Vincent van Gogh Weaver 1884
Nigeria: 206M people, only 4.4% fully vaxxed, zero deaths and 87 daily cases
The official government li(n)e
“Lead it?” Where? Down the crapper!”
What’s the big headline making the news last week? “BIDEN: AMERICA WILL LEAD NEW WORLD ORDER.” In his speech, President Joe Biden declared, “Now is the time where things are shifting. There’s going to be a new world order out there and we’ve got to lead it.” “Lead it?” Where? Down the crapper! America’s roads are rotted, bridges collapse, archaic subways and rail systems crumble, the middle class evaporates as 61 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, people can’t afford to buy homes or afford to pay rent, etc., etc. Q. And who is the “we’ve” that “got to lead it”? A. The Republican and Democratic crime syndicate… people like Joe Biden who’s been sucking off the public tit for 50 years and championed the sending of our jobs overseas and making the billionaires richer and the Bigs bigger.
Yet, as the nation descends, there is always more money to enrich the military/industrial/intelligence complex with over $1 trillion per year dumped into their coffers. Name the war that the D.C. Gang started since the end of WWII and assess the cost benefit analysis. Here are a few: • Korean War: Lost • Vietnam War: Lost • Afghanistan War: Lost • Iraq War: Lost • Syrian War: Ongoing Bloody Disaster • Libyan War: Ongoing Bloody Disaster • Yemen War: Worst Humanitarian Disaster on Earth. Therefore, with a stellar track record of monumental failures, why would anyone with a brain bigger than a pea believe or follow warped-brain politician’s war dictates… politicians who shoot off their fat mouths to start wars, but never shoot a rifle to fight the wars they start?
[..] As we reported last week, with significant percentages of the world’s corn, wheat, barley and fertilizers unable to be shipped out of Russia and Ukraine—and/or sanctioned—food and fertilizer prices have sharply spiked since the Ukraine War began: Wheat is up almost 22 percent, barley 32 percent and fertilizers jumped by 40 percent. The two nations accounted for 75 percent of the world’s sunflower seed oil, 32 percent of the barley, 30 percent wheat and 17 percent of corn exports. And over the past year, barley prices rocketed up 82 percent, wheat prices spiked 69 percent and corn prices jumped 36 percent.
“Ukraine has only compounded a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe,” said David M. Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program. “There is no precedent even close to this since World War II.” Beyond WWII, as we reported, the COVID War destroyed the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people. The imbecilic, non-scientific draconian lockdown mandates pushed hunger up 18 percent… from 720 million to 811 million people according to the UN. And now with the Ukraine War raging, the United Nations said its implications on the global food market would push up an additional 13.1 million people into hunger. “We’ll be taking food from the hungry to give to the starving,” Beasley said.
Why is America interfering in the affairs of countries and trying to change them to its goals? pic.twitter.com/gsyddMwyQk
— عروي الشموخ (@home4144) March 22, 2022
“This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians..”
Western corporate media, depending almost exclusively on Ukrainian sources, report that Russia is losing the war, with its military offensive “stalled,” and in frustration has deliberately targeted civilians and flattened cities. Biden has bought into this part of the story, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.” He has also said that Russia is planning a “false flag” chemical attack to pin on Ukraine. But on Tuesday, the Pentagon took the bold step of leaking two stories to reporters that contradict those tales. “Russia’s conduct in the brutal war tells a different story than the widely accepted view that Vladimir Putin is intent on demolishing Ukraine and inflicting maximum civilian damage—and it reveals the Russian leader’s strategic balancing act,” reported Newsweek in an article entitled, “Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back. Here’s Why.”
