 26 Report make clear, every item identified has been resolved to the full satisfaction of the Monitor,” he added. “She has not and cannot point to even a single instance of controversy or complaint between any of the Defendants and outside third parties.”

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Abraham Accords.

Trump Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has been put forward for the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the signing of a treaty that helped normalize relations between Israel and several Arab states. The proposal was made by Republican congresswoman Claudia Tenney, who told Fox News on Tuesday that Trump was “instrumental” in facilitating the “historic” Abraham Accords, which she said were “the first peace agreements in the Middle East in almost 30 years.” The lawmaker praised the former president and GOP frontrunner, saying Trump had proven many foreign policy pundits wrong who argued for decades that additional Middle East peace agreements were impossible without a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

”The valiant efforts by President Trump in creating the Abraham Accords were unprecedented and continue to go unrecognized by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, underscoring the need for his nomination today,” Tenney stated, adding that the move comes at a time when President Joe Biden’s “weak leadership” on the global stage has put national security at risk. Over the weekend, three US service members were killed and dozens were injured in a drone attack on a military outpost in Jordan. Biden has pledged to respond, blaming the incident on Iranian-backed militias. Tehran has denied any involvement in the attack. The Abraham Accords were a series of US-mediated bilateral agreements signed in late 2020 between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco. They helped bring the Jewish state and the Arab nations closer, with the UAE and Bahrain also recognizing Israel’s sovereignty.

However, the treaty has been criticized for emboldening Israel to ignore the rights of Palestinians, as it resulted in Arab states dropping the demand to recognize the state of Palestine. Some experts have argued that the move paved the way for the recent surge in violence. Trump had already been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times. In 2020, he was put up for the award by Norwegian MP Christian Tybring-Gjedde, who praised the former president for what he described as his peace-making efforts in the Middle East. That same year, Trump was nominated by Swedish MP Magnus Jacobsson, who cited his role in brokering a deal between Serbia and its breakaway region of Kosovo. Trump’s nomination is considered valid as it was submitted by a member of a national assembly or national government. The 2024 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in Oslo, Norway in October and awarded in December.

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“..the methods that NOAA employs to try to reduce this don’t work because the bias is so overwhelming..”

Trillions Spent on ‘Climate Change’ Based on Faulty Temperature Data (ET)

To preserve a “livable planet,” the Earth can’t warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the United Nations warns.Failure to maintain that level could lead to several catastrophes, including increased droughts and weather-related disasters, more heat-related illnesses and deaths, and less food and more poverty, according to NASA. To avert the looming tribulations and limit global temperature increases, 194 member states and the European Union in 2016 signed the U.N. Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty with a goal to “substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.” After the agreement, global spending on climate-related projects increased exponentially. In 2021 and 2022, the world’s taxpayers spent, on average, $1.3 trillion on such projects each year, according to the nonprofit advisory group Climate Policy Initiative.

That’s more than double the spending rate in 2019 and 2020, which came in at $653 billion per year, and it’s significantly up from the $364 billion per year in 2011 and 2012, the report found. Despite the money pouring in, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that 2023 was the hottest year on record. NOAA’s climate monitoring stations found that the Earth’s average land and ocean surface temperature in 2023 was 1.35 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average. “Not only was 2023 the warmest year in NOAA’s 174-year climate record—it was the warmest by far,” said Sarah Kapnick, NOAA’s chief scientist. “A warming planet means we need to be prepared for the impacts of climate change that are happening here and now, like extreme weather events that become both more frequent and severe.”

But a growing chorus of climate scientists are saying the temperature readings are faulty and that the trillions of dollars pouring in are based on a problem that doesn’t exist. More than 90 percent of NOAA’s temperature monitoring stations have a heat bias, according to Anthony Watts, a meteorologist, senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute, author of climate website Watts Up With That, and director of a study that examined NOAA’s climate stations. “And with that large of a number, over 90 percent, the methods that NOAA employs to try to reduce this don’t work because the bias is so overwhelming,” Mr. Watts told The Epoch Times.“The few stations that are left that are not biased because they are, for example, outside of town in a field and are an agricultural research station that’s been around for 100 years … their data gets completely swamped by the much larger set of biased data. There’s no way you can adjust that out.”

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Marmot
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752682125252297138

 

 

Chase
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752376130449895755

 

 

Boops

 

 

Cat Fox

 

 

Bamboo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752374246402044238

 

 

Sponge cake

 

 

Texas long horn

 

 

Wind
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752576215293038884

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 272022
 


Johannes Vermeer View of Delft 1660-61

 

The Consumer Economy Has Completely Collapsed (CTH)
41% of US Small Businesses Can’t Pay Rent This Month (JTN)
Most NATO Members Are Out Of Weapons For Ukraine – NYT (RT)
Europe Accuses US Of Profiting From War (Pol.eu)
Ukraine Is Proud Of Its War Crimes (Milacic)
Biden Admin Quietly Greenlights Plan to Build Huge Gulf Oil Terminal (ET)
Musk: Exposing Hunter Biden Laptop Story Necessary To Restore Public Trust (ZH)
Companies Join Call to Suspend Advertising with Twitter (Turley)
Climate Activists: Slaughter Millions of Dogs To ‘Reduce Carbon Pawprint’ (NP)
Thoughts On A Crypto Crisis (Melekan)
Klaus Schwab Declares China A ‘Role Model’ (AT)
Finis Sinarum: Why I think China Cannot Win This (Pattberg)
US Officials Pressured Canada To Stop ‘Freedom Convoy’ (NYP)
The Vaccinated Now Account For A Majority Of Covid Deaths (Techno Fog)
People With Stable Cancer Rapidly Progress After Having a Booster (Dalgleish)

 

 

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.”
– Paulo Coelho

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maersheimer 2015

 

 

 

 

Musk Putin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Normally, it’s wrapped all the way around the building. Today: no one.”

The Consumer Economy Has Completely Collapsed (CTH)

“Crowds? I see nothing. I’m surprised,” retail worker Jeremy Pritchett told FOX 2. “Normally, it’s wrapped all the way around the building. Today: no one.” That’s the typical ground report from areas all over the country. No one, literally almost no one, is doing any holiday shopping and the traditional Black Friday rush to get deals and discounts just didn’t happen. Financial media are scratching their puzzlers, perplexed with furrowed brows. Interestingly, almost every financial media outlet is using the same Retail Federation talking point about anticipating an 8% increase in holiday sales this year. Apparently, pretenses must be maintained. Meanwhile, news crews and camera crews are having a desperate time finding any holiday shopping to use as background footage for the claims that sales are strong. “Look, over there. There’s a person buying something. Oh, wait, no, that’s just an employee dusting the empty cash register.” At a certain point, one would have to believe reality would run head-first into the mass delusional pretending. Maybe this holiday season will be it, maybe not.

Reuters – […] “About 166 million people were planning to shop from Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday through this coming “Cyber Monday,” according to the National Retail Federation, almost 8 million more than last year. But with sporadic rain in some parts of the country, stores were less busy than usual on Black Friday. “Usually at this time of the year you struggle to find parking. This year, I haven’t had an issue getting a parking spot,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser of the NPD Group Inc. “It’s a lot of social shopping, everybody is only looking to get what they need. There is no sense of urgency,” Cohen added, based on his store checks in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. At the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, there were no lines outside stores. A Toys ‘R’ Us employee was handing out flyers with a list of the Black Friday “door buster” promotions.”

It’s almost Kafkaesque to see how the media are continuing to maintain economic pretenses, yet the reality of a completely collapsed consumer economy is physically staring them in the face. (Bloomberg) – “Activity Light at One San Francisco Mall (4:40 p.m.) – At the Stonestown mall in San Francisco, shoppers were few and far between. The Target and Zara stores were mostly empty, and there was no line for the mall’s Santa Claus. Uniqlo and Apple were the busiest locations, but they still weren’t crowded. […] Crowds were thin in the late morning at the Stamford Town Center mall. Kay Jeweler, empty. Safavieh, empty. Only a couple of people waited at the checkout line at Forever 21 and just a few were in line for a purchase at Barnes & Noble. […] At a Target store on Chicago’s North Side, the parking lot was barely half full at about 9 a.m. local time. Shoppers were greeted with $3 ornaments and discounted Christmas trees when entering, and the store seemed calm and relatively quiet.

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“Last month, rent delinquency rates increased seven percentage points from 30% in September to 37% in October..”

41% of US Small Businesses Can’t Pay Rent This Month (JTN)

More than 40% of U.S. small business owners say they couldn’t pay rent on time or in full for the month of November, the highest this year. The small business network group Alignable released the survey, which found that the hardship varies by industry. A notable 57% of beauty salons said they couldn’t make rent as well as 45% of gyms, 44% of retail and 44% of restaurants. “Making matters worse, this occurred during a quarter when more money should be coming in and rent delinquency rates should be decreasing,” Alignable said. “But so far this quarter, the opposite has been true.” This latest report continues a steady increase in businesses that can’t pay rent this year. “Last month, rent delinquency rates increased seven percentage points from 30% in September to 37% in October,” Alignable said.


“And now, in November, that rate is another four percentage points higher, reaching a new high across a variety of industries.” Business owners cite a range of reasons for the difficulty making rent, including higher rent costs and lower revenue. But 60% cite inflation. “One indicator of the toll inflation is taking on businesses is a steep drop in the percentage of small businesses that are fully recovered, earning as much if not more than they did monthly prior to COVID,” Alignable said. “The percentage was 24% in October, but dropped to 14% in November — an all-time low.” Michigan had the highest percentage of small business owners unable to make rent at 51% with New York in second at 49% and Massachusetts third highest at 45%. The survey queried 6,326 small business owners in November.

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Buy buy buy.

Most NATO Members Are Out Of Weapons For Ukraine – NYT (RT)

Western weapon stockpiles have become strained after countless arms transfers to Ukraine, making it increasingly difficult for NATO militaries to keep up with politicians’ pledges to continue supporting Kiev with whatever it needs for as long as it takes, the New York Times reported on Saturday. “Smaller countries have exhausted their potential,” and according to one NATO official, at least 20 of the alliance’s 30 members are “pretty tapped out,” the newspaper wrote. Only “larger allies,” including France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, have enough stockpiles to continue or potentially increase their weapon shipments to Ukraine. Since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, the US and its Western allies have been providing Kiev with billions of dollars in security assistance, to the tune of nearly $40 billion, now comparable to the entire annual defense budget of France.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that the weapon shipments will only prolong the conflict and increase the risk of a direct conflict between Russia and NATO. As Ukraine continues to call for more weapons, EU stockpiles are running low, with Germany already “reaching its limit” as of early September. Meanwhile, Lithuania, which does not have any more weapons to donate, has urged the allies to give Ukraine “everything we have.” US President Joe Biden has vowed to keep the arms pipeline open for “as long as it takes,” but even American military stockpiles have taken a toll after repeated shipments to Kiev. As early as March, just weeks after the conflict in Ukraine kicked off, the US Defense Department was already scrambling to replenish thousands of shoulder-fired missiles supplied to Kiev.

By August, US stockpiles of 155mm artillery ammunition were “uncomfortably low,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Pentagon’s latest fact sheet detailed more than $19 billion in direct military aid approved since February, including over 46,000 anti-armor systems, nearly 200 Howitzers, 38 long-range High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), and a litany of other heavy weapons, vehicles and ammunition – as well as over 920,000 of 155mm artillery rounds. The US think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) previously pointed out that the American military is “not structured to fight or support an extended conflict,” while the defense industry is “sized for peacetime production rates,” and expanding capabilities would take years.

NATO is heavily invested in Ukraine, with the alliance’s members also providing training and intelligence capability. Despite this “unprecedented support,” the military bloc’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has repeatedly claimed that “NATO is not a party to the conflict.” Moscow sees things differently. Multiple top officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, have accused NATO of waging war against Russia “by proxy,” while Putin has described Russia as fighting “the entire Western military machine.”

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I think the word is “profiteering”: “..the price Europeans pay is almost four times as high as the same fuel costs in America.”

Politico.eu is usually alright, but here it reverts to things like ” The Kremlin is likely to welcome the poisoning of the atmosphere among Western allies.”

And it’s high time to stop blaming the consequences of western incompetence, on Putin. We only make things worse that way.

Europe Accuses US Of Profiting From War (Pol.eu)

Nine months after invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is beginning to fracture the West. Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and now accuse the Americans of making a fortune from the war, while EU countries suffer. “The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons,” one senior official told POLITICO. The explosive comments — backed in public and private by officials, diplomats and ministers elsewhere — follow mounting anger in Europe over American subsidies that threaten to wreck European industry. The Kremlin is likely to welcome the poisoning of the atmosphere among Western allies.

“We are really at a historic juncture,” the senior EU official said, arguing that the double hit of trade disruption from U.S. subsidies and high energy prices risks turning public opinion against both the war effort and the transatlantic alliance. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.” Another top official, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell, called on Washington to respond to European concerns. “Americans — our friends — take decisions which have an economic impact on us,” he said in an interview with POLITICO. The U.S. rejected Europe’s complaints. “The rise in gas prices in Europe is caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s energy war against Europe, period,” a spokesperson for Biden’s National Security Council said. Exports of LNG from the U.S. to Europe “increased dramatically and enabled Europe to diversify away from Russia,” the NSC spokesperson said.

The biggest point of tension in recent weeks has been Biden’s green subsidies and taxes that Brussels says unfairly tilt trade away from the EU and threaten to destroy European industries. Despite formal objections from Europe, Washington has so far shown no sign of backing down. At the same time, the disruption caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is tipping European economies into recession, with inflation rocketing and a devastating squeeze on energy supplies threatening blackouts and rationing this winter. As they attempt to reduce their reliance on Russian energy, EU countries are turning to gas from the U.S. instead — but the price Europeans pay is almost four times as high as the same fuel costs in America. Then there’s the likely surge in orders for American-made military kit as European armies run short after sending weapons to Ukraine.

It’s all got too much for top officials in Brussels and other EU capitals. French President Emmanuel Macron said high U.S. gas prices were not “friendly” and Germany’s economy minister has called on Washington to show more “solidarity” and help reduce energy costs. Ministers and diplomats based elsewhere in the bloc voiced frustration at the way Biden’s government simply ignores the impact of its domestic economic policies on European allies. When EU leaders tackled Biden over high U.S. gas prices at the G20 meeting in Bali last week, the American president simply seemed unaware of the issue, according to the senior official quoted above. Other EU officials and diplomats agreed that American ignorance about the consequences for Europe was a major problem.

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“The question involuntarily begs itself, does a united Europe need such a Ukraine, proud of the massacres?”

Ukraine Is Proud Of Its War Crimes (Milacic)

In the Russian mentality, mockery and mistreatment of prisoners is unacceptable. You can kill the enemy, but not torture. Russians in their ideology have always opposed themselves to the German Nazis with their concentration camps and gas chambers. So, if someone posted a video of the torture and murder of captured soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Russian audience would explode with indignation, recognizing the perpetrators of such acts as war criminals. However, the true reason for the appearance of Ukrainian torture videos lies not even in the different mentality of Ukrainian nationalists and Russians. In fact, Kiev propagandists deliberately give the green light to such videos. This is primarily done to scare Russian soldiers and reservists.

And official Kiev does not pay much attention to these crimes. Take for example the recent Ukrainian war crime in Makiivka. The Ukrainian army immediately began to claim that the video was staged and fake. However, it was the Western experts who confirmed the authenticity of the video and the Western media exerted pressure to launch an investigation. However, such video propaganda of cruelty actually has a much more serious purpose. Its main task is to form a stable feeling of hatred between Russians and residents of Ukraine. EU residents have little idea of the mentality of the average Russian. The fact is that many in Russia sincerely consider the current war to be a civil one. Almost all Russians treat Ukrainians either as a very close people or as southwestern Russians.

Half of the inhabitants of Ukraine have Russian surnames, relatives in Russia and use Russian as their main language. However, each such video should, according to the plan of Kiev radical propagandists, change the mentality of Russians more and more. They must hate all the inhabitants of Ukraine, stop treating them as “their own” and recognize that reconciliation with Ukraine and a new reunification with it is impossible. Peace will come sooner or later, but a steel wave of hatred will fall between the future Ukraine and Russia. At the same time, Russia’s desire to punish the killers of defenseless prisoners of war and civilians will also prevent the settlement of relations between Moscow and Kyiv for many decades.

The line of military contact between Russia and Ukraine is lengthening, fresh troops and new weapons are coming to the front from both sides. Obviously, the execution in Makiivka will not be the last video demonstrating the complete disregard of Kyiv, for “democratic values”, the Geneva Convention and human rights. However, what appalls observers of the conflict in Ukraine even more is the fact that the Ukrainian army tortures and kills its own citizens. We could see this during the Ukrainian seizure of Izyum and Kherson. After which hundreds of Ukrainian citizens simply disappeared, that is, they were liquidated by the SBU and the Ukrainian army. The question involuntarily begs itself, does a united Europe need such a Ukraine, proud of the massacres?

Doug Valentine on CIA in Ukraine

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What they do, not what they say.

Biden Admin Quietly Greenlights Plan to Build Huge Gulf Oil Terminal (ET)

The Biden administration has quietly approved plans to build a new crude oil terminal in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas, seemingly in contradiction to the president’s climate agenda. The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration approved the application (pdf) for Enterprise’s Sea Port Oil Terminal, one of four proposed offshore oil export terminals, on Monday. According to the application, the port will be located offshore of Freeport, Texas. It will have 4.8 million barrels of storage capacity and add 2 million barrels per day to the U.S. oil export capacity. In its 94-page decision, the Maritime Administration said that it had approved the application because the construction and operation of the port is “in the national interest and consistent with other policy goals and objectives.”

“The construction and operation of the Port is in the national interest because the Project will benefit employment, economic growth, and U.S. energy infrastructure resilience and security,” the administration wrote. “The Port will provide a reliable source of crude oil to U.S. allies in the event of market disruption and have a minimal impact on the availability and cost of crude oil in the U.S. domestic market.” The decision states that the project will expand on an existing Enterprise Crude Houston operated terminal located in Houston and will generate 62 permanent jobs over 30 years. Additionally, 1,400 temporary construction jobs will be created, with the majority of the workforce being hired from existing labor pools in Texas and Louisiana, according to the application.

