Apr 222024
 


Wassily Kandinsky Contrasting Sounds 1924

 

Biden Asks Americans To Choose Between Freedom And Democracy (RT)
Mobilization Law Condition For New Supplies Of Arms To Kiev By NATO (TASS)
Ukraine Can Win – Zelensky (RT)
French Party Leader Says US Aid to Ukraine Only Leads to New Casualties (Sp.)
Musk Decries Lack Of ‘Exit Strategy’ In Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Moscow Issues Dire Warning After Ukraine Aid Bill (RT)
‘No Consensus’ In West On Seizing Russian Assets – WaPo (RT)
Trump Arrest Would Cause Nationwide ‘Civil Unrest’ – CNN Analyst (RT)
$454 Million Trump Penalty Judge Set to Rule on Validity of Reduced Bond (ET)
Michael Avenatti Flips, Willing To Testify On Trump’s Behalf (ZH)
Judges Dismiss Disciplinary Effort by Texas State Bar vs Sidney Powell (ET)
UN Plans Tyrannical Future for You – Alex Newman (USAW)
US Lawmakers Scared Of Being Framed For ‘Kiddie Porn’ – Tucker Carlson (RT)

 

 

Still no internet at home. Getting it back is like a handicap race.

 

 


Llama3, king of LLMs (Large language model).Taking over from Chat GPT.

 

 

Tucker Rogan

 

 

Tucker Alex Jones

 

 

RFK

 

 

Freeman

 

 

Sheetz

 

 

 

 

“Are you ready to choose unity over division? Dignity over demolition? Truth over lies? Are you ready to choose freedom over democracy? Because that’s America..”

Biden Asks Americans To Choose Between Freedom And Democracy (RT)

US President Joe Biden has implored his supporters to choose “freedom over democracy,” in the latest of a long series of gaffes and verbal blunders. Conservative pundits viewed the incident as more proof that the 81-year-old is unfit for office. Speaking at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday, Biden rattled off a string of buzzwords as he asked voters whether they would choose him over former President Donald Trump in November’s presidential election. “Are you ready to choose unity over division? Dignity over demolition? Truth over lies? Are you ready to choose freedom over democracy? Because that’s America,” he exclaimed. Biden’s “freedom over democracy” line drew a mix of laughs and applause from the crowd, and ridicule from conservative pundits and influencers.

“When people were concerned about Ronald Reagan having cognitive decline near the end of his second term, it was nothing like this,” the Conservative Brief wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “Look in the mirror and ask yourself, truthfully, if this is the man you want in charge of our security, our economy, and our country for another four years?” Biden has a long history of similar slip-ups, and was ridiculed for a 2019 campaign speech in which he declared: “We choose unity over division. We choose science over fiction. We choose truth over facts.”

Republicans insist that Biden’s cognitive faculties are declining, and that this decline has accelerated over his three years in the White House. Video footage of the president shaking hands with imaginary people, getting lost when out in public, and telling reporters that he had just met with long-dead world leaders have served to bolster their case. In February, US Justice Department prosecutor Robert Hur opted not to charge Biden for mishandling classified documents, noting in a report that the president suffered extreme memory lapses and didn’t possess the “mental state of willfulness” needed to commit a crime.

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They’re drafting men who are too old, too handicapped, too unmotivated. It doesn’t seem to matter.

Mobilization Law Condition For New Supplies Of Arms To Kiev By NATO (TASS)

Passing of a harsh bill on mobilization in Ukraine to make up for the army’s losses was a condition for new supplies of arms to Kiev by NATO countries, a diplomatic source in Brussels told TASS. “Passing of a new harsh bill on mobilization in Ukraine was a condition for new supplies of weapons by NATO countries. Arms supplies are only reasonable if a large number of military personnel able to use those weapons in defense and assault operations is available, and if losses are swiftly made up for, for doing which new soldiers should be actively drafted into the military,” the diplomat said. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed the bill into law to tighten mobilization rules on April 16. The document tightens the mobilization procedure and penalties for draft evaders, and also refines the categories of those subject to mobilization. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are expected to be drafted.

On April 19, an online meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council at the level of defense ministers was held, where Ukrainian Defense Minister reported about the situation on the ground and about plans to draft soldiers for the country’s armed forces. After the meeting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference that he expected new statements by the alliance’s countries on arms supplies to Kiev, including air defense systems, cruise missiles and 155mm ammunition, in the near future. On April 20, the US House of Representatives adopted a package of bills, which includes $60 bln military aid for Kiev among other things. A joint meeting of foreign and defense ministers of EU countries in Brussels is scheduled for April 22. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has brought up the issue of urgent supplies of new air defense systems to Kiev.

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“..Maria Zakharova predicted that the US will eventually face a “loud and humiliating fiasco on par with Vietnam or Afghanistan.”

Ukraine Can Win – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine has a chance of victory in the conflict with Russia now that the US House of Representatives has approved more weapons for Kiev, President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in an interview with NBC on Sunday. The remarks came a day after a new aid bill, which authorizes an additional $61 billion in support for Ukraine, was passed by American lawmakers. The emergency spending had been stalled in Congress since last fall over concerns from Republicans that Washington lacked a strategy either for victory or a peace settlement. “I think this support will really strengthen the armed forces, I pray, and we will have a chance at victory if Ukraine really gets the weapons systems, which we need so much,” Zelensky said. He urged the US to wrap up final adoption of the legislation as soon as possible in order to start sending more weapons. The bill has yet to be passed by the US Senate, which is scheduled to vote on it on April 23. After that, it proceeds to President Joe Biden, who has said he will sign it.

“We want to help get things as fast as possible so that we get some tangible assistance for the soldiers on the front line as soon as possible – not in another six months,” the Ukrainian leader said. He specifically requested more air defense systems and longer-range missiles, arguing that the Ukrainian army is suffering losses due to the lack of both. “We need long-range weapons to not lose people on the front line because we have, we have casualties because we cannot reach that far,” he said, adding that another delay would mean more casualties. “If we get it in half a year… we’ve had the process stalled for half a year and we’ve had losses in several directions. Losses in men, in equipment.” Zelensky admitted that victory is far from guaranteed. “Now we have the chance to stabilize the situation,” he stated. “There are so many variables, so many factors.” He continued to rule out talks with Moscow, claiming that neither President Vladimir Putin nor any high-ranking Russian officials can be trusted.

The aid package authorized by the House is not solely intended for new weapons shipments. According to Politico, the biggest chunk of the money ($23 billion) will go to replenishing US stocks already used to provide arms to Ukraine. Only about $14 billion would go to the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which the Pentagon uses to buy new weapons systems for Kiev from US defense contractors, according to The Guardian. Another $10 billion in aid was designated as a repayable loan to appease some Republicans, the newspaper said. Moscow responded by reiterating that Washington is causing Ukraine to “fight to the last Ukrainian” with its weapon shipments. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova predicted that the US will eventually face a “loud and humiliating fiasco on par with Vietnam or Afghanistan.”

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Not every European is a warmonger. But those are nowhere near power.

French Party Leader Says US Aid to Ukraine Only Leads to New Casualties (Sp.)

Another batch of US military assistance to Kiev worth nearly $61 billion will not change the course of the Ukraine conflict and will only lead to new casualties, The Patriots party leader Florian Philippot said on Sunday. On Saturday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that will unlock $60.84 billion in Ukraine-related aid. The Ukraine Security Supplemental Appropriations Act was passed in a 311-112 vote, with one abstention. “This vote will not change anything, it will only lead to more casualties! To serve the interests of the financial predators who profit from this war!” Philippot said on X.

The politician also called on the French to stop sending money and arms to Kiev, saying that they were “destroying and endangering themselves.” He also suggested that France should withdraw from NATO, engage in dialogue with Russia and seek negotiations as soon as possible. Western countries have been providing military aid to Kiev since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. Moscow has consistently warned against continued arms deliveries, saying this would lead to further escalation of the conflict.

French forces arrive in Odessa, Ukraine.

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Forever war.

Musk Decries Lack Of ‘Exit Strategy’ In Ukraine Conflict (RT)

The parties involved in the Ukraine conflict need to work on ways to bring it to a close, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested on Saturday. Responding to an X (formerly Twitter) post by fellow billionaire David Sachs, in which the latter commented on the House of Representatives approving a long-delayed emergency spending bill that includes new funding for Kiev, Musk noted that the conflict was turning into “a forever war.” “My biggest concern is that there is no exit strategy, just a forever war where kids die in trenches from artillery or charging machine guns and snipers through minefields,” Musk wrote.

Musk did not elaborate on his position towards the aid bill itself this time, but in late March he noted that it “should be contingent on proper accounting of how [the funding] is used and a plan to resolve the conflict.” Musk has not explicitly taken sides during the Ukraine conflict. He did supply Kiev with free Starlink internet terminals and access to the satellite-based network but later refused to activate the service near the Russian port city of Sevastopol in Crimea over fear that Ukraine could use the technology to escalate the conflict by attacking Russia’s Black Sea Fleet with guided drones. In February, Musk said the US should stop aiding Ukraine altogether as there was “no way in hell” Russia would lose the war.

“This spending doesn’t help Ukraine. Prolonging the war doesn’t help Ukraine,” he stated at a forum on X Spaces. Last month, Musk also warned that the “real question” in the conflict now lies in how much territory Kiev will lose before it agrees to sit down to peace talks with Moscow.Russia has repeatedly said that it was open to peace negotiations if Ukraine accepts the “reality on the ground.” Moscow also warned that Western aid and weapons shipments to Ukraine only exacerbate and prolong the conflict. The US, meanwhile, is getting closer to approving another $61 billion for Kiev. After being passed by the House, the Ukraine aid bill is set to be voted on by the Senate later this week.

Retaliatory strike

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“..Washington no longer betting on a Ukrainian victory against Russia, but hoping to keep Kiev afloat until the US presidential election in November…”

Moscow Issues Dire Warning After Ukraine Aid Bill (RT)

The approval of a large aid package for Ukraine by the US House of Representatives is the same as funding terrorism, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. In a post on her Telegram channel on Saturday, Zakharova said that the potential allocation of further military assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan would only aggravate the crisis in the world. “Military aid to the Kiev regime is direct sponsorship of terrorist activities, funds sent to Taiwan is interference in the internal affairs of China, while aid sent to Israel is a straight way to unprecedented escalation of a conflict in the region,” she said. On Saturday, the lower house of the US Congress passed a $95 billion package that includes almost $61 billion in aid to Ukraine, including funds for the purchase of weapons and military equipment.

Most of the rest is allocated to Israel and Taiwan. The Senate is poised to vote on the bill on April 23 with final passage expected by the end of the week. Washington is driving deeper into a hybrid war with Russia, Zakharova said in a separate statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry, adding that the US would end up facing a “loud and humiliating fiasco on a par with Vietnam or Afghanistan.” The spokeswoman said “the US is ready to pump Ukraine with weapons so that Kiev could fight to the last Ukrainian, and continue to terrorist acts against civil objects on Russian sovereign territory and civilians, as well as sabotage attacks and killings of journalists.” Zakharova stated that ordinary Ukrainians were being “forcibly driven to slaughter as cannon fodder” with Washington no longer betting on a Ukrainian victory against Russia, but hoping to keep Kiev afloat until the US presidential election in November.

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How to make $6 billion out of $300 billion look like a victory.

‘No Consensus’ In West On Seizing Russian Assets – WaPo (RT)

EU officials are reluctant to bow to US pressure and transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine, fearing that Moscow’s retaliation would be aimed primarily at the bloc rather than America, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. As part of unprecedented sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, Western countries have frozen around $300 billion in Russian assets in a move denounced by Moscow as “theft,” with many Western officials suggesting the money could be used to help Ukraine. The bulk of this sum is located in European countries, while the US only holds around $6 billion. In recent months, there have been several proposals on how to use this money to help Ukraine. While the US has pushed for the more hardline option of outright seizing the funds, the EU has proposed using the profits generated by the assets to help Ukraine.

Another option under discussion is to use the assets as collateral to secure loans for Kiev. According to the Post, EU officials are reluctant to confiscate the Russian assets due to concerns that the move “could breach international law, discourage investors from trusting the euro and invite Russian retaliation.” They have also pushed back against the US proposal to seize the funds as Europe holds most of the frozen assets, and “any Russian retaliation will probably fall on Europe, not the United States.” According to an unnamed US Treasury official, both the EU and US agree that “more needs to be done for Ukraine, but there is no consensus on specifics.” He added that “we’re thinking of the Russian sovereign assets as a sustainable medium-to-long-term solution for this funding problem.”

The report comes as the US House of Representatives passed the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity for Ukrainians Act (REPO) on Saturday, which could allow the administration of US President Joe Biden to seize Russian assets in US banks and transfer them to Ukraine for reconstruction. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned that Russia will not leave the potential seizure unanswered, adding that the move could undermine the principle of the “inviolability of private… and state property,” as well as causing “irreparable damage to the US image.”

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“The judge, Juan Merchan, will hear arguments from the prosecution on Trump’s alleged violations of the gag order on Tuesday.”

The gag order is illegal. We need the Supreme Court to confirm that.

Trump Arrest Would Cause Nationwide ‘Civil Unrest’ – CNN Analyst (RT)

The possible arrest of former US President Donald Trump for violating his court-imposed gag order would trigger rioting and deal a potentially fatal blow to President Joe Biden’s re-election chances, CNN analyst Mark Preston warned on Friday. Trump is currently on trial in Manhattan for allegedly misreporting ‘hush-money’ payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Since last month, he has been forbidden from making public statements about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg or the jurors working on the case, and from uttering anything that could interfere with the work of the court. Nevertheless, the former president has spoken to reporters outside the Manhattan courthouse every day this week, and Bragg’s team claims that he has already violated this gag order at least seven times.

In one instance, Trump took to his Truth Social platform on Wednesday to share a quote from Fox News host Jesse Watters, who claimed that “undercover liberal activists” were “lying to the judge in order to get on the Trump jury.” However, if the trial judge were to place Trump in a holding cell “for a few hours,” the end result would be “civil unrest across the country, certainly in some cities,” Preston said in a panel discussion with CNN host Jim Acosta. “And two, politically, if I’m the Biden campaign, I don’t want to necessarily see him in jail, because that’s just going to get people more inflamed and more fired up,” he added. The judge, Juan Merchan, will hear arguments from the prosecution on Trump’s alleged violations of the gag order on Tuesday.

“People are allowed to speak about me, and I have a gag order, just to show you how much more unfair it is,” Trump said outside the courthouse on Friday. The former president blasted the order as unconstitutional, telling reporters that it “has to come off.” Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee to challenge Biden in November’s presidential election. Despite the ongoing trial in Manhattan and three other criminal cases in the works, he is currently leading the incumbent in most polls by between one and ten points.

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Thumbscrews. “The attorney general is requesting that President Trump be required to post a replacement bond within seven days.”

$454 Million Trump Penalty Judge Set to Rule on Validity of Reduced Bond (ET)

After weeks of trying to secure a bond and arguing to an appeals court that a $454 million bond was “impossible,” former President Donald Trump secured a $175 million bond to stay judgment only to now have to make the case all over again why this should satisfy the New York Attorney General and stop her from seizing his properties. On April 22, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, the trial court judge who set the $454 million judgment, will hear the attorney general’s challenge to the sufficiency of President Trump’s bond. The $175 million figure had been set by the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court, and President Trump has frequently criticized Justice Engoron for “ignoring” appeals court orders, such as when he allowed evidence past the statute of limitations set by the appellate division during the trial.

The attorney general has sought to cast doubt on the stability of LA-based Knight Specialty Insurance Company (KSIC), calling it a “small insurer” and arguing it is not authorized to do business in New York. They argued that KSIC has never before written a surety bond, and has “a total policyholder surplus of just $138 million.” Amit Shah, president of the insurance company, demanded the court compel the attorney general to show cause, or prove the allegation that the insurance company is not sufficient. Mr. Shah submitted a sworn affidavit explaining that KSIC now has control over a bank account of President Trump’s that will maintain $175 million cash for the duration of the appeal. The insurance company entered into a collateral agreement with the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust. Mr. Shah submitted documents establishing that his company is in “good standing” and was approved for excess line eligibility in New York in June 2021.

“As an eligible excess line insurer in the state of New York, KSIC is, therefore, properly authorized to issue the surety on behalf of Defendants,” he stated. This authorization stands as long as the insurance company meets the Excess Line Association of New York’s requirement of maintaining a minimum $47 million policyholder surplus, and Mr. Shah stated his company is maintaining a $48 million surplus minimum. He added that as of the end of 2023, the insurance company had $539 million in assets and $138 in equity, and its parent company, Knight Insurance Company, had on a consolidated basis $1 billion in assets and $1 billion in equity. The parent company also maintains $56 million in cash and $937 million in marketable securities to support reinsurance obligations. “At my direction, KSIC also performed diligence to confirm its legal authority to act as surety before issuing the subject bond,” Mr. Shah stated. “Although KSIC had not before placed a surety bond in New York, KSIC is an excess line insurer in the state of New York.”

The attorney general also took issue with the fact that KSIC does not have “exclusive right” to the account containing $175 million in cash, and highlighted the fact that it would need “two days’ notice” to move that cash. State attorneys urged the court to “not rely on KSIC’s financial summary” because the insurance company “sends 100% of its retained insurance risk to affiliates in the Cayman Islands,” which they argued “artificially bolsters its surplus.” They argued that excess line insurers are only authorized if the management is found “trustworthy and competent,” and KSIC did not qualify because “its management has been found by federal authorities to have operated affiliated companies within KSIC’s holding company structure in violation of federal law on multiple occasions within the past several years.”

Knight is under The Hankey Group of financial companies, which includes the affiliate Westlake Financial Services LLC. The attorney general argued that Westlake was found to have “violated numerous federal laws by pressuring borrowers through the use of illegal debt collection tactics, including using phony caller ID information, falsely threatening to refer borrowers for investigation or criminal prosecution” in 2015 by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The company was fined and provided $44 million in restitution to consumers. The attorney general is requesting that President Trump be required to post a replacement bond within seven days.

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Serving a 19-year sentence. He’s in a bad spot.

Michael Avenatti Flips, Willing To Testify On Trump’s Behalf (ZH)

Imprisoned former CNN demigod Michael Avenatti has come out in support of Donald Trump, telling the NY Post that he’s willing to testify on Trump’s behalf after being in contact with Trump’s legal defense team about his willingness to testify against his former client, Stormy Daniels. “The defense has contacted me,” Avenatti told the Post in a phone call from Terminal Island, a minimum-security federal prison in Los Angeles where he’s serving a 19-year sentence for extortion, tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement and other federal crimes.”I’d be more than happy to testify, I don’t know that I will be called to testify, but I have been in touch with Trump’s defense for the better part of year,” Avenatti continued. A person close to the former president confirmed the ongoing discussions.

While Avenatti made his name as one of Trump’s most ferocious critics — and even publicly called for Trump’s indictment in 2018 — the defense attorney sang a different tune from the clink. “There’s no question [the trial] is politically motivated because they’re concerned that he may be reelected,” Avenatti said. “If the defendant was anyone other than Donald Trump, this case would not have been brought at this time, and for the government to attempt to bring this case and convict him in an effort to prevent tens of millions of people from voting for him, I think it’s just flat out wrong, and atrocious. “I’m really bothered by the fact that Trump, in my view, has been targeted. Four cases is just over the top and I think there’s a significant chance that this is going to all backfire and is going to propel him to the White House,” he added. -NY Post.

According to Avenatti, “Depending on what happens, this could constitute pouring jet fuel on his campaign.” Avenatti captured national attention in 2018 while representing Stormy Daniels, the porn star who alleges she had an affair with Trump in 2006, and was paid $130,000 by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen in 2016 in order to allegedly buy her silence. In November 2018, however, Avenatti’s world began imploding after he was booked on charges of domestic violence. Less than 18 months later he was convicted of trying to extort Nike for up to $25 million. And in 2022, he was found guilty of pilfering $300,000 in book advance money from Daniels – and pleaded guilty to federal fraud and tax charges in the same month.

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Well, they did get her out of the way for years.

Judges Dismiss Disciplinary Effort by Texas State Bar vs Sidney Powell (ET)

Sidney Powell, a lawyer who filed lawsuits after the 2020 election, got a win in Texas after an appeals court ruled that the Texas bar did not prove that she engaged in misconduct or fraud. A panel of judges on the Fifth District of Texas Court of Appeals in Dallas ruled Wednesday that the state bar’s arguments lacked merit and evidence. They found that state bar prosecutors “employed a ’scattershot’ approach to the case” that had alleged Ms. Powell did not have a reasonable basis to file lawsuits that challenged the 2020 election’s outcome in battleground states. “The Bar employed a ‘scattershot’ approach to the case, which left this court and the trial court ‘with the task of sorting through the argument to determine what issue ha[d] actually been raised,’” Justice Dennise Garcia wrote in the court’s ruling. “Having done so, the absence of competent summary judgment compels our conclusion that the Bar failed to meet its summary judgment burden.”

A separate court had sided with Ms. Powell in the case last year, finding “numerous defects” in the evidence presented by the State Bar of Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline. The court also found that the bar couldn’t provide evidence that she filed frivolous lawsuits. “Under these circumstances and on this record, we conclude the trial court did not err in granting Powell’s no-evidence motion for summary judgment,” the appeals court wrote. The State Bar of Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline has not yet issued a statement on the matter. A representative for the Texas State Bar told Reuters that the commission would meet to determine its next steps but declined to comment further. “The Dallas Court of Appeals has affirmed the Texas state court’s dismissal of the Texas Bar’s case against Powell. After three years of litigation, the Court of Appeals held the Bar had no evidence Powell violated any disciplinary rule in filing four federal lawsuits in the aftermath of the 2020 election,” she said in a statement this week after the court’s decision.

In court papers filed with the appeals court, Ms. Powell disputed the bar’s allegations that she provided altered evidence in her legal filings. She said the documents were provided by other attorneys involved in the case. The court appeared to agree with her arguments. “Regardless of whether the challenged conduct must be knowing, intentional, or otherwise, a question we need not resolve here, it is axiomatic that dishonesty involves some conscious perversion of truth,” the judge wrote Wednesday. Following the 2020 contest, Ms. Powell was among the most prominent attorneys to file lawsuits, alleging there was enough fraud in battleground states that swung it in favor of President Joe Biden. A federal judge in Detroit sanctioned Ms. Powell and other lawyers in 2021 over the lawsuits. The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals largely upheld those sanctions, and the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear Ms. Powell’s appeal.

Ms. Powell in October 2023 pleaded guilty in Georgia and took a plea deal with Fulton County prosecutors after she was charged with illegally attempting to overturn the 2020 election results. President Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive 2024 presidential nominee, has also been charged in the case. He and more than a dozen other co-defendants in the case have pleaded not guilty. President Trump has said the Fulton County case is an attempt to interfere with the 2024 election, describing the charges as baseless. Under the terms of her plea deal, Ms. Powell had to write an apology. “I apologize for my actions in connection with the events in Coffee County,” she wrote in the letter, made public in December. Fani Willis, the embattled Democrat district attorney of Fulton County who presented the charges to a grand jury, said that the apology letters needed to include “real contrition” but that they did not need to be long. Jenna Ellis, another lawyer who was charged and took a plea deal in Fulton County, also wrote an apology letter. However, she read hers aloud in court while pleading guilty.

In response to Ms. Powell’s apology letter, President Trump wrote on social media last year that Ms. Powell never worked for him in an official capacity. “Sidney Powell was one of millions and millions of people who thought, and in ever increasing numbers still think, correctly, that the 2020 Presidential Election was rigged & stolen,” he wrote on Truth Social. He added that Ms. Powell “was not my attorney and never was.” If she was, “she would have been conflicted,” the former president wrote at the time. “Ms. Powell did a valiant job of representing a very unfairly treated and governmentally abused General Mike Flynn, but to no avail. His prosecution, despite the facts, was ruthless. He was an innocent man, much like many other innocent people who are being persecuted by this now Fascist government of ours, and I was honored to give him a Full Pardon,” he added.

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“We are at war, and everyone needs to put on the full armor of God.”

UN Plans Tyrannical Future for You – Alex Newman (USAW)

Award-winning journalist Alex Newman, author of the popular book “Deep State” and the new best-selling book called “Indoctrinating Our Children to Death,” says the UN’s quest for total tyrannical control of your life is coming sooner than you could imagine. Newman explains, “The bigger story here that people are not paying attention to is the UN is coming together in September . . . and they are having ‘The Summit of the Future.’ They are telling us they are going to bring out radical drastic reforms in the structure of the UN . . . and the power of the UN. Think of it as the biggest power grab ever at the global level. The Secretary General of the UN (António Guterres) has put out briefs where he is calling for the UN to be the one world global dictatorship with him at the helm.

In emergencies, the UN would have all power in emergencies and have all power to oversee emergency response. . . . They say the crisis could be a climate crisis, an economic crisis, environmental crisis, pandemic crisis, black swan crisis or maybe something from outer space. So, basically, anything could be a crisis, and when the Secretary General declares a crisis, all power and authority would go to the UN. This is like a blank check on the wealth and liberty on every person on the planet, and this is coming soon. It is eminent. This is coming in September at the UN, and it is a power grab of historic proportions. They know their time is short, and they are going for the big enchilada here. This is really a summit for a tyrannical future. . . . They want control of every aspect of your life.”

If you think the “depopulation” or murder program by the Deep State is some sort of conspiracy theory or myth, think again. Newman says, “One of the interesting things about going to the UN conferences is they are totally open and totally transparent about the fact that they think there are way too many of us on this planet. We are taking up their space and consuming their resources. They say this openly. They say there are way too many people having way too many babies, and we have to drastically cut back on the number of people on the planet. They have a whole agency dedicated to this called the UN Population Fund.” One sure fire way to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time is war. Newman says, “They have understood, the globalists, the Deep State, the evil doers and the sick cabal, have understood for a very long time that war was the best mechanism for bringing about their totalitarian one world government.

This is not speculation on my part. This is what they say. Their game plan is war, famine, energy crisis and economic crisis. These are all tools and catalysts for accelerating this agenda. If millions of people die in a third world war, and it does not matter if it is Iran and Israel, or China and Tiawan, or Ukraine and Russia, it really does not matter, they want millions and millions of people dead so people will give up their attachment to the nation state, self-government and individual liberty and give up anything, money or freedom, anything to make it stop.” Don’t lose hope because Newman also talks about all the things you can do to not comply with tyranny. Newman also points out what state and local governments can do and are doing to resist this UN total control of everything. Newman says, “We are at war, and everyone needs to put on the full armor of God.”

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“They’re afraid of the agencies,” he stated, adding: “That’s not compatible with democracy.”

US Lawmakers Scared Of Being Framed For ‘Kiddie Porn’ – Tucker Carlson (RT)

Members of Congress consistently vote in favor of mass surveillance programs because they’re “terrified” that intelligence agencies will plant “kiddie porn” on their computers if they speak up, American journalist Tucker Carlson has claimed. Carlson appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast on Friday, hours before the US Senate voted to renew Section 702 of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Ostensibly created to allow intelligence agencies such as the FBI and CIA to surveil the communications of foreigners, Section 702 allows these agencies to access data ‘indirectly’ collected from millions of American citizens without a warrant. According to Carlson, a number of lawmakers actually opposed this renewal, but did not admit this publicly. “People don’t say that because they’re worried about being punished,” Carlson told Rogan.

“They’re worried about someone putting kiddie porn on their computer. Members of Congress are terrified of the intel agencies. I’m not guessing at that. They’ve told me that, including people on the [intelligence] committee, including people who run the intel committee.” “They’re afraid of the agencies,” he stated, adding: “That’s not compatible with democracy.” “It’s playing out in front of everyone, and no one cares and no one does anything about it,” Carlson continued. “I think the reason is because they’re threatened. And if you look at the committee chairmen who allowed this s**t to happen year after year… I know them. And they have all the things to hide. I know that for a fact.” Apart from the supposed threat of surreptitiously-planted child pornography, Carlson claimed that it’s “very common” for lawmakers to have “a drinking problem or a weird sex life,” which agencies could easily expose if these politicians refuse to do their bidding.

Carlson is not the first influential conservative to claim that elected representatives are being blackmailed. Back in December, Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett, a Republican, suggested that his colleagues opposed a motion to release the names of notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s clients because they would have been implicated in sex crimes. Unnamed forces in Washington use “the old honey pot” to blackmail politicians and force them to “vote for crazy stuff,” he told conservative podcast host Benny Johnson at the time. A year earlier, a nude video of Rep. Madison Cawthorn was leaked a month after he claimed to have been invited to drug-fueled orgies by older members of Congress. Washington, he said at the time, is rife with “sexual perversion.”

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Apr 212024
 
 April 21, 2024  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Andrew Wyeth Christina’s world 1948

 

House Passes $95 Billion Aid Package For Ukraine, Israel And Taiwan (ZH)
American Aid ‘Keeps History On Right Track’ – Zelensky (RT)
Who Gets What From Congress’ $61 Bln Bag of Goodies? (Sp.)
David Sacks Warns Ukraine Will ‘Collapse Anyway,’ Despite Aid Bill (Sp.)
US Aid Bill ‘Insufficient’ for Ukraine’s Needs, Bolsters US Military (Sp.)
US Lawmakers Approve More Government Spying (RT)
US Confiscation of Russian Assets Will ‘Supercharge’ De-Dollarization
$500 Russian Drones Destroying $10,000,000 American Tanks – NYT (RT)
‘Pariah’ Israel Dragging US ‘Into Garbage Bin of History’ (Sp.)
Trump Wants To ‘Kill His Opposition’ – Hillary Clinton (RT)
Texas Is a Fading Conservative State (Paul Craig Roberts)
A Collective “Common Enemy” Now Stalks Mankind (Karganovic)

 

 

24 hours without internet at home. A little bit of improvisation today.

 

 

 

 

Vivek Trump SS

 

 

Third eye

 

 

 

 

 

 

But not the border. Mike Johnson became speaker BECAUSE he said he’d protect the border.

House Passes $95 Billion Aid Package For Ukraine, Israel And Taiwan (ZH)

The House on Saturday passed a set of foreign aid bills that would send $61 billion to Ukraine, $26 billion to Israel, and $8 billion to the Indo-Pacific region. In total, the foreign assistance package totals $95 billion – which only passed after Speaker Mike Johnson cut a deal with Democrats in order to force it through by a vote of 311 to 112. The Senate is expected to pass the package, which was negotiated in conjunction with the White House, marking a victory against conservative lawmakers who insisted on protecting the US border before sending money abroad to protect those of other countries. “We cannot be afraid of our shadows. We must be strong. We have to do what’s right,” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, said. Democrats and some Republicans waved Ukrainian flags during the vote, a rare moment of bipartisanship in a bitterly and narrowly divided House.

“Traditional House Republicans led by Speaker Mike Johnson have risen to the occasion,” House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said. “We have a responsibility to push back against authoritarianism.” -Bloomberg. Earlier in the day, the House passed an $8 billion aid package aimed at countering Chinese aggression towards Taiwan, as well as a bill that would force Chinese-controlled ByteDance Ltd to divest from TikTok or face a US ban. The bill also allows for the confiscation of Russian dollar assets in order to help fund more assistance to Ukraine. Breaking down the Ukraine aid – of the $61 billion, $13 billion will replenish US stockpiles of weapons, and $14 billion will go towards US defense systems for Ukraine. $7 billion will go toward US military operations in the region. We assume the remainder will go directly to Ukrainian oligarchs.

The Israel bill, which passed by a vote of 366 to 58, includes $4 billion for missile defense. Notably absent was so much as a dime for the US border… “Nothing is done to secure our border or reduce our debt,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), whose outrage was shared with Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Paul Gosar of Arizona, who say they’re ready to boot Johnson from his Speakership. “Ukraine is not even a member of NATO,” Greene continued. Who would have known!

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The history of corruption, that is.

American Aid ‘Keeps History On Right Track’ – Zelensky (RT)

The decision by the US House of Representatives to allocate tens of billions of dollars to Kiev will bring Ukraine closer to a “just end” in its conflict with Russia, President Vladimir Zelensky wrote on X (formerly Twitter), thanking Speaker Mike Johnson for his support. The nearly $61 billion package approved on Saturday contains funding for the purchase of weapons and military equipment, as well direct financial assistance to Ukraine. Passed after months of delays and political wrangling, the bill next moves to the Senate, which already indicated in February that it will approve it.“I am grateful to the United States House of Representatives, both parties, and personally Speaker Mike Johnson for the decision that keeps history on the right track,” Zelensky wrote, suggesting that the aid will “keep the war from expanding,” and “save thousands and thousands of lives.”

“Just peace and security can only be attained through strength,” he wrote. Zelensky added that Ukraine “will undoubtedly use American assistance to strengthen both of our nations and bring a just end to this war closer.” Republican lawmakers had previously refused to back the bill, tying their approval to demands for better protection of the border with Mexico and a crackdown on illegal immigration. Kiev was forced to deal with increasing ammunition shortages after aid from the US – Ukraine’s biggest sponsor – began to dry up. Biden blamed Ukraine’s recent setbacks on the battlefield, including the loss of the strategic city of Avdeevka, on “congressional inaction.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Saturday’s vote “predictable,” adding that it will “further enrich the US and further ruin Ukraine,” and “cause more Ukrainians to die because of the Kiev regime.”

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“..very little change will be noted by those actually fightin..,”

Who Gets What From Congress’ $61 Bln Bag of Goodies? (Sp.)

The House approved nearly $100 billion in assistance to Washington’s overseas allies, partners and client states on Saturday, with supporters of the aid managing to overcome opposition after a six-month deadlock in the chamber. Nearly $61 billion of the $95 billion from the proposed funding package is committed to fueling the conflict in Ukraine (at least $23 billion of that to be spent replenishing depleted US weapons stocks). Over $26 billion in additional commitments are made to Israel (nearly eight times what Washington normally sends Tel Aviv’s way in a given year). $8.12 billion is committed to stirring up tensions with China in Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region more broadly. Passing the House, the aid package is now set to be voted on by the Senate, where leaders from both parties have been clamoring for months for the foreign assistance to be urgently passed. If it passes the Senate, the legislation will end up on President Biden’s desk for signature.

Supporters and opponents of the foreign aid package gave stirring speeches ahead of the Saturday’s House vote restating their positions. “I often say it’s never too late to do the right thing. But waiting to do the right thing comes at a cost,” Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer said. “We saw that cost in Israel this week as an emboldened Iran launched an unprecedented attack on our ally. For Ukraine the cost of our inaction is great if incalculable. It is measured in Ukrainian lives, towns and territory lost…Today we act. We act to make it clear to the world that America is still the defender of freedom, democracy and international law.” Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a staunch opponent of further US assistance to Ukraine, military or otherwise, proposed an amendment to slash support for Kiev to zero. “The United States taxpayer has already sent $113 billion to Ukraine, and a lot of that money is unaccounted for,” Greene said.

“The federal government continues to fund the military-industrial complex, and this is a business model that requires Congress to continue to vote for money to fund foreign wars. This is a business model that the American people do not support. They don’t support a business model built on blood and murder and war in foreign countries while this very government does nothing to secure our border. The American people are over $34 trillion in debt and the debt is rising by over $40 billion every single night while we all sleep. But yet nothing is done to secure our border or reduce our debt.” Pointing to polling indicating that a majority of Americans disapprove of new aid to Ukraine, Greene said Congress has chosen to vote to “protect Ukraine” instead of protecting “the American citizens that pay your paycheck.” “

Ukraine is not even a member of NATO. But the most important thing you hear in Washington, DC is that we have to send Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars over to Ukraine and keep the money going, to continue to murder Ukrainians, wipe out an entire generation of Ukrainian men…What kind of support is that? It’s repulsive,” the Georgia Republican said. The tens of billions of dollars in new US aid doled out via the legislation passed by the House Saturday may prolong the Ukrainian crisis, but won’t be able to secure a NATO victory in the proxy war against Russia, says former DoD senior security policy analyst Michael Maloof. “Now, the money that’s going to Ukraine for the most part will probably go to US defense contractors in various states, but to make newer equipment for our own stockpiles, which will then allow the US to unload older stuff for Ukraine,” Maloof told Sputnik.

“It’s not going to be enough for Ukraine to overcome its current geostrategic position at this point, simply because they don’t have a consistent ability to arm,” the observer added, pointing out that along with the weapons themselves is the ability to find the men to use them, something the Kiev regime is having increasingly severe difficulty doing as it is. “Other money to be provided to Ukraine is intended to pay government employees,” US Air Force Lt. Col. (ret.) Karen Kwiatkowski, a former DoD analyst, told Sputnik. “Thus presumably it will include meeting soldiers’ needs but it goes to Kiev bureaucrats first. Given how it will be allocated, very little change will be noted by those actually fighting,” Kwiatkowski believes, estimating that of the $61 billion allocated, $45 billion will remain in the US and $16 billion will be sent to Ukraine as so-called direct aid.

“Likely the $16 billion that makes it to Ukraine will be instantly absorbed to pay government bills rather than the war effort,” she said, pointing to Kiev’s massive budget deficit. “They have no means to undertake a counteroffensive, and just given the amounts of artillery that they burn through, what even the US is proposing probably wouldn’t last more than six months at best. And it’s undetermined what Europe is going to provide. So I think the Ukraine basically is over. It’s just a mop up [operation for] the Russians. And it’s just going to take time for that reality to sink in to Zelensky, who should begin considering getting out of there fast because I don’t think the country is going to politically last much longer,” Maloof said.

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“If you vote to send our money abroad while waving a foreign flag, you’ll be called an American patriot. If you vote to keep our money at home to fund domestic priorities like the border, you’ll be called a foreign agent.”

David Sacks Warns Ukraine Will ‘Collapse Anyway,’ Despite Aid Bill (Sp.)

Previously, the US billionaire investor David Sacks underscored the need to “cut a deal” and seek a detente with Russia to avoid a third world war. He told a gala for the Republican think-tank American Moment in Washington that US involvement in the ongoing proxy conflict in Ukraine was only prolonging the standoff. The collapse of Ukraine is inevitable, despite the US House of Representatives having passed a foreign aid package that includes $61 billion in aid for Kiev, American entrepreneur David Sacks wrote on the X social media platform. “These scenes of celebration are going to look particularly foolish when Ukraine collapses anyway. The federal government can print more money; it can’t just print more artillery shells and air defense missiles,” the investor wrote, reacting to the jubilant scene in the House, where some of the lawmakers were seen waving Ukrainian flags. He continued by saying, “And I should have added, they can’t print more soldiers.”

The post by Sacks was in reply to a similarly deprecatory one by GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who posted footage from the House after the bill was passed, commenting that, “they vote to send more of your hard-earned money to a corrupt foreign regime. And just like that they shout ‘UKRAINE! UKRAINE!’ while happily working to secure Ukraine’s borders, not ours. The billionaire investor pointed out in his thread on X that, “It’s not “just” $61 billion. Ukraine will need massive annual cash infusions to stave off total defeat. So it’s $61 billion as the baseline for an annual appropriation in a new forever war.” He pointed out that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars also began with “annual appropriations in the $60B range. Those wars ended up costing trillions.” “Simple math,” the investor remarked, showed that the new funding bill could do no more than possibly buy Ukraine “precisely half of a Summer Counteroffensive.”

And, of course, everyone knows full well how that much-heralded counteroffensive attempt ended up last year – limited battlefield achievements coupled with massive manpower and hardware losses. According to Sacks, it is a bizarre world, where “If you vote to send our money abroad while waving a foreign flag, you’ll be called an American patriot. If you vote to keep our money at home to fund domestic priorities like the border, you’ll be called a foreign agent.” The entrepreneur recalled that according to US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, “CIA Director Burns had to warn [Ukraine’s President Volodymyr] Zelensky to stop stealing so much money. His subordinates were angry that he wasn’t sharing the spoils.” “Do you think that problem has been resolved and Zelensky will share more this time?” queried David Sacks.

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“Russia has been quite successful in its goal of ‘demilitarizing’ both Ukraine and NATO..”

US Aid Bill ‘Insufficient’ for Ukraine’s Needs, Bolsters US Military (Sp.)