The piece quotes an unnamed analyst at the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) saying, “The heart of Kyiv has barely been touched. And almost all of the long-range strikes have been aimed at military targets.” A retired U.S. Air Force officer now working as an analyst for a Pentagon contractor, added: “We need to understand Russia’s actual conduct. If we merely convince ourselves that Russia is bombing indiscriminately, or [that] it is failing to inflict more harm because its personnel are not up to the task or because it is technically inept, then we are not seeing the real conflict.” The article says: “As of the past weekend, in 24 days of conflict, Russia has flown some 1,400 strike sorties and delivered almost 1,000 missiles (by contrast, the United States flew more sorties and delivered more weapons in the first day of the 2003 Iraq war). …
“A proportion of those strikes have damaged and destroyed civilian structures and killed and injured innocent civilians, but the level of death and destruction is low compared to Russia’s capacity. ‘I know it’s hard … to swallow that the carnage and destruction could be much worse than it is,’ says the DIA analyst. ‘But that’s what the facts show. This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians, that perhaps he is mindful that he needs to limit damage in order to leave an out for negotiations.’” These Pentagon sources confirm what Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defense have been saying all along: that instead of being “stalled,” Russia is executing a methodical war plan to encircle cities, opening humanitarian corridors for civilians, leaving civilian infrastructure like water, electricity, telephony and internet intact, and trying to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible.
Until these Pentagon leaks it was difficult to confirm that Russia was entirely telling the truth and that corporate media were publishing fables cooked up by Ukraine’s publicity machine.
If Russia hasn’t done what Americans would do, it must mean they are failing…
Over the course of almost four weeks, missiles fired at Kyiv have been scarce. Ukrainian media have reported just more than a dozen incidents involving Russian cruise and ballistic missiles intercepted over the city and its closest suburbs since February 24. And all of them, U.S. experts say, have been clearly headed for legitimate military targets. “The fact that the mobile S-300 SAM systems are still operating is a powerful indictment of Russia’s ability to conduct dynamic or time-sensitive targeting,” the Atlantic Council asserted this week in a military brief. The DIA analyst disagrees: “For whatever reason, clearly the Russians have been reluctant to strike inside the urban megalopolis of Kyiv.
“Yes they might not be up to the U.S. task [in dynamic targeting] or in establishing air superiority … But this is the Russian air force, subordinate to the ground forces. And this war is different: it’s being fought on the ground, where everything strategic that Russia might destroy in front of its forces—bridges, communications, airfields, etc.—also becomes unusable to them as they move forward.” From the very beginning of air strikes, both U.S. analysts agree, some of the limited air and missile attacks have also had some internal logic. Take, for instance, the airfield at Hostomel, northwest of Kyiv. It wasn’t directly attacked because Russia initially used it to land paratroopers, with the hope of advancing to the capital city. Instead the airfield and the surrounding countryside became the scene a major battle, as Ukrainian forces mounted a fierce defense. In the south, Kherson airport also wasn’t attacked. The reason has become clear: Russia is now using that very airfield to stage its own forces.
“..the main source of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves — oil and gas exports — has been excluded from the sanctions..”
So what should we expect from the sanctions? Western pundits and commentators have little doubt: the sanctions will hamstring the Russian economy, sow discontent among the Russian people and elites alike, and possibly even cause the downfall of the Putin regime. At the very least, we’re told, they will hinder Russia’s war efforts. But history suggests otherwise: see Iraq, or more recently Iran. Far more likely is that this turns out to be the latest Western strategic miscalculation in a long list of strategic blunders, of which the United States’ inglorious withdrawal from Afghanistan is just the most recent example. After all, Russia has been preparing for this moment for quite some time.
Following the first wave of Western sanctions, in 2014, and partly in retaliation against them, Putin embarked on what analysts have dubbed a “Fortress Russia” strategy, building up the country’s international reserves and diversifying them away from US dollars and British pounds, reducing its foreign exposure, boosting its economic cooperation with China, and pursuing import substitution strategies in several industries, including food, medicine and technology, in an effort to insulate Russia as much as possible from external shocks. True, Putin made the mistake of leaving around half of those reserves parked in foreign central banks, resulting in these now being confiscated. But nonetheless Russia still has access to more than $300 billion in gold and foreign-exchange reserves — more than most countries in the world and more than enough to cushion any short-term fall in exports, or prop up the rouble (for a while).
Moreover, the Russian central bank reacted to the sanctions by stopping capital flows out of Russia and nationalising the foreign exchange earnings of major exporters, requiring Russian firms to convert 80% of their dollar and euro earnings into roubles. It also raised interest rates to 20% in an effort to attract foreign capital. These measures are aimed at bolstering the rouble’s value and providing a flow of foreign exchange into the country. They appear to be working: while the rouble is around 40% of its value since the start of the conflict, the Russian currency’s free-fall seems to have come to a halt for now, even registering an uptick over the past two weeks. For the time being, Russia’s financial account — the difference between the money flowing in and out of the country — is far from disastrous.