The Environmental Protection Agency quietly issued its approval (pdf) of the project in October but stressed that “more emphasis is needed to ensure that environmental justice and climate change considerations are included in the project for the protection of overburdened communities.” Protests broke out shortly after on the Gulf Coast, The Texas Tribune reported, with climate activists condemning the move, and pointing to the fact that President Joe Biden has prioritized issues such as climate change and clean energy incentives during his time in office. Biden has vowed to cut carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

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He talked about “Twitter’s Internal Discussion Of..”, but certainly at this point the essence is the same. Musk realizes Twitter pushed away half its audience, and its credibility.

Musk: Exposing Hunter Biden Laptop Story Necessary To Restore Public Trust (ZH)

Revealing Twitter’s internal discussions surrounding the censorship of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story right before the 2020 US election is “necessary to restore public trust,” according to new owner Elon Musk. Musk was responding to a tweet by the recently-unbanned @alx, who said: “Raise your hand if you think @ElonMusk should make public all internal discussions about the decision to censor the @NYPost’s story on Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 Election in the interest of Transparency.” The Post had its Twitter account locked in October 2020 for reporting on the now-confirmed-to-be-real “laptop from hell,” which contains unprosecuted evidence of foreign influence peddling through then-Vice President Joe Biden – including a meeting between Joe and an executive of Ukrainian gas giant Burisma, in 2015.

“The laptop contained caches of emails detailing business dealings with Burisma and state-owned CEFC China Energy Co, from which his firms received $4.8 million in wire transfer payments from its founder, Ye Jianming, according to a Senate report.” -Daily Caller. Twitter had restricted any user from sharing links of the Post’s coverage, both publicly or via direct message – while the social media giant also locked out former White House spox Kayleigh McEnany’s personal account, as well as former President Trump’s campaign account, for sharing the link. In the ensuing years, the authenticity of the laptop has been confirmed by both the Washington Post and the New York Times, while CBS News authenticated the laptop on Monday.

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“..these companies appeared to have no objections to the company maintaining one of the world’s largest and most notorious censorship systems..”

Companies Join Call to Suspend Advertising with Twitter (Turley)

National Public Radio yesterday posted an article titled “Twitter has lost 50 of its top 100 advertisers since Elon Musk took over, report says.” The article relies on a report from the liberal site Media Matters for America founded by Democratic operative David Brock. The report lists companies that have publicly pulled their advertising and the article strongly suggests that it is due to the pledge of Elon Musk to restore free speech protections on the social media site. These companies are well within their free speech rights to boycott the company or suspend their support in light of possible changes on content. However, customers also have the right not to support companies that do not support their free speech rights.

The NPR article contains this graph: “Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Ford, Jeep, Kyndryl, Merck & Co. and Novartis AG all issued statements about halting Twitter ads or were reported and confirmed as doing so. The others ceased advertising on the platform for a “significant period of time following direct outreach, controversies, and warnings from media buyers.” A quick review of these companies show that many use the same vague rationale of Chipolte that they want to wait to “gain a better understanding on the direction of the platform under its new leadership.” These companies have not expressly called for censorship. They simply say that they will not advertise with the company until that they satisfied with the company’s new “direction.”

The assumption is that the companies were fine with the “direction” of the old Twitter in limiting free speech. In the very least, it did not seem to be a sufficient concern to prompt them to make public statements suspending advertising in prior years. The companies have remained silent on why the prior “direction” did not appear to be a corporate concern. They did not apparently view the prior Twitter policies as barriers to advertising. Specifically, these companies appeared to have no objections to the company maintaining one of the world’s largest and most notorious censorship systems. The blocking of the Hunter Biden laptop story did not appear to be a barrier for advertisers. The blocking of individuals offering opposing views on Covid, climate change, transgender policies or other issues was not an apparent barrier. Yet, the announced intention to restore free speech protections has warranted these suspensions.

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Beyond cow farts…

Climate Activists: Slaughter Millions of Dogs To ‘Reduce Carbon Pawprint’ (NP)

Climate activists are now calling for millions of dogs worldwide to be slaughtered in an effort to reduce the “carbon pawprint” they produce as a result of eating meat. In the last few years, the level of urgency to “save the planet” coming from the mainstream media and globalist elites has intensified to dizzying new heights. From the early warnings of “don’t shower every day,” to today’s open discussions about eugenics. Trying to deface iconic works of art is sadly just the start, they’re now trying to openly kill our pets and will eventually move onto humans too. Wnd.com reports: Scientists — who write the papers funded by eco-idealogues with findings developed so that they can write the next paper funded by eco-idealogues — use any means necessary to scare people.

Decades of the sky not falling means only a minute fraction of the public believes the hype, and therefore support extreme positions regarding population control and now, even animal control.” A few years ago, cow flatulence was going to keep the world from achieving its climate goals, so Bessie was targeted for her carbon hoofprint. That was child’s play compared to the CNN column, recapping a study that immediate action was necessary to stop the pending climate catastrophe. Their solutions? Don’t bring large-breed animals into your home, and no matter the size, feed Fido or Fluffy only insect-based meals. According to the CNN column, “Their [pets’] meat-heavy diet is the biggest contributor to their carbon pawprints, which requires an abundance of energy, land and water to produce.

And the production of pet food emits huge amounts of planet-warming gases … if our furry friends formed a separate country, it would rank 5th in global meat consumption behind China, the US, Brazil and Russia.” As a pet owner, the thought of sacrificing any of my six dogs — three small-breed and three whose size exceeds 45 pounds apiece — is both laughable and irritating. My girls’ care, feeding, health and exercise is top-notch, and their importance to my family is beyond anything the world would achieve by eliminating the larger three, or replacing the occasional beef or chicken-based treats with a grub, grasshopper or glowworm.

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There Will Be Blood.

Thoughts On A Crypto Crisis (Melekan)

If you’ve never seen the movie “There Will Be Blood” starring Daniel Day Lewis, then now might be a good time. Based loosely on an Upton Sinclair novel that satirizes the early days of the oil industry, it portrays the life of an independent oil man who rises to great wealth and power at the expense of his humanity. While that character’s arc is predictable, what makes the movie is his back and forth interaction with a young pastor whose own lust for power turns out to be just as great, and just as corrupting. Lewis’ character, while evil, is at least self-aware about his greed and selfishness. The pastor is not, and in some ways turns out the more pathetic character. Welcome to the state of crypto in its thirteenth year, except that in our story the greedy entrepreneur and the morally bankrupt spiritual leader have turned out to be the same person.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, but also Do Kwon (of Terra), Su Zhu (of Three Arrows Capital), Alex Mashinsky (of Celsius) and a few others. All claimed to be working towards the greater good. All ended up obscenely wealthy in the process. All turned out to be frauds. Tempting as it might be to focus all of our energy into anger towards these men, this is a time for self reflection. As an industry, but also a community. Crypto has attracted millions of people from all over the world and the vast majority are good people who believe in this new way of building trust. But we are terrible at picking leaders (with a few exceptions) and have only ourselves to blame when they let us down. The great irony of the collapses we’ve experienced lately is that nobody has to use these firms. Unlike Wall Street, where consumer choices are always limited (by design) the censorship resistance of crypto often means nobody has to use any service.

Most of FTX’s clients could have custodied their own coins and used DeFi, in the same way that people who wanted a more decentralized stablecoin could have used Dai. And yet, countless users who came to crypto to get away from traditional authorities ended up running into the arms of services offered by inexperienced leaders who act like they are running a cult. But why? The simplest answer is greed. The KwonZhuMashFried’s of the world all promised their followers a faster road to riches. Greed has an exponential function. The more money people make, the more they (paradoxically) want, despite the marginal utility of the next dollar declining quickly. Crypto has made a lot of people rich, but for every user who cashes out there seems to be two who double down. This compulsion for always making more drives some people to suspend disbelief and to seek out the quacks who make the most grandiose promises. But blaming everything on greed is too simple. There has to be more to this story, and true self reflection requires going deeper.

Max Keiser

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Monica Showalter: “China in fact is a giant prison, complete with slave labor, sweatshops, low wages, continuous lockdowns and actual laogai, or Gulags..”

But how exactly is that different from the US? You know, once you incorporate 2-3 years of Fauci and Covid in your view.

Klaus Schwab Declares China A ‘Role Model’ (AT)

Once upon a time, the Soviets had a tightly controlled network of internationalists known as the COMINTERN to promote their communist model to Europe and beyond. As it stands now, the Red Chinese have gone them one better: They’ve got Klaus Schwab. According to Fox News: World Economic Forum founder and Chair Klaus Schwab recently sat down for an interview with a Chinese state media outlet and proclaimed that China was a “role model” for other nations. Schwab, 84, made these comments during an interview with CGTN’s Tian Wei on the sidelines of last week’s APEC CEO Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. Schwab said he respected China’s “tremendous” achievements at modernizing its economy over the last 40 years.


“I think it’s a role model for many countries,” Schwab said, before qualifying that he thinks each country should make its own decisions about what system it wants to adapt. “I think we should be very careful in imposing systems. But the Chinese model is certainly a very attractive model for quite a number of countries,” Schwab said. A role model? A country of zero freedom, low social mobility, social credit scores, and constant government surveillance? Who the heck, even among the revolutionary wokester crowd, is openly calling for a Chinese model for their own countries? China in fact is a giant prison, complete with slave labor, sweatshops, low wages, continuous lockdowns and actual laogai, or Gulags. Challenge the government in any way and you’ll be packed off to one for years upon years in no time. In the case of the Uighurs, just being the wrong nationality is enough for such punishment.

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Long piece on education and the way China sees Americans annd other “westerners”

Finis Sinarum: Why I think China Cannot Win This (Pattberg)

The Western control over China is blatantly obvious. And because it is so blatant and obvious, you would be considered a baichi—an idiot—to speak about it. A baichi is a person who is oblivious to social conventions. Which makes him a tragic hero, to some. But more generally speaking, an idiot does more damage than good to a harmonious society. If the baichi does not die from immediate consequences, he transforms into a huairen or bad person. In the West we would call him a villain. All the idiot heroes who point out the obvious situation that Chinese education is already westernized will be considered terrorists as well.

Example. One baichi German guy at Beijing Foreign Language University pointed out that the 50,000 holders of the Chinese Government Scholarships (CSC) are NOT looked after by the Chinese side, and that the applications were pre-sorted and forwarded by Western governments. Two months later, the guy died in an accident. Most nationals do not realize this, but the West controls education globally. Not just all the standards. Not just the Anglo-Satan BA, MA, MBA, PhD degrees, publications, and university structures, but also international exchange, scholarship, and permissions. Chinese degrees, Benke, Shuoshi, Boshi, etc., on the other hand, are invalid.

An Englishman who carelessly studied in China on his own, with no UK governmental backing, is holding a worthless degree. UK universities, including Cambridge and Imperial College, prohibit their students from studying in mainland China unless they are part of their many state-supervised exchange programs. The entire West has huge barriers to its citizens learning in China unsupervised. This is also the reason why most British students miraculously end up in exchange years in pro-Western Hong Kong or Taiwan. British scholars are not free, and they are definitely not autarch. They are children of the Empire,… and suck their owners’ titinob.

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Canada is ruled by lapdogs.

US Officials Pressured Canada To Stop ‘Freedom Convoy’ (NYP)

Top Biden administration officials pressed their Canadian counterparts to clear truckers blockading parts of the United States’s northern border during protests in January. A public inquiry into the Canadian government’s decision to use emergency powers to clear the “Freedom Convoy” protesters revealed on Thursday that frantic phone calls were placed by Washington to Ottawa in an effort to open up choked-off supply lines. “They are very, very, very worried,” Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote in an email to her staff after a Feb. 10 phone call from White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, according to Politico. s“If this is not sorted out in the next 12 hours, all of their northeastern car plants will shut down,” Freeland continued in her email.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg phoned his Canadian counterpart, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, the same day Deese called Freeland, according to the report, and Buttigieg pressed Alghabra about Canada’s “plan to resolve” the protests. Alghabra told the commission that Buttigieg initiated the call and that the interaction was “unusual.” Brian Clow, deputy chief of staff to Canada’s prime minister, also heard from White House aides, including National Security Council director Juan Gonzalez, who wanted to connect Canadian national security officials with the US Department of Homeland Security. A phone call between President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took place the following day, on Feb. 11, where Trudeau conveyed to the commander-in-chief that Ottawa had a plan to end the blockades.

In his call with Trudeau, Biden reportedly alluded to trucker convoys rumored to be threatening to disrupt the Super Bowl in Los Angeles and streets in Washington. Freeland told staff in an email that the Deese wanted daily updates on the protests which never materialized because the Emergencies Act was invoked three days after Trudeau’s call with Biden. Freeland told Canadian investigators that she worried Canada was “in the process of doing long-term and possibly irreparable harm to our trading relationship with the United States” and feared DC politicians “who would love any excuse to impose more protectionist measures on us.”

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This is not much use anymore if you don’t include -and separate out- vaccine deaths.

The Vaccinated Now Account For A Majority Of Covid Deaths (Techno Fog)

There’s a remarkable concession appearing in The Washington Post today: “a majority of Americans dying from the coronavirus received at least the primary series of the vaccine.” The latest data shows that 58% of COVID-19 deaths in August 2022 were from people who were vaccinated or boosted. Based on past figures and the current trends, we can reasonably estimate that the number of vaccinated/boosted COVID-19 deaths will only rise. (In September 2021, the vaccinated accounted for 23% of COVID-19 deaths; in January/February 2022, the vaccinated were 42%.) This is what happens when you rush ineffective and dangerous vaccines.

The FDA’s promises of efficacy – 91% for the Pfizer vaccine and 93% for the Moderna vaccine – were always based on hope, not data. So too were the promises of safety. At the time of the official approvals, both Pfizer and Moderna hadn’t submitted any type of long-term numbers on effectiveness. Their trials were polluted with the unblinding of participants and their safety studies are “ongoing.” Now, we’re seeing efficacy numbers plummet within months of vaccination. The pandemic is of the vaccinated. The boosters? They’re to the benefit of the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical companies, as they mask the true problems with the two-shot vaccines. Even with these numbers, the outgoing Anthony Fauci continues to vouch for the jab, stating the data “overwhelmingly show the effectiveness of vaccines.”

This is the same man who demanded school closures, inserted himself into the 2020 election by criticizing Trump’s COVID-19 response while complimenting China, and criticized Governor Ron DeSantis for reopening Florida’s schools. All the while, Fauci was lying to the public about COVID-19 origins. In May of 2020, he told National Geographic that COVID-19 “could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.” What he didn’t tell us was that he and US government clients were sabotaging and shutting down research and fact finding into the lab leak theory. What he didn’t say was that internal communications among himself and Francis Collins and Jeremy Farrar, revealed through a FOIA request by Jimmy Tobias, discussed “accidental lab passage in animals” and how the Wuhan lab was the “Wild West” and why the lab leak was a serious possibility.

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Cancer and plastic blood clots. What a future we have created for ourselves.

People With Stable Cancer Rapidly Progress After Having a Booster (Dalgleish)

A letter from Dr. Angus Dalgleish, Professor of Oncology at St George’s University of London, to Dr. Kamran Abbasi, the Editor in Chief of the BMJ. It was written in support of a colleague’s plea to Dr. Abbasi that the BMJ make valid informed consent for Covid vaccination a priority topic.

Dear Kamran Abbasi, Covid no longer needs a vaccine programme given the average age of death of Covid in the U.K. is 82 and from all other causes is 81 and falling.vThe link with clots, myocarditis, heart attacks and strokes is now well accepted, as is the link with myelitis and neuropathy. (We predicted these side effects in our June 2020 QRBD article Sorensen et al. 2020, as the blast analysis revealed 79% homologies to human epitopes, especially PF4 and myelin.)vHowever, there is now another reason to halt all vaccine programmes. As a practising oncologist I am seeing people with stable disease rapidly progress after being forced to have a booster, usually so they can travel. Even within my own personal contacts I am seeing B cell-based disease after the boosters.

They describe being distinctly unwell a few days to weeks after the booster – one developing leukaemia, two work colleagues Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and an old friend who has felt like he has had Long Covid since receiving his booster and who, after getting severe bone pain, has been diagnosed as having multiple metastases from a rare B cell disorder.vI am experienced enough to know that these are not the coincidental anecdotes that many suggest, especially as the same pattern is being seen in Germany, Australia and the USA. The reports of innate immune suppression after mRNA for several weeks would fit, as all these patients to date have melanoma or B cell based cancers, which are very susceptible to immune control – and that is before the reports of suppressor gene suppression by mRNA in laboratory experiments. This must be aired and debated immediately.

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Musk T0

 

 

Magic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1596193011309969411

 

 

Sting rays

 

 


Mt. Fuji. Instagram’s Taitan21

 

 

Owl petting

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 262021
 


M. C. Escher Relativity Lattice 1953

 

Who Will They Blame When Everyone is Vaccinated?
Concerns About Suboptimal Vaccine Antibodies Erasing Natural Immunity (Blaze)
Informed Consent Disclosure To Vaccine Trial Subjects (NIH)
Why Won’t The CDC or FDA Reveal The VAERS URF? (Kirsch)
200,000 Grannies, No Problem. A Few Puppies? (Denninger)
Consider the Lowly Sandflies (Kunstler)
The Age of Exterminations (VI): The Great Famine to Come (Ugo Bardi)
Biden’s “C’mon, Man” Defense Will Not Fly on Religious Freedom (Turley)
Hertz Orders 100,000 Teslas For Rental Cars (Byte)
‘Unthinkable’ For High Court To Lift US Extradition Ban On Julian Assange (DM)
Allegation Of CIA Murder Plot Game-changer In Assange Extradition Hearing (R.)
A Guide To The US Appeal In The Assange Extradition Case (Gosztola)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Jensen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1452753030391246854

 

 

They will always find a witch to burn, or drown.

Problem is, how are we going to tell the vaxxed that they are in grave danger?