After more than 2 month of hard negotiations, the US House of Representatives has passed a multi-billion foreign aid package. However, the bill has sparked debate and criticism, with experts questioning its efficacy and allocation. David Pyne, a former US Department of Defense officer and executive vice president of Task Force on National and Homeland Security, offered a critical assessment of the aid package. He argued that the allocated funds are “woefully insufficient” for Ukraine’s wartime needs. The bill “will not change the outcome of the war which will inevitably end with a Russian victory and Ukraine being forced to accept Russia’s peace terms”, Pyne believes. Questions also arise regarding the distribution of the aid, since House Speaker Mike Johnson indicated that only a fraction, approximately $12-14 billion, would directly provide weapons to Ukraine.

However, Pyne raised concerns that a substantial portion, around 80%, would benefit US defense industries. He highlighted the potential for President Biden to utilize drawdown authority, enabling the redirection of additional funds from existing military stocks to Ukraine. Furthermore, Pyne shed light on Ukraine’s critical shortages of artillery shells and air defense missiles. He outlined Russia’s success in inflicting significant casualties on Ukrainian forces and emphasized the challenges in addressing Ukraine’s munitions deficits. “Russia has been quite successful in its goal of ‘demilitarizing’ both Ukraine and NATO, causing the US and its NATO allies to unilaterally disarm themselves of tens of thousands of its most modern weapon systems and transfer them to Ukraine”, stated Pyne.

Pyne highlighted the stark disparity between Russian and Ukrainian&NATO artillery capabilities, noting that “Russia produces over three times as many artillery munitions than all of NATO combined”. “Russian forces have been successful in inflicting half a million Ukrainian military casualties including about 250,000 killed in action and 250,000 seriously wounded with as many or more Ukrainian amputations over the past two years than France suffered… on the Western Front during World War One,” Pyne said. The assessment underscores the complexity of providing effective support to Ukraine amidst escalating conflict. As the aid bill moves forward, discussions surrounding its implementation, distribution, and broader geopolitical implications are likely to persist, as well as questions regarding US true purposes and intentions towards Ukraine as a nation.

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“..the FBI had illegally used its surveillance powers against American citizens more than 278,000 times in a 12-month period..”

US Lawmakers Approve More Government Spying (RT)

The US Senate has passed legislation renewing and expanding an expiring law that enables the government to conduct warrantless surveillance of Americans under the guise of protecting them from foreign threats. The bill was approved by a 60-34 vote in the early morning hours of Saturday, authorizing a two-year extension of the so-called Section 702 program of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). President Joe Biden is expected to quickly sign the legislation, renewing the spying tool after it expired at midnight on Saturday. Section 702 is ostensibly about surveilling the communications of foreigners for intelligence purposes, including detection of possible terrorist plots against the US. However, many of the phone calls and messages that are tapped by Washington’s spying apparatus occur between foreigners and US citizens.

The FBI has accessed the 702 database of intercepted communications to investigate targeted Americans, such as Black Lives Matters activists, journalists, members of Congress, political donors, and possible participants in the January 2021 US Capitol riot. Such searches normally require investigators to secure a warrant, meaning a court has found probable cause to suspect that the targeted person has committed a crime. Critics of the program had demanded that reforms be made before renewing Section 702 to protect US citizens from unconstitutional spying. A 2023 investigation by the US FISA court found that the FBI had illegally used its surveillance powers against American citizens more than 278,000 times in a 12-month period. Congress voted down an amendment that would have required warrants for probes of communications involving Americans.

“Section 702 has been abused under presidents from both political parties, and it has been used to unlawfully surveil the communications of Americans across the political spectrum,” said Kia Hamadanchy, senior policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. “By expanding the government’s surveillance powers without adding a warrant requirement that would protect Americans, the House has voted to allow the intelligence agencies to violate the civil rights and liberties of Americans for years to come.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) hailed the fact that the FISA program was reauthorized “in the nick of time,” just as it was expiring. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) said that failure to renew the spying powers could cause US officials to “miss a key piece of intelligence,” such as a threat to American troops stationed overseas or a potential terrorist attack.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) lamented the fact that lawmakers declined to pass his amendments to the FISA bill, which would have enabled the government to continue spying on foreigners while protecting the civil liberties of Americans. His proposal was voted down by an 82-11 margin. “We could have ensured both constitutional rights and national security were protected,” Paul said. “Yet again, the Senate was asked to consider the question: ‘Can liberty be exchanged for security?’ And sadly, the majority of senators said, ‘Yes, it can.’”

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“..lack of control [by the owners] over assets is not a good basis of any currency.”

US Confiscation of Russian Assets Will ‘Supercharge’ De-Dollarization

On Saturday, the US House of Representatives passed the cheekily-named REPO Act, which would enable US President Joe Biden to confiscate roughly $6 billion in frozen Russian assets held in US banks and send it to Ukraine.The provision is part of a package bill that also includes over $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, as well as a potential TikTok ban.The bill is expected to pass in the Senate and then be immediately signed by US President Joe Biden. While the $6 billion represents only a fraction of the more than $300 billion in Russian assets frozen by the G7 countries in 2022, most of that money is held in Europe and US lawmakers hope that it will encourage European lawmakers to do the same.

“We’re making good progress in how to access that funds on an agreed basis that I think we can take forward to the G7,” UK foreign minister David Cameron, whose government has already come out in support of seizing Russian assets, told reporters earlier this month. The decision to confiscate Russian assets and provide them to Ukraine represents a major escalation in the West’s sanction war against Russia. However, the move is short-sighted by the US because it will accelerate global de-dollarization, which will remove one of the most powerful tools the US has.

“It’s reinforcing the need to de-dollarize on the part of any third-party country. Be it Russia, be it China – be it anybody else, including any country in the G-7 that may be marginally supportive of the United States. This is pure and simple economic blackmail,” Paul Goncharoff, an analyst and management consultant at Dezan Shira & Associates in Moscow told Sputnik. “Now they’re wondering ‘Am I putting it into something that will be seized or frozen?’ So lack of control [by the owners] over assets is not a good basis of any currency.” “So it just supercharges de-dollarization. And that’s not good, especially when you have an America that is used to living on larger and larger debt raised by people placing the trust and buying treasuries and bonds,” Goncharoff added.

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“The drones’ accuracy exceeds 90%, the NYT said, adding that they are also capable of hitting heavy armor in its weakest spots..”

$500 Russian Drones Destroying $10,000,000 American Tanks – NYT (RT)

Expensive American M1 Abrams tanks delivered to Ukraine are increasingly falling prey to Russian drones that cost only a fraction as much, the New York Times reported on Saturday. Even “one of the most powerful symbols of American military might” is not invulnerable to such attacks, it said. At least five US-supplied tanks out of the 31 provided by Washington have already been destroyed by Russia, the American media outlet said, adding that three others had been “moderately damaged.” In most cases, the tanks have been destroyed by first-person-view (FPV) kamikaze drones, also known as loitering munitions. Such drones are capable of actively maneuvering before hitting their target.

In at least one instance, though, an Abrams tank was taken out in a duel against a Russian T-72B3 main battle tank. The Russian military has published upwards of a dozen clips, mostly taken from drones, showing the destruction of US-supplied equipment. According to the NYT, the tanks turned out to be “more easily taken out by exploding drones than some officials and experts had initially assumed.” The media outlet cited an Austrian historian and military expert, Colonel Markus Reisner, who described such a situation as “unbelievable.” The paper also described the Russian UAVs as “highly-accurate, low-cost tank killers.”

The drones’ accuracy exceeds 90%, the NYT said, adding that they are also capable of hitting heavy armor in its weakest spots. The UAVs “can cost as little as $500,” the paper reported, are capable of “taking out a $10 million Abrams tank.” The paper also admitted that there was no “easy, or single” way to defend a tank against a drone attack. US-made Abrams tanks made their long-expected appearance on the front line in late February amid the Ukrainian effort to halt advancing Russian troops after the capture of the Donbass town of Avdeevka. A batch of 31 M1 Abrams tanks was pledged to Kiev early last year, ahead of the ultimately disastrous Ukrainian counteroffensive. The delivery was made in full only by mid-October, when the ill-fated push had already largely been exhausted.

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“The United States government for so long now, hasn’t seen a war they didn’t want to be a part of.”

‘Pariah’ Israel Dragging US ‘Into Garbage Bin of History’ (Sp.)

On Friday, the US vetoed granting Palestine full membership in the UN, which was promised to the Palestinians in 1948 when the state of Israel was created. The US has been Israel’s strongest supporter in the UN, previously vetoing three ceasefire resolutions before finally allowing a fourth to pass through abstention last month. Earlier, Israel struck Iran in response to Iran’s attack last week, which was itself a response to Israel attacking Iran’s consulate in Damascus earlier this month. The attack, which was described by both sides as minor, came after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would not respond until after Passover, which runs from April 22 to April 30. Israel’s apparent insistence on launching a regional war in the Middle East is dragging the United States with it “Into the garbage bin of history,” and US lawmakers seem willing to watch it happen, journalist Esteban Carrillo, the head of news at The Cradle, told Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Friday.

While discussing the recent US vote against Palestinian statehood in the UN, Carrillo explained that it is working against US interests “It’s completely a case of the tail wagging the dog. And US politicians just seem so content to just go along with it,” he explained. “What does Netanyahu have over the heads of these people? Because it doesn’t seem like they are even willing to consider at this point stepping away from this pariah that is just dragging them down into the garbage bin of history.” Tensions between Iran and Israel seem to have cooled somewhat after Israel’s attack was so minor. Explosions were heard near an Iranian base outside of Isfahan, but Iran claimed there was no damage or injuries. A second attack against the city of Tabriz was likewise thwarted.

The attack, which Iran claims came from within its own territory, seemed designed to make Israel not appear “as weak as they are,” Carrillo explained. “After six months of flattening Gaza and killing tens of thousands of Palestinians, they have failed to achieve a single strategic objective against Hamas.” However, the small scope of the attack also seemed designed to allow Israel to “play tough guy” without igniting a larger conflict. “Iran’s response over [Friday morning’s] attack is essentially summed up in ‘what strike? What happened? Our air defenses took everything down,’” said Carrillo. But that doesn’t mean Israel is finished. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still determined to keep the war going to ward off political and legal challenges facing him. “I don’t think that we’re out of the water yet in terms of [Israel] dragging the United States into a regional war,” Carrillo explained, adding earlier that it isn’t hard to convince US lawmakers to join fights. “The United States government for so long now, hasn’t seen a war they didn’t want to be a part of.”

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‘A vote for Trump is a vote for Putin’ – Hillary Clinton. Yawn…

Trump Wants To ‘Kill His Opposition’ – Hillary Clinton (RT)

Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has claimed that the man who defeated her in the 2016 election, Donald Trump, is a wannabe strongman who aims to murder his political enemies. Speaking in a podcast interview posted on Friday by Democrat activist Mark Elias, Clinton said American voters had underestimated how “dangerous” Trump would be as president. She likened Trump, now the presumptive Republican nominee in this year’s US presidential election, to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Putin does what [Trump] would like to do – kill his opposition, imprison his opposition, drive journalists and others into exile, rule without any check or balance,” Clinton said. “That’s what Trump really wants.” Ironically, Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have themselves long been accused by some conservatives of eliminating people who pose a threat to their power or wealth.

In fact, investigative journalist Danny Casolaro coined the conspiracist term “Clinton Body Count” in the late 1980s, in reference to the allegedly mysterious deaths of people with connections to the Clintons. Casolaro was found dead in a West Virginia hotel room in 1991 with his wrists slashed 10-12 times. His death was ruled a suicide. Hillary Clinton also has made a habit of linking Trump to Russia and Putin. Her presidential campaign helped trigger allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election by funding the since-discredited Steele dossier. She told Elias that Putin is just one of the US adversaries whom Trump would like to emulate, and that his other role models include Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“We have to be very conscious of how he sees the world because in that world, he only sees strongman leaders,” Clinton said. “He sees Putin. He sees Xi. He sees Kim Jong-un in North Korea. Those are the people he is modeling himself after, and we’ve been down this road in our world history. We sure don’t want to go down that again.” If Trump is elected president again, Clinton warned, “it will be like having a dictator. I don’t say that lightly. Go back and read Project 2025. They’re going to fire everybody. The person in the government who knows about what may be the next pandemic? ‘Get rid of him, he didn’t vote for me, or I don’t like the way he looks.’”

She added: “It’s really important to think about what could happen to our world with Trump back in the White House – withdrawing us from NATO, not caring about what happens in Europe… the idea that he wants Ukraine to fail, the idea that he doesn’t want us to be able to surveil our enemies. I mean, this is a very scary prospect.” Clinton expressed optimism that Trump will not be able to defeat incumbent President Joe Biden in November because Democrats will be running the election in key states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. Trump has maintained that all allegations against him are part of a politically motivated smear campaign. He dismissed the ‘Russiagate’ accusations as a hoax and witch hunt that aimed to sabotage his presidency and block him from forging better US relations with Russia.

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“Where there is no vision, the people are lost..”

Texas Is a Fading Conservative State (Paul Craig Roberts)

Americans regard Texas as a Conservative state. It is not. The conservatism is only skin deep. The conservatism is limited to a small majority of the people. Professional organizations, such as the Bar Association, many city governments, the universities, and the public schools have been infiltrated and taken over by woke liberals. Texas universities are as crazed, corrupt, and anti-American as those in the Northeast and on the West coast. They serve the same agendas, such as indoctrinating white people that they are racist, legitimizing sexual perversity, redefining American patriots as Nazis and Trump Deplorables. The public schools teach that white people are racists and confuse kids about their gender. The Bar Association uses law as a weapon against Republicans, such as attorney Sidney Powell.

The Texas Bar Association disciplined Sidney Powell, first convicting her of misconduct and fraud for filing lawsuits challenging fraudulent vote counts in the 2020 presidential election, and revoking her license as punishment. The state appeals court found that the bar association had convicted her on the basis of zero evidence. It was just a vendetta by woke liberals devoid al all integrity against a Republican.This is America today. In the hands of blue cities and states and in the US Department of Justice (sic) law as law no longer exists. Neither does the US Constitution. What exists is a weapon to be used against Trump Republicans and dissenters from official narratives.

In America there are two systems of law. One system located in red states is a rule of law. The other in blue states is a system of law as a weapon to destroy opponents. We see this clearly in blue NY and blue Atlanta where show trials devoid of any evidence are being conducted against President Trump. We see it in the Justice (sic) Department’s continuing misuse of law to force attendees at the January 6 rally to incriminate themselves by pleading guilty in order to avoid a 20-year prison sentence for exercising their constitutional right to protest.

The totally corrupt Biden Regime has an open border policy for the explicit purpose of turning red states into blue ones by filling them with millions of immigrant-invaders in order to overload the voting rolls with Democrat voters. The Democrats assume that they have purchased the loyalty of the immigrant-invaders by allowing them in and supporting them on public welfare while giving them work permits so that they can underbid the employment of American citizens. Evidence was recently provided that Biden has flown at public expense 360,000 immigrant-invaders into Florida, and evidence was provided that the Biden regime has funded the Jewish NGO that is recruiting world-wide immigrant-invaders with $300,000,000. American citizens are helpless, because almost half of them are so utterly stupid that they vote for their own self-destruction by voting Democrat.

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“..Harari deserves credit for blood-curdling honesty, if not for the morality of his and his masters’ “visions.”

A Collective “Common Enemy” Now Stalks Mankind (Karganovic)

Yuval Hariri, Klaus Schwab’s spokesman, recently made a statement that should send chills up everyone’s spine. “If bad comes to worse and the Flood comes,” Harari said, he and the likeminded cabal of shadowy world masters will “build an Ark and leave the rest to drown.” Elsewhere, Harari elaborates on the reasons for his fellow elitists’ cold-hearted indifference to the fate of the vast majority of Earth’s inhabitants: “If you go back to the middle of the 20th century …and you think about building the future, then your building materials are those millions of people who are working hard in the factories, in the farms, the soldiers. You need them. You don’t have any kind of future without them.” What he means is that you – referring to the dominant social and financial elites of that era – still “needed” the labour of millions in the various fields of economic endeavour in order to turn a profit.

Since then, how have things changed according to “futurologist” Harari? “Now, fast forward to the early 21st century when we just don’t need the vast majority of the population, because the future is about developing more and more sophisticated technology, like artificial intelligence [and] bioengineering, most people don’t contribute anything to that, except perhaps for their data, and whatever people are still doing something useful, these technologies increasingly will make them redundant and will make it possible to replace those people.” Elitist mouthpiece Harari deserves credit for blood-curdling honesty, if not for the morality of his and his masters’ “visions.” He is plainly signalling the view that this writer, the editors of this portal, its readers and the rest of mankind are expendable and apart from whatever economic utility they still might possess are bereft of any inherent dignity or value.

Harari and his immediate superior in the elitist nomenklatura, Klaus Schwab, technically are private individuals. Their organisational vehicle, the World Economic Forum, is a private NGO registered in Switzerland. Formally, they neither represent nor do they speak for any government or official structure with a proper claim to legitimacy. They have no licence to plan or arrange the future of humanity, beside the self-authorisation to do so which they and the oligarchical globalist power centres they commune and mingle with have arrogated to themselves. No one elected or empowered them to plan anybody’s future, other than their own, and even that strictly in their private capacity.= Yet disposing of the future of mankind is precisely what they presume to do, in Davos in plenary session once a year and the rest of the time in conspiratorial confabulation amongst themselves.

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Catfish

 

 

Horses dolphins
https://twitter.com/i/status/1781559109487124859

 

 

King

 

 

Octopus

 

 

Resting sharks

 

 

Reflex

 

 

Piggy bank

 

 

Great white

 

 

Rhino

 

 

Aquarium

 

 

 

 

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Apr 202024
 


John French Sloan Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair 1912

 

Batshit Crazy America (James Howard Kunstler)
Speaker Johnson’s Ignominious Betrayal (David Stockman)
Oil Prices Spike After Israel Strikes Iran (RT)
Only Hamas Wants Bigger War As Iran, Israel Signal Strikes ‘Done’ (ZH)
Israeli Settlers, Soldiers ‘Wiping Palestinian Communities Off the Map (CD)
West Plotting To Assassinate Zelensky – Medvedev (RT)
The West ‘One Step Away’ From Sending Troops to Ukraine – Orban (Sp.)
Russia Ready For Ukraine Talks, But Not With Zelensky – Lavrov (TASS)
No Ceasefire With Ukraine Even If Talks Start – Lavrov (RT)
Apple Removes Popular Messaging Apps In China (RT)
This Is What The Digital Revolution Brought Us (Paul Craig Roberts)
Trump Media Stock Spikes After CEO Pens “Naked” Short Letter (ZH)
Boeing Whistleblower Threatened With ‘Physical Harm’ – CNN (RT)
Impending Event Could Push Price Of Bitcoin Into Stratosphere (RT)

 

 

 

 

The gag order has to come off!

 

 

Excellent.

 

 

Elon reality

 

 

Robotaxi

 

 

 

 

Tucker Nixon

 

 

Kennedy meme

 

 

 

 

Blame the women? You’d think not, but then you see Hillary, Pelosi, Fani, Laetitia et al. With “Joe Biden” as the male role model. Maybe Jim has a point.

Batshit Crazy America (James Howard Kunstler)

Before the saints come marching in, the human archetypes strut down the avenue in their revealing regalia. Do you know why the archetypal batshit crazy women of the Democratic Party adore “Joe Biden?” I’ll tell you: because he represents perfectly and exactly the “patriarchy” they revile in his floridly comic senescence. “Joe Biden” is the patriarchy disabled, feeble, feckless, impotent, and reduced to inanity. He would be pitiful if the patriarchy itself were not so contemptible. This is exactly how the batshit crazy women want it to look. Do you wonder why “progressive” (i.e. batshit crazy) elite class women seem so unperturbed about the conspicuous number of rapes committed by “newcomers,” as they style illegal border-jumpers these days, who are by an overwhelming percentage “military-age men”? Because, having functionally transformed the ranks of American men into eunuchs, they relish the arrival of so many wild and lustful fellows on the scene, as long as post the imagined bodice-ripping exploits they can be dominated and domesticated — turned into so many swimming pool cleaners and busboys to be ordered around.

Of course, much of that archetypal psychodrama is only played out in the batshit crazy mind of batshit crazy women; for the sake of decorum it is never acted-out. The lurid, shameful fantasies are instead displaced onto Donald Trump, the archetypal “Big Daddy” who so insolently evaded the castration shears of Hillary Clinton — with the help of Russian arch-rapist “Putin” — and keeps on coming at the batshit-crazy women like Jason Voorhees, the psycho-killer in the Friday the 13th horror series (Qu’est-ce que c’est, ladies?) Proof of Mr. Trump’s rapey-ness has been finally and formally declared in the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial. It’s certified, you see, though the trial itself was a joke of performative pretense. All you really need is a cast of characters, including the judge, Lewis Kaplan, who are sufficiently deranged and degenerate to carry out the performance.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James was up next to attempt the financial castration of Mr. Trump with an artfully concocted civil case that magically transformed a normal real estate transaction into a victimless fraud (say, what?), prompting the Rumpelstiltskin-like Judge Arthur Engoron to declare an unprecedented cash penalty of $354-million, designed to enable the confiscation and forced sale of Mr. Trump’s buildings. That hasn’t quite worked yet, and may never work, given how appeals courts up to SCOTUS might view the malicious prosecution based on Ms. James’s repeated campaign promise to. . . pin something on Trump. Batshit crazy “progressives” have managed to not notice how inconsistent with American legal precedent this case was — because they held all the levers of power in New York State: governorship, legislature, and AG’s office, and their power to do whatever they liked was all that mattered.

For the moment Judge Juan Merchan presides over Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s fake case of 34 clerical misdemeanors (past the statute of limitations on them), repurposed as felonies committed for the intention of breaking some federal election law (unspecified). Last time I checked, county courts have no jurisdiction over federal law, most particularly unspecified federal law, which is to say no law at all. The question nobody has asked or answered is: what is the flaw in our system of jurisprudence that allows such an insane and preposterous case to play out so harmfully? I can only suppose that this is what happens when ethics and moral codes are brutally excised from the larger culture that law is but one part of. It is the way of Homo sapiens that moral codes derive generally from the supervision of fathers in the upbringing of human young and, later on, as children develop into adults, these codes are archetypally re-enacted and enforced by men in the greater social matrix. Why? Because it requires a strong sense of boundaries. Boundaries are the essence of the “patriarchy.”

Remove men from the scene, or castrate them politically, and you are sure to end up with a problem knowing right from wrong. We’re apparently subject now to the misrule of women with boundary problems who, for one reason or another, rebelled against Daddy and never got over it. It’s a peculiar irony — so far unexplicated by the hierophants of social theory — that the more affluent and successful Daddy was, the more he was hated for it by his female offspring. The result of all that is the Democratic Party of our time as run by the batshit crazy women, fearful of sex and its consequence (babies), paradoxically subject to biological promptings and unable to find suitable mates among the men they’ve turned into eunuchs of one sort or another; resentful of the dull managerial jobs that have replaced the anathematized “jobs” of motherhood; filled with rage and revenge fantasies which, because of their boundary problems, have now extended to willing the destruction of our country. It’s an uninviting view of what’s happened to us, but there it is, like so much meat on the table.

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“..you truly have to wonder about what miniature minds like Congressman Johnson’s are actually thinking..”

Speaker Johnson’s Ignominious Betrayal (David Stockman)

Speaker Johnson’s ignominious betrayal of fiscal sanity might well be the death knell for the GOP. He is apparently risking his speakership on behalf of $95 billion of foreign aid boondoggles that Uncle Sam cannot remotely afford, and which actually provide zero benefit to the homeland security of America. And we do mean zero, as in nothing, nichts, nada, nyet and nugatory, as we amplify below. What Johnson’s impending Waterloo means, therefore, is not merely the prospect of another wild and wooly succession battle, but actually that there is no point at all in the preservation of a Republican majority and GOP House Speaker. After all, the Washington GOP has become so infected with neocon warmongers and careerist pols who spend a lifetime basking in the imperial projects and pretensions of the world’s War Capital that apparently the best the House GOP caucus could do when it ejected the previous careerist deep stater from the Speaker’s chair was to tap the dim-witted nincompoop who currently occupies it.

The Republican party is thus truly beyond redemption. As JFK once said about the CIA, its needs to be splintered into a thousand pieces and swept into the dustbin of history. Indeed, when you look at the calamitous fiscal trajectory embedded in the CBO’s latest 30-year fiscal outlook, you truly have to wonder about what miniature minds like Congressman Johnson’s are actually thinking. That is to say, the latest CBO report published in March presumes that there will never be another recession and no inflation flare-up, interest rate spike, global energy dislocation, prolonged Forever War or any other imaginable crisis ever again—just smooth economic sailing for the next 30 years. And yet, and then. Even by the math of this Rosy Scenario on steroids the public debt will reach $140 trillion at minimum by 2054. In turn, that would cause interest payments on the public debt with rates no higher than those which prevailed between 1986 and 1997 to reach $10 trillion per year.

You simply don’t need paragraphs, pages and whole monographs worth of analysis and amplification to understand where that is going. The nation’s fisc is now on the cusp of descending into the maws of a doomsday machine. So how in the world do these elements of Johnson’s offering make even the remotest sense? Speaker Johnson’s Foreign Aid Boondoggle: Indo-Pacific aid: $8.1 billion. Israel: $26.4 billion. Ukraine: $60.8 billion. Total: $95.3 billion. Apparently, it’s because Johnson and a good share of the Washington GOP have succumbed wholesale to neocon paranoia, stupidity, lies and hollow excuses for warmongering. For crying out loud, Putin has no interest in molesting the Poles, to say nothing of storming the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. He is certainly no Ghandi, but well more than smart enough to recognize that with Russia’s GDP of $2.2 trillion and war budget of $80 billion there would be no point in going to war with NATO’s $45 trillion of GDP and combined war budgets in excess of $1.2 trillion.

Likewise, China’s $50 trillion debt-ridden Ponzi would collapse in months if its $3.5 trillion flow of export earnings were disrupted after attempting to land its single modern aircraft carrier on the California coast. And Iran has no nukes, no intercontinental range missiles and a GDP equal to 130 hours of US annual output. So, some Axis of evil! Yet that’s exactly what the Speaker said this morning after going to too many Deep State briefings and apparently having his own johnson yanked once too often. The Swamp creatures surely see the lad’s naivete and blithering ignorance as a gift that doesn’t stop giving. That is to say, a “mark” who knows nothing at all about the world from sources not stamped, “Top Secret (lies)”.

Speaker Mike Johnson: “We’re going to stand for freedom and make sure that Putin doesn’t march through Europe… we’re the greatest Nation on the planet, and we have to act like it”, This is a critical time right now, a critical time on the world stage. I can make a selfish decision and do something that’s different but I’m doing here what I believe to be the right thing. “I think providing lethal aid to Ukraine right now is critically important. I really do. I really do believe the intel and the briefings that we’ve gotten. I believe Xi, Vladimir Putin and Iran really are an axis of evil. I think they’re in coordination on it. “So I think that Vladimir Putin would continue to march through Europe if he were allowed. I think he might go to the Balkans next. I think he might have a showdown with Poland or one of our NATO allies.

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That’s just after one half-assed strike.

Oil Prices Spike After Israel Strikes Iran (RT)

Global prices for crude oil jumped by as much as 3.5% shortly after Israel carried out a series of strikes on Iran in the early hours of Friday. Both oil benchmarks soared over $3 a barrel in early trading before retreating. By 12:00 GMT, Brent crude oil futures for June delivery were down $0.50 at $86.63 per barrel. The May contract for US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped $0.43, or 0.52%, to $82.30 per barrel. Israel launched an attack on Iranian territory in the early morning hours, a senior US official confirmed in an interview with ABC News. Al Jazeera reported that Iranian state television had also confirmed the strikes, and that air defenses had been activated. Flights across several areas, including Tehran and Isfahan, were suspended.

The attack, the latest tit-for-tit exchange between the two nations, came nearly a week after Iran unleashed a barrage of 300 aerial drones and missiles on Israel. The shelling was conducted in response to a suspected Israeli strike on an Iranian consular building in Syria that killed 12 people, including three senior Iranian military officers. Tehran believes Israel was behind the bombing, although West Jerusalem has neither claimed nor denied responsibility. Iran is the world’s seventh largest oil producer, according to the US Energy Information Administration, and the third-largest OPEC member. It produces around 3.2 million barrels of crude per day, and last year ranked as the world’s second largest source of oil supply growth after the US.

The spike in oil prices is seen by analysts as a self-evident market reaction to mounting concerns about a renewed escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran. “Rising geopolitical risk premiums translate to a risk-off environment at this juncture with a heightened risk of oil supply disruption at least in the short-term,” Kelvin Wong, an analyst at OANDA in Singapore, told Reuters. Earlier this week, energy experts at Bank of America warned that an all-out war between Israel and Iran, which will inevitably impact energy infrastructure and disrupt Iranian crude supplies, is expected to drive oil prices up by $30-$40 per barrel. Increased tensions in the region could also jeopardize shipping through the Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran. About a fifth of the world’s total oil supply passes through the crucial shipping route.

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There are plenty warmongers on all sides. But for now they’ve been subdued.

Only Hamas Wants Bigger War As Iran, Israel Signal Strikes ‘Done’ (ZH)

There has been no Iranian response against Israel for the overnight Israeli retaliation attack on the Islamic Republic. US officials have since confirmed that it was in fact an Israeli attack, yet all the while Iran’s leaders are trying desperately to downplay it, saying it inflicted no damage, and that several reported explosions were actually the result of Iran’s air defenses intercepting a few drones, particularly over the city of Isfahan, site of a key nuclear facility. Importantly, as we predicted, Tehran is saying it has no plans for further retaliation following the oddly toothless, performative response from Israel. Officially, Iran and its state media are even referring to the attack incident as having been done by “infiltrators” while not readily naming Israel, also declaring that the aggression ‘failed’. So far, it is looking like none of Iran’s nuclear facilities were actually hit. Reuters has called Iran’s stance “a response that appeared gauged towards averting region-wide war.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a fresh statement sought to emphasize that the United States was not involved in any offensive operations against Iran, nor did he confirm Israel was behind it during the remarks, and the West continues to urge restraint by both sides. The Washington Post is also acknowledging Iranian media’s muted response in wake of overnight events: “Iranian state media was muted in its response to the attack, saying its air defense systems had intercepted “three small drones” in Isfahan province. There was no damage to Iran’s nuclear sites, including those in Isfahan, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday morning. Isfahan is the site of Iran’s largest nuclear research complex; the area is home to a military base.” Israeli national security officials were cited in the The Jerusalem Post on Friday as saying, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Israel retaliated where they were attacked.” However, JPost additionally noted some strange qualifiers, suggesting both sides are taking a ‘nothing to see here folks’ approach:

“That said, officially, Israel will not accept responsibility for this attack for strategic reasons. Sources explain that the Iranians claim it was an “explosion at a factory” because they wish to avoid escalation. Israeli sources told the Post that it’s unclear why the Pentagon disclosed to the American media that Israel was involved; they could have remained silent, they say. They could have preserved Iran’s dignity and avoided escalating the situation on their own.” An earlier Bloomberg report disclosed that Israel had informed the White House on Thursday that a military strike on Iran was being planned in “the next 24-48 hours.” Bloomberg is now reporting Friday morning that “an Iranian military official signaled Tehran doesn’t feel compelled to react to the blasts which US officials say were caused by Israeli strikes, with semi-official Mehr agency quoting Army Commander-in-Chief Abdolrahim Mousavi saying Tehran has already reacted to Israeli threats.”

Iran’s President Ebrahim Rais made a planned speech on Friday and did not mention the overnight attack on Iranian soil, only the last Saturday offensive operations against Israel: “Operation True Promise led to authority, unity and cohesion in the country,” Raisi said. “Today, all political groups and factions believe that this response was necessary and a big honour for the country,” the Iranian president added, saying nothing further about the Israeli attack just hours prior. There’s only one group at this point that appears to be disappointed that it’s over: “HAMAS OFFICIAL SAYS ISRAELI AGGRESSION ON IRAN IS AN ESCALATION AGAINST THE REGION”. “HAMAS OFFICIAL CALLS FOR EXPANDING ENGAGEMENT AGAINST ISRAEL OVER WAR OF GENOCIDE IN GAZA AND ESCALATION IN THE REGION.” Hamas leadership likely thought this is the start of the ‘big war’ in Gaza’s defense – which still possibly may come – but at this point of “cooler heads” prevailing is no longer looking likely.

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“While the attention of the world is focused on Gaza, abuses in the West Bank, fueled by decades of impunity and complacency among Israel’s allies, are soaring.”

Israeli Settlers, Soldiers ‘Wiping Palestinian Communities Off the Map (CD)

Israeli soldiers have either passively watched or participated in the uprooting of at least seven communities in the West Bank since October of last year, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday in a new report documenting surging settler violence in the occupied Palestinian territory. The rights group interviewed dozens of eyewitnesses and examined video footage showing harassment and other abuse of Palestinians in the West Bank “by men in Israeli military uniforms carrying M16 assault rifles.” Following the Hamas-led October 7 attack on southern Israel, the Israeli military drafted more than 5,000 settlers into “regional defense” units in the West Bank, Haaretzreported earlier this year.

The Israeli newspaper noted that “alongside this large-scale mobilization, the [Israel Defense Forces] has distributed some 7,000 weapons to the battalions as well as to settlers who were not recruited into the army but received them as civilians whom the army considers eligible to carry military arms.” HRW’s investigation found that “armed settlers, with the active participation of army units, repeatedly cut off road access and raided Palestinian communities, detained, assaulted, and tortured residents, chased them out of their homes and off their lands at gunpoint or coerced them to leave with death threats, and blocked them from taking their belongings.” “Israeli settlers and soldiers are literally wiping Palestinian communities off the map,” said Omar Shakir, HRW’s Israel and Palestine director.

“While the attention of the world is focused on Gaza, abuses in the West Bank, fueled by decades of impunity and complacency among Israel’s allies, are soaring.” The new report comes days after Israeli settlers—escorted by IDF soldiers—went on their latest destructive and deadly rampage in the West Bank, killing at least two Palestinians, injuring dozens, and setting homes and vehicles ablaze. At least 20 households were displaced after Israeli settlers burned down their homes. The wave of settler violence came after a missing 14-year-old Israeli boy was found dead in the area around the West Bank city of Ramallah. The Israeli military said the boy was killed in a “terrorist attack.”

Since October 7, according to the United Nations, Israeli settlers have launched more than 720 attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, displacing at least 206 households comprised of 1,244 people—including 603 children. Israeli soldiers in uniform have been present at many of the attacks. “Settlers and soldiers have displaced entire Palestinian communities, destroying every home, with the apparent backing of higher Israeli authorities,” Bill Van Esveld, associate children’s rights director at HRW, said in a statement Wednesday. “While the attention of the world is focused on Gaza, abuses in the West Bank, fueled by decades of impunity and complacency among Israel’s allies, are soaring.”

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Warsaw and Kiev had a nice story on Russia wanting to get him. Medvedev turned that around.

West Plotting To Assassinate Zelensky – Medvedev (RT)

Allegations that a Polish man was plotting with Moscow to assassinate Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky are a sign that Kiev’s Western backers want to “liquidate” the Ukrainian leader, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. On Thursday, Polish officials reported the arrest of a man who is accused of trying to provide sensitive information to the Russian intelligence services. The information could have been used in an attempt to kill Zelensky, Warsaw and Kiev have claimed. “An attempt on the life of the chief Banderite [Zelensky] in Poland? That is truly serious,” Medvedev, who serves as deputy head of the Russian Security Council, wrote on social media on Friday in response to the claims. “It may be the first piece of evidence that people in the West have made a decision to liquidate him. Be afraid, clown!”

The term ‘Banderite’ refers to the Ukrainian nationalist movement of Stepan Bandera, which was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Poles during World War II. The Nazi collaborator is considered a national hero in modern Ukraine. The Polish citizen, identified as Pawel K. by the National Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw, faces up to eight years in jail if convicted on charges of attempting to work with a foreign power against national interests. Specifically, Pawel K. is accused of trying to share information with Moscow about Rzeszow–Jasionka Airport in southeastern Poland. The facility is used to ship weapons and munitions that NATO members donate to Ukraine to fight Russia.

Polish officials, however, have claimed that his tips could “among other things” have helped Moscow plan a hit on Zelensky during a visit to Poland. Kiev’s successor to the KGB, the SBU, repeated the allegations in a statement of its own. Warsaw has claimed Pawel K. was in contact with Russian nationals who are “directly involved” in the Ukraine conflict. Polish authorities were tipped off about the alleged threat by Ukrainian security services. Zelensky has told Western media that Russia has been trying to kill him for years, with multiple attempts prevented by his security detail. However, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally assured him in March 2022 that Moscow would not kill Zelensky.

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“This is a military whirlpool that can drag Europe to the bottom. Brussels is playing with fire..”

The West ‘One Step Away’ From Sending Troops to Ukraine – Orban (Sp.)

The West is one step away from deploying military forces in Ukraine, which could mean an end for Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. “We are one step away from the West sending troops to Ukraine. This is a military whirlpool that can drag Europe to the bottom. Brussels is playing with fire,” Orban said at an event dedicated to the start of the campaign before the European Parliament elections, aired by the HirTV broadcaster. European leaders have “already got involved” in the conflict in Ukraine, they call it “their war”, and Europe has already spent about 100 billion euros ($106 billion) on Ukraine, Orban mentioned. French President Emmanuel Macron riled up his NATO allies, especially Germany, when he said in February that Western leaders had discussed sending troops to Ukraine. While no consensus had been reached, nothing could be ruled out, he added. Moscow warned that any threat from NATO would meet a response.

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“..talks with Vladimir Zelensky are off the table, as they would lead nowhere..”

Russia Ready For Ukraine Talks, But Not With Zelensky – Lavrov (TASS)

Russia’s signals that it is ready to negotiate on Ukraine are “not just for show,” but talks with Vladimir Zelensky are off the table, as they would lead nowhere, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with radio stations Sputnik, Govorit Moskva (Moscow speaking) and Komsomolskaya Pravda. “We are fully convinced that we need to continue the special military operation. We indicate our readiness for negotiations not just for show. This is indeed the truth, but talking to Zelensky is pointless for many reasons,” he said.

The first negotiations between Russia and Ukraine after the start of the special military operation took place in early March 2022 in Belarus, but they did not bring tangible results. On March 29, 2022, the next round took place in Istanbul, when Moscow for the first time received from Kiev the principles of a possible future agreement recorded on paper. It included, in particular, obligations on the neutral, non-aligned status of Ukraine and its refusal to deploy foreign weapons, including nuclear weapons, on its territory. However, the negotiation process was interrupted by Ukraine unilaterally.

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Zero trust left.

No Ceasefire With Ukraine Even If Talks Start – Lavrov (RT)

Russia has no intention of ceasing hostilities with Ukraine even if the two countries engage in peace talks, as Kiev has proven itself to be an unreliable actor, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. In an interview with Russian media on Friday, the diplomat stressed that Moscow does not trust the leadership in Kiev. “We have said that we are ready for the negotiations, but – unlike the Istanbul story – we will not make any pauses in the fighting during the negotiations. The process must go on,” he said. The two sides have not directly talked to each other since their sit-down in Istanbul in late March 2022. Russia, which initially expressed satisfaction with results of the meeting and withdrew its forces from the outskirts of Kiev as a goodwill gesture, later accused Ukraine of backtracking on all progress achieved in Türkiye, saying it had lost trust in Kiev’s negotiators.

The foreign minister noted that a major obstacle to any peace process that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “forbid himself from negotiating” with the current authorities in Moscow. He was referring to a decree that Zelensky signed in the fall of 2022, which banned his government from any talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The realities on the ground have changed “significantly” since the time when the Istanbul negotiations took place, and “those realities must be taken into account,” Lavrov stressed. He clarified that he was talking not only about the situation on the frontline, where Russian forces have recently been making gains, but also the fact that the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which joined Russia as a result of referendums in the fall 2022, are now parts of the country in line with the Constitution. “Everybody should understand this very well,” the diplomat stressed.

Lavrov said it is “absolutely clear” to Moscow that Kiev and its Western backers “do not understand this and… are not even ready to look for any hypothetical compromises.” Since late 2022, Zelensky has been promoting his so-called ‘peace formula,’ which calls for Russia to withdraw from all territories claimed by Kiev and pay reparations, and for the formation of a war crimes tribunal. The Russian foreign minister again outright rejected the plan, calling it an “ultimatum” that provided for no alternative solutions.

