Aug 242022
 
 August 24, 2022  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  66 Responses »


Edouard Vuillard The flowered dress 1891

 

Ukraine Will Seize Crimea ‘By Any Means Necessary’ – Zelensky (RT)
No-Fly Zone (Schryver)
Evidence Of Ukrainian Shelling Of Zaporozhye Provided To UN
In Memoriam: Daria Dugina (Batiushka)
German Military Stock At Its Limit After Supplying Ukraine – Der Spiegel (RT)
World in the Process of Bankrupting – Bill Holter (USAW)
China’s Growth Sacrifice (Stephen S. Roach)
Biden’s War On Natural Gas Will Kill (Shellenberger)
Norway Wants Facebook Fined For Illegal Data Transfers (Pol.eu)
Rand Paul Lays Groundwork For Potential Fauci Probe (RT)
Twitter Whistleblower: Company Hid “Extreme, Egregious, Deficiencies” (ZH)
Trudeau Building Huge New Facility For Ministry of Climate Change (TCS)
Study Links Genetic Code of Covids Spike Protein To Moderna Patent
More Than 70% Of Pubs Do Not Expect To Survive Winter As Energy Costs Soar (G.)

 

 

 

 

White House Lied
https://twitter.com/i/status/1562189675791466498

 

 

Tucker Atlas

 

 

 

 

Yeah, Russia’s going to give up its warmwater port after 95% of Crimeans voted to join them. Zelensky, too, wants to fight until the last Ukrainian.

Ukraine Will Seize Crimea ‘By Any Means Necessary’ – Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced on Tuesday that Ukraine will take the Russian territory of Crimea, by military force if necessary and without consulting any country, including Kiev’s Western backers. The Ukrainian military’s strikes on the peninsula have thus far been limited. Speaking at the so-called ‘Crimea Platform’, a Ukrainian-organized gathering of 60 nations and international organizations that back Kiev’s claim of sovereignty over Crimea, Zelensky said that “Ukraine is strong and powerful enough” to make the idea of a “Ukrainian Crimea” a reality. “We will return Crimea by any means that we consider correct, without consulting with other countries,” Zelensky said, according to Strana.ua, a Ukrainian news outlet.

“I know that Crimea is with Ukraine, [and] is waiting for us to return. We need to win the fight against Russian aggression. Therefore, we need to free Crimea from occupation.” Considered Russian land since imperial times, Crimea was an autonomous republic within the Soviet Union until it was appended to the Ukrainian SSR by Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev in 1954 for logistical reasons. The peninsula remained in Ukrainian hands after the fall of the USSR, until its people voted overwhelmingly to join Russia in 2014, after the Kiev government rejected a number of plebiscites during the 1990s aiming at re-establishing Crimea as an independent republic. The US-led NATO alliance considers Crimea to be “illegally annexed” Ukrainian territory, and has demanded that Moscow return the region to Ukrainian control.

A US official told Politico last week that Washington has given Ukraine its blessing to strike targets of its choosing in Crimea. Kiev’s military has carried out a number of these strikes in recent weeks, including a drone attackon the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol on Saturday. Explosions at military sites on the peninsula have been blamed by Russia on Ukrainian “sabotage,” but Kiev has neither officially confirmed nor denied responsibility. With its forces tied up fighting Russian and allied troops in Donbass, Ukraine has relied on drones to carry out its sporadic attacks on Crimea. The aim of these attacks is “not military, but psychological,” Crimean official Oleg Kryuchkov stated after Saturday’s strike, adding that owing to their small payload of explosives, drones are unable to inflict extensive damage.

Zelensky ruled out the prospect of a ceasefire on Tuesday, telling the summit that Ukraine would not freeze the current front line to “calm down Russia.” Moscow has repeatedly blamed Kiev for the breakdown of peace talks earlier this year, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accusing Western governments of “keeping Ukraine from any constructive steps”toward a peace settlement.

Roger Waters Ukraine

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Sounds impressive.

No-Fly Zone (Schryver)

I’ve become increasingly intrigued by the fact that western military analysts – even among those not burdened with the epidemic strain of virulent antipathy towards Russia – have not spoken much (if at all) about what I consider to be quite arguably the most impressive revelation of the war in Ukraine. In addition to imposing a virtual “you fly, you die” rule against the Ukrainian Air Force and the various drones they employ, the Russians are, with a formidable array of air defense systems of varying capacities, routinely shooting down: ballistic missiles, MLRS rockets, HARMS anti-radiation missiles, and even artillery shells. They are also effectively employing a variety of electronic counter measures to: block signals to GPS-equipped ordnance; spoof the targeting radars of both satellites and radar-equipped missiles, and otherwise confuse the variety of targeting technologies employed in both older Soviet and American weapons being fielded by Ukrainian forces.

This is an absolutely unprecedented achievement on the battlefield. Neither Israeli nor American systems have ever demonstrated the capability to routinely shoot down advanced missiles or rockets of any type. Iraqi Scud missiles defeated the American Patriot missile defense system, as have much cruder missiles fielded by the Houthis in Yemen against Saudi targets ostensibly protected by American-provided US air defense systems. More relevantly, Iranian missiles have proven to be much more formidable than was previously believed. And although it remains uncertain (or purposely unacknowledged) that US air defense systems were in the vicinity at the time, Iran dropped a couple dozen of their home-made ballistic missiles with 1000 lb. warheads within 5-meter circles at the US air base at Ayn al-Asad in Iraq during their “Vengeance for Soleimani” strike in January 2020.

This is particularly embarrassing for the US, because they had prior warning, hours in advance, that a missile strike would be launched against Ayn al-Asad. Even in strictly controlled tests against advanced ballistic missiles, the successful interception rate for US Patriot and THAAD (TerminalHigh Altitude Air Defense) systems falls far short of impressive. And yet, after a handful of successful early strikes by Ukrainian forces, the Russians have now shot down the overwhelming majority of the Soviet-era Tochka-U ground-to-ground missiles Ukraine has fired over the course of the past six months. The Tochka-U is a reasonably formidable weapon. Mach 5.3; 150 meter accuracy; variable warhead. But other than a single ammo dump strike, there have been no successful Tochka-U hits on Russian targets since the third week of March 2022. Dozens have been shot down.

By comparison, the US ATACMS missile is almost twice as large as the Tochka-U, with a longer range, but considerably slower speed (Mach 3+). There is little reason to suppose the ATACMS can succeed where the Tochka-U has failed – at least if it is used against targets covered by Russian air defenses. But, of course, it’s not just the ballistic missiles Russia is shooting down. They have been shooting down Ukrainian artillery rockets from the beginning of the war. And most recently, they are shooting down an impressive percentage of the HIMARS GPS-guided GMLRS rockets when they challenge air defense coverage areas. And just in the past week, as yet unconfirmed evidence has emerged of a US HARMS (high-velocity anti-radar missile system) missile shot down by Russian air defenses. I suspect we’ll see additional evidences of that capability in weeks to come.

But what must be understood is that no military on the planet had, previous to the war in Ukraine, consistently demonstrated the capability to do what Russia has been doing routinely for the past six months: imposing from the ground what amounts to a reasonable facsimile of a no-fly zone over those areas of the battlefield where it has chosen to mass its air defenses.

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“..Moscow had given assent to the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the Zaporozhye NPP back in June, before the Ukrainian drone, artillery and rocket attacks began.”

Evidence Of Ukrainian Shelling Of Zaporozhye Provided To UN

Russia has submitted photographic evidence of Ukrainian attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant to the UN Security Council and the General Assembly, ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Tuesday. He also briefed the Security Council on the most recent attacks, some of which involved NATO-supplied weapons, and insisted that Russia does not use the site as a military base. “Despite the false statements of the Kiev regime and its backers, Russia has not placed heavy weapons on the territory of the ZNPP and does not use the station for military purposes,”Nebenzia said during the council’s emergency session on Tuesday afternoon. “The Russian Ministry of Defense is ready to provide the IAEA with high-resolution images, which show that weapons, especially heavy ones, are not placed on the territory of the station,” he added.

In addition to the photographic evidence of Ukrainian shelling of the plant, Nebenzia entered into the record a timeline of strikes, named the Ukrainian artillery unit involved, and specified which strikes featured M777 howitzers given to Ukraine by the Pentagon. “It seems that our colleagues exist in some kind of their own parallel reality, in which the Russian military shells the NPP it is protecting, using American systems at that,” Nebenzia said. Contrary to insinuations by Kiev and its Western backers, Nebenzia noted, Moscow had given assent to the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the Zaporozhye NPP back in June, before the Ukrainian drone, artillery and rocket attacks began.

Nebenzia blamed the US and its allies for tolerating “criminal” behavior by Ukraine – from the shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP to the car bomb that killed Russian journalist Darya Dugina in Moscow over the weekend, and was cheered by some NATO officials he mentioned by name. The Zaporozhye plant is located in Energodar, a city in southern Ukraine under the control of Russian troops since March. The plant’s civilian staff continued operations unhindered until the artillery attacks began in July. Kiev has denied responsibility for the attacks and accused Russia of shelling the nuclear site to discredit Ukraine, but also of placing troops and heavy weapons inside the NPP’s perimeter and thus making it a legitimate target.

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Both Dugin and Dugina are being renounced in the western press as “ultra-nationalists”. Strange term. Sort of like “America First”.

In Memoriam: Daria Dugina (Batiushka)

The news of the Western-sponsored terrorist murder of Alexander Dugin’s daughter, Daria, has shocked us all. Of course, in one sense it is no different from all the other brutal murders carried out by drone by the Obama regime, or the CIA’s disposal of countless human-beings under their puppet regimes from the Philippines to Vietnam, from Italy to Latin America, from Greece to Africa, and in many other countries over the last three generations. Nevertheless, it concerns me more personally, as I know her father. I first met the Russian Eurasianist philosopher Alexander Dugin in London in 2005. He and I were two of the four speakers at an International Conference on the European Tradition.

My approach was spiritual and so politically neutral, his approach was that of a right-wing academic. But regardless of that, we were heading in the same direction and, all the more as I was the only Orthodox priest present, we sympathised. I was able to speak to him between talks and we had a photograph taken together. Alexander went on to become quite well-known on the academic and political philosophy circuits internationally. His influence on President Putin has been much exaggerated by the ignorant and hate-filled Western media which has decided (or rather been ordered) to cast him as ‘Putin’s adviser’, but that is another story. In fact, Alexander was a theoretician. However, as such his books, articles and talks were always stimulating and thought-provoking and will continue to be so.

It is my hope and prayer that the sacrifice of his daughter, Daria, which leaves him heart-broken, as it would any father, will not make him bitter. Rather it will inspire him to purify and refine his thought further, so that his influence through her will be ever greater. Below I attach the talk I gave that day, seventeen eventful years ago. I dedicate it to Daria.

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“The capability profile of the Bundeswehr (German military) can and should temporarily take a back seat to the sustainability of Ukraine in the current critical situation. Because Ukraine’s survival is in Germany’s security policy interest..”

German Military Stock At Its Limit After Supplying Ukraine – Der Spiegel (RT)

Germany cannot deliver more weapons to Ukraine without depleting its own stocks, its defense ministry has said. Despite the military reaching the “acceptable limit” of what it can send, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is under intense pressure to keep the arms flowing to Kiev. “We went to the acceptable limit when selling Bundeswehr stocks,” a spokesman for Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told Der Spiegelon Monday, a day after the German news outlet published a guest article from lawmakers Kristian Klinck, Sara Nanni, and Alexander Mueller calling for Germany to up its weapons deliveries to Ukraine. “The capability profile of the Bundeswehr (German military) can and should temporarily take a back seat to the sustainability of Ukraine in the current critical situation. Because Ukraine’s survival is in Germany’s security policy interest,” the trio, who represent the three parties in Germany’s coalition government, wrote.

Since the beginning of Russia’s military operation in February, Chancellor Scholz has come under persistent criticism for his apparent reluctance to gift Ukraine with the weapons it has requested. While Berlin has sent artillery pieces, shoulder-fired rockets, and anti-aircraft tanks, Ukraine has asked for more air-defense systems and an artillery radar system, both of which have not yet been shipped. Germany’s military was in a severely depleted state long before February, with a 2019 report revealing that fewer than 20% of the country’s 68 Tiger combat helicopters and fewer than 30% of its 136 Eurofighter jets were operational. The report also found that ammunition stocks were low and soldiers were missing essential gear, including boots, clothing, and bedding.

Despite Scholz announcing an ambitious program of rearmament in March, and despite the fact that the Bundeswehr’s budget has increased from €37 billion ($36 billion) in 2017 to €50 billion ($49 billion) this year, the military has not yet remedied these deficiencies. As far back as March, Lambrecht was describing the Bundeswehr’s stocks as “exhausted,” and Scholz has also had to balance his stated desire to support Ukraine’s forces with his insistence that Germany shouldn’t send equipment powerful enough to escalate the conflict. The situation is further compounded by Germany’s promises to replenish the stocks of its allies, who are sending their own stocks of heavy weapons to Ukraine in exchange for replacement equipment from Germany.

Despite these limitations, Scholz recently insisted that Berlin supplies “a lot of weapons”to Kiev, and will continue to give Ukraine “what it needs for its defense.” Scholz made these comments after retired Bundeswehr general Klaus Wittmann accused him of a lack of “leadership” and of appearing “intimidated” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“All you have to do is wake up in the morning and read the news, and you know it has gotten worse than the day before. That’s day after day.”

World in the Process of Bankrupting – Bill Holter (USAW)

Precious metals expert and financial writer Bill Holter says, “nothing is getting better” and points out the proof is everywhere that we are clearly headed for a financial calamity, the likes of which we have never seen before. Holter, who is also a precious metals broker, is seeing a big pick-up in business because big money is looking for a place to hide in the physical world. Holter explains, “We are getting more orders and larger orders. I think this is natural because I think people know something is wrong, and when something is wrong, you want to get defensive. I think people are finally making the connection the world is in the process of bankrupting, and you want your capital in something that cannot bankrupt. By definition, that is gold and silver.”

Holter says evil is trying to take over everywhere. Holter contends, “The consensus is the fact that we have a 2nd Amendment and we still have guns here is the only reason they have not snapped the trap shut yet. The United States is ‘the last bastion.’ Just look at Australia. Look at New Zealand. Look at Canada. Look at Britain. Can you have guns there? No, they have taken them away. What did they do? They forced the population into lockdown. They forced the population to get the jab. The result is you are going to see the West vastly depopulated and degraded in the next 1, 2 or 5 years. They have total control over their population. Whereas, that is not the case yet in the U.S.”

Holter has long said when the overloaded debt system breaks, it will break “fast and ugly.” “Credit will dry up overnight,” and “The world runs on credit,” according to Holter. His math shows a dark time ahead even for the prepared. Holter explains, “All you have to do is wake up in the morning and read the news, and you know it has gotten worse than the day before. That’s day after day. I have talked about ‘Mad Max’ for several years. When I first started talking about it, I got all kinds of grief, and they called me a nut case. It is certainly looking more and more now as the likely scenario. It just goes back to the West and, including China, it is not in the West, but it too is extremely levered (or indebted). When you over-lever a financial system, you over-lever an economy. At some point, the only thing that can happen is something bad. It’s either default or hyperinflation of the currency to pay the debt back. As far as timing, I would be shocked if we make it through the end of this year and people would still consider the system normal.”

When the system does break, that’s when it turns “ugly.” Holter explains, “As far as how are things going to work when this thing goes down? My question would be is anything going to work? Will your bank be open? Will your broker be open? Will there be a store open or a restaurant or any place to buy goods? That gets back to Jim Sinclair’s ‘Get out of the System’ (GOTS). Become your own central banker. Stock up on the things you think you are going to need. Is it going to last two weeks or two years? It could last two years. One thing for sure, our life in the United States is going to be drastically changed to a lower standard of living. . . . You are watching the breakdown in real time.”

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“Xi’s focus on ideology speaks much more to the resurrection of Mao’s legacy than to continuity with the Deng era.”

China’s Growth Sacrifice (Stephen S. Roach)

Since the days of Deng Xiaoping, economic growth has mattered more than anything for China’s leaders. The 10% annualized hyper-growth from 1980 to 2010 was widely seen as the antidote to the relative stasis of the Mao era, when the economy grew by only about 6%. But under President Xi Jinping, the pendulum has swung back, with 6.6% average growth from 2013 to 2021 much closer to the trajectory under Mao than under Deng. Some of the slowdown was inevitable, partly reflecting the law of large numbers: Small economies are better able to sustain rapid growth rates. As China’s economy grew – from 2% of world GDP in 1980 at the time of the Deng takeoff to 15% when Xi assumed power in 2012 – an arithmetic slowdown became only a matter of time. The surprise was that it took so long to occur.

It is possible to quantify the foregone Chinese output from the slowdown. Had annual real GDP growth remained on the 10% trajectory under Xi, rather than slowing by nearly 3.5 percentage points since 2012, the Chinese economy today would be a little more than 40% larger than it is. Yet the China slowdown is far more than an arithmetic event. Three powerful forces are also at work – a structural transformation of the economy, payback for past excesses, and a profound shift in the ideological underpinnings of Chinese governance. The structural explanation puts an optimistic spin on the slowdown by framing it as the byproduct of a strategy aimed to improve the quality of economic growth. By staying the course of hyper-growth for too long, China became increasingly afflicted with the “four uns” of former Premier Wen Jiabao – an economy that was unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated, and (ultimately) unsustainable. Rebalancing was the only way out – especially if it led to greener, consumer-led, and services-intensive growth that addressed the twin goals of balance and sustainability. If slower growth was the price, it was well worth paying it.

[..] My biggest mistake was to minimize the consequences of Xi Jinping Thought. Xi’s focus on ideology speaks much more to the resurrection of Mao’s legacy than to continuity with the Deng era. Under Xi, China’s new era is more about the supremacy of the Party, with an associated emphasis on power, control, and ideological constraints on the economy. Unlike the China of Mao, when there wasn’t much growth to sacrifice, there is far more at stake today for the world’s second-largest economy. With the upcoming 20th Party Congress likely to usher in an unprecedented third five-year term for Xi, there is good reason to believe that China’s growth sacrifice has only just begun.

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‘Wait. These are 20-year investments and Biden is saying that in 5 to 10 years these investments will go bad. So what should we do?’”

Biden’s War On Natural Gas Will Kill (Shellenberger)

Over the next several years, millions of people will die from hunger-related diseases, cold temperatures, and air pollution as a direct result of natural gas shortages. All of those deaths have been going down over the last several decades. But shortages of natural gas, gas-derived fertilizers, and electricity shortages will result a reversal of those trends. And the higher-than-normal death toll will continue so long as the world fails to produce sufficient natural gas to meet global demand. President Joe Biden could prevent a significant number of those deaths but his policies restricting natural gas production and exports will increase them. The U.S. is already the largest natural gas exporter in the world and it could produce and export far more.

The problem is that the Biden administration is refusing to grant permits for production, pipelines, and export terminals. And it is working through federal agencies to discourage private sector investment in natural gas. Biden administration officials point to rising liquified natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe, provisions in the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that tie renewable energy production to oil and gas production, and a permitting reform proposal proposed by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), which may pass Congress and be signed by Biden at the end of September, as proof that Biden increasing natural gas supplies.

But rising LNG exports are mostly the result of policies put in place before Biden took office, IRA increased the cost of natural gas leases on federal lands without requiring a significant expansion of them, and Manchin’s permitting reform proposal currently under consideration does not amend or update any of the statutes the Biden administration has put in place, which restrict natural gas production, transport, and export. A high-level Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist for the oil and gas industry told me that, as a direct result of Biden administration policies, private sector investment in LNG is being throttled. “The LNG industry is going to investors to invest in these facilities but investors are saying, ‘Wait. These are 20-year investments and Biden is saying that in 5 to 10 years these investments will go bad. So what should we do?’”

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“Meta could also still appeal a finalized Irish decision, which would again delay the need to trigger a Facebook and Instagram blackout in Europe.”

Norway Wants Facebook Fined For Illegal Data Transfers (Pol.eu)

Facebook owner Meta Platforms should be fined for continuing to shuttle Europeans’ personal information to the United States in violation of a landmark EU court ruling, Norway’s data protection authority has told its peer regulators. “There would be little or no incentive to act in accordance” with EU data transfer laws if regulators don’t impose a fine on the U.S. tech giant, Norway’s authority Datatilsynet said in a partially redacted document obtained by POLITICO under freedom of information laws. The authority is one of a handful of European regulators responding to the Irish Data Protection Commission’s draft decision from July that orders Meta’s to cease its use of a legal instrument called standard contractual clauses (SCCs) to transfer data across the Atlantic — everything from family pictures to payroll information.

The Irish draft decision implemented a 2020 court ruling in which the European Court of Justice nixed an EU-U.S. data transfer deal called Privacy Shield and tightened requirements to use other data transfer mechanisms like SCCs because they would expose Europeans to intrusive U.S. surveillance. “Based on the facts of the case, we do not see how [Meta] could have continued its personal data transfers following the Schrems II judgment had it acted in accordance with the GDPR,” the Norwegian objection reads. It said it thought Meta’s violation of EU data transfer rules is “particularly serious.” The Norwegian document suggests that the regulator wants to go further than the Irish Data Protection Commission, which in July decided to block Meta’s EU-U.S. data transfers but made no mention of a fine for the violations.

“While orders, limitations and bans generally seek to ensure that future data processing of personal data takes place in line with the GDPR, sanctions such as administrative fines are directed towards violations in the past and carry a punitive element,” it reads. Meta has repeatedly said that a decision blocking its transfers would force it to shutter its Facebook and Instagram offerings in Europe, but a final decision is months away. The Irish regulator is required to feed other European regulators’ comments, including Norway’s, into its decision, and may have to a trigger formal dispute resolution mechanism if it can’t resolve the objections, which would delay the process by at least another month. Meta could also still appeal a finalized Irish decision, which would again delay the need to trigger a Facebook and Instagram blackout in Europe.

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“The American people deserve transparency and accountability from the NIH regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of Dr. Fauci’s future employment plans..”

Rand Paul Lays Groundwork For Potential Fauci Probe (RT)

Fresh from vowing to investigate chief White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci for his role in the Covid-19 pandemic, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has demanded that President Joe Biden’s administration preserve documents and messages that could become evidence in the potential probe. Paul, who has sparred with Fauci in Senate hearings over government funding of potentially dangerous virus research, sent a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Tuesday, calling for the Covid-19 czar’s documents and communications to be saved. The demand came one day after Fauci announced that, effective in December, he would step down as Biden’s chief medical advisor and as director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Navarro Fauci

“Fauci’s resignation will not prevent a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic,” Paul said after the doctor’s announcement on Monday. That will include testimony under oath concerning discussions about the possible leak of Covid-19 from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, he said. The senator previously accused Fauci of directing public funding to gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab and lying about it under oath in congressional testimony. “Dr. Fauci misled the American people on public health guidance throughout the pandemic, lied to Congress under oath, and funneled tax dollars to fund dangerous research in communist China,” Paul told the Daily Caller on Tuesday.

However, Republicans will need to win back control of Congress in this year’s midterm elections to force such an investigation. Paul said in February that he would subpoena Fauci’s records if Republicans retake the Senate. In a CNN interview last month, Fauci said there was no reason for such a probe. “But if they want to, go ahead. My records are an open book.” Paul requested in Tuesday’s letter that the NIH preserve all documents, data and messages created by or shared with Fauci relating to Covid-19, including NIAID-funded research. “The American people deserve transparency and accountability from the NIH regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of Dr. Fauci’s future employment plans,” he said.

Other Republican lawmakers accused Fauci of timing his exit to just before a potentially GOP-controlled Congress starts work next January. “Dr. Fauci is conveniently resigning from his position in December, before House Republicans have an opportunity to hold him accountable for destroying our country over these past three years,” Representative Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) said on Monday. “This guy is a coward.” He added that Fauci will be held accountable whether or not he remains in public office.

Sen. John Kennedy Fauci

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“..rewarded executives cash bonuses up to $10 million to increase the number of daily users..”

Twitter Whistleblower: Company Hid “Extreme, Egregious, Deficiencies” (ZH)

Following the Washington Post’s story on the Twitter whistleblower complaint, Elon Musk’s legal team said they want to interview the former head of security Peiter Zatko. CNN’s Donnie O’Sullivan tweeted moments ago that Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro wants to speak with the Twitter whistleblower: “We have already issued a subpoena for Mr. Zatko, and we found his exit and that of other key employees curious in light of what we have been finding.” One day after Elon Musk’s legal team subpoenaed former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as part of an ongoing effort to fight a lawsuit by the social media company to force the billionaire to move forward with the $44 billion acquisition deal.

The Washington Post released a new report alleging executives deceived federal regulators and the company’s board about “extreme, egregious deficiencies” to combat hackers. WaPo cited a whistleblower complaint from the former head of security Peiter Zatko who said some of the company’s servers are running out-of-date software, and executives withheld critical information about data breaches. Bezo’s news outlet interviewed more than a dozen current and former employees about past deficiencies. The complaint was filed last month with the SEC, DoJ, and FTC. It said thousands of employees had access to core company software, which led to data breaches and hacks of high-profile users.

WaPo said the whistleblower document alleges executives prioritized user growth over reducing spam and rewarded executives cash bonuses up to $10 million to increase the number of daily users. The complaint noted Chief Executive Parag Agrawal was “lying” when he said in May the company was “strongly incentivized to detect and remove as much spam as we possibly can.” In a WaPo interview, Zatko said his decision to reveal Twitter’s failures to the public is an extension of his previous work exposing security flaws within the company.

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WEF crown prince.

Trudeau Building Huge New Facility For Ministry of Climate Change (TCS)

The Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is building a new facility in Winnipeg that will be home to a firearms armoury, interrogation rooms, biological labs, media relations offices, “controlled quiet rooms,” and intelligence facilities. The plans, which were drawn up by a firm in Winnipeg, open a window into Trudeau’s future plans for Climate Enforcement. Down the hall from the proposed “Firearms Storage” rooms are several evidence rooms, interrogation suites, and adjacent recording rooms.According to a recently posted Indeed.com ad, the Ministry is searching to recruit a battalion of Climate “Pollution” Officers, a unit within the coldly named “Environmental Enforcement Directorate.”

If you emit too much carbon or use too much fertilizer, you may just be on the Climate Communists’ hit list. The entire facility that was leaked to The Counter Signal is sketched to be over 50,000 square feet, will house hundreds of ECCC staff, and will also be home to weather forecasting staff. The Impact Assessment Act (IAA), which was quietly passed in the final days of Trudeau’s majority government, grants sweeping power to Ministerial “Enforcement Officers.” But, until now, little has been explained about where and how Climate Police will be deployed. The IAA empowers agents of the Ministry of Climate Change to enter premises without a warrant to “verify compliance or prevent non-compliance with [the Act].


Trudeau’s Climate Police may enter any project location that affects the environment to take photographs, access computer systems and communication devices, and “direct any person to put any machinery, vehicle or equipment in the place into operation or to cease operating it.” Climate Police may also prohibit access to the location entirely. It seems to be no coincidence that this Climate Police armoury was placed in the heartland of agricultural production in Canada. This information comes just days after agents dispatched by ECCC were accused of trespassing on private land in Saskatchewan to collect Nitrogen samples, the newest target of Trudeau’s climate change agenda.

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A one in 3 trillion chance, but still contested.

Study Links Genetic Code of Covids Spike Protein To Moderna Patent

• Genetic match discovered in Covid’s unique furin cleavage site on spike protein • Matched genetic sequence patented by Moderna for cancer research purposes • Researchers say one in 3 trillion chance Covid developed the code naturally • Critics of the study are sceptical of its author’s conclusions, suggesting that the sequence match is not as rare as has been claimed.


Fresh suspicion that Covid may have been tinkered with in a lab emerged today after scientists found genetic material owned by Moderna in the virus’s spike protein. They identified a tiny snippet of code that is identical to part of a gene patented by the vaccine maker three years before the pandemic. It was discovered in SARS-CoV-2’s unique furin cleavage site, the part that makes it so good at infecting people and separates it from other coronaviruses. The structure has been one of the focal points of debate about the virus’s origin, with some scientists claiming it could not have been acquired naturally. The international team of researchers suggest the virus may have mutated to have a furin cleavage site during experiments on human cells in a lab.

They claim there is a one-in-three-trillion chance Moderna’s sequence randomly appeared through natural evolution. But there is some debate about whether the match is as rare as the study claims, with other experts describing it as a ‘quirky’ coincidence rather than a ‘smoking gun’. In the latest study, published in Frontiers in Virology, researchers compared Covid’s makeup to millions of sequenced proteins on an online database. The virus is made up of 30,000 letters of genetic code that carry the information it needs to spread, known as nucleotides. It is the only coronavirus of its type to carry 12 unique letters that allow its spike protein to be activated by a common enzyme called furin, allowing it to spread between human cells with ease.


Analysis of the original Covid genome found the virus shares a sequence of 19 specific letters with a genetic section owned by Moderna, which has a total of 3,300 nucleotides. The US-based pharmaceutical firm filed the patent in February 2016 as part of its cancer research division, records show. The patented sequence is part of a gene called MSH3 that is known to affect how damaged cells repair themselves in the body.

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“One operator said they had been quoted a cost for their energy that was nearly six times higher than on their current contract..”

More Than 70% Of Pubs Do Not Expect To Survive Winter As Energy Costs Soar (G.)