Who Will They Blame When Everyone is Vaccinated?

A question we have been asking for several months: Who are the political officials going to blame for rising COVID infection and hospitalization rates when the vaccination rates are well over 90 percent? What happens on a sociological scale when a vaxxed society realizes there is no magic panacea afforded by the vaccination narrative? Author Jack Cashill takes those questions head-on in a Spectator article noting we only need to look at Waterford, Ireland, to see the dynamic where an almost completely obedient and vaccinated population of 99.7% is facing rising COVID infection rates despite their good citizenship:


Cashill – […] “The arbitrary evolution of Irish COVID policy over the past 18 months has made it clear that public health officials and government policy makers have no idea what they are doing. If proof were needed, County Waterford provides it. According to data published on October 21, Waterford City South has the nation’s highest 14-day incidence rate at 1,486 cases per 100,000 and Tramore-Waterford City West has the third highest at 1,122 cases per 100,000. This is despite internal travel bans and the county’s more than 90 percent vaccination rate. Although Waterford is running three times the rate of the nation writ large, Ireland as a whole is not faring particularly well, especially given its draconian restrictions. In the seven days preceding October 21, Ireland reported 2,026 new cases. To put that number in perspective, wide-open Florida had 2,262 cases during that same period with a population more than four times greater than the Irish Republic’s.”

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More vaccines -> More Covid.

Concerns About Suboptimal Vaccine Antibodies Erasing Natural Immunity (Blaze)

In many areas of life, half a loaf is better than no loaf at all. But when it comes to vaccines, the opposite is true. Half-baked antibodies injected throughout the entire population can make the virus even stronger and negate people’s natural immunity. Thus, all the defenses of the leaky vaccine suggesting that it at least conveys “some” protection are actually extremely concerning, a point driven home by a nugget in the most recent surveillance report from Public Health England (PHE). On page 23 of PHE’s “COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report Week 42,” British health officials report a shocking finding. They believe their serology tests are underestimating the number of people with prior infection due to “recent observations from UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) surveillance data that N antibody levels appear to be lower in individuals who acquire infection following 2 doses of vaccination.”

In other words, the vaccine might be reducing the all-important N antibodies that one generates from natural infection. Kudos to former NYT reporter Alex Berenson for discovering this important point. Until now, we’ve been operating under the assumption that those with prior infection don’t need the vaccine to boost immunity and taking the shots would only expose them to the growing risk of side effects. However, what if the shots are actually sliding back the natural immunity generated in those with previous infection? What if that is related to the macro concern that a narrow-spectrum vaccine with suboptimal antibodies that only recognize the “S” (spike) protein of the virus but not the “N” (nucleocapsid) of the virus will cause B cells in those with the vaccine to learn to produce only S antibodies, which are slower-acting and less sterilizing (don’t stop transmission) than N antibodies, which are faster-acting and are more effective in their protection against the virus?

It’s not like we weren’t confronted with some other warning signs that the vaccine could perhaps negate some of the immunity acquired from prior infection. In March, researchers from Mount Sinai in New York and Hospital La Paz in Madrid posted a preprint study indicating that at least the second Pfizer shot might weaken T cell immunity. In a shocking discovery after monitoring a group of vaccinated people both with and without prior infection, they found “in individuals with a pre-existing immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the second vaccine dose not only fail to boost humoral immunity but determines a contraction of the spike-specific T cell response.” They also note that other research has shown “the second vaccination dose appears to exert a detrimental effect in the overall magnitude of the spike-specific humoral response in COVID-19 recovered individuals.”

Thus, mass vaccinating with leaky suboptimal antibody production could serve as a Trojan horse and make people more susceptible to an ever-enhanced virus. It’s not like we had no warning about the possibility of viral enhancement through waning and suboptimal vaccine-mediated antibodies. On page 52 of Pfizer’s “Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for an Unapproved Product Review Memorandum,” it is admitted that antibody dependent disease enhancement was a possibility in the long run with waning efficacy. “However, risk of vaccine-enhanced disease over time, potentially associated with waning immunity, remains unknown and needs to be evaluated further in ongoing clinical trials and in observational studies that could be conducted following authorization and/or licensure,” write the FDA regulators in the memo.

[..] According to PHE data, 86% of all U.K. residents over age 12 have received at least one shot, including nearly everyone in a vulnerable age bracket. Yet the summer and early fall curve, as presented by Worldometer, has blown out the magnitude of the case curve last year when nobody was vaccinated, and the daily numbers are reaching close to their winter peak.

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Vaccines killing off antibodies is not a new idea. This is from March 2021.

“Informed consent disclosure to vaccine trial subjects of risk of COVID-19 vaccines worsening clinical disease.”

Informed Consent Disclosure To Vaccine Trial Subjects (NIH)

Aims of the study: Patient comprehension is a critical part of meeting medical ethics standards of informed consent in study designs. The aim of the study was to determine if sufficient literature exists to require clinicians to disclose the specific risk that COVID-19 vaccines could worsen disease upon exposure to challenge or circulating virus.

Methods used to conduct the study: Published literature was reviewed to identify preclinical and clinical evidence that COVID-19 vaccines could worsen disease upon exposure to challenge or circulating virus. Clinical trial protocols for COVID-19 vaccines were reviewed to determine if risks were properly disclosed.

Results of the study: COVID-19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralising antibodies may sensitise vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated. Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern: that vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralising antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID-19 disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). This risk is sufficiently obscured in clinical trial protocols and consent forms for ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials that adequate patient comprehension of this risk is unlikely to occur, obviating truly informed consent by subjects in these trials.

Conclusions drawn from the study and clinical implications: The specific and significant COVID-19 risk of ADE should have been and should be prominently and independently disclosed to research subjects currently in vaccine trials, as well as those being recruited for the trials and future patients after vaccine approval, in order to meet the medical ethics standard of patient comprehension for informed consent.

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Steve keeps pushing.

Why Won’t The CDC or FDA Reveal The VAERS URF? (Kirsch)

VAERS is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. It is the official system relied upon by the FDA and CDC for adverse event tracking. For example, if you report an adverse event in V-Safe, the app they told you about when you got vaccinated, you are told to file a VAERS report. It is essentially the mother of all adverse event reporting systems for vaccine events in the US. There is nothing more comprehensive than VAERS. The most important thing to know about VAERS is that it is always underreported. This is widely known. To properly interpret any safety data, you must know the underreporting factor (URF). For example, the famous Lazarus report estimated the VAERS URF to be over 100:

“Although 25% of ambulatory patients experience an adverse drug event, less than 0.3% of all adverse drug events and 1-13% of serious events are reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Likewise, fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported. Low reporting rates preclude or slow the identification of “problem” drugs and vaccines that endanger public health.” The Baker paper, Advanced Clinical Decision Support for Vaccine Adverse Event Detection and Reporting, showed that “the odds of a VAERS report submission during the implementation period were 30.2 (95% confidence interval, 9.52–95.5).” In other words, the VAERS URF was at least 30 (since the system wasn’t perfect, 30 is a lower bound of the URF in that study), but they estimated that it was likely between 9.5 and 95.

The URF is normally calculated for very serious events since these are required to be reported for all vaccines by healthcare workers. That URF can then be applied to less serious events to create a conservative estimate of the true incidence rate (since less serious events would have a higher URF). The method for calculating the URF is well known. Sadly, the CDC has erroneously assumed that Vaccine Safety Datalink represents a fully reported comparator. This is clearly false as can be seen from slide 13 in ACIP Chair Grace Lee’s presentation delivered on August 30, 2021:

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“Fauci slaughtered tens of thousands of AIDS sufferers by blocking Bactrim in HIV+ persons for years, arguing he needed “controlled trials” first to “prove” that it worked to prevent PCP.”

“.. in the case of HIV it was AZT. This time its intentionally falsely labeled drugs that are called “vaccines” yet are not, along with a new drug from Merck that may be even more dangerous than the jabs.”

200,000 Grannies, No Problem. A Few Puppies? (Denninger)

If you want to know why God is sipping on a cold one and laughing at the evil in our nation and indeed the world you need nothing more. Fauci slaughtered tens of thousands of AIDS sufferers by blocking Bactrim in HIV+ persons for years, arguing he needed “controlled trials” first to “prove” that it worked to prevent PCP. We already knew it did, by the way, having learned that in the late 1970s with Leukemia patients — it cut the mortality rate of people with Leukemia during chemo by a huge amount. Fauci claimed that wasn’t good enough. 30,000, roughly, Americans got shoved in the hole, dead from PCP, as a result. This time around Fauci proclaimed that we had “insufficient evidence” to recommend that people use HCQ, Ivermectin, Budesonide and a whole host of other things at first indication of Covid-19.

The answer was “vaccines”, which did not exist for 11 months, and were not rolled out in size for a full year. In both cases pharmaceutical companies made billions; in the case of HIV it was AZT. This time its intentionally falsely labeled drugs that are called “vaccines” yet are not, along with a new drug from Merck that may be even more dangerous than the jabs. Two hundred thousand Grannies and Grandpas, mostly, died during the last 18 months without even being able to say goodbye to their loved ones, having been denied drugs that might have worked and might not have — but which were almost certainly better than being dead. If they did nothing, so what? Dead is dead, right? Well, neither Ivermectin or Budesonide killed me. I used both when I got Covid in August.

I do not know if Ivermectin appreciably impacted the course of the disease because I hit it early and hard and thus perhaps it did nothing (hard to prove otherwise, isn’t it?) but the budesonide reversed symptom progression within 12 hours of initiation of use. I cannot attribute that change to mere chance. Is it proof? No. But do I believe it worked? You bet. And I’m still here; neither killed me, nor did either do any harm I can detect (nor did the virus itself) to my cardiopulmonary function from pre-infection baseline. Will any of these drugs work for everyone? Nope. Does vaccination? Nope.

St. Elizabeth’s, as of 10/22, makes quite clear that people winding up in the hospital, ICU or with a tube down their throat on a vent happens all the time in fully-vaccinated people. None of that is “rare” and, I remind you, this is a major hospital chain all over NE KY along with a couple of other states. Do the jabs “reduce the risk”? Probably. Do they work as well as using drugs at first hint of trouble? Since these “breakthroughs” that land people in the hospital, ICU or on a vent are hardly RARE — they’re extraordinarily common despite the lies the media, CDC and other hospitals have told — I maintain that I made the correct choice as I did not wind up in a hospital at all and now I have presumptive immunity that actually works unlike these “jabs” which, on the data certainly appear to NOT.

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“Dr. Fauci is ever more emblematic of the American predicament: maniacs and doofuses in charge of powerful institutions strategically positioned to wreck the country.”

Consider the Lowly Sandflies (Kunstler)

Some flinched when Dr. Fauci commanded the children of America to take the mRNA shots fraught with deadly side effects, but now it’s out that the agency he has controlled for decades like a Byzantine despot, the NIAD, gave a $1.6 million grant to a lab in Tunisia — that world-beating center of the bio-sciences — to study what happens when puppy-dogs are pinned down so that ravenous sandflies can chew their snouts off. I guess it didn’t go to well for the puppies. (And doesn’t one wonder exactly what was learned doing that?) We are not Tunisia, of course, at least not yet. We are the mighty USA, a nation imbued with the moral spirit of Walt Disney, and for us this puppy-dog caper might just be an experiment-too-far.

We’ll have to stand by months, maybe years, to find out what the effects are of mRNA shots in human children, but two known possibilities stand out: inflammation and scarring of the heart (myocarditis + sequelae), and an incrementally disabled immune system. Do you really want those shots in your children? — America might ask. And how does Dr. Fauci imagine the child vaxx program would be carried out? In the schools, I suppose, where the subjects of the experiment can be conveniently rounded-up every day. Would you suppose that roughly half the parents in the land would then withdraw their kids from the public school system and, if so, what becomes of the system when they’re gone? Not anything good, I promise you.

But consider that it is already a rotten system ever more incapable of turning out citizens who can speak English, write a coherent sentence, and add up a column of figures, let alone name the capital of Tunisia (warning: trick question!). Dr. Fauci is ever more emblematic of the American predicament: maniacs and doofuses in charge of powerful institutions strategically positioned to wreck the country. For now, they strangely enjoy protection within this matrix of captive institutions while carrying out their nefarious missions. So, the question arises: do Americans wish to live in a wrecked country?

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Seneca.

The Age of Exterminations (VI): The Great Famine to Come (Ugo Bardi)

Note how, in the calculation, the world population decline starts around 2050, some three decades after the start of the crash of the industrial and agricultural systems. Why is it that the population keeps growing while people are starving? Unlikely, to say the least. It is hard to quantify people’s intention to have children or not have them, so the modelers used past data on birthrates as a function of the gross domestic product (GDP). It was equivalent to “running in reverse” the demographic transition that took place in the 1960s when natality had collapsed in many regions of the world in parallel with an increase of the GDP per capita. The result was that a contraction of the GDP would cause people to have more children? These assumptions were later reconsidered and different results were obtained in 2004.

Now, the population starts declining around 2030, less than a decade after that food production starts collapsing, and that looks much more reasonable. Yet, even this curve has problems: would you really believe that in the midst of the great turmoil of the global collapse the result would be such a gentle decline? More likely, all the four horsemen of the apocalypse would enter the game and generate a disastrous general crash. This is called the “Seneca Effect.” You see the typical shape of the Seneca Curve in the figure: decline is much faster than growth. Models such as the one used for the “Limits to Growth” cannot reproduce a really sharp Seneca Curve because they do not consider the many possible “tipping points” that may affect the world system. But the historical data tell us that the Seneca shape is the typical behavior of population collapses. Here is the example of the data for the great famine in Ireland (From Ugo Bardi’s book “The Seneca Effect.”) You can clearly see the “Seneca Shape” of the curve, with a sharp decline following growth.

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“..the federal government must show that the burden imposed furthers a “compelling governmental interest” and is “the least restrictive means” of furthering that interest.”

Biden’s “C’mon, Man” Defense Will Not Fly on Religious Freedom (Turley)

“Come on, man,” seems to be President Biden’s signature response to any uncomfortable question. The phrase is meant to be both dismissive and conclusive in ending inquiries, frequently used to counter reporters before often walking away. Indeed, it is so often repeated that it appears on T-Shirts or coffee mugs and in remixes. This week, however, it was not the pesky press but freedom itself that got hit with a version of the comeback. When asked during a CNN town hall program about those still objecting to taking COVID vaccines, Biden mocked them and their claimed rights with “Come on, ‘freedom.’ ” He then called for any police officers, firefighters, medical personnel or other first responders to be fired en masse if they refuse to be vaccinated.

Biden’s response to the question was applauded by the CNN audience, as if to say “Freedomm Ptff, that is so last century.” And he reduced any vaccine refusals to claiming “I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID.” He is not alone in such rhetoric. Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared that police officers refusing to take vaccines are insurrectionists. The problem is that the courts already recognize some religious exemption arguments. Those arguments are based on both the constitutional protection of religious values but also laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000e-2(a), which declares unlawful any “employment practice for an employer … to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individual’s … religion.”

The federal government also is subject to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which prohibits the government and other covered entities like the District of Columbia from “substantially burden[ing]” a person’s exercise of religion. Under RFRA, there is no “Come on, man,” defense. Instead, the federal government must show that the burden imposed furthers a “compelling governmental interest” and is “the least restrictive means” of furthering that interest. There is a move in many states to refuse to allow such exemptions, but courts have pushed back. In New York, the state is appealing a preliminary injunction against its refusal to allow religious exemptions to its vaccine mandate. A lower court found the governor’s mandate “has effectively foreclosed the pathway to seeking a religious accommodation that is guaranteed under Title VII.”

Likewise, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals this month affirmed such a preliminary injunction against Western Michigan University. The university allowed students to ask for individual exemptions but failed to grant religious exemptions under its discretionary policy.

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“The deal caused Tesla’s market valuation to hit the $1 trillion mark.”

“It’s a striking decision given that Hertz filed for bankruptcy last year..”

Hertz Orders 100,000 Teslas For Rental Cars (Byte)

Rental car company Hertz has ordered 100,000 Tesla Model 3s as part of a massive push to electrify its fleet — the largest purchase of electric vehicles ever, according to Bloomberg. It’s a massive deal reportedly worth $4.2 billion, pushing the automaker’s valuation past the $1 trillion mark for the first time ever. Shares were just two dollars shy of reaching the $1,000 mark on Monday, a new record for the Elon Musk-led company. Musk’s own net value soared in response to the news as well, crossing the quarter trillion mark. “Electric vehicles are now mainstream, and we’ve only just begun to see rising global demand and interest,” Hertz interim CEO Mark Fields told Reuters.


It’s a striking decision given that Hertz filed for bankruptcy last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the company’s market value has recovered, Bloomberg reports. Even more so, it’s a major win for Tesla, giving vast numbers of potential customers a first-hand look at the electric carmaker’s offerings when they travel. Bloomberg reports that Hertz is hoping to push maintenance and refueling costs down by switching to electric cars, as well as planning to build out a customers-only charger network. To celebrate the deal, Hertz hired quarterback celeb Tom Brady for a cheesy ad, showing off its new Tesla fleet. Now, the ball is in Tesla’s court to deliver the vehicles. “There is quite an execution journey ahead of us,” Tesla CFO Zachary Kirkhorn told Reuters.

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“‘It would be such a stain on the system in this country that I certainly hope there will be enough pressure and realisation of how devastating it would be for this country ..”

‘Unthinkable’ For High Court To Lift US Extradition Ban On Julian Assange (DM)

The editor-in chief of WikiLeaks believes it would be ‘unthinkable’ for the High Court to lift a US extradition ban on website founder Julian Assange. Speaking ahead of a crunch hearing at the High Court this week, Kristinn Hrafnsson said would be ‘totally unacceptable’ for judges to overturn a decision blocking the extradition of the Australian activist. The High Court is due to hear an appeal this week against a January decision not to extradite the 50-year-old to face charges relating to WikiLeaks’ publication of secret military files due to concerns that he would be a suicide risk in a US prison. And Mr Hrafnsson told a press briefing in London on Monday: ‘It is unthinkable that the High Court will come to any other decision but to uphold the magistrates’ court decision. Anything else is totally unacceptable.