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WhatsApp, Threads, Telegram and Signal

Apple Removes Popular Messaging Apps In China (RT)

Apple has pulled several popular messaging apps from its storefront in China at the request of the government in Beijing over alleged national security concerns, the US-tech giant announced on Friday. Meta’s WhatsApp and Threads apps, as well as messaging services Telegram and Signal, are no longer available for download on the AppStore in China, Bloomberg reported. The Wall Street Journal has claimed that Korean Line has also been made inaccessible to Chinese users. Before their removal, none of the apps were widely used in China, where Tencent’s WeChat is the overwhelmingly dominant service.

In a statement to Reuters on Friday, Apple said China’s Cyberspace Administration had requested the removal of instant messengers from the App Store for reasons of national security, but stressed that the apps remain available on all other storefronts. The US-based tech giant noted that it is obliged to comply with the laws of the countries in which it operates, even if it does not agree with them. At the same time, other Meta apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger are still available for download on the Chinese AppStore. However, as was the case with the removed messaging apps, it is still difficult to access these platforms without special proxy tools such as a virtual private network (VPN) to circumvent Beijing’s Great Firewall.

The four removed apps remain available in China’s two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, Reuters noted. While the specific reasons for the request to remove the apps remain unknown, the step may be tied to a law passed in China last year which requires all apps operating in the country to register with the local regulatory body. In August, Chinese authorities called on foreign developers to adhere to this rule by the end of March 2024 or be forced to remove their apps from the marketplace.

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”We now have reality-immune kids. The digital revolution is the foundation for our coming Age of Tyranny..”

This Is What The Digital Revolution Brought Us (Paul Craig Roberts)

Your information is everywhere on the internet. It is in your banking, financial, credit card, cell phone, internet, utility, and online purchase accounts and in the accounts of these companies’ service providers. Your information is in more places than you can imagine. The internet system is easy to hack, because it was created as an open system for the military. Depending on what thieves gain access to, they may make purchases on your current credit cards and/or drain your bank accounts. Identity thieves can also use all or some of your data to open new credit or loan accounts – and then let the unpaid debts pile up. By opening a lot of new accounts in a short period of time, thieves can lower your credit score. The repercussions of a low credit score are immense. The FBI, the NSA can put kiddie porn on your computer and arrest you.

We can be spied on without warrants in violation of the Constitution. Cyber security does not exist. It is a myth. The digital revolution has totally destroyed our constitutional right to privacy and has left us insecure to every kind of malevolent event. The shifting of all custom relations costs to the customer, resulting in service users spending endless time with a robot trying to correct service and account problems. Problems previously handled in 3 minutes now take 3 hours, sometimes three days. The digital revolution has brought us kids who have never played outside in the sunshine and live in a world of video games. We now have reality-immune kids. The digital revolution is the foundation for our coming Age of Tyranny. The developers of the digital revolution are humanity’s worse enemies. The only solution is to bring back the analogue days.

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Nunes et al are more tech- and finance savvy than thought.

Trump Media Stock Spikes After CEO Pens “Naked” Short Letter (ZH)

Shares of Trump Media spiked on Friday after the company alerted the Nasdaq to ‘potential market manipulation’ from ‘naked’ short selling of its stock. The warning came as the company, which trades under the symbol $DJT, offered shareholders detailed instructions on how to prevent someone from loaning out their shares to short sellers. In a Friday morning letter to Nasdaq CEO Adrena Friedman, CEO Devin Nunes noted that as of Wednesday, “DJT appears on Nasdaq’s ‘Reg SHO threshold list,’ which is indicative of unlawful trading activity.” “This is particularly troubling given that ‘naked’ short selling often entails sophisticated market participants profiting at the expense of retail investors,” Nunes continued. In his letter, Nunes pointed to circumstantial evidence – including DJT being the most expensive stock to short in the US, which he said would give brokers “significant financial incentive to lend non-existent shares,” CNBC reports. The letter also links to a CNBC article which delves into the high premiums brokers were charging short sellers for loans of DJT to sell.

“I write to bring your attention to potential market manipulation of the stock of Trump Media & Technology Group Corp,” wrote Nunes. “As you know, ‘naked’ short selling — selling shares of a stock without first borrowing the shares of stock deemed difficult to locate — is generally illegal pursuant to Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC’) Regulation SHO,” the letter continues. “Data made available to us indicate that just four market participants have been responsible for over 60% of the extraordinary volume of DJT shares traded: Citadel Securities, VIRTU Americas, G1 Execution Services, and Jane Street Capital,” Nunes said, adding: “In light of the foregoing, and Nasdaq’s obligation and commitment to protect the interests of retail investors, please advise what steps you can take to foster transparency and compliance by ensuring market makers are adhering to Reg SHO, requiring brokers to disclose their ’Net Short” positions, and preventing the lending of shares that do not exist.” Shares of DJT began spiking premarket, and were up as much as 11%.

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A risky position to take. From March 12: “A former Boeing employee has been found dead in the US days before he was due to give evidence in a whistleblower lawsuit against the aerospace giant. [..] John Barnett, a 62-year-old former Boeing quality manager was found dead in his car, allegedly from a self inflicted wound, in a hotel parking lot – seven years after retiring from a 32-year career with the group.”

Boeing Whistleblower Threatened With ‘Physical Harm’ – CNN (RT)

Hundreds of people could die unless American aerospace giant Boeing addresses critical safety issues, a whistleblower has told the US Senate, also claiming that he was threatened with “physical violence” for going public, CNN has reported. Sam Salehpour, an engineer at Boeing, told two Senate committee hearings on Wednesday that he has been voicing safety concerns for several years but has been “ignored” and told “not to create delays.” “The safety problems I have observed at Boeing, if not addressed, could result in a catastrophic failure of a commercial airplane that would lead to the loss of hundreds of lives,” he said. His testimony comes as Boeing grapples with the fallout from a major safety crisis. Fears were raised after an incident on a 737 MAX in January, when an Alaska Airlines flight bound for California from Portland, Oregon, had to turn back after a door panel blew off at 16,000 feet (4,900 meters), injuring several of the 171 passengers aboard and sucking clothing and cell phones out of the aircraft.

After raising concerns, Salehpour said “I was told not to create delays. I was told, frankly, to shut up.” There is “no safety culture” at Boeing, he claimed, alleging that employees who raise the alarm are “ignored, marginalized, threatened, sidelined and worse.” The engineer insisted he was testifying due to his confidence that Boeing was “putting out defective airplanes.” He cited alleged practices by the planemaker, including people jumping on pieces of the airplane to correct misalignment between sections of jets. Salehpour has reportedly urged Boeing to ground all 787 jets for inspection. The US Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating the allegations that Boeing took shortcuts to reduce production bottlenecks while making the 787. Salehpour also raised issues about the production of the 777, another wide-body jet.

Boeing did not have any witnesses at either hearing, according to CNN, but at a briefing earlier this week the company defended its production standards. The manufacturer said that in 13 years of service, the 787 fleet has safely transported over 850 million passengers on more than 4.2 million flights, while the 777 fleet has safely flown more than 3.9 billion passengers around the world. Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun announced in March that he will step down by the end of the current year, in a move seen as major management shakeup.

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Halving. “The final halving is expected to occur in 2140..”

Impending Event Could Push Price Of Bitcoin Into Stratosphere (RT)

The price of Bitcoin, the world’s highest-valued cryptocurrency, surged past $64,000 on Friday, rebounding from a drop below the $60,000 mark. The crypto continues to experience volatility ahead of an upcoming ‘halving’ event, which has sparked controversy over its potential impact. The latest Bitcoin halving – a mechanism to limit supply that takes place every four years – is expected late on Friday night or early Saturday. Halving is when the rewards for Bitcoin miners are slashed in half to slow the supply of the crypto into the market. This time, the reward for mining new bitcoins will decrease from 6.25 bitcoins to 3.125. The final halving is expected to occur in 2140, when the number of bitcoins circulating will reach the theoretical maximum supply of 21 million. As of March 2024, about 19.65 million bitcoins were in circulation, leaving just around 1.35 million to be released via mining rewards.

Experts say the impending halving event comes with heightened expectations that the reduced amount of bitcoin entering into circulation will create a kind of supply shock that will drive prices up. The last halving, in 2020, preceded a five-fold increase in Bitcoin’s price, following a pattern that has seen record-breaking rallies for the cryptocurrency after each previous such event, in 2016 and 2012, respectively. “The halving helps naturally increase price due to supply and demand over a medium- to long-term outlook, which in turn brings new people in as the price increases past previous all-time highs. So, indirectly, it plays a huge part in shaping investor sentiment and market speculation,” Danny Scott, chief executive of crypto platform CoinCorner, told The Independent. “Historically, the value of Bitcoin has increased after each halving event. This trend is likely to continue during the current market cycle, considering the high amount of institutional interest,” according to Kadan Stadelmann, Chief Technology Officer of blockchain firm Komodo Platform.

In January, the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved the first ever Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bringing billions of dollars’ worth of institutional investment to the market for the first time. This increase in demand, combined with the upcoming reduction in supply, has led some analysts to believe that Bitcoin could hit new heights in the coming months. Despite some kind of volatility in recent weeks, Bitcoin remains a strongly performing asset, up 40% so far in 2024 and more than double where it was at the same time last year. Investors anticipate the price could break above its previous all-time high of $70,105, reached last month. Meanwhile, the founder of Draper Associates, Tim Draper, has projected the halving could even push the price of Bitcoin as high as $250,000 by July.

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Lord Byron died April 19 1824 in Missolonghi, Greece. This is one of his last poems.

 

 

RFK Gates

 

 

Capybara

 

 

Jaguar Lion

 

 

Cow jump

 

 

Deer hunter

 

 

Turtle

 

 

Skidding

 

 

Elephant, cubs

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 192024
 


Francesco Hayez The Death of the Doge Marin Faliero 1867

 

Why the Fix Is in for Trump (Victoria Taft)
N.Y. Gives Trump The Anne Boleyn Treatment (Porter)
Ciaramella in the Loop of Biden-Ukraine Affairs Trump Wanted Probed (Sperry)
Israeli Retaliatory Strike On Iran (Scott Ritter)
Which Side God Is On Now (Helmer)
Blinken Shelves Special Request To Probe Israeli War Crimes (Cradle)
Texas Is Being Turned Into a Woke Democrat State (Paul Craig Roberts)
On The Mayorkas Impeachment (Denninger)
UK Insurers Won’t Pay Nord Stream Because Blasts Were ‘Government’ Backed (GZ)
Aid to Ukraine May Deep-Six Another House Speaker (Sp.)
Zelensky Blames EU For Russian Advance (RT)
ECB Fires Back At Plans To Seize Russian Assets (RT)
Top Military Official Lied About Jan. 6: Whistleblowers (ET)
Desperation Behind European Politicians’ Latest Russiagate Hoax (Public)
US Issues Assurances on Assange (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

O’Leary

 

 

Bragg
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780977235949711525

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 

Samson

 

 

 

 

America is undergoing a political show trial. For the whole world to see. There are three more waiting in the wings. The legal system should never allow for this. It is now on trial as much as Trump is.

Why the Fix Is in for Trump (Victoria Taft)

Judging by the way the entire array of Democrat operatives at the federal, state, and local levels of law enforcement have scraped the bottom of the local pond, liberated copious amounts of scum, loaded DNC slingshots, and heaved the slime at former President Donald Trump, I’m thinking you might have low expectations for New York City trial, too. We can’t imagine why you’d feel that way.The 34 charges against Trump were magicked into felonies by the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who contends there’s an overarching federal election crime at play. That’s how he reanimated these misdys that had already run their statute of limitations. The judge in the case, Juan Merchan, then re-jiggered the statute of limitations, blaming COVID to add another year to the statute of limitations so Bragg could bring these charges against Trump. The New York State legislature made a similar move for E. Jean Carroll so the founder of LinkedIn and ardent leftist Reid Hoffman could bankroll a new round of lawfare. The move revived her ability to bring a sexual assault case against Trump for assaulting her in a dressing room sometime in the ’90s in a dress she swore she wore but which hadn’t been designed yet.

In the fraud case that isn’t fraud and which defrauded no one, Gov. Kathy Hochul assured New York businesses afraid the Jacobins would come for their businesses and assets that “New Yorkers who are business people have nothing to worry about because they’re very different than Donald Trump…” Attorney General Letitia James had never used this law to do to anyone what they’re doing to Trump. She also used another one-off law to pile on the penalties for the victimless non-crime. The judge in that case, who probably wears no underwear under that robe, pronounced Trump guilty before the trial began. And we haven’t even touched on the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid over documents Trump is allowed to have under the Presidential Records Act. Or the attempt to get Trump off the ballot using the 14th Amendment. Even the U.S. Constitution is fungible to these leftists. And now we’re in jury selection in Trump’s latest case, which is literally a bookkeeping case in which Trump paid his attorney over time for services rendered that included making sure Stormy Daniels and another woman signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and were paid for them.

Daniels has never been charged with extortion for breaking her NDA and demanding more money or she’d tell the media that she had a tryst or something with Trump. But Bragg lets murderers run the streets, so why are we surprised? Bragg doesn’t include his boffo legal theory in the 34-count indictment, but in his accompanying statement contends that Trump stole the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton. Hillary won New York in the 2016 election by a nearly two-to-one margin, but why let a fact like that get in the way of a great election-year lawfare effort on behalf of Democrats? Indeed, each of these prosecutors and their offices should be required to file with the Federal Elections Commission for in-kind donations to Joe Biden. We also might wonder why Bragg and his fellow conspirators haven’t been swooped up by the FBI and charged with whatever is the opposite of a 1512 c2 offense for starting an official proceeding — this trial — to carry out his violence upon a former president and current presidential candidate.

Trump’s being publicly humiliated and kept off the campaign trail — a feature, not a bug of this lawfare — because he booked payments to his lawyer in 2017, which, let’s note for clarity, is after the 2016 election. Bragg contends these payments were in furtherance of stealing an election. Hillary’s 2016 Russia collusion efforts in conspiracy with the CIA, FBI, DOJ, and White House somehow were left out of Bragg’s election-stealing bill of particulars, but He’s With Her so it’s just fine, whatareyoulookingat? The Federal Elections Commission, Justice Department, and Bragg’s own office have previously declined to pursue this lunacy. However, when George Soros poured money into his campaign, Bragg, like AG Letitia James, promised if he were elected by the Manhattan jury pool, he’d use any tool at his disposal to Get Trump. And now jury selection is underway, and we’ve got a couple of clunkers in that box of rocks that may be professional Trump haters.

Not that Trump can say anything about his latest case since Judge Merchan has put what looks to be a constitutionally suspect gag order on the former president. He’s been admonished by the judge that he should say nothing about his “child,” a grown-ass woman who works for a Democrat political consulting firm and does work for Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer and used the trial as a fundraising tool. Nothing to see here, obviously, so Trump should shaddup already. You can see what’s going on. The left has put what is tantamount to a gag order on us, too. At PJ Media, we’ve been censored, excoriated, “fact-checked” by feedback-loop lefties, and all but killed from social media. The Google gods demonetize us for their latest government-bankrolled censorship program—going after “mal” information. That’s information that is true but which they don’t like because it makes them look bad.

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“..the whole point of the exercise was to lop off the head of someone who stood in the way of the regime’s continuity..”

N.Y. Gives Trump The Anne Boleyn Treatment (Porter)

Jury selection is now complete in the case of The People of the State of New York vs. Donald J. Trump, which alleges that the defendant lied to his own check register, and lied to the general ledger of his own company, when the invoice given to him by his lawyer was paid and recorded by someone else, and that the misstatement he made to himself in his own records was done “with the intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof.” [..] The prosecutor elected in New York County of New York state indicted Trump, after Trump announced his 2024 run for president, for allegedly violating New York Penal Laws 175.05 and 175.10 seven years ago.

That local prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, is a member of the Democratic Party – and the voters who elected Bragg and from whom the jury will be chosen support the Democratic Party. In 2016, the people of New York County voted 87% for Hillary Clinton and 10% for Donald Trump, and in 2020, 87% for Joe Biden and 12% for Donald Trump. In other words, the jury pool is chosen from one of the most partisan jurisdictions in the country – a place where almost all the judges are Democrats as well. So the Democratic prosecutor elected in the second most Democratic county in the United States will try the former Republican president and current putative Republican Party presidential nominee before a Democrat-appointed judge and a jury drawn from a pool 87% of whom voted against him (and who are being asked if they watch Fox News or listen to talk radio in the screening process).One wonders if the law even matters. But let’s review the two statutes at issue to highlight what the law requires the prosecution to prove.

First, the prosecutor must prove that Trump violated the relevant statute, which requires a finding that he falsified business records with intent to defraud – that he “makes or causes a false entry in the business records of an enterprise.” By the way, falsifying business records in the second degree is a misdemeanor, not a felony. Moreover, New York’s statute of limitations requires that misdemeanor prosecutions be commenced within two years of the commission of the act, meaning that under the last provision, this case should never have been filed. Bragg elevated this misdemeanor into a felony by including New York Penal Law 175.10 in the indictment – falsifying business records in the first degree. That statute reads this way: “A person is guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree when he commits the crime of falsifying business records in the second degree, and when his intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.”

There are other obvious difficulties with this case beyond the credibility of the witnesses (a porn star who denied any affair numerous times and a disbarred lawyer convicted of perjury). For example, why does the entry in the check register or the general ledger matter at all? When would those entries, as opposed to the allegedly false invoices, be shown to anyone for any nefarious purpose? And were the entries even false? Was there any intent to fool someone to obtain something in making the entries – who was the target of the allegedly false entry in private books and records? If there’s no mark, no victim, then how could there be an “intent to defraud”? Defraud whom? And what is the other crime that the person making the book entry intended to commit or hide? If the other crime is not a New York crime but a federal crime, does every county prosecutor in the United States, including Alvin Bragg, have the jurisdiction to enforce an alleged federal crime indirectly through a state crime?

We shall see. The political nature of this trial is obvious, and unprecedented in the United States. Even with irrefutable DNA evidence that Bill Clinton committed perjury, the special prosecutor declined to press criminal charges against him. In America’s recent past, prosecutors tended to exhibit a modicum of restraint. Those days are apparently gone. I reviewed an interesting law review article of political show trials down through history, from the trial of Socrates in Athens to the famous show trials in the 1930s Stalinist Soviet Union, curious to see if I could find historical precedent for this trial. The closest precedent is probably Anne Boleyn’s trial for adultery in 1536. It was about sex, the trial was in a hostile jurisdiction controlled by her accuser, and the whole point of the exercise was to lop off the head of someone who stood in the way of the regime’s continuity. But that’s what Democrats have lusted for since Donald Trump first arrived on the scene, isn’t it? They made no secret of it.

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“..Ciaramella effectively helped cover up a scandal far worse than what Trump was impeached over..”

Ciaramella in the Loop of Biden-Ukraine Affairs Trump Wanted Probed (Sperry)

The ‘whistleblower’ who sparked Donald Trump’s first impeachment was deeply involved in the political maneuverings behind Biden-family business schemes in Ukraine that Trump wanted probed, newly obtained emails from former Vice President Joe Biden’s office reveal. In 2019, then-National Intelligence Council analyst Eric Ciaramella touched off a political firestorm when he anonymously accused Trump of linking military aid for Ukraine to a demand for an investigation into alleged Biden corruption in that country. But four years earlier, while working as a national security analyst attached to then-Vice President Joe Biden’s office, Ciaramella was a close adviser when Biden threatened to cut off U.S. aid to Ukraine unless it fired its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Ukraine-based Burisma Holdings. At the time, the corruption-riddled energy giant was paying Biden’s son Hunter millions of dollars.

Those payments – along with other evidence tying Joe Biden to his family’s business dealings – received little attention in 2019 as Ciaramella accused Trump of a corrupt quid pro quo. Neither did subsequent evidence indicating that Hunter Biden’s associates had identified Shokin as a “key target.” These matters are now part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Biden. “It now seems there was material evidence that would have been used at the impeachment trial [to exonerate Trump],” said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who has testified as an expert witness in the ongoing Biden impeachment inquiry. “Trump was alleging there was a conflict of interest with the Bidens, and the evidence could have challenged Biden’s account and established his son’s interest in the Shokin firing.” Ciaramella’s role – including high-level discussions with top Biden aides and Ukrainian prosecutors – is only now coming to light thanks to the recent release of White House emails and photos from the National Archives.

The emails show Ciaramella expressed shock – “Yikes” is what he wrote – at Biden’s move to withhold the $1 billion in aid from Kyiv, which represented a sudden shift in U.S. policy. They also show he was drawn into White House communications over how to control adverse publicity from Hunter taking a lucrative seat on Burisma’s board. Yet there is no evidence Ciaramella raised alarms about the questionable Biden business activities he witnessed firsthand, which is in sharp contrast to 2019. In that instance, he was galvanized into action after being told by White House colleague Alexander Vindman of an “improper” phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the call, Trump solicited Zelensky’s help in investigating Burisma and Hunter Biden’s role in the company.

Some former congressional investigators say Ciaramella effectively helped cover up a scandal far worse than what Trump was impeached over. What’s more, he failed to disclose that he had a potential conflict of interest stemming from his connection to the matter Trump asked Zelensky to probe when he lodged his complaint against Trump. RealClearInvestigations was the first to identify the then-33-year-old Ciaramella as the anonymous impeachment “whistleblower,” something major media continue to keep under tight wraps.

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X thread. News will keep coming in through the day.

Israeli Retaliatory Strike On Iran (Scott Ritter)

Reports of an Israeli retaliatory strike on Iran appear to be related to a very limited attack in the vicinity of the Iranian city of Isfahan on military targets not related to Iran’s nuclear program. The weapons used in this strike are unknown at this point, although Iran claims to have shot down at least three drones of an undetermined type. Israel has not taken public credit for the attack. Indeed, the only link to Israel comes from anonymous statements from sources claimed to be US officials.

While Iran has stated it would strike Israel with immediate and decisive force if Israel were to attack, the extremely limited and anonymous nature of this attack may provide Iran with the opportunity to dismiss this attack as nothing of consequence, thereby eliminating the necessity of an Iranian retaliation. The Iranian Foreign Minister had issued a statement about decisive retaliation at the UN which constitutes official declaratory policy on Iranian deterrence policy which may be deemed sufficient for the moment. If the action in Isfahan is the limit of the Israeli action, then this matter may be concluded.

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“..there should be no counting by the Israeli and US side on a divine miracle to keep Jerusalem’s lights burning..”

Which Side God Is On Now (Helmer)

Israel is rattled. It’s now up to Iran, leader of the Arab resistance and warfighting alliance – Hamas, Hezbollah, Ansar Allah (Houthis), and the Syrian and Iraqi groups – to demonstrate that they can stop the genocidal schemes of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), and the Jewish theocracy it enforces as a state; or failing that, to neutralize Israel’s capacities to fight a war of attrition over everything states must have – electricity, ports, money, firepower, defences. The Arab leadership understood this before the Iranians. In 1983 Saddam Hussein told a meeting of Iraqi Army generals: “Human nature represented by the heart of the families and sisters of the Iraqi martyrs in their own weeping and mourning will always be felt; but the Iraqis are better prepared than ever to deal with it. If it ever happens that the Iraqi people were in a conflict with their Israeli enemy, then the Iraqis would be able to withstand three years of fighting in a war. However, the Israelis cannot withstand one year of fighting in a war.”

Seven years later in 1990, Hussein was talking in Baghdad with Yasser Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organization: “[Arafat]: [Israel] has 240 nuclear warheads, 12 out of them for each Arab capital…[Hussein]: I say this and I am very calm and wearing a civil suit [everyone laughs]. But I say this so that we can get ready at this level.” Readiness at this level was not achieved by the Iraqis, or by Hussein himself. Hamas has demonstrated since last October that the Israelis are unready. Iran demonstrated this again last weekend, despite what Israel claims to have been a near-perfect interception rate: enough missiles got through to strategic targets to prove that with hypersonic speed, higher yield warheads, and better accuracy, the next round of Iranian missiles will be unstoppable. This prospect is what is rattling the Israelis now. As of today’s broadcast on Gorilla Radio and writing this, it is 3:30 on Thursday morning in Tehran: the Israeli attack which has been telegraphed through the British foreign minister, Baron Cameron, has not yet materialized.

When it happens – if it happens — the evidence to gather, before the scope of the Iranian response can be calculated, includes what types of targets were struck, military or civil; where the attack was launched from; what role US intelligence and military support played in execution of Israel’s operation; and what role Russia is playing in early warning, missile tracking, electronic countermeasures, and defence on the Iranian side. When the Iranian counterattack happens, if it happens, there should be no counting by the Israeli and US side on a divine miracle to keep Jerusalem’s lights burning. The last one of those, according to the religion of the Israeli state (and also of presidential candidate Donald Trump), was the Chanukah one. That was in 164 BC, when the Judaean rebels recaptured the Temple in Jerusalem from the Seleucid Greek army. In trying to relight the menorah they found they had only one container of oil — enough fuel for one candle for one day.

God was asked for resupply, so Prime Minister Netanyahu and General Gallant believe. He then delivered by stretching the one-day fuel stock to last for eight days – enough divine miracle time for the Judaeans to refine a new supply for themselves.

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“..special mechanisms have been used over the last few years to shield Israel from US human rights laws.”

Blinken Shelves Special Request To Probe Israeli War Crimes (Cradle)

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has failed to act on a State Department proposal to bar certain Israeli police and army units from receiving US funds over human rights abuses of Palestinians. Blinken has disregarded this despite the growing concern over Israeli army conduct in Gaza, according to current and former State Department officials. A special panel at the State Department made the proposal months ago. Recommendations for action against Israeli units were sent to Blinken in December but have “been sitting in his briefcase since then,” one official told ProPublica on 17 April. The Israeli rights abuses in question mainly took place in the occupied West Bank before Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October. They include the execution of Palestinians by Israeli border police, as well as torture and rape during interrogation.

“This process is one that demands a careful and full review … and the department undergoes a fact-specific investigation applying the same standards and procedures regardless of the country in question,” ProPublica cites a State Department spokesman as saying. “Blinken’s inaction has undermined Biden’s public criticism [of Israel], sending a message to the Israelis that the administration was not willing to take serious steps,” according to several officials at the department who have worked on Israeli relations. US President Joe Biden has publicly expressed frustration with the unprecedented number of Palestinian civilians killed in the Gaza Strip. However, US funds and arms continue to fuel the Israeli war effort, and no formal effort has been made to investigate the growing number of documented war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians in the strip. On Tuesday, the Washington Post published an in-depth investigation detailing Israel’s role in the killing of a six-year-old and her family who were trapped in a car in northern Gaza.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Washington will ask Tel Aviv “for further information” on the matter. The US has said it would look into several incidents, including late February’s Flour Massacre against dozens of starving and desperate aid seekers. Yet no US probe has been launched into the matter since an internal Israeli army investigation absolved Israel of blame, and Washington refused to condemn the killings. The Guardian reported in January, citing interviews and State Department documents, that “special mechanisms have been used over the last few years to shield Israel from US human rights laws.” The ProPublica report comes days after dozens of Palestinians detained by Israel in Gaza were released, with many giving testimonies of horrific treatment by Israeli forces, including humiliation and torture.

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“..many Americans still vote Democrat. When a people vote for their own-self destruction, it is clear that the country is finished..”

Texas Is Being Turned Into a Woke Democrat State (Paul Craig Roberts)

The Biden Regime is using federal money to bribe the Aggies, Texas A&M University, to come up with ways to advance “race-based hiring” in public schools. Possible you remember or have heard that Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement was about judging “people by their character and not the color of their skin.” Once perhaps, but it has been a long time since. For half a century skin color has had preference, if it is non-white, in university admissions, employment and promotion. Feminists latched onto the scheme and the female gender was also privileged. This is not to say that no blacks and no females are qualified for their position. Many of them are. It is to say that they are in their position despite their qualifications because they constitute a privileged category before the law, a total violation of the US Constitution and its 14th Amendment.

The emphasis on “diversity” has prevailed over the merit-based system into which I was born and grew up. Today merit is considered racist, a white supremacy tool. Many gifted student programs and high schools for the exceptional have been shut down because two few blacks are qualified, and small presence of blacks violates the sacredness of “diversity” and “equity.” A country whose education, employment and promotion is based on diversity and not on merit is a country that is failing, and most certainly America has long been a failing country. For example, we now have “diversity” appointments to prosecutorial offices such as prosecutors and attorney generals and as judges who have no understanding of law as a shield of the people, but who see it is a weapon to be used against disapproved parties. We see the total collapse of justice in America in the many examples of the Democrats’ Stalin show trials against President Trump and against the alleged “insurrectionists” who attended the Trump rally..

To the few remaining people of my generation it is astonishing that merit, which made America great and a ladder of upward mobility, has been officially cast aside for “diversity” in which advance is based on skin color, gender or self-proclaimed, non-biological gender. Have the people who have created this deplorable situation ever wondered how a non-merit based mediocre society can be a superpower, an unipolar, a hegemony whose exceptional and indispensable existence gives it right to hegemony over the world? China, the host of most of American manufacturing must wonder at the American Delusion. Russia, whose power and economy have been greatly elevated by the mindless American sanctions, must wonder if the USA even qualifies as an opponent. Even Iran no longer fears the US. If you are so unfortunate as to live in New York City or other blue cities, your home and your rental properties can be stolen from you by the Democrats’ massive and ongoing wave of immigrant-invaders who can occupy your property in your absence and occupy your rental property between leases and you cannot evict them.

Regardless of the reality in which they live, many Americans still vote Democrat. When a people vote for their own-self destruction, it is clear that the country is finished.

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“..it is first, last and only about a Cabinet official’s deliberate refusal to enforce laws as written..”

On The Mayorkas Impeachment (Denninger)

The Senate appears to have a rather odd view of the Executive — then again so does the House, and both are not only toxic they’re demonstrably false. Mayorkas is the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached in almost 150 years. House Republicans voted to impeach Mayorkas in February over his handling of the southern border by a narrow margin after failing to do so on their first try. Democrats have slammed the impeachment as a political stunt, saying that Republicans had no valid basis for the move and that policy disagreements are not a justification for the rarely used constitutional impeachment of a Cabinet official. The impeachment of Mayorkas has nothing to do with “policy disagreements”; it is first, last and only about a Cabinet official’s deliberate refusal to enforce laws as written, including 8 USC §1324.

That statute mandates felony criminal penalties carrying prison sentences for anyone who assists, harbors or transports illegal immigrants. Other sections of US law forbid the Federal Government and its agencies from “paroling” into the United States an illegal immigrant unless that have a facially-reasonable claim to asylum. There is no capacity in the law to permit DHS to do so simply because there are a lot of people illegally crossing. Policy is defined by legislation and thus has to pass both House and Senate and either be signed by the President or a veto must be overridden. It is absolutely true that different Administrations will have different policies but the Constitution is clear and each person in all three branches of Government takes an oath to uphold and enforce all of the laws and thus the means to express policy isn’t to ignore laws you don’t like but rather to work to change them through the legislative process.

If you can’t find agreement via that process then until you can the existing policy stands whether you agree with it or not and if you take an oath to enforce the law as written and you refuse to do so on a deliberate basis impeachment is the peaceful and appropriate action to remove you from said office. Neither the House or Senate acting alone can change policy, no matter which party controls said chamber. Only both, acting in concert, can do so. This is intentional in the design of our Republic; policy changes of significant importance to society are described in our laws, and it is both wildly unreasonable and destructive to civil order to change them on a whim when one person wins or loses an office, no matter the office.

The Senate’s Schumer led his caucus to toss the entire thing as “unconstitutional” on a part-line vote. Big shock, right? When you boil it down essentially everything wrong with this nation comes down to this same issue: Various politicians and paid employees of the government simply ignore any law they disagree with either in its entirety or as applies to some favored group while using it as a cudgel against anyone they dislike. Our national foundation rests on that never being tolerated by anyone, anywhere and for any reason.

I fully understand that these policy matters have serious and vehemently-expressed opinions on all sides. That’s a good thing: Freedom of expression is in fact also a foundation of America. But no public official is empowered to take that disagreement and turn it into a malicious abuse of existing law whether by intentional omission or weaponization against disfavored persons or those who hold a different point of view. Down that road lies a line that cannot be foreseen in advance in that the people may, at some point, determine that the strictures of polite society no longer apply to them by that very example set by our officials. You do not want this; it is precisely through that road that essentially every civil conflict and social destruction has occurred and if you believe you’ll be immune to it if it happens, no matter how wealthy or poor you might be, you’re wrong.

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“..lawyers for Lloyd’s and Arch suggest that even if they were required to pay up, anti-Russian sanctions would leave their hands tied..”

UK Insurers Won’t Pay Nord Stream Because Blasts Were ‘Government’ Backed (GZ)

The legal team representing high-powered insurers Lloyd’s and Arch says that since the Nord Stream explosions were “more likely than not to have been inflicted by… a government,” they have no responsibility to pay for damages to the pipelines. To succeed with that defense, the companies will presumably be compelled to prove, in court, who carried out those attacks. ritish insurers are arguing that they have no obligation to honor their coverage of the Nord Stream pipelines, which were blown up in September 2022, because the unprecedented act of industrial sabotage was likely carried out by a national government. The insurers’ filing contradicts reports the Washington Post and other legacy media publications asserting that a private Ukrainian team was responsible for the massive act of industrial sabotage.

A legal brief filed on behalf of UK-based firms Lloyd’s Insurance Company and Arch Insurance states that the “defendants will rely on, inter alia, the fact that the explosion Damage could only have (or, at least, was more likely than not to have) been inflicted by or under the order of a government.” As a result, they argue, “the Explosion Damage was “directly or indirectly occasioned by, happening through, or in consequence of” the conflict between Russia and Ukraine” and falls under an exclusion relating to military conflicts. The brief comes a month after Switzerland-based Nord Stream AG filed a lawsuit against the insurers for their refusal to compensate the company. Nord Stream, which estimated the cost incurred by the attack at between €1.2 billion and €1.35 billion, is seeking to recoup over €400 million in damages. Swedish engineer Erik Andersson, who led the first private investigative expedition to the blast sites of the Nord Stream pipelines, describes the insurers’ legal strategy as a desperate attempt to find an excuse to avoid honoring their indemnity obligations.

“If it’s an act of war and ordered by a government, that’s the only way they can escape their responsibility to pay,” Andersson told The Grayzone. Following a report by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh which alleged that the US government was responsible for the Nord Stream explosion, Western governments quickly spun out a narrative placing blame on a team of rogue Ukrainian operatives. Given the lack of conclusive evidence, however, proving that the explosions were “inflicted by or under the order of a government” would be a major challenge for defense lawyers. Even if the plaintiffs in the case are able to wrest back the funds in court, they are likely to face other serious hurdles. Later in the brief, lawyers for Lloyd’s and Arch suggest that even if they were required to pay up, anti-Russian sanctions would leave their hands tied.

“In the event that the Defendants are found to be liable to pay an indemnity and/or damages to the Claimant,” the brief states, “the Defendants reserve their position as to whether any such payment would be prohibited by any applicable economic sanctions that may be in force at the time any such payment is required to be made.” After they were threatened with sanctions by the US government, in 2021 Lloyd’s and Arch both withdrew from their agreement to cover damages to the second of the pipelines, Nord Stream 2. But though they remain on the hook for damages to the first line, the language used by the insurers’ lawyers seems to be alluding to a possible future sanctions package that would release them from their financial obligations. “Nord Stream 1 was not affected by those sanctions, but apparently sanctions might work retroactively to the benefit of insurers,” observes Andersson.

The plaintiffs may face an uphill battle at the British High Court in London, the city where Lloyd’s has been headquartered since its creation in 1689. As former State Department cybersecurity official Mike Benz observed, “Lloyd’s of London is the prize of the London banking establishment,” and “London is the driving force behind the transatlantic side of the Blob’s “Seize Eurasia” designs on Russia.”

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“..hardline Republicans may force a vote on the motion to vacate shortly before the aid bills for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan hit the House floor..”

Aid to Ukraine May Deep-Six Another House Speaker (Sp.)

Despite his repeated pledges to bring foreign aid bills to the House floor only when a solution to the border crisis is found, Speaker Johnson unveiled three separate funding packages, namely $26 billion for Israel, $61 billion for Ukraine, and $8 billion for Taiwan and allies in Indo-Pacific, at the time when the US southern frontier still remains wide open. “Republican speaker Mike Johnson went into that secured room with a bunch of guys in gray suits from the deep state, and he came out of that room after the meeting as Uniparty speaker Mike Johnson and no longer a Republican,” Michael Shannon, a political commentator and Newsmax columnist, told Sputnik. “That’s the only explanation for it that makes sense, because he’s completely turned around, and now he’s on the Washington agenda of the Uniparty and no longer listens to or tries to do what the base wants,” the commentator continued. “That’s what’s happening here. Once they get into a position of leadership, they abandon the base,” he maintained.

Shannon explained that Ukraine is obviously not on the GOP’s base priority list right now, given that Republican voters are much more concerned about the influx of illegals into the US, inflation, and budget deficit spending. A recent YouGov survey indicated that 61% of Republicans don’t approve of sending more weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine. Among them, 69% of self-identified MAGA Republicans and 55% of non-MAGA Republicans said they don’t want to send more military aid to the Kiev regime. A group of House conservatives confronted Mike Johnson on Thursday, namely, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) advocating the motion to vacate in order to sack the incumbent speaker in the same way they ousted his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy. Massie told journalists that there would be more Republican votes to remove Speaker Johnson than there were to boot out McCarthy last October.

“If I had my wish, MTG’s motion to vacate the speakership, which I believe Representative Chip Roy from Texas also supports, would be successful, and the speaker’s chair would be vacated, and it would stay vacated until after the election,” said Shannon. “It’s obvious we can’t pass any conservative legislation with this House and this Senate. So not passing any bad legislation as far as I’m concerned, and as Daniel Horowitz of the Conservative Review mentioned, is probably the most viable alternative. That being said, I don’t know if MTG has the votes to vacate the speakership. I think we’ll just have to see how that develops.” According to Axios, hardline Republicans may force a vote on the motion to vacate shortly before the aid bills for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan hit the House floor.

Some Democrats, who hailed Johnson’s maneuver regarding the Ukraine aid bill, said they would help the speaker save his job. For his part, Johnson said he would not resign and branded the effort to oust him as “absurd”. However, the timing is crucial, a senior House Democrat said, as quoted by the media outlet: the Dems are much more likely to “save” Johnson after the aid bills are passed, not before that. Massie warned Johnson against relying on Democrats, stressing that the speaker would become “toxic to the conference.” “For every Democrat who comes to his aid, he’ll lose 2-3 more Republicans,” the congressman said, as quoted by NBC News’ Sahil Kapur.

Massie

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Petulant child.

Zelensky Blames EU For Russian Advance (RT)

A shortage of Western arms supplies and unkept promises by EU members have allowed Russia to advance on the battlefield, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told senior European officials on Wednesday. Zelensky made the claims during a video conference address to national leaders and senior members of the EU bureaucracy, who have convened for a two-day summit in Brussels. The Ukrainian leader reiterated that his country needs more Western material and financial assistance to continue its armed conflict with Russia. “Now the Russian army feels its strength in almost everything related to the armed component. And it is precisely because of this strength – in artillery, in equipment, in the ability to operate in the sky – that they are putting pressure on us at the front and are gradually moving,” he said.

Although he thanked Kiev’s donors for their aid, Zelensky also complained of unfulfilled promises. “Unfortunately, we have not yet seen a million artillery shells from the European Union that were discussed so much. Also, some other initiatives have not yet been fully implemented, and this is primarily reflected in what our soldiers can use at the front,” he stated. Russian President Vladimir Putin believes “he will succeed in his counteroffensive,” Zelensky claimed, adding that “the only root of this hope is the shortage of weapons among our soldiers.” In addition to offensive systems, Kiev wants more Western air defenses to protect its industrial base, as well as investment and technology to launch domestic arms production. It also requires electricity to compensate for the destruction of power facilities destroyed by Russian precision strikes, and according to Zelensky needs “energy of spirit” in the form of accelerated accession to the EU.