Britain’s independent brewers have urged ministers to step in to save the sector, as research revealed more than 70% of pubs do not expect to survive the winter if nothing is done to ease energy costs. In a letter to the chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, independent brewers on Tuesday called for immediate government intervention, warning a once thriving cottage industry was now facing “grave uncertainty”. They said the impact of surging energy bills was being compounded by a fall in sales as households seek to save money, shortages of equipment such as kegs, cans and CO2 gas, and a poor hop harvest pushing up prices. “We have entered one of the most challenging times for the brewing sector,” the Society of Independent Brewers said, in a letter also signed by the chair of the Campaign for Real Ale.


“Small brewers are reporting that their energy bills are doubling or trebling, putting their future ability to brew at risk”. The warning came as pub operators reported similar rises in energy costs, with reports that some suppliers are refusing to offer new contracts to the sector because they fear pubs may not be able to pay their bills. More than 35% of operators said they had seen their utility costs double, while 30% said their costs had tripled, according to a survey for the trade publication the Morning Advertiser. One operator said they had been quoted a cost for their energy that was nearly six times higher than on their current contract – with the price per unit shooting up from 14p to 83p. Almost three-quarters of respondents said they would not be able to afford the increases.

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Aug 222022
 
 August 22, 2022  Posted by at 8:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Edouard Vuillard The window 1894

 

‘Russophrenia’ From Supposedly Smart People In The West (Diesen)
Russian Ambassador: We Simply Have No Contact With Western Diplomats (Antiwar)
US And Its Allies Lack Self-awareness (Robert Bridge)
German Chancellor’s Ratings Hit New Low (RT)
Scholz Told Putin When Ukraine Could Join NATO (RT)
Scholz Promises Kiev More Weapons ‘Soon’ (RT)
China Is Preparing To Go To War (Chang)
Drought Causes Yangtze River To Dry Up, Sparking Shortage Of Hydropower (G.)
Britain Warned Of ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ (RT)
UK Energy Bills To Skyrocket (RT)
British Soldiers To Prepare For Fighting Russia (RT)
Saskatchewan Warns Trudeau’s Federal Nitrogen Agents Could Be Arrested (TCS)
Peter Strzok: Fired FBI Official Is Making the Case Against Himself (Turley)
No Evidence Of Political Motivation Behind Mar-a-Lago Raid – Liz Cheney (CNBC)
In FBI vs. Trump, The People Lose (Maté)

 

 

Biden rent

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker T celll damage

 

 


Swedish artist Karl Jilg shows how much public space we’ve surrendered to cars

 

 

 

 

“We have been moving slowly towards a major European war for 30 years and there are no good solutions anymore..”

‘Russophrenia’ From Supposedly Smart People In The West (Diesen)

The author and holocaust survivor, Victor Klemperer, identified two distinct styles of language that defined Hitler’s propaganda against the Jews: either “scornful derision” of the inferior race or “panic-stricken fear” of their threat to civilisation. Anti-Russian propaganda over the past centuries has similarly produced two contradictory positions – disdain for Russians as an uncivilised and backward people, and simultaneously an immeasurable threat looming over Europe. A state of affairs described by one writer as “Russophrenia: the idea that Russia is simultaneously about to fall apart, and also take over the world.” Russia is hopelessly inept and weak, yet it is also capable of subverting the democracies of the world and restoring a global empire.

Moscow is so impaired that the West does not need to acknowledge or accommodate its basic security interests, yet NATO’s 30 member states need ever-more weapons to defend against the dreaded Russians. Exaggerating the weakness or the strength of an adversary (or both) is a key component of propaganda, which carries with it the obvious risk of miscalculations, as the real capabilities of the opponent are not accurately assessed. The war in Ukraine is a good case study of this phenomenon. To encourage more NATO, more military spending and containment of Russia, it is commonly argued that we have underestimated the threat of the Russians. During the Cold War, it was falsely argued that the Soviets enjoyed a huge positive missile gap vis-à-vis the US, which incentivised further military spending in the US.

After the Cold War, NATO expansion and raison d’etre have continued to rely on an exaggerated Russian threat. To encourage a more forceful approach to Russia, it is now argued that we have overestimated Moscow’s strength. Case in point, an article by The Atlantic argues that “Ukraine Has Exposed Russia as a Not-So-Great Power”. It suggests that because the Russian army “has seized only 20 percent of Ukraine”, it is time to shed the illusion of Russia being a great power. This conclusion supports an even more hard-line position towards Russia as opposed to Kissinger’s argument that great powers must be accommodated for peace. In other words, more of the same policies that fuelled tensions and brought us to this horrific conflict. [..] We have been moving slowly towards a major European war for 30 years and there are no good solutions anymore. But an end to wishful thinking must be the beginning.

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“..the lack of contact between officials means there is no potential to end the war through talks.”

Russian Ambassador: We Simply Have No Contact With Western Diplomats (Antiwar)

In an interview with the Financial Times, a top Russian diplomat says there is no communication with Western diplomats at the UN. The complete freeze in contact led the Kremin to assess there is no possibility of a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine. Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, told FT, “We do not have any contacts with the western delegations,” he said of his day-to-day work in Geneva. “On the protocol side we do not see each other … Privately we do not have any contacts, unfortunately … we simply do not talk to each other.” He said the lack of contact between officials means there is no potential to end the war through talks.

“Now, I do not see any possibility for diplomatic contacts. And the more the conflict goes on, the more difficult it will be to have a diplomatic solution,” Gatilov said. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has only spoken with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once in the past six months. Gatilov said Western military support for Ukraine and preventing peace talks means the war will have a military end. “And so they [Kiev and its western supporters] will fight until the last Ukrainian,” he said. Lavrov said Ukraine made a workable proposal in March before Kiev broke off talks the following month. Multiple sources reported, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Kiev as talks were progressing, discouraging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from engaging with the Kremlin.

Gatilov praised Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for attempting to facilitate a diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine. Ankara has hosted talks between Kiev and Moscow. Turkey and the UN were essential in crafting a deal that allows wheat to be exported through Black Sea ports. While Russia is happy with Turkey’s mediation efforts, FT reported two weeks ago that Western diplomats were concerned about Ankara’s ties with Moscow. On Saturday, deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Turkish Deputy Finance Minister Yunus Elitas that Russian companies and individuals are attempting to bypass Western sanctions in Turkey. Adeyemo warned the White House was attempting to enforce those sanctions.

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“.. Islamic State militants, who scattered their forces throughout the civilian population thereby turning civilians into ‘human shields’ – a technique now being employed by Ukraine.”

US And Its Allies Lack Self-awareness (Robert Bridge)

Efforts are underway in the US Senate to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Before going down that road, lawmakers may wish to consider some inconvenient facts. If Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is doing anything – aside from eradicating the resurgence of fascism on the European continent – it is revealing the shocking lack of self-awareness in Western capitals. Perennial American Russophobes from opposite sides of the political spectrum, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Lindsey Graham, are now agitating members of Congress to include Russia in Washington’s list of ‘state sponsors of terrorism,’ which presently includes North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Syria. Meanwhile, the Baltic State of Lithuania signed off on its own legislation in May declaring Russia a ‘terrorist state.’

Yet Vilnius didn’t stop there, accusing Russia of carrying out ‘genocide’ on its neighbor’s territory. The resolution states that Russia is committing “genocide against the Ukrainian people,” while saying that the Russian military, like some kind of modern-day Huns, “deliberately and systematically target civilian targets…”. Consider how US-led coalition forces ‘liberated’ the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State militants, who scattered their forces throughout the civilian population thereby turning civilians into ‘human shields’ – a technique now being employed by Ukraine. The US-led Coalition’s relentless four-month ‘precision’ bombardment against IS killed and injured thousands of civilians, while reducing homes, businesses and infrastructure to rubble. Surveying the damage on the ground, Amnesty International concluded that the US-led Coalition “launched strikes likely to cause excessive harm to civilians and failed to distinguish between military targets and civilians.”

The tragic irony of the situation, from Russia’s perspective, is that while Moscow is attempting to spare infrastructure and human lives, it is branded the ‘terrorist state,’ whereas Ukraine is granted hero status as it employs those same tactics that put civilian life at grave risk. Naturally, tragedies will occur and Russia, like any country that finds itself at war, will eventually be accused of killing innocent civilians. Yet these casualties are vastly exacerbated by the fighting techniques of the Ukrainian military, which, it should be emphasized, has been receiving its training from NATO forces since 2014. Time and again, when Russian troops enter a city, they find the enemy fortified behind civilian infrastructure, like hospitals, kindergartens and schools. This automatically turns the facility into a military target for Russian forces, which Ukraine then uses as ‘proof’ that Moscow is deliberately targeting civilians.

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Did Mutti pick this dude, for his lack of charisma?

German Chancellor’s Ratings Hit New Low (RT)

The approval rating of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reached the lowest mark since he took office in December. Only 25% of the public is satisfied with the job he’s doing, a survey published by Bild on Sunday reveals. “It’s not working” for both Scholz and the ‘traffic light’ coalition government, the tabloid said as it shared the results of the poll, conducted by Germany’s INSA research institute. A mere 25% of those surveyed approve of the chancellor’s job, with 62% expressing disapproval. If an election were held right now, Scholz would only finish third with 18% of the vote. Economy Minister Robert Habeck of the Green Party and Friedrich Merz, who heads the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), are currently more popular, backed by 25% and 19% respectively, the poll shows.

The numbers for the ‘traffic light’ coalition, which unites the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens, were as bad as those for Scholz. Only 27% told the pollsters they were happy with the government, while 65% said they have a negative view of its decisions. Scholz’s ratings have been on a steady decline since becoming chancellor eight months ago, Bild said. In March, when the conflict in Ukraine – in which Berlin sided with Kiev, supplying it with arms and slapping harsh sanctions on Moscow – had just started, he was backed by 46%, but in April, the number dropped to 38%.

Economic problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have been further exacerbated by the Western restrictions on Moscow and the subsequent decrease in Russian gas supplies to the EU. Despite being Europe’s top economy, Germany has been hit hard by soaring gas prices as it faces the risk of energy shortages this winter. On Sunday, the head of the German central bank warned that “an inflation rate of even 10% is possible in the autumn months,” something which has not been seen in the country for more than 70 years.

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Imagine you’re Putin and you have to listen to this:

“..Ukraine would have been blocked from joining NATO for 30 years..”

“..NATO was never a threat to Russia..”

Scholz Told Putin When Ukraine Could Join NATO (RT)

The German chancellor said he had sought to assure the Russian president that Ukraine would not join the bloc in the near future German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine would have been blocked from joining NATO for 30 years, in a bid to assure Moscow of the military bloc’s good intentions. Over the weekend, the German leader revealed some details of his talks with Putin before Russia began its military operation in Ukraine, adding that he now believes Russia sought to “conquer its neighboring country” all along. “NATO was never a threat to Russia,” Scholz said he told Putin. The chancellor did not specify which conversation he was referring to, though Scholz met Putin in Moscow in mid-February.


Speaking to journalists this weekend during an ‘open-doors day’ at the chancellor’s office, Scholz also denied that the military alliance had disregarded Russian security interests. When the two leaders spoke about the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, Scholz assured Putin that “it will not happen in the next 30 years,” the chancellor revealed. Scholz also said that he would not abandon dialogue with Russia but struck a harsher tone when assessing Moscow’s motives. He particularly accused Putin of starting the conflict for “completely absurd” reasons. “This is a war that Putin, Russia, started, … clearly with the intention of conquering its neighboring country,” he told journalists, adding that he believes “that was the original goal” that Moscow had in its military campaign. The chancellor also recalled how Putin had “explained” to him that Ukraine and Belarus should not be “separate states.”

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Problem is, they don’t have them.

Scholz Promises Kiev More Weapons ‘Soon’ (RT)

Berlin supplies “a lot of weapons” to Kiev and will continue to provide Ukraine “with what it needs for its defense,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, in response to criticism from a former Bundeswehr general. Germany is currently “in the process of supplying the most modern and efficient equipment,” Scholz stressed during a traditional ‘open-doors day’ this weekend, citing recent multiple deliveries of self-propelled ‘Gepard’ anti-aircraft guns and PzH 2000 howitzers. The German leader claimed that his main focus remains on “ensuring that there is no escalation of the war,” when a retired Bundeswehr general Klaus Wittmann accused him of a lack of “leadership” and appearing “intimidated” by Russian President Vladimir Putin, as cited by the German news outlet NTV.


Even more weapons “will be there soon,”Scholz vowed, apparently referring to the long-promised deliveries of an Iris-T SLM anti-aircraft missile system and a Cobra artillery radar, but providing no clear timeline. Back in June, Berlin promised to send Kiev one Iris-T unit for free, but Ukraine wants at least a dozen and has offered to purchase the rest directly from the manufacturer, even though Germany’s armed forces reportedly do not have enough air-defense systems themselves. Kiev is expected to receive the first such system no earlier than November, according to previous reports. Last month, Germany also committed a Cobraartillery radar to Ukraine, reportedly set for delivery in September. According to German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, Kiev has already signed the contract for the materials and troops should have starting training to operate “this highly complex system.”

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Centralizing decision making.

China Is Preparing To Go To War (Chang)

Last month, a Chinese entrepreneur making medical equipment for consumers told me that local officials had demanded he convert his production lines in China so that they could turn out items for the military. Communist Party cadres, he said, were issuing similar orders to other manufacturers. Moreover, Chinese academics privately say the ongoing expulsion of foreign colleagues from China’s universities appears to be a preparation for hostilities. The People’s Republic of China is preparing to go to war, and it is not trying to hide its efforts. Amendments to the National Defense Law, effective the first day of last year, transfer powers from civilian to military officials. In general, the amendments reduce the role of the central government’s State Council by shifting power to the CMC, the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission.

Specifically, the State Council will no longer supervise the mobilization of the People’s Liberation Army. As Zeng Zhiping of Soochow University told Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, “The CMC is now formally in charge of making national defense policy and principles, while the State Council becomes a mere implementing agency to provide support for the military.” In one sense, these amendments were window dressing. “Recent changes to China’s National Defense Law that diminish the power of the State Council are largely political posturing,” Richard Fisher of the Virginia-based International Assessment and Strategy Center told me soon after the amendments went into effect. “The Chinese Communist Party and particularly its subordinate CMC have always held supreme power over decisions regarding war and peace.”

Why then do we care about the National Defense Law amendments? The amendments, Fisher tells us, “point to China’s ambition to achieve ‘whole nation’ levels of military mobilization to fight wars and give the CMC formal power to control the future Chinese capabilities for global military intervention.” “The revised National Defense Law also embodies the concept that everyone should be involved in national defense,” reports the Communist Party’s Global Times, summarizing the words of an unnamed CMC official. “All national organizations, armed forces, political parties, civil groups, enterprises, social organizations, and other organizations should support and take part in the development of national defense, fulfill national defense duties, and carry out national defense missions according to the law.”

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Small impact for now.

Drought Causes Yangtze River To Dry Up, Sparking Shortage Of Hydropower (G.)

A record-breaking drought has caused some rivers in China – including parts of the Yangtze – to dry up, affecting hydropower, halting shipping, and forcing major companies to suspend operations. A nationwide drought alert was issued on Friday as a long-running and severe heatwave in China’s heavily populated south-west was forecast to continue well into September. The loss of water flow to China’s extensive hydropower system has sparked a “grave situation” in Sichuan, which gets more than 80% of its energy from hydropower. On Sunday the provincial government declared it was at the highest warning level of “particularly severe”, with water flow to Sichuan’s hydropower reservoirs dropping by half. The demand for electricity, meanwhile, has increased by 25% this summer, local media reported.

Last week the province suspended or limited power supply to thousands of factories and rationed public electricity usage due to the shortage. Toyota, Foxconn and Tesla are among companies reported to have temporarily suspended operations at some plants over the last fortnight. On Sunday the South China Morning Post reported plans to restart production this week had been postponed. The Yangtze is the world’s third largest river, providing drinking water to more than 400 million Chinese people, and is the most vital waterway to China’s economy. It is also crucial to the global supply chain, but this summer it has reached record-low water levels, with entire sections and dozens of tributaries drying up. Water flow on the Yangtze’s main trunk is more than 50% below the average of the last five years.

Shipping routes in the middle and lower sections of the river have also closed, the SCMP reported. Across the affected regions of China authorities are rushing to ensure water and power supply, as the region approaches harvest season for water-intensive crops like rice and soy. On Sunday authorities discharged 980m cubic meters of water from reservoirs in an effort to replenish lower levels of the river, state media said. The drought has affected at least 2.46 million people and 2.2m hectares of agricultural land in Sichuan, Hebei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Chongqing. More than 780,000 people have needed direct government support because of the drought, according to China’s ministry of emergency management.

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I’d venture it’s too late already.

Britain Warned Of ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ (RT)

The UK could face a “humanitarian crisis” involving ill health, excess deaths and rising inequality if the government does not take urgent action on rising energy bills, the National Health Service (NHS) Confederation warned on Friday. The organization wrote to the chancellor of the exchequer, claiming that failing to act would add more pressure on health services that were already strained. According to the NHS, if energy bills become unaffordable, the country’s health and social care system will be left to “pick up the pieces.” “The country is facing a humanitarian crisis. Many people could face the awful choice between skipping meals to heat their homes and having to live in cold, damp and very unpleasant conditions,” wrote the head of the NHS Nadhim Zahawi.


“This, in turn, could lead to outbreaks of illness and sickness around the country and widen health inequalities, worsen children’s life chances and leave an indelible scar on local communities.” The NHS highlighted that, in addition to causing more sickness, mass fuel poverty was also likely to “increase the already high number of annual deaths associated with cold homes.” It noted the situation could also affect mental health. “Health leaders are clear that unless urgent action is taken by the government, this will cause a public health emergency,” Zahawi stressed. The warning comes as energy bills for the average household in Britain are projected to rise to more than £4,200 ($4,960) per year from January 2023 after the next increase in the price cap. Last October, it was set at £1,400 ($1,653).

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Worse than Germany?!

UK Energy Bills To Skyrocket (RT)

The average British household can expect to see annual energy bills soar to £6,000 (nearly $7,100) in 2023, according to the latest outlook issued by the UK independent energy consultancy Auxilione on Saturday. The analysts project that the price cap on bills, an officially set reference point, could reach £6,089 as soon as next April. The cap, which currently stands at £1,971, is expected to climb to £3,576 in October and £4,799 in January. Last October, it was set at £1,400 ($1,653). Earlier this month, the UK energy industry regulator Ofgem announced plans to adjust the cap quarterly rather than every six months due to the volatility in energy markets.


The latest figure represents a substantial increase to what was already a gloomy forecast made last week, when the consultancy projected annual average energy bills growing to more than £5,000 (nearly $6,100) next year. Auxilione expects bills to peak at over £6,000 in April before slowly decreasing in the second half of next year, eventually coming down to £5,160 in October. According to the latest poll by Opinium, about 40% of respondents said they would not be able to afford the rise in the cap due to be announced by the energy regulator Ofgem without falling behind on other essential bills.

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“We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again.”

Maybe feed your people first?

British Soldiers To Prepare For Fighting Russia (RT)

The UK’s top ‘other ranks’ soldier has said that British troops must be ready to fight Russia, and should prepare their families for the prospect of an “extended” deployment. His advice comes after the UK’s new head of General Staff said that British forces must become capable of “defeating Russia in battle.” Writing for the latest issue of the British Army’s ‘Soldier’ magazine, Carney said that “the Army is shaping itself to meet the threat from Russia,”and “will be ready, with the right equipment, to play our part in deterring a future war in Europe.” “Deterring” in this case seemingly means deploying. “I want us all to check we are physically fit for operations. And it is also important we prepare loved ones and families, who often have the hardest role in our absence,”he continued.

“My ask is that you have discussions about a potential deployment with them now…we could be out of contact for extended periods on tour.” Carney’s warning does not signal an imminent change in the UK’s role in the conflict in Ukraine. However, a warning in June by Britain’s new chief of the General Staff, General Patrick Sanders, suggests that the Army views Russia as its next major opponent. “There is now a burning imperative to forge an Army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle,” Sanders wrote in a letter to his charges. “We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again.”

The UK has given Ukraine £2.3 billion ($2.7 billion) in military aid since Russia’s military operation began in February. British forces are currently training Ukrainian recruits in the UK, and its intelligence agencies are allegedly sharing information with their Ukrainian counterparts. The UK is a member of the NATO alliance, and in the event that it became involved in open war with Russia, the bloc’s 29 other member states, including the US, would be obliged to enter the conflict.

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Private land.

Saskatchewan Warns Trudeau’s Federal Nitrogen Agents Could Be Arrested (TCS)

Saskatchewan Minister Jeremy Cockrill has sent a warning to the Trudeau government that officers sent by Ottawa will be arrested if they continue to trespass on farmland to test nitrogen levels. According to Cockrill, Trudeau’s government has been unlawfully sending federal employees onto Saskatchewan farmlands to test for nitrogen levels without the consent of landowners. In the letter, the Minister raised multiple complaints from Saskatchewan farmers that raised “serious concerns about Government of Canada employees, in clearly marked Government of Canada vehicles, trespassing on private lands.” The farmers reporting these trespasses made clear that these government agents did not request permission to access the land and were not in any other manner given consent to access it.

Minister Cockrill further pointed out to the Trudeau government that these actions constitute a breach of the Saskatchewan Trespass to Property Act, and warned that these actions could carry with them serious penalties, including fines of up to $200,000 and up to six months in prison. By sending this letter, the Saskatchewan government has provided a clear order to the Trudeau government to cease and desist with any unlawful trespasses and warned them that should it continue, their employees could face arrest and prosecution. What is more concerning to some than the actual trespass are the motivations of the federal agents. According to the land owners who confronted the federal agents trespassing on their land, they were told that the purpose of them being there was to test the water in the farmers’ dugouts to measure nitrate levels.

For those following recent news in the agricultural world, this is being seen as connected to the Trudeau government’s recently announced policy to reduce the use of fertilizer on Canadian farms by 30%. This policy has been widely criticized by farmers across the country and by provincial governments in the Western provinces. Some observers have said that there is reason to suspect that these actions are the first steps in replicating the attacks on farmers that have provoked widespread unrest in the Netherlands and other places in Europe. While the federal government has not yet confirmed it, there is speculation that the water sampling we now know is underway, will be used as baseline measurements to enforce reductions in fertilizer usage going forward.

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“After he was fired, the former special agent was given a lucrative book deal, lionized on the left, featured prominently as an expert by CNN, and given a teaching job at Georgetown.”

Peter Strzok: Fired FBI Official Is Making the Case Against Himself (Turley)

Peter Strzok is back in the news this week. Career colleagues at the Justice Department previously referred Strzok for possible criminal charges and he was fired for his bias and unprofessional conduct. However, Strzok was immediately embraced by many in the media and establishment for his anti-Trump sentiments. After he was fired, the former special agent was given a lucrative book deal, lionized on the left, featured prominently as an expert by CNN, and given a teaching job at Georgetown. It was an extraordinary recovery from a scandal where he showed flagrant bias, engaged in an affair with another married colleague at the FBI, and fought to continue to investigate Russian collusion claims despite early warnings over the questionable basis of the allegations pushed by the Clinton campaign. (Strzok’s colleague and former paramour, Lisa Page, was given a contract as a legal analyst with NBC and MSNBC).

Now, Strzok appears liberated in showing precisely the bias and unhinged hostility alleged by his critics. He has been in the news lashing out at Trump and trolling his objections to the raid on Mar-a-Lago. The seizure of Trump’s passports has raised more doubts about the seemingly unlimited scope of the search. One of the passports taken in the raid was Trump’s active diplomatic passport, according to an email from the Justice Department made public by Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich. The other two passports alleged were expired. Last week, Strzok was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon with CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell, who blasted out a tweet claiming DOJ sources refuting Trump’s claim that the FBI took his passports.

The “CBS Evening News” anchor reported that the Department of Justice did not have Trump’s passports, tweeting, “According to a DOJ official, the FBI is NOT in possession of former President Trump’s passports.” In fact, the FBI did take the passports and had to later return them. The clear import of O’Donnell’s tweet was that Trump was lying. That was clearly the message received by various critics, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is purportedly serving as an unbiased member of the January 6th committee. Kinzinger, R-Ill., wrote, “Lies lies lies and more lies.” Notably, Strzok was also among those eager to spread the O’Donnell report, tweeting, “And unsurprisingly, Trump’s statement turns out not to be true.” He later deleted it.

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None at all.

No Evidence Of Political Motivation Behind Mar-a-Lago Raid – Liz Cheney (CNBC)

Representative Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., told ABC News that there was no political motivation in carrying out an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s resort home in Palm Beach, Florida. “I’ve seen no evidence that there was any political motivation,” Cheney told ABC News when asked about the Mar-a-Lago raid carried out by FBI agents. “I was ashamed to hear Republicans immediately and reflexively attack the FBI agents who executed the search warrant. I was disgusted when I learned that President Trump had released the names of the agents when he released the unredacted search warrant, and that has now caused violence,” Cheney said in the interview, which aired on Sunday. “This is a really dangerous moment,” she added.

On the heels of her congressional primary loss, Cheney also said that she will work with bipartisan political leaders to ensure that Trump never holds the nation’s highest office again. “I think, I think we have to make sure that he is not our nominee,” Cheney told ABC News. Cheney warned that Trump’s characterizations of U.S. elections as rigged is dangerous and disrupts the “fundamental function and principle at the center of our constitutional republic.” “There’s just simply no way that the nation and in my view, excuse that and put him in a position of power again,” Cheney said, referencing Trump’s 2020 presidential election loss and then the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

When asked about the Jan. 6 committee, which she serves as vice chair, Cheney declined to say whether Trump would be called to testify. “I don’t want to make any announcements about that this morning. I think it’s very important. As I said in the first hearing and the second hearing. His interactions with our committee will be under oath,” she said. Cheney noted that the committee has been in discussions with former Vice President Mike Pence’s legal counsel. “When the country has been through something as grave as this, everyone who has information has an obligation to step forward. So I would hope that he will do that,” Cheney said.

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“..an intra-elite, symbiotic feud that simultaneously boosts Trump among his base, and the national security state among his foes..”

In FBI vs. Trump, The People Lose (Maté)

For my money, the early beneficiary of the FBI’s espionage investigation of Donald Trump is Donald Trump. According to the Washington Post, “Trump has told advisers that in the nearly two years since leaving office, no issue had better galvanized Republican voters around him.” A Politico poll of Republican voters in the aftermath of the Mar-a-Lago raid gave Trump a 10-point boost over his closest possible primary rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump’s ensuing fundraising campaign has done even better, quickly topping $1 million on at least two days, a jump of at least 700%. Over the long run, it is difficult to form a conclusive judgment on Trump’s potential culpability in the absence of any confirmed detail about both the contents of the documents that Trump allegedly mishandled, and the evidence to support the Justice Department’s suspicions.

But if the last six years of routine Trump standoffs with the national security state are any guide, the walls are nowhere closer to closing in. Whatever your views on Trump, it is undeniable that the permanent military-intelligence bureaucracy in Washington does not see him as one of their own, and has gone to extraordinary lengths to target him when it sees fit. It is also undeniable that the national security state’s spats with Trump have distracted the public from vital issues that impact working people’s lives and the future of the planet. This includes, I have long argued, Trump’s most harmful policies as president, which were routinely overshadowed and even exacerbated by his standoffs with the “deep state.”

Accordingly, it is reasonable to expect that this latest “scandal” over the potential mishandling of classified documents will continue the trend that has defined the Trump era: an intra-elite, symbiotic feud that simultaneously boosts Trump among his base, and the national security state among his foes. Pundits and politicians are resoundingly confident that the FBI must have the goods on Trump to have taken the unprecedented step of searching the former president’s home. This argument can only be made by ignoring that the FBI and other intelligence agencies took far more unprecedented and consequential actions against Trump when he was president, on grounds that were not only baseless, but fraudulent.

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Peptides

 

 

 

 

 

29/2 1956

 

 

 

 

Ode to Joy 2
https://twitter.com/i/status/1561070756343300096

 

 

 

 

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Aug 062022
 
 August 6, 2022  Posted by at 12:28 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Beach at Scheveningen in Stormy Weather 1882

 

 

It is very simple: if you’d ask most citizens of whichever EU country if they are willing to risk being unable to feed and heat their children in order to support Ukraine and Zelensky, they would say NO. Hell no! But that is what they’re all being pushed towards. Food prices look to at least double from here, after they’ve doubled once already, while energy prices are set to triple or worse. And there’s no logical reason for it.

This is not due to some inevitable market mechanism, it’s because the west decided to halt all Russian imports after the latter’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. All western leaders found that reason enough to cut all, or nearly all, imports from Russia. Gas, oil, fertilizer, food. Essentials. They could have been sitting around a negotiating table, but chose not to. Which only works as long as things remain sort of affordable. And then, it does not.

Problem is, they had and have no alternative to the Russian supplies of these goods (and there’s many more). See, this is how we know they don’t make their own decisions. Those are made in Brussels and Davos, and then the “leaders” have to carry out the preconceived programs, and they will.

No elected official on his/her own would risk to destroy their own country’s energy or food safety, with elections coming up every few years. But their WEF/Davos connections have changed that “logic”. The WEF makes sure no western leader gets elected who is not a member of their club. There’s only one path to power these days.

 

But these people grossly underestimate the effect that hunger and cold -will- have on their citizens. The first signs of that are visible in the protests of truckers and farmers, but that’s just a start. You just wait till the cold sets in, and the running blackouts, and the hunger. Wait till people have to feed their kids scraps from a bare table in a cold dark home.

That’s when you will see who people really are. People in the west are overfed, and lazy, and not too sharp, but wait till their kids, and their families, are truly suffering. They’ve seen the example of the farmers and truckers. Wait for people to see the link between their own lives, and the farmers; then you will see who they really are.