‘It would be such a stain on the system in this country that I certainly hope there will be enough pressure and realisation of how devastating it would be for this country if somehow the judge comes to the decision of reversing the magistrates’ court decision.’ The briefing panel, which also included Mr Assange’s lawyer and partner Stella Moris and director of international campaigns at Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Rebecca Vincent, said the forthcoming hearing follows an investigation, published by Yahoo News, which alleged plots to abduct or kill Mr Assange. A security firm, under investigation in Madrid, is also alleged to have spied on Mr Assange on behalf of the CIA while he was in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and been part of the alleged plot. Ms Moris said: ‘This is a game-changer going into the appeal because it shows the true nature, the true origins, the true criminality of the US actions against Julian and it completely taints any semblance of legality of this appeal going into it.’

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It certainly should be.

Allegation Of CIA Murder Plot Game-changer In Assange Extradition Hearing (R.)

The partner of Julian Assange said on Monday a media report that the CIA had plotted to kill or kidnap the WikiLeaks founder was a game-changer in his fight against extradition from Britain to the United States. U.S. authorities will this week begin their appeal against a British judge’s refusal to extradite Assange – who is wanted on 18 criminal charges including breaking a spying law – because his mental health problems meant he would be at risk of suicide. Last month, Yahoo News reported CIA officials had drawn up options for former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration for dealing with Assange while he was holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, including assassinating or kidnapping him.

[..] “This (Yahoo report) is a game changer going into the appeal because it shows the true nature, the true origins, the true criminality of the U.S. actions against Julian,” his fiancee Stella Moris, with whom Assange has had two children, told reporters. WikiLeaks came to prominence when it began to publish thousands of secret classified files and diplomatic cables in 2010. Soon afterwards Sweden sought Assange’s extradition from Britain over allegations of sex crimes. When he lost that case against extradition in 2012, he fled to the Ecuadorean embassy. He was finally dragged out from the embassy in April 2019 and jailed for breaching British bail conditions, although the Swedish case against him had already been dropped.

U.S. authorities then sought his extradition. Although the British judge on Jan. 4 rejected Assange’s arguments that the case was political and an assault on freedom of speech, Moris said there was a real risk that, if found guilty, he would be held in a maximum security prison in almost total isolation. That would lead him to attempting suicide, Moris concluded. U.S. lawyers aim to challenge the ruling against U.S. extradition and the evidence given by a key expert at a two-day High Court appeal hearing in London starting on Wednesday. No result is immediately expected, and Moris said the process could be fast, with Assange extradited by next summer, or it could take years. “Both prospects are terrifying,” she said. Currently, Assange is being held at London’s top security Belmarsh Prison where Moris visited him on Saturday, saying he looked very thin. “He was looking very unwell,” she said.

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Kevin Gosztola spells it all out.

A Guide To The US Appeal In The Assange Extradition Case (Gosztola)

On October 27, the High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom will hear the Crown Prosecution Service argue on behalf of the United States government that a lower court improperly blocked the U.S. from extraditing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The proceedings in London are expected to last two days and will involve five grounds for appeal that were previously approved by the High Court of Justice. (Two were reinstated by the court after a hearing on August 11.) District Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled on January 4 that Assange’s mental health was such that it would be “oppressive to extradite him” to the U.S. But two days later, she accepted the U.S. government’s objections and ordered him to remain in jail while her decision was appealed.

Assange is detained at Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh in London, a high-security prison where he has been held since he was expelled from the Ecuador Embassy on April 11, 2019. He faces 18 charges—17 of which are charges under the Espionage Act. The Espionage Act is a U.S. law passed in 1917 that the Justice Department has increasingly wielded against media sources who share “classified” documents or talk about sensitive information with journalists. Because Assange is the first publisher to be charged under the law, press freedom organizations around the world have roundly condemned the political prosecution. It also is part of a troubling development where the U.S. government increasingly seeks to impose its domestic laws on foreign nationals. Assange is an Australian citizen and has no ties whatsoever to the United States.

Each of the charges, aside from a conspiracy to commit a computer crime offense, solely relate to the documents that were submitted by U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning to WikiLeaks in 2010: the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, the U.S. State Embassy cables, and the Guantanamo Files. The general allegations in the indictment against Assange directly criminalize the publication of information.

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Still eating
https://twitter.com/i/status/1452481253647785996

 

 

 

 

You may have noticed that: 13 x 13 = 169 and 31 x 31 = 961 which makes the two operations true even if read in reverse.
But this is not the only case.

 

 

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

 

Jun 142021
 


Vittorio Matteo Corcos Sogni (Dreams) 1896

 

79% Of Democrats Support Employers Forcing Workers To Get Covid-19 Jabs (RT)
‘Pretty Safe’ Jab Will Protect Kids From Variant (ST)
CDC Claims Covid-19 Kills ‘Healthy Young Children’ (JTN)
The Killer in the Bloodstream: the “Spike Protein” (Whitney)
UK Lockdown End To Be Delayed (Pol.eu)
MP Warns Brits ‘Have To Learn To Live With Covid’ For ‘Rest Of Time’ (RT)
Why Is Britain Now The Capital Of Long Covid? (T.)
Wisconsin Top Court: Health Agency Lacks Power To Close Schools Over Covid (JTN)
Too Fat To Fly: FAA Updates Guidelines As American Obesity Crisis Grows (Fed.)
Biden Calls For Access To Wuhan Labs (RT)
Biden-Putin: What’s On The Table (ZH)
“Tesla Only Sold ~10%” Of Its Bitcoin Holdings: Musk Speaks, Bitcoin Moves (WS)

 

 

Look how young these inoculated kids are! 236 injuries and fatalities from vaccines in the 0-1 month old group!

 

 

Eric Clapton doesn’t agree

 

 

And that makes it alright?

79% Of Democrats Support Employers Forcing Workers To Get Covid-19 Jabs (RT)

A new poll shows that Democrats and Republicans are just about as divided on an employee’s right to choose whether to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as they are on a woman’s right to choose whether to abort her unborn child. Nearly 80% of Democrats agreed that employers should be able to force their workers to get Covid-19 shots, according to a CBS News-YouGov poll released on Sunday. In contrast, only 39% of Republicans approved of giving businesses such authority over their employees’ medical choices. The overall response was 56-44 in favor of forced jabs. Supporters of the two major parties are more split on vaccine choice than on Covid-19 inoculation in general. While 95% of Democrats have already been vaccinated or are at least considering it, 71% of Republicans are on board or thinking about taking the jab, the poll showed.

That result suggests some improvement in vaccine acceptance in the past two months. A Monmouth University poll released in mid-April indicated that 43% of Republicans don’t intend to get vaccinated against the virus. In the CBS News-YouGov survey, 29% of Republicans said they had ruled out the shots. Overall, only 18% of respondents said they won’t get vaccinated, while 71% said they had either already gotten a jab or planned to do so. The other 11% were undecided. The issue of employer-mandated vaccination is heating up, as a Texas judge on Saturday issued the nation’s first federal court ruling on whether workers can be ordered to receive Covid-19 shots.

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“Pretty” safe? Is that a slip of the tongue, or is it a warning?

‘Pretty Safe’ Jab Will Protect Kids From Variant (ST)

A scientist advising the government has declared that there is now a “very strong argument” to vaccinate children against the coronavirus as infections rise and evidence emerges that vaccination is “pretty safe”. Professor Peter Openshaw, vice-chairman of Nervtag, a committee that looks out for emerging respiratory threats, said there were indications that the Indian variant was more transmissible among children than the original Wuhan strain. Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It strengthens the argument for extending vaccination to children. I’ve been sitting on the fence on this one, but on balance I’m coming to the view that there’s a very strong argument we should go there.


“Evidence has come out about the safety and efficacy of generating an antibody response in children. It looks like it is pretty safe and there are no adverse signals.” Coronavirus testing in secondary schools has collapsed in recent weeks, according to NHS Test and Trace. Nearly two thirds of secondary school pupils failed to take a test in the week before half-term. Data from Public Health England shows 282 Covid-19 outbreaks in schools in the past four weeks, compared with 88 in the previous four weeks.

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“In reviewing the medical literature and news reports, and in talking to pediatricians across the country, I am not aware of a single healthy child in the U.S. who has died of COVID-19 to date..”

CDC Claims Covid-19 Kills ‘Healthy Young Children’ (JTN)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now claims that “healthy young children” can die from COVID-19. Marty Makary wants to see the evidence. “In reviewing the medical literature and news reports, and in talking to pediatricians across the country, I am not aware of a single healthy child in the U.S. who has died of COVID-19 to date,” the Johns Hopkins University professor of medicine and public health said Thursday. Archived versions of the CDC’s web page comparing COVID-19 and seasonal influenza show that it revised the “differences” in the section “People at High-Risk for Severe Illness” sometime between May 31 and June 8.

“The risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19,” the earlier version says. “However, infants and children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for both flu and COVID-19.” The new version flips the emphasis as well as adding a new claim. “Overall, COVID-19 seems to cause more serious illnesses in some people,” it begins. “For young children, especially children younger than 5 years old, the risk of serious complications is higher for flu compared with COVID-19. However, serious COVID-19 illness resulting in hospitalization and death can occur even in healthy young children.”

Makary’s article in MedPage Today, a clinical news publisher where he serves as editor in chief, pushes back on calls to vaccinate kids ages 0 to 12 without comorbidities. He also recommends parents avoid vaccinating children who have recovered from COVID-19 infections, continuing his argument that natural immunity is just as good if not better than vaccine immunity. “The case to vaccinate kids is there, but it’s not compelling right now,” Makary wrote. He’s part of a movement of doctors at medical institutions around the world calling for far more cost-benefit analysis of COVID-19 vaccines for low-risk populations such as children.

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“..the spike protein is deadly even absent the virus. ..”

The Killer in the Bloodstream: the “Spike Protein” (Whitney)

The Spike Protein is a “uniquely dangerous” transmembrane fusion protein that is an integral part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. “The S protein plays a crucial role in penetrating host cells and initiating infection.” It also damages the cells in the lining of the blood vessel walls which leads to blood clots, bleeding, massive inflammation and death. To say that the spike protein is merely “dangerous”, is a vast understatement. It is a potentially-lethal pathogen that has already killed tens of thousands of people. So, why did the vaccine manufacturers settle on the spike protein as an antigen that would induce an immune response in the body? That’s the million-dollar question, after all, for all practical purposes, the spike protein is a poison. We know that now due to research that was conducted at the Salk Institute. Here’s a summary of what they found:

“Salk researchers and collaborators show how the protein damages cells, confirming COVID-19 as a primarily vascular disease…. SARS-CoV-2 virus damages and attacks the vascular system (aka–The circulatory system) on a cellular level… scientists studying other coronaviruses have long suspected that the spike protein contributed to damaging vascular endothelial cells, but this is the first time the process has been documented…. … the spike protein alone was enough to cause disease. Tissue samples showed inflammation in endothelial cells lining the pulmonary artery walls. The team then replicated this process in the lab, exposing healthy endothelial cells (which line arteries) to the spike protein. They showed that the spike protein damaged the cells by binding ACE2…“If you remove the replicating capabilities of the virus, it still has a major damaging effect on the vascular cells, simply by virtue of its ability to bind to this ACE2 receptor, the S protein receptor, now famous thanks to COVID.”

Remember how everyone laughed at Trump when he said injecting household bleach would cure Covid? How is this any different? It’s not different, and whatever modest protection the vaccines provide as far as immunity, it pales in comparison to the risks they pose to personal health and survival. And did you notice what the author said about stripping-out the virus and leaving the spike protein alone?’ He said “it still has a major damaging effect” implying ‘blood clots, bleeding and severe inflammation.’ In other words, the spike protein is deadly even absent the virus. Here’s how Dr. Byram Bridle (who is a viral immunologist and associate professor at University of Guelph, Ontario) summed it up:

“We made a big mistake. We didn’t realize it until now… We thought the spike protein was a great target antigen, we never knew the spike protein itself was a toxin and was a pathogenic protein. So, by vaccinating people we are inadvertently inoculating them with a toxin.” Think about that for a minute. This is a very big deal, in fact, this is the critical piece of the puzzle that has been missing for the last 15 months. Just as the respiratory virus concealed the real killing-agent in Covid, (the spike protein) so too, the relentless hype surrounding mass-vaccination has concealed the glaring problem with the vaccines themselves, which is, they generate a substance that is “capable of causing disease.”

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How bad will the backlash be?

UK Lockdown End To Be Delayed (Pol.eu)

The U.K.’s final lifting of lockdown restrictions on June 21 is expected to be pushed back by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a press conference on Monday evening, a government official confirmed to London Playbook. Multiple outlets report that Johnson, alongside cabinet members Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock have signed off on a month-long delay, after scientific advisers urged the prime minister to allow enough time for more people to get fully vaccinated. On Friday, The Sun reported that July 19 would be proposed as the new “Freedom Day” of lockdown end, with a review of numbers on July 5 that could see some or all restrictions lifted early.

“The prime minister sees this as the final stretch and wants people to be patient. We are nearly there, it’s one last haul,” a government source told The Times. The rules currently in place that will be kept include the wearing of face masks and limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings. The reopening of nightclubs is also set to be delayed. On the other hand, according to the Financial Times, some allowances may be made for weddings, allowing for larger gatherings as is the case for funerals. Health minister Edward Argar told Sky News on Monday that weddings and those who plan to wed “will be very much in [Johnson’s] mind at the moment.”

Despite reports that Sunak is not planning to extend the furlough scheme to support businesses, Argar said Johnson is “very mindful of the need for businesses and others to get what they need if they continue to be locked down.” On Sunday, 7,490 new COVID cases were reported in the U.K., a considerable increase from 5,341 a week before, on June 6.

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“If our very effective vaccines cannot deliver us freedom from restrictions, then nothing ever will.”

MP Warns Brits ‘Have To Learn To Live With Covid’ For ‘Rest Of Time’ (RT)

Covid Recovery Group chairman and MP Mark Harper opposes delays in the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, arguing Brits will “have to learn to live with” the virus now that the vulnerable are jabbed, or suffer constant lockdown. Harper took to Twitter after an article on Sunday in the Telegraph citing an unnamed minister claimed the planned lockdown-easing date of June 21 could be delayed until as late as next spring due to the government’s concern about the spread of Covid-19 variants. The Forest of Dean MP warned in response that it “would be devastating for business confidence, people’s livelihoods and wellbeing” if the reopening were delayed, and would send “a clear message to employers and workers that, when Covid cases increase this (and every) autumn and winter, they cannot rely on Govt to keep our society open.”


“Now that the most vulnerable have been protected with their vaccine doses, we have to learn to live with this virus, rather than endure seasonal on-off lockdowns and restrictions,” Harper argued, noting that Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has warned that coronavirus mutations “will appear for the rest of time.” Harper also pointed out that the most vulnerable people in the UK – who account for 99% of Covid-19 deaths and 80% of hospitalisations – will all have been offered two vaccine jabs by June 21, making it safer than ever to reopen. “We have to learn to live with it,” concluded Harper. “If our very effective vaccines cannot deliver us freedom from restrictions, then nothing ever will.”

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“Many of these patients don’t really believe mental illness will explain their symptoms. They want something tangible, something external like the virus.”

Why Is Britain Now The Capital Of Long Covid? (T.)

In April, the NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens promised to have 83 long Covid clinics open by the end of the month. The Office for National Statistics has estimated that more than 1 million people in Britain have suffered from long Covid. Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College, London, has predicted that long Covid could represent a long-term burden on the NHS comparable to arthritis, which costs the service an estimated £10 billion a year, some 8 per cent of the health budget. Altmann estimates that as many as 20 per cent of Covid sufferers could have longer symptoms; many of them will be younger patients who didn’t initially face severe illness.

It seems Britain is the long Covid capital of the world. This became immediately apparent to me upon moving back here from the US last month. American media has led much of the discussion on long Covid, but fear of the syndrome hasn’t penetrated public sentiment the way it has in Britain, where many young people are terrified of getting the virus not because they fear it will kill them, but because of the potentially debilitating after-effects. The question is why? Is there more long Covid here? And if so, for what reason? Are we simply doing a better job of diagnosing and discussing it, much as we lead the world in using genomic sequencing to find new Covid variants? Or might there be other cultural and societal factors underpinning our pervasive long Covid issue?

The answer could well be some combination of the above. The difficulty in researching long Covid is that every expert that you ask gives you a slightly different answer as to what the illness is and what causes it. “The simple answer is I don’t know [what causes this] and nor does anybody else,” says Dr Paul Harrison, head of Oxford University’s Translational Neurobiology Group. “We have to start with ‘nobody knows’ and keep that uncertainty — and therefore open-mindedness — at the forefront of our approach.” [..] “It’s psychosomatic,” says Jeremy Devine, a resident psychiatrist at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. In March, he wrote a controversial column for The Wall Street Journal, arguing that long Covid was being incorrectly used as a catch-all for a whole host of ailments and issues, many of them psychological. There was a fierce backlash, with several UK-based patient groups writing furious letters to his supervisors.

“People do not like psychological explanations for physical symptoms,” he says. “They want something that’s perceived as real. Many of these patients don’t really believe mental illness will explain their symptoms. They want something tangible, something external like the virus.”

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“What is reasonable and necessary cannot be reasonably read to encompass anything and everything.”

Wisconsin Top Court: Health Agency Lacks Power To Close Schools Over Covid (JTN)

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled against the city of Madison’s public health agency in a dispute over the power to close schools during the pandemic. A top city health official decried Friday’s decision, saying it would put children at risk. “The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that local health officers cannot close schools within their jurisdictions. We are extremely disappointed in the court’s decision, which has much further reaching implications than just this current pandemic,” health director Janel Heinrich said.. “This decision hinders the ability of local health officers in Wisconsin to prevent and contain public health threats for decades to come.”