“We need the European Union to deliver what it had promised, and our people need to see Ukraine moving closer to full membership,” Zelensky insisted, urging Brussels to progress to the next phase of talks in June. Analysis published by Politico on Wednesday cited the refusal of Ukrainians to enroll into the military as a major problem for Kiev. EU statistics body Eurostat estimates the number of fighting age Ukrainian men living in member states at some 650,000. Most of them arranged to be smuggled across the border, the outlet said. This week, Zelensky signed into law a bill that makes it easier for conscription officials to issue summonses and imposes harsh punishments for avoiding the draft.

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“..breaking the international order that you want to protect; that you would want Russia to respect..”

ECB Fires Back At Plans To Seize Russian Assets (RT)

US-backed proposals to seize frozen Russian assets could undermine the international order, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde has cautioned. Her comments came during a meeting in Washington on Wednesday, where the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors were discussing the issue of using the immobilized assets of the Russian central bank to support Ukraine. In a joint statement, the finance ministers and regulators said they would continue working on “all possible avenues” to make use of Russian sovereign assets, according to Reuters. The push to seize Moscow’s money has been led by the US and has caused a rift among the G7 and the EU political elite. Washington and its allies have blocked some $300 billion of Russian central bank assets due to sanctions adopted in response to the launch of Moscow’s special military operation against Kiev in February 2022.

Around $200 billion of that money is held in the EU. The US has been insisting for months that international law allows for the confiscation of the funds, but Germany and France have expressed concerns that such a move could set a dangerous precedent. ”I have seen four different schemes or proposals to circumvent what many other jurists or lawyers… regard as a very serious legal obstacle that can be construed as a violation of the legal international order,” Lagarde, a former lawyer, said, as quoted by the Financial Times. Moving from freezing the assets to confiscating them could entail “breaking the international order that you want to protect; that you would want Russia to respect,” she added. During the meeting in Washington, a senior US Treasury official outlined the options the finance ministers were “doing technical work” on.

”One of them is seizure, but another is collateralizing, or even using the windfall profits or the interest from these assets to fund a loan,” Deputy US Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said, as quoted by Reuters. The outlet reported earlier that the US and its allies were considering using the interest due on the frozen Russian assets as collateral for loans or bonds issued to help Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly said that the seizure of its funds would amount to theft and would further undermine global trust in the Western financial system. Russia has also warned that if necessary, it might respond in kind to such a move by the US and its allies.

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The mess gets bigger by the day. We need Liz Cheney under oath.

Top Military Official Lied About Jan. 6: Whistleblowers (ET)

The secretary of the Army on Jan. 6, 2021, lied about multiple details regarding what unfolded as the U.S. Capitol was breached, National Guard whistleblowers said during a congressional hearing on April 17. Then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy made multiple false claims, including that he spoke to the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard on two separate occasions after officials requested that the Guard be deployed to the Capitol, the whistleblowers said. After Maj. Gen. William Walker conveyed a request from the U.S. Capitol Police for Guard personnel, Mr. McCarthy called Maj. Gen. Walker at 2:14 p.m. and instructed the Guard to stand by, according to a Guard timeline of Jan. 6, 2021. But that call and others that Mr. McCarthy or one of his top advisers were said to have made later authorizing the Guard for mobilization and deployment did not happen, according to the Guard officials.

“At no time did Gen. Walker take any calls, nor did we ever hear from the secretary on any of the ongoing conference calls or the secure video teleconferencing throughout the day,” Capt. Timothy Nick, who served as Maj. Gen. Walker’s personal assistant on Jan. 6, 2021, said during the hearing. “This I know because I was with the command general the entire time recording the events.” Capt. Nick has not previously discussed publicly what transpired on Jan. 6, 2021, and neither has Brig. Gen. Aaron Dean, who was the National Guard’s adjutant general on the day that the Capitol was breached. The Department of Defense (DOD) inspector general report on Jan. 6, 2021, which relied heavily on Mr. McCarthy and other military officials, was rife with “inaccuracies,” Brig. Gen. Dean said. “I believe it is my duty and moral obligation to stand before you today and illuminate the truth,” he told the hearing, which was held by the House Administration Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight.

Despite Mr. Walker conveying the request for assistance at about 1:50 p.m., the Guard was not deployed to the Capitol until about 5:10 p.m. “This was a dereliction of duty by the secretary of the Army,” Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.), one of the members of the committee, said. Mr. McCarthy refused to appear before the panel, Dr. Murphy said. Christopher Miller, the acting secretary of defense at the time, authorized Guard deployment at 3:11 p.m., but Mr. McCarthy took the order and decided to draw up a plan before ordering the deployment, according to military timelines and testimony from Mr. McCarthy and others. “You never would employ our personnel, whether it’s on an American street or a foreign street, without putting together a [plan],” Mr. McCarthy told the now-disbanded House Jan. 6 committee.

The whistleblowers also testified that Army officials Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt and Gen. Charles Flynn, during a 2:30 p.m. conference call on Jan. 6, 2021, expressed concern about the optics of having the Guard at the Capitol. “I did hear the word optics. And they did use it. Specifically, Gen. Piatt said ‘optics.’ And his concern was that he did not want soldiers or airmen on Capitol grounds, with the Capitol in the background,” Brig. Gen. Dean said. “They were giving every other reason why we should be around the Capitol, away from the Capitol, and not responding to the Capitol.”

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“..von der Leyen has conceded that there is no proof of a Russian bribery network. “They have carried [Putin’s] propaganda into our societies,” she said. “Whether they have taken bribes for it or not.”

Desperation Behind European Politicians’ Latest Russiagate Hoax (Public)

European politicians claimed late last month that Russia bribed European politicians to spread disinformation and interfere in the upcoming June elections. “Russian influence scandal rocks EU,” screamed a March 30 Politico headline. Russia “is using dodgy outlets pretending to be media [and] using money to buy covert influence,” claimed European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova. The BBC agreed: “Russian network that ‘paid European politicians’ busted, authorities claim.” Heads of state hyped the alleged scandal. “We uncovered a pro-Russian network,” claimed Petr Fiala, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, “that was developing an operation to spread Russian influence and undermine security across Europe.” Poland’s intelligence agency said it had conducted searches in the Warsaw and Tychy regions and seized €48,500 (£41,500) and $36,000 (£28,500).

However, following an investigation by Public, the head of the Czech Intelligence Agency (BIS), Michal Koudelka on Monday admitted that his agency has no information about any bribery scheme. “I cannot confirm anything,” he said. It’s true that Russia’s media influence in Europe intensified considerably during the Covid-19 pandemic. At that time, a number of marginalized voices found space on the German broadcasts of the Kremlin’s propaganda television, Russia Today, which the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, promptly shut down in 2022. But von der Leyen has conceded that there is no proof of a Russian bribery network. “They have carried [Putin’s] propaganda into our societies,” she said. “Whether they have taken bribes for it or not.” Public asked von der Leyen what evidence she has for her allegations. What was the misconduct or illegal activity if there were no bribes? Von der Leyen did not respond to Public’s requests for comment.

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“..one of the things that the British courts don’t understand is the U.S. doctrine of separation of powers..”

US Issues Assurances on Assange (Lauria)

The United States Embassy on Tuesday filed two assurances with the British Foreign Office saying it would not seek the death penalty against imprisoned WikiLeaks‘ publisher Julian Assange and would allow Assange “the ability to raise and seek to reply upon at trial … the rights and protections given under the First Amendment,” according to the U.S. diplomatic note. Assange’s wife Stella Assange said the note “makes no undertaking to withdraw the prosecution’s previous assertion that Julian has no First Amendment rights because he is not a U.S citizen. Instead,” she said, “the US has limited itself to blatant weasel words claiming that Julian can ‘seek to raise’ the First Amendment if extradited.” The note contains a hollow statement, namely, that Assange can try to raise the First Amendment at trial (and at sentencing), but the U.S. Department of Justice can’t guarantee he would get those rights, which is precisely what it must do under British extradition law based on the European Convention on Human Rights.

The U.S. Department of Justice is legally restricted to assure a free speech guarantee to Assange equivalent to Article 10 of the European Convention, which the British court is bound to follow. But without that assurance, Assange should be freed according to a British Crown Prosecution Service comment on extraditions. In USAID v. Alliance for Open Society, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that non-U.S. citizens outside the U.S. don’t possess constitutional rights. Both former C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo and Gordon Kromberg, Assange’s U.S. prosecutor, have said Assange does not have First Amendment protection. Because of the separation of powers in the United States, the executive branch’s Justice Department can’t guarantee to the British courts what the U.S. judicial branch decides about the rights of a non-U.S. citizen in court, said Marjorie Cohn, law professor and former president of the National Lawyers’ Guild.

“Let’s assume that … the Biden administration, does give assurances that he would be able to raise the First Amendment and that the [High] Court found that those were significant assurances,” Cohn told Consortium News‘ webcast CN Live! last month. “That really doesn’t mean anything, because one of the things that the British courts don’t understand is the U.S. doctrine of separation of powers,” she said. “The prosecutors can give all the assurances they want, but the judiciary, another [one] .. of these three branches of government in the U.S., doesn’t have to abide by the executive branch claim or assurance,” Cohn said. In other words, whether Assange can rely on the First Amendment in his defense in a U.S. court is up to that court not Kromberg or the Department of Justice, which issued the assurance on Tuesday. “The United States has issued a non-assurance in relation to the First Amendment,” said Stella Assange.

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Japan

 

 

Huajiang
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780929621610955001

 

 

Emperors

 

 

Family
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780913695993852363

 

 

Parrots

 

 

Hedgehogs

 

 

Tiger

 

 

Bald Eagle Walking

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 182024
 


John French Sloan A Woman’s Work 1912

 

Prosecutors, Judges, Media Interfering in the November Election (PCR)
Iran’s ‘New Equation’ Reaches Way Beyond West Asia (Pepe Escobar)
Iran’s Attack On Israel Signaled A Major Change In The Region (Ibragimov)
Could the Russians Seize Congress? (Patrick Lawrence)
White House Says It Opposes Standalone Israel Military Aid Bill (Antiwar)
Rep. Massie Joins MTG In Calling For Speaker Johnson’s Ouster (ZH)
Rand Paul Drops COVID Bombshell: “We Have 15,000 Samples In Wuhan” (ZH)
Tesla Asks Shareholders To Approve Musk’s $56 Billion Comp… Again (ZH)
NPR Editor Resigns After Suspension for Exposing Bias and Intolerance (Turley)
EU Leadership Must Go – Orban (RT)
FBI Wanted Telegram Backdoor to Spy on Users – Founder (Sp.)
Apple and Google More Dangerous Than Governments – Telegram Founder (RT)
NSA ’Just Days From Taking Over The Internet’ – Edward Snowden (Mitchelhill)
The Great Dispossession Part 2 (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Great Dispossession Part 3 (Paul Craig Roberts)
Driving America into a Brick Wall – Bill Holter (USAW)
IMF Lambasts US Over Ballooning Debt (RT)

 

 

Seems a bit extreme.

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Barron

 

 

Watters jury
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780401543004426659

 

 

Tucker CIA

 

 

Talking about testosterone…

 

 

Boeing

 

 

Macgregor: “The United States has not commit to attacking Iran. This is unacceptable to Netanyahu, and he will work to alter Washington’s position.

Under the circumstances, Washington should expect Israel to employ whatever military power is at its disposal, including nuclear weapons, to destroy Iran’s strategic power.

Destroying Iran’s underground nuclear facilities has been a goal for a very long time. Both parties must realize Moscow will not tolerate a devastating attack on Iran.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“They create felonies out of thin air by stretching the interpretation of law beyond its meaning..”

“.. that their country has been stolen from them and that the ruling elite are not going to permit Trump to give it back to them..”

Prosecutors, Judges, Media Interfering in the November Election (PCR)

From the beginning it has been completely clear that the criminal and civil indictments of Trump have the purposes of using up his energy, money, and time so that he cannot campaign and of discrediting him with the insouciant part of the population that is stupid enough to have faith in the “justice system.” The trials themselves and the words of the prosecutors and judges prove it. The black Democrat New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, put into office by anti-Trump billionaire George Soros, who Elon Musk says hates humanity (which means gentiles), has concocted a criminal case against President Trump for “falsifying business documents” that legal scholars dispute. Apparently, Bragg cares not a whit about his reputation, only about preventing Trump from campaigning. Bragg contends that Trump should have reported his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels as a campaign contribution to himself and not as legal fees. But, of course, it would have been one of Trump’s lawyers or CPA who filled in the form.

A person of Trump’s wealth leaves such decisions to professionals and does not himself navigate complicated and risky forms. Regardless, there is nothing illegal whatsoever in making extortion or bribery payments to a porn star so that she doesn’t make harmful accusations. It is a much cheaper solution than suing for slander. You should understand that there is nothing illegal about Trump’s payment to the porn star. The payment is perfectly legal. Trump is not charged with making an illegal payment. He is charged with reporting it differently than a black quota hire, clearly incompetent, George Soros DA alleges Trump should have reported it. The whore media has not made this clear to the public. Instead the presstitutes have planted the idea that it is the payment that is the criminal action.

In law the charges against Trump are misdemeanors, not crimes. Trump’s black enemy has in an unspecified way elevated the charges to a felony. Increasingly prosecutors do this. They create felonies out of thin air by stretching the interpretation of law beyond its meaning. Prosecutors know that by the time a wrongly convicted defendant reaches the point that he can appeal the wrongful conviction to a higher court he will have run out of money and energy and will make a plea to a lessor charge. In Trump’s case, the black DA knows that given the slowness of the system Trump will be in court for years appealing wrongful decisions. As corrupt prosecutors suffer no punishment for their crimes against defendants, there is no barrier to their legal abuse of law–particularly when they are in court with a biased judge and have a biased jury. This first of 4 criminal trials began yesterday. Estimates are that the show trial will keep Trump in court for four days a week for the next six or more weeks. Clearly this is election interference and nothing else.

The other criminal trials are in various stages of disrepair. Fani Willis, the black Democrat Atlanta DA who has brought RICO charges against Trump and his attorneys is in trouble herself for paying her lover $700,000 of taxpayers’ money and using the money for vacations. She apparently is another George Soros plant and is shielded by the Democrat machine. She has had to remove her lover from Trump’s case, but is unlikely to suffer any consequences other than embarrassment. A New York civil case orchestrated by a black Democrat attorney general and a Trump-hating Democrat judge confiscated Trump’s NY real estate empire. In order to delay the confiscation until his higher court appeal is decided, the two required Trump to post a $500 million payment that would have depleted his cash for his political campaign. The payment was seen as a form of extortion, and the corrupt AG and judge had to reduce it to $175 million.

Clearly, these are not normal trials or normal charges. The law schools, bar associations, Congress and the whore media don’t even raise questions about the show trials that clearly constitute election interference. As I have said many times, the system will not permit Trump’s return to office. Americans need to understand that their country has been stolen from them and that the ruling elite are not going to permit Trump to give it back to them.

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“Netanyahu is influenced by his [fundamentalist] political partners to go into an escalation so he can hold onto power and accelerate the coming of the Messiah.”

Iran’s ‘New Equation’ Reaches Way Beyond West Asia (Pepe Escobar)

A Holy of the Holies was shattered in the Holy Land as Iran staged a quite measured, heavily choreographed response to the Israeli terror attack against its consulate/ambassador residence in Damascus, a de facto evisceration of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic immunity.This game-changer will directly interfere on how the Anglo-American system manages its simultaneous conflagration with Russia, China and Iran – three top BRICS members. The key problem is escalations are already built in – and will be hard to remove. The Total Cancel War against Russia; the genocide in Gaza – with its explicit policy masterfully decoded by Prof. Michael Hudson; and the decoupling/shaping the terrain against China won’t simply vanish – as all communication bridges with the Global Majority keep being torched.Yet the Iranian message indeed establishes a “New Equation” – as Tehran christened it, and prefigures many other surprises to come from West Asia.

Iran wanted to – and did send – a clear message. New equation: if the biblical psychopathic entity keeps attacking Iranian interests, from henceforth it will be counter-attacked inside Israel. All that in a matter of “seconds” – as the Security Council in Tehran has already cleared all the procedures. Escalation though seems inevitable. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak: “Netanyahu is influenced by his [fundamentalist] political partners to go into an escalation so he can hold onto power and accelerate the coming of the Messiah.” Compare it to Iranian President Raisi: “The smallest act against Tehran’s interests will be met with a massive, extensive, and painful response against all its operations.” For Tehran, regulating the intensity of the clash in West Asia between Israel and the Axis of Resistance while simultaneously establishing strategic deterrence to replace “strategic patience” was a matter of launching a triple wave: a drone swarm opening the path for cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

The performance of the much-vaunted Iron Dome, Arrow-3 and David’s Sling – aided by F-35 fighter jets and the US and the UK naval force – was not exactly stellar. There’s no video of the “outer-layer” Arrow-3 system shooting down anything in space. At least 9 ballistic missiles penetrated the dense Israeli defense network and hit the Nevatim and Ramon bases. Israel is absolutely mum on the fate of its Golan Heights intel installation – hit by cruise missiles. Amidst classic fog of war, it’s irrelevant whether Tehran launched hundreds or dozens of drones and missiles. Regardless of NATOstan media hype, what’s proven beyond the shadow of a doubt is that the supposedly “invincible” Israeli defense maze – ranging from US-made AD/ABM systems to Israeli knockoffs – is helpless in real war against a technologically advanced adversary.

What was accomplished by a single operation did raise quite a few professional eyebrows. Iran forced Israel to furiously deplete its stock of interceptors and spend at least $1.35 billion – while having its escalatory dominance and deterrence strategy completely shattered. The psychological blow was even fiercer. What if Iran had unleashed a series of strikes without a generous previous warning lasting several days? What if US, UK, France and – traitorous – Jordan were not ready for coordinated defense? (The – startling – fact they were all directly dispensing firepower on Tel Aviv’s behalf was not analyzed at all). What if Iran had hit serious industrial and infrastructural targets?

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“..if Iran joins Russia and China and, as part of this troika, becomes an actor in the great world politics, the Middle East will face some big changes..”

Iran’s Attack On Israel Signaled A Major Change In The Region (Ibragimov)

[..] the most intriguing question now is how the countries of the region, namely the Arab world, will react to Iran’s actions – after all, the attitude towards modern Tehran is quite mixed. Iran has been able to bolster its hand by using proxy organizations, which are now moving against Israel to defend the interests of Palestine. Judging by their neutral reactions – and quite unsurprisingly, in fact – none of the Arab leaders is interested in a strong Iran. They are interested in Iran existing as a moderate state allied with the West, with which they themselves cooperate. However, if Iran joins Russia and China and, as part of this troika, becomes an actor in the great world politics, the Middle East will face some big changes.

Despite the IRGC’s counterattacks, Iran continues to maintain its position that nobody needs a war, and it’s not interested in one by any means. As for its strikes so far, Iran considers them quite successful; they succeeded in making a point and delivering ‘a clear message’ to the entire West that Tehran is no longer confining itself to verbal statements and that, in general, things are going to get very real. Furthermore, any potential response from Israel will now justify similar operations by Iran, which may become harsher and harsher every time. Besides, the moral victory also belongs to Iran. Tehran had held the situation in suspense all along, and the world witnessed strikes on military bases in the north of Israel and saw them take damage. Iran’s strike, albeit a token one, has happened. The Islamic Republic is beginning to act like the flagship power in the region.

In this case, Israel hardly needs a direct war with the Islamic Republic, especially with the Hamas issue not settled yet, Gaza still not demilitarized, hostages yet to be rescued, and Western allies offering nothing in terms of support but nice statements and condemnations. In the meanwhile, there are rather serious reasons to believe that Israel may not be able to keep its temper and strike, just for self-consolation. Expecting a response strike from Iran, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said, several days prior to the counterattack, that if Iran strikes from its territory, then Israel will attack in response. That means the Israelis could go further and continue their attacks. Yes, Netanyahu has changed his tone somewhat and tries to show now that he doesn’t want a big war. He, however, may be under pressure from the security wing, members of which yearn for revenge and want to blow off steam on Iran, which they think created the situation Israel has been in since October 7, 2023. If Israel does strike back, attacking Iranian territories and killing people, the situation will spin out of control and there will be no stopping the Iranians.

The goal of Iran’s counterattack against Israel was not to unleash a big war. This action can be seen differently: as a PR effort, a propaganda schtick, or muscle-flexing. Some may say that Iran failed to retaliate fully, as its attack didn’t achieve anything equal to the two generals and 11 diplomats that Israel’s strike had killed. The message of the counterstrike, however, was not only to take revenge for Iran’s dead. Tehran deliberately didn’t strike targets in major Israeli cities. Its strikes on Israel were limited, mostly targeting the occupied Golani Heights, which legally belong to Syria, and military installations in Negev desert, in order to avoid escalation and prevent further provocations on Israel’s part. Besides, Iran has proved that it can penetrate Israel’s air defenses and that Israel is not that well protected.

Therefore, Iran’s goal was to change the rules of the game in the region and, by and large, it succeeded. Tehran’s counterattack put paid to any talk of Iran not putting its money where its mouth is and brought the conflict between the two countries to a whole new level. This half-measure cannot be seen as a defeat, but it’s not exactly a victory either. Besides, Israel is not going to sit idle. The Jewish state will start reviewing its actions and correcting mistakes; after all, matters of its own security are the utmost priority for Israel.

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“These people that read various conspiracy-theory outlets that are just not accurate, and they actually model Russian propaganda.”

Could the Russians Seize Congress? (Patrick Lawrence)

The Russians are coming — or coming back, better put. As the November elections draw near, let us brace for another barrage of preposterous propaganda to the effect Russians are poisoning our minds with “disinformation,” “false narratives,” and all the other misnomers deployed when facts contradict liberal authoritarian orthodoxies. We had a rich taste of this new round of lies and innuendo in late January, when Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who served as House speaker for far too long, asserted that the F.B.I. should investigate demonstrators demanding a ceasefire in Gaza for their ties, yes indeedy, to the Kremlin. Here is Pelosi on CNN’s State of the Union program Jan. 28: “For them to call for a cease-fire is Mr. Putin’s message. Make no mistake, this is directly connected to what he would like to see. Same thing with Ukraine…. I think some financing should be investigated. And I want to ask the F.B.I. to investigate that.”

O.K., we have the template: If you say something that coincides with the Russian position, you will be accused of hiding your “ties to Russia,” as the common phrase has it. Be careful not to mention some spring day that the sky is pleasantly blue: I am here to warn you—“make no mistake” — this is exactly what “Putin,” now stripped of a first name and a title, “would like to see.” There is invariably an ulterior point when those in power try on tomfoolery of this kind. In each case they have something they need to explain away. In 2016, it was Hillary Clinton’s defeat at the polls, so we suffered four years of Russiagate. Pelosi felt called upon to discredit those objecting to the Israeli–U.S. genocide in Gaza. Now we have a new ruse. Desperate to get Congress to authorize $60.1 billion in new aid to Ukraine, Capitol Hill warmongers charge that those objecting to this bad-money-after-bad allocation are… do I have to finish the sentence?

Two weeks ago Michael McCaul, a Republican representative who wants to see the long-blocked aid bill passed, asserted in an interview with Puck News that Russian propaganda has “infected a good chunk of my party’s base.” Here is the stupid-sounding congressman from Texas, as quoted in The Washington Post, elaborating on our now-familiar theme: “There are some more nighttime entertainment shows that seem to spin, like, I see the Russian propaganda in some of it — and it’s almost identical on our airwaves. These people that read various conspiracy-theory outlets that are just not accurate, and they actually model Russian propaganda.” I read in the Post that McCaul’s staff abruptly cut short the interview when Julia Ioffe, a professional Russophobe who has bounced around from one publication to another for years, asked him to name a few names.

So was this latest ball of baloney set in motion. A week after McCaul’s Puck News interview, Michael Turner, an Ohio Republican who, as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, swings a bigger stick, escalated matters when, reacting to McCaul’s statements, reported that this grave Russian penetration was evident in the upper reaches of the American government, as again reported in The Washington Post: “Oh, it is absolutely true. We see directly coming from Russia attempts to mask communications that are anti–Ukraine and pro–Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor.” Masked communications uttered on the House floor: Hold the thought, as I will shortly return to it.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson is about to get ousted. It’s all RINOs all the way down.

White House Says It Opposes Standalone Israel Military Aid Bill (Antiwar)

The White House said on Monday that it opposes the idea of a bill that would give additional military aid to Israel without funding Ukraine and Taiwan. “We are opposed to a standalone bill that would just work on Israel, as we’ve seen proposed. We would oppose a standalone bill, yes,” said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. Kirby’s comments came a day after House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said he would work on getting more military aid to Israel this week in the wake of Iran’s attack on Israeli territory, which came in retaliation for the bombing of Iran’s consulate in Damascus. Later on Monday, AP reported that Johnson told fellow GOP lawmakers that he plans to bring the package to the floor this week but will hold separate votes on funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Back in February, the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign military aid bill that included $60 billion for the proxy war in Ukraine, $14 billion to support the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians, and a few billion for Taiwan and other spending in the Asia Pacific region. While Johnson wants to hold separate votes, his plan is expected to send about the same amount of money to each country, and each measure will likely pass. He has been under increasing pressure from the White House and congressional hawks in both parties to bring the $95 billion bill to the floor for a vote. “Time is not on anyone’s side here in either case, so they need to move quickly on this,” Kirby said. “And the best way to get that aid into the hands of the IDF and into the hands of the Ukrainian soldiers is to pass that bipartisan bill that the Senate passed.”

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And Rand Paul.

Rep. Massie Joins MTG In Calling For Speaker Johnson’s Ouster (ZH)

Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie on Tuesday became the second representative to call for an end to Mike Johnson’s reign as Speaker of the House, joining Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene. He delivered that news directly to Johnson in a closed-door Republican conference meeting, telling the Louisianan “you’re not going to be the speaker much longer,” two representatives told Politico. Massie has criticized Johnson for backing aid packages for Ukraine and Israel, kick-the-can spending bills and the extension of warrantless NSA spying via the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — while failing to bolster border security. In March, Greene — incensed at Johnson for collaborating with Democrats to push through a $1.2 trillion spending package over the objection of conservatives seeking spending cuts — filed a motion to “vacate the chair,” which would initiate a vote by House members on whether to fire Johnson from the job of speaker.

It’s unclear when Greene, Massie or someone else will call for a vote on the motion. Greene has said that she wants to allow time “for us to go through the process, take our time and find a new speaker of the House that will stand with Republicans and our Republican majority instead of standing with the Democrats.” She’s also expressed wariness over risking the GOP’s razor-thin House majority — which has withered in recent weeks as multiple Republicans announced they’re leaving Congress before finishing their terms. Massie says it’s only a matter of time before the House votes on Greene’s motion to vacate. “The motion is going to get called, OK? Does anybody doubt that? The motion will get called,” Massie told reporters after Tuesday’s meeting. “And then he’s gonna lose more votes than Kevin McCarthy. And I have told him this in private, like weeks ago.” Johnson’s predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, was himself dethroned in October via a motion to vacate the chair.

While Massie and Greene are far from alone in their disappointment in Johnson, many of their disgruntled colleagues are wary of a scenario in which Johnson is ousted and the House spends days or weeks struggling to settle on a successor. “We saw what happened last fall when this all went down — there’s not an alternative…You are not going to get a majority of votes for any new person,” Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves told Politico. Massie has asked Johnson to first allow the party to select a successor, and then voluntarily step down. On Tuesday, Johnson was defiant. “I am not resigning and it is in my view an absurd notion that someone would bring a vacate motion when we are simply trying to do our job,” he told reporters. Massie’s announcement in the closed-door meeting ruffled feathers. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan voiced his discomfort with the idea, saying, “We don’t need that, no way. We don’t want that. We shouldn’t go through that again. That’s a bad idea.”

On Monday night, Johnson compounded conservatives’ anger when he announced he would bring four separate measures to a vote: aid to Ukraine, aid to Israel, aid to Taiwan and another bill with miscellaneous measures including a TikTok ban. As the New York Times explains, the goal is to cobble together legislation that would match what Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is cooking up: If all four pieces passed the House, they would then be folded into a single bill for the Senate to take up, in an effort to ensure that senators could not cherry-pick pieces to approve or reject. “We’re steering toward everything Chuck Schumer wants,” said Massie. Decoupling the proposals also saps conservatives’ leverage to force more spending on border security. Greene called the plan “a scam” and added, “He’s definitely not going to be speaker next Congress if we’re lucky enough to have the majority.”

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“..officials from 15 federal agencies “knew in 2018 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was trying to create a coronavirus like COVID-19.”

Rand Paul Drops COVID Bombshell: “We Have 15,000 Samples In Wuhan” (ZH)

Last week Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote in a Tuesday op-ed that officials from 15 federal agencies “knew in 2018 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was trying to create a coronavirus like COVID-19.” “These officials knew that the Chinese lab was proposing to create a COVID 19-like virus and not one of these officials revealed this scheme to the public. In fact, 15 agencies with knowledge of this project have continuously refused to release any information concerning this alarming and dangerous research. Government officials representing at least 15 federal agencies were briefed on a project proposed by Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” -Rand Paul. Paul was referring to the DEFUSE project, which was revealed after DRASTIC Research uncovered documents showing that DARPA had been presented with a proposal by EcoHealth Alliance to perform gain-of-function research on bat coronavirus. New documents released by Drastic Research show Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance had applied for funds that would allow them to further modify coronavirus spike proteins and find potential furin cleavage sites.

Now, Paul points to an email between EcoHealth’s Daszak and “Fauci Flunky” David Morens from April 26, 2020 (noted days before by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic), when the lab-leak hypothesis was gaining traction against Fauci – who funded EcoHealth research in Wuhan, and Daszak’s orchestrated denials and the forced “natural origin” narrative. In it, Daszak laments the “real and present danger that we are being targeted by extremists” (for pointing out that they were manipulating bat covid down the street from where a bat covid pandemic broke out), and called Donald Trump “shockingly ignorant.” He also told David that he would restrict communications “to gmail from now on,” and planned to mount a response to an NIH request which appears to suggest moving out of Wuhan – to which Daszak says “Even that would be a loss – we have 15,000 samples in freezers in Wuhan and could do the full genomes of 700+ Co Vs we’ve identified if we don’t cut this thread.”

Which means Daszak, funded by Fauci, lied when he said “every single one of the SARSr-CoV sequences @EcoHealthNYC discovered in China is already published.” And Anthony Fauci concealed the ‘700 unknown coronaviruses’ in Wuhan. Meanwhile, an EcoHealth progress report referenced “two chimeric bat SARS-like CoVs constructed on a WIV-1 backbone.”

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“..Musk was just paid too damn much for creating a $1.2 trillion company by Nov 2021..”

Tesla Asks Shareholders To Approve Musk’s $56 Billion Comp… Again (ZH)

At his peak, Elon Musk was worth $340BN (Nov 2021) and stood alone as the world’s richest man/women/other. According to Bloomberg’s billionaires list, he is now worth mere $175BN… sliding to just the fourth-richest in the world as Tesla’s share price has declined and after a Delaware judge decided in January that Musk was just paid too damn much for creating a $1.2 trillion company by Nov 2021. But now, he may be about to climb that wealth ladder back to the top once more as Tesla has asked shareholders to vote again on the same $56 billion compensation package that was voided by a Delaware court early this year. Tesla Chair Robyn Denholm criticized the Delaware Chancery Court’s January decision, writing in the proxy that it amounted to second-guessing shareholders who had approved Musk’s performance-based award in 2018.

“Because the Delaware Court second-guessed your decision, Elon has not been paid for any of his work for Tesla for the past six years that has helped to generate significant growth and stockholder value,” Denholm wrote. The filing went on to say that negotiating a new pay package would take time and lead to incurring billions of dollars in additional compensation expense. Therefore, ratifying the 2018 package will be faster and “avoid a prolonged period of uncertainty regarding Tesla’s most important employee.” Additionally, the filing shows Tesla considered nine other states as alternatives to Delaware before narrowing its choice down to California, Nevada, New York or Texas.

Finally, Bloomberg reports that, according to the filing, dozens of institutional shareholders have contacted Tesla and expressed support for the 2018 compensation plan, including four of the top 10. The carmaker also said that thousands of retail investors have sent letters and emails to the board expressing the same sentiment. Of course, if this passes the shareholder vote, we assume the honorable Chief Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick – who described the company’s directors as “supine servants of an overweening master” – will have problems asserting that they hadn’t looked out for the best interests of investors… since it was the investors themselves, now fully informed, that democratically voted for Musk’s compensation plan. …or does democracy (and capitalism) die in Delaware?

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When the 1st Amendment becomes a hindrance…

NPR Editor Resigns After Suspension for Exposing Bias and Intolerance (Turley)

It appears that National Public Radio has solved the problem of the intolerance for opposing views, detailed in an article by award-winning editor Uri Berliner: he is now out of NPR. Berliner resigned after NPR suspended him and various other journalists and the CEO lashed out at his discussing their political bias. For those of us in higher education, it is a chillingly familiar pattern. Editors, journalists, and listeners at the public-supported outlet will now be able to return to the echo-chambered coverage without the distracting voice of a dissenter. After Berliner wrote his piece in the Free Press, NPR CEO Katherine Maher attacked Berliner and made clear that NPR had no intention to change its one-sided editorial staff or its coverage. Others at NPR also went public with their criticism of him and falsely portrayed his criticism as opposed to actual racial and other diversity of the staff.

In his article, NPR’s David Folkenflik acknowledges that the Berliner criticism “angered many of his colleagues.” Maher response was hardly surprising. After years of criticism over NPR’s political bias, the search for a new CEO was viewed as an opportunity to select someone without such partisan baggage. Instead, it selected Maher, who has been criticized for controversial postings on subjects ranging from looters to Trump. Those now-deleted postings included a 2018 declaration that “Donald Trump is a racist” and a variety of political commentary. Maher was unlikely to address the problem. She is the problem. Maher lashed out at Berliner, calling his criticism and call for greater diversity in the newsroom “profoundly disrespectful, hurtful, and demeaning.” So now Berliner has resigned rather than work at a media outlet where he was shunned and denounced. In social media post on Wednesday, Berliner published his resignation letter to NPR leadership and stated “I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR I cite in my Free Press essay.”

It is all-too-familiar to many of us in higher education where conservatives, libertarians, and republicans have been purged from most faculties. This is done through a mix of filling open slots with liberal academics while making life intolerable for those who remain. For years, a conservative North Carolina professor faced calls for termination over controversial tweets and was pushed to retire. Dr. Mike Adams, a professor of sociology and criminology, had long been a lightning rod of controversy. In 2014, we discussed his prevailing in a lawsuit that alleged discrimination due to his conservative views. He was then targeted again after an inflammatory tweet calling North Carolina a “slave state.” That led to his being pressured to resign with a settlement. He then committed suicide just days before his last day as a professor.


Elon Musk: “The software running in her head is the anti-Grok – hates truth & humor”

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“Orban said he intends “to come and take over Brussels,” reiterating his earlier warning to “occupy” the EU’s key institutions with his allies..”

EU Leadership Must Go – Orban (RT)

The EU needs new leadership as the bloc’s current top officials have proven entirely unsuccessful, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has claimed. Orban made the comments at the European Parliament on Tuesday as part of a public discussion with Former Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the leader of the French National Rally party, Fabrice Leggeri. “Now we have a leadership in the EU with some major projects selected by themselves like green transition, RRF (Recovery and Resilience Facility) policy, migration, war [in Ukraine] and sanctions policy, and they all failed,” Orban said. “The present leadership of the European Union must go away. And we need new leaders,” the Hungarian prime minister insisted. Orban said he intends “to come and take over Brussels,” reiterating his earlier warning to “occupy” the EU’s key institutions with his allies in order to bring change to the bloc.

According to the Hungarian leader, the rule of law and conditionality system created by the current EU leadership has “proved to be… an instrument of political blackmailing. If you do not behave as we expect, you do not get the money.” Hungary has not received “a single penny” from the RRF because European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has openly voiced dissatisfaction with Budapest’s reluctance to accept migrants and its opposition to the bloc’s gender policies, he said. The EU’s green transition “has failed because it has gone against [the] economic and industrial” interests of the bloc, Orban added. A switch towards climate neutrality should not be “politically motivated,” otherwise “it would destroy the competitiveness of the European economy. That is where we stand today,” he explained.

In contrast to many other EU members, the Hungarian leader has refused to provide arms to Ukraine and has consistently criticized the bloc’s sanctions against Russia over the conflict. According to Orban, the time has come for Brussels to define “what it should do with the issue of the war” in order to find a solution to the crisis and prevent similar ones in the future. Even goodwill gestures may “cause difficulties for the European economy,” such as the recent protests by farmers in Poland, France, Germany, and other nations partly caused by the preferences given by the EU to Ukrainian food suppliers, he explained. Orban also insisted that the issue of aid to Kiev should be “separated as much as possible from the issue of Ukraine’s accession to the EU,” formal negotiations for which were approved last year.

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Smart guy. Runs the company himself, with a crew of 30. 900 million daily users. No ads.

FBI Wanted Telegram Backdoor to Spy on Users – Founder (Sp.)

The former Fox News anchor and conservative media personality divulged that he had set up an official Telegram channel for his Tucker Carlson Network, encouraging the public to “keep an eye on the announcements there.” The channel has already attracted more than 150, 000 subscribers. Speaking with Tucker Carlson, Russian-born IT entrepreneur and co-founder of the Telegram social network Pavel Durov focused on a variety of topics, including his visit to the United States. The 39-year-old revealed that he was closely watched and monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during his time in the country. “We got too much attention from the FBI, [and] the security agencies, wherever we came to the US,” Durov said during the interview released on Wednesday.

According to the businessman, one of his top employees once told him that he had been approached by the US government. “There was an attempt to secretly hire my engineer behind my back by [US] cybersecurity officers,” Durov claimed. He argued that those officers were trying to persuade the engineer to use “certain open-source tools,” which he would then integrate into Telegram’s code that, in Durov’s opinion, “would serve as backdoors” for hacking the platform. The entrepreneur stressed that he believes what the employee said was true, adding, “There is no reason for my engineer to make up [such] stories.” When asked if infiltrating Telegram’s systems would allow the US government to spy on its users, Durov stated that he did not dismiss the possibility, acknowledging that any government could potentially carry out such an action. “A backdoor is a backdoor, regardless of who uses it,” he underscored.

The 39-year-old tech tycoon noted that he had “personally experienced similar pressure” in the US, where law enforcement officials approached him on many occasions. “Whenever I would go to the US, I would have two FBI agents greeting me at the airport, asking questions. One time, I was having breakfast at 9 am and the FBI showed up at the house that I was renting,” the businessman asserted. According to him, FBI agents knew what he and his team were doing, but the agents wanted the details. “My understanding is that they [also] wanted to establish a relationship to in a way control Telegram better. I understand that they were doing their job. [But] for us running a privacy-focused social media platform, that probably wasn’t the best environment to be in. We want to be focused on what we do, not on government relations of that sort,” Durov pointed out.

The interview comes just a day after Carlson published the first post on his newly-created Telegram page, the Tucker Carlson Network, where users will “get all the latest updates, behind-the-scenes insights, and exclusive content.”
There are already more than 150,000 subscribers for the channel, and their number is growing with every passing second.

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“..When it comes to the freedom of speech, those two platforms could, basically, censor whatever you can read, access on your smartphone..”

Apple and Google More Dangerous Than Governments – Telegram Founder (RT)

Apple and Google “could, basically, censor whatever you can read, access on your smartphone,” Pavel Durov, the co-founder of the popular messaging app Telegram has told Tucker Carlson in an interview; he lamented that the pressure coming from the tech giants is stronger than that exerted by governments. The entrepreneur has also said he received warnings from both the Democratic and Republican parties after the January 2021 riots in the US Capitol. The rare discussion took place at the Russian-born IT entrepreneur’s office in Dubai, and was released on Wednesday. Carlson asked Durov to give an example of a request to build backdoors into Telegram that crossed into censorship, and could be considered spying, or violating people’s privacy. The messaging app claims to have over 900 million active users.