“Leaders” like Trudeau and Rutte think they have this under control, that they can make the farmers do what their governments say they must, if need be with assistance from police or even the army. But you cannot send cops and soldiers against your farmers, because 1) they make your food, 2) the people support them, 3) they have a centuries-old democratic right to be farmers, and 4) they don’t take no sh*t for an answer.

This goes back 100s of years, much longer than the right of any politician to tell them what to do. The Dutch farmers on Friday told Rutte to prepare for the hardest actions yet, and they’re still not joking. My guess would be this time they will paralyze the country. Not because they are crazy; 10,000 of them would need to close shop if Rutte gets what he wants, and they won’t let that happen. Farmers will not idly stand by while their neighbor is forced out of business.

No, they are not crazy. They refuse to talk to Rutte, in a sign a of how much they trust him. He assigned a mediator, from his own political club, and all farmer org’s but one refused to talk to him too. The one that did, found the talk useless. Rutte wants the 10,000 scalps no matter what, but it’s just not going to happen. He is shown the limits of his power. Having been PM for 12 years, that’s a bit of a shock.

 

Obviously, this is all strongly connected to the past 2,5 years of measures and mandates and all. The political class got a taste of power that they did not have before, and got carried away. Well, they went too far this time. One telling number was that of US parents letting their youngest kids be vaxxed: what was it, 0.45%?! And 220 million adult Americans have either never been vaxxed or never boosted. No connection to the farmers? You wait and see.

The game is over. People’s patience with their politicians is ending. But the politicians themselves don’t see that; how could they when they censor all discontent and reports from doctors and scientists who don’t follow the “official” line? They’ve lost touch with the very world they’re supposed to represent. All they get to see is the info that is left after their own “norms” have censored the rest. They see only what they like to see.

 

In Europe, the Germans and Dutch will manage to be sort of OK, but only at the expense of poorer EU countries. And that won’t even be their main problem; that problem will be at home; their own farmers will come for them. And their poorest. Countries will leave the EU (and the euro). Hungary first to go?! In Greece, there’s already talk of rolling blackouts this winter, and they get most of their electricity from hydro. Italy is a shambles. How many present “leaders” will still be in place January 1 2023? How about June? After a winter of great discontent?

And they’re all telling you that “we” have to win in Ukraine first, and everything will be alright. But “we” have already lost in Ukraine, we did on February 24, and “we” should be talking to, and making peace with, Russia. Why are we not? Because we don’t want food and energy? The folks in Brussels and Davos will not be hungry and cold. But in other EU places they will be. And they will come to balance this thing out.

As for the US, I’m scared there too. Energy prices may not get as bad as in Europe, but food will be real bad (and how about housing?!). And there’s this fight between two factions going on, that starts to feel like what went on before the Civil War. I hope I’m wrong, but I feel it everywhere: Overreach.

 

 

 

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Jul 292022
 


Odilon Redon Sunset n.d.

 

Ukraine Shells Prison Holding POWs – Donbass Official (RT)
US Should Not Fund Ukrainian ‘Blacklist’ (Scott Ritter)
Provoking Beijing (MoA)
UK Official Says Nuclear War Threat Higher Than During the Cold War (Antiwar)
US GDP Drops 0.9 Percent In Second Quarter (PM)
‘Horror Chart’ Suggests Germany On Brink Of Huge Energy Crisis (RT)
Hanover Becomes First German City To Ban Hot Water In Public Buildings (DM)
EU Ban On Russian Gas ‘Impossible’ – Austria (RT)
EU Gas Solidarity Complicated By Lack Of Fuel Sharing Deals (R.)
Worst Is Yet To Come From Trudeau Liberals (Jordan Peterson)
Bill Barr To Merrick Garland: Appoint A Special Counsel Already (Fed.)
Joe Biden Met With 14 Of His Son’s Business Associates (RT)
They Can’t Let Him Back In (Michael Anton)

 

 

 

 

Never forget

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss O’Looney


https://twitter.com/i/status/1552438998009790465

 

 

Hesitancy

 

 

 

 

Breaking, not confirmed.

Ukraine Shells Prison Holding POWs – Donbass Official (RT)

Dozens were killed after Ukrainian forces struck a jail with POWs in Donbass, local official says Ukrainian troops shelled a prison housing POWs in Yelenovka early Friday morning, Donetsk People’s Republic Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov wrote on his Telegram channel. “There was a direct hit at a building with prisoners,” Bezsonov wrote. “The results as of now: 40 killed, 130 wounded.” The minister added that he believes Kiev used US-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launchers for the attack. The facility reportedly housed Ukrainian fighters captured by Russian and allied forces during the siege of the Azovstal steel mill in the city of Mariupol.

Read more …

“Many on this list are citizens of the United States, some of whom, like me, have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

US Should Not Fund Ukrainian ‘Blacklist’ (Scott Ritter)

Dear Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Congressman Tonko, My name is Scott Ritter. I am a New York State resident, currently residing in the Town of Bethlehem, in Albany County. My family and I have lived at our current address since July 2000. I am writing to you in your collective role as my elected representatives in the United States Congress, specifically regarding H.R. 7691, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022, which became Public Law 117-128 on May 21, 2022, which each of you voted in favor of. I draw your attention to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, specifically the following language: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

By enacting Public Law 117-128, you appear to have abrogated your Constitutional responsibilities in so far as you may have, in fact, made a law which both abridges the freedom of speech and a free press by enabling the Government of Ukraine, through the use of US taxpayer dollars appropriated under Public Law 117-128, to publish a “blacklist” singling out US citizens as “Russian propagandists” for exercising their Constitutional rights pertaining to free speech and a free press. The “blacklist” in question was published on July 14, 2022, by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, and consists of a list of politicians, academics, and activists who the Center claims promote “Russian propaganda.” Many on this list are citizens of the United States, some of whom, like me, have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

While the specific criterion used by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation for selecting persons for inclusion on this “blacklist” is not known, in my case the Ukrainian government appears to have taken umbrage against my articulation of Ukraine as a NATO base of operations, my analysis of the Bucha Massacre in early March which assigns responsibility to Ukrainian security services, and my description of the current Ukraine-Russian conflict as a “proxy conflict” being waged on behalf of the United States. Whether one agrees with my positions on these and other matters pertaining to Ukraine is not the point; by articulating my views, I am exercising my rights under the Constitution of the United States. While the Government of Ukraine is free to express its opinions regarding my viewpoints as it sees fit, the Government of the United States, by using funds appropriated by the United States Congress, should not facilitate the actions of the Government of Ukraine in this regard.

[..] As a constituent whose name has appeared on a so-called “blacklist” published by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, my personal and professional life has been, and continues to be, detrimentally impacted by the chilling effect of being labeled a “Russian propagandist” for simply exercising the right to free speech guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Moreover, Ukraine has a history of converting “blacklists” of this nature into “kill lists”, where those who speak out against the policies of the Ukrainian government are being murdered or threatened with violence.

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Nancy missed the past 30 years.

Provoking Beijing (MoA)

Yves Smith is aghast about the U.S. eyepoking of China: “The neocons above all seem unable to process that the days of US hegemony are over. It boggles the mind that they are not just eyepoking but escalating greatly with China via the still-planned Pelosi visit to Taiwan in August. As we’ll explain, China is fully cognizant of the fact that Pelosi is number two in line after Harris should something happen to the increasingly addle-brained Biden. And they don’t buy for a second that Pelosi is operating without the explicit approval of the Administration. Note that it’s entirely possible that Pelosi revived her Taiwan trip plan (recall she put it off after coming down with Covid) all on her own. The Pentagon gave her a face-saving out by saying they didn’t recommend it. China, which is routinely screechy when it is upset about what it perceives to be foreign transgressions, has managed to find new registers in its objections the proposed Pelosi visit.”

Pelosi is not only number two in line but has been hostile to the Chinese government for more than 30 years. In 1991 she and two other members of Congress made a stunt on the Tiananmen square where two years before protests had taken place. The multiday protest in the square had ended peacefully. But outside of the square bloody riots took place over several days and nights during which hundreds of soldiers and rioters got killed. The protest and riots had been a U.S. instigated color revolution attempt with the father of the color revolution concept, Gene Sharp, being personally in the Beijing and consulting the protest leaders. After the attempt had failed the CIA organized the exit of hundreds of protest leaders and agents to Hong Kong where they formed the base for the 2020 color revolution attempt there. Lots of those ‘activists’ have now moved to Taiwan.

In 1991 Pelosi and two congressmen unfolded a banner on Tianamen in front of the international media that said: “To those who died for democracy in China.” Police immediately intervened and ended the stunt. The stunt had a positive echo in U.S. media (Note: The video title says it is 1989 but the announcer says it is two years later). Pelosi may think she can recreate another positive media echo by traveling to Taiwan. But the China of 2022 is no longer the China of 1991. It is now the world’s biggest economy and its military force rivals the one the U.S. has. It no longer condones eyepoking and ‘human rights’ stunts. It knows a U.S. provocation when it sees one. In the 1950s and 60s the U.S. financed terrorism in Tibet. In 1989 it coached and financed a bloody color revolution attempt in Beijing. In the 1990s it brought Islamist terrorism to Xinjiang. In this century the U.S. instigated several periods of riots in Hong Kong.

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“..during the Cold War, there was an “understanding of the Soviet doctrine and capabilities — and vice versa” because they kept more negotiation channels open.”

UK Official Says Nuclear War Threat Higher Than During the Cold War (Antiwar)

British National Security Advisor Stephen Lovegrove warned on Thursday that there is a greater risk of nuclear war today than there was during the Cold War due to a lack of communication channels. “The Cold War’s two monolithic blocks of the USSR (Soviet Union) and NATO — though not without alarming bumps — were able to reach a shared understanding of doctrine that is today absent,” Lovegrove said. He said during the Cold War, there was an “understanding of the Soviet doctrine and capabilities — and vice versa” because they kept more negotiation channels open. “This gave us both a higher level of confidence that we would not miscalculate our way into nuclear war,” Lovegrove said.

“Today we do not have the same foundations with others who may threaten us in future — particularly with China,” he said. Today, there is only one remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia, the New START, which limits the deployment of nuclear warheads, bombers, submarines, and missiles. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the US has abandoned diplomacy with Moscow, and US officials have said they can’t imagine negotiating a replacement of New START before it expires in 2026. The US has no nuclear arms control treaties with China, which has a vastly smaller arsenal than the US or Russia. Current estimates put Beijing’s arsenal at around 350 warheads, while the US has 5,550 and Russia has about 6,200.

During the Trump administration, the US tried to get Beijing to take part in trilateral arms control talks with Moscow and Washington. But China has little interest in such talks while its arsenal is so much smaller. If the US were serious about getting China involved, it would need to work with Russia to significantly reduce its stockpiles. Besides the lack of communication, the risk of nuclear war is significantly higher today because the US is funding a war on Russia’s border and helping Ukraine with intelligence to carry out attacks on Russian forces. The US is also stoking tensions with China by deploying more military forces in the South China Sea and increasing support for Taiwan.

Read more …

What Is A Woman? – Part 2

US GDP Drops 0.9 Percent In Second Quarter (PM)

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released their report on the second quarter GDP. “Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022, according to the ‘advance’ estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 1.6 percent.” By standard definitions, two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth indicates that a nation is in an economic recession. President Joe Biden said on Monday that the US is not facing a recession. “We’re not going to be in a recession, in my view,” Biden said. “The unemployment rate is still one of the lowest we’ve had in history. It’s in the 3.6 percent area. We still find ourselves with people investing.”

“The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, federal government spending, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by increases in exports and personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased,” the BEA reports. The White House last week adjusted the definition of recession to distinctly not mean that two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth is a recession. “While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle,” the White House wrote.


“Instead, both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data—including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes. Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year—even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter—indicates a recession,” the White House said.

Read more …

Zschaepitz : “This horror chart suggests that #Germany is heading for a huge energy crisis. Not only are gas prices near record highs, but electricity prices in particular are signaling stress.”

‘Horror Chart’ Suggests Germany On Brink Of Huge Energy Crisis (RT)

Germany is heading for a “huge energy crisis,” a senior editor at one of the country’s most influential newspapers, Die Welt, warned on Wednesday. “Not only [are] gas prices near record highs, but electricity prices in particular are signaling stress,” Holger Zschaepitz, a senior editor on the daily’s economic and financial desk, wrote on Twitter. In what he called a “horror chart” that he posted with his tweet, Zschaepitz showed that the price of electricity had reached almost €400 per megawatt hour on the energy exchange, or €0.40 per kilowatt-hour. If consumer prices reflected such market rates, Germans would be paying around €0.80 per kilowatt-hour rather than the current €0.30, including taxes and fees. However, such a sharp increase would be socially explosive, Zschaepitz suggests.

Meanwhile, in such a case energy companies would no longer be able to produce competitively, he adds. Electricity prices in Germany are influenced by the price of natural gas, which is the source of 15% of the country’s electricity, according to official statistics. Gas prices have nearly quadrupled this year, primarily due to shrinking flow from Russia, the continent’s major supplier. The price crunch has already led to a partial nationalization of one of Germany’s largest energy supply companies. The German government announced last week it would acquire a 30% stake in Uniper after the company asked for a bailout, citing “extreme financial pressure” caused by the reduced Russian natural gas deliveries.

The curtailment of gas flows meant that rather than being able to fully rely on its long-term contracts at a fixed price, Uniper has recently been forced to buy gas on the spot market at a much higher price to make up for shortages. According to a recent report by Bloomberg, European energy firms are racking up debt to cover the soaring costs, with their liabilities having reportedly reached over $1.7 trillion.

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Shoot. Foot.

Hanover Becomes First German City To Ban Hot Water In Public Buildings (DM)

The Germany city of Hanover has become the first big city in Europe to ban hot water and central heating in public buildings in response to Vladimir Putin’s weaponizing of gas supplies. The drastic step comes as Germans have been told to expect sky high electricity bills and sweeping gas rationing measures that will affect their day-to-day lives. In a sign of things to come, Hanover, the capital of Lower Saxony in the north west of the country, will cut off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms. Other desperate gas-saving measures include switching off public fountains and blacking out night-time lights on major buildings such as the town hall and museums. The city’s mayor, Belit Onay, spoke of an ‘imminent gas shortage’ that meant they had to reduce the city’s energy consumption by 15 per cent.


The plans call for shutting off heating within public buildings between April and September each year, and thermostats set at just 20C (68F) for the rest of the year, although there will be some exemptions. There will also be a ban on portable air conditioners, heaters and radiators among the general populace as the average German begins to pay a price for standing up to the Russian dictator. The panic among European states – especially Germany – will likely come as music to Putin’s ears, as he is seen to be cutting energy supplies in retaliation for countries that have supported Ukraine after he invaded the country. Germany, like most of Europe, has been enjoying a hot summer which should soften the blow of the cold showers, but public officials are introducing the measures now in fear of what awaits them when the season turns.

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“..the German industry also depends on it, and if it collapses, the Austrian industry will also collapse, and we will face mass unemployment..”

EU Ban On Russian Gas ‘Impossible’ – Austria (RT)

The European Union cannot ban Russian natural gas, as the step would harm EU members more than Russia, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer warned on Thursday, as cited by Austrian media outlets. Chancellor Nehammer made the comments during a visit to Vienna by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “Sanctions must hit those against whom they are directed more, but not harm those who decide them,” Nehammer told the Austria Press Agency. A ban on gas supplies from Russia – an idea that has been circulating within the EU since Moscow started its military operation in Ukraine – would lead to a domino effect in Europe, the Austrian chancellor suggested.

“Austria’s position is that an embargo on gas is impossible. Not only because Austria depends on Russian gas, the German industry also depends on it, and if it collapses, the Austrian industry will also collapse, and we will face mass unemployment,” Nehammer said, as cited by Lenta.ru. Viktor Orban criticized the gas rationing plan approved by the EU – which aims to reduce gas consumption within the bloc by 15% from August to March next year – earlier this week. According to the Hungarian PM, the mandatory rationing of natural gas is “the first sign of a war economy,” and warned of a possible recession and unemployment in Europe.

Europe has seen reduced gas flow from Russia – a major supplier – due to technical issues at a major pipeline. Nord Stream 1 is currently operating at 20% capacity. The reduction comes as the continent is trying to top up its gas reserves ahead of the heating season. The EU pledged earlier this year to end the bloc’s reliance on Russian energy. A partial embargo on oil was agreed upon, but several rounds of sanctions have not included similar restrictions on Russian natural gas.

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The EU is made up of bureaucrats, so of course pratical things do not get done.

EU Gas Solidarity Complicated By Lack Of Fuel Sharing Deals (R.)

The European Union clinched a deal this week to cope with a gas supply crisis, but to make it work member states need to establish bilateral pacts to share gas and, right now, most have no such agreement in place. Only six such deals have been secured, leaving most of the EU’s 27 countries without firm terms on how and when they would share gas in a supply crunch, or the financial compensation they would give or get for doing so. “[Bilateral deals] are really … the only thing that will hold at the end of the day if there is a real supply crisis,” Christian Egenhofer, associate senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies, said. “They organise the legal stuff, the compensation, the financial but also the infrastructure constraints,” he said.

Fearing Russia may completely halt gas flows, EU countries agreed on Tuesday to curb their gas use by 15% over winter, to fill storage and free up fuel to share around in a supply crisis. But it is up to individual countries to sort out how that sharing of fuel will happen in practice. EU laws oblige member states to send gas to a neighboring state whose households or essential services like hospitals face a severe shortage. To make that happen, governments arrange bilateral deals. However, just eight countries are covered by the six agreements so far – including between Germany and Austria, Estonia and Latvia, and Italy and Slovenia. “This is not sufficient,” EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson said last month, urging countries to arrange more.

A handful of countries are negotiating new two-way agreements, government officials said. A German-Czech deal is due to be signed by winter, and Germany is working on further agreements with Poland and Italy, its economy ministry said. But some countries heavily reliant on Russian gas – such as landlocked Hungary, which opposed this week’s deal – have none. Italy and France are the EU’s biggest gas users after economic powerhouse Germany. Italy has just one bilateral deal on emergency gas sharing and France has none. A senior Italian official said the country was negotiating a deal with Greece on gas storage.

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“I simply cannot believe that this absolute failure of economic policy is now being trumpeted as a positive accomplishment.

Worst Is Yet To Come From Trudeau Liberals (Jordan Peterson)

I have had the great privilege of travelling to 40 American cities in just about as many states and to 15 European countries in the last four months, in the waning days of the great COVID panic, and I have learned many things about our great and self-conscious nation. First: I have not travelled anywhere else where the citizens and the government are more neurotically “concerned” about the pandemic. It may have escaped Canadians’ notice, but virtually nowhere else in the developed world is it now required to wear a mask, as is still mandatory in many of Canada’s airports and on flights out of our benighted country. There is absolutely no excuse for this, except the punitive self-righteousness of the Trudeau Liberals.

What else might you expect, however, from a government that also includes Chrystia Freeland, a deputy prime minister who has bragged about her colleagues’ appalling economic performance, claiming that it is actually good for Canadians to empty their wallets at the gas pumps, because of its implications in fighting the “climate emergency.” I simply cannot believe that this absolute failure of economic policy is now being trumpeted as a positive accomplishment. Here’s a hint for you saintly progressives: if you cared about the poor (the real poor, not the hypothetical poor you are hypothetically saving in the future), you would seek to drive down the cost of energy — energy that is precisely equivalent to work and, therefore, to the wealth that ameliorates poverty.

Second: it is almost impossible to overstate the degree to which Canada’s international reputation has been damaged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Americans I have talked to (including people very well-placed politically on the Democratic and Republican fronts alike) listen in disbelief when I recount the claim brought forth by the Trudeau Liberals: that the trucker Freedom Convoy was financed by Americans hell-bent on bringing about a Jan. 6-style insurrection in Ottawa. Who would benefit from that, even in principle? Even if the Americans (Republican MAGA-types, say) cared about us — which they don’t — why in the world would they want to destabilize Canadian democracy? What’s the motive, to justify the crime? There is none. Even the American Democrats think that idea is insane.

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Barr 180º.

Bill Barr To Merrick Garland: Appoint A Special Counsel Already (Fed.)

Recent developments warrant the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, former Attorney General William Barr says. “[I]ntervening events, especially recent reports about FBI whistleblowers and the possible reach of the investigation, warrant adding the protections of special counsel status to assure that key decisions are made independently without political ‘favor,’” Barr told The Federalist. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been under federal investigation since 2018 for issues related to his foreign business practices, including obtaining investments and board positions from politically compromised figures in communist China and other trouble spots. Multiple U.S. attorney’s offices were tasked with components of the investigation, with the Delaware office being the lead.

Hunter Biden’s problems became much more public with the news that he had left a laptop full of incriminating information at a computer repair store in Delaware. That news was then suppressed by Democrat-allied intelligence officials falsely claiming it was Russian disinformation. This week, multiple FBI whistleblowers, including those in senior positions, accused FBI headquarters of “improperly discredit[ing] and falsely claim[ing] that derogatory information about Biden’s activities was disinformation, causing investigative activity and sourcing to be shut down,” according to a Monday letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. That fact, as well as concern over the investigation’s complexity and scope, convinced the former attorney general of the need for a special counsel.

By highlighting the apparent breadth of the still-pending investigation into Hunter Biden’s affairs, Barr’s comments confirm concerns of three insiders, reported by The Federalist on Wednesday, that “the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office investigating Hunter Biden lacks the wherewithal and resources to adequately probe the dubious financial dealings of the Biden family and their business partners.” Barr’s view that a special counsel is now warranted to continue the investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings represents a change from the position he took in December 2020.

During a December 21, 2020 press conference, when asked whether he agreed with Republicans that a special counsel was needed to handle the Biden investigation, Barr negated the idea. “I think it’s being handled responsibly and professionally currently within the department, and to this point I have seen no reason to appoint a special counsel, and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” the outgoing attorney general told reporters.

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Get that counsel.

Joe Biden Met With 14 Of His Son’s Business Associates (RT)

Despite repeated denials that he ever spoke to his son Hunter about the latter’s overseas business dealings, Fox News reported on Thursday that President Joe Biden met with at least 14 of Hunter’s business associates from the US, Mexico, Ukraine, China and Kazakhstan. Abandoned in a Delaware computer repair shop some time before the 2020 election and unearthed by the New York Post, Hunter’s laptop contained presumed evidence of numerous foreign deals in which businessmen offered tens of millions of dollars for introductions to Joe Biden, as well as graphic proof of Hunter’s drug use and dalliances with prostitutes.

“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden insisted in 2019. When last month Britain’s Daily Mail published a 2018 voicemail featuring Biden speaking to Hunter about a deal with Chinese oil firm CEFC, the official line remained the same, with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that “what the president said still stands.” Fox News’ latest report casts serious doubt on Biden’s denial. According to the news site, Joe Biden met with Mexican businessmen Miguel Aleman Velasco and Miguel Aleman Magnani in 2014, giving the pair a tour of the White House. A year later, Biden reportedly spoke by video with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and all three Mexicans – whom Hunter was doing business with or in negotiations with at the time – visited them at the vice presidential residence in Washington DC.

In a text message found on the laptop, Hunter told his business partner, Jeff Cooper, that he had spoken to his father about the deal involving Slim. Joe Biden also reportedly met with former Colombian President Andres Pastrana Arango and Eric Schwerin, another of Hunter’s business partners, in 2012, before dining with Arango and Juan Esteban Orduz, a Colombian businessman, later that same day. Files from the laptop show that during a single dinner in 2015, Joe Biden met with Hunter’s business associates from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia, including an executive from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company that paid Hunter a reported $50,000 per month from 2014 to 2018 to sit on its board. The following day, the Burisma executive emailed Hunter, thanking him for “giving an opportunity to meet your father.”

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Anton is a former Trump WH adviser.

They Can’t Let Him Back In (Michael Anton)

Why? They say Jan. 6. But their determination began much earlier. And just what is so terrible about Trump anyway? I get many of his critics’ points, I really do. I hear them all the time from my mother. But even if we were to stipulate them all, do Trump’s faults really warrant tearing the country apart by shutting out half of it from the political process? Love him or hate him, during Trump’s presidency, the economy was strong, markets were up, inflation was under control, gas prices were low, illegal border crossings were down, crime was lower, trade deals were renegotiated, ISIS was defeated, NATO allies were stepping up, and China was stepping back (a little). Deny all that if you want to. The point here is that something like 100 million Americans believe it, strongly, and are bewildered and angered by elite hatred for the man they think delivered it.

Nor was Trump’s record all that radical—much less so than that of Joe Biden, who is using school-lunch funding to push gender ideology on poor kids, to cite but one example. Trump’s core agenda—border protection, trade balance, foreign restraint—was quite moderate, both intrinsically and in comparison to past Republican and Democratic precedent. And that’s before we even get to the fact that Trump neglected much of his own agenda in favor of the old Chamber of Commerce, fusionist, Reaganite, Conservatism, Inc., agenda. Corporate tax cuts, deregulation, and bombing Syria: These are all things Trump’s base doesn’t want, but the oligarchs desperately do, which Trump gave them. And still they try to destroy him.

Again, why? I think it’s because, while Trump’s core MAGA agenda is decidedly not outside the historic bipartisan mainstream, it is well outside the present regime’s core interests. Our rulers’ wealth and power rise with open borders, trade giveaways, and endless war. Trump, at least in principle, and often in practice, threatens all three. The old America—the one in which Republicans cared about the heartland and weren’t solely valets to corporate power, Democrats were pro-worker and anti-war, and Bill Clinton and The New York Times could advocate border security—is in the process of being replaced, if it hasn’t already been, by one in which there is only one acceptable opinion on not just these, but all other issues.

Anti-Trump hysteria is in the final analysis not about Trump. The regime can’t allow Trump to be president not because of who he is (although that grates), but because of who his followers are. That class—Angelo Codevilla’s “country class”—must not be allowed representation by candidates who might implement their preferences, which also, and above all, must not be allowed. The rubes have no legitimate standing to affect the outcome of any political process, because of who they are, but mostly because of what they want. Complaints about the nature of Trump are just proxies for objections to the nature of his base. It doesn’t help stabilize our already twitchy situation that those who bleat the loudest about democracy are also audibly and visibly determined to deny a real choice to half the country. “No matter how you vote, you will not get X”—whether X is a candidate or a policy—is guaranteed to increase discontent with the present regime.

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Bear

 

 

 

 

Gerry Ritz

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 132022
 


Pablo Picasso Guernica [Study] 1937

 

The Judgement of the Nations (Batiushka)
No, Iran Will Not Deliver Armed Drones To Russia (MoA)
Joe Biden’s Oil Gamble Set to Backfire as Saudi Arabia Sticks With Russia (NW)
The World Braces For Europe’s July 22 “Doomsday” (ZH)
Washington Isn’t Ready for Higher Interest Rates (NR)
Democrats Defend Trump Officials’ COVID-19 Response (NW)
Covid Booster Significantly Delays End Of Infection (INN)
FDA Colluded With Moderna to Bypass COVID Vaccine Safety Standards (CHD)
The Serious Adverse Events of mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Trials (Demasi)
Cassidy Hutchinson Begged Trump Officials For ‘Financial Assistance’ (DC)
The Ex-CIA Agents Deciding Facebook’s Content Policy (MacLeod)
Someone Tell The PM The World Needs More Fertilizer, Not Less (TSun)
DUCK AND COVER 2.0: Prepare for a Nuclear Attack (Celente)

 

 

 

 

I simply don’t understand this anymore.

Hawley – Khiara M. Bridges, Professor Of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, CA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1546892242899668992

 

 

 

 

State secrets on the table.

Bolton – Jake Tapper: “One doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup.”
John Bolton: “I disagree with that. As somebody who has helped plan coup d’etat, not here, but other places, it takes a lot of work.”
https://twitter.com/i/status/1546963273408565249

 

 

PaxVax
https://twitter.com/i/status/1546900583919095810

 

 

 

 

“Russia knew that in order to win a war, you have to win the peace afterwards.”

The Judgement of the Nations (Batiushka)

Originally, this was not a war, but a limited Operation, still involving a small proportion of the Russian Armed Forces. Had Russia wanted to occupy the Ukraine with massive military violence, in German, with a ‘Blitzkrieg’, in American, with ‘shock and awe’, with hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of victims, all could have been done in a couple of weeks. However, this is not Hollywood. That was not the aim. The clear aim was to free the Russian part of the Ukraine and to demilitarise and denazify the rest, so it would no longer present a threat to the Russian World. Obviously, doing this meant not just winning the genodical war which the backers of the Kiev regime had begun in 2014, but also doing it, causing the smallest number of victims among the Russian and Allied military and Ukrainian civilians as possible, and at the same time doing the least amount of damage to civilian infrastructure as possible.

Pictures showing huge damage to civilian infrastructure, especially in Mariupol and Donetsk, show above all the enormous amount of damage done by NATO-backed Kiev regime bombardments over the last eight years. It was clear to Russian military and political planners that the Operation would take at least months, perhaps years, as the whole of the Kiev Armed Forces had been digging in here for eight years. Russia knew that in order to win a war, you have to win the peace afterwards. It was no good doing like the Americans did in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, destroying infrastructure, making the people hate you and then, once you realise that you have lost, running away, leaving chaos and misery.