The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty brought the case. WILL argued that Public Health Madison & Dane County overstepped its bounds by unilaterally ordering all schools, public and private, to close. WILL also argued the order infringed on parents’ rights to decide about their children’s education. Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote the majority opinion, saying Heinrich’s office had relied on an over-generalized reading of state law. “The power to take measures ‘reasonable and necessary’ cannot be reasonably read as an open-ended grant of authority,” Bradley wrote. “If Heinrich’s argument were correct, then the general provision would essentially afford local health officers any powers necessary to limit the spread of communicable diseases. This cannot be. What is reasonable and necessary cannot be reasonably read to encompass anything and everything.”

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One of the main causes of disease and death, also for Covid, and nothing is done about it whatsoever.

Too Fat To Fly: FAA Updates Guidelines As American Obesity Crisis Grows (Fed.)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is demanding U.S. airlines submit plans with updated weight averages they will use for passengers and baggage moving forward by Saturday. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Airlines officials say the weight estimates used for passengers and baggage are going up between 5 percent and 10 percent.” “That will affect some flights, possibly requiring that more passengers get bumped or more baggage left behind,” the Journal reported. The new guidelines, and likely travel disruptions to come with them, are yet another symptom of American weight gain with no signs of abatement.

While the novel coronavirus — a virus exacerbated by excessive weight where 78 percent of those hospitalized with infection were overweight or obese — should have served as a wake-up call to the decades-long obesity crisis, Americans instead packed on the pounds with apparently little concern. According to a global Ipsos poll in January, two in five Americans reported gaining weight throughout the lockdowns still in place at the time. Those surveyed said they put on an average of more than 14 pounds, putting the U.S. seventh out of 30 countries in terms of pandemic weight gain. Most Americans appeared relatively unbothered by the weight. Less than half said they believed there was a link between obesity and complications from COVID-19 which data determined early on was a major risk contributor.

“Since the pandemic began,” Science Magazine reported in September, “dozens of studies have reported that many of the sickest COVID-19 patients have been people with obesity.” Overweight patients in one study published in August cited by the flagship journal were 113 percent more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to patients of an otherwise healthy weight. Obese patients were found 74 percent more likely to end up in intensive care units (ICU) and 48 percent more likely to die. Pre-pandemic, more than 70 percent of adults 20 years old and older were already overweight with 42 percent categorically “obese” according to the CDC.

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Never has rhetoric been more empty.

Biden Calls For Access To Wuhan Labs (RT)

US President Joe Biden revealed on Sunday that he and other leaders in the G7 spoke about gaining access to the laboratories in Wuhan, China to determine whether Covid-19 was the result of a Chinese experiment gone wrong. During a press conference at the G7 conference in Cornwall, England on Sunday, Biden called on China to start acting “more responsibly in terms of international norms on human rights and transparency.” The president then revealed that one of the concerns he and other leaders at G7 had raised was that “we haven’t had access to the laboratories to determine whether or not” Covid-19 was the result of bats in Chinese marketplaces “interfacing with animals and the environment,” or “an experiment gone awry in a laboratory.”


“I have not reached a conclusion because our intelligence community is not certain yet,” Biden said, adding, however, that it was “important to know the answer” so the international community could predict and prevent another pandemic from happening in the future. “The world has to have access,” he argued, concluding that he and other leaders were trying to figure out a way to gain transparency. Former president Donald Trump has repeatedly argued that Covid-19 came from a Wuhan laboratory, and told podcast host Dan Bongino last month that he had “very, very little doubt” the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. In a statement on Thursday, he demanded that China pay $10 trillion in “reparations” to the world for “what they allowed to happen.”

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Biden is outclassed 1000x. He comes with nothing.

Biden-Putin: What’s On The Table (ZH)

There is a lot of optimism and big press regarding the upcoming meeting between Biden and Putin. This will be the first meeting of the two since Biden took that seat behind the lovely desk in the Oval Office. There are many issues on the table for discussion and there is tension and excitement in the political press in both the West and especially in Russia. There is a growing belief that this could be a turning point or at least provide some small nudging of relations in a positive direction. This wishful thinking, although pleasant from a moral standpoint, does not reflect the realities of the current divide between the United States and Russia. This meeting simply cannot provide some sort of new start for relations between the countries and will probably look like a head-nodding and pretending-to-listen fest the likes of which we have never seen before.

Hours worth of hot air will be blown to throw words onto deaf ears with some background posturing to boot. One reason for the Russians to be suspicious of any offers from Washington is simply recent precedent. Over ten years ago when Obama was still full of Hope and Change his feisty new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a great big smile presented Foreign Minister Lavrov the infamous Russian Reset Button. The red button had the word “overload” accidentally written on it in place of “reset”. This mistake due to a fake desire to make it seem like Washington cared enough to learn one word of Russian was very telling as during the brief era of the Russian Reset, America’s Soft Power machine was working day and night to organize the Maidan in Kiev.

From a Western perspective this revolution was another piece of evidence that the people of Eastern Europe want nothing to do with naughty Moscow, but from a Russian perspective the Maidan was the beginning of an endless waking nightmare. This all led to the genocidal war in the Donbass breaking out, the return of Neo-Nazism to Europe, and the now official systemic racism that Russian speakers have to endure in the “Zimbabwe of Europe”. After an experience like that, can one really expect any sort of optimism from the Russian side because Biden sort of stepped back a bit on the whole Nord-Stream 2 thing?

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“But Musk walks on water, and he can assert anything, no problem.”

“Tesla Only Sold ~10%” Of Its Bitcoin Holdings: Musk Speaks, Bitcoin Moves (WS)

Why can’t this dude just shut up? That’s what people, including the SEC, want to know. But look, he just can’t. Apparently, no one can take his Twitter account away from Elon Musk, and Tesla isn’t putting it under adult supervision, as the SEC has suggested. So he was at it again today, responding to accusations by Magda Wierzycka, CEO of South African tech and financial services firm Sygnia, that he’d pumped up the price of Bitcoin by tweeting all manner of things, and then “sold a big part of his exposure at the peak.” So yes. Musk acknowledged in his tweet today that Tesla had in fact dumped part of its holdings of Bitcoin, but he argued that it wasn’t a big part, that it had “only sold ~10%” of its Bitcoin holdings.

And he came up with a rationalization why Tesla had dumped 10% of its Bitcoin holdings: “to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market.” That was a joke apparently. Over the past two months, the price of Bitcoin plunged from about $64,800 to around $33,000 at the low and now hovers at $39,000, after the current Musk-induced spike, with the plunge leaving a big-fat question market over his assertion that Bitcoin could be “liquidated easily without moving market.” But Musk walks on water, and he can assert anything, no problem. The second part of Musk’s tweet contained an effort to pump up the price of BTC by walking back his assertion in May that Tesla would no longer allow customers to pay for vehicles with Bitcoin because of the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining, which was another one of his Bitcoin 180s.

At the time, that statement had whacked the price of Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining is of course the fiat-currency equivalent of “money printing.” But money printing has a tiny carbon footprint, because it needs just enough electricity to move credits by computer and the internet. You don’t need huge arrays of special mining rigs with special power supply and cooling equipment to print money. So today he tried to walk back his carbon-foot print concern, by tweeting: “When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.”

Read more …

 

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May 132021
 


Daniel Garber The quarry 1917

 

Public Health and the Triumph of Irrationality (CP)
Your Immune System Evolves to Fight Coronavirus Variants (SciAm)
Covid Pandemic Was Preventable, Says WHO-commissioned Report (G.)
Covid Surges In 4 Of 5 Most Vaccinated Countries (F.)
Ivermectin Tablets To Be Distributed Among Uttarakhand Residents (OneIndia)
Could Indian Variant Jeopardise UK Unlocking Plan? (DM)
Merriam-Webster: ‘Anti-Vaxxer’ Now Includes Those Who Oppose Forced Jabs (RT)
124 Retired Generals And Admirals Question Biden’s Mental Health (Hill)
Tesla Will Stop Accepting Bitcoin As Payment Due To Fossil Fuel Use (JTN)
Man Who Alleges He Created Bitcoin Takes £4bn Claim To London High Court (R.)
France Aims To Shut British Firms Out Of EU Financial System (ZH)

 

 

I put this chart here to start a discussion on Covid and different blood types. Shoot.

 

 

 

Does anyone still realize how short we’ve become on science and rationality in the Covid response? And how we claim the exact opposite?

Public Health and the Triumph of Irrationality (CP)

It’s been inspiring to see how the nation has pulled together to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s also been puzzling, however, in that it’s so out of character with the attitude Americans have otherwise taken to issues of public health. According to a recent article in the New York Times, cancer killed almost twice as many Americans in 2020 as COVID, and heart disease killed more than twice as many. That is, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the U.S. even during the most lethal period of the COVID epidemic, and cancer was second. Twenty-one percent of the deaths in the U.S. in 2020 were from heart disease and 18% from cancer, as opposed to only 10% from COVID. My point here is not that we should have been less concerned about COVID than we were. My point is that if we care so much about public health, why are we doing next to nothing to reduce the death toll of these two far more lethal threats?

Take heart disease. Not only do we know what causes it and how to prevent it, prevention is far easier than is the prevention of COVID. The causes of heart disease are things such as obesity, poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, and lack of exercise. It would be relatively easy to tackle these problems. We could outlaw the sales of jumbo-sized sugary drinks, limit legal amounts of sugar and fats in processed foods, outlaw smoking, establish legal limits on the sales on alcohol, and mandate short supervised exercise periods in workplaces.

Americans are generally hesitant to impose what many have traditionally taken to be excessive legislative measures to protect public health. There was enormous support, however, for the legally-mandated extended lockdown measures and mask requirements to protect people from COVID, so why is there so little support for more moderate legislative measures to protect Americans from these greater threats to their health? The attempted ban on jumbo-sized sugary drinks was so short-lived that most people no longer even remember it. We’ve done a great deal to limit smoking in the U.S., but even with those measures it continues to be a huge threat to public health. If we can shut down businesses to protect people from COVID, why can’t we shut down the tobacco industry to protect people from the ravages of smoking (which affects not only smokers, but everyone in close proximity to them, not to mention imposing enormous costs on the healthcare system)? Bars and restaurants can, in theory, be held legally liable for serving alcohol to obviously inebriated customers, but in practice that law is seldom enforced and we have no legal limits whatever on the sales of alcohol in retail outlets.

Obesity makes people more vulnerable to death not merely from heart disease, but also from COVID, but while we are going to unprecedented links to protect people from dying of COVID, we’re doing nothing to protect them from becoming obese. In fact, we are arguably encouraging obesity by our quiescence relative to the amounts of sugar and fat typically found in processed foods and grotesquely exaggerated restaurant portion sizes.

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Most people can have faith in their immune systems. But less so when they’re “vaccinated”.

Your Immune System Evolves to Fight Coronavirus Variants (SciAm)

A lot of worry has been triggered by discoveries that variants of the pandemic-causing coronavirus can be more infectious than the original. But now scientists are starting to find some signs of hope on the human side of this microbe-host interaction. By studying the blood of COVID survivors and people who have been vaccinated, immunologists are learning that some of our immune system cells—which remember past infections and react to them—might have their own abilities to change, countering mutations in the virus. What this means, scientists think, is that the immune system might have evolved its own way of dealing with variants.

“Essentially, the immune system is trying to get ahead of the virus,” says Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at the Rockefeller University, who conducted some recent studies that tracked this phenomenon. The emerging idea is that the body maintains reserve armies of antibody-producing cells in addition to the original cells that responded to the initial invasion by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID. Over time some reserve cells mutate and produce antibodies that are better able to recognize new viral versions. “It’s really elegant mechanism that that we’ve evolved, basically, to be able to handle things like variants,” says Marion Pepper, an immunologist at the University of Washington, who was not involved in Nussenzweig’s research. Whether there are enough of these cells, and their antibodies, to confer protection against a shape-shifting SARS-CoV-2 is still being figured out.

Last April, when the pandemic was reaching its first peak in New York City, Nussenzweig and his colleagues sprang into action and began collecting the blood of COVID survivors. There were disturbing early reports of reinfection and waning antibodies, and the scientists wanted to understand how long the immune system could sustain its ability to respond to the novel threat. They took blood samples from people who had been hit by SARS-CoV-2 one month after the infection and then again six months later. What the scientists found was somewhat encouraging. Blood collected at the later date did have lower levels of circulating antibodies, but that made sense because the infection had cleared. And levels of the cells that make antibodies, called memory B cells, remained constant or even increased in some people over time. After an infection, these cells hang around in the body’s lymph nodes and maintain the ability to recognize the virus. If a person gets infected a second time, memory B cells activate, quickly produce antibodies and block the virus from creating a second serious infection.

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But then we put the WHO in charge…

Covid Pandemic Was Preventable, Says WHO-commissioned Report (G.)

The Covid pandemic was a preventable disaster that need not have cost millions of lives if the world had reacted more quickly, according to an independent high-level panel, which castigates global leaders and calls for major changes to bring it to an end and ensure it cannot happen again. The report of the panel, chaired by the former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a former president of Liberia, found “weak links at every point in the chain”. It said preparation was inconsistent and underfunded, the alert system too slow and too meek, while the World Health Organization was underpowered. It concluded the response had exacerbated inequalities. “Global political leadership was absent,” the report said. Clark described February 2020 as “a month of lost opportunity to avert a pandemic, as so many countries chose to wait and see”.

“For some, it wasn’t until hospital ICU beds began to fill that more action was taken,” she said. “And by then it was too late to avert the pandemic impact. What followed then was a winner takes all scramble for PPE and therapeutics. Globally, health workers were tested to their limits and the rates of infection, illness and death soared and continue to soar.” Sirleaf said: “The situation we find ourselves in today could have been prevented. An outbreak of a new pathogen, Sars CoV-2 became a catastrophic pandemic that has now killed more than 3.25 million people, and continues to threaten lives and livelihoods all over the world. It is due to a myriad of failures, gaps and delays in preparedness and response. This was partly due to failure to learn from the past.”

Urgent action must be taken, she said. “There are many reviews of previous health crises that include sensible recommendations. Yet, they sit gathering dust in UN basements and on government shelves … Our report shows that most countries of the world were simply not prepared for a pandemic.” The report was commissioned by the WHO director general at the instigation of member states, who called at the World Health Assembly in May last year for an impartial review of what happened and what could be learned from the pandemic. The panel calls for radical changes to bring heads of state together to oversee pandemic preparations, ensuring the finance and tools the world needs are in place. They want a faster-moving, better-resourced WHO. And they want a commitment now from leaders of affluent countries to supply vaccines for the rest of the world.

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If the Chinese vaccines don’t work, that leaves us with a lot of questions. Presumably, they wouldn’t work in China, either, for one thing.

Covid Surges In 4 Of 5 Most Vaccinated Countries (F.)

Countries with the world’s highest vaccination rates—including four of the top five most vaccinated—are fighting to contain coronavirus outbreaks that are, on a per-capita basis, higher than the surge devastating India, a trend that has experts questioning the efficacy of some vaccines (especially China’s Sinopharm) and the wisdom of easing restrictions even with most of the population vaccinated. Of the Seychelles, Israel, the UAE, Chile and Bahrain—respectively the world’s five most vaccinated countries—only Israel is not fighting to contain a dangerous surge in Covid-19 infections. Controlling for population, the Seychelles and Bahrain, alongside other highly vaccinated countries like the Maldives and Uruguay, recorded the highest number of daily coronavirus cases worldwide.

The Seychelles, a small island nation with almost double the U.S.’ vaccination rate, recorded 328 cases per 100,000 people, a far higher incidence than India (28) when population is accounted for. The outbreaks in vaccinated countries have sparked concern over how effective some of the Chinese vaccines are versus the western vaccines Israel used, including the Sinopharm vaccine the World Health Organization endorsed Friday that makes up a large part of the countries’ immunization programs. A relaxation of pandemic restrictions and mixed messaging from governments are also touted as potential explanations—tourism-reliant Seychelles and Maldives both (still) welcome tourists, Dubai exited lockdown rapidly and Chile loosened its restrictions and allowed domestic travel.

In many wealthy countries, vaccines have often been framed as the ultimate exit strategy from lockdown. Cases have declined in some countries executing successful and rapid campaigns, including the U.S., the U.K. and Israel, though experts point to places like Chile as a frightening example of what can happen if things are eased too quickly and warn a vaccine on its own is likely not enough. The efficacy of particular vaccines is likely to become a prominent concern as more countries begin to ramp up inoculation campaigns and there are concerns that some, like China’s Sinopharm vaccine, are far less effective at controlling the disease than those produced by the likes of Moderna and Pfizer. World leaders, including the head of the World Health Organization, issue frequent reminders that nobody is “safe until everyone is safe,” an issue underscored by the vast vaccine inequity between nations.

New, potentially more dangerous, variants are emerging across the globe, some of which could potentially evade existing vaccines. The WHO classified the B.1.617 variant tearing through India as a variant of concern Tuesday, noting it may be more infectious. 45%. All five of the world’s most vaccinated countries have at least this proportion of their population partially vaccinated. Data is available for Bahrain (47%), Chile (45%), Israel (60%) and the Seychelles (69%), with the UAE claiming third place thanks to its high number of doses given per capita (which is around 115,000 per 100,000 people; the UAE does not declare more granular data). The Seychelles (61%) and Israel (56%) also have the highest proportion of their population fully vaccinated, followed by Chile (38%) and Bahrain (35%). The U.S., where vaccination rates are declining in all but four states, sits just behind Chile and Bahrain, with 35% of its population now fully vaccinated and 46% partially.

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Pretty high doses recommended.

Ivermectin Tablets To Be Distributed Among Uttarakhand Residents (OneIndia)

The Uttarakhand government will be distributing Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug, among the residents of the state as a preventive medicine against the spread of COVID-19, a senior official said. The Uttarakhand government’s announcement comes after Goa and Karnataka issued similar directions. The decision was taken on the recommendation of the state-level clinical technical committee, an order issued by Chief Secretary Om Prakash to all district magistrates said. The panel has recommended the Ivermectin tablet as “mass chemoprophylaxis” to effectively control the surge of COVID-19 infection apart from the vaccination drive, the order said. The 12 mg tablets of the drug will be distributed in a kit to all families through the health department and district magistrates, the order said.