“There was a funny story related to your home country,” the tech entrepreneur replied. “After the events of January 6, we received a letter from, I believe, a congressman from the Democratic side, and they requested that we share all the data that we have in relation to what they called ‘that uprising.” On January 6, 2021, a mob loyal to then-US President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol and forced lawmakers into hiding in an attempt to prevent Congress from formalizing Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Durov said his team checked the letter and it “seemed very serious,” essentially saying: “if you fail to comply with this request, you will be in violation with the US Constitution.” “Two weeks after that letter, we got another letter, a new letter, from the Republican side of the Congress, and there we read that, if we give out any data [to the Democrats], it would be in violation of the US Constitution.

So we got two letters that said: whatever we do, we would be violating the US Constitution.” However, the most pressure on Telegram, according to Durov, comes from tech giants Apple and Google, Durov stressed. “I would say that the largest pressure is not coming from governments. It is coming from Apple and Google. When it comes to the freedom of speech, those two platforms could, basically, censor whatever you can read, access on your smartphone,” he said. “They make very clear that if we fail to comply with their guidelines, as they call it, Telegram could be removed from the [app] stores.” Durov dismissed any suggestion of links between Telegram and the Russian government, suggesting that competitors could be stirring up such rumours to discredit the company.

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“..through an “innocuous change” to the definition of “electronic communications surveillance provider” in the FISA 702 bill, the U.S. government could go far beyond its current scope..”

NSA ’Just Days From Taking Over The Internet’ – Edward Snowden (Mitchelhill)

The United States National Security Agency (NSA) is only days away from “taking over the internet” with a massive expansion of its surveillance powers, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. In an April 16 post to X, Snowden drew attention to a thread originally posted by Elizabeth Goitein — the co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice — that warned of a new bill that could see the U.S. government surveillance powers amplified to new levels. The bill in question reforms and extends a part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) known as Section 702. Currently, the NSA can force internet service providers such as Google and Verizon to hand over sensitive data concerning NSA targets. However, Goitein claims that through an “innocuous change” to the definition of “electronic communications surveillance provider” in the FISA 702 bill, the U.S. government could go far beyond its current scope and force nearly every company and individual that provides any internet-related service to assist with NSA surveillance.

“That sweeps in an enormous range of U.S. businesses that provide wifi to their customers and therefore have access to equipment on which communications transit. Barber shops, laundromats, fitness centers, hardware stores, dentist’s offices.” Additionally, the people forced to hand over data would be unable to discuss the information provided due to hefty gag order penalties and conditions outlined in the bill, added Goitein. The bill initially received heavy pushback from privacy-conscious Republicans but passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on April 13. Part of the pushback saw the bills’ proposed spying powers time-frame cut from five years to two years, as well as some minor amendments to the service providers included under the surveillance measures. However, according to Goitein, the amendment did very little to reduce the scope of surveillance granted to the NSA.

In her view, the amendment could even see service providers such as cleaners, plumbers and IT service providers that have access to laptops and routers inside people’s homes be forced to provide information and serve as “surrogate spies,” claimed Goitein. The bill has seen strong pushback from both sides of the political aisle, with several government representatives claiming the bill violates citizen’s constitutional rights. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden described the bill as “terrifying” and said he would do everything in his power to prevent it from being passed through the Senate. “This bill represents one of the most dramatic and terrifying expansions of government surveillance authority in history.” Republican Congressperson Anna Paulina Luna, who voted against the bill in the House of Representatives, said Section 702 was an “irresponsible extension” of the NSA’s powers. Luna added that if government agencies wanted access to data, they must be forced to apply for a warrant. The bill is slated for a vote on April 19 in the U.S. Senate.

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“..we already do not own anything..”

The Great Dispossession Part 2 (Paul Craig Roberts)

In Part 1 ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2024/04/11/the-great-dispossession/ ), I reported that we already do not own anything. The immediate response from readers is: what can we do to avoid dispossession? Offhand, the answer might appear to be debt-free property and gold and silver in personal possession. However, if the goal is that we own nothing and are controlled under a digital currency regime, these assets will be taken as well. Webb says if the billionaires and large financial institutions can be made aware of the situation, they could make Congress aware of the regulatory changes and force Congress to use its law-making power to undo the regulatory changes. After all, if there is no private financial property, there is no one to contribute to Congressional elections. Billionaires’ campaign donations elect the politicians, and what the regulatory changes do to billionaires is to reduce them to the same poverty as a homeless person. What the changes mean for large financial institutions such as Merrill Lynch, Schwab, etc., is their existence ceases.

Webb’s hope is the combined influence can undo the regulatory changes. The question is whether awareness can be generated. The fate of Congress is also at stake. In the Great Reset there is no input from the people and no function for Congress. As in all of my writings, I am trying to bring awareness. Little doubt the messenger will be shot. The purpose of Part 2 is to outline the regulatory changes that have been made that have turned our property in financial assets into the property of “secured creditors.” Webb terms them legal changes, which they are, but as I read it from regulatory, not legislative, action. Webb says the changes are global, but he only describes how the US and EU effected the changes for themselves. I am unable to imagine that Russia, China, Iran and any parts of the world not captured in the Western financial system are parties to the dispossession, especially under the regime of sanctions. As I read it, the dispossession that awaits is limited to the Western world and its captive countries. By global, perhaps Webb means the global operations of Western world financial organizations.

First some definitions: an “account holder” is you, your IRA, your pension plan, your stock and bond investments held at an “account provider” or “intermediary” or “depository institution” such as Merrill Lynch, Schwab, Wells Fargo. An “entitlement holder” is the definition of you whose ownership claim to your financial assets has been subordinated to the claims of “secured creditors” of the institution where you have your accounts. Please do understand that the dispossession of which I write is your dispossession. As reported in Part 1, a country’s securities are pooled in a Central Security Depository (CSD). Each national CSD is linked to the International Security Depository (ICSD), which in the words of a 2013 report by the Bank for International Settlements Committee on the Global Financial System, makes available to “secured creditors” all available collateral (all of our stocks and bonds) and provides cross-border mobility of collateral from the “collateral giver” to the “collateral taker.” Yes, these terms are explicitly used, indicating recognition that theft is taking place.

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“..stocks and real estate have been driven to unprecedented levels by years of zero interest rates. When this bubble pops, we will be dispossessed.”

The Great Dispossession Part 3 (Paul Craig Roberts)

In Part 1, I explained that the next financial crisis will be bailed out not with central bank money creation but with our stocks, bonds and bank balances. In Part 2, I explained the multi-year quiet regulatory changes that dispossessed us of our property. In Part 3, I explain David Rogers Webb’s conclusion that a massive financial crisis is pending in which our financial assets are the collateral underwriting the derivative and financial bubble and will result in the loss of our assets but leave us with our debts as happened to those whose banks failed in the 1930s. Webb begins with the economic formula that the velocity of circulation of money times the money supply equals nominal Gross Domestic Product. V x MS = GDP. The velocity of circulation is a measure of how many times a dollar is spent during a given period of time, e.g., quarterly, annually. A high velocity means people quickly spend the money that comes into their hands. A low velocity means people tend to hold on to money.

Velocity impacts the Federal Reserve’s ability to manage economic growth with money supply changes. If the velocity of money is falling, an expansionist monetary policy will not result in rising GDP. In such a situation, the Federal Reserve is said to be “pushing on a string.” Instead of pushing up GDP, money supply increases push up the values of financial assets and real estate resulting in financial and real estate bubbles. Webb notes that falls in velocity are precursors of financial crises. A multi-year sharp fall in velocity preceded the stock market crash in 1929 and the Great Depression that gave birth to regulatory agencies. The 21st century is characterized by a long-term fall in velocity that has reached the lowest level on record, while stocks and real estate have been driven to unprecedented levels by years of zero interest rates. When this bubble pops, we will be dispossessed.

Will the bubble pop? Yes. The Fed suddenly and rapidly moved from zero to 5% interest rates, a reversal of the policy that drove up prices of stocks and bonds. The Fed raises rates by reducing money supply growth, thus removing the factor supporting high stock prices and collapsing the value of bonds. This results in a lowering of the value of stocks and bonds serving as collateral for loans, which, of course, means the loans and the financial institution behind them are in trouble. Bonds have already taken a hit. The stock market is holding because participants believe the Fed is about to reverse its interest rate policy and lower rates. Webb notes that the official data show that the velocity of money collapsed in the 21st century while the Fed introduced “quantitative easing.” He makes the correct point that when the velocity of money collapses, the Fed is pushing on a string. Instead of money creation fueling economic growth, it produces asset bubbles in real estate and financial instruments, which is what we have at the present time.

When after more than a decade of near zero interest rates, the Fed raises interest rates it collapses the values of financial portfolios and real estate and produces a financial crisis. As the authorities have set in place a system that bails out secured creditors with our bank deposits, stocks, and bonds, we will have no money and no financial assets to sell for money. People with mortgaged homes and businesses will lose them, as they did in the 1930s, when they lost their money due to bank failures. People with car payments will lose their transportation. The way the system works is you lose your money but not your debts. The secured creditors are the creditors of the troubled institutions. Ultimately, the secured creditors are the mega-banks defined as “privileged creditors.”

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“We are being steered directly into a brick wall because the globalists can’t take over the world with the US standing.”

Driving America into a Brick Wall – Bill Holter (USAW)

Back in February, when everyone was predicting a Fed rate cut, precious metals expert and financial writer Bill Holter said rates would be going up and not down. Since that call, the 10-Year Treasury is up more than 30 basis points. It closed today at 4.67%. Now, Holter is still calling for higher interest rates that will coincide with higher gold and silver prices. Why? It’s called inflation, and it’s not temporary. Holter explains, “Foreigners are backing away from buying Treasuries. That is the only thing that has kept the doors open, so to speak, is the fact we are able to borrow an unlimited amount of money because we are the world reserve currency. Foreigners backing away from our debt is going to lead the Federal Reserve to be the buyer of last, and then, only resort. So, you will have direct monetization between the Fed and the Treasury. What that will cause is a currency that declines in purchasing power. It will decline in a big way, and it will decline rapidly. So, what I am describing is inflation that turns into hyperinflation.”

But that is not the end of our problems. Holter points out, “I do think it is going to get worse, and that means interest rates will go higher, and that will put on much more pressure. We are at 4.65% on the 10-Year Treasury now. We went from 3.75% to 4.65% (in a short amount of time). We run through 5% on the 10-year Treasury, and everything blows up. . . . The bottom line here is we are at the end game of a fiat currency. Young people have never experienced high inflation. . . . Where we are this time around, Paul Volker (Fed Head in 1979) was able to raise rates to 16% or 17% and crush inflation. He was able to do that because there was not a ton of debt. The U.S. debt back in 1980 was 35% of GDP. Now, it is 125% plus debt to GDP. If you raise rates to 6% to 8%, you will blow up the entire system because much of this debt was put on during the 1% to 3% interest rate time. . . . The inflation is going to push rates higher no matter what the Fed says.”

Gold is hitting one new record high after another. It’s not greed, but fear, and Holter says, “Big money is buying gold because they are looking for protection.” The other wild card is war, and Holter says, “War is a way to keep the system propped up.” In closing, Holter contends, what you are seeing is not a series of mistakes by incompetent people. Holter says, “This is too stupid for it not to be the plan. . . .This is not a Republican or Democrat thing. We are being steered directly into a brick wall because the globalists can’t take over the world with the US standing. They have to take the US down, and if they take the US down, so will the western financial system fall. If that happens, the globalists can have their way.”

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Brick wall right ahead.

IMF Lambasts US Over Ballooning Debt (RT)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised concerns about overspending by the US government, warning it has been reigniting inflation risks and undermining financial stability around the world. The US federal budget deficit jumped from $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2022 to $1.7 trillion last year, according to the latest World Economic Outlook, issued by the IMF on Tuesday. “The exceptional recent performance of the United States is certainly impressive and a major driver of global growth,” the IMF said. However, the report explained that this “reflects strong demand factors as well, including a fiscal stance that is out of line with long-term fiscal sustainability.” The ballooning US national debt, which exceeded $34 trillion in December, and the fiscal deficit threatened to exacerbate sky-high levels of inflation while posing a long-term risk to the global economy, according to the report.

“Something will have to give,” the IMF warned. The US exceeded its debt ceiling, which was legally set at $31.4 trillion, in January 2023. After months of warnings of an imminent and economically disastrous default from the US Treasury, President Joe Biden in June 2023 signed a bipartisan debt bill that suspended the cap until January 2025. This effectively allowed the government to keep borrowing without limits through next year. Debt spiked to $32 trillion less than two weeks after the bill was approved, and has been piling up ever since. The debt held by the public could surge by $19 trillion over the next decade to surpass the $54 trillion mark, owing to the mounting costs of an aging population and higher interest expenses, according to recent projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Since entering office, Biden has spent trillions on Covid relief as well as on infrastructure. The US has also spent billions on aid for Ukraine. The Biden administration, however, has been insisting that tax cuts signed into law by then-President Donald Trump were to blame for the ballooning national debt. Last month, Biden unveiled a $7.3-trillion budget plan for 2025 which would push US debt over 100% of GDP, as he laid out a fiscal agenda that boosts spending but plans to save $3 trillion through higher taxes over ten years. Republicans in the House of Representatives have described the proposed budget as a “roadmap to accelerate America’s decline,” accusing the Biden administration of “reckless spending” and of engaging in a “runaway spending spree” that disregards fiscal responsibility.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Dr Phil

 

 

Ladapo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780338991906078826

 

 

Cloud seeding

 

 

Buster

 

 

Chickady’s Birdhouse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780274925317574889

 

 

Bull dog

 

 

Wolf

 

 

Puppy

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 162024
 


Charles Sprague Pearce The Arab jeweler c1882

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Jury

 

 

Pastor

Dalton

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Vivek

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

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

Merchan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turley

Read more …

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

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

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

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

Read more …

Trump gives Johnson some loving.

Johnson, Trump Announce Election Integrity Bill (ET)

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

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

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

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Will the loving remain?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

Toothless.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

Germans Can Now Change Gender Every Year (RT)

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

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

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

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

The Palestine Congress (CJ Hopkins)

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

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

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

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

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Not as bad as it looks.

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

Airbus Beats Boeing For Deliveries In 2024 (ZH)

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

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

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

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Wonder what Trump thinks of this.

Trump Biopic To Compete At Cannes Film Festival (RT)

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

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

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

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Kid judge

 

 


From Elon

 

 

Russell

 

 

UFO

 

 

Shop dog

 

 

Koala

 

 

Sun fish

 

 

Wooden post

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 152024
 


Charles Sprague Pearce Lamentations over the Death of the First-Born of Egypt 1877

 

Trump Set For Monday ‘Fake Biden Trial’ With ‘Highly Conflicted’ Judge (ZH)
19 Retired Generals, Admirals File SCOTUS Brief Against Trump Immunity Bid (ET)
Judge Upholds Georgia’s Voter Citizenship Verification Requirements (ET)
Low IQ (Michael Tracey)
Will the American Oligarchy Accept Limits or Choose World War Three? (NC)
America Has a Problem With Love and Fear (Suchkov)
A Tempering of American-Israeli Aggression? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Scott Ritter: Iran’s Retaliatory Attack ‘Reestablished Deterrence’ (Sp.)
Netanyahu Called Off Retaliation Strikes After Speaking To Biden – NYT (RT)
Russia Slams UNSC for Ignoring Attack on Iranian Consulate (Sp.)
Zelensky Takes Advantage of Iran-Israel Crisis to Plead for More Money (Miles)
Ukrainian FM Publicly Blackmails West Over Oil Prices (RT)
Germany Escalates Donbass Conflict, Kiev Says Frontline is Deteriorating (Sp.)
Germany Joins Israel In Dock For Genocide (SCF)
Royal Marines To Lead ‘Dunkirk-style’ Evacuation Of Britons In Middle East (DM)

 

 

 

 

Scholz

 

 

Coastguy

 

 

 

 

Constanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought we established that Michael Cohen had an affair with Stormy Daniels, paid for with Trump’s money. Anyhoo, it should be a spectacle.

Trump Set For Monday ‘Fake Biden Trial’ With ‘Highly Conflicted’ Judge (ZH)

Former President Trump will take his 2024 campaign to New York on Monday, where he’ll be sitting in a Manhattan courtroom for what he decried as a “Fake Biden Trial” to face 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with the Stormy Daniels ‘hush money’ embroglio. The trial comes after an unsuccessful bid to adjourn the case due to overwhelming pretrial publicity, which Judge Juan Merchan denied, calling adjournment “not tenable.” Trump has taken to Truth Social in recent days, suggesting on Sunday that Merchan is “perhaps the most highly conflicted Judge in New York State history,” who gave Trump’s legal team insufficient time to analyze “hundreds of thousands of pages of documents that D.A. Alvin Bragg illegally hid, disguised, and held back from us.” As the WSJ notes, “The 34 felony counts in the indictment are all tied to records that prosecutors said Trump falsified as he reimbursed Cohen for the Daniels deal. They include 11 invoices, 12 general ledger entries and 11 checks.”

As Mike Shedlock of Mishtalk notes, expect a media circus. “A Recording Crime. District Attorney Alvin Bragg took each receipt, invoice, and ledger receipt and made a separate felony charge out of each of them. Then Bragg twisted those charges into an intent to commit other crimes. Yet Trump is not charged with other crimes, only falsifying records. And it’s plausible that Trump had no direct knowledge of the mess. This story goes back to Michael Cohen, a former attorney of Donald Trump, who landed in prison for by paying adult-film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in 2016 to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter she had with Trump a decade earlier. The Journal notes that Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor under New York state law, but it can be elevated to a felony if records were falsified to conceal or commit another crime. What other crime? Trump is charged with none.”

Meanwhile as Politico reports, in addition to taking a “wrecking ball to Michael Cohen,” with nearly half of the respondents in a recent Politico/Ipsos poll saying that Cohen is not honest… Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s “Star Witness, Trump could try “asking the judge to give the jury the option of convicting him on lesser, misdemeanor offenses instead of the felony counts that have actually been brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his team of prosecutors.” Journalist Laura Loomer, a Trump supporter, has posted several receipts over the past several weeks showing Merchan’s various conflicts – including the fact that his daughter professionally brags about “doing ground-breaking, historical work for clients” including “Kamala Harris, Adam Schiff, and others.” Loomer also noted that Andrew Laufer, the lawyer for Michael Cohen (DA Alan Bragg’s “Star witness”), is tight with NY Attorney General Letitia James – who Merchan’s wife worked for in what Loomer describes as a “major conflict of interest.”

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“The threat of future prosecution and imprisonment would become a political cudgel to influence the most sensitive and controversial presidential decisions..”

19 Retired Generals, Admirals File SCOTUS Brief Against Trump Immunity Bid (ET)

More than a dozen former Defense Department officials, generals, and admirals filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing against former President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity arguments. It comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the former president’s assertions that he should enjoy immunity from prosecution for activity that he carried out while he was president. The former president invoked that argument after he was accused by federal prosecutors of attempting to illegally overturn the 2020 election results. The amicus brief’s signatories include former CIA Director Michael Hayden, retired Admiral Thad Allen, retired Gen. George Casey, retired Gen. Charles Krulak, and more. They claimed that granting President Trump immunity against criminal claims could lead to activity that put U.S. national security at risk.

“The notion of such immunity, both as a general matter, and also specifically in the context of the potential negation of election results, threatens to jeopardize our nation’s security and international leadership,” their brief stated. “Particularly in times like the present, when anti-democratic, authoritarian regimes are on the rise worldwide, such a threat is intolerable and dangerous.” The arguments submitted by President Trump will “risk jeopardizing America’s standing as a guardian of democracy in the world and further feeding the spread of authoritarianism, thereby threatening the national security of the United States and democracies around the world,” the group added. The former secretary of Defense under President Trump, Mark Esper, was critical of their submission to the Supreme Court, arguing during a CNN interview that he “would prefer to see retired admirals and generals not get involved.”

But President Trump’s lawyers have contended that the president’s office cannot function without immunity from the threat of prosecution because it could “incapacitate every future president with de facto blackmail and extortion while in office and condemn him to years of post-office trauma at the hands of political opponents,” arguing that such a phenomenon is playing out right now after the former president was indicted multiple times last year. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had earlier issued a ruling against President Trump’s arguments that he should be declared immune from prosecution. The appeals process, meanwhile, has put on hold the former president’s trial in Washington. “A denial of criminal immunity would incapacitate every future president with de facto blackmail and extortion while in office, and condemn him to years of post-office trauma at the hands of political opponents. The threat of future prosecution and imprisonment would become a political cudgel to influence the most sensitive and controversial presidential decisions, taking away the strength, authority and decisiveness of the presidency,” according to President Trump’s filing issued last month.

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They want every Democrat to be able to cast 1,000 votes.

Judge Upholds Georgia’s Voter Citizenship Verification Requirements (ET)

A federal judge has dismissed a legal challenge to Georgia’s voter citizenship verification requirements, keeping in place the state’s process of cross-checking citizenship status to determine voter eligibility and handing a win to election integrity advocates. Judge Eleanor Ross of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued a ruling on April 11 that dismisses a lawsuit brought by a coalition of advocacy groups nearly six years ago that claimed Georgia’s voter citizenship verification requirements unfairly discriminated against naturalized citizens, who are more likely to be people of color. Following a three-day trial, the judge ruled that all four of the plaintiffs’ claims—including that the protocols violated multiple federal laws, the U.S. Constitution, and unfairly burdened the right to vote—are dismissed.

In so doing, the judge sided with a motion for summary judgment made in 2021 by the defendant, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who argued that the state’s protocols for matching naturalized citizens’ voter registrations with the state’s citizenship records were “entirely reasonable” and placed a “minimum burden” on applicants. Mr. Raffensperger argued that, in almost every case, the requirement was fulfilled by matching driver’s licence or state identification numbers submitted for voter registration with corresponding records at the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) to confirm citizenship status. When a naturalized citizen registers to vote in Georgia, their county registrar verifies proof of citizenship using DDS data. If that voter’s citizenship cannot be verified through that database, the onus is on the voter to submit proof of citizenship within 26 months or their voter registration application will be canceled.

The plaintiffs have alleged that DDS data is often outdated, leading many naturalized citizens’ voter registrations to be flagged and canceled unfairly. Mr. Raffensperger disputed the claim that this issue affected many people, arguing in his motion that “any arguable burden on this small group of people to demonstrate they are now citizens is minimal and does not go beyond the ‘usual burdens of voting’ because it can be resolved as simply as showing the same photo identification that every Georgia voter is required to show in order to vote in person in Georgia.” He also argued that the citizenship process serves a “compelling interest” in ensuring that only eligible voters are allowed to cast a vote, an argument raised by election integrity advocates across the country amid various disputes over voting rules.

The plaintiffs sued Mr. Raffensperger in 2018, arguing that the state’s protocols for matching naturalized citizens’ voter registrations with the state’s citizenship records violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. They also claimed that these protocols put an unfair burden on the right to vote, in violation of 1st and 14th Amendment protections, while also claiming that the requirements ran counter to the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) by delaying or denying qualified voters from registering to cast ballots.

The coalition of groups asked the court to rule that the citizenship matching protocols were illegal, and to permanently block their enforcement. The case eventually went to trial on April 8, 2024, leading to a favorable ruling for Mr. Raffensperger and delivering a win to election integrity advocates more generally. “Ensuring that only U.S. citizens vote in our elections is critically important to secure and accurate elections,” Mr. Raffensperger said in a statement praising the ruling. “Georgia’s citizenship verification process is common sense and it works. With this ruling, we are able to continue ensuring that only U.S. citizens are voting in our elections,” he added.

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X thread.

Low IQ (Michael Tracey)

The self-serving Low IQ history of how Trump’s assassination of Iranian general Soleimani supposedly unleashed an era of peace and tranquility across the Middle East is so painfully idiotic. In one of the most brutishly stupid acts of Trump’s entire presidency, he and his rabidly interventionist Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, manufactured a fake pretext to launch the brazen, region-destabilizing attack. Trump fabricated what his administration claimed was a “self-defense” rationale for the assassination — arguably the most severe instance of direct state-on-state warfare between the US and Iran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Trump and the hardcore interventionists and regime change fanatics with which he filled his administration actually tried to invoke the 2002 AUMF in Iraq — yes, the Iraq War resolution that Joe Biden infamously voted for — as justification for the Soleimani strike.

They lied and claimed there was an “imminent threat” to the US, parroting the Bush Administration’s language used to sell the Iraq invasion. They even absurdly claimed that part of the rationale for the assassination was that Iran had provided material support to the 9/11 hijackers. No argument was too preposterous. The drone-bombing of one of the most prominent figures in Iranian society effectively destroyed any prospect of future diplomatic engagement between the US and Iran. Millions flooded the streets in protest, including in Iraq, where the drone strike took place. US embassies and other installations were hit with rockets and ransacked.

The Iraqi parliament demanded the immediate expulsion of all US troops from the country, but rather than take this opportunity to finally extricate US forces, Trump refused and kept them there. Reprisal attacks were launched against US troops and continued for months, with 62 soldiers receiving Purple Hearts for the traumatic brain injuries they endured from Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes. Trump loaded up his administration with anti-Iran regime change obsessives like Pompeo, Mike Pence, John Bolton, Nikki Haley, among others, deferred to the fanatically “pro-Israel” prerogatives of his chief financial patron Sheldon Adelson, and was heralded by Bibi Netanyahu for carrying out the most hardcore pro-Israel and “anti-Iran” policy agenda of any President in US history.

This was all part of the so-called “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran favored by Netanyahu and the fanatically pro-Israel “GOP establishment” to whom Trump essentially handed over control of his administration. As with many issues, there’s been more continuity between the Trump and Biden administrations than either like to let on, with the cratering of US-Iran relations continuing to this day. Trump still brags about how much pointless suffering his “crippling sanctions” (a term borrowed from Obama) inflicted on ordinary Iranian citizens. On the one hand, MAGA will brag about how un-warlike Trump allegedly was, but on the other, they’ll brag about how awesome it was that he drone-assassinated Iran’s top military official and hurtled the region into chaos — the consequences of which still reverberate today. This pro-Trump argument is idiotically schizophrenic, but that’s nothing new for Low IQ partisans.

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“The entire post-WWII elite American mindset is built on the foundation of worldwide profit expansion via silicon and fire..”

Will the American Oligarchy Accept Limits or Choose World War Three? (NC)

The US is a market state that is dominated by and run for transnational capital. Its foreign policy and the military are a tool of the American oligarchy. Therefore, any serious policy discussion needs to deal with the fact that national interests as they’re expressed today are not in any real sense national but representative of the interests of a small cohort of the super wealthy. When US officials go on about spreading “freedom,” they’re not lying. It’s just their idea of freedom is a state devoted to high profits – free from the political whims of local populations that could degrade an investment’s expected return. Let’s remember there likely wouldn’t be any problem with Russia had Putin not put an end to the 1990s shock therapy administered by the Western finance capitalists who were making a killing by pillaging Russian resources. Like Bert Hoover, they’re haunted by that opportunity snatched away from them, and they’ve been trying to get it back for a quarter century now.

The question is will American capital ever voluntarily give up? Will it ever say “okay, we’re satisfied with what we’ve got here, you do your thing in your sphere of influence”? It’s not like Moscow and Beijing haven’t tried. Russia for example floated the idea of joining NATO or working out some other security arrangement. For decades after the end of the USSR, Russia tried to be accepted into the West’s club to no avail. China, too, constantly repeats the refrain that the world is big enough for both Beijing and Washington. It invited the US to join it in its Belt and Road Initiative. The US could have helped steer projects that would have benefited both countries. While such cooperation between the two big powers wouldn’t be a panacea for all the world’s problems, it would likely mean a lot better spot than current one. Instead the US wanted the whole pie and instead we got the TPP, sanctions, export bans, a new Cold War, a spy balloon scandal, the disastrous effort to weaken Russia before taking on China, the successful effort to sever Europe from Eurasia to disastrous effect for Europe, and the desire to see a Ukraine sequel in Taiwan and/or the South China Sea.

There is a lot of confusion over why the West keeps escalating in a losing effort. Why, for example, are Western governments going around begging for shells to send Ukraine rather than accepting the L? The desperation seems to stem from the creeping realization that their system is coming undone. The entire post-WWII elite American mindset is built on the foundation of worldwide profit expansion via silicon and fire, and if they throw everything at Russia and lose, well a whole new domino theory could come into play – one where parasitic Western finance capital is driven back. (Granted it might in most cases be replaced by a more local form, but it’s nonetheless frightening for the Western honchos.) Just look at what’s happening to France in Françafrique! And the US in the Middle East!

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Machiavelli: “..a prince should make himself feared in such a way that if he does not gain love, he at any rate avoids hatred.”

America Has a Problem With Love and Fear (Suchkov)

In the early 1990s, when Washington was celebrating victory over the USSR, proclaiming “the end of history” and believing that the whole world would now rise up under the banner of liberal democracy and the market economy, Gates became head of the CIA. The main task at the time was to make the most of the “unipolar moment” – to widen the gap between the US and its competitors, to turn yesterday’s enemies into friends, friends into allies, and them make them all vassals. Another fashionable concept of the time – which still occupies the minds of many internationalists – was “soft power”. This justified America’s global dominance by virtue of the appeal of its culture (music, cinema, education). No one wanted to argue with this, especially when videotapes of action films like Rambo and Terminator, and later the queues at the first Moscow McDonald’s, clearly proved the validity of such an ideology. American pop culture made the world extremely permeable to American ideas and interests. The task of various structures, including the one headed by Gates, was to make as many ordinary people (and politicians, of course) around the world fall in love with America, believe in the myth of the “American Dream” and adopt it as their way of life.

As the “unipolar moment” faded and the international environment became more difficult for the US, it became more and more difficult to get others to feel the love. Especially after the bombing of Yugoslavia. A brief period of global sympathy for the Americans after the attacks of 11 September 2001 was replaced by outrage over the invasion of Iraq. Even some of the closest NATO allies did not approve of the illegal intervention. In the post-Soviet space, attempts at “colour revolutions” – to replace rulers who did not love America fervently enough – were somewhat effective in the short-term, but exacerbated disagreements with Moscow. Vladimir Putin’s manifesto speech at the Munich Conference in 2007 signalled the end of the romance with the US, not only for Russia but for many other countries as well. Most states were still open to American cultural and educational products, but Washington’s policies were increasingly perceived critically. In acute situations, dissatisfaction with America as a power was projected onto cultural images associated with it – images of windows broken at McDonald’s, Stars and Stripes set on fire, etc.

Gradually, American soft power collided with its use of hard power. Washington used NGOs to invest billions in public diplomacy and educational exchange programmes, in the manipulation of “civil society” and the media. However, Washington’s coercive actions undermined efforts to win the sympathy of the world’s peoples. Meanwhile, Gates returned to Washington as head of the Pentagon to rescue the Bush Jr. administration from the fiasco in Afghanistan and Iraq. Led by Vice President Dick Cheney, the team was less concerned with winning the love of the rest of the world than with Theodore Roosevelt’s principle: ‘If you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.” The term “neoconservatives” is associated more with Republicans. In fact, it is a large and influential bipartisan, ideologically charged, group in the establishment for whom the primacy of “make them afraid of us” over “encourage them to love us” is unquestioned.

Barack Obama’s 2008 election victory swung the ideological pendulum in the opposite direction, favouring love over fear. Administrators from the Clinton presidency returned to the White House, and Obama himself spoke of ‘inclusion’, a new globalisation and hopes for a democratic revival. Gates was the only secretary of state to retain his post under the new Democratic president. Even during the election campaign, Obama had promised to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus, a pragmatic, cross-party Secretary of Defence seemed the best solution. The aforementioned Roosevelt had an apt saying for this case: “Speak softly, but carry a big stick”. Obama was responsible for the former, Gates for the latter. “However, the “big stick” did not help much: by the end of the 2010s, pro-Iranian forces were ruling a fragmented Iraq, and in Afghanistan, attempts to put an end to the Taliban (an organisation banned in the Russian Federation) by increasing the US contingent and allocating astronomical sums of money to the authorities in Kabul did not yield results.

[..] Interestingly, the US has stopped loving itself and is actively reaching for nostalgia in own identity and the recent past – especially in culture and politics. The resulting yearning for a time when America was “great” calls for efforts to regain that greatness by any means necessary. Whether leadership should be based on fear or love is one of the key questions in the theory and practice of leadership. In his sixteenth-century treatise The Prince, the Florentine thinker and politician Niccolo Machiavelli argued: “The answer is that one would like to be both the one and the other; but because it is difficult to combine them, it is far safer to be feared than loved if you cannot be both.” This maxim has been adopted by many rulers in different historical periods. But problems began for those who forgot that Machiavelli went on to warn:“a prince should make himself feared in such a way that if he does not gain love, he at any rate avoids hatred.”

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“It is the absence of countervailing power in the Middle East that has made the region a tinderbox..”

A Tempering of American-Israeli Aggression? (Paul Craig Roberts)

It has taken a long time for Zionist Israel to discredit itself. It did so with Israel’s declared policy of genocide of the Palestinians. As it was our bombs, missiles, and money that Israel used, America was also discredited. The self-inflicted diminution of American prestige and its isolation as the supporter of Israel’s attempted genocide of Palestine has altered the balance of power and influence in the world. With the impoverished Houthis standing up to mighty America and Israel, and with Iran finally standing up to Israel, it is possible that the American-Israeli aggression leading to nuclear war has been tempered. The recent firing of Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland is another possible indication.

Haaretz, the only objective Israeli newspaper, says Netanyahu should accept that the Iranian response was a limited attack provoked by Israel’s attack that murdered Iranian officials in Damascus and refrain from further military action. US bases throughout the Middle East and Israel’s Dimona nuclear arsenal are easy targets for a heavy Iranian attack. If Israel pushes further, a major war will erupt. Perhaps it will dawn on Putin and Xi to stabilize the Middle East with announcement of a Russian-Chinese-Iranian mutual defense treaty. It is the absence of countervailing power in the Middle East that has made the region a tinderbox.

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Scott Ritter @RealScottRitter: “I spent one decade protecting Israel from Iraqi missiles. I spent another decade trying to protect Israel from Iranian missiles. All Israel had to do was try to live in peace and harmony with its neighbors. Israel proved not to be up to the task. Israel deserves everything it has coming to it.”

Scott Ritter: Iran’s Retaliatory Attack ‘Reestablished Deterrence’ (Sp.)

Iran’s mission to the United Nations stated earlier that Tehran’s retaliatory drone and missile attack against Israel had “concluded.” The “military action” was a response to Israel’s “aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus,” it said, adding that the strike “hit designated targets.” By launching its retaliatory drone and missile attack on Israel, Iran “reestablished deterrence,” former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter told Sputnik. “Israel believed that it could launch a strike against Iran and suffer no consequence. That is no longer the case,” Ritter noted. As Israeli military officials survey the damage done to their bases, “they understand the following: that Iran deliberately chose not to inflict extremely lethal action against Israel,” the analyst remarked. bIran launched a massive drone and missile attack against Israel overnight, assisted by Hezbollah and the Yemeni Houthis.

Over 300 projectiles were fired at Israeli territory from Iran, with Iran’s mission to the United Nations stating that its retaliatory attack on Israel had “concluded,” and that the strike “hit designated targets.” Israel’s military has claimed that 99% of the projectiles were intercepted.nbIran’s strike was designed to send a signal to Israel and the United States, “that it could do what it did in Nevatim, at Ramona, anywhere in Israel, anywhere in the Middle East, and there was nothing the United States or Israel could do in response.” “This is deterrence. This means that in the future, if either Israel or the United States plan on carrying out an action against Iran, they have to weigh in the consequences of their actions knowing that Iran has the capacity to reach out and touch any place, any spot, any target in the region in Israel or out of Israel, and there’s nothing anybody could do to stop that,” the retired US Marine Corps intelligence officer said.

US President Joe Biden issued a statement on Iran’s attack against Israel after he spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The POTUS condemned the strike “in the strongest possible terms.” He also reaffirmed Washington’s “ironclad commitment” to help support Israel, and added that there were no attacks on US forces or facilities on Saturday, but that the US “will remain vigilant to all threats.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US does “not seek escalation,” but will “continue to support” Israel’s defense. “I will be consulting with allies and partners in the region and around the world in the hours and days ahead,” he added. Weighing in on the flurry of talks between US and Israeli leaders, Scott Ritter said: “This is why President Biden has been on the phone with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, telling him, ‘Do not retaliate.’ The United States will not be a partner in any offensive action against Iran. Not because the United States is friendly to Iran, but the United States understands the consequences that will accrue, should such an attack take place. The United States has been deterred against further action against Iran.”

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It cost Israel $1 billion to defend against Iran’s $100 million worth of -mostly old- projectiles.

Netanyahu Called Off Retaliation Strikes After Speaking To Biden – NYT (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a plan to launch immediate retaliatory strikes against Iran after speaking to US President Joe Biden by phone on Saturday night, Israeli officials have told the New York Times. According to two anonymous officials, Netanyahu’s war cabinet presented him with a list of responses to a massive drone and missile attack by Iran on Saturday evening. While some members of the cabinet reportedly pushed for an immediate military response, Netanyahu ultimately chose not to follow their advice at Biden’s request, the sources said. The full details of Biden’s conversation with Netanyahu were not revealed by the White House. According to a report on Sunday by Axios, however, Biden told Netanyahu that Israel had essentially prevailed in this clash with Iran and advised him to “take the win.”

It was also made clear during the call that any retaliatory action by Israel would not be supported by Washington, the American outlet reported. Netanyahu’s war cabinet met on Sunday afternoon to discuss Israel’s response to the Iranian attack, while Iran’s top military commander declared that the “Zionist regime” had been adequately “punished,” and that Tehran would not pursue further military action unless Israel struck again. Iran launched multiple waves of missiles and kamikaze drones at Israel on Saturday, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stating that at least 300 projectiles were fired. While the IDF claimed to have shot down 99% of the incoming drones and missiles, video footage showed numerous impacts on Israeli soil.

Iranian officials insisted that they had “more success than expected” with the barrage, and claimed that two Israeli bases had been destroyed. The IDF acknowledged only minor damage to one military facility. The attack came two weeks after an alleged Israeli airstrike hit an Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus. The strike killed seven officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, including two high-ranking generals. Tehran telegraphed its response, with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warning for over a week that Israel could expect a “slap in the face.”

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“Iran’s attack on Israel did not happen in a vacuum – it was a response to the shameful inaction of the UN Security Council..”

Russia Slams UNSC for Ignoring Attack on Iranian Consulate (Sp.)

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia criticized the UN Security Council for failing to act on the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria as he urged an end to bloodshed in the Middle East during an emergency UNSC meeting on Sunday. “It is regrettable that unlike the meeting today, you did not propose to bring it to brief the Council on the 2nd of April,” he said, adding that Russia called an emergency briefing to discuss the Israeli strike against the consular premises in Damascus. Nebenzia criticized Israel for not complying with the UN Security Council resolutions, which he said was “an obvious disrespect shown to the Council, to all of you who are here in the members seats, and a complete disregard to the decisions made by the Security Council.” “This high level confrontation and bloodshed must be stopped. We think it’s urgent for the entire international community to undertake all the efforts necessary to de-escalate the situation,” Nebenzia said.

Iran’s attack on Israel did not happen in a vacuum – it was a response to the shameful inaction of the UN Security Council, the Russian ambassador stressed. “What happened on the night of April 14 did not happen ‘in a vacuum.’ Iran’s steps were a response to the shameful inaction of the United Nations Security Council [and] a response to Israel’s blatant attack on Damascus… by no means the first. Syria is constantly being bombed by Israel,” Nebenzia said. On April 3, the US and UK refused to discuss Russia’s proposed draft UN Security Council statement on the Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. London and Washington then cited the fact that there was no unity in the meeting’s assessment of what happened. On Sunday, an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council is taking place in connection with the retaliatory strike that Iran carried out on the territory of Israel.

Meanwhile, shortly before that, Iran’s mission to the UN said that if the Security Council had condemned the Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate and brought the perpetrators to justice, the need for Iran to punish the Israeli side “could have been eliminated.” Russia calls for restraint on all sides involved in the incident with Iran’s attack on Israel, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN highlighted. Russia calls on Israel to follow the example of Iran, which has said it does not want further escalation, Nebenzia said. “We note Tehran’s signal of unwillingness to further escalate hostilities with Israel. We urge West Jerusalem to follow its example and abandon the practice of provocative forceful actions in the Middle East, fraught with extremely dangerous risks and consequences on the scale of the entire region, already destabilized as a result of the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation,” Nebenzia emphasized.