The Russian authorities also knew that since NATO had already de facto declared war on Russia in 2014, the Operation to liberate the Ukraine through denazification and demilitarisation would further activate their war effort and provoke many more ‘sanctions’. Now that the Operation has become a NATO war against Russia, much as expected, it is all the more difficult to forecast the future. Many missed the point. The Special Military Operation is not where it is at. The Ukraine is only the location, the battlefield, and the Kiev junta are only the actors on the stage, puppets. This is not primarily a battle of the military and their technologies, although they are very important, this is above all a battle of world views and ensuing realities. This battle is political and economic, spiritual and moral. Why else did the Johnson regime ban the Russian Orthodox Patriarch from visiting the UK?

Here we understand President Putin’s words of 7 July 2022 before Russian parliamentarians that Russia ‘has not even started anything in earnest in the Ukraine yet’, that the military operation in the Ukraine signifies ‘a cardinal break with the US world order, the beginning of the transition from the liberal globalism of US egocentricity to the reality of a multipolar world….the march of history is unstoppable and the attempts of the West to foist its New World Order on the world are doomed to failure’.

Putin – Multipolar world

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Of course not. Just a stupid attempt to implicate more of America’s perceived enemies.

No, Iran Will Not Deliver Armed Drones To Russia (MoA)

In March this year we were treated to an onslaught of obviously false claims that China would deliver weapons to Russia for the fight in Ukraine. “Russia seeks military equipment and aid from China, U.S. officials say – Washington Post – March 13, 2022 “Russia has turned to China for military equipment and aid in the weeks since it began its invasion of Ukraine, U.S. officials familiar with the matter told The Washington Post. The development comes as White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan plans to travel to Rome on Monday to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi. “We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing, that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions, evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them,” Sullivan told CNN.

Russia is an exporter of military weapons and China is one of its biggest customers. There is nothing in the Chinese arsenals that Russia can not and does not produce itself. The claim was false from the get go but Sullivan, the mediocre National Security Advisor of the Biden regime, planted it to put pressure on China. It of course did not work. China denied that it had received any request from Russia or that it was in any way willing to ever fulfill one if it would come: No Chinese weapons have been seen in Ukraine. Now an equally stupid claim was launched by the very same liar who launched the fake Chinese weapons claim.

“White House: Iran set to deliver armed drones to Russia” – AP – Jul 7, 2022 “The White House on Monday said it believes Russia is turning to Iran to provide it with “hundreds” of unmanned aerial vehicles, including weapons-capable drones, for use in its ongoing war in Ukraine. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said it was unclear whether Iran had already provided any of the unmanned systems to Russia, but said the U.S. has “information” that indicates Iran is preparing to train Russian forces to use them as soon as this month.” “Our information indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline,” he told reporters Monday.”

Russia has for some time build mass production facilities for its own drones. A decade ago, the Russian Armed Forces possessed fewer than 200 UAVs, and now this figure stands at over 2000, and each year is replenished by 300. Furthermore, the Russian defence industry is conducting R&D on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in UAVs, with the ambition of enabling them to perform as unified “swarms of drones” in combat zones. Sources claim that this was already tested in 2020, during the Kavkaz-2020 military exercise. Russia has absolutely no need to buy drones from Iran. Besides that it is dubious that Iran would be able to deliver some and certainly not ‘several hundreds’.

The Washington Post notes the weird timing of Sullivan’s claims thereby hinting that it was made for purely political purposes which have nothing to do with Russia: “The revelation comes as President Biden prepares to depart for the Middle East, where he is expected to confer with key allies on a unified regional policy toward Iran. Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been further strained in recent weeks, amid faltering nuclear talks and an uptick in rocket and drone attacks on U.S. military installations in the Middle East, conducted by militia groups armed and funded by Iran.” The whole issues is just a talking point designed to put Iran and Russia into the same ‘baddies’ binder for Biden’s talks in the Middle East. The countries there may not like Iran but they will certainly not allow for a condemnation of Russia. The whole idea is, as many others Sullivan had, stupid to begin with.

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Saudi’s No 1 is not the same as America’s.

Joe Biden’s Oil Gamble Set to Backfire as Saudi Arabia Sticks With Russia (NW)

President Joe Biden’s attempt to lower rising oil prices by convincing Saudi Arabia to increase production looks set to fail as Saudi officials have indicated the country is not willing to abandon its oil production alliance with Russia, which Washington has claimed is part of the reason for sky-high fuel costs. Biden will begin his Middle East trip this week in his first trip to the region since taking office, starting in Israel and the occupied West Bank. He will end his trip in Saudi Arabia. Biden has said that the trip will advance American interests by focusing on the global trade and supply chains the U.S. relies on. Many countries in the West, including the U.S., want Saudi Arabia to produce more oil to help mitigate the growing global energy crisis that was ignited by the Ukraine war.

More production will also punish Russia, a major oil exporter, by bringing global prices down. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, U.S. officials said Biden will discuss Saudi Arabia’s human rights record during the trip. The paper reported that Saudi officials are not likely to make any human rights concessions nor will they be willing to abandon an oil-production partnership with Russia. Saudi Arabia has been looking to secure an oil alliance with Russia for decades but has to walk a tightrope to do this while improving strained relations with the U.S. over its human rights record. Washington and Riyadh have expressed different ideas about what the priorities will be during Biden’s visit. The Biden administration said that the summit of the Arab nations will take center stage, as the president will meet multiple heads of state from the region during the summit.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Saudi officials said the meeting between Biden and Saudi King Salman and his leadership team, which includes his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will feature “substantial exchanges between Prince Mohammed and the president on a range of topics and [Saudi officials] have described the summit as peripheral.” The crown prince is considered a pariah by many in Washington after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in February 2021 that the 36-year-old future king approved the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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“European stocks plunging 20%. Junk credit spreads widening past 2020 crisis levels. The euro sinking to just 90 cents, before a full-blown recession slams the world’s 2nd biggest economy.”

The World Braces For Europe’s July 22 “Doomsday” (ZH)

Two weeks ago, when previewing the scheduled 10-day shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline – which supplies the bulk of European nat gas usage courtesy of Russia – for maintenance, we quoted from DB FX strategist George Saravelos that if the gas shutoff is not resolved in coming weeks this would lead to a broadening out of energy disruption with material upfront effects on economic growth, and of course much higher inflation, or as he puts it, “beyond the market’s worries about slower global growth in recent months, what is unfolding in Europe in recent days is a fresh big negative supply shock.” As such, DB’s Jim Reid said that July 22, the day gas is supposed to come back online, could be the most important day of the year:

“while we all spend most of our market time thinking about the Fed and a recession, I suspect what happens to Russian gas in H2 is potentially an even bigger story. Of course by July 22nd parts may have be found and the supply might start to normalize. Anyone who tells you they know what is going to happen here is guessing but as minimum it should be a huge focal point for everyone in markets.” Fast forward to today when, one day after the start of the scheduled 10-day shutdown period which has already sent flows through to NS 1 pipeline to basically zero… … and the market is now focusing on the worst case scenario: what happens if Russia cuts off all gas on July 22, the day even Bloomberg has now dubbed Europe’s “doomsday scenario.”

Here is a sample of what Wall Street expects to happen then: European stocks plunging 20%. Junk credit spreads widening past 2020 crisis levels. The euro sinking to just 90 cents, before a full-blown recession slams the world’s 2nd biggest economy. And all this power in the palm of Putin’s hand, almost as if he knew precisely how much leverage he had back in February while Europe was – as always – completely clueless. So to help Europe’s braindead bureaucrats, where energy policies have been dictated by a petulant Scandianvian teenager and a bunch of German “greens”, strategists across Wall Street have tried to put numbers on a scenario that would be unthinkable in normal times. The caveat of course is that there are so many variables, such as the length of any shutdown, the extent of supply cuts, and how far countries would go to ration energy, that anyone’s prediction is a guess at best. Even so, the scenarios are catastrophic.

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“Washington was already projected to add $100 trillion in baseline deficits over the next three decades due primarily to Social Security and Medicare shortfalls. ”

Washington Isn’t Ready for Higher Interest Rates (NR)

Congress and the White House are not prepared for a world with higher interest rates, and there’s no backup plan. Weary families have already seen soaring inflation reduce their real wages by 3 percent over the past year. The Federal Reserve and market forces will likely defeat inflation within a reasonable time frame. But the resulting higher interest rates will cost Washington — and taxpayers — for many years to come. Any family shopping for a new home is already feeling the interest-rate crunch. Since last year, the average mortgage rate on a conventional fixed-rate loan has jumped from 2.6 percent to 5.8 percent, pushing up the monthly payment on a median-priced home from $1,289 to $1,877. Interest rates on car loans and small-business loans have jumped as well.

Rates are likely to continue rising. The Federal Reserve has quickly hiked the federal funds rate from 0.25 to 1.75 percent, yet will likely have to go higher to crush inflation. And once inflation is defeated, a more vigilant Fed is unlikely to drop rates back within the 0–2.5 percent range that has prevailed over the past 14 years. Investors will likely demand many years of higher interest rates and an inflation risk premium to avoid getting burned again. Such a scenario helped drive up 1980s interest rates in response to 1970s inflation. Other factors that may drive up interest rates for years to come include a long-awaited productivity surge (which would increase borrowing by making capital investments more profitable, and families more willing to borrow against future wealth), global investors chasing stronger returns in faster-developing economies, and baby boomers finally spending down their decades of retirement savings.

The colossal national-debt surge projected by the Congressional Budget Office would add approximately three percentage points to interest rates over three decades. Washington, perched for now on top of a mountain of debt, can ill afford higher interest rates. For the past few years, short-sighted lawmakers, economists, and columnists have demanded that Congress take advantage of low interest rates by engaging in a massive borrowing spree. Indeed, President Biden’s enormous spending agenda was often justified by the low interest rates on government borrowing. This case never made sense for two reasons. First, Washington was already projected to add $100 trillion in baseline deficits over the next three decades due primarily to Social Security and Medicare shortfalls.

Even with low rates, interest costs were projected by the CBO to become the most expensive item in the federal budget and consume half of all tax revenues within a few decades. Additional borrowing would deepen the hole. Second, Washington never locked in the recent low interest rates. In fact, the average maturity on the federal debt has fallen to 62 months. If interest rates rise at any point in the future, nearly the entire escalating national debt would roll over into those rates within a decade. Consequently, continued federal borrowing means gambling America’s economic future on the hope that interest rates never rise again. And there is no backup plan if rates do rise.

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Martin Kulldorff and Jay Bhattacharya

Democrats Defend Trump Officials’ COVID-19 Response (NW)

With more than one million reported COVID-19 deaths and enormous collateral damage to public health, education, and the economy, our pandemic response was a disaster. Yet some House Democrats are now defending the Trump administration officials responsible for initiating those misguided policies. Two Trump-appointed officials—former CDC director Robert Redfield and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx—formally directed the federal response from the start of the pandemic through January 2021. They adopted lockdowns, including school and business closures, as the centerpiece of the national coronavirus response. In a recent report, Democrats on the Congressional Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis defended these Trump officials. In doing so, they reiterated the misunderstandings underpinning the Birx-Redfield-Fauci strategy.

The Trump officials made two fundamental mistakes. First, they failed to prioritize protecting older Americans from a disease that had an infection fatality rate more than a thousand times higher for the elderly than for the young, leading to many unnecessary deaths. Unlike Ebola, but similar to influenza and previously circulating coronaviruses, it was never possible to suppress COVID-19 to achieve “zero COVID.” Many countries tried, but not one succeeded. Lockdowns only prolonged the pandemic. Despite harsh government lockdowns, extensive contact tracing, and constant anxiety-inducing warnings, most Americans got infected. Inevitably so. With their singular focus on COVID suppression, Birx, Redfield, and Anthony Fauci failed to implement measures to protect older, high-risk Americans. They praised governors who ordered hospitals to discharge COVID-infected patients to nursing homes, where they infected other residents.

Excess staff rotation spread the virus both within and between nursing homes. Instead of implementing daily testing at nursing homes, Birx, Redfield, and Fauci used limited resources to test asymptomatic children and students. It was only when Dr. Scott Atlas arrived at the White House in July 2020 that the government made more tests available to nursing homes. When enough people recover from COVID, the country reaches herd immunity. After that, the disease becomes endemic, like other coronaviruses that cause occasional colds. Since the Birx-Redfield-Fauci strategy led to mass infection and eventual herd immunity, it is curious that congressional Democrats now claim these Trump officials were opposed to a “herd immunity strategy.” The truth, now obvious to all, is that all COVID strategies lead to herd immunity. That is how pandemics end.

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Because it compromises the immune system.

Covid Booster Significantly Delays End Of Infection (INN)

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has demonstrated that people who are triple-vaccinated (boosted) against COVID recover significantly more slowly from COVID infection and remain contagious for longer than people who are not vaccinated at all. The study did not deal with the severity of illness with or without a vaccine. Researchers swabbed infected people and cultured the swabs, repeating the process for over two weeks until viral replication was not observed. At five days post-infection, less than 25 percent of unvaccinated people were still contagious, whereas around 70 percent of boosted people were still carrying viable virus particles. For those partially vaccinated, around 50 percent were still contagious at this point.


Even more strikingly, at ten days post-infection, one-third of boosted people (31 percent) were found to still be carrying live, culturable virus. By contrast, just six percent of unvaccinated people were still contagious at day 10. In other words, people who have received a booster shot are five times more likely still to be contagious at ten days post-infection than are unvaccinated people. The findings go a long way to explaining why Paxlovid, Pfizer’s anti-viral medication, is often not effective for people who have been vaccinated against COVID, with many experiencing a recurrence of symptoms along with a positive COVID test after completing the five-day regimen (as recently occurred with quadruple-vaccinated Dr. Anthony Fauci). This phenomenon is known as COVID rebound.

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“Moderna claims the active substance — mRNA in Spikevax — does not need to be studied for toxicity and can be replaced with any other mRNA without further testing.”

FDA Colluded With Moderna to Bypass COVID Vaccine Safety Standards (CHD)

According to an ex-pharmaceutical industry and biotech executive, documents obtained from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine suggest the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Moderna colluded to bypass regulatory and scientific standards used to ensure products are safe. Alexandra Latypova has spent 25 years in pharmaceutical research and development working with more than 60 companies worldwide to submit data to the FDA on hundreds of clinical trials. After analyzing 699 pages of studies and test results “supposedly used by the FDA to clear Moderna’s mRNA platform-based mRNA-1273, or Spikevax,” Latypova told The Defender she believes U.S. health agencies are lying to the public on behalf of vaccine manufacturers.

“It is evident that the FDA and NIH [National Institutes of Health] colluded with Moderna to subvert the regulatory and scientific standards of drug safety testing,” Latypova said. “They accepted fraudulent test designs, substitutions of test articles, glaring omissions and whitewashing of serious signs of health damage by the product, then lied to the public on behalf of the manufacturers.” In an op-ed on Trial Site News, Latypova disclosed the following findings:

  1. Moderna’s nonclinical summary contains mostly irrelevant materials.
  2. Moderna claims the active substance — mRNA in Spikevax — does not need to be studied for toxicity and can be replaced with any other mRNA without further testing.
  3. Moderna’s nonclinical program consisted of irrelevant studies of unapproved mRNAs and only one non-GLP [Good Laboratory Practice] toxicology study of mRNA-1273 — the active substance in Spikevax.
  4. There are two separate investigational new drug numbers for mRNA-1273. One is held by Moderna, the other by the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases within the NIH, representing a “serious conflict of interest.”
  5. The FDA failed to question Moderna’s “scientifically dishonest studies” dismissing an “extremely significant risk” of vaccine-induced antibody-enhanced disease.
  6. The FDA and Moderna lied about reproductive toxicology studies in public disclosures and product labeling.

“Moderna’s documents are poorly and often incompetently written — with numerous hypothetical statements unsupported by any data, proposed theories, and admission of using unvalidated assays and repetitive paragraphs throughout,” Latypova wrote. “Quite shockingly, this represents the entire safety toxicology assessment for an extremely novel product that has gotten injected into millions of arms worldwide.”

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“Trials” in this case doesn’t mean what it usually does. There have been either no “trials” or one very big one.

The Serious Adverse Events of mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Trials (Demasi)

In December 2020, the US FDA authorised the Moderna and Pfizer mRNA covid-19 vaccines, claiming “the benefits outweighed the harms.” Now, a group of international researchers has gone back to re-analyse the original trial data upon which that claim was made. A pre-print study (not yet peer-reviewed) by Fraiman and colleagues contradicts the FDA’s claim that the benefits outweigh the harms of the mRNA vaccines. In fact, the authors conclude that the vaccines are associated with an “increased risk of serious adverse events” that surpass the “risk reduction for covid-19 hospitalisation” relative to the placebo group. The conclusion is provocative. While some have criticised the study for fuelling ‘anti-vax’ sentiment, many have welcomed the independent scrutiny of the trial data.

The researchers focused on analysing serious adverse events — specifically, they narrowed it to serious adverse events of “special interest” which were derived from a predefined list by the Brighton Collaboration, an established framework for vaccine safety used for over two decades. The advantage of this method is that it removes adverse events that are unlikely to be vaccine-related such as gunshot wounds and car accidents, thereby removing ‘noise’ from the analysis. They also pooled the trial data for the two mRNA vaccines which increased the sample size and achieved higher confidence in the results (more precision). The upshot of the analysis was that mRNA vaccines were associated with an absolute risk increase of serious adverse events of 12.5 per 10,000 vaccinated people (95% CI 2.1 to 22.9) over placebo.

Put another way, 1 in 800 people experienced a serious adverse event following either one of the mRNA vaccines (95% CI: 437 to 4762). “That is very high for a vaccine. No other vaccine on the market comes close,” says Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard (on leave) and former CDC vaccine safety committee member who was not involved in the study. Kulldorff says the closest any other vaccine on the US market comes to this is the MMRV vaccine which is no longer recommended for 1-yr-olds because they found the excess risk of febrile seizures was 1 in 2300 compared to separate MMR and Varicella vaccines (no excess risk in 5-yr olds). The Fraiman study found that coagulation disorders and cardiovascular problems were driving most of the serious adverse event in the trials, which seems to corroborate reports in the pharmacovigilance databases.

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“Every conversation that she described that she had with people from McCarthy to Ratcliffe to Cipollone never happened..”

Cassidy Hutchinson Begged Trump Officials For ‘Financial Assistance’ (DC)

The Jan. 6 Committee’s key witness, Cassidy Hutchinson, asked former Senior Trump officials for financial assistance and legal help in February after she was subpoenaed by the committee, according to an email obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller. [..] “I was subpoenaed by the 1/6 Committee on November 9, 2020, but was not formally served until Wednesday, January 26, 2021. I’ve had difficulty securing a legal team, and was hoping you may be able to put me in contact with any fundraising organizations and/or attorneys that are involved in this process,” Hutchinson said in the email to the former senior Trump official. “My aunt and uncle applied to refinance their house to loosen up some money since I don’t have much immediate family, but they weren’t approved,” Hutchinson said in a separate email.

Multiple senior Trump officials and a person with first-hand knowledge told the Daily Caller that former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows would not answer Hutchinson’s calls after she was subpoenaed. A Meadows spokesperson confirmed those claims to the Daily Caller, saying Meadows didn’t return those calls to avoid the appearance of improperly influencing any testimony. [..] “Cassidy Hutchinson reached out to various people in Trump world asking for both financial assistance and help finding a lawyer. She told us she was in significant financial distress, had no family that could help, and couldn’t even afford food. She also told us Mark Meadows wouldn’t return her calls. To our knowledge, she spoke with multiple lawyers and chose Stefan Passantino to represent her,” a person with first-hand knowledge told the Daily Caller.

The person with first-hand knowledge also said that Trump officials were sympathetic because of her age and lack of employment and said at her request, Trump’s PAC agreed to help her financially and, at her request, suggested attorneys she could interview. The person also said Hutchinson made derogatory comments about the Jan. 6 committee to multiple people in Trump world. A former senior Trump official also mentioned Meadows not returning Hutchinson’s calls and said she reached out to Trump’s circle and asked for help. “She reached out to Trump world and was like, ‘Hey. The committee reached out to me. I really need help.’ She didn’t have a job. She didn’t have money to pay a lawyer. Trump has been trying to be really helpful, especially with young people who weren’t like bad actors on J6, like get you a lawyer. Pay for it. Meadows wasn’t returning her phone calls and like her circle of people, weren’t, like, helpful,” a former senior Trump official told the Caller.

[..] “She was in a horrible, she was in horrible shape financially. She had no employment prospects because like, you know, coming out of the Trump White House election wasn’t exactly, you know, a great line on the resume. And she was desperate,” the other Trump official told the Caller. “Every conversation that she described that she had with people from McCarthy to Ratcliffe to Cipollone never happened,” the official added. Another former senior Trump official told the Caller that Hutchinson was supposed to go work for Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, after leaving the White House and was stunned by Hutchinson’s testimony in front of the committee.

“She made it sound like all these people, I mean, I was in that West Wing, that these people basically were reporting to her and she was giving Meadows advice. And I’m like, What? I was there … But here’s the part that I do know firsthand she was supposed to take a job in Palm Beach,” the former senior Trump official said. “All I know. She was thrilled to go down there. Thrilled. Thrilled. This is after January 20!” the former official continued.

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“Facebook, in short, is utterly swarming with spooks.”

The Ex-CIA Agents Deciding Facebook’s Content Policy (MacLeod)

It is an uncomfortable job for anyone trying to draw the line between “harmful content and protecting freedom of speech. It’s a balance”, Aaron says. In this official Facebook video, Aaron identifies himself as the manager of “the team that writes the rules for Facebook”, determining “what is acceptable and what is not.” Thus, he and his team effectively decide what content the platform’s 2.9 billion active users see and what they don’t see. Aaron is being interviewed in a bright warehouse-turned-studio. He is wearing a purple sweater and blue jeans. He comes across as a very likable, smiley person. It is not an easy job, of course, but someone has to make those calls. “Transparency is incredibly important in the work that I do,” he says.

Aaron is CIA. Or at least he was until July 2019, when he left his job as a senior analytic manager at the agency to become senior product policy manager for misinformation at Meta, the company that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. In his 15-year career, Aaron Berman rose to become a highly influential part of the CIA. For years, he prepared and edited the president of the United States’ daily brief, “wr[iting] and overs[eeing] intelligence analysis to enable the President and senior U.S. officials to make decisions on the most critical national security issues,” especially on “the impact of influence operations on social movements, security, and democracy,” his LinkedIn profile reads. None of this is mentioned in the Facebook video.

Berman’s case is far from unique, however. Studying Meta’s reports, as well as employment websites and databases, MintPress has found that Facebook has recruited dozens of individuals from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as well as many more from other agencies like the FBI and Department of Defense (DoD). These hires are primarily in highly politically sensitive sectors such as trust, security and content moderation, to the point where some might feel it becomes difficult to see where the U.S. national security state ends and Facebook begins. In previous investigations, this author has detailed how TikTok is flooded with NATO officials, how former FBI agents abound at Twitter, and how Reddit is led by a former war planner for the NATO think tank, the Atlantic Council. But the sheer scale of infiltration of Facebook blows these away. Facebook, in short, is utterly swarming with spooks.

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WEF-coordinated between several countries.

The discussion is priceless.

Someone Tell The PM The World Needs More Fertilizer, Not Less (TSun)

The Trudeau government’s plan to reduce the use of fertilizers in Canada in the name of fighting climate change is the kind of thinking that globally applied, will lead to skyrocketing food prices and famine.It is another example of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mantra that the world must move ever faster away from the use of fossil fuels is increasingly becoming disconnected from reality because of rapidly changing global events.The problem right now is that the world needs more fertilizer, not less, for the same reason it needs more fossil fuel energy, not less.The severe shortage of both is happening for the same reasons — supply chain disruptions as countries try to recover economically from the COVID-19 pandemic, along with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.

Just as Russia is a major supplier of natural gas and oil to Europe, it is also the world’s largest producer of fertilizer. A global shortage of fertilizer — exacerbated by economic sanctions against Russian fertilizer and Russian export restrictions on fertilizer — is already contributing to higher prices, not just for the fertilizer needed by farmers to grow crops, but for the prices consumers pay for food at the grocery store. At least that’s the case in developed countries like Canada.For developing countries, it raises the spectre of famine. The real “green revolution” in agriculture, which started in the 1960s by making food production increasingly more efficient — in large part due to fertilizers — is literally keeping billions of people around the world alive today.

A global shortage of fertilizer, unless it is meaningfully addressed, will do the opposite over time.Enter the Trudeau government with a policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizers in Canada to 30% below 2020 levels by 2030. That’s an absurdly short time frame which is just as unrealistic as his target of reducing Canada’s greenhouse emissions to 40%-45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and to net zero by 2050. The Liberals, as well as the Conservatives, have never hit a single emission reduction target they’ve set over the past 34 years, and the reason is they set targets which are technologically unfeasible over and over again.

‘Nobody believes you’: Poilievre grills Trudeau as he testifies over WE Charity controversy

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This crazy video feels like a sign of these crazy times.

DUCK AND COVER 2.0: Prepare for a Nuclear Attack (Celente)

The Ukraine War continues to escalate and America and NATO have vowed to do whatever it takes to defeat Russia. As we have forecast, the longer the war drags on, and the more weapons of death that are sent to Ukraine to keep bloodying the killing fields, the hotter it’s going to get, even to the point where there will be a nuclear exchange. Now the message being broadcast via the mainstream media is that the worst is yet to come, and they are warning the people, as they were during the Cold War, to “Duck and Cover.” Yesterday, New York City released a public service announcement warning the people that a nuclear bomb can be dropped and gave them idiotic and moronic instructions on what to do to save their lives after the bomb was dropped.


Assuming that they did not burn or melt in the initial blast, the New York City Emergency Management Department gave New Yorkers a three-step plan reminiscent of the duck-and-cover stupidity they sold the people at the height of the Cold War. The biggest takeaway: you really have to be a stupid dumbbell to swallow the crap from this shit show production. The short video, which looks like it was filmed on a Hollywood set, takes place on a partially bombed city street with a scene with damage that looks more Sesame Street than a nuclear apocalypse. Dressed in black, the presenter is the culturally perfect presenter in America’s dead-woke society. The actor playing the government mouthpiece role appears calm, almost like a flight attendant pointing to emergency exits on a plane and the only indication that something is amiss is the faint sound of sirens going on in the background.

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Led by Donkeys

 

 

 

 

Mahathir
https://twitter.com/i/status/1546003810253803521

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Apr 132022
 
 April 13, 2022  Posted by at 8:04 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Margaret Bourke-White Coney Island 1952

 

CIA Admits Feeding Americans False Info About Ukraine (Ron Paul)
The West Cannot Isolate Russia, Putin Warns (F.)
China’s Jan-March Overall Trade With Russia Rises 28% (R.)
The Defense Industry’s Ukraine Pundits (Lever)
Top American Golfer Recently Underwent Surgery For Blood Clot In Her Left Arm (GW)
Bitcoin Fans Are Psychopaths Who Don’t Care About Anyone, Study Shows (NYP)
California Now Leads The Country In Illiteracy (CJ)
At Least 20 Federal ‘Assets’ Embedded at Capitol on Jan. 6 (ET)
Covering for the Big Guy (Dinesh D’Souza)
Canada’s Next PM (Bexte)
Rebel News Founder Speaks After Trudeau Denies Them Journalism ‘License’ (Fox)
Trudeau Considers Trucker Tax (TCS)
Twitter ‘A Sh*t Show’ For Employees Since Elon Musk Took Major Stake (NYP)
Elon Musk Accused Of Breaking Law While Buying Twitter Stock (AP)
Elon Musk’s Vision For The Internet Is Dangerous Nonsense (Robert Reich)

 

 

 

 

“Americans are directly in charge of the war on the ground.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Isn’t it ironic that the CIA itself has done more than the Russians to undermine Americans’ faith in the media..”

CIA Admits Feeding Americans False Info About Ukraine (Ron Paul)

Late last year, a Gallup poll showed that Americans’ trust in the mainstream media has fallen to its second lowest level on record. Only seven percent of Americans responded that they have a “great deal” of trust in the media. That loss of trust has been well-earned by the mainstream media, and it explains the massive growth of independent media and alternative voices on social media. The response to the rise of independent media voices has been a rush to “cancel” any voice outside the accepted mainstream narrative. Citizens of the Soviet Union would read manipulated media like Pravda not because the regime reported facts, but because truth was hidden between the lines of what was reported and what was not reported. That seems to be where we are in the US today.

Last week an extraordinary article appeared in, of all places, NBC News, reporting that the US intelligence community is knowingly feeding information it does not believe accurate to the US mainstream media for the American audience to consume. In other words, the article reports that the US “deep state” admits to being actively engaged in lying to the American people in the hopes that it can manipulate public opinion According to the NBC News article, “multiple US officials acknowledged that the US has used information as a weapon even when confidence in the accuracy of the information wasn’t high. Sometimes it has used low-confidence intelligence for deterrent effect…” Readers will recall the shocking headlines that Russia was prepared to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, that China would be providing military equipment to Russia, that Russian President Putin was being fed misinformation by his advisors, and more.

All of these were churned out by the CIA to be repeated in the American media even though they were known to be false. It was all about, as one intelligence officer said in the article, “trying to get inside Putin’s head.” That may have been the goal, but what the CIA actually did was get inside America’s head with false information meant to shape public perception of the conflict. They lied to propagandize us in favor of the Biden Administration’s narrative. Those pushing the “Russiagate” hoax through the Trump years claimed that the goal of “Russian disinformation” was to undermine Americans’ trust in our government, media, and other institutions. Isn’t it ironic that the CIA itself has done more than the Russians to undermine Americans’ faith in the media by feeding false stories to establish a particular narrative among the American people?