Let’s not forget that the main source of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves — oil and gas exports — has been excluded from the sanctions, for obvious reasons: for most European countries, Russia accounts for a huge part of their oil and gas imports (and other staple commodities), and there’s simply no way of replacing those energy sources from one day to the next. In short, Russia runs no risk, in the short term, of running out of reserves and not being able to pay for its imports. But even assuming that the West decided to put a stop to all its imports from Russia overnight, there’s no reason to believe that this would bring the Russian military machine to a halt. The notion that “we are financing Russia’s war by purchasing gas and oil”, as the Finnish prime minister recently stated, is fundamentally misplaced.
A translation at the Saker. Not clear from what.
“..if the Baltic statehood develops in the same direction in which it has been developing for the last thirty years, then sooner or later the denazification operation is inevitable.”
the pro-American European lobby is in a state of unstable equilibrium; it wants to intervene in this conflict, but is afraid. The Americans do not yet give sufficient guarantees. Biden is now going to Poland to talk about exactly this, and we’ll see what he tells them. Well, I think not now, not now, but in general, given what trends have prevailed in the Baltics. Sooner or later the denazification operation will have to be carried out, because, as the history of Ukraine shows, living next to the Nazi state, even if it is small, means everything equally uncomfortable. Just because we are two different systems, we are on different sides of good and evil, and we will always be in confrontation with each other, and confrontation with the state that is on our borders will always be used by our enemies, regardless of who is this enemy at the moment.
Therefore, naturally, if the Balts do not take it reasonably, then sooner or later they, just like Ukraine, will ask for the denazification operation. Ukraine asked for a long time, in fact, persuaded for 30 years. Therefore, Ukraine began to prepare for a war with Russia from the first day of its Independence. It was, by the way, her idea-fix. Well, it was getting ready, getting ready, now 30 years have passed – she got ready. Finally, she asked for the war. By and large, the Balts behave in the same way. They now think that they are covered by NATO and the EU, but as the practice of recent years has shown, this is a very unreliable umbrella.
It is unlikely that anyone will be especially tense and risk a major war for the Baltic states. Moreover, there is always a casus bellum. It’s just that now, of course, Russia is too busy to go to the Baltic states. If only they won’t interfere with Russia on their own along with the Poles. They once tried to attack Belarus. They can repeat. If they themselves do not get involved in this matter, then the problem, the Baltics, is a problem of the distant future. During this time, they can change their minds, correct themselves, establish normal contacts, and choose other politicians. But if the Baltic statehood develops in the same direction in which it has been developing for the last thirty years, then sooner or later the denazification operation is inevitable.
“Sending NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine would lead to a direct clash between the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the alliance.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned this week that if NATO sends peacekeepers into Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, that action will lead to a direct military confrontation between Russian and allied forces. According to the Russian state news agency TASS, Lavrov said Wednesday morning, “Sending NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine would lead to a direct clash between the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the alliance.” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations eliminated the possibility of the U.S. becoming part of a peacekeeping operation inside Ukraine, reiterating that the Biden administration will not send American troops into the country under conflict.
“We don’t want to escalate this into a war with the United States,” said Thomas-Greenfield. “But we will support our NATO allies,” adding that President Biden “has made clear that if there is an attack on any of our NATO allies, under Article 5, that we will support those countries and defend those countries.” The war has been going on for about a month as Russia’s far larger army continues to fight for control of Ukraine’s major cities. In the past days, the battle for Ukraine’s strategic port city of Mariupol has grown increasingly fiery. Thus far, the resistance effort from Ukraine has been unexpectedly fierce, though western experts warn that the Ukrainian’s longtime outlook against Russian forces may spell trouble.
Just The News, a right wing unit, has trouble positioning itself. They must be both anti-Biden AND anti-Putin.
Speaking Tuesday night in a video address to his nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian forces of seizing a humanitarian convoy in Mariupol.Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the Russians are holding captive 11 bus drivers and four rescue workers as well as their vehicles. Zelenskyy said the efforts to establish stable humanitarian corridors in Mariupol, which has been under heavy attack, are being “foiled by the Russian occupiers, by shelling, or deliberate terror.” A senior U.S. defense official told the Associated Press that Russian ships in the Sea of Azov are adding to the shelling of Mariupol, a strategic port city.