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“..suggesting Ukraine would drive up global oil prices with attacks on Russian refineries if US aid were not forthcoming..”

Zelensky Takes Advantage of Iran-Israel Crisis to Plead for More Money (Miles)

President Volodymyr Zelensky took to the X (formerly Twitter) social media platform Sunday to remind Western lawmakers not to forget about Ukraine as the world responds to Iran’s retaliatory strike against Israel. “Ukraine condemns Iran’s attack on Israel using ‘Shahed’ drones and missiles,” the leader wrote, claiming Moscow and Tehran utilize the same kinds of armaments. “The world cannot wait for discussions to go on,” he added. “Words do not stop drones and do not intercept missiles. Only tangible assistance does. The assistance we are anticipating… It is critical that the United States Congress make the necessary decisions to strengthen America’s allies at this critical time.” Former Ukrainian minister Volodymyr Omelyan was even more forceful, slamming former US President Donald Trump whose “America First” brand of conservatism has questioned US military spending.

“I hope that Iran’s attack on Israel will send a powerful message to Republicans, namely to Mr. Trump – you cannot wait aside any more and think that those are small separate regional conflicts happening somewhere in Europe, Middle East, [or] Asia,” Omelyan said in an interview with a US-based tabloid media outlet. “China, Russia, Iran and North Korea persistently attack the West,” he said, without clarifying when they have done so. China, Iran and North Korea have historically been subject to deadly US-backed economic sanctions. The United States invaded Russia in 1918 in an attempt to thwart the country’s unfolding revolution, and invaded China to help put down the Boxer Rebellion. Zelensky has occasionally compared Ukraine’s plight to that of Israel. In 2022 the Ukrainian leader claimed he saw the country as a model for Ukraine’s future, saying Ukraine should become a “big Israel.”

The president said he was referring to Israel’s model of hardened internal security, but critics may instead draw comparisons between the two countries’ strident nationalism and treatment of minorities. The Kiev regime has launched attacks on its Russian-speaking eastern regions for more than a decade, often killing civilians. A 2014 massacre of trade unionists in Odessa drew particular condemnation. Paramilitary groups attacked a peaceful rally in the coastal city, forcing people to take refuge in the Odessa Trade Union House. The neo-Nazi gangs then set fire to the building, killing some 50 people and bludgeoning to death those who attempted to escape. Anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalists have continued to constitute an important faction of the country’s armed forces, with Kiev officially integrating the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion into its military later that year.

Israel has also received criticism for its increasingly extremist trajectory in recent years. Neo-Nazi activist Richard Spencer publicly praised the country’s so-called “Jewish Nation State” law in 2018, viewing it as a model for his desired white ethnostate. Israeli human rights group B’tselem has called Israel an “apartheid” and ethnic supremacist regime. Ukraine has become more coercive in recent months as US aid has been stalled amidst political infighting. “Give us the damn Patriots,” demanded the country’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba last month, referring to the US-developed surface-to-air missile system Ukraine sees as crucial to its fight against Russia. Kuleba appeared to economically blackmail Western countries in recent comments, suggesting Ukraine would drive up global oil prices with attacks on Russian refineries if US aid were not forthcoming.

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“Everyone survives as best they can..”

Ukrainian FM Publicly Blackmails West Over Oil Prices (RT)

Kiev would be more receptive to appeals from the US and other Western allies to quit attacking Russian oil infrastructure if those benefactors would boost their military aid, Ukraine’s top diplomat has revealed. Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba offered his suggestion for how the West can earn Ukraine’s cooperation in a local broadcast interview on Sunday. His comments came after US defense chief Lloyd Austin expressed concern earlier this month that Ukrainian drone strikes against Russian refineries and oil storage facilities could trigger a jump in international energy prices. “You need to think in your own interests,” Kuleba told Rada TV. “If your partners are saying: ‘We are giving you seven Patriot batteries, but we have a request for you, please don’t do this and that’ – then there is something to talk about.”

On the other hand, if “no batteries, no aid package” are being offered in connection with the entreaty – then there is nothing to talk about. “Everyone survives as best they can,” he added. Weapons shipments from Washington, the biggest sponsor of Kiev’s war effort against Russia, have slowed in recent months amid struggles by US President Joe Biden to secure congressional approval for more Ukraine aid. Republican lawmakers have balked at Biden’s request for more than $60 billion in additional spending after his administration burned through $113 billion in previously approved funding. Kiev’s donors had previously expressed worries that Ukrainian strikes deep into Russian territory with weapons that NATO members provided could trigger a wider conflict. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier this month that Washington does not support Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil.

Austin later suggested that Kiev could focus on military targets because hitting petroleum infrastructure could roil international markets. Kuleba said he listened to Austin, but he sees no “cause-and-effect relationship in this matter.” When a refinery in Russia “explodes,” the resulting problems are confined to the Russian energy market, he claimed, and in any case, Ukraine has to prioritize its own interests. Ukrainian drone attacks have targeted several Russian refineries since early March. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu suggested that Kiev has resorted to terrorism and long-range strikes against Russia’s civilian population in an attempt to “convince its Western sponsors of its ability to resist the Russian Army.” That’s despite the fact that Kiev has not had any actual success on the battlefield, the minister added.

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“The country faces a particular shortage of young men and women..”

Germany Escalates Donbass Conflict, Kiev Says Frontline is Deteriorating (Sp.)

Germany offered to provide Kiev with another US Patriot air defense system Saturday as Ukraine’s military chief admitted the country’s position on its eastern front is rapidly deteriorating. “The situation on the eastern front has significantly worsened in recent days,” said Ukraine armed forces commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrsky, confirming recent media reports. Syrsky made the assessment in a post on Telegram after a visit to a part of territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic under Ukrainian control, which is now a Russian territory. “The enemy is actively attacking our positions in the Lyman [and] Bakhmut [Artemovsk] directions with assault groups and the support of armored vehicles,” he added. “In the Pokrovsk direction, it is trying to break through our defenses using dozens of tanks.”

Syrsky attributed Ukraine’s struggles to Russia’s greater supply of weapons and military technology. Russia’s defense industry has risen to the occasion during the conflict by churning out significant supplies of ammunition. Observers have praised the quality of Russian armaments, particularly its well-respected tank building tradition. Material support for the Kiev regime has meanwhile stalled as Europe’s defense industry fails to meet demand and US backing is stymied by domestic politics. Syrsky also acknowledged a lack of effective manpower. Ukraine’s population, less than a third of Russia’s, has declined by some 30% amidst a demographic crisis after the country’s independence. The country faces a particular shortage of young men and women; the age of the average Ukrainian soldier is estimated to be 43 years old.

“The second serious problem is to improve the quality of training of military personnel, primarily infantry units, so that they can make maximum use of all the capabilities of military equipment and western weapons,” said the military chief. Reports have emerged of Ukrainian troops being provided with only a few weeks of instruction after often being forcibly conscripted. Dry weather has granted Russian tanks easy passage over Ukraine’s terrain according to Syrsky. From the air, Moscow has made extensive use of retrofitted glide bombs and drone strikes. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pleaded with Western partners to help augment the country’s air defense capacity.

Germany obliged Saturday, promising to provide Kiev with a third US Patriot surface-to-air missile system after previously having rejected the request. The pledge follows a familiar pattern of Western countries eventually conceding to Ukrainian requests for armaments after publicly agonizing over the threat of escalation. “We are supporting Ukraine as much as our own operational readiness will allow,” said German Minister of Defense Boris Pistorius Saturday. Observers have questioned the consequences of Western countries depleting their weapons stocks after more than two years of arming Kiev.

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“Western imperialism and fascism have come full circle in a staggeringly short span of history..”

Germany Joins Israel In Dock For Genocide (SCF)

Eight decades ago, Nazi Germany deployed Ukrainian fascists to exterminate Jews and Slavs with a death toll of up to 30 million Soviet citizens. The contemporary Ukrainian regime glorifies these Nazi collaborators. The United States deployed the same Ukrainian fascists after the Second World War to wage covert war against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Thus, Germany and the United States along with other Western powers are continuing deep-seated historical crimes by way of their proxy war against Russia. The same imperialist rogue states are enabling Israeli aggression against Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Israel’s deadly bombing of the Iranian embassy in Damascus earlier this month was a particularly brazen violation of international law. The barbarity of the Israeli fascist regime is fully enabled and incentivized by its Western patrons.

The bitter irony is Washington and Berlin remonstrating with Iran to exercise “maximum restraint” while Israel openly attacks its sovereignty and assassinates its citizens. Meanwhile, the United States, Australia and Britain are cajoling Japan to join their military alliance to provoke China. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was feted in Washington this week where he signed bellicose new military measures aimed at China and Russia. Kishida linked Ukraine with Asia, claiming that if Russia were to win the war in Ukraine, then China would take over East Asia. The Japanese minion gets its half right. The regions are indeed linked, not by alleged Russian and Chinese misconduct, but by the U.S.-led imperialism that Japan is cravenly serving.

Western imperialism and fascism have come full circle in a staggeringly short span of history. Nearly 80 years after Japan was defeated in the Pacific War in which it was responsible for up to 20 million deaths in China, Tokyo is at the forefront of new plans to wage a potential nuclear war on China. The perversion of Japan joining with the United States in this venture after the latter dropped two atomic bombs on its people in 1945 is yet another sickening twist in history. The monstrous crimes of Nazi Germany and fascist Japan are today rehabilitated because the same forces serve the imperialist geopolitical interests of today. The twists and contradictions of history are, however, crystallized in one historical force. All the crimes, barbarity, bloodshed and danger of catastrophic world war are the cause of imperialist powers – chief among them the United States and its insatiable quest for hegemonic domination.

Historic failure and systemic collapse of Western capitalism is the motive engine driving the world to war again, as it was in previous periods of the modern age. Colonialist genocide, World War One, World War Two, and now the abyss of World War Three. Germany in the dock for genocide with Israel is not as incongruous as it might seem. Because imperialism and fascism are on the rampage again across the world. Both Germany and Israel are gang members in the crime syndicate, each with their specific justifying myths and alibis. Russia and China are arguably the two nations that suffered the most in history from fascism. It is entirely consistent – if not lamentable – that Russia and China today are once again confronted by the same forces. Germany is once again on the wrong side of history. And so too are the United States and all its Western vassals. Eternal shame on them.

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“The evacuation plans, codenamed Operation Meteoric..”

Royal Marines To Lead ‘Dunkirk-style’ Evacuation Of Britons In Middle East (DM)

Royal Marines are poised to lead a ‘Dunkirk-style’ evacuation of thousands of UK nationals from the Middle East after Iran launched a huge drone and missile attack against Israel last night. Commandos have already conducted reconnaissance along the Lebanese coastline ahead of a potential maritime rescue mission. The daring mission – reminiscent of the huge effort to evacuate 338,000 British troops stranded in France by the Germans during the opening salvo of the Second World War in 1940 – was exclusively revealed by the Mail on Friday. It came a day before Tehran launched a huge aerial bombardment on Saturday evening, which was in retaliation of a deadly consul blast an an Iranian embassy in Syria that killed 13 people Speaking exclusively to the Mail earlier this week, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed he ‘stands ready’ to assist any Britons trapped in the region. The Foreign Office has already advised all UK citizens to leave Lebanon.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said there remained a ‘serious threat’ of attack while it was reported that Iran had sent a message to Washington warning them against the involvement of US troops in the region. The evacuation plans, codenamed Operation Meteoric, will be spearheaded by the UK’s ‘Green Berets’ and supported by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. The Mail has been told a party of Marines from 30 Commando arrived in the region in recent days. Operation Meteoric has been likened to Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of allied soldiers from Dunkirk in 1940 when they were surrounded by German forces. Israel and its allies remain braced for a huge Iranian response to the attack on its Syrian consulate earlier this month, which left 13 dead, including a senior Iranian commander.

While Israel has not claimed responsibility for the blast it is widely considered to have been behind it. Iran’s response may also involve the heavily armed military group Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon. Tonight, intelligence reports suggested the retaliation could include more than 100 drones, dozens of cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. Such a scenario would likely lead to civilian ‘air bridges’ shutting down – hence the need for a maritime solution. The Mail has been told how the preparatory work behind Operation Meteoric was conducted by the Royal Marines’ Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron (SRS). They studied stretches of the Lebanese coastline and selected potential locations for such a rescue mission.

Stranded civilians would be ferried from beaches in raiding craft to Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships in the eastern Mediterranean. While it is understood Iran is eager to avoid direct engagement with UK forces, RAF Typhoon jets based in Cyprus could provide ‘top cover’. Earlier this week, Mr Shapps told the Mail: ‘UK nationals in the region will be concerned by what Iran is threatening to do. So we stand ready to assist them. ‘There are plans, but they cannot be discussed for security reasons.’

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McCullough childhood vaccines

 

 

Elephant mom

 

 

Baby elephant

 

 

Elephant transport

 

 

Movement Act

 

 

Kittens

 

 

 

 

Shark

 

 

10,000 ducks

 

 

Horse friend

 

 

 

 

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Apr 132024
 


Edgar Degas Two laundresses 1876

 

Here’s Russia’s Plan For Ukraine For This Summer (Poletaev)
US Has ‘No Viable Plan’ for Ukraine – J.D. Vance (RT)
No ‘Great Counteroffensive,’ Ukraine on Brink of Collapse – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Zelensky Could End Ukraine’s Viability as Country With Mobilization Law (Sp.)
West Gets ‘Fantastic Value’ out of Ukraine – Boris Johnson (RT)
Trump Offers Conditions For Ukraine Aid Renewal (RT)
Taxpayers Heavily Subsidize Democrat Boots on the Ground This Election (RCW)
16 GOP Attorneys General Challenge Garland’s Comments on Voting Laws (ET)
Democrats Used Campaign Funds To Pay Biden’s Lawyers (RT)
The Beauty Parlor’s Full of Sailors and the Circus is in Town (Kunstler)
UN Climate Chief Says Humans Have 2 Years Left ‘To Save The World’ (AP)
The Great Dispossession Part 1 (Paul Craig Roberts)
Requiem for The New York Times (Chris Hedges)
Deep State versus Julian Assange (Hayes)

 

 

 

 

Trump Johnson

Bragg

 

 

Mike McCormick

 

 

Stefanik

 

 

Lukashenko
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778783407838732765

 

 

Biden 1988

 

 

FISA

 

 

Roseanne

 

 

Gina Carano

 

 

 

 

No hurry.

Here’s Russia’s Plan For Ukraine For This Summer (Poletaev)

From time to time, people ask why Russia is not acting more decisively in Ukraine, and why it appears to be dragging its feet. Some say it’s out of weakness, others suspect some secret agreements with the West, and it seems there are theories to suit all tastes. In reality, the answer is clear and transparent. This year and the next, Russia has budgeted about 5-6% of GDP on the Ukraine conflict, and the Kremlin’s task is to use these comparatively small resources as efficiently as possible. They intention is to achieve the goals of the military operation without a new mobilization, and to preserve not only a calm and functioning economy but also stability inside the country. Although the front line has remained largely static since autumn 2022, the political situation and the circumstances in which the conflict will likely end are changing radically – in Russia’s favor.

With little risk and at relatively small financial expense, President Vladimir Putin is slowly but surely getting his way. There is increasing talk of an imminent Russian offensive. As with the Ukrainian ‘counteroffensive’ a year ago, commentators claim to know exactly where it will take place (towards Kharkov or Sumy), when it will happen (in May or June), and are sure in advance that it will be decisive for the whole conflict, and so on. But it seems to us that the Kremlin does not want a big march on Ukraine’s second city this summer, and here is why. Firstly, there is a lack of experience. We are talking about an operation on the scale of the Eastern Front in the Second World War, and such endeavors have never been carried out during the current campaign. (February 22, 2022 doesn’t count, because the enemy wasn’t fully mobilized, and the front line didn’t really exist so there was no need to break through anything.)

In any conflict, the scale required for offensive battles increases steadily, and the appropriate tools, strategic and tactical techniques, officer and staff corps need to be formed. The leap required to go from a five-month operation to take Avdeevka to a rapid and successful occupation of Kharkov or Sumy seems unfathomable. Also, the forces and means required are not yet in place. Yes, we have reserves of about 150,000-170,000 people. Yes, more people are signing up for military service every month than Ukraine is catching in taverns and on the streets, which means that the numbers are still growing. But a mass of soldiers is not an army. They need to be armed, equipped, trained, provided with experienced officers, staff capacity, equipment, shells, aircraft, and other things.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said that the formation of two new general armies will be completed by the end of 2024. So the Russian Armed Forces will only reach their peak form in eight to nine months, and then the conditions for opening a second front should be apparent. But what about this summer? Unless the Ukrainian front suddenly collapses, we are likely to see a slow and measured advance, with a fight for every field and village, combined with simultaneous air strikes deep inside the front and on the Ukrainian rear. Despite increasingly sophisticated Ukrainian counterattacks, such a scenario will exhaust the enemy much faster than it exhausts us, which means that by the end of the year, or into next summer, the balance of forces will have shifted even more in our favor. In any case, this is the calculation of our general staff.

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“Ukraine’s challenge is not the GOP; it’s math..”

US Has ‘No Viable Plan’ for Ukraine – J.D. Vance (RT)

Kiev cannot win against Moscow because it has run out of men and needs more weapons and ammunition than Washington could possibly provide, US Senator said on Friday. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer argued that “the biggest reason Ukraine is losing the war is because the hard-right in the Congress has paralyzed the US from acting.” The New York Democrat claimed that a small group of Republicans have been holding up a vital $60 billion aid package for Kiev. In an op-ed published by the New York Times, Vance addressed Schumer’s claim and accused President Joe Biden of having “failed to articulate even basic facts” about what Ukraine needs and the reality on the ground. “The Biden administration has no viable plan for the Ukrainians to win this war,” Vance argued.

“Ukraine’s challenge is not the GOP; it’s math,” the Ohio Republican wrote. “Ukraine needs more soldiers than it can field, even with draconian conscription policies. And it needs more matériel than the United States can provide.” Not only is $60 billion a fraction of what Ukraine would need to turn the tide, Americans “lack the capacity to manufacture the amount of weapons Ukraine needs us to supply to win the war,” Vance argued. He pointed to the fact that the US can make 360,000 shells for 155mm artillery per year, “less than a tenth of what Ukraine says it needs,” and that’s after doubling prewar production capacity. Vance also took aim at the White House’s messaging that funding Kiev is good for US military industry.

“The notion that we should prolong a bloody and gruesome war because it’s been good for American business is grotesque. We can and should rebuild our industrial base without shipping its products to a foreign conflict,” he wrote. The US insistence on not negotiating with Russia is “absurd” and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s goal of restoring Ukraine’s 1991 borders is “fantastical,” Vance added. He urged Kiev to dig in and hold until some kind of peace can be brokered by Washington. Earlier this week, however, Zelensky said Ukraine was planning yet another counteroffensive – after the costly failure of last summer’s operation – but needed even more weapons and ammunition from the West.

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“There will be no “great Ukrainian counteroffensive,” as Russia has entirely “changed the game” on the battlefield..”

No ‘Great Counteroffensive,’ Ukraine on Brink of Collapse – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

There will be no “great Ukrainian counteroffensive,” as Russia has entirely “changed the game” on the battlefield, former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter told Sputnik. The promises that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky dangles before his Western patrons in an effort to wangle more aid from them are just empty promises, the retired US Marine Corps intelligence officer said. He likened the two opposing sides in NATO’s ongoing proxy war against Russia in Ukraine to two “Jenga blocks.” “What is going on between Russia and Ukraine today is that Russia is making Ukraine lose ‘Jenga blocks’ at a rate far greater than NATO can replace them. Ukraine’s Jenga block structure is becoming weak, and may collapse at any moment,” he said.

Accordingly, Zelensky is appealing to Europe and the United States, begging for more “Jenga blocks”: air defense, tanks, artillery, artillery shells, “because his structure is on the verge of collapsing,” Ritter noted. Russia, on the other hand, is building walls of protection around its “Jenga blocks,” the analyst underscored. “Russia is very strong, sturdy, and is in no danger of collapsing. Ukraine is teetering on the brink of collapse. Not just militarily, but also economically, politically. Russia has taken apart the Kiev regime’s energy infrastructure, which spells an imminent collapse of the defense industries,” the expert said. The Russian Armed Forces have been conducting massive precision strikes using long-range air and sea-based weapons, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles, on fuel and energy infrastructure in Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Thursday that the strikes were in response to attempts by the Kiev regime to damage Russian oil and gas industry and energy facilities.

“Politically speaking, the world is tired of the Ukrainian conflict, tired of a nation that begs for more and more, but cannot produce any positive outcomes on the battlefield,” Scott Ritter emphasized. He added that the Ukrainian “Jenga block” structure is “about to collapse, and that is going to happen sooner rather than later.” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky told the German tabloid Bild on Tuesday that Kiev had already come up with a plan for a new counteroffensive against Russian forces, but needs more advanced Western weapons. The much-heralded 2023 offensive started with a delay on June 4 and ended in November 2023 without achieving any of its stated goals, such as reaching the Azov Sea in order to cut “the land bridge” between Crimea and “mainland” Russia. Zelensky’s previous failed counteroffensive plan resulted in the deaths and serious injuries of over 166,000 Ukrainian soldiers, as well as the loss of 789 tanks, 2,400 other armored vehicles, and 132 aircraft.

Russia, on the other hand, proved decisively that its military equipment, tactics, and military-industrial base are no worse than NATO’s, destroying hundreds of modern Western military vehicles, tanks, and artillery systems. A high-ranking source in the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that any new Ukrainian counteroffensive would end in complete disaster for Kiev, with the ultimate defeat of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

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“It is a little Banderite, fascist dictatorship.”

Zelensky Could End Ukraine’s Viability as Country With Mobilization Law (Sp.)

On Thursday, Ukraine’s parliament adopted a new mobilization law, requiring all men aged 18 to 60 to register within 60 days and carry registration documents with them in public. The rules came just weeks after Ukraine lowered its conscription age from 27 to 25. Ukraine is at risk of losing its viability as a nation if it continues to mobilize its male population, as it was already dealing with a massive demographic deficit due to a massive drop in birth rates after the fall of the Soviet Union. “There are a lot more people in the 35-plus age bracket and a much smaller group of people in the younger bracket,” Mark Sleboda, a security and international relations expert told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Thursday. “They’re seriously at such a demographic crisis,” that it has put at risk “the future [and] the viability of Ukraine as a country.”

According to Sleboda, large parts of the bill remain classified, including the number of Ukrainians set to be mobilized. However, 450,000 – 500,000 has been floated by military generals and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a possible goal in recent months. “Figures within the Kiev regime are once again talking about mobilizing women in a separate bill, so that’s come up again,” Sleboda explained, adding that the medical exceptions, including for injuries in combat, have been lowered. “For instance, if you already fought and lost a leg, you’re not exempt anymore. You can still pilot a drone, right? That’s the mentality of the new bill.”

Zelensky also said another $13 billion would be needed to carry out his plan, but money is in short supply for the Kiev regime, and further US aid to Ukraine has been stalled in Congress since last summer. The US ran out of congressionally approved aid late last year. Still, Zelensky has kept his grip on power, preventing any kind of resistance from the Ukrainian people. “You can’t really have protests in the country except for wives and mothers, because any men who show their face in public are instantly sent to the trenches in Kupyansk,” Sleboda explained.

In March 2022, Zelensky banned eleven political parties in Ukraine, which was on top of the parties banned by former President Petro Poroshenko during Ukraine’s so-called “decommunization.” This has left virtually no opposition to Zelensky’s plans, with even some members of the ruling elite complaining that Zelensky has become a dictator. “Even the mayor of Kiev, [former Boxer Vitali Klitschko], and numerous other public figures have said, even though they’re part of the Maidan ruling elite, [they say] ‘we’ve become a dictatorship under Zelensky,’” Sleboda explained. “[We’re] not talking about real opposition, but even other members of the Maidan elite don’t have any power anymore outside of Zelensky.” “We’re not talking about a democratic country as the West presents,” Sleboda said. “It is a little Banderite, fascist dictatorship.”

zel

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“The theme of the lecture was the superiority of democracy, a political system “by which we kick the bastards out..”

West Gets ‘Fantastic Value’ out of Ukraine – Boris Johnson (RT)

The Ukrainians are fighting the West’s fight with Russia and do not ask for much, so the money and resources put into the country generate “fantastic value,” according to former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The politician, who reportedly personally derailed a nascent peace agreement between Moscow and Kiev in 2022, discussed his policy choices on Thursday with students of Georgetown University, one of the leading breeding grounds of American political elites. The theme of the lecture was the superiority of democracy, a political system “by which we kick the bastards out,” as the Conservative politician phrased it. Johnson himself was forced out in 2022, after a string of scandals and accusations that his government had deceived the British public. Arming Ukraine against Russia is part of the global fight for democracy, he told the students. And the tens of billions of dollars it requires from the West are “a fraction of US annual defense spending.”

“There could be no more effective way of investing in Western security than investing in Ukraine, because those guys without a single pair of American boots on the ground are fighting for the West,” Johnson said. The Ukrainians “are effectively fighting our own fight, fighting for our own interests.” Early in the conflict, the US and its allies assumed a Russian victory would be swift, and such an outcome “would have been a nightmare,” Johnson suggested, painting Ukraine as a vibrant democracy. ”In Ukrainian elections you don’t know the outcome in advance,” he said. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky declined to hold elections this year, citing the state of martial law. The deadline for Ukrainians to vote in a new leader passed in March, and Zelensky’s term will expire in May.

Johnson went on to claim that “in Ukraine journalists don’t get shot.” However, there have been several high profile incidents of media workers being killed in the country. Journalists Oles Buzina and Pavel Shermet were assassinated in 2015 and 2016 respectively. No one has been brought to trial in either case. The former prime minister also said he was skeptical of claims that Donald Trump intends to pressure Kiev into ceding territory to Moscow, if re-elected as US president. ”Think about what it might mean to a new president to have a triumph for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the humiliation of the West,” he explained. Trump was the first US leader to send weapons to Ukraine, Johnson recalled, stressing that the Republican’s actions would not necessarily follow his rhetoric.

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Why aid renewal if you’re going to solve it in 24 hours?

Trump Offers Conditions For Ukraine Aid Renewal (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has said he would not be opposed to Congress approving more aid to Ukraine as long as the assistance is given in the form of loans, rather than gifts. He also insisted that European allies must match Washington’s level of assistance to Kiev. Speaking to reporters on Friday alongside US House Speaker Mike Johnson, Trump declared his support for the embattled Republican leader. Asked if he would give his blessing for Ukrainian aid legislation if Johnson brings the bill to a vote, he said, “We’re thinking about making it in the form of a loan, instead of just a gift. We keep handing out gifts of billions and billions of dollars, and we’ll take a look at it.” Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee in this year’s presidential election and is polling ahead of incumbent President Joe Biden.

He first floated the idea of converting Ukraine aid to loans in February, and he has repeatedly claimed that he will end Kiev’s conflict with Moscow within 24 hours by forcing both sides to the negotiating table. Republican lawmakers have been blocking new aid approvals for Ukraine since last fall, arguing that Biden is merely prolonging the bloodshed while offering no strategy for ending the bloodshed. However, Johnson is reportedly ready to let a $60 billion Ukraine funding bill advance to a House vote, despite opposition from a majority of Republicans. With Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Trump ally, threatening to push for a vote to oust Johnson, the speaker traveled to Florida on Friday to meet with the former president.

“It’s not an easy situation for any speaker,” Trump told reporters. “I think he’s doing a very good job. He’s doing about as good as you’re going to do.” He added that if new US assistance for Ukraine is approved, “Europe has to step up, and they have to equalize it. They don’t equalize. I’m very upset about it because they’re affected much more than we are.” Trump repeated his claim that the Russia-Ukraine conflict would have never happened if he were still president. Biden’s incompetence opened the door for both the Ukraine crisis and the Israel-Hamas war, Trump claimed. He added that under his successor’s leadership, “We’re a nation in decline, we’re a declining nation.” Trump also warned that the conflicts in Ukraine and Israel could escalate dramatically even before the US election in November. “A lot of bad things are happening in our country, but that’s the least of it. You’ve got Russia – you could end up in a world war between Russia, Ukraine, and all of the chaos.”

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“There is an overt assault on President Trump and those who wish to vote for him occurring at every level of government and with the support of all major institutions.”

Taxpayers Heavily Subsidize Democrat Boots on the Ground This Election (RCW)

Progressives are using legal loopholes and the power of the federal government to maximize Democrat votes in the 2024 election at taxpayers’ expense, RealClearInvestigations has found. The methods include voter registration and mobilization campaigns by ostensibly nonpartisan charities that target Democrats using demographic data as proxies, and the Biden administration’s unprecedented demand that every federal agency “consider ways to expand citizens’ opportunities to register to vote and to obtain information about, and participate in, the electoral process.” A dizzying array of overwhelmingly “democracy-focused” entities with ties to the Democratic Party operating as charities and funded with hundreds of millions of dollars from major liberal “dark money” vehicles are engaged in a sprawling campaign to register the voters, deliver them the ballots, and figuratively and sometimes literally harvest the votes necessary to defeat Donald Trump.

These efforts, now buttressed by the federal government, amplify and extend what Time magazine described as a “well-funded cabal of powerful people ranging across industries and ideologies,” who had worked behind the scenes in 2020 “to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information” to defeat Trump and other Republicans. The “shadow campaigners,” Time declared, “were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it.” Heading into 2024, “there is not a ‘shadow’ campaign,” said Mike Howell, executive director of the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project. “There is an overt assault on President Trump and those who wish to vote for him occurring at every level of government and with the support of all major institutions.” By contrast, Republican Party stalwarts lament that no comparable effort exists on their side.

The GOP’s turnout and messaging efforts seek to thread a difficult needle by encouraging early and absentee voting and ballot-harvesting – pandemic-era measures that Trump and supporters blame for his 2020 electoral defeat – while the party simultaneously fights the mainly blue-state laws that made the practices possible. The party’s position is further complicated by its standard-bearer’s warnings of a rigged election bigger than in 2020, which some speculate could turn off moderate swing voters. The IRS permits tax-exempt nonprofit groups to engage in voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives so long as they do not “refer to any candidate or political party” nor conduct their activities “in a biased manner that favors (or opposes) one or more candidates prohibited.” These entities have become magnets for funds not only from wealthy donors, who can contribute without traditional campaign finance limits – and get a tax break to boot – but also abundantly endowed private foundations that are prohibited from engaging in partisan activities.

In recent years, dozens of progressive-oriented 501(c)(3)s, now pulling in upwards of $500 million annually, have engaged in purportedly neutral efforts to impact elections, according to Hayden Ludwig, director of Policy Research at the election integrity-focused advocacy group, Restoration of America. In practice, critics like Ludwig argue, left-leaning charities flout the law by registering and mobilizing demographics that tend to vote disproportionately Democratic behind a veil of non-partisan democracy promotion. During the 2020 election, for example, the Voter Participation Center solicited millions of ballot applications in swing states – many of them prefilled for respondents. This nonprofit, like its peers, is clear that it isn’t targeting just any voters, but what it and progressive activists have dubbed a “New American Majority” of “young people, people of color and unmarried women.”

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“..none of these identification requirements are considered ‘discriminatory’ or ‘burdensome.’ Requiring an ID to vote in an election is no different.”

16 GOP Attorneys General Challenge Garland’s Comments on Voting Laws (ET)

A group of Republican state attorneys general are pushing back against U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s comments made in March at a church in Selma, Alabama, where he discussed using the Department of Justice (DOJ) to interfere in state voting laws. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, in a letter supported by 15 other GOP prosecutors, including Ken Paxton in Texas and Liz Murrill in Louisiana, stated that Mr. Garland’s comments are “concerning.” “In your speech, you claimed that democracy is under attack by ‘discriminatory, burdensome, and unnecessary restrictions on access to the ballot,’” Mr. Rokita wrote. “In response to these allegations, you announced that you ‘double[d] the number of lawyers in the civil rights division’ and ‘launched the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force,’ signaling your intent to intrude on our states’ authority.”

Mr. Rokita called this a “weaponization of the DOJ” fueled by Mr. Garland’s personal views, which he called a “serious threat to the principles of federalism and separation of powers, but also to democracy and the rule of law.”
In the letter, Mr. Rokita said the U.S. Constitution is clear in its direction to leave state elections up to the elected representatives of those states.“Any subversion of these clear mandates would be undermining our Constitution and law and order,” he wrote. “And we think your remarks undermine these principles in a few ways.” Mr. Garland told the audience at the Tabernacle Baptist Church that his DOJ is challenging state laws that he said are placing unneeded restrictions on black voters. He said black voters are disenfranchised by these restrictions on mail-in voting, the use of drop boxes, and voter ID. “That is why we are working to block the adoption of discriminatory redistricting plans that dilute the vote of Black voters and other voters of color,” Mr. Garland said.

“We are holding accountable jurisdictions that fail to provide accessible vote centers for voters with disabilities. We are defending the ability of private individuals—not just the government—to bring lawsuits under the key provisions of the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Mr. Rokita addressed Mr. Garland’s statement on voter ID laws, stating that contrary to Mr. Garland’s claiming they are discriminatory, they prohibit voter fraud, which he called “very real,” and referenced several occurrences. “With these repeated instances of voter fraud, the DOJ should be championing these laws and encouraging enforcement of them,” Mr. Rokita said. “Individuals are required to use an ID to prove identity when driving a car, boarding an airline, buying cigarettes, or purchasing alcohol, and none of these identification requirements are considered ‘discriminatory’ or ‘burdensome.’ Requiring an ID to vote in an election is no different.”

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Biden legal fees: $1.5 million.
Trump legal fees: $100 million and counting.

Democrats Used Campaign Funds To Pay Biden’s Lawyers (RT)

The Democratic Party has reportedly diverted political donations to help cover legal costs incurred by Joe Biden while he was being investigated for mishandling state secrets – even as the US president’s reelection campaign condemned rival Donald Trump for the same tactic. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) paid more than $1.5 million to lawyers or firms representing Biden, Axios reported on Friday, citing campaign finance records and unidentified people familiar with the matter. The payments were made between July 2023 and February 2024, as US Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Robert Hur was investigating Biden’s handling of classified documents that he illegally retained after completing his two terms as vice president. Even as those payments were made, the Biden campaign ramped up its criticism of former US President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee in this year’s election, for using political donations to pay his lawyers.

Trump has reportedly incurred more than $100 million in legal fees while defending himself against 91 charges in four separate criminal cases, including two indictments brought by Biden’s DOJ. Biden’s backers have mocked Trump for soliciting donations to pay his lawyers. Just last month, DNC executive director Sam Cornale warned that the Republican National Committee (RNC) might start covering Trump’s legal fees after installing new leadership. “Pledging to spend the RNC’s non-existent war chest on Trump’s legal bills is not a good pitch to donors, who are already refusing to donate,” Cornale said. Last weekend, Biden campaign finance chief Rufus Gifford told MSNBC that “every single dime” given by donors was being used to get the president’s message out to voters. “We are not spending money on legal bills,” he said. “We are not hawking gold sneakers or any of that stuff.”

Confronted by Axios over the use of donations to pay Biden’s lawyers, DNC spokesman Alex Floyd said, “There is no comparison. The DNC does not spend a single penny of grassroots donors’ money on legal bills, unlike Donald Trump, who actively solicits legal fees from his supporters and has drawn down every bank account he can get his hands on, like a personal piggy bank.” Hur issued a report on his investigation in February, saying Biden had “willfully retained and disclosed” state secrets after leaving office as vice president in 2017. However, the special counsel didn’t recommend indicting Biden. He said it would be difficult to prove Biden’s intent to a jury because the 81-year-old president came across in interviews as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

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“Joe Biden” keeps hinting about sending America’s tranny army there, and even gearing up the military draft for the nose-ring and blue hair generation..”

The Beauty Parlor’s Full of Sailors and the Circus is in Town (Kunstler)

This is that part of the movie where the hero — you — tumbles off the cliff on Kong Island in a lightning storm with a canyon full of tarantulas down below where you’ll soon be landing. I know, not a pretty picture. The cliff is our country’s financial quandary; the lightning is us getting sucked directly into war; and the tarantula pit below is the emerging peril of Covid vaccine injury and death coming on hard, like your landing. Gold and silver are vaulting up suddenly like nobody’s business (literally). This may be fun to see if you are sitting on a pile, even a small pile of the stuff. But to everybody else it’s a signal that something is messed up in the complex engine of the economy. You know, of course, that our money is debt. So, debt is the fuel that drives that engine. Debt is a promise to pay back money with interest to take advantage of the time-value of money. The time-value of money means it’s better to have the money now (to keep the engine running) than to wait until your work produces money (if it even can).

The trouble is, debt loses its credibility if there is no plausible way of paying it back, or even just to keep paying the interest. That’s exactly what is happening now. Everybody can see that the US government can’t pay the interest on its debt, which is Treasury bonds, notes, and bills (from long duration to short). That debt is running at well over $1-trillion a year. That’s a thousand billion, which is a thousand million, altogether a million million. See, it’s impossible to grok how more than a trillion dollars gets produced in an economy based on selling fried chicken nuggets and streamed movies to people with no jobs.

When the Treasury holds an auction on a new issue of bonds (needed to pay off the interest on old bonds) and nobody shows up to buy because they doubt its ability to pay interest on the new paper, our country’s debt becomes worthless. As a last resort, the Federal Reserve swoops in and buys that worthless paper by creating “money” on its computer. That “money” goes out into the economy. The Fed pretends to get paid interest. It’s all fakery, a swindle. It’s like putting water in the gas tank of your engine. You know that the engine is going to throw a rod. When it does, it’ll be such a shock that the vehicle it’s running in is liable to hit a bridge abutment or something else hard. That’s what tumbling off the cliff is like.

The dopes running US foreign policy are so foolishly obsessed with taunting Russia (“poking the bear”), that they can’t give up their sponsorship of the war in Ukraine, which Ukraine is losing because they never had the mojo for the fight. That should have been obvious, but for some reason our “best-and-brightest” overlooked that. No amount of free weaponry and ammo can make up for the fact that Ukraine has run out of young men to pointlessly get shredded by Russian artillery. Russia is unwilling to get rolled by NATO and the US in a part of the world Russia has controlled for centuries. Yet, “Joe Biden” keeps hinting about sending America’s tranny army there, and even gearing up the military draft for the nose-ring and blue hair generation. Good luck with that.

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Jim Rickards: “What a fraud. They’ve been saying that for 40 years and they’ve been wrong all along. He also asked for $2.4 Trillion from developed countries. No surprise there. Let’s just call a scam a scam.”

UN Climate Chief Says Humans Have 2 Years Left ‘To Save The World’ (AP)

Humanity has only two years left “to save the world” by making dramatic changes in the way it spews heat-trapping emissions and it has even less time to act to get the finances behind such a massive shift, the head of the United Nations climate agency said. With governments of the world facing a 2025 deadline for new and stronger plans to curb carbon pollution, nearly half of the world’s populations voting in elections this year, and crucial global finance meetings later this month in Washington, United Nations executive climate secretary Simon Stiell said Wednesday he knows his warning may sound melodramatic. But he said action over the next two years is “essential.” “We still have a chance to make greenhouse gas emissions tumble, with a new generation of national climate plans.

But we need these stronger plans, now,” Stiell said in a speech at the Chatham House think tank in London. He suggested that climate action is not just for powerful people to address — in a not-so-veiled reference to the electoral calendar this year. “Who exactly has two years to save the world? The answer is every person on this planet,” Stiell said. “More and more people want climate action right across societies and political spectrums, in large part because they are feeling the impacts of the climate crisis in their everyday lives and their household budgets.” [..] Stiell’s speech comes just ahead of meetings of The World Bank and other big multinational development institutions, where poorer nations, led by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Kenyan President William Ruto, are pushing for major reforms in the systems that loan money to poor nations, especially those hit by climate-related disasters.

In conjunction with that push, Stiell called for “a quantum leap this year in climate finance.” He called for debt relief for the countries that need it the most, saying they are spending $400 billion on debt financing instead of preparing for and preventing future climate change. He called for more financial aid, not just loans, and more money from different groups like banks, the International Maritime Organization, and the G20, the world’s 20 most powerful economies. Those countries are responsible for 80% of the world’s heat-trapping emissions, he said. “G20 leadership must be at the core of the solution, as it was during the great financial crisis,” Stiell said.