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“It is practically “impossible to severely isolate anyone in the modern world,” let alone a country as “vast” as Russia..”

“..reiterating unproven claims the West has fostered a neo-Nazi, anti-Russian state on its doorstep..”

The West Cannot Isolate Russia, Putin Warns (F.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin toured a spaceport in the far east of Russia on Tuesday with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, defending Russia’s “clear and noble” goals in Ukraine and pointing to the country’s prior achievements in space as proof Western efforts to isolate Moscow will fail. It is practically “impossible to severely isolate anyone in the modern world,” let alone a country as “vast” as Russia, Putin said, according to Reuters, citing Russian state television. Even the “total” sanctions and “complete” isolation of the Soviet Union did not stop it from beating the West into space, Putin said, adding that Russia does not “intend to be isolated.”

Putin said Russia would never again depend on the West and doubled down on the main goal of what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, which is to “help people in the Donbas,” the primarily Russian-speaking region in eastern Ukraine, and ensure Russia’s security, according to the New York Times. He said Russia made the “right decision” and “didn’t have a choice” but to invade Ukraine, reiterating unproven claims the West has fostered a neo-Nazi, anti-Russian state on its doorstep. Putin was touring the Vostochny spaceport with Belarusian ally Lukashenko, who reportedly asked why everyone is “getting so worried about these sanctions.” The pair celebrated Cosmonaut’s Day—a celebration of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin carrying out the first human spaceflight in 1961—and announced a joint project to guarantee both countries independent access to space.

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine six weeks ago, Western countries have imposed a series of increasingly harsh sanctions and restrictions against Russian businesses, industry, and key members of Putin’s inner circle. Many businesses have elected to withdraw from Russia as well. The sanctions have had a dramatic impact on the Russian economy and the World Bank estimates its economy will be around 11% smaller at the end of 2022 (it estimates Ukraine’s will fall around 45%). Despite the Russian downturn, critics, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, argue that sanctions are too weak and Europe’s continued purchasing of Russian oil and gas amounts to giving Russia “permission to attack.” Increasing indications of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, such as signs of executed civilians in Bucha, have added to pressure to up sanctions.

Pence Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1514060795079966728

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What isolation looks like.

China’s Jan-March Overall Trade With Russia Rises 28% (R.)

China’s overall trade with Russia rose to 243.03 billion yuan ($38.18 billion) in January-March, a Chinese customs spokesman said on Wednesday, up 27.8 percent from a year earlier. China’s total trade with Ukraine climbed to 29.6 billion yuan in the first quarter, customs spokesman Li Kuiwen said at a press conference, up 10.6 percent. China’s trade with both Russia and Ukraine has maintained an uptrend, Li said, adding that China’s economic and trade cooperation with other countries including Russia and Ukraine will remain normal. China’s overall trade with Russia reached 190.12 billion yuan in January-March 2021, while its trade with Ukraine stood at 26.77 billion yuan, according to previous customs data.

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Maybe step 1 is to stop calling it the *Defense* industry?

The Defense Industry’s Ukraine Pundits (Lever)

Last week, CNN brought on former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for his fourth recent appearance to talk, once again, about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deadly invasion of Ukraine. “I think we need to understand that there is only one thing that Putin understands, and that’s force,” said Panetta on Newsroom. The former CIA director added: “I think the United States has to provide whatever weapons are necessary to the Ukrainians, so that they can hit back, and hit back now.” At no time did Panetta nor CNN mention that he’s a senior counselor at Beacon Global Strategies, a defense industry consulting firm that has reportedly represented weapons manufacturer Raytheon. The firm doesn’t disclose its clients, but Raytheon and the defense industry generally stand to benefit from the conflict in Ukraine.

The episode is part of a broader pattern and practice: Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, cable news networks have routinely called on defense officials-turned-consultants to offer analysis and help the American public make sense of the crisis. Often, these analysts have used their TV time to call for greater U.S. involvement and bolder moves that could ratchet up tensions between two nuclear-armed superpowers. The networks have consistently failed to disclose these analysts’ day jobs, describing them instead by only their former high-ranking military or government roles — leaving viewers in the dark about the analysts’ financial ties to defense contractors that stand to profit from increased or prolonged conflict.

During its Ukraine coverage, MSNBC even failed to include disclosures when the network invited on former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who serves on the board of directors at Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest defense contractor. When asked about this matter, Johnson told The Lever, “I have no comment.” Corporate media’s lack of transparency about these consultants is deeply troubling, said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. “This type of revolving-door behavior should be prohibited for military officials to serve in a private capacity representing military contractors,” Holman told The Lever. “If not prohibited, it should be disclosed to everyone so when they’re going on television trying to affect Biden’s policy on whatever war they have in mind, they ought to be straightforward.”

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Probably nothing. Golfers get blood clots all the time.

Top American Golfer Recently Underwent Surgery For Blood Clot In Her Left Arm (GW)

Nelly Korda announced Friday on social media that she recently underwent surgery for a blood clot in a subclavian vein in her left arm. “I am pleased to report the procedure went well and the doctors were happy with the outcome,” Korda wrote. “I am now home recovering and preparing to start rehab. I am looking forward to getting back to 100 percent so I can begin practicing.” Korda, the No. 2-ranked player in the world, first posted about the blood clot on March 13 and withdrew from the next two events in California, including the Chevron Championship, the season’s first major. “I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming support and messages I have received the last few weeks,” Korda posted. “Your kind words have helped me get through this challenging and scary time.”

Korda last teed it up on the LPGA in early February at the LPGA Drive On Championship. She has finished T-15, T-20, and T-4 in three starts this season. In 2021, Korda won four times on the LPGA as well as Olympic gold in Tokyo and was named Female Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America. She was honored by the GWAA on Wednesday night at the organization’s annual dinner near Augusta. Korda also revealed that she had tested positive for COVID-19 in the second week of January, which “kept her off her feet for some time” before the LPGA season started.

McCullough: permanent DNA alteration
https://twitter.com/i/status/1512916014882828292

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“A team of experts..”

Bitcoin Fans Are Psychopaths Who Don’t Care About Anyone, Study Shows (NYP)

The average Bitcoin investor is a calculating psychopath with an inflated ego, according to scientists. A team of experts recently surveyed more than 500 people to uncover the personality traits that are most common among crypto nuts. They identified that many investors exhibit signs of the “dark tetrad”, a group of four unsavory traits made up of narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism. In plain English, that means dark tetrads have an inflated sense of self-importance and derive pleasure from the pain of others. They also find it difficult to empathize with others and are sly and manipulative.


Scientists at Queensland University of Technology described their findings in research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences earlier this month. They asked 566 people to complete personality surveys as well as answers questions about their attitudes to crypto. Of the participants, one in four reported that they owned crypto and two-thirds showed an interest in crypto investing. All four dark tetrad traits correlated with an affinity for investing, each for their own reasons. According to the researchers, dark tetrads are partly drawn to crypto because they are prepared to take risks. Digital assets such as Bitcoin are infamously volatile and the feast-or-famine nature of investing is particularly enticing to some.

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3rd world.

California Now Leads The Country In Illiteracy (CJ)

With California’s porous southern border, soaring taxes, and ongoing flow of overbearing and occasionally bizarre regulations (one law targets cow flatulence, for example), state residents could use a break from bad news. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon. According to a recent report, California now leads the country in illiteracy. In fact, 23.1 percent of Californians over age 15 cannot read this sentence. While the problem has many causes, much of the blame falls on the state’s failing public schools. The 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress found that just 30 percent of California eighth-graders are proficient in reading. And those numbers reflect results gathered before the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Voters’ attitudes toward California’s government-run schools have tumbled accordingly. A new poll from UC–Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies reveals that just 35 percent of the state’s voters gave public schools in their local district a grade of A or B, down from 55 percent in 2011. At the other end of the spectrum, 25 percent now give their local public schools a D or an F, up 15 percentage points from 2011. The poll included responses from 800 California voters, with 50 percent identifying as Democrats, 26 percent as Republicans, and 24 percent as independents. It’s hardly a surprise, then, that public school enrollment is sinking. In 2018–2019, the system lost about 23,000 students, but between the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 terms, California public schools saw more than 160,000 students leave—a sevenfold increase.

In Los Angeles, defections are accelerating. Whereas L.A. Unified schools were home to 737,000 students 20 years ago, the district is now forecasting a 25,000-student drop by the fall, which would bring their attendance number below the 400,000 mark. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the district’s “American Rescue Plan” funding will soon run out: “From July forward, the district is projected to spend about $1 billion more than it will take in over a two-year period. The district also must wrestle with underfunded retiree health benefits.” Additionally, the district’s contract with United Teachers Los Angeles runs out at the end of the school year, and the union will demand the sun and the moon for the next contract.

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“One agent was even recorded stating, ‘We don’t know what we are looking for yet.’ They should look for a copy of the Constitution and read it.”

At Least 20 Federal ‘Assets’ Embedded at Capitol on Jan. 6 (ET)

At least 20 FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives “assets” were embedded around the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a defense attorney wrote in a court filing on April 12. The disclosure was made in a motion seeking to dismiss seditious conspiracy and obstruction charges against 10 Oath Keepers defendants in one of the most prominent Jan. 6 criminal cases. David W. Fischer, attorney for Thomas E. Caldwell of Berryville, Virginia, filed a 41-page motion to dismiss four counts on behalf of all Oath Keepers case defendants before U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta in Washington, D.C. Caldwell is charged in the indictment, but is not a member of the Oath Keepers, he told The Epoch Times in March.

“At least 20 FBI and ATF assets were embedded around the Capitol on J6,” read a footnote on Page 6 of the motion. No other details were provided in the document. The footnote said defense attorneys “combed through a mountain of discovery,” including FBI form 302 summaries of interviews conducted by FBI agents. In addition to the information about law-enforcement assets on the ground at the Capitol, the footnote says, the Oath Keepers “were being monitored and recorded prior to J6.” Poring over evidence turned over in discovery by prosecutors in two major Oath Keepers cases has “not found one iota of proof” that defendants “had any plan, intention, design, or scheme to specifically enter the Capitol Building on J6,” the motion said.

Since the first arrests of Jan. 6 defendants in early 2021, there has been extensive speculation and questions from attorneys, defendants, case observers, and members of Congress about the role law enforcement played that day. During a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Jan. 11, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grilled top FBI officials on the subject. “How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of Jan. 6?” Cruz asked Jill Sanborn, executive assistant director of the FBI’s national security branch. “Sir, I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t go into the specifics of sources and methods,” Sanborn said. Cruz replied, “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of Jan. 6, yes or no?” “Sir, I can’t answer that,” Sanborn said. “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on Jan. 6?” Cruz asked. “I can’t answer that, sir,” Sanborn replied.

Jeremy M. Brown, an Oath Keepers member from Florida who was charged with two Jan. 6-related counts but is not part of either major Oath Keepers conspiracy case, told The Epoch Times earlier this year that the FBI unsuccessfully tried to recruit him in 2020 to spy on the group. Brown said the same agents who later arrested him for alleged Jan. 6 crimes tried to recruit him on Dec. 11, 2020, to become a confidential informant. He refused. He was arrested on Sept. 30, 2021, when dozens of federal agents swarmed his Florida property. “When asked by me and my girlfriend to produce the warrants at the time of arrest, they refused to produce them,” Brown said. “One agent was even recorded stating, ‘We don’t know what we are looking for yet.’ They should look for a copy of the Constitution and read it.”

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“This is a Joe Biden scandal, not a Hunter Biden scandal.”

Covering for the Big Guy (Dinesh D’Souza)

This has all the persuasive power of saying that Don Corleone knew nothing about his family’s activities and played no part in them whatever. It makes no sense. And Joe Biden’s direct involvement in his son’s activities has now been confirmed with a new email that has emerged. The email involves a college recommendation that Joe Biden wrote for a Chinese businessman who was partners with Hunter Biden. Jonathan Li is the CEO of a company BHR that entered into a joint venture with Hunter Biden’s company Rosemont Seneca. Hunter also held a 10 percent stake in BHR. In 2017, Li sent an email to Hunter Biden and his business associates Devon Archer and Jim Bulger.

“Gentlemen,” he wrote, “Please find the attached resume of my son, Chris Li. He is applying [to] the following colleges for this year.” Li listed Brown University, Cornell University, and New York University. He also attached an “updated version” of his son’s resume. So then what happened? Let’s follow the email trail. “Let’s see how we can be helpful here to Chris,” Bulger responded to Hunter and the gang. A few weeks later, on Feb. 18, 2017, Eric Schwerin, president of Rosemont Seneca, replied to Li. “Jonathan,” he wrote, “Hunter asked me to send you a copy of the recommendation letter that he asked his father to write on behalf of Christopher for Brown University.” In other words, Joe Biden wrote the letter.

Is it reasonable, at this point, to continue to say Joe Biden told the truth when he said he had nothing to do with his son’s business? Is it believable that he was never in on the deals, or stood to benefit from them? No, it’s not. On the contrary, it seems that Hunter Biden was Joe Biden’s frontman. This is a Joe Biden scandal, not a Hunter Biden scandal. If the circuitous family racket can be likened to the coils of a snake, Joe Biden is the head of the snake.

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I understand he’s a good speaker.

Canada’s Next PM (Bexte)

Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has drawn a massive crowd to his campaign rally in Calgary, Alberta. According to organizers, over 7,000 RSVP’d to the event, and more are coming. The hype is real, and traffic jams have built up along the road to the rally. “People haven’t felt so free in this country, have they,” Poilievre began. “Whether it’s the fourteen-year-old girl suffering depression after separation from her sport[s] and social activities for two long years; whether it’s the waitress who mortgaged her house to start a business only to have it locked down again and again until she couldn’t open it up anymore; whether it is the hard-working trucker who delivered the goods and services that we need —” The rally erupted at the mention of truckers, all but drowning out Poilievre as he continued praising their gusto and disparaging Trudeau for his tyrannical response.


Indeed, it appears that after years of ‘Red Erin’ O’Toole, Calgarians and Canadians more generally are ready for a Conservative leader who will end Trudeau’s carbon tax, denounce the WEF, and defund the CBC. Speaking of Justin Trudeau, just yesterday, he managed to draw a crowd, too… A crowd of protesters honking and telling him he’s a disgrace to Canada. This most recent barrage of boos and honks occurred while entering Victoria City Hall to speak with Mayor Lisa Helps. This visit would have been innocuous for most leaders, but merely his presence draws a crowd of disdain. It’s gotten so bad that he’s taken to hiding his itinerary to avoid protests. The contrast couldn’t be starker. Poilievre is being celebrated across the country, while Trudeau slithers in through back doors even while abroad. Assuming he keeps up the momentum, Poilievre might just be the first opponent capable of dethroning Trudeau since he was elected PM.

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“A panel of five people in secret: We don’t even know what they said or did or what they looked at. And they claim that only one percent of our stories are news..”

Rebel News Founder Speaks After Trudeau Denies Them Journalism ‘License’ (Fox)

Rebel News founder Ezra Levant sounded off Tuesday after the Trudeau administration denied his outlet what he described as a newly-conceived “license” to fully practice journalism. Levant told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that, if the Liberal Party leader’s behavior during the Ottawa trucker protests is any indicator, he is working hard to punish critics and upturn their lives. He noted how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously slammed his agency when a reporter from it asked a question during a press availability while the politician was running for reelection in 2021. At the time, Trudeau claimed Rebel News was engaging in “disinformation on the science around vaccines” and made a point to declare he could not bring himself to describe them as a “media organization.”


“It’s not yet illegal to do journalism without that license, it’s a government license called the Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization License. A government panel reviews you. They spent one year reviewing Rebel News, looking through more than 100 of our stories,” Levant told host Tucker Carlson. “A panel of five people in secret: We don’t even know what they said or did or what they looked at. And they claim that only one percent of our stories are news, so we don’t get the license.” Levant went on to describe what that means for his organization, versus mainstream outlets like CBC. Trudeau plans to “compel” Big Tech to down-rank non-licensed journalists and change the Income Tax Act to punish them, Levant said. “We’re not banned yet, although we are banned from government events, as you said earlier. But I’m worried that he’s done all this in two years. The worst is yet to come. He may well ban us yet,” he concluded.

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What a surprise….

Trudeau Considers Trucker Tax (TCS)

After re-raising the carbon tax on April 1, Trudeau is considering yet another carbon-based tax that specifically targets your everyday trucker. If passed, owners of Ford F-150s will pay a $1,000 tax, while those who own a Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickup trucks will have to dish out $4,000. The tax comes as part of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, in which the government claims it’s “making it easier for Canadians to switch to electric vehicles.” Part of this plan includes taxing truck owners so much that they can’t afford to own one anymore. Page 192 of the report states that the government will:

“Broaden Canada’s existing Green Levy (Excise Tax) for Fuel Inefficient Vehicles to include additional ICE vehicle types, such as pickup trucks. A sliding scale for the implementation of this Green Levy should be developed based on the emissions produced from different vehicles. Revenue from a broadened Green Levy could increase available funding for ZEV incentives for individuals and organizations without limiting the fleet size and while encouraging smaller vehicles of all fuel types. Carefully consider the impacts on and supports for low-income households and other vulnerable populations when exploring changes to the Green Levy and ZEV incentives.”

That’s right. It appears Trudeau is freezing out truck owners again. First, their bank accounts, now their savings. This shouldn’t surprise people at this point. After all, Trudeau isn’t shy when it comes to coercing Canadians. He imposed draconian federal mandates that are still in place despite what the data says and has kept the travel ban on the unvaccinated even as the rest of the world opens up. Now, he’s targeting truckers by legally requiring them to comply with his environmental activism. And he’s comfortable doing this despite a bleeding economy, unreasonable carbon taxes, and record-high inflation.

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Twitter’s been ‘A Sh*t Show’ for much longer..

Wokist traumas: “..a scheduled “day of rest” for company employees..”.

Twitter ‘A Sh*t Show’ For Employees Since Elon Musk Took Major Stake (NYP)

Elon Musk’s looming battle with Twitter’s board is a source of major anxiety for company employees – many of whom are reportedly worried that billionaire’s campaign to force changes is just beginning. Musk’s surprise rejection of a Twitter board seat emerged ahead of a scheduled “day of rest” for company employees, according to a report. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal broke the news on his account the previous night, describing Musk’s decision as “for the best” even as he warned workers they would face “distractions ahead,” Bloomberg reported late Monday. The uncertainty left Twitter workers feeling “super stressed” about the future, with employees reportedly “working together to help each other get through the week.”

The report cited interviews with Twitter employees who asked not to be identified while discussing the company’s inner workings. Several employees told the outlet that Twitter’s internal environment was a “s–t-show” after Musk’s deal with the board fell through. One Twitter employee griped that Musk was likely ‘just getting started” with pushing for change at the company – a development the worker described as “unfortunate,” according to Bloomberg. Musk has emerged as a vocal critic of Twitter’s business practices, taking particular umbrage with the platform’s content moderation policies. He’s also the company’s largest individual shareholder after acquiring a 9% stake earlier this month.

Under the terms of his initial agreement with Twitter, Musk would have received a board seat through at least 2024 and would be barred from acquiring more than 14.9% of the company. Without that deal in place, Musk is free to acquire a larger stake in the company and push for greater influence over its operations. Musk updated an SEC filing on his Twitter holdings with language that suggests he plans to stay active in the company’s dealings, despite his expanding business empire that includes Tesla and SpaceX.

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Can a investor be compelled to lose money? Musk disclosed his stake when he was done buying. If he had disclosed it before, it would have cost him 100s of millions.

“The lawsuit alleges that by March 14, Musk’s stake in Twitter had reached a 5% threshold that required him to publicly disclose his holdings under U.S. securities law by March 24. Musk didn’t make the required disclosure until April 4.”

“..depriving investors who sold shares before Musk’s improperly delayed disclosure [of] the chance to realize significant gains..”

The gains they could only have realized because Musk was buying…

Elon Musk Accused Of Breaking Law While Buying Twitter Stock (AP)

Elon Musk’s huge Twitter investment took a new twist Tuesday with the filing of a lawsuit alleging that the colorful billionaire illegally delayed disclosing his stake in the social media company so he could buy more shares at lower prices. The complaint in New York federal court accuses Musk of violating a regulatory deadline to reveal he had accumulated a stake of at least 5%. Instead, according to the complaint, Musk didn’t disclose his position in Twitter until he’d almost doubled his stake to more than 9%. That strategy, the lawsuit alleges, hurt less wealthy investors who sold shares in the San Francisco company in the nearly two weeks before Musk acknowledged holding a major stake.

Musk’s regulatory filings show that he bought a little more than 620,000 shares at $36.83 apiece on Jan. 31 and then continued to accumulate more shares on nearly every single trading day through April 1. Musk, best known as CEO of the electric car maker Tesla, held 73.1 million Twitter shares as of the most recent count Monday. That represents a 9.1% stake in Twitter. The lawsuit alleges that by March 14, Musk’s stake in Twitter had reached a 5% threshold that required him to publicly disclose his holdings under U.S. securities law by March 24. Musk didn t make the required disclosure until April 4.

That revelation caused Twitter’s stock to soar 27% from its April 1 close to nearly $50 by the end of April 4’s trading, depriving investors who sold shares before Musk’s improperly delayed disclosure the chance to realize significant gains, according to the lawsuit filed on behalf of an investor named Marc Bain Rasella. Musk, meanwhile, was able to continue to buy shares that traded in prices ranging from $37.69 to $40.96. The lawsuit is seeking to be certified as a class action representing Twitter shareholders who sold shares between March 24 and April 4, a process that could take a year or more.

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Washed up Robert Reich has it figured out: Elon Musk is Putin. And Trump. “.. the dream of every dictator, strongman, demagogue and modern-day robber baron on Earth..”

Some people really don’t like free speech…

Elon Musk’s Vision For The Internet Is Dangerous Nonsense (Robert Reich)

The Securities and Exchange Commission went after Musk after he tweeted that he had funding to take Tesla private, a clear violation of the law. Musk paid a fine and agreed to let lawyers vet future sensitive tweets, but he has tried to reverse this requirement. He has also been openly contemptuous of the SEC, tweeting at one point that the “E” stands for “Elon’s”. (You can guess what the “S” and “C” stand for.) By the way, how does the SEC go after Musk’s ability to tweet now that he owns Twitter? Billionaires like Musk have shown time and again they consider themselves above the law. And to a large extent, they are.

Musk has enough wealth that legal penalties are no more than slaps on his wrist, and enough power to control one of the most important ways the public now receives news. Think about it: after years of posting tweets that skirt the law, Musk was given a seat on Twitter’s board (and is probably now negotiating for even more clout). Musk says he wants to “free” the internet. But what he really aims to do is make it even less accountable than it is now, when it’s often impossible to discover who is making the decisions about how algorithms are designed, who is filling social media with lies, who’s poisoning our minds with pseudo-science and propaganda, and who’s deciding which versions of events go viral and which stay under wraps.

Make no mistake: this is not about freedom. It’s about power. In Musk’s vision of Twitter and the internet, he’d be the wizard behind the curtain – projecting on the world’s screen a fake image of a brave new world empowering everyone. In reality, that world would be dominated by the richest and most powerful people in the world, who wouldn’t be accountable to anyone for facts, truth, science or the common good. That’s Musk’s dream. And Trump’s. And Putin’s. And the dream of every dictator, strongman, demagogue and modern-day robber baron on Earth. For the rest of us, it would be a brave new nightmare.

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George Webb Rotterdam

 

 

 

 

Athens strike

 

 

 

 

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Mar 312022
 


Pablo Picasso Visage 1928

 

US Dollar Hegemony Ended Abruptly Last Wednesday – Michael Huddson (PR)
Mariupol Will Become A Key Hub Of Eurasian Integration (Escobar)
Lavrov: Russia, China Moving Towards Multipolar ‘Fair World Order’ (ZH)
Ukrainian Forces Want to Surrender, Azov Forces Shoot At Them (DE)
“Regime Change” Doesn’t Work, You Morons (Taibbi)
FEC Fines DNC and Clinton For Trump Dossier Hoax (WE)
Hunter Biden’s Role In Ukrainian Biolabs Raises Serious Questions (Blaze)
WaPo, Like New York Times, Finally Admits Hunter Biden Laptop Is Real (NYP)
New York Times – a Bastion of Censorship and Corruption (CHD)
Trudeau Gives Himself A Raise The Same Day As Carbon Tax Hike (Bexte)
Media Freedom Report Shakes Greece’s Conservative Government (EurActiv)
Triple Vaccinated Down To The Last 20% Of Their Immune Systems (DE)

 

 

The tweet that got Nick Hudson banned. The narrative still can’t tolerate dissent. It’s too feeble.

 

 

Maajid Nawaz CBDC

 

 

 

 

The very moment Russia’s reserves were stolen.

US Dollar Hegemony Ended Abruptly Last Wednesday – Michael Huddson (PR)

Well, what happened was that, as I’ve described in Super Imperialism, when the United States went off gold, foreign central banks didn’t have anything to buy with their dollars that were flowing into their countries – again, mainly from the US military deficit but also from the investment takeovers. And they found that these dollars came in, the only thing they could do would be to recycle them to the United States. And what do central banks hold? They don’t buy property, usually, back then they didn’t. They buy Treasury bonds. And so, the United States would be spending dollars abroad and foreign central banks didn’t really have anything to do but send it right back to buy treasury bonds to finance not only the balance of payments deficit, but also the budget deficit that was largely military in character. So, dollar hegemony was the system where foreign central banks keep their monetary and international savings reserves in dollars and the dollars are used to finance the military bases around the world, almost eight hundred military bases surrounding them. So, basically central banks have to keep their savings by weaponizing them, by militarizing them, by lending them to the United States, to keep spending abroad.

This gave America a free ride. Imagine if you went to the grocery store and you just paid by giving them an IOU. And then the next week you want to buy more groceries and you give them another IOU. And they say, wait a minute, you have an IOU before and you say, well just use the IOU to pay the milk company that delivers, or the farmers that deliver. You can use this as your money and just you’ll as a customer, keep writing IOU’s and you never have to pay anything because your IOU is other people’s money. Well, that’s what dollar hegemony was, and it was a free ride. And it all ended last Wednesday when the United States grabbed Russia’s reserves having grabbed Afghanistan’s foreign reserves and Venezuela’s foreign reserves and those of other countries.

And all of a sudden, this means that other countries can no longer safely hold their reserves by sending their money back, depositing them in US banks or buying US Treasury Securities, or having other US investments because they could simply be grabbed as happened to Russia. So, all of a sudden this last week, you’re seeing the world economy fracture into two parts, a dollarized part and other countries that do not follow the neoliberal policies that the United States insists that its allies follow. We’re seeing the birth of a new dual World economy. MF: Wow, there’s a lot to unpack there. So, are we seeing then other countries starting to disinvest in US dollars? You’ve written about how the treasury bonds that these central banks buy up have been basically funding our domestic economy. Are they starting to shed those bonds or what’s happening?

MH: No, they haven’t been funding our domestic economy because the Federal Reserve can create its own money to fund the domestic economy. We don’t need to borrow from foreign countries to fund our economy. We can print it ourselves. What the dollar hegemony does is fund the balance of payments deficit. It funds our spending in other economies, our spending abroad. It doesn’t help our economy, but it does help us get a free ride from other countries. The more dollars we spend in making a military base, all these military expenditures get turned over to the local Central Bank that turns and sends them back to the Federal Reserve or deposits them in US bank accounts. So, it’s the international free ride we get, not a domestic free ride.

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Even in the hands of Ukraine oligarchs? Hard to imagine by now.

Mariupol Will Become A Key Hub Of Eurasian Integration (Escobar)

Mariupol, the strategic Sea of Azov port, remains in the eye of the storm in Ukraine. The NATO narrative is that Azovstal – one of Europe’s biggest iron and steel works – was nearly destroyed by the Russian Army and its allied Donetsk forces who “lay siege” to Mariupol. The true story is that the neo-Nazi Azov batallion took scores of Mariupol civilians as human shields since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, and retreated to Azovstal as a last stand. After an ultimatum delivered last week, they are now being completely exterminated by the Russian and Donetsk forces and Chechen Spetsnaz. Azovstal, part of the Metinvest group controlled by Ukraine’s wealthiest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, is indeed one of the biggest metallurgic plants in Europe, self-described as a “high-performance integrated metallurgical enterprise that produces coke and sinter, steel as well as high-quality rolled products, bars and shapes.”

Amidst a flurry of testimonials detailing the horrors inflicted by the Azov neo-Nazis on Mariupol’s civilian population, a way more auspicious, invisible story bodes well for the immediate future. Russia is the world’s fifth largest steel producer, apart from holding huge iron and coal deposits. Mariupol – a steel Mecca – used to source coal from Donbass, but under de facto neo-Nazi rule since the 2014 Maidan events, was turned into an importer. Iron, for instance, started to be supplied from Krivbas in Ukraine, over 200 kilometers away. After Donetsk solidifies itself as an independent republic or, via referendum, chooses to become part of the Russian Federation, this situation is bound to change.

Azovstal is invested in a broad product line of very useful stuff: structural steel, rail for railroads, hardened steel for chains, mining equipment, rolled steel used in factory apparatus, trucks and railroad cars. Parts of the factory complex are quite modern while some, decades old, are badly in need of upgrading, which Russian industry can certainly provide. Strategically, this is a huge complex, right at the Sea of Azov, which is now, for all practical purposes, incorporated into the Donetsk People’s Republic, and close to the Black Sea. That implies a short trip to the Eastern Mediterranean, including many potential customers in West Asia. And crossing Suez and reaching the Indian Ocean, are customers all across South and Southeast Asia.