On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian military operation is unfolding “strictly in accordance with the plans and purposes that were established beforehand.” He added that Putin’s aims are to “get rid of the military potential of Ukraine” and to “ensure that Ukraine changes from an anti-Russian center to a neutral country.”
Uranium One. Nuff said.
By 2010, the Obama-Biden-Clinton Russian reset was in full swing. The administration put forth a mutual nuclear disarmament treaty known as “New START,” which, while noble in its declared intentions, risked weakening a compliant partner such as the United States while strengthening a Russia not constrained by the rules. Another deal that Obama, Biden, and Clinton gave the Russians was called the “123 Agreement,” which allowed state-owned Russian entities like nuclear behemoth Rosatom to sell nuclear materials directly to U.S. utility companies. This deal continues to pay huge dividends to the Obama Foundation’s top donor, Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. And President Biden has allowed that deal to survive even during the Ukraine war, exempting nuclear fuel sales to U.S. utilities from his recent sanctions targeting Russian energy imports.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-driven 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, and other so-called denuclearization efforts with Libya and North Korea, effectively sent hundreds of thousands of tons of uranium to Russia for enrichment — a huge cash and energy windfall for Putin. On top of these nuclear handouts, the Obama-Biden-Clinton team gave Russia one of the biggest prizes of all: Uranium One. Before the Russian takeover, Uranium One was a Canadian company that mined Uranium around the world. It had assets on at least three continents — Eurasia, Africa, and North America. Its assets in Wyoming, Utah, and other states constituted approximately 20% of U.S. uranium capacity and meant that the Obama-Biden Committee of Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) would have to sign off on the deal. They could have said no, but the deal was approved.
Investors in the deal had funneled $145 million into Secretary Clinton’s family foundation. Its approval helped to give Russia a near-monopoly on global uranium production. After investigative reporter and author Peter Schweizer broke the Uranium One story in 2015, a State Department under secretary, Jose Fernandez, took the blame. Fernandez later landed a “very rewarding” position at the Clinton-connected Center for American Progress. Fernandez has now come back through the revolving door and is a top official in the Biden State Department.
“First, I put on my socks, then my pants, then my shirt, then my jacket … and then I am fully dressed.”
“This is not a normal day for America. We have never had this moment before.” Those 15 words from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) captured the historic confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court. In other respects, however, the hearing was an all-too-familiar moment, particularly in its lack of substantive legal discussion. The Jackson hearing continued the rapid reduction of the range of questions for nominees, leaving these hearings as little more than performance art for senators and an endurance test for nominees. The hearing was impressive in the ability of senators to move effortlessly between diametrically opposing positions. For those with memories extending back to 2020, there were turns that were enough to snap your neck.
In Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing, members like Sen. Chris Coons (D-R.I.) declared: “What’s at issue is her judicial philosophy.” Yesterday, during Jackson’s hearing (around the 6:30 mark), Coons declared: “I don’t believe that ‘a judicial philosophy’ is always all that meaningful.” It was clear from the outset that Jackson would not discuss her judicial philosophy on interpreting the Constitution or statutes — the very issue Democratic senators cited in voting against Barrett in 2020. When asked about her judicial philosophy, Jackson responded with a discussion of her “judicial methodology.” Indeed, on the second day of questioning, Jackson told Sen. Grassley that “I do have a philosophy. My philosophy is my methodology.” It is akin to asking someone about their preferred clothing style and having them respond, “First, I put on my socks, then my pants, then my shirt, then my jacket … and then I am fully dressed.”
Given that evasion, it was not surprising that Coons felt compelled to say judicial philosophy was really not that important and the key all along was methodology. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) agreed. After labeling Barrett an unacceptable “originalist,” she now dismisses originalism and judicial philosophy questions for Jackson (around the 8:48 mark) because “I do not find labels particularly useful.” In reality, it did not seem like any substantive answers were “particularly useful.” I have complained about that lack of substance in prior hearings where nominees discussed favorite movies and baseball but not long-held principles of constitutional interpretation. The Ginsburg Rule — enabling nominees to refuse to answer questions about their positions on particular rights — has reduced confirmation hearings to the nutritional value of a Slurpee.