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“Our bank deposits and stocks and bonds, in the event the depository institution gets into trouble, belong to the depository institution’s creditors, not to us..”

The Great Dispossession Part 1 (Paul Craig Roberts)

Some definitions: an “account holder” is you, your IRA, your pension plan, your stock and bond investments held at an “account provider” or “intermediary” or “depository institution” such as Merrill Lynch, Schwab, Wells Fargo. An “entitlement holder” is the definition of you whose ownership claim to your financial assets has been subordinated to the claims of “secured creditors” of the institution where you have your accounts. Please do understand that the dispossession of which I write is your dispossession. Klaus Schwab tells us that in the Great Reset that the World Economic Forum is preparing for us “you will own nothing and you will be happy.” Well, we already own nothing. Our bank deposits and stocks and bonds, in the event the depository institution gets into trouble, belong to the depository institution’s creditors, not to us. All assets are pooled and serve as collateral whether or not labeled “segregated.” You might remember that during the last financial crisis we were told that there would be no more bail-outs, that in the future there would be bail-ins.

A bail-out is when central bank money creation rescues the favored troubled financial institutions. A bail-in is when the depositors’ assets are used for the rescues. David Rogers Webb, an experienced financial market participant, explains it in The Great Taking in 72 readable pages plus a 25 page prologue explaining who he is and a 20 page reply of the New York Fed to the European Commission Legal Certainty Group’s questions. The Great Taking is available from Lulu for $10 and is free online: https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/1ee786fb-3c78-4903-9701-d614892d09d6/taking-feb24-screen2.pdf. The loss of property rights in financial assets is the case throughout the Western world. The rewrite of financial property rights appears to be the work of regulatory bodies, not legislatures which seem to be unaware of it. No, it is not a conspiracy theory. Regulatory authorities have made legal changes of which financial market participants are unaware. Webb’s purpose is to bring awareness, which is why he has made his book freely available.

As a result of these changes, which appear to have been made by financial regulatory authorities rather than by elected legislatures, individuals no longer have property rights in “their” securities. “Owners” now have “entitlement rights,” which means that they have pro-rata rights to whatever securities remain in the depository institution after secured creditors’ claims are met. In actual fact, “your” securities and your bank deposits are no longer recognized in law as your personal property if the depository institution–the bank or, for example, Merrill Lynch–becomes financially troubled. Your “ownership” is encumbered as collateral for secured creditors who are the owners in fact. Apparently, this was done by regulatory authorities as underpinning for the derivatives complex, which is many magnitudes greater than world GNP, or perhaps derivative exposure served as an excuse for setting up the Great Reset in which “you will own nothing.” Indeed, individual banks among the world’s largest have derivative exposure the size of world GDP.

You might wonder why regulatory authorities permitted something so dangerous and irresponsible to occur. To state the bottom line in another way, “your” securities serve as collateral for the creditors of depository institutions. Your right to “your” property terminates the minute the depository institution gets in financial trouble. Communications between the New York Federal Reserve Bank and the European Commission Legal Certainty Group and the court case resulting from the failure of Lehman Brothers have established legal certainty that secured creditors are empowered to immediately take client assets in the event of a failure in the custodian. National central depositories of securities (all are now pooled, none held under the “owner’s” name or segregated) are now established and are linked to the international depository so that securities can instantly be delivered world wide to meet secured creditors’ claims. Essentially, the mega-banks are “privileged creditors.”

You might think that your money and your stocks and bonds would be safe if you use as your depository one of the “banks too big to fail.” You would be mistaken. The Federal Reserve permits the large banks to create subsidiaries that hold deposits, and the Federal Reserve permits the large banks to transfer their derivatives to these same subsidiaries. In this way, the bank itself remains afloat. Only its subsidiaries holding your money and securities are wiped out in the event of a crash. At the risk of over-promising, as even for a person of my education and experience getting one’s mind around the enormity of what has been put in place is a challenge, I hope for this article, which you have just read, to be part 1 in a 3-part series, with the second part being an outline of the regulatory changes that stole our financial property rights, and the third part being the implications of the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates after 15 years of near zero rates, thus shredding the value of financial assets held in portfolios. We face the prospect of the worst financial crisis in history “solved” with the introduction of digital money that places total control into the hands of political power and its masters.

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“On the front page of the program of the memorial, the year of his death is incorrect — emblematic of the sloppiness of a newspaper that is riddled with typos and errors..”

Requiem for The New York Times (Chris Hedges)

I am sitting in the auditorium at The New York Times. It is the first time I have been back in nearly two decades. It will be the last. The newspaper is a pale reflection of what it was when I worked there, beset by numerous journalistic fiascos, rudderless leadership and myopic cheerleading of the military debacles in the Middle East, Ukraine and the genocide in Gaza, where one of the Times contributions to the mass slaughter of Palestinians was an editorial refusing to back an unconditional ceasefire. Many seated in the auditorium are culpable. I am here, however, not for them but for the former executive editor they are honoring, Joe Lelyveld, who died earlier this year. He hired me. His departure from the Times marked the paper’s steep descent. On the front page of the program of the memorial, the year of his death is incorrect — emblematic of the sloppiness of a newspaper that is riddled with typos and errors. Reporters I admire, including Gretchen Morgenson and David Cay Johnston, who are in the auditorium, were pushed out once Lelyveld left, replaced by mediocrities.

Lelyveld’s successor Howell Raines – who had no business running a newspaper – singled out the serial fabulist and plagiarizer, Jayson Blair, for swift advancement and alienated the newsroom through a series of tone deaf editorial decisions. Reporters and editors rose up in revolt. He was forced out along with his equally incompetent managing editor. Lelyveld came back for a brief interim. But the senior editors who followed were of little improvement. They were full-throated propagandists – Tony Judt called them “Bush’s useful idiots” – for the war in Iraq. They were true believers in the weapons of mass destruction. They suppressed, at the government’s request, an expose by James Risen about warrantless wiretapping of Americans by the National Security Agency until the paper found out it would appear in Risen’s book.

They peddled for two years the fiction that Donald Trump was a Russian asset. They ignored the contents from Hunter Biden’s laptop that had evidence of multimillion dollar influence peddling and labeled it “Russian disinformation.” Bill Keller, who served as executive editor after Lelyveld, described Julian Assange, the most courageous journalist and publisher of our generation, as “a narcissistic dick, and nobody’s idea of a journalist.” The editors decided identity, rather than corporate pillage with its mass layoffs of 30 million workers, was the reason for Trump’s rise, leading them to deflect attention from the root cause of our economic, political and cultural morass. Of course, that deflection saved them from confronting corporations, such as Chevron, which are advertisers.

They produced a podcast series called Caliphate, based on invented stories of a con artist. They most recently ran a story by three journalists — including one who had never before worked as a reporter and had ties with Israeli intelligence, Anat Schwartz, who was subsequently fired after it was disclosed that she “liked” genocidal posts against Palestinians on Twitter — on what they called “systematic” sexual abuse and rape by Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions on Oct. 7. It also turned out to be unsubstantiated. None of this would have happened under Lelyveld.

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“Cross their cross dressing Zelensky figurehead and the SBU will Gonzalo Lira or Julian Assange you.”

Deep State versus Julian Assange (Hayes)

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Sources close to the Julian Assange campaign tell me they have so far spent upwards of $50 million fighting for his release, with probably a similar amount spent indirectly by supporters. Although that is a veritable king’s ransom, it is nothing compared to what the Swedish, British and American deep states have available to fight him or anyone else like Gonzalo Lira who really cheeses them off. I mention the late Gonzalo Lira as he not only clearly cheesed off Clown Prince Zelensky but paid the ultimate price for doing so. Though Zelensky is a contemptuous cross dwelling clown, Colonel Douglas Macgregor makes the valid point that all senior Ukrainian generals are terrified of the man or, to be more precise, of the SBU assassins and their NATO handlers he serves. Cross their cross dressing Zelensky figurehead and the SBU will Gonzalo Lira or Julian Assange you.

This is not, heaven forbid, to criticise the scum of the SBU but to make the important point that in every country there is a deep state, a cadre of folk who believe it is their duty to hold the country together, come hell or high water. Previous articles relating to Stakeknife have shown how murky the deep state is in both Ireland and Britain and this article on industrial levels of child rape by leading British politicians and their Royal family buddies or this one on sex, sleaze and gangsters in 1960s London show that Britain has its own murky Jeffrey Epsteins that the deep state must factor into national security calculations. Similarly, Russia has its siloviki, chaps like Nikolai Patrushev, Sergey Naryshkin, Alexander Bortnikov and Sergei Shoigu, who have an appreciation of the challenges Russia faces and how to forestall them. And Turkey and Egypt have their armed forces, whose generals traditionally saw themselves as the guardians of their countries’ secularism, which terrorist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood remain hell bent on upending.

And Thailand, perhaps more importantly, also has its armed forces, which fortify the monarchy as a means of keeping other subversive forces at bay. Thailand is of particular note because of its stringent lèse-majesté legal provisions which were fortified by the reverence and affection with which almost all Thais held His Majesty, the late King Rama 1X who was, like Albion’s late Queen Elizabeth, marinated and cocooned his entire life in such pomp and circumstance. Not so Zelensky or thin skinned deep state actors like Hillary Clinton Assange has so grievously offended. And, although Assange has managed to garner some D lister support, Clinton, who imagines herself to be a modern day Pharaoh, has hardened her (non-existent) heart to the plight of Assange, just as she previously assigned tens of thousands of Libyans to the abattoir.

If it was up to her, Assange would be long ago dead in the water. Seriously tilt the scales in Assange’s favour and Clinton, the Lord High Executioner, will Jeffrey Epstein you because, though Clinton is as despicable a fraud as is Zelensky, she too has some very serious deep state friends, who are not only past masters of the darkest arts but who are prepared, as this excellent background article insinuates, to practice those arts on Assange by unaliving him. As things currently stand, Assange is back in search of justice (ha ha) before the British judiciary on 20 May when the King’s learned judges will announce how they intend to enact the next act in this farce. Although American deep state actor Mike Pompeo has confessed that he’d gladly put a bullet through Assange’s head, such an approach is devoid of the multiple layers of plausible deniability, which the deep state needs for its masquerade to continue. Thus, the British courts, which are playing the role of Pontius Pilate in all of this, must absolve themselves of any and all culpability, by pretending that, like Pontius Pilate himself, they are above the petty vanities of Clinton and her ilk.

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meme

 

 

Phone

 

 

Attack!

 

 

Bad day
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778637914454254061

 

 

Bear picture

 

 

Dance

 

 

Badger

 

 

1st sight

 

 

Owl

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 122024
 


Edgar Degas The laundress 1873

 

The Deep State Prepares for a Trump Victory (Jeffrey Tucker)
Russia, China Sketch the Future as the World Awaits Iran’s Move (Pepe Escobar)
Israel Expects Iran’s Direct Attack Within Next 24 to 48 Hours (Sp.)
Had UN Condemned Israel, There’d Be No Need For Retaliation – Iran (RT)
Brits Should Not Be Part Of The Genocide In Gaza (Jay)
Russia Delivers Major Blow to Ukraine, Destroys Kiev’s Biggest Power Plant (NC)
We Really Want To Destroy Europe’s Longest Bridge – Zelensky (RT)
Biden’s Remark On Ukraine Apocalyptic – Medvedev (RT)
Biden ‘Very Proud’ Of Expanding NATO To Russia’s Borders (RT)
Pentagon Warns US Could Miss Ukraine ‘Pay Off’ (RT)
Moscow Shines Spotlight On Who Comes After Zelensky (Helmer)
US Citizens Backing Russia – Zelensky (RT)
Trump Has No Intention Of Going To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)
Ukraine Peace Impossible Without Russia – Swiss FM (RT)
Irish Taxpayers Paid For The Accommodation Of Ukrainian Dogs And Cats (RT)
Sen. Kennedy Suggests Ulterior Motive Behind Border Crisis (ET)

 

 

 

 

Tucker democracy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778183879255265519

 

 

Nebenzya
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778474208743321696

 

 

Stefanik
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778433384865321226

 

 

 

 

RFK malinformation
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778532862402408632

 

 

Rogan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absolute must read from Jeffrey Tucker. Another way to make it impossible for Trump to effect any meaningful changes. Just like the NATO “Ukraine fund”.

“There are more than 2 million permanent bureaucrats..” And they want to make them independent of who’s president. Democracy be damned.

The Deep State Prepares for a Trump Victory (Jeffrey Tucker)

“In the first week of the Biden-Harris Administration, President Biden revoked an Executive Order issued by the previous Administration that risked altering our country’s long-standing merit-based civil service system, by creating a new excepted service schedule, known as ‘Schedule F,’ and directing agencies to move potentially large swathes of career employees into this new excepted service status. This attempt would have stripped career civil servants of their civil service protections that ensure that decisions to hire and fire are based on merit, not political considerations.” The “previous administration” means of course the Trump White House, which issued the greatest executive order in a hundred years. After four years of being subverted and thwarted by the civil service bureaucracy, the White House finally figured out the core problem. There are more than 2 million permanent bureaucrats, ensconced in 430 agencies, who imagine themselves to live outside the democratic system and the U.S. Constitution itself. They believe they are the state and the elected leaders are mere decoration.

Trump’s executive order insisted that every agency do an internal audit and ferret out any employee who has something to do with making or interpreting policy; that is, anyone whose work impacts on whether the president actually has control of the executive department. All those employees would be reclassified as Schedule F, meaning that they could be replaced if need be. That’s it. That’s the whole order. Maybe it doesn’t seem like much but it was actually brilliant. The Trump administration is the first to discover the great secret of American public life, which is that the administrative state has taken on a life of its own. After years of trying, the Trump White House finally happened upon a key lever to gain back control for the people. It’s as simple as that. The Washington, D.C. political press freaked out. It was as if a president had found the engine room and the one switch that controls the whole thing. That was never supposed to happen. This produced mayhem inside the bureaucracy, and a doubling and tripling down on the conviction that he could never win a second term, lest this order be carried out.

That’s why one of the very first actions of the Biden administration was to repeal this executive order. That action made it very clear that Biden’s loyalties were with the deep state first and foremost. He would protect their jobs and power above all else. In fact, the OPM (Office of Personnel Management) press release brags about this. At issue here is a phrase from the initial Trump order. Any employee would be reclassified who deals with “confidential, policy determining, policymaking, or policy-advocating.” Notice this word confidential. This would apply to the whole of the intelligence community, perhaps. So wait, are we saying that the president should be in charge of the CIA, FBI, NSA, NSC, and the entire security apparatus, even to the point that he could fire anyone? Maybe so! Such a situation would be intolerable to the bad guys. From their point of view, this would fundamentally upend the functioning of government in America. Let’s face it. If the OPM and the whole of the bureaucracy believed there was no threat from Donald Trump or RFK, Jr., such a rule change would not be necessary.

They believe it is necessary, which implies that the civil service thinks that the rising populist movement is a genuine threat that could succeed in taking back the country. Otherwise, they wouldn’t bother. What is the OPM? It was founded out of the Pendleton Act of 1883, which started the permanent bureaucracy in the United States. With it came the Civil Service Commission, the first name of what later was called the OPM. Until that time, and under the Constitution, the U.S. president had full control of the bureaucracy. The new president would typically replace a vast number of bureaucrats with loyalists. This was denounced as the “spoils system” but it could also be called simple democracy in which the people rule themselves through their elected representatives. The permanent class of rules grew through wars and crises over a hundred years to become the government that cares not a whit for who is technically elected or otherwise appointed as agency heads. As a matter of habit, they have come to ignore all the comings and goings of the people elected by the population. Elections are just a distraction to them.

The essential point: Donald Trump and RFK, Jr. represent a genuine threat to the gang that has subverted and nearly wrecked this country. Now we know that this threat is real, else we would not see these efforts to entrench the bad guys and protect them against all conceivable threats. As this proves again, the main struggle alive in this country and all over the world is the one between the people and the deep state consisting of a vast network of elites in government, media, the corporate world, banking and finance, private foundations, and global bureaucracies, all working for their own interests at the expense of everyone else. It’s a battle for control, and it is the underlying dynamic that shapes our lives right now. The bad guys are scared. Now we know this for sure, or they would not be trying to pre-rig the system against fundamental change. The elites believe based on long experience that they can always outwit the rest of the population. We shall see.

It’s going to be brutal before and after the election. There will be one or several October surprises. If Donald Trump wins, the onset of Winter will kick off propaganda like you have never seen. As the inauguration approaches, absolute hysteria will dawn. The COVID racket will seem like child’s play. Every day and every hour after will consist of wild attempts to stop the administration from functioning. What a time to be alive.

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“..the dogs of Forever Wars bark while the Eurasian integration caravan marches on..”

Russia, China Sketch the Future as the World Awaits Iran’s Move (Pepe Escobar)

The whole planet awaits with bated breath the avowedly inevitable Iranian response to the attack against its consulate/ambassador residence in Damascus by the biblical psychopaths responsible for the Gaza genocide. Enveloped in an aura of secrecy, each passing day betrays the immensity of the challenge: the possibly asymmetrical response must be, simultaneously, symbolic, substantive, cogent, convincing, reasonable and rational. That is driving Tel Aviv totally hysterical and the deciding instances of the Hegemon extremely itchy. Everyone with a functioning brain knows this wet dream of a stunt from the point of view of hardcore Zionists and US Christian zio-cons was a serious provocation, designed to draw the US to the long-cherished Israeli plan of striking a decisive blow against both Hezbollah and Tehran.

The IDF’s Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi all but gave away the game, when he said this past Sunday that “we are operating in cooperation with the USA and strategic partners in the region.” Translation: never trust the Hegemon even as the notion is floated – via Swiss mediators – that Washington won’t interfere with Tehran’s response to Tel Aviv. One just needs to remember Washington’s “assurances” to Saddam Hussein before the first Gulf War. It’s impossible to take Hegemon back-channel assurances at face value. The White House and the Pentagon occasionally dispense these “assurances” to Moscow every time Kiev strikes deep inside the Russian Federation using US-UK satellite intel, logistics, weaponry and with NATO in de-facto operational control. The state terror attack on Damascus, which shredded the Vienna convention on diplomatic immunity, crucially was also an attack on both the expanded BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Iran is a member of both multilateral bodies, and on top of it is engaged in strategic partnerships with both Russia and China. So it’s no wonder the leadership in both Beijing in Moscow is carefully considering all possible repercussions of the next Iranian move. Tel Aviv’s purposeful escalation – when it comes to expanding war in West Asia – happens to mirror another escalation: NATO’s no way out in Ukraine except by doubling down, with no end in sight. That started with the invariably out of his depth Secretary of State Little Tony Blinken affirming, on the record, that Ukraine will join NATO. Which any functioning brain knows is translatable as the road map towards a Russia-NATO hot war with unbelievably dire consequences. Little Blinkie’s criminal irresponsibility was duly picked up and reverberated by the Franco-British duo, as expressed by British FM David “of Arabia” Cameron and French FM Stephane Sejourne: “If Ukraine loses, we all lose”. At least they got that right – although that took ages, when it comes to framing NATO’s approaching cosmic humiliation.

Now let’s switch from clownish bit players to the adults in the room. As in Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and Chinese FM Wang Yi discussing literally every incandescent dossier together earlier this week in Beijing. Lavrov and Wang could not be clearer on what’s ahead for the Russia-China strategic partnership. They will engage together on all matters regarding Eurasian security. They will go, in Lavrov’s words, for “dual opposition” to counterpunch the West’s “dual deterrence”. They will be countering every attempt by the usual suspects to “slow down the natural course of history”. Add to it the confirmation that President Putin and President Xi will hold at least two bilaterals in 2024: at the SCO summit in June and at the BRICS summit in October. In a nutshell: the dogs of Forever Wars bark while the Eurasian integration caravan marches on.

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Iran will go asymmetrical.

Israel Expects Iran’s Direct Attack Within Next 24 to 48 Hours (Sp.)

Israel is expecting a direct attack from Iran on southern or northern Israel within the next 24 to 48 hours, The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. The report said on Thursday, citing a person briefed by the Iranian leadership, that no final decision has been made yet, although plans for an attack are being discussed. The report also cited a US official familiar with the situation as saying on Thursday that intelligence reports of the United States indicate an Iranian strike within days, “possibly on Israeli soil.” The Iranian Foreign Ministry said it “reserves the right” to respond to the Israeli attack and “punish the aggressor.” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also vowed that Israel would pay a “heavy price” for the strike.

US media reported earlier, citing Iranian and US intelligence sources, that Iran plans to strike dozens of sensitive targets in Israel, including energy infrastructure and various other facilities, using ballistic missiles and drones carrying explosives. A potential direct attack from Iran on the territory of Israel would require an appropriate response, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, according to a statement by the Israeli Defense Ministry. “The defense minister [of Israel] expressed his commitment to the security of Israeli citizens, as a direct Iranian attack on Israeli territory would require an appropriate Israeli response against Iran,” the ministry said on Thursday.

In a conversation, Gallant and Austin discussed preparedness for a possible Iranian attack, and Gallant told his American counterpart that Israel “will not tolerate an Iranian attack on its territory.” On April 1, Israel carried out an airstrike on the consular annex of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, destroying the building. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said seven of its members had been killed in the attack, including two commanders. The Syrian Health Ministry said the next day that the attack had also killed four Syrians and injured 13 more.

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Tehran offers a gift. An olive branch. It will be ignored.

Had UN Condemned Israel, There’d Be No Need For Retaliation – Iran (RT)

Iran feels obligated to punish Israel for attacking its diplomatic mission in Syria because the UN Security Council has failed in its duty, Tehran’s mission to the global organization said on Thursday.The April 1 airstrike killed seven Iranian officers, including two generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force. Israel has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack.“Had the UN Security Council condemned the Zionist regime’s reprehensible act of aggression on our diplomatic premises in Damascus and subsequently brought to justice its perpetrators, the imperative for Iran to punish this rogue regime might have been obviated,” the mission posted on X (formerly Twitter). Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that Israel “must and shall be punished” for what it did. Israeli and US intelligence have fueled speculation that possible reprisals could entail anything from drone attacks to ballistic missile strikes.

Israel has been bracing for some kind of response for over a week, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) canceling all leave and starting to spoof GPS signals. Reports on Wednesday, sources linked to anonymous US intelligence officials spoke of an imminent Iranian strike within 24-48 hours, following the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the feast of Eid-al-Fitr. Brent oil futures have risen above $90 per barrel in anticipation. British-based media have reported that Israel has been preparing to attack Iranian nuclear program facilities in the event of a missile strike. The US government has declared it would back West Jerusalem against Tehran, but anonymous claims that American jets would join Israeli strikes have not been officially confirmed.

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“Israel has gone over a line on “defending itself” and Britain has been dragged into that quagmire which has made us look like the amateurs we are on the international diplomatic circuit..”

Brits Should Not Be Part Of The Genocide In Gaza (Jay)

How likely is it that the Israeli air force jet which killed three British aid workers in Gaza took off from our base in Cyprus? How much longer can our own government deny that there is a genocide happening each day in Gaza with not only the tacit blessing of the government but in some cases it actually goes the distance and provides the full package of support to murder women and children? The murky dividing line between the British so-called neutral position on Gaza and the reality of what even our own MPs recently admitted was a genocide which broke a tome of internal laws – seems to be getting more opaque by the day. The Conservative party is very confused about where it is on the Gaza war and while David Cameron recently admitted that he was “worried” about international law being broken, it is the prime minister who is now in the firing line demanding enquiries about the death of the three nationals killed.

Three of the seven who were killed were British nationals named James Henderson, John Chapman and James Kirby. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak demanded a concrete investigation into the deaths from the Netanyahu government. But he won’t get concrete investigations from the Netanyahu government as this body has shown the world in recent months that there is no level of depravity which it is not prepared to stoop to as it still continues to shock us each day with video clips on social media breaking new boundaries of poor taste.= Yet IDF soldiers playing with women’s underwear is one thing; it is quite another thing for us to imagine that Britain could be pulled into a massive international law black hole which could go on for years via the ICJ in the Hague.

Surely the deaths of these three should be the right moment to have a re-think on a government level if we can’t have one as a society. Israel has gone over a line on “defending itself” and Britain has been dragged into that quagmire which has made us look like the amateurs we are on the international diplomatic circuit. But where to draw that line?

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“If Russia had tried prostrating Ukraine via widespread power outages much earlier (even assuming it wasn’t unduly costly against a Ukraine with intact air defenses) it would have been the dog that caught the car..”

Russia Delivers Major Blow to Ukraine, Destroys Kiev’s Biggest Power Plant (NC)

Ukraine’s government is facing a juncture described in Marguerite Yourcenar’s The Memoirs of Hadrian: “I begin to discern the profile of my death.” Russia is demonstrating that it can turn the lights out all over Ukraine. That time has now passed. Russia has destroyed the largest generating plant in the Kiev oblast, Tripilska Power Plant. As we’ll explain below, this further reduction of Ukraine’s generating capacity has knock-on effects, most importantly forcing further big cuts via soon necessitating the shutdown of nuclear reactors. The Ukraine power system is approaching a tipping point if it has not already reached it.

Commentators early in the war, particularly the hyper-nationalist sorts in Russia, were perplexed that Russia didn’t engage in the typical practice of a belligerent, of knocking out power and communications networks at the outset. The most common one provided was that Putin in particular really did regard the Special Military Operation as not exactly a war and hoped to bring Ukraine to the negotiating table, which indeed happened. So not stoking further Ukraine hostilities by harming civilians, or even unduly discomfiting them, was part of the initial “Let’s bring Kiev to its senses” plan. In addition, many Russians have relatives in Ukraine, so avoiding civilian casualties and even costs were important for domestic reasons.

Again, the more martial-minded weren’t happy with the Ministry of Defense, in fall-winter 2022, toying with Ukraine’s grid by selectively targeting transmission, inflicting damage that that Ukraine could repair in at worst a few days. John Helmer, who has given far and away the best analysis of the electrical war, depicted Russia as figuring out how the system worked so as to more efficiently drop the hammer when the time came. Others soon added that a major point of this campaign was to speed up the process of draining Ukraine of air defense missiles. Note that Russia intensified its grid strikes and began targeting generation capacity very close to when the Pentagon had said Ukraine would run out of air defense missiles, at the end of March. And on top of that, Russia has been taking out the weapons platforms too. One YouTuber (was it Brian Berletic?) recently said Ukraine might now has as few as three Patriot launch systems.

But there’s another reason for waiting until Ukraine’s military was on the rope and its air defenses were badly depleted. If Russia had tried prostrating Ukraine via widespread power outages much earlier (even assuming it wasn’t unduly costly against a Ukraine with intact air defenses) it would have been the dog that caught the car. Russia had dithered about developing a Plan B until the embarrassing Kharkiv and Kherson pull-backs forced Russia to act. Amazingly. Russia was able to start and implement its partial mobilization, with 6 to 7 months of training for new enlistees, with the West doing nothing to force Russia’s timetable. They were so high on the Russian retreats and their own PR that Russia any day now, yessiree, was going to run out of missiles that they gave Russia extremely valuable time to build up its capabilities and its weapons supplies. Weirdly, they even saw Russia demonstrate its capabilities by constructing the Surovikin Line, yet still refused to get the memo.

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“Kiev has repeatedly asked Germany for long-range Taurus missiles, specifically to strike the bridge. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has firmly rejected Kiev’s request..”

We Really Want To Destroy Europe’s Longest Bridge – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine’s goal of bringing down Russia’s Crimean Bridge is part of plans for a new counteroffensive, President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with international media this week. Since the outbreak of the Ukrainian conflict in 2022, several officials and commanders in Ukraine, including Zelensky, have been threatening to destroy the 19-kilometer bridge connecting the Russian peninsula of Crimea to the Krasnodar Region – claiming the structure was vital for the Russian military. “We really want to destroy Russian infrastructure. This is not just about the bridge in Kerch, which everyone is talking about. We are talking about some infrastructure facilities that constitute a military target. We are talking about bridges and airfields,” Zelensky said on Tuesday, speaking to outlets owned by the German media giant Axel Springer. Ukraine’s leader made the same claim last year during Kiev’s failed attempt to wrest back land lost to Moscow in 2022.

The Crimean Bridge is a legitimate target for Ukraine and must be “neutralized,” he said in a video address to the Aspen Security Forum in July. Earlier, some Western media outlets wrote that new attacks on the bridge are inevitable. In February the commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Vice Admiral Aleksey Neizhpapa, claimed it will be destroyed in 2024. Kiev has repeatedly asked Germany for long-range Taurus missiles, specifically to strike the bridge. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has firmly rejected Kiev’s request, arguing that Russia could view this as Berlin’s involvement in the war. However, Scholz looks increasingly isolated in this view – in March, a leaked audio revealed that top German officials were discussing plans to send Ukraine long-range missiles that could take out the bridge. The Crimean Bridge was built between 2016 and 2018 and was the only road and rail link between the peninsula and mainland Russia.

However, Moscow opened a vast land bridge to Crimea after Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk voted to officially join Russia in the fall of 2022. The structure had been targeted with missiles and naval drones on numerous occasions, but most of those attacks have been successfully blocked. In October 2022, an explosives-laden truck blew up as it was traveling along the bridge, killing three people and causing extensive damage. In July last year, a drone boat exploded under the structure, killing two people. Back then, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin labeled the attack “brutal” and pointless from a military perspective. He claimed the bridge is no longer being used to transport ammunition.

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“..Biden’s words amount to saying: “Keep killing each other. The more people die, the better. I want more deaths.”

Biden’s Remark On Ukraine Apocalyptic – Medvedev (RT)

US President Joe Biden is endorsing continued human suffering by demanding more military assistance for Ukraine, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has argued. Biden reiterated his call to the US Congress on Wednesday to release an additional $60 billion in aid for Ukraine. After doing so, he was asked by the press how he thought the conflict would come to an end. “The war in Ukraine comes to an end by the House Leader allowing a vote,” Biden responded, referring to Speaker Mike Johnson, who for weeks has been standing in the way of the foreign security assistance bill that includes more money for Kiev. According to Medvedev, Biden’s words amount to saying: “Keep killing each other. The more people die, the better. I want more deaths.”

The policy makes the US leader not unlike Death, one of the horsemen of the Apocalypse described in the Book of Revelations, the Russian official, who currently serves as deputy head of the national security council, claimed on social media on Thursday. Biden has pledged to support Kiev with arms and money for “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia. Moscow says the US is fueling the hostilities because it wants to cause more damage to Russia and would continue the fight “to the last Ukrainian.” Biden did not explain why he expects the pending aid package to be more impactful than the previous ones. On the same day, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander told the House that Ukraine funding must continue, because otherwise the billions of dollars spent by Washington on the conflict in the previous years would have been wasted.

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“Trump runs that party. He maintains a sort of a death grip on it. Everybody’s afraid to take him on..”

Biden ‘Very Proud’ Of Expanding NATO To Russia’s Borders (RT)

US President Joe Biden has hailed NATO’s further expansion toward Russia’s borders, while accusing Republican rival Donald Trump of undermining the unity of the American-led military bloc. Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s creeping encroachment, viewing its policies as an existential threat. However, in an interview with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision that aired on Tuesday, Biden touted the recent addition of Finland and Sweden to the bloc’s ranks amid the Ukraine conflict as a great achievement. “We’ve done something that I was very proud of. I’ve engaged with NATO for my whole career. We were able to expand NATO, and we have 2,000 miles of border because you have two Nordic nations having joined NATO. You have a whole range of NATO countries along the Russian border,” the US president said.

Biden went on to argue that a stalemate in Congress over his $61 billion military aid package for Kiev is “very dangerous” for the bloc’s unity, accusing his former US leader Trump of virtually holding the measure – and the entire Republican party – hostage. “Trump runs that party. He maintains a sort of a death grip on it. Everybody’s afraid to take him on whether they agree with him or not, and it’s incredibly dangerous. The last thing we need is to see NATO start to break apart. It would be a disaster for the United States, a disaster for Europe, a disaster for the world,” Biden said.

The US has provided Ukraine with over $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities with Russia. Moscow has repeatedly condemned foreign arms shipments to Kiev, arguing they will only prolong the conflict, while making the West a direct participant in the hostilities. Finland shares a 1,300km border with Russia, and Moscow has argued that NATO membership has threatened, not guaranteed, Finnish security. After Helsinki joined the alliance last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the creation of a new military district bordering the Nordic nation. Sweden joined the bloc last month.

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“..Washington must double down on funding Kiev’s war effort against Moscow, to ensure that billions of dollars in previous “investments” do not go to waste..”

Pentagon Warns US Could Miss Ukraine ‘Pay Off’ (RT)

Washington must double down on funding Kiev’s war effort against Moscow, to ensure that billions of dollars in previous “investments” do not go to waste, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, Celeste Wallander, has claimed. The US has provided Ukraine with over $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities in February 2022, including more than $62 billion in military aid funneled through the Pentagon. However, more funds are urgently needed to protect this investment, Wallander told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. “What we need right now to prevent Russian success and Ukrainian defeat is passage of the supplemental,” she said, urging Congress to approve President Joe Biden’s aid package which would earmark another $60 billion for Kiev.

None of that work that we’ve done for two years in investing in Ukraine’s future will pay off, unless we get them through the next few months. President Biden has been urging lawmakers for months to approve his new aid package, but many Republicans have opposed the measure, demanding more efforts to strengthen US border security, while seeking more accountability for the aid already transferred to Kiev – demanding concrete answers on what the United States’ end goal in Ukraine is. Ukraine has also received at least $190 billion in military and financial aid from EU institutions and individual members, as well as other donor states, according to Kiel Institute data.

Washington is working with the EU and other NATO partners to get to a longer-term solution “that is well underway,” Wallander claimed. However, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Christopher Cavoli argued at the hearing that new US aid is “critical at this moment,” until Ukraine’s other sponsors boost their production of crucial items including artillery shells. Without a new cash injection from Washington, Kiev will “lose the war,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted this week. Meanwhile US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pitched the aid as a way to provide jobs for American workers in the military industry, arguing that more than $50 billion in the “national security supplemental” funding would end up spread across at least 30 American states.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned last month that the Ukrainian military was running out of guns and ammunition, rather than cash, calling on bloc members to mobilize their reserves and provide Ukraine with everything that it needs to continue the fight. The Kremlin has repeatedly warned that the ever-growing involvement of Western countries in the Ukraine conflict could result in an all-out confrontation between NATO and Russia. Moscow also insists that weapons deliveries will not change the outcome of the conflict but merely prolong them. At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed claims that Russia won’t stop after reaching its goals in Ukraine and could attack NATO next as “utter nonsense” designed to “beat the money out” of the populations of Western countries.

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“..reducing the presidency to a shadow; centralizing all military and civil command in Yermak’s office, but letting Zelensky stay alive..”

Moscow Shines Spotlight On Who Comes After Zelensky (Helmer)

Advertisements for replacements of Vladimir Zelensky aren’t unusual, even if he has disposed of almost all of them already. That leaves just one, Andrei Yermak, head of the Presidential Office — prompter, grey eminence, comfort blanket of Zelensky in almost every significant move he has made since 2019– and now candidate to become prime minister in a revolutionary transfer of power in the Kiev regime, reducing the presidency to a shadow; centralizing all military and civil command in Yermak’s office, but letting Zelensky stay alive. Advertising Andrei Yermak to be prime minister is unusual in Vzglyad, the semi-official platform in Moscow for political and security analysis. This is especially so at this point in time when President Vladimir Putin has identified the Kiev regime as responsible for the Crocus City Hall attack, and the General Staff are escalating the Russian offensive on the ground along the line of contact east of the Dnieper River, and in the air deep into the west as far as Lvov.

What war aim would be served by Vzglyad’s signal that Yermak may be an acceptable counterparty to the Kremlin for negotiations to end the war short of regime capitulation – unless the signal is a false flag, intended to encourage Zelensky to save himself by eliminating Yermak, as he did General Valery Zaluzhny, and thereby leave nothing and no one in Kiev to put a brake on the Russian resolve to create a demilitarized zone all the way to the Polish border. What follows is a verbatim translation of the publication on April 9 of a piece in Vzglyad by Vasily Stoyakin, entitled “The all-powerful ‘Green Cardinal’ is operating behind Zelensky’s back”. There is no precedent in the mainstream Russian media, nor in military blogs and the internet media, for promotion of any end for the Zelensky regime, except its end. A profile of Yermak which is neutral to positive towards the role he has played so far and may play in the future is so exceptional that the fact it appears now is more significant than what the story, compiled from earlier publications, actually says.

Oleg Tsarev, a leading Ukrainian opposition figure in exile in Russia and potential candidate for the Ukrainian president after the Russian victory, has ignored Yermak in his regular Telegram commentaries; Zelensky and Yermak targeted Tsarev for assassination in Crimea last October, but failed. Dmitry Rogozin, a possible presidential candidate for the Russian presidency, has mentioned Yermak once in his Telegram channel, declaring: “the Bandera leadership of Ukraine has embarked on the path of ‘the final solution of the Russian question.’ Well, [they are] creative people. [They are] comedians [Zelensky], [television] producers [Yermak]. Hitler was also an artist. Mediocre. But in other respects he surpassed everyone. This, apparently, is enviable. They want to repeat it. We’ll have to do it again.” Rogozin is currently senator for the Zaporozhye region. He was targeted for Ukrainian assassination in Donetsk in December 2022; he survived.

There are two reasons why Yermak might be considered by the Kremlin to be the substitute for Zelensky with whom a negotiated settlement can be reached. One is that it has reportedly happened before. In September 2020, when Yermak and Zelensky were meeting in Muscat, Oman, with the Omani foreign minister and other officials, the Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, flew to Muscat and reportedly met them for several hours. What happened between them remains secret. Less secret is that the aircraft on which the two Ukrainians returned to Kiev was identified to be the same aircraft which had brought Patrushev to Oman. The secrecy was exposed by the US government’s propaganda organ, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and then amplified by the Ukrainian press. Yermak claimed the report “does not correspond to reality” attacking the US-financed Ukrainian source for “a blatant manipulation of public opinion [as] part of the aggressor’s information operations against Ukraine.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed the reported meeting was “a classic example of fake news”.

The second reason for possible Russian favour for Yermak is a long history of his family’s connections to Russia. His mother is a Leningrader; his father, a Jewish Kievan, served in a Soviet government agency in Afghanistan; since then he and Yermak himself have had personal and business connections with Russians engaged with the intelligence services.

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Turning against the people who paid him $110 billion. Time to cancel him.

US Citizens Backing Russia – Zelensky (RT)

Russian influence has penetrated the US political system and warped the information field around the world, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in an interview with Politico on Tuesday. Zelensky was asked to comment on recent statements made by two Republican lawmakers: Mike Turner of Ohio and Mike McCaul of Texas. They claimed that “pro-Russian” propaganda has filtered into the minds of some of the members of Congress, which has failed to greenlight the $60 billion aid package for Kiev. The Ukrainian leader stated that Russia has succeeded in distorting “the information field of the world.” “They have their lobbies everywhere: in the United States, in the EU countries, in Britain, in Latin America, in Africa,” he said. “When we talk about the Congress — do you notice how they work with society in the United States?” he noted, adding that the scale of Russian influence in the US has been underestimated.

He claimed that US citizens were helping Russia by spreading its ideas in the American media. “They pump their narratives through the media,” Zelensky said. “These are not Russian citizens or natives of Russia, no. They are representatives of certain media groups, citizens of the United States.” According to Zelensky, these people work in the US media and deliver the appropriate messages, which are sometimes “very pro-Russian.” He hasn’t mentioned any names though. Following the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in 2022, Western governments launched a large censorship campaign against Russian media they deem to be ‘state-controlled’. Multiple Russian TV stations and media outlets, including RT, have been either blocked or prevented from operating in the US and some other Western countries.

RT, having been the first international news channel to reach one billion views on YouTube, was banned from the platform and those owned by the US-based tech giant Meta, including Facebook and Instagram, in the spring of 2022. According to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, Russian journalists working in the US have been facing difficulties, including over visa renewals; they’ve had their bank accounts blocked and in some cases been hounded by US intelligence agencies. Last year, James Rubin, the special envoy and coordinator of the US State Department’s Center for Global Engagement admitted that Washington wanted to shut down Russian media around the world. Commenting on his remarks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that by taking such steps, Washington, which positions itself as a stronghold of human rights, demonstrated a deep disregard for media freedom.