So the Donetsk People’s Republic, possibly part of the future Novorossiya, and even part of Russia, will be in control of a lot of steel-making capacity for southern Europe, West Asia, and beyond. One of the inevitable consequences is that it will be able to supply a real freight railroad construction boom in Russia, China and the Central Asian ‘stans.’ Railroad construction happens to be the privileged connectivity mode for Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). And, crucially, of the increasingly turbo-charged International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC). So, mid-term, Mariupol should expect to become one of the key hubs of a boom in north-south routes – INSTC across Russia and linking with the ‘stans’ – as well as major BRI upgrades east-west and sub-BRI corridors.

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“..shortly before the meetings – which Lavrov will attend – to discuss ways to help Afghanistan. Both the US and the Taliban are expected to be in attendance..”

Lavrov: Russia, China Moving Towards Multipolar ‘Fair World Order’ (ZH)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his Chinese counterpart on Wednesday, where he said the two are carving a path towards a ‘fairer world order.’ The meeting between Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, marks the first visit to a key ally since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, according to The Economic Times. The two countries will work to achieve “a multipolar, fair, and democratic world order,” Lavrov said, speaking from the Chinese city of Tunxi located in the eastern inland Anhui Province. In a video released by the Russian foreign ministry ahead of a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Lavrov said the world was “living through a very serious stage in the history of international relations”.


At the end of this reshaping of global relations “we, together with you, and with our sympathisers will move towards a multipolar, just, democratic world order”, Lavrov said. -Economic Times” Lavrov and Yi were seen on Chinese state TV in face masks bumping elbows in front of their national flags shortly before the meetings – which Lavrov will attend – to discuss ways to help Afghanistan. Both the US and the Taliban are expected to be in attendance. US officials have grown frustrated with Beijing’s refusal to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, and have accused China of signalling a “willingness” to provide both economic and military aid to Russia. According to Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency, Wang said that despite “new challenges” to relations between China and Russia, “the will of both sides to develop bilateral relations has become even stronger.” Earlier this month Wang said that China’s relationship with Russia is “one of the most crucial bilateral relationships in the world,” and is “ironclad.”

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“..Because the Ukrainian forces kind of wanted to give up, SMS messages come that say that ‘you can give up and nothing will happen to you’. So, they want to surrender, and Azov starts shooting at them..”

Ukrainian Forces Want to Surrender, Azov Forces Shoot At Them (DE)

US Navy veteran and independent journalist, Patrick Lancaster, has been making regular reports from Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis. His reports reveal that what is happening on the ground is not what Western corporate media would have you believe. “Over the 8 years of the Ukraine War I made more video reports in anti-Ukraine Government (Donetsk People’s Republic) controlled territory than any other western journalist,” he says. In his report on Friday, Lancaster interviewed residents of the ethnic Greek village of Sartana, one of the villages surrounding Mariupol, Ukraine. “This is right on, what you could say is the frontline now. Nobody knows exactly where the frontline starts and ends at this point there’s just so much information and [ ] minute by minute the lines are changing,” Lancaster said.

Eight years ago, a referendum was held and “mostly people asked for Russian language. But they decided to Ukrainise us, so that everybody speaks Ukrainian … It was forbidden to speak Russian in the store. There was some tension. Employees paid fines for not saying ‘Good afternoon’ in Ukrainian in stores,” one resident explained. “Today I’m trying to find guys from Mariupol to find out how things are there. My parents stayed there. But they say that everything is very sad. Today I heard another story that the Ukrainian armed forces started shootings with Azov. Because the Ukrainian forces kind of wanted to give up, SMS messages come that say that ‘you can give up and nothing will happen to you’. So, they want to surrender, and Azov starts shooting at them. And they [Ukrainian forces and Azov] are at war with each other.” another resident said.


Earlier this month members of the Azov Battalion, a self-declared neo-Nazi former paramilitary group that is now a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, bombed the village most likely aiming for a church. Village residents also believe it was Azov who bombed the school. “Ukrainians say it’s only Russia who shoots now. – They always say so. It’s their policy. A dirty policy,” the second resident said. Other interviewees explained that Ukrainians bombed Mariupol to create a panic: “So that people leave, and they use them as a human shield. And now all people are there. And they’re holding them at gunpoint, don’t let them go. Literally shoot them if they run away,” they said.

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Hmmm. Feels a bit like Matt lost his grip on the material.

“Regime Change” Doesn’t Work, You Morons (Taibbi)

Not long ago, candidate Joe Biden’s most troubling behavioral tendency was the surprise outburst of belligerence. Campaigning, he’d challenge questioners to push-up contests, jam fingers in the sternums even of supporters, and plunge into rambling monologues about leg hairs and chain-fights. Now, the president’s face is often a mask of terror, like a man unsure of how he came to be standing in the middle of an intersection. Mental cars racing past, he met the press Monday, to clarify a statement made last week about Vladimir Putin: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Many interpreted this as a call for regime change. Not at all, Biden said, reading from a large-print cheat sheet — this reportedly happened — that reminded him to say he was merely expressing “moral outrage,” and “not articulating a change in policy.”

When he ran out of pre-prepared remarks, he drifted back to danger, saying: “It’s more an aspiration than anything. He shouldn’t be in power.” The AP writeup offered help: “He said he was expressing an ‘aspiration’ rather than a goal of American foreign policy.” (I’m sure nuclear-armed Putin appreciated the semantic difference). When Biden moved more toward candor, saying he made “no apologies” for his remarks, another reporter quickly tried to guide him back to a safe harbor: Q: Your personal feelings, sir? Your personal feelings? THE PRESIDENT: Personal. My personal feelings. Biden even offered his Princess Bride/Vizzini-esque analysis that “the last thing I want to do is engage in a land war… with Russia”:

Although administration mouthpieces Tony Blinken and Jen Psaki scrambled to reassure a nervous world that the U.S. is not intent on “doing regime change” in Russia, officials everywhere have been telling reporters the opposite on background. This cat was out of the bag weeks ago. As Joe Lauria at Consortium points out, Biden was asked on February 24th, at the start of the invasion, what sanctions would accomplish if they hadn’t prevented war. His answer: No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening. That has to sh- — this is going to take time. And we have to show resolve, so he knows what’s coming and so the people of Russia know what he’s brought on them. That’s what this is all about. Biden said virtually the same thing in Brussels last week:

“Sanctions never deter… The maintenance of sanctions, the increasing the pain … we will sustain what we’re doing not just next month, the following month, but for the remainder of this entire year. That’s what will stop him.” We heard this more explicitly from Boris Johnson on March 1st, “The measures we are introducing, that large parts of the world are introducing, are to bring down the Putin regime,” Johnson said. Lauria points out this was two days after British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey wrote in the Telegraph that “His failure must be complete… the Russian people empowered to see how little he cares for them. In showing them that, Putin’s days as President will surely be numbered… He’ll lose power and he won’t get to choose his successor.”

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The price?

“..it fined Clinton’s treasurer $8,000 and the DNC’s treasurer $105,000..”

FEC Fines DNC and Clinton For Trump Dossier Hoax (WE)

The Federal Election Commission has fined the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for lying about the funding of the infamous, and discredited, Russian “dossier” used in a smear attempt against Donald Trump weeks before he shocked the world with his 2016 presidential victory. The election agency said that Clinton and the DNC violated strict rules on describing expenditures of payments funneled to the opposition research firm Fusion GPS through their law firm. A combined $1,024,407.97 was paid by the treasurers of the DNC and Clinton campaign to law firm Perkins Coie for Fusion GPS’s information, and the party and campaign hid the reason, claiming it was for legal services, not opposition research.

Instead, the DNC’s $849,407.97 and the Clinton campaign’s $175,000 covered Fusion GPS’s opposition research on the dossier, a basis for the so-called “Russia hoax” that dogged Trump’s first term. The memo said that the Clinton campaign and DNC argued that they were correct in describing their payment as for “legal advice and services” because it was Perkins Coie that hired Fusion GPS. But the agency said the law is clear and was violated. It added that neither the campaign nor the party conceded to lying but won’t contest the finding. “Solely for the purpose of settling this matter expeditiously and to avoid further legal costs, respondent[s] does not concede, but will not further contest the commission’s finding of probable cause to proceed” with the probe, said the FEC.

The FEC, in a memo to the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, which filed its complaint over three years ago, said it fined Clinton’s treasurer $8,000 and the DNC’s treasurer $105,000. The memo, shared with Secrets, is to be made public in a month. Dan Backer, who brought the complaint on behalf of the foundation, which focuses on free speech and the First Amendment, told Secrets, “This may well be the first time that Hillary Clinton — one of the most evidently corrupt politicians in American history — has actually been held legally accountable, and I’m proud to have forced the FEC to do their job for once. The Coolidge Reagan Foundation proved that with pluck and grit, Americans who stand with integrity can stand up to the Clinton machine and other corrupt political elites.”

[..] Backer, with Washington’s Chalmers & Adams law firm, held out hope for further action against the former first lady. He said, “Hillary Clinton and her cronies willfully engaged in the greatest political fraud in history — destroying our nation’s faith in the electoral process, and it’s high time they were held accountable. I hope this is only the beginning.”

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Hunter and Fauci and Peter Daszak. Fine friends.

Hunter Biden’s Role In Ukrainian Biolabs Raises Serious Questions (Blaze)

Recent emails unearthed by the U.K. Daily Mail and the National Pulse reveal that during the last decade, Hunter Biden seemed to have a keen interest in pathogen research in Ukraine and using it as a tool for geopolitical affairs in that country. It just so happens to be that a pathogen connected to gain-of-function research destroyed the world, and then the next “big current thing” on the geopolitical stage was none other than Ukraine. Shouldn’t the American people get some answers as to why our government was so heavily involved – via the vice president’s son – in both pathogen research and Ukraine and to make sure Ukraine is not Wuhan 2.0?

Earlier this month, I detailed the known connections between biotech firm Metabiota Inc., responsible for the pathogen research in Ukraine, the DOD, and EcoHealth Alliance, along with the Wuhan lab most likely responsible for the leak of SARS-CoV-2. I also noted that Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners (RSTP), a subsidiary of the Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz-founded Rosemont Capital, gave Metabiota, a company accused of dangerous lab protocols during the African Ebola pandemic, its first infusion of cash a decade ago. Now, new emails from Hunter’s laptop demonstrate that his involvement in Metabiota and pathogen research in Ukraine was much deeper than just an initial investment.

[..] After receiving 18.4 million from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) between February 2014 and November 2016, with $307,091 earmarked for “Ukraine research projects,” “Metabiota has worked in Ukraine for Black & Veatch, a US defense contractor with deep ties to military intelligence agencies, which built secure labs in Ukraine that analyzed killer diseases and bioweapons,” according to the Daily Mail. “It raises the question, what is the real purpose of this venture? It’s very odd,” said former senior CIA officer Sam Faddis in an interview with the Daily Mail. “His father was the Vice President of the United States and in charge of relations with Ukraine. So why was Hunter not only on the board of a suspect Ukrainian gas firm, but also hooked them up with a company working on bioweapons research?”

Biden was so involved in Metabiota that one email written that same month in 2014 reveals that he and his business partner Eric Schwerin discussed subletting their office space to the San-Francisco-based biotech firm. So, what exactly were they working on? Last week, the National Pulse reported that a feature in the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine’s 2016 Annual Report recounts an October 2016 meeting involving U.S. military officials and their Ukrainian counterparts together with Black & Veatch and Metabiota staff to discuss the lab work. The discussion centered around “existing frameworks, regulatory coordination, and ongoing cooperative projects in research, surveillance and diagnostics of a number of dangerous zoonotic diseases, such as avian influenza, leptospirosis, Crimea Congo hemorrhagic fever, and brucellosis.”

Gaetz and Nadler?!

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WaPo and NYT will still be considered serious media. Wanna bet? They have nothing to lose.

WaPo, Like New York Times, Finally Admits Hunter Biden Laptop Is Real (NYP)

The Washington Post on Wednesday became the second major news outlet to reverse course and admit that emails from the infamous Hunter Biden laptop are authentic — nine months after it obtained them and a year and a half after the New York Post first reported on them. The paper said two security experts used cryptographic signatures from Google and other technology companies to validate nearly 22,000 emails from 2009 to 2019, including messages related to Hunter Biden’s controversial overseas business dealings. Some verified emails involved a deal President Biden’s son pursued with the CEFC China Energy conglomerate for which he was paid nearly $5 million, according to the Washington Post. Other verified emails related to his work for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, for which Hunter Biden was paid as much as $83,333 or a month, or $1 million a year.

In October 2020, the New York Post exclusively revealed the existence of Hunter Biden’s emails after being given a copy of the hard drive from a damaged MacBook Pro laptop that the owner of a repair shop in the Biden family’s hometown of Wilmington, Del., said was dropped off in April 2019 and never retrieved. Following the expose, the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” feature said the paper “has not been able to verify or authenticate these emails” and said there were “fears that the emails could be part of a broader disinformation campaign” by Russia. Washington Post op-eds also called the emails “unverified” and said they “have never been authenticated,” and a news analysis dismissed the New York Post’s reporting as “sketchy.”

On Wednesday, the Washington Post said it was given a copy of the hard drive in June by Republican activist Jack Maxey, who previously worked as a researcher for the “War Room” podcast run by Steve Bannon, a former adviser to ex-President Donald Trump. The paper said it spent months reviewing the data and making two copies of the hard drive so they could be analyzed by Matt Green, a Johns Hopkins University security researcher, and Jake Williams, a forensics expert and former National Security Agency operative. Both experts concluded that the verified emails carried cryptographic signatures that would be hard to fake, even for the best computer hackers. Earlier this month, the New York Times said it had obtained emails that appeared to have come from the laptop and which were authenticated by people familiar with them and the federal tax probe of Hunter Biden that he publicly acknowledged in December 2020.


The Times buried its verification of the emails in the 24th paragraph of a 38-paragraph story that said Hunter Biden had paid off a significant tax debt to the IRS, potentially making it harder for prosecutors to win a conviction or a long sentence against him for tax fraud. US Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) — who, with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), has been investigating Hunter Biden’s overseas business deals — responded by accusing the Gray Lady of “finally, quietly, covering its tracks.” “I am just amazed that the New York Times just now came to the conclusion that the Hunter Biden laptop was genuine,” Johnson told WABC 770 AM’s “The Cats Roundtable” last week.

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Yes, this.

New York Times – a Bastion of Censorship and Corruption (CHD)

In a bold, but clearly disingenuous, statement from its famed editorial board, “a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate, and certain longstanding values,” The New York Times issued a cautionary statement: “For all the tolerance and enlightenment that modern society claims, Americans are losing hold of a fundamental right as citizens of a free country: the right to speak their minds and voice their opinions in public without fear of being shamed or shunned.” The editorial board pounded the point home: “People should be able to put forward viewpoints, ask questions and make mistakes, and take unpopular but good-faith positions on issues that society is still working through — all without fearing cancellation …. Freedom of speech requires not just a commitment to openness and tolerance in the abstract. It demands conscientiousness…

“We believe it isn’t enough for Americans to just believe in the rights of others to speak freely; they should also find ways to actively support and protect those rights.” Of course, The New York Times should be leading by example. In fact, it has not supported free speech, protected the First Amendment, or allowed honest debate. It has not allowed competing perspectives about the most important issues of the day. Instead, it has been a mouthpiece for greedy corporations and corrupt government officials. In support of the newspaper’s interests, and at the expense of the interests of American citizens, The New York Times censored Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s latest book, “The Real Anthony Fauci,” in every conceivable way.

It ranked the book No. 7 on its non-fiction bestseller list even though the book outsold any other book in America that week by thousands of copies. Then it refused to allow Skyhorse Publishing to place an advertisement for the book because its censorship division, ironically called “Standards Management,” decided the book itself constituted misinformation — despite the paper’s stated policy that “Standards” only looks into whether an ad itself is “non-defamatory and accurate.” The New York Times followed up with a scathing hit piece targeting Kennedy as “a leading voice in the campaign to discredit coronavirus vaccines and other measures being advanced by the Biden White House to battle a pandemic that was … killing close to 1,900 people a day.”

The Times accused Kennedy of circulating “false information” — without indicating what that information was or explaining why it was false — and of comparing the government pandemic response to the Holocaust, even though he didn’t do that. Finally, The New York Times refused to review “The Real Anthony Fauci” or so much as comment on its historic grassroots success, even though it’s become a cult classic, selling more than 1 million copies in just four months, and launching a worldwide movement against government corruption and corporate greed. “Despite all the lying, or maybe in reaction to it,” Tucker Carlson told me, “Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is becoming a legitimate folk hero.”

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Not much left of that country.

Trudeau Gives Himself A Raise The Same Day As Carbon Tax Hike (Bexte)

PM Justin Trudeau is giving himself and every MP a raise on April 1 — the same day he’s set to hike the carbon tax, leaving gas even less affordable. As of April 1, Trudeau’s estimated salary will be $379,404, a $21,604 pay increase. Simultaneously, Ministers will see their salaries rise by an additional $15,865, while backbenchers and senators will be receiving a $10,802 pay hike — more than enough to keep politicians comfortable as inflation skyrockets. Of course, the vast majority of Canadians are totally against this — but it will happen anyway. According to a Canadian Taxpayers Federation Leger poll, 79 per cent of Canadians (nearly 8-in-10) are opposed to MPs receiving a third pay raise since the pandemic started.


“It’s wrong for politicians to pocket bigger paycheques while the people they represent suffer through a pandemic, pay cuts, job and business losses,” said Federal Director of the CTF Franco Terrazzano. “It shouldn’t be rocket science for MPs to do the right thing and stop taking bigger salaries during the pandemic.” He further calls the pay raise a “slap in the face” to all the Canadians who’ve struggled throughout the pandemic. Of course, politicians aren’t the only government employees to receive raises throughout the pandemic. As the Western Standard reported in January, 528, 347 federal and provincial government employees received raises since the pandemic began, all while restrictions were decimating small businesses. “We’ve seen a tale of two pandemics: one full of private sector pain and the other full of financial gain for bureaucrats and politicians,” Terrazzano said at the time.

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But where in Europe is there media freedom?

Media Freedom Report Shakes Greece’s Conservative Government (EurActiv)

Six international organisations for the freedom of the press have published a report accusing Greece’s ruling New Democracy party (EPP) of trying to control media. While the report raises the alarm over a “systemic press freedom crisis”, the government replies that people are still free to opt on what media to follow. In an interview with EURACTIV last week, Pavol Szalai, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Head of EU/Balkans Desk, said, “The situation of press freedom in Greece is becoming comparable to the one in Hungary”. “We can see a deliberate political will to reduce press freedom. And at the same time, there are other dangerous situations linked to organised crime, which is probably behind the murder of Georges Karaivaz, who is one of the two EU journalists murdered last year”, he added.

The report was drafted following a December 2021 visit to the country. The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) report noted that the systemic crisis affecting press freedom in Greece has been exacerbated by the New Democracy government’s attempts to “control the message” and minimise critical and dissenting voices. “Newspapers and individual journalists that are ideologically on the side of the opposition or take a neutral stance are singled out by the government for unequal treatment that undermines their journalistic activities. This has been further compounded by a lack of transparency around the allocation of state advertising and its distribution based on established partisan lines,” the report added. The report also says journalists covering migration issues such as pushbacks is becoming “increasingly difficult”.


“The press freedom violations faced by journalists doing so are linked to the government’s restrictive migration policy and an unwillingness to accept public scrutiny of it leading to obstructions to reporting such as arbitrary arrest and detention, restriction of access, surveillance and harassment”. Without replying to any element of the report, New Democracy issued a statement saying the freedom of the press in Greece is institutionally guaranteed. “Every citizen can be freely informed, at any time, through the media of his choice”, the conservative party said. “The report highlights how Greece is becoming a problematic country on issues of press freedom and democracy,” main opposition leader and former PM Alexis Tsipras tweeted.

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When will this be the front page headline everywhere?

Triple Vaccinated Down To The Last 20% Of Their Immune Systems (DE)

According to the latest UK Government figures, most triple vaccinated people in England have now lost 80% of their immune system capability compared to the natural immune system capability of unvaccinated people, meaning they are now down to the last 20% of their immune system for fighting viruses, bacteria, disease and cancer. But this disaster isn’t only occurring in the UK. Official Government of Canada data shows that on average, triple vaccinated Canadians have now lost 75% of their immune system capability compared to the natural immune system capability of unvaccinated Canadians. Meaning they are now down to the last 25% of their immune system for fighting viruses, bacteria, disease and cancer.

And the picture is also the same in New Zealand, with official Government data showing that on average, fully vaccinated people in New Zealand have lost 74% of their immune system capability. In short, because authorities in the UK, Canada and New Zealand have done such a good job at collating and publishing data on Covid-19 by vaccination status, they have exposed the fact that the triple vaccinated population are rapidly developing some new form of Covid-19 vaccine induced Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The body’s immune system primarily defends one’s body against infections like bacteria, viruses and parasites. There are two broad categories of immune deficiency: those that one is born with, and those that are acquired after birth .


Immune deficiency syndrome refers to a broad range of medical disorders that prevent your body from protecting itself from illnesses such as viruses and bacteria. There are a number of different types of congenital and acquired immune deficiency syndromes that can impact the body in a variety of ways. Secondary (acquired) immune problems can result from many causes, including viral infections, malnutrition, metabolic disorders (like kidney disease), and cancer treatments or other medications. Unfortunately, official data from around the world now strongly suggests the Covid-19 vaccines should be added to the list of causes of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

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Alec Antic: Three Minutes of Truth Bombs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mar 242022
 


Vincent van Gogh Weaver 1884

 

Biden Says US Must Lead ‘New World Order,’ Lead it Where Exactly? (Celente)
Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs to Stave Off War With Russia (Lauria)
Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back (NW)
Sanctioning Russia Could Topple The West (Fazi)
WIll Poland Invade The Western Ukraine? (Saker)
Lavrov: Peacekeeping Effort Could Result In Direct Clash With NATO (JTN)
Ukraine Says Russia Is Holding Aid Workers Captive In Mariupol (JTN)
How Russia Got Stronger As Bidens And Clintons Got Richer (JTN)
The Death Of The Supreme Court Confirmation Process (Turley)
Anger Towards the Unvaccinated was Intentional Psychological Manipulation (NE)
“Dictatorship Of The Worst Kind” – Trudeau Lambasted In EU Parliament (TNC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GPS
https://twitter.com/i/status/1506882331537248256

 

 


Nigeria: 206M people, only 4.4% fully vaxxed, zero deaths and 87 daily cases

 

 

The official government li(n)e

 

 

“Lead it?” Where? Down the crapper!”

Biden Says US Must Lead ‘New World Order,’ Lead it Where Exactly? (Celente)

What’s the big headline making the news last week? “BIDEN: AMERICA WILL LEAD NEW WORLD ORDER.” In his speech, President Joe Biden declared, “Now is the time where things are shifting. There’s going to be a new world order out there and we’ve got to lead it.” “Lead it?” Where? Down the crapper! America’s roads are rotted, bridges collapse, archaic subways and rail systems crumble, the middle class evaporates as 61 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, people can’t afford to buy homes or afford to pay rent, etc., etc. Q. And who is the “we’ve” that “got to lead it”? A. The Republican and Democratic crime syndicate… people like Joe Biden who’s been sucking off the public tit for 50 years and championed the sending of our jobs overseas and making the billionaires richer and the Bigs bigger.

Yet, as the nation descends, there is always more money to enrich the military/industrial/intelligence complex with over $1 trillion per year dumped into their coffers. Name the war that the D.C. Gang started since the end of WWII and assess the cost benefit analysis. Here are a few: • Korean War: Lost • Vietnam War: Lost • Afghanistan War: Lost • Iraq War: Lost • Syrian War: Ongoing Bloody Disaster • Libyan War: Ongoing Bloody Disaster • Yemen War: Worst Humanitarian Disaster on Earth. Therefore, with a stellar track record of monumental failures, why would anyone with a brain bigger than a pea believe or follow warped-brain politician’s war dictates… politicians who shoot off their fat mouths to start wars, but never shoot a rifle to fight the wars they start?

[..] As we reported last week, with significant percentages of the world’s corn, wheat, barley and fertilizers unable to be shipped out of Russia and Ukraine—and/or sanctioned—food and fertilizer prices have sharply spiked since the Ukraine War began: Wheat is up almost 22 percent, barley 32 percent and fertilizers jumped by 40 percent. The two nations accounted for 75 percent of the world’s sunflower seed oil, 32 percent of the barley, 30 percent wheat and 17 percent of corn exports. And over the past year, barley prices rocketed up 82 percent, wheat prices spiked 69 percent and corn prices jumped 36 percent.

“Ukraine has only compounded a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe,” said David M. Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program. “There is no precedent even close to this since World War II.” Beyond WWII, as we reported, the COVID War destroyed the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people. The imbecilic, non-scientific draconian lockdown mandates pushed hunger up 18 percent… from 720 million to 811 million people according to the UN. And now with the Ukraine War raging, the United Nations said its implications on the global food market would push up an additional 13.1 million people into hunger. “We’ll be taking food from the hungry to give to the starving,” Beasley said.

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“This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians..”

Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs to Stave Off War With Russia (Lauria)

Western corporate media, depending almost exclusively on Ukrainian sources, report that Russia is losing the war, with its military offensive “stalled,” and in frustration has deliberately targeted civilians and flattened cities. Biden has bought into this part of the story, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.” He has also said that Russia is planning a “false flag” chemical attack to pin on Ukraine. But on Tuesday, the Pentagon took the bold step of leaking two stories to reporters that contradict those tales. “Russia’s conduct in the brutal war tells a different story than the widely accepted view that Vladimir Putin is intent on demolishing Ukraine and inflicting maximum civilian damage—and it reveals the Russian leader’s strategic balancing act,” reported Newsweek in an article entitled, “Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back. Here’s Why.”

The piece quotes an unnamed analyst at the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) saying, “The heart of Kyiv has barely been touched. And almost all of the long-range strikes have been aimed at military targets.” A retired U.S. Air Force officer now working as an analyst for a Pentagon contractor, added: “We need to understand Russia’s actual conduct. If we merely convince ourselves that Russia is bombing indiscriminately, or [that] it is failing to inflict more harm because its personnel are not up to the task or because it is technically inept, then we are not seeing the real conflict.” The article says: “As of the past weekend, in 24 days of conflict, Russia has flown some 1,400 strike sorties and delivered almost 1,000 missiles (by contrast, the United States flew more sorties and delivered more weapons in the first day of the 2003 Iraq war). …

“A proportion of those strikes have damaged and destroyed civilian structures and killed and injured innocent civilians, but the level of death and destruction is low compared to Russia’s capacity. ‘I know it’s hard … to swallow that the carnage and destruction could be much worse than it is,’ says the DIA analyst. ‘But that’s what the facts show. This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians, that perhaps he is mindful that he needs to limit damage in order to leave an out for negotiations.’” These Pentagon sources confirm what Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defense have been saying all along: that instead of being “stalled,” Russia is executing a methodical war plan to encircle cities, opening humanitarian corridors for civilians, leaving civilian infrastructure like water, electricity, telephony and internet intact, and trying to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible.

Until these Pentagon leaks it was difficult to confirm that Russia was entirely telling the truth and that corporate media were publishing fables cooked up by Ukraine’s publicity machine.

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If Russia hasn’t done what Americans would do, it must mean they are failing…

Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back (NW)

Over the course of almost four weeks, missiles fired at Kyiv have been scarce. Ukrainian media have reported just more than a dozen incidents involving Russian cruise and ballistic missiles intercepted over the city and its closest suburbs since February 24. And all of them, U.S. experts say, have been clearly headed for legitimate military targets. “The fact that the mobile S-300 SAM systems are still operating is a powerful indictment of Russia’s ability to conduct dynamic or time-sensitive targeting,” the Atlantic Council asserted this week in a military brief. The DIA analyst disagrees: “For whatever reason, clearly the Russians have been reluctant to strike inside the urban megalopolis of Kyiv.


“Yes they might not be up to the U.S. task [in dynamic targeting] or in establishing air superiority … But this is the Russian air force, subordinate to the ground forces. And this war is different: it’s being fought on the ground, where everything strategic that Russia might destroy in front of its forces—bridges, communications, airfields, etc.—also becomes unusable to them as they move forward.” From the very beginning of air strikes, both U.S. analysts agree, some of the limited air and missile attacks have also had some internal logic. Take, for instance, the airfield at Hostomel, northwest of Kyiv. It wasn’t directly attacked because Russia initially used it to land paratroopers, with the hope of advancing to the capital city. Instead the airfield and the surrounding countryside became the scene a major battle, as Ukrainian forces mounted a fierce defense. In the south, Kherson airport also wasn’t attacked. The reason has become clear: Russia is now using that very airfield to stage its own forces.

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“..the main source of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves — oil and gas exports — has been excluded from the sanctions..”

Sanctioning Russia Could Topple The West (Fazi)

So what should we expect from the sanctions? Western pundits and commentators have little doubt: the sanctions will hamstring the Russian economy, sow discontent among the Russian people and elites alike, and possibly even cause the downfall of the Putin regime. At the very least, we’re told, they will hinder Russia’s war efforts. But history suggests otherwise: see Iraq, or more recently Iran. Far more likely is that this turns out to be the latest Western strategic miscalculation in a long list of strategic blunders, of which the United States’ inglorious withdrawal from Afghanistan is just the most recent example. After all, Russia has been preparing for this moment for quite some time.