Usually, Ivermectin tablets have to be taken by adults and those above 15 years twice daily for three days after breakfast and dinner. One person will thus need six tablets and a family of four will need 24 tablets. Hence, each kit will contain two dozen tablets, the order said. Children between 10-15 years will take only one tablet daily whereas those aged between 2 to 10 years can be administered the drug only after doctor’s advice. The tablet cannot be given to children below two years, pregnant women and those suffering from liver diseases, it said. The kit will come with directions on how to consume the medicine and dosage for different age groups. Information related to the daily distribution of the kits should be sent to the state nodal officer, the order said. Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane had on Monday said all people above 18 years will be given Ivermectin drug irrespective of their coronavirus status to bring down the number of deaths due to the viral disease.

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Sure.

Could Indian Variant Jeopardise UK Unlocking Plan? (DM)

India’s Covid variant is now dominant in four local authorities in England and its rapid spread could jeopardise plans to ease lockdown, experts fear. Analysis by one of the UK’s biggest variant trackers warns the strain is focused in hotspots Bolton and neighbour Blackburn with Darwen, where outbreaks have grown by 93 and 86 per cent in a week, respectively, with more than half of lab-checked cases proven to be the Indian strain. The mutant B.1.617.2 virus is also thought to be behind half of all Covid infections in London, Bedford and South Northamptonshire, although outbreaks in these areas are still small. Boris Johnson said in a statement to Parliament today that the variant was ‘of increasing concern’, warning that a strain that could slip past vaccines would have ‘potential to cause even greater suffering than we endured in January’.

No10’s top scientists fear it may be more transmissible than the currently dominant Kent variant (B.1.1.7) – with one Belgian scientist suggesting it could be 60 per cent faster-spreading – and that it could be behind a gradually rising infection rate in Britain. The UK today confirmed another 2,284 positive tests, up seven per cent on last Wednesday’s figure, along with 11 more deaths. Another 485,260 vaccines were given out yesterday, of which 350,000 were second doses. Early lab trials suggest the current vaccines will still protect against the Indian variants but there are concerns that a faster rate of spread could lead to a bigger outbreak, giving more opportunities for people to get reinfected. AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine appears to be protecting people from the Indian variant of the virus, reports suggest.

And Pfizer said in a report there was ‘no evidence’ its shot would need to be updated to fight off the current variants. Environment Secretary George Eustice has refused to rule out local lockdowns from next month when the national restrictions are expected to end, adding that officials were ‘closely monitoring’ several outbreaks that had cropped up in recent weeks. But the Prime Minister stayed optimistic about ending lockdown, saying he expects to scrap advice for people to work from home in June and adding that he anticipates town and city centres will be ‘full of bustle again’ soon.

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“Welcome to ‘1984.’ This is the Ministry of Truth..”

Merriam-Webster: ‘Anti-Vaxxer’ Now Includes Those Who Oppose Forced Jabs (RT)

Merriam-Webster is again redefining language to fit a narrative, this time framing its definition of “anti-vaxxer” to include not only people who oppose vaccination, but also those who are against inoculation mandates. The definition on Merriam-Webster’s website says “anti-vaxxer” means “a person who opposes vaccination or laws that mandate vaccination.” It’s not clear when it was written to include opposition to forced jabs, but many observers noticed for the first time on Wednesday. “Welcome to ‘1984.’ This is the Ministry of Truth,” rapper and podcaster Zuby said on Twitter, referring to George Orwell’s dystopian novel.


Other reactions were similar, with many commenters noting that they now fit the dictionary definition of “anti-vaxxer,” even though they believe in the benefits of vaccinations and choose to receive the shots themselves. Merriam-Webster’s definition appears to dismiss the concept of favoring a product personally but being opposed, on principle, to forcing others to use it. Today, I begin my new life as an anti-vaxxer,” podcast host Matt Walsh said. The conservative Young America’s Foundation added that “when the Left control the language, they control the narrative.”

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ha ha ha

124 Retired Generals And Admirals Question Biden’s Mental Health (Hill)

A group of retired U.S. military admirals and generals signed a letter released Tuesday questioning President Biden’s fitness for office and seemingly challenging the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The letter, signed by 124 former military leaders and posted by Flag Officers 4 America, said the “Constitutional Republic is lost” without “fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the ‘will of the people.’” “The FBI and Supreme Court must act swiftly when election irregularities are surfaced and not ignore them as was done in 2020,” the letter added. Former Attorney General William Barr said in December the Justice Department uncovered no evidence of voter fraud that could have affected the outcome of the 2020 election, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

The signatories also questioned the “mental and physical condition of the Commander in Chief,” adding that national security issues require quick and “accurate” decisions “involving life and limb.” “Recent Democrat leadership’s inquiries about nuclear code procedures sends a dangerous national security signal to nuclear armed adversaries, raising the question about who is in charge,” the letter said. “We must always have an unquestionable chain of command.” While in office, former President Trump periodically questioned Biden’s mental capacity and age during the campaign season, at times referring to him as “sleepy Joe.”

Kevin O’Connor, the president’s doctor, released a report earlier this month maintaining that Biden is a “healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” Business Insider reported. The signatories additionally compared potential challenges to ideological battles not seen since America’s founding. “We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776,” they said. “The conflict is between supporters of Socialism and Marxism vs. supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty.” A statement on the Flag Officers 4 America website, says that although its members are no longer engaged in active military service, they are “bound by that oath to do what we can, in our capacity today, to protect our nation from the threats to her freedom.”

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Weeks after Musk says they will be accepted. Some PR.

Is Tesla going to take this policy to China?

Tesla Will Stop Accepting Bitcoin As Payment Due To Fossil Fuel Use (JTN)

Tesla’s Elon Musk announced on Wednesday that the electric vehicle company will no longer accept Bitcoin cryptocurrency as a payment method for automobiles due to the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining. “Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk posted. “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.”


However, the business magnate noted that Tesla will not sell off its substantial Bitcoin holdings and plans to resume accepting the cryptocurrency in the future when mining shifts to more sustainable energy. “Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.”

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Still a curious case.

Man Who Alleges He Created Bitcoin Takes £4bn Claim To London High Court (R.)

An Australian computer scientist who alleges he created bitcoin has launched a London high court lawsuit against 16 software developers in an effort to secure bitcoin worth around £4bn pounds (A$5.7bn) he says he owns. In a case that was promptly labelled “bogus” by one defendant, Craig Wright is demanding that developers allow him to retrieve about 111,000 bitcoins held at two digital addresses that he does not have private keys for. In his second London lawsuit in three weeks, Wright alleges he lost the encrypted keys when his home computer network was hacked in February 2020. Police are investigating.

Wright, who is bringing the case through his Seychelles-based Tulip Trading firm, concedes he is a controversial figure since alleging in 2016 that he wrote the bitcoin white paper – which first outlined the technology behind the digital assets – under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. The claim is hotly disputed. The Australian, who is autistic and lives in Britain with his wife and two of his three children, alleges in his latest lawsuit that developers have breached their duties to act in the best interests of the rightful owner of globally-traded assets.

“Our client has always maintained that he created bitcoin to operate within existing laws and that in the event of loss or theft, where legitimate ownership can be proven, the developers have a duty to ensure recovery,” said Paul Ferguson, a partner at law firm Ontier, which is representing Wright. The case is being brought against the developers of four networks – Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), Bitcoin Core (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Cash ABC (ABC) – at addresses in continental Europe, the US, New Zealand, Australia and Japan, a court filing seen by Reuters showed.

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It’s highly fashionable to try and ban countries from international financial systems.

France Aims To Shut British Firms Out Of EU Financial System (ZH)

As the spat between the UK and France over access to British fishing waters – a contentious issue that nearly scuppered the post-Brexit trade deal – worsens, France has apparently decided to go for the jugular. Last week, French officials threatened to cut off electricity to the UK-dominated island of Jersey while a “protest” staged by French fishermen nearly prompted a confrontation between British and French naval ships. Now, France is threatening to do everything in its power to scupper a EU deal that would broaden access to European markets for British financial firms.

In keeping with threats made by a French diplomat last week, Bloomberg reports that French diplomats are working to stall an agreement that would help restore some of the access British financial firms once enjoyed to European markets, which was lost when Brexit officially came into effect following the end of the transition and the start of 2021. Though it wouldn’t have much practical effect in the near term, reaching a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and the EU about plans to re-integrate their financial systems is seen by the UK as a critical first step to restoring the level of access they once enjoyed. Negotiations in Brussels later this month will bring EU leaders together to further the discuss a potential deal on market access. To be sure, the EU has said that it’s in no rush to restore the reciprocity rules that would restore trading rights for British financial firms.

Here’s more from BBG: “At the end of March, Britain and the EU had agreed on a forum regarding cross-border financial market access. While granting so-called equivalences that would allow U.K. financial firms to do business in Europe remains a separate and unilateral process, the MoU would help speed up the process. Since Brexit took effect at the beginning of 2021, London-based financial firms have been largely unable to operate in the bloc, forcing banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to move billions of dollars in assets and thousands of staff to the continent.”

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Mar 262021
 


Vincent van Gogh Scène de rue à Montmartre 1887

 

Biden’s Press Conference: Get Ready For President Kamala Harris (Malic)
Better Not Vaccinate Everyone: The Virus Will Not Disappear Anyway (G.nl)
Herd Immunity Is Near, Despite Fauci’s Denial (WSJ)
US Lockdowns Didn’t Stop Covid – But That Doesn’t Mean They’re Pointless (F>)
CNN’s Defense of Cuomo’s Special COVID Privileges is Grotesque (Greenwald)
Secret Service Inserted Itself Into Case Of Hunter Biden’s Gun (Pol.)
Tesla & Bitcoin Are Perfect Bedfellows (Mitch Feierstein)
US Imports Record Volumes Of Russian Oil Amid Growing Political Tensions (RT)
The Impending Saudi Defeat in Yemen (MPN)
‘It Might Take Weeks’ To Free ‘Beached Whale’ Ship Stuck In Suez Canal (RT)
Free Us From The Roving Cavaliers of Credit (Steve Keen)

 

 

Boris Johnson, 2004

“If I am ever asked to produce my ID card as evidence that I am who I say I am, when I have done nothing wrong then I will take that card out of my wallet and physically eat it in the presence of whatever emanation of the state has demanded that I produce it”

 

 

Dana Carvey does Joe Biden

 

 

Actual Washington Post headline: “Biden Excels At His First News Conference. The Media Embarrass Themselves.”

Biden’s Press Conference: Get Ready For President Kamala Harris (Malic)

Well, now we know why Democrat strategists were more than happy to let Joe Biden sit in his basement during the campaign, and kept him away from the press for the first 64 days in office – and it’s definitely not the coronavirus. Biden was almost 15 minutes late to his own very first “formal press conference” since taking office. He dodged questions, spouted platitudes and talking points, went off on tangents at times while getting angry and uttering what may have sounded like threats at others. No doubt some of that could be down to his advanced age, but let’s assume for lack of another explanation that the words were indeed his and that he truly meant what he said. And, oh brother, is the US in trouble.

In Thursday’s presser, Biden actually repeated – twice – the previous day’s talking points, down to the description of someone “sitting at their kitchen table” in Central America, about why tens of thousands of migrants are coming to the US. He knows why, better than they do. Never mind that the tide began the day he was announced winner of the 2020 election, or the migrants who literally told reporters they decided to come because Biden got elected, or wear T-shirts with his campaign logo and the words “please let us in.” Nope, you’re supposed to ignore your lying eyes and believe Uncle Joe, because his great-grandfather had no choice but to leave Ireland in a “coffin ship.” What are you, a lying dog-faced pony soldier? Come on, man!

This sort of emotionally manipulative imagery is nothing new for Biden; he did it in the pandemic speech earlier this month, as well as his inaugural and his convention address. The press keeps falling for it, though, every single time. No wonder Dana Carvey was catching flak this week; his impersonation of Biden – not just his voice, but his mannerism and verbal tics – was spot on.

Tucker

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Google translate

These people must have read VadenBossche. We need much more discussion like this.

Also in Holland: GPs will now be fined for prescribing HCQ or ivermectin. As infection numbers are soaring back up to where they were early January.

Better Not Vaccinate Everyone: The Virus Will Not Disappear Anyway (G.nl)

Vaccinating children and young, healthy people against corona does not help. Group immunity is unfeasible, the corona virus will no longer disappear and will continue to appear in new variants. This is the opinion of Jona Walk, who recently obtained his PhD in vaccine immunology, and medical microbiologist Bert Mulder today in the magazine Medisch Contact. Both doctors of the Nijmegen Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital therefore question the policy of the cabinet and health institute to vaccinate the entire population in order to return to “normal”. They are supported by a recent article “Five reasons why COVID herd immunity is probably impossible” in the leading scientific medical journal Nature.

Vaccinations can prevent people from becoming seriously ill and ending up in hospital, but it is an illusion to think that they also stop the virus from spreading. “Research done in Oxford shows that people can also be virus carriers after they have been vaccinated,” says Walk. More research needs to be done on this, but it is already clear that current vaccines do not work against all new variants of the virus. South Africa, for example, has already stopped using AstraZeneca because that vaccine does not work against the variant that is dominant there. “The effectiveness against that specific variant appears to be really zero,” says Mulder. The constant emergence of new variants therefore means that the vaccinations will be less effective in the future than appears at the moment.

“In fact, if a vaccine against a particular variant doesn’t work, only that version of the virus will continue to spread among people, and that refractory variant may eventually become dominant in the vaccinated population,” says Walk.“This happens especially if you vaccinate while a lot of virus is circulating, you create an ideal environment for new mutations,” Mulder adds. Walk: “The unnecessary vaccination is also against our medical principles. If you cannot become seriously ill from the virus and do not protect anyone with it when you get vaccinated, why would you run the risk of side effects that we are certainly not aware of in the long term? “” She points to the fact that for the time being there are only data on safety during the first two months after vaccination. Longer studies are needed to get a full picture of the benefits and risks.

“Another problem is that we do not yet know whether once someone has been vaccinated, they will later make good antibodies against other corona variants.” “A new vaccination against a new variant may therefore be less effective. “There is still a lot of research to be done in this area,” the researchers emphasize. But they are now coming up with their analysis because the vaccination policy is still aimed at vaccinating as many people as possible against corona by July. Mulder: ,, But we cannot eradicate corona. So you should rethink that policy: vaccinating only if someone benefits from it on an individual level, you should first focus on the elderly and at-risk groups and then look at who wants to be vaccinated further. “”

Ron Paul Testing

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Natural immunity.

Herd Immunity Is Near, Despite Fauci’s Denial (WSJ)

Anthony Fauci has been saying that the country needs to vaccinate 70% to 85% of the population to reach herd immunity from Covid-19. But he inexplicably ignores natural immunity. If you account for previous infections, herd immunity is likely close at hand. Data from the California Department of Public Health, released earlier this month, show that while only 8.7% of the state’s population has ever tested positive for Covid-19, at least 38.5% of the population has antibodies against the novel coronavirus. Those numbers are from Jan. 30 to Feb. 20. Adjusting for cases between now and then, and accounting for the amount of time it takes for the body to make antibodies, we can estimate that as many as half of Californians have natural immunity today.


The same report found that 45% of people in Los Angeles had Covid-19 antibodies. Again, the number can only be higher today. Between “half and two-thirds of our population has antibodies in it now,” due to Covid exposure or vaccination, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Sunday on “Face the Nation.” That would explain why cases in Los Angeles are down 95% in the past 11 weeks and the positivity rate among those tested is now 1.7%. Undercounting or removing the many Americans with natural immunity from any tally of herd immunity is a scientific error of omission. When people wonder why President Biden talks about limiting Fourth of July gatherings, it’s because his most prominent medical adviser has dismissed the contribution of natural immunity, artificially extending the timeline.

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“The University of Chicago researchers said their study reached a different conclusion because of differing methodology.”

But what a warped logic. Destroying economies was useless, but not pointless.

US Lockdowns Didn’t Stop Covid – But That Doesn’t Mean They’re Pointless (F.)

U.S. states with shelter-in-place orders and other strict Covid-19 rules did not report fewer infections and deaths last year, a study released Thursday argues, disputing other recent research about the pandemic—but this doesn’t mean social distancing efforts were ineffective. A team of researchers from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy found states that imposed shelter-in-place orders, mandatory business closures and other tight restrictions didn’t see a significant difference in the number of coronavirus infections or deaths during the virus’ first U.S. surge last spring. Shelter-in-place orders also appeared to have very little impact on people’s mobility, which researchers measured using cell phone data.

However, researchers did not cast this as proof that social distancing is unnecessary: Instead, it could mean scores of Americans changed their habits regardless of whether their state imposed restrictions, often because health officials encouraged them to. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of social distancing measures was likely reduced because some people—partly due to politics—refused to comply with these efforts even if they came with a government mandate, the researchers noted in their paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team said their results “should not be taken to imply that the actions of government officials had little effect on the pandemic.”

“To be clear, our findings do not mean that sheltering in place and social distancing behaviors had no effect on the disease,” the study’s authors wrote. “Indeed, the health benefits of [shelter-in-place] orders were likely limited because many people were already social distancing before the introduction of SIP orders.” This study contradicts two papers from last year—published in Nature and by the National Bureau of Economic Research—that found shelter-in-place orders significantly reduced Covid-19 infections in the United States and other countries, especially if they were imposed early. The University of Chicago researchers said their study reached a different conclusion because of differing methodology.

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While there were no tests available.

CNN’s Defense of Cuomo’s Special COVID Privileges is Grotesque (Greenwald)

Ever since the COVID pandemic subsumed most countries on the planet, there have been numerous scandals and controversies relating to those who corruptly obtain medical privileges and other exemptions unavailable to ordinary citizens. These scandals typically arise when someone uses their wealth, power or connections to jump in front of others for access to potentially life-saving procedures or medications or grant themselves and their friends license to ignore what everyone else must endure. Right now in Brazil, for instance, there is a burgeoning scandal from reports that a group of businesspeople with ties to the government arranged to purchase their own private stash of vaccines for use for themselves, families and friends in violation of the law.