“They were unsure whether saying “get vaccinated to protect others” would increase willingness to vaccinate.”
As the first wave of the pandemic died down in 2020, the narrative was already being pushed that vaccines were the only way out. However, even before it was clear that the vaccines would predominantly be mRNA based, many were rightly hesitant to receive a novel vaccine that had been produced at warp speed. With The Science™ so convinced that their solution was the only solution, something had to be done to increase uptake. Even though there were many opposing opinions (that were ignored), it was thought that without high rates of vaccine uptake, the pandemic would likely be prolonged. Something had to be done about vaccine hesitancy, so along came Yale University with a study which began in July 2020.
The study, which was not published online until October 2021 (once everyone was vaccinated) was to test “how persuasive messaging affects COVID-19 vaccine uptake intentions”. Recent studies had shown that explaining vaccine herd immunity increased willingness to receive a vaccine and reduced the time people would wait to get vaccinated. However, other work found that prosocial appeals did not increase vaccination intentions and prosocial concerns were absent in densely populated areas. They were unsure whether saying “get vaccinated to protect others” would increase willingness to vaccinate. The authors of the study suggested that something else would be needed to get people to encourage others close to them to get vaccinated and to hold negative judgments of those who don’t get vaccinated.
“Viewing vaccination through the lens of a collective action problem suggests that in addition to increasing individuals’ intentions to receive a vaccine, effective public health messages would also increase people’s willingness to encourage those close to them to vaccinate and to hold negative judgments of those who do not vaccinate. By encouraging those close to them to vaccinate, people are both promoting compliance with social norms and increasing their own level of protection against the disease. Also, by judging those who do not vaccinate more negatively, they apply social pressure to others to promote cooperative behavior. This would be consistent with theories of cooperation, like indirect reciprocity or partner choice, that rely on free riders being punished or ostracized for their past actions to encourage prosocial outcomes. Thus, effective messaging could have outsized effects on promoting vaccination if it both causes people to vaccinate themselves and to encourage those around them to do so.”
Promotion of fear
"2yrs ago we uncritically accepted unreliable mathematical models that predicted this microbiological apocalypse.. Now enormous sunk costs of reputation/politics make it hard for ppl to admit they were wrong"
Former ON CMOH
— Your Ontario Doctors (@OnCall4ON) March 23, 2022
Kolakusic is fast becomig everyone’s favorite European.
Croatian Member of European (MEP) Parliament and former judge Mislav Kolakusic called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau out to his face in Brussels on Tuesday, savaging Trudeau over “civil rights violations” against Freedom Convoy protesters. Speaking before the European Parliament, Kolakusic accused the prime minister of engaging in a “dictatorship of the worst kind” by using the Emergencies Act to crush peaceful demonstrations. Kolakusic’s speech followed Trudeau’s own address to the parliament, where the prime minister had sounded off on purported threats to democracy posed by freedom protesters. Kolakusic responded to Trudeau’s claims through a Croatian translator.
“To defend our rights and the rights of our children, which we have acquired over the centuries, many of us – including myself – are willing to risk our own freedom and our own lives,” he said. “Unfortunately, today there are those among us who trample on these fundamental values.” Kolakusic then turned to face Trudeau. “Canada, once a symbol of the modern world, has become a symbol of civil rights violations under your quasi-liberal boot in recent months,” he said. Kolakusic went on to blast Trudeau for the militarized crackdown on Ottawa protesters where one woman using a walker had been trampled by a police-mounted riot horse. He also referred to how Trudeau had used the Emergencies Act to freeze the bank accounts of convoy protesters and donors.
“We watched how you trample women with horses, how you block the bank accounts of single parents so that they can’t even pay their children’s education and medicine, that they can’t pay utilities, mortgages for their homes. To you, these may be liberal methods, for many citizens of the world, it is a dictatorship of the worst kind. Rest assured that the citizens of the world, united, can stop any regime that wants to destroy,” said Kolakusic.
When you zoom in, you realise that these black horses are actually the shadows of Zebras
Photo by Beverly Joubert – taken above the shallow waters of the Makgadikgadi Pan, a salt pan in Botswana – NatGeo 2018 Wildlife Photo of the Year
Black Rock – The Company That Owns The World pic.twitter.com/cwBqrQlAlj
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) March 24, 2022
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