Following the first wave of Western sanctions, in 2014, and partly in retaliation against them, Putin embarked on what analysts have dubbed a “Fortress Russia” strategy, building up the country’s international reserves and diversifying them away from US dollars and British pounds, reducing its foreign exposure, boosting its economic cooperation with China, and pursuing import substitution strategies in several industries, including food, medicine and technology, in an effort to insulate Russia as much as possible from external shocks. True, Putin made the mistake of leaving around half of those reserves parked in foreign central banks, resulting in these now being confiscated. But nonetheless Russia still has access to more than $300 billion in gold and foreign-exchange reserves — more than most countries in the world and more than enough to cushion any short-term fall in exports, or prop up the rouble (for a while).

Moreover, the Russian central bank reacted to the sanctions by stopping capital flows out of Russia and nationalising the foreign exchange earnings of major exporters, requiring Russian firms to convert 80% of their dollar and euro earnings into roubles. It also raised interest rates to 20% in an effort to attract foreign capital. These measures are aimed at bolstering the rouble’s value and providing a flow of foreign exchange into the country. They appear to be working: while the rouble is around 40% of its value since the start of the conflict, the Russian currency’s free-fall seems to have come to a halt for now, even registering an uptick over the past two weeks. For the time being, Russia’s financial account — the difference between the money flowing in and out of the country — is far from disastrous.

Let’s not forget that the main source of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves — oil and gas exports — has been excluded from the sanctions, for obvious reasons: for most European countries, Russia accounts for a huge part of their oil and gas imports (and other staple commodities), and there’s simply no way of replacing those energy sources from one day to the next. In short, Russia runs no risk, in the short term, of running out of reserves and not being able to pay for its imports. But even assuming that the West decided to put a stop to all its imports from Russia overnight, there’s no reason to believe that this would bring the Russian military machine to a halt. The notion that “we are financing Russia’s war by purchasing gas and oil”, as the Finnish prime minister recently stated, is fundamentally misplaced.

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A translation at the Saker. Not clear from what.

“..if the Baltic statehood develops in the same direction in which it has been developing for the last thirty years, then sooner or later the denazification operation is inevitable.”

Will Poland Invade The Western Ukraine? (Saker)

the pro-American European lobby is in a state of unstable equilibrium; it wants to intervene in this conflict, but is afraid. The Americans do not yet give sufficient guarantees. Biden is now going to Poland to talk about exactly this, and we’ll see what he tells them. Well, I think not now, not now, but in general, given what trends have prevailed in the Baltics. Sooner or later the denazification operation will have to be carried out, because, as the history of Ukraine shows, living next to the Nazi state, even if it is small, means everything equally uncomfortable. Just because we are two different systems, we are on different sides of good and evil, and we will always be in confrontation with each other, and confrontation with the state that is on our borders will always be used by our enemies, regardless of who is this enemy at the moment.

Therefore, naturally, if the Balts do not take it reasonably, then sooner or later they, just like Ukraine, will ask for the denazification operation. Ukraine asked for a long time, in fact, persuaded for 30 years. Therefore, Ukraine began to prepare for a war with Russia from the first day of its Independence. It was, by the way, her idea-fix. Well, it was getting ready, getting ready, now 30 years have passed – she got ready. Finally, she asked for the war. By and large, the Balts behave in the same way. They now think that they are covered by NATO and the EU, but as the practice of recent years has shown, this is a very unreliable umbrella.

It is unlikely that anyone will be especially tense and risk a major war for the Baltic states. Moreover, there is always a casus bellum. It’s just that now, of course, Russia is too busy to go to the Baltic states. If only they won’t interfere with Russia on their own along with the Poles. They once tried to attack Belarus. They can repeat. If they themselves do not get involved in this matter, then the problem, the Baltics, is a problem of the distant future. During this time, they can change their minds, correct themselves, establish normal contacts, and choose other politicians. But if the Baltic statehood develops in the same direction in which it has been developing for the last thirty years, then sooner or later the denazification operation is inevitable.

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“Sending NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine would lead to a direct clash between the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the alliance.”

Lavrov: Peacekeeping Effort Could Result In Direct Clash With NATO (JTN)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned this week that if NATO sends peacekeepers into Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, that action will lead to a direct military confrontation between Russian and allied forces. According to the Russian state news agency TASS, Lavrov said Wednesday morning, “Sending NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine would lead to a direct clash between the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the alliance.” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations eliminated the possibility of the U.S. becoming part of a peacekeeping operation inside Ukraine, reiterating that the Biden administration will not send American troops into the country under conflict.


“We don’t want to escalate this into a war with the United States,” said Thomas-Greenfield. “But we will support our NATO allies,” adding that President Biden “has made clear that if there is an attack on any of our NATO allies, under Article 5, that we will support those countries and defend those countries.” The war has been going on for about a month as Russia’s far larger army continues to fight for control of Ukraine’s major cities. In the past days, the battle for Ukraine’s strategic port city of Mariupol has grown increasingly fiery. Thus far, the resistance effort from Ukraine has been unexpectedly fierce, though western experts warn that the Ukrainian’s longtime outlook against Russian forces may spell trouble.

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Just The News, a right wing unit, has trouble positioning itself. They must be both anti-Biden AND anti-Putin.

Ukraine Says Russia Is Holding Aid Workers Captive In Mariupol (JTN)

Speaking Tuesday night in a video address to his nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian forces of seizing a humanitarian convoy in Mariupol.Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the Russians are holding captive 11 bus drivers and four rescue workers as well as their vehicles. Zelenskyy said the efforts to establish stable humanitarian corridors in Mariupol, which has been under heavy attack, are being “foiled by the Russian occupiers, by shelling, or deliberate terror.” A senior U.S. defense official told the Associated Press that Russian ships in the Sea of Azov are adding to the shelling of Mariupol, a strategic port city.


On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian military operation is unfolding “strictly in accordance with the plans and purposes that were established beforehand.” He added that Putin’s aims are to “get rid of the military potential of Ukraine” and to “ensure that Ukraine changes from an anti-Russian center to a neutral country.”

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Uranium One. Nuff said.

How Russia Got Stronger As Bidens And Clintons Got Richer (JTN)

By 2010, the Obama-Biden-Clinton Russian reset was in full swing. The administration put forth a mutual nuclear disarmament treaty known as “New START,” which, while noble in its declared intentions, risked weakening a compliant partner such as the United States while strengthening a Russia not constrained by the rules. Another deal that Obama, Biden, and Clinton gave the Russians was called the “123 Agreement,” which allowed state-owned Russian entities like nuclear behemoth Rosatom to sell nuclear materials directly to U.S. utility companies. This deal continues to pay huge dividends to the Obama Foundation’s top donor, Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. And President Biden has allowed that deal to survive even during the Ukraine war, exempting nuclear fuel sales to U.S. utilities from his recent sanctions targeting Russian energy imports.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-driven 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, and other so-called denuclearization efforts with Libya and North Korea, effectively sent hundreds of thousands of tons of uranium to Russia for enrichment — a huge cash and energy windfall for Putin. On top of these nuclear handouts, the Obama-Biden-Clinton team gave Russia one of the biggest prizes of all: Uranium One. Before the Russian takeover, Uranium One was a Canadian company that mined Uranium around the world. It had assets on at least three continents — Eurasia, Africa, and North America. Its assets in Wyoming, Utah, and other states constituted approximately 20% of U.S. uranium capacity and meant that the Obama-Biden Committee of Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) would have to sign off on the deal. They could have said no, but the deal was approved.

Investors in the deal had funneled $145 million into Secretary Clinton’s family foundation. Its approval helped to give Russia a near-monopoly on global uranium production. After investigative reporter and author Peter Schweizer broke the Uranium One story in 2015, a State Department under secretary, Jose Fernandez, took the blame. Fernandez later landed a “very rewarding” position at the Clinton-connected Center for American Progress. Fernandez has now come back through the revolving door and is a top official in the Biden State Department.

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“First, I put on my socks, then my pants, then my shirt, then my jacket … and then I am fully dressed.”

The Death Of The Supreme Court Confirmation Process (Turley)

“This is not a normal day for America. We have never had this moment before.” Those 15 words from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) captured the historic confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court. In other respects, however, the hearing was an all-too-familiar moment, particularly in its lack of substantive legal discussion. The Jackson hearing continued the rapid reduction of the range of questions for nominees, leaving these hearings as little more than performance art for senators and an endurance test for nominees. The hearing was impressive in the ability of senators to move effortlessly between diametrically opposing positions. For those with memories extending back to 2020, there were turns that were enough to snap your neck.

In Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing, members like Sen. Chris Coons (D-R.I.) declared: “What’s at issue is her judicial philosophy.” Yesterday, during Jackson’s hearing (around the 6:30 mark), Coons declared: “I don’t believe that ‘a judicial philosophy’ is always all that meaningful.” It was clear from the outset that Jackson would not discuss her judicial philosophy on interpreting the Constitution or statutes — the very issue Democratic senators cited in voting against Barrett in 2020. When asked about her judicial philosophy, Jackson responded with a discussion of her “judicial methodology.” Indeed, on the second day of questioning, Jackson told Sen. Grassley that “I do have a philosophy. My philosophy is my methodology.” It is akin to asking someone about their preferred clothing style and having them respond, “First, I put on my socks, then my pants, then my shirt, then my jacket … and then I am fully dressed.”

Given that evasion, it was not surprising that Coons felt compelled to say judicial philosophy was really not that important and the key all along was methodology. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) agreed. After labeling Barrett an unacceptable “originalist,” she now dismisses originalism and judicial philosophy questions for Jackson (around the 8:48 mark) because “I do not find labels particularly useful.” In reality, it did not seem like any substantive answers were “particularly useful.” I have complained about that lack of substance in prior hearings where nominees discussed favorite movies and baseball but not long-held principles of constitutional interpretation. The Ginsburg Rule — enabling nominees to refuse to answer questions about their positions on particular rights — has reduced confirmation hearings to the nutritional value of a Slurpee.

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“They were unsure whether saying “get vaccinated to protect others” would increase willingness to vaccinate.”

Anger Towards the Unvaccinated was Intentional Psychological Manipulation (NE)

As the first wave of the pandemic died down in 2020, the narrative was already being pushed that vaccines were the only way out. However, even before it was clear that the vaccines would predominantly be mRNA based, many were rightly hesitant to receive a novel vaccine that had been produced at warp speed. With The Science™ so convinced that their solution was the only solution, something had to be done to increase uptake. Even though there were many opposing opinions (that were ignored), it was thought that without high rates of vaccine uptake, the pandemic would likely be prolonged. Something had to be done about vaccine hesitancy, so along came Yale University with a study which began in July 2020.

The study, which was not published online until October 2021 (once everyone was vaccinated) was to test “how persuasive messaging affects COVID-19 vaccine uptake intentions”. Recent studies had shown that explaining vaccine herd immunity increased willingness to receive a vaccine and reduced the time people would wait to get vaccinated. However, other work found that prosocial appeals did not increase vaccination intentions and prosocial concerns were absent in densely populated areas. They were unsure whether saying “get vaccinated to protect others” would increase willingness to vaccinate. The authors of the study suggested that something else would be needed to get people to encourage others close to them to get vaccinated and to hold negative judgments of those who don’t get vaccinated.

“Viewing vaccination through the lens of a collective action problem suggests that in addition to increasing individuals’ intentions to receive a vaccine, effective public health messages would also increase people’s willingness to encourage those close to them to vaccinate and to hold negative judgments of those who do not vaccinate. By encouraging those close to them to vaccinate, people are both promoting compliance with social norms and increasing their own level of protection against the disease. Also, by judging those who do not vaccinate more negatively, they apply social pressure to others to promote cooperative behavior. This would be consistent with theories of cooperation, like indirect reciprocity or partner choice, that rely on free riders being punished or ostracized for their past actions to encourage prosocial outcomes. Thus, effective messaging could have outsized effects on promoting vaccination if it both causes people to vaccinate themselves and to encourage those around them to do so.”

Promotion of fear

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Kolakusic is fast becomig everyone’s favorite European.

“Dictatorship Of The Worst Kind” – Trudeau Lambasted In EU Parliament (TNC)

Croatian Member of European (MEP) Parliament and former judge Mislav Kolakusic called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau out to his face in Brussels on Tuesday, savaging Trudeau over “civil rights violations” against Freedom Convoy protesters. Speaking before the European Parliament, Kolakusic accused the prime minister of engaging in a “dictatorship of the worst kind” by using the Emergencies Act to crush peaceful demonstrations. Kolakusic’s speech followed Trudeau’s own address to the parliament, where the prime minister had sounded off on purported threats to democracy posed by freedom protesters. Kolakusic responded to Trudeau’s claims through a Croatian translator.

“To defend our rights and the rights of our children, which we have acquired over the centuries, many of us – including myself – are willing to risk our own freedom and our own lives,” he said. “Unfortunately, today there are those among us who trample on these fundamental values.” Kolakusic then turned to face Trudeau. “Canada, once a symbol of the modern world, has become a symbol of civil rights violations under your quasi-liberal boot in recent months,” he said. Kolakusic went on to blast Trudeau for the militarized crackdown on Ottawa protesters where one woman using a walker had been trampled by a police-mounted riot horse. He also referred to how Trudeau had used the Emergencies Act to freeze the bank accounts of convoy protesters and donors.

“We watched how you trample women with horses, how you block the bank accounts of single parents so that they can’t even pay their children’s education and medicine, that they can’t pay utilities, mortgages for their homes. To you, these may be liberal methods, for many citizens of the world, it is a dictatorship of the worst kind. Rest assured that the citizens of the world, united, can stop any regime that wants to destroy,” said Kolakusic.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1506702485225938949

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When you zoom in, you realise that these black horses are actually the shadows of Zebras

Photo by Beverly Joubert – taken above the shallow waters of the Makgadikgadi Pan, a salt pan in Botswana – NatGeo 2018 Wildlife Photo of the Year

 

 

Black Rock

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mar 092022
 


Salvador Dali The ghost of Vermeer of Delft which can be used as a table 1934

 

Ukraine Crisis Is Unleashing ‘Hell On Earth’ For Food Prices (BBC)
What Is Going On In Negotiations Between Russia And Ukraine? (JPost)
Sanctions On Russia Will Strengthen Putin’s Grip (Ehrlich)
The Casualties of Empire (Lawrence)
Ukraine and the Global American Empire (Eugyp)
China, Big Tech, Big Pharma and Elites – The Four Horsemen (Angelova)
Saudi, Emirati Leaders Decline Calls With Biden During Ukraine Crisis (WSJ)
Biden’s US Oil Embargo (WSJ)
Spike Protein Fibrosis Syndrome (Chesnut)
Now Let’s Do the US Oligarchs (Eskow)
Iran Plots To Assassinate Bolton, Biden Admin Resists Public Indictments (DW)
Where’s The Outrage Over Trudeau’s Trip To Britain? (Stannus)
The Longtime ‘Zelig’ of American Scandals Who ‘Crossfired’ Trump (RCI)
How the Senate is Poised to Codify Censorship of Social Media (Turley)

 

 

 

 

UFC

 

 

 

 

Oliver Stone, Nuland, Robert Parry, Yanukovich

 

 

The Monastiraki kitchen is keeping a close eye on what happens with food prices, of course. When you make 5-600 meals per week, you have to. Predictions of quadrupling prices make us nervous. We would like to store more food, while it’s still affordable, but the space we have for that must first be renovated. That will cost so much, however, that I said we cannot afford to take the money away from buying food. It’s too risky right now. I’ll write an article on it soon, as we know more details.

Ukraine Crisis Is Unleashing ‘Hell On Earth’ For Food Prices (BBC)

The head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, has warned the conflict in Ukraine could send global food prices soaring, with a catastrophic impact on the world’s poorest. Ukraine and Russia are both major exporters of basic foodstuffs, and the war has already hit crop production, driving up prices Mr Beasley said it was putting more people at risk of starvation worldwide. “Just when you think hell on earth can’t get any worse, it does,” he said. Russia and Ukraine, once dubbed “the breadbasket of Europe”, export about a quarter of the world’s wheat and half of its sunflower products, like seeds and oil. Ukraine also sells a lot of corn globally. Analysts have warned that war could impact the production of grains and even double global wheat prices.


Mr Beasley told BBC World Service’s Business Daily programme that the number of people facing potential starvation worldwide had already risen from 80 million to 276 million in four years prior to Russia’s invasion, due to what he calls a “perfect storm” of conflict, climate change and coronavirus. He said certain countries could be particularly affected by the current crisis, due to the high proportion of grains they currently import from the Black Sea region. “The country of Lebanon, 50%, give or take, of their grains, come from Ukraine. Yemen, Syria, Tunisia – and I could go on and on – depend on the country of Ukraine as a breadbasket,” he said. “So you’re going from being a breadbasket to now, literally, having to hand out bread to them. It’s just an incredible reverse of reality.”

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“Kyiv has not shared with the West what has been going on in the negotiations since they do not want to damper the worldwide sense of emergency.”

What Is Going On In Negotiations Between Russia And Ukraine? (JPost)

Three days after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, the details are beginning to emerge. According to people who were privy to details about the meeting, the current situation is that Russia has offered a “final” version of its offer to end the crisis, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky needs to accept or decline. The proposal was deemed “difficult” but not “impossible,” the sources said. It is worse than what Zelensky would have gotten before the invasion but “the gaps between the sides are not great.” Putin ordered his forces to halt – and the command for a ceasefire to be enacted was given – in order to wait for Zelensky’s decision, the sources said. If Ukraine’s president rejects the proposal, French President Emmanuel Macron’s assumption that “the worst is before us” is prone to happen.

In that scenario, Putin will order his army to put the pedal to the metal and change the face of Ukraine. Zelensky is torn, the sources said. On the one hand, he is enjoying immense popularity and has become the perfect Che Guevara. On the other hand, he knows full well what the Argentinian revolutionary and guerrilla leader’s end was. Zelensky can fortify Ukraine’s independence but will have to pay a heavy price, the sources said. Assumptions are that he will be forced to give up the contested Donbas region, officially recognize the pro-Russian dissidents in Ukraine, pledge that Ukraine will not join NATO, shrink his army and declare neutrality. If he declines the proposal, the outcome may be terrible: thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of Ukrainians will die and there is a high probability that his country will completely lose its independence.


According to the sources knowledgeable about the content of the talks, Bennett’s trip to Moscow was not meant to mediate between the sides and no arbitration proposal was officially offered. Rather, the trip was meant to get a sense of what Putin’s position was, what his state of mind was and what his redlines were, and report them to the West. The real negotiations, according to the sources, are happening directly between Russia and Ukraine and are much more serious than what the West has been saying. Kyiv has not shared with the West what has been going on in the negotiations since they do not want to damper the worldwide sense of emergency. In reality, however, the Ukrainians know full well what Putin’s demands are and they know they will have to make a dramatic decision in the coming days.

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Thread.

“Some Russians I know who had favorable opinions of the West now feel like they are *personally* under attack. They resent being the targets of economic warfare.”

Sanctions On Russia Will Strengthen Putin’s Grip (Ehrlich)

The West thinks sanctions are hurting Putin. They have it backwards: His power inside Russia is surging. A thread on what analysts are getting so wrong. Objectively, Putin’s poll numbers have improved since the lead-up to and onset of the war. This was predictable; a “rally ’round the flag” effect is common for wartime president. In less than 2 weeks, his approval rating spiked 10 points from 61% to 71%. Image Many in the West are predicting that this effect will be short lived. Analysts think that Russians will sour on Putin if the economic situation in the country continues to worsen. But there’s a gaping hole in their theory: Russians don’t think the war was Putin’s fault. This is difficult for people in the West to understand.

Here, we see the invasion of Ukraine as a war of choice. In Russia, the average citizen sees the conflict as a war of necessity one forced onto Russia by NATO and Ukraine. This was confirmed before the war in research by the Levada Center, a non-governmental polling firm widely trusted in the West. More than 66% of Russians blamed the conflict on America, NATO, or Ukraine. Only 4% said the conflict was Russia’s fault. Because Russians do not believe Putin was responsible for the war, they naturally do not blame him for sanctions. Citizens of the United States did not blame FDR for economic hardships like rationing during WW2. Russians have a similar perspective on wartime hardships today. If anything, the perceived cruelty of the current sanctions is making the West *more* of a villain in Russia.


Some Russians I know who had favorable opinions of the West now feel like they are *personally* under attack. They resent being the targets of economic warfare. One of the most egregious examples is the attempt to block international calls into Russia. Today, many Russians overseas are having trouble reaching their families at home. This makes them angry but not at Putin. It makes them hate the West. [..] Putin’s base sees the Western pullout from Russia as an opportunity to purge the country of foreign influence. They *like* the idea of Western companies selling their stakes in state industries. They *like* replacing Western brands with Russian and Chinese substitutes. I’m not arguing that these replacements will be smooth. They won’t stop Russia’s economy from heading for a deep recession. But nationalist sentiments inside Russia right now are so strong, that’s a price Russians are willing to pay.

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“..instigate a long-running conflict that bogs down Russian forces and leaves Ukrainians to wage an insurgency that cannot possibly succeed.”

The Casualties of Empire (Lawrence)

The news reports come in daily from Moscow, Kiev and the Western capitals: how many dead since Russia began its intervention in Ukraine on Feb. 24, how many injured, how many hungry or cold, how many displaced. We do not know the true count of casualties and the extent of the suffering and ought not pretend we do: This is the reality of war, each side having its version of unfolding events. My inclination is to add the deaths in Ukraine these past two weeks to the 14,000 dead and the 1.5 million displaced since 2014, when the regime in Kiev began shelling its own citizens in the eastern provinces – this because the people of Donetsk and Lugansk rejected the U.S. cultivated coup that deposed their elected president. This simple math gives us a better idea of how many Ukrainians are worthy of our mourning.

As we mourn, it is time to consider the wider consequences of this conflict, for Ukrainians are not alone among its victims. Who else has suffered? What else has been damaged? This war is of a kind humanity has never before known. What are its costs? Among paying-attention people it is increasingly plain that Washington’s intent in provoking Moscow’s intervention is, and probably has been from the first, to instigate a long-running conflict that bogs down Russian forces and leaves Ukrainians to wage an insurgency that cannot possibly succeed. Is there another way to explain the many billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and matériel the U.S. and its European allies now pour into Ukraine? If the Ukrainians cannot win — a universally acknowledged reality — what is the purpose here?


Whether this strategy goes as Washington wants, or if Russian forces get their work done and withdraw to avoid a classic quagmire, remains to be seen. But as Dave DeCamp noted in Antiwar.com last Friday, there is no sign whatsoever that the Biden administration plans any further diplomatic contacts with the Kremlin. The implication here should be evident. The U.S. strategy effectively requires the destruction of Ukraine in the service of America’s imperial ambitions. If this thought seems extreme, brief reference to the fates of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria will provide all the compelling context one may need.

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Politics vs System.

Ukraine and the Global American Empire (Eugyp)

The same western globalists who hate Russia, also count us as their enemies, and my sincere advice is to take them seriously in this. They have a kind of myopia for internal political dissidents; we are the unaligned domestic element, Russia is the unaligned international element, and so when Donald Trump is elected to the presidency, this must be, for them, the result of Russian interference. I keep calling these people American or western globalists, but that’s only one way to understand them. I don’t have anything against Americans; I lived there for many years and have a great many American friends. It is only an historical accident, probably, that America finds itself at the centre of this globalist excrescence, this post-political, post-national order.

Rolf Peter Sieferle, one of my favourite thinkers, wrote about the fundamental conflict, between the globalists on one hand, and the unaligned people like me and unaligned countries like Russia, in more abstract terms. For him, the clash is between “politics” and “system”: “Politics belongs to an older stratum of existence, ordered in terms of the state and of history, crystallised in statesmen, leaders and ideologues. It has programmes, values and goals. What is required are virtues and commitments directed towards a super-ordinate whole. The last resort of politics is war – the willingness of the individual to sacrifice himself for a higher cause, for his community.”

“System characterises newly emerging orders of higher complexity, which successively displace politics. Systems organise themselves without focus, without values, goals or programmes. Their only maxim is freedom and emancipation for individuals. Virtue and sacrifice are anachronisms. Wars are nothing but catastrophic conflicts that must be prevented through skilful management. Order is created by objective, autonomous constraints, not by a normative orientation. The structures of systems are as inescapable for individuals as a magnetic field is for iron filings. They do not “know” anything about it, but they conform to their predefined paths. The most important processes are not controlled and can hardly be grasped theoretically.”

System has largely prevailed in advanced “western” countries. Yet the rest of the world in many ways still thinks politically. This strikes the West as anachronistic fundamentalism. … [..] The global American empire doesn’t invade; that is not what systems do. It assimilates. It is basically a borg that imposes economic and political constraints on an ever expanding expanse of the globe, which progressively fatten, distract and deracinate populations, with a view towards blending them into the same shallow multinational consumerist soup. Their plan was to make Ukraine part of the borg, and in this way further encroach upon Russia. Russia responded in political fashion, by taking up arms. Because the western borg never knows when to stop, Ukraine will now be destroyed and probably partitioned, as a means of keeping it forever outside the western globalist fold.


Preliminary plans for Operation Barbarossa, with the southern arm of the German attack proceeding through the open plains of Ukraine.

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“Riots began far too late and were easily curbed.”

China, Big Tech, Big Pharma and Elites – The Four Horsemen (Angelova)

A portion of the human population has always desired to rule over the rest. It doesn’t matter if these folks are naturally born psyhopaths or if they were created. What matters is that they are now more powerful than ever. It’s because they didn’t have the right tools or plan until recently. Because of the tech tycoons, evil has complete influence over ordinary people’s life. People are being brainwashed every second by the media, the internet, and social media. Every second of our life is monitored by smart watches and smartphones, which transmit personal data to whoever pays the most. We have been examined so that we can be easily managed and gave up our liberty without even realizing it. While it is not fully implemented in most nations, it is already in use in China and has a name social credit system.

It is based on a set of regulations established by the government that, if not followed, result in punishment. It used to be simple set of rules, but it now encompasses everything you say, everything you publish on the internet, everything you do, your fascial expression, your daily activities, and every element of your existence! You are okay if you follow the government’s rules, no matter how absurd they are. Breaking any of these rules means no money, no food, and no freedom – you are a prisoner. The right to free expression is prohibited. It’s similar to the well-known novel “1984”, but with more sophisticated tools. “Always eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or bed- no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters in your skull.”

About a year before COVID-19, Pfizer established close relations with the Chinese communist party. Is it a coincidence that the COVID mania that imprisoned the Earth’s people began in China? Is it a coincidence that the rest of the world adopted Chinese policies despite a lack of evidence that such measures were required? Is it a coincidence that China is a major supporter of World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus? Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum who taught the majority of globe leaders, reminded us that COVID-19 provided us with a tiny window of opportunity to reset the world, and WOW how effectively it was applied on the ostensibly free Western world. They were forced to live like cattle, with no human rights or health care, but were also subjected to experimental gene therapy. Riots began far too late and were easily curbed.

Of course, the fake virus fear isn’t enough, therefore a war is necessary to raise expenses. The more fearful humanity gets, the easier it is to dominate. People who are terrified cannot think. Fear of viruses, Russians, wars, shortages, cold, warm, storms, and climate change is the backbone of media and government propaganda, with celebrity culture filling in the gaps. It will finally destroy humanity since it goes against what makes us human: trusting and loving other humans. Of course, it is possible to turn the wave. We are surrounded by evil forces, yet we still have an option to remain free humans as long as we retain our ability to think, love, and feel.

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“The energy alliance with Russia, one of the world’s top oil producers, has enhanced OPEC’s power while also bringing the Saudis and Emiratis closer to Moscow..”

Saudi, Emirati Leaders Decline Calls With Biden During Ukraine Crisis (WSJ)

[…] Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the U.A.E.’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan both declined U.S. requests to speak to Mr. Biden in recent weeks, the officials said, as Saudi and Emirati officials have become more vocal in recent weeks in their criticism of American policy in the Gulf. “There was some expectation of a phone call, but it didn’t happen,” said a U.S. official of the planned discussion between the Saudi Prince Mohammed and Mr. Biden. “It was part of turning on the spigot [of Saudi oil].” […] One U.S. official said the Biden administration has worked diligently to strengthen Saudi and Emirati missile defenses, and that America would be doing more in the coming months to help the two Gulf nations protect themselves. It may not be all the two countries want, the official said, but the U.S. is trying to address their security concerns.


But the Saudis and Emiratis have declined to pump more oil, saying they are sticking to a production plan approved between their group, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and a group of other producers led by Russia. The energy alliance with Russia, one of the world’s top oil producers, has enhanced OPEC’s power while also bringing the Saudis and Emiratis closer to Moscow. Both Prince Mohammed and Sheikh Mohammed took phone calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, after declining to speak with Mr. Biden.

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“Companies can’t explore and drill, or build pipelines, without capital. Biden financial regulators allied with progressive investors are working to cut it off. ”

Biden’s US Oil Embargo (WSJ)

President Biden made the right decision Tuesday in banning Russian oil and natural gas imports. Yet at the same time he declared full-steam ahead on his green energy “transition” that includes an assault on U.S. fossil fuels. The contradiction is maddening. Banning Russian energy imports is fine as far as it goes, which isn’t very. The U.S. imports only 3% of its petroleum supply and less than 1% of coal from Russia. About 70% of Russian oil currently can’t find buyers because of sanctions risk. That’s the main reason crude prices have shot up to $130 per barrel. Once uncertainty about the scope of sanctions clears up, Russia will probably find global buyers for its energy at a discount. Imposing so-called secondary U.S. sanctions on institutions that finance Russia’s energy trade would be more effective.