In the U.S., people were outraged when very young members of Congress were among the first to receive the vaccine (though the law permitted them to do so); those young Congressmembers justified their line-jumping on the ground that they were doing so selflessly to encourage others. Meanwhile, other members of Congress refused this privilege on the ground, as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) put it, that it is “shameful” for young lawmakers to believe they “are more important” than workers. Repeatedly in the U.S., politicians were caught exempting themselves from lockdown orders they were imposing on everyone else. But those pale in comparison to the abuse of power by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, as reported on Wednesday by The Albany-Times Union and The Washington Post.

“High-level members of the state Department of Health were directed last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to conduct prioritized coronavirus testing on the governor’s relatives as well as influential people with ties to the administration,” reported the Times-Union. “Members of Cuomo’s family including his brother, his mother and at least one of his sisters were also tested by top health department officials — some several times,” it added. In particular, Gov. Cuomo abused state resources to ensure that his then-49-year-old brother, Chris, received fast COVID testing at a time when tests were very scarce. “The CNN anchor was swabbed by a top New York Department of Health doctor, who visited his Hamptons home to collect samples from him and his family,” The Post reported. The article also contains these damning details:

“The same doctor who tested Chris Cuomo, Eleanor Adams, now a top adviser to the state health commissioner, also was enlisted to test multiple other Cuomo family members….The coronavirus test specimens were then rushed — at times driven by state police troopers — to the Wadsworth Center, a state public health lab in Albany, where they were processed immediately, the people said. At times, employees in the state health laboratory were kept past their shifts until late into the night to process results of those close to Cuomo, two people said.” All of this commandeering of state resources to provide the CNN host with very specialized medical attention occurred while “media reports were full of accounts from New Yorkers desperate to get tested — including some with symptoms and recent travel history who were turned away because of scarcity.”

Cuomo brothers

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Still no sign of Hunter.

Secret Service Inserted Itself Into Case Of Hunter Biden’s Gun (Pol.)

On Oct. 23, 2018, President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and daughter in law Hallie were involved in a bizarre incident in which Hallie took Hunter’s gun and threw it in a trash can behind a grocery store, only to return later to find it gone. Delaware police began investigating, concerned that the trash can was across from a high school and that the missing gun could be used in a crime, according to law enforcement officials and a copy of the police report obtained by POLITICO. But a curious thing happened at the time: Secret Service agents approached the owner of the store where Hunter bought the gun and asked to take the paperwork involving the sale, according to two people, one of whom has firsthand knowledge of the episode and the other was briefed by a Secret Service agent after the fact.

The gun store owner refused to supply the paperwork, suspecting that the Secret Service officers wanted to hide Hunter’s ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime, the two people said. The owner, Ron Palmieri, later turned over the papers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which oversees federal gun laws. The Secret Service says it has no record of its agents investigating the incident, and Joe Biden, who was not under protection at the time, said through a spokesperson he has no knowledge of any Secret Service involvement. Days later, the gun was returned by an older man who regularly rummages through the grocery’s store’s trash to collect recyclable items, according to people familiar with the situation.

[..] At the time of the gun incident, Hunter was in a romantic relationship with Hallie, the widow of his late brother, Beau. The incident began when Hallie searched Hunter’s pickup, which was parked at her home in Wilmington, because of unspecified “suspicions she had,” according to the Delaware State Police report. Inside the truck, she found a .38 revolver. Hallie took the gun to Janssen’s Market, a nearby high-end grocery store where the Bidens are longtime regular customers. There, she tossed the gun, wrapped in a black shopping bag, into a trash bin outside of the store. Later that day, Hallie informed Hunter of what she had done, and he instructed her to retrieve the gun, according to the police report. When Hallie returned to the grocery store, she found that the gun was missing from the garbage bin and reported the issue to the store.

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“Tesla’s valuation will one day be a Harvard Business School study on the irrationality of market manias.”

Tesla & Bitcoin Are Perfect Bedfellows (Mitch Feierstein)

In 2021, Tesla has made over one billion dollars by speculating in bitcoin. That bet made bigger profits for Musk’s Tesla than the firm made selling its electric vehicles in a similar time frame (though, given its poor sales record, that’s perhaps not surprising). Now the multi-billionaire has created new headlines by announcing that the cryptocurrency will soon be accepted as payment for his cars, a move that saw the price of bitcoin enjoy a short-lived jump of almost 5%. There are some who say that Tesla and Bitcoin make perfect bedfellows. Both are decidedly risky ventures where you’re just about guaranteed to lose your whole wardrobe, let alone a shirt or two. Bitcoin has exhibited extreme volatility and has seen a stratospheric rise in its price during the past few months, hitting new highs approaching $60,000 and prompting some to claim it will go up by a further 500%.

Its surge illustrates how reckless central banks worldwide have destroyed fiat (paper) currencies that are backed by nothing other than a promise to repay debt by insolvent governments with a printing press. It signals a mania that will eventually see an end to US dollar hegemony. Bitcoin is binary – it can go to a million or zero – so no one speculating on it should risk what they cannot afford to lose. And as I’ve warned many times before: NEVER listen to the Musk-rat hype. It’s not the first time Musk has used Tesla’s balance sheet to speculate. In 2016, Tesla spent $2.6 billion bailing out one of his other companies, SolarCity, which was, according to Ernst & Young, completely insolvent.

Additionally, as chairman, CEO, CTO and majority shareholder of SpaceX, Musk used his position to leverage that company’s balance sheet by buying around $300 million of SolarCity bonds in 2015-16. In 2017, Tesla shareholders filed a lawsuit against the company’s directors and Musk. The basis of the lawsuit, according to Reuters, was: “Tesla shareholders have alleged Musk breached his fiduciary duties, squandered Tesla’s assets and unjustly enriched himself by pushing to buy the money-losing solar company in which he was the biggest investor.”

[..] Musk’s track record on autonomous driving, vehicle production numbers and Tesla profits has been abysmal. For example, Musk has said “Full Self Driving” hardware would be capable of a “coast-to-coast” autonomous trip by the end of 2017. In February of 2019, Musk promised, “Full self-driving would be available in 2020.” Tesla’s valuation builds in earnings from a non-existent robot taxi model. The point: Musk makes new bold claims nearly every quarter yet consistently fails to deliver. In fact, if it were not for the money Tesla has enjoyed from government subsidies and the selling of carbon-emission credits, the business would be profitless. Tesla’s valuation will one day be a Harvard Business School study on the irrationality of market manias.

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Ha ha ha.

US Imports Record Volumes Of Russian Oil Amid Growing Political Tensions (RT)

Tough talk on energy issues doesn’t stop the US from purchasing a record share of Russian crude in 2020. American refineries reportedly loaded 538,000 barrels of Russian crude and oil products daily, breaking a decade-old record. According to the data tracked by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the US has bought the most Russian crude since 2011, when the import volumes or Russian oil totaled 624,000 barrels per day (bpd). In 2020, Russia became the third-largest oil supplier to the US, outpacing Saudi Arabia, world’s biggest exporter, according to Bloomberg calculations based on customs and EIA data. Russia’s share of American oil exports currently stands at a record-high seven percent.


Meanwhile, Canada and Mexico were the leading exporters of crude to the US last year. Canada shipped 4.1 million bpd, while Mexico sold about 750,000 bpd. The average imports of oil from Saudi Arabia reportedly totaled just 522,000 bpd in 2020. The growth of oil exports from Russia was reportedly caused by the lack of access to Venezuelan crude, targeted by US sanctions. Moreover, shipments of crude from OPEC nations were significantly reduced amid the cartel’s pact on cutting output. US energy majors, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Valero Energy were among the key buyers of oil and petroleum products from Russian producers.

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Boeing and Raytheon will find another country to destroy.

The Impending Saudi Defeat in Yemen (MPN)

Major advances by Houthi forces on the strategically vital oil and gas hub of Marib last week have forced Saudi Arabia to offer a ceasefire agreement to the rebels. The offer came on Monday, after the rebel army seized Mount Hilan, threatening the Yemeni military’s first line of defense and causing a disruption in global energy prices. The ceasefire proposal includes collecting “taxes, customs and other fees generated” by oil imports in the Red Sea port of Hodeida in a joint account that would be accessible to the Houthis. Further evidence that the Saudi-led coalition finds itself with their backs against the wall is the partial loosening of the oil blockade, as four fuel ships were given the go-ahead to dock at Hodeida on Wednesday.

The bid for a truce came two days after Saudi Coalition-manned American warplanes carried out airstrikes against Houthi targets in Marib, with Saudi media claiming heavy losses on the side of the rebel forces. But the partial lifting of the blockade by the Saudi Coalition and the UN-backed Yemeni government indicates that it is the Houthis who are making headway. The fall of Marib would mean Houthi control of one of the key production centers of natural gas in Yemen — one that supplies the entire country — as well as oil fields owned by Saudi Arabia’s Aramco. Given that the Houthis already control most of Yemen’s urban centers, taking Marib would likely tilt the momentum irreversibly in the Houthis’ favor.

In light of the Houthis’ bolstered position in the conflict, Biden’s decision to remove them from the list of global terrorist organizations, while overtly maintaining continued U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s “security” needs could very well be a signal that Washington has tacitly admitted that their proxy war in Yemen is not yielding the desired results. Meanwhile, in a joint statement, last week as preparations for Friday’s major attack on Marib were in the offing, Western governments attempted to make a show of strength in the press in lieu of actual results on the battlefield. “We, the governments of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America,” said the statement, “condemn the sustained Houthi offensive on the Yemeni city of Marib and the major escalation of attacks the Houthis have conducted and claimed against Saudi Arabia.”

UNHCR Yemen

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March 25 11 AM EST: QUEUE OF SHIPS WAITING AT SUEZ CANAL NOW STANDS AT 237

‘It Might Take Weeks’ To Free ‘Beached Whale’ Ship Stuck In Suez Canal (RT)

The firm working to dislodge the container ship that’s blocking traffic in the Suez Canal has warned that “it might take weeks” to free the tanker, comparing it to trying to remove “an enormous beached whale.” The vessel, ‘Ever Given’, operated by Taiwan-based firm Evergreen, became lodged diagonally in the canal on Tuesday morning after losing control and running aground amid high winds, bringing traffic through one of the world’s busiest shipping channels to a halt. The CEO of Boskalis, a dredging firm that is working to try and free the ship, warned on Thursday that it “can’t exclude [that] it might take weeks,” as they may have to reduce the weight of the vessel, removing containers, oil and water, as well as using tug boats and clearing sand and mud from around it.


“It is like an enormous beached whale. It’s an enormous weight on the sand.” The 220,000-ton vessel was partially refloated on Wednesday, as tug boats worked to reopen the canal, which can see as many as 50 ships pass through it a day. However, the ship remains wedged on the sand, with its GPS tracking data showing that it has only experienced minor changes in its position in the past 24 hours. The incident has created a significant shipping backlog and some firms have warned that if the canal is not fully reopened in the next 24-48 hours, they will have to find a new route for their vessels, adding a week to their journey time and delaying the arrival of goods that rely on the Suez Canal.

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In honour of David Graeber

Free Us From The Roving Cavaliers of Credit (Steve Keen)

As Graeber pointed out in Debt: The First 5000 Years, the assumption that money originated in barter is an enduring myth in economics: “First comes barter, then money; credit only develops later” (Graeber 2011, Chapter 2). This myth permeates the discipline, from Adam Smith’s assertion in 1776 that “the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another” (Smith 1776, Chapter 2) was an innate characteristic of humans, to modern economics textbooks, like Gregory Mankiw’s Macroeconomics, that argue that an economy without money would be “a barter economy” (Mankiw 2016, p. 82). Armed with this myth, economists have constructed a fantasy model of capitalism in which money plays no significant role: it is a mere trifle that sensible economists look through, to see the real face of barter lying behind the veil of money.

Consequently, mainstream economists ignore banks, debt and money, while credit plays no role in their mathematical models of the macroeconomy. This is why they not only didn’t see the 2007 Global Financial Crisis coming, but in fact expected 2008 to be a cracker of a year. The OECD’s Economic Outlook in June 2007 trumpeted that “sustained growth in OECD economies would be underpinned by strong job creation and falling unemployment” (Cotis 2007, p. 5). Yeah, right. Two months after this forecast was published, the biggest economic crisis before Covid-19 and since the Great Depression began. Why were they so wrong? Because they ignore Graeber’s central message that debt and credit drive the development, and sometimes the collapse, of economies.

Their logic rests, as usual, on a naïve assumption. They assume that banks are simply “intermediaries” between people who save money, and people who borrow money, and therefore that redistributing this money has little effect on economic activity. As ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke put it, “Absent implausibly large differences in marginal spending propensities among the groups … pure redistributions should have no significant macroeconomic effects.” (Bernanke 2000, p. 24). What the hell does that jargon mean? It means that mainstream economists pretend that banks don’t create money when they lend—something that they can no longer do after The Bank of England categorically said that they do (McLeay, Radia et al. 2014)—or that this doesn’t really matter. A little arithmetic is enough to show they’re wrong, and David was right.

Read more …

 

 

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Jim Rickards – Great Reset
https://twitter.com/i/status/1375034375985901572

 

 

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Feb 202021
 
 February 20, 2021  Posted by at 4:49 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  21 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Head of a Woman 1946
Missing, stolen painting .. gifted to the National Gallery by Picasso in 1946 in recognition of Athens’s resistance to Nazi occupation; he inscribed on the back: “For the Greek people, a tribute from Picasso.”

 

 

Dr. D posted this as a short comment, not an article, and he’s welcome, encouraged even, to expand on it at a later date. But I think it’s important enough, and detailed enough, to in fact make it an article. We can take if from here. The blind drive towards EV’s is going to hurt, and we should prepare for that.

The idea, and the concept, that we can simply switch from one energy source to another and keep motoring and do all the other things we do, is nothing but a cheap and meaningless sales pitch. To produce 20 million Tesla’s would require 165% of the entire 2019 global lithium production, says this from mining.com:

 

 

That’s just Tesla, that doesn’t yet include the entire rest of the world’s car manufacturers who also claim they’ll go “green”. But then we’ll just raise the production of lithium! Well, there may be a problem with that…

Wouldn’t it be hilarious if “green” cars in the end prove to be more polluting than “dirty” cars?

 

 

Dr. D: More math, like garlic and holy water, keeps the riff raff away.

One solution to Texas’ problem is to have long-term storage that the grid refuses to buy and install. But you can! For only $10,000, 5-10x the cost of yesterday’s generator, you can own a brand new Tesla Powerwall. That maybe MIGHT not catch on fire like all their cars and solar panels have. With it, you can have 13kw of power, and that’s not joking: an American house uses 1kw a day, so that’s almost two weeks of power. For $10,000, and a little house fire.

There are 3M Texans without power, so say 1M households, not sure how they account it or how carefully. 1M Powerwalls, and their NOT drawing on the grid would help the rest of Texas households too! For only $10 BILLION dollars. (And a 10-year lifespan). Chicken feed these days.

Cool. He’s building a factory there, we’ll buy one today. You know, with that extra $10k most American families have hanging around.

But…then there’s math. At 200lbs/pc 1 Million Powerwalls would need 200 MILLION pounds of lithium or 100,000 tons. (90,718 Metric Tonnes)

 

Pic

 

Oh wait: that’s more Lithium than is mined in WHOLE CONTINENTS, like top producer Australia @ 42,000 tonnes. Next is Chile, 18,000 tonnes.

I detect a problem.

More problems follow. Lithium is both unbelievably reactive and unbelievably toxic. It catches on fire in water — not like there’s any “water” where humans live, and as lithium is a major ingredient in psychology drugs, causing mood leveling or even erasing emotions altogether, and doesn’t decay, even a small amount of escaped lithium is a big deal. That’s both in the Pecos and Red River, AND at the mining site, where it consumes tens of thousands of gallons in the world’s driest environments, like Bolivia.

The Environmental Impact of Lithium Batteries

“Lithium extraction harms the soil and causes air contamination. In Argentina’s Salar de Hombre Muerto, residents believe that lithium operations contaminated streams used by humans and livestock and for crop irrigation. In Chile, the landscape is marred by mountains of discarded salt and canals filled with contaminated water with an unnatural blue hue.

… In Australia, only two percent of the country’s 3,300 metric tons of lithium-ion waste is recycled.

… recovered cells are usually shredded, creating a mixture of metal that can then be separated using pyrometallurgical techniques—burning—which wastes a lot of the lithium.”

Two other key ingredients, cobalt and nickel, are more in danger of creating a bottleneck in the move towards electric vehicles, and at a potentially huge environmental cost. Cobalt is found in huge quantities right across the Democratic Republic of Congo and central Africa, and hardly anywhere else. The price has quadrupled in the last two years.

Unlike most metals, which are not toxic when they’re pulled from the ground as metal ores, cobalt is “uniquely terrible,” according to Gleb Yushin, chief technical officer and founder of battery materials company Sila Nanotechnologies.”

Not done yet, where one solution to one 7-day crisis takes more lithium than is mined? Then polluted? Then not recycled? Then as not recycled, permanently escapes into your water supply?

There’s still this: it takes 60kw to produce 1kw of lithium battery capacity. Now it’s reusable, so there are many, many cycles in a battery, but your 13 Million Kwh are going to need 78M Kwh to create, just for the battery side, or 78,000 megawatts.

Are you sure you wouldn’t rather – say it with me now:

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”? You know, by reducing, reusing, economizing, using less, and creating only things that last longer?

Nope. If I DON’T buy a Powerwall, who profits? No subsidy, no GDP, no sales tax, no Wall Street IPO. No 18 weeks’ work at $20/hr, tied up to Jamie Dimon and Uncle Sam to buy it.

Thoreau said he could walk to Boston on foot quicker than he could get the money to take the train there. Is chopping fallen wood and sitting on a rammed clay floor next to your small wood stove REALLY that bad? That’s 18 weeks you can stay home and read Cicero – from a real-to-god, paper book — with your children. Or not. Don’t, end up in the dark and curse: “I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” What do you think he’s going to do for you that you’re not doing for yourself?