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Of course not. To do what?

Trump Has No Intention Of Going To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump does not think it would be a good idea for him to travel to Ukraine while he does not hold public office, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing his campaign. On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told outlets of the German-based Axel Springer media group that he had privately invited Trump through intermediaries to visit his country. The former US leader, who is likely headed for a rematch with incumbent Joe Biden in November’s election, has previously claimed that he would resolve the Ukraine conflict within “24 hours” if he were president. While Trump offered few clues as to how he might accomplish this task, the Washington Post reported that it would involve Kiev recognizing Russian sovereignty over some of the territories currently claimed by Ukraine. The ex-president’s aides, however, have dismissed the report as “speculation” by uninformed sources.

Zelensky has been skeptical about Trump’s ideas for making peace with Moscow, saying that “if the deal is that we just give up our territories… then it’s a very primitive idea.” In a statement to Reuters, Trump’s team insisted that there had been no formal outreach from Zelensky to the 45th president. “President Trump has said publicly it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to go to Ukraine right now since he’s not commander in chief,” the statement added. Trump has repeatedly criticized the Biden administration’s approach to the Ukraine conflict, saying Washington is sending too many weapons to Kiev. He has also floated a proposal to provide Ukraine with loans instead of non-repayable aid. While Ukrainian officials said they were ready to explore the idea, Politico reported that Kiev was “offended” by this plan. Meanwhile, commenting on Trump’s remarks about peace in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow has had no contacts with Trump on the issue, adding that the ex-president’s plan had too few details publicly available.

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“..the first conference may focus on “exactly how to invite Russia and what role to give it..”

Ukraine Peace Impossible Without Russia – Swiss FM (RT)

Any diplomatic efforts to resolve the Ukraine conflict will be fruitless unless Russia is involved in the process, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has said. Switzerland is planning to host a high-level Ukraine peace conference June 2024 at the Burgenstock resort near Lake Lucerne, seeking “to create a common understanding of a framework favorable” for ending the conflict and establishing a “concrete roadmap” for peace. Earlier media reports suggested that up to 100 nations could be present at the event. Russia, however, has signaled that it will not attend, even if officially invited. It has argued that the gathering will be promoting the ‘peace formula’ of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which demands that Moscow withdraw from all territories that Kiev claims as its own, and the creation of a tribunal to prosecute Russia for alleged war crimes.

Moscow has dismissed the initiative as “detached from reality.” Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Cassis noted that the conference would be organized at Zelensky’s request, adding that there are sufficient conditions to launch a high-profile push for peace. “The first country we talked to after Ukraine was, of course, Russia. Because no peace process can take place without Russia, even if it won’t be present at the first meeting,” he said. The diplomat acknowledged that Moscow would have to be involved “sooner or later, but not necessarily from day one,” suggesting that the first conference may focus on “exactly how to invite Russia and what role to give it”.

Echoing those remarks, Swiss President Viola Amherd warned that the success of the summit was by no means guaranteed. “The alternative would be to do nothing… We will not sign a peace plan at this conference. We think there will be a second conference, but we want to start the process with this one.” While Moscow intends to boycott the Swiss-hosted peace conference, it maintains that it is open to talks over Ukraine, both directly and with Kiev’s Western backers. However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last month that before any negotiations could begin Kiev must lift its ban on engagement with the current Russian leadership. A decree to that effect was signed by Zelensky in the autumn of 2022 after four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia.

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“..1,806 pets were staying in hotels and other properties at the state’s expense..” “..accommodation for the animals was costing taxpayers just over €1 million ($1.07) per month..”

Irish Taxpayers Paid For The Accommodation Of Ukrainian Dogs And Cats (RT)

Irish taxpayers footed the bill for accommodating nearly 2,000 pets owned by Ukrainian refugees, including some they acquired after arriving in the country, according to local media. The money was allocated by the Department of Integration mostly in 2022, with peak spending recorded in November that year, the Irish Mirror reported on Wednesday, based on its own investigation. At that time, 1,806 pets were staying in hotels and other properties at the state’s expense, including 933 dogs, 819 cats, and 54 other animals.It cost Ireland up to €20 ($21.50) per night for each of the animals owned by Ukrainian Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection (BOTPs), records reviewed by the news outlet revealed. The exact sum spent specifically on non-human guests could not be established because the department “did not categorize between BOTPs and pets,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.

The Irish Mirror estimated that accommodation for the animals was costing taxpayers just over €1 million ($1.07) per month.The expenditure was “incredible” and “ridiculous,” independent lawmaker Michael McNamara told the newspaper, accusing the government of wastefulness. Referring to department officials, he asked: “What planet do these people live on?” “I presume the people arriving here with pets were prepared to pay for them in the same way as everyone else does or as they would have in Ukraine,” the politician added. “But if you find a department stupid enough to pay, then, of course, I wouldn’t blame people for allowing the department to pay for it.” The department said it stopped providing accommodation for Ukrainian pets from November 9, 2022. The latest report is a follow-up on a story that the Irish Mirror published in February, revealing that the Irish Department of Agriculture had spent €808,132 (about $869,000) on transport, kennelling and veterinary services for Ukrainian pets.

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Silent part out loud.

Sen. Kennedy Suggests Ulterior Motive Behind Border Crisis (ET)

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) suggested on April 10 that the Biden administration is facilitating illegal immigration to help Democrats politically. The senator’s remarks came amid his questioning of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on April 10. Mr. Kennedy, noting the “bleeding” southern border, suggested that the secretary’s border policies had an ulterior political motive. “Isn’t in fact, Mr. Secretary, that the number of illegal immigrants that you and the president allow into our country counts for congressional district reapportionment?” he asked. “Senator, I’m not sure I understand your question, but I can surely share with you that I disagree with its phrasing,” Mr. Mayorkas replied. The senator continued: “Isn’t it true, Mr. Secretary, that the number of illegal immigrants that you and President Biden have allowed into our country counts for allocating electoral votes?”

Mayorkas

Mr. Mayorkas repeated that he didn’t understand the question. He then called the senator’s insinuation “nothing short of preposterous” and “disrespectful” to administration and Department of Homeland Security personnel. Mr. Kennedy, however, charged that the secretary was well aware of the political ramifications of the border crisis, unintended or otherwise. “And you’ve done nothing for four years—zero, absolutely zilch. And, in fact, the only people I know in this country who are better off today than they were four years ago are illegal immigrants. And that’s a result of your policy.” Mr. Mayorkas became only the second presidential cabinet member ever to be impeached in U.S. history on Feb. 13. The charges against him included “willfully and systematically” refusing to enforce existing immigration laws and breach of public trust. The 214–213 vote split along party lines, with all but three Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against.

Initially, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) planned to send the impeachment articles to the Senate on the day of the hearing. But on April 9, he announced that he would delay the move until next week as Republicans fight for a full trial. The Democrat-controlled Senate is expected to table the trial, though Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the chamber’s majority leader, has yet to announce his plans. A conviction would require a two-thirds majority vote. Democrats have said the charges against Mr. Mayorkas fail to meet the constitutional threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But Senate Republicans say Democrats fear the political consequences of a trial. “This issue is so toxic to Senate Democrats, to House Democrats, and to Joe Biden that they do not want this to be the issue of the day,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said at an April 9 press conference.

Mr. Kennedy, during the hearing, said that he also expects his Democrat colleagues to dismiss the impeachment “and violate 200 years of Senate precedent in doing it.” He added, however, that the border crisis was likely to remain at the forefront regardless. “I don’t think that they will be able to sweep the issue—maybe your impeachment, but not the issue—under a rug as big as the United States of America,” he told the secretary.

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https://twitter.com/i/status/1778286157706481775
Greenwald Musk

 

 

Vivek Galileo

 

 

12 elks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778372453116371188

 

 

Dog saves dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778597906108526855

 

 

Peroxide
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778189162870677856

 

 

Hippo lion
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778347366782730476

 

 

Badger

 

 

Rhino

 

 

Keef

 

 

 

 

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Apr 102024
 
 April 10, 2024  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Fall of the Rebel Angels 1562

 

(Hunter) Biden-Linked Burisma Used For Terror Attacks In Russia – Moscow (RT)
Burisma ‘Vehicle To Launder Taxpayer Money’ – Lawyer (RT)
Musk Warns Of Terrorist Threat To US (RT)
No Russian Misinfo On X, But Western Influence Ops Present – Musk (RT)
Musk: Starlink Free for Brazil Schools If Government Cancels Contract (ET)
‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza (Patrick Lawrence)
Ukraine ‘Losing The War’ – Chuck Schumer (RT)
Ukrainian NATO Membership ‘Fundamentally Unacceptable’ – Moscow (RT)
‘High-Intensity War In Europe No Longer A Fantasy’ – Borrell (RT)
China Sending Message That ‘It Has Russia’s Back’ If West Escalates (Sp.)
‘Russiagate’ About Seizing Power as Much as Stopping Trump (Sp.)
Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim (ET)
Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit (ZH)
Neom: Saudi Arabia ‘Scales Back’ Goals Of Megacity Project (MEE)
Boeing Shares Tumble After NYT Reveals Whistle-Blower Report (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Chasing Trump

 

 

Colbert AOC

 

 

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777710201937732085

 

 

CIA contractor

 

 

Finkelstein
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777519791168696416

 

 

 

 

“The same company that hired Hunter Biden and paid Joe Biden to get the prosecutor fired who was investigating them.”

(Hunter) Biden-Linked Burisma Used For Terror Attacks In Russia – Moscow (RT)

Criminal probes into the financing of terrorist activities in Russia and abroad have been launched against several private companies, the country’s Investigative Committee announced on Tuesday. The list of suspects includes the Ukrainian industrial conglomerate Burisma Holdings, linked to a corruption scandal surrounding the Biden family that has been dragging on for years. The criminal investigation stems from a complaint filed by a group of Russian MPs and public figures in the aftermath of the deadly Crocus City Hall attack outside Moscow last month. The original complaint identified the US and its allies as allegedly organizing a string of attacks on Russian soil. So far, investigators have “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia,” committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.

Terrorist activities have also reached beyond the country, aimed at the “elimination of prominent political and public figures, as well as causing economic damage,” she added. The committee’s specialists have been working “in cooperation with other intelligence services and financial intelligence,” Petrenko noted. The scrutiny currently revolves around “checking sources of income and further movement of funds in the amount of several million US dollars,” and examining the potential involvement of “specific individuals from among government officials, people with civic and commercial organizations of Western countries,” the spokeswoman stated. Burisma is probably best known internationally for its controversial ties to the current first family in the US. In the spring of 2014, following the US-backed coup in Kiev, the Ukrainian energy firm hired Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer on its board of directors, offering $1 million a year in pay.

Biden’s father Joe was President Barack Obama’s vice president at the time, and oversaw Washington’s Ukraine policy. He once famously bragged about getting a corruption prosecutor fired – which just happened to occur after that prosecutor began investigating Burisma. Nikolay Zlochevsky’s company also offered protection payments to the government in Kiev, according to former Ukrainian MP Andrey Derkach. Zlochevsky paid some “800 million hryvnias [over $21 million] for terrorism financing” in “various jurisdictions,” Derkach claimed in January. “The leaders of Ukraine’s security services make no secret of the fact that they carry out terrorist acts and political assassinations for extra-budgetary cash,” he said at the time. “Once again: Biden’s partners in the corruption business in Ukraine finance terrorist acts, thus avoiding responsibility for corruption in Ukraine.” Derkach claimed it was common practice for the owners of large businesses in Ukraine to ‘donate’ to the war effort in exchange for immunity from prosecution. He pointed to a criminal case against Zlochevsky relating to a $6 million cash bribe that ended with the Burisma owner paying a $1,800 fine.

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It’s ideally situated for the purpose.

Burisma ‘Vehicle To Launder Taxpayer Money’ – Lawyer (RT)

The Russian Investigative Committee on Tuesday said it launched a criminal probe into the financing of terrorism, naming the Ukrainian industrial conglomerate Burisma among the suspects. RT spoke about the unfolding scandal to Arnaud Develay, an international human rights advocate and the author of a book covering ties between the Ukrainian company and the family of US President Joe Biden. “This is something that the Russian Investigative Committee is going to have to determine to be sure, but this is nothing new,” Develay stated, describing the Ukrainian company as a “vehicle to launder taxpayers’ money.” The investigators have already “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia” and beyond.

Should the allegation prove to be true, the West will try its best to swipe the whole affair under the rug, as well as to derail any attempts to bring it before international bodies, Develay believes. “They would try to fight tooth and nail to basically deny it,” he said, adding that an attempt to establish a UN-backed tribunal to handle the affair is bound to get vetoed by the “Big Three” – the US, the UK and France. “This is something that is going to have to be handled a different way,” he warned. Develay’s work, titled ‘Foreign Entanglements: Ukraine, Biden & the Fractured American Political Consensus’ is set for public release on Wednesday.

Webb Burisma

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“..the ability of illegal migrants to cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without showing any identification “has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.”

Musk Warns Of Terrorist Threat To US (RT)

Elon Musk has warned that a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 could take place in the US unless the crisis at the southern border and the uncontrolled influx of migrants is addressed. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the remarks in response to an X post by former Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who called for mass deportations and the sealing of the US-Mexico border. “Even if only 0.1% of illegal aliens who’ve crossed our border have hostile intentions, that’s tens of thousands of would-be attackers,” Ramaswamy pointed out, suggesting that unless special attention is paid to the issue, “we’re paving the way for another 9/11-scale tragedy.” Musk replied, saying it is “only a matter of time” before such a disaster unfolds.

Previously, the billionaire argued that the ability of illegal migrants to cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without showing any identification “has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.” His claim followed reports that Venezuela’s homicide rate had dropped to its lowest in 22 years – with some suggesting this was due to Venezuelan gangs moving to the US. Meanwhile, a Politico report published last month suggested that US President Joe Biden was considering offering permanent residency to millions of illegal immigrants. Musk responded to the news by accusing the US Democratic party of intentionally opening up the southern border in order to “import voters.”

There are currently thought to be around 10.5 million illegal immigrants living in the US, according to data compiled by Pew Research in 2021. However, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security, at least 6.3 million more have entered the US in the years since. In February, Musk claimed Biden’s plan to keep the Democrats in power was a “very simple” one, which involves getting “as many illegals in the country as possible,” then legalizing those people “to create a permanent majority.” The state of the US-Mexico border has become one of the key issues in US politics over the past year amid a historic influx of millions of immigrants. Republican lawmakers have been demanding tighter controls and more money to be set aside to deal with the border crisis, prompting them to use a multi-billion-dollar aid package for Ukraine as leverage.

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“A lot of people still run under the illusion that the legacy newspapers they read are actually true. There is so much nonsense in them..”

No Russian Misinfo On X, But Western Influence Ops Present – Musk (RT)

The owner of X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk, has rejected accusations that Russian misinformation was widespread on his platform. The entrepreneur, who describes himself as a champion of free speech, has been accused of making the social network vulnerable to Russian activities by changing its content moderation protocols after purchasing Twitter in 2022. His latest denial came on Tuesday, while he was discussing X on ‘In Good Company’, a podcast. Host Nicolai Tangen suggested that Russian activity via fake accounts was “huge” in Germany. “We don’t see a lot of Russian activity, to be frank, on the system. We see very little,” Musk responded. “We do see a lot of attempts to influence things, but they seem to be coming from the West, not from Russia.”

Tangen’s remark apparently referred to claims made by Berlin in January. The German government said that the use of specialized monitoring software had allowed it to identify an estimated 50,000 fake accounts engaged in a pro-Russian misinformation campaign on X. Local press claimed that the messaging was strikingly similar to that of the right-wing opposition party AfD. Germany is not alone in its wariness regarding Moscow’s influence; this week US Congressman Mike Turner, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, accused some fellow Republicans of repeating ‘Russian propaganda’ in the chamber.

“It is absolutely true we see, directly coming from Russia, attempts to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor,” the Ohio congressman told CNN’s Jake Tapper. Similar remarks came last week from House Foreign Affairs chair Michael McCaul, another Republican lawmaker. In his interview, Musk hailed X as arguably “the best source of truth on the Internet” that, he argued, by far surpasses traditional news outlets in terms of accuracy thanks to user-driven fact-checking tools. “A lot of people still run under the illusion that the legacy newspapers they read are actually true. There is so much nonsense in them,” he lamented.

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“We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump..”

Musk: Starlink Free for Brazil Schools If Government Cancels Contract (ET)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said he will provide Starlink services free of charge for schools in Brazil if the government chooses to follow through and cancel a contract for the service in the country. Many schools in Brazil have reported using the company to provide internet access to their citizens. Starlink terminals connect to the company’s satellites in low Earth orbit and provide high-speed communications. Brazil’s government has reportedly announced plans to suspend all contracts with Starlink. Prompting Mr. Musk to offer the service free of charge. “Starlink will provide free Internet for schools in Brazil if the government won’t honor their contract,” he said in an April 8 social media post. The moves come amid a growing stoush between social media company X, also owned by Mr. Musk, and the Brazilian government.

According to an April 6 post on the platform, the global affairs team announced they were being “forced by court decisions to block certain popular accounts in Brazil.” “We do not know the reasons these blocking orders have been issued. We do not know which posts are alleged to violate the law. We are prohibited from saying which court or judge issued the order, or on what grounds,” the post said. The global affairs team claimed the company had been threatened with fines if they didn’t comply with the order. They also said they were unable to provide a list of which accounts were impacted. “We believe that such orders are not in accordance with the Marco Civil da Internet or the Brazilian Federal Constitution, and we challenge the orders legally where possible,” the post from the global affairs team said.

“The people of Brazil, regardless of their political beliefs, are entitled to freedom of speech, due process, and transparency from their own authorities.” The announcement came after a report by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, titled “Twitter Files Brazil.” Mr. Shellenberger said that sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists were among those named by Brazil’s highest court for censorship. He has shared his findings on X. Mr. Musk announced soon after he had removed all content restrictions in Brazil in defiance of the order.

[..] Mr. Musk has made serious allegations of corruption against Justice de Moraes and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In a follow-up April 8 post, Mr. Musk claims that events have since escalated and all Twitter Brazil employees are in danger of arrest. Once safe, he will release the information proving his allegations. “We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump,” he said. “They have been told they will be arrested. Save the Brazilian X employees.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1777796067225989299

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“A second AI system, sadistically named “Where’s Daddy?”—and how sick is this?—was then used to track Hamas suspects to their homes..”

‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza (Patrick Lawrence)

ZURICH—“Technological change, while it helps humanity meet the challenges nature imposes upon us, leads to a paradigm shift: It leaves us less capable, not more, of using our intellectual capacities. It diminishes our minds in the long run. We strive to improve ourselves while risking a regression to the Stone Age if our ever more complex, ever more fragile technological infrastructure collapses.” That is Hans Köchler, an eminent Viennese scholar and president of the International Progress Organization, a globally active think tank, addressing an audience here last Thursday evening, April 4. The date is significant: The day before Köchler spoke, +972 Magazine and Local Call, independent publications in Israel–Palestine, reported that as the Israel Defense Forces press their savage invasion of the Gaza Strip, they deploy an artificial intelligence program called Lavender that so far has marked some 37,000 Palestinians as kill targets.

In the early weeks of the Israeli siege, according to the Israeli sources +972 cites, “the army gave sweeping approval for officers to adopt Lavender’s kill lists, with no requirement to thoroughly check why the machine made those choices or to examine the raw intelligence data on which they were based.” Chilling it was to hear Köchler speak a couple of news cycles after +972 published these revelations, which are based on confidential interviews with six Israeli intelligence officers who have been directly involved in the use of AI to target Palestinians for assassination. “To use technologies to solve all our problems reduces our ability to make decisions,” Köchler asserted. “We’re no longer able to think through problems. They remove us from real life.” Köchler titled his talk “The Trivialization of Public Space,” and his topic, broadly stated, was the impact of technologies such as digital communications and AI on our brains, our conduct, and altogether our humanity.

It was sobering, to put the point mildly, to recognize that Israel’s siege of Gaza, bottomlessly depraved in itself, is an in-our-faces display of the dehumanizing effects these technologies have on all who depend on them. Let us look on in horror, and let us see our future in it. We see in the IDF, to make this point another way, a rupture in morality, human intelligence, and responsibility when human oversight is mediated by the algorithms that run AI systems. There is a break between causality and result, action and consequence. And this is exactly what advanced technologies have in store for the rest of humanity. Artificial intelligence, as Köchler put it, is not intelligence: “It is ‘simulated intelligence’ because it has no consciousness of itself.” It isn’t capable, he meant to say, of moral decision-making or ethical accountability.

In the Lavender case, the data it produced were accepted and treated as if they had been generated by a human being without any actual human oversight or independent verification. A second AI system, sadistically named “Where’s Daddy?”—and how sick is this?—was then used to track Hamas suspects to their homes. The IDF intentionally targeted suspected militants while they were with their families, using unguided missiles or “dumb” bombs. This strategy had the advantage of enabling Israel to preserve its more expensive precision-guided weapons, or “smart” bombs. As one of +972’s sources told the magazine: “We were not interested in killing [Hamas] operatives only when they were in a military building or engaged in a military activity… . On the contrary, the IDF bombed them in homes without hesitation, as a first option. It’s much easier to bomb a family’s home. The system is built to look for them in these situations.”

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BUT: “.. if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.”

Ukraine ‘Losing The War’ – Chuck Schumer (RT)

Ukraine is failing on the battlefield because of a lack of American funding, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday. He demanded the House Republicans pass the $61 billion aid bill as soon as possible. Schumer, a New York Democrat, brought up Ukraine in a speech about the upcoming US legislative agenda. The Democrat-majority Senate passed the funding proposal in mid-February, but the Republican-majority House has not voted on it yet. “The situation in Ukraine is desperate,” Schumer said, claiming that the funding bill has been “collecting dust” for 55 days while “our friends in Ukraine fight and die on the battlefield with no support.” With each passing day, Ukraine is running out of more soldiers, ammunition and hope, he added. “Let’s be blunt: the biggest reason Ukraine is losing the war is because the hard-right in the Congress has paralyzed the US from acting. That’s it, that’s the reason,” Schumer said.

By passing the bill, House Speaker Mike Johnson would “do the right thing for Ukraine, for America, and for democracy,” the New York Democrat argued. Otherwise, he claimed, the Republicans would hand a “large victory” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schumer made much the same argument while visiting Ukraine in late February, claiming that if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.” Democrats have sought to split the GOP into “moderates” and “MAGA Republicans” – referring to former US President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ – to get support for their legislative agenda in both chambers of Congress. The tactic has paid off in the Senate, where 22 Republicans voted in favor of funding Ukraine, more than offsetting three Democrats who were opposed.

Republicans currently have a razor-thin majority in the 435-member House, with 218 seats to the Democrats’ 213. Johnson became speaker in late October, after a group of disgruntled GOP lawmakers voted to oust his predecessor Kevin McCarthy for striking a secret deal with the Democrats to pass Ukraine funding. The US has provided Ukraine with $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities. Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms shipments to Ukraine, saying these will only prolong the conflict, while making the West a direct participant in the hostilities.

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Everybody knows.

Ukrainian NATO Membership ‘Fundamentally Unacceptable’ – Moscow (RT)

Ukrainian accession to NATO would pose a threat to Russia’s national security and is fundamentally unacceptable, Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has said. The Russian envoy was responding to comments by US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, who claimed at a press briefing on Monday that Kiev could become a member of the military bloc once the conflict with Moscow has ended. “Ukraine’s accession to NATO is unacceptable to us under any circumstances,” Antonov stated on Tuesday. “This is a threat to Russia’s national security.” “Only politicians ignorant of the fundamental interests of the Russian Federation can expect that we could accept Kiev’s entry into a bloc which is hostile to us,” he added. Antonov further accused Washington of ignoring Moscow’s core interests and refusing to accept Russia’s “categorical opposition” to Kiev’s potential NATO membership.

Speaking at a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted that Ukraine will be allowed to join the bloc, claiming that the commitment of its members to Kiev remains “rock solid.” The purpose of NATO’s next summit in July will be to “help build a bridge to that membership and to create a clear pathway for Ukraine moving forward,” Blinken added. Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, viewing the US-led bloc’s policies as an existential threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned for nearly two decades that NATO’s eastward expansion undermines Russian national security, and that moving the bloc’s forces into Ukraine would cross a “red line.” According to Antonov, Moscow offered the West a diplomatic way to defuse tensions over NATO expansion and Ukraine in 2021, but the appeal was rejected by Washington.

Arestovich

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All this ‘pre-war’ talk is crazy irresponsible. Kick ’em by the curb.

‘High-Intensity War In Europe No Longer A Fantasy’ – Borrell (RT)

A full-scale military conflict in Europe has become more likely due to the standoff with Russia, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has claimed, while warning member states against relying on the US to defend them. Several other European officials have cited a heightened military threat in recent months, with UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps saying last week that the world is moving from a “post-war to a pre-war” state due to the alleged threat emanating from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk made a similar “pre-war” assessment in March. Speaking at a Forum Europa gathering in Brussels on Tuesday, Borrell claimed that the “possibility of a high-intensity conventional war in Europe is no longer a fantasy” and that the bloc must “do everything to avoid it”.

The EU’s top diplomat alleged that Russia poses a growing threat to the continent, citing the conflict with Ukraine, and accused Moscow of seeking to destabilize the union. According to Borrell, while a military conflict in Europe is not imminent and “not going to start tomorrow,” citizens should understand that the “US umbrella that has protected us during the Cold War and after, may not be open all the time.” “Maybe, depending on who is ruling Washington, we cannot rely on the Americans’ support and American capacity to protect us,” he said. Describing the EU as being surrounded by a “ring of fires” and instability, Borrell called on member states to become more self-sufficient with their security and to ramp up their defense spending.

He added that while NATO is as “irreplaceable” as ever, Europeans should start building their own “pillar” within the US-led bloc. The diplomat acknowledged that Brussels’ stance on the conflicts in Gaza and in Ukraine is not fully shared by many non-Western audiences. Borrel’s remarks follow suggestions from numerous Western civilian and military officials in recent months that Russia could attack NATO within a few years. Speaking in late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed such speculation as “nonsense.” He argued that talk of a potential Russian attack on Poland, the Czech Republic, or the Baltic countries is propaganda coming from governments that seek to scare their citizens “to extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden on their shoulders.”

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China’s been saying this for a while, but not many in the west seem to know it.

China Sending Message That ‘It Has Russia’s Back’ If West Escalates (Sp.)

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, sending a strong message to the West that the two countries will continue their strategic relationship. The meeting came a day after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to China and warned it against partnering with Russia. The meeting between Lavrov and Xi, particularly right after Yellen’s visit, is a “message” to the West that China “will have the back of Russia” if the conflict in Ukraine is escalated by the West, lawyer and journalist Dimitri Lascarus told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Wednesday. “The timing of announcements such as these tell you a lot,” Lascarus said, pointing to not only Yellen’s visit but the increasingly provocative attacks on Russia by Ukraine’s intelligence services such as the mass shooting outside of Moscow which Russia has blamed Ukraine and its backers in the US and UK for, among other provocations.

“Of course, we have this ongoing drama with little Napoleon in France [French President] Emmanuel Macron, talking about sending a few thousand French troops to their deaths in Odessa,” Lascarus recalled. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it has been interpreted by both the Russian and Chinese governments as an attempt to provoke Russia into a direct attack on a NATO country.” “I think [China is] sending a message that China will have the back of Russia if this escalates. And, no one should have any illusions about that,” Lascarus explained. “They see, I believe, that there is a series of escalations happening here and there are no adults in the room, and they need to send an unequivocal signal that China will have Russia’s back in the event that this escalates out of control,” he added.

While neither government has any “reservations about the necessity” of their alliance, Lascarus argued that the West is forcing them to strengthen their relationship because of its aggressive actions. “Every day, Western governments are acting in a way which makes this partnership even more compelling to the Russian and Chinese governments.” With public sentiment turning against the “Ukrainian disaster” in both Europe and the US, Lascarus noted that polls show that the vast majority of French citizens think the country is heading in the wrong direction. “[France] has been one of the primary architects of this disastrous neocon policy in Ukraine,” he explained. “So we’re seeing already, that the political days of these characters are all numbered.” “The real question we have to confront as citizens of the West is, do we have an actual, competent, ethical, and principled alternative to these people? I don’t know that we do. But one thing is for sure, the public has enough and they’re on the way out the door.”

Lavrov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777580903339876516

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“..to literally take over these social networks, [which] all these big tech people thought was going to be this lovely garden of earthly delights and turn it into a prison.”

‘Russiagate’ About Seizing Power as Much as Stopping Trump (Sp.)

On Sunday, US Rep. and chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Michael R. Turner (R-OH) claimed that it is “absolutely true” that members of the US Republican party are repeating “pro-Russia messages” on the House floor, without naming the members. The US establishment disproven conspiracy that former US President Donald Trump was controlled by the Kremlin is about seizing control of social media and the internet as much as it is designed to harm Trump’s political ambitions, Serbian-American journalist and columnist Nebojsa Malic told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Tuesday. Malic argues that the “completely fabricated” Russiagate conspiracy was “not just to sabotage the Trump presidency, but to literally take over these social networks, [which] all these big tech people thought was going to be this lovely garden of earthly delights and turn it into a prison.”

Last year, a panel of federal judges ruled that the US intelligence agencies’ contact with social media companies, urging them to take down specific posts and block or ban certain users, likely constituted government censorship. The administration of US President Joe Biden has appealed the case to the Supreme Court. “Russiagate was the pretext that started this entire ball rolling, and it wasn’t even based on anything real. And now they want to do it all over again,” Malic explained. “I was listening to [Senate Majority Leader, Senator] Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speak yesterday about how Ukraine is losing the war because [House Speaker, Rep.] Mike Johnson (R-LA) doesn’t want to give them money. No, Ukraine is losing the war because it has always been [losing] because it is fighting an industrial war it cannot win,” Malic continued. “The West can’t win because it doesn’t have the industrial capabilities because in the past 30 years, we shut down our industry and turned everything over to finance, but Chuck Schumer is too thick to understand that.”

The reality on the ground in Ukraine has turned many against US support for NATO’s proxy war in Russia, with more Americans (37%) saying the US spends too much on Ukraine than too little (27%) and only 13% responded that they were either “extremely confident” or “very confident” Ukraine will defeat Russia, compared to 49% who say they are “Not too confident” or “Not confident at all.” People are asking “How is this helping freedom and democracy, exactly?” Malic contended. “And [the establishment’s] response is ‘shut up, Russian Agent.’” “This is a breakdown. Because, again, the blob’s agenda is to use Russia’s phantom menace for a power grab at home on one hand, and to push for this geopolitical fantasy that Russia needs Ukraine to be a global empire,” Malic said, explaining that Russia doesn’t want a global empire.

“They voluntarily dissolved the Soviet Union in ‘91, believing all of these stories about freedom and democracy and capitalism and human rights, and they got taken advantage of. Demographically, the country was worse off in the ‘90s than during World War Two,” Malic explained. “When we talk about the golden age of the 1990s, post-Cold War, freedom, democracy, transition from socialism, this is a horror story to these people and nobody in America seems to understand this because they didn’t live through it.” However, Malic said that it is “theoretically possible” that the “blob” actually wants Trump to win the election to give them an excuse to get out of Ukraine. “Maybe they want to get out of this Ukrainian quagmire and blame somebody else for it. They might want Trump to get elected so they can say ‘Okay, well, it’s all his fault. Had we kept the Democrats in power, we would have totally won the war. But, oh, well, what can we do? We just have to move on to the next war,’ which will be China.”

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“..from 1789 to 2023, no former or sitting president has faced criminal charges for their official acts, and for good reason..”

Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim (ET)

Special counsel Jack Smith in his final filing before the hearing is urging the Supreme Court to reject former President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity claim and deny any motions to delay a trial on charges related to the 2020 federal election conspiracy case. Prosecutors from the DOJ allege President Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election result on Jan. 6, 2021, charging him with four counts of conspiracy and obstruction. Former President Trump has denied he did anything wrong by calling for transparency and audits of the vote counts in swing states, and maintains presidential immunity for his actions on that day, which prevents prosecution for any actions he took while still in the top job. In a fresh court brief on April 8, Mr. Smith pressed that President Trump’s argument for presidential immunity over official acts as president has no grounding in the Constitution, the nation’s history, or Americans’ understanding that presidents are not above the law.

“The President’s constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed does not entail a general right to violate them,” Mr. Smith said in the brief. “The Framers never endorsed criminal immunity for a former President, and all Presidents from the Founding to the modern era have known that after leaving office they faced potential criminal liability for official acts.” According to Mr. Smith, former President Richard Nixon’s official conduct revealed during the Watergate scandal is the closest historical precedent for this situation. Mr. Smith says President Nixon eventually accepted a pardon from his successor, former President Gerald Ford, and that “his acceptance of a pardon implied his and President Ford’s recognition that a former President was subject to prosecution.”

“Since Watergate, the Department of Justice has held the view that a former President may face criminal prosecution, and Independent and Special Counsels have operated from that same understanding,” he said. Mr. Smith claims that despite President Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, all former presidents knew and wholly understood they were open to facing criminal charges for conduct while in the White House. [..] “The effective functioning of the presidency does not require that a former president be immune from accountability for these alleged violations of federal criminal law,” he said. “To the contrary, a bedrock principle of our constitutional order is that no person is above the law, including the president.”

Former President Trump has continued to argue that official acts by presidents should have immunity from criminal prosecution. Last month, he asked the Supreme Court to hold that he and other former presidents enjoy absolute criminal immunity from prosecution for official acts during their time in office. According to him, from 1789 to 2023, no former or sitting president has faced criminal charges for their official acts, and for good reason. “The President cannot function, and the Presidency itself cannot retain its vital independence if the President faces criminal prosecution for official acts once he leaves office,” President Trump’s brief to the Court says. “The threat of future prosecution and imprisonment would become a political cudgel to influence the most sensitive and controversial Presidential decisions, taking away the strength, authority, and decisiveness of the Presidency.”

[..] the Court has historically upheld a level of presidential independence and ruled in the 1982 decision of Nixon v. Fitzgerald that a president enjoys absolute immunity from civil liability for acts that fall within the “outer perimeter” of his official duties. A secondary issue that may be addressed is the demarkation between personal and official acts during President Trump’s tenure, and a possible separation of actions he can be prosecuted for, and actions covered by presidential immunity. The outcome for the case could impact President Trump’s other legal battles, in which he also argues presidential immunity as a defense. A federal appeals court recently ruled that several civil cases against President Trump related to Jan. 6 could go forward, finding that the actions cited personal acts of a candidate rather than official acts of a president. The question whether this immunity applies to former presidents is also new territory.

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He gets blamed for adhering to the Supreme Court decision.

“I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit (ZH)

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham dared to criticize Donald Trump’s new stance advocating that abortion law should be left to individual states — and was promptly subjected to withering fire from the former president. On Monday morning, Trump posted a video in which he implicitly rejected the idea of creating a federal limit on abortions, saying that, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v Wade, abortion is now a state-by-state issue: “States will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land; in this case, the law of the state. Many states will be different…many will have a different number of weeks, or some will [be] more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people.”

The announcement disappointed proponents of a federal ban who had been encouraged by February media reports that Trump had told his advisors and others that he favored a 16-week federal limit on abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. Graham quickly posted a tweet-thread declaring his “respectful” disagreement with Trump’s new stance, saying that a states’ rights rationale against a federal limit “will age about as well as the Dred Scott decision,” which helped perpetuate slavery. Trump responded via Truth Social, writing that “Senator Lindsey Graham is doing a great disservice to the Republican Party, and to our Country.” He elaborated on the political realities: “[Democrats] love this Issue, and they want to keep it going for as long as Republicans will allow them to do so. Terminating Roe v. Wade was, according to all Legal Scholars, a Great Event, but sometimes with Great Events come difficulties. Many Good Republicans lost Elections because of this Issue, and people like Lindsey Graham, that are unrelenting, are handing Democrats their dream of the House, Senate, and perhaps even the Presidency…”

A few hours later, Trump was back for more, this time chiding both Graham and Marjorie Dannensfelser, who leads SBA Pro-Life America. Dannensfelser had issued a statement saying her organization was “deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position.” With that particular scolding message, Trump took a more philosophical tack, saying Graham and Dannensfelser “should study the 10th Amendment.” A cornerstone of federalism, that final component of the Bill of Rights states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” By deferring to the states on abortion, Trump is taking the truly “conservative” position on the issue, compared to those who advocate for national regulation. As James Madison summed up the federal system:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. [Federal powers] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce… The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people.” In a third Truth Social posting, Trump threw in another jab at Graham while also boasting about the power of a Trump endorsement: “I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

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Live 500 meter high in a flat in a 170km straight-line city. No thanks.

Neom: Saudi Arabia ‘Scales Back’ Goals Of Megacity Project (MEE)

Saudi Arabia has scaled back some of its ambitions for its desert megacity Neom, according to a report by Bloomberg. The $1.5 trillion megacity project, which organisers claim will be 33 times the size of New York City, is due to include a 170km straight-line city. When launching The Line in 2021, the Saudi government had announced that 1.5 million people would be living in the city by 2030. Officials now expect there to be fewer that 300,000 residents by that time, according to a source cited by Bloomberg on Friday. The source said that officials expected only 2.4km of the 170km city to be completed by 2030. As a result of the scaling back, one contractor dismissed some of the workers it employs on site, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.

Neom – part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy and move away from oil reliance – is being built in the northwestern Tabuk province. Middle East Eye reported last year that construction was under way on The Line, based on satellite imagery. The Line is due to have no cars or roads, and a high-speed rail service running across the length of the city, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced three years ago. Two parallel, mirrored buildings that are nearly 500 metres tall and 120km wide are also planned as part of the project, according to designs uncovered in 2022.

In addition to the horizontal city, Neom is also touted to include an eight-sided city that floats on water, a ski resort with a folded vertical village, and a Red Sea luxury island resort called Sindalah. The Sindalah project is due to open later this year. Sources told Bloomberg that work was continuing on other parts of the Neom project, and Saudi officials still backed the overall aims of The Line. The sources added that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is providing most of the funding for the project, has yet to confirm its 2024 budget for Neom. The scaling back of the megacity project comes as the Public Investment Fund cash reserves dropped to $15bn in September, its lowest levels since 2020.

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Fell just 2%? Barely a tumble.

Boeing Shares Tumble After NYT Reveals Whistle-Blower Report (ZH)

Shares of Boeing are moving lower in early afternoon trade following a report from The New York Times of an engineer at the airplane manufacturer turned whistle-blower, revealing that sections of the 787 Dreamliner fuselage are improperly fastened together, posing structural integrity risks. Sam Salehpour, who worked on the 787 Dreamliner fuselage for more than a decade, detailed to NYT in a series of interviews that were packaged into documents and sent to the Federal Aviation Administration that the widebody plane is produced in several large sections by different manufacturers, and not all pieces were the same shape when they were fitted together. He said this could create structural issues over time. On April 17, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat of Connecticut and the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigations subcommittee, will hold a hearing featuring Salehpour to address his concerns about the 787 Dreamliner.

“Repeated, shocking allegations about Boeing’s manufacturing failings point to an appalling absence of safety culture and practices — where profit is prioritized over everything else,” Blumenthal said in a statement. Recall, in 2014, an Al Jazeera undercover report found that workers at the 787 factory in South Carolina were not confident in the plane’s manufacturing quality, with at least one worker callin it “f**king sh*t.” “This is the culture that Boeing has allowed to exist,” Katz said, adding, “This is a culture that prioritizes production of planes and pushes them off the line even when there are serious concerns about the structural integrity of those planes and their production process.” Boeing responded to the NYT report and said it was “fully confident in the 787 Dreamliner,” adding, “These claims about the structural integrity of the 787 are inaccurate and do not represent the comprehensive work Boeing has done to ensure the quality and long-term safety of the aircraft.” Investors were spooked by the report, which is yet another issue for Boeing. Shares in New York tumbled 2% around noon.

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Heroes

 

 

Cloud seeding

 

 

Red Wolf

 

 

Humpback

 

 

Parkour
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777445115415482483

 

 

Swan

 

 

Dolly

 

 

 

 

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