But the White House won’t do that because it fears it could drive gasoline prices even higher. If that’s the worry, then here’s a better idea: Stand at the White House and declare that his Administration will support the development of U.S. oil and gas. Rescind all regulations designed to curb production, development and consumption. Announce a moratorium on new ones. Expedite permits, and encourage investment. Our guess is the price of Brent crude would fall $20 a barrel in anticipation of higher production. Yet Mr. Biden is doing precisely the opposite. On Tuesday he even blamed U.S. companies—not his policies—for not producing more. There are 9,000 available unused drilling permits, he claimed, and only 10% of onshore oil production takes place on federal land. Talk about a misdirection play.

First, companies have to obtain additional permits for rights of way to access leases and build pipelines to transport fuel. This has become harder under the Biden Administration. Second, companies must build up a sufficient inventory of permits before they can contract rigs because of the regulatory difficulties of operating on federal land. It takes 140 days or so for the feds to approve a drilling permit versus two for the state of Texas. The Administration has halted onshore lease sales. Producers are developing leases more slowly since they don’t know when more will be available. Offshore leases were snapped up at a November auction because companies expect it might be the last one. Interior’s five-year leasing program for the Gulf of Mexico expires in June.

Yet the Administration hasn’t promulgated a new plan. Nor did it appeal a liberal judge’s order in January revoking the November leases. But the Administration has appealed another judge’s order requiring that it hold lease sales. Then there’s the not-small problem of financing. Companies can’t explore and drill, or build pipelines, without capital. Biden financial regulators allied with progressive investors are working to cut it off. The Labor Department has proposed a rule that would require 401(k) managers to consider the climate impact of their investment holdings.

Novak: The Russian Federation knows where to redirect our oil from the European market (activate subtitles!)

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@Parsifaler is posting a lot on vaccines and cancer. This is just one thread.

Spike Protein Fibrosis Syndrome (Chesnut)

Spike protein fibrosis syndrome: the spike protein induces a firbrotic cascade exactly parallel to radiation fibrosis syndrome. The spike protein induces the same accumulation of excess fibrin that radiation does! First: In the microcirculation, SARS-CoV-2 and the S protein directly enhance platelet activation and fibrin aggregation, predisposing 30–50% of COVID-19 patients to develop thrombotic events.

Various pathophysiological mechanisms have been postulated for RFS including induction of free radical (FR)-mediated DNA damage and subsequent apoptosis as a predisposing event.[6] Pohlers et al. described three histopathological phases of RFS such as (1) prefibrotic phase comprising ENDOTHELIAL CELLS, (2) fibrotic phase of active fibrosis containing myofibroblasts, and (3) fibroatrophic phase characterized by subsequent loss of parenchymal cells. Radiation-induced (SPIKE PROTEIN) accumulation of excess fibrin in the extravascular, intravascular, and perivascular compartments has been described for RFS.

Ionizing radiation (SPIKE PROTEIN) may directly result in RFS by causing VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL INJURY and indirectly by activating the inflammatory, epithelial regeneration, and tissue remodeling pathways and the coagulation cascade. Another important event is the activation of Janus kinase (JAK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) proteins along with nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B-cell (NF-KB) pathways by radiation resulting in the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. NOW! Now we can unite CANCER, NEURODEGENERATION AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE that has heretofore appeared as RANDOM. But, it is nothing of the sort!


This Spike Protein Fibrosis Syndrome not only explains the cancer we are seeing, but also its AGGRESSIVENESS. Tumors are characterized by extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, remodeling, and cross-linking that drive fibrosis to stiffen the stroma and promote malignancy. The stiffened stroma enhances tumor cell growth, survival and migration and drives a mesenchymal transition. A stiff ECM also induces angiogenesis, hypoxia and compromises anti-tumor immunity.

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“Our sanctions have taken countless lives around the world, a form of bloodshed we pretend isn’t warfare.”

Now Let’s Do the US Oligarchs (Eskow)

“Tonight I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime: no more. “The U.S. Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of Russian oligarchs. “We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.” With these words in his State of the Union address last week, President Joe Biden unintentionally laid out a blueprint for responding to the American oligarchs, super-predators who dwarf their Russian counterpoints in wealth and political power. America’s oligarchs, like their Russian counterparts, have bilked billions — no, make that trillions — from their own regime. Some of their bilking comes directly from its violence, in the form of “defense” contracts to entities like Halliburton, Lockheed Martin and the Carlyle Group.

About that “violent regime” business: It’s possible to condemn the violence perpetrated by Russia’s government while at the same time recognizing and condemning that of the U.S. The direct attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan, among other countries, have been matched by the proxy violence the U.S. has funded in nations like Palestine, Syria [ed.: and yes, Ukraine]. Our sanctions have taken countless lives around the world, a form of bloodshed we pretend isn’t warfare. A 2014 Princeton political science study showed that government actions nearly always conform to the wishes of wealthy and powerful U.S. elites. “Our central finding was this: Economic elites and interest groups can shape U.S. government policy — but Americans who are less well off have essentially no influence over what their government does,” wrote co-authors Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page.


America’s oligarchical influence extends from healthcare and fossil fuels to the industry of war itself. American companies account for more than half of all arms sales worldwide. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that “in the past two decades, (the arms industry’s) extensive network of lobbyists and donors have directed $285 million in campaign contributions and $2.5 billion in lobbying spending to influence defense policy.” Arms manufacturers (more commonly known by the Orwellian appellation, “defense industry”) shrewdly concentrate on hiring ex-government officials to advance their agenda and pump up their “ill-begotten gains.” This ensures that their interests are represented by people who know the officials they’re lobbying. Even more importantly, it puts those officials on notice that there is a lucrative future in store for them if they play along. Arms oligarchs have hired more than 200 lobbyists who, in the report’s words, “have worked in the same government that regulates and decides funding for the industry.”

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Biden wants Iran oil more than he wants Bolton. He’ll even throw in a nuclear deal.

Iran Plots To Assassinate Bolton, Biden Admin Resists Public Indictments (DW)

At least two Iranians in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), an elite Iranian military group that is also a designated terrorist organization, have allegedly been plotting to assassinate former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, according to a new report. Democrat President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice “possesses indictable evidence against the Iranians but … Biden administration officials are resisting publicly indicting the men for fear that it could derail their drive for a nuclear deal with Iran, currently nearing completion in negotiations in Vienna, Austria,” the Washington Examiner reported. “It is possible but unlikely that there are sealed indictments against the men, but the DOJ source said the seriousness of the conspiracy and the evidence warranted public indictment without delay.

“Sealed indictments would be unusual and probably unnecessary in this case, as they are usually used to prevent the target evading justice.” The report said that the Iranian military was involved in “significant … reconnaissance activity” in the alleged plot, which involved an effort to recruit an assassin on U.S. soil. The report said that similar threats have been made against former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other Trump officials who worked on Iran. The report said that threats against Bolton and Pompeo “are continuing, specific, and highly credible.” The report added:


“The intelligence community became aware of the plot at an early stage, and it prompted high-level concern and a full-time Secret Service protective detail being assigned to Bolton earlier this year or late in 2021. Significant FBI assets were also deployed to disrupt the plot and assist in protecting Bolton… As the Washington Examiner reported in December 2020, Congress quietly extended Pompeo’s Diplomatic Security Service protective detail beyond his government tenure in response to these Iranian threats. That protective detail continues and has a high level of enhanced capability. Biden’s DOJ claimed in a statement to the Examiner that “it would be categorically false to claim that these kinds of policy considerations would drive such a charging decision.”

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“The next day, Russia attacked Ukraine and both national and international attention turned elsewhere – doubtless to the Liberal government’s great relief.”

Where’s The Outrage Over Trudeau’s Trip To Britain? (Stannus)

As Justin Trudeau waltzed through the UK, visiting Boris Johnson and the Queen, did anyone spare a thought for Canadians struggling under Trudeau’s authoritarian Covid power moves? In 2016, the British parliament debated whether Donald Trump, then running for the US presidency, ought to be banned from the UK for inflammatory ‘hate speech’. When Trudeau announced his visit to the UK, did the House of Commons ask itself whether he should be made welcome? Trudeau is no stranger to inflammatory language – having called the unvaccinated in Canada ‘extremists’, ‘misogynists’ and ‘racists’. But it’s far worse than that. He has undermined the principles on which Canadian democratic government is founded by criminalising peaceful protest. He invoked emergency powers to inflict extreme punishment on those who objected to his Covid policies while denying them proper due process. Does no one in the UK government find that troubling?

Trudeau used the Emergencies Act to allow banks to unilaterally freeze accounts and assets, not only of participants in the peaceful Ottawa freedom convoy but also of anyone who supported the protest financially – all without a court order and legal immunity. And insurance policies of participants were subject to cancellation. Nothing says ‘free country’ like being able to freeze the assets of your political opponents without notice, judicial oversight, or possibility of legal recourse, on suspicion of having donated $25 to a trucker who parked in front of Canada’s parliament because he didn’t want the government to take away his job. Perhaps this seems unfair. Trudeau may have invoked the never-before-used Emergencies Act to resolve a parking problem. An error in judgement, but in the end he rescinded it. Quite true. But not before he suspended Canadians’ rights to due process and to peaceful assembly.


Or delayed the Act’s debate in the Canadian House of Commons until after the protestors were forcibly removed by police. Or cynically strong-armed its approval through the House of Commons via a confidence vote – cleverly changing the subject of the vote to whether or not MPs wanted to call an election. And remember too that he hinted that the Act would be needed for months to come. Can the country ever be considered truly safe when – at any time – a truck driver apparently going about his business might approach the heart of Canada’s capital city and run up the Canadian flag, thereby magically metamorphosising into a terrorist? Trudeau lifted the Emergencies Act on 23 February when it became apparent that the Canadian Senate was likely to vote against it. The next day, Russia attacked Ukraine and both national and international attention turned elsewhere – doubtless to the Liberal government’s great relief.

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Central to Russiagate. Good long portrait.

The Longtime ‘Zelig’ of American Scandals Who ‘Crossfired’ Trump (RCI)

In the late summer of 2016 Stefan A. Halper met with at least three of Donald Trump’s associates in England and the United States, bragging about his friendship with Russian spies who “can be very helpful to us at this time.” As they listened to his tales of foreign intrigue and promises of illegal foreign help, what George Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Sam Clovis did not know was that Halper was not who he said he was. He was, indeed, a spy, but his handler was not the Kremlin – it was the FBI. Armed with leading questions and on at least two occasions a hidden tape recorder, Halper had been tasked by the bureau with finding dirt on the Trump campaign.


Halper’s undercover operation, which was documented in a report by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, would prove largely a bust. Transcripts between Halper and Trump campaign officials would show that none of them took the bait, or appeared to otherwise be soliciting Russia’s help in the 2016 presidential campaign. Even now, it might seem odd that the FBI made Halper, then a septuagenarian Cambridge University professor, a linchpin of its top-secret counterintelligence probe codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane.” But a closer look at Halper’s life and work makes that decision seem inevitable. Stefan Halper is the Zelig of modern American political scandal – a chameleon-like, unusually ubiquitous figure who keeps appearing when mischief is afoot.

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“Nudge Act”. “Nudging Users to Drive Good Experiences on Social Media”.

Get out of our lives!

How the Senate is Poised to Codify Censorship of Social Media (Turley)

Beware of politicians bearing reforms. Since the Trojans first wheeled a wooden horse into their fortified city, many are leery about “gifts” that may be heavily laden with dangers. That is true with the Trojan horse legislation just offered by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). In the name of “reforming” the internet and bringing tech monopolies to heel, Klobuchar has penned a “Nudge Act” that would expand corporate censorship and speech controls. Even the name is designed to be non-threatening. After all, who could oppose an act titled “Nudging Users to Drive Good Experiences on Social Media”? It is enough to garner the support of Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.). The act, however, is less of a nudge and more of a shove toward approved content and choices.

For years, President Joe Biden and Democratic members of Congress have pushed for greater and greater censorship on the internet and on social media. Liberals have found a winning strategy in using corporate censorship to circumvent constitutional limits on governmental speech controls. Senators like Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) warned social media companies that they would not tolerate any “backsliding or retrenching” by “failing to take action against dangerous disinformation,” and demanded “robust content modification” to block disfavored views on subjects ranging from climate control to elections to the pandemic. The Nudge Act is arguably the most insidious of these efforts.

Under the Act, Congress would enlist the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) to recommend sweeping design changes to Big Tech platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to “reduce the harms of algorithmic amplification and social media addiction.” The Act is a masterpiece of doublespeak. It refers to developing “content-agnostic interventions” that could ultimately be enforced by a commission and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). That sounds great; after all, many of us have called for years for a return to content neutrality on social media where sites function more as communication platforms, similar to telephone companies. However, that is clearly not the intent of the bill’s sponsors, who see it as a weapon against “misinformation.” That was made clear by Klobuchar herself: “For too long, tech companies have said ‘Trust us, we’ve got this.’

But we know that social media platforms have repeatedly put profits over people, with algorithms pushing dangerous content that hooks users and spreads misinformation.” How is combatting “misinformation” content-neutral? The answer will be imposed by a new commission and lead to a site’s failure to take “appropriate” measures being declared “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” That would create a glacial chilling effect on these companies, which will err on the side of censorship.

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Tulsi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1501158656020127744

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Feb 242022
 


Pablo Picasso Glass, bread and cheesee 1923

 

Russia Conducts ‘Precision Strikes’ on Ukrainian Military Targets (Sputnik)
Russia Has ‘No Plans’ To Take Over Whole Of Ukraine – Putin (RT)
Disarming Ukraine (MoA)
Saudi-Russia Collusion Is Driving Up Gas Prices (IC)
Trudeau Discontinues Emergencies Act (RT)
Canada Instructs Banks to Unfreeze Freedom-Convoy Accounts (WSJ)
Significant Underreporting of Vaccine Side Effects: German Health Insurer (ET)
Genetic Code of Covids Spike Protein Linked to Moderna Patent (DM)
China’s Property Bubble Collapse Gets Worse (Lacalle)
Biden Officials Fear Elon Musk Would Embarrass President At WH (NYP)

 

 

David Mamet

 

 

Putin

 

 

Sputnik. Propaganda from the other side.

Russia Conducts ‘Precision Strikes’ on Ukrainian Military Targets (Sputnik)

Earlier this week, Russia officially recognised the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and urged Kiev to stop attacks on Donbass. As shellings by Ukrainian forces escalated in the region, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation aimed at the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine. “Ukrainian military infrastructure, air defence facilities, military airfields, and air forces are being neutralised by high-precision weapons”, the Russian Ministry of Defence said in a statement. The MoD stressed there are no threats to the civilian population. The tensions have been escalating over the past few days, with Ukrainian forces shelling the territory of Donbass, forcing thousands to evacuate to Russia.


Following an appeal from the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic, Moscow recognised both as independent nations and called on Ukraine to stop the eight-year-long war in the region. Russia also stressed that it will protect the people of Donbass against any threats, as president Putin noted the actions of the Ukrainian regime in the region are genocide. In response to the ongoing attacks, President Putin authorised the military to conduct a special operation to protect Donbass, aiming at the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine and saying that people who committed war crimes during the eight-year-long bloodshed should stand trial.

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Me, I wonder what Hunter Biden is doing right now..

Russia Has ‘No Plans’ To Take Over Whole Of Ukraine – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that Russia had “no plans to occupy the Ukrainian territories” after announcing that a special operation was launched to defend the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics from “Ukrainian aggression.” The operation’s ultimate goal is “to protect the people who have been subjected for 8 years to genocide by the Kiev regime,” Putin said in an adress on Thursday morning, adding that Moscow would “embark on a demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, and handing over to justice those who committed numerous atrocities against civilians.”


The Russian president noted, however, that Moscow harbors no far-reaching plans to take over the whole territory of Ukraine. “We do not have plans to occupy Ukrainian territories. We are not going to impose anything on anyone by force,” he said. Ukraine has been accusing Russia of illegally occupying Crimea, which was reabsorbed by Russia following a referendum in March 2014, following the US-backed coup that overthrew the elected government in Kiev. Kiev has also repeatedly accused Russia of having a military presence in Donbass, although Moscow consistently denied this claim.

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“During the last two centuries Russia had to defend itself, with horrific casualties, against two huge invasions from the west.”

Disarming Ukraine (MoA)

The military of Russia has launched an operation to disarm, and possibly regime change, the Ukraine. I do understand why Russia is doing this – it is either attack now or defend itself later with way more casualties and the danger of total defeat. I had hoped though that it would find other methods to protect Russia from further NATO aggression. In 2014 the U.S. instigated regime change in Kiev and has since controlled the Ukrainian government. It has build up the Ukraine as a base to strangle Russia economically and militarily. During the last two centuries Russia had to defend itself, with horrific casualties, against two huge invasions from the west. It is understandable that it does not want to repeat that experience.

It is difficult to discern what the planned end state of this operation is. Where is this going to stop? Looking at this map I believe that the most advantageous end state for Russia would be the creation of a new independent country, call it Novorussiya, on the land east of the Dnieper and south along the coast that holds a majority ethnic Russian population and that, in 1922, had been attached to the Ukraine by Lenin. That state would be politically, culturally and militarily aligned with Russia. This would eliminate Ukrainian access to the Black Sea and create a land bridge towards the Moldavian breakaway Transnistria which is under Russian protection. The rest of the Ukraine would be a land confined, mostly agricultural state, disarmed and too poor to be build up to a new threat to Russia anytime soon. Politically it would be dominated by fascists from Galicia which would then become a major problem for the European Union.


Thanks to Stalin’s additions to the Ukraine three countries, Poland, Hungary and Romania, have claims to certain areas in the Ukraine’s western regions. If they want to snatch those up again it is now probably the best time to do so. Despite being part of NATO, which likely would not support such moves, those three will have domestic policy difficulties to withstand the urge. I hope for a sharp but short fight which destroys the Ukraine’s military capabilities but causes as little casualties and other damages as possible. It is sad that NATO countries, including mine, did not have the courage to make the necessary concessions to prevent this from happening.

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Odd detail.

Saudi-Russia Collusion Is Driving Up Gas Prices (IC)

As Russia ordered troops into Ukraine on Monday, gas prices soared to their highest levels in over seven years. While the media focuses on the conflict in Ukraine, a major cause of the gas price spike has gone overlooked: Moscow’s partnership with Saudi Arabia has grown dramatically in recent years, granting the two largest oil producers in the world the unprecedented ability to collude in oil export decisions. The desert kingdom’s relationship with the U.S. has chilled in the meantime, as demonstrated earlier this month, when President Joe Biden pleaded with the Saudis to increase oil production — a move that would not only have helped to alleviate rising inflation and gas prices, but also reduced Russia’s extravagant profits amid its aggression against Ukraine. The Saudi king declined.

The Saudi and Russian relationship has blossomed under Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose first formal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin took place in the summer of 2015. MBS pursued the meeting after then-President Barack Obama declined to meet with him, The Intercept has learned from two sources with knowledge of the matter who were granted anonymity to describe sensitive discussions. Now, as Biden refuses to meet with MBS due to his culpability in the grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the crown prince may again see a friend in Moscow, which is profiting handsomely off MBS’s refusal to increase oil production. Hints of MBS’s resentment over Biden’s refusal to meet with him occasionally spill out into the public, as they did last year, when the crown prince canceled a meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on a day’s notice.

He opted instead to meet with Leonid Slutsky: a top Russian lawmaker who was sanctioned by the U.S. for his role in Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea. (MBS canceled Austin’s visit because he was “holding out for a call from the president before responding to the administration’s entreaties,” according to senior officials cited by Council on Foreign Relations fellow Martin Indyk in Foreign Affairs magazine.) “Putin and MBS have much in common, including murdering their critics at home and abroad, intervening in their neighbors by force and trying to get oil prices as high as possible,” Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former CIA analyst with expertise in the Middle East, said in an email to The Intercept. “Putin will do MBS a great service if he invades Ukraine and sends oil prices through the roof.”

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You’d think Russia tried to invade.

Trudeau Discontinues Emergencies Act (RT)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has brought an end to the Emergency Act in the country after 10 days after it was used to widen the scope of government and police authority in order to remove and detain ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters who had shut down a major US-Canada border crossing as well as much of Ottawa over the last weeks. Addressing the nation on Wednesday evening, Trudeau said that the situation is “no longer an emergency.” The Canadian leader referred to the expanded authority given to law enforcement, which included targeting protesters’ funding, as “time-limited extra tools” that had helped the police to lift blockades plaguing downtown Ottawa. Trudeau said he is “confident” now that “existing laws and bylaws” are “sufficient to keep people safe.”


He, however, appeared to signal that the federal government was ready to step in if the situation goes awry. “We will continue to be there to support local and provincial authorities if and when needed”, the PM said. Nearly 200 people have been arrested as police cracked down on the Freedom Convoy protests, with over 100 facing various charges. Organizers like Tamara Lich were also arrested last week. Lich was denied bail with the judge stating this week that her continued detention is “necessary for the protection and safety of the public.” The prime minister’s decision, which takes effect Wednesday evening, came only two days after Canadian lawmakers greenlighted the extension the emergency powers. At the time, Trudeau that the situation was “fragile” and still an “emergency.”

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Just 2 days ago they were saying it would be a long fight. Did Justin talk to a lawyer?

Canada Instructs Banks to Unfreeze Freedom-Convoy Accounts (WSJ)

Canada told banks to unlock financial accounts belonging to individuals involved in a weekslong Covid-19 protest in Ottawa that police shut down this past weekend, according to a finance ministry official. “They started [Monday] to unfreeze accounts,” Isabelle Jacques, a senior official in Canada’s finance department, told lawmakers Tuesday. The step marks a reversal for the Liberal government, which has argued the sweeping power to freeze bank accounts and other assets was crucial during what was declared an emergency period. The power became available over a week ago, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked rarely used emergency measures in an effort to end a roughly three-week protest calling for all Covid-19 vaccine mandates and related social restrictions to be rescinded. The Ottawa protest, involving thousands of individuals and hundreds of trucks, inspired blockades at crucial U.S.-Canada border crossings.


[..] On Monday, Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland defended the freezings, which some financial-law experts warned could affect people unaffiliated with the protest. “These measures were put in place to disrupt illegal activity in Canada,” she said. “We were very clear that we would be following the money, that we would be using financial tools to disrupt illegal blockades and occupations. The focus absolutely has been on leaders and on the vehicles that were such an important part of the illegal blockades and occupations.” “The way to get your account unfrozen is to stop being part of the blockade and occupation,” she added.

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Tick, tick, tick…

Significant Underreporting of Vaccine Side Effects: German Health Insurer (ET)

A large German health insurance provider said that it analyzed data from more than 10 million individuals regarding COVID-19 vaccine complications and suggested there were more than health authorities have reported. The insurer, BKK ProVita, concluded that the rate of vaccine side-effects is several times larger than earlier reports from the Paul-Ehrlich Institute, a German federal agency, according to a letter from the company. BKK board member Andreas Schöfbeck told Die Welt publication that the data is an “alarm signal,” adding: “The numbers determined are significant and urgently need to be checked for plausibility.” The Epoch Times has contacted the Paul-Ehrlich Institute for comment.

The letter, written by Schöfbeck, said BKK analyzed doctors’ billing data from 10.9 million insured people, finding that of that figure, some 217,000 received treatment due to vaccine side-effects. Overall, in Germany, which has a population of about 83 million, the Paul-Ehrlich Institute reported 244,576 suspected cases of COVID-19 vaccination side effects in 2021, the firm noted. “The data available to our company gives us reason to believe that there is a very considerable under-recording of suspected cases of vaccination side-effects after they received the [COVID-19] vaccine,” he wrote in his letter.

“If these figures are applied to the year as a whole and to” the entire population of Germany, Schöfbeck estimated, then “probably 2.5-3 million people in Germany been under medical treatment because of vaccination side effects after [COVID-19] vaccination.” Schöfbeck then concluded that based on their data, “there is a significant underreporting of vaccination side-effects” in Germany. Another letter that was sent out by BKK suggested that vaccination side effects reported across Germany are at least 10 times more common than what was reported by the Paul-Ehrlich Institute, reported the Nordkurier newspaper on Wednesday.

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Researchers say one in 3 trillion chance Covid developed the code naturally …

But lots of questions.

Genetic Code of Covids Spike Protein Linked to Moderna Patent (DM)

Fresh suspicion that Covid may have been tinkered with in a lab emerged today after scientists found genetic material owned by Moderna in the virus’s spike protein. They identified a tiny snippet of code that is identical to part of a gene patented by the vaccine maker three years before the pandemic. It was discovered in SARS-CoV-2’s unique furin cleavage site, the part that makes it so good at infecting people and separates it from other coronaviruses. The structure has been one of the focal points of debate about the virus’s origin, with some scientists claiming it could not have been acquired naturally. The international team of researchers suggest the virus may have mutated to have a furin cleavage site during experiments on human cells in a lab. They claim there is a one-in-three-trillion chance Moderna’s sequence randomly appeared through natural evolution.

But there is some debate about whether the match is as rare as the study claims, with other experts describing it as a ‘quirky’ coincidence rather than a ‘smoking gun’. “Moderna filed the patent in February 2016 as part of its cancer research division, records show. The patented sequence is part of a gene called MSH3 that is known to affect how damaged cells repair themselves in the body. It was approved on March 7 the following year ” In the latest study, published in Frontiers in Virology, researchers compared Covid’s makeup to millions of sequenced proteins on an online database. The virus is made up of 30,000 letters of genetic code that carry the information it needs to spread, known as nucleotides. It is the only coronavirus of its type to carry 12 unique letters that allow its spike protein to be activated by a common enzyme called furin, allowing it to spread between human cells with ease. Analysis of the original Covid genome found the virus shares a sequence of 19 specific letters with a genetic section owned by Moderna, which has a total of 3,300 nucleotides.

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“..the implosion of the real estate sector may cause a large hole in the national banks’ assets that may need the largest bailout in modern times..”

China’s Property Bubble Collapse Gets Worse (Lacalle)

The real estate sector is enormous in China. Its direct and indirect weight, according to JP Morgan, is 25 percent of GDP, more than double the size of previous real estate bubbles in Japan or Spain. It’s impossible for the Chinese regime to contain the implosion of a sector that has massive ramifications that affect all the services sector and numerous side industries. The Chinese regime tries to disguise the risk by injecting liquidity into Chinese banks and cutting rates but, even if the vast majority of the property developers’ debt is in the hands of domestic savers, the collapse in investor confidence is difficult to contain. At best, the Chinese economy will see an inevitable slowdown.

In the worst-case scenario, the implosion of the real estate sector may cause a large hole in the national banks’ assets that may need the largest bailout in modern times. The outcome may lie somewhere in between. Many sectors in China may continue to thrive regardless of the property slump, but none of them, even all combined, can offset the impact of such a dominant part of the Chinese economy. If other global economies were unable to offset the burst of a property bubble even when the size of their real estate sectors in the total economy was extraordinarily lower than in the case of China, it’s virtually impossible to believe that the Asian giant will be able to achieve its growth target when the property bubble burst coincides with an unprecedented government intervention in other sectors.

Chinese property developers need to repay or refinance up to $100 billion in debt in 2022, according to Bloomberg. It isn’t difficult to predict that at least half will default, surpassing 2021’s record figure. Additionally, global and domestic demand for the largest Chinese sectors is weakening due to expectations of more government crackdowns in 2022. The combination of increasing government interventionism with the rising concern about the financial situation of debt issuers may be unsurmountable for the Chinese economy. Repeating failed Keynesian demand-side policies is not the answer. China needs to open its economy and abandon a debt-fuelled model.

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“It got to the point, hilariously, where no one in the administration was even allowed to say the word ‘Tesla’!”

Biden Officials Fear Elon Musk Would Embarrass President At WH (NYP)

The White House is reportedly worried Elon Musk would be a bad guest if invited to meet with President Biden — a target of frequent mockery by the Tesla founder. Some of Biden’s top advisers have purportedly warned against inviting Musk to the White House over fears he would say something to embarrass the administration. The billionaire has repeatedly slammed the White House for failing to mention Tesla while discussing its plans for major nationwide investments in electric vehicles. Biden and his close advisers are said to be irritated with Musk’s public criticism and have no immediate plans to invite him to the White House for future events, CNBC reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

When CNBC asked about the White House’s apparent concerns, Musk responded with a pair of “roll on the floor laughing” emojis and suggested his attendance at a future meeting shouldn’t be a cause of concern. “They have nothing to worry about,” Musk said. “I would do the right thing.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki and others have suggested that Tesla has been snubbed from business events because the company’s factories aren’t unionized. In January, Biden met with the CEOs of Ford and General Motors while promoting his Build Back Better Bill and claimed that “companies like GM and Ford are building more electric vehicles here at home than ever before.” That snub appeared to infuriate Musk, who referred to Biden last month as a “damp [sock] puppet in human form” and claimed the president was “treating the American public like fools.”

“It got to the point, hilariously, where no one in the administration was even allowed to say the word ‘Tesla’! The public outrage and media pressure about that statement forced him to admit that Tesla does in fact lead the EV industry,” Musk told CNBC. Biden went several months without discussing Tesla’s leading position in the electric vehicle market — only recently mentioning Musk’s company for the first time. On Feb. 8, the president referred to Tesla as “our nation’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer.” Musk argued that Biden “pointedly ignored Tesla at every turn” while touting other companies. Despite the tensions, Musk also downplayed the severity of his rift with Biden and other White House officials, asserting that the “notion of a feud is not quite right.” “I have nothing against Biden otherwise, apart from general concern about more deficit spending, which would apply to any president, and actively supported the Obama-Biden election,” Musk told the outlet.

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