 

 

See also:

The Spiralling Environmental Cost Of Our Lithium Battery Addiction

And

Bolivia: Where revolutionaries and lithium miners go to die

 

 

 

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Jan 102021
 
 January 10, 2021  Posted by at 10:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Salvator Rosa Lucrezia as poetry c.1641

 

An Unlikely Nation Is Kicking This Pandemic. Guess Which. Then Why. (TS)
Covid-19 Forces Swedish Hospitals To Delay ‘Necessary Surgery’ (Local)
Rapid Covid Testing Across England Will Help Identify Symptomless Carriers (G.)
Assange Saga – Real Journalism Is Criminally Insane (Escobar)
The American Empire Has Fallen, Though Washington May Not Know It Yet (Malic)
Parler Kicked Off Amazon Servers And Apple Store (JTN)
Elon Musk Blames Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg For Capitol Riot (Ob.)
Big Short’s Michael Burry: Tesla Will Collapse Like The Housing Bubble (BI)
Bee-Killing Pesticide Banned By EU Can Be Used In England (G.)

 

 

What strikes me more than anything today is the amount of negativity everywhere I look, the antagonism and self-righteousness, which culminate in handing Big Tech the power to determine our own personal liberty. Not a Constitution, or even a law, not a judge or a court, but large corporations.

The problem with that is you’re not going to get it back. Be very careful what you wish for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glenn Greenwald, like Julian Assange, has warned against the increasing power of Big Tech for a long time.

Greenwald Tucker

 

 

 

 

India and ivermectin.

An Unlikely Nation Is Kicking This Pandemic. Guess Which. Then Why. (TS)

Ten months into its battle with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, India is on track to become an unexpected warrior in the fight against this global pandemic. Although the densely populated nation has four times the population of the U.S., India has less than half the U.S. COVID deaths. And India isn’t just beating the poorly performing U.S. In all, 98 nations have higher death rates than India. It may be tempting to attribute this startling news to imperfect data from a developing country. But doctors in India, Indian press reports, and even the Wall Street Journal have taken note of a sea change in COVID there. “In September, India was reporting almost 100,000 COVID-19 cases a day, with many predicting it would soon pass the U.S. in overall cases,” the WSJ wrote on Dec. 30. “Instead, its infections dropped and are now at one-fourth that level.”

Dr. Anil K. Chaurasia, a physician in Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, watched this trend unfold. Starting about mid-September, “a clear decline in COVID cases and fatalities in India was noticeable,” he told me in a text message. The “steep decline in cases and fatalities is still continuing.” Like a lot of western reporting, the WSJ article held fast to an accepted COVID theme. The Indian miracle was due to masks, it asserted, since they are worn by 88 to 95 percent of a population “bombarded” with public-service reminders. The article cited German research that showed masks work. Fair enough. However, many factors are likely at play in India, including its painful yet supported national shutdown and individual state efforts at contact tracing and testing. But a pivotal role in any illness is surely the availability of treatments to resolve illness before crisis.

Late last March, as the U.S. argued over the merits of Trump-endorsed hydroxychloroquine and studies failed in late-stage patients, India decided to recommend the drug in its national guidelines. HCQ “should be used as early in the disease course as possible…and should be avoided in patients with severe disease,” the directives wisely state. As a precaution, authorities suggested an EKG to monitor for a rare heart arrhythmia that several COVID studies have since shown to be minimal. But a crucial turn for India may have come in August when the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh recommended use of another drug: Ivermectin, which is coming on fast as a leading COVID treatment — without the baggage of at-turns effective but vilified hydroxychloroquine.

This was no small move. Were it a country, U.P.’s more than 230 million citizens would rank it fifth worldwide. As India’s largest state, its embrace of ivermectin may have changed the treatment landscape across India. “This authentication of ivermectin revived the faith of people,” Dr. Chaurasia told me, “and net result was a massive inclination to take these drugs” — both ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. By the end of 2020, Uttar Pradesh — which distributed free ivermectin for home care — had the second-lowest fatality rate in India at 0.26 per 100,000 residents in December. Only the state of Bihar, with 128 million residents, was lower, and it, too, recommends ivermectin.

But Uttar Pradesh did more than treat 300,000 mild cases at home through 2020; it also opted to use ivermectin to prevent infection. It seems a young health officer’s COVID response teams had taken the drug and remained well – something prophylaxis studies support. U.P. then had contacts of COVID patients take it, with similar success. “Recognizing the sense of urgency,” Amit Mohan Prasad, a U.P. health official, wrote in a Dec. 30 article, “we decided to go ahead.”

Read more …

Spare a thought for the doctors making these decisions.

Covid-19 Forces Swedish Hospitals To Delay ‘Necessary Surgery’ (Local)

Hospitals across Sweden are now postponing urgent operations to make room for coronavirus patients, a survey by Sweden’s state broadcaster SR has found. Every one of the country’s 21 regional healthcare authorities reported being in a “strained” or “very strained” situation, with the regions of Jönköping and Uppsala telling SR that they were having to postpone urgent operations on cancer or heart patients. “It may actually be cancer surgery that has to wait for a bit right now,” Uppsala’s health and medical care director, Mikael Köhler, told the broadcaster. “We need to do everything we can to prevent harm that could have been avoided, and, in the long run, deaths. We really shouldn’t end up in that kind of situation, but we are starting to get close to it.”


Jönköping, like Uppsala, said that it was delaying urgent cancer surgery and heart operations, with the region’s medical director Mats Bojestig telling SR that it plans to trigger the crisis clause agreed with unions which will allow it to increase health personnel’s working hours. “This feels absolutely necessary if we’re going to be able to carry out more operations than before, because otherwise we think local residents are going to harmed,” he said. Uppsala has already triggered the crisis clause. In Skåne, urgent operations have had to be moved between hospitals, delaying procedures.

Read more …

We should have had this discussion at least 9 months ago. Choose between various rapid tests, and get it going.

Rapid Covid Testing Across England Will Help Identify Symptomless Carriers (G.)

Rapid testing to find symptomless carriers of Covid-19 is to be launched in England this week. The aim of the programme is to identify some of the tens of thousands of infected people who are unwittingly spreading the virus across the country. The dramatic escalation of the programme – which uses detectors known as lateral flow devices – comes as Covid death rates have continued to soar and hospitals have reported alarming numbers of patients needing intensive care. On Saturday it was revealed a further 1,035 Covid deaths had occurred in the UK, bringing the nation’s total to 80,868. In addition, the daily number of those testing positive increased by 59,937.

Under the new, expanded testing scheme, local authorities will be encouraged to identify more positive cases of Covid and ensure those who are infected isolate. The use of lateral flow devices, which can confirm if a person is infected in under 30 minutes, will allow quick detection of infected individuals at test centres. Lateral-flow devices are accurate at pinpointing infected individuals but have been criticised for generating large numbers of false negatives. Nevertheless, many experts have welcomed the expansion of the testing programme, which 131 local authorities have already agreed to implement. Professor Adam Finn, of Bristol University, described the expanded programme as a vitally important measure. “Added to the measures already in place, this provides an important new tool to help to reduce the rapid rise in cases that is paralysing in our country,” he added.

Professor Lawrence Young of Warwick Medical School agreed. “This is good news. Testing individuals during the current lockdown will help to restrict the spread of infection as long as we ensure folk who test positive appropriately isolate and their contacts are traced and also isolate.” Other scientists were more cautious. “Here, In Liverpool, a trial using lateral flow tests had a good uptake: 25% of the population were tested and 900 cases identified,” said Tom Wingfield, of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. “However, an interim report later showed this testing missed 60% of cases and provided no clear evidence the strategy led to a reduction of cases.

Read more …

“The real power in the Assange case is Lady Emma Arbuthnot, forced out of a visible role because of very compromising, direct ties she and her husband Lord Arbuthnot maintain with British intelligence and military..”

Assange Saga – Real Journalism Is Criminally Insane (Escobar)

The invaluable Craig Murray, from inside Westminster Magistrates Court No. 1 in London, meticulously presented the full contours of the insanity this Wednesday. Read it in conjunction with the positively terrifying judgment delivered on Monday in the United States government case against Julian Assange. The defining issue, for all those who practice real journalism all across the world, is that the judgment affirms, conclusively, that any journalist can be prosecuted under the US Espionage Act. Since a 1961 amendment, the Espionage Act carries universal jurisdiction. The great John Pilger memorably describes “judge” Vanessa Baraitser as “that Gothic woman”. She is in fact an obscure public servant, not a jurist. Her judgment walks and talks like it was written by a mediocre rookie hack. Or, better yet, entirely lifted from the US Department of Justice indictment.

Julian Assange was – at the last minute – discharged on theoretically humanitarian grounds. So the case had, in effect, ended. Not really. Two days later, he was sent back to Belmarsh, a squalid maximum security prison rife with Covid-19. So the case is ongoing. WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnnson correctly noted, “It is unjust and unfair and illogical when you consider her ruling of two days ago about Julian’s health in large part because he is in Belmarsh prison (…) To send him back there doesn’t make any sense.” It does when one considers the real role of Baraitser – at a loss to juggle between the imperatives of the imperial agenda and the necessity of saving the face of British justice.

Baraitser is a mere, lowly foot soldier punching way above her weight. The real power in the Assange case is Lady Emma Arbuthnot, forced out of a visible role because of very compromising, direct ties she and her husband Lord Arbuthnot maintain with British intelligence and military, first revealed by – who else – WikiLeaks. It was Arbuthnot who picked up obscure Baraitser – who dutifully follows her road map. In court, as Murray has detailed in a series of searing reports, Baraitser essentially covers her incompetence with glaring vindictiveness. Baraitser discharged Julian Assange, according to her own reasoning, because she was not convinced the appalling American gulag would prevent him from committing suicide.

But the key issue is that before reaching this conclusion, she agreed and reinforced virtually every point of the US indictment. So at this point, on Monday, the “Gothic woman” was performing a contortion to save the US from the profound global embarrassment of prosecuting a de facto journalist and publisher for revealing imperial war crimes, not United States government secrets. Two days later, the full picture became crystal clear. There was nothing “humanitarian” about that judgment. Political dissent was equaled with mental illness. Julian Assange was branded as criminally insane. Once again, practicing journalism was criminalized.

Read more …

“..exploding the myths that maintained US hegemony, both at home and abroad.”

The American Empire Has Fallen, Though Washington May Not Know It Yet (Malic)

[..] here’s Ishan Tharoor, a columnist for the notoriously pro-establishment Washington Post, declaring on Thursday that for “many abroad,” the vision of the US as a shining city on a hill with global moral influence and authority “has already died a thousand deaths.” For some of these people, Tharoor argued, this narrative was “always an illusion to obscure the Washington-engineered coups and client military regimes.” Indeed. Democrats and their neocon allies have spent the past four years blaming Trump’s ‘America First’ policy, lamenting that he was acting unilaterally, antagonizing “allies” and creating a “leadership vacuum” in the world. Those are the talking points of the incoming administration as well.

Except they’ve clearly forgotten the events of January 2020, when Trump ordered the drone assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. There were no protests from US “allies” – or should we say vassals? Instead, they fell in line with amazing alacrity. Trump actually embraced the American Empire, he simply dispensed with the polite fictions it had used to dress up as something else over the years. Ironically, it was the mobilization of the entire US political establishment to get rid of Trump – starting with ‘Russiagate’ and the impeachment circus over the phone call to Ukraine, with nationwide riots about “racial justice” and the politically weaponized coronavirus lockdowns along the way – that did the lion’s share of exploding the myths that maintained US hegemony, both at home and abroad.

Remember the ‘Deep State’ that was supposedly a Trumpian conspiracy theory? Yet its existence was confirmed in the impeachment hearings, a former CIA director openly praised it, and the eventual revelations of a FBI plot to frame General Flynn removed any vestiges of doubt. The mainstream media’s war on Trump, later joined by social media platforms – censorship of the legitimate and accurate Hunter Biden laptop story just before the election being just the most egregious example – also played out for the world to see. In the end, they banned Trump from every social media platform while he was still in office, even as he said he would leave peacefully.

Read more …

Parler was at no. 1 in the AppStore.

Parler Kicked Off Amazon Servers And Apple Store (JTN)

Parler’s chief executive said Saturday night that the social media app was suspended from Apple’s store and will be thrown off Amazon’s servers in a standoff over censoring content. CEO John Matze said Parler would not bend to Apple’s demands for increased surveillance and moderation of content and was exploring “many options.” He said the decision by Amazon could result in a weeklong interruption of it service. “Sunday (tomorrow) at midnight Amazon will be shutting off all of our servers in an attempt to completely remove free speech off the internet. There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch,” he said.

“This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace. We were too successful too fast. You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out,” Matze added. The dual announcements came a day after Google kicked Parler out of its App Store. “Apple will be banning Parler until we give up free speech, institute broad and invasive policies like Twitter and Facebook and we become a surveillance platform by pursuing guilt of those who use Parler before innocence,” Matze said in a statement posted on the platform. “They claim it is due to violence on the platform. The community disagrees as we hit number 1 on their store today.”

Matze accused Apple of a double standard by allowing Twitter to have its users post offensive content while shutting down Parler. ”The same day ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ a disgusting violent suggestion, was trending nationally on Twitter. Displaying the horrible double standard Apple and their big tech pack apply to the community,” he said. “Apple, a software monopoly, provides no alternatives to installing apps on your phone other then their store. We do not own our phones, Apple simply rents them to us.

Read more …

“The shocking rampage on Wednesday was the culmination of years of political and ideological polarization fueled by social media platforms, primarily Facebook.”

Elon Musk Blames Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg For Capitol Riot (Ob.)

In times of social crises in America, big tech billionaires are often amongst the first to speak up—though how they do so varies. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, unlike many of his peers, didn’t directly speak about the riot that erupted in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday afternoon. But the second-richest man in the world did make it clear that he was watching the news and indeed had a strong opinion about the surreal events that transpired at the U.S. Capitol. Late Wednesday night, after police had cleared protestors from the Capital ground to allow Congress to resume vote counting and certifying election results, Musk tweeted a meme showing bricks lining up like dominoes.


The smallest front brick was labeled “a website to rate women on campus”—a reference to the early version of Facebook—and the largest tile in the back was superimposed with a tweet by The New York Times Magazine correspondent Mark Leibovich that read: “The Capitol seems to be under the control of a man in a viking hat.” His message was clear: The shocking rampage on Wednesday was the culmination of years of political and ideological polarization fueled by social media platforms, primarily Facebook. “This is called the domino effect,” Musk tweeted alongside the meme. It’s not the first time the Tesla CEO openly expressed his dislike for Facebook. In February, he called Facebook “lame” in a tweet and urged people to delete their accounts. Three months later, he tweeted “Facebook sucks” after the company’s artificial intelligence lead criticized his lack of knowledge about A.I.

Read more …

“Tesla’s stock price jumped 8% that day alone, adding $60 billion to its market capitalization – equivalent to “1 GM, 2 Hersheys, 3 Etsys, 4 Dominos, 10 Vornados..”

Big Short’s Michael Burry: Tesla Will Collapse Like The Housing Bubble (BI)

Michael Burry, the investor whose billion-dollar bet against the US housing market was immortalized in Michael Lewis’ book “The Big Short,” predicted that Tesla stock would suffer a similar downfall. “Well, my last Big Short got bigger and bigger and BIGGER too,” Burry tweeted on Thursday. Tesla’s stock price jumped 8% that day alone, adding $60 billion to its market capitalization – equivalent to “1 GM, 2 Hersheys, 3 Etsys, 4 Dominos, 10 Vornados,” he continued. “Enjoy it while it lasts,” the Scion Asset Management founder and boss added. Burry disclosed in December that he was shorting Tesla, and he called for CEO Elon Musk to capitalize on his electric-vehicle company’s “current ridiculous price” by issuing shares.


“Sell that #TeslaSouffle,” he added. Tesla stock skyrocketed about 740% in 2020 and has climbed 16% already this year, granting the automaker a bigger market cap than Facebook and making Musk the richest man in the world. [..] Burry was almost universally dismissed when he predicted that the housing bubble would burst and began snapping up credit-default swaps on subprime-mortgage bonds in May 2005. He weathered immense pressure from investors to return their money. A wave of mortgage defaults eventually tanked the housing market in 2007, and Burry personally raked in $100 million and made $750 million in profits for his investors.

Read more …

Tears and fears.

Bee-Killing Pesticide Banned By EU Can Be Used In England (G.)

A pesticide believed to kill bees has been authorised for use in England despite an EU-wide ban two years ago and an explicit government pledge to keep the restrictions. Following lobbying from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and British Sugar, a product containing the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam was sanctioned for emergency use on sugar beet seeds this year because of the threat posed by a virus. Conservationists have described the decision as regressive and called for safeguards to prevent the pollution of rivers with rainwater containing the chemical at a time when British insects are in serious decline.

The decision by 11 countries to allow emergency use of the product comes amid a growing awareness of the harmful role played by refined sugar in the development of long-term health problems. Matt Shardlow, the chief executive of the invertebrate conservation group Buglife, said it was an “environmentally regressive” decision that would destroy wildflowers and add to an “onslaught” on insects. “In addition, no action is proposed to prevent the pollution of rivers with insecticides applied to sugar beet,” he said. “Nothing has changed scientifically since the decision to ban neonics from use on sugar beet in 2018. They are still going to harm the environment.”

Michael Sly, the chairman of the NFU sugar board, said he was relieved the application had been granted and that the sector was working to find long-term solutions to virus yellows disease. “Any treatment will be used in a limited and controlled way on sugar beet, a non-flowering crop, and only when the scientific threshold has been independently judged to have been met,” he said. “Virus yellows disease is having an unprecedented impact on Britain’s sugar beet crop, with some growers experiencing yield losses of up to 80%, and this authorisation is desperately needed to fight this disease. It will be crucial in ensuring that Britain’s sugar beet growers continue to have viable farm businesses.”

Read more …

 

 

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Click at the top of the sidebars for Paypal and Patreon donations. Thank you for your support.

 

 

“Some people have no idea what they’re doing, and a lot of them are really good at it.”
– George Carlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in 2021